Who's Who in
Taido ( 躰道 / taidō ) is a Japanese
martial art created in 1965 by Seiken Shukumine (1925 - 2001). The
word taidō means "way of the body." Taido has its roots in
traditional Okinawan Karate. Feeling that the martial arts,
particularly karate, were not adapting to meet the needs of a
changing world, Shukumine first developed a style of karate called
Genseiryu around 1950.
Eventually, Shukumine became
convinced that the limitations of karate lay in its linear mode of
training. He considered how to make the defense more flexible and
universal and introduced the new art as "Taido." Taido's techniques
offered many innovations: the inclusion of spinning and twisting
movements, gymnastic maneuvers, speedy and effective footwork, and a
changing body angle.
Taido's purpose was, and continues to
be, the application of scientific methodology and traditional values
to the evolution of the martial arts.
Five Principles of Taido
- Keep your mind as clear and calm
as the polished surface of a mirror. This way you will see to
the heart of things. Having the right state of mind will help
you avoid confusion.
- Be composed. Body and mind
should be as one. Bear yourself correctly and you need never
- Invigorate your spirit from the
source of energy deep in your abdomen. With the right spirit you
will never fear combat.
- In every action, follow the
correct precepts you have been taught. By doing so you cannot
- Be adaptable in your techniques
and maintain freedom of physical movement. The right technique
will prevent you from being dominated.
Five Types of Body Movements:
- Sen - Vertical spinning movement
- Un - Ascending and descending
- Hen - Falling movement
characterized by changing the body's axis
- Nen - Horizontal spinning
- Ten - Rolling and tumbling
These movements are combined with punches, kicks, and other
techniques. The last category, Ten, includes acrobatic movements,
for instance back-flips, which makes Taido spectacular to watch.
Taido has a special kind of foot-work, which is called unsoku, as
well as non-stepping (acrobatic) locomotion, called unshin.
Competitions in Taido include Jissen
(sparring), Hokei (which is similar to kata), and Tenkai, which is a
made-up fight, where one "hero" defeats five opponents during the
last part of a 30 second bout. In Tenkai the judges give points to
the competing teams in a similar manner as is done in e.g. figure
Taido is practiced in Japan, Sweden,
Finland, Portugal, Denmark, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands,
Australia and the USA.
There is also another Japanese martial art named Taido ( 太道 / taidō
), but it is only practiced in Japan.