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The Five Levels of Martial Arts Skill Development

The DSI generally categorizes each of the components of Martial Arts skill development into one of the five following areas:

  1. Karate Do
  2. Karate Jutsu
  3. Tuite
  4. Life Protection
  5. Life Taking

The majority of practitioners never make it beyond the first level of Karate Do. Most Martial Artists stay in this level for their entire career.  This level focuses upon the development of life skills such as discipline, honor, self-discipline, and such.  These are fine attributes to develop and in no implies that anyone focused upon developing Karate Do skills is any less of a Martial Artist.

The next level we have defined is Karate Jutsu.  Techniques of Karate Jutsu are characterized by being more disabling to the opponent.  Knockouts are common along with targeting the sensitive pressure points of the body to gain compliance or render the opponent incapable of continuing the fight.

Tuite involves the application of joint locking techniques.  These can be applied either for simple compliance or for destruction of the joints.  Submission/compliance techniques are not how tuite was intended; it is much more of a modern development.  Tuite is designed to set the opponent up for a disabling strike but causing the person to commit more weight and limit their mobility.

Life Protection is regarded as a higher level of skill development as it is designed to stop an attacker while preserving the lives of both the attacker and the defender.  It takes a tremendous amount of skill to balance both aspects.

The final area of skill development we teach is Life Taking.  It is, of course, the most extreme of the levels and requires a very specific skill set.  These skills are not common knowledge and are often kept secret amongst the most skilled of experts.

There is no right or wrong answer as there are all levels of skill development available in Martial Arts development.  So, what is your specialty and are of focus?  Let us know in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “The Five Levels of Martial Arts Skill Development

  1. Personally I tend to concentrate on life protection! Life taking has to be the absolute last resort. OSSSS

    1. Not sure what level i am,id say 2

  2. Rather have life saving at the top.

  3. Hanshi Larry Isaac spoke of this recently. I’ve been trying to research this further. Thanks!!