MARTIAL ARTS BIOGRAPHY
John D. MacGraugh, Shihan
6th Dan, Matsuno Ryu Goshinjitsu
5th Dan, Ryuseikan Batto-Do
5th Dan, Hiraido MMA
1st Dan, Kodokan Judo
John D. McGraugh, Shihan began studying martial arts in 1984 at the age of fourteen in Tucson, Arizona when a friend introduced him to a self-defense art called Matsuno Ryu Goshinjitsu. The class was taught by Vinson K. Holck, Shihan, son of Joseph Holck, Dai Shihan, president of the Kodenkan Yudanshakai. After consistent training throughout high school, Shihan McGraugh earned his 1st degree black belt in 1987.
In the fall of 1987 Shihan McGraugh started practice with the Judo club at Pima Community College. For the next few years he competed in Judo tournaments and continued to practice and teach Goshinjitsu at various locations. He assisted in founding the CFSD Budokai at the Catalina Foothills School District and started new classes at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
Standing in line at a water fountain early in his martial arts career Shihan McGraugh overheard a guest martial artist describe his recent trip to Japan, and how someone with a college degree could go to Japan and live while studying abroad. He described the opportunities to study martial arts, and the chance to learn the language and experience their beautiful culture. After hearing this account, Shihan McGraugh resolved to do just that. After completing his Education Degree at the University of Arizona in 1995 he made arrangements to move to Japan and live out this dream.
During his stay in Osaka, Japan Shihan McGraugh studied and earned various ranks in Ryuseiken Batto-Do, Kodokan Judo, Aikido, and Daido Juku Karate. Practicing and competing for five years, Shihan McGraugh then returned to the U.S. in 2000 and began teaching these arts, and also resumed his teaching and development of Matsuno Ryu Goshinjitsu.
Upon return to the U.S. in June of 2000 Shihan McGraugh also began working out with two friends and fellow martial arts teachers who had been studying Brazilian Jujitsu while he was away. As the three fellow martial artists began putting the striking, throwing and grappling techniques together that they had learned a discussion was started about founding an MMA system that would teach traditional martial arts principles and philosophy, but modern mixed martial arts techniques. In 2001 Hiraido, a modern mixed martial arts system, was founded by Shihan Mark Cann, Shihan John McGraugh, and O’Sensei Elliot Lyle to accomplish that goal. Hiraido has since grown immensely, produced numerous black belts and MMA competitors, and has been successful in passing on traditional martial arts principles to hundreds of mixed martial arts students.
In 2012 Shihan McGraugh founded the Southern Arizona Kodenkan with the intention of bringing the best of the traditional and modern martial arts together. Philosophically inspired by Professor Jigoro Kano, founder of Kodokan Judo, Professor Seishiro Okazaki, founder of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu, and Professor Joseph Holck, founder of Matsuno Ryu Goshinjitsu, Shihan McGraugh established the Southern Arizona Kodenkan to synthesize martial arts, fighting arts and self-defense techniques, and to pass down the teachings and stories of these three influential masters.
After 30 years of martial arts practice and study Shihan John D. McGraugh now owns and operates the Kodenkan Martial Arts Academy in Tucson, Arizona and continues to teach and practice these arts with students of all ages. He has also released a video instruction series to help those who would like to learn the art of the samurai sword. Condensing the arts he learned in Japan into a 6 DVD series, he offers to share Ryuseiken Batto-Do with students all over the world through The Sword Guy video instruction series.