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Shindo: A Taiho-Jutsu Complement

In an article published on this website in 2006, I wrote about the value and use of the 36" riot baton as an asset to taiho-jutsu. Historically, I spoke of the hanbo and tanjo, both 36: staffs/batons which have traditional kata, and as a complete art (in the case of the hanbo), has the traditional kyu/dan ranking system. While acknowledging that training in either hanbo-jutsu or tanjo-jutsu may be more than a law enforcement officer can commit to, the system of using this weapon as taught for riot control is certainly do-able, and in the opinion of this writer, encouraged.

There is, however, another system using the 36" baton that would be a complement to riot baton training. That system is Shindo. Note that I am referring to Shindo as a system rather than a complete art. What makes this distinction is the shorter curriculum, the limited amount of techniques of the system, a majority of which are specifically geared toward law enforcement.

While sounding in name like other martial arts, Shindo has no relationship or connection to them. It was created by Canadian born Masaru Shintani (1927-2000), who studied a variety of martial arts and achieved kudan in Wado-ryu karate. It is interesting to note that Wado-ryu's founder created this style by combining different ju-jutsu styles with Shotokan karate as he learned from Funakoshi.


The fluidity of body movement resembling ju-jutsu makes Wado-ryu an interesting style to observe. These body movements and principles may be seen to some degree in Shindo. Shintani further incorporated select techniques from hanbo-jutsu which he had studied. The techniques of the system include baton strikes, restraints, and takedowns.

The name Shindo is said to have two meanings. The first translation states that SHIN is short for the founder, Shintani, and DO means, "the Way". Shindo is therefore "the Way of Shintani". The second explanation translates SHIN as "new", and DO as "the Way". Shindo thus becomes the "new Way" that Shintani sensei created of employing the 36" baton.

While not all techniques in Shindo are perfectly compatible with taiho-jutsu's approach to taisabaki and philosophy of defense principles, they are easily adaptable. There does not seem to be many instructors of Shindo in the U.S., so training would require some dedication and research. Regardless, it is a complementary system worth exploring.

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