The Kokusai Budoin, International Martial Arts Federation, is comprised of seven divisions representing the various
Japanese martial arts. These include Judo, Kendo, Karatedo, Aikido, Iaido, Nihon Jujutsu and Kobudo. Each division has
an extensive heritage rooted in the traditions of classical martial arts.
Aikido | - |
Nihon Jujutsu |
For more information regarding a particular division or martial art within IMAF, please refer to that specific division
located in the side menu. Additional questions are addressed in the
Based primarily on Tenjin Shinyo-ryu, Kito-ryu, and Yoshin-ryu styles of Jujutsu, Jigoro Kano
developed a comprehensive system he called Judo, the way of flexibility, that emphasized the larger educational value
of training in attack and defense, so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and
Judo practice includes two major aspects of training, randori and kata. Randori, or free exercise,
is practiced under conditions of actual contest. It includes nage-waza (throwing) and katame-waza
(grappling) as well as osaekomi-waza (immobilizations), shime-waza (chokes), and kansetsu-waza
(joint locks). Kata, which literally means "form", is a formal system of pre-arranged exercises, including, throwing,
immobilizations, joint locks, striking, and the use of weapons.
Learn more about Judo.
Kendo, the way of the sword, is a modern martial art based on ancient Kenjutsu, the art of swordsmanship. The word
Kendo is made of the characters ken (sword) and do (way or path); a way of life following the practice of
The Samurai (traditional warrior class) of medieval Japan were required to be proficient with the yari or
naginata (spear), yumi (bow), kenjutsu (arts of swordsmanship), and kumiuchi or jujutsu
(unarmed combat). However, as the sword was said to be soul of the samurai, Kenjutsu was the art most central to the
ancient warriors of Japan.
Learn more about Kendo.
The word Karatedo is a combination of three Japanese characters, kara (empty), te (hand) and do (way
or path). The "way of Karate" is a means of physical, spiritual and moral development based on protracted training.
Karatedo practice is divided into three aspects: Kihon (basic training) emphasizes stances, breathing, basic
blocks, hand techniques and kicks. Kata (forms) is the heart of karatedo and enables the practitioner to fully
grasp the meaning of basics, breathing, concentration, balance, coordination and focus. Kumite (sparring)
allows practitioners to apply methods of attack and defense in a dynamic manner that enhances timing, speed and control.
Through hard training, practitioners seek to foster a spirit that strives for truth and respect for others.
Learn more about Karatedo.
The Japanese word Aikido consists of three characters that mean the way of spiritual harmony. Some
additional insight into the soul of Aikido is revealed by the saying of unification of technique, body, and spirit,
which is used to explain the meaning and objective of Aikido.
In its early, pre-World War II years, access to Aikido instruction was very exclusive, limited to individuals with proper,
personal high-level introductions to Morihei Ueshiba. It was not until the 1950’s, under the leadership of Kisshomaru
Ueshiba, the founder’s son and inheritor of the leadership of Aikido, that Aikido was widely taught in Japan.
Learn more about Aikido.
Iaido, the way of the sword, is a martial art that began as on offshoot of Kenjutsu, arts of swordsmanship. It was
developed as a defensive method to counter surprise attacks in 15th and 16th century Japan.
The physical practice of Iaido includes drawing, parrying and cutting motions, as well as various methods of returning
the sword to the scabbard. Training focuses on Kata, pre-arranged forms that are designed as defenses against an imaginary
opponent, and each form teaches several principles of correct sword handling.
Learn more about Iaido.
Traditional martial arts form one of the cultural properties of Japan. Depictions of warriors in combat utilizing the
classical weapons of the sword, bow and lance, as well as un-armed measures, known collectively as Jujutsu,
can be found in ancient scrolls dating from the dawn of Japanese civilization.
Nihon Jujutsu is a modern system of self-defense and physical exercise based on techniques commonly found in ancient and
contemporary styles of armed and unarmed combat. Regular training includes physical conditioning, evasive movements,
striking, throwing and immobilizations (joint locks and other methods of restraint). The training employs a systematic
approach to self-defense that effectively develops speed, balance and power through graduated
Learn more about Nihon Jujutsu.
Traditional Japanese martial arts are divided into modern, gendai budo, and ancient, koryu budo or
kobudo. Gendai budo refers to forms that were established after the Meiji restoration (1868), an era of major
modernization in Japan, while kobudo refers to systems founded prior to that period.
Kobudo styles or ryu follow traditions developed in ancient times; utilize the classical weapons of sword, spear,
bow, and minor weapons such as the naginata (halberd), kusari-gama (sickle and chain), shuriken
(throwing knives), staffs of various lengths, the sai, kama, tonfa and others.
Learn more about Kobudo.
IMAF Organization Chart
An overview of the IMAF organization worldwide.