When Manogue-sensei first moved back to America from Osaka, he settled in his hometown of Philadelphia. He established ties to the local Aikido community, instructing at Old City Aikido before starting his own classes in the Edo Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. The group then moved to 21st and Chestnut, renting from the Philadelphia Aikikai, but after many years have moved back to our Old City dojo. At present, we have students from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.
Head Instructor: Paul Manogue
Paul Manogue has been studying the martial arts since 1981. He has practiced Korean and Japanese karate, western foil and saber fencing, and western boxing. While living in Japan, he began studying Yoshinkan aikido but eventually moved to the Osaka Buikukai, a branch of the Aikikai.
While in Japan, Manogue-sensei studied Edo Yagyu Shinkage Ryu directly under the 17th and then-current headmaster, Sono Seiko, while also training in Tennen Rishin Ryu, Niten Ichi Ryu, Shindo Muso Ryu, Bujinkan Ninpo, and Tai Chi. After returning to the United States in 1994 he continued Aikido practice and began teaching Edo Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. Manogue-sensei continues to explore other martial arts as well, including Jun Fan Gung Fu, Kali, Silat, Machado Jiujitsu, Muay Thai, and Capoeira. Manogue-sensei is also the owner and head instructor at Aikido of Raritan Valley in Hillsborough, NJ.
In July of 2019, following the passing of Sono Seiko, Manogue-sensei succeeded his teacher as the 18th head of the Edo Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.
The Renseikan dojo practices each Saturday at Old City Aikido in Philadelphia, PA, starting at 1:30 PM. Manogue-sensei instructs one class each month until 5:00 PM, while all other weeks are run by his senior students until 4:30 PM. 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 expected of all students.
Dues are $40/month, due to Manogue-sensei monthly when he is teaching. No contract or long-term payment is required.
A typical day's practice includes battojutsu (solo practice, using a live blade), kenjutsu (paired practice, using wooden bokuto), and occasional sparring and strength training exercises. Once or twice a year, students also practice tameshigiri (test-cutting of targets 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 ancient Japanese martial systems, and these are often explored in class.
As weapons practice requires a close relationship between students and teachers, trust is essential. Students who behave poorly in or out of class may be asked to sit out or leave. Traditional Japanese martial etiquette is expected, but no prior knowledge is required. As each koryu has its own standards, students are only expected to learn and adhere to them upon entering the ryu. Prior knowledge and skill is welcome, but an open mind even more.
Joining the Dojo
New students who are interested in joining should contact Manogue-sensei by email or using the Contact page. Prior martial arts experience is recommended, but not required. All students must have keikogi, hakama, kaku-obi, bokuto, and shinken (live steel blade) or habito (dulled steel blade). You should not purchase new equipment of any kind before contacting us, as each martial koryu often has its own unique requirements for dress, weapons, and tools. We are happy to advise on what our requirements are and where you can purchase what you need, depending on your budget. New students are encouraged but not required to acquire items prior to their first class, and new equipment must always be approved of by a menkyo-holder or Manogue-sensei directly before use.
As studying one of the koryu requires a significant amount of patience and maturity, we do not regularly enroll children, but applicants under 18 may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.