"Pine-Bamboo-Plum" (Sho Chiku Bai) is a motif which is representative of a philosophy common to holistic martial arts systems. Traditional Japanese culture holds that the pine tree (Sho), bamboo tree (Chiku) & plum blossom (Bai) are representative of strength, suppleness, & endurance respectively. These qualities are not just physical, but also mental & emotional/spiritual. The connotation is that they are qualities that are interdependent on one another & must be developed simultaneously.

Sho Chiku Bai is a philosophy that the training structure of the Seizan Ryu system is based on. Seizan Ryu schools seek to provide an atmosphere in which Seizan Ryu students can develop proactive defense skills, increase situational awareness, foster mental toughtness/emotional resilience, & ultimately enhance their ability to maintain composure & defend themselves at all critical levels of conflict, be they physical, mental or emotional. It is our purpose to help each student realize & maximize his/her true, individual potential both physically & mentally. Holding true to that philosophy of excellence, we seek it in ourselves, while guiding our students along the same path.

The complete modern warrior-student has refined these physical & mental traits, & makes it a lifetime task to keep them in balance.


Seizan Ryu, or "West Mountain system", derives its name from the region where the teaching concepts were formalized. Seizan or "West Mountain" is named so because the teaching methodologies were formulated in Westmont, Illinois and in the Rocky Mountains, west of Denver, Colorado. The term "Ryu", system, denotes "a flow of knowledge".

Seizan Ryu is formalized from expertise in a number of systems including Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Indonesian martial systems. Seizan Ryu, however, is not an eclectic system, but is based on the philosophy that "truth is arrived at by studying the similarities amongst systems" and is therefore based on the principles which unify those arts. In other words, Seizan Ryu is not unique because it advocates striking in a certain way or choosing a grappling strategy, but acquires its uniqueness by teaching the best ways of striking and grappling in terms of the natural laws that pertain to all movement. The Seizan Ryu curriculum is structured so that our students develop an understanding of the most appropriate time to employ various tactics be they striking, grappling or a combination thereof. In everyday language, students of Seizan Ryu study technique and strategy, learning "what to do" (technique), "when to do it" (tactics) and understand "why it works" (conceptual understanding of natural laws).

Techniques, Tactics, & Strategies

Unarmed Defense Program

The term Kempo Jujutsu refers to the techniques and tactics employed by Seizan Ryu practitioners. To provide the "Cliff Notes" version, Kempo ("Striking Principles") consists of sophisticated striking tactics that use the hands, feet, arms, legs, elbows, knees and even the head to target vital points on an opponent's body. Jujutsu ("Supple Science") consists of efficiently blending with incoming force and makes use of nerve strikes, throws, joint locks, immobilizations, chokes, and certain hand held weaponry to disable or control an adversary. Therefore Kempo Jujutsu is a complete system of technique and tactic designed to render an adversary powerless while minimizing the practitioner’s exposure to harm.

More information on Seizan Ryu Kempo-Jujutsu.

Impact & Edged Weapons Program 
Modern Arnis de Mano

Arnis is sometimes referred to as Escrima, Kali, or, more broadly, by the term Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). Arnis is a system that focuses on the use of - and defense against - impact & edged weapons, but it completely applicable as an empty-handed system as well. When people think of Arnis, they usually think of the use of long & short blades, single & double sticks, or some combination being used in weaving blocking & striking patterns or to disarm, control, lock, break, & throw an opponent. While this is accurate, it is only the surface of the system. Remy Presas, founder of Modern Arnis related that, "Arnis makes many martial artists discover new things about their own style. They regognize the beauty of Arnis because it blends naturally the best movments from many arts.

More information on Modern Arnis de Mano