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 bodies.

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.

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