The Butokukai was, until the end of the Second World
War, the special training college for the Martial Arts Society, which controlled
all teaching and gradings in Japan. Abbe Sensei, born in the Tokushima province
in 1916, entered this college when he was 14 years old and was an outstanding
student, becoming the youngest ever All Japan Champion. Starting Judo in 1930
at the age of fourteen, he was awarded his 2nd Dan a year later from the Butokukwai
- the national martial arts organisation. At the age of 18 he became the youngest
5th Dan. In his fighting career he won a number of majorchampionships, including
the East Japan versus West Japan contest, and the 5th Dan championships held
in the Emperor's Palace. later on in his life he became Chief Instructor of
From a young age, he regarded the martial arts as expressions of deeper ideas significantly, he was strongly influenced by personal contact with Moriheri Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. And though be also studied Aikido, Kendo and Jukendo (The way of the Bayonet) and during the late 1930's taught at the special Judo College of the Butokukwai in Kyoto, he was gradually forming his own philosophy which he later called Kyu-Shin-Do. In 1938 he was promoted to 6th Dan (age 22), the youngest in Japan, and in 1945 7th Dan (age 29).He became chief instructor in Dishisa University (the same university, incidentally where Tani represented for nearly fifty years before) as well as the instructor for the Kyoto Police.
Abbe's Instructors include:
SENSEI NAGOAKA (10TH DAN)
SENSEI M, UYESHIBA (10TH DAN)
He then went on to create his own theory of KYU-SHIN-DO which is a Japanese equivalent of the Buddhist Karmic Cycle. Abbe Sensei was the first to grasp its real significance in relation to Budo. Abbe Sensei studied Aikido for 10 years with O Sensei Ueshiba. In 1955 Abbe Sensei was invited to the United Kingdom to teach by the London Judo Society. After he had been here for one year he realized that no one understood the circular concepts he incorporated into his Judo. He chose to turn his disappointment into action and formed his own society , a Budo council, in order that he could teach all the Martial arts together as a BUDO system. Later he invited other now famous Japanese teachers to come to this country to help as well as bring their own particular skills. He had about 35,000 students following his way. In 1960 (age 44) Abbe was badly injured in a car accident and four years later, still not fully recovered, he returned to Japan. His place as active leader of the BJC was taken by another Japanese figure Masutaro O-Tani (1898-1977). In 1959 Abbe, himself then 8th Dan, personally awarded him with a 7th Dan. In 1969 (age 53), Abbe returned briefly to Britain and promoted O-Tani to 8th Dan.
Being responsible for the founding of both the International Budo Council (now under the guidance of Ms D. Smith) and The British Judo Council which he left to his companion Sensei Otani (now under the guidance of Mr. R. Otani). Over the years all trace of him has virtually disappeared. His students have scattered and many have died. Still more claim to have known him and yet cannot show a single thing that he taught or explain his philosophies. No one knows where his 35,000 British students and countless others worldwide have gone.Even Sensei Abe's records, held in perpetuity by the current director of Kyu Shin Do in the United Kingdom, Sensei Mervin Francis, give only the names of those students graded and recognised by Abe Sensei. The location of these individuals remains a mystery. Perhaps we'll never see them or the beauty they contain again.
In 1986 Abbe Sensei passed away in Japan. This was a great loss and he was without doubt one of the greatest teachers and human beings you will have ever met. His selfless work to convey these thoughts fell as snowflakes on warm ground. There will never be another like him and we have missed his brilliance.
Each and every day he fought to convey his style of Judo, a more simplified and dynamic style. His movements were controvertial, stressing the need to embody circular movement. Harmonising with the energy of the opponent and striving to achieve success. One of the essential practical expressions of Kenshiro Abbe's Kyu-Shin-Do was that it was not enough to win at any cost. Success in contest, he felt was only important in that it demonstrated superior skill. This approach was fundamental to the whole concept of Judo in its pure form. Initially Abe Sensei taught contest Judo in his own inimitable way. However he held the fundaments of Kyu Shin Do deep inside and decided to develop this other, more personal way of training mind and body outside of the constraints of the BJC. Something which led some to comment on his sanity. With this system his voyage towards real immortality began. His success in founding a large organisation perhaps became a hinderence so he left those august bodies behind and founded Kyu Shin Do. Here he was able put into practice the principles of universal law:
EXPLANATION OF KYU-SHIN-DO Its application is
through the teaching of the arts and its meaning is as follows: -
KYU- Sphere or circle.
SHIN -Heart or nexus point.
DO-Way or path.
To obtain perfection in technique means to attain perfection as a human being and through our studies to become a useful positive factor in society.
Kyu-Shin-Do is the understanding through knowledge and experience
of the principles of the Universe and the understanding of the true way of
life through Japanese Judo.
All things in existence are governed by the Universe and shall be a rhythmical cycle of birth, existence and death.
We can enjoy the highest form of life by mutual understanding between oneself and the Universe and by harmonizing with all things in general.
The Universe revolves and therefore always keeps in perfect balance and must have a center and radius governed by geometrical motion. We must therefore bear in mind that every movement on the earth has been controlled by Universal evolutions.
Therefore the student of Judo shall strive for perfection and harmonize with everything by opening his mind and body by relaxing first his mind and then his body. This idea conforms to nature.
The fundamental principles of the spiritual side of the human being is, and must be, gratitude to the principles of the Universe. This gratitude is the first and foremost, love, and the first step to communication with all people. This leads to love towards parents, friends and all things in the Universe.
The first step towards Kyu Shin Do is to have a clear understanding of each other through co-operation and affection towards each other. In the spirit of this most needed principle, we can live in healthy and perfect harmony in this world of to-day.
The ultimate aim of Kyu Shin Do is the achievement of permanent peace and happiness for the human race; which is the understanding towards neighbor, the understanding of the highest ideals and gratitude for all things. The person who has not an understanding mind and does not make any efforts to understand his neighbor, does not receive any respect or rewards.
To learn and perform good techniques is not the only aim or object of Judo. Judo is a way towards universal understanding and is just one of the many roads which can lead to world peace and Universal happiness. The way of Judo is not only realization of one's aim in life, but also gives the training and discipline necessary to strive to make an effort for life in peace and unity.
All life of any kind existent in the Universe has a continual flow of circulation and transmigration - for instance, we consume food and expel the waste. The donor who is ready to give and who does not ask or think, will surely be compensated by someone else. Similarly, if a man robs someone else, he in turn will be treated likewise. The practice of Judo is the same principle.
The human race in this world has the law of the Universe instilled in it. This is embodied in the principle that if we love , and our actions, motions and motives are of a peaceful harmonizing nature, they will be returned by those whom we have treated similarly.
The individual who is shy of work or of pulling their weight in a community cannot make progress, and can be neither relied upon nor desired . On the other hand , if he attends to his work with an effort to please, and works in harmony, his actions are always rewarded in some way.
The principle idea of Judo is always to give your best. The individual who makes an effort to give of his best is always well rewarded in life.
Kyu Shin Do starts from natural posture and this basically means the perfect relaxation of the mind and body, free from petty anxieties and illnesses. The actions of Kyu Shin Do are of gentle smooth movements, soft, quick and safe. These movements spring from a relaxed mind and body, which helps to build up strength and purpose.
We shall try to make an effort to harmonize with the Universe, otherwise we will discover that it is against us. The accumulation of effort is a steady circular movement about the center of gravity and radius.
Thus the body becomes the action of our mind and heart. As one it moves and converges. Becoming one with everything and overcoming all.
©David Deer 2002