Arresting arts

Japanese bujutsu ryu ha (martial arts schools or styles) first appeared somewhere between the 11th and 15th centuries as samurai developed into professional soldiers and began systematic training in specialized weapons and techniques. Martial arts in Japan were further refined during the nearly constant wars lasting from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The training became more distinctive and individualistic during the relative peace of the feudal era, and many specific bujutsu ryu ha were openly recognized by the early 1600s.

Japanese martial arts were eventually classified into eighteen different branches, referred to as the Bugei Ju-Happan. Basically, this arrangement of government sanctioned military subjects included the following:

  • kyujutsu (archery)
  • hojutsu (artillery)
  • tantojutsu (dagger)
  • naginatajutsu (halberd)
  • mojirijutsu (hook)
  • bajutsu (horsemanship)
  • sojutsu (spear)
  • shurikenjutsu (knife throwing)
  • ganshinjutsu (needle)
  • toritejutsu (restraining)
  • kusarigamajutsu (chain and sickle)
  • bojutsu (staff)
  • shinobijutsu (stealth)
  • suijutsu (swimming)
  • kenjutsu (swordsmanship)
  • battojutsu (sword-drawing)
  • jutte-jutsu (truncheon)
  • jujutsu (unarmed self-defense)

Although not recognized as separate classifications within the Bugei Ju-Happan, many bujutsu ryu ha incorporated a variety of other elements, such as tessen-jutsu (iron fan), within their overall curriculum.

Japanese law enforcement officers trained in self-defense and arresting techniques primarily based on the unarmed fighting styles of jujutsu. They also developed and perfected the use of a variety of non-lethal implements for capturing and restraining suspects such as jutte-jutsu and toritejutsu. Feudal era police officers became proficient in a variety of specialized techniques for arresting both armed and unarmed individuals. Elements of taiho jutsu include the following forms:

Unarmed Forms

  • Tai sabaki (body movement)
  • Uke waza (receiving techniques)
  • Atemi waza (striking techniques)
  • Te hodoki waza (escaping techniques)
  • Osae waza (restraining/holding techniques)
  • Kansetsu waza (joint locking techniques)
  • Nage waza (throwing techniques)
  • Shime waza (choking techniques)

Armed Forms

  • Jutte jutsu (truncheon)
  • Tessen jutsu (iron fan)
  • Hojo-jutsu (cord binding)

Judo has been practiced by Japanese police since 1886 when the Tokyo police department sponsored a competition between the new Kodokan Judo school and older jujitsu schools. After the Kodokan Judo students soundly defeated those from the other jujitsu schools, the police adopted judo training methods and techniques. The renkoho waza (arresting techniques) were developed for controlling suspects and used to force compliance and to move a subject. In response to changing times, a Kodokan working group also updated the older forms with more modern techniques in 1956. Called Goshin Jutsu (self-defense forms), it includes techniques against both an unarmed attacker, as well as an attacker armed with a knife, stick, and gun. Other elements of contemporary taiho jutsu also include the following forms:

  • Tokushu keibo-jutsu (telescopic baton)
  • Tekase-jutsu (handcuffing techniques)
  • Hiki-tate (methods for standing an arrested suspect)
  • Kaeshi-waza (reversal techniques)
  • Tanju hoji waza (handgun retention techniques)

Many forms of both traditional and modern arresting art forms are therefore recognized as part of Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu. Members are encouraged to study and train in those aspects appropriate to their own individual interests.