The art of Shindo was devised by Hanshi Masaru Shintani, 10th Dan in the early 1970’s. Hanshi Shintani had made the Shindo methods and principles known to Master Otsuka who gave it his full endorsement.
After having a dream “in which Hanshi Shintani overcame several swordsmen with the use of a short staff” Hanshi Shintani began to work on his own to develop the concept. The roots of these basics and other techniques taught by Hanshi Shintani can be traced back to his extensive Wado Kai training under Master Otsuka. Hanshi Shintani used the sabaki motion and explosiveness that he was renowned for to develop the same effects with Shindo. Hanshi Shintani introduced “Shindo” to a few of his higher ranking black belts that were sworn to secrecy, once he was comfortable with the format, Hanshi Shintani introduced Shindo to the rest of his black belts. After introducing Shindo to his students, Hanshi Shintani requested Sensei Bruce Perkins put together a training and grading process based on the five katas being practiced at the time, SHINDO NIDAN, CIO BO TIE, SEI SHAN NO SHINDO, CHINTO NO SHINDO, and WANSHU NO SHINDO.
Not being certain he understood the request, Sensei Perkins called Sensei Labbé (Secretary General at that time) and asked him to confirm the request with Hanshi Shintani. Hanshi Shintani confirmed “that was in fact what he wanted“. Once notified of this confirmation, Sensei Perkins began to formulate the outline of a plan for the Shindo program. Sensei Perkins was in constant communication with Hanshi Shintani about the direction Hanshi Shintani wanted the program to proceed. A short time later Hanshi Shintani passed away May 7, 2000. Unsure of how to proceed with the project, Sensei Perkins formed a committee of Hanshi Shintani’s high ranking black belts (the first Shindo Committee). After several months which led into years, the program was finalized and approved at the Senate level. Once the program was approved, Sensei Perkins felt he had fulfilled his commitment to Hanshi Shintani and stepped down as the chair of the Shindo Committee.
It is important to note Hanshi Shintani had a personal influence on the final outcome of all of these katas (SHINDO NIDAN, CIO BO TIE, SEI SHAN NO SHINDO, CHINTO NO SHINDO, and WANSHU NO SHINDO). For this reason it is critical that they are passed down to the next generations unchanged. There are three segments of the Shindo curriculum which were devised by the Shindo committee – Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Each course is designed to build upon one another to create a strong basis for the dan level rankings and instructor certification. The aim of the Shindo committee is to further develop and spread Hanshi Shintani’s teachings and philosophies across the continent. For those of you who had the privilege of being associated with Hanshi Shintani, you know how important Shindo was to him. He once held the Shindo up in front of a class at a black belt workout and said…
“This is my life”.
In essence, it is a gift to his students and to society which showed the true nature of all martial arts.