West Side Jin Sei Ryu
Sei Shihan (Master) Mel Ramsey is a 6th degree Black Belt with over 45+ years experience in Martial Arts.
Sei Shihan Mel began his training in styles such as Isshin-Ryu, Aikido, and Seido. His Martial Arts expertise includes Asian weapons such as the Bo, the Jo, and the Tonfa, as well as teaching Street Self-Defense. In addition to being a tournament competitor in Kata and Weapons, he has also given many self-defense demonstrations and seminars at Cornell University, Columbia University, Salomon-Smith Barney, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Coach Leather Company, Manhattan Cable TV and many of the Metropolitan YMCA’s of Greater New York. He was nominated for the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame 2005, 2007,2010 and 2011. Inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2012 and is also a Certified Member of the International Martial Arts Council of America.
Students often join Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do for one of several reasons: to get fit, to learn to defend themselves, or to learn more about Japanese culture and philosophy. We provide the framework, structure and environment to cater for all of these pursuits. After a period of time however, students discover that their experience with Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do enables them to grow and develop their mind, body and spirit in other ways – on and off the dojo floor.
Jin Sei Ryu is a system of Karate-Do that is not solely technical in nature. When students train in Jin Sei Ryu, they start a personal journey of self-development. This journey may be brief or may last for many years. On this journey, students are not only learning awareness, forms, and self defense, but perhaps more importantly they are becoming kinder individuals who are making positive contributions to the world around them. We are a community, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Each individual can learn karate at their own pace, and we all support the diverse perspectives and paths that one another pursues on their own personal journey.
At its most fundamental meaning, Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do means “Profound Reflections for Growth.” In short, “Reflect then pursue kindness through Karate-Do.”
The kanji (Japanese writing) and logo patches that we wear on our uniforms reflect the key foundations of the Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do philosophy. Wearing these patches reminds us to always train in the spirit of the style and in pursuit of what we are working to achieve in our lives.
Jin (湛) “Profound” – Because transient and superficial expressions are becoming more prevalent in the modern world, most of us are now looking for serious activities to exercise our bodies, minds and hearts. It is through regular training that we are able to appreciate people and things around us in a more meaningful way.
Sei (省) “Reflections for Growth” – Regardless of whether we are happy with the course of our lives, or are facing significant personal challenges, we should spend some time on a regular basis to reflect on ways to grow and develop as individuals. When we spend time to self-reflect with the intent to improve, we can overcome personal difficulties and achieve great things in our lives.
Ryu (流) “School or Style” – On the surface, we have created a personal development framework and teaching approaches that encourage students to grow at their own pace. However, on a deeper level, we want knowledge and positive energy to “flow” between teachers and students, and amongst each other. It is only in this way that we can collectively grow as a community.
At the centre of the ripple is Jin (人) A person or individual:
When a person first starts Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do or any other martial art, they often join a school to learn self-defence, to improve their fitness, to learn about another culture, or simply because a family member or friend recommended that they try a new activity. Students, regardless of age, quickly realise that there is more to their training than physical exercise.
The 1st Ripple represents Karate (空手) Empty-hand training:
As our students commence their training, they immerse themselves in the physical techniques of Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do. They spend some time practicing techniques in a safe and supportive environment, remembering and recalling terminology, and learning self-defence applications. This process of learning technical aspects of an activity can often be useful inside and outside the dojo.
The 2nd Ripple represents Mushin (無心) Empty-mind practice:
Over time, when students progress through the ranks of Jin Sei Ryu, they become better equipped to empty their minds so that more instinctive actions occur naturally. Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during times of personal adversity. As a result, students act purposefully and with more commitment to their circumstances. Students often find that this practice of “emptying their mind” works in other areas of their lives.
The 3rd Ripple represents Mushi (無私) Empty-self or learning to become selfless:
Our senior Jin Sei Ryu students naturally want to share their knowledge and experience with other students, as their seniors had done previously. As these students begin teaching, they practice and appreciate more deeply the values of mutual respect, compassion, cooperation and patience. As a result of helping others, our teachers begin to learn more about themselves and their journey with Jin Sei Ryu becomes more meaningful.
The 4th Ripple represents Zen (善) Most kind; and Sei (誠) Most genuine thoughts and actions:
Through serious training, teaching and applying lessons learned in the dojo to their own circumstances, our students approach life and those around them with honesty and kindness. What they realise in retrospect is that their karate-do training has helped them become more gentle and peaceful individuals. They also realise with much appreciation and humbleness that their training in karate-do has helped them become successful in other areas of their life, such as their education, job, vocation and relationships.
The 5th Ripple represents Jin (仁) Collective Altruism:
When our students gather together, they often collaborate on ways to help others. Sometimes these discussions focus on other students within the dojo; more often, they discuss ways to help others in their wider communities. This is when students’ training transcend the dojo. When people from different walks of life, with unique and complementary talents, gather to help others altruistically, wonderful and beautiful things can happen!