THE YODOKAN BUDO ASSOCIATION
THE YODOKAN BUDO ASSOCIATION (DOJO) LISTING
Mushin Yodokan, (Wales), Taylor, 8th Dan, Hanshi.
Tsunami Yodokan, (Surrey), Selvey, 6th Dan, Kyoshi.
Mushin Yodokan, (London), Emblem, 4th Dan, Renshi.
Yamabushi Yodokan, (Surrey), Blake and Selvey, 4th Dan, Renshi, 6th Dan, Kyoshi.
Kushiro Yodokan, (Kent), Murray, 3rd Dan, Doshi.
CUA Shin Gi Tai Aikikai Yodokan, (Norwich), Fyffe, 4th Dan,Sensei, Cane Master.
Shinobi Yodokan (Essex), Barington, 1st Dan Sensei.
Cane Masters (USA), Shuey, Grand Master, Senior Director for Cane (USA AND UK).
Some time in the late 1800's, the Otani clan met to decide their fate. The Meiji resoration had outlawed the wearing of two Swords and the top Knot, thereby the days of the Samuari was drawing to an end.
During this meeting,led by Masytaro Otani's father (Tomio's Grand Father) an argument started and insults were thrown. One particular onslought was directed at Masutaro's father by an uncle. the yong Masutaro siezed a near by sword and swung at his uncle. This lack of control was not looked at favourably by the clan members and resulted in Masutaro's father suffering a loss of face.
Within a year Masutaro left school and ran away from home, obtaining a job working on the trade ships. The work was menal but it enabled him to see the World.
In 1917 he arrived in Ceylon. as with all Japanese children of the day he had recieved some instruction in Kendo and Judo at school, However in Ceylon he met up with Master Judoka Seizo Msui and began training in both Jujutsu and Judo.
Masutaro had always wished to visit England, a wish realised in the Summer of 1919 when he arrived in Liverpool. He resumed his Judo training under Hikoichi Aida Sensei and subsequently, Yukio Tani Sensei.
In 1926 he was appointed assistant instructor at the Budokwai in London.
Masutaro married Phillipa,an English girl, in 1938 and on the 8th September 1939 their first son was born, they named him Tomio. From an early age Tomio was taught the arts his father had mastered: he was a constant companion and student of Abbe Sensei, his father's friend and teacher.
Abbe Sensei taught Tomio the skills of Kendo, Aikido, Iaido, Kobudo,and the fundermental understanding of Kyu Shin Do.
Otani Tomio Sensei specialised in Kendo, Iaido and Aikido and in 1961 was graded 1st Dan by Abbe Sensei he was appointed National Coach for Kendo. He was graded 2nd Dan Budo a year later. Otani Sensei never spoke of grades he had aquired, but sources say he was graded to 5th Dan Budo before Abbe Sensei returned to Japan.
Otani Sensei was in the Territorial Army (Parachute Regiment) and stories of him jumping from a plane with his Katana on his back are often spoken of by his students, friends and family.
From the early seventies Otani Sensei worked seriously developing Abbe's work on Kyu Shin Do and establishing its place in both in the Dojo and every day life. During this period he trained only two or three at a time at the house in Whyteleafe in Surrey that he shared with Yoga teacher Jane.
In 1976 Otani Sensei was asked by Tudor Box Sensei, a student of Masutaro Otani and Abbe Sensei, to present a demonstration of his art at the Judo School in Carshalton. Otani Sensei presented a display of Iaido which demonstrated an unrivalled purity, ease of movement,accuracy and power. Both Mike Selvey and Tudor Box started training the following week with Otani Sensei.
Along with Martial Arts Training, Otani Sensei taught the mental aspects of Kyu Shin Do. Classes also contained discussion on eastern philosophy, religion and the human condition. Otani Sensei was also an accomplished artist,stategist and taught unusual aspects of martial arts such as Ho Jo Jutsu (the art of binding an opponent during Battle).
In early 1980 saw the opening of the Yamabushi Yodokan. The name reflected the Judo club that had been previously run: The Name "Yodokan" was added by Otani Sensei. The meaning can be expressed as "Yo", meaning essential,but also the pin which holds the Japanese Fan together,"Do", the path or way and "Kan",meaning Hall.
In 1981 the Yodokan found a full time Dojo above shjops in Brockley, South London. The benefit of lengthened training sessions,allied to the superb facilities presented the makings of a first class Dojo. Sensei Box taught during the day and Mike Selvey during the evenings. Otani Sensei would be to oversee training and instruct the advanced students.
At the beginning of 1990 Otani Sensei's health started to deteriorate, he had suffered in the past with gastric problems that had culminated in surgery and with this reoccurance stomache Cancer was diagnosed. Sadly Otani Sensei Died on the 6th June 1991, leaving behind hundreds of students with a variety of skills.
On a final Note, in Greenwich Park stood the Queen Elizabeth Oak tree which Otani Sensei had an affinity with. This tree had been standing for 500 years, on the same day Otani Sensei died the tree inexplicably fell over.......!
THE MORAL FOUNDATION OF YODOKAN TEACHING
1. That which enriches human character and the essence of all that distinguishes us from other animals, is not merely our superior intelligent, or the power this gives us, but the special ability we all possess to cultivate moral action.
2. A person lacking moral education, no matter how rich, powerful, or intelligent, and no matter how sucessful; has neverththeless failed to exercise the single unique feature of human nature. Yodokan teaching is thus firmly based upon moral law and the cultivation of human character.
3. Moral understanding cannot be enforced, or achieved by training. Training and discipline can do no more than bring about a very superficial appearance of moral behaviour. In order to cultivate morality, it is necessary to educate the individual achieved, right behaviour evolves knowingly and freely from the self, rather than being imposed by external rules and regulations.
4. Morality is simply the ability to distinguish between that which right and that which wrong, coupled with the ability to act in accordance with such perception.
5. To determine that which is right, is one thing, but to be able to act in such a way is quite another. Confucius, therefore, wrote that "Lack of courage, was simply the failure to act when a course of action was seen as right." The Japanese word which we translate as understanding as "Martial", or "Bu", thus originally ment "Courage". Thus, "Budo" does not mean "Martial Arts", the way of "Courage".
6. What causes confusion between right and wrong is rarely the inability to distinguish the difference, but rather the culculations we tend to make with regard to profit and loss. Hesitation arrises directly out of the consideration we give to self-interest. The moral person has perfect freedom to act with out restraints,because, although aware of such factors, they are nevertheless able to dismiss them and follow what is seen to be right, regardless of the consequences. This is the fundamental teaching of Japanese Budo - a simple matter of courage, not intellect.
7. A famous Japanese Samurai Maxim was thus, "To know and to act are one". In other words, there is no separation between the moment knowing and the action taken, because no calculation of profit and loss intervenes.
8. When we say, "Money is the root of all evil", we attempt to say the same thing, but this misses the mark. What causes evil is not the grasping over money itself, nor even for power or some other goal, but simply in the more fundermental fact of calculation over proffit and loss. This does not mean that proffit cannot come to us, but simply that that this idea, should be allowed to influence our actions and decisions. When the Bible says, "Let thine eye be single", it means, "Do not complicate your actions with the double confusion of what is good or bad for you". Simple right and wrong is always clearly apparent when removed from the context of what is likely to bring the most favourable result for us.
9. With out the inate courage to pursue right action, regardless of the cost, any moral teaching is no more than sterile words. Courage is thus the motivating force of morality. By development of courage, both in the physical sense and in order to take the right course of action in any circumstances, gives the means to develop the highest and most whorthwhile qualities of human character. Budo is thus not simply a series of "Martial Arts", but a "Way" of life, dictated by increasing personal courage.
10. Once this profound principle is grasped, little by little, we gradually eliminate the more unworthy and in human parts of the character. In gaining greater freedom as an individual, by removing the blocks that restrict our course of action, we gain a deep clarity of perception that strives towards the very highest aaspiration of human endeavour. All mechanical techniques, theory, philosophy and teachings, my Yodokan method, have this single object in mind. Right thought bring about right action and right action brings about right spiritual progress, evolving to a complete inward change in the self. The path of the "Way" reveals itself only to those who have the courage to walk it.
11. The single virtue of Martial Discipline therefore lies simply in the fact that it is an excellent means of awakening courage. But, unless such courage is directed by means of some attendant philosophy and correct moral doctrine, the whole process is a complete waste of time. Simple physical courage is easy to develop and this should only form the starting point and basis for application to wider question ofgeneral morality and social behaviour.
12. A useful feature of such martial discipline is the very fact it attracts people of a violent and aggressive disposition. Those persons, who might otherwise never come under the influence of deep moral teaching, thus discover their personality.
Its origin and fundamental precepts Kkyushindo was an ancient and defunct Japanese religious philosophy which Abbe Kenshiro, Docho, came across during his academic studies while at the famous Budo Senmon Gakko, or "Special Teacher Training College". Upon his experience of Satori, or enlightenment, at the age of 18, he found this revelation to coincide with the old writings.
This idea he developed a new style of Judo, and two years later he became grand champion. Upon graduating from the College, he spent the next twenty years in research and development of the principles, before declaring a new system. During this time he became a Master, not only of Judo, but also Aikido, Kendo, Jukendo and various other traditional Martial disciplines. because of his fame, as a Budo Master: people have very naturally assumed Kyushindo to be a theory of Martial Discipline, but in fact, martial discipline is is only one application of Kyushindo. The essence of Kyushindo cannot be understood by study of Budo alone, and this application is properly regarded as the first basic step in the progress in the Student. The various techniques of traditional Budo create the ideal opportunity for study of Kyushindo principles in a basic form which is to be applied in everyday life. Extention of the various principles involved, an understanding of their numerous and varied applications, is the means whereby they are properly grasped. with tential understanding of these principles, in the widest possible sense, the highest level of Budo technique are achieved as a byproduct of progress. The very limited field of martial disciplines is too narow an application to make the principles of Kyushindo dear and can be no more than the means employed to obtain a far higher goal. The theory of Kyushindo has applications in any study or activity that can be named, simply because it does deal with the "Form" and "Technique" of anything, but rather, with the fundamental principles which "such Forms" and "Techniques" represent. The principle may be likened to the hub of a wheel from which an infinite number of spokes or "Forms" radiate. The task of perfecting an art by the laborious process of studying each "Form" is doomed to failure because the possible variations are endless. By discovering the central principle, it can then be applied in any direction at will. This is the meaning of Kyushindo, which is evident in it name Kyu to desire or to search after something. The translation of "Study" is partially correct, but it lacks the stronger spirit of very deeply yearning towards a thing. Shin Heart, mind spirit, the essential essence of anything. In Kyushindo, the meaning of Shin is the true and fundamental nature: as opposed to the superficial appearance. Do, a way, or a path. Do is never used as the "Way" a thing is done but as a far reaching and all inclusive direction. Buddhism is thus termed Butsu Do, or the "Way" of the Buddha. Kyushindo means in simple terms, "the way of longing for knowledge of the fundamental nature of anything". It is this longing and desire to penetrate The very Heart of a thing which results in perfection of action due to complete unity with its underlying principle. Under this principle, to know any one thing in its absolute entirety is automatically to know all things, for everything stems from the same source and exists under the same order of behaviour. The more one properly understands the working of this principle in one application, so the more is awakened to the nature of other things. This is the concept that formally made the Japanese Master of Budo automatically accepted as a sage, for the study of Martial discipline was reckened to be one with deep study of life in all its various aspects.
FRANCIS TUDOR BOX (8TH DAN) HANSHI
This tribute is given to me with kind permission of the author Mike Selvey Kyoshi. Who was a very close friend and associate for many years.
A Life Remembered by Mike Selvey (6th Dan) Kyoshi
Francis Tudor Box was born Ystradgynlais South Wales in 1929, the family moved to London when Tudor (as he liked to be called) was 9 or 10. His father was an Air Raid Warden during the second world war, and Tudor used to tell stories of running wild around the bomb sites of London after an air raid.
Tudor joined the regular army in 1949, from there he went on to the parachute regiment and finally the Special Air Service, because of the nature of this position and details have been withheld, what we do know is he served in Korea and Burma.
Sensei Box left the Service in 1963 when he became an HGV driver, he drove tanker lorries around Europe and the UK, his co-workers knew him as Mick, something which was never explained. although Sensei Box trained in the Martial Arts in the SAS he did not start training in clubs until 1968 when he trained in Judo, Jujutsu and Karate under many well known Masters including Masutaro Otani and Kenshiro Abbe. One of the venues Sensei Box trained at was the famous (HUT): where the Masutaro Otani school of Judo and the British Judo Council.
Sensei Box was graded 1st Dan by Masutaro Otani in June 1976, at this time he was teaching Judo in Sutton, his schools were a great success and his students which included his son Michael and daughter Sarah took many medals nationally and internationally.
In 1979 Sensei Box started training with Masutaro Otani's son, Tomio, who was a Budo Master that Tudor has known and admired for some time.
Now Sensei Box taught and was taught Judo, Jujutsu, Aikido, Iaido, Kobudo, Philosophy and numerous connected arts, the only art Sensei Box did not learn out of choice, was Kendo, he said he did not like the feeling of being enclosed that you get when wearing Kendo Armour.
Otani Tomio Sensei graded Sensei Box to 3rd Dan Renshi Budo in 1981, it was at this time that Otani Sensei opened The Yamabushi Yodokan in Brockley London, this was a full time Dojo where Sensei Box taught most days. It was in this Dojo in 1983 where he was graded to 4th Dan Budo by Otani Sensei. Shortly after this the Yodokan broke up and Sensei Box went back to teaching Budo at his own schools in Sutton and surrounding areas.He Joined forces with Kancho Alf Bates 10th Dan founder of the Tokushima Budo Council International and became a regional Director. He taught Ten Shin Ryu Iaido at Mallory School in Downham Kent until 2002.
Sensei Box was graded 4th Dan Budo in 1985 by the Budo Council of Europe and through the TBCI (Tokyshima Budo Council) to 5th Dan in 1989 6th Dan in 1994 7th Dan 1999 and 8th Dan Hanshi in 2004 he also was in many other organisations Worldwide, where he was a well known figure and a well respected Master.
Sensei Box continued teaching until 2002, and even taught at occasional seminars until 2004, in this year he was made President (to the (Federation of Iai Schools). Soon after this his health started to decline and he found it increasingly difficult to teach, but up to 3 Months before his death on Feb 16th 2005 Sensei Box came to the tsunami Yodokan to watch the class run by myself and comment on Form and generally assist the students verbally with their training.
In early September of 2005 Sensei Box's son Michael, myself and Sensei Tony Blake a Judo Instructor taught by Sensei Box travelled to Japan with Sensei Box's Ashes, our purpose was to place the ashes on Mount Fuji and conduct a final ceremony to celebrate the life of our Teacher and Friend, we walked for 7 hours that day to find the right place for the ceremony, but we did find a place which we all agreed the feeling was right, Sensei Box's ashes now rest in the ground at The Dainichinyorai Temple on Fufisan Japan, a very fitting end to a great teacher, a Yamabushi (Mountain Warrior).
Our Website uses a Mount Fuji Graphic in its
heading as a tribute to Sensei Box
Tudor Box 1929 - 2005