The Shintaido

The Shintaido | What is Shintaido | Origin of Shintaido | Shintaido Background | Shintaido Curriculum | The Founder Hiroyuki Aoki | Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito | Natural Body Movement

Shintaido (新体道), meaning “new body way”, is a body movement art emerged from a research on martial arts and contemporary visual and performing arts, led by Master Hiroyuki Aoki in the 1960s.

He sought to create a new form of movement that would embody the modern desire for peace, cooperation, and mutual understanding among people of all cultures, rather than to cultivate a competitive fighting art.

Shintaido designed for mass practice. Because, Shintaido is not a method, for imparting secret killing technique by tutorial, like old traditional martial arts.

It has been called a moving meditation. Shintaido’s forms exemplify openness and freedom. The movements of Shintaido provide a new way of experiencing our relationship with ourselves, others, nature, and the spiritual world.

Shintaido is also a healing art, and a form of artistic expression. Shintaido attracts people who are interested in change, self development, and re-connecting with their bodies, their community, their spiritual nature. Shintaido philosophy originated from Protestantism. Because Hiroyuki Aoki was a devout Christian.

ShinTaiDo means “new body way.” It is a holistic system of body movement developed in Japan in the 1960s. It is an offshoot of the traditional marital arts, but it is not a fighting technique. It is a way to re-discover the natural condition of the body and mind.

ShinTaiDo is built on the foundation of ancient knowledge which was developed over thousands of years. The traditional martial arts include profound wisdom about the mind and body, the way to live in harmony with nature, and how to find inner strength.

But in the 21st century, due to the existence of guns, airplanes, bombs, and hi-tech weapons, the techniques of hand-to-hand combat are becoming obsolete. ShinTaiDo addresses this philosophical question: who are our “enemies”? Perhaps the enemies are not other people, but the conditions of modern life itself, such as feelings of alienation and lonliness; stress and fear; lack of contact with the natural world; toxic chemicals in the environment; etc. What would a hypothetical martial art look like if it embodied a gesture of openness to other people, a love of the earth and sky, a fearless exploration of creative expression?

ShinTaiDo builds on the essence of the ancient wisdom of East, and is a mind-body toolbox for the global culture of the present. The tools of ShinTaiDo are written in the language of body movement, but they are more than athletic exercises. They can help us to confront the challenge of living a creative life, to become warriors for mother earth, to go beyond self-imposed limitations, and to find the inner light of our humanity.

Shintaido was started in Japan in the 1960’s under the leadership of Mr. Hiroyuki Aoki, with a group of martial artists, musicians, actors, visual artists, and others who wished to combine traditional wisdom with aspirations for peace, freedom and equality. The Shintaido philosophy is grounded in body movement. It takes us to the core of our beings to express our highest aspirations:

  • to find our true selves,
  • to communicate with others,
  • to become unified with nature,
  • and to contribute to the struggle for world peace through the practice of Taimyo kata.

Shintaido is a unique combination of martial arts and body movement that cultivates the spirit along with the mind and body. It has been called a moving meditation. In Japanese, Shintaido means “new body way.” Shintaido’s forms exemplify openness and freedom. The movements of Shintaido provide a new way of experiencing our relationship with ourselves, others, nature, and the spiritual world. Shintaido is also a healing art, and a form of artistic expression. Shintaido attracts people who are interested in change, self development, and re-connecting with their bodies, their community, their spiritual nature.

“Expression through body movement goes directly to the core of our being.” – Hiroyuki Aoki, Founder of Shintaido

Around the world, practitioners range from children to seniors, from the extremely athletic to those physically challenged. Shintaido is open to everyone. Students are encouraged to expand their range of movement and explore their own physical and mental limits.

“Shintaido” means “new body way.” From roots deep in the traditional martial arts of Japan, a thoroughly modern system of body movement has developed. More than a simple health exercise, it is an art form, somewhat like brush calligraphy performed with the whole body. Shintaido is relaxed, strenuous, soft and expansive in turn — a complete body language.