Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu
Also called Aiki-jūjutsu, Aikijujutsu
Country of origin Japan
Parent arts Jujutsu
Descendant arts Aikido, Hapkido
Focus Grappling

Aikijujutsu is a jujutsu discipline that focuses on the Japanese principle of “aiki,” in which a practitioner blends with and defeats an opponent by using one’s internal energy (ki or chi), however, all forms of the art originated with Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu.

Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu is a Japanese martial art based on traditional Jujutsu, founded (or restored, the issue is controversial) by Takeda Sōkaku. While many techniques are derived from classic Jujutsu it also includes techniques from Sumo wrestling and Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryū, a school of Japanese swordsmanship. Aikido and Hapkido are both derived from this martial art, although the former adopted more pacifistic ideals while the later maintained the combative mindset.

History[edit | edit source]

Conflicting stories state that either Shinra Saburo Minamoto (1045-1127) or a doctor in 1180 lay down the


foundation for daito-ryu aikijujutsu (considered the oldest aikijujutsu in Japan) by discovering the mechanics of the joints and muscle attachments while dissecting cadavers. From these discoveries, joint-locking skills, techniques to cause muscle twisting, and strikes to vital points were formalized and perfected during battle.

Shortly before 1900, Takeda Sokaku — whose most notable


student was aikido’s founder, Morihei Uyeshiba — modified daito-ryu by combining his knowledge of daito-ryu experience with sumo kenjutsu (swordsmanship) and several empty-hand martial arts. In the late 1800s, he named his style daito-ryu aikijujutsu. Takeda Sokaku then honed the art by teaching military officers, police officials and aristocrats.

Similar to bujinkan, aikijujutsu was founded as a “dark,” secretive and highly combative samurai art. Unarmed fighters used aikijujutsu to kill samurai in full armor.

Techniques[edit | edit source]

Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu uses three main sets of techniques: jujutsu (hard); aiki no jutsu (soft); and the combined aikijujutsu (hard/soft). Hard techniques include strikes and kicks, soft techniques include joint locks and throws, and hard/soft techniques include combinations of both.

Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu emphasizes dealing with an attacker as quickly as possible with either a joint lock or a throw. The art is also characterized by strikes at deceptive angles and at pressure points in order to set up other techniques. Like many Korean martial arts, practitioners aim to use their attacker's momentum against them.

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