Billy Ristuccia's Background
I began training in the martial arts in 1976 at the age of 9, studying old systems of Japanese Jujutsu. I trained at the Yoshitsune Dojo which is located in NJ. My teacher was Mike DePasquale Sr. I was trained in the system of Yoshitsune Waza from him as well as his private curriculum. Back then this consisted of Sekiguchi-Ryu, Kito-Ryu, Jigen-Ryu, Sosuishitsu-Ryu, Hakko-Ryu, Hepi-Ryu Bojutsu, Nihon Goshindo Kenpo, and elements of Kodokan Judo. During this time also began my introduction into the world of Japanese medicine and Asian bodywork. In Jujutsu, the teachings and philosophy of Anma, Seikotsu, and other related medical traditions are taught along side each other. In 1988 I became a member of the Bujinkan Dojo located in Noda City, Japan under the direction of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. I am a Shidoshi (licensed instructor) under Hatsumi Sensei. I follow closely to the teachings of Noguchi Sensei, a senior student of Hatsumi Sensei.
I am also a practitioner of Kriya Yoga and was a member of the AOBTA: American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia. For professional massage therapy training in the United States, I first attended a Japanese massage school located in Japan Town; San Francisco, California called the Anma Institute of Traditional Japanese Massage. Takashi Nakamura Sensei first established this school in 1977 to provide a local source of Japanese Anma massage practitioners for the Kabuki Hot Springs, the only authentic Japanese hot springs located in the USA. Nakamura Sensei was a high-level graduate from a Kansai Medical school located in Osaka, Japan. Upon graduation from the Anma Institute, I continued my studies by attending the Desert Institute of The Healing Arts where I learned the Masunaga system of Shiatsu, also known as Zen Shiatsu. After graduating from this school I was given the opportunity to become a direct apprentice to Shogo Mochizuki, whose family is declared a living national treasure by Japan. After leaving this program, I had the pleasure to train with Masayuki Saionji the founder of the Tokyo International Institute of Preventive Medicine. From Saionji Sensei I learned the art of Kotsuban Yumeiho, Hipbone Pressure and Kneading Adjustment Therapy. I then studied with Yoshiaki Nakano, the founder of Zen Health Education, which offered courses in Shodo (Zen Calligraphy), Oriental health observation, advanced Shiatsu clinics and the art of longevity practices. Moxage is an art which Nakano Sensei founded by combining ancient techniques of Moxibustion (herbal heat treatment) with traditional methods of Japanese massage. I have trained for many years in Japan studying with specific teachers of Koho (old way) of Anma massage, one of which was blind (but she could see better then most sighted people I know).
I have taught a variety of workshops within the United States and in several foreign countries. I have been a massage consultant for various companies to assist in their development of wellness programs for their employees. I have been an instructor and clinic supervisor for various institutes, where I developed and taught courses for both Asian medical theory and Japanese bodywork arts. I maintain a private clinic and school located in Fountain Hills, Arizona for Japanese massage and bodywork therapies, where I also teach Japanese martial arts classes on a regular basis. Every year, I travel back to Japan to continue my education and advancement in both the fields of Japanese medical arts and martial arts with my teachers. Through my website I am providing resources translated into English from original Japanese sources for the first time to help students understand the scope and depth of the training in various traditional and folk Japanese medical arts.