What is Shintaido?  


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"Eiko leads you to come out of your own small world and lets you leap into a new, open, and unknown world."




Shintaido is a modern form of body movement based on traditional martial arts from Japan, including elements from sword fencing, karate, and aikido. Shintaido emphasizes self-expression and mutual cooperation. For more about the origins of Shintaido and the concepts underlying its practice, please visit the Shintaido of America website as well as these other sites.

Who practices Shintaido?

Around the world, practitioners range from children to seniors, from the extremely athletic to those physically challenged. Shintaido is open to everyone. Students are encouraged to expand their range of movement and explore their own physical and mental limits.

How is Shintaido different from other martial arts?

  • Offers practical applications for everyday life
  • Puts emphasis on continuous development and learning (in addition to a study of form)
  • Includes arrangements of individual, partner, small and large group movement
  • Uses improvisation and expression
  • Can be a creative outlet for expressing emotions
  • Thinks that "The body is a message of the universe"
  • Offers no colored belts or competitive events
  • Approaches the martial arts from a spiritual and artistic perspective, rather than as fighting arts
  • Offers outdoor practice into which natural elements like wind and water are incorporated
  • Fosters a strong sense of community within classes

How is Shintaido similar to other martial arts?

  • Builds confidence and develops energetic awareness
  • Draws on fundamental physical forms and movements (kata)
  • Offers a body-mind discipline and path of personal development
  • Relies upon strong teacher­student and senior­junior student relationships for teaching and learning
  • Includes both hard and soft forms, "empty hand" techniques as well as practice with traditional weapons
  • Has cultural influences from its country of origin, Japan, creating a bicultural context for learning
  • Offers examinations to assess practitioners’ abilities
  • Uses certain forms and etiquette to encourage respect, responsibility and safety during practice

Who are the instructors and how are they trained?

All Pacific Shintaido Instructors have been examined and certified by Shintaido of America and/or the International Shintaido Federation. When taking an examination, Shintaido Instructors are judged on technical expertise and overall leadership qualities.
There are four levels of Shintaido Instructors:

  1. Instructor
  2. Senior Instructor
  3. General Instructor
  4. Master Instructor
Shintaido Instructors must fulfill certain prerequisites before they are eligible to take an exam. These include:
  • Specified years of practice for each level
  • Previous Shintaido teaching experience
  • Organization of Shintaido workshops/events
  • Apprenticeship with a more advanced instructor
  • Dojo (practice space) management

What can I expect in class?

Newcomers and beginners are always welcome. There will always be an instructor and sometimes a teaching assistant. The class format consists of warm-ups, more vigorous exercises, fundamental movements, partner practice and sometimes kata, or traditional movement forms.
You will probably hear some Japanese terms used for counting and to announce the beginning and ending of class and certain activities. It is standard form to bow to one’s partner before and after a partner exercise, to recognize the practice relationship and your mutual responsibility for safety.

Other resources on the web


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