Toshu Jutsu: The Ryukyu legacy

The system:

Our system is called Hakuda Kempo Toshu Jutsu, a system based on the Shuri, Naha and Tomari Karate (Toshu Jutsu) traditions as well as the Jujutsu methods of Japan. “Toshu Jutsu” or Toshukuken is an older way of reading the characters “Karate Jutsu.”


The Ryu:

The Ryu (transmission) is called Sakugawa Ryu, named after Kanga ‘Tode’ Sakugawa, a master who flourished in the 1780s. Followers of Sakugawa include the legendary Sokon Matsumura and from this branch come kata like Kushanku and Passai (known in Shotokan as Kanku Dai and Bassai Dai).

Bo training

Bo training

The club:

Bushinkai is comprised of the White Lion Academy (Hakuda Kempo Toshu Jutsu) run by Simon Keegan and the Metal Tiger Academy (Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Shaolin/Shorin) run by his father Sifu David Keegan.

Three generations

Three generations

The Hombu (Dojo headquarters):

Our HQ is the Hakutora Academy in Manchester, a purpose built three storey martial arts centre.



Bushinkai is part of Shikon; Masa; approved by Martial Arts Guardian; Karate England; world Karate governing bodies; and affiliated to the UK branch of Kokusai Budoin, Japan’s oldest martial arts fraternity. The Kokusai Budoin has had venerable Karate members such as Hirokazu Kanazawa, Hironori Ohtsuka, Gogen Yamaguchi, and Tadanori Nobetsu.

Three Nihon Jujutsu masters who influenced Simon's studies, Jack Hearn, Mitsuhiro Kondo and Shizuya Sato

Three Nihon Jujutsu masters who influenced Simon’s studies, Jack Hearn, Mitsuhiro Kondo and Shizuya Sato


Simon Keegan (5th Dan Renshi) is a Martial Arts Guardian and international instructor in Karate, Jujutsu and Tai Chi. He has trained with some of the world’s senior masters and his studies have been published internationally. Known for his bunkai based approach to Karate, his teachings are self defence orientated but Kata based. He has taught military, police and security as well as fighters and of course complete beginners. He graded on the mat up to 5th Dan.

Simon and Kicki teaching locks

Simon and Kicki teaching locks

Instructor’s grades held:

– 5th Dan Shobukan Karate (graded on the mat by Shihan Handyside 8th Dan, World Union of Karatedo Federations, Kokusai Budoin UK)
– Renshi (awarded after 4th Dan) Shoto Ryu Karate Jutsu and Jujutsu (Renshi title approved by hombucho of Dai Nippon Butokukai)
– 3rd Dan Judo (awarded by Kodokwan, European Jujitsu Union, Aiichi University Judo Club)
– 3rd Dan Nisseikai Karate (graded on the mat by Kyoshi Reiner Parsons 7th Dan, student of Tadanori Nobetsu, Kokusai Budoin, Japan)
– 2nd Dan Nihon Jujutsu (recognised by Shizuya Sato, Kokusai Budoin Japan, previous graded on mat by Hanshi J Lee-Barron)
– 2nd Dan Yang style Taiji Quan (graded on the mat by Sifu D Keegan, also member under Sifu S Rowe, student of Ma Lee Yang, rec by BCCMA)

Senior International instructor Simon Keegan 5th Dan

Simon Keegan 5th Dan Renshi pictured in 2012

Instructor’s background in Karate:

Family tradition:
Simon comes from a lengthy family martial/military tradition. His maternal great-great-great-great-great grandfather Nils arrived in Shuri, Okinawa in the 1780s as a member of the Swedish East India Trading company, serving on the cargo ships at the same time as Tode Sakugawa (after whom Sakugawa Ryu is named), returning to Sweden he was followed by Johannes Nilsson, he by Nils Johannes and he by August, a member of the Swedish Royal Navy who changed the family name to Nelson when he arrived in England. August taught his son William Henry (world war 1 veteran) to box and he taught his sons Jim (British Army WW2) and Bill (WW2, Navy) who were Simon’s grandad and great uncle. Bill was also a blackbelt in Jujutsu in the 1940s and their brother in law Ted served in Japan and China as a master at arms. Simon’s paternal great-great-great grandfather Herve Briant served Napolean III’s Royal Navy at the time the French ships were sent to Tomari, Okinawa as well as Japan and China. The sailors returning with a martial art they called Chausson (now considered a fore-runner of Savatte). Simon’s father Sifu David Keegan, whose grandfather’s served inn World War I commenced Jujutsu study in 1959 and subsequently studied arts like Karate, Kobudo and in the 1980s lived and worked in China. In the 90s he began studying Yang style Tai Chi and associated arts.

Sifu David Keegan

Sifu David Keegan

Initial training:
Training informally at home, Simon trained on the makiwara and in boxing as well as weapons like the bokken/shinai, aikuchi, bo, surujin, nunchaku, shuriken and Chinese broadsword. In 1995 at the age of 16 he joined the Bushido Academy (Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kobudo, Kickboxing) and at 19 the BLJ Academy (Yang style Taiji, Sun style Taiji, Chinese sword – Jian, Chi Kung, five fists of Hsing-I Chuan).

Simon teaching in February 2001

Simon teaching in February 2001

Formal training:
Simon’s formal Karate training from 1995 included competing in Kumite, Kata and Kobudo, He was taught the Pinan katas, Naihanchi (Tekki), Bassai, Kushanku and Wansu (Empi). His teacher’s background was in a mix of styles including Shukokai, Wado Ryu, Shotokan and Budokan. Simon became the senior student of his teacher, also training at his teacher’s home and was awarded his black belt in 1999 and began teaching shortly afterwards. Formally studying Chinese martial arts with the academy for 9 years he had the opportunity to train with some of the highest ranking masters in the world such as Professor Li De Yin. In 2000 he established the Bushinkai Academy. But his own training was far from over:


Shuri Te & Tomari Te
In 2000 Simon began training with Kyoshi Bob Carruthers in Seiki Juku Karate (Bob started in 1972 in Bujinkai Karate, a blend of Wado and Preying Mantis before training in Shobukan Karate, trained with Shotokan masters like Keinosuke Enoeda, and later in  Ryukyu Kempo and Kyusho Jutsu). Simon also trained with Bob’s senior student Steve Brennan whose Shorin Ryu school was also influenced by the bunkai-based Karate Jutsu of Vince Morris and Hanshi Patrick McCarthy. Hanshi McCarthy’s Koryu Uchinadi has been a key influence on Simon’s studies. Bob introduced Simon to his Shobukan teacher Shihan Phil Handyside and in 2012 Shihan graded Simon on the mat to 5th Dan. Shihan Handyside began his studies in Judo in 1963, before training in Shotokan with masters like Kato and Tomita. However his greatest influence (who graded him up to 1st Dan) was Hirokazu Kanazawa, one of the few living masters to have trained with Gichin Funakoshi and also studied with Shorin Ryu (Shuri Te) masters Chosin Chibana and Higa Yuchoku. Shihan Handyside then trained with Malaysian Budokan grandmaster Chew Choo Soot, whose style was heavily influenced by Kanken Toyama of Tomari. Kata Simon was taught by the above include Pinan (Heian) 1-5, Naihanchi (Tekki) 1-3, Bassai Dai, Bassai Sho, Kushanku (Kanku) Dai and Sho, Jutte, Nijushiho, Rohai/Meikyo, Wankuan, Seisan/Hangetsu, Unsu, and he is currently studying Gojushiho.


Naha Te
In around 2003 Simon began training with Kyoshi Reiner Parsons and on occasion with his teacher Hanshi Tadanori Nobetsu in Nisseikai Karate. This style was developed from Ei-ichi Miyazato’s Goju Ryu and Nobetsu’s studies of Feeding Crane under the Liu family grandmasters and Bubishi holders. Learning forms like Gekisai, Sanchin and Seisan as well as the Okinawan weapons this Naha Te based art left a large impact on Simon’s studies. In 2005 he met Hanshi Terry Wingrove a Karate Jutsu master who trained in Japan for 21 years and encouraged Simon to research the Uechi Ryu style, a Tiger boxing based art that Hanshi Wingrove studied under Hiroshi Fujimoto. Simon cross trained with a representative of the old Chinese Tang (To) family whose namesake Tang Daiji (To Daiki) was a tiger boxer who influenced Naha Te. Looking at some of the Tang family’s forms, Simon was able to better understand Naha Te kata like Seisan. Other masters Simon had the opportunity to train with include Shito Ryu master Fumio Demura who he trained with in Karate, Kobudo and Batto.

Simon with Hanshi Nobetsu, (9th Dan Karate) chief director of Kokusai Budoin

Simon with Hanshi Nobetsu, (9th Dan Karate) chief director of Kokusai Budoin

Developing the system
Simon pioneered Hakuda Kempo Toshu Jutsu in 2007 when as a 4th Dan he was a founder member of the English Karate Federation. His studies have gone hand in hand with his publishing of the Lost Book of Kushanku and his next project, the Lost Tiger of Canton.

Thursday 8pm-9:30
Hakutora Academy
Newton Street

Honoured to meet Master Fumio Demura

Honoured to meet Master Fumio Demura

Club instructors:

Simon Keegan (5th Dan)
Kicki Holm (2nd Dan Shotokan Karate International, graded by Hirokazu Kanazawa)
Dan Sanchez (2nd Dan)
Ben Gaunt (1st Dan)


hakusign haku5


Kicki Holm

Kicki Holm

Dan and Joe practicing the grab and kneestrike portion of the drill

Dan and Joe practicing the grab and kneestrike portion of the drill




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