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Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujutsu traces its lineage back nine centuries to Emperor Seiwa (reigned A.D. 858 – 876) and his grandson, Shinra Saburo Minamoto No Yoshimitsu, who is revered as its founder.
Yoshimitsu's family established roots in the village of Takeda within Koma/Kai (now located in Yamanashi Prefecture). The art was transmitted through generations of the Takeda clan, including the renowned warrior Shingen Takeda. Later, Kunitsugu Takeda, a descendant, relocated to the Aizu district in Fukushima. The art continued to evolve within the Aizu Takeda family, known as "Aizu Han O-Tome Waza." It also developed into a set of secret techniques taught exclusively to high-ranking individuals for indoor use, known as "O-Shiki Uchi" (the palace art).
Sokaku TakedaIn 1898, Sokaku gained permission from the clan's chief steward, Tanomo Saigo (1830 – 1905), who declared "the time of the sword is over," allowing him to openly teach the art. This marked a pivotal shift for Sokaku, transitioning from sword arts to perfecting the skills of "Jujutsu" (unarmed combat). Sokaku is revered as the art's renaissance founder, known as "Chuko no So."
He embarked on a lifelong "Musha Shugyo" (warrior's pilgrimage), typical for "Bujutsu" practitioners, which involved traveling to various places to refine skills through contests and arduous journeys. This pilgrimage defined the remainder of his life.
In 1910, accompanied by Takarabe Sanehide, the chief of the Hokkaido police, Sokaku traveled to Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. He lodged at Taiso Horikawa's inn in Yubetsu, the father of Kodo Horikawa, using it as a base to spread the teachings of Daito-Ryu across the region.
Kodo Horikawa one of the prominent disciples of Sokaku Takeda, shared his tutelage with several notable martial artists, including Taiso Horikawa, Morihei Ueshiba (the founder of Aikido), Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Toshimi Matsuda, Takuma Hisa, and Ryuho Okuyama (the founder of Hakko-Ryu Jujutsu). Among the many students of Sokaku Takeda, Kodo Horikawa distinguished himself by dedicating the longest duration to his training and mastering a vast array of techniques under his guidance.
Shihan Hiroo Iida with a remarkable thirty-year apprenticeship under Kodo Horikawa and his successor, Yusuke Inoue, achieved the esteemed rank of Shihan (master instructor) within the Ryu. Today, he stands as one of the few living Shihans who received direct training from Kodo Horikawa himself. In 2001, Shihan Iida established the Muden Juku, a new Ryu-Ha, which serves as the cornerstone of our teachings here in New Jersey at Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu Muden US. Explore more about it here: Daitoryu-Muden Juku
Reinaldo Gacita, a devoted student of Shihan Hiroo Iida, proudly carries the linage of authentic martial arts. Sensei Gacita holds an impressive 50-year journey in the world of martial arts and serves as the official representative of Daitoryu-Muden in the United States. Daitoryu-Muden, was founded by Shihan Iida and exemplifies the pinnacle of this ancient discipline.
Sensei Gacita was humbled to receive the "Hidden Mokuroku Scroll" in 2023 and rank of Okugi Sandan from Shihan Hiroo Iida in 2020. Sensei Gacita is pictured here at his New Jersey dojo with Shihan Iida.