Martial arts has always held a fascination for some and intimidation for others. Jackie Chan has managed to bring a chuckle or two in his fight sequences. Yet, most combat sequences on the silver screen portray various degrees of brutality. From Krav Maga to MMA, Boxing to Muay Thai, blood and external injury are imminent. However, they turn out to be less worrisome than internal injuries, which have caused massive fatalities in the past. Which is why the Japanese decided to create a deadly but non-lethal form of martial art: the Taiho Jutsu.
Taiho Jutsu – The Combat System To Pacify Criminals
From self-defense to sports, from military/ law enforcement applications to entertainment, from a physical, mental and spiritual development to a way of life, martial arts is ubiquitous and eternal. With virtually over 100 forms of combat practices to choose from, the Japanese decided to a create a non-lethal, yet effective form of martial arts to restrain and subdue criminals without injury. In the process, the Taiho Jutsu was born.
It all started during the demilitarized era of Japan, post-WW2. It was a time when martial arts were prohibited. Public violent outbreaks would occur and the Tokyo police bureau were desperate to find a solution. A meeting soon convened with top notch experts for advice: kendoist Saimura Goro; judoist Nagaoka Shuichi; Shimizu Takaji, headmaster of the Shindo Muso Ryu; Otsuka Hidenori, founder of Wado Ryu; and Horiguchi Tsuneo, a pistol expert. Using classical techniques from Kenjutsu, Jujutsu, and Jojutsu as well as modern disciplines such as karate, kendo, and judo, various techniques were incorporated. This new, proposed system of self-defense also gained ideas from a study of Western boxing.
Acceptance In The West
Taiho Jutsu eventually became so popular that it met the standards set by the California Police Officer Standards and Training (POST). It also became the foundation for Arrest and Control/Defensive Tactics curricula. In fact, Taiho Jutsu instructors have gone one level above to teach “Force Options” at Military Units all over the world. This form of combat training became particularly popular because of the techniques used. These generally include wrist control, arm control, holds, and various other joint locks. Where a stronger amount of force is necessary to subdue the opponent, harder Karate techniques were unleashed.
But what truly made Taiho Jutsu special was the number of techniques available at one’s disposal. From the standard striking techniques, kicking techniques, and blocking techniques, as well as others like vital and pressure point techniques, joint locks, counter-striking techniques, strangulation techniques, holding techniques, arresting techniques, throwing techniques, and self-defense techniques (counters, escapes, and avoidance) were used as well.
The Future Of Martial Arts?
Conflict is eternal, yet violence need not necessarily be used to solve it. Rather, combat should only be used as a final option, and only when all other means of negotiation fail.
With all the violence being portrayed today, often influencing young minds as a necessary solution to problems, emphasis needs to placed now more than ever on a safer and more disciplined approach to fighting.