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