Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Takeuchi Ryu Jujutsu

Louise here,

At the International Budo Seminar we attended in April, I met Anthony Abry, who does Takeuchi Ryu jujutsu. On Saturday morning, he invited me to Nakano in Tokyo, to one of the dojos he trains at, to see what they do.

It seems to me that they do everything. Takeuchi Ryu is one of the oldest koyru martial arts in Japan, founded in 1532 by Takenouchi Hisamori. I suggest you read the Wikipedia article about Takenouchi Ryu, where it is explained better than I can, especially the story about the beginnings of the art. That story explains why the basis of Takeuchi Ryu is the use of a knife or dagger, called kogusoku. It is also meant to be carried out in armour, so the target areas are mostly the weak points like the armpit and joints.

At the training practice, we did ukemi (breakfalls and rolls), some joint-locking two-person kata, then practice with long bo. It was the first time I've practiced with a bo, so I had to concentrate very hard. It was fun finding new muscles too: my arms remembered the bo for two or three days afterward. During free practice after class, I also saw people practicing naginata, iaijutsu, shorter bo, and grappling on the floor. Anthony explained that Takeuchi Ryu is a complete art, including both weaponless techniques and many kinds of weapons. I only wish I'd taken some photos!

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