The Martial Art of Yoseikan Budo
Founded in 1970, by Japanese Master Hiroo Mochizuki, Yoseikan Budo draws from his vast experience in several martial arts including Karate (9th Dan), Jujutsu (8th Dan), Aikido (8th Dan), Iaido and Kobudo (7th Dan), Judo (3rd Dan), French Savate Kickboxing and English Boxing.
Yoseikan Budo is a complete system, based around one key principle that connects all the martial arts: The Wave.
Power and speed of any martial art technique is considerably amplified by using ten different wave-like motions of the body that are unique to the Yoseikan Budo style. When performing a wave, the feet push on the ground, and the power is transferred to the hips that will direct it through the body to the target. A correct execution of the wave utilizes a smooth combination of muscle contraction, tendon elastic energy, body weight and rotational forces for maximum penetration power, with minimum expansion of energy and therefore minimum fatigue. Through wave mastery, the practitioners also become more internally aware of their muscles, tendons, bones and joints improving their alignment and force transfer through their structure. This results in better bio-mechanics which not only improves efficiency but also preserves the anatomy of the practitioner over the years. Finally optimal wave mastery allows the practitioner to be able to develop power from short range even if the extremity is in contact with the target (e.g. the one inch punch).
Training in yoseikan budo blends and flows through:
- Striking (Medium Range “Ma”)
- Grappling (Short Range “Tchikama”)
- Weapon Training (Long Range “Toma”)
- Striking (Punches, kicks, elbows, knees, various opened hand techniques)
- Grappling (Standing: clinch, throws, locks, chokes. Ground: pins, sweeps, choke holds, locks.)
- Weapons (small (Knife), medium (stick) and long (Sword) range) (Foam version for sparring). Other weapons also trained include: nunchakus, tonfa, sai, bo and jo.
The same waves are applied to all ranges of combat with the appropriate amplitude.
The name yoseikan has many different meanings that all convey the philosophy of both Minoru and Hiroo Mochizuki. The literal translation is “the place where what is true (or right) is taught” or to make more sense to the western mind, “the way that works best”. Yoseikan is a personal experience that may not be the same for each practitioner.
A more broken down meaning would be as follows:
- YO: Education, food for the soul.
- SEI: Righteousness
- KAN: School
- BU: Searching for peace
- DO: The way
Circle: Perfection. The circle is interrupted by the bottom tip of the mountain symbolising that it is impossible to achieve perfection therefore it is important to remain modest and humble.
The mountain: Being grounded, solid and strong. There are many paths to the top of the mountain and each person must follow their own path.
The River: (Zigzag at the bottom of the mountain). Represents the ever changing directions of life itself and the many situations that can be experienced by each individual.
The Red: Air, Oxygen, Light
The Blue: Water, Suppleness, Calm, Adaptation, Hope.
The White: (In the mountain) Earth, Honesty, Clarity
The Outfit (Gi)
JACKET: Dark Blue, Yin (IN) negative, defence, deflect, absorb, feel, sensitive, soft
TROUSERS: White with blue strips, Yang (YO) positive, offense, power, hard, strong
BELT: White and blue, symbolises the wave. Everybody from the novice to the expert wears the same belt so there is no visual difference. This forces the practitioners to focus on their own self, their weaknesses. The technical ability of a person is only realised when training with them. Technical ability is not necessary proportional to moral value and vice versa.
Master Minoru Mochizuki
10th Dan Aikido, 9th Dan Ju-jitsu, 8th Dan Judo, 8th Dan in Iaido and 8th Dan in Katori Shinto Ryu Ju-Jitsu. He studied directly under Master Jigoro Kano (the creator of Judo) and also practised with two of Master Kano’s assistants, Master Kyuzo Mifune (as his assistant) and Master Sambo Toku. Also an assistant of Master Morihei Ueshiba (the creator of Aikido) he is one of the only two experts to have received the Menkyo Kaiden (Certificate of mastery of martial arts in the form of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu) from Ueshiba.
- 1931: Minoru Mochizuki founds the YOSEIKAN Dojo (rebuilt in 1950 after the war) where he teaches Judo, Aiki-Jujitsu, Iaido and Kobudo (Katori Shinto Ryu). In the late 1960’s, Karate is taught as well, under the direction of Master SANO.
- 1957: At the request of one of his students, Jim ALCHEIK (co-founder in France of the Federation of Aikido, Tai Jitsu and Kendo), he sends his eldest son, Hiroo, to Europe to promote Aikibudo. Hiroo becomes one of the first Japanese to present and demonstrate Karate Shotokan in Europe.
- 1959: Hiroo MOCHIZUKI returns to Japan to finish his veterinary studies. In 1963, after the accidental death of Jim ALCHEIK in Algeria and in response to the wishes of the latter’s students, Minoru Mochizuki sends his son back to France.
- 1963: In France, Hiroo Mochizuki teaches Aikido and is one of the first to introduce Wado Ryu Karate to Europe.
- 1964: Hiroo Mochizuki becomes 1st Technical Advisor of Aikido and Karate within the FFJDA (French Federation of Judo and Assimilated Disciplines). Together with Jacques DELCOURT, he takes part in the creation of the FFKAMA (French Federation of Karate and Affinitive Martial Arts) and the European Karate Union, in 1965, where he also becomes 1st Technical Advisor.
- 1965: He creates his own school of martial arts. First named “YOKEN” (mastery of sabre and fist), he later calls it YOSEIKAN BUDO in 1970 in homage to his father, Master Minoru MOCHIZUKI, after the name of his Dojo.
- 1967: He discovers the wave theory.
- 1975: The French Federation For Yoseikan Budo is created.
- 1978: The International Centre For Yoseikan Budo is created.
Master Hiroo Mochizuki
Born in 1936 in Shizuoka, Japan, Master Hiroo Mochizuki owes the basis of his knowledge in Aikido (8th Dan), Ju-Jitsu (8th Dan), Iaido (7th Dan), Judo (3rd Dan) and Kobudo to his father. In addition, he received solid training in Karate (9th Dan) and is adept in several styles: principally Karate Shotokan with Master HYOGO and Karate Wado Ryu with Masters Hironori OHTSUKA and Shinji MICHIHARA. He has also practiced French Savate Kickboxing, English boxing (with a professional champion) and has a marked interest in all martial arts, especially those Chinese as he spent some time living in China with his father.
Hiroo’s two sons continue to help in developing the Yoseikan system and are shown in the photo opposite with their father and grandfather – Mitchi Mochizuki (5th Dan) on the left and Kyoshi Mochizuki (4th Dan)on the right of the photo.
The Mochizuki family come from a samurai heritage that can be traced back directly. This is one of the main reasons that we use the 3 different sized foam weapons for sparring – the small size represents the tanto, the middle size represents the wakizashi and the big size represents the katana. The samurai were adverse to many forms of combat for the battlefield – Ken-Jutsu, Iaido and Kobudo for weapons fighting, though they also had to know unarmed combat – Jiu-Jutsu (if they were ever disarmed or without their weapons) - throws, locks and striking - which would later become known as styles such as Karate, Judo, Aikido, etc…