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Many of you may wonder what 'Kyushin Ryu' means? It is one of the oldest names in the art's history, the original school being founded during the Eiroku period (1558 - 1569) by Inugami Sakon Shogen Nagakatsu. He compiled training documents listing basic principles of style, specialising in striking techniques and methods of first aid and resuscitation. The most notable Master of the school, in later years, was Shihan Yoshinori Eguchi, who became one of the closest disciples of Doctor Jigoro Kano who, using methods from five principal schools, founded Judo. The term 'Kyushin Ryu' can be broken down into three syllables, which are explained thus:

• 'Kyu' means position of status or level;

• 'Shin' means aristocratic or supreme and refers to the class of society that originally practiced the system; and

• 'Ryu' means style or school.

Kyushin Ryu Ju Jitsu translates, therefore, to mean a supreme level of Ju Jitsu with 'supreme' relating to the class of those who trained in the original schools and not a comparison to other Ju Jitsu styles.

The Association began in 1973 with our founding coach, Hanshi Roger Wilkes. Having a background in several martial arts and having discovered Ju Jitsu, he decided that this was the path he wanted to follow. The Association grew from a single club in Rochester to the Association it now is, with all of the coaches being 'home grown'. Because of our long existence we have a great many friends in many countries and this allows members to travel and train with them and to also host their visits here in the UK, extending our learning opportunities.

This is a new beginning for the Association and although martial arts change all of the time, we have decided to remain true to the traditional ways of our chosen art, maintaining the skills passed on by those that have gone before us. Hanshi Wilkes was very influenced by Prof. Robert Clark, for whom he maintains a very strong respect, as one of the finest western martial artists there has been.

Our values and skills have stood the test of time and have assisted in building our Association to where it is today. Coupling this tradition with the advantages of modern communications and technology, social media and support, we now look forward to a bright new future in the exciting and compelling 21st century.

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