Aikijutsu (Japanese Martial Art) is a form of jujutsu which emphasizes the 'early neutralization' of an attack. Like other forms of jujutsu it emphasizes throwing techniques and joint manipulations to effectively control, subdue or injure an attacker. It emphasizes using the timing of an attack to either blend or neutralize its effectiveness and use the force of the attacker's movement against them. Daito-ryu is characterized by the ample use of atemi, or the striking of vital areas, in order to set their jointlocking or throwing tactics. Some the art's striking methods employ the swinging of the outstretched arms to create power and to hit with the fists at deceptive angles. Tokimune regarded one of the unique characteristics of the art to be its preference for controlling a downed attacker's joints with one's knee in order to leave one's hands free to access one's weapons or to deal with the threat of other oncoming attackers.
Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu, originally called Daito-ryu jujutsu, is a Japanese martial art that first became widely known in the early 20th century under the headmastership of Takeda Sokaku. Takeda had extensive training in several martial arts (including Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu and sumo) and referred to the style he taught as "Daito-ryu". Although the school's traditions claim to extend back centuries in Japanese history there are no known extant records regarding the ryu before Takeda. Whether he is regarded as the restorer or founder of the art, the known history of Daito-ryu begins with Takeda Sokaku. Perhaps the most famous student of Takeda was Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido.
There are a number of martial arts in addition to aikido which appear or claim to descend from the art of Daito-ryu or the teachings of Takeda Sokaku. Among them is the Korean martial art of hapkido founded by Choi Yong Sul, who made unverified claims to have trained under Takeda Sokaku, Hakko Ryu founded by Okuyama Yoshiharu who trained under Takeda, Nippon Shorinji Kempo founded by Nakano Michiomi (So Doshin) who is known to have trained under Okuyama. Several other modern schools of aikijutsu such as Yamate-Ryu and Takeda-Ryu also claim a connection to Daito-ryu.
The term aiki-jujutsu (variations aikijujutsu and aikijutsu) in a number of cases have been adopted by newly synthesized martial arts and refer to aikido techniques performed in a "harder" manner such as Tenshin-Ryu, Senso-Ryu, Shindo-Ryu. It also relates to arts that teach jujutsu with an aiki application. Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu is not the sole art that refers to Aikijujutsu (or its derivatives). Daito Ryu was originally called Daito Ryu Jujutsu, and was later changed to Aikijujutsu by Sokaku Takeda.
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