Dojo News

Passing of a Great Teacher!

I am very sad to report the passing of one of the great teachers in Japan. Kusuhara Shigeyoshi, Soke of Hontai Yoshin Takagi Ryu and Kukishin Ryu Bojutsu. Kusuhara sensei was a very kind man but also a strict teacher. When I first met him we trained in the Yobukan dojo which was the original dojo of many of the greats in Takagi Ryu and its branches. Kusuhara sensei was always strict in letters and in teaching but so kind in person. A very generous man with the Ryu and its continuation always in his mind. I was quite lucky to have had the chance to share a part of my life with him and he will be greatly missed. So many of his kind are a rare breed in the arts and when we meet them the time should be cherished. He was only 71 years young when he passed. Below is some younger guy with Kusuhara sensei at the Shingetsu Muso Yanagi Ryu dojo in Kobe Japan.

Great Year 2011

We seen the Yoshin Dojo in Chicago, Florida, DC and of course Japan! Added many new faces to our school as well as brought back some old faces that we are glad to see again. The Youth class has exploded and they are moving through the promotions nicely. Our grappling program has grown and we now have many experienced Blue and Purple belts in Gracie Jujutsu. The Japanese Budo has also improved with a "top heavy" class of various black belts. We now have 3 master level instructors with many more up and coming. The ratio for 10 year black belts to new students is insane!!! When I think back to driving to Ohio weekly and later to Japan to find a black belt...I am not kidding when I say you guys have it made. We also had two great dojo parties this year with multiple, well deserved promotions! In addition we also added a new black belt affiliate group in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with Kawabe sensei! We look forward to continuously growing his group as well as the others.

February 2011

The dojo party in January went great! We had two huge promotions as Barry Boggs and Noel Flores moved up to nidan! We have done some small updates to our website and hope to make some changes to it in the near future. Our facebook page is up and running as well. Check out the "Train with Us" page as we also added some short excerps about the training.

January 2010

I wanted to personally thank all of our members for making our dojo the place that it is. We strive to create a family environment for our members while maintaining integrity in our training. We have a very solid group and continue to grow in every way. Thanks to everyone for your contributions and dedication to the school! After the dojo new years training, the 1st of year cleaning and the great party we are going to have a great year!

January 2010

Everyone did well in our annual 1000 reps training! This year we added a few days to the training instead of just one day. So I think everyone was very excited to do a week of 1000 reps for each day instead of one day! The 2 hour grappling session went well during that week as well! Great job to everyone for hanging in there and polishing up their Tokon (fighting spirit)!

January 2010

We had our first mini in house tournament for the youth class. Everyone did really well and tried their best. I am very proud of you guys for trying so hard and not giving up. Congratulations to everyone that competed and all the little guys that received promotions and tropheys!

December 2009

The new dojo location has been really growing. Our student base is growing and our Youth class has exploded. We are offering FREE youth classes and those attending have really started to learn the material. We will soon move into 2010 and expect many more great things to come!

October 2008

The new dojo is now open for training. We have recently moved to our new location on 4120 S. 5th Street. This building is located directly off the Watterson Expressway, the Southern Parkway exit. It is extremely conveinent for everyone in terms of proximity to the expressway. The training times are currently the same but will expand very soon to include much more training. We will also be hosting a variety of workshops very soon.

June 12, 2008

Dojo Senior Mr. Chuck Shuff took second place in the recent Army Combatives tournament. Chuck being a member of the 20th Special Forces group decided to compete in the event. Even though we don't spend all of our time doing sport grappling it is impressive that Chuck still grappled with all of the grapplers and won 2nd place, only missing 1st by points with no submission! Another fine example of the dedication and skill sets that our group here has. Great job Chuck!

April 19, 2008

Congratulations to our newest Gracie Jujutsu Blue Belt...Mr. Barry Boggs! Barry has worked really hard the past few years to soak up everything we teach at our dojo and has done a great job. Keep up the good work Barry!

March 11, 2008

This Tuesday we started our twice weekly Japanese language lessons. Everyone is said to have done really well in the first two sessions. The class will be working on reading, writing hiragana, katakana and kanji as well as listening and speaking skills. We are planning to tackle the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in December of 2008. We will be taking a group trip up to Chicago for the test. If you are interested in the twice weekly lessons or private lessons please contact us to make an appointment. But we must warn you...the teacher is really strict!

January 03, 2008

The first class of the New Year brought us the traditional 1000 reps. The night was difficult for most but everyone did great and kept going! Even the youth class did their part as well. I hope everyone is looking forward to a great New Year!

October 04, 2007

An extra trip this year to Japan was nice. Spent time doing some very unique site seeing including a trip to Furumine Jinja (home of the tengu) to see the spectacular garden there. A visit with my family to the Onsen (hot springs) was always refreshing as well. The 15 days went by quickly and I am looking forward to going back again soon. We also got to see a great Undo Kai (physical fitness day) which was fun. The star was a youngster named Yui Nishimura. Special thanks to the Nishimura family!

August 18, 2007

Promotions at our recent mid year party! Congratulations to everyone!

Barry Boggs awarded Nikyu

Ethan Perry awarded Gokyu

Noel Flores awarded Gokyu

Dave Payne awarded Rokkyu

Matt Ashby awarded Rokkyu

John Kirby awarded Hachikyu

Shellie Blanton awarded Kyukyu

Tara Martin awarded Kyukyu

Dillon awarded Mukyu

Nicole Harris awarded Mukyu

August 09, 2007

We just finished some updates on the store section under makimono and densho. We will continue to add some very unique items to our store that you can't find anywhere else. Contact us if you have any questions.

July 25, 2007

Congrats go out to Jesus Medina our student in Hawaii for passing his Level 1 Army Combatives course. I am sure the basics he learned from us along with his great attitude helped him greatly! Congrats my friend!

July 24, 2007

Dojo Members in Competition

Just a quick congrats to several of our members for doing several competitions here lately. Chuck Shuff and Mike Abell both competed in the army combatives tournament. Both of these guys did great! Congrats to our Cayman group for doing an MMA event down there and again to Mike Abell for taking third place in his division in the recent Hoosier Open BJJ tournament Click here for results. Our school was represented well by all of these guys!

May 22, 2007

Youth Class Promotions

We would like to congratulate Ariana and Peyton Garris for their recent promotions! They have both been working very hard and their progress has really shown!

May 20, 2007

Website and Dojo Updates

As many of you know the hosting company servers were down for some time. They have slowly started to get these problems fixed and we are back up and running. I have added some content to the site and will continue to add some other updates as well. You will also notice some new items in the dojo. We added a traditional style Chochin (antique style lantern) with our dojo name on it. It looks great in our school and we would like to thank the Nishimura family for this gift! We also added a makiwara for striking training and now have a TV and are showing some rare martial arts clips. The first was Kyuzo Mifune doing superb Judo and the second is a 1960's demo of Hatsumi and other shihan from Japan. Hope everyone enjoys the movies!

April 9, 2007

Website Updates

There were some new updates on the website. We did away with most of the Java on the site due to complaints that the site was down. It wasn't down they just needed Java. The new format should be more user friendly. Also under the History and Lineages section we added a new place of interest. A beautiful shrine called Furumine Jinja in Tochigi. There are some pictures on that section as well. We hope you enjoy the new content and be sure to check back soon as we will be adding some more content from the recent Japan trip!

March 8-21st, 2007

Our Dojo Visits Japan

Everyone had a great time in Japan! Todd Schweinhart took along Daniel and Vanessa Rolley and Matt Ashby on the recent trip to the land of the samurai. We got to see a variety of beautiful places and thanks to our beautiful guide, Etsuko Nishimura, we got to see some things we wouldn't have usually seen. We visited Katori Jingu, Zozoji, Senkakuji, 47 Ronin burial, Furumine jinja, a great show called Kaguwa, a Thai kickboxing restaurant, Tokyo tower, of course budo training and many other things. We are already planning the next trip so anyone interested start preparing now and make it happen!

December 3, 2006

NEW GJJ Black Belt

We would like to congratulate Mr. Josh Johnson of Etown BJJ for his test and promotion to the coveted black belt in Gracie Jujutsu. His gruelling test was administered under the watchful eye of Mr. Luis Palhares. The test was quite long and very impressive as Josh demonstrated his technical proficiency in the grappling arts. The test was a true example of Josh's skill level and was a pleasure to see. We look forward to having Josh at our school for workshops in the near future!

October 29, 2006

Concert Security Detail!

Dojo members Todd Schweinhart and Kelly Wilkins just worked a back stage security detail for members of Godsmack, Breaking Benjamins and Hourcast during their Louisville tour at Louisville Gardens. All of the band members were really cool and the concert was also awesome! Hourcast just had their music featured in the movie Saw 3 and Breaking Benjamins' music was featured in the movie Scorpian King. Godsmack needs no introduction in the music industry. A overall good experience and great exposure for our school. Other events are in the works!

October 23, 2006

A Variety of Updates!

Added some new content on the website today. We added a link to another group that will be training under us in Muhlenberg County Kentucky. Daniel Rolley has become a regular student at our dojo here in Louisville and it looks as if it has matured into a long term connection. We look forward to continued training with the members of the group there and hope that they continue to enjoy learning from us! We also added a link to Mr. Palhares Jujutsu website. Be sure to check out our dojo listing under his affiliates section as well!

June 6, 2006

Members Page

There were some updates on the website today. We have added a section on the Yudansha page with our current students. If your name is missing email us and get back to training at the dojo!

May 6, 2006

New Training Facility

We are now training in our new facility. The place is twice as big as the old and has a very open training area. We are still putting the finishing touches on the place but it is starting to look like home. We have more head room so are already doing long weapons training and have added a shuriken target (throwing blades) so there is lots of good training. Hope to see everyone training with us soon!

June 8, 2005


We will now be adding Gracie Jujutsu classes at our school. Under the authority of Mr. Luiz Palhares, classes will be held at Achieve! Martial Arts. This is a great opportunity for anyone to get in early for some great training. If you enjoy grappling now is the chance to experience great training in a professional atmosphere! We will also continue having Master Luiz Palhares (6th degree black belt) in every 3 months to monitor our group. Classes will fill up quickly so please register soon! If you haven't been in to visit with us please do so as it costs you nothing..

January 3, 2006

1000 reps training has been completed. This year we chose keri waza (kicking techniques) as our focus. We did a 1000 kicks total in our first class of the new year and everyone did really well. I think everyone slept good that night! We all leared the term Ganbatte! (keep going) well.

February 18, 2005

The original Christmas Party was cancelled due to snow and ice storms. We delayed it until Friday, February 18th. We had a great turnout to the event with some old faces from the past. Our good friend Vince Weis made it down from Dayton Ohio for the event and sat on the testing panel for the students performing. We had an excellent night with many wonderful demonstrations. Several people tested and several people doing embu were awarded due to the exceptional performance they presented. A special thanks to everyone that doesn't train for attending. I hope everyone had a great time and congratulations to everyone who tested! Semper Fidelis!

Chris Kane awarded Nidan

Michael Cobb awarded Nidan

Ricky Blanton awarded Nidan

Kelly Wilkins awarded Rokkyu

Dave Arnold awarded Rokkyu

Barry Boggs awarded Nanakyu

Noel Florez awarded Hachikyu

Ethan Perry awarded Hachikyu

Matthew Ashby awarded Mukyu

Tom Payne awarded Mukyu

September 20, 2004

I just wanted to take a moment and tell everyone that hurricane Ivan has hit Grand Cayman. All of our friends down there are doing well at this point but the island was devastated. Winds reached up to 150 mph and half of the 15,000 homes were damaged. The entire island of Grand Cayman is without water and power and many people have fled the island. The residents of the smaller island Cayman Brac had taken shelter in caves that were historically used by inhabitants for shelter against this type of weather. The most important thing is that everyone is safe but it may take some time to get their lives back on track. Please send your regards to our friends there and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

August 21, 2004

There are a variety of updates on our site. We will be holding a special workshop on Saturday August 28th in which everyone is invited to come. Check out our "Events" section to see more details. We are now offering after school Aikido sessions with instructor Mr. Bruce Helwig. The classes will be great for younger children to gather important life skills while learning martial arts. We are also now running regular HONTAI YOSHIN RYU JUJUTSU classes on Sundays with Mr. Brian Barnes. And for those who would like to gain flexibility, stength and peace of mind try out our Yoga classes by Yoga East! Please contact us for more details concerning our programs. Hope to see you all at the new dojo soon!

February 22, 2004

There are a variety of updates on this site. Check out the Cayman Island page for some new photos of our affiliate Ricardo Tatum and his group. These great photos were taken by Alison Vanin of Grand Cayman. We also just had our first dojo birthday party and you can read a little about this on our Events page. Hope to see you all at the new dojo soon!

February 19, 2004

There are a variety of updates on this site. Surf around and check out some of the new material. Of particular interest is the Upcoming workshop in the Cayman Islands. The workshop will be held March 24-28. Don't forget to check back often as we will be adding a variety of workshops and other info on the site real soon. Hope to see you all at the new dojo soon!

February 17, 2004

Our classes are starting to pick up. It has been really nice getting to train so often. We now have classes Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30. Classes are open to men, women and children that are interested. We now have our Kamiza up in the dojo and you can see a picture of it on our "Train with us" page. The kakejiku calligraphy was done by my teacher Kojima sensei of Saitama Japan. Also check out the updates on our links page and visit our sponsors to help out our site. Hope to see you all at the new dojo soon!

February 1, 2004

There are a few new updates on our site. Check under the button labeled "train with us" to see some information about our new training location. There are some tentative hours listed there as well. We have now started classes at our new location and will be adding new content to this site more frequently. Our first couple of training sessions have been quite nice with a smaller turn out than expected. Hopefully, we will get going real soon with a variety of workshops and other special events. Check back often for updates and information about our new dojo. If you have any questions or have some special request please contact us via email. We are now forming classes for adults and children so if you have someone in mind please contact us. Hope to see you all at the new dojo soon!

December 16, 2003

Again we apologize for the delays. We wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a great holiday season from everyone here at the dojo. Look for some changes real soon in the New Year. We will be going more public with a formal dojo and offering more training days per week. We hope to see you training with us soon! If you are interested in joining us at our new dojo then please send us an email at

July 22, 2003

We apologize for the delays. An article on Asayama Ichiden Ryu was added in the history section. We hope you enjoy it. Also in the events section we are hosting a workshop with Paul Richardson from the UK on Kukishin Ryu Jojutsu. Hope you can join us!

June 24, 2003

A Shinto Muso Ryu and its related ryu article has been added in the history section.

June 18, 2003

Wow, we have finally reached 1000 hits on our site. We will continue to add new things so continue to check back with us. Thanks for your support!

June 17, 2003

We have updated the history section on the Yamato Yoshin Ryu page. I received word today from the head teacher of Yamato Yoshin Ryu in Japan that he appreciated the information on our site and that he will personally send us things to add to it. He actually sent some photos of their group and training that I will be posting on there soon.

June 16, 2003

The history section was updated with Hontai Yoshin Takagi Ryu Jujutsu and kanji has been added to the ryuha. You need to have Japanese enabled in your browser to see the kanji. Enjoy!

June 4, 2003

A page on Tsuruga Castle and the famous Byakkotai was added in the history section.

May 28, 2003

A page on Taisha Ryu Kenjutsu was added on the history section.

May 26, 2003

A page on Kinkakuji (the Golden temple) was added in the history section.

May 25, 2003

We have added the history of Tenshin Koryu in the History and lineages section.

May 21, 2003

We have added some new Osaka castle and Yamato Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu material under the history section.

May 20, 2003

We have added some new Himeji castle material under the history section and corrected the guest book among other things.

May 2003

As you can already see we finally have our web page up and running. Check back with us occasionally for updated news, links, and historical information. We will also be adding some very unique items in our store.