JU KENPO Takeda Ryu
   "The Gentle Art of the Fist"

   Ju= gentle
   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:

Sesnei Maroteaux aplicand Sokuto Geri Chudan din Ju Kenpo Takeda Ryu1. 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.