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Taiho-Jutsu for Self-Defense?

The title of this brief article may sound strange. After all, how can the “art of arresting techniques” not be used for self-defense? The approach of this discussion, however, is to question whether it is both necessary and appropriate to learn the entire taiho-jutsu course if one is only interested in self-defense, rather than restraints, searching techniques, come alongs, et al, if all one wishes is a short course in self-defense?

There are countless “self-defense” courses found today. Some are basic, others are complex combinations of arts; some specialize in ground fighting, others in “reality based” systems. Having observed many of these systems, there seems to be something lacking. Before proceeding, let me clarify matters by stating that I am not trying to preach to the converted. It is assumed that at least the majority of this readership understands and appreciates the underlying principles and philosophy of taiho-jutsu. It is this philosophy that is one of the vital things that I find lacking in non-taiho-jutsu systems.

Let us briefly examine who really signs up for a short course in self-defense, as opposed to donning a gi and an obi and begins the intensive process of training. One type may be someone older than the “young warrior”, who may not have the physicality or the time to commit to a regular kyu/dan program.


Another type may be a woman who was subjected to the unwanted aggressive behaviors of a male or group of males, and frightened beyond description. Still another type may be someone who felt humiliated in not being able to defend his family and/or himself in a threatening and dangerous situation. Scenarios are unlimited. The point is that they each need a course that can be learned quickly, does not require great physicality, employs techniques which are most effective, and may be practiced alone or with a partner. This certainly describes the taiho-jutsu course. If the “arresting techniques” are omitted, we are left with, in the opinion of this writer, as perfect a self-defense course as you’ll find.

In teaching basic self-defense, taiho-jutsu, and ju-jutsu, my sensei would always demonstrate many other techniques which could be used for the same attacks, and logically (and sometimes scientifically) explain why the techniques of taiho-jutsu met the criteria for being the safest and most effective self-defense course, making it truly the best that can be offered.

Can taiho-jutsu be used for basic self-defense, devoid of the “arresting techniques”? Absolutely!

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