It’s been a minute.

I know I’m not alone in experiencing the flow of time a bit differently during the pandemic years, but wow! Since our last update it’s actually been a couple of years.

We’ve been here. We’ve been training. Old students and new ones.

Like so many others we’ve lost family members and friends, and have more affected long-term by the virus and by the social and economic effects the pandemic. I haven’t been able to travel to Japan since 2019. Haven’t yet been able to introduce my baby son to Manaka Sensei. And haven’t seen many of my fellow dojocho or budoka for just as long.

In 2020 I got into possibly the best shape I’ve been in during my lifetime. Then a long-awaited pregnancy arrived and we welcomed our son in 2021. During that time I kept myself fairly active, but pregnancy is pregnancy and prioritizing a healthy body for gestation and birth didn’t line up exactly with a healthy body for action and martial arts. I gave myself a goal to try and get back to my pre-pregnancy fitness levels 9 months after my son was born.

9 months in, 9 months out.

It might have seemed to some to be an unrealistic goal (for others, maybe not!), but shooting for the moon has always served me well. So while I might have been off from a pre-pregnancy equivalency by a couple extra months, having that goal was a great motivator and helped me keep progressing in the right direction.

Now autumn is right around the corner, and that’s always been a time of energy and inspiration for me. We’ve just started a free outdoor community martial arts class, all levels of experience and fitness welcome! So take that first step, set your goal, and send us an email ( if you’d like to explore yourself in training kobudo.

Announcements On being a budoka

Where are we now?

Be flexible, and adapt as needed.

Many things have happened since our last update. We resumed classes in person at the dojo at the beginning of July, following lessening infection rates in Maryland and the lifting of orders to have fitness centers (and dojo) closed. But cases in Maryland soon rose sharply again and although there was no new order to close the dojo we deemed it best to be prudent, and had moved classes outside by mid-July. The parks nearby give us a lovely outdoor option for training, and on days when thunderstorms are looming we hold classes online.

Meanwhile the fight against systemic racism and injustice in our country continues. Sometimes it seems quieter in the media, but it is not quieter in the places where it is being fought. For those of you who may feel attacked by the fight against systemic racism, I urge you to practice differentiating between the acknowledgment that ours is a very imperfect society in which some of us benefit greatly and unfairly from those inequalities, and the idea that the fight against systemic racism is denigrating to you personally. Be willing to grow, be willing to sacrifice, and be on the right side of history.

In regards to training, we are currently working with Kukishin Ryu jojutsu, preparing our bodies for Togakure Ryu ninpo taijutsu, and continuing to hone our Jinen Ryu and Togakure Ryu iaijutsu skills. More on these topics in a following post.

Announcements Training notes

Online training

Change comes fast. Yesterday our governor ordered all fitness centers (including health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, and self-defense schools) in Maryland closed to the general public (with the exception of certain child care services). So for the time being we are moving our training online! We had our first online class tonight, continuing with the iaijutsu (sword drawing and cutting techniques) section we had switched to on Sunday.

With iaijutsu the ability to move quickly without holding tension in one’s body is paramount. Grip and power are applied during cuts, and then the body must return to a controlled relaxed state. Patience in the mind and the body is key.

This is good training for these times.


Adapting to fit the times

As of today, the situation in Baltimore vis à vis the CoVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is holding steady and while many people are hastening to prepare themselves and their homes and workplaces we have not yet seen the cases in Maryland overwhelm our hospitals and health care system here. That all could change quickly though as the virus is known to spread ahead of symptoms, and in my opinion the socially responsible thing to do is to take measures to mitigate the risks and to follow recommended guidelines to lessen the chances of spreading.

Within the Jinenkan we have lots of material from the ryuha (our lineages) that doesn’t require personal contact or to even be close to one another. Also our dojo space in Baltimore is large enough (and we as instructors and students are few enough) that we can gather there and still keep a proper distance from one another (i.e., we can maintain the recommended 6′ separation during dojo time and training). The space also has proper facilities for hand washing before and after training, etc.

So after communicating to our students about new dojo hygiene protocols, we began to train in a different section of our ongoing bikenjutsu work and changed our focus to iaijutsu (sword drawing techniques and cutting practices). Stay tuned for more training notes on iaijutsu.


Welcome to the new Ryusui Dojo website!

2020 is rolling along, I am settled in now from my relocation back to the USA, and Oshi Take and I are busy planning what’s next for Ryusui Dojo. Everyone in the dojo is progressing nicely with our focus on bikenjutsu, and we will continue to break out of the fundamentals and expand our natural movement. Check back here for class training notes and observations!

— For information on Jinenkan training or how to become a Jinenkan member, please send email to