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Dai sensei Takeda Sokaku (1860-1943) [Minamoto no Masayoshi]

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is a complete system of fighting techniques, developed in feudal Japan and come down to our day unchanged. It includes techniques with and without weapons, among them there is the Jujitsu, Aiki no jutsu and Aikijujutsu, exclusive features Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu beginning.
The particle Aiki is in fact to mean Ai = Energy and Ki = Harmony. In the development of these techniques, we search the harmony of the two collusive energies to use them in favor of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu student to resolving the combat.
There are no moral implications, and the rules are from traditional Bushido (differents from today rules). Breathing and the development of the internal energy are studied as essential tools and the inner search is aimed at producing a fearsome heart balance in the soul.

TODAY WICH IS THE SENSE TO study, practice and propagate fighting techniques that were used for the survival of warriors engaged in battles to the death?
Certainly we don't risk to losing our lives every moment of the day and body's life is definitely not in danger, but that of the soul it is, as much as in the Middle Ages! Here then the values of the samurai also become techniques (not visible) in order to strenghten us spiritually.
We believe that a "conscious" body workout combined with a spiritual practice, can guide us and make us victorious in the challenges of everyday: interpersonal relationships, social position, economic problems, and especially the most ruthless of all battles, the battle with ourselves, with our moods, negative thoughts .......
Each "warrior" is looking for the most effective technique ( that he wants to keep secret), so each student search theese techniques in the study of martial arts.
The secret techniques (although they are always in front our eyes, yet invisible to the eye impure) handed down from our school are these:
- Live like the wind;
- Immutable as the mountain;
- Quiet like a forest;
- Impetuous like fire.
Theese are the secret techniques that all students are looking for and that only the wise find.
As they are written, theese techniques continue to remain secret until get to the virtues, that stay at the basis (in order):
- caution
- fortress
- temperance
- justice
The answer to our question about what is the relevance of the disciplines of combat, is the improvement of themselves as people through the practice of martial arts

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu has its origins in the history of Japan: there are documentary evidence to prove the origin of the Takeda Clan, which descent from the third son of the fifth generation of the Minamoto Dynasty Emperor of Japan, Seiwa; Yoshikyio Minamoto , moved into the province of Kai (near present-day Tokyo), founded the Genji Kai Takeda Clan.
Among the military arts that the new Clan taught, there were: archery, horse riding, spear, halberd, sword, military strategy (water systems, excavations and fortifications), and of course the Tai jutsu (combat, derived from the ancient indigenous struggle, the Tegoi). It was then that the first techniques were modified to Aikijujutsu, with particular attention to the use of energy and harmony. It was the Heian period and throughout the following Kamakura period, Muromachi and Momoyama period, the Takeda Clan, wrote epic pages of the history of feudal Japan where the Takeda name has always been linked to events of arms of historical importance, the most important are:

November 14, 1087: The founder of the clan, Yoshimitsu Minamoto, wins the battle for the Kanazawa Castle (Heian Era);
1561: General Takeda Shingen, won the war against Uesugi Kenshin, Daymio of Echigo (Muromachi Era, the Hashikaga dynasty has the Shogun );
Winter 1572: General Takeda Shingen overcomes Tokugawa Ieyasu (the future usurper,which will base its dynasty, Shogunate) in various military campaigns. The General was then murder by Tokugawa. In this way finish the Muromachi Era, dominated by the Hashikaga dynasty and began the Momoyama Era (we can remember the remake movie of Akira Kurosawa's "Kagemusha, The shadow of the Warrior");
End of 1572: Takeda Kunitsugu, General's son, moved, by the will of his father, in a province of Aizu. He will advance the art and the name of the Clan. (It was Momoyama Era);
May 21 1575: The Takeda clan is defeated unfairly with the use of firearms (then prohibited by Budo) in the battle of Nagashino no Kassen (Momoyama Era);
1582: Drops the last bastion of the Takeda of Kai branch, the province is invaded by two armies. They lasts samurai Takeda died. "It 's over an era, a new era begins ...... you will be that Era" Katsuyori Takeda says. (brother of Takeda Kunitsugu - Momoyama Era);
1572-1664: It's recorded the main dojo Nishinkan. (It was Momoyama Era);
1674: It expands the influence of Nishinkan in the territory of Aizu, and around blooms many schools that teachs Aizu Clan samurai. Among these there were 2 in which there was the ban on providing public demonstrations and to approach it, it was the 2 secret schools of the Aizu Clan. (It was Momoyama Era).

Through successive eras Edo and Meiji and Taisho especially, the clan closes in a reserve secular until 1987 in full Seiwa Era (irony of history, just the name of the dynasty from which the Takeda Clan), when the last descendant of the Clan, Tokiume Takeda was old and childless, decided to open the doors to his dojo in Abashiri,(Hokkaido) to a few strangers, including the current Chief instructor European, M A. Certa and cataloged over 3,000 techniques that make up this art.
Tokimune Takeda died in 1992 without children, and the designated heir, Sano Matsuo Soshi, continues its work to the whole world (not just Western) through the Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Seishinkai International Association, at the 'Honbu Dojo in Abashiri, where they had lived and taught for many years (in the sign of the purest Bushido) the members of the Takeda Clan (In the movie "The Seven Samurai" we find the figure of Sokaku Takeda, Tokimune father and himself Soke of the school; we can actually say that it was the last TRUE "Samurai" in Japan) .
The discretion of the closing of the clan, did not favor the spread of this ancient and noble martial art, even today, in fact there are not so many people who have the rank of master. However, this has a positive aspect, in fact today the techniques and spiritual quest are strictly handed down unchanged.
The inner search of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is to create warriors, loyal to the values of bushido, ready to die for theese principles, no regrets. Many martial arts derives ,more or less, from Daio-Ryu Aikijujutsu, each has its own philosophy and its own path all interesting and important in equal measure. M M. Ueshiba, founder of aikido, studied Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu for 20 years, as documented in eimeiroku (register of students at the school). In fact it became so expert, that he received from the school, the rare mokuroku of teaching. Later he founded the school Aikijujutsu and Aikido. Today it remains a large and respected master of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu. The Soke was wearing a black Gi with the traditional hakama also black (no pants or under-garments) with the world on the arms, behind the shoulder and chest.
Those who receive the Hiden Mokuroku (the equivalent level of black belt you will reach just before) wearing a traditional white Gi with black or blue hakama. The node is made a little to the right from the center, because in our school is also practiced kenjutsu, and to the left brings the katana. On the back there is, hand-sewn, the world of the Takeda Clan. It's complex talk about grades. The Takeda family has always released only 6 Mokuroku (certificate of knowledge) plus 1 secret. For us Westerners, theese mokuroku, may be compared to Dan grades, even if the achievement of the first Mokuroku, takes place long after the achievement of a grade of Shodan. The final tests can only be held by a committee of the association and all members come from Honbu Dojo Kitami, Japan. The beginners wear a gi of the shape of the judogis with a white belt. Then, along the way, you are invited to be part of Shiseikan, and you can sew down the gi back, the Takeda Clan mon's.

The program derives from a complete combat system created specifically for the samurai of the Aizu Clan. Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is considered to be a complete martial art, it includes techniques of grappling and wrestling techniques with ancient weapon of the samurai (sword, spear, wakizashi ....). The numerous techniques of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu (more than 3,000 technical, someone asserts 7,000 ....) are cataloged and divided into sets, each set is then divided in order of increasing difficulty.
In the program there is also kenjutsu, sword techniques Ono ha Itto-ryu style. The ono ha Itto-ryu is a traditional kenjutsu school, a branch of Itto-ryu school, which was created around 1580 by Ono Taddaki (1565-1628). The Ono ha Itto-ryu it is practiced, according to tradition Japanese, in the form of kumi-tachi, in prearranged forms of sword fighting.

The use of some martial arts for their therapeutic activities is also explored and interesting results are expected in the near future and already several psychologists recognize that, under proper supervision, martial arts can be a great help to psychotherapy. In conclusion martial arts have their scientifically proven physical and psychological benefits; different arts together provide benefits equally differents, linked to the predisposition and the "expectations" of the practitioner too.
Eastern martial arts, promoting sound and healthy lifestyle (just think of the doping prevailing in almost all sports, even at the amateur level!) together with a balanced and harmonious physical development, compensate some shortages of Western sports.
They may have, as it is shown to have, a positive effect on illness and disease often treated by chemical or pharmaceutical industry and this is because an experience of hundreds - if not thousands - of years has been condensed into disciplines - yesterday and today - in addition to offer techniques and systems for effective self-defense, also constitute a useful tool for the improvement of physical and mental condition and this is because just who was in good health could fight successfully (in the past and in the present)
Martial arts tend to focus on the integration between mind and body, through a combination of meditation and physical activity.
As mentioned, most of the studies on the long-term effects of the practice of martial arts is identifying positive change not only in the physical but also social and psychological; it was detected as an inverse relationship between the experience of the practitioner and the level of his hostility, aggression and anxiety, while on the contrary: independence, self-confidence and self-knowledge increases with increasing time of practice.
Some martial arts produce psychological benefits more quickly than others, for example, one study found that the level of anxiety of some students decreased after a short period of practice. Even more obvious are the differences between martial arts and sports programs to improve the social and psychological well-being.
Most sports have many similarities with the martial arts, including physical, developmental coordination and social interaction.
One of the greatest psychological benefits is the increase in self-confidence, many Westerners - especially those who live in major European or U.S. cities- lives in worry of being attacked, afraid to walk in the streets alone at night or afraid to deal with bullies into the school or in the workplace.
Respond with violence is obviously not a good solution, but often fear leads to overreact.. Know the basics of self-defense increases the self-confidence of the practitioner, decreasing its sense of vulnerability.
The purpose is not to teach people to beat up anyone who offends them but to defend themselves in the unfortunate events. Have some confidence allows you to remain calm in crisis situations, or in a compromising situation, who is capable of defending themselves have less need to use physical force against who does not have these capabilities.
The long-term effects of martial arts practice are beginning to be investigated and begin to be interesting studies on the subject; martial arts generates a positive social and psychological structure.

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