Lee E. Richards
Tony K. Skeen
Lee E. Richards got his thirst for the Life Protection Arts back in grade school in the 1976 when he saw a Karate banner hanging in front of the local Y.M.C.A. He begged for the chance to train, but his Mother felt it was too dangerous and enrolled him in baseball instead. He didn't quite give up and checked out every single book related to the arts he could find at his local elementary school reading and mimicking what he could as a young, pre-teen. A few years later he was able to get an older friend in school to give him a basic introduction to Bushidokan, without his family's knowledge.
In the late '80s, he was working in retail security and was tasked to put together a regional seminar on handcuffing. A referral led him to Shihan Michael Waddell who was then a student of Taika Seiyu Oyata, running one of Oyata's Ryukyu Kempo Dojo in Gladstone, Missouri with Tony K. Skeen. Both Shihan Waddell and Fuku Shihan Skeen had prior blackbelt rankings in Shito Ryu prior to joining Oyata's organization. Shihan Waddell was also a police officer and handled much of the defensive tactics training for the North East area of Greater Kansas City. Lee was so impressed with the tactics of this seminar that he joined Oyata's Ryukyu Kempo which later evolved into RyuTe Ren Mei.
In 1992, Lee joined the Kansas City Missouri Police Department where he worked until 2018. Here he learned many other Defensive Tactics systems as well as gained a certain 'perspective' that shows in his books in relation to Tuite. Lee cross trained in other Japanese and Chinese arts during his time with Oyata. He is a National Trainer with the National Law Enforcement Training Center and has been involved with that organization since 1998. He additionally received certifications in the Rapid Rotation Baton and Monadnock® Baton Systems. Training in the Law Enforcement circles has given him exposure to many other training partners and styles, such as Judo and Jiu Jutsu, which combined have greatly influenced the way he teaches. Law Enforcement BJJ training began with his assignment to the Police Academy in 1998. LEBJJ strips away techniques that are impractical outside the competition arena and focuses on the goal of getting someone prone, among other differences. Techniques that leave the practitioner vulnerable to a third party attacker are avoided. After retiring from the Kansas City, Missouri Police department he obtained a job teaching at the Warrensburg, MO Police Academy at UCM as well as the Sedalia, MO Police Academy located within SFCC. He additionally teaches instructor certifications at the Kansas City Regional Police Academy each year via N.L.E.T.C. In 2020 he became a board member and then President of N.L.E.T.C.
After attaining Ikyu in RyuTe Ren Mei, he was blessed when asked by Taika Seiyu Oyata to start training at RyuTe Headquarters. Upon the retirement of Shihan Waddell in 1997, Lee and Tony opened this dojo in South Kansas City, Missouri, under the name of Kenshūkai, which means "Research and Training Club". On August 31, 2010, Taika honored Lee by renaming the school RyuShinKan. Ryu is short for Ryukyu, as in "the Ryukyu Kingdom" and the first character of Taika's art while he was alive, RyuTe® Ren Mei. Shin is heart or soul. Kan is simply school. Taika gave this school a name he said meant, "The Soul of RyuKyu". This was a great and unexpected honor. Lee continued training with Taika at his dojo and home until Taika's death in 2012 at the age of 81, and now attempts to carry on the traditions he was given.
Lee trained directly under Taika Seiyu Oyata in his dojo as well as Taika's home, several times a week until Taika's death and continues to pass the knowledge he was given directly.
The Dojo is in the Basement of a recently retired Police Sergeant's home from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department and current Academy Instructor at three Missouri Police Academies. Some people might seem uneasy at first going to a residence to train with someone they do not know, however the owner of the residence is a trusted member of the community. If you need further reference for trust you can contact the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department or the University of Central Missouri Police Academy to gain further references. Having the dojo in a residence significantly reduces the cost to you, the end user. We are not required to charge exorbitant fees or lock you into a contract.
Tony has over 45 years of Defensive Tactics experience. His initial yudansha ranking was in Shito-Ryu. After teaching that system for 3 years he began his study of Oyata's Ryukyu Kempo in 1979 with Taika Seiyu Oyata which he then attained yudansha ranking in July 1981. After approximately 12 years of study within that system, Taika changed the name and curriculum of the system to RyuTe Ren Mei. Tony has been teaching/studying this system continually throughout all those modifications since 1979.
Over the years Tony has previously participated in the study of numerous other systems of self-protection and martial pursuits. These included Tai Kwan Do, Aikido, Shotokan and Goju Ryu karate, Wing Chun, Hapkido, Judo, Iaido as well as (American) Western wrestling. Though having had conversations (in person) with individuals of other pursuits, those listed are the one's he has had the most "hands-on" experience with.
In addition to those studies, Tony has also actively pursued a practice of Japanese Brush Calligraphy (Shodo). He holds an instructor's license (Menkyo) in that endeavor as well, and offers instruction in its practice.
Relating to these studies, Tony has been actively affiliated with the instruction of Law Enforcement/Security Officer Training. That instruction has included Unarmed Defensive Tactics/Techniques, Prisoner Compliance Procedures, Handcuffing and Escort Techniques & Procedures, Straight Nightstick Defensive Tactics and Escort Techniques & Procedures, Straight Nightstick Defensive Tactics and Application Techniques, Handgun Retention Techniques (Holstered and Drawn), Side-Handle Baton Application/Retention Tactics, as well as Expandable Baton Application/Retention Tactics.
Tony's instructional experience has covered both private and public, group and individual instruction of department/corporate and private students/officer's since 1978. He is CPD/First-Aid/AED certified. He was a licensed Gunsmith for 10 years and has a functional working knowledge of firearm maintenance. He has worked for both private and corporate security and prior to his retirement, worked 16 years as a union electrician, the majority of which in a foreman/supervision capacity.
Assistants & Seniors
After several years of training, students begin an Instructor Development program much like that which is required by the State of Missouri for all police academy instructors and enables them to learn to teach. Many of the techniques are refined or tailored from the NLETC Instructor Development Program. Below are four of our current assistant instructors and our senior most student.
Note: It is anticipated that sometime between mid 2024 and end of 2025, Lee Richards will be moving to North Carolina. The current dojo will be 'passed on' and moved to another location with the KC Metro area. Lee will continue to visit probably 4 times a year due to work travel, but other instructors will take over as primary in Kansas City.
Kansas City, MO