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Takagi Yōshin-ryū (高木揚心流) is a jūtaijutsu (jujutsu) school taught in the Bujinkan,Genbukan, and Jinenkan Jujutsu Renmei. The techniques are designed to be applied in a very fast manner so the opponent cannot roll or escape. It is believed that it was a school for bodyguards. According to the Bujinkan, the school was founded by Takagi Oriemon Shigetoshi (born 1635), or his student Takagi Umanosuke. Other branches of Takagi Oriemon's original school include Hontai Yōshin Ryū, Hontai Yōshin Takagi Ryū and Hontai Takagi Yōshin Ryū. It is also connected with Kukishin Ryu (founded by Ōkuni Kihei Shigenobu, who was also the 4th sōke of Takagi Ryu).

Takagi is a Japanese family name meaning "tall trees", while yōshin translates as "spirit of the willow tree." It is so named because a willow tree is flexible and thus harder to break.


According to the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten, the head of the Bujinkan organization, Masaaki Hatsumi is a lineage holder of Takagi Yōshin-ryū[1][2][3][4] (see ancestral schools) transferred to him in the middle of the 20th Century by his teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu. The Bugei Ryuha Daijiten has entries bearing the name of Hatsumi below his teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu for Takagi Yoshin Ryu as well as other ryu. (Please note that if you look at the entry for Takagi Yoshin Ryu, you are referenced to the listing for Takagi Ryu (which was also listed in the Kakutogi no Rekishi of 1843). Hatsumi is one of six individuals listed below Takamatsu Toshitsugu in this listing. This is because Takamatsu Toshitsugu split his scrolls among several students, including Fumio Akimoto and Kimura Masaji, among others.

In 1843 Takagi Ryu was mentioned in the Kakutogi no Rekishi (“The History of Fighting Arts”), p. 508-517. Although details of the ryū were omitted, the publication states, "Even though they are not mentioned in this particular periodical, there are several schools that are well-known for being ‘effective arts’ (jitsuryoku ha)." Among the schools listed in this section are Gyokko Ryu, Gyokushin-ryū Ninpō, Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu, Kukishin Ryu, and Takagi Ryu, and Asayama Ichiden Ryu (which in not part of the Bujinkan’s nine schools but was studied by Hatsumi via Takashi Ueno). [5]

Yōshin-ryū, founded in the latter part of the seventeenth century by Akiyama Shirobei Yoshitoki is a traditional school of Japanese koryu bujutsu. Takagi Yoshin Ryu was allegedly founded by Takagi Oriuemon Shigenobu (1625 - 1711). The second master of Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Takagi Umannosuke, was also the first sōke of Takagi Ryu and received menkyo in Takenouchi Ryu Jujutsu as well. The Takagi Yoshin Ryu style is also related to Hontai Yoshin Ryu.

Formal Techniques of Takagi Yōshin Ryū (Bujinkan version)

  • Jūtaijutsu (jūjutsu)
    • Shoden no kata (Beginner forms)
    • Erijime no kata (Strangulations)
    • Chūden no kata (Intermediate forms)
    • Tai no kata (Body forms)
    • Okuden no kata (Advanced forms)
    • Moguri no kata (Diving under forms)
    • Daisho sabaki no kata (unarmed forms, a long sword and short sword are worn at the sides while performing)
    • Muto dori no kata (Unarmed defences against sword)


  1. ^ Tetsuzan: Chapter1 p18; ISBN 4-901619-06-3
  2. ^ Alex Esteve: Exploring the essence of the Martial Arts, ISBN 978-84-85278-30-5
  3. ^ Ninjustsu, History and Tradition; ISBN 0-86568-027-2
  4. ^ Fooprints of the Bujinkan dojo soke
  5. ^ The History of Fighting Arts. 1843. pp. 508–517.  

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