The Sennin Foundation Center presents instruction in Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu, a traditional and non-competitive martial art. While many Westerners use “jujutsu, jujitsu, or jiu-jitsu” to describe their art of self-defense, most of these methods bear little resemblance to the original Japanese jujutsu, Japan’s oldest martial art. Both aikido and judo stem from jujutsu, and our dojo is one of few in the USA to offer authentic Japanese jujutsu.
Our class features a wide variety of powerful throwing, pinning, and grappling techniques stemming from older methods (kobudo) originating in the Aizu-Wakamatsu area of Japan. Saigo Ryu is a sogo bujutsu, an “integrated martial system,” and it also features advanced training in the martial arts of the sword, spear, staff, short stick, iron fan, and others. It is unique and unlike many more well-known martial disciplines (like karate-do, kendo, and iaido). While training is vigorous, and the practiced self-defense techniques effective, the emphasis is on subduing an opponent without unneeded injury. Students improve their health while learning martial arts as meditation, which helps them to remain calm under pressure. Some students have likened training in our dojo to “moving Zen.”
Our instructors also teach methods for cultivating ki (chi in Chinese). Ki is the life energy that animates human beings, and an understanding of it is useful in both martial arts and daily life.
H. E. Davey Sensei, the primary instructor at the Sennin Foundation Center, is the author of numerous books, including Unlocking the Secrets of Aiki-jujutsu and Living the Japanese Arts & Ways. He began studying the Saigo Ryu tradition at just five years old. He received the rank/title of Nihon Jujutsu Kyoshi from the Kokusai Budoin, which defines Kyoshi as a “Master’s certificate and equal to modern ranks of sixth- to eighth-degree black belt.” Kokusai Budoin was founded over 50 years ago in Japan, where it is affiliated with the Japanese Imperial Family, and where it functions as an international federation for most budo, or martial arts. In 1995, Davey Sensei and his students became the first Westerners permitted to give their own demonstration of aiki-jujutsu at the Kokusai Budoin’s annual All-Japan Martial Arts Exhibition. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Shudokan Martial Arts Association, which has given him a seventh-degree black belt and a Shihan teaching license.