Daito Ryu - Takeda Kamon

Contact Information

Toma Radev
Tel. 819-319-9684
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Time Schedule

333 Boulevard de la Cité des Jeunes
Gatineau, QC J8Z 2M3, Canada
CEGEP de l'Outaouais, Judo Room
Tuesdays 19:30


Japan Headquarters

History of the Daito-Ryu Tradition


Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, was founded around the year 1100 by Shinra Sabburo Minamoto-No-Yoshimitsu (1056-1127), originally from the town of Kamakura. The son of Shinra Sabburo, Yoshikiyo, founded the clan Takéda and Daito-ryu was transmitted in secrecy from one generation to another, exclusively within the family. Takéda were transferred in 1574, in the north of Japan and was affected to the service of the powerful Aïzu clan, where they taught Daito-ryu, only to the samouraïs of higher level during more than three hundred years.

In 1644, Kunitsugu, a remote relative of the family went to Aizu in 1644 and was taken as advisor for Hoshina Masayuki Daimyo (1611-1673), the son of the second Tokugawa Shogun, Hidetada. According to the tradition, he taught the secret techniques of its family to his lord, Masayuki Daimyo, by combining them with the principles of the courtship manner (oshikiuchi) and evolve it in a system of self-defence inside the palace. This amalgam, with Itto-ryu Hoshina (a form of Kenjyutsu) became the base and the drive of the martial arts for the strongholds of the family of Aizu.

Takeda Sokaku

Takeda Sokaku was born the second son of Takeda Sokichi on October 10, 1859 in the Takeda mansion in Oike in Aizu, present-day Fukushima prefecture. As a boy, Sokaku learned kenjutsu, bojutsu, sumo, and Daito-ryu from his father, and studied Ono-ha Itto-ryu at the Yokikan dojo under Shibuya Toba.

With the beginning of the Meiji period, the age of the sword had ended, and no matter how skilled a swordsman might be, he can no longer make any mark and will amount to nothing. Therefore, it is time to pursue and make your way with jujutsu.

With this, the formal succession of Daito-ryu aiki jujutsu was assured. From that time on Sokaku identified himself as a practitioner of both Daito-ryu aiki jujutsu and Ono-ha Itto-ryu. He traveled around Japan teaching both arts and came to be recognized as the reviver ( chuko no so) of the Daito-ryu.

Sokaku was not a large man--he stood no more than 150 centimeters tall--but his eyes were piercing and his techniques were of an almost supernatural level. There is a large number of stories relataing his almost mythical powers and abilities.

Some of his more well-known students were Saigo Tsugumichi, Hokushin Itto-ryu swordsman Shimoe Hidetaro, and aikido founder Ueshiba Morihei, as well as army and navy officers, judges, police, martial artists, and other prominent individuals. He is said to have taught as many as thirty thousand people during his life, the signatures and seals of whom are all entered in enrollment books that are preserved to this day.

Takeda Tokimune

Following Sokaku's death in Aomori Prefecture in 1943, his third son Takeda Tokimune succeeded him as head of the Takeda family and headmaster ( soke) of the Daito-ryu. Tokimune was born on October 7, 1916 in Shimoyubetsu in Hokkaido. As a boy, his father trained him strictly in swordsmanship and Daito-ryu aiki jujutsu. He often accompanied Sokaku on his travels and acted on his behalf as kyoju dairi (assistant instructor).

Previous to this time, Daito-ryu had been for the most part an exclusive art taught only to prominent individuals such as descendants of the samurai class, military officers, and teachers. Tokimune, however, began working toward sharing the art with a wider audience by conducting what he called "Soke Seminars" in various places around Japan. As a result of these seminars, the previously hidden techniques of Daito-ryu were revealed to the public as Daito-ryu aiki budo. On February 7, 1981 Tokimune presented Daito-ryu at a major public demonstration of classical martial arts that was broadcast on Japanese national television. This demonstration included tachiai rokunin zume (pinning six opponents attempting to hold him from a standing position) and newaza kyunin nage (throwing nine opponents attempting to pin him on his back to the ground); thus, the techniques of Daito-ryu and his own skill in executing them immediately gained the attention of the Japanese budo world.

These exhibitions not only demonstrated the high quality of Daito-ryu as a body of unique martial technique, but also suggested the art's importance as a Japanese cultural asset.

In May 1988, Tokimune awarded the menkyo kaiden (license of full transmission) and soke dairi (official representative of the headmaster) to Kondo Katsuyuki, head of the Shimbukan dojo in Tokyo, which oversees Daito-ryu branch dojos. In September of the same year he also made Kondo Director of Overseas Dojos.

Kondo Katsuyuki

Soke Takeda Tokimune passed away on December 2, 1993. During his final months as his health gradually deteriorated, certain of his students avoided their responsibility for preserving the Daito-ryu tradition and decided to leave Daito-ryu or to break from the main line into factions. This threw the question of succession in the Daito-ryu into confusion. Under these circumstances, a meeting among the heads of the various branch dojos was convened in September of 1994. Kondo Katsuyuki, appointed soke dairi and menkyo kaiden by former headmaster, Takeda Tokimune, was chosen to oversee the Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu Hombu as Hombucho and Somucho, with responsibility to carry on and preserve the main-line tradition as it has been passed down from Takeda Sokaku and Takeda Tokimune.

  © 2008