Midori Yama Budokai History

As conceived by its founders: “The object and purpose of Midori Yama Budokai, Incorporated shall be to study the ancient martial arts of the orient as well as Europe. Books and white papers will be written to attempt to understand the religious and meditative processes that are contained in the Martial Arts. We will also attempt to define the manner in which the Martial Arts conform to the human bodies of Asia and in the process try to correlate these art forms with the western human body. All such material that may [be] written will be given freely to other such groups that may desire this material. We will get together with other such groups and physically study moves that are involved in the martial arts, and we will give clinics to similar groups that desire to know the details of our studies.”


Seven styles of martial arts form the basis of Midori Yama Budokai. These are Kodokan Judo (Kano Jigoro, 1882), Shotokan Karate Do (Funakoshi Gichin 1937), Korean Tae Kwon Do (Choi Hong Hi, 1955). Tai Ki Ken (Sawai Kenichi, 1947), Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu (Takeda Sokaku Minamoto Yoshimitsu, 11th century), Savate (dockhands in Marseilles, 1820) and Fan Gin Han (Aiki Jujutsu and Kung Fu Eagle Claw, 1939).

Leo D. Wilson, Shihan, founded the Huntsville (Alabama) Judo Club in 1964. Students of Franklin T. Booth Sensei (Chakras Judo and Karate) joined Wilson Shihan in his School of Martial Arts (SOMA). Wilson Shihan founded this organization in 1966. Wilson Shihan was a member of both the USJF (United States Judo Federation) and the USJA (United States Judo Association). In 1973, Wilson Shihan with Ron Rogers and William Rawls, founded Midori Yama Judokai. In 1974, Leo D. Wilson, Shihan, and Ronald L. Rogers Sensei formed Midori Yama Budokai, with Millard Shelton Sensei in attendance. In addition to being at, and taking part, in MYB’s formation, Shelton Sensei contributed financing to the original MYJ patch.

Many arts and styles make up Midori Yama Budokai. The major styles are Midori Yama Judo Kai, Midori Yama Jujitsu Kai, Midori Yama Karate Kai, Aikido Kai (Col. Bearden) Chikara Age Kai (1975, Ron Kellog), Eagle Claw, Tae Kwon Do, Kempo, Hapkido, Tai Chi, Karaho Kempo, Midori Yama Kobudo, and Yudo. It is to be noted that all styles of an art included in the MYB system. Karate includes Shorin ryu, Goju ryu, etc. Judo includes the USJA, USJF, IJF, etc.

MYB jujitsu and karate have roots in various forms of Wu S[h]u, some forms of Kung Fu Long Fist, Eagle Claw Kung Fu, Chin Na [sic], Pa Kua, Daito Ryu, [Hsing I], Cheena Aida Jujitsu, and aikijujitsu. We trace our roots at least as far back as Shaolin Temple (really further), which it seems was a “melting pot” for many arts from many places, flowing through the Temple. The (traceable) masters, through which our lineage winds down to the present day, include:

Chou Ton (Shao-Lin)

Yeuh Fei (Wu Mu)

Li Chang (Shao-Lin)

Tao Gi (Shao-Lin)

Far Cheng (Shao-Lin)

Lieu Shih-Jwing

Chen Tzu-Cheng

Lieu Mon-Far

Fan Gin-Han

Leo D. Wilson

Cary L. Wilson

Ron Rogers

Ken Baker

Larry Williams

Midori Yama Budokai Aikido

Leo Wilson Shihan learned Aiki jujutsu from Fan Gin Han. Also, in the mid 1970’s, he took an interest in the Yoseikan Aikido being taught on Green Mountain. Col. Tom Bearden was teaching the classes. In 1976, Mochizuki Sensei, founder of Yoseikan, asked MYB to sign a five-year agreement to run the aikido school and promote in Yoseikan Aikido. A signed letter by Mochizuki Sensei confirmed this. LTC Tom Bearden was President of the Yoseikan Aikido Association. LTC Bearden affiliated this branch of Yoseikan with Midori Yama Budokai. He stated: “This affiliation will have the effect of making Midori Yama Budokai the official representative organization in the U.S. for Yoseikan Aikido.” He further stated: “Midori Yama Budokai is a large, well-established and recognized organization. It contains JiuJitsu [sic], Karate, Judo, weight lifting and other branches and is a well-rounded martial arts organization.” He concludes with, “Affiliation with Midori Yama Budokai will be quite advantageous to us. Midori Yama Budokai is taking the fledgling Yoseikan Aikido Association of North America under its wing and assisting it during the most difficult stage of development.” At the end of the five years MYB declined to renew the agreement as Yoseikan decided that Yoseikan Aikido would change to Yoseikan Budo. Several members stayed with MYB to form the Aikido system under MYB. At that time, MYB Aikido was known as Shinko Kaiten Aikido.

In addition to Yoseikan and Daito Ryu, Wilson Shihan also learned the chin na techniques of the Chinese styles he studied. These included not only the basic techniques of Aikido, but were more extensive in combat application. He was also ranked 7th Dan in Korean Hapkido. Baker Hanshi teaches Aikido, as do I. Baker Hanshi’s lineage begins with Mochizuki, one of Ueshiba’s first students. From Mochizuki, the lineage may be traced to Demizu on to Williamson. Later study was with Wilson Shihan, who was Mochizuki’s American representative, and additional training from Patrick Auge and Glenn Pack. Mickey Cole, Sensei, also teaches Aikido as does one of Baker Hanshi’s students, Bill Terrell. Another prominent aikido sensei is Curtis Adams, M.D. Other MYB instructors are Doug Pietrie, Doug Coulas, Larry Johnson, and Tommy Lunsford. Their schools are located in Kansas, Alabama, Georgia and Missouri.

The aikido of MYB is similar to that of Yoseikan, both of which had stronger ties to karate and judo than other styles. This is reflected in many of the techniques. Ken Baker Hanshi, who also holds rank in Hapkido and Taiko Ryu Aiki Jujutsu, has modified some of the techniques, as have any of the practitioners of the art, as we all tend to do what works well for us.

Wilson Shihan always contended that the difference between Aikido and Aiki Jujutsu was intent. Aikido is a path for the individual to follow for betterment of the self. Aiki Jujutsu is intended to win the fight. Aikijutsu was the foundation of Aikido and the two were similar before WWII. After the war Aikido in some schools became more philosophical and religious based on the later teachings of Ueshiba, O Sensei, who was a priest in the Omoto religion.

There is a written syllabus for the old Yoseikan Aikido, and each school will have a syllabus for the MYB style as taught by them.