Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Brief Introduction to Dentokan Aikijujutsu

Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu is a system of traditional Nihon Jujutsu and a recognized branch of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu that was established by Colonel Roy J. Hobbs in 1997, with the encouragement and blessings of his teacher, Irie, Yasuhiro, Soke. Hobbs Sensei began training in Hakko-ryu Jujutsu in 1965, receiving the title of Shihan in 1983 directly from Okuyama, Ryuho (Yoshiji), Shodai Soke and Founder of Hakko-ryu. Hobbs Sensei later received Menkyo Kaiden, complete transmission, in Kokodo Jujutsu, itself a branch of Hakko-ryu, in 1997 from Irie Sensei, one of the senior-most students of Okuyama, Shodai Soke.

Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu traces its roots back through Kokodo Jujutsu and Hakko-ryu Jujutsu to Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu, a highly sophisticated elaboration of earlier forms of Jujutsu, propagated throughout Japan by the legendary Takeda, Sokaku. As a system rooted in the Daito-ryu lineage, Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu employs technical precision; relaxation; and the application of aiki, subtle methods of physical manipulation and mental disruption, to neutralize the power and force of an attack. The technical methods of Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu, like its immediate Kokodo Jujutsu and Hakko-ryu predecessors, initially focuses on methods to capture and control an opponent’s structure through joint locks and controls as well as manipulation of vital points along the body's meridian and nervous systems. These methods often include an aspect of pain compliance, although due to the simultaneous control of an opponent’s structure, effective the application of technique is not dependant on the delivery of pain. Additionally, subtle methods of disruption and off-balancing are used to neutralize, pin or throw an attacker. The technical spectrum also includes chokes and strangulations, ground controls and a full range strikes and low line kicks.

Like its predecessor arts, techniques in Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu are principle-based, utilizing very relaxed or “soft,” yet extremely effective execution of technique to disrupt an opponent and neutralize an attack. As a branch of Hakko-ryu, Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu is infused with a humanitarian philosophy that is manifested in the development of skills that allow one to neutralize and control an attacker without causing undue harm or injury. Therefore, the goal…..

Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu employs a very structured, yet progressive, principle-based training methodology that shares many similarities to the transmission of the older systems of koryu jujutsu from which it is descended. The syllabus closely follows that of the original Hakko-ryu and Kokodo Jujutsu, retaining the waza catalogues of Shodan-gi, Nidan-gi, Sandan-gi, Yondan-gi, Shihan-gi, Kaiden-gi and Sandaikichu-gi. Training typically focuses on the waza within each specific set, followed after a time by henka waza, or variations of the formal waza. Henka may be a variation deals with attacks such as various strikes, kicks or grabs that one may encounter in a self-protection situation but may not be included in the formal waza of a given set. Henka waza are studied in order to increase one’s knowledge and skill and to explore the gensoku, or underlying principles contained within each waza. Through the internalization of the gensoku, one may explore the depths of the art more fully through the creation of goshin oyo, the practical applications of the waza and principles woven throughout the art.

Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu, while an effective life-protection art, is also based on a humanitarian approach to self-defense, following Okuyama Sensei’s teachings of “no challenge, no resistance, no injury,” giving it a moral and philosophical basis that is very similar to the related art of Aikido. The techniques of Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu, while extremely efficient, and frequently painful, are designed to quickly neutralize an attack, while causing as little lasting damage as possible. However, these skills, amplified by the understanding of the previously mentioned henka, gensoku, and oyo, make possible a graduated response to any attack. One’s response may be one of neutralization followed by a non-destructive restraint or pin of an opponent to an all out counter attack, if circumstances require such measures. These characteristics make Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu well suited for defensive tactics training for law enforcement personnel.

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