The Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu

The Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu | Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu History | Origins of Daito Ryu | Takeda Sokaku | The Techniques of Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu | Daito Ryu and Aikido | History of Daito Ryu and Takumakai | Conversations with Daito Ryu Masters | Kondo Katsuyuki | Takeda Tokimune

Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu (Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, Daito Ryu Aiki Bujutsu) , originally called Daitō-ryū Jujutsu (Daitō-ryū Jūjutsu), is a Japanese martial art that first became widely known in the early 20th century under the headmastership of Takeda Sokaku.

Takeda had extensive training in several martial arts (including Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryÅ« and sumo) and referred to the style he taught as “Daitō-ryÅ«” (literally, “Great Eastern School”).

Although the school’s traditions claim to extend back centuries in Japanese history there are no known extant records regarding the ryÅ« before Takeda. Whether he is regarded as the restorer or founder of the art, the known history of Daitō-ryÅ« begins with Takeda Sokaku. Perhaps the most famous student of Takeda was Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido.

Aiki-jÅ«jutsu is a form of jujutsu which emphasizes “an early neutralization of an attack.” Like other forms of jujutsu, it emphasizes throwing techniques and joint manipulations to effectively control, subdue or injure an attacker. It emphasizes using the timing of an attack to either blend or neutralize its effectiveness and use the force of the attacker’s movement against them.

Daitō-ryÅ« is characterized by the ample use of atemi, or the striking of vital areas, in order to set up their jointlocking or throwing tactics. Some of the art’s striking methods employ the swinging of the outstretched arms to create power and to hit with the fists at deceptive angles as can be observed in techniques such as the atemi which sets up gyaku ude-dori or ‘reverse elbow lock’. Tokimune regarded one of the unique characteristics of the art to be its preference for controlling a downed attacker’s joints with one’s knee in order to leave one’s hands free to access one’s weapons or to deal with the threat of other oncoming attackers.

Today Daitō-ryÅ« is the most widely practised school of traditional Japanese jujutsu in Japan. The large interest in this art, which has much in common with the many less popular classical Japanese jujutsu schools, is due largely to the success of Takeda Sokaku’s student Morihei Ueshiba, and the art that he founded, aikido.

Aikido is practised internationally and has hundreds of thousands of adherents. Many of those interested in aikido have traced the art’s origins back to Daitō-ryÅ«, which has increased the level of interest in an art which was virtually unknown a few decades before.

Today’s goshin jutsu kata, or “forms of self defense”, preserve these teachings, as does Tomiki’s own organization of Shodokan Aikido. Through their adoption into judo, the techniques of Daitō-ryÅ« have touched millions of people.

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is a form of jujutsu, a system of unarmed fighting and minor weapons techniques to defeat both armed and unarmed opponents. It is noted, as the name suggests, for emphasizing the principles of aiki (some aspects of aiki are also referred to as kuzushi). The Daito-ryu technical tradition includes both jujutsu and aikijujutsu, but a clear distinction is made between the two and the emphasis is strongly on the latter.

From ancient times the admonishment to “attack where the opponent has been unbalanced” has been a fundamental axiom of Asian martial arts. In Daito-ryu, the principle of “how to unbalance the opponent” is referred to as aiki, and a great many of the tradition’s oral transmissions and secret teachings pertain to the various aspects of aiki.

Today, Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is a cultural heritage of the Japanese warrior class with a long history and tradition. It was developed as a means of self-defense against unprovoked violence, with the ultimate aim of neutralizing violence, not causing it. This is one of the reasons why Daito-ryu relies on using forms (kata) to train in the art, but does not include any kind of competitive matches. Further, as a classical Japanese martial art, Daito-ryu goes beyond mere self-defense, offering the way to temper one’s body and spirit, with the aim of developing personal character and contributing to the greater social good.

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu holds the regular membership in the Association of Japanese Traditional Martial Arts (Nihon Kobudo Kyokai) and the Association for the Promotion of Japanese Traditional Martial Arts (Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai). Each year the leaders and representatives of the school participate in Japan’s premier martial arts demonstrations, held at the Nippon Budokan, Asakusa Riverside Sports Center, Meiji Shrine, Itsukushima Shrine, and other locations throughout Japan.

Aiki Jujutsu It is a traditional Japanese Bujutsu (martial art) that teaches control of the attacker by causing varying amounts of pain through the use of the body’s meridian system, joint locks and throws. This art revolves around the concept of “ki” or “internal energy” within the human body that is guided by the mind. No matter what the attack, energy is always used to unbalance an opponent.

With the word Aikijujutsu we refer to the practice and training of the techniques of jujutsu and aikinojutsu only, while with Aikibudo it is meant the practice of jujutsu, aikijujutsu and Ono-ha Itto-ryu kenjutsu. It was Takeda Tokimune to change the name of the art inherited by his father, trying to stress the importance, in a traditional martial art, of practicing kenjutsu. Tokimune then taught to his most trusted students the kata of the Ono style with those modifications that his father introduced; so today this style is called Takeda-den Ono-ha Itto-ryu.