Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo was founded by Mima Yoichizaemon Kagenobu (1577-1665). He was born in the Dewa fiefdom to Mima Saigu, a priest at the Junisha Gongen Shrine. He studied Bokuden ryu, as well as a style of Jo practiced by Shinto priests.
When he was 18, he began to study the Iai techniques of the Hayashizaki school under Sakurai Gorozaemon. After being given an overview of those techniques, he travelled throughout Japan, to study under different masters and perfect his skills. For some time, he trained in the Naginata-jutsu of the Buddhist monks from Mount Hiei, techniques that were applied often by the priests during the Warring States period.
He was not content to develop only the physical side of his martial arts during this time. Instead, he continued training as a Shinto priest, and meditated nightly, even going so far as to go on long retreats to secluded holy sites deep in the mountains. It was because of this spiritual side of his training that he eventually attained enlightenment. In the twentieth year of his training, he was struck with a vision of white gulls floating effortlessly and without conscious thought on the water, and named the style that arose from his revelation the "Suio Ryu", or Water-Gull style of swordsmanship.
The spiritual, philosophical aspects of his training are everywhere in the Suio Ryu techniques, and the core waza, or techniques, are tied to the Shinto cosmology that defines the heavens and earth.
Yoichizaemon continued training and touring throughout his life, and at age 67 retired to pass the Suio Ryu to his son, Mima Yohachiro Kagenaga. To the core techniques established by the founder, Yohachiro added the 10 basic Goin and Goyo kata, which serve to establish strong basic technique. The 9th Soke, Fukuhara Shinzaemon Kagenori, introduced Masaki Ryu Kusarigama Jutsu to the curriculum. The tradition of oral transmission of techniques continues to the present day, with the 15th Soke of the Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo, Katsuse Yoshimitsu Kagehiro.
The present day teaching, promulgation and preservation of the Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo is presided over by 15th Generation Soke Katsuse Yoshimitsu Kagehiro from the Hekiunkan Dojo in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Katsuse Soke also serves as 12th Generation Soke of the Masaki Ryu Fukuhara Ha of Kusarigama jutsu.
On Wednesday, the 24th of March, 2004, Katsuse Sensei officially recognized the American branch of Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo, under the directorship of Sensei Yamazaki. Having its headquarters in Anaheim, California, this branch includes official dojos in Rhode Island, at the University of California, Irvine, and in San Francisco, Ohio, and Utah.
Suio Ryu® and Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo® are registered trademarks.
Last Modified: Saturday, 11-Jun-2016 21:55:15 EDT