Sokaku Takeda (1859-1943)

Founder of Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and a Teacher of Morihei Ueshiba

Sokaku Takeda, Grand Master of Daitu Ryu Jujitsu
Sokaku Takeda, Grand Master of Daitu Ryu Jujitsu

Sokaku Takeda was the martial arts master who taught Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu to Morihei Ueshiba (the founder of Aikido).

Born in 1859, the second son of Sokichi Takeda, the young Sokaku Takeda began studying Onoha Itto Ryu when he was 8 years old.

Refusing to be taught at school, the boy Sokaku left school illiterate, but he showed a great interest in Sumo wrestling. Even though forbidden to take part, he sneaked into, and won, several Sumo tournaments. (In those days, people regularly died in Sumo tournaments.)

Sokaku entered the dojo of Sakakibara Kenkichi in 1873. Two years later he beat four or five men in a brawl over gambling. Then he got into a fight at a Kendo (sword fighting) school and only just managed to escape the angry students alive.

In 1878, Sokaku went to Okinawa and defeated a Karate master in bare-handed match in Kumamoto Prefecture. He travelled the island testing himself against any karate men who would fight him.

1922 Sokaku moved to Ayabe with his family, and stayed there teaching Daito Ryu Aiki Jutsu to Morihei Ueshiba and members of the Omoto religion (which Ueshiba was involved in). Sokaku Takeda awarded a Menkyo teaching certification to Ueshiba when he left, later that year..

Sokaku Takeda died in Aomori in 1943, after suffering a stroke. He was 83 years old.

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