Genkarasu-Ryu and our Influences

Our system is a combination of what I have found to be the most universal martial principles in the arts I have studied.  I don't claim to be an all-knowing expert, but I have studied these systems as thoroughly and as often as possible since I began in 1984, I have researched the history, and I am constantly in search of new learning from people who are experts in their chosen fields.  Martial arts are my passion and I continue to learn and grow on a daily basis.  The Blackbird School is the product of my search thus far.  As I evolve, so will this system.

Tae Kwon Do

Although I no longer teach Tae Kwon Do, that art represented my initial exposure to the martial arts and remains one of my deepest influences.  Starting in 1984, I joined Kurt Staple's Tae Kwon Do school in Rome, New York.  He was an unusually skilled martial artist and, more importantly, an unusually skilled teacher.  I spent many years training under his guidance, much of that in private classes, and ultimately became the first in a very short list of people who have earned black belts from him.

Aikido

I have trained in several different styles of Aikido, moving up to the brown belt rank (ikkyu) in Iwama-Ryu Aikido.  I also earned a black belt (sho-dan) in the Nihon Goshin Aikido system in 2009.

Iaijutsu

I hold a ni-dan (2nd degree black belt) certificate in Japanese sword.

Dentokan Aikijujutsu

I hold a ni-dan rank (2nd degree black belt) in this jujutsu system that is a descendant of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu and Hakko-Ryu Aikijujutsu.  My studies in this discipline are ongoing.

Bringing it all together

I draw on concepts from many arts, but I do not teach mixed martial arts.  I simply teach my understanding of karate-jutsu as a single unified art with many aspects.  As we examine the jujutsu inherent in the strikes, and the strikes inherent in the jujutsu, we find a limitless set of possibilities that even a lifetime of training cannot exhaust.