JU KENPO Takeda Ryu
"The Gentle Art of the Fist"
Kenpo = the art of the fist
Ju Kenpo could be translated as “the art of the fist”. Kenpo to the Japanese
designates the fighting procedures by Chinese origin (Chuan Fa), based
primarily on stroke techniques performed with hands and kicks.
In fact, Ju Kenpo Takeda Ryu combines stroke techniques by Chinese origin
probably with forms of Japanese antique Jujutsu. (for Jujutsu - Aikijutsu
relationship see FAQ). The first 3 techniques which are studied in Aikijutsu
are Atemi Waza techniques – it means strokes ones, but the execution manner
specific to the AIKI art is much more harmonious. At a basic level, these
techniques could be performed as simple strokes, after sliding aside, in
order to protect the body from the adversary attack.
It is interesting to remark that O Sensei Ueshiba, the modern Aikido founder
said that, maybe paradoxical, that "Atemi (the stroke) represents 99% from
Aikido". This fact could be paradoxical for modern Aikido practitioners,
which let behind any track of martial in favor of a pleading for ethics,
morality, a harmonious mode of living.
If we take into consideration the beginnings of sensei Ueshiba on the
martial way, it is necessary to remember the Jigoku Dojo – the Hell Dojo,
where the Ueshiba technique’s harmony was total after a fist well performed
had filled with blood the nose of the adversary. Aikido? ... No... Probably
the first levels of Aikijutsu Daito Ryu (Shoden, Chuden) – named also Aiki
Jujutsu. His final Aikido, the one which the people remember, was the final
level of Daito Ryu school – techniques of teaching the KI (accumulating,
directing), where indeed the physical stroke doesn’t matter.
We can already go
on with a wider explanation concerning the progression in Takeda
Ryu on JuKenpo - Aiki Jujutsu – Aikijutsu idea:
1. first level is a more brutal one, where even if we want, we can’t control
the movements … and beyond our will we find the strokes … so sliding aside,
strokes … JuKenpo… The control is almost minimum.
2. the next level is a more elaborate suppleness (Ju), after the sliding aside
and stroke eventually … we use also the movement of the adversary, in order
to control him through techniques on articulations – Aiki Jujutsu (keep in
mind the terms “after”, “eventually”, “control”).
3. the final level includes the conscientious using of the self KI (energy)
and the one of the adversary, the extension of his own sensitiveness, of the
perception and conscientiousness level… The defense action is not any more
done “after”, but in the same time with the technique performing of the
adversary… This is the AI harmony. The control is total, the self intention
is reduced to 0 (see the story of a cat and its wonderful art).
Is JUKENPO a kind of KARATE?
Yes and no … it depends on what is mean for us Karate. If we understand a
fighting method with empty hand (kara = inanity, te = hand) yes, they are
closer … especially because the Chinese source is somehow common. But the
development is different. The Karate is a discipline developed in Okinawa by
the farmers who had to survive to the Japanese invasion. Ju Kenpo Takeda Ryu
is taught as annexed military system, along with sword techniques and
another weapons. Ju Kenpo was developed adapted to a fight at least in a
light armour, on very rationally principles:
- lower or medium kick strokes, and
even jumping if the
adversary is already unbalanced;
- arm techniques: extremely powerful
blocks, executed from very low positions, in order to crash the
adversary attack, heavy attack techniques, applied from various angles;
- specific ground control techniques,
throwing techniques, countertechniques.