Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Bit About Me

After nearly 80 posts, I think you know a good deal about me already; my point of view and what I am thinking about. You probably already know a lot about my philosophy toward training and personal development via the Martial Arts, but maybe I have been rude by not sharing much about my own background. I have always kept my blog focused on the here and now, and did not explain how I got here. For any of you that are interested, here is a bit of my own heritage:
  • 1974 Karate, Olympic Karate School, Villa Park, IL USA
  • 1981 Ninkage Ryu Ninjutsu (2nd Dan Black Belt 1988), Chicago, IL USA
  • 1988 Kiyama Ryu Iaijutsu (1st Dan Black Belt 1989), Portage, IN USA
  • 1989 Western Fencing, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL USA
  • 1989 Aikikai Aikido, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL USA
  • 1995 Takeda-Ryu Rosen-ha Aikijujitsu, Tokyo Japan
  • 2002 Western Boxing, Watanabe Boxing Gym, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2004 Yoshinkan Aikido (1st Dan Black Belt 2008), Tokyo, Japan RYA Dojo and Singapore Shudokan Dojo
  • 2008 Kali Majapahit, Ni Tien Martial Arts, Singapore
You can see that my heritage is largely in Japanese styles (until 2008), and that is why Kali Majapahit is of particular interest by contrast to what I have done before. I always wanted to explore Southeast Asian styles, but they were inaccessible in Chicago when I was growing up and were not taught in Osaka or Tokyo for the last 16 years that I was there.

There were several periods where I could not train consistently, notably 1991 - 1995 when I was first getting settled into Japan and learning the language had a much higher practical priority for me. Of course, I continued to look at the world through my martial artist's eyes, and still do so more than 25 years later. My start in 1974 was at Olympic Karate School in Villa Park, IL

This was short-lived, however, and my real first exposure came in training with Master Randy Moore at Ninkage Ryu Ninjitsu in Chicago from 1991 to 1998, where he developed my background in Japanese martial arts and weapons, including sword, staff, nunchaku, sai, kama, tanto, jo, manriki gusari, and a host of others. Master Moore sent me to train under Sensei Raye Cantrell in Indiana specifically in Japanese sword and aiki concepts in Kiyama Ryu, where I trained from 1987-1991 during my college years prior to going to Japan.

The next major training cycle for me was in Tokyo. I studied with Master Reuben Rosen in Takeda-ryu Aikijujutsu in Yotsuya, near Shinjuku, Tokyo until he closed the school, and began Yoshinkan aikido at Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido under Roland Thompson and Michael Steumpel, eventually testing for black belt under Joe Thambu and Ramlan Ahmed of Shudokan. I am now helping to teach Sunday Aikido class at the new Shudokan Singapore school.

My current cycle is focused heavily on Kali Majapahit at Ni Tien Martial Arts under Guro Fred Evrard, and has been helping me to integrate all I have done into a cohesive package and adding important elements of Chinese and Filipino arts, as well as lifestyle/health consulting.

My path has been long, with many interesting vantages. I hope you will join me for the rest of the way!


MARTIAL said...

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balance93612 said...

Can you tell me more about Randy Moore Sensei of Ninkage Ryu

balance93612 said...

do you have an e-mail that I can contact you?

John Honeyman said...

I am reachable at

Pechurin said...

Hello--I worked and studied a bit with cantrell sensei many years ago--I was wondering if he still taught Kiyama ryu and the associated arts of the furniture of the sword--specifically the tsuba wrapping techniques he worked so beautyfully? Do you have a contact venue for him that you might be willing to share?

Domo arigato gosai


John Honeyman said...

@Pechurin: I have been gone from the US since 1991, so have not been in touch with Master Cantrell, and not sure if he is still teaching or doing sword furniture/handle restoration.
The last details I have for him are:

Ki Yama Ryu School of Martial Arts
2525 Portage Mall
Portage, IN 46368
Phone: (219) 763-4541

I hope that helps.


~ Tammy said...

Hi John. Not sure if you will remember me. When we met my name was Tammy DeVault, it is now Tammy Graham. I was a student of Sensei Cantrell. We met back around 1991 or 1992 through Sensei Cantrell. I married Sensei Red Graham in 1994. We always wondered what happened to you, we knew you were in Japan. As Sensei Cantrell said we lost you to Japan, that Japan was where you were always meant to be. I was searching the web for some other stuff and came across your blog. Red and I were so surprised that I found you. We are happy to hear you and your family are safe.