The Martial Art of Shinbudo was founded in 1992 by Andy Dickinson Sensei. Beginning his training in Taekwondo and boxing in 1978, martial arts fascinated him from the very first lesson. From that day, he worked his way through the ranks, accepting every challenge, personal and physical to gain his Black Belt. Andy continued on, seeking out the Martial Artists, training and chalking up an impressive competition record. Soon after gaining his first Black Belt realising the limitations in his training, Andrew started to fill in the gaps with Judo and Ju Jitsu. So even as early as the mid 80s Andy was experimenting with the idea of unrestricted sparring, that included kicking, punching, throwing and ground fighting.
Always the seeker, Andy continued to search Martial Arts with meaning and deeper qualities. He searched for schools that remained silent yet carried a powerful message. Schools that had not been tainted by the rush for power or recognition. Schools that could take him back to the beginning. Training in the Tenjin Shinyo Ryu School of Ju Jutsu (one of the founding arts of Judo) was a good start. It was run by a small group of dedicated Instructors simply passing on the teachings best they could of the current Head Master Kubota Sensei. Andrew trained for some years eventually grading to Black Belt in Japan. But with the lack of permanent training facilities in Japan and the focus that Kubota Sensei placed on the sport of Judo, Andy moved on, focusing his attention on the Daito Ryu Aiki Ju Jutsu which was to change the direction of his training completely.
In Japan, many of the real combat effective systems of martial arts where banned after the second world war and systems such as Daito Ryu Aiki Ju Jutsu went underground. Over the years, as foreign interest in Japanese Martial Arts increased, the somewhat secretive system of Daito Ryu was sought out by many foreigners. So in 1988 Kondo Sensei, the current Daito Ryu Headmaster who runs the famous Shinbukan Dojo in Japan actively started accepting students who were serious in their pursuit of Martial arts. In 1988 Andrew already with extensive experience in Taekwondo. Kickboxing and boxing, and a black belt in Tenjin Shinyo Ryu Ju Jitsu, turned his back on his competitive fighting, sold up and moved to Japan. He became the first non-Japanese student to be accepted by Kondo Sensei. Andrew received 12 months of intensive instruction directly from Kondo Sensei. The training included many hours of intense personal tuition by Kondo Sensei and the top Daito Ryu Instructors. It was through the sometimes brutal and unforgiving training in Daito Ryu, so obscure and unknown, yet famous as the founding martial art of Aikido, that was to re shape the course of Andy’s training and path in Martial Arts.
In Daito Ryu, Andy had found an incredibly pure and effective system of martial arts and was privileged to be a part of the system opening up to the west. For 12 intensive months Andy felt the ferocity of Kondo Sensei as he peaked as a true master of martial arts. The training in Daito Ryu was simple yet profound. Against much initial resistance Andrew had to forget all that he had already gained and learned. Within this humbling experience Andrew felt the fire of the Martial spirit. He indulged fully and took his training back to the beginning. Andrew rebuilt a rock solid foundation in martial arts based on several very simple yet distinct principles, without which, any martial arts technique would not be effective. These principles were in many respects the missing links in his physical development.
With the new grounding and understanding he had learnt from Daito Ryu Andrew re-applied his extensive knowledge of striking and grappling systems onto a now much stronger base. Over the next number of years, still maintaining his link to Japan, Andrew continued to fine tune and fill the gaps in every aspect of his own training. Testing his system of fighting worldwide, Andrew was able to set strategies to beat other martial arts by moving in between the lines of their technique and unbalancing them with simple movements outside the realm of their usual fighting strategies. He quickly realised the weakness of his opponent and changed his strategy, merging techniques from several systems within a breadth of one movement. In his studies he made the simple discovery that many martial artists knew many techniques and systems but very few could synthesise them to a simple and workable model then turn the skills back on their own system.
Andrew has always been a teacher. He is one of those rare individuals that not only has the skills but can also empower and motivate any group, encouraging the personal best of each individual. The term Shinbudo is simply a generic term born out of the need to give some structure to teaching all that he has learned along the way. It can mean “true martial arts” and it can mean “new martial arts”. Both are just names and do not necessarily define the system. The aim of Shinbudo is to teach immediate and practical fighting skills that can be learned, assimilated and used quickly and immediately by men and women of all ages. Simple defensive combinations are taught in all ranges of fighting. These include distant fighting with long range kicks and punches, in close fighting with knees, elbows and standing grappling and control on the ground. To put it into modern terms, Shinbudo is an MMA (mixed martial arts) that retains all the traditional elements that makes martial arts unique.
Shinbudo is a non sport system that retains the traditional elements of martial arts yet is highly practical in our modern society. Shinbudo follows the standard pattern in martial arts. There are gradings every 3 months and students work towards gaining a Black Belt in minimum 3 years. All students are graded by Andy Dickinson.