Taiho Jutsu is by definition a relatively uncommon martial art, in many countries and clubs (Japan, Canada…) it is not even taught to civilians, which limits its expansion and consequently, limits the material available on the subject. Moreover, being a modern martial art oriented towards efficiency in real situations, it is constantly updated to improve what can be improved and to remove techniques that show gaps.
As a result, it is very difficult to find resources on the subject, and when you find them, it often happens that demonstrations / articles are far from anything that you could remote called “Taiho Jutsu”. However, sometimes, we come across something worthy of the name, as evidenced by Ross Jackson‘s book – Taiho Jutsu – Beginner to Black Belt.
Let’s be clear, this is a book that dates back to 1995, therefore, quite a few changes have been made to Taiho Jutsu since that time, however, this book has two major interests and it must be read by any Taiho Jutsu practitioner.
First of all, Ross Jackson is a Taiho Jutsu graduate instructor who has been taught by Sensei Brian Eustace. Sensei Eustace is kind of the father of all European Taiho Jutsu clubs since he was the first to go to Japan to discover this discipline and bring it back to Europe to teach it to the English police.
Unfortunately, we never had the chance to meet Sensei Eustace, who left us in 2012 a few years after the beginning of my training in Taiho. Even if we had the honour of working with his direct students, Sensei Andy McCormack and especially Sensei Jean Michel Roncero, in charge of the French school, the fact that Jackson is the only direct student of Sensei Eustace to write a book makes it a valuable document.
Then, if this book contains a summary of techniques essential to any practitioner, it contains above all a history of Taiho Jutsu. And, at a time when the history of a martial art is often distorted to satisfy everyone’s ego, it is refreshing to have in these hands a document that traces the history of our martial art.
As you might have understood already, I warmly recommend any Taiho Jutsu ka to read this book, it’s a very good working syllabus and a precious glimpse into the origin of European Taiho Jutsu.