About the JKI

JKI Logotype

The Jikishin-Kai International, usually abbreviated and perhaps better known simply as the JKI, is a non-profit organization as defined in 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, reconstituted in the State of Texas, USA in September 2022 to serve as the successor organisation to the orginal JKI founded in 1993 by Shimabukuro Masayuki Hanshi (see bio here).  Following the untimely death of Shimabukuro Hanshi on 07 September 2012, the Jikishin-Kai name and its logotype at left gradually fell into disuse, and were eventually abandoned.  After years of attempting to obtain formal recognition by the Dai Nippon Butoku-Kai and other governing organisations of Shimabukuro-Ha Shitō-Ryū karate-dō, seven of Shimabukuro Hanshi's former students revived and reconstituted the JKI to be the official worldwide governing organisation for Shimabukuro-Ha Shitō-Ryū.

In addition to serving as the exclusive governing organisation for Shimabukuro-Ha Shitō-Ryū karate-dō, the JKI also offers training, instructor qualification, and rank authentication in the arts of Okinawa kobujutsu, Musō Jikiden Eishin-Ryū iaijutsu, and Shindō Musō-Ryū jōjutsu as they were taught by Shimabukuro Hanshi.  However, the JKI does not claim to be the sole governing organisation or authority over those additional budō arts.

The reconstituted JKI is managed by a Board of Directors elected from the leaders of its member dōjō, each of whom is a certified instructor in one or more of the budō arts overseen by the JKI.   This ensures that the JKI fulfills its purpose to serve the interests of its member dōjō.   Its major functions are maintaining the curricula and promotion standards for the arts overseen by the JKI, registration of dan rankings, training and certification of instructors, and periodic training events, such as gasshuku (training seminars) and taikai (conventions and tournaments).

The Meaning of Jikishin

Posted by Leonard J. Pellman on 15 October 2022

Jikishin KanjiThe name of the Jikishin-Kai is derived from an old Japanese proverb:  Jikishin kore dōjō nari (直心是道場なり), which translates roughly as "A pure heart produces a dōjō."  A kai (会) is a group, organisation, or association.  So the Jikishin-Kai (直心会) translates as the Pure Heart Association.  The JKI was founded as an international organisation for the purpose of promulgating the forms of Nippon budō (Japanese and Okinawan budō) taught by Shimabukuro Hanshi, so as a Japanese translation of our name we use Kokusai Nippon Budō Jikishin-Kai (国際日本武道直心会)—International Japanese Budō Pure Heart Association.

The concept of developing and maintaining a pure heart is the central aspect of every art and style  we teach—arts that have their origins in the need to protect the lives, property and rights of the innocent and the productive for the good of society and humanity as a whole.

A dōjō is a "place of the Way (of life)," meaning a place in which its members actively and intentionally follow the Way of Life of a bushi (see the description of Bushidō in the next section).  That Way of Life involves developing the KSAs (knowlege, skills, and attitudes) needed to overcome evildoers.  But the KSAs capable of overcoming evil are also capable of overcoming good, which is why the foundation of our budō training must be a pure heart—a heart that is motivated by pure intentions and a desire to serve others.

Being a member of the Jikishin-Kai International serves as a constant reminder that above all else a budōka must maintain a pure heart.

JKI Philosophy

Posted by Leonard J. Pellman on 15 October 2022

Karate-doThe key elements of a pure heart (jikishin) can be found in the philosphy that is an essential part of the arts we teach—arts that arose from the need to protect private property and agricultural production following the Taika land reforms implemented in Japan in 645 AD.  The bushi (武士) began as guardians of property owners and farmers, the people whose work was vital to their nation's survival.  After a few centuries of performing this role the bushi were admitted into the samurai (侍) class of Japanese society, and the characteristics of the bushi and samurai became so closely aligned and intertwined that the two groups became almost synonymous.  A thousand years of risking and sacrificing their lives for the benefit of those unable to protect themselves resulted in the development of a philosphy and code of conduct that has become known around the world as Bushidō (武士道).

Bushidō is a profound, complex, and challenging philosophy of life, but its essence is embodied in the seven fundamental precepts for which it is most widely recognised:

  Principle  Kanji  Meaning in English 
n Gi   義  Morality, Righteousness, Ethics 
n   勇  Courage, Valour, Bravery 
n Jin   仁  Benevolence, Compassion, Kindness, Humaneness 
n Rei   礼  Respect, Politeness, Etiquette 
n Makoto   真  Sincerity, Faithfullness, Honesty 
n Meiyo   名誉  Honour, Reputation, Worthiness 
n Chūgi   忠義  Fidelity, Devotion, Loyalty, Commitment, Dependability 
n Jisei 自制 Self-Mastery, Self-Control, Personal Discipline 

These are the fundamental attributes upon which our instruction focuses, but they are merely the beginning.  The underlying philosophy of classical budō is profound, enriching, and impacts every aspect of human existence.  It does not contradict Western ideology, culture, religion, or philosophy, but offers perspectives that deepen one's understanding and ability to apply them to enjoy a more meaningful and fulfilling life.  Training in true budō accomplishes more than merely acquiring the skills to defend oneself or others.  It fundamentally transforms the mind, body, and spirit!  It broadens one's perceptions and perspectives of life and its purpose and meaning, human relationships, and the world in which we live.  Training in classical budō is more than a recreational activity, sport, or hobby.  It becomes a Way of Life that  ... (full article here)

The Arts We Teach

Posted by Michiko Pellman on 19 May 2015

Most Jikishin-Kai member dōjō offer instruction in classical budō  for men and women of all ages and fitness levels, as well as sports derived from classical budō that are also suitable for children.  It is usually during the teen years that participants make the transition from the sporting aspects of budō to the more serious, lethal, and demanding adult aspects of budō training.

Classical (koryū in Japanese) budō fall into two major categories: Nippon Budō (which developed in mainland Japan) and Okinawa Budō (which developed in the Ryūkyū Islands, principally the island of Okinawa).  Okinawa kobujutsu are the weapons arts of Okinawa, such as the bō, sai, tonfa, kama, eku or kai, and nunchaku. These arts were created by people whose culture was significantly different from that of mainland Japan, so these arts have a markedly different character from those of the mainland.   Listed below are the arts we teach in each of these categories:

Okinawa Budō  
  Name of Art & Style Description
n Shimabukuro-Ha Shitō-Ryū karate-do A complete and comprehensive system of Japanese karate blending several styles
n Okinawa kobujutsu Bō, sai, tonfa, kama, nunchaku, eku, and other ancient Okinawan weapons
Nippon Budō  
n Musō Jikiden Eishin-Ryū iaijutsu The most widely practiced style of self-defence with the samurai sword
n Shindō Musō-Ryū jōjutsu The original style of self-defence with a 4-foot staff () against a samurai sword
n Shindō-Ryū kenjutsu A simplified style of samurai sword combat used in Shindō Musō-Ryū jōjutsu
n Ono-Ha Ittō-Ryū kenjutsu A complete, intricate, and supremely effective style of samurai sword combat

PLEASE NOTE: Not every art and style listed above is offered at every JKI member dōjō, so please contact your local JKI dōjō directly to ascertain if the art(s) in which you wish to train are currently available there.  Contact information for your nearest JKI member dōjō is available on our Member Dōjō listing.

Tax-Exempt Status

Posted by Pellman Shihan on 16 September 2018
Scales of Justice

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has not yet issued an official determination letter to verify that the Jikishin-Kai is a tax-exempt non-profit organisation under 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).  Therefore, it is not possible at this time to know if donations to the Jikishin-Kai will be tax deductible for all donors.

Although we are organised in Texas under 501(c)(3), the Jikishin-Kai has not been conclusively determined to be a tax-exempt educational and athletic organization.  While it is likely that most donations to the JKI would be considered tax exempt, it is not a certainly.  Therefore, we strongly suggest that you consult with a tax professional to determine if your donations to the JKI are tax deductible before claiming a deduction for them.

Please also bear in mind that tax regulations change frequently, so the requirements, conditions, and limitations affecting the deductibility of donations, bequests, and other contributions to the Jikishin-Kai may change from year to year.  We therefore recommend that you consult with the IRS or your tax advisor to determine the specific conditions and extent to which donations to the JKI are tax deductible for yourself or your organisation.

The Meaning of "Shin" (Kokoro)

Kanji Kokoro

Words have meaning, and Japanese words have particularly deep and complex nuances of meaning, probably because they are written and understood symbolically instead of phonetically. 

The word kokoro ("heart") in red above is no exception.  It has all the meanings and nuances of "heart" (courage, empathy, a blood-pumping organ, essence, etc.) plus a few that are unique to Japanese. All of these meanings have bearing on the meaning of "Jikishin-Kai" and the budō philosophy expounded by Shimabukuro Hanshi ... (more)

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