I had become a member of the BJJA under Prof. Blundell and Prof Robert Clarke to Nidan, then a break up of the BJJA, we became the WJJF, where I enjoyed many years of training up to Yondan attending as many seminars as I could. During this period I began to learn Iaido as a second art in 1983 with Sensei Okimitsu Fujii Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu. A great Sensei with a style of teaching I liked very much.
As these sessions took a round trip of 600 miles. Every Friday after my Jujitsu Class, it clashed with the policy of the WJJF, of which I had to leave! But under a amicable agreement, bearing no grudge whatever. But having to find another Association where I obtained Godan, to carry on at the same time learning Iaido. My Dojo was finished, the Club doing very well, I was content and very happy.
I was introduced to Fujii Sensei`s Instructor Haruna Matsuo Hachidan, the chief Instructor of the famous Musashi Dojo in Okayama. One of only 8 Sensei who also taught Niten Ichi Ryu the double sword art of Musashi. He was also All Japan Iaido champion 28 times. My life changed really dramatically during this period. Haruna became a wonderful Sensei to me as well as a father figure and dear friend. It began when he invited me to his home in Japan in about 1986 as a guest. This began to open a new world plus a chance to begin my dream to visit japan.
He opened the doors to me like a dream come true, I experienced wonder after wonder during my frequent trips to Japan during the following years. I was walking on air, as you might say! Every trip opened a new door. To Kobe, Shikoku, Kyoto, Karashiki, Tanabe, Tattori, Dai Shoji Imperial Temple, Musashi Shrine, House, Museum etc etc Master after Master none less than 7th Dan up to the highest peak, it was wonderful!
The peak of the dream as a Jujitsu man was to visit and train in the historical Dojo of the famous Takenouchi Ryu founded in 1525. this was in 1995. this dojo I had searched for at least 25 years after seeing it briefly on a video. I was ecstatic, truly a dream of a lifetime. To top this! After the training, a large Banquette with his students where he drew his personal gift on a scroll, signed and stamped it, then presented it to me as a memento of my visit in a beautiful frame, wrapped in silk.
Arriving back in England I received an invitation to attend a special seminar in London of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Society Kyoto Japan.
I had read about this Society in a magazine many years ago, about the special festival of Boys Day May 5th at the Butokuden in Kyoto, where I was privileged to visit with Haruna Sensei.
On arriving at the Venue I was asked to meet Hanshi H.T. Hamada chairman of the Int. Division in another room. After being introduced he asked me about my trip to the Takenouchi Ryu Dojo, which he had already precious knowledge of. After chatting away for a few moments he asked me what grad I was going for (I had no news of this) I answered I am happy to have an open grading . It turned out this was the hardest grading one would wish to have.
It began with my own Uke of a 5th DAN, a 3rd DAN Aikido, plus 2 other DAN-Grades. All attacking at full speed, we finished all out of breath, me gasping as I was 60 at this time, as we got up he said you stay there and brought on 5 of his personal student, none below 6 foot tall with tanto.
His command was please defend from knife attack! Begin. After what seemed a lifetime he said STOP! And leaving me breathless. To retire outside gasping for air.
At the closing ceremony I was presented 7th DAN Kyoshi, in amazement for such an honour. After another 5 year of my background being ratified and after another grading on a sports centre Floor in front of 15 Hanshi on a World Taikai in the USA, I was pronounced 8th DAN. On the World Taikai in Kyoto after demonstrating again in front of 25 Hanshi, I was awarded the highest honour from Dai Nippon Butoku Kai in Jujitsu of Hanshi, and my style of Jujitsu designated as a new Ryu Myo Shin Ryu Jujitsu! Meaning: Bright with the essence of true technique.
The first ever awarded by DNBK to a non Japanese. Plus my Team 3 Awards of excellence, and a personal award from Kyoto Shinbum, who presented these only 2 Awards: 1 to a Japanese and 1 to a non Japanese.
Now in 2004, at the age of 70. What else is there? Soke of my own style, Hachidan, Hanshi. I have travelled and taught all over the World in 20 countries, held 23 international seminars, achieved 26 DAN Grades in the Arts of Jujitsu, Iaido, Karate, Aikijitsu, Aikido, Kobujitsu, a quadruple heart by pass, a new carotid artery and blind in the centre of one Eye. 2 Sons and 4 grandchildren, lot of friends and all nice people. Truly God is blessing me with such honour
Allan Tattersall, Kyudan Hanshi. Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Kyoto
Soke Myo Shin Ryu Jujitsu; Senior UK DNBK Officer