Origins of the name ‘Sakura Ryu’
My Story – Hanshi Ellis


The translation for Cherry Blossom in Japanese is “Sakura”. This does not just mean Cherry Blossom but refers to the Cherry Blossom flower when the early morning light hits the flower, as the night dew begins to drip from its petals and it is as its most glorious, this is “Sakura”.

“Ryu” is taken to mean the Style, School or Club.

Shihan Geoff Geurts (circa 1959)

A “Ryu” (or style/school/club) can always be taught in many different ways. There are no two ever the same. Over time however, it could be said that most Ryu’s could be placed into one of two categories. Basically, the style that would take prisoners, ‘The Elite’, and the other that would take no prisoners, ‘Storm Troopers’.

The same as with the styles, where there are never two the same, and as with the Teacher/ Instructor, no two are the same.

Our own style ‘Ryu’, known today as “Sakura Ryu”, began many decades ago, maybe hundreds of years ago and was brought to Australia by Shihan Geoff Geurts, a Dutchman who was graded in Holland under the auspices of the Netherlands Judo and JuJitsu Bond, and used the Cherry Blossom to denote grading in JuJitsu.