United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu
Gengo Hojisha no Kai


Traditional Japanese Sword Drawing Martial Art in Michigan

Train your body and mind. Tamiya Ryu is a koryu (literally, "old school") sword art not taught outside Japan until recently. The United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Orgranization is the only official group practicing this art in America.

The United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijustu Ogranization is an official branch of the Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai and is headquarted in East Lansing, Michigan with a branch dojo located in Macomb, Michigan.

We are the official representatives of this 400+ year old koryu art in the United States. Here you will find the history of both Tamiya Ryu and its history in the United States as well as information on where to find a dojo and how to join. We hope to see you on the dojo floor soon!

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  • Message from the Head Instructor

    Gennan Buhaku sensei shares his thoughts on various topics

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  • New Reflecting Pool

    Reflections on rejuvenation and renewal

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  • USTRI 20th Anniversary Taikai

    group picture of the 20th anniversary taikai

    The Executives of the United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Gengo Hojisha no Kai are pleased to announce the following Promotions/Honors that were achieved during the recent visit by 15th Soke Tsumaki Kazuo Genwa and his Assistant, Endo Tsuyako Gentei Sensei. Everyone performed beyond our expectations and made not only the visiting Sensei proud but made our hearts swell to almost bursting.

    Special Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai names (Gengo) were also awarded to our 3 new Godan members, as well as the honorific title "Kouga" to Dianne Genan Sensei. In a very surprising turn of events, Michael Alexanian Gennan Buhaku Sensei was elevated to the rank of Hachidan.

    Soke Sensei also announced to our group the formation of the new USTRI Gengo Hojisha no Kai, with Gennan Buhaku Sensei to serve as the Kaicho (President) and Genan Sensei as the Fuku-kaicho (Vice President). This is truly a unifying step for both the Michigan Honbu Dojo and the Southeast Michigan Shibu as there are now 4 persons in each Branch that possess Gengo and can provide an equal presence and voice for Board Meetings, etc.

    This year’s visit by the Sensei was a truly memorable one, and much was revived and renewed during their time here. Commitments were solidified, new pledges were made and long-term assignment were given, all to the delight of Soke Sensei and Endo Sensei and all who were involved to make this event truly "one for the books".

    一級 (Ikkyu)

    • Michael Kirsten マイケル・クリステン

    初段 (Shodan)

    • Xiaohan Bao シャオハン・バオ

    弐段 (Nidan)

    • James Happell ジェームズ・ハッペル

    参段 (Sandan)

    • Raymond Bowdish レイムンド・ボディシュ
    • Bryan Cochren ブライアン・カクレン

    四段 (Yondan)

    • Andrew McMurphy アンドリュー・マクマーフィ


    • James Russell ジェームズ・ラッセル - 元熱 (Gennetsu)
    • Joseph Smith ジョサフ・スミス - 元固 (Genko)
    • Daniel Wung ダニエル・ワゥング - 元光 (Genkou)

    六段 (Rokudan)

    • William Smith ウィリアム・スミス - 元火 (Genka)
    • Thomas Hufnagel トマス・ハフネゲル - 元水 (Gensui)
    • Scott Sier スコット・シアー - 元風 (Genfu)
    • Daniel Mordan ダニエル・モーダン - 元山 (Genzan)
    • Douglas Jarrett ダグラス・ジャレット - 元地 (Genchi)
  • Announcement

    We are excited to announce the Michigan Honbu in East Lansing is offering a free introductory month.

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  • Introduction Video

    Please note that some of the locaiton information in the below video has changed but the information specific to the practice of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu remains the same!


East Lansing, Michigan

outside view of the michigan honbu dojo

Michigan Honbu Dojo

The Michigan Honbu dojo is the headquarters for Tamiya Ryu Iajiutsu operations in the United States.

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Macomb, Michigan

inside view of the southeast michigan branch dojo

Southeast Michigan Branch Dojo

The Southeast Michigan Branch dojo holds class at Macomb Township Parks & Recreation Center.

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Brighton, Michigan

Brighton Study Group

The Brighton Study Group operates under the Southeast Michigan Branch Dojo and holds class at the Brighton Education and Community Center.

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What Is Iaijutsu

Tamiya Ryu

Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu is a military art (bugei) that was introduced in the Tensho period (1573-1591) by its founder, Tamiya Heibei Narimasa. Narimasa, together with Katayama Hoki no kami Hisayasu (the founder of Hoki Ryu) and Sekiguchi Jushin (the founder of Sekiguchi Ryu) were pupiles of Hayashizake Jinsuke Shigenobu, the founder of iaijutsu.

The style characteristics of the Tamiya school of swordsmenship are: First volume (Omote no maki) containing evelen kata and Second volume (Koran no maki) containing fourteen kata.

As a serious course of study, learning Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu involves having a clear understanding of the concepts known as "Tamiya Nobility" and "Tamiya Purity".


Iaijutsu is a martial art (bujutsu) that strives to supress a sudden attack by the attacker against the defender using a single, swift stroke of the sword and seeks to master the various principles of drawing, re-sheathing and using the sword.

Furthermore, iaijutsu is a martial way (budo) as it practiced with a humble and modest heart and continually trains the spirit.

United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu

Training focuses on the harmonization of mind, body, and spirit through the practice and performance of kata (pre-arranged techniques). Techniques are practiced with the philosophy of the "sword which gives life (Katsujin no Ken)," as opposed to the "sword which takes life (Satsujin no Ken)."

Emphasis is placed on basic techniques. To properly learn kata means studying 1) how to cut using the scabbard opening (sayaguchi) and 2) how to use the scabbard hand (sayate).

Occasionally students will also practice Kenshibu - a traditional Japanese dance utilizing sword and fan. Kenshibu is performed to the accompaniment of poems (sung in a style called Shigin) that depict famous events in Japanese history.



Spirit. Tamiya Ryu trains the spirit and aims to create a harmonious character.



Sword. The sword of Tamiya Ryu is one that gives life or katsujin no ken.



Body. By harmonizing the spirit, sword, and body, the practice of Iaijutsu becomes dignified.