The level one kenshusei program consists of a four year curriculum which is split into four one-year commitments. The program is designed to be completed in conjunction with a four year degree at one of the local universities or colleges in the Dallas area. The student is expected to maintain their studies at the university while living at the dojo dormitory and to concurrently complete their Kenshusei martial arts training program. The goal is for a student to achieve their Bachelors degree and Black Belt within the same time period.
It is possible to complete the Kenshusei Program in less than the typical four years if the student continues to train over summer breaks, or enters the program with previous experience in the martial arts that transfers into their chosen course of study (just as with college credits).
The program covers the curriculum from white through Black Belt in either Gasan-Ryu Kenpo, Kodokan Judo, or Heike-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. The Gasan Ryu Kenpo program is overseen by Dr. Chamberlain. The Judo and Jiu-Jitsu programs are overseen by Jim Webb, sensei, the past president of the United States Judo Association (USJA).
The level two Kenshusei program consists of an additional 1-2 years of training, designed to bring the student to instructor level status and a 2nd or 3rd degree Black Belt ranking. The student’s final ranking at graduation from this program will depend on their aptitude, training intensity, and previous martial arts background. This will be discussed in depth with the student prior to the outset of their training so that realistic goals, expectations and outcomes are agreed to between both instructors and student.
The curriculum for instructor training includes: education and learning theory, anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology concepts, history, philosophy, and basic psychology and personality theory, plus lots of practical teaching experience monitored by experienced teachers.
It is possible to do a combined program in these studies of Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and Kenpo just as with a degree in business with a minor in finance. Permission from the course directors must be obtained for this program which again depends upon previous experience (transfer credit), aptitude, and maintenance of the students grades in their concurrent college studies.
Residence and Training
The picture to the left shows the door into the Kenshusei dormitory from the main house. Facilities are clean but small and spartan. There is a separate computer room and study area for homework. The kanji were painted by Soke Koshiro Tanaka, the head of the Fuji-Ryu Tai-Jitsusystem, from Tokyo Japan. He painted the kanji on his trip to the dojo in February of 2006. Read from top right to bottom left, the writing says:”Lift your head to the universe and a big road of opportunity lies before you”. The lowest character is “Koshiro”,Tanaka sensei’s signature.
Kenshusei programs are different from an Uchideshi program. Although the Kenshusei student may live at the dojo similar to an uchideshi, their time after study and training is largely their own, and they are expected to support themselves and be involved in the pursuit of a concurrent college degree or program of continuing education. The uchideshi in contrast is constantly involved with his training 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.