Aikijutsu is an unarmed defense art derived from Daito-ryu aikijujutsu and closely related to Japanese swordsmanship. In many other martial arts, strength and speed are emphasized in nearly every situation. Aikijutsu utilizes a softer and slower type of movement, with power added only after the attainment of excellent form. Many of the techniques you will learn, when done properly, require only a few ounces of pressure to yield rather spectacular results.
As a student of aikijutsu you will learn to neutralize attacks by throwing or pinning an opponent, most often by means of locking one or more of your opponent’s joints. Because the opponent is controlled through a mechanical linkage, rather than by application of pain, the “internal” martial art of aikijutsu is a matter of skill and not brute force. The objective of the art is to gain absolute control of an attacker, both physically and spiritually, allowing the possibility your opponent can be deterred or restrained with minimal harm. The art will provide you a wide range of responses to aggression, and is especially appropriate for study by women, law enforcement officers, and those who enjoy the challenge of sophisticated technique.
According to legend, aikijujutsu was created in the 12th century as a secret art of the Minamoto clan. Training in aikijujutsu was first opened to the general public by Takeda Sokaku in the early 20th century, and at that time the art became known as Daito-ryu. More than 30 varieties of aikijujutsu and aikido are taught today, embodying a wide range of technical and philosophical approaches to the art.
Although aikijutsu and aikido share a common heritage, there are distinctive differences in the arts. Modern aikido has been shaped to a large degree by the esoteric religious beliefs of its founder, Ueshiba Morihei, an aspect that does not in any way apply to aikijutsu. Within the Yamate-ryu, we believe philosophical insights are best engendered by honest sweat in the dojo.
As a supplement to your unarmed practice, Yamate-ryu incorporates training with the bokken (wooden sword), jo (four-foot staff), and tanto (wooden knife), to inform and enhance your unarmed techniques.
Prospective students of aikijutsu must be at least 14 years of age for the adult class. If a parent is training (with a family membership), children between the ages of 11 and 14 can join the “Aiki-kids” class held in a separate area but at the same time as the adult class. Required training equipment is limited to a proper uniform and a bokken.
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