Ryushin Shouchi Ryu (柳心照智流) is a school of kobudō (ancient martial arts) specializing in iaijutsu (quick-draw sword art). This system originated from traditional Japanese swordsmanship techniques (the origins of the RSR can be traced to back to the style of Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū), that have been transmitted over hundreds of years, distilling the wisdom, discipline, and determination of generations of masters. The current headmaster of the RSR is Yahagi Kunikazu Sensei. RSR is dedicated to the practice and preservation of the skills that closely resemble the fighting techniques of the samurai, which fundamentally derive from conscious breathing and body movements that determine the speed and accuracy of sword movements.
The name Ryushin Shouchi Ryu was selected by the founder, Kawabata Terutaka Sensei. Ryūshin (柳心) means “Mind or Heart of the Willow tree” and invokes the image of a tree which does not lose its leaves even in winter; while Shouchi (照智) can be translated as “shining wisdom”. Together, these characters convey the sense of “establishing in the world an unmovable wisdom and everyday mind by means of a strong yet flexible body and spirit.”
Our study of RSR involves the combination and practice of Kata (solo forms), Kumitachi (2 person encounters using bokken), and Tameshigiri (test cutting with live blade). Above is an Embu (demonstration) at North Vancouver Aikikai by Yahagi Sensei our Soke (Head Teacher) of the Ryu.