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CONTENTS:

Editorial / Credits / Legal Page 2

Contents Page 3

Sword-Care & Maintenance (By Taran McCarnun) Page 4

A Selection Of Haiku (By Taran McCarnun) Page 7

Jutsu, Jitsu, Do Or Tao? (By Taran McCarnun) Page 8

Bushido – The Warrior Way (By Taran McCarnun) Page 11

Introduction To Shinto Part 1 (By Taran McCarnun) Page 14

Weapons Of Japan & The Ryukyu: The Kama (By Taran McCarnun) Page 17

Profile - Dr Ash McKee Shihan Page 23

Advertising With Us Page 28

DVD Review – Ninja Assassin Page 29

Latest News And Events Page 30

List Of Advertisers Page 32


Sword-Care And Maintenance The Mune (Back Of The Blade) is then
drawn along the back of the left hand and
(Cleaning The Sword) guided into the scabbards mouth. When a
By Taran McCarnun blade has been correctly oiled this
movement is a smooth one, however a dry
blade can drag the web of the users hand
Why Should I Perform Maintenance? into the scabbard mouth, cutting clean
through it in the case of Shinken Blades
It has become a sad sign of modern (Sharp Cutting Swords).
martial arts that instructors in the vast
majority of sword-schools do not know how The maintenance kit allows you to
to correctly clean a sword or even why it maintain your blade the same way as
should be cleaned regularly. This state of original cleaning styles have been used in
affairs not only exists amongst instructors the past.
of Aikido and Jujutsu, but also to the
alleged sword specialists of Kendo and When Should I Perform Maintenance?
Iaido. This loss of tradition has been
accelerated by the increased use of Maintenance should be performed at least
“Stainless Steel” and “Chrome Plated” every other month; as well as before and
swords that do not tarnish with use. after every time the sword has been used
or the blade is touched. This is of utmost
The regular inspection and maintenance of importance, as the natural oils in the skin
any sword-blade is of vital importance to its will cause corrosion and permanent blade
overall use and longevity. Such regular discoloration surprisingly quickly.
upkeep is especially vital when concerning
forged and folded blades whatever their NOTE: the author has personally
age and history. witnessed the damage that untreated
fingerprints can cause to an antique blade
Yet the maintenance of a Blade is far more when an amateur collector enquiring about
than just a quick clean, it is a moment of the damage to his own blade approached
quiet contemplation between a swordsman him. The damage was so invasive that the
and his sword. It reflects an ancient collector had to send the sword away to a
Samurai tradition of respecting ones blade specialist restorer, a process that
as a symbol of ones living soul, and eventually cost the collector in several
perhaps more importantly it greatly hundred pounds to rectify, and ultimately
improves the blades usability. It stands to decreased the blades original value
reason that the more frequently a blade is immensely.
handled the more attuned to it the user
becomes, so such moments of quiet Basic Sword Cleaning:
contemplation really are a priceless
commodity. The maintenance of a sword need not be
the proviso of the serious martial-artist,
Now people may ask how oiling a blunt and any collector or practitioner should be
Iaito sword could possibly improve it able to clean and maintain any swords in
usability, well the answer is surprisingly their possession.
simple. When performing Noto (The
Sheathing Of The Blade) the left hand is The Basic Sword Maintenance Kit
held across the upper portion of the Saya
(Scabbard) and the Koiguichi (Scabbard The basic equipment needed to clean a
Mouth). modern sword is as follows:
High Grade Oil: (WD40™ / 3in1™) Details Of The Five Components Of A
Soft Cotton Cloth: Traditional Sword Cleaning Kit:
Kitchen Paper:
Choji Abura / Choji Yu: 丁子油
By following these three simple steps, a (Clove Scented Oil)
sword can easily be kept in a clean and
useable condition.

Firstly the blade of the sword should be


carefully cleaned with a soft dry cotton
cloth. Ensuring that any grit or residual oil
is removed.

Apply a droplet of oil every five or six


inches across the length of the blade. And
spread across the blades surface using a
folded piece of kitchen paper (Being
careful to avoid the blades edge). Repeat
the process on the other side of the blade.
The clove scented blade oil; the clove
When both sides of the blade have been essence within the sword oil serves a
coated in a thin layer of oil, re-sheath the number of purposes.
sword being careful not to touch the blade
with your hands. 1. Cloves are highly scented and
traditionally would have been used to
NOTE: antique blades should only be mask the smell of the residual fat and
cleaned with a traditional maintenance kit, blood within the hardwood Saya
as the drying agents inherent to the (Scabbard) of a sword.
majority of modern high-grade oils can
react with the steel and iron of older 2. Cloves are a potent anesthetic, as
blades, causing them to discolor. any who have used clove oil to sooth a
toothache will agree. Hence any minor
The Traditional Sword Maintenance Kit: cuts or scratches the user may suffer
during practice will be somewhat less
The traditional sword-maintenance kit painful.
consists of five basic components, each of
which serves a specific purpose toward the 3. Cloves have an antiseptic quality and
well being of a swords blade. These five as such any minor cuts or scratches the
components are: user may suffer during practice will be less
likely to become infected.
Choji Abura: (Clove Scented Oil)
Okome-Kami: (Rice Paper) 4. Cloves serve as a thinning agent
Tsuchi: (Brass Hammer) when applied to oil, and as such help
Uchiko: (Powder Ball) prevent it congealing on a blade during
Wata-Nuno: (Cotton Cloth) cold and damp weather conditions.

Some maintenance kits however feature a NOTE: It is not advisable to add pure
number of optional extras including thin “Clove Oil” directly to the blade of a sword;
wood slivers, glues and spare Mekugi it must first be mixed with high-grade
(Sword Hilt Pegs) all of which are used in a carrier oil suitable for use with polished
swords general upkeep. metals. The carrier oil must not
be any type of vegetable oil, as this will The Powder Ball, for applying polishing
rapidly stain and corrode the blade. powder to blade. Perfume free talc can be
used as a substitute on modern blades.
Okome-Kami / Oshigami: 押紙
(Rice Paper / Blotting Paper) Wata-Nuno / Nuno: 布
(Cotton Cloth / Cloth)

The unsweetened Rice Paper used for


cleaning oil from a blade as well as The Cotton Cloth used for general
polishing and spreading oil. cleaning of the blade and Saya.

NOTE: Under no circumstances should Cleaning The Sword With A Traditional


confectionary rice paper be used at any Sword Maintenance Kit:
part of the sword cleaning processes, as
the inherent sugars will corrode and The following is a simplified breakdown of
discolor the swords blade. the sword cleaning process using the
traditional maintenance kit.
Tsuchi: 槌
(Brass Hammer) 1) First use a sheet of rice paper to
remove oil from previous maintenance,
holding the edge away from you and
working very carefully to avoid injury. If the
blade features Hi (Fullers / Blood-
Grooves) then care should be taken to
remove any detritus held within this area.

NOTE: In order to save on rice paper a


The Brass Hammer, used for removing
soft cotton cloth may be used in its place.
and installing the Mekugi (Handle pegs)
within the Tsuka (Handle). NOTE: If you
2) When the blade has been cleaned to
regularly disassemble your katana you will
your satisfaction lightly tap the Uchiko
gradually loosen the fittings, which will
(Powder Ball) along the length of the
then eventually need replacing.
blade, ensuring a light but even coverage.
Furthermore disassembling a sword will
normally invalidate any product guarantee
3) Repeat the powdering process on the
or returns policy inherent to it.
opposite side of the blade as well as along
the Mune (Back Of The Blade). Be careful
Uchiko: 打ち粉
not to strike the Ha (Blade Edge), as this
(Powder Ball)
will split the Uchiko rendering it useless.

NOTE: when using the ball for the first


time, you may need to tap the ball against
a hard surface several times in order to
loosen the powder and start its flow-
-through the fabric of the ball. -transferred during the cleaning process,
before placing the sword into its Ken-Kaban
Holding the Tsuka (Handle) close to the (Cloth Sword Bag) for storage
Tsuba (Sword Guard), strike the Tsuka
with your free hand several times; causing
the blade to vibrate slightly. This will cause Remember, as with everything practice
the powder on the blade to adhere to any makes perfect. The more often you handle
remaining dirt or oil on the blade (Like your sword, the more comfortable it will feel
dusting for fingerprints). in your hands during training. A samurai was
almost never parted with his sword and as
5) Wrapping a clean piece of Okome-Kami such developed a close affinity with his own
(Rice Paper) or a Wata-Nuno (Soft Cotton blade, whether or not it was a family
Cloth) around the back edge of the blade heirloom.
carefully rub over the powder to remove
the powder and polish the blade. Where Happy cleaning.
possible polish the blade from Habaki
(Blade Collar) to Kissaki (Blade Tip) and
not in a back and forth motion, as this will A Selection Of Haiku
cause the Habaki to fill with powder and
grit, eventually damaging the blade. By Taran McCarnun
Repeat this process until both sides of the
blade and the Ha (Fullers / Blood- “Then The Bloodied Blade
Grooves) have been fully polished and all Lies Silent, Painted Crimson
of the powder has been removed. How Quickly Life Fades”
OOO
6) Apply a few drops of oil along the length
of each side of the blade and use a clean “I Watch In Awe
piece of rice paper or cotton cloth to
The Perfect Singing Sword Cuts
spread the oil evenly over the blade.
Ensure that a thin coating of oil remains on Tears Fill My Eyes”
all parts of the blade, But not the Habaki OOO
(Blade Collar) of Tsuka (Handle).
“The Sound Of Rain Upon Cloth
7) Be sure not to touch the blade again or Movements In The Shadow
breathe on it before re-sheathing in the I Am Not Alone”
Saya.
OOO

8) To re-sheath the blade place the “All Alone I Sit,


Kissaki (Blade Tip) in the Koiguichi
The Autumn Leaves Are Falling,
(Scabbard Mouth) slowly re-sheathe the
blade, firmly pressing the Mune (Back Of A Perfect Silence”
The Blade) against the inside of the Saya OOO
(Scabbard) so that the sides of the blade
make minimal contact with the inside of “Standing On The Hill
the Saya. The Wind Howls Like A She Wolf
Biting Through My Clothes”
9) Once the sword has been re-sheathed,
OOO
gently polish the full length of the Saya
(Scabbard) using the Wata-Nuno (Soft Would you like to see your own Haiku, in the
Cotton Cloth) to remove any residual next Issue of Junsei Magazine? For more
marks, powder or oil that have been information Contact www.junseimagazine.com
Jutsu, Jitsu, Do Or Tao? For this reason all combative arts within the
Junsei Ryu are described as Jutsu whereas
By Taran McCarnun all spiritual and philosophical arts are
described as Jitsu. A simple division that is
easy to remember and just as easy to pass
on to others.

What Is Ju?

For as long as the western world has


studied the martial arts of Japan and
Okinawa, student of various styles and
systems have argued amongst one
another about the correct written and
spoken names for their chosen arts. The prefix 'Ju' in Jujutsu means softness,
suppleness or flexibility. Jujutsu exponents
One major such bone of contention use their techniques to react to an
between students of Japanese martial arts opponent’s attack rather than using brute
is the interchangeable use of the words strength in order to overcome the enemy. In
Jitsu and Jutsu. In truth the majority of that way, a smaller person may stand a
instructors regardless of rank and title do chance of overcoming a larger person by
not understand the different meanings of means of stratagem and effective technique.
the words and mistakenly use the Kanji for One might say “A bamboo tree has a flexible
Jutsu and read it as Jitsu. trunk that bends in high winds to avoid being
up rooted”. And although a rather simplified
Jitsu & Jutsu Are Not The Same! analogy, it provides a sufficient description

実 術
of how a Jujutsu exponent conceptualises
the art of fighting.
Jitsu Jutsu
What Is Jujutsu?

The term JITSU 実 is m ost com m only Jujutsu is a term used to describe a martial
translated as “Content, Substance, Truth arts principle that originated in ancient
or Reality”. Japan as the most common empty handed
fighting system of the Samurai. Jujutsu was
Whereas the term JUTSU術 translates as both used as a method of self-defence
“Art, Science, Method or Technique”. during times of peace as well as a last resort
during battle. Jujutsu unlike many other
Using the correct readings the term Jitsu martial arts saw a great deal of development
takes on a meaning far closer to the word during peacetime and eventually became so
Do 道 (or Tao) indicating a spiritual or popular that its practiced bridged the gap
philosophical path that one follows. between rich and poor so that even farmers
and shopkeepers began to study it. Jujutsu
is a martial art
that concentrates specifically on throws -given situation with an appropriate amount
and joint manipulations in response to an of force, whilst retaining their emotional and
attack. Although striking and kicking are physical composure.
practiced to produce a comprehensive
system of self-defence, the majority of “A Rose By Any Other Name….”
training time is spent throwing and locking.
The term " Jujutsu" can be translated as
the "Gentle Art." One of the most
fundamental principles of Jujutsu is that an
attack should not be countered by brute
force, but should instead be redirected,
damaging ones opponent in the process.

The literal translation of the word Jujutsu


means, "gentle art". In Japan, Jujutsu is
also be used as a broad umbrella term
encompassing all Japanese martial arts
such as Jujutsu, Judo and Aikido (in the
same way as the term Gung Fu is used in
China to encompass many different
schools of martial art). The art that we of the Junsei Ryu refer to as
Jujutsu is and has been known by numerous
Also the term Jujutsu can have a more names since the earliest records of Ancient
specific meaning related to schools that Japan. In order to demonstrate just a few of
follow the tenets of old school Jujutsu, as the different names for the art the following
opposed to other divergent specializations list has been compiled. One should pay
such as those denoted by the 'Aiki' 'Karate' particular attention to the different
or 'Kempo' prefixes. connotations the interplay of Jitsu and Jutsu
has on the art in question.
Jujutsu unlike some of the more sport-
orientated martial arts allows for a far Ju / Jiu: 柔
greater level of combative flexibility in "Gentle, Soft, Supple, Fluid, Unresisting,
response to an attack. However, Jujutsu Easy, Yielding"
can equally be very passive, nullifying an
attack without hurting the attacker. The flip Jitsu: 実
side of this is that Jujutsu can also be "Content, Substance, Truth, Reality"
extremely destructive, utilizing all of the
practitioner's weight and balance against a Jutsu: 術
small part of the attacker, such as a joint. "Art, Science, Method, Technique"
This methodology allows a Jujutsuka
(Student Of Jujutsu) to respond to any
Jujutsu / Jiujutsu: 柔術 Yawarajutsu: 柔術
"The Gentle Art" "The Gentle Art"

Jujitsu / Jiujitsu: 柔実 Yawarado: 柔道


"The Gentle Truth" "The Gentle Way"

Wajutsu: 和術 Torite: 捕手
"The Harmony Art, The Peace Art" "The catching Hand" catching hand"

Wajitsu: 和実 Kumiuchi: 組打 or 組討
"The Harmony Truths, The Peace Truths" "Grappling, Wrestling"

Taijutsu: 体術 Judo: 柔道
"The Body Movement Art" The application "The Gentle Way" The first known use of the
of body movement to defeat an enemy. term Judo to describe a style of Jujutsu was
made in 1724 by the fifth headmaster of the
Taijitsu: 体実 Kito Ryu style 'Terada Kan'emon' predating
"The Body Movement Truths" the Judo of Kano Jigoro by some 158 years.

Taido: 体道 Kogusoku: 小具足


"The Body Movement Way" "The Art Of Seizing, Armoured Grappling"

Hoshin Jutsu: 保身術 Juho: 柔法


"The Self-Defence Art" "The Gentle Method / The Soft Method" The
indirect application of force to defeat an
Hoshin Jitsu: 保身実 enemy.
"The Self-Defence Truths"
Aikijutsu: 合気道
"The Art Of Spirit Harmony"

Aikijitsu: 合気道
"The Truths Of Spirit Harmony"

Aikijujutsu: 合気柔術
"The Gentle Art Of Spirit Harmony"

Aikijujitsu: 合気柔実
"The Gentle Truths Of Spirit Harmony"

So the next time you are having a


conversation about Jujutsu, remember to
pause and think it through. Are you a
student of system of Jutsu, Jitsu, Do or
Tao?

Yawara: 柔 What may appear to be a relatively minor


"Gentle, Yielding, Soft" An alternative difference between the meanings of the
reading for the Kanji Ju 柔. name can in turn facilitate multiple changes
to the methodology of training.
Yawarajitsu: 柔実
"The Gentle Truth" …………………or at least it should do!
Bushido: The Warrior Way -day it is renowned worldwide as being
something innately Japanese.
By Taran McCarnun
The Literary Pun

武士道 The History Of Bushido


A great many literary scholars have pointed
out that when the common name for Japans
native religion “Shinto” is written out in the
traditional Chinese Kanji it reads “The Way
Of The Gods”. Yet by adding the word “Bu”
meaning “Warrior”, the word structure
instead reads as “Bushido” meaning “The
Over the last thousand years Japans
Way Of The Warrior”.
Bushido code has developed from a
warriors’ formal code of conduct to an all
The multiple nuances encountered when
encompassing and often life changing
translating Japanese words into the earlier
religious doctrine. Although the origins of
Bushido lie deep in Japans ancient history Chinese letters is an interesting subject in its
own right, and the most literal translation of
it was only in the 12th century that the code
the written word is often far more revealing
of Bushido was fully developed. Bearing
than the modern translation. For example
this in mind it seems strange that it would
the literal translation of “Bushido” reads
take four hundred years (During the mid
more accurately as “The Way Of Warrior,
16th century) for the Bushido code to be
That Will Send You To The Gods”… a far
written down and utilized as the stringent
more sobering translation by far.
doctrine of the Samurai class.
Other examples of these literary variations
Some scholars liken the Japanese code of
are found in other words of military origin
Bushido to the Chinese warrior code of
such as “Heiho”; which when written in
“Wu-Te” which translates as “Warriors
Japanese letters reads “The Methods Of
Virtue”. The Wu-Te code itself is believed
The Soldier” but when written in Chinese
to be the creation of the Indian monk
letters reads instead “The Way Of Peace”,
“Bodhidharma” in around the year AD 520.
assuredly a joke shared by military
The comparable similarities between the
tacticians throughout Japan for centuries.
two codes are numerous; and as Japan
had been steadily importing Chinese
Literature has always played an important
technology, style and philosophy since
roll in societies perceptions of Bushido
around AD 400, the possibility of a shared
especially so, during Japans more peaceful
ancestry is quite acceptable. However
eras when ancient texts regarding the
strong feudal societies had existed in both
subject were studied as sources of truth.
China and Japan for thousands of years
However many of these early texts were
before the advent of Buddhism. One only
grossly misinterpreted and the Bushido
has to look at the sheer enormity of the
based upon them in turn became an altered
terracotta army of china’s first emperor to
form. Such an example can be found in the
realize just how organized, effective and
Japanese literary classic “Hagakure”
disciplined these early warriors were.
penned by a Samurai named Yamamoto
Regardless of its early origins however, the Tsunetomo. Although a Samurai of rank,
Bushido Code was given a chance to Yamamoto lived his entire life in peace and
develop along its own path during the never took part in any battles or mass
centuries in which Japan closed its borders conflict. Regardless of this fact Yamamoto
to the outside world. And to this often makes references to the mentality of-
-combat and how Bushido should be
applied to it. His most famous quote
regarding the Bushido code is “The Way
Of The Samurai Is In Death” something

SHIN:
which later scholars of the subject;
Truth, Sincerity and Honesty
including the Kamikaze pilots of World
War Two would deliberated heavily upon.


As with any literary source misconceptions
are rife and to effectively state that “To be
a Samurai is to die” is a narrow sighted
opinion at best. In truth however it is not
known whether Yamamoto ever intended REI:
his book to be Published, read or much Respect, Politeness and Gratitude
less followed like a religious doctrine. As
the various modern transcriptions of the
Hagakure all differ slightly in their
translations we should assume the quote
to read something like “To be a Samurai,
is to devote your life utterly to the will of

GI:
your lord and master”, as this would be far
Morality, Righteousness and Justice
more in keeping with the early Bushido
ideals assuredly taught to Yamamoto in


his youth.

CHU:
Loyalty, Faithfulness and Dedication

名誉
MEIYO:
Honour, Integrity and Respect
The Written Code
Because the Bushido code is more than
just a way of life, to state that it was an
utterly inflexible set of rules and
procedures would be utterly inaccurate as

YU:
Bushido was as individual to a Samurai as
Courage, Bravery and Heroism
was the relationship between a lord and
each of his attendants.

Whilst Bushido itself can exist in many


varied forms, the majority of Japanese
scholars generally accept that the

following eight ideals are the basis for JIN:
most visions of Bushido: Benevolence, Selflessness and Humanity
Only by adhering to these principles could -ultimately it did not survive into modern
a Samurai maintain his honour, as straying times at the hands of Japans nobility, nor
from this predetermined path would result in fact did it truly survive amongst the
in irrefutable shame upon the individual majority of Japans martial arts fraternity.
and their family. In some situations the But rather it survived amongst the rank
disgrace was considered so severe that and file of the Modern Japanese Army;
the offending party was obliged to commit The immediate successors to the same
Seppuku; in order to regain some small modernised military force that wholly
measure of personal honour. ended the Satsuma rebellion and the rule
of the Samurai caste in the year 1877.

Was this random chance? A longing to


relive past glory? dark irony? or perhaps a
method to honour the long dead warriors
of Japan affording them the deepest levels
of respect? I will let you decide, but I for
one hope that it was an act of respect
worthy on any true Bushidoka!

Endnote
“No man dies with dignity, but a man
may accept the inevitability of his death
with that same virtue.
In other examples however disgraced
Samurai accepted their dishonor and
This is Bushido”
underwent decades of hardship in an
attempt to atone for their past mistakes. In
Quote “Taran McCarnun”
the eyes of many great historical Samurai,
the willingness to live on and lead a
productive life regardless of ones mistakes
is just as much a part of the Bushido ethic
as a willingness to die. To further
complicate matters Bushido itself contains
numerous dualities that risked the very
honour of those who wished to uphold it. A
prime example of this duality is the adage
of a Samurai commanded by his Lord, to
assassinate another noble in cold blood
whilst he slept. Whilst this undeniable act
of cowardice would rob the obeying
Samurai of his lifetime’s honour, the very
fact that one was willing to risk such a
personal disgrace at the bidding of his
master would expunge them of any
associated dishonor.

Perhaps the most ironic fact, surrounding


entirety of the Bushido code is that-
Shinto is at its core seemingly formed from
An Introduction To Shinto an uncountable number if differing tribal
religions, each sharing a number of common
Part 1 – What Is Shinto? ideals and viewpoints.
By Taran McCarnun
A deep-seated factor of Shinto worship
centres on the veneration of the divine

神道 emperor, who is himself a direct descendant


of the Shinto Sun Goddess Amaterasu
Omikami 天照大神. Other factors within Shinto
veneration include a vast pantheon of
What Is Shinto? ancient ancestor and animistic nature spirits
known generally as the Kami.
The term Shinto 神道 is used to describe
the early native religions of the Japanese Some Kami could be described as gods in
people. Shinto loosely translates as the the western sense of the word, humanoid
“Way Of the Gods”. As the term Shinto is beings of incredible power able to change
itself a rather modern addition to what is shape and form at will. These Kami are
essentially a prehistoric religion, it is most occasionally likened to the gods of ancient
likely that Shinto would have been Greece and Rome.
described as “Kami No Michi” or the “Spirit
Teachings” Other Kami are considered to be
personifications of the energies that make

神 up the natural world, such as air, earth,


storms, fire, sky and the heavens.

Generally speaking all rites of Shinto


SHIN / JIN / KAMI / TAMASHII
Spirit, Deity, God worship are dedicated to one or more of
these Kami and frequently included the
offering of valuable items such as carved

道 beads, jewellery, food and water or in the


case of wealthy warriors and noblemen;
swords, weaponry and armour.
DO / TO / TAO / MICHI
Path, Way, Teachings, Moral, Journey
The Early History Of Shinto
Unlike many of the other religious societies
of Asia ‘Shinto’ is both an ancient religion
as well as a nationalistic cult amongst the Following the large-scale import of Chinese
Japanese. Whilst there are numerous texts political and cultural ideas during the 6th
detailing mythologies, religious law and century AD, and the subsequent popularity
ceremonial procedures; during its early of Buddhism. During the latter part of the 6th
years what we now refer to as the Shinto century the name “Shinto” was created as a
religion had no name, no fixed dogma, no means of distinguishing between Japans
moral guidelines, no philosophical native religion and those faiths imported
literature and no sacred texts. from China and Korea. Within only a handful
of generations Buddhism had rapidly
overshadowed Shinto and many of the
native deities came to be regarded as
various manifestations of the Buddha.
With the rapid breakdown of Shinto The path to a Shinto shrine is normally
dominance it was left to the Buddhist marked with a series of giant wood or stone
priests to act as custodians of the Shinto gateways that are know as Torii 鳥居. . In
faith and guardians of its Shrines. former times the commoners would make
their prayers and offerings at the outermost
As one might expect this Buddhist gate, whilst those of higher social standing
influence left a permanent mark on Shinto, were permitted to venture further in to the
and it is at this time the first large scale sacred space. Approach to such a sacred
Shinto statuary are created. area could only be permitted after detailed
purification had been performed, including
Because Shinto had no fixed doctrine or the uttering of personal prayers, the washing
system of ethics it was simple to practice of the hands and feet and the rinsing of the
both Shinto and Buddhist rites together. In mouth and face.
fact since its introduction, Buddhism and
Shinto have coexisted synchronically since
at least the early 8th century.

From the end of the 8th century and into


the beginning of the 9th century, a
celebrated Japanese faith teacher who
would posthumously become known as
Kobu Daishi 鼓舞大師 formally established a
religious doctrine uniting Shinto and
Buddhism together under the name of
Ryobu Shinto 両部神道 translating as “The
Shinto Of Two Kinds”.
Generally speaking neither Shinto priests
Within this new synthesis of ideas the
nor priestesses had to practice any
Buddhist element undoubtedly held
austerities, as the Shinto faith stresses that
dominion over its Shinto forbears and
one should lead a full and meaningful life
elements were even adopted into it from
complete with the enjoyment of the
Chinese Confucianism.
pleasures of food, drink and family life.
However at the same time that Shinto
In the decades that followed the ancient
venerated Life is abhorred the idea of death
practices of true Shinto had all but
and decay.
disappeared, with only a handful of great
Shrines remaining largely undiluted. Aside In fact the Shinto faith almost exclusively
from these handfuls of disenfranchised
steers itself clear from all aspects of death
shrines the only place where Shinto
and defilement leaving events such as
remained a factor of daily life was within
funerals to the local Buddhists.
the grounds of the Imperial palace at
Kyoto. In fact some Shinto sects became so
concerned with the defilement of sacred
Features Of Shinto objects that the priest would hold a large
piece of folded paper in his mouth so no
Sacred areas are almost always marked breath would touch the sacred object.
with a large rope formed from reeds or rice
straw. These are tied around the trunks of Shinto Priests & Priestesses
ancient trees, giant boulders or hung
across the -doorways of Shines in order to Most sects of early Shinto subscribed to the
mark the area as sacred.
-utilization of a class of female priests. Modern Shinto
After all the divine deity of the Japanese
people was the Goddess Amaterasu, so it During the early 18th century Shinto as a
made sense that it should be a woman whole underwent a huge revival; as the
that communicated with her. national faith of the ultra-nationalistic
Japanese. This revival was openly
The main function of these female priests encouraged by the eras most noted
had been a mediumistic one of scholars, who were in turn motivated by the
establishing contact between the world of strong nationalistic emotions of a reverence
the living and the world of the spirits. for Japanese antiquity and an increasing
However such was the dominance of the loathing for all foreign influences. During
Patriarchal society within Japan, by the this time the disestablishment of Buddhism
time of the Tokugawa Shogunate the began, and ended with the adoption of
female priesthood had sunk to the level of Shinto as Japans official religion.
temple hands, sacred prostitutes and
village wise women. There were still some In 1867 the Shogunate was overthrown and
female inhabitants of the larger shrines the Emperor was restored as the head of
that took part in shrine dances, but in state. According to the revived Shinto
general the role of women within the doctrines, the sovereignty of the Emperor
religion was minimal at best. was granted by divine right, as the Emperor
was historically a direct descendent of
Male Shinto priests were permitted to Jimmu Tenno the first Emperor, himself a
marry and it was normal for a father to be great grandson of the sun Goddess
succeeded by his eldest son. In the case Amaterasu.
of the priest having a daughter or
daughters they would be trained a virgin Related beliefs of the time also included
shrine girls, and would assist their father doctrines that the Japanese people were
with the upkeep of the shrine as well as superior to all other races because of their
assisting in some of the more elaborate divine ancestry. This same doctrine also
rituals. stated that as a divine being the Emperor
was destined to rule over the entire world.
As with all other aspects of life in feudal This emperor worship gained popularity
Japan, there is within Shinto a strict order within Shinto up until Japans defeat during
of Hierarchy and subsidiary to the priests the Second World War. In fact one might
themselves were the agents of the great say that these beliefs were utilized
shrines whose duty it was to organize specifically to assure the nations support for
pilgrimages for religious town folk the military expansion of the Japanese
(farmers, merchants and even parties of Empire into the rest of Asia.
samurai).
Next Issue: An Introduction To The Major
It comes as little surprise that not every Deities Of Shinto
townsperson could afford to make a
pilgrimage to the great temples, and in
these cases people could purchase the
same talismans that they would have
received from a visit to the main temple
from a regional representative. In effect,
big brand Shinto franchises were available
from the local Shinto retailer.
Weapons Of Japan And the Ryukyu -found worldwide with blades formed from
flint, stone and even obsidian. Some middle
(Part One) The Kama
eastern examples are recorded to have
By Taran McCarnun been created in the centuries predating
10.000 BC.

鎌 All sickles regardless upon which


geographical region of the world they were
created, share a common shape, purpose
Kama, Kamma, Gama and construction. The basic design of any
(Sickle, Hand Scythe) sickle is a hardwood billet to which is
attached a curved single edged blade
projecting at a right angle from one end.
Again all sickles were initially used as
farming and harvesting tools, but at some
stage in their early history their use as a
weapon became apparent.

Throughout Asia agricultural sickles have


always been widely used, and even in
today’s modern world almost every
agricultural homestead owns at least a
couple of these most utilitarian of tools. I
myself own several sets of Kama, each
suited to a different purpose, including one
live edged set purchased specifically for
use in my garden. I use my ‘Garden Kama’
in the same way as folk throughout Asia do,
to cut the hedging, prune bushes, remove
weeds and other such simple gardening
activities.

Being such a mainstay item of Asian


What Is A Kama? agriculture it stands to reason that almost
every martial art in Asia would incorporate
When we say Kama perhaps the first thing its use into their everyday teaching. In fact
that comes to mind it that famous Asian the Kama is a common weapon to many
text the “Kama Sutra”, but stepping away Japanese, Okinawan, Filipino, Malaysian
from the realms of the exotic, the Kama is and Indonesian martial arts, and although
an ancient weapon with its roots deeply in not as common it is also found in Korean,
the cultivation of the land. Thai and Chinese fighting systems.

Since his earliest times as a farmer, man The Kama As A Weapon:


has created tools to ease the burden or
working the land for agriculture. One of the Whilst the exact date Stone Age man first
earliest Stone Age tools created for such a used a sickle in combat will never be
purpose was the Sickle or as the Japanese known, the first recorded use of the Kama
would later call it the ‘Kama’. Early as a weapon in Japan is dated to the year
example of agricultural sickles have been 645 AD when the warrior Nakatomi no
Kamatari 中臣鎌足 attacked and defeated one
of the manipulators of the imperial throne-
- a man by the name of Soga no Iruka As a direct result of this the Okinawan
蘇我入鹿.. This legendary event claims that Karate practitioners were amongst those
Nakatomi no Kamatari prayed to the gods who first formalised the combative use of -
for a success prior to going to battle. The Kama, and soon discovered that whilst the
gods answered his prayer and sent a Kama was a highly effective weapon, its
Tenko 天狐 (Divine Messenger In The use became all the more devastating when
Form Of A Celestial Fox Spirit) who gave used in pairs (As is the most common
him a Kama and taught to him a number method within the Ryu-Kyu islands.
of secret techniques for its use. Following
his victory in battle Kamatari went on to Ryu-Kyu & Okinawan Designs
found his own school of Bujutsu, the Of Kama:
Koden Ryu. Just prior to his death
Kamatari was awarded the surname
Fujiwara by the emperor Tenji for his
services to the imperial family.

Kama 鎌 or かま (Hand Sickle)


The Kama In Okinawa:
The oral histories of the Ryu Kyu Islands
(and especially Okinawa) indicate that they
were largely lawless places, prone to
sporadic conflict and bandit raids. Even Kama 鎌 or かま (Hand Sickle)
after both the Chinese and Japanese had
forced their own sovereignty upon the
islands, the level of violent banditry still
remained very high. In such lawless times
the ability to utilise any item that came to
hand as a weapon was a skill that Natagama 鉈 鎌 (Billhook)
frequently made the distinction between life
and death.

Around the year 1478 AD the Okinawan


King Sho Shin prohibited all of his peasant
subjects possession of any form of weapon Jingama 陣 鎌 (Battle Sickle)
in an attempt to calm the violence of the
period. As a result of these edicts the
Okinawan hand-to-hand fighting arts
flourished (Most notably what would
eventually become known as Karate), as
did the widespread use of farming Rokushakugama 六尺镰
implements as improvised weapons. In the (Six Foot Kama)
following centuries Okinawa and the Ryu
Kyu Islands came under Japanese The Kama In Japan:
administration and the laws prohibiting
ownership of weaponry were enforced more Almost as a parallel to the Okinawan
harshly than ever before. Not being able to development of the Kama, the Japanese
carry weaponry increased the use of faming were developing numerous “Sickle” type
tools as weapons in their own right and weapons all of which varied greatly in size
initiated their subsequent evolutions. and appearance. Although the Kama was-
-still being used throughout Japan as an
everyday agricultural tool, it is unknown as to
when the warrior class first began to modify
and adapt it specifically for combat. Such
modifications may have been a direct result Jingama 陣 鎌 (Battle Sickle)
of conflict with Kama wielding peasants, or as Kamayari 鎌槍 (Sickle Spear)
a natural evolution in weapon design, taking
into account the advantages offered by
adding a hooked portion to almost any
weapon.

Kamayari 鎌槍 (Sickle Spear)


Japanese Designs Of Kama:

Kagi Yari 鉤槍 (Hook Spear)


Kama 鎌 or かま (Hand Sickle)

Kata Kama Yari 片鎌槍


Kama 鎌 or かま (Hand Sickle)
(Single-Sided Sickle Spear)

Kagi 鉤 or 鈎(Hook Sickle)


Sogama / Morogama 双镰
(Double Blade Kama)

Natagama 鉈 鎌 (Billhook)
Nagigama / Naigama (薙 镰)
(Mowing Down / Reaping Kama)
Funayosegama 舟寄せ镰(Ship Ending Kama)
Jingama 陣鎌 (Battle Sickle)
Kamayari 鎌槍 (Sickle Spear)
Kusarigama 鎖鎌 or 锁镰 (Sickle & Chain)
Jingama 陣鎌 (Battle Sickle) Design Details For Individual
Styles Of Kama
Kama 鎌 or かま (Hand Sickle)
The Kama is in essence a rather simple
Jingama 陣 鎌 (Battle Sickle) agricultural sickle mounted with a single
edges blade at a right angle to the upper
portion of a hardwood billet. All sickles-
-regardless upon which geographical -for ease of use or some other reason is
region of the world they were created, debateable.
share that common shape, purpose and
construction. There are a number of major differences
between the Kusarigama of different Koryu.
Kagi 鉤 or 鈎(Hook Sickle) Some have a straight blade, some a curved
The term Kagi is in essence used to blade and others a double-edged blade
describe any sort of hook or deeply more similar in appearance to a pick. Some
curved claw (Such as a sickle). In schools attach the chain to the base of the
agricultural use the deeper the curve on a Kama, others to its middle and some to the
sickle blade the easier it is to use, of back edge of the blade itself. Now add this
course sharpening and large hook, such the divergent schools that use rope instead
as a butchers meat hook can make a of chain and you are left with a huge variety
formidable improvised weapon. One in application and technique.
should not consider the Kagi a separate
weapon to the everyday Kama, but rather We will cover the Kusarigama in more detail
as an alternative blade design. next issue.

Natagama 鉈鎌 (Billhook) Jingama 陣 鎌 (Battle Sickle)


The Natagama is another style of The term Jingama is a rather awkward one
agricultural and light industrial Kama used to translate accurately. The character Jin 阵
as a general purpose chopping and can be loosely translated as battle-camp or
shaping tool. Just like its western battle and theoretically can be applied to
counterpart the Billhook the Natagama any Kama modified or created specifically
could be used to slash and cut like a for combat. Common designs of Jingama
sickle, but had the advantage that the include normal Kama with heavier blades,
base portion of its blade could be used for Kama with metal hand-guards, and
hacking and chopping in the same Oversized Kama designed to be used
manner as an hand axe. against a mounted enemy.

Kusarigama 鎖鎌 or 锁 镰
(Sickle & Chain)
The exact origins of the Kusarigama are
as widely debated as that of the Kama
itself. One apparent claim to the creation
of the Kusarigama comes from the
records of the Koryu style known as Nen-
Ryu. Nen-Ryu traditions claims that
around the year 1400 AD the founder of
the Ryu, a Sohei (Warrior Monk) known
as Jion had a vision whilst meditating. In
this vision he saw himself holding a Kama
in one hand and a weighted chain in the
other, this vision then inspired him to
develop the Kusarigama.

In principal a Kusarigama is any variant of


The above woodblock print by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka illustrates the
Kama to which is attached a length of Japanese Hero Kirishima Matsugoro wielding his makeshift
weighted chain. In truth however many Jingama, formed from a basic Kama bound to a bamboo pole.

schools of Kusarigama use a weighted


rope instead of a chain, whether this is-
Larger forms of Jingama were used in the -Yari is often classified as a style of spear,
manner of scythes in order to prepare a with the addition that it carries a deeply
wilderness area so that an resting army curved hook. Its application is the same as
could more easily make camp. that of other Kama Yari.

Nagigama / Naigama 薙镰 Sogama / Morogama (双 镰)


(Reaping Kama / Mowing Down Kama) The Sogama is another variation of the
Essentially the Nagigama is an oversized Jingama or Kamayari in that its main
Jingama mounted on a very long pole of an purpose was to hook at a mounted enemy
average seven Shaku in length with its double Kama before dragging them
(approximately seven foot). Nagigama are to the ground and disembowelling them. In
because of their length often categorised length the Sogama averages at around Five
as Yari. These long Kama are recorded as Shaku (approximately five foot in length).
being in used during the Genpei Wars
(1180 AD - 1185 AD ). The main use of the
Nagigama was like that of the Jingama to Kama Technique:
mow down ones enemies, removing their
hands, arms, heads, legs and feet in a The Kama is one of the most versatile of
swift slashing movement. The Nagigama Asiatic weapons. It can cut, stab, slice,
may also be known by the name block and hack. It can hook an enemies
Funayosegama 舟 寄せ 镰 which loosely weapon and with but a rotation of the wrist
translates as “Ship Ending Kama” as it was relieve and opponent of his hand or fingers.
used to cut the sails and rigging of passing
ships. Whilst the single Kama was by far more
popular amongst the Japanese warrior
Kamayari 鎌槍 (Sickle Spear) class, throughout China and the Ryu Kyu
The term Kamayari can be used to both the paired use of the weapon was the
describe any style of Kama mounted on a normal practice.
long pole as well as any style of Yari to
which a Kama style blade is mounted. The The paired use of the Kama had the
most common style of Kamayari is the pair advantage that one Kama could be used to
of Kama blades mounted at the socket of black and capture an opponent’s weapon,
an ordinary spear. In application the whilst the other was used to attack the
Kamayari could be used to both slash and numerous vulnerable points on the
thrust. Various styles of Kamayari were opponents body.
used during peacetime by Japanese
firemen to pull down the roves of burning Kama application is often thought to be
buildings in order to slow the spread of a brutal, in fact the Kama is generally
fire. considered to be the most Savage of
Asiatic weapons. My sensei once told me
Kata Kama Yari 片鎌槍 that In order to make Kama technique
(Single-Sided Sickle Spear) effective one must get close enough to
The Kata Kama Yari is often thought to ones enemy as to feel his last breath upon
have been based on earlier Chinese styles your face.
of halberd, many of which were mounted
with a single side-facing blade used to The cutting movement of the Kama is
hook the enemies limbs and pull them from characterised by a deep rotation of the hip,
horseback to the ground. in fact its movements are often said to have
no direct comparison to any other Japanese
Kagi Yari 鉤槍 (Hook Spear) or Okinawan weapon. In fact one could
Like the Kama Yari and Nigigama the Kagi- even go as far as to say that Okinawan-
-twin Kama techniques have no direct Chinese: Chicken Claw Sickle, Lian, 镰,
counterpart in Okinawan Karate, yet they Lian Dao, Ji Zhua Lian, 鷄爪鐮, 鸡爪鐮,
are without a doubt an integral part of Chicken Sickle, 鸡鐮, 鷄鐮, Ji Dao Lian,
traditional Okinawan Kobudo. 鸡刀鐮; 鷄刀鐮, Chicken-Saber Sickle, Kun
Hua Yao Zi, 捆花腰子; 綑花腰子, Binding Flower
Modern Kama: Waist Carry, 镰刀, 切割装置, 用镰刀割, 呈镰刀状

The creation of same Kama, with blades Danish: Segl


formed from wood, foam or even blunt
metal is a logical conclusion for safer Dutch: Sikkel
training, as blocking an opponent’s wrist or
neck with a live blades Kama during the French: Faucille
application of technique is obviously a
highly dangerous and irresponsible thing to Gaelic: Corran
do, albeit sometimes a rather tempting one.
German: Sichel
As Kama can be used singularly or in pairs
it has become a favourite amongst Kata Greek: δρεπάνι
and freestyle practitioners. Its savage
elegance never fails to raise a few Hebrew: ‫שמרח‬
eyebrows. However the vast majority of
freestyle practitioners use the Kama as no Hindi: Daranti, Hansiya, Daramti, Hamsiya
more than a prop to hold whilst performing
an overly flashy empty hand routine. These Indonesian: Sabit, Arit, Clurit, Celurit,
Flash moves have little if anything to do Sakera Celurit,
with highly focused and deadly traditional
Kamajutsu technique. Italian: Falce

Many designs of modern Kama have been Korean: Nat,


created over the last ten or twenty years.
Some remain traditional to the weight and Malay: Arit, Sabit, Hansa
proportions of a traditional Kama whilst
others have become little more than spiky Mongolian: Rар Xадуур
fantasy knives attached to sticks. In my
opinion such bastardisation of a classical Polish: Sierp
weapon is abhorrent, but that’s just me.
Portuguese: Foice

Russian: Cерп
Other Sickle Weapons:
Spanish: Hoz
Almost every country in the world has
utilised sickles as an agricultural tool and at Swedish: Skara
one stage or another as an improvised
weapon. Just as a matter of comparative Thai: เคียว , Khiaao, Khiao
interest, the following list details some of
the variant names of Sickle type weapon
and tools from around the world.

Arabic: ‫‏لجنم‬
Instructor Profile -who was a few years older than me,
hoping that she could help. But the truth
(Dr Ash McKee Shihan) was she could only help when she was
about, and once she had gone the bullies
came back again. After the second or
third time my dad had been called into the
school because I had been badly beaten
up. He decided that I should start boxing
classes at the local club.

Junsei Magazine: So your first martial


arts experience wasn’t Jujutsu then?

Dr McKee: Nope, good old fashioned


English boxing.

Junsei Magazine: And how did you find


This issue we are conducting an interview it?
with Dr Ash McKee Shihan, Founder,
patron and senior-most instructor of the Dr McKee: (laughs) I utterly hated it,
Junsei Ryu family. didn’t like standing around getting hit in
the face repeatedly. It just felt the same
Junsei Magazine: Firstly Shihan, we as the bullies at school, painful and
would like to thank you for taking time out humiliating!
of your busy schedule to talk to us today.
Junsei Magazine: What happened then?
Dr McKee: Not a problem, always happy to
chat with fellow martial artists, especially Dr McKee: Well my father took me to the
those from within our own organisation. Kempo Jujutsu class where he was an
instructor to start Jujutsu training.
Junsei Magazine: Glad to hear it.
Junsei Magazine: So why didn’t your
Dr McKee: Good, good, good. father take you to his jujutsu class to
begin with?
Junsei Magazine: How did you get into
the martial arts and what are your first Dr McKee: Well at that time my father did
martial arts memories? not think that studying a traditional
combative system like Jujutsu was
Dr McKee: When I was about six years old appropriate for children.
I was attending the Walkergate Junior
School in the Walkergate area of Junsei Magazine: Really? Do you think
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Being the new kid he was correct to think that?
who had just moved to the area I found
myself having problems with pretty much Dr McKee: At the time I didn’t really
every other lad in my class. understand, but looking back Yes I think
he was correct. There were no special
Junsei Magazine: What sort of problems? children’s classes and everyone was
expected to perform to the same high
Dr McKee: Well they taunted me and beat standard. The way people trained back
me up just about every day. In fact I used then and the fighting mentality was quite
to run away and go looking for my sister- dangerous, injuries were commonplace-
-especially during Dojo Arashi. Junsei Magazine: Fifty press-ups? Wasn’t
that a bit extreme for a child?
Junsei Magazine: Dojo Arashi, as in Dojo
Storming? Dr McKee: Like I said, the couple of children
that did train were expected to keep up with
Dr McKee: Yes, Dojo Storming. People adults and were given zero leniencies. Back
would regularly challenge other local clubs then mistakes were punished and then
in order to sort the wheat from the chaff. corrected; it was the northern Budo way
Occasional students with some Jujutsu or (laughs). Driving home from the club my dad
Karate experience would formally challenge asked me if I enjoyed it, even with all the
instructors in order to find the best in a press-ups. I told him that I loved it and
particular area. wanted to train and I never stopped.

Junsei Magazine: Did the Jujutsu classes


sort out the bullying problem?

Dr McKee: Sort of. In the end my mother was


called into school because I had broken the
nose of one of the bullies and two ribs on one
of the others. After that I started bullying them
in revenge for making my life miserable. But
when my dad found out he came down on me
really hard and I stopped fighting at school,
for a while at least.

Brian Wrightson Kancho And Dr Ash McKee Shihan

Junsei Magazine: Interesting, So your first


martial arts class was mixed ages Kempo
Jujutsu. What do you remember about it?

Dr McKee: Well the club was the Hankyo


Kempo Pennywell Jujutsu club at the
Sunderland Echo. My father was one of the
instructors and my uncle one of the others.
There were one or two more but I can’t
recall their names at the moment. I was Brian Wrightson Kancho
wearing my bright red ‘Steve Austin’ style
tracksuit, which made me feel like a true Junsei Magazine: Do you have many fond
athlete, I loved that tracksuit (laughs). memories of your Jujutsu training in
Anyway we were practicing kicking Newcastle-Upon-Tyne?
combinations when my uncle noticed that I
had missed out a kick, so he made me do Dr McKee: Oh god yes, far to many to list. I
50 press-ups. That really hurt! remember some of the techniques, drill and
Kata as well as some of the really-
-uncomfortable Ki exercises. -the modern world?

Junsei Magazine: Such as? Dr McKee: Yes, of course. The core


principles of combat will always apply,
Dr McKee: Well one such exercise involved whilst some of the techniques themselves
an instructor standing on your stomach and may be somewhat outdated. It’s not a
chest whilst you attempted to control your particularly common occurrence that normal
breathing. Only my father would dig his toes people encounter sword-carrying
or heels into you solar plexus of bladder. As opponents walking the streets of the UK.
it happens quite o lot of students used to That said those same outdated techniques
pass out holding their breath, that’s not the can improve almost any students Mai-Ai
way to do it. and Tai-Sabaki and in that sense are still as
valid today as they were two hundred years
Junsei Magazine: So back to more recent ago.
times, how did Junsei Ryu come into
being?

Dr McKee: Well, it’s a long story but the


short version is that following the death of
my father (Brian Wrightson Kancho –
Hachidan / 8th Dan) I wanted to honour his
memory by breathing life into an idea we
had spoken about for many years.

Junsei Magazine: And this idea was


Junsei?

Dr McKee: Kind of, my father was rightly


proud of everything he achieved with Brian Wrightson Kancho And Dr Ash McKee Shihan

Hankyo Kempo Jujutsu; but in the last


decade of his life he became somewhat Junsei Magazine: What are your current
disillusioned with the abridged version of aims and projects for Junsei Ryu?
the art he was teaching and yearned for a
return to the classical training of the early Dr McKee: Well apart from the magazine, I
years. He wanted us to create an elite intent to focus on keeping our core
society within Hankyo teaching the truths principles true. I will never ever compromise
and reality of the Hankyo techniques, these the integrity of the technique for anyone. It
students would be hand picked from the is better to have 5 good students than 5000
Hankyo rank and file only if they showed average ones. That said I would like to see
the right traits and characteristics. It was the Junsei more readily accepted. I would
not going to be something open to like to see us as more of a facilitator for
everyone, not even all of the Shodan other martial arts organisations that share
grades. Junsei was a name that my father our core beliefs.
mentioned once or twice during our
conversations about this and following his Junsei Magazine: What are the principles
death it seemed like the only name that and concepts that you try to uphold and
fitted his memory and martial ethic. instil within your students?

Junsei Magazine: Bearing your own Dr McKee: Self-integrity, honour, respect,


background in mind, do you think that spiritual knowledge, to strive for truth and
classical martial art training has a place in- most importantly self-humility.
Junsei Magazine: Why do you think that it -something else! This can lead to people
is important for people to study martial arts? disregarding any of the techniques or
methodologies used by anybody else.
Dr McKee: Like I just said, Self-integrity, Adaptation of a technique to the individual
honour, respect, spiritual knowledge and is important and training to your strengths
self-humility. Martial arts are a life skill that can make the difference between being
can teach discipline and interaction in a able to walk away from a fight and not
controlled manner. being able to walk again. I would not
encourage a one armed man to get into a
Junsei Magazine: What obstacles have fistfight when it would leave him at an
you encountered so far with regards Junsei obvious disadvantage, however that same
Ryu and how did you overcome them? man could be exceptionally good at kicking
or groundwork. Always fight to your
Dr McKee: (sigh) well there have been strengths but train to your weaknesses.
plenty. I suppose the prejudice has been
the most frustrating, that and the system Junsei Magazine: What insights can you
slagging. You know, people slagging off share with our readers?
who you are and what you are doing
without ever having sat down and spoken
to you, let alone stepped into your Dojo. Dr McKee: Don’t go to a Japanese Sensei
How you overcome these things is by just just because he is Japanese. Go to the
being your self and staying true to your sensei that is good at what he does and will
principles, eventually if what your are doing continue to push and develop your
is good, your reputation will carry you technique. It really does not matter if your
through… but it can take a very long time! sensei is Japanese, English, Korean or
African; it’s the instruction that matters.
Junsei Magazine: You mentioned Take some of the new age types who listen
Prejudice with martial arts, what exactly do to ghosts and spirits in their dreams and
you mean? visions, “just because they’re dead it
doesn’t make them smart!”

Junsei Magazine: What is your proudest


moment in your martial arts career?

Dr McKee: Getting my white belt aged


seven. It was at my fathers Pennywell
Jujutsu club and there were some great
Sensei testing us that day.

Junsei Magazine: Like who?

Dr McKee: Well there was my father, Brian


Graham Sensei (International Jujutsu), and
Colin Whitaker Sensei (Northern Budo
Renmei) to name but a few.

Junsei Magazine: Does it disappoint you


when a student who has trained for many
Dr McKee: Well every person thinks that years suddenly stops?
the art they are studying is the best there
is, otherwise they would be studying-
Dr McKee: No, people come and people -Within traditional martial arts there will
go. Life changes and people have to always be a small core of dedicated sensei
change with it. Our job as Sensei is not to that will uphold the traditional application and
question, judge or demean, it is to offer mentality, people like Keith Morgan Sensei of
assistance, advice and instruction in the Shingitai Aikijujutsu and the late great Billy
short time that we share with them. Doak of Goshin Jujitsu UK. They are
traditionalists of the old school, and they
Junsei Magazine: Martial Arts have should be admired as such.
undergone quite a few changes over the
last ten years, most notably with MMA Junsei Magazine: Interesting, now that our
coming to the forefront. What are your interview is almost over we just have a few
thoughts on the future of traditional quick fire questions for you to answer.
martial arts?
Dr McKee: Fire Away.
Dr McKee: Well in truth people are
always looking for a quick fix. In the Junsei Magazine: What is your favourite
nineties it was all kickboxing, before that Jujutsu technique?
sport Karate. MMA is the logical step for
people who want to delude themselves McKee: Yonkajo (or Yonkyo as the Aikidoka
that MMA will make them masters of a call it)
realistic martial art.
Junsei Magazine: What is your favourite
Junsei Magazine: So you don’t think classical weapon.
MMA is a realistic martial art? What
makes you say that? Dr McKee: Katana or any other Nihonto.

Dr McKee: Well what is MMA? it is Mixed Junsei Magazine: First music album you
Martial Arts, that in itself is not such a bad ever purchased?
thing, to take the most effective
techniques from a variety of systems can McKee: Banana Splits by the punk band ‘The
work. The Japanese call this Goshin Dickies’.
Jutsu. The main problem I have with
people who think that MMA is reality Junsei Magazine: Most recent music
based is that it has rules and boundaries. album you purchased?
In MMA knee stamps, headbutts, bites,
groin kicks, eye gouges and point of Dr McKee: Black Ice by AC-DC
elbow strikes are all illegal manoeuvres
that will get you disqualified from Junsei Magazine: Best live band or
professional competition. On the street concert you have seen?
however all of these techniques are a
major part of a fighters arsenal. Dr McKee: Any of the UK Steve Vai
concerts of the last ten years (I have been
Junsei Magazine: So MMA doesn’t to most of them)
compete with traditional martial arts in
your mind? Junsei Magazine: If you could meet
anyone in the world dead or alive who
Dr McKee: No. It’s a great sport and would it be and what would you say to
probably the best sporting martial art in them?
the world, but it is lacking in the basic
principles of combat. To survive no matter Dr McKee: Jesus, and I would ask him if he
what and to hell with the rules!- had any idea of how much trouble and-
-bloodshed his ideas would cause over the Why Not Advertise With Us?
next 2000 years.
Prior to this first issue being published we
Junsei Magazine: If you were a biscuit what were contacted by a number of individuals
would you be? regarding advertising within future issues of
Junsei Magazine. Well we have come up
Dr McKee: Milk Chocolate Digestive, my
with what we consider to be a fair and
favourite.
rather cheap advertising strategy.
Junsei Magazine: What are your favourite
three films? Prices range from £15 per year to £50 per
year with a guarantee that no more than
Dr McKee: Yojimbo, Kagemusha and the one advert will appear on any single page
original version of the Italian Job. within the publication.

Junsei Magazine: What are your favourite Contact us direct if you would like to receive
three music albums? further information regarding advertising
within Junsei magazine; including our terms
Dr McKee: Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath. and conditions.
Passion and Warfare by Steve Vai and
anything by The Clash.

Junsei Magazine: What are your favourite


three books?

Dr McKee: The Emperor Series by Conn


Iggulden, The Rome series by Steven Saylor
and the Art of war by Sun Tsu.

Junsei Magazine: Aside from your martial


arts training, what sort of pastimes do you
enjoy?

Dr McKee: films, meditation, reading, family


and power lifting (Not necessarily in that
order)

Junsei Magazine: What is the most


embarrassing piece of clothing you own of
have ever owned?

Dr McKee: An old pair of neon yellow MC


hammer trousers. I have to stress that I no
longer own these.

Junsei Magazine: Dr McKee it has been an


honour and an insight, thank you once again
for taking the time out of your bust schedule
to take part in this interview.

Dr McKee: Not a problem, I really enjoyed


taking part.
Basic Plot Synopsis:
DVD REVIEW As an orphan Raizo (Rain) was adopted by the
By Taran McCarnun ninja master Lord Ozunu and inaugurated into
the Ozunu Ninja clan where he is trained to
NINJA ASSASSIN become the perfect ninja assassin. After many
years of training Raizo is sent on his first
“Fear Not The Weapon But The assassination mission, which he successfully
Hand That Wields It” completes (cue gore and extreme violence).
Immediately following this, Raizo is asked to
execute one of his adopted sisters for trying to
leave the clan; he disobeys and instead attacks
his master, Lord Ozunu. Following his betrayal
of the clan Raizo is immediately attacked by all
of his former clan mates and only by a miracle
survives the ensuing conflict.

When Europol investigator Mika Coretti


(Naomie Harris) realises that a number of high
profile assassination have been carried out in a
near identical manner she begins to dig into the
archives of information and soon suspects that
the assassination were carried out by one of
nine ancient clans of Ninja. When Mika digs a
little too deep she is herself marked for death.
At home she is attacked by one of the Ninja
sent to murder her and is only saved by the
renegade Raizo, who has been informed that
she is the next ninja target.
Ninja Assassin (2009)
On the Run together Raizo and Mika must try to
stay alive long enough to put a stop to the
Rated: 18 killings, whilst at the same time allowing Raizo
close enough to his former clan mates in order
Genre: Martial Arts, Action, Ninja, Gore, to kill his former master, Lord Ozunu.
Thriller, Slasher
The Good:
Director: James McTeigue Great cinematography, interesting albeit rather
overly gory fight scenes and some nice insights
Writers: Matthew Sand (Story & Screenplay) into the training of a ninja. Its also a very easy
J. Michael Straczynski (Screenplay) script to follow.

The Bad:
Main Cast: Character:
Rain (Jeong Ji-Hoon) Raizo
Not the most original of plots “Boy trains as
Naomie Harris Mika Coretti ninja, disobeys his master, gets outcast, grows
Ben Miles Ryan Maslow up and hunts him down”.
Rick Yune Takeshi
Sho Kosugi Ozunu The Ugly:
Randall Duk Kim Tattoo Master Rather unusually, Ninja Assassin can actually
Sung Kang Hollywood be a little too gory in places, so I would not
Jonathan Chan-Pensley Yakuza Henchman recommend watching this film whilst eating.
Ill-Young Kim Yakuza Mohawk
Yuki Iwamoto Yakuza Couch The Rating: 7 out of 10
Linh Dan Pham Pretty Ninja
Fang Yu Laundromat Manager Get this film if you enjoy gory ninja based
Adriana Altaras Landlady slasher films. Don’t get this film if you are
Kylie Goldstein Young Kiriko
Yoon Sungwoong Young Raizo
looking for a detailed plot and a great deal of
romantic or political intrigue.
Latest News And Events Within
Junsei Ryu
Congratulations to the following students
each of whom achieved another step on
their long journey towards a Junsei Ryu
Shodan over the last few months.
Junsei Ryu Audlem:
Junior Jujutsu Grading: Dave Bowen Renshi, Wright,
Matthew Mansell, Matthew Poultney, Tom Platt and Peter
Massey Sensei

Shrewsbury Carnival 2010


Thanks again to the students of Junsei Ryu
Shrewsbury (and their parents) for lending a
hand and making our participation in this years
Shrewsbury carnival possible.

Junsei Ryu Shrewsbury:


Kenjutsu Okuiri Grading: (L-R) Graham Lloyd-
Butler, Dr Ash McKee Shihan and Gareth Burgess

The various demonstrations of Jujutsu, Kenjutsu


and Kobujutsu were well received throughout
the day by all.

Junsei Ryu Shrewsbury:


Junior Jujutsu Grading: (L-R) Liam Morris, Thomas
Allport, Daniel Jones, Tyler Raines, Dr Ash McKee
Shihan, Ashley Roberts (Kneeling) Bradley Painter,
Matthew Roberts, Alex Morris and William Jones

Junsei Ryu Shrewsbury was also awarded the


Junsei Ryu Shrewsbury: “Highly Commended” prize (4th Place) for their
Jujutsu Grading:(L-R) Duncan Allison, Mike
part in the parade. Not bad for twelve students
Shottel, Dr Ash McKee Shihan, Simon Madeley
and Gareth Burgess when the 1st place group had over 100
participants and the second around 80.
Pictured below are the main Junsei Ryu
adults that were involved on the day;
unfortunately many more Junsei members
from Shrewsbury were unable to attend
due to work and other commitments,
however next year should be bigger and
better. (L-R) Gareth Burgess, Graham
Lloyd-Butler, Taran McCarnun Renshi,
Richard Madeley, Lisa Sanders.

Above are Junsei Ryu members Taran


McCarnun Renshi and Graham Lloyd-
Butler undergoing some freestyle
(Unrehearsed) Kenjutsu sparring. You just
have to love the way that the camera has
captured the floating movement of the
Hakama.
Pictured below is Junsei Ryu student
Gareth Burgess, who having recently
purchased a full suit of authentic Yoroi,
jumped at the chance to wear it in
public…

Bellow is Junsei Ryu student Graham


Lloyd-Butler going through some Yari Above is Junsei Ryu student Heather
Kata prior to the start of the parade. McCarnun (Can you guess who her father
is?) practicing her Kempojutsu Kata of
striking methods.

All in all the day went very well but we


would really like to make next years event
a bigger, better, brazen bushido bash!!!
Now just try saying that with a mouthful of
super pointy Shuriken!
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