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(Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu's Enhanced Derivative)

Tenshindo - the life-giving sword, based on the classical koryu bujutsu art of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Heiho Jutsu – the 560+ year-old Martial Art of the Japanese Samurai – embraces the actual training strategies, tactics, techniques, physical and mental conditioning methods used by the Samurai warriors to prepare themselves for battlefield as well as one-on-one mortal combat.

Now-days, discerning men and women of all walks of life study Tenshindo to achieve positive personal growth, an assured outcome of this classical, time-tested and validated system of training as we apply it to modern living.

Why learn the art of the sword in the 21st century?

It has been essential theoretical fare of the Harvard School of Business and MBA programmes for many years. They learn about the principles - we put those principles into practise! For the aspiring achiever there is nothing to beat hands-on, interactive experience for promoting holistic understanding and application.

Naturally, there are many men and women who are also fascinated by the appeal of the legendary sword - from Damocles, Excalibur, Perseus' Harpe, Siegfried's Nothung, Charlemagne's Joyeuse, through the Roman gladiators' era, to modern day military officers (and gentlemen). The sword is symbolic of valour, liberty and strength, and an emblem inciting the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honour and virtue.

Irrespective of a person's initial motivation for taking a step or two into our unique, experiential reincarnation of a bygone era and mindset, what soon becomes self-evident is the significant impact that sustained training in the art of Tenshindo has on enhancing multiple aspects of one's mind-power - resulting in...

  1. Incisive focus,
  2. Mental clarity and adroitness,
  3. Unbendable will (fudoshin),
  4. Personal courage,
  5. Self-control under pressure,
  6. Principled ethics -- as well as the more broadly associated outcomes of...
  7. Athletic fitness and agilitiy,
  8. Improved academic performance,
  9. Empowered career potential,
  10. Elevated psychosomatic health status,
  11. Competent social and familial skills. 

The greatest benefits of studying an art such as Tenshindo are more fully experienced by those who subscribe to the principle of 'tacit learning': Learning and understanding that are essentially inarticulable, but that have to be acquired through experience and practise.

The nature of and wellspring for Tenshindo?

Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, a select group of dedicated, serious-minded individuals forge the skills of incisive focus, unbendable will (fudoshin), self-confidence, personal courage, and consideration for others, by gaining expertise in the use of the famous katana (Japanese long sword); the kodachi (short sword); ryoto (double swords); yari (thrusting spear); naginata (cutting spear); bo (spear shaft); jujutsu (unarmed combat); and a number of other supportive weaponry. They imbibe a tradition of martial strategy, tactics, and principled ethics that serve them as well on today’s streets and in boardrooms as it did the Samurai in the feudal periods of the Far East for the first 900 years of the last millennium.

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu  - the oldest extant art of the Samurai, and one that has been described by historians as ‘the most complete classical martial art system of strategy’ – has been declared a ‘true martial art’ and a ‘living cultural heritage’ by the Emperor of Japan (1960). As far as we know, the Wu-Shin Chi-Dao Foundation for Self-Development, is currently the only professional instructional organisation in New Zealand to teach this classical martial art.

Bob Davies, the Founding Director of the Wu-Shin Chi-Dao Foundation for Self-Development, is a passionate student of classical and traditional martial arts and civilian defence arts with 47 years experience. Uniquely, Bob has been a personal student of (and instructor for) the head instructors of the three main branches of Katori Shinto Ryu, commencing 1996: Hatakeyama Goro sensei (10th Dan), Sugino Yukihiro sensei (9th Dan), and Otake Risuke shihan.

What is the modern day relevancy of this classical 15th century Warrior martial art?

NB: It is not the ‘art’ per se; it is the construct and manner in which we teach this art that are relevant.

In particular, our Foundation’s Ethos offers what is lacking in most modern cultures...

1.The moral courage to instil the mindset that is necessary to build and sustain rational, positive, humane, and constructive societies.

2.The proactive means to stem contemporary irrational and violent behaviour.

3.A pedagogy to overcome the paralysing effects of innate fear and apathy.

4.We embed the building blocks for self-assured, inspired, motivated, disciplined, courageous, compassionate, protective, and honourable men and women – individuals prepared to stand up for themselves, others, and what is ‘right’, in the face of detractors.

5.We study the most serious of the Warrior-scenarios of ‘how to fight’ – the intense, original 15th century hand-to-hand combative strategies and tactics of the fearless Japanese Samurai: The oldest extant koryu bujutsu of ‘Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu’ – with the emotionally mature goal of becoming empowered to ‘not fight’ (function dictates form, or in this case, mindset and functional principles) – a directed outcome of ‘point 3’.

6.We inculcate life-leadership skills and mindset in those individuals aspiring to be the best they can possibly be – at every stage (and age) of their life.

7.When you are ready to take the Confucian ‘first step’ on this unique journey inward, to the source of all human weakness, with the aim to achieve self-mastery and on-going personal growth – we do not need to reinvent the wheel.

8.We offer you an enhanced derivative of this 560+ year-old, time-tested and validated approach for conflict resolution - distilled from the most violent and fear-instilling 900-year feudal period in human history, and attuned to the mores of the 21st century.

9.We imbibe the ancient wisdom and chivalry of the noble Warrior Spirit.

Do you want to rise above the mundane, to experience the rarefied ‘air’ of realised personal potential and freedom?

Then come and discuss the subject further with us.


New Introductory Classes at our Christchurch dojo

New Introductory classes will be starting in Oxford and Waikuku in August 2014, in addition to our classes in Christchurch - at our Fendalton and Merivale Dojo; all instruction will be given by Bob Davies. To ensure the appropriate personal attention for each new student, places will be limited to 10 applicants only. Free trial classes are available to all prospective students.

Interested? Fill in this Tenshindo place reservation form as soon as possible to reserve your place in this new group.



  • Minimum age:   17 years
  • Ideal age:         30 - 40 years
  • Maximum age:  70 years (so far)



“The ‘way of the sword’ is unarguably the most challenging martial discipline to ever emerge from Japan – developing leadership within oneself”


For more information, read our FAQs, contact Bob Davies or join us on the Tenshindo Japanese Sword Facebook page.

Find out more about Tenshindo Kenjutsu - the art of training the mind.

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