Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The Sennin Foundation Center presents you with an opportunity to study genuine Japanese shodo—an art rarely taught outside of Japan—for artistic expression and moving meditation. Students study kanji and kana—a phonetic script—along with classical ink painting. You’ll also learn to brush age-old haiku and waka poems, sometimes with accompanying ink and water painted illustrations. And shodo is a fun way to study Japanese language and learn about Japanese culture.
H. E. Davey Sensei is the author of Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony and Living the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty (both Stone Bridge Press). He is a top student of the late Kobara Ranseki Sensei of Kyoto, the founder of Ranseki Sho Juku calligraphy. He received the highest rank in Ranseki Sho Juku brush writing, and he exhibits his artwork annually at the International Shodo Exhibition in Japan, where he received Jun Taisho, the “Associate Grand Prize,” among many other awards. Davey Sensei’s artwork has been featured in numerous American and Japanese magazines and newspapers.
Our classes feature a wide variety of effective throwing, pinning, and grappling techniques stemming from older methods originating in the Aizu-Wakamatsu area of present day Japan. However, 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. While training is vigorous, and while the practiced techniques are effective, the emphasis is on subduing an opponent without unneeded injury. Students improve their health while learning martial arts as moving meditation, which helps them to stay calm in action and under pressure.
H. E. Davey Sensei is the author of Unlocking the Secrets of Aiki-jujutsu (McGraw-Hill), and he began studying this art 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 6th to 8th 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 martial arts. In 1995, he 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. Davey Sensei is also on the Board of Directors of the Shudokan Martial Arts Association (http://www.smaa-hq.com/), which has given him a 7th degree black belt and a Shihan teaching license.
Sennin Ryoji, the “Sennin Foundation Healing Methods,” strengthen ki to overcome tension, illness, and injury. Various massage-like techniques are coupled with procedures for dynamically transferring ki from the therapist to the patient using gentle pressure from the thumbs, fingertips, and palms. This is Yuki, the “Transfusion of Ki,” and it can be compared to jumpstarting a car’s depleted battery.
H. E. Davey Sensei began studying this healing art under experienced Japanese teachers while still in middle school. He has since taught innumerable people how to regain their health and how to help others to do the same. The methods he teaches stem from the hitori massage (self-massage and healing) of the original Shin-shin-toitsu-do of Nakamura Tempu Sensei, the modified versions of Shin-shin-toitsu-do created by some of Nakamura Sensei’s students, and the Yuki of Noguchi Haruchika Sensei. He has studied under direct students of these remarkable healers, both in the Japan and the USA.
H. E. Davey Sensei, Director of the Sennin Foundation Center, has studied with several of Nakamura Sensei’s top students, including Hashimoto Tetsuichi Sensei and Sawai Atsuhiro Sensei. Both teachers are Senior Advisors to the Sennin Foundation Center, and Davey Sensei began studying Shin-shin-toitsu-do as a child. He is the acclaimed author of Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation (Stone Bridge Press), which has been featured in Yoga Journal in the U.S. and Tempu magazine in Japan, and he’s a member of Tempu-Kai, the Japanese association that preserves the legacy of Nakamura Sensei.
Shin-shin-toitsu-do offers you practical forms of seated and moving meditation, breathing methods for health, stretching exercises, autosuggestion for altering negative habits, and self-healing techniques that are little-known in the West. You, like many of our students, may experience profoundly enhanced levels of concentration, willpower, calmness, relaxation, and physical fitness.
Make a positive and life-altering decision. Consider adding Shin-shin-toitsu-do to your life, and discover a way of living rooted in health, happiness, and harmony. Contact www.senninfoundation.com to register for classes.
You can read about the Sennin Foundation Center at http://www.senninfoundation.com/. And you can learn about Japanese cultural arts in general at Michi Online: http://www.michionline.org/. Both Michi Online and the Sennin Foundation Center are associated with the Sennin Foundation, Inc., a federally tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation devoted to preserving and promoting Japanese arts.
This program has been ongoing since 1981, and it is affiliated with the Sennin Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization (#94-3239602). Classes take place in small groups, with personalized instruction offered by H. E. Davey and his staff of certified teachers. Students learn Shin-shin-toitsu-do, a form of yoga and health improvement founded by Nakamura Tempu Sensei in the early 1900s. Since then over one million people, largely in Japan, have studied this art’s unique versions of seated meditation, moving meditation, breathing exercises, healing arts, and autosuggestion methods for positively changing the subconscious mind.
Students also study yuki, a method of transferring ki (“life energy”) from the therapist to the patient by applying pressure using the thumbs, fingertips, and palms. This healing art is an extension of the mind and body unification principles taught in the Japanese yoga program, and it has proven useful for treating a variety of injuries and ailments.
H. E. Davey’s classes emphasize Japanese yoga and healing arts as a way of realizing better health, concentration, willpower, confidence, and calmness. He is the author of numerous books about Japanese cultural arts, including Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation, Living the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty, and others.
The Sennin Foundation Center is located at 1053 San Pablo Ave. in Albany. Visits are by appointment. For more information call 510-526-7518 (evenings). The Sennin Foundation Center can be reached on the Internet at http://www.senninfoundation.com/.
H. E. Davey
The Sennin Foundation Center offers instruction in Japanese systems of yoga, martial arts, healing arts, and fine arts. All classes are semi-private in nature, with private lessons being available as well, and we have a distinctly noncommercial approach to the teaching of classical Asian arts of self-mastery. One of our most successful endeavors has been our special Japanese yoga and martial arts program from children.
Celebrating its 27th anniversary, our program has helped hundreds of kids age five and above to realize greater confidence, calmness, concentration, and willpower. This is accomplished through two unique disciplines, art forms rarely taught outside of Japan. Children at the Sennin Foundation Center study the Shin-shin-toitsu-do method of Japanese yoga and meditation as well as the time-honored martial art of Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu.
Shin-shin-toitsu-do was founded in the early 1920s by Nakamura Tempu Sensei, who had returned to Japan after studying yoga in India. He formed an organization known as the Tempu-Kai, and the Sennin Foundation Center is the only group in the United States to have an affiliation with this organization. This distinctive form of Japanese yoga features many forms of seated meditation, moving meditation, breathing exercises, healing arts, and stretching methods. It’s an ideal way for students of any age to unify the mind and body as a way of realizing their full potential in daily life.
Aiki-jujutsu, a traditional martial art, also emphasizes mind and body harmony. It features throwing, pinning, and grappling techniques that focus on dynamic, but ultimately non-injurious, control of an attacker. Many martial arts instead feature offensive techniques that would cause great bodily harm if applied in a schoolyard shoving match. Such martial arts may not be the best choose for a parent concerned about the legal, social, and ethical ramifications of the self-defense system his child is learning.
However, some so-called “nonviolent martial arts” instruction is nonviolent largely because it would be ineffective in real combat. Aiki-jujutsu, as taught at the Sennin Foundation Center, is noncompetitive and defensive in nature. Nonetheless, it also features powerful and efficient self-protection skills—methods that still allow for effectively controlling an opponent without causing serious and permanent injury.
In 1992, a group of young people from our dojo, or “training hall,” performed the first aiki-jujutsu demonstration ever given by Western children at the esteemed Kokusai Budoin Sogo Budo Taikai. This annual all-Japan martial arts demonstration is held in Tokyo and sponsored by the Kokusai Budoin, a worldwide martial arts federation, which is over 50 years old, and which is endorsed by the Japanese Imperial Family.
Authentic Japanese jujutsu—of any form, including aiki-jujutsu—is infrequently found outside of Asia. The Kokusai Budoin HQ in Japan internationally certifies many of the black belt instructors at our dojo.
A number of kids have continued in our program for years, some even becoming adult teachers of Japanese yoga and/or martial arts themselves. We’re rather proud of this, and we also have separate classes in Japanese forms of yoga, healing arts, brush calligraphy, and martial arts for Mom and Dad. Rates for the whole family and individuals are reasonable.
Since forming the Sennin Foundation Center in 1981, I’ve had a number of books released by mainstream publishers about what we teach. Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation, Living the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty, Unlocking the Secrets of Aiki-jujutsu, and my other books offer readers a glimpse of what we practice. Our dojo is affiliated with the Sennin Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization, which also educates the public about Japanese arts of self-perfection via its website http://www.michionline.org/.
In honor of our 27 years in the Bay Area, we’re offering kids a chance to try Japanese yoga and martial arts for free for one month (with the purchase of a $22 uniform). We hope both parents and young people will join us in practicing at our dojo.
About the Author: H. E. Davey is the Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts. A recognized authority, he is the author of six books on Japanese classical art forms, and readers can find out more about him and the Sennin Foundation Center by visiting http://www.senninfoundation.com/. To visit, call 510-526-7518 (evenings) to make an appointment.
By H. E. Davey
6 x 7.75"
135 B&W illustrations and photographs
Now in a single volume, three essential works on Japanese aesthetics, spirituality, and meditation.
Living the Japanese Arts & Ways:
“Davey uses words with clarity and simplicity to describe the non-word realm of practicing these arts-calligraphy, martial arts, tea ceremony, painting-and the spiritual meaning of such practice. . . . A wonderful complement for practitioners of meditation, especially Zen.”
The Michi Mission: From chado—“the Way of tea”—to budo—“the martial Way”—Japan has succeeded in spiritualizing a number of classical arts. The names of these skills often end in Do, also pronounced Michi, meaning the “Way.” By studying a Way in detail, we discover vital principles that transcend the art and relate more broadly to the art of living itself. . . . Books in the Stone Bridge Press series Michi: Japanese Arts and Ways focus on these Do forms. They are about discipline and spirituality, about moving from the particular to the universal.
The three works anthologized here are essential to understanding the spiritual, meditative, and physical basis of all classical Japanese creative and martial arts. Living the Japanese Arts & Ways covers key concepts—like wabi and “stillness in motion”—while the other two books show the reader how to use brush calligraphy (shodo) and flower arranging (ikebana) to achieve mind-body unification.
In the Michi series, H. E. Davey explores the mind/body connection that lies at the heart of traditional Japanese arts and culture. Mr. Davey is Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
You can order The Japanese Way of the Artist here: http://www.amazon.com/.
* Living the Japanese Arts and Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty
* Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony
* The Japanese Way of the Flower: Ikebana as Moving Meditation
The three works anthologized here are essential to understanding the spiritual, meditative, and physical basis of all classical Japanese crafts, fine arts, and martial arts. Living the Japanese Arts & Ways covers key concepts—like wabi and “stillness in motion”—while the other two books show the reader how to use brush calligraphy (shodo) and flower arranging (ikebana) to achieve mind-body unification. Illustrated with diagrams, drawings, and photographs.
You can pick up a copy of this unique book here: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Way-Artist-Living-Meditation/dp/1933330074/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211999045&sr=8-
The book is now out of print, but a limited number of new, signed copies can be obtained here: http://www.senninfoundation.com/davey_yoga.html
The Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts has a special program for children. Since 1981, we've specialized in teaching young people traditional Japanese yoga and martial arts via fun, carefully structured classes. These classes present effective methods of controlling an opponent without excessive violence, and our overall emphasis focuses on the realization of each child's full potential. We stress learning to unite the mind and body in daily activities through practicing Japanese yoga and martial arts (jujutsu), which can in turn result in the discovery of our greatest human power.
H. E. Davey Sensei and our instructional staff are black belt instructors, certified in Japan, who have extensive experience working with children. In fact, a number of the kids in our classes have visited Japan and demonstrated martial arts at the Kokusai Budoin Sogo Budo Taikai, an annual all-Japan exhibition held in Tokyo. What's more, several members of our adult program started practicing with us as children and now help teach our classes for kids. We offer instruction that can provide tangible benefits throughout the course of your life.
Our classes for kids have a number of important points to recommend them:
* Instruction in genuine jujutsu--one of the world's oldest and most effective martial arts
* Including Japanese yoga: stretching, meditation, breathing exercises, and more
*Small non-competitive classes, individualized instruction, private lessons, and multiple month discounts
* Separate classes available in Japanese systems of yoga, healing arts, martial arts, and fine arts (painting and calligraphy) for Mom and Dad
We think you'll find our patient staff of instructors can help your child cultivate confidence, concentration, and physical fitness. These are benefits that will clearly aid any young person in school, sports, or family life. If you're interested in giving your son or daughter an added advantage in life, contact the Sennin Foundation Center for information about an affordable martial arts program that teaches self-protection and much, much more. Parents can reach us at http://senninfoundation.com/.
The Sennin Foundation Center's brush writing class emphasizes Japanese calligraphy, but branches out to include Japanese ink painting and the study of haiku and waka poetry. Expanded attention, deeper relaxation, increased focus and resolve . . . Sennin Foundation students have a chance to achieve lasting spiritual transformation through the classical art of Japanese calligraphy (shodo). Simple step-by-step exercises let beginners and non-artists alike work with brush and ink to reveal their mental and physical state through moving brush meditation.
Kanji, or "characters," used in both Japan and China, have transcended their utilitarian function and collectively can serve as a visually stirring piece of fine art. Shodo allows the dynamic movement of the artist's spirit to become observable in the form of rich black ink. In shodo, you can sense both the rhythm of music as well as the smooth, elegant, and balanced construction of architecture. Many practitioners feel that the "visible rhythm" of Japanese calligraphy embodies a "picture of the mind"--and calligraphers recognize that it discloses our spiritual state. This recognition is summed up by the traditional Japanese saying: Kokoro tadashikereba sunawachi fude tadashi--"If your mind is correct, the brush will be correct."
Some Japanese calligraphers and psychologists have written books on the examination of our personality through calligraphy. Just as Western companies have employed handwriting analysts to help them select the best individuals for executive posts, the Japanese have traditionally expected their leaders in any field to display fine, composed script. This stems from the belief that brush strokes reveal the state of the body and subconscious mind--its strengths and weaknesses--at the moment the brush is put to paper. It has also been held that the subconscious can be influenced in a positive manner by studying and copying consummate examples of calligraphy by extraordinary individuals. Japanese tradition teaches that by using this method, we can cultivate strength of character akin to that of the artist being copied. Since shodo is an art form, it's not strictly necessary to be able to read Chinese characters, or the Japanese phonetic scripts of hiragana and katakana, to admire the dynamic beauty of shodo. Within Japanese calligraphy, we find essential elements that constitute all art: creativity, balance, rhythm, grace, and the beauty of line. These aspects of shodo can be recognized and appreciated by every culture.
In 1993, H. E. Davey Sensei, Director of the Sennin Foundation Center, received the Shihan-Dai title from the Ranseki Sho Juku, which is the highest rank issued by this group. He is the only non-Japanese Shihan-Dai in the over 30-year history of this organization, which is affiliated with the Kokusai Shodo Bunka Koryu Kyokai, a worldwide Japanese calligraphy association. In 1988, Davey Sensei sent his work to the annual International Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition in Urayasu, Japan. His calligraphy was selected, out of several thousand works of art, for exhibition at this event (which is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education and the Kokusai Shodo Bunka Koryu Kyokai.) He was also presented with the Tokusen award at that year's exhibition--the first non-Japanese to receive this honor. In each of the following years, his calligraphy and painting has been shown at this exhibit, and received various awards, including Jun Taisho, or the "Associate Grand Prize," which was also a first for someone not of Japanese ancestry. Davey Sensei is also the author of Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony (Stone Bridge Press), which details how Japanese calligraphy can function as moving meditation. It can be ordered by visiting Amazon.com.
H. E. Davey combines a remarkable technical facility in the Japanese art of the brush with a deep understanding of its spiritual profundities. His book offers a marvelous practical introduction to Japanese calligraphy as well as insights into the essence of this art. It is a unique and fascinating presentation of a little-known art of self-cultivation.
H. E. Davey Sensei's late father started studying jujutsu and Kodokan judo in 1926. After twenty years of training, Davey Sensei's father was stationed in the Kansai area of Japan immediately following World War II. While there he studied Saigo Ryu systems of aiki-jujutsu, jojutsu (art of the four-foot stick), bojutsu (art of the six-foot staff), hanbojutsu (art of the three-foot stick), tanbojutsu (art of the fourteen-inch stick), tessenjutsu (art of the iron fan), juttejutsu (art of the forked metal truncheon), sojutsu (art of the spear), and kenjutsu (art of the sword). He later became the first American to receive the advanced rank/title of Nihon Jujutsu Kyoshi from Japan's prestigious Kokusai Budoin. He was also a black belt in judo and aikido.
Davey Sensei, Director of the Sennin Foundation Center, began to learn aiki-jujutsu from his father when he was five years old, and later studied judo and aikido as well. He has trained extensively in Japan and the United States, and he held the positions of U.S. Branch Director for the Kokusai Budoin and Councilor to the Kokusai Budoin World HQ for many years. These are the highest positions in each branch country. He is presently a U.S. Regional Director for the group. He is, in addition, the highest-ranking American instructor in the Kokusai Budoin's Nihon Jujutsu and Kobudo (Ancient Martial Ways) Divisions. Davey Sensei, following his late father, became the second American to receive Nihon Jujutsu Kyoshi from the federation. Kokusai Budoin defines Kyoshi as being equivalent to a "Master's Certificate" and correlates this rank to sixth- to eighth-degree black belt. H. E. Davey Sensei is also a special consultant and writer for the esteemed martial arts magazine Furyu the Budo Journal, and he serves on this publication's elite Advisory Board.
He emphasizes aiki-jujutsu as a noncompetitive art with roots in Japan's traditional past. Like aikido, aiki-jujutsu is based on the principle of aiki, or "union with Ki"--the animating energy of Nature itself. Aiki-jujutsu, however, contains a much wider variety of unarmed and armed techniques than are found in most forms of aikido. These skills encompass throwing and pinning methods using all parts of the body, including the feet, plus close-distance and ground grappling, and a broad range of weapons systems. Davey Sensei provides professional instruction in pinning holds, grappling methods, throwing techniques, strangle holds, arresting skills, and weapons training.
Since aiki-jujutsu involves harmonizing with Ki, it has the potential to vitally transform the lives of its participants. Surprisingly, this transformation does not only take place in the realm of dynamic self-protection. Due to the unique characteristics of aiki-jujutsu, it is correspondingly possible to experience deeper levels of calmness, relaxation, concentration, willpower, and physical fitness in daily living. Davey Sensei is also the author of Unlocking the Secrets of Aiki-jujutsu (McGraw-Hill).
Additionally, Mr. Davey serves on the Board of Directors of the Shudokan Budo-Kai. Walter Todd Sensei (1927-1999), who studied martial arts in Japan starting in the late 1940s, was one of the highest ranking members of this distinguished organization. An early pioneer in the US, Todd Sensei held an eighth-degree black belt in judo, an eighth-degree in karate-do, and a sixth-degree in aikido. Todd Sensei has written:
Mr. Davey is one of only a relatively small number of Americans and Europeans that can truthfully be called a kodansha. In Japan, this title is usually reserved for martial arts teachers ranked sixth-degree black belt and above . . . I have watched Mr. Davey interact with high-ranking martial arts masters from Japan on many occasions. He is treated as a respected peer by these instructors, many of whom are notably difficult to impress.
And Sato Shizuya Sensei of Tokyo, Chief Director of Japan's Kokusai Budoin HQ and tenth-degree jujutsu black belt, has indicated:
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Mr. H. E. Davey. Mr. Davey has achieved a deep understanding of traditional Japanese culture and martial arts . . . Mr. H. E. Davey, a friend for whom I have the greatest fondness and respect, has been studying and teaching Japanese budo ("martial ways") for many years. For an equally long period, he has also engaged in serious research into the history and lineage of aiki-jujutsu, which is a form of kobudo.
Kawabata Terutaka Sensei, ninth-degree black belt and shihan in the Tenshin Sho Jigen Ryu system of classical martial arts, writes from Yokohama:
One of the most important qualities in any Japanese martial art is an elusive, but clearly discernible, "sharpness." Without this sharp, decisive, and resolute quality, our techniques degenerate into nothing more than an exhibition of stylized movement. Although Davey Shihan's aiki-jujutsu techniques are unusually flowing and exceedingly beautiful to observe, he never loses the vital and dynamic "sharpness" which lies at the heart of all budo. (Shihan is an honorific title that is similar to Professor and is used to refer to a "master instructor.")
It is also essential that followers of budo apply the spiritual and philosophical lessons they learn from their martial art in their everyday lives . . . Davey Shihan has realized this and he is a true gentleman in the martial arts as well as in his daily life.
Davey Shihan's aiki-jujutsu skills are powerful, intense, and effective.
In most aspects of life, it is vital to be able to throw 100 percent of ourselves into the moment at hand, and this positive mental state is called Ki o dasu, or "the projection of life energy." When our life energy freely exchanges with the life energy that pervades Nature, we're in our happiest and healthiest state.
We've all met exceptionally positive and animated individuals, people who project a "large presence." The intangible, but unmistakable, "big presence" an energetic individual is projecting can be thought of as universal life energy, and it is an indispensable aspect of yuki.
And in Japan, the universal essence that pervades all of the Nature has a name. It is called Ki.
An understanding of Ki is not something that can be fully detailed on a web site. For the moment, the principal points to remember are that Ki amounts to the animating force that vitalizes all creations, and that a relaxed body, along with a positive mental state, sets it free. On the other hand, physical tension and/or the negative use of the mind cause Ki ga nukeru--"the withdrawal and the loss of Ki."
Ki has been described in a variety of ways, by an equally wide variety of people. In the Sennin Foundation, we are thinking of Ki as the essential building block of nature. That universal substance from which all things emanate, exist as, and revert to . . . the connective membrane of the absolute Universe. (Of course, just as all the cells in the body are inseparable from the body, we can only draw an artificial separation between the Ki that links all creations in Nature and Nature itself.)
Unfortunately, discussions of Ki are frequently covered in mystical tones, and some writers have suggested that Ki is invisible. This depends on one's point of view. Certainly it is hard to observe the motion of Ki as something which is apart and different from the various and boundless different aspects of Nature.
A nondualistic worldview does not inevitably reject the relative world, but instead, sees the absolute oneness of Nature that underlies all relative differences. In this case, a willow tree is Ki, and when the wind causes the tree to lean, it is Ki blustering. And we are Ki watching the motion of Ki in the Universe, which is Ki itself. The wind blowing the willow, the swaying tree, the mind that sees and moves with the wind and willow--all are external reflections of diversified elements of Ki, or of the sum total of the Universe. Ki is then not some much preternatural, invisible, or elusive, but it is instead, all encompassing. Ki's genuine far-reaching and down to earth character is reflected in the Japanese language itself, which uses this ordinary term in a seemingly immeasurable number of popular compound words and expressions.
Yuki means "transfusion of Ki," and it functions in a way that is not dissimilar to a blood transfusion (yuketsu). In essence, it is possible, by studying methods of mind-body coordination and Shin-shin-toitsu-do meditation, to learn to transfer Ki from the thumbs, fingertips, and palms to weakened parts of the body, as a way of boosting the natural healing process. Students at the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts can receive instruction in this unique art of healing.
"I've found the healing arts instruction at the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts to be logical, simple, and comprehensive. Of equal importance, I've been able to use these techniques to help heal my own injuries and illnesses as well as those of some of my friends."--A Sennin Foundation student.
In Japan, a number of time-honored everyday activities (such as making tea, arranging flowers, painting, and writing) have traditionally been examined deeply by their proponents. Students study how to make tea, perform martial arts, or write with a brush in the most skillful way possible--namely, to express themselves with maximum efficiency and minimum strain.
Through this efficient, adroit, and creative performance, they arrive at art. But if they continue to delve even more deeply into their art, they discover principles that are truly universal, principles relating to life itself. Then, the art of brush writing becomes shodo--the "way of the brush"--while the art of arranging flowers is elevated to the status of kado--the "way of flowers." Through these "ways" or "do" forms ("tao" in Chinese), the Japanese have sought to realize the way of living itself. They have approached the universal through the particular.
Yet grasping the ultimate nature of life--the principles and way of the Universe--is seemingly a large-scale undertaking. (The Universe is infinite after all.) For this reason, it isn't difficult to understand the traditional emphasis on approaching the universal via a profound, ongoing examination of a particular way. Still, we must wonder if it isn't possible to discover the essence of living, and universal principles relating to all aspects of life, directly?
In 1919, Nakamura Tempu Sensei, upon returning from studying yoga in India, began to share with others principles and exercises that he felt were universal and not dependent on a particular art; that is, concepts relating to all activities and all people regardless of age, sex, or race. Methods that have observable and repeatable results, along with principles and exercises that can withstand objective scrutiny, were of primary importance to him.
These concepts and techniques were created to encourage humanity to see into its true nature . . . to realize that life is art. And just as a sculptor or painter can shape clay or brushed images into their own vision of beauty, we can shape our lives. But, just as an artist needs certain qualities to create a painting or a piece of music, we also have the same needs.
No art takes place without inspiration. Every artist needs an effective knowledge of his or her tools. (Does a certain brush function well with a particular kind of paint, etc.?) What's more, an effective technique for using your tools is indispensable. Likewise, to express ourselves skillfully, with maximum efficiency and minimum effort, we also need to investigate the most effective ways of using our minds and bodies . . . since our minds and bodies are, in the end, the only tools we truly possess in life.
Nakamura Sensei wrote that upon examining what we see taking place in daily life, it becomes clear that people need certain qualities to adeptly express themselves in living:
Tai-ryoku: "the power of the body," physical strength, health, and endurance
Yet most importantly, he came to realize that as the mind and body represent our most fundamental tools, if we are to artistically express ourselves in life, we must be able to use these tools naturally, effectively, and in coordination with each other. It is this ability to effectively use and unite our minds and bodies--the most basic parts of us--that allows for freedom of action and skilled self-expression.
It is common knowledge that the mind moves and controls each part of the body. Of course, in the instance of the lungs and various internal organs, this regulation is being exerted unconsciously through the autonomic nervous system. In essence, the mind directs the body, with the body ultimately reflecting one's mental state. Through the medium of the autonomic nervous system, the mind and body remain unified, and it is essential to realize this if one is to learn any activity, including Japanese yoga, effectively. However, because of the relationship between the mind and the body, the mind can positively or negatively influence the built-in mind-body connection. (When this tie is weak, one may observe a Japanese yoga exercise demonstrated by a teacher, or in a book, fully comprehend it mentally or intellectually, and still fail to physically respond in the proper manner.)
Realizing the relationship between the mind and body, Nakamura Sensei envisioned his basic principles as being a means by which people could discover for themselves how to coordinate their two most basic tools in life, and additionally, learn how to "regulate and strengthen their autonomic nervous systems." Using his background in Western medicine (he obtained a medical degree while studying in the USA), Nakamura Tempu Sensei conducted biological research dealing with the human nervous system, and the unification of mind and body, to accomplish this goal. The result was his Four Basic Principles to Unify Mind and Body:
Four Basic Principles to Unify Mind and Body
1. Use the mind positively.
The Four Basic Principles to Unify Mind and Body are the broad means by which Nakamura Sensei aimed to aid people in uncovering for themselves their true potential and freedom of expression in life. They are a way of discovering that life can be lived as art. At the same time, he realized that by training in exercises based on these concepts, men, women, and children had an opportunity to cultivate the previously mentioned six qualities and other important character traits.
H. E. Davey Sensei, Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts, is believed to be the sole American member of the Tempu Society. He has studied under several of Nakamura Sensei's top students, including Sawai Atsuhiro Sensei and Hashimoto Tetsuichi Sensei, who act as special advisors to the Sennin Foundation Center and the Sennin Foundation, Inc.
Hashimoto Sensei has practiced Japanese yoga for over 40 years, and in 1994, he wrote:
"H. E. Davey has shown great diligence in his study of the Shin-shin-toitsu-do method of Japanese yoga. As an expert in the arts of Japan, particularly classical brush writing and the martial arts, he has thoroughly researched the relationship of Shin-shin-toitsu-do to these skills."
He also commended Davey Sensei for his attainments and indicated his wish to "fully endorse him as an educator." In 2001, Stone Bridge Press published Davey Sensei's book Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation. It is now out of print, but new and signed copies can still be purchased from the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts. To get your own autographed copy, go here:
Below you'll find information, in order of seniority, about the currently active teachers at the Sennin Foundation Center. A number of other Sennin Foundation instructors have contributed greatly to the development of our dojo, but due to space constraints, we're only able to mention those individuals who are presently active teachers. While we don't have space to list all Sennin Foundation-certified instructors, the efforts of these women and men are not forgotten.
Hashimoto Sensei is a retired professor of political science for International Christian University in Japan. He attended Duke University from 1954 to 1958 for graduate studies, and he was a visiting professor for the Japanese Studies Program at De La Salle University in 1985.
In addition to his position on the Sennin Foundation, Inc. Board of Advisors, he is a Senior Advisor to the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts and the teacher of H. E. Davey Sensei. While Hashimoto Sensei does occasionally instruct classes at Tempu-Kai in Tokyo, aside from his personal instruction of Mr. Davey, he is largely retired from active teaching.
Like many college students, Sawai Sensei was filled with dreams, aspirations, and ambitions, only to fall seriously ill. Despite the efforts of many doctors, he could not find a cure for his sickness. Filled with despair, he stopped going to university classes.
Thinking that his illness might eventually result in his death, Sawai Sensei read books on Buddhism and Christianity to attempt to discover what will become of a human being after he or she dies. He thought constantly about the purpose of life, and he reached a conclusion that amounted to nihilism. In short, Sawai Sensei felt that there was no such purpose of life, in that we are born without the knowledge of where we came from, where we are going, and why we are here. He felt completely lost. Sawai Sensei's aunt advised him to attend the lectures of Nakamura Tempu Sensei, the founder of Shin-shin-toitsu-do. Sawai Sensei listened to one of his lectures, and he was fortunate enough to meet him. He began to study with Tempu Sensei at that time, and he felt awakened by the universal truths that he taught. More than this, he felt revived. It was in the spring of 1958.
In a short time, after beginning to practice Japanese yoga, Sawai Sensei's health completely recovered. Sawai Sensei continued learning the philosophy of mind and body unification from Tempu Sensei for 11 years until he passed away in 1968.
In addition to regular training sessions in Japanese yoga, every summer for 11 years Sawai Sensei participated in a special multiple-day intensive summer training session, where he received Tempu Sensei's teachings. Three years after joining Tempu-kai ("The Tempu Society"), he was chosen as an Assistant Teacher, or Hodo, to Nakamura Tempu Sensei. He still considered himself to be just a student of Japanese yoga, but he was also asked to contribute to the Tempu-kai magazine, Shirube.
Eventually, Sawai Sensei began to write poems inspired by Tempu Sensei's teachings, teachings that acted as a catalyst for a wide variety of artistic expressions by his students. His first collection of poetry, Seishun no Ma (Devils of Adolescence), was published in 1967. In it, he reflected on the insights he experienced when he overcame the "devilish" sufferings of his adolescence.
The collection was highly praised in various newspapers in Japan by Kuroda Saburo, the chairman of Japanese Modern Poets Association (Nihon Gendai Shijin Kai), and Sawai Sensei received a letter from Tempu Sensei, who praised his poems and tried to encourage him: "...Something beautiful from the poet's mind seems to stream into my mind. I will read your poems again and again."
The next year his teacher Nakamura Tempu Sensei passed away. Even after his death, Sawai Sensei continued to practice Japanese yoga, or Shin-shin-toitsu-do. He presently practices every day as Tempu Sensei personally taught him.
Sawai Sensei eventually became a full Lecturer for the Tempu-kai, which is the highest teaching credential issued by this group. He became a Councilor for Tempu-kai and Tempu-kai Branch Manager of Kyoto in 1998. In 1999, he became Director of Publishing for Tempu-kai and Editor of their magazine, Tempu. He also wrote regular articles for this publication.
Professionally, Sawai Sensei was a full professor of English at Kyoto Sangyo University for 23 years, and he taught at the university for 33 years. He entered semi-retirement and became Professor Emeritus of English in March 2004. He has also had the following books published:
Devils of Adolescence (poetry collection), 1967
The Mirror (poetry collection), 1973
The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke (translation), 1984
British Colonization of New Zealand (collected research essays), 2003
In the summer of 2004, Sawai Sensei accepted a position as a special Senior Advisor to the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts, which is a dojo lead by H. E. Davey Sensei, a fellow Tempu-kai member as well as Sawai Sensei's friend and colleague in Shin-shin-toitsu-do. Since the beginning of 2004, Sawai Atsuhiro Sensei has been contributing short articles to the Sennin Foundation Newsletter, visiting the Sennin Foundation Center, and helping Davey Sensei with his work on a new book tentatively titled The Teachings of Tempu.
H. E. Davey
Mr. Davey has also received comprehensive instruction in Nakamura Sensei's methods of healing with Ki ("Life Energy") and bodywork, which he teaches as well. Davey Sensei's emphasis is on yuki, or the "transference of Ki," as a way of aiding recovery from illness or injury.
In addition, Davey Sensei studied shodo, or Japanese brush writing/ink painting, under the late Kobara Ranseki Sensei of Kyoto. Kobara Sensei, the Shihan ("Headmaster") of Ranseki Ryu shodo, was also the Vice President of the Kokusai Shodo Bunka Koryu Kyokai, an international shodo association headquartered in Urayasu. Mr. Davey holds the highest rank in Ranseki Ryu and exhibits his artwork annually in Japan. He has received numerous awards in these international exhibitions, including Jun Taisho, or the "Associate Grand Prize."
H. E. Davey Sensei's involvement in Japanese cultural arts started during his childhood. He began studying the martial art of aiki-jujutsu at the age of five under his late father, who had trained in Japan, and who held instructor certification from more than one Japanese martial arts association. Mr. Davey has also studied the martial arts extensively in both the U.S. and Japan. Davey Sensei presently is the highest-ranking American in the Kokusai Budoin's Nihon Jujutsu and Kobudo Divisions. He has received a seventh-degree black belt from the Kokusai Budoin, a worldwide martial arts federation sponsored by Japan's Imperial Family.
Davey Sensei's articles on Japanese arts and his calligraphy, have appeared in such magazines as Karate Kung-Fu Illustrated, Furyu-The Budo Journal of Classical Japanese Martial Arts and Culture, The Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Body Mind Spirit, and Yoga Journal. His artwork and writings have been printed in Japanese publications such as Hokubei Mainichi, Nichibei Times, and Gendo. He is also the author of Unlocking the Secrets of Aiki-jujutsu (McGraw-Hill), Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony (Stone Bridge Press), The Japanese Way of the Flower: Ikebana as Moving Meditation (Stone Bridge Press), Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation (Stone Bridge Press), The Japanese Way of the Artist (Stone Bridge Press), and Living the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty (Stone Bridge Press). Brush Meditation was one of the top ten best-selling Stone Bridge Press books in 1999.
In 2003, Spirituality & Health magazine presented Davey Sensei with its Book of the Year award for Living the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty. Also in 2003, the same book was one of ForeWord magazine's top five books and a finalist for their Book of the Year award.
H. E. Davey Sensei is the President of the Sennin Foundation, Inc. and the editor of Michi Online: Journal of Japanese Cultural Arts (
However, her actual involvement in the Japanese cultural arts started in 1982 with an in-depth study of Japanese yoga, which she began at the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts. She holds a Shihan-Dai, or "Associate Instructor," certificate in the Shin-shin-toitsu-do system of Japanese yoga, and she teaches regular classes in this art at our dojo.
Shortly after Kameoka Sensei began practicing Japanese yoga, she also started to seriously study Japanese healing arts at the Sennin Foundation Center as well. She now holds Shihan-Dai teaching certification in these skills as well, and offers ongoing instruction in our healing arts program.
In 1988, Ann Kameoka began an intensive study of Ikenobo kado (flower arrangement) under Fukuyama Suiho Sensei. She currently practices with Ikeda Shuji Sensei. Ms. Kameoka is in charge of our Japanese flower arrangement classes.
She is, additionally, a member of the Board of Advisors for the Sennin Foundation, Inc. and Michi Online: Journal of Japanese Cultural Arts. With Mr. Davey, she is the co-author of The Japanese Way of the Flower: Ikebana as Moving Meditation (Stone Bridge Press).
Mr. Heard has obtained Shihan ("Professor" or "Instructor") teaching licenses in Shin-shin-toitsu-do, a form of Japanese yoga, as well as healing arts based on yuki, or "transference of Ki." He teaches classes in these disciplines at our dojo each week.
Heard Sensei also holds the rank of menkyo chudan (a traditional teaching license roughly equivalent to fourth through sixth-degree black belt in modern ranking systems) in Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu. Heard Sensei has received teaching licenses from the Nihon Jujutsu and Kobudo divisions of the Kokusai Budoin, an elite international martial arts federation headquartered in Tokyo. He has demonstrated aiki-jujutsu several times at the Kokusai Budoin Sogo Budo Taikai, held annually in Tokyo. Heard Sensei is also on the Board of Advisors of the
In addition to teaching beginning and advanced martial arts classes at our dojo, Mr. Heard helps teach in our program for children, where he offers instruction in both Japanese yoga and martial arts. He has extensive experience working with young people, and he began assisting with our classes for kids in the mid-80s.
Mr. Heard earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. After working in the software development industry, he returned to the University to become Director of Computing and Information Services for UCB's School of Information. His professional interests include UNIX/Linux system administration, building information systems based on open standards, and open source software. He is also interested in issues of security, privacy, and personal freedom in the digital age. He is co-author of Mastering Netscape SuiteSpot 3 Servers (Sybex).
Mr. Heard currently lives in Richmond, California with his wife, Patricia, who also holds Sennin Foundation instructor certification in Japanese yoga, healing arts, and martial arts.
In 1990, he began to study Japanese yoga and the martial art of aiki-jujutsu at the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts. He has currently received Shihan-Dai ("Associate Instructor") teaching certification in Shin-shin-toitsu-do (Japanese yoga). Mr. Ohsaki presently serves as an assistant instructor of Japanese yoga at our dojo as well.
He has also received a menkyo shodan teaching license in aiki-jujutsu, which is roughly equal to first to third-degree black belt, and he is a certified black belt in the Kobudo Division of Tokyo's Kokusai Budoin. Ohsaki Sensei teaches regular martial arts classes at our dojo. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Shudokan Martial Arts Association.
Shortly after he commenced training in Japanese yoga and aiki-jujutsu, he also began to study shodo (classical brush writing) and sumi-e ("ink painting") at the Sennin Foundation Center. Ohsaki Sensei continues to be an ardent exponent of shodo and sumi-e. His calligraphic art has appeared in Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony (Stone Bridge Press), and he also served as a model for many of the photos in this book.
Mr. Ohsaki has, furthermore, demonstrated aiki-jujutsu in Japan at the Kokusai Budoin Sogo Budo Taikai. He has written about Shin-shin-toitsu-do (Japanese yoga) for the Nichibei Times as well. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Sennin Foundation, Inc., and he's an assistant editor of Michi Online: Journal of Japanese Cultural Arts.
Ohsaki Jun Sensei lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he is the owner of Japan Auto, a service center for Japanese cars.
He came to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently teaching at this institution, and he's nearing the completion of his PhD in Bioengineering. He's published numerous papers in national scientific journals and presented his research at a number of prestigious scientific meetings. He is presently working on tissue engineering solutions for skin and cardiovascular applications in medicine. He's also worked at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Maryland.
Kurpinski Sensei joined the Sennin Foundation Center in September of 2003, where he has studied the Shin-shin-toitsu-do system of Japanese yoga and meditation, along with the Saigo Ryu system of Japanese martial arts. He has obtained a Shihan-dai Associate Instructor certificate in Shin-shin-toitsu-do and a Menkyo Shodan teaching license in Saigo Ryu. He currently resides in Berkeley, and he regularly teaches Japanese yoga and martial arts to children and adults at the Sennin Foundation Center.
Members of the Sennin Foundation Center have access to the rich traditions of Japan's cultural arts through practice in the group's classical dojo (literally, "training hall of the Way"). Much more than simply a school or studio, an authentic dojo is a gateway into the timeless realm of Asian art and personal development, allowing members of the Sennin Foundation Center to realize vibrant well-being and longevity. In fact, the word "Sennin" describes the ancient Japanese equivalent of a yogi. The Sennin were known for their high degree of enlightenment, splendid health, and according to some ancient myths, their ability to attain immortality. This same emphasis on spiritual realization and physical fitness is stressed by the Sennin Foundation, thus the use of the term Sennin.
H. E. Davey Sensei, and by extension the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts, is affiliated with a number of elite organizations, which serves to illustrate the group's close ties with Japan and the nature of the Sennin Foundation's programs. Some of these professional affiliations are as follows:
1. Zaidan Hojin Tempu-Kai (The Tempu Society)--A Tokyo-based organization founded by the late Nakamura Tempu Sensei. Mr. Nakamura was the originator of Shin-shin-toitsu-do, a distinctive form of Japanese yoga based on mind and body unification.
2. Ranseki Sho Juku (Ranseki Japanese Calligraphy Institute)--A private San Francisco Bay Area study group for shodo, or Japanese brush writing practiced as meditation and fine art, which was headed by the late Kobara Ranseki Sensei, Headmaster of Ranseki Ryu shodo. Most of the late Kobara Sensei's students are now studying shodo with H. E. Davey Sensei and Miyauchi Somei Sensei. They are teaching at the Wanto Shodo-Kai (East Bay Japanese Calligraphy Association) in Oakland, California.
3. Kokusai Shodo Bunka Koryu Kyokai (International Japanese Calligraphy and Cultural Exchange Association)--Headquartered in Urayasu, Japan, this international organization is sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Education.
4. Kokusai Budoin (International Martial Arts Federation)--The Kokusai Budoin of Tokyo (http://www.imaf.com/) is sponsored by Japan's Imperial family and acts as a worldwide umbrella organization for most traditional Japanese martial arts and ways.
5. Shudokan Budo-Kai (Shudokan Martial Arts Association)--The SMAA is an international coalition of Japanese and Western experts, featuring martial artists from a variety of different systems. With members in several nations, the group works toward the preservation and cultivation of classical Japanese martial arts and ways.
6. International Hoplology Society--A unique scholarly organization founded by the late Donn F. Draeger Sensei, regarded by some as the world's foremost Western Japanese martial arts authority, author, and historian. The IHS is based in the USA and dedicated to studying the effects of the martial arts and ways on civilizations throughout history.
7. The Sennin Foundation, Inc.--A federally tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation, which is headquartered in California, and which promotes the study of Japanese cultural arts for personal transformation. The Sennin Foundation, Inc. sponsors Michi Online: Journal of Japanese Cultural Arts (www.michionline.org), an electronic journal and online resource for the Japanese arts community. You can read more about Davey Sensei's many books at the Sennin Foundation web site: http://www.senninfoundation.com/publications.html