Aikijujutsu 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. Daito-ryu is characterized by the ample use of atemi, or the striking of vital areas, in order to set up their joint locking 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.

Daito-ryu Aikibujutsu:

Daito-ryu originated within the family of Emperor Seiwa (reigned A.D. 858 - 876) and was greatly developed by one of the emperor's descendants, Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, in the eleventh century. Through his careful study of human anatomy, he made a point of visiting battlefields and execution grounds to examine and dissect the bodies of dead and executed criminals. Through the dissection of the bodies, Yoshimitsu was able to determine the most effective strikes, blows, holds, joint locks, and pins.

To appreciate the mysteries of Aiki, or harmonized energy, Yoshimitsu spent hours observing a female spider trapping prey in her web. Additionally, he was a talented musician, and while accompanying dancers on his sho (a type of wind instrument), he gained insight into the nature of good rhythm and smooth transition between movements of Aiki. Yoshimitsu incorporated all of this knowledge into the martial art he had been taught by family members and in turn passed on his improved and expanded system to his sons which came to be known as the "Daito Ryu," after the name of one of his residences.

Yoshikiyo, his eldest son, settled in the village of Takeda in Koma and founded the Takeda branch of the Minamoto clan. The Daito Ryu tradition of Yoshimitsu was subsequently handed down in complete secrecy to successive generations of the Takeda family. Near the end of the sixteenth century, the family, led by Kunitsugu Takeda, shifted its main base to the Aizu district. There, the martial art system became known as o-shiki-uchi, or "the palace art," and alternatively as an o-tome-bujutsu, or "inside-the-clan martial art"; both these terms are thought to suggest the great secrecy with which the Daito Ryu techniques were guarded. The art was secretly transmitted to the samurai of the Aizu domain until the fall of the Shogunate in 1868.

It was not until the nineteenth century when martial art genius Sokaku Takeda began to teach the Daito Ryu to the public-that the art became widely known. Sokaku was born in 1860 in Aizu, where he received instruction in the traditional o-shiki-uchi arts of the Aizu clan from his relatives, and also from Tanomo Saigo (1830-1903), the last minister of the Aizu domain. Sokaku is considered the thirty-fifth Grand Master of the Daito Ryu tradition stemming from Kunitsugu Takeda.

In addition to the Daito Ryu system, Sokaku studied many other martial arts and acquired firsthand combat experience in street fights throughout the country. Around the turn of the century, Sokaku began teaching the Daito Ryu system, which then included some new elements that he himself had incorporated and transmitted to select groups of military officers, police officials, and aristocrats. Sokaku was based in remote northern Japan but made occasional journeys to Tokyo and western Japan. In the course of his travels, Sokaku defeated all challengers. It is said that thirty thousand martial artists received instruction at Sokaku's hands. Of this vast number, only twenty or so received formal teaching licenses from him. Several of Sokaku's students also became extremely distinguished teachers.

It is a fact that Sokaku Takeda did not teach each student in the same way, nor was the way of performing the techniques identical in each line of Daito Ryu. It is speculated that Sokaku taught each student according to their individual learning styles, and varying needs of each learner. He changed methods and techniques at will and each change has developed into a particular trademark for each style of Daito Ryu. Those styles being Takumakai from Hisa Takuma, or Kodo Kai from Kodo Horikawa, or the techniques of Yukiyoshi Sagawa, as well as Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, as well as Okuyama Ryuho, the founder of Hakko-ryu Jujitsu.





Sentou-ryu Aikijujutsu:

Sentou-ryu Aikijujutsu is a modern school with a traditional heart that teaches a complete martial art, among the hand-to-hand combat techniques with atemiwaza (kicks, strikes, elbows, etc.), nage waza (throws), shimewaza (strangles), kansetsu waza (joint-locks), kyusho waza (pressure on vital points of the human body) and aikinojutsu (blending techniques), the practitioner studies the use of all the ancient weapon of the Samurai, such as katana, yari, bo etc., techniques are then divided in ways of executing them:

- idori : shite and uke working in knee
- hanza handachi : shite is kneeling, uke standing
- tachiai : both are standing
- ushirodori : uke attacks shite from the rear (standing)

Three areas that make up the Aikijujutsu:

  1. Jujutsu: unarmed techniques; method of relying primarily on atemi.
  2. Aikijujutsu: unarmed techniques; method of combining the jujutsu with aiki concepts.
  3. Aikinojutsu: unarmed techniques; method of replying mainly aiki concepts .

Teaching is also divided in three levels of depth and ability:

  1. SHODEN : the teaching of base (1 st 4 th Dan).
  2. CHUDEN : the median teaching (Menkyo Shihan).
  3. SOUDEN : the superior teaching (Menkyo Okuden/Menkyo Kaiden).



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