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Tenjin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu

Iso Matauemon Ryukansai Minamoto Masatari, the founder of Tenjin Shinyo-ryu Jujutsu, died in 1863 at the age of 76. He mastered two styles, Yoshin-ryu and Shin no Shinto-ryu, and travelled the country competing with teachers of the various clans. He was never defeated.

After many years of experience and research, he was at the Tenmangu temple in northern Kyoto when he saw a willow tree bending in the wind and experienced a revelation. He took the word “Tenjin” pertaining to the divine essence of the style, and combined it with “shin and “yo” from the two styles he studied previously, and created Tenjin Shinyo-ryu Jujutsu.

Iso established a fundamental principle of Jujutsu-that of while maintaining correct posture and a flexible body, do not resist your opponent strength, instead by breaking his balance, and create weakness and use it to control him.

As Japan entered the Edo period (1603), the power struggles between the various clans diminished in scale, leading to less and less opportunity for fighting in traditional armor on the battlefield. This lead to a rise in Jujutsu popularity amongst the samurai class, as a form of physical and mental training and self defense with minimal use of weapons. Iso, because of his extensive experience garnered from his travels around the country, realized the effectiveness of striking techniques in combating multiple opponents. He developed striking techniques (Shin no Ate- the striking or kicking of physiologically weak points of the body) and combined them with throwing, joint lock and strangulation techniques to create a powerful style.


Characteristics of Tenjin Shinyo-ryu Jujutsu
  1. Always maintain correct posture and a Flexible Body. Do not resist your opponents, create a weakness and use it to control him.
  2. Join your mind and spirit with each technique.
  3. Techniques include striking, resuscitation and bone-setting techniques.

Genealogy of Tenjin Shinyo-ryu Jujutsu

Striking Techniques (Sappou/Atemi-waza)

Through his experience sparring with teachers of various styles during his travels throughout the country, the founder of Tenjin Shinyo-ryu learned that the use of atemi-waza was very effective in combating multiple opponents while dressed in formal attire (as opposed to armour). He dedicated a great amount of time to developing and perfecting stricking techniques (“shin no atemi”)

Sappou is the delivering of a blow by striking, kicking or pressing physiologically weak points of the body to cause bone breaks or fractures, render the opponent unconscious or bring immediate death.


Kubota sensei, current headmaster of Tenjin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu

© Photo with permission. Courtesy of

Classification of Techniques

Tenjin Shinyo-ryo Jujutsu tekazu To-taru (total number of techniques) 124

1. Te ho do ki 12
Weak points used in Tenjin Shinyo-ryu
2. Sho dan i do ri 10
3. Sho-dan tachi ai 10
4. Chu-dan I do ri 14
5. Chu-dan tachi ai 14
6. Na ge su te 20
7. Shi a I u ra 24
8. Go kui jo-dan tachiai 10
9. Gokui jo-dan I do ri 10
10. Jinko-kokyu jujtsu
11. Ran do ri
12. Ku de n

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