SECOND SOKE KUNIKAZU YAHAGI (矢作訓一 二代宗家）
Yahagi Kunikazu, the second headmaster (soke) of Ryushin Shouchi Ryu, was born in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo in 1948. As a child, Yahagi was inspired by his grandfather, whom he visited regularly, and who had 2 sets of antique kendo bogu (armor) on display in his home. Yahagi was introduced to kendo by his uncle at the age of 10 and commenced his kendo training in elementary school. He also trained in Judo from the age of 12, an art in which he later went on to earn the rank of 2 DAN at the Kodokan. He would continue his martial studies through his formative years, and at the age of 30, he entered the NCR dojo (now the Nihon Zaidan Building) in Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, which was then under the authority of Kawabata. After nearly 30 years of diligent training under the tutelage of Kawabata, Yahagi was licensed by the International Martial Arts Federation (IMAF) as a Kobudo Hanshi 8 DAN and later succeeded in becoming a director for IMAF. This would mark the beginning of Yahagi’s international teaching career. In 2008 Yahagi became the second headmaster of the Ryushin Shouchi Ryu.
In addition to his Ryushin Shouchi Ryu training, Yahagi continues his studies in Kendo and currently holds the rank of Kyoshi 7 DAN from the All Japan Kendo Federation. Yahagi believes that Kendo is an essential component to the proper training of Ryushin Shouchi Ryu as it serves as a means to train the psychological and practical applications of the school. He believes that through the diligent training of Kendo, one can develop the true spirit and mindset long lost from times past that are necessary for the proper practice of kata.
Today, the Ryushin Shouchi Ryu is practiced across the globe with several dojos in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Every year, Yahagi makes official trips to conduct training courses abroad, where he receives the warm support of his overseas students.