“Willow Spirit Samurai”
INTRODUCTION TO YOSHIN RYU SOGO BUJUTSU– SCHOOL OF SAMURAI WARFARE
Yoshin Ryu Sogo-Bujutsu also has abandoned its concerns with the relationship between the high tree (Takagi), and the nature of the Willow (Yoshin). In its stead, it focuses its effort on the spirit of the Willow in relation to all the elements of our heavenly manifestation: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and the Cosmos; thus its combative measures and philosophical approach are of universal applications.
The philosophy behind the school of Yoshin Ryu Sougou-Bujutsu is comprehensively captured in its name; referring to the complete combative martial art which regards the relationship between the flexible and integrating spirit of the willow tree.
The etymology of the word Sougou- Bujutsu is somewhat complex to explain in laymen’s terms. The word Sougou refers to a universal perspective of things. The word Bujutsu originates from Japan and has been used since the 13th Century Meiji Era. Bu’ (術) translates to warrior, military, chivalry or arms. ’Jutsu’ (術) translates to methodology, art, technique, set of skills. Hence, Bujutsu is the direct literal translation for a martial art in both historical and modern context. Furthermore, the term Bujutsu is often used when directly referring to martial arts for real world or battlefield conditions.
YO: Willow SHIN: Mind; heart; spirit RYU: a school of thought, tradition
SOuGOu: Universal view BU: Warrior JUTSU: methodology
Yoshin Ryu Sougou-Bujutsu is a Ju-taijutsu (Jujutsu) based combative martial art which draws its uniqueness from the use of evasive body movement around a foe as if moving in half circles and arches as well as retrieving to further draw the foe’s intent into its grasp. One begins at a safe distance of an arm’s length and quickly draws in, to only change direction while closing into a point where space is not available for a foe to move in or out; thus, one becomes the other or integrates with one another.
Once the opportunity of a retreat is taken away, the next step is for an almost certain quick drop of the foe on to its head by way of dropping one’s center onto a lower position, one knee or the entire body weight. This Ryuha or tradition has a seemingly “yielding” but more of an integrating feel that responds to the intent provided by the opponent and uses someone’s efforts against them while drawing them to be exposed. It includes techniques for non-lethally ambushing, disarming, and capturing people for questioning. It employs defense with and against wearing armor and Daisho (long and short sword). It further uses the pliability of one’s body to overcome or throw the foe, hence the relationship of the elemental changes and not breaking under pressure. This tradition specializes in grappling and throwing similar to the ones adopted by modern-day Jujutsu/Judo/Aikido. It was highly regarded by ancient Japanese police in close-quartered urban settings for the apprehension of fugitives.
The comprehensive research and study work herein has been the collaboration of Ariza Hanshi of the Five Rings Centers International and what he refers to as gifts from the spirit world. In an effort to maintain a relevant connection with the truest interpretation of this tradition, Ariza Hanshi calls his collective work as Yoshin Ryu Sogo-Bujutsu (a reincarnation of Takagi Yoshin Ryu Ju-Taijutsu).
The Art is a pure Classical Japanese Martial Art and can be traced back to the ancient times of Japan, owing most of its glory to the skilful and brave Samurai Warriors who continued upgrading and refining its vast array of scientific techniques in actual combat, and also known for the creation of a unique way of the sword (Iai-Jutsu / Iaido), The basic principle of the art was to defeat the enemy in any way possible with the most gentle of hands. Gentle is only for the Ju-Taijutsu-ka and not for the opponent, that is, with the gentle swift body movement (Tai Sabaki) geared with the brains using the principles of leverage and counters, combined with the knowledge of the body pressure points, using and turning the attacker’s own strength and weight.