Taido

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Taido ( ?? / taido ) is a Japanese martial art created in 1965 by Seiken Shukumine (1925 – 2001). The word taido 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.

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 skating.

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 ( ?? / taido ), but it is only practiced in Japan.