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Thread: Tetsutaka Sugawara videos

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    Default Tetsutaka Sugawara videos

    Hello,
    I was looking at a couple videos by Tetsutaka Sugawara Sensei.
    I really don't have a good specific question and am not computer savvy enough to post the links from youtube but one is Kaeshi waza. Looks a lot like good Tai Chi push hands with a little Aikido thrown in.
    Sugawa Sensei's invention or do other Aikido organizations use it?
    One is a long jo kata. I know Sugawara Sensei also studied Koryu. Is this Aikido based, Koryu or a mix?
    Lastly the Aikido Tai Chi Kata - a little shorter than Yang Long Form and techniques definitely Aikido.
    What do you see in it, is a long solo form a plus to Aikido or not?
    Is it useful to develop IP or are repeating less techniques like silk reeling more useful?
    Any other comments even if they don't answer the above are helpful.
    By the way I have no intention of trying to copy any of the solo work- beyond the obvious question about how would I know I am doing it right I also have a lot of solo kata from current and prior teachers.
    Thanks for any input,
    Len McCoy

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    Mr. Sugawara trains in Katori Shinto Ryu, but I believe he left the mainline years ago with a basic-level teaching license and has been running his own line and school ever since. He does train in taiji chuan and is a 7th dan in aikido, I think in Aikikai. (FOLLOW UP: I checked and yes, Aikikai. His 7th dan rank was awarded to him by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, according to online sources.)

    Truthfully, I don't see any indications of internal structure, nor any real connection or power generation in his taiji forms or weapons kata, although in the case of the latter, it is typical for weapons practitioners to demonstrate omote versions that emphasize just the external, basic movements. However, this would not be likely in the case of the former, as when truly internal taiji is demonstrated, the practitioner cannot help but express his internal structure and connectivity. The videos I watched showed perhaps some simple "rooting," but nothing sophisticated. As for the "aikido-taiji" kata... I will reserve comment!

    If you are very interested in pursuing internal body method, IMO it's best to find an art and teacher that have the skills, teach the skills openly as a major part of the curriculum, and can show you the nuances of how this body method works in the context of martial application.

    The truly internal arts have these principles and concepts embedded in them and require a deep study of the full art -- not a superficial extraction of the internal skills from the art. Just cherry-picking particular internal training bits and pieces will not give you the full picture or a cohesive way of fully incorporating internal method into martial practice. You end up with a handful of discrete parlor tricks and not much actual skill or understanding of how they work under duress.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 30th March 2018 at 21:00.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Here's the kaeshi waza video you mentioned, Len. Looks like standard aikido movement to me.

    Cady Goldfield

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    Hello,

    I agree with Cady. I do not see any evidence of internal training and you can do the slow kasha waza exercise in any case. Doing such an exercise reveals no evidence of internal training and I do not usually teach kaeshi waza like that. I have same dan rank as Sugawara (though mine was given by the present Doshu), but I do not claim any expertise in internal skills. However, one of my Dutch students is an enthusiastic member of the Aunkai and came to my recent seminar singing the praises of a recent workshop with Dan Harden. Such training also shows in his aikido waza.

    Best wishes,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by len mccoy View Post
    One is a long jo kata. I know Sugawara Sensei also studied Koryu. Is this Aikido based, Koryu or a mix?
    Without seeing the kata in question I couldn't say, but there are jo kata within Aikido, perhaps the most well-known being 'sanjuichi-no-jo' (AKA 31 jo kata). While some Aikido dojo may not practice it much, others do. In fact, the "style" that I was part of -- Aikido Seikikai -- had a separate branch, called Seiki Ryu, devoted to the preservation and dissemination of the Jo and Ken forms. (Aikido Seikikai was established by Kurita Minoru, the last uchideshi of Aikido founder Ueshiba Morihei, and Kurita Sensei was also the co-founder of the Ki Society with Koichi Tohei after O-sensei's death.)
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Here is a video of Mr. Sugawara doing a kata with yonshakubo. The movements seem more in keeping with an aikido-jo approach.

    Cady Goldfield

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    Actually, that very much looks like he's derived a lot from Chinese jian (sword). There are a lot of elements you'd never see in a Japanese centered art, that are really mainstream Chinese. FWIW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    The movements seem more in keeping with an aikido-jo approach.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    Actually, that very much looks like he's derived a lot from Chinese jian (sword).
    I agree, and in fact Sugawara Sensei co-authored with Lujian Xing a book wherein they compared Aikido and Chinese martial arts, and he also published a book on "T'ai Chi Swordplay." It wouldn't surprise me to see a lot of "melting pot" influence as a result.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Owens View Post
    I agree, and in fact Sugawara Sensei co-authored with Lujian Xing a book wherein they compared Aikido and Chinese martial arts, and he also published a book on "T'ai Chi Swordplay." It wouldn't surprise me to see a lot of "melting pot" influence as a result.
    Yes, good point. The circular movements do look more in keeping with Chinese weapons work. The one certainty is that it does not bear any resemblance to TSKSR.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Len,
    I came across this short video showing Mr. Sugawara doing some of the TSKSR kata. There are snippets of staff work in there, enough that you can compare the movements to those of the one you saw earlier.

    Cady Goldfield

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