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Goshinjutsu literally translates as »techniques of self defence« and is used to denote more modern systems of martial arts created with civilian self protection in mind.

Usually systems of goshinjutsu are created by experienced practitioners of other martial disciplines, formulating the best and most direct methods they know into a specialised syllabus.                            

In other cases they are put together by police or security personnel who also have martial arts experience, based on their practical knowledge and experience.

Technically, goshinjutsu can involve all kinds of techniques, from barehanded striking, grapling and locking to the use of improvised weapons but the emphasis is always on incapacitating an opponent for long enough to escape rather than winning matches or simply causing injury. In addition, goshinjutsu also teaches »soft skills« such as threat awareness and avoidance.

Because of its practical and utilitarian intent, goshinjutsu does not involve any kind of competitive or sporting format and instead devotes training time to things like awareness skills, verbal de-escalation and scenario training. Goshinjutsu training will also often eschew some of the trappings of more traditional Japanese martial arts such as uniforms, bowing, meditation etc.