Brian Kagen pick: “A History of the Kodokan” by Kim Sol

“The founding of Takenouchi Ryu in 1532 is the earliest reliable record of what we think of as ju jitsu, and appears to have been a formulation of unarmed fighting techniques which were undoubtedly present in the culture, and surely as an adjunct to the armed combat systems of Japan, which were reaching their maximum influence and development during that century.(2)

After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1601, the Edo Period began. During this long interesting era, authentic armed combat systems began a decline as the long period of peace associated with the Tokugawa Shogunate sapped martial ardor from the military classes. Ju jitsu, on the other hand, began a flowering and development which continued into the nineteenth century, resulting in the establishment by then of more than 725 documented schools of ju jitsu, expressing a wide variety of unarmed combat methodologies and specialities. They were referred to as “ryu” which means school, but these were not educational schools, to the contrary, they were typically businesses, teaching these various fighting methods which could include grappling, throwing, kicking and punching techniques.”

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