Tomiki Kenji (1900-1976) was a prominent pre-war student of both Kanō Jigorō, the founder of modern jūdō, and Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of modern aikidō. This places Tomiki Kenji in a unique place for having received expert tuition from two of the most famous men in Japanese martial history. Tomiki Kenji was the only person to ever receive the level of eighth dan from both of these shihan. Tomiki Kenji became a professor in the Department of Physical Education at Waseda University, where he opened his first aikidō club and carried out most of his work on the development of aikidō kyōgi. As this text explains, Kanō Jigorō was an educationalist who modernised old bu jutsu, whilst Ueshiba Morihei was a skilled exponent of atemi waza and kansetsu waza. Tomiki Kenji was able to place these two essential categories of techniques into the randori format devised by Kanō Jigorō. Tomiki Kenji called his system of training Shōdōkan and established a honbu dojo in Showacho, Osaka, Japan in March 1976.
Kanō Jigorō (1860-1932) studied at several schools of jū jutsu, but primarily tenjin shin yō-ryū jū jutsu and ki tō ryū jū jutsu. The tenjin shin yō-ryū jū jutsu syllabus comprises atemi waza (striking techniques), nage waza (throwing techniques), torae-waza (immobilization methods) and shime waza (choking and strangling techniques). The kitō-ryū syllabus comprises atemi waza (striking techniques), nage waza (throwing techniques), kansetsu waza (joint locking techniques) and shime waza (choking techniques). This latter style focused also on throws and sweeps, and many of these techniques were designed to be performed while in full armour. Kanō Jigorō was a Japanese educator and the founder of jūdō. Jūdō was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport. Innovations attributed to Kanō include the use of black and white belts, and the introduction of the dan grade system to show the relative ranking among members of a given style of martial arts. This innovation was adopted by Ueshiba Morihei, who granted the level of eighth dan, in the first instance, to Tomiki Kenji.
Takeda Sokaku (1860-1943) was born in the Aizu domain (now Fukushima Prefecture). It is believed that Sōkaku received his first bu jutsu training from his father who had a dojo on their property. His father Sōkichi was apparently expert in the use of both sword and spear, and had once been a Sumō wrestler of ozeki rank. It is believed that Sōkaku was exposed to the teachings of hozoin ryū takada-ha and ono-ha ittō ryū schools of spear and swordsmanship, respectively. Sōkaku then left to undertake a period of austere training during which he travelled, fought and trained at the schools of many teachers, a not uncommon practice of the time. It is known that Sōkaku engaged in many matches and duels with both shinai and live blades and was considered a swordsman of great skill in a period of time when such things were beginning to be forgotten.With the outlawing of the samurai class and the prohibition of carrying swords, Sokaku decided to emphasize the empty-handed, jū jutsu-oriented techniques of his ancestor’s art. These, along with other skills he had acquired, were combined to create an art which he called first dai to ryū jū jutsu and later, daitō-ryū aiki-jū jutsu. Ueshiba Morihei was a prominent student of Sokaku Takeda.
Ueshiba Morihei (1883-1969) is the founder of aikidō. Born in Tanabe, Ueshiba Morihei studied a number of martial arts in his youth and served in the Japanese army during the Russo-Japan war. After being discharged in 1907, he moved to Hokkaido and met and studied with Takeda Sokaku, the founder of dai to ryū jū jutsu. Ueshiba moved to Tokyo in 1926, where he set up the Aikikai Honbu Dojo. By then he was comparatively famous in martial arts circles, and taught at this dojo and others around Japan, including in several military academies. Kanō Jigorō knew of Ueshiba Morihei and received permission to send some of his key students to train with him, one of whom was Tomiki Kenji. From the end of the war until the 1960s, Ueshiba Morihei worked to promote aikidō throughout Japan and abroad. After Ueshiba’s death, aikidō continued to be promulgated by his students, many of whom became noted martial artists in their own right. One such student was Tomiki Kenji. Contrary to popular belief, there is no record that Ueshiba Morihei stated that “there is no competition in aikidō”. This statement should correctly be attributed to his son, Ueshiba Kisshomaru. The statement also reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what Tomiki Kenji was attempting to create, which this booklet addresses.
Katsu Ittōsai (1560-1653), whose original name is Itō Ittōsai Kagehisa, was a famous yet mysterious Japanese swordsman who lived during the warring years of Japanese history. It is rumoured that he never lost a duel. He is attributed as the founder of the ittō ryū (“one sword” or “one stroke”) school of sword fighting.
Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584 – 1645) was a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, strategist, writer and ronin (masterless samurai). Musashi became renowned through stories of his unique double-bladed swordsmanship and an undefeated record in his sixty-one duels (followed by Ittō Ittōsai with thirty-three wins undefeated). He is considered the kensei, or ‘sword saint’ of Japan. He was the founder of the niten ichi ryū school of swordsmanship, and in his final years authored The Book of Five Rings and Dokkodō (The Path of Aloneness).
Katsu Kaishu (1823-1899) (Count Katsu Yasuyoshi, best known by his nickname Katsu Kaishu) was a Japanese statesman and naval engineer during the late Tokugawa Shogunate and early Meiji period. He was a military strategist and theorist.
Yamaoka Tesshu (1836-1888) was a famous Samurai of the Bakumatsu period, who played an important role in the Meiji Restoration. He is also noted as the founder of the ittō shoden muto ryū school of swordsmanship. The Bakumatsu period (lit. “end of the shogunate”) generally refers to the time period between the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853 and the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868.
Sekiguchi Jyushin (1598-1670) was a jū jutsu master in the Edo period (1603-1867). He was the founder of Sekiguchi shin shin ryū jū jutsu.
Lao Tsu (5th century BC) was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is reputedly the author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.
Moshi (372-289BC) (also known as Mencius) was a Chinese Confucian philosopher who has often been described as the “Second Sage”, after only Confucius himself.
Issai Chozanshi (1659-1741) Little is known of the Samurai, Niwa Jurozaemon Tadaaki, whose nom-de-plume was Issai Chozanshi, but he was clearly acquainted with swordsmanship, philosophy, and art; had made an extensive study of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shinto; and seems to have been familiar with the works of Miyamoto Musashi. The quote in the text comes from the tale, “neko no myōjutsu” (The Mysterious Technique of the Cat) penned by Chozanshi in 1727.
Bu jutsu ryū ha
kitō ryū jū jutsu – Kitō-ryū (起倒流柔術) is a traditional school of jū jutsu founded by Hachinosuke Furuda and Sadayashi Terada. Jigoro Kanō trained in kitō-ryū and derived some of the principles that were to form the basis of modern jūdō from this style. The kitō-ryū syllabus comprises atemi waza (striking techniques), nage waza (throwing techniques), kansetsu waza (joint locking techniques) and shime waza (choking techniques). The style focused on throws and sweeps, and many of these techniques are designed to be performed while in full armour. jūdō’s koshiki no kata is based on kitō-ryū. Since Kanō Jigorō was granted the kitō-ryū licence by his sensei, jūdō is the official successor to kitō-ryū.
dai to ryū aiki jū jutsu – Daitō ryū aiki jū jutsu (大東流合気柔術) claims a supposed lineage extending back approximately nine hundred years. Whether Takeda Sokaku is regarded as either the restorer or the founder of the art, the recorded history of daitō ryū begins with him. Like other forms of jū jutsu, it emphasizes throwing techniques and joint manipulations to effectively subdue or injure an attacker. Of particular importance is the timing of a defensive technique either to blend with or to neutralize an attack’s effectiveness and to use the force of the attacker’s movement against them. Daitō ryū is characterized by ample use of atemi – striking of vital areas – to set up joint-locking or throwing techniques.
shinkage ryū ken jutsu – Yagyū shinkage ryū (柳生新陰流剣術) is one of the oldest schools of Japanese swordsmanship. Its primary founder was Kamiizumi Nobutsuna who named the school shinkage ryū. In 1565, Nobutsuna bequeathed the school to his greatest student, Yagyū Munetoshi, who added his own name to the school. Today, the yagyū shinkage-ryū remains one of the most renowned schools of Japanese swordsmanship. It is claimed that Kamiizumi created the practice sword called the fukuro shinai (sheathed bamboo sword), which is made of strips of bamboo similar to a kendo shinai but covered by a leather pouch. The shinai allowed striking with quickness, fluidity and potency without causing serious or disabling wounds, as one would with the wooden sword, and without having to ‘pull’ the attacks.
tenjin shin yō ryū jū jutsu – Tenjin shinyo ryū (天神真楊流) can be classified as a traditional school of jū jutsu. It was founded by Iso Mataemon Ryūkansai Minamoto no Masatari in the 1830s. Its syllabus comprises atemi waza (striking techniques), nage waza (throwing techniques), torae-waza (immobilization methods) and shime waza (choking techniques). Once a very popular jū jutsu system in Japan, among the famous students who studied the art was Kanō Jigorō.
shibukawa ryū jū jutsu – The shibukawa ichi ryū jū jutsu（澁川一流柔術) was founded by Shuto Kuranoshi in the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate.
sekiguchi shin shin ryū jū jutsu – Sekiguchi-ryū (関口流), or sekiguchi shin shin ryū (関口新心流), was founded in the mid-17th century, notable for its combination of ken jutsu, iai jutsū and jū jutsu.
shin muso hayashizaki ryū ken jutsu – Shin muso hayashizaki ryū ken jutsu (神夢想林崎流剣術) was founded by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu. Hayashizaki lived from c. 1546 to c. 1621. Hayashizaki’s art has had many names since it was established, such as hayashizaki-ryū (林崎流) or jūshin ryū (重信流). It is considered the foundation for many of the major styles of iai practised today.
aiki (合気) – The two characters that make up this term literally mean the “coming together” of “energy”, but in the context of bu jutsu, we can regard “energy” as “force” and the definition of “aiki” as the moment when those forces converge. That is the key moment to react with “i dō ryoku” (tai sabaki). “aiki” is an ancient bu jutsu term.
aikido (合気道) – Ueshiba Morihei adopted this name for his new budō. “aiki” was already present in the name of dai tō ryu aiki jū jutsu that he practised and had the above meaning. It is still used in dai tō ryu aiki jū jutsu to mean “kuzushi”. Ueshiba replaced “jutsu” with “dō”, influenced no doubt by Kanō Jigorō.
atemi waza (当身技) – The first two characters are “ate mi” and mean to strike the body. See “waza”.
awase (合わせ) – To come together, meet.
bō (暴) – violence.
bō ryoku (暴力) – Aggressive strength, violence.
bokuto (木刀) – Wooden sword.
bu (武) – Military, martial. See etymology in the text, p.20.
budō (武道) – Martial way (see “dō” below).
chikara (力) – Strength or power without necessarily including the connotation of strength, e.g. soft power.
dō (道) – This character literally means a road or a path. In its usage in Japanese culture, it has the meaning of disciplined training over a lifetime, such as sadō (tea ceremony), shodō (calligraphy), kadō (flower arranging). Kanō used the term to imply lifelong learning of principles rather than quick learning of “tricks”.
dōjō (道場) – Training hall. The second character means place and can be outside, as in senjō (battlefield).
dōshu (道主) – The head of a honbu dojo.
gasshō (合掌) – Describes monks’ hands when they clap their hands together in front of their chests in prayer in order to wake the gods. It is also a very strong defensive arm position.
hanareru (離れ) – To separate. Used to mean “distance apart” from one another, not attached.
iai (居合) – See explanation in the text, p.25.
idōryoku (移動力) – Literally, the power of movement. In the quest for martial superiority when empty handed, idōryoku became the quintessential tool for avoiding a potentially fatal blow, after which all techniques became possible.
jū (柔) – The character means soft, but in martial terms it means is in the sense of water, which can take on many forms but can also be very destructive.
jū jutsu (柔術) – empty handed skills.
jūdō (柔道) – The name adopted by Kanō Jigorō to describe his new budō. Kanō is attributed with being the first to replace the use of “jutsu” with “dō” to denote a journey of learning.
jūte (十手) – Literally, meaning ‘ten hands’, a weapon like a fork that could catch blades between the tines and control or snap them. It was used by officials when suppressing sword wielding samurai.
jutsu (術) – Skills. Unlike dō, this character implies no connotation of time.
kamae (構え) – Posture, used physically or mentally, such as a stance or an idea.
kansetsu waza (関節技) – kansetsu are joints, so these are joint-attacking and/or locking techniques. These include the joints of the arms and legs.
karate (空手) – These two characters together literally mean ‘empty hand’ e.g. without a weapon.
kata (形) – The form or shape of something. This term is used to describe a group of techniques that follow a theme.
katame waza (固技) – The first character means to harden. In martial terms it means to “harden” muscles around a joint, limb or neck to apply pressure.
katana (刀) – The ubiquitous Japanese sword, thought to be the perfect killing weapon of its time.
keiko (稽古) – These two characters literally mean ‘to consider old times’, in other words to practise what has gone before. It differs in connotation from renshu (練習), which has no implication of history.
kempō (拳法) – The first character means fist, the second denotes a method. So, kempō means fist fighting rather than karate, which means empty hand.
ken (剣) – Refers to any type of sword.
kendō (剣道) – The way of the sword.
keru (蹴る) – To kick.
ki (気) – This character has many meanings. It relates to the Chinese meaning of chi. It is used in the Japanese language to denote among other things, the weather (天気), one’s health (元気), one’s mood (気分). In all senses it may be understood as energy, internal or external.
kihon (基本) – Fundamental, basic.
kiru (切る) – To cut with a blade.
kokoro (心) – Like “ki” this character can convey several meanings. It is literally the heart, and the character is an actual representation of one. But again, it can mean one’s character, as in strong or weak heart, or one’s mind, as in a change of heart. It can also mean where you are in your own body, i.e the soul.
ko ryū (古流) – ‘Old school’. The second character means to flow, so has a connotation of time and distance.
koshiki (古式) – Old ceremony or formula. The name of a kitō-ryū kata adopted by Kanō as one of the seven jūdō kata.
kōzō (構造) – Structure. When placed with kihon (基本), this term means the fundamental structures from which all else is derived.
kumu (組む) – Put together. When placed with tsukeru (付ける, to stick), it reads kumitsukeru, i.e. to grapple, and is the opposite of “hanareru”, to separate. These two terms represent two fighting forms.
michi (道) – Literally ‘road’ with this reading (see also dō).
midare (乱れ) – Random, disordered. This was another term for freeplay, where players were not restricted in their actions.
mu (無) – Nothing, non existent, without. As a prefix it is un- or non-, etc.
mu gamae (無構) – Literally ‘no structure’ or ‘no posture’. This character also carries the meaning of to mind, to care about or to meddle in. Thus we can understand mu gamae to mean both no formal stance and no emotional attachment.
mu shin (無心) – Literally ‘no heart’. As above, this can mean two things: ‘no mental attachment’ and/or ‘no emotional attachment’.
nage waza (投技) – Throwing techniques.
neru (寝る) – Literally ‘to lie down’ or ‘to sleep’. Traditionally, Japanese slept on futon very close to the ground, so there is no sense of “getting into” bed. So, the same character is used to mean to lie down as to sleep. As many jūdō throws end with both parties on the ground this area of expertise was called ne waza(寝技), lying-down techniques.
osaeru (抑える) – To hold down or control.
ōyō (応用) – Application. Ōyō waza are applied basic techniques.
randori (乱取り) – The first character is midare (see above) and the second character is tori, to take. Together they are read as randori. The meaning is the same: to take in a disordered manner.
ridatsu (離脱) – To break free from a grip.
ryoku (力) – Power (see ‘chikara’ above).
ryūha (流派) – Old-school systems of bu jutsu. The ryūha were generally very secretive and suspicious of each other. Kanō’s vision was to extrapolate all that was good in the ryūha into a single fighting form – jūdō. He did not achieve that vision.
seigyo (制御) – To control, to suppress.
shiai (試合) – A match or contest. The first character means to try out or attempt. The second means to bring together. This is exactly what a match is: two sides attempting to outdo each other. Before the Meiji Era, anything went in shiai, which could lead to injury or death. After that time, in bu jutsu, safe means were devised to allow shiai without recourse to great physical harm.
shihan (師範) – Exemplary master. Sensei (先生) literally means ‘one who has lived before’, in the sense of a child and its older teacher. Shihan is akin to a professor, a teacher of teachers.
shinai (竹刀) – The first character means bamboo, the second is katana (see above). The shinai was developed so that combatants could strike each other without real danger, thus creating the opportunity for randori with swords: kendō kyōgi.
shizentai (自然体) – ‘Natural body’, in other words a natural posture.
tai sabaki (体捌き) – Literally, ‘body handling’ or ‘body management’. Tai sabaki is not just about avoidance, but also placing oneself in an advantageous position for both attack and defence.
taosu (倒す) – To make fall, in other words, to take down. This word should not be confused with otosu (落す) which means to drop.
te sabaki (手捌き) – Hand manoeuvring, normally in conjunction with tai sabaki.
utsu (打つ) – To beat, hit or punch.
wa (和) – Harmony (or ‘Japanese’, as in wafu (和風, Japanese style). The character comprises food (represented by a wheat sheaf) next to a mouth, denoting contentment. Wa is a very important concept in Japan, where people live in very close proximity to each other. Much of the Japanese culture is based on maintaining harmony with one another and with nature. This is manifested in bu jutsu, where suppression is favoured over injury or death.
waza (技) – Technique(s).
yang (陽) – The Japanese reading of yō, the masculine element of yin and yang. In bu jutsu, it is associated with hardness and directness. This also relates to tō itsu ryoku (統一力, focussing power at 1 point).
yari (槍) – A spear. The jō(杖) is a staff, but doubles as a spear in aikidō practice.
yawara (柔ら) – Softness or pliancy.
yin (陰) – The Japanese reading of in, the feminine element of yin and yang. In bu jutsu, it is associated with softness and yielding. This also relates to datsu ryoku (脱力, to remove or exhaust another’s power).