Ryushin Shouchi Ryu (柳心照智流) is a school of kobudo (ancient martial arts) specializing in iaijutsu (the art of drawing and cutting) founded by Kawabata Terutaka and is composed of over 60 kata (prearranged solo forms), and iai kumitachi (two man bokken training). The origins of the iaijutsu kata can be traced to the Japanese swordsmanship schools of Katori and Kashima. The current headmaster of the Ryushin Shouchi Ryu is Yahagi Kunikazu.


The philosophy of the Ryushin Shouchi Ryu parallels that of most modern forms of budo, (i.e. kendo, judo, and aikido) and entails cultivating the mind and conditioning the body through rigorous training for the purpose of improving the self rather than killing an enemy. This concept is more commonly known as fudoshin (immovable mind), which refers to a state of psychological and spiritual equanimity. Based on this reasoning, the name Ryushin Shouchi Ryu was selected by the founder, Kawabata Terutaka. Ryushin 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 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.”

Ranking System

HanshiGranted by Soke after receiving 8 DAN
8 DAN10 years after 7 DAN
7 DAN6 years after receiving Kyoshi
Kyoshi2 years after receiving 6 DAN
6 DAN5 years after receiving 5 DAN
5 DAN3 years after receiving Renshi
Renshi2 years after receiving 4 DAN
4 DAN3 years after receiving 3 DAN
3 DAN2 years after receiving 2 DAN
2 DAN1 year after receiving 1 DAN
1 DAN3 months after receiving 1 KYU
1 KYU3 months after receiving 2 KYU
2 KYU3 months after receiving 3 KYU
3 KYUMinimum of 3 months of training

Teaching Licenses

Shihan7 DAN or higher/ Granted by Soke
Shihan-dai6 DAN or higher/ Granted by Soke
Shidoin5 DAN or higher/ Granted by Soke
Jun-Shidoin4 DAN or higher/ Granted by Soke