Isshin Do Tai is a
Japanese adage meaning, “One Mind, Same Body”. Its deeper
meaning has several levels. If two people work in concert with
each other, having the same purpose and using the same methods,
it is described as Isshin Do Tai. The same applies to a group of
people. If the members of our Dojo work in concert with each
other, we are Isshin Do Tai. If all the members of our style of
self-defense work with a mutual purpose, and with similar
techniques, we are Isshin Do Tai.
Another level of Isshin Do Tai places emphasis on “Purpose”. Our
purpose is for common and individual defense. We work together
by attacking each other and learning methods of defending our
This leads to Goshin Jutsu, the art of self-defense, or
literally, the art of defending the body. When another Jujutsuka
attacks you in the Dojo, you are working as a team. When you
learn a defense, it is in concert with an attack. In our Kata,
we demonstrate our techniques as a team, because every defense
is a response to an attack or the threat of an attack;
therefore, both an attacker and a defender are required to
demonstrate a technique. This implies another level of Isshin Do
Tai, that of Isshin Do Tai Goshin Jutsu, The Art of Self-Defense
Using the Concept of One Mind, Same Body.
The reason for using two people in a Kata is that you must
demonstrate the Goshin Jutsu application of Isshin Do Tai.
Attacker and Defender become, not only a team, they become a
unit. It is the requirement of Tori, the defender, that if he is
to be successful in his defense, he must gain control of Uki,
the attacker. He does this by becoming one with Uki. They become
one mind, same body.
Ultimately, in an actual attack, the attacker unwittingly
becomes the tool of his target. The target, an Isshin Do Tai
Jujutsuka, melds their bodies and movement to his own purpose,
that of self-defense.