About the Style

Kobushin Kai (“Ancient Martial Spirit” Association) is a school of martial arts, the primary goal of which is to teach Goshinjutsu (Self-Defense Techniques). This unarmed form of combat, descended from the empty-hand techniques used by the Samurai on the battlefields of ancient Japan, has since evolved into a highly effective method of individual self-protection. Goshinjutsu essentially describes a range of techniques that utilize Atemi no Jutsu (striking techniques) and Jūjutsu (grappling, throws, joint locks and chokes) to overcome an opponent. Countless styles have described their respective arts as forms of Goshinjutsu, yet, even though many of them share similar or sometimes even identical techniques, each style has its own unique emphasis, curriculum and philosophy.

About the Founder

The Kaichō (head of school), Jason Backlund, established the first Kobushin Kai dōjō in Gainesville, Florida in 1997. Mr. Backlund began studying martial arts in 1984 and has been teaching since 1991. In 1995, he was awarded a Menkyo Kaiden (license of full transmission) in Yamagata Ryū Bujutsu by its founder, Ryūso Yamagata Takashi. Mr. Backlund has been a Shidoin (instructor) of Matsubara Ke Bujutsu since the age of 16. In addition, Mr. Backlund has also studied Japanese Jūjutsu, Jūdō, Aikijutsu, Aikidō and Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Mr. Backlund has worked in private security and as a trainer for amateur and professional mixed martial artists.

Kobushin Kai Classes at a Glance

Kobushin Kai has an extensive curriculum of striking techniques, throws/takedowns, grappling, joint locks and choking techniques. The style is derived primarily from the Japanese arts of Jūjutsu (“gentle art” – a form of grappling) and Atemi no Jutsu (“striking art”). The majority of a Kobushin Kai lesson is spent practicing technique, usually in the form of partnered drills. Generally, the last third of a class is spent in free practice, where students can either review previously learned techniques, or free spar with other students and instructors. Approximately two thirds of technique practice is done from standup (striking, self-defense techniques, throws, etc.) and one third is done on the ground (grappling, submissions, etc.).


Kobushin Kai Goshinjutsu