Soke of Tomo-ryu Shinobijutsu (Ninjutsu)

Tomo Ryu was a private school. None of the previous Soke felt the need to join large martial arts organizations. Therefore, not much was known or recorded about the school outside the school itself until the 21st Soke; Anshu Christa Jacobson began teaching publicly and accepting more than a handful of students at any one time.

Tomo Ryu is a school of war, and just like all warrior traditions of the time, was passed down in the warrior sect in the form of kuden (oral teachings). Therefore, very little was written down in the form of Densho until the 17th Soke; Fujibe Nakashima started documenting the oral traditions of the school for it's survival.

There are makimono & densho concerning Tomo Ryu from the past masters, and are currently in possession of Soke Anshu Christa Jacobson, 21st headmistress of the Tomo Ryu

Ichiro Kobayashi (1948-2008); 20th Soke; was a practitioner of the martial arts his whole life. He studied Shotokan Karate and Judo as an adolescent and started his training in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu while he was in college. Later, Kobayashi Sensei started training with Nakashima Sensei in the Tomo Ryu methods of Ninjutsu. Kobayashi Sensei knew that this was an honor to learn this art, as it has been only taught within the Nakashima family for the last three generations. After years of training, Kobayashi Sensei was awarded Menkyo Kaiden (Full Transmission) in Tomo Ryu Shinobijutsu and the title of "Soke", making him the 20th grandmaster of the school.

Years later he met a woman that he passed down the knowledge and the art of the Tomo Ryu Shinobi to; Christa J. Jacobson. Kobayashi Sensei felt that she possessed the physical / mental skills needed to train in the ways of the Tomo Ryu Shinobi. Christa Jacobson was awarded Menkyo Kaiden (Full Transmission) in the art of Tomo Ryu Shinobijutsu in November of 2005 as well as inheritor of the art. With the title of "Soke" (21st grandmaster of the family) he awarded her the warrior name of "Anshu" which literally translates to "Dark Master". He said the kanji "dark" symbolizes shadows as he never thought that he would hand the art of the Tomo Ryu Shinobi to any non-Japanese, and or a woman. He felt that "Soke Anshu" had all of the skills to be the next successor in the art for the future generations.

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