Mr. Kenshiro Abbe was born in the Tokushima province in 1916 and became a very able judoka at a young age. Starting Judo at the age of 14 in 1930, he was awarded his 2nd Dan a year later from the Butokukwai - the National martial arts Organisation. At 18, he was awarded 5th Dan from the Butokukwai, the youngest Judoka ever to hold the grade.
In his fighting career, he won a number of major championships, including the East Japan versus West Japan contest, and the 5th Dan Championships held in the Emperor's Palace. In 1938, he was promoted to 6th Dan, the youngest in Japan and in 1945 to 7th Dan. He became Chief Instructor of Doshisa University, as well as the Instructor for the Kyoto Police.
In 1955, he came to England at the invitation of the London Judo Society, a South London Club but a year later left to form his own school. In 1960, Abbe was badly injured in a car accident and four years later, still not fully recovered, he returned to Japan, only making brief visits to the UK before passing away in 1985
Abbe Sensei began working on his theory of Kyu-Shin-Do as far back as the 1940s. He had a clear vision of the ideas, based on universal laws and principles. Kyushindo was the central statement for Abbe's personal approach to martial arts (Budo). He felt that there were three fundamental principles within Kyushindo which should be reflected in the Martial arts and in his outside life.
All things in the Universe are in a constant state of motion (Banbutsu Ruten).
This motion is rhythmic and flowing (Ritsu Do).
All things work and flow in perfect harmony (Chowa).
Because of Abbe's fame as a Budo master people have very naturally assumed Kyushindo to be a theory of martial discipline but in fact martial discipline is only one application of Kyushindo. The theory of Kyushindo has application in any study, or activity that can be named simply because it does not deal with the form and technique of anything, but with the fundamental principles which such forms and techniques represent.
Kyushindo states that the accumulation of efforts is a steady motion about the radius and center of gravity and that all things resign to this basic cyclic pattern. The normal perception and focus of awareness in the human being, flies along the outer periphery of existence, events flash past too rapidly for the mind to grasp. By re-discovering the original center of things, events turn more slowly in perception and the general scheme is more easily viewed.
Abbe saw that the application of this philosophy to Judo could be achieved by using gentle smooth movements, soft, quick and safe. These movements spring from a relaxed mind and body, which helps to build up strength and purpose. The accumulation of effort is a steady circular movement about the center of gravity and radius. In practice this implied using an opponents forces against them.
Several interpretations of the Japanese term Kyu-Shin-Do have been proposed. Tomio Otani, a long-term student of Abbe, translated it thus:
KYU: Sphere or Circle
SHIN: Heart or Nexus point
Therefore Kyushindo, could be taken to mean "To Seek The Perfect Path".
George Mayo (or 'Chief' as some instructors called him) was born in France in 1918 and started learning martial arts in his youth, although sadly much of the detail has been lost over time.
As far as we know he was a member of the Free French forces during the Second World War, and settled in Scotland after the war was over. He opened his own first club in 1948, and continued to study various martial arts.
Around 1955 he met Japanese Judo master Kenshiro Abbe, who had moved to the UK in order to teach here.
During the 1960s and 70s Mr Mayo trained with with several prominent karate practioners including Shotokai masters Sensei Shigeru Egami and Mitsusuke Harada and Tatsuo Suzuki a Wado Ryu master.
Shotokai was developed by Master Gichin Funakoshi to teach and spread the art of Karate-Do, which adheres to in particular the notion that competition is contrary to the essence of karate. One of the reasons that our syllabus hasn't adopted a competitive nature.
Through the late 1950s and 1960s Mr Mayo set up clubs in London, Luton, Bristol, Southampton, Oxford and Northampton. It was through this time that Mr Mayo developed the KyuShinDo philosophy as it applied to his martial arts, and set up the Kyushindo International Judo Association (which also covered the karate clubs). He experimented with different approaches in different clubs - ideas from Chinese Pa Gua and Hsing I in one club, from Japanese 'hard' karate in another.
Ultimately, the ideas were gathered into a common karate syllabus formed in around 1985 and which has been under continual refinement since.
In 1986 Mr Mayo moved back to France, semi-retiring but still spending a lot of time in the UK. As he grew older he started spending less time travelling, but his senior students made trips to his home to continue their work. Mr Mayo passed away in December 2004 at the age of 86.
Whilst there are many conflicting stories around how well Abbe Sensei and Mr Mayo knew each other, it is clear that the the principals of Kyu-Shin-Do philosophy influenced Mr Mayo in the development of his style of martial arts.
The photo to the right shows Abbe Sensei and Mr Mayo performing judo techniques together. Mr Mayo was also filmed for a documentary by British Pathe at Highgate during the 1960s. (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/boy-judo-star/query/Mayo) .
Unfortunately during the late 1990's the original KyuShinDo organisation set up by George Mayo fragmented with several clubs leaving the organisation. Several reasons have be cited for this! Some of the Oxfordshire clubs have remained together, and we maintain close links to Kyushindo clubs around High Wycombe, London - Highgate and Banstead.