Use the scroll bar above to move the images left/right. Hover your mouse over the images to reveal more about each image.
There will have been fighting techniques practiced.
Many cultures have formulated fighting and combat systems. In some cases these systems were closely related to the military, in others they were developed by religious groups as a means of both exercise and protection.
From these monasteries came the internal search for truth and freedom. The hardest warrior to conquer is the warrior within.
These two aspects of the Martial Arts, the internal and the external, came together most famously over 2,000 years ago in the Province of Hunan, North China.
a temple was being built. The temple would have many rooms and halls, attendants and employees to look after the extensive grounds. It would become prosperous and attractive to the bandits that roamed these lands.
It was called the Shaolin Temple and because of its remoteness and because of its tolerance, it would become a sanctuary for retired military men, for the disenchanted and for refugees escaping from the law.
In order to protect this prosperous community from marauding bandits, the warrior monks came into being.
To keep themselves healthy and fit for their long hours of meditation the monks practised the eighteen routines of Luohan boxing, an ancient martial form.
on Wu Tai Mountain came Bodhi Dharma, a holy man from India, a Buddhist in the Zen tradition, formerly establishing the Chan School of Buddhism in China.
He became the patron of Shaolin Martial Arts.
Bodhi Dharma introduced Kung Fu to the monks at the temple. ‘Kung Fu’ means ‘skill achieved over time through practice’. His Kung Fu was called Chi Kung; a discipline of breath work and movement for healing and strengthening.
Chi is energy, the electromagnetic spark of existence and Kung means work.
These exercises were the foundation of Shaolin forms and the techniques developed in later centuries, whether Jiu jitsu and Aikido in Japan, Tae Kwon Do and Hap Kido from Korea, T’ai Chi Ch’uan from China or Muay Thai from Thailand, they have all been influenced by or have their roots in the techniques used by the warrior monks to protect themselves from bandits.
In the 15th century weapons were banned and the weaponless fighting forms flourished.
The modern freestyle forms came into being when the Americans left Japan after the Second World War and brought the Martial Arts to the U.S.A. They put their own interpretation on Martial Arts, making them more sports orientated and amalgamating them into the modern freestyle forms we know today.
specifically Okinawa - Kung fu developed into Okinawa-Te. Okinawans developed an empty-handed fighting system that became the Karate we know today born out of necessity due to weapons being banned by the feudal Lords . It is also said that Karate originally meant "T'ang Hand", referring to the martial art practiced in China during the T'ang Dynasty between the 6th and 9th Century.
1879 Okinawa is annexed with Japan – Karate expands throughout the nation - Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training and one's own creative efforts
When Sensei Hironori Ohtsuka registered his own style of Karate, which he called "Wado Ryu" and was recognized as an independent style.Its techniques were combining his own innovations and natural movements found in the other Martial Arts.
On the 1st April 1897 Ohtsuka started school where he studied Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu, under the supervision of Shinzaburo Nakayama Sensei, the third Grand Master of this style of Jujitsu. The essence of this art lays emphasis upon the nature and the grace of movement. This study of movement impressed upon the young Ohtsuka the importance of natural flowing movements. These lessons play a major part in today's "Wado" karate. In defense and attacking techniques the use of the opponent's body and weight and movement play an equally significant role in defeating your enemy as your own body movements.
A controversial figure in many ways, is probably one of the most forward thinking, and certainly one of the most inventive, free-fighters in the British Isles. The 34-year old Meiji came to Britain for the first time in March 1970, having been invited over by his former instructor from Japan, Tatsuo Suzuki. Meiji quickly became established in the London area, and opened his own club in Judd Street, WC1.
Martial Arts and especially Wado Ryu Karate remained upon the small islands of Japan. It was hardly recognised outside of the East. This was soon to change. In 1963 a three-man team left Japan to conquer America and Europe. The team was composed of Mr Arakawa, Mr Takashima and Mr T Suzuki. The impressions they left upon America and Europe were tremendous Wado-Ryu Karate became recognised worldwide for its true merits.
1970. Master Meiji Suzuki writes and performs the illustrations in his Karate Kata Manual. Master Meiji Suzuki 5th Dan Wadoryu, has studied his art since the age of seventeen with the world-masters, including Hironori Ohtsuka Grand Master and founder of Waduryu Karate. Meiji Suzuki is a dedicated perfectionist and the katas here illustrated are presented with complete confidence in their authenticity.
1974: National College of Karate - British Karate Remi Team taking the 1st place trophy at the National Championships.
1975: Sensei Rafael and Master Meiji Suzuki demonstrate knife defence at the Irish Open.
May 1977: Meiji Suzuki profile featured in Combat Magazine: 'An Eastern outlook with a difference'. Master Meiji Suzuki thinks that mixing styles - contray to most Japanese beliefs - can work well, especially in free-fighting and competition. Master Meiji Suzuki believes strongly in taking techniques and adapting them, regardless of what style they may be from. "I believe people should enjoy sparring and all karate, but they can only enjoy it by having the freedom to use the techniques that suit them."
1978: Sensei Rafael competes in his first karate tournament in Kingsway College London.
1979: Sensei Rafael's first full contact fight.
1986: Southend - South East National Championship. Mugendo win 1st place. Sensei Rafael Nieto fights Mugendo - v - Taekwondo. Mugendo wins.
1987: Amateur Karate Association (AKA) National Championships. Mugendo wins all.
Fighters Magazine article - 'When is a Martial Arts system not a system - a style not a style?'
One man's answer to this riddle is, 'when it becomes a method'. So states Master Meiji Suzuki.
'I wanted to break out from any one style. If you have a goal, then you must have a 'Way' to reach it. That is the 'Do' part...(Suzuki then sketched a mountain the goal is to reach the top) Which Way shall we take?. We can take any Way. So I called it 'Unlimited or infinite'. This is Mugen in Japanese. The Infinite or Unlimited Way. Its up to you to choose your path.
The universe is movement.We're a part of the Universe. Our own selves already know how to move in the universe. When you make a good movement you feel immediately that its right. That movement is the closest to nature's way - therefore stronger. The natural movement of the human is the strongest. So in Mugendo our movements are as close as they can be to nature human movements.
Fighters Magazine - Master Meiji Suzuki explains the Mugendo Fighting system.
Fighters Magazine - It was whilst watching a full contact competition in Ireland during 1979 that Master Meiji Suzuki decided to expand and extend the core of his Martial Arts knowledge by challenging the strict Wado-Ryu training system that he had used for 25 years. He travelled to Yugoslavia and trained with the national team coach Peter Mijik in his system of kick boxing. Master Meiji Suzuki then went on to develop and founded the Mu-Gen-Do fighting system with Joe Johal and George Canning (Founder of Mugendo Ireland). Mu-Gen-Do means 'the unlimited Way'. This means the Mu-Gen-Do fighting system does not then become fixed, as Wado-Ryu and remains open to new ideas and techniques.
1988: Athens - World Association of Kickboxing and Karate Organisations (WAKO) European Championships.
1989: London Fight Night of the Century, Taekwondo v Mugendo. U.S.A V G.B Team Match. Sensei Denise Bailey achieves Black Belt 1st Dan - Shodan. Mugendo Dynasty - Master Meiji Suzuki with his Team of British, European and World Champions. Venice WAKO World Championships. Dai Master Rafael Nieto World Champion. Curriculum created by Master Meiji Suzuki detailing grading criteria from 1st grade to 5th Dan.
1990: Sheffield Harvey Hadden Sports Centre - Amateur Martial Arts Association (AMA) National Championships. Madrid WAKO European Championships. Master Rafael Nieto European Champion.
1991: London WAKO World Championships. Sensei Denise Bailey World Champion.
1992: Varna WAKO European Championships. Mugendo Dream Team Tournament winners complete with M.C Hammer trousers.
1993: Martial Arts Today Magazine article 'Soul Power' Master Meiji Suzuki, the healer. Sheffield Harvey Hadden Sports centre British Championships Mugendo wins every Light Continuous Fighting category.
1994: Lisbon Portugal WAKO European Championships British Team.
1995: Stuttgart Germany WAKO World Championships.
1996 Venice Italy WAKO European Championships.
1997: Master Rafael Nieto head of the Amateur Martial Arts Association (AMA).
1997 - 2000: Running, judging, refereeing and organising the British Championships and selections for Great Britain Team for WAKO European and World Championships.
1998: Xen-Do at Seymour opens in the Seymour Leisure Centre, Edgware road, W1.
2000: Bilbao Spain, Spanish National Championships.
2001: Barcleona Spain, Spanish National Championships.
2002 November: Karmaa Holistic Centre in Camden Town opens 'Well being begins from within'.
2003: Bilbao Spain, Mugendo British Team v Spain.
2004 Spain: Master Rafael Nieto heads the team of British judges and referees officiating at the National AMA Championships.
Master Ricardo Gress , Sensei Denise Bailey and Dai Master Rafael Nieto in front Master Jesus Platon's martial art school.
2005: Master Rafael Nieto founded and developed the Spanish WAKO Organisation. Anthony Nieto returns to training. Anthony Nieto started training at the age of 5 with his father, the founder of Xen-Do Master Rafael Nieto.
2006: Anthony Nieto accompanies his father and assists teaching. 2006 Barcelona Spain, Sensei Anthony Nieto's 1st Full Contact fight.
2007: Sensei Anthony Nieto wins Spain v Great Britain full contact International fight. Sensei Anthony Nieto achieving his Black Belt 1st Dan - Shodan. Xen-Do at the Bridge opens in Golders Green NW11.
2008: Master Rafael Nieto interview with Adrianne discussing Martial Arts and technique, demonstration with Sensei Anthony Nieto. Bilbao Spanish National Championships. Master Rafael Nieto receives award from Master Jesus Platon and Master Ricardo Gress. Bilbao Sensei Anthony Nieto wins Light Continuous Tournament.
2010: Barcelona Spain, Sensei Anthony Nieto winning full contact fight. Xen-Do students embark on the competition stage at the Bikma Championships.
2012: Dai Master Rafael Nieto receives the Henry Cooper Award for 2012 The award is presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of young people and sport.
In receiving the award from Henry Cooper's sons, Henry and John, Dai Master Rafael said "I have pleasure in accepting this prestigious award on behalf of Martial Arts instructors everywhere. Henry Cooper was an inspirational figure and a real gentleman who was committed to charitable works in support of the underprivileged, his energy and enthusiasm remain an amazing influence on us today as we in Martial Arts work to turn young people from all backgounds into outstanding members of society".
Dai Master Raf opens his latest dojo in a landmark location at 73 Baker St. London.
Dai Master Raf introduces the Xen-Do 'Hybrid' training system with a new, more efficient curriculum which enables students to progress faster through the belt grades without reducing the technical superiority of the 'Xen-Do Kickboxing and Martial Arts system'.
June 2015 and Team - Xen-Do compete in the Barcelona Open Championships: six Xen-Do Senseis won three Gold and three SilverTrophies, an outstanding performance.
The Team Xen-Do triumph at the June 2015 Barcelona Open Championships ensures that Dai Master Raf and Xen-Do Kickboxing and Martial Arts London remain at the Centre of the World Martial Arts Stage; testament to the new Curriculum and 'Hybrid' training system.
September 2015: Dai Master Rafael opens dojo in the heart of London on Tottenham Court Road equipped with Five Star facilities and instructors.
December 2015: Xen-Do Instructors receive Black Belts through the hybrid training system showcasing the strength of Dai Master Rafael’s rigorous curriculum.
Dai Master Rafael Nieto and Son Sensei Anthony Nieto continue to conquer the Martial Arts world.
Xen-Do students continue their conquest for Black Belt through Hybrid curriculum.
February 2017 - Before heading to The O2 with Black Sabbath and continuing their U.K. tour, Rival Sons kicked some butt with us at Xen-Do, check it out!
March 2017 - Dai Master Rafael Nieto named Vice President of World Amateur Martial Arts International (WAMAI)
June 2017 - Team Xen-Do compete in the Spanish Open Championships. Team Xen-Do's amazing support system travels to Barcelona, Spain. Dai Master Rafael Nieto offers a special course for professionals and black belts at Mugendo Gracia School of Martial Arts and Self Defence in Barcelona, Spain
July 2017 - Xen-Do Senseis receive their well deserved Black Belts through Master Rafael Nieto's hybrid curriculum. Xen-Do celebrates the success of the competitors