Master/Kyoshi Dana Abbott
Master Dana Abbott born in San Francisco in 1956 has spent the last quarter century devoting his life to the study of martial arts in Japan and the USA. Prior to his Japanese experience he graduated from Arizona State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1978. He has taught and conducted seminars in over 30 countries. Dana Abbott's bladed weapon experience is extensive and well polished. He holds the esteemed rank of Kyoshi, in the sword art of Goshindo, obtained at the Hombu Dojo in Yokohama, Japan.
In 1995 he was appointed to the position of Kokusai Bucho (International Director) for the All Japan Goshindo Federation and the International Sports Chanbara Association. He returned to the United States in 1998 setting up Samurai Sports, Inc., which enabled him to use his expertise, gained from his studies in the Orient. At the present time he resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Mari Tanaka and their two children. He instructs the "spirit of the thing" throughout the United States giving seminars and individualized training.
Japanese Martial Arts Linage and history
Nihon Taiiku Daigaku
Nihon Taiiku Daigaku, a Physical Education University in Tokyo, was established in 1947 and has produced the strongest Kendoists in the world. Five years after the school opened, a kendo program was loosely established. At that time, the Japanese could not practice kendo nor martial arts because it was banned in August 1945. General McArthur put a stop to all martial arts that represented military might and mind control which the Americans feared as they had experienced kamikaze pilots and suicide missions. Martial arts representing the military and the Japanese fighting spirit were banned along with other cultural heritages. American soldiers stationed in Japan during the occupation were fearful of reprisals from loyalists or terrorists. Therefore, it should be noted that after the war the study of martial arts changed and resurfaced as a sport, not as a military discipline. Japanese officials decided to open physical education and sport colleges, which placed "the spirit of the thing" into the sports arena. There were several hundred-sword styles practiced in smaller organizations and factions that were later disbanded. Eventually, these were melded into one large organization called the All Japan Kendo Federation. The All Japan Kendo Federation started circa 1953 and within ten years they quietly and slowly became an active, strong and large organization. The 1964 Olympics brought attention to the martial arts, gaining popularity among the Japanese people. The study of the sword was once again in the public eye. Today, the All Japan Kendo Federation has about twenty million members with over one million holding black belt rankings from first degree and above. All Japan Kendo Federation officers, staff and board of directors consist of Ni Tai Dai graduates. It is difficult to obtain an accurate list of kendoists and educators who helped promote martial arts because the Japanese are reluctant to pat themselves on the back. They feel if you mention a few great kendoists you have to name them all due to respect and honor. The names below are the head masters who established kendo programs and educated thousands upon thousands of students and student instructors over the past five decades. These graduates went on to become military, police personnel and kendo instructors at middle, high school and college level.
- 1958-1985 Abe Shinobu Hanshi 8th dan (First head instructor)
- 1985-2001 Shizawa Kunio Kyoshi 7th dan (Head instructor)
- 2001-Today Hakamada Taizou Kyoshi 7th dan (Head instructor)
We could spend hours reviewing many great swordsmen that graduated from Ni Tai Dai but, we wish to only name a few who have contributed their lives to passing on their expertise in Kendo and their work in the All Japan Kendo Federation. These are:
- Kurosawa Taruhiko 9th dan Hanshi (Highest rank in the All Japan Kendo Federation).
- Akashi Kazumi 7th dan Shihan (All time kendo champion with most consistent wins in the All Japan Kendo Federation).
- Izumi Katsutoshi 7th dan Kyoshi (Head instructor for the high school systems in the All Japan Kendo Federation).
11-2 Toyama Iai-Batto-Do
In the Meji restoration about 1875 the military university, Rikugun Toyama Gakko, was established in Shinjuku, Tokyo by Lieutenant General Uzawa who was also chancellor. He wrote the famous Japanese military sword book (gunto no souhou). To break down the name, "gun" means military, "to" means sword, "sou" means control, and "hou" means rule or law. This book depicted 5 basic forms in gunto no souhou and was first published to homogenize the styles. The Japanese military invasions throughout Asia in the last century proved a challenge for the military to enhance and maintain a simple sword system. At that time soldiers incorporated many of their own techniques utilizing the five forms and this was extremely confusing. There was little consistency or standardization. Consequently, Tabata Shigeyoshi was called upon to administer and redesign the training system adding new forms to the originals. Tabata Shigeyoshi was the overseer of this system from 1925 until the end of WW2. After WW2, Nakamura Taizaburo was asked to start teaching the sword again by his superior, Tabata Shigeyoshi, at a time when Japanese were afraid of American reprisal for practicing a military discipline. Nakamura Taizaburo became head instructor and made Toyama internationally known and practiced in many countries. Nakamura Taizaburo also developed a cutting system molded off the strokes of a brush/pen called Happo Giri or the 8 basic strokes or cuts. Note: During this period the name gunto no souhou was changed to Toyama because it was more politically correct due to the harsh meaning of the original name. Tanabe Tetsundo was the administrator for the organization, All Japan Ju-kendo Federation, founded by General Imamura in 1955. He became a student of Nakamura Taizaburo who was practicing Toyama under the auspices of the All Japan Ju-kendo Federation. Tanabe Tetsundo was instrumental for getting the Toyama style out in the public eye through books and also established the All Japan Goshindo Federation in 1969. He also founded the International Sports Chanbara Association, which has members of 200+ thousand strong in over thirty countries. Dana Abbott holds the esteemed rank of Kyoshi, in the sword art of Goshindo, at the Hombu Dojo in Yokohama, Japan. In 1995 he was honored to be appointed to the position of Kokusai Bucho (International Director) for the All Japan Goshindo Federation and the International Sports Chanbara Association. He is the spokesman for the United States Chanbara Federation.