Training Background

Internal Martial Arts

I am a lineal student of Chinese internal martial arts as taught in North American Yin Cheng Gong Fa, under Zhang Yun laoshi. Within that context, I practice the Northen Wu Style of Taijiquan, Yin Style of Baguazhang, and Hebei Style of Xingyiquan as taught by the late Wang Peisheng and his senior disciples. This includes practices focused on traditional weapons including the straight sword (jien), saber (dao), and spear (qiang).

Modern Jujutsu

While living in New York from 1989 to 2001, I practiced a modern form of goshin-jutsu (self-defence) that was a mixture of Aikido and Judo with methods of striking drawn from Shorinji Kempo. I later improved that practice with more refined tactics and body mechanics drawn from my later study with Bob Galeone in Silver Spring, Maryland, who had practiced Aikido, Uechi-ryu Karate, and Gao Lineage Baguazhang for many years before focusing his efforts on (and introducing me to teachers of) Northern Wu Style Taijiquan.

Koryu Kenjutsu

I have been fortunate to learn portions of the curriculum (kata) of the following classical Japanese martial arts (koryu bugei):

  • Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu, which I learned at Capital Aikikai from 2005 to 2015. I received a mokuroku license in 2008 under Sugawara Budo.
  • Kashima-shinden Jiki Shinkage-ryu, which I learned at the Hobyokan of David Hall, from 2008 to 2016. I received a Hobyokan chuden menjo in 2018.
  • Owari Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, first briefly under Kato Kazuo in Port Washington, NY in 1994 and then at greater length under my Hobyokan sponsor, Michael Heiler, from 2014 to 2018.

Koryu are social organizations designed to transmit martial teachings, and not simply a collection of forms. I continue to practice the different arts I have learned, but the Gassankan is an independent dojo, and does not represent the groups listed above.

Those looking to fully master one of the arts above in a traditional setting should contact lineal inheritors or licensed instructors, inside or outside of Japan. Each group has, for better or worse, multiple representatives in the current generation.