Dennis Bartram – ATA Chair, Principal Trainer:
The Amatsu therapy training is an in-depth theoretical and practical course that has been developed over the last 25 years by Dennis Bartram. Dennis was taught the fundamental ‘heart feeling’ and techniques of Amatsu by Dr. Hatsumi, which he has researched and translated into a modern western framework taught today only by Amatsu Therapy Association (ATA) approved schools.
Dennis Bartram is a fellow of the Association and acting Chairman as well as being the Principal Trainer. He is enjoying his 41st year as a practitioner and manages a busy clinic; teaching courses in England and Ireland and advanced mentoring of future research. Dennis is the only ATA teacher authorised to teach Shinden (level 3) and Kenku (level 4).
Dennis’ journey began in 1969 when he qualified in Swedish remedial massage. This introduction to the complexities of the human body inspired him to further his studies and, in 1974, he began his practice in remedial sports massage and manipulative therapy. He then went on to qualify as an Osteopath in 1984.
In the 1970s Dennis had also begun to study Japanese karate. During his studies, he discovered many of the Japanese masters of karate were also doctors of Japanese medicine. In 1985 he began to study an ancient form of Japanese warrior principles. The grandmaster of this school was Dr Masaaki Hatsumi who was the holder of ancient scrolls of nine schools of martial arts and a school of ancient medicine and practised as a Japanese Osteopath.
Dennis watched in awe as a man 20 years his senior worked with ease and fingertip precision to lock his opponents in tangled body configurations. He observed Hatsumi as he practised as an Osteopath and a martial teacher. Hatsumi explained that Budo and Medicine were one concept and told him to study and learn from nature and that natural movement was all that was required to maintain health and to defend oneself effectively in combat.
That day in 1986 changed Dennis’ outlook forever. He had found his mentor, a man who practised his hobby and his occupation and described them as being one. For the next ten years he incorporated the Martial and medicine principles of Hatsumi into his practice.
Dr. Hatsumi acknowledged his research in 1995 and granted him a Menkyo Kaiden (Master teacher) to the ancient medicine school of Hi Chi Buko Goshin Jutsu.
On that eventful day he painted a special calligraphy “Kabito Sashi”, depicting that Dennis had special and mysterious hands. This calligraphy has been adopted as the signature of Amatsu. Over the next 15 years Dennis received personal guidance and tuition from Dr. Hatsumi.