Takeuchi Ryu experience

So my wife, Sky and I are here in beautiful (literally) Sandpoint, Idaho. No Judo north of McCall, ID as far as I can tell. I wanted to work out (other than pushing around Sky in the carriage or walking with him in the backpack), so I looked up martial arts in the area.

There is a group of aikidoka who don't answer there phone or return calls, and a guy who teaches Takeuchi Ryu. I had looked him up before but never got a chance to check him out. He's the real deal though, trained in Japan with an assistant instructor's license from Japan.

Sky is getting fussy so I'm going to have to leave the Internet Cafe' where I'm at now.

Suffice it to say that anybody who thinks that the old bujutsu focus on "kata" only isn't a workout needs to give this stuff a try.

I did warmups with the bo (staff), and then what they call torite kata (with a partner). Imagine supercharged goshin jutsu from Judo and you might grt the idea. How about a reverse kata guruma? Walk up behind a guy, slap him between the shoulder blades, grab his collar, and go from there.

Ben R.


first, good of you to keep up training while away from the home club..

sounds a lot like the aiki jujutsu i do, lots of aikido type wrist locks with throws that are very dangerous, and of course all of this is set up with a kick or a punch..

have fun and keep us posted on how your workouts have been...

if possible, take a picture of the dojo with you and the instructor with a digital camera and post it here on the thread, it would be nice to see what you are doing..



Ben, is this the guy who wrote a book about his MA experience? Stephen Fabian, I think? I read that book some years ago when I used to practice the old-school stuff. Neat book. Tell us more about your experiences, yeah and pictures would be nice too :)

Hey guys,

The guys's name is Tony Abry, different guy than Fabian.

Wayland, we did many throws/takedowns using joint locks. Some used the wrist, a lot used both wrist and elbow.

The atmosphere is serious but not formal,none of the hai, sensei stuff you see at a lot of karate and Judo dojo. The training has a very organic feel to it, no pressure, but intense.

The two guys who I have watched for two nights are working on their nikkyu. They know a lot of stuff.

There were some "Judo type" throws, including normal ippon seoi, but set up with a punch to the solar plexus, and a kibisu gaeshi set up by a palm hand strike to the xyphoid process.

The stuff I saw just barely scratches the surface of the art for sure, Tony said the ryu has 650 kata (including weapons). It was all basically beginners stuff, basics.

I don't know if I'll be there for Friday training, so the digital photo may be out.

Ben R.

Their ukemi looks like normal Judo ukemi waza, but it is designed to be done on a non-matted surface. For example, in a side fall, they arch up their bodies to keep their side/midsection off the mat. Also, they do do flat falls from their zempo kaiten ukemi, but the more advanced fall is to get up and not really beat the mat, and turn to face their opponent right away.

Their ushiro ukemi does not use a slap with the arms. They tuck their elbows in and make a fist. They hit feet first on the balls of their feet. The idea is to be able to take the fall and spring up instantly to your feet (like a kip-up), or, to land on your feet.

Ben R.

Sounds great, good to hear more open-minded cross training
experiences. It would be great to hear more about the experiences
from your perpective.


Did you/do they practice randori?

TacticalGrappler, no, they do not have randori. The instructor told me that at the start. He has done Judo, Krav Maga, Kokushikan(sp) karate, Goju Ryu, etc., so he knows about sparring.

Takeuchi Ryu was founded in 1532, so it's koryu bujutsu, although I'm not sure what they would call themselves. The sign on the dojo says traditional Japanese martial art, kobudo.

Ben Reinhardt

Wow, that's really cool!

Here's a link to good basic info on the art. Tony Abry knows Wayne, etc.


INterestingly, the site says that the art did at one time have a form of randori and one line did contests of a sort.

Ben Reinhardt

Wayne was one of my journalism Profs. IIRC Takeuchi Ryu has a lot of dagger stuff. An interesting book that looks at the koryu bujitsu is by Serge Mol "Classical Fighting Arts of Japan"

"How about a reverse kata guruma?"

Sounds interesting..

Yeah, apparently at one time Takeuchi-ryu were quite strong in terms of competitive matches (I think Yokoyama talks about fighting a Takeuchi-ryu man in his pre-Judo days). I was curious if they did any in the dojo you trained at. It's pretty rare in koryu, but some schools have it.

Takeuchi/Takenouchi Ryu has a lot of grappling, but it is mostly based upon grappling in armor IIRC, and this is why the emphasis on dagger/wakazashi. A lot of Koryu JJ looks weird and downright silly b/c the technoques are not veiwed within the context of which they were used. I don't recall Wayne saying anything about matches/randori and I don't know where the heck my book by Mol went. I do remember the book being a pretty good read though and that Takenouchi Ryu as being from the 1600s and influencing other ryu that came later. Also, weapons are very prevalent in battlefield JJ and Nagewaza was preceded/followed by atemi.

"They hit feet first on the balls of their feet." Aren't judokas supposed to do that when we break fall on concrete? The arm is too fragile for concrete, isn't it? I remember being told to breakfall with my feet outside...

(I've done it when slipping on ice and it worked btw...especially since you are wearing boots).

""They hit feet first on the balls of their feet." Aren't judokas supposed to do that when we break fall on concrete? The arm is too fragile for concrete, isn't it? I remember being told to breakfall with my feet outside... "

Yeah, I first learned ukemi waza in a way much more similar to the way they do it in Takeuchi Ryu, I still land using the balls of my feet. My first teacher was pretty old school in his approach to Judo. We did self defense applications for every throw we learned, and actually practiced them.

Ben R.

The stuff I did and saw was NOT based on yoroi kumi uchi (grappling in armor). It was torite, which is for unarmored grappling. The basic stuff I did and saw based on two people walking towards each other, and was designed to surprise and take down/out the other guy. You basically walked towards each other then made an attack (grab) at uke's right wrist/elbow/arm. The kuzushi was mostly based on applying the joint lock, although there was some more subtle pulling that went on in some techniques. There were also techniques with atemi to set them up.

Another kata was what Tony called "reactive kata", similar to goshin jutsu in Judo, in that you reacted to an attack from uke, rather than making an attack as in the other kata.

I watched them do all sorts of stuff with atemi, joint locks, and throws, sometimes all combined together.

Kogosuko is the dagger based art they practice, or two daggers/short swords, I think. It is mentioned on the web site that I posted in an earlier post.

I did not do or see any kogosuko. Tony told me he was only allowed to teach some of the kata/techniques to people above the rank equivalent to about sandan in Judo.

Ben Reinhardt