Japan's Tokugawa period was an era of growing state control. Police were called on to rein in unruly ronin and samurai, who were often armed and sometimes dangerous. In the capital, Edo, this led to a larger police force trained in refined tactics for capturing criminals. Foremost among their methods was Taihojutsu, a martial art aimed at quickly disarming a resisting adversary and rendering him helpless without causing permanent injury or death.

Taihojutsu's signature weapon was the jutte, which was capable of parrying swords, disarming, and striking without inflicting bloody cuts like a sword would. The jutte was so closely identified with Taihojutsu that it became as much a symbol of authority as a weapon. Other Taihojutsu weapons included the kusarijutte, sasumata, and sodegarami ("sleeve catcher"). Chain- and truncheon-type weapons were popular because they were difficult if not impossible for a sword to break, and could disarm a sword-wielding foe. For more on these weapons, see Chapter 6.

The goal of Taihojutsu was to disable or capture the opponent without causing serious harm. Almost anything that accomplished this was acceptable. For instance, Taihojutsu-trained officers occasionally carried metsubushi (p. 220) and used them to blow blinding powder in the target's face to make him easier to apprehend. Training also emphasized group tactics - officers worked in pairs or in small teams to surround a suspect, rapidly disarm him, and tie him up. Because of this emphasis on capture, Defensive Attacks and such techniques as Disarming and Targeted Attacks on limbs were common. Grapples tended to be a prelude to a takedown or an Arm Lock.

Taihojutsu included Hojojutsu: the art of tying up suspects with rope (frequently using elaborate knots). This usually followed a pin or an Arm Lock that prevented the detainee from resisting effectively. Cinematic practitioners can use the Binding technique to truss opponents in combat without restraining them first!

Taihojutsu was unique to Tokugawa-era Japan. The style is extinct today, although some of its component weapon skills remain. See Styles for Cops (p. 145) for notes on modern police styles.

Skills: Jitte/Sai; Judo; Knot-Tying; Kusari; Staff.

Techniques: Bind Weapon (Jitte/Sai); Disarming (Jitte/Sai or Kusari); Entangle (Kusari); Hook (Staff); Targeted Attack (Jitte/Sai Swing/Arm); Targeted Attack (Kusari Swing/Arm).

Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength; Pressure Points.

Cinematic Techniques: Binding; Pressure-Point Strike; Snap Weapon (Jitte/Sai).

Perks: Form Mastery (Kusarijutte); Style Adaptation (Kusarijutsu); Teamwork (Taihojutsu); Technique Adaptation (Disarming).

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