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“Taiho-Jutsu” in England: Semantic and Curriculum Differences

by Steven J. Kaplan

Prior to discussing Taiho-Jutsu in England, the term itself needs to be defined and clarified. Taiho-Jutsu came to the U.S. via the U.S. Air Force. The history and chronology of this may be reviewed at the U.S.T.J.F. website. Although there is a wide array of arresting self-defense techniques to be found in law-enforcement across America, these are referred to as "police tactics" rather than Taiho-Jutsu. Only the techniques of the program originally taught to select Air Force personnel are referred to (or should be referred to) by the name, "Taiho-Jutsu".

While to the best of my knowledge Japan did not "close" Taiho-Jutsu to any country, the system as practiced in England differs from the U.S. program. As a brief history, Brian Eustace, a high ranking Aikido and Judo sensei, brought "Taiho-Jutsu" to England in 1973. Seeing that police officers received only a minimal amount of self-defense training, Eustace Sensei expanded the existing unarmed combat course to an ongoing program, with belt rank awarded as students progressed.

Herein lies the first two differences between Taiho-Jutsu as taught in the U.S., and the police tactics program the British call Taiho-Jutsu. To begin with, there is no short Taiho-Jutsu course, which is the foundation of Taiho-Jutsu practiced in the U.S.  British "Taiho-Jutsu" refers only to the complete program. In terms of the curriculum, there have been frequent changes over the years.


The curriculum has always had a majority of Judo and Aikido techniques. The current curriculum continues this trend, but there is a paucity of Karate-style striking and blocking techniques. The only time they seem to appear is in the defenses which are taken from Kodokan Goshin-Jutsu. Included in the curriculum are moves against the tanto (knife) and keibo (baton). These techniques are either purely Aikido in nature, or as mentioned earlier, taken from Kodokan Goshin-Jutsu. Throws, sweeps, and mat work are executed as pure Judo techniques.

None of the above is to be taken as a negative statement on the system of police arts practiced in England. Its intent is to simply clarify the differences of the techniques and curriculum of a system which shares the same name. Even when comparing the British belt rank system to the complete belt rank system offered by the U.S.T.J.F., the differences are apparent, since the core techniques and philosophy of the course are absent in the British system.

As a final historical note, the police in England abandoned their Taiho-Jutsu in 1996, and adopted a "very simplified system of officer protection, which did not require regular training or practice to maintain any proficiency".

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