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Taijutsu

Taijutsu (体術?, literally "body technique" or "body skill") is a Japanese blanket term for any combat skill, technique or system of martial art using body movements that are described as an empty-hand combat skill or system. The term is commonly used when referring to a traditional Japanese martial art but has also been used in the naming of modern martial arts such as Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. More specific names than Taijutsu are typically used when describing a martial art, such as Jujutsu (focusing on throwing, grappling, and striking), Judo (focusing on throwing and grappling), Aikido (focusing on throwing, striking, and joint locks) and Shorinji Kempo (focusing on striking and grappling).


Taijutsu is a method of using the body for self defence. Before there was Aikido, Judo, Karate etc, many believe there was the Japanese art of Taijutsu. Actually, Taijutsu is the collective name for any martial art that relies on body dynamics. In some lines of aikido the word taijutsu denotes all aikido work without weapons.

Taijutsu is a martial art which may include strikes, kicks, joint locks, throws and many of the techniques found in the above mentioned (Aikido, Judo, Karate, etc), it depends on the particular ryuha. While most of its aspects appear external, the dedicated student will find many internal aspects as well.

Taijutsu is commonly associated with the schools that supposedly teach Ninjutsu, although there are many ryuha with no relation to Ninjutsu that have Taijutsu in their curriculum. Asayama Ichiden ryu is just one example, there are far too many to list them all. Taijutsu was used by Bushi/Samurai, some Ninja also used their own version of Taijutsu.

  • Taijutsu (Unarmed self-protection)
    • Junan Taiso (Body Conditioning)
    • Taihenjutsu (Body movement)
      • Ukemi (Breakfalls)
      • Kaiten (Rolling)
      • Tobi (Leaping)
    • Dakentaijutsu (Striking Methods)
      • Koppojutsu (Bone attacks)
      • Koshijutsu (Muscle attcks)
    • Jutaijutsu (Grappling methods)
      • Nage (Throws)
      • Hajutsu (Escapes)
      • Gyakuwaza (Locks and controls)
      • Shimewaza (Chokes)



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