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The Daito-ryu aikijujutsu (literally: Great Eastern School of the aikijujutsu=大東流合気柔術 ) is an ancient and noble bujutsu School; ancient because it was founded in 1087 a.d. by Yoshimitsu Minamoto (1056-1127); noble because its genesis and evolution are along all classical Japan history. The martial teachings of the school were transmitted secretly within the Takeda family up until the present days. The 36th Soke, Takeda Tokimune (1916-1993), decided to develop these marvelous self-defense techniques in all the world only in late 1988, accepting the first foreign students and thus giving birth to the renown of this art. All the Aikijujutsu techniques practiced within the School are the one and only techniques practiced by the bushi of the Minamoto Clan (1100), and later Takeda Clan (1500) families and, at last, the Aizu Clan. These techniques were faithfully handed on to the present days by the Takeda family. Purpose of the School is to pass on in a correct way the teachings received by Takeda Tokimune, who received them from his father Takeda Sokaku (1860-1943), 35th inheritor of the Daito School.
With the word Aikijujutsu ( 合気柔術 ) we refer to the practice and training of the techniques of jujutsu and aikinojutsu only, while with Aikibudo ( 合気武道 ) it is meant the practice of jujutsu, aikijujutsu, Ono-ha Itto-ryu kenjutsu ( 小野派一刀流 ) and other weapons. It was Takeda Tokimune ( 武田時宗 ) 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-ha style with those modifications that his father introduced; so today this style is called Takeda-den Ono-ha Itto-ryu.
Aikibudo of Tokimune
Three study areas of the Aikibudo created by Takeda Tokimune
1. aikijujutsu: composed of jujutsu + aikinojutsu techniques
2. kenjutsu: practice of basic techniques + katas
3. other weapons: jutte, kodachi, tessen, tanken.
» Tokimune Takeda wrote:
"Because of the fundamental principle that only with the practice of the jujutsu it is not possible to learn the true essence of the Daito-ryu, I called the art Daito-ryu Aikibudo, especially because I, who have trained with my father even in the body to body than in the sword, perfectly realize to have to transmit the Ono-ha Itto-ryu kenjutsu which was transmitted at Aizu together the aikijujutsu, arts that are now only here with us (at Abashiri)..."
What we practice?
The Daito-ryu is a School that teaches a complete martial art, among the hand-to-hand combat techniques with atemi-waza (striking and hitting techniques), shimewaza (strangle-holds), kansetsuwaza (levers on joints and articulations), osae-waza (immobilizations), nage-waza (throwing techniques), aikinojutsu (throwing to the ground using Aiki), kyushuwaza ( pressure on vital points on the human body), the practitioner studies the use of all the ancient weapon of the bushi (like katana, yari, bo, jutte).