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Thread: Hojojutsu in the U.S.?

  1. #1
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    Default Hojojutsu in the U.S.?

    Hi,

    I am looking for a teacher with a fairly comprehensive hojojutsu program. I have come across several schools that include hojojutsu within their curriculum, but these programs appear to include only a handful of basic techniques to complement their programs.
    My own background is 40+ years of martial arts training. I find the study of Hojojutsu to be fascinating and would like to learn more. So far, I am doing the best I can with what videos and books I can find- but of course that is just not the same.

    I would be most appreciative if anyone can provide contact information. I can travel fairly easy within the U.S. Getting abroad would be more difficult.
    Melanie Fine, Shihan
    Modern Herb Shop
    Suigetsu Dojo

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    Hi Melanie,

    I think the most popular and readily available hojojutsu ryu is Ittatsu-ryu. Ittatsu-ryu has been absorbed into Shindo Muso-ryu. You may want to look for a Shindo Muso-ryu teacher in your area. I had the chance to learn a few knots from Kaminoda sensei a while back when he did a gasshuku in MD back in the 90's. Interesting stuff. I think I would rather have a pair of hinged handcuffs and some leg irons though

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    The "problem" is that Ittatsu-ryu is a fuzoku-budo - a school subsidiary to Shindo Muso-ryu. I can think of only one occasion that it was taught separately from Shindo Muso-ryu (and that was truly an outlier). Most schools that have hojojutsu have it as a minor subset of their curriculum, because that it how it was regarded. In fact, hojojutsu was regarded as a low-caste activity, and higher ranked bushi had subordinates do tying. They might have some "hayanawa" - fast rope techniques within their curriculum, but the elaborate ties for prisoners were often done by burakumin, associated with the police or executioner.

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    Have you checked the S&M communities? The bondage folks get into this stuff.

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    I was given a book on hojojutsu some years ago. It is elaborately illustrated, starting with the basic knots and tying techniques, and progressing to more and more elaborate trussing. The diagrams look to be antique block print illustrations that have been reproduced for this contemporary edition.

    There is quite a bit of text and indices; however, it's in Japanese and a friend had time only to partially translate for me. I was told that the foreword notes that these methods are preserved for historical interest, but that the craft continues to exist today largely due to its popularity as an... uh ... alternative way to enjoy certain relationship activities.

    If anyone is interested, I could scan and send a bit of the content (though not immeditately, as I need a new scanner).
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 17th November 2013 at 23:39.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Hi,

    Daniel Lee was trying to sell a Hojojutsu Book in the Buy, Sell & Trade Thread earlier this year (Kobudo-jujutsu-and-hojojutsu-books), he may still have it if you contact him.

    Whilst many of the books and videos around (even the risqué ones!) show some basic and elaborate ties, they mostly miss the martial origins of the art, very few show how to get a non-compliant person into them, or explain why they were used.

    When I learnt we spent much time on some basic takedowns and holds that allow you to get a quick restraint in place, once secured you could then tie them in a more elaborate way. The different elaborate ties allowed the prisoner to walk comfortably, or restricted certain movements whilst allowing enough movement to feed them selves, etc. We also practised a range of ties that utilised short ropes and belts, both the long martial arts belt, and the normal trouser belt, I always remember my instructor stressing that it was best to use the prisoners belt rather than your own because it helped immobilise them if their trousers fell down! We also did cable ties and handcuffs, but these were modern additions.
    Neil Hawkins
    "The one thing that must be learnt but
    cannot be taught is understanding"

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    Supposedly the bondage stuff is different in that it is often designed to NOT tighten up or constrict - in particular the neck - if movement, struggling, etc. occurs. Their ropes can be silk, and are wider and less 'cutting' as well. More dedicated decorative/artistic/sex-centric ties in many cases as well. So I've read....

    There can be crossover, I guess, but keep safety scissors handy regardless....

    Flex cuffs and handcuffs are far more practical in usage, but not as easily or surreptitiously carried. I keep a rope in my pack and one in my truck, rather than the flex cuffs I used to keep. The rope in the truck is used primarily for tying loads - but is carried/loaded in the hojo manner so that it can be rapidly deployed should I ever have to restrain someone. It is very light and readily slid into a pocket.

    They are perfect for carry on an airplane as well, where the cuffs of any type might draw some focussed attention.

    In watching hojo. I never used to understand why someone would allow another to elaborately tie them up, and was suspicious of some of the questionable "hold downs" you see in classical jujutsu versus any real resistance.

    Then Don Angier brought up a great point at a seminar: in warrior times as with today, the vast majority of arrests are compliant.

    People "turn around and put their hands behind their back" or they prone out and "put their arms out like an airplane" so that they can be cuffed, in the latter with what would only be a minor positional control.

    If a subject is actively fighting/resisting the control hold, it is actually far more tactically sound to NOT attempt to restrain them. Arrest and Control 101.

    You can cuff from some holds of resistive folks with modern steel, but you would not be able to do much more than bind the hands together with maybe a loop around the neck with rope. That's pretty much hayanawa, so it can be done. Even most police holds are sub-standard for the resistive subject without two or more cops holding them down.
    Last edited by Hissho; 19th November 2013 at 15:21.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Well - let me help you. If you understand the origins of Ikkakyu ryu Nawa jutsu (from which Ittatsu Ryu hojo jutsu came) you will understand that the ties are not done during combat. If you are a member of Shindo Muso Ryu I am sure your teacher will explain it to you.
    Teruhisa Matsutaka

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    To continue the line of thought that Chris has started - there are two sections to hojojutsu, that, of course, go by a variety of names: Hayanawa (fast rope) is arresting or subduing a "somewhat" resistive subject. Most of the rest of hojojutsu, under such names a honnawa, is a kind of human origami, in which each tie was suited for one of a certain social rank (your compliant subject or one forced into compliance), and some were methods of torture.

    I don't know of any school of hojojutsu taught in isolation. However, the hayanawa techniques are pretty simple, and a good book with diagrams, a good training partner, and some good skills in jujutsu would make this a quick study. If, in addition, you had training in police handcuffing/arrest & control, it'd be a very quick study, and you'd be as good as any medieval expert of hayanawa in a few months of dedicated study.

    I also agree with Chris regarding carrying a rope rather than flex-ties. If you were ever stopped with the latter, odds are the first suspicion would be that they were a part of a rape kit. Particularly if, like so many today, you also carried a folding knife or the like.

    Ellis Amdur

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    Tuff ties - anyone used these?

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    http://www.tufftie.com/index.php/products/
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Kit,

    I thought these might be of interest:
    http://handcop.com/
    From Ed Calderon.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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    Al

    Sorry took a bit to respond, currently in an active shooter response instructor course now which - tragically - is more and more relevant with each passing week.

    Yeah - I saw those on his site- very interested. I think they may fit into molle better than flex cuffs, which would be good.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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