Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu is not a
standalone, independent martial art system. Rather, it supplements existing
training in traditional jujutsu (unarmed techniques) as well as
kenjutsu and iaido (swordsmanship). Classical arresting
techniques are incorporated into existing Japanese martial arts styles.
Within Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu,
there are several levels of achievement and member participation. The
system does include rankings or grade levels which are awarded in
addition to the customary ranks of each member's respective martial arts
style or school.
In addition, Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu members
may also participate in the administration of Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu
through election or appointment to member advisory positions. These member
advisory boards are responsible for decision-making and general
supervision of the organization at all levels. (Further details
regarding the various member advisory boards and position
responsibilities are presented in
Ranks or Grades
To avoid confusion or conflict with gendai ryu
(modern styles which employ kyu/dan grades) or koryu
(classical styles which employ menkyo ranks), levels of achievement in
Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu are designated by rank or grade levels which are
associated with various echelons of feudal
Japanese law enforcement.
There are no colored belts awarded in Edo
Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu. However, practitioners are encouraged to
display their individual rank or grade level by wearing jutte (truncheons) or tessen
in their obi with the appropriate rank or grade level colored cord and tassel.
The figure on the right illustrates the
hierarchy of grade levels in
Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu. The individual ranks are described
The entry or beginner level is
Okappiki. Unofficial police assistants, okappiki were
the lowest ranks in feudal Japanese law enforcement. Although
they did not receive official salary or recognition, okappiki
were often paid directly by the dōshin or by
collecting bounties on
Okappiki (Sergeant) wear jutte
with yellow or gold colored cord and tassels
The second level is Komono.
These non-samurai assistants accompanied dōshin
as they patrolled their assigned
districts. As full-time police officers, komono were
specially trained and became expert at capturing criminals.
wear jutte with green
colored cord and tassels.
The middle level is Dōshin.
The dōshin were low-ranking samurai police officers. The
dōshin were the primary patrol officers in Edo and
performed the majority of the police duties. Their positions
were practically hereditary positions, passing mostly from
father to son. Thus, dōshin were often experts in
Dōshin (Officer) wear jutte with blue colored cord and tassels.
The second highest level is
Yoriki. The title literally means "helper" or "assistant."
As middle-ranking samurai, the yoriki functioned
primarily as general managers and administrators.
Yoriki (Lieutenant) wear jutte
with red colored cord and tassels.
The highest level is Machi-bugyō.
The machi-bugyō was the central public authority serving
as chief of police, judge, and mayor. This special government
office involved managing a full range of administrative and
judicial responsibilities for common citizens.
(Commissioner) wear jutte
with purple colored cord and
In addition to rank,
honorary titles may be awarded to members.
These non-executive positions recognize individuals who demonstrate
extraordinary commitment or service to the organization.
The Tokugawa shōgunate
employed a number of investigators and inspector-generals called
ō-metsuke. Within Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu,
(inspector-general) is primarily an honorary position
intended to recognize individual members for extraordinary service or
dedication to the martial arts. Any member of the Hyojoshō may
individual to the position of
(inspector-general) subject to the review and approval of
hatamoto (Banner Man)
The hatamoto (banner
man) were the highest ranking and most trusted retainers of the
daimyō (feudal lords).
Within Edo Machi-kata Taiho Jutsu,
hatamoto (banner man)
is only awarded by the director to those members whose personal
traits reflect the highest levels of ethical behavior and moral courage.
Nominations for this award may be submitted by members holding the
minimum grade of Yoriki
(Lieutenant). Candidates must also provide three independent written
recommendations detailing the reasons for consideration for this