Kumi-uchi is a form of armed and unarmed close combat, which was formulated by the Japanese feudal warrior class. It is also known as jūjutsu or taijutsu. It has its roots in Sumo and in armoured grappling called yoroi kumi-uchi. Jūjutsu is the root art for most of Japan’s unarmed martial arts, including, jūdō, aikidō, and some forms of karatedō. Jūjutsu teaches strikes, throws, joint locking, restraints, choke holds, weapons defence and weapons usage. In some aspects, jūjutsu is a complete combative martial art. Training at first is conducted with paired, prearranged techniques, to teach the basic principles, techniques and tactics of the art.
During the feudal era of Japan’s history, hundreds of different styles or ryūha of jūjutsu were formed. Some were designed for military combat, some for domestic self defence, and again, others were developed for law enforcement.
While the actual content and technical repertoire of the curriculum appears to be rather anachronistic, there is quite a strong foundation in combative practicality and logic. The principles and tactics taught in the Sōsuishi-ryū system can be applied to modern situations quite well and make for a very good, effective, scientific, structured system of self protection.
What is Koshi No Mawari? – 腰之廻とは？
In Sōsuishi-ryū, the Japanese swordsmanship disciplines of iaijutsu, kenjutsu and kodachi kumiuchi are referred to as koshi no mawari.
Kenjutsu is the precursor to modern kendo and was one of the main forms of training Japanese warriors’ reflexes, awareness, speed and agility from the 11th Century, until the 19th Century. It is the art of the sword in combative situations. During training paired forms instructing both offensive & defensive tactics are taught, using solid wooden swords (typically oak), called bokutō. The real basis of kenjutsu is of course, like most martial arts, the improvement of the person’s spirit and the perfection of skills taught with the sword. These disciplines in koshi no mawari also teach the student timing, distance and movement under stress.
Iaijutsu is a form of swordsmanship training where the sword is drawn from the scabbard and simultaneously cuts the enemy. The founder and subsequent headmasters of Sōsuishi-ryū have handed down techniques and tactics whose purpose is to train for realistic combat scenarios. Beginners are encouraged to train with bokutō at first and when they are competent with the basics, they can then graduate to using an iaitō (A metal sword with no cutting edge for training.) Training with a shinken (A real Japanese sword) is prohibited until after many years of training. The system of sword drawing used in Sōsuishi-ryū is very distinct and rather different to the more well known iai schools.
Kodachi kumiuchi is the art of close combat armed with a shortsword. It involves grappling, throws, jointlocks and usage of the wakizashi.
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