Styles Taught

Shinpi Karasu Ryu

Ben Couch-sensei

The karate program is where it all started for me and my group of students.  We began in 2006 as a grant funded program through the local Salvation Army, and as a result I was able to offer it as a free service to the public with students paying only equipment costs.  Although we  have moved locations, the generosity of the Ryushinkan Dojo has allowed us to continue offering classes on a donation basis.

Shinpi Karasu-Ryu, or "mysterious blackbird's method/school" is my arrangement of classical principles from traditional karate systems with important body mechanics added from Tai Chi, Japanese jujutsu, and Aikido.  We spend a great deal of time examining traditional techniques and studying how the body responds in stressful situations.  It is, in my personal opinion, a rich curriculum that brings material together in a way that is not often seen.  I'm proud of what we do, and if it's a good fit for you then I think any serious student can get a lot out of our study.  I think of our class as a kind of playground where we all work together to discover, grow, and unpack the information that we have been given from both ancient and modern teachers.  I will always work to make sure we are learning and growing together in this system that is at once both traditional and contemporary.

Shindo Muso-Ryu Jojutsu


From the  Kokusai Nippon Budo Kai website:

Shindo Muso-ryu was founded circa 1605 by Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi, following a pilgrimage he went on through the country (shugyo). This pilgrimage was meant to be lived as a drastic asceticism, consequence of his defeat against the famous Miyamoto Musashi.He had managed to get to the deepest of the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-Ryu tradition and practice (okugi). It was indeed because he had been defeated following a long series of victories in duels, that this warrior entered asceticism. This latter lead him to the Kamado sanctuary, on Mount Homan, in the current Fukuoka state where, after remaining confined for 37 nights and days, he reached illumination (satori). He then was able to create the Jo techniques which allowed him to defeat Miyamoto Musashi during a new duel....  Gonnosuke became responsible for teaching the jojutsu for the Kuroda clan. This tradition was jealously kept secret within the clan as its official secret tradition (otome bujutsu) until the Meiji restoration (1868), when the interdiction to teach this technique outside the clan was waived.

Eishin-Ryu Batto-Ho


From the Kokusai Nippon Budo Kai website:

The formalized waza of Eishin Ryu Batto Ho were developed as standing forms to instruct new swordsman in the correct methods of Japanese sword drawing. The 12 waza are practiced today throughout the world and form the fundamental core instruction for those wishing to gain and assimilate proper movement and cutting technique. These waza were introduced in July, 1939, by the 20th Soke (the headmaster) Kono Hyakuren of the main line of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu in compliance with the request of the Dai Nihon Butoku Kai. The directive was to institute a training regimen for acolytes studying at the Budo Senmon Gakko, which had been established at the Butokuden, that was based on and drawn from the older koryu kata of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu.

The Eishin Ryu Batto Ho waza sets are comprised of 7 basic (Shoden) forms and the 5 high level (Okuden) forms. The first seven waza are classified as Shoden level instruction and should conform to the Eishin shoden methods of body movement. The waza Shihoto Sono Ni was added to the curriculum by the 21st Soke, Fukui Seizan. The Shoden method establishes the correct positioning of the body during the nukitsuke, kirioroshi, chiburi and noto. This level of instruction establishes a base line for the mechanical skills needed when executing the Okuden method. Shoden waza prepare the swordsman to correctly move and manipulate the timing and distance relative to ones opponent.