Expert Japanese swordsman does demonstrations in Gardnerville

A Japanese swordsman with the highest title anyone in martial arts can be awarded, who also just received "weapon instructor of the year" by Black Belt Magazine, will do two days of demonstrations and seminars at Northwest Martial Arts in Gardnerville.

Masayuki Shimabukuro Hanshi (hanshi means grandmaster) will cover techniques from the muso jikiden eishin ryu iaijutsu shoden waza (sword drawing) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 and will demonstrate wakizashi (short sword) techniques 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 17 at Northwest, 1321 Highway 395, next to Rite Aid.

"It's a very rare occasion to have someone of his stature come out," said Sensei Ron Taniguchi Jr., a sword instructor and enrollment director at Northwest who has trained with the hanshi. "He travels all over the world, so we're lucky to have him here in Gardnerville."

Shimabukuro Hanshi was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1948, and according to information provided by Northwest, "(he) holds a great deal of personal responsibility for passing on the ancient traditions of Japanese martial arts to the modern world."

Past accomplishments include studying judo, karate-do, Okinawan kobudo weapons and other traditional Japanese martial arts as a teenager. Later, he focused on iaijutsu, the art of samurai swordsmanship, beginning sword training in 1975 under the direct supervision of Miura Takeyuki Hidefusa Hanshi, a 20th generation grandmaster of muso jikiden eishin-ryu in Osaka.

Now, as chairman of both Hikishin-Kai International and Nippon Kobudo Jikishin-Kai, Shimabukuro Hanshi travels the world teaching traditional samurai arts.

"He trains and teaches all over the world. He promotes martial arts," said Taniguchi, who at age 35 has been practicing Japanese swordsmanship since 1980, an art that was handed down from his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Shimabukuro Hanshi has established Jikishin-Kai International training groups and member schools in Europe, North America, South America, Central America, Asia and Australia.

Shimabukuro Hanshi holds seventh-degree black belts in both shindo muso ryu jojutsu (short staff) and in Nippon karate-do-kai; as well as an eight-degree black belt in muso jikiden eishin ryu iaijutsu (sword drawing).

"Masayuki Shimabukuro is presently ranked eighth dan in (iaijutsu), seventh dan in (jojutsu), seventh dan in Nippon karate-do-kai and holds the coveted title of hanshi," states the information. "Hanshi is the highest title one can achieve in the traditional Japanese martial arts."

Muso jikiden eishin ryu iaido (iaijutsu) is the Japanese martial art of swordsmanship which emphasizes drawing and cutting with the samurai sword in a single fluid motion. The martial art style was developed more than 450 years ago by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu.

"It is drawing and cutting in one motion," said Taniguchi.

Jojutsu is the art of the short staff, a wooden staff approximately 4-feet long. Like iaijutsu, jojutsu traces its roots back to the time of feudal Japan and the Samurai warriors. Jojutsu is a companion art to iaijutsu, as both are very complimentary arts and the techniques and applications learned from one are very applicable to the other.

The cost for Shimabukuro Hanshi's two days of demonstrations and seminars is $100 by Aug. 31 or $150 if after that date.

Northwest Martial Arts teaches primarily tae kwon do, a Korean martial arts form using high kicks, as well as swordsmanship classes.

For more information, call Northwest at 782-8858.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment