History and Masters of
Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujutsu

Master Sokaku Takeda

Daito ryu Aiki jujutsu, is a Japanese martial art that became popular in the early 20th century under master Sokaku Takeda.

His most well-known student was Morihei Ueshiba :)

He began teaching his traditional family arts outside of the family in the late 19th century. He learnt sword and spear arts from his father, Sokichi Takeda. He was  an uchi-deshi (live-in student) under the swordsman Sakakibara Kenkichi.

Sokaku traveled extensively to preserve his family's traditions by spreading Daito-ryu throughout Japan. His third son, Tokimune Takeda, became the headmaster of the art following his death in 1943.

Tokimune taught Daito-ryu Aikibudo, that included sword techniques of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and traditional techniques of Daito-ryu. He also created dan rankings.

Aiki focuses on early control, and teaches throwing techniques and joint manipulations to effectively restrain, or injure an attacker.

Of importance is the timing to blend with or neutralize the effectiveness of an attack, and use the attacker's movement against them.

Daito-ryu aiki jujutsu is characterized by use of atemi strikes to vital points on the body, to prepare for joint locking or throwing.

Tokimune Takeda died in 1993 leaving no official successor, but a few of his high-ranking students, such as Katsuyuki Kondo and Shigemitsu Kato, now head their own Daito-ryu Aiki jujutsu organizations.

The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally

at a glance and to win without fighting

Sokaku Takeda

Aiki Jujutsu Masters

Master Morihei Ueshiba

Apart from the Aikido of Morihei Ueshiba, there are several organizations that teach Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu, each tracing their lineage back to the master Sokaku Takeda through one of four of his top students...

Tokimune Takeda    Takuma Hisa    Kodo Horikawa    Yukiyoshi Sagawa

Daito-ryu techniques involve both jujutsu and aiki applications. Techniques are broken up into series, and students only progress to the next series when they have completely mastered the previous one.

On completion of each series, a student is awarded a certificate or scroll that lists the techniques. These act as different levels of advancement, a common system among classical Japanese martial arts schools before belts, grades and degrees.

Officially, the Daito-ryu system is said to include thousands of techniques, divided into omote (front) and ura (back), but many of these could be seen as variations of core basic techniques.

Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido.

Today, Daito-ryu is the widely practised school of traditional Japanese jujutsu in Japan. This may be due to the success of Takeda's student Morihei Ueshiba.

Aikido is practised worldwide and has hundreds of thousands of students. Many of those interested in aikido have traced the art's origins back to Daito-ryu, which has increased the level of interest in an art which was virtually unknown.

The mysterious concept of aiki is an old one, and was common to classical Japanese schools of combat. Many modern schools influenced by aikido presently use the term to describe their use of aikido with a more combative mindset.

There are a number of martial arts in addition to aikido which appear, or claim, to be descended from Daito-ryu or the teachings of Takeda Sokaku...

1 - Korean martial art of Hapkido founded by Choi Yong Sul, who as an orphan in Japan was trained and raised under Takeda Sokaku.

2 - Hakko-ryu, founded by Yoshiharu Okuyama, trained under Takeda.

3 - Shorinji Kempo, founded by Nakano Michiomi , trained under Okuyama.

Other schools of aikijutsu also claim lineage to Sokaku Takeda or Daito-ryu.

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