"One's True Heart Method of Aikibudo"
Our expression of Budo
Welcome to a unique expression of budo, or a martial way/path. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is built on very solid foundations. It utilizes core concepts and techniques which will be of great value to you in the form of personal improvement, self defense and the simple enjoyment of learning in an atmosphere of mutual welfare and benefit. Its a practical, well grounded and modern martial way, but it has not forgotten its roots. Those roots are in what is called simply, Budo - "martial path" these roots lead back to Japan where budo began.
The art - Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is based on concepts, techniques and strategies from Karate-do, Judo and Tomiki Ryu (non-competitive) Aikido. Our teachings and techniques do not "water down" any of these foundations, but instead implementing each "in its own time", by creating a firm, intuitive base in kihon, or basic techniques. The practice and mastery of kihon is essential to all advanced training in any form of budo, as well as the ability to intuitively apply and live the art.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo does not exclude anything valid and of utility, nor does it opt for superfluous techniques. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is very direct and pragmatic in its approach and focus. Also utilized, are Bokken, or Bokuto, Jo, Hanbo, Tessen and Jutte for training in our syllabus. Many of the kata we utilize are common to both Koryu and Gendai forms of Budo. Kata is an essential partner to randori training with one complementing the other, as well as preserving the "DNA" and essence of the art.
The Branch and Affiliated Dojo in this organization function more like family units, versus "commercial schools"; we do not advertise and almost all students arrive at our doors due to a personal search or word-of-mouth, versus being solicited. We do not use contracts. We promote students based on ability and mat time, not calendar based attendance or "testing cycles". We take our budo practice seriously and do not follow the latest sport fads such as MMA which are not budo, they are sports.
We are teaching budo, not ego.
All students are carefully screened; we do not admit anyone with a felony record, or a history of domestic abuse. We will admit only those who "fit" into the existing structure of the dojo and organization. We carefully guard our organization from any negative influences, power-politics, invalid rankings/titles and watering down of our standards.
Ducote Sensei - 8th Dan - Kyoshi
Kaiso (Founder) - Shisei Ryu Aikibudo Kai
Philip Scudieri Hanshi - Kaicho of San Sai Ryu - an exceptional budoka with 40+ years as a Sensei with specialty in the sword, long and short staff, jo, tessen and jutte. He is the US Director of Kobudo for the Zen Nihon Budo Renmei - Kyoto, Japan
My original teacher of over three-and-a-half decades, Karl W Marx - Hanshi. He founded the art of Keichu Do, which at the time was quite a feat for an occidental. Keichu's true origin was the early 1960s, an "American martial art" founded from scratch, literally testing it on the mats and on tournament floors of the United States in the 1970s and beyond.
Recently, I was very honored to be accepted as a full member of the Zen Nihon Budo Renmei (ZNBR) as Hachidan Nihon Goshin-Jutsu Kyoshi and also selected to serve as the US Branch Division Director of Nihon Goshin Jutsu. Roy Hobbs Hanshi, who is the US Branch Director for ZNBR, is a superb mentor and teacher, as he is for so many others. I am also currently being mentored by Hobbs Hanshi.
It is my hope that I will be able to realize my dreams as a long-time practitioner and Sensei of Budo; perhaps making an impact on future generations of budoka.
Simply put; my intent is to preserve and perfect what I can during my lifetime and transmit this to as many as will learn it.
In the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo Kai, students and Sensei associated with this system, continually exceed my expectations and I am blessed to have them as part of this martial way. Through sharing this path, I have also become better as a teacher and man.
What is our general purpose in this art? Its best illustrated in these words:
"Nothing under the sun is greater than education. By educating one person and sending him into the society of his generation, we make a contribution extending a hundred generations to come." Jigoro Kano Shihan's statement at the Kodokan's 50th anniversary 1934.
"Teaching the Warrior Tradition"
The study of Budo opens a portal, enabling the person to protect one's self, develop the body, mind and spirit, learn compassion towards others, to serve our society, or something bigger than "self". The study of Budo most certainly is not only about physical strength, being strong and tough, or preying on the weaker for selfish gratification. The study of Budo enables a person to master themselves, intuitively acting with correct action in a given situation without unknowingly contributing to the creation of even more senseless actions or violence. In the end, Budo teaches us to live in balance, versus struggling with everything around us, seeking the illusion of control.
A true martial art, or form of Budo, is a philosophy with a physical expression. The unification of body, mind and spirit creates a clarity and calmness which transfers to daily life. Without this transfer from the dojo to life, there is no Budo, only the pointless learning of martial technique for its own sake. Self defense is definitely learned as an outcome of our study, but it is a "by-product" of training and not the sole reason to train.
"A martial art that has no rules is nothing but violence" - Kenji Tomiki
This is a different perspective of Budo than you may find in other organizations. But for our family of budoka, in our dojo, within the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo Kai; it is "why" we study our form of Budo.
We hope you are looking for the same ethos in your training - if you are, please join us in the journey.
Ducote Sensei - 8th Dan - Kyoshi
One may ask; why did you originate a martial art? This is a valid question. I was 36 when I made this decision and it was laid before me by my teacher, I didn't ask to do it. I am now in my 50's and Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is nearing 20 years old as form of Budo, well into its second/third generations. One must remember that original founders of Gendai arts studied in some cases for as little 4-5 years before teaching as is the case of Kano Sensei (at 22 yrs of age); he later created what we call Judo, today. Its influence is shared by Aikido and Karate-Do as well as providing foundations for other modern systems of the arts. There are also many founders of martial arts that were quite young when they embarked on their journeys. This is not just an "oriental" right and privilege. There are many unique styles or "ryu-ha" in existence today all over the world. However, there IS a right way to do this and a wrong way.
Gendai Founders and their histories
In my own case, after about 20 years of training and personal experience with many associations and teachers, traveling throughout the world, I undoubtedly developed my own interpretation and expression of what budo means to me. This interpretation and expression is much like a thumbprint - unique to me and my own.
After getting permission from my Sensei in 1991, I embarked on formulating this expression, not really knowing what the outcome would be; it took about two more years to formalize these concepts into a coherent syllabus of instruction. This took place from 1991 to 1993.
My military background consists of 25 years (Retired USAF, Lieutenant Colonel) as a Fighter Pilot, Tactical Air Control Party Detachment Commander, Instructor Pilot and Combat Veteran of Desert Storm, flying 35 direct combat missions in the A-10 with the Flying Tigers (23rd Fighter Wing) with over 3,600 hrs of flying time. These experiences, particularly combat had a deep effect on my Budo as there is nothing more sobering than to strap a 48,000 lb aircraft to your body and go to war in it. Training in Budo is much the same, the parallels are stunning.
I am also a professional educator and senior analyst. I have instructed martial arts, taught men and women how to fly USAF fighter jets and taught academics while in the USAF. I teach now as part of my current profession.
Teaching, analyzing and creating is part of my "wiring". Combine these talents and life experiences with over 38 years of martial arts experience (1972 to present) and you get a person who can create something that has value and core of truth within it.
I understand life and I understand death - I have personally ridden the fine line separating the two.
I do not have stories of training in "secret temples" with obscure masters in far away places that may, or may not have existed, nor feats of magic, nor do I claim to be something I am not, I can do everything I say I can do. I have no tales of sword duels, knocking the horns off of bulls heads, or fighting a 100 men in a row, beating each one of them in single combat. If you are looking for that kind of expression of budo, this is not it. It's really much more simple.
Simply put, I learned what I was taught, I worked hard to understand the underlying concepts and principles, developed overarching strategies and tactics to employ those concepts - then developed a path to achieve those outcomes and a platform by which to transmit these ideas with some coherency. Every founder of a martial art has done the same; some just did it differently - many paths to the same mountain top. I do not believe myself to be exceptional. I'm just a hard worker who sees things through to completion, no matter how long it takes. Learning a martial art takes time, it takes patience and it requires others.
The cement of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is the mutual journey shared on the mat with others, its not solely a solitary art - its a social form of budo. You can not learn budo alone, nor can you live life alone. "No man is an island"; budo teaches this.
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne (1572-1631)
Our basic strategy for the art is simple, we use timing, body movement, distancing, off-balance; we merge with the attacker using intuitive methods, not scripted methods; we then employ the technique set that best fits the dynamic interaction between ourselves and the environment. We have three basic areas to "pull" technique from - Fire or Karate-do, Earth or Judo and Water or Aikido.
The goal of training and shaping our behavior is to learn smaller skill sets which we can utilize in an intuitive manner - this is important. A "Rolodex" of techniques may leave one in a "decision loop" during a critical time such as an attack - responses must be simple and effective out of the box, not as packaged and scripted events.
We are not a pain based, or submission based martial art, sure that element is always there, but it will not always work and in some cases it will not solve the problem. Not every encounter needs to result in a "hammer" when a "feather" will work just fine. This is important to know.
Surviving the encounter however, is important.
Our syllabus is rather simple, built on the proper foundations. With the proper environment and teachings, a person will naturally find their "true heart" and then, in turn, the art will manifest itself as a form of self expression - naturally and intuitively. This is the purpose of a trained and proficient Sensei, or teacher/guide; to enable learning.
These are the basic facets of this form of budo - a Gendai martial art, a modern martial art, one that has not forgotten its origins, nor its place in Budo.
The subject of lineage is brought up occasionally; here is our lineage as accurate as it can be rendered. This is a "teaching lineage" not a hereditary one. It shows the line of instruction from one Sensei to the next. Note: Teachers of a given Sensei are in "grey".
- Saigo Chikamasa, 1829-1905, Oshikiuchi
- Takeda Sogaku, 1858-1943, Aikijujutsu
- Ueshiba Morihei, 1883-1969, AikidoKaiso, No rank given - Mudan
- Tomiki Kenji, Tomiki-ryu, 1900-1979 (Ueshiba Morihei, Kano Jigaro)Kaiso, 8th Dan under both Kano Sensei and Ueshiba Sensei
- Karl Geis, 1933-Present, Karl Geis Ryu (Kihara Aikido, Kodokan Judo)Kaiso, Hanshi, 9th Dan (Tomiki Kenji)
Karl W Marx, 1936-Present, Keichu Do (Geis Sensei)
Shodai Soke, 9th Dan
Chuck Clark, 1947-Present, Jiyushinkai Aikido (Geis Sensei)
Kaiso, Hanshi, 9th Dan
Gary W Ducote, 1957-Present, Shisei Ryu Aikibudo
Kaiso, 8th Dan
(Karl W. Marx, (9D) Hanshi -- Clark, (9D) Hanshi Scudeiri, (9D) Hanshi -- Col Hobbs, (9D) Hanshi)
Jeff Lane Shihan - 1984 Shodan/6th Dan
Julie Short Sensei - 1999 Shodan/3rd Dan
Tony Henderson Renshi - 1994 Shodan/4th Dan
Tom Brocksmith Sensei - 1996 Shodan/3rd Dan
Mike Kimball Sensei - 2008 Shodan/3nd Dan
Chris Kenck Sensei - 2009 Shodan/1st Dan
Dana Cowell Sensei - 2009 Shodan/2nd Dan
Daniel Speirs Sensei - 2010 Shodan/2nd Dan
Scott Doerr Sensei - 2010 Shodan/1st Dan
Birgit Moore - 2011 Shodan/1st Dan
Efrain Padilla - 2011 Shodan/1st Dan
Lacie Greer - 2011 Shodan/1st Dan
JUNIOR GRADE BLACK
Kaleb McDade - 1st Dan - Jr Grade Black
Courtney Cowell - 1st Dan - Jr Grade Black
John Nelson - 1st Dan - Jr Grade Black
Adam Brown - 1st Dan - Jr Grade Black
Regarding this form of Gendai Budo; there are no pretenses, no claims to superiority, no hidden agendas in the creation of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo, its rather simple actually - its an expression, its truth. Its my own thumbprint - shared with anyone who bows onto the mat with a "beginner's mind".
Its a mutual shared experience - please consider joining us; my fellow instructors and students, in this journey.
Before closing, I need to answer a question asked of me many times.
Do we use this martial art as a "ministry" or to foster a religious belief system?
We do not proselytize religions, nor do we use the art for the purpose of any "religious ministry". We teach Budo; learning key aspects of the ancient "warrior culture" is a part of the training process and forms the overall core ethos of a martial art. This is not the same as teaching religion. Certain behaviors, modes of conduct and traditions of respect, are however part of the experience, without them, a dojo becomes simply, a gym. The art fades and becomes nothing more than a "set of techniques" to be practiced.
I am a Christian, but do not use the art to promote a religious belief system, certainly my own. The official position of this association is to consider a person's religion as a very personal matter. This choice is out of respect for families, parents and adults who feel this is something best taught in churches, or at home. The hope is that if there is a "witness", it is both in our actions, and in our art, however. Regarding my "religion", I'm just doing the best I can -- day-by-day.
I hope after reading this, you have a better idea what Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is about. The pages of this site will expand on this idea. Thank you for taking the time to read this welcome and introduction.
It is our hope that you give serious consideration to joining our budo family and make no mistakes - it is a Budo Family System.
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