Yagyu Shinkage Ryu About the Edo Ryu FAQ
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Relatively early in Japan's Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868) the Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu had become the sword ryu of the the Tokugawas. It is said that the daimyo Tokugawa Ieyasu, after experiencing Yagyu Muneyoshi's skill at muto (an open-hand technique for disarming a swordsman), wished to appoint him as his sword instructor. Muneyoshi declined due to age, however, and recommended his fifth son, Munenori, instead. Yagyu Munenori moved to the capital, Edo (present-day Tokyo), and his branch of the Yagyu ryu became known by that name. Munenori's eldest brother was given the post of advisor to the Tokugawa representatives in Nagoya, where he founded the Owari Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu.

The Edo ryu continued after the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, but it is not known if it continued in Edo or elsewhere, perhaps in it's original home in Yagyu No Sato, in Nara. In the present day there are very few Edo Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu dojos. Our branch of the Edo Yagyu ryu is located in Osaka, Japan. The current and 17th soke (headmaster) is Sono Seiko.

There are two Edo dojos in Osaka, and two in the United States -- the Ren Sei Kan in Philadelphia and the Tampa-ko, in Tampa, Florida. Our group, the Ren Sei Kan, meets weekly and is under the direction of Paul Manogue sensei, 3rd dan, a direct student of the current soke. Manogue sensei, in Philadelphia, and Walter sensei, in Florida, are among the few official teachers of Edo Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu outside of Japan. There are, of course, other Yagyu-branch groups, both in the United States and around the world, such as the Owari Ryu.

The Philadelphia Ren Sei Kan
The Philadelphia group practices each Saturday at Aikikai of Philadelphia. Manogue sensei instructs the first Saturday of each month. Both beginners and advanced students are welcome, as long they are serious in studying the art. Because we meet only weekly, conscientious and dedicated practice is required of students. At present, we have students from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region: from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Virginia.

Please note that there are no room and board facilities. The dojo has changing rooms but no showers. Each student is responsible for arriving to class by his/her own means. Please click here for detailed driving or mass transit directions.

A typical day's practice includes iaijutsu* (solo practice, using a live blade), kenjutsu (paired practice, using wooden ken), and occasional sparring and strength training exercises. Two or three times a year we practice tameshigiri -- test-cutting of tatami mats with a live blade. As with all koryu, classes involve more than just practice with the weapons. There is a specific cultural and practical context to all these ancient Japanese martial systems, and these are sometimes explored in class.  
Video Clips
iaijutsu  (690K)
(Manogue sensei)
kenjutsu  (285K)
tameshigiri  (570K)
sparring  (450K)
(all clips are in
QuickTime format)

Class begins each Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Please feel free to contact Manogue sensei with any questions about the Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu, the Edo branch or our group.

Head Instructor: Paul Manogue Sensei
manogue sensei Paul Manogue has been studying the martial arts since 1981. He has studied Korean and Japanese karate, western foil and saber fencing, and western boxing. While living in Japan he began studying Yoshinkan aikido but eventually switched to the Osaka Buikukai, a branch of the Aikikai.

While in Japan Manogue sensei studied Edo Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu directly under the current soke and also trained in Tennen Rishin Ryu, Niten Ichi Ryu, Shindo Muso Ryu jo, Bujinkan Ninpo, and Tai Chi. After returning to the United States in 1994 he continued aikido practice and began teaching Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu. Manogue sensei continues to explore other martial arts as well, including Jun Fan Gung Fu, Kali, Silat, Machado Jiujitsu, Muy Thai, and Capoeira.

  * Note that Yagyu Shin Kage ryu is not iaido -- the emphasis is not not on perfecting the drawing, cutting and re-sheathing of the sword. Rather, we study the actual combat forms used in ancient Japan, both on the battlefield and off.