The Shindenkan is both an organization and the location where the art of Shorinji Tekken Ryu is taught. Just as a dojo houses the very environment where students train, the Shindenkan, as an organization, houses the hierarchical structure that helps to promote and preserve the art of Shorinji Tekken Ryu.
The Shindenkan is devoted to helping our students discover what budo means to them. This is done with great care and respect to the traditional Japanese arts that are being transmitted to our students. These teachings help guide each student in becoming a versatile martial artist.
At each requirement level a unique training emphasis is revealed to the deshi (student, dedicated one).
The overall training becomes a multi-layered path leading the deshi from physical methods to internal principles.
Budo no Godo can be viewed as a set of teachings taught within each ranking level the student progresses through, and as a parallel path of learning, up to and through each black-belt ranking.
Part of the Shindenkan's Budo no Godo is listed below:
Represents acquiring basic skills within each facet of training. The techniques lead a student from larger (gross) movements into tighter and more refined movements and closer work with uke. The weapon taught to the student at this level is the hanbo, which is taught as a close quarters weapon, the students mind and spirit are being molded as to the whys of what our art is about.
The Sphere of Movement
Represents a refinement of the basic skills acquired. The student learns to expand the tighter circle into an encompassing sphere. The 2-D circle (at shodan) now becomes a 3-D sphere. The weapons basics that are taught are bowaza. This continues the expansion concept from close in hanbowaza to extended bowaza. The movements of nage are more circular to find the sweet spot, the weakest point, within each attack. If this approach were used at shodan the student's movements would appear uncontrolled because of the lack of mechanical basics and internal knowledge of the principals involved. It is only through controlled movement combined with internal concepts can this single point be found. Nage extends the movement in order to find ukes weakest point.
The students mind is developed much like that of a swordsman. The jujutsuwaza represents the same quality and influences as that of the sword. At sandan level the student training within batto-do brings these qualities to the forefront. Therefore, the weapon of training emphasis is the Iaito.
Practice with swords leads initially to mastery of self and later to mastery of interactions with others.
Shizuya Sato sensei (9th dan, Nihon Jujutsu, Hanshi) produced an
article concerning the difference between Budo and sports.
In the article he states, "Budo and sports have many similarities,
and among them are regular physical training, correct understanding
of technical principles, and determination to succeed. The similarities
end at this point, however, for in Budo, the practitioner strives
to develop the mind, the body and the heart, ideally devoting his
entire life to the principles of Budo."
Budo, at the very least, is an ethical code that traditionally based martial arts today teach. One can see it in action by the respect given to instructors, fellow students and to the art itself.
Bushido, the practice of budo, was an ethical standard that guided the samurai of Feudal Japan. Through bushido, the samurai were taught benevolence, courage, honor and dedication. Even though budo transcends geography and culture, the foundations were laid by the koryu (ancient systems) of Feudal Japan and remain at its heart today.
"That the principles of budo apply to daily life are not realized at the level of understanding physical technique alone. The study of budo must be pursued for a lifetime for the 'deeper' meaning to develop. ... It is the duty of everyone practicing traditional Japanese martial arts to consider and endeavor to understand these principals, to look beyond form and see the underlying substance inherent in budo." (Takano sensei, Kendo Mejin, 10th dan).
Budo's principles are not limited to any one art. Numerous
practitioners from every walk of life and various martial arts
have shared their teachings and viewpoints about the subject.
The Shindenkan is dedicated to advancing the art of Shorinji Tekken Ryu, the years of friendship and support of Robert and Linda Kelly, to the memory of Albert C. Church and to the advancement and promotion of Japanese budo.