About The School
This is a history of the Shorijni-Ryu Aiki-Jujitsu style and all of those that have influences the style up to the present day.
This brief history was taken from an official translation provided by the International Office of the World Shorinji Kempo Organization (WSKO).
The Founder's Early Life
Shorinji Kempo traces its origins more than five thousand years to ancient India. Though it experienced a long period of development in China, its present form is the result of Founder's genius. Doshin So was born in 1911, in Okayama Prefecture, the oldest son of a customs officer. Upon the death of his father, young So was sent to live with his grandfather, who was an employee of the Manchurian railroad. When he was only seventeen, however, his grandfather's death forced him to return to Japan under the patronage of his grandfather's friend Mitsuru Toyama, the founder of the ultrapatriotic Amur River Society. At that time, Japan was experiencing the the effects of worldwide depression and was as a result becoming involved in politics on the Asian mainland. In 1928, Doshin So returned to Manchuria, this time as a member of a secret organization. To facilitate his covert activities, he became a disciple of a Taoist priest who was also an executive of the Zai-jari secret society and a master of the Byakurenmonken, a branch of Kempo originating at the Shorinji. This was So's first contact with kempo, and though he began to practice it eagerly, in those days it was no more than a series of incoherent disorganized techniques.
The association of Chang Tso-lin, a Chinese warlord acting more or less as a client of the Japanese but proving too nationalistic for some of the officers of the Japanese Kwantung Army, who had him put out of the way, intensified Japanese meddling in Manchuria and China and accelerated their plans to revive the defunct Manchu (Ch'ing) Dynasty. In his role as a secret agent, So was forced to travel widely to gather information for his organization, and this gave him the opportunity to meet masters of Kempo of various kinds. As had been true of the Taoist priest under whom he had studied earlier, however, these men too knew only a handful of techniques that lacked any kind of organization. But trip to Peking brought young So into contact with the twentieth master of the North Shorinji Giwamonken School of Kempo, whose direct disciple he immediately became. Having resigned himself to the unhappy likelihood that he would be the last of the Kempo head masters, this elderly man was overjoyed at finding an enthusiastic and skillful young follower. In a ceremony at the Shorinji Temple in 1936, Doshin So was officially designated the successor of the leader of the north Shorinji school.
In 1945, when the Russian Army entered Manchuria, Doshin So managed to escape through the help of Chinese secret society members: he was finally repatriated in 1946. The grim state of affairs in post-war Japan impressed him with the need of a restoration of morality and national pride and the creation of an entirely new human image. Regarding the Dharma spirit and the practice of Kempo as means to achieve these ends, Doshin So completely revised, expanded, and systematized the many forms of Kempo he had learned in China and thus created Shorinji Kempo as it exists today.
Doshin So (Nakako Michiomi), was born in 1911 in Okayama, passed his youth in Manchuria with his grandfather, expert in kendo and jujutsu, which introduced to him in the Japanese Martial Arts, being sent to Japan to the 17 years old. Returning again to Manchuria in 1928, he traveled by all China and Manchuria like military topographer, taking contact with different styles from Chinese Kempo.
In 1932 he knew a Shaolin monk, Great Master of the school Bei Shaolin Yi Ho Men Chan and learned with him different styles gathered within this school, being designated his successor in 1936, in a ceremony celebrated in the temple of Shaolin. In 1945 in the occasion of the war with Russia, he was repatriated to Japan. When arriving he studied there with Yoshiji Okuyama, founder of the Hakko Ryu Jujutsu. In 1947, like result of his knowledge, the Shorinji Kempo is created as a Martial Art related to the moral improvement of the individual and organized a religion derived from the Buddhism, call Kongo Zen (Zen of Diamond).
Riukiu Myura and Nippon Shorinji Kempo
Riukiu Myura (or Akira Miura) was a lifelong martial arts enthusiast. He worked as a policeman and some time in the 50's become an unarmed combat instructor to the police. He also taught judo seminars in Australia. It is believed that at some point he was a student of So Doshin the founder of Nippon Shorinji Kempo. Similarities between Jitsu and Nippon Shorinji Kempo have often been noted. It is possible that this is because sensei Miura developed his jujitsu style by adapting Nippon Shorinji Kempo to street fighting situations.
Matthew Komp was born in Germany and learned judo, jujitsu, aikido, wrestling and boxing as a young man. He learned jujitsu in Cologne from Hesser Mayer (who may have been Russian) and from another German, possibly called Wolfe who had trained in Japan before the Second World War. Another big influence was Kenshiro Abbe who spent some years teaching judo and aikido in mainland Europe before being invited to Britain in 1955.
Komp (a trained engineer) emmigrated to Australia in the 1950's. He established a dojo in Footscray near Melbourne. This was very successful and attracted many visiting instructors in different martial arts from Japan and Korea. One of these was Riukiu Myura and Matthew Komp also visited him in Japan. At that time, only a few specifically licensed martial arts could be taught in Australia and jujitsu was not one of them. This meant that officially, the Footscray club was a judo club. Students had to progress in judo grades before being taught any jujitsu.
Brian Graham is an Englishman who was one of the one of the early students at Footscray in 1957. He was awarded 1stdan in jujitsu in 1967 and stayed until he was a 5th dan in jujitsu and a 2nd dan in Judo. In the 1960's he returned to England by ship teaching on the voyage. He called the style Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu.
Peter Farrar began training at the age of 9 in 1969. He was one of Brian Graham's first students. In 1979 he set up a club called the Samurai Jiu-jitsu Club at their home town of Keighley, West Yorkshire. This was to become the first of many.
As well as being an astonishingly talented martial artist and instructor, Peter Farrar had the vision and drive to build new clubs to spread the style. In 1982, he handed the first club over to his second Dave Walker and opened new clubs in Leeds. He was also influential in setting up clubs around London. By now, a formal structure was needed so the Samurai Jiu Jitsu Association was set up headed by Brian Graham. Its purpose was not just to administer clubs but also to spread them.
In 1990, it was decided that "Jitsu" made a good brand name that provided a distinctive identity among the many jujitsu styles. The association was accordingly renamed The Jitsu Foundation.
In 1997, Matthew Komp visited Britain and awarded Brian Graham a 6thdan.
By the time Peter Farrar died in 1998, The Jitsu Foundation operated more clubs in Great Britain than any other style of Jujitsu.
David Walker is the former Director of the Jitsu Foundation, one of the largest Jiu Jitsu organisations in the UK. Still an active member of the Foundation, David holds the fighting grade of 'sandan', the highest attainable within the Jitsu Foundation, and the highest teaching grade of 'tertiary fellow'.
Andy Eitzen (Senior Instructor, Yeovil)
Sensei Andy Eitzen started training in shorinji-kan jujitsu in 1993 and attained 1st dan under the guidance of sensei David walker 3rd dan before starting his own school of jujitsu, the shorinji-ryu.
He then met sensei Chris Moslin 7th dan of the Aikibudo fraternity, who offered Andy a place within his organisation. Over time Andy has trained under many senior instructors who continue to influence the evolution of the style and has attained 4th dan , noticeably among others, Sensei Pat Drake 6th dan of the Yawarra –Ryu and Sensei Steve Mitchell 5th dan Aikijutsu.
Sensei Andy Eitzen is a life member of the Aikibudo fraternity and continues to uphold the true spirit of Aikibudo and refers to Sensei Chris Moslin as soke (headmaster).
Chris Moslin-sensei began his martial arts training in 1962 in Penang, Malaya, during his military service. During the subsequent 40 plus years, Moslin-sensei has studied and taught aikido and jujutsu throughout the world and under the guidance of many senior sensei; most notably, Moslin-sensei acknowledges Noro-sensei from France, and from Germany Hans von Rolbeck-sensei kyudan, ninth dan, aikido and kijutsu, Dieter Losgen-sensei kyudan jujutsu and Wagner-sensei hachidan, eighth dan, jujutsu, and Johnny Bernaschewice-sensei nanadan, seventh dan, aikido and hakko-ryu jujutsu from Belgium.
Today, Moslin-sensei is an internationally recognised master of jujutsu and aikido, but more than 30 years ago, on 13 and 14 September 1969, he received his shodan, first dan, in jujutsu in Dortmund, Germany, and six months later his shodan in aikido in Montreal, Canada. Thirty years on, on 28 November 1999, Moslin-sensei was awarded his rokudan, sixth dan, in aikido.
To this day, Moslin-sensei still dedicates himself to the practice, as well as to the theory, of his arts, and is one of only a few masters to have taken a practical mat examination for his godan, fifth dan, in aikido; in fact, Moslin-sensei has achieved two separate godan ranks in aikido by mat examination.
Reflecting Moslin-sensei's diverse and continuous study of the martial arts, he also holds a yondan, fourth dan, in jujutsu, a godan in budo, and a rokudan in aiki budo, to list but of few of his senior ranks.
Moslin-sensei is the Chief Instructor of the Aiki Budo Fraternity and of the Essex Budo Kan. He is also the Director of Aikido for the Kodo Butoku Renmei and an honorary member of the Fuma-Ryu Ninjutsu Society. For the part five years, Moslin-sensei has taught an annual aikido seminar at the world famous Eton College.
Adam Saunders (Instructor, Bristol)
Sensei Adam Saunders has studied under Sensei Andy Eitzen for almost a decade, and has been Andy's longest standing student, and during this time has reached his 2nd dan black belt.
Sensei Adam has been instructing Shorinjy Ryu students for a number of years, and took over as the instructor of the Bristol school from Sensei Andy in 2008.
When being instructed by Sensei Adam, his philosophy is always about being "calm in the storm". Even when teaching street fight defense and sharp weapons, this emphasis makes the whole situtation visually seemless. This is perhaps seems more of the Aikido way of Aiki-Jutsu, however Adam has always found the right balance.