TAKEDA RYU SOBUDO - scoala samurailor Takeda - Aikido - Aikijutsu - Jujutsu - JuKenpo - Iaido - Jodo - Shuriken Jutsu - Bujutsu idoTAKEDA RYU traditions – a famous samurai school

Takeda Ryu is one of the oldest samurai martial arts school from the secular Japan and many people confound it with a martial art. It is important to notice from the very beginning that, in fact, Takeda Ryu is a traditional school, which shaped the samurais of a reputable imperial Japanese family – the Takeda clan.

      Inside Takeda Ryu there was taught the complex art of war, including many more martial disciplines as Jujutsu, Aikijutsu, Ju-Kenpo (fighting with empty hands, based on suppleness principles), Iaido / Kenjutsu (the art of fighting with sword), Jodo, Shugi Jutsu (the fight with batons of different dimensions), Shuriken Jutsu (cutting blades).
Beyond these, there was taught the elements of Heiho Jutsu (military strategy and tactics), Ba Jutsu (the riding art), Bujutsu Ido (traditional medicine), but also infiltration and espionage tactics, which are specific to Ninja fighters (Shinobi Jutsu).

    However, Takeda Ryu school remained in martial arts history, pointing out especially through its uncommon techniques with empty hands, generic named Takeda Ryu Aikijutsu, and through a very combative Iai, managed by the same Aiki principle. Aiki Jutsu or Aikijutsu is a special form of Jujutsu, with its origins in China, as many other disciplines, but with extremely hermetical evolution in Japan.

Takeda Ryu SoBudo : Aikijutsu - Jujutsu - Jukenpo - Shuriken Jutsu - Iaido -JodoChinese sources and the Aiki legend

     It seems that the Aiki theory is inspired by the Confucians and Taoist systems from China where appear the YIN-YANG duality idea, the one of the two universal complementary principles in which the perfect equilibrium goes to the Great Harmony (AI). These Confucians doctrines were brought in Japan from China, along with the fundamental principles of martial arts, but also Buddhist and Taoist esoteric doctrines, the notion of Internal Energy KI, and all of these gave birth to a new martial art AIKI-JUTSU. The oldest documents which testify the existence of AIKI JUTSU appear in IX-X centuries and allude to a special fighting method, kept secret by Takeda clan.

    There is still a reknown secret scroll called “Takeda Ryu Aiki-no-Jutsu” (The harmony art with the energy of Takeda school) in which is even related a legend of AIKI tradition: “It is said that in 27 year of Keiko Emperor, Okumi-no-Mikoto prince get the mission to conquer the Kumaso territory. Before the battle, he followed for a few days a purification ritual (misogi), the one of meditation under the falls. He also trained himself under cold as ice water, flowing over him. Realizing that his adversaries are stronger and more numerous, he broke through disguised behind them, trying even to capture their leader. But this one felt him when he got into his room and got the sword trying to hit him, but Okumi-no-Mikoto was faster and through a sliding aside made his adversary losing his balance and falling into his own weapon, dying in that moment.” The same document mentioned that the prince didn’t stop at that level and continued to perfection his fighting method, passing it on inside the family.

Over 1,000 years ago…

      The one who systematized better the fighting methods specific to Takeda school is the general Saburo Minamoto-no-Yoshimitsu (1036-1127), who introduced all of these principles in the training program of all the samurais from Takeda clan, without allowing the spread of this method. It was kept and transmitted secretly, becoming extremely famous through the efficiency of its techniques. The Aiki Jutsu art principles, sometimes named Oshikuchi, were reserved to the elite of the Takeda Ryu school samurais. Aiki Jutsu is translated in fact the art of obtaining the victory through the bringing in harmony with the environment, especially with the actions of the adversary. Aiki means the union with the adversary Ki, the taking over and the control of it.

    The evolution of the school, the decline of Takeda family, the emerging of the two branches. The Takeda Ryu school has knew, beginning with the XII century a large notoriety in the entire Japan, due to the numerous victories of the samurais of this clan, not only in battles but also in challenges against another rivalry schools.
    Soke Ichio Oba , al 43-lea succesor (soke) al scolii Takeda Ryu SoBudo, maestrul lui Soke NakamuraOnly in XVI century, because of the defeat at Tenmoku-Yama, the Takeda clan is divided for the first time in two main currents: Takeda Ryu and Daito Ryu. Daito Ryu was developed in the area of Aizu province and was transmitted by Tanamo Saigo, who has as a disciple the famous fighter Takeda Sokaku, the Morihei Ueshiba master – the founder of actual Aikido (through the expelling of the too tough or dangerous procedures).
    Coming back to the Takeda Ryu, this branch had been developed in the area of Kai province, inside a close environment, without getting out ouside the Takeda clan. Generation by generation, the old fighting techniques were transmitted till our century. The 42nd Soke (officially designated successor) was Kichio Nakamura, the first un-member of Takeda family, a special event in the school history. This one named Ichio Oba his successor, who died in 1959, without letting a successor. Hisashi Nakamura, at that time Shoden Kyohan, decides to take over the transmission of the school, helped by Shihans with a lot of experience, as Sensei Sofue. They set up the self method Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha, and later he is recognized the 44th Soke of the originally Takeda Ryu school. This is the result of the promotion desire, an opening to the large public, even introducing the competition ideas in Jukempo, Aikijutsu and Jodo sections. He also promotes the name of Aikido Takeda Ryu, instead of Aikijutsu, probably for a stronger impact to the public.

    Takeda Ryu outside Japan

      Looking for traditional Aikijutsu schools, closer to the source, Sensei Roland Maroteaux, first Europeean Shihan in Hakko Ryu Jujutsu (a recent school, also derivated from Takeda family, see the school genealogy) discovers into a bookstore from Tokyo a book entitled Takeda Ryu Aikido, which represented antique techniques of Aikijutsu. In this manner, he meets Soke Nakamura and begin to practice Takeda Ryu SoBudo, a tradition considered by many peoples being disappeared.

      With the help of Sensei Maroteaux, Soke Nakamura promotes the method also in Europe, by completing many stages for perfecting in France, Belgium and Spain. In 1990, Sensei Maroteaux is promoted at the level of Joden Shihan, 6 Dan Aikijutsu, 5 Dan Iaido, 5 Dan Jodo, after more than 10 years of study dedicated to Takeda school, without any rank, and more than that, he is authorized to teach the school in his proper manner – Maroto Ha.

Later, in 1999, especially due to moral causes, Sensei Maroteaux is constrained to continue the school independently by Japanese branch. He was afterward recognized by IBA and in 2005 by the famous Japanese federation Dai Nippon Butokukai – recognized for the quality of the promoted martial arts.