Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu

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Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (大東流合気柔術?), originally called Daitō-ryū Jujutsu (大東流柔術 Daitō-ryū Jūjutsu?), is a Japanese martial art that first became widely known in the early 20th century under the headmastership of Takeda Sokaku. Takeda had extensive training in several martial arts (including Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryū and sumo) and referred to the style he taught as "Daitō-ryū" (literally, "Great Eastern School"). Although the school's traditions claim to extend back centuries in Japanese history there are no known extant records regarding the ryū before Takeda. Whether Takeda is regarded as either the restorer or the founder of the art, the known history of Daitō-ryū begins with him.[1] Takeda's most well known student was Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido.

Contents

History

The origins of Daitō-ryū maintain a direct lineage extending approximately 900 years, originating with Shinra Saburō Minamoto no Yoshimitsu (新羅 三郎 源 義光, 1045–1127), who was a Minamoto clan samurai and member of the Seiwa Genji (the branch of the Minamoto family descended from the 56th imperial ruler of Japan, Emperor Seiwa).[2] Daitō-ryū takes its name from the mansion that Yoshimitsu lived in as a child, called "Daitō" (大東?), in Ōmi Province (modern day Shiga Prefecture).[3] According to legend, Yoshimitsu dissected the corpses of men killed in battle, studying their anatomy for the purpose of learning techniques for joint-locking and vital point striking (kyusho-jitsu).[4]

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