Chu-Gi Loyalty

Chugi – Loyalty in Japanese Martial Arts


Chu (Chugi) | Duty and Loyalty – The warrior knows that s/he is accountable for their actions and words and accepts all consequences that may result from them. The warrior is intensely loyal to those s/he is responsible to and those s/he is responsible for. Trust and unity are the backbone of what Bushido represents.

Chu is a very typical and important rule for any person among the traditional Japanese martial arts world/ society. There is no equivalent word in English that truly captures the meaning of this type of fidelity between the student and teacher of Budo. For a non-Japanese speaker, to truly grasp its meaning, he/she has to deeply understand the uniqueness of Japanese culture.

The pursuit of duty, justice and correct action, is the best way to conceptualize this character trait. As a teacher of Budo (martial arts and disciplines), I chose this typical term within the traditional Japanese culture to show the beauty, the educational values and the benefits of understanding and following the rules of Chu.

Joining an authentic Dojo or school of martial arts such as the Budo Shingikan implies much more than taking an ordinary course. A serious Budoka (martial art student or practitioner) should know the tradition of Japanese martial arts and specifically that of Bushin Ryu, our history and heritage, and especially, the goals, disciplines and expectations.

In classical Japan, learning a martial art was a sole privilege for the warrior class. Each martial art school not only kept its techniques, strategy, and knowledge jealously secret, but was also strict about accepting students. It was impossible for any student to be accepted into a Dojo unless s/he was strongly recommended as a serious and good-natured person, worthy of becoming a member of that school. Now days, almost any school of martial arts all over the world is open to anybody. Many of them became extremely commercialized, concentrating in the physical parts only, abandoning the tradition, neglecting the mental, moral, and spiritual training and hardly dealing with the education of the individual. The Budo Shingikan Dojo has not done this and none of the Bushin Ryu schools will. I mostly blame the Budo teachers, product of the present world, of the social and educational systems in which they have almost lost all ideals and values or have been willing to compromise those for financial gain. Even in Japan, only few classical schools still keep that tradition and the quality of Chu is slowly dying, hence why I am so adamant about keeping these traditions in our schools.Martial Arts Mesa AZ

There are many schools which have their regulations written and displayed on their walls at the Dojo, or printed on paper for newly arriving students to receive upon joining the school. But there is nothing more important than the instructor teaching and educating, and above all his teaching through personal example. If the teacher goes into this relationship giving, then the student must mirror and match this behavior.

I remember in my youth that among the most valued and respected profession was the teacher. Now-a-days, to become a teacher is not a profession young men or women desire. Very few idealists, good and dedicated teachers still continue today, swimming against the current to fulfill the important mission of teaching and educating. There is a lack of appreciation and respect by society which mostly bows to richness, but not to the true quality of the person or the importance the teacher has in bringing up the new generations. In martial arts it goes even further in which students make a very big mistake and that is they treat quality teachers as if there are no differences. As if their education and by extension their teacher is a commodity, and they can get what they want anywhere, in fact they can get it cheaper, with no attachment or relationship what-so-ever. These days are sad.

A real teacher of Budo is not a lecturer that passes information to his students. He teaches knowledge, passing long years of wisdom educating his students, strengthening and polishing them to become not only warriors but also better people which can confront the difficulties of life not only with strength but with wisdom which will enrich their life and also contribute to society.

The teacher gives himself and all his love to his students, treating them as if they were his own family, strictly, jealously, but also with proudness and love. Now the questions are do students understand what is expected from them? Do they return this relationship? Do they see the value in this sincere way of being?  In my opinion, very little value sincerity or a truthful relationship with a teacher.

When I was a younger teacher, I remember many times when other students of Budo came to visit and asked to join my Dojo, I would always ask them whether their teacher knew they had come and if they had permission to learn here. When the answer was no, it showed me how little respect they had for their teacher. My answer was always no, they could not train with me, after all if this is how you treat your teacher it is only a matter of time before you treat me the same. The student shouldn’t have even talked to me without the permission of his/her teacher as it put both him and I in an awkward position. Few students these days think before action. Even talking to another teacher, school or organization without explicit consent from your teacher is a big no-no and shows that you are not a true student of Budo or understand what Bushido represents.

awaseIt is unquestionable that a serious student of Budo will not act without his teacher’s approval in any matters that concern Budo. This is an unwritten rule which comes with the study of Budo and belongs to a serious Dojo and is based on the two basic principles of Bushido, (the ethical code of the Samurai), loyalty and honor.

I have never considered myself as an ideal person or perfect Budoka and I have probably made all the mistakes that can be made and will surely make more in the future. What I do know is that each time I have made a mistake, not only could I not sleep several nights, but I still continue to carry the burden of my actions. However the outcome of it was my growth, not repeating those mistakes and becoming a better person. And in turn using my position as a Sensei, a teacher to educate my students and show them the right path. In many western countries especially the United States, educating people is a rather difficult task. Each one is a small General, each one thinks s/he is cleverer and knows better than anybody else. Many of them are “rebels” who believe protocol and tradition are irrelevant in our modern world and what can be more difficult for a teacher is that they are not disciplined individuals and working with them is almost a daily fight.

We can easily pre-frame the context of education as a Budoka simply by asking this question, “What is really important here as a student?” Having a genuine relationship with your teacher and gaining the respect of your teacher by showing fidelity and doing the right thing. After all if you have a sincere teacher he or she deserves that level of respect anyway. The alternative is that of rebelling and losing that respect and relationship forever. This is a two way street and must be reciprocated on both sides to be genuine.

The meaning of Chugi has universal importance not only among the traditional Japanese martial arts, but also to any person that wants the world to become a better place to live in, a healthier society, and to personally walk high, with dignity and self-respect with the knowledge of acting righteously. Acting right and paying respect should be done in the right measurement. The student-teacher relationship may be defined as the one who gives and the one who receives. Respect is the very fundamental basic rule in any martial art as well as in any kind of relation in society. It is, maybe, the highest and the most important principle in human life.

Today you are the child, but tomorrow you will be the parent. Right now you are a student of Budo, but later on you will be the teacher. Respecting others is respecting yourself. Doing the right thing is walking all your life with proudness and not with shame. Being a noble person with high self-esteem and admired by all.

In Oneness,



What is a Sensei?

What is a “Sensei”?


The Sensei or martial arts teacher is a symbol for one who embodies inspiration, wisdom and respect. The student – teacher relationship creates loyalty, respect and effectiveness. A good Sensei earns respect through example, by honoring the relationship of teacher and student, not merely by honorifics sake. The measure of an effective Sensei is not just in personal accomplishments, but more importantly in the accomplishments of his or her students.

A martial arts school or Dojo is most effective when leadership provides teaching, mentoring, coaching and motivation to empower every individual to perform effectively and ultimately learn to push through their self-imposed limitations. The techniques and traits of the Sensei can also be applied to increase effectiveness as a leader at work, home and in the community.

The fundamental reason that a Sensei enjoys the loyalty and dedication of his/her students can be found in their unique relationship with one another. I’ve found that effective leadership is accomplished through two major disciplines:

1. Gratitude.

2. Generosity.

An effective teacher praises and supports the efforts of his/her students. This praise and support is recognition, a form of gratitude for the efforts and results produced by the student. At the same time the effective teacher should share his experience, knowledge and wisdom unconditionally. It’s the job of the teacher to share; it’s the responsibility of the student to learn. The gratitude is shown to the teacher by the student’s loyalty to his Sensei and his allegiance to his Dojo. A less desirable student seeks wisdom, knowledge, and skill only for himself with no loyalty to his Sensei. To accomplish effective teaching, the teacher must share unconditionally with only the student’s gratitude and loyalty in return. When this student has returned this exemplification of character, it’s the role of the teacher to provide recognition, acknowledgement and reinforcement. That’s the cycle that creates the student – teacher bond, which is a very important relationship within the martial arts.

Leadership is fundamentally teaching. A leader must communicate information and enthusiasm. A leader is even more effective when he or she can demonstrate experience and share the fruits of that experience by sharing their wisdom in such a way as to truly transmit it to the student. The more effective a leader is as a teacher, the more respect and loyalty he or she will earn.

This respect and loyalty from the student directly translates into increased productivity within their martial skill sets. Not everyone will feel comfortable teaching to large groups or motivating others, however these are skill sets which must be mastered in order to be an effective leader and Sensei. Every leader can teach effectively at some level and the most effective leaders will develop skills at all levels. This includes one-on-one coaching, training small groups or teams, and networking with peers.

One of the most valuable traits you can emulate from the Sensei is that of the “Beginner’s Mind.” In my opinion, this is the most pivotal trait as it teaches the student that one must continually be a student. The Sensei’s personal development is never finished. He approaches each day with a sense of wonder and curiosity and a longing for continual self-perfection. The greatest leaders are never those who rest on past accomplishments or current position. The greatest leaders are those who continually embrace the process of self-improvement. “Perfection is not a destination, but a never-ending process!”

Become a Sensei in your everyday life, whether at the workplace, at home, or in your community and you’ll enjoy a new level of effectiveness and power that will translate into greater success in all areas of your life, materially, emotionally and spiritually! There is no greater gift you can give another than continually improving you!

Allow this understanding to give you an opportunity to flourish as a human being and I encourage each and every one of you to embrace it. As a student myself I appreciate those people whom I call Sensei and actively show it with my loyalty and my determination to improve upon what they have taught me and continually look to make them proud. Are you this kind of student? Because if you’re not, you can never be that kind of Sensei!

In Oneness,

Dedeuc D’Antonoli Sensei


Arizona Martial Arts

Arizona Martial Arts

When I first wrote this article it was based on several questions I had received over many years of teaching martial arts by a wide variety of people. So, you can look at this as sort of an FAQ. Now keep in mind this was written about Bushin Ryu which is a Japanese Martial System that we teach here at our Headquarters Dojo located in Arizona. This means that while some questions may be relevant to you or schools in your area you may wish to speak to the instructor of any school you’re looking at and ask these questions. This will help you define the many different types of martial arts and martial arts schools out there.arizona martial arts

Learning a martial art is a wonderful experience. And, like any new thing, deciding to take the first step (and not just thinking about doing it) is the hardest. In martial arts, especially, I have found that many people like a certain art, but instead of actually learning it, they are content just watching and reading about it. Why is this so? I believe it is such a wasted opportunity when a person finds something they are really interested in, and then choose to be contented with watching and appreciating instead of actually trying it out.

I will list some very common misconceptions of the martial arts per our system. It is with great hope that dispelling these myths will help you choose to consider joining a martial art class and actually step on the mat and try it out.

1)      “I have to be in good shape to do martial arts.” You don’t have to be an athlete to start training in a martial art. It is the job of the sensei, or instructor, to factor in your physical condition and fitness level in teaching you. A competent instructor customizes his approach to each of his students, thereby optimizing learning in his dojo. A word of caution: People with prior medical conditions should consult with their doctor first before joining. Prudence is always a good practice and your sensei is not a doctor.


2)      “Will I lose weight doing martial arts?” Losing weight is the responsibility of the individual and not the art! In whatever martial art, even if you train for the entire day, this won’t matter at all if you don’t control your diet. Always remember that weight management is a balance of calorie input vs calorie output. Like other martial arts, Bushin Ryu is a way to exercise (calorie output); but it won’t really help unless you learn to control what you eat (calorie input). Please see the “ask the trainer” section of this website as this is a great resource on such material.


3)      “It will take many, many years before I can defend myself.” This is difficult to estimate. In the case of martial proficiency, however, the length of time to achieve this varies from student-to-student. There is a process in the road to learning. There are no shortcuts in getting good at anything. You really have to dedicate time and effort, and most especially, to persevere and never give up.


4)      “I’ll have to break boards and bricks.” No. the only things we “break” in Bushin Ryu is balance and aggressive intent.


5)       “I will have to bow to everybody.” Yes. We bow to the shomen (front of the dojo) at the beginning and end of each session. We also bow at the Sensei after he presents a technique for us to practice. We also bow to each other at the beginning and at the end of partnered training. Bowing is a sign of respect, not worship. Bowing to each other symbolizes goodwill, gratitude and humility. In Bushin Ryu, we value our training partners, they are essential in learning the art. And bowing is our way of showing how much they mean to us.


6)      “I am too old (or too young!) to start doing Bushin Ryu.” Most competent instructors individualize the training regimen of their students. We are reminded to “train at our own pace”. In Bushin Ryu, one should find their own way to achieve their goals. For as long as you can follow instructions, I see no reason why you cannot enjoy experiencing this wonderful system.


7)      “Martial Arts will make my children violent.” There are many contemporary studies that question this very stereotype. Just type benefits of martial arts training on Google! For the most part, martial arts actually teach self-respect and respect for others. Now, obviously, if you choose a school which focuses on competition and sport then the student is taught to be aggressive. Conversely, if you choose a school based on tradition and self-defense the student is taught to be balanced in such matters. In Bushin Ryu, cooperation and the study of harmony are regarded as the most basic learning tools of the system. (see Masakatsu Agatsu).


8)       “Martial Arts are not for women and girls.” Bushin Ryu, in particular, is not about brute strength. Bushin Ryu is actually enjoyed by more women than you think! This is one of the best qualities of Bushin Ryu; by not relying on strength, but rather on the technique and the physical applications of martial principles, anyone can learn it regardless of gender, build, or age.


9)      “There is a relatively high risk of injury.” Injuring each other is the last thing we would want in our dojo. Before even letting you join, a dojo usually asks you to first observe or participate in a trial class to see what you are getting yourself into. The basics of safety (see ukemi) are generally the first thing taught to beginners in order to prevent injury. Again, the intention of Bushin Ryu is not to harm each other but to live in harmony with each other. This sentiment also applies to how we train in the dojo.


10)   “Receiving my black belt means I am an expert.” Being a black belt is only the beginning in your martial arts journey. It signifies that you have a good grasp of the basics. Think of it as an intermediate level. In Bushin Ryu, we generally do not think of ourselves as an expert (this is why we do not use terms like “Master” or “Grandmaster”). We are all students in martial arts.

It is my hope that people start to actively seek their interests and goals. If you find that trying Bushin Ryu is something you are interested in, I suggest that instead of just thinking about doing Bushin Ryu (or any martial art), why not visit the Dojo, ask, observe, and try it out for yourself! To live a life without regrets, we must not give up before we have even started.

For more information please visit us at:

In Oneness,




Self-Defense | Training | Commitment

The most important cornerstone for building a foundation in your own personal protection is understanding the importance of training and the commitment level with which you chose to subscribe.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy and the chance to draw back. That always leads to ineffectiveness. Think about this statement. Today I want us to look at commitment in a new, more definitive light.

I think there are many historical lessons we can look at to gain insight on current objectives. For this lesson I believe the story of Hernando Cortes would be quite appropriate. Hernando Cortes was a Conquistador who was tasked with conquering the central corridor of Mexico. He went to the new world with a handful of ships which had a compliment of roughly 300 men. Now keep in mind that the Mayan and Aztec cultures were already in place with millions of inhabitants at this time. Doesn’t sound like a very fun job with odds like that, now does it?

The interesting thing was that, at one point, after several engagements with the native people his troops’ commitment to their job started to deteriorate.  His men wanted to mutiny and head back home. So before yet another battle Cortes sank his ships.

Why do you think Hernando Cortes sank his own boats? After all this was the only means of returning to safety. The Conquistadors were shocked that Hernando Cortes had ruined their only way to escape. But let’s pre-frame this from his standpoint. He personally was committed to the task at hand. Without any way of escape – how do you think the Conquistadors fought? Why?

Once you are fully committed, a whole stream of events is put in motion. Things you probably wouldn’t have even considered prior are now on the table. And when you are fully committed, your creativity and perseverance are at their peaks. How does this apply to your martial arts training? What area or areas within your training or within your life have you been hesitating, holding back, or avoiding?

If you do not fully dedicate yourself there is a lack of sincerity in your actions. Indecisiveness and hesitation are roadblocks that will hinder you from reaching your full potential. Don’t be that person who has one foot in and one foot out so if things don’t go according to plan you have an escape route. Commit yourself to those you love, and to yourself, and to living your fullest life possible. Make sure you do not have the means of escape built into your mind as this will cause you to stumble.

Sometimes we don’t know what the outcome will be. As long as we hold back, we will never know what it COULD be – therefore, dream big dreams and make a commitment. Eliminate the possibility of retreat or failure and begin with boldness!

I dare you to be GREAT!

In Oneness,



Connection in Martial Arts Training

The Importance of Connection in Martial Arts Training

The Japanese words to describe these principles are Awase and Musubi


I decided to write this article because of the frequent comments from students along the lines of how hard Bujutsu is. I usually laugh on the inside because my instructors did not teach Bujutsu in an academic fashion as I do. My Sensei would throw it at you and whatever stuck was what you got, period. The way to find out what stuck was through stress induced testing in which you would be overloaded by both stimuli and multiple attackers. So, this is the part where I sound like grandpa telling you he had to walk 20 miles to school, uphill, in the snow, both ways, I know, I know. But the fact of the matter is, when I created Bushin Ryu I wanted to devise an academic system completely structured to create a higher success rate of students actually learning Bujutsu. The way I was taught was meant to “weed” students out of the training process. I feel that as a teacher my success is based off how many students succeed versus how many wash out.

Let’s move on now to the topic at hand, that of Awase and the essence of Ukemi. The spectrum of martial arts is larger than any one person can learn in a lifetime. A student generally picks one martial art that best suits his or her personality, trains in it for a number of years, and then uses it as a base to explore other martial arts. Allowing them to add selected pieces to what becomes his or her personal system. In Bushin Ryu we do not teach a martial art but a system right from the beginning. This, by its very nature, compounds the difficulty.

The entirety of martial arts can be viewed as a huge jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces. Each martial art focuses on one or more sections of the puzzle and therefore a subset of the pieces. There is also considerable overlap between the subsets. For example, punching is common to almost all martial arts, including unarmed techniques. Contending that one martial art is superior to another is meaningless because they are each different sections or pieces to create the same puzzle.

Every martial art has a particular focus, or aspect, which makes it unique in relation to the others. Bushin Ryu Aiki Bujutsu is unique in that we teach you to see the puzzle pieces and understand the universal principles behind them which are seen throughout the entire system. One of the main principles that you do not see in modern martial arts is the principle of Awase, which can also be called the principle of Aiki. Awase literally means “come together”. Bushin Ryu Aiki Bujutsu is the martial system which implements one vital point or principle and is known for this concept which can be described as “the way of uniting with and joining Ki (energy)”.Awase + Martial Arts

It cannot be stressed enough that the principle of Awase should be the goal every day in our training in Bushin Ryu. The concept of Awase is to merge into an opponent’s attacking movement and take control. During the initial engagement the defender maintains perfect balance and perfect stance, whereas the technique is designed to destroy the balance and stance of the attacker. The attacker is thereby brought under control immediately. The technique is completed by continuing the movement into a joint lock, pin, throw, strike, choke, and the list goes on.

In Bushin Ryu it is generally viewed as utilizing  techniques in which the principle is to use an attacker’s own power against him. Although this is true to some extent, Awase is more dynamic. The defender uses his own body movement (internal and external) to merge into the attacker’s power. It is also possible to initiate a movement that will create an attack into the defender’s sphere of control. After the initial engagement, the attacker’s power is irrelevant because his balance is gone and he cannot bring his power to bear.

As an analogy to Awase, consider the ways to stop a train coming down the tracks. Standing on the tracks and trying to stop the train by physically overpowering is not expected to work. However, running next to the train, jumping aboard, moving to the engineer’s compartment, overcoming the engineer and applying the brakes will produce the desired result of stopping the train. This is comparable to Awase in that no attempt is made to directly oppose power, but control is gained by merging into the power and disabling it. What we see in a lot of “modern” martial arts these days is the pride in being “tough” I can take the hit type of mentality. In Japanese martial arts this simply doesnt exist because it was a culture centered on thought around edged weapons. So if you train to merely “take the hit” this might not prove so well when the attacker is wielding a knife for example. Nor does taking too much time (getting entangled or grappling) with an attacker make sense when dealing with weapons or multiple attacker situations. The Japanese martial arts were fitted to the Samurai, and all of their opponents trained each and everyday for a glorious death, each was armed, and the “bad guys” always attacked in groups of multiples to ensure success. Today we see a lack of connection with an opponent being desired within martial arts and the reason why is simply due to the sporting nature of modern martial arts, where the scenario is set in a ring/cage and there is only a one on one circumstance. Very different from training in Bujutsu/combat.

I personally have spent many years adapting techniques from a number of “other” martial arts to embody the principle of Awase.  What I have found in my studies is that a number of the older techniques included movements that at least obliquely opposed an opponent’s power and required considerable physical strength to perform. I modified these techniques by subtly changing directions so that the opposition was eliminated. All of Bushin Ryu is based on understanding these principles from the very beginning. We start this training by understanding that we all possess the “fighting mind”. Once we are no longer in denial of this fact we can then work on understanding what the fighting mind is and how it affects our actions in all aspects of life. Once we understand the fighting mind we can then work on choosing another reference point to work from. This is done in all aspects of life but is highlighted physically when we see the technique in which Nage connects with and redirects the attack in order to “own” the line of attack. Another would be that of simply moving off the line of attack. In any case the job of Nage is revolving around the point of conflict and is never opposing it directly.

Many people in the “martial arts” use the term “blending with an opponent’s power”. I would rather use the term “merging and joining into an opponent’s power”. I personally think that the concept of “blending” is non-descriptive and deceptively passive. “Blending” conjures up an image of tossing vegetables, fruits, etc. into a juicer/blender and turning on the switch. After a while the blender produces a homogeneous mass in which the individual ingredients are indistinguishable from each other. Blending would result in both people ending up in the same situation and being indistinguishable from each other. This is not what happens in Awase, which is a dynamic act resulting in the defender gaining control over the attacker and being clearly distinguished therefrom.

The understanding of both concepts: Awase and Musubi (also Ki-Musubi) are practiced and learned on both sides of training but I personally feel an equal if not greater understanding can be learned from the act of taking Ukemi. Your Ukemi skills will never truly be adequate until you have a proficient level of mastery over Awase. My recommendation is that the new practitioner of Bushin Ryu practices an equal amount, if not more, Ukemi than technique in the first several years of training. It is always the more difficult, so students usually wish to “pace themselves”. However, understand that if you have found an excuse to not be the best at Ukemi, in the end you are fooling yourself and missing out on the greatest opportunity available to study Bushin Ryu. To survive your Ukemi is not enough; your Ukemi should be flawless.

Anyway, the point of this writing is to highlight the aspect of Bushin Ryu Aiki Bujutsu that makes it unique among other Aiki and Non-Aiki related martial arts. Actual application of Awase is extremely subtle and takes considerable training to understand fully, but that is one of the things that make Bushin Ryu so fascinating and challenging to learn.

In Oneness,




Done with Bullying Arizona

Anti Bullying Arizona

“Done with Bullying” Seminar Mesa AZ

anti bullying seminars

Dear Arizona Families,

As you know, we are strong believers in personal safety. We have done our best to arm our students with practical life skills that will help them in real life. As part of that, we have made an effort to address the bullying behavior that continues to be prevalent in modern society.

Although extremely important, we believe that it is not enough to just teach our students how to defend themselves against bullying. We want to teach them how damaging bullying can be, so that they will be less inclined to bully others as well. We also want to arm them with effective strategies that they can use to come to the aid of others being bullied.

For all these reasons, we are proud to announce that we are now part of the “Martial Artists Against Bullying” (MAAB) movement. This is an international organization made up of professional martial arts instructors from all over the world. The MAAB has put together a comprehensive anti-bullying program called “Done with Bullying”. Anti Bullying Arizona in conjunction with The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts will be utilizing this program for the benefit of our school and our community.

We will be hosting an upcoming anti bullying Arizona seminar on: March 22nd 2014 at The Budo Shingikan Dojo located at: 4840 E. Jasmine Street Suite 104 Mesa Arizona 85205. This seminar will run from 9am – 11am and is completely FREE of charge. Please register early as the seminars will fill up quickly.


Kaiso Dedeuc D’Antonoli

The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts


Hard & Soft Style Martial Arts

The Budo Shingikan Dojo Philosophy on Hard and Soft Martial Arts

“The Graduate School of Martial Arts”

hard and soft martial arts

As an instructor, one of the greatest compliments shown to me is the happiness of my students with our martial system and our programs at the Budo Shingikan Dojo. The other finest compliment I could receive is when a student makes the commitment to travel the path leading to a place within our Yudansha Kai (group of black belt students). When a student makes this their primary goal as a student at The Budo Shingikan Dojo it shows that they are willing to put in the effort needed to start learning the martial arts as it is only within the black belt ranks that true martial wisdom starts to develop.

I use the phrase, “the graduate school of martial arts”, because being a martial system, we don’t teach a singular “martial art” at The Budo Shingikan Dojo. One of my most senior students in our black belt ranks came to us with previous martial arts experience. One day in conversation he said, “Sensei, our Dojo really is the graduate school of martial arts”. I have always taken this type of comment as a HUGE compliment. The fact that so many of my students see the value within studying Budo fills me with joy. I am also extremely lucky because 90% of my students came as black belts in other martial arts, or have a few years of martial art experience. I simply love that our programs at the Budo Shingikan Dojo appeals to both brand new students of the martial arts and to folks who have already taken up the martial arts lifestyle and find a place here at my Dojo for growth and enjoyment in their lives.

The other day I had a new student who came to us for a trial. During the interview process, which we put all new students through as a way to select which students we accept at the Budo Shingikan Dojo, she posed a question, and a very good question. This trial student comes from a martial arts background and asked whether we consider Bushin Ryu to be a “hard” or “soft” style. This is a great question because I feel this is a topic with which we see a lot of confusion within the martial arts community.

Click here to read the entire article!

In Oneness,

Dedeuc D’Antonoli Sensei

Founder of the World Bushin Ryu Federation

Founder and Chief Instructor of The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts

Dedeuc D'Antonoli Sensei

What is being a Martial Artist?

What is being a martial artist and living

“The Martial Arts” Lifestyle?

Martial Arts Mesa AZ

I talk about lifestyle quite a bit, more specifically martial arts or the warrior lifestyle. So what is it?

I remember when I started training in martial arts; I was 11 years old and I started studying Kenpo Karate. My Sensei at the time had a “mat chat” with a group of us. There were 15 or so children in the group and Sensei had us huddle up for a story. Sensei started by asking us to imagine a set of twins growing up together in virtually identical ways. As they got older seemingly small differences started to emerge. One of the twins would get up early every day and review the school work he had done the day before and make sure he was fully prepared for the day ahead. The other twin would sleep in and rush to get ready at the last minute, sloppily throwing together what he needed for the day. The twin who got up early generally had enough time to eat a good, healthy breakfast and pack a good lunch for the day. The other twin would grab whatever was available and then buy chips and snacks from the vending machines. After school, the early bird twin would go home and immediately do his homework and make sure his tasks and chores were all finished. Following that he would spend the remaining hours exercising, riding his bike, or participating in other physical activities. The other twin would come home, eat fast food or candy, and then play video games and spend the minimum amount of time available to do some of his homework, often times not having enough time to finish it.

The story had more depth to the behavioral patterns in both twins but I do not remember them all. What I remember most was the construct of the story and the questions Sensei asked after. At the conclusion of the story, Sensei asked us kids what differences we saw in the twins. It was clear what they were, so the next question he asked us was, what would be the differences between the two in a week’s worth of time. Not much right? So, then Sensei asked what would be the differences in 6 months or a year? Well, at this point the conversation got real interesting. Some kids said that the one twin would be out of shape from playing video games all the time and eating junk food so much. Others talked about the twin having bad teeth and cavities due to the bad diet. Others talked about the poor grades the twin would get because he never did his homework completely, and was always ill prepared for the day ahead of him. This list went on and the funny thing is that we children really saw the side effects of the “bad” twin. Rarely did anyone comment on the side effects and successes the “good” twin would receive based on his lifestyle.

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In Oneness,

Dedeuc D’Antonoli Sensei

Founder of the World Bushin Ryu Federation

Founder and Chief Instructor of The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts

Dedeuc D'Antonoli Sensei

Way of the Warrior Part 2

Way of the Warrior Part 2

Modern Combative Training and Proactivity

Martial Arts Mesa AZ

In our last discussion we talked about proactive people in comparison to reactive people. Specifically, we talked about the character traits these individuals embody and how these two types communicate with the world around them. This included verbiage they used in speech, body language and their communication regarding their actions.

Over the last weekend my Dojo, The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts in Mesa Arizona, hosted a Multi-Martial Arts Seminar. We focused on showing our students different interpretations and vantage points on a single martial concept. That concept was the Japanese martial principle of Irimi, defined as “To Enter without Fear”.

We were fortunate to have Steven Nesky, a Master Instructor in Taekwondo and a very dear friend. We also had our very own Hanshi Stephen Ewing who focused specifically on the Tenshin Koryu Ninjutsu aspect within the Bushin Ryu Martial System. I of course added my two cents into the equation. Another good friend of mine, Sensei Tom Joanes from San Tan Aikido, provided the students with another perspective on Irimi. This event was truly wonderful and I believe that our students all benefited from having such a diverse level of explanation on the topic.

In large part Master Nesky discussed a few topics with which we see quite often in the Combatives world. He talked in great detail as to the O.O.D.A. Loop, and the Color Code of Awareness. If you are unfamiliar with these systems I encourage you to look them up and educate yourself on them. They are key elements to self-defense and personal protection in general.

The OODA Loop stands for, Observe, Orient, Decide, Act and describes a process for understanding the cycle with which action follows. The Color Code of Awareness describes a similar subject matter starting at Condition White, which is not paying attention to your surroundings at all. Condition Yellow is situational awareness (threat identification), Condition Orange is assessing a potential threat and, in my opinion, where target acquisition begins, and Condition Red is the state of action or that of target engagement. Now keep in mind this in not meant to be a comprehensive understanding of these principles but rather a brief synopsis of them.

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In Oneness,

Dedeuc D’Antonoli Sensei

Founder of the World Bushin Ryu Federation

Founder and Chief Instructor of The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts

Way of the Warrior – Part 1

Way Of The Warrior

Part 1

Proactive Vs. Reactive

Way of the Warrior

Last night’s discussion in our beginners’ class was on what we call at The Budo Shingikan Dojo the “Qualities of Yudansha”.  We make a distinction in a world of “Black Belts” and “Black Belt Schools” to separate the idea that a black belt is merely something that holds our pants up from the more important idea of what a black belt to us in Bushin Ryu. A black belt represents that of being inducted into the Yudansha ranks or the Yudansha-kai (organization of black belts) or further conducting yourself as a warrior. Being a Yudansha is a reflection of who you are as a warrior and human being, not what color your belt is for the sake of bragging rights. Our unique Bushin Ryu curriculum encompasses the techniques within Samurai and Ninja Bujutsu but also and more importantly has a component of cerebral learning or that of academics within our martial system. We feel this is one component that enables our students to be well rounded martial artists. In the feudal era, the warrior caste of Japan studied more than just the arts of weaponry. They also studied the Chinese Military Classics to give them an understanding of battlefield strategy or Heiho, and all other aspects of Bu Jutsu (Skills of War). We take our pursuit within the study of Bushin Ryu Aiki Bujutsu seriously and follow in the footsteps of these warriors in the pursuit of growing and learning each and every day.

The “Quality of Yudansha” lesson that we focused on recently was posed by the question, “What is Yudansha?” This allows one to first pre-frame the context with which they understand who a student with a Black Belt really is. Once this is established then the next question I posed was what is the difference between “Pro-Active” people and “Re-Active” people? I was amazed at how many different answers I received. It was truly enlightening for me as well as the student base. I heard great examples ranging from what these two concepts meant for a person’s career, to daily health and diet; of course we heard answers that reflected the students individual goals in martial arts training, and so on.

This is the point with which we must look at ourselves as warriors and martial artists. We must ask ourselves, do I want to be a proactive person in my life and live my life with a purpose driving everything I do? Or do I want to be a reactive person and live as if I have no control over my life and simply exist day to day. Of course we see the benefits of being proactive in our lives outweigh the alternative. As martial artists we must also understand that to appropriately defend ourselves we must be proactive as action always beats reaction (physically speaking). So then, how can we choose to be reactive in aspects of our daily lives and then expect to rise to the occasion in a physical altercation/conflict? Instead, we must be that proactive person in all aspects of our lives so that we become warriors in our everyday lives. Seize the day and make it yours. We only die once but we have the chance to create a new life each and every day we are here in this world. Why would we not take advantage of this?

Most people fall into 1 of these 2 categories, they are either proactive or reactive. As warriors, we wish to forge ourselves into the proactive mold if we are not already innately that type of person. Proactive people take responsibility for their lives and make things happen. Reactive people blame others for their situation and act as if they have no control over what is going on. The plain truth is that you can choose which way to be. If you wish to make it as a martial artist and more importantly to the ranks of Yudansha or that of black belt, you must choose to be proactive.

The first step to becoming more proactive is to take responsibility for where you are and then make a conscious effort to decide how you want to respond to uncomfortable or difficult situations. This goes hand-in-hand with setting goals and having a plan of action to make your life meaningful and purposeful. When confronted by challenging situations, proactive people respond with different body language, verbal language, and actions. Analyze how you communicate and how you respond and allow yourself to be truthful and see what category you fall into. The words that you use are a great way of seeing what your own thought processes are. Use this to take an in-depth look at yourself and define where you sit, and how you can best change for the better more proactive you. The warrior is always looking at his/her own mindset and correcting it. The best training you can ever get is via self-diagnostics like this and is the way of the warrior.

In Oneness,

Dedeuc D’Antonoli Sensei

Founder of the World Bushin Ryu Federation

Founder and Chief Instructor of The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts