San Diego Budōkan is a traditional Japanese martial arts organization established in 1968.  Instruction is offered in Itto Tenshin-ryū Kenjutsu, Yamate-ryū Aikijutsu, and Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryū Iaido.  In each of these arts, the student strives for enlightment via a strict set of physical and mental exercises.  Each of these arts complement each other and are paths towards the same goal of perfection and flawlessness.

A ryū, by definition, is a martial style that is passed down for several generations.  However, a ryū is much more than just a style.  The goal of the ryū is not simply to teach, but to change the individual in mind, body, and spirit.  Those entering the ryū with the proper attitude and willing to surrender their ego to the ryū will walk away not as a person with a new knowledge set, but as a new person.

New students are allowed to train in only one of these arts until the rank of shodan has been achieved.  For most individuals this requires about 1000 hours of training.  If one works hard and is dilligent, this can be done in about 2-3 years.  

Yamate-ryū Aikijutsu

Aikijutsu is a highly refined martial art derived from the Japanese tradition of jujutsu. The traditions of Aikijutsu trace their lineage to the Minamoto clan during the feudal period of Japan – it was only made public in the late 19th century. The art has evolved through generations of practical combat application and technical study. The curriculum contains techniques and principles which allow an accomplished practitioner to defeat an opponent with minimal physical effort, making it an especially effective martial art for law enforcement, women, and those who enjoy the challenge of sophisticated technique.

Many combative sports such as Brazilian jujutsu (BJJ), boxing, or wrestling may train with the knowledge that combat will occur in a controlled space against a single, unarmed opponent. As a result these arts focus on sparring or ground fighting. Aikijutsu does not share these assumptions, and students practice to address many different combative situations.

Itto Tenshin-ryū Kenjutsu

Kenjutsu is the art of swordsmanship, and considered the most highly respected of all Japanese martial arts. Generations of swordsmen have devoted their lives to the study of every conceivable variation in the use of the weapon. Those swordsmen laid the groundwork for the strategic and philosophical aspects of the art, penetrating to the very core of conflict itself.

Kenjutsu is an art for those who wish to develop themselves both physically and spiritually. It includes an integral study of strategy, which can be applied to many situations in daily life. With ceaseless dedication, the kenjutsu student throws themselves into the grit and necessity of their work, and is enriched with the unique benefits which only few could understand.

Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryū Iaido

Iaido is the Japanese martial art of drawing the sword and cutting in a single motion. Iaido originated almost 450 years ago in the Sengoku period of Japan, a time of constant wars. The originator, Jinsuke Shigenobu, formed the style that eventually became known as 'Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryū ,' which was based upon his wartime experiences.

Today, Iaido training is primarily a vehicle for personal development. Iaido training is based on 'kata' and 'kumitachi.' Kata are prearranged practice forms done by one person, and kumitachi are performed in pairs. Kata and Kumitachi are the repository of the original combat strategies. Iaido training methods require intense mental and physical concentration. Repeating these forms, very precisely, over many years, provides a vehicle for physical and spiritual improvement and a chance for students to better understand themselves and their place in the modern world.