Karate (empty hand) is an ancient system of weaponless combat. It is rooted in Okinawa, which is situated between China and Japan. Karate was indigenous to the RyuKyu culture that lived there. For hundreds of years weapons bans forced the Okinawans to use only their bodies, farm and fishing implements to protect themselves. Karate was first known as “Chinese Hand” or “Tang Hand”. The style of karate we study is called Shorin-ryu (little forest style). It is one of the major modern Okinawan martial arts and is one of the oldest styles of karate. Choshin Chibana named it in 1933, but the system itself is much older.
Okinawan kobudo is a Japanese term that can be translated as "old martial way of Okinawa". Okinawan kobudo refers to the weapon systems of Okinawan martial arts. These systems can have from one to as many as a dozen weapons in their curriculum, among them are bo, sai, tonfa, kama, and nunchaku, and eku. At Suibukan of Indiana, we study kobudo under Sensei Yamashita, who learned from the Matayoshi system.
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the way of harmonious spirit." Aikido techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent's attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique.
Hojutsu is the ancient Japanese word for "the Art of Gunnery." As practiced today, Hojutsu is the combination of the Modern Technique and traditional Japanese budo. Hojutsu trains in handgun, rifle, shotgun, submachine gun, and precision rifle; we also train in unarmed defense, various impact weapons, edged weapons, and ground fighting. However, Hojutsu is primarily a shooting art. Traditional reigi (protocol) is followed. Hojutsu was founded by Soke Jeff Hall, and firearms / hojutsu training is offered through our affiliation with Defensive Solutions, LLC.
Yoga practice uses awareness, breath, and movement to create harmony and balance. It is a system of holistic health that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Benefits of yoga include: stress reduction, increased body awareness, deeper lung capacity, improved balance, and strengthened core muscles. Classes are led by Claudia Hedeen, emphasizing Hatha Yoga. Classes focus on stretching, breathing, and relaxation, not physical therapy.
We are the 3rd generation of Midwest Karate Academy, a martial arts school in South Bend, IN. It was founded by Hanshi Tadashi Yamashita and Sensei James Ninios over 50 years ago. Kyoshi Jerry Wroblewski ran it for over 40 of those years. Today, Shihan Kris Gravender and Shidoin Brian Bengtsson continue its legacy and tradition as Suibukan of Indiana, an homage to Osensei Yamashita's organization.