Carl Withey, Kyoshi 8th Dan Hoshiyama JuJitsu
The first introduction to martial arts for Carl Withey Sensei came when he was about 9 years old, when he walked into the “Austin Judo club” based in the motor companies Longbridge canteen in Birmingham.
He trained there for approximately 2 years. Unable to afford a Gi or undergo any formal grading, the instructors allowed him to train every time he turned up which was twice a week.
Things changed when he moved to senior school and his new friend invited him to his fathers Aikido club (G. William Sensei ) housed at the Hamstead House Community Centre in West Heath, Birmingham. It was a very different atmosphere than the Judo club. He trained there for about three months twice a week but stopped going when his friend’s father had to stop teaching and training due to cancer. G. William Sensei passed away soon after.
Withey Sensei lost interest in martial arts until he was 13yrs old and his father and brother came home from a nights training at Tony Smith Sensei’s Club in West Bromwich and talked him into attending the next class. Two days later he attended Smiths Sensei’s class and became hooked from then onward’s. For the next 16 years he trained under Smith Sensei studying Aikido, Atemi jitsu, judo, karate and weapons (sai, tonfa & jo).
At this stage he held 3rd Dan in Atemi Jitsu, 2nd Dan Aikido. He then spent almost two years training under Eddie Daniels Sensei (karate) with his brother Lee Withey, after which he also ran two martial art clubs (in Rednal & West Heath) with his brother for almost three years.
Then he decided to take a year out and his brother continued to run the clubs for some time after. Just after that Smith Sensei asked him to take over one of his clubs in Lady Wood Birmingham which he ran for 18 months. He lost contact with Smith Sensei for a number of years after Smith Sensei closed the Ladywood club, he trained at a number of clubs for differing periods of time around the country, preferring to just train and not joining associations or undergo grading.
A lot of this was due to his work taking him to different parts of the country and Europe, and not staying in one place longer than 14 months. This ten year period was a learning experience for his martial arts. It all changed when he gained employment at the University College Birmingham as a lecturer, which allowed his family and himself to settle down in one place. He trained on and off at the Colmers Farm Aikido club under then Packer Sensei (5th Dan) and also with his brother at his leisure clubs in Redditch and Worcestershire. Having joined the Colmers Farm club he did not take any grading due to his work commitments (grading was only done on courses at Easter and summer).
In 2004 came a big move to Australia. Here his three boys talked him in to training them in martial arts, it then snowballed as his brother in-law and his son’s friend wanted him to train them, so a club was opened in Adelaide. Withey Sensei then traveled to Melbourne and Perth on many occasions to train with various master in Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Aikido etc. Withey Sensei was fortunate in being able to be re-united with his old Sensei, Smith in 2009 and was then re-graded by both Smith Sensei (10th Dan).
Withey Sensei still considers himself to be a student of the martial arts. Withey Sensei has also been training Hoshiyama Sensei as a personal student, again to constantly improve himself as a martial artist. Withey Sensei is the highest graded Hoshiyama Ryu Jujitsu exponent in the world today apart from Sensei himself. Smith Sensei in 2011 travelled to Adelaide SA and stayed for three months in Adelaide, South Australia giving specialist training at Budo Kan of Australia clubs with Withey Sensei. Smith Sensei passed away in 2015.
In 2014 Hoshiyama Sensei promoted Withey Sensei to Kyoshi and in 2015 promoted him to Hachidan. He has been a guest at, and conducted seminars in England, Italy, USA and Australia.
Withey Sensei has studied and holds grades in Aikido, Atemi Jitsu, Jiu Jitsu, and AikiJitsu.
Contact Withey Kyoshi
About Hoshiyama-Ryu Jujitsu
by Carl Withey Sensei
I have spent the last 40years studying Atemi Jujitsu, Aikido (original style), and Aikijitsu (mix of 2 styles). Hoshiyama-Ryu is very close to what I have done before, BUT FAR MORE DEVASTATING AND TAKES WHAT I LEARN’T TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL…!
Every single technique is a kill-technique, which you do not see in many of the techniques, because until shodan, they are “basic baby techniques” as Hoshiyama Sensei puts it, only beyond this level do you start to understand and learn to improve the basic technique of the system and learn truly to respect the techniques you are imparting upon uki (your training partner).
These techniques have a little similarity to what is taught by some of the traditional Aiki-jujitsu schools and the so-called hard Jujitsu schools, but understand Hoshiyama-Ryu Jujitsu is not an Aikijujitsu system, but an unique Jujitsu system that stands alone. A large part of the syllabus emphasizes atemi-jitsu (vital point striking methods). The techniques that are taught are nage-waza (throwing techniques), kansetsu-waza (joint locking techniques), torite-waza (grappling hand), atemi-waza (vital point), and lastly shime-waza (choking techniques) and katame-waza (holding techniques) as these were thought to be the least important of the techniques taught, because in combat on the battle field are all but useless.
What is interesting is that when Hoshiyama Sensei’s father was learning his family jujitsu, there were no names given to each techniques and no structure given to the teaching of the art. Also Hoshiyama Sensei would be called into the garden by his father and told “we learn this today”. Training with his father would be every single day for many hours at a time. The names given to each technique are a modern addition, and names adapted to differentiate each technique, many from Hoshiyama Sensei and his father.
It has to be said this old style of jujitsu is very different to modern styles or competition styles and very devastating, not for the faint hearted only to be taught to adults.
If you think that jujitsu is grappling and applying an arm-bar, or choke your opponent out for a tap-out or points, then sorry wrong!
Everything I have researched on traditional and ancient, jujitsu is that if the technique took more than 2-3 seconds it wasn’t worth practicing because you would be dead on the battle field, ambushes, or even in unrestricted combat fights amongst clans. Example here would be Yama-nage Rukko, or Hoshiyama mountain throw simular to Daito Ryu technique “Yama Arashi”, a techgnique synonymous with Shiro Saigo (1867-1922) who was a fully trained top student of Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu who was enticed away by Professor Kano to join him, and used him to promote his judo. The technique he supposedly used was in the pinnacle contest to prove superiority in Judo over Jujitsu was “Yama Arashi”, and very few if ever any were able to stand after the technique was applied, causing massive internal damage. This was deemed too violent for Judo, because both arms can be snapped before they hit the floor!
Hoshiyama Sensei often reminds his students that there are “no nages (throws)”.
This message can only be fully understood when one is on the receiving end of a technique, because if the technique is fully applied, you will not be able to break-fall, because you will have received broken or separated bones, become debilitated, or deceased before the completion of the technique. The special whips, hip rotations, centreline accelerated techniques define this system, with little or no ground techniques, because it was designed as battle field fighting against numerous people intent on your destruction, so attempting to apply an arm bar would be tantamount to suicide, even today in a fight, you would have your head kick in by your attackers friend.
This is one of the very few true battlefield systems left. Understanding the feudal battlefield of ancient Japan, you lost your weapon, you had seconds to either find another one or relieve your enemy of his, or if you go to ground you were history!I hope this short personal view of this precious Jujitsu system lends some light to those of you that have an interest in martial arts.
Carl B. Withey
Hoshiyama-Ryu Jujitsu 副会長, Fukukaichou