james williams

James Williams Sensei

James Williams is the President of Bugei Trading Company, Inc.  He has been studying martial arts since 1960 and teaching since 1975. James has trained, competed in, and taught a number of different martial disciplines: Japanese, Okinawan, Chinese, and Filippino, as well as the Brazilian system of Jujitsu as taught by Rorion and Royce Gracie.

His experience includes western wrestling, which he also coached, as well as competing in boxing and kickboxing.

His love of samurai martial traditions came with his study of the Yanagi ryu of the Yoshida han under Don Angier Sensei and the martial traditions of the Kuroda-han as taught by Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei.

James also studied Daito ryu Roppokai with Okamoto Seigo Sensei.

James teaches Close Quarters Combat to police and military both foreign and domestic. The method used, “The System of Strategy,” is based on those skills developed and cultivated by ancient warriors. He is the designer of tactical flashlights and knives, including the “Hissatsu,” a close quarter battle knife that is produced by Columbia River Knife and Tool.

James is certified as an instructor of Systema (an ancient Russian Martial Art) by Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev. Williams Sensei teaches Nami Ryu Aiki Heiho, (kenjutsu, iaijutsu, tanto jutsu and aikijujutsu) and The System of Strategy near Fayetteville, North Carolina.

kuroda tetsuzan

Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei

Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei of the Shinbukan Kuroda Dojo is the Soke (familial inheritor) of several ancient Samurai military disciplines. Kuroda sensei inherited this knowledge through his family line and is the headmaster of the Kuroda family martial legacy. 

The Kuroda family styles of jujutsu, kenjutsu, and iaijutsu were founded 450 years ago. Kuroda Sensei began his training at the age of 5 and was trained by both his father and his grandfather Kuroda Yasuji.

The style of swordsmanship, Komagawa Kaishin ryu kenjutsu, was founded by Komagawa Tarouzaemon-kunikichi in the 16th century. Kaishin means changed mind or spirit.

don angier

Don Angier Sensei

Donald J. Angier Sensei was born in 1933 in Utica, New York. He was the Soke, inheritor by direct succession, of the classical ryuha of Yanagi-ryu Aiki Bugei of the Yoshida han. Angier Sensei was bequeathed Yanagi-ryu by Yoshida Kenji Sensei, the son Yoshida Kotaro. 

Don Angier Sensei dedicated his life to the study of Yanagi ryu and was one of the foremost teachers and practitioners of samurai arts in the world. Angier Sensei passed away in October 2014.

James Williams Sensei was a student of Angier Sensei for many years.

yoshida kenji

Yoshida Kenji

Yoshida Kenji, the son of the renowned martial artist Yoshida Kotaro, is a significant figure in the world of martial arts, particularly in the discipline of Yanagi-ryu, a system of martial arts associated with his samurai family lineage. 

We have yet to find a record of Yoshida Kotaro Sensei passing on his family art to anyone in Japan. The only person we know of who knew these family traditions, however, was his son Yoshida Kenji, who came to the United States before the Second World War.

With no relatives in the United States nor contact with Japan, Yoshida Kenji taught and passed his family art of Yanagi ryu Aiki Bugei on to Don Angier Sensei.

yoshida kotaro

Yoshida Kotaro

Yoshida Kotaro (1883-1966), born to samurai descendants in Fukushima, was a Waseda University graduate and ex-Second Lieutenant in the Japanese Navy. An esteemed journalist, he also held a position in Kitami's village counsel with Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of Aikido.

Licensed in Muso Yanagi ryu and Yoshin ryu hibuki jutsu, Kotaro began studying Daito Ryu under Takeda Sokaku in 1915, introducing Takeda to Ueshiba Morihei that year. He granted Ueshiba the use of the Yoshida family kamon (samurai family heraldry), which the Ueshiba family still uses.

He earned the Kyoju Dairi instructor's certification in Daito Ryu, the highest level at that time, and assisted Takeda in teaching. Post-WW2, he continued teaching Daito Ryu in Tokyo.

Yoshida Kotaro taught Daito ryu to notable martial artists such as Oyama Masutatsu (Kyokushin karate), and Kondo Katsuyuki, Tomebechi Yoshimi, and Jibiki Hidemine, of the Daito ryu. Despite suffering a stroke, he taught until his passing in Hitachi, Ibaragi Prefecture. 

Yoshida Kotaro's son, Kenji, taught the Yoshida family art of Yanagi ryu to Don Angier.