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TENJIN RYU JUJUTSU

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Tenjin Ryū Jujutsu (天神流柔術), literally meaning "Gentle Art of the Heavenly Divine" has it's historical roots, classical kata and training methods dating back centuries to Japans warring past of the Sengoku period (戦国時代) and can be classified as a traditional school of jujutsu.  It was founded by Soke Anshu Christa Jacobson by combining all of her koryū bujutsu (古流; classical Japanese warrior arts) and gendai budō (現代武道; modern martial arts) training that she experienced during her time as an apprentice.

 

The koryū (古流) arts such as Taked-ryu, Yagyu Shingan-ryu, Shorinji-ryu, and Daito-ryu as well as the gendai (現代) arts such as American Jujitsu makes up the essence of this art, thus giving the name "gentle art of the heavenly divine".

 

Just as in the Koka-ryu school of Kempo, Soke Anshu wanted to share with her students all of the principals and strategies that was taught to her from her masters and share that with them.  She also wanted a specific method of jujutsu for the Budo Ryu that blends, flows and connects the other six traditions of the school together and can adapt in any situation.  The Tenjin-ryu school of jujutsu is the glue that connects the other traditions together within the Budo Ryu Kai.

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Tenjin Ryū is best known for its jūjutsu, over which it covers an extensive curriculum. Its unarmed jūjutsu techniques include tehodoki (grip breaking), ukemi (tumbling), nage-waza (throwing), kensetsu-waza (joint dislocation), atemi-waza (striking weak points), shime-waza (choking), ne-waza (ground techniques) and kappō (resuscitation). These are combined to form kata for the various sections of jūjutsu taught, including torite (capturing and restraining), hade (attacking vital points unarmed), and kumi uchi (grappling).

 

Beyond the core of jūjutsu, many different weapons (kobujutsu) are taught.  The sword curriculum is divided into three major sections. (1) Kenjutsu covering basic swordsmanship against a similarly armed opponent.  (2) Saide covering grappling with the sword and (3) Iai covering the techniques of rapid sword drawing and striking. Bojutsu is central to Tenjin Ryū's study of movement, and as such forms an important part of the curriculum. Bojutsu work addresses various lengths of staff, in particular the six shaku staff. Other sizes taught include jōjutsu and hanbōjutsu.

Tenjin Ryū is perhaps lesser known for its other weapons techniques, but it retains a number of weapons for use both on and off the battlefield. The naginata and kusarigama are covered, as well as the jutte (truncheon), shuriken (throwing blades), and the tessen (iron fan).

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There are 4 primary areas of training in Tenjin-ryu Jujutsu that the practitioner has to become proficient in; Jujutsu, Kobujutsu, Heiho and the Tenchijin.  Each of these sections has its specific place not just within war, but in the daily life of the samurai.



JUJUTSU CURRICULUM -天神流柔術

In the Jujutsu curriculum there are 4 sections of training. 

 

 

Shoden Gata (初伝; initial transmission) consist of San Mon, Kumite Dachi Waza, Kamae, Uke Waza, Taisabaki Waza, Nage Waza, Atemi Waza, Geri Waza, Buke Waza, Kyushojutsu, Kote Waza, Rensoku Waza, Mamori Waza, Kobu Waza, Chi Kamae, Shime Waza and Kensetsu Waza.

 

Chuden Gata (; inside transmission) information on this level of training is only for the students of the ryu and is not open to the public; kuden only.

 

 

 

Okuden Gata (奥伝; heart transmission) information on this level of training is only for the students of the ryu and is not open to the public; kuden only.

 

 

 

Kaiden Gata (皆伝; great transmission) information on this level of training is only for the top students and is not open to the public; kuden only.

Training in the Tenjin Ryu school of Jujutsu is understood from the kanji Jujutsu (柔術).  "Ju" () can be translated to mean "gentle, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding." "Jutsu" can be translated to mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against himself rather than confronting it with one's own force.

 

Jujutsu evolved among the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon. Because striking against an armored opponent proved ineffective.  Practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of pins, joint locks, and throws. These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker's energy against him, rather than directly opposing it.

 

The focus of the training of the Tenjin Ryu is not on "sport" application, but the raw reality of life and death on the battlefield. These methods of combat included striking (kicking and punching), throwing (body throws, joint-lock throws, unbalance throws), restraining (pinning, strangling, grappling, wrestling) and weaponry. Defensive tactics included blocking, evading, off-balancing, blending and escaping.

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Soke Anshu Christa Jacobson is also a collector of ancient samurai makimono and densho (scrolls and manuals) and has hundreds in her personal collection, some of which are from ancient warrior arts that no longer exist.  In the study of Tenjin Ryu, she regularly displays and reads these ancient texts to her students so that they can see first hand; these historical references to the ancient history of the samurai, and reflect these teachings within the understanding of the school.

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HISTORICAL DISCLAIMER:  When searching for information regarding secret societies and old martial arts schools of training, it is very hard if not impossible to find all of the information regarding the history of the arts.  The information that I have placed on all of the seven traditions (ryuha) that are studied within the Budo Ryu Kai (Koka-ryu Kempo, Tenjin-ryu Jujutsu, Tomo-ryu Shinobijutsu, Eishin-ryu Iaijutsu, Koto-ryu Koppojutsu, Gyokko-ryu Kosshijutsu & Togakure-ryu Ninpo Taijutsu) may be entirely wrong & inaccurate.  The information that I have listed is the information that I gathered from my teachers, my training and my personal research of the arts.  This historical information of the seven traditions taught within the Budo Ryu Kai I feel is correct based on my personal training and research.

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