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Aikijutsu (also called Aikijujutsu) was the grappling art of the Japanese bushi. Samurai used its techniques when disarmed, and to subdue foes in situations where using weapons was forbidden - such as in the presence of one's lord. Famous schools include Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and Ueshiba Morihei's Aikijutsu. At least one school claiming to date from the 11th century still exists today.

Aikijutsu assumes that the enemy will resist, and doesn't wait for him to take the initiative. Stylists use few All-Out or Committed Attacks, and prefer to avoid directly confronting force with force. A typical move is to grapple the opponent, throw him, and then place him in a painful or crippling lock. Some schools teach fighters to attack or feint to provoke a reaction, and then take advantage of the foe's movement to grapple or throw him. These schools would add the Karate skill and Feint (Karate) technique, or teach Jujutsu (pp. 166-168) alongside Aikijutsu.

Historical Aikijutsu schools, especially prior to the Tokugawa era, assumed that both attacker and defender would be armored. They taught techniques for grappling, locking, and disarming an armored opponent on uneven ground. Even modern schools routinely teach how to defend against swords, staves, and knives. Faced with an armed adversary, a stylist would let him attack, then use Disarming or Arm Lock to take away his weapon or cripple his limb.

Japanese culture regarded rising to one's feet in the presence of one's lord as rude, so a samurai would learn to grapple with and disarm an assailant attempting to harm his lord without rising from his knees. For this reason, Aikijutsu teaches techniques for use while kneeling.

Aikido

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