Shudokan Martial Arts Association Home Page

What is the SMAA?

The Shudokan Martial Arts Association (SMAA) is an international coalition of enthusiasts dedicated to promoting traditional Japanese budo and koryu bujutsu. The SMAA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is headed by an elite group of high-ranking Japanese and Western instructors whose backgrounds encompass many decades of studying and teaching the traditional martial arts and ways of Japan.

Who can join?

The SMAA invites all individuals who are interested in traditional Japanese budo and koryu bujutsu to apply for membership. There are two levels of membership in the SMAA: full members are eligible to apply for rank and teaching titles; associate members receive all the other benefits of membership, but do not receive rank or titles. All members are bound by the SMAA Code of Ethics. For more information, see the Membership page and the Frequently Asked Questions page.


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What's New?
03/31/2017: Ryushin Shouchi Ryu Kenjutsu Seminar

Friday, March 31st - Sunday, April 2nd

$175.000 (JMAC/IMAF/SMAA members)
$195.00 (non-members)

Space limited - early registration recommended

Yahagi Kunikazu Sensei began studying traditional Japanese martial arts (kendo) in elementary school. He went on to earn the rank of judo 2 DAN as a youth, and studied classical kodubo (ancient arts) for more than 30 years under the tutelage of Kawabata Terukata Sensei, 1st Ryushin Shouchi Ryu soke (grandmaster). He was appointed the second soke of Ryushin Shouchi Ryu in 2008.

Register Online Here!
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06/21/2016: SMAA Kentucky Seminar
Go to our Events section to find out about an amazing SMAA Seminar in Kentucky. Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu and Chito Ryu karate-do will be taught by leading SMAA experts! The event takes place on August 13, 2016.
07/02/2014: 20th Anniversary SMAA Seminar
On August 16, 2014, we will have a great SMAA Seminar in Kentucky. Instruction will be offered in Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu and Chito Ryu karate-do. The teachers will be Steve Fabian Sensei, Cyna Khalily Sensei, and Brian Barnes Sensei. Check out our Events section for more information.
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06/30/2014: Free 20th Anniversary SMAA Workshop
On September 4. 2014 there will be a special SMAA Workshop in California devoted to Japanese yoga and Saigo Ryu martial arts. In honor of the SMAA's 20th anniversary, this event will be FREE to SMAA members. The teachers will be H. E. Davey (8th dan) and Kevin Heard (6th dan). Both instructors are members of the SMAA Jujutsu Division. To register for this event, send email to Read more in our Events section.
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06/20/2014: 20 Years!
2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Shudokan Martial Arts Association. Thanks to all our friends and members around the world for 20 years of support! We hope you enjoying your budo training and your association with our international nonprofit association.
06/11/2014: Are You Getting Every Issue of the SMAA Journal?
It has come to our attention that some members are not receiving every issue of our journal. You should receive four issues over the course of 12 months. The issues are not sent to members at specific internals, but by the end of the year, we always produce four issues. If you seem to be missing issues, there are typically three reasons for this. You have let your membership in the SMAA lapse. You have a new email address, and you failed to notify us. Your spam filter is identifying our email as spam and hiding it from you. If you have fairly restrictive spam settings, you may not receive email with attachments. Similarly, you also may not receive email addressed to multiple recipients. Please make a point of checking to make sure our journal is not ending up in your spam file. We want all members to receive all issues, and we often mention on our Facebook page when a new issue is about to come out. If you see this posting and receive nothing, check to see if our email has been misidentified as spam. And please follow the SMAA Facebook page to keep up on the latest news:
05/07/2014: New Recipients of Hachidan from the SMAA
Nicklaus Suino Sensei has received an eighth dan from the SMAA Iaido Division, and H. E. Davey Sensei was awarded eighth dan from the SMAA Jujutsu Division. Both gentlemen have decades of training in traditional Japanese martial arts and are leaders in our nonprofit association. They have both studied in Japan under top teachers as well.
05/07/2014: Richard Yamamoto Sensei (1922-2013)
On New Year’s Eve 2013, Richard Yamamoto Sensei passed away at over 90 years of age. Ranked seventh dan in judo, he was one of the highest-ranking Kodokan certified judoka living outside of Japan. He also served on the SMAA Board of Advisors, and he was the most senior member of the SMAA Judo Division. We were lucky to have him in the SMAA, and we appreciate his endorsement of SMAA ranks and activities.
07/15/2013: 2013 SMAA Kentucky Seminar
The SMAA Kentucky Seminar will take place in Louisville, Kentucky on August 17 – 19, 2013. The featured instructors are Stephen Fabian Sensei and Cyna Khalily Sensei. Fabian Sensei will teach Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu and related weapons, while Khalily Sensei will offer instruction in Chito Ryu karate-do. This U.S. event is going to be a lot of fun, and it offers our members a chance to study two martial traditions that are rarely taught outside of Japan. Read more in our Events section.

06/04/2013: Yamamoto Sensei Joins the SMAA Board of Advisors
We would like to welcome Richard Yamamoto Sensei to the SMAA Board of Advisors! Yamamoto Sensei has been practicing classic Kodokan judo since he was a teenager. At over 90 years of age, Yamamoto Sensei is still a very active senior citizen and a seventh dan with the Kodokan Judo Insitute in Tokyo. One of the pioneers of judo in the Northwestern part of the US, Yamamoto Sensei was the chief instructor of Seikikan Judojo for many years. Seikikan was established in the 1930's.
06/04/2013: SMAA Europe Seminar
The SMAA Europe Seminar will take place in England, with Paul and Lee Masters Sensei as the featured instructors. The subject will be Tenjin Shinyo Ryu jujutsu, an ancient martial art. Get more information in our Events section. Don't miss your chance to study a martial art that is rarely offered to the public.
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05/07/2013: 2013 SMAA Aikido Camp: June 3 - 8, USA
The SMAA and the Aikikai HQ (Tokyo) are co-sponsors of a great aikido camp in Georgia. The instructor will be SMAA certified teacher Max Roach Sensei (aikido sandan and iaido yondan). Practiced in a spirit of non-competition, Aikikai aikido is fun and practical self-defense. This camp will be beneficial for new and advanced students alike. Instruction will focus on basic and intermediate defensive techniques, including unbalancing and pinning techniques, arm bars, wrist techniques, sweeps, and hip throws. Participants will cultivate balance, coordination, concentration and self-awareness. Pre-registered participants who sign up by May 24 will receive a free uniform. Please contact Mr. Roach with your height and weight for uniform pre-orders. Teacher and group discounts also available. Housing may be available if requested in advance. Questions? Send e-mail to We hope to see everyone at this fun and exciting event. And don't forget to ask for your SMAA member discount.
05/07/2013: Masters Sensei Joins the SMAA
Paul Masters Sensei has joined the SMAA. Masters Sensei lives in England, and he is a direct student of Kubota Toshihiro Sensei, who is widely acknowledged as the most senior teacher of Tenjin Shinyo Ryu jujutsu alive today. Kubota Sensei inherited this over 200 year old martial art, a discipline that was instrumental in the formation of Kodokan judo. Masters Sensei has received a menkyo kaiden, a certificate of full transmission, from Mr. Kubota, which makes him the highest ranking practitioner of Tenjin Shinyo Ryu in the world (aside from Kubota Sensei). Masters Sensei joins other prominent teachers of traditional jujutsu in the SMAA, along with his son Lee Masters, who is also a jujutsu expert. We are honored to welcome Paul and Lee Masters to the SMAA.
11/13/2012: SMAA 2013 Dues
Every year the SMAA collects dues on January 1. Please be sure to make your contribution on or before this date. You can send a check or money order directly to our headquarters, or you can pay conveniently with a credit card or PayPal at our website:

07/25/2012: Donnelly Sensei

On July 20, 2012 SMAA Senior Advisor Michael Donnelly passed away suddenly from heart-related issues. He was 61 years old.

Donnelly Sensei was one of the first people to join the SMAA. He actually paid for our newsletters and partially funded the SMAA for the first couple years of its existence. He also hosted the first SMAA Seminar, bringing the late Walter Todd Sensei to his dojo to teach aikido.

He used his experience as an attorney to offer the SMAA free legal advice. He also helped with the design of the SMAA logo and patch. And at one point, when we really needed someone to take over as General Manager, he took on this role for about two years. (Nicklaus Suino Sensei succeeded Donnelly Sensei as SMAA General Manager.) Donnelly Sensei did all of this for free.

Not every SMAA member knew Donnelly Sensei personally, but all of us have benefited from his contributions to the SMAA. The SMAA has lost one of its most devoted members, but his vision of a budo fraternity, a worldwide martial arts association without politics or conflict, will live on. In some ways, the SMAA is part of his legacy. Let's all work together to further this unique international organization that fosters friendship among budoka, regardless of martial arts style or nationality.

05/14/2012: Sato Tadayuki & John B. Gage U. S. Seminar

On August 17, 18 and 19 Sato Tadayuki Sensei and John Gage Sensei will teach a special seminar in the USA. The event will be hosted by Nicklaus Suino Sensei, SMAA Judo Division Director, and it will take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Instruction will be in the Kodokan judo of Kano Jigoro Sensei, the Shodokan aikido of Tomiki Kenji Sensei, and Sato Shizuya's system of modern Nihon jujutsu. Special discounts are offered to SMAA members. Go to the Events section of this website to learn how you can study with two of Japan's leading martial arts teachers.

03/01/2012: Tax Deductible Donations

The SMAA is a federally tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation. As such, your donations to our association are tax deductible. Send your donations, in the form of a check or money order (made out to SMAA), to our headquarters in Michigan. We’ll send you a letter back acknowledging your contribution, which you can than use for tax purposes. We hope you’ll support the SMAA in our goal to preserve and promote traditional budo and koryu bujutsu.

04/11/2011: SMAA Europe Seminar with Suzuki Kunio Sensei
Don't miss the 2011 SMAA Europe Seminar in England! Featuring Suzuki Kunio Sensei, direct from Japan, who will teach classic Nakamura Ryu swordsmanship. This is your chance to learn the art of the samurai sword from an eighth-degree black belt and a member of the SMAA Board of Advisors.

Click on the link to learn more about this special event, which will be hosted by John Evans Sensei, SMAA Senior Advisor. But don't wait too long to register, as the number of students that can be accepted is limited to insure top quality instruction.
Click here for more information.
08/05/2010: Otsuka Yasuyuki Soke joins the SMAA
Otsuka Yasuyuki Sensei, the current Soke (Headmaster) of Meifu-Shinkage Ryu, has joined the SMAA Board of Advisors. Meifu-Shinkage Ryu is based on Katori Shinto Ryu, one of Japan's oldest forms of koryu bujutsu. Meifu-Shinkage Ryu specializes in the use of shuriken (throwing stars and darts) and the fundo kusari, a weighted chain. Otsuka Sensei is one of the highest ranking martial artists in Japan and one of very few people in the world teaching an authentic system of shuriken-jutsu. His desire to join the SMAA points to the value of the work our group is doing internationally to promote and preserve genuine Japanese budo and koryu bujutsu. 

The SMAA is active throughout the world and lead by both Western and Japanese martial arts experts. Otsuka Sensei joins a number of prominent martial arts teachers in Japan, who actively support our association and validate the ranks issued by the SMAA. Their presence in the SMAA speaks volumes about the importance of our group and the degree to which it is respected in Japan, the birthplace of budo and koryu bujutsu.
04/08/2010: A Note to SMAA Members
We have recently become aware of at least one other martial arts group that uses the acronym “SMAA.” Please note that the Shudokan Martial Arts Association is not affiliated with any other group or organization that uses SMAA to identify itself. Though we do not believe any careful observer would confuse our thoughtful, traditional approach with that of another organization, we suggest that you be sure to type in “Shudokan Martial Arts Association” when seeking information about our association. Our website can be found at, and our Facebook page at

06/25/2009: Cynthia Hayashi Sensei, Aikikai aikido sixth-degree black belt, has joined the SMAA

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PO Box 6022
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-6022

Phone: 1-734-645-6441

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