Killing Me Softly

My husband thinks the problem with my Jiu-Jitsu is that I spell it wrong, so there’s no “ju” (“soft” or “gentle”) in it (and I’m sure anyone who has ever grappled with me would agree ;). Joe thinks my Jiu-Jitsu has too many “i’s” in it because he trains Daitoryu Aikijujitsu, a traditional Japanese art (say it with me now…Dye-toe-roo Eye-key-jew-jit-sue). He’s been telling me that I should write a post about Daitoryu, so…Happy Valentines Day!

Daitoryu Aikijujitsu is the empty-hand art of the Samurai. I’m not surprised if you’ve never heard of it, I believe there are only three or four schools in the entire US that teach it. It was not even taught to non-Asians until around 1992. It’s more like what comes to mind when people think of TJJ; it includes striking, throwing, joint locks, choking, etc. It is considered to be the grandfather of some of the arts that are more well known; Aikido, Jujitsu, Judo, etc.  Daitoryu Aikijujitsu is what is still used by the Japanese police to this day, and some of it’s techniques are well-known to law enforcement and corrections officers throughout the United States. Joe’s instructor, Gary Gabelhouse-Sensei, had the opportunity to start training Daitoryu in Japan with Ohgami-Sensei in 1994. Since then he has continued to travel to Japan to train, and he once brought Ohgami to Lincoln to teach at our dojo.

Ikkajo Joe
Ikkajo Joe

It’s a good art for self-defense (as Sensei Gary can attest to from some real-world experiences). Joe and Skyler personally saw the first Daitoryu technique being used on a man who had assaulted his girlfriend in a parking lot. A passerby who witnessed the assault quickly subdued the man with Ikkajo, and controlled him with it until the police arrived. If necessary, he could have broken the man’s arm, but he was able to accomplish what he needed to do with no injury to anyone. Ikkajo is basically a straight armbar applied with your arms, with a wrist lock thrown in for good measure, usually done from a standing position.

My daughter and I (who both train Jiu-Jitsu and Karate) call Daitoryu “pain class”. Skyler also likes to call it “cheating”. One thing they do that we do not in Jiu-Jitsu is utilize pressure points and nerve bundles. A trained Daitoryu Aikijujitsu student who knows how to push your buttons while applying techniques can cause the kind of pain that’s hard to fight, or at least it is for me. Our women’s Jiu-Jitsu teacher, Sheriff Amy, has also trained Daitoryu, and I learned a long time ago not to ask her about pressure points. Here’s what happens when I do…

G: Isn’t there a pressure point right under your nose?

A: Yes, it’s right here (comes over and tweaks said pressure point).

G: Ow, ow, Ooooooooooowwwwwwwwww!

Another thing that’s a big part of Daitoryu Aikijujitsu that we don’t really do much of in our Jiu-Jitsu class is wrist locks. As far as I’m concerned, they are more painful than any other form of joint lock! I do have some basic knowledge on wrist locks, but I rarely consider using them because I haven’t had enough practice.  Joe, however, gets tons of practice, and it is so annoying when I’m grappling with him and I get caught in a wrist lock!  Here’s what happens when I do…

G: Ow, ow, Ooooooooooowwwwwwwwww!  (♫”Strumming my pain with his fingers…”♫)

Joe is planning on competing in our in-house Jiu-Jitsu tournament on the 25th, and when I asked him what he was doing to prepare for it seeing as how he hasn’t been going to Jiu-Jitsu class, or even rolling with me, he said “Daitoryu”. So I thought I should warn anyone who might end up competing against him to watch out for wrist locks and standing armbars, and just be glad that neck cranks and pressure points are illegal! That Dyetoeroo stuff is no joke.

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4 comments on “Killing Me Softly

  1. We've actually been working on some wristlocks lately. Ken got a DVD by Roy Dean and he's been trying some stuff on me. Plus with my Hapkido I show everyone a little every now and then. Hopefully one of these days I'll make it to a Daito Ryu class as Hapkido has it's roots there as well.

  2. wrist locks in jiu-jitsu are fun. i tapped a guy today with one. i'm like skyler,they feel like cheating. i'm cheating within the rules.

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