The history of the martial arts shows us that schools have been named in various ways—some have names relating to where schools are located, some have names that are very simple and practical, and some have names based on esoteric principles or the experience of the dojocho (head of the school). For example, the great Antonio Perreira called his art “three mountain style” because his school was on Tremont (Three mountain) Avenue. One of the grand masters of Kiyojute Ryu calls his school Goshin Kan which simply means self defense school. These exemplify methods one and two, respectively.
Our school, Arawa Kage Kan, is named for the third reason. The name finds esoteric expression in too many ways to list in this venue; the fact that Arawa Kage Kan may be pronounced Yo In Kan (in-yo corresponding to the more common Chinese rendering yin-yang) bears indisputable justification of this statement. Still, the main reason for this name comes from the personal experience of the dojocho. In my martial arts training, I was always looking for something to fill my cup. I began my training in traditional karate, but I ran out of things to study and became stagnant; I studied traditional jujutsu and, though it provided greater flexibility, I still found myself wandering. Add to this a sordid list of bad experiences with martial artists on the competition scene exhibiting profound spiritual deficiencies and the ugliness of the political side of martial arts rank and international associations, and large parts of my early experience can be summed up as dark, shadowy, and empty. In Kiyojute Ryu, I found fulfillment to my every need—a bottomless, boundless curriculum, a clean-cut association with a clear and indisputable headmaster, and a family connected in love that had no tolerance for the ugliness that is perpetuated in so many martial arts schools and associations. I passed from darkness to light—Arawa Kage Kan.
William P. Durbin, the Soke (Founder and Headmaster) of Kiyojute Ryu, is a martial artist with more than 30 years experience. He began training in 1971 under the tutelage of a judo expert named Richard Stone; in addition to being a judo adept, Master Stone was also a student of Ramon Lono Ancho, the late great master of Kodenkan Jujutsu and a student of James Masayoshi Mitose, the first American Kempo Master. From Mr. Stone, Soke learned much of the spiritual side of the martial arts as well as judo and elements of Kodenkan Jujutsu and Kosho Ryu Kempo. In 1978, Soke began association with two other martial arts masters, Bill Wallace and Dr. Rod Sacharnoski. From Mr. Wallace Soke learned the importance of physical conditioning and the fine points of combat kicking. From Dr. Sacharnoski, Soke learned much about the most ancient practices of the martial arts including kempo, toide (the Okinawan royal family grappling arts), weapons use, kijutsu, and aikijujutsu. Soke’s experience with these three masters and his own deep research into ancient martial arts practices would eventually lead to the founding of his own system, the Kiyojute Ryu. The Ryu now has dojo in 4 different states and a wide membership of dedicated students.
Dr. Bob Pruitt
Bob Pruitt, Ed.D., is a martial artist of 30 plus years. In the Kiyojute Ryu, Bob has achieved shihan rokudan in the art of Shogei Toitsu Kempo and has earned master rank in all of the ten arts of Kiyojute Ryu.