Taido is a martial art created in Japan by Seiken Shukumine.
Shukumine had formerly created the Genseiryu school of karate, but grew to see karate as limited and unchanging. In 1965, he expanded his theories of motion beyond the confines of what could be considered karate and founded Taido.
So what makes Taido different from karate?
- Taido techniques utilize changes of the body’s axis in order to facilitate simultaneous defense and attacking movements.
- Taido emphasizes the use of footwork to take advantageous angles and distance to the opponent.
- This foot work is functionally connected to the body mechanics that launch each kick, punch, or other technique.
- Taido uses dynamic body movement to create powerful strikes and control the spatial relationship with the opponent.
- Taido’s strategic element is based on creative responses to unfolding situations rather than preset patterns of attack and defense.
- Taido’s movements are designed for promoting health and longevity.
But after saying all that, unless you’ve actually seen Taido, you probably still won’t have any real idea what I mean by the above.
This video was made with care by someone who loves Taido.
You can also check out some Taido videos on YouTube. I can’t vouch for the quality of anything you see there, but I think they can give you an idea of what kinds of movements we practice.
Read About It
Of course, just seeing the techniques doesn’t tell you what Taido is necessarily about. To really understand any martial art, you have to get an idea of why the techniques are developed as they are. To understand that, you’re going to have to read, and I suggest starting with these two articles:
- What is (My) Taido? – my personal definition of what Taido is all about
- A Rough Definition – some thoughts on what Taido is (and what that means)
These two articles are only my opinion on Taido, but I think they do a good job of explaining why Taido looks like it does and why we practice it the way we do.
Taido is an evolving art, so no definition can really encapsulate everything that Taido is. Everyone eventually develops their own ways to apply Taido to what they do and how they move. Taido itself emphasizes creativity and the development of new techniques. This is not a martial art that will stand in one place for long.
If you have any questions at all about Taido, please get in touch, and I’ll direct you to the best resources.