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Daito-ryu Aiki-Jujutsu is an old Jujutsu style presumably founded by Yoshimitsu Minamoto in the eleventh century. Originally, it is believed that originaly it was only practised by the highest ranking Samurais in the Takeda family in the Kai feifdom of northern Japan.
Feudal overlord Takeda, Shingen died in 1573, and his kinsman Takeda, Kunitsugu moved to the Aizu fiefdom, where he became Jito - overseer of the fief. Kunitsugu introduced Daitoryu Aikijujutsu at the Aizu fiefdom, where the secret fighting art only was taught to the feudal lords and the highest ranking samurais and ladies in waiting.

The feudal system was broken down after 1868 when the Meiji restoration begun. Saigo, Tanomo (1829-1905), the heir to Daito-ryu gave the system to Takeda, Sogaku (1859-1943) and instructed him to pass it on to future generations. Takeda, Sogaku first used the term "Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu" in the beginning of the twentieth century and taught the art to many students.
Takeda, Sogaku taught Daito-ryu from the beginning of the twentieth century until his death in 1943. Two of his best known students were Ueshiba Morihei, founder of Aikido and Choi Yong Sul, founder of Hapkido.
Other prominent 20th century Daito-ryu masters include Horikawa, Kodo (1894-1980); Takuma, Hisa (1895-1979); Hakaru, Mori (1931-), the current director of the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Takumakai; Sagawa, Yukiyoshi (1902-); Takeda, Tokimune (1916-1993), son of Takeda, Sogaku; Katsuyuki, Kondo (1945-); and Okamoto, Seigo (1925-), who is often considered the most progressive teacher of Daitoryu Aikijujutsu.
Description and Training:
The way of teaching Daitoryu was devised for Takeda, Sogaku's students in the same manner as the understanding, feeling and character of the techniques. Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu has four levels of techniques:
Shoden (lowest) 
Chuden (advanced) 
Okuden (highest) 
Hidden (secret techniques).

Written by Conrad Howard — November 21, 2012

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