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Cady Goldfield
20th November 2014, 19:22
I don't think Aiki and IS are the same thing.

They're not. Aiki is a product of IS, but is not the IS itself.

Cady Goldfield
20th November 2014, 19:33
That's not "aiki." I imagine it might actually be insulting to Chinese practitioners to name their martial concepts by a term coined by Japanese Imperialists.

Oh, but it is indeed aiki. The "thing" is not defined by its name, but by its qualities and conditions. A rose by any other name...

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 19:33
Strictly speaking? Well...yeah. ;-)
But you can't achieve I.S. without the manipulation of the two kis... in you. No opposing forces, no Dantian.... No Dantian? Only a hopeful try at rather poor quality internal skills. Hence the ICMA teachers critique of the Japanese aiki arts
So....
Aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me. Using intent to work yin yang in you first, so your body is eminating and absorbing, then interactive work.
For far too many aiki players when you get past their arms (which is usually fairly easy)? They are a disaster and behave and feel like your average budo player..... No hara, no clue what their body is capable of.

Cady Goldfield
20th November 2014, 19:39
Thanks. That's really interesting. So this Chinese gentleman used a Japanese word to refer to his art's principles. What language were you conversing with him in? I take it he has some fluency in English and Japanese, and he chose to use the Japanese term when speaking to you in English? Or a mixture of Japanese and Chinese terms, I guess, because he also refered to dantien?

Cliff,
I can't speak to this specific instance you're responding to above, but in general, the traditional Japanese internal arts have nowhere near the descriptive terminology that Chinese internal arts have, IME. Understanding is based more on feel than by verbal communication. So, when Japanese practitioners get to feel and observe the self-same processes in Chinese practitioners and get the vocabulary that goes with it, it's only natural that some of them are going to use the Chinese terms for lack of anything in their own language to describe what they're doing and feeling.

And, most of the existing conceptual terminology came from the Chinese, via Taoist and Buddhist terms... Yin-Yang (In-Yo), Heaven-Earth-Man, etc.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 19:55
Cliff,
I can't speak to this specific instance you're responding to above, but in general, the traditional Japanese internal arts have nowhere near the descriptive terminology that Chinese internal arts have, IME. Understanding is based more on feel than by verbal communication. So, when Japanese practitioners get to feel and observe the self-same processes in Chinese practitioners and get the vocabulary that goes with it, it's only natural that some of them are going to use the Chinese terms for lack of anything in their own language to describe what they're doing and feeling.

And, most of the existing Japanese conceptual terminology came from the Chinese, via Taoist and Buddhist terms... Yin-Yang (In-Yo), Heaven-Earth-Man, etc.

That's a good point, Cady, and I think it underscores my surprise that a Chinese taiji master would describe his art as aiki.


Oh, but it is indeed aiki. The "thing" is not defined by its name, but by its qualities and conditions. A rose by any other name...

My primary assertion is that there are qualities and conditions of the thing that Aikido and Daito ryu people refer to when they use the term "aiki" that would not be present if the referent were Chinese martial arts, Honma Senguro's skills, or what Dan does.

Cady Goldfield
20th November 2014, 20:18
That's a good point, Cady, and I think it underscores my surprise that a Chinese taiji master would describe his art as aiki.



Cliff, I have not yet seen or heard any traditional Chinese equivalent word for "aiki" in Chinese, yet I can aver that a number of Chinese systems most definitely have it. I have seen the use of the descriptive phrase, "the unification of the body through the harmonizing of Yin and Yang energies" but do not know of any single word or term that encapsulates that concept in a bite-sized bit.

Cady Goldfield
20th November 2014, 21:08
Strictly speaking? Well...yeah. ;-)
But you can't achieve I.S. without the manipulation of the two kis... in you. No opposing forces, no Dantian.... No Dantian? Only a hopeful try at rather poor quality internal skills. Hence the ICMA teachers critique of the Japanese aiki arts
So....
Aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me. Using intent to work yin yang in you first, so your body is eminating and absorbing, then interactive work.
For far too many aiki players when you get past their arms (which is usually fairly easy)? They are a disaster and behave and feel like your average budo player..... No hara, no clue what their body is capable of.

Yet, we refer to aiki and IP/IS separately, albeit in the same breath, because internal strength/power creates the conditions for aiki. Aiki must contain the foundational conditions (e.g. dynamic opposing forces, give-and-take of dantian and mingmen, and of yin and yang muscles, etc.) of internal strength/power, but we are manipulating those conditions to effect certain internal movements, and hence, when we choose, overt effects on another person's body. We can choose to use internal power to penetrate their structure (such as with a "fajing" strike), to bounce them away (with "peng" fullness), or to merge them into our own internally manipulated in-yo/yin-yang cycle of movement...making them "one" with us (but we get to lead, like Fred Astaire). The first two are more representative of a direct manifestation of IP/IS, while the third is aiki, the "soft" manifestation of IP/IS unique in its manipulative movement.

elder999
20th November 2014, 21:34
My primary assertion is that there are qualities and conditions of the thing that Aikido and Daito ryu people refer to when they use the term "aiki" that would not be present if the referent were Chinese martial arts, Honma Senguro's skills, or what Dan does.

As a scientist, this comes back to my first post (last post?) to this thread: one human body, one aiki Doesn't even really matter how it manifests.


Yet, we refer to aiki and IP/IS separately, albeit in the same breath, because internal strength/power creates the conditions for aiki. .

I see what you did there....:laugh:

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 22:49
That's a good point, Cady, and I think it underscores my surprise that a Chinese taiji master would describe his art as aiki.
Well, to be fair to both you and him, that's because you do not understand what he considers aiki to be and why he could say that.
Perhaps you should apply equal curiosity as to why your own teachers continue to use Chinese training models, principles and terminology. That makes quite a lot of sense as an inquiry. In fact, why haven't you addressed that, since you keep harping on the other?

My primary assertion is that there are qualities and conditions of the thing that Aikido and Daito ryu people refer to when they use the term "aiki" that would not be present if the referent were Chinese martial arts, Honma Senguro's skills, or what Dan does.
Well, fine. And there are thousands of aiki practitioners and teachers world wide who train IP/ aiki with different teachers who would flat out disagree with you and the few other DR people here in this thread. Opinions are everywhere in budo.

Cliff Judge
21st November 2014, 15:51
as to why your own teachers continue to use Chinese training models, principles and terminology.

I haven't really understood why this is significant. In a sense you and I are having this conversation in German.

Japanese culture has existed apart from but been heavily influenced by the culture of the mainland for 1-2 thousand years.

Two of my teachers, Dr. Hall and Kondo Sensei, both teach koryu. So its come to class, practice the kata you have been taught, and the teacher observes the entire class, occasionally coming over to make corrections, or pull students aside for one-on-one teaching.

My other two teachers, Saotome and Ikeda Senseis, teach much larger classes, and they do it by improvising kata in front of everyone, which everybody then tries to practice themselves. Again, the teacher observes the whole class and comes by an offers corrections. There is less one-on-one interaction than in koryu mode, it is more one-to-many.

The koryu training model, as I understand it, follows a neo-confician pedagogical model. Sure that's Chinese, as adopted and internalized by Japanese for generations, with intermittent re-infusions of Chinese. Learn the form, practice the form incessantly until it becomes as natural as walking, then there is a process of analysis from which new personal insights arise, and eventually the student is developing new material.

The Aikido training model is an evolution of the koryu model. I believe this was essentially Takeda's innovation, and I think he was probably inspired by Sakakibara to do it this way. It is a way to take your ryu on the road and train a larger number of students in a more hands-off fashion. I think at some point under Ueshiba, it took on a spiritual dimension which I believe is all Japanese. But sure, it was neo-confucian to start. It still a kata-based training model, but the kata are improvised on the spot.

Principles, terminology? Sure? I mean, the Japanese write with Chinese characters.

When you try to deconstruct one of these systems and note that some piece or other traces back to China, it's vacuous. But once you deconstruct these systems, you are no longer talking about the system at all. The koryu and the aiki arts are integrated systems of information. The koryu have names for their essential principles. Aikido and Daito ryu are similar, and they use the word "aiki." You can't take it out of its system and just apply it anywhere, that's inaccurate.

Dan Harden
22nd November 2014, 16:10
Well Chris, that is simply not accurate.
Aiki is the use of yin and yang and is not even remotely singular to Daito ryu or Aikido.
The origins of the use of yin and yang to both train the body to produce soft power and disruptive power at any contact point utilize methods quoted by your teachers that exist all over. Again (as you don't seem to comprehend this point) your own teachers are using- or as you like to say borrowing- well known Chinese internal training phrases, terminology and exact methods.

I do find your initial attacks on us rather odd considering your founders profilefitting your description of things you object to. To use you, Chris C. and Nathans talking points regarding the lack of initiation, strip mining and selling of the arts:
* Takeda stated he did not invent aiki. No one knows which koryu's operating system Takeda strip mined and stole aiki from. He was never deeply initiated into anything so how he corrupted it or changed it when he borrowed it we will never know. Sadly so much must have been lost since he failed to understand the deeper teaching behind it. Imagine what THOSE arts might have looked like.
* Takedas skills for sale in circus stunts
We do know that he fit the model for Nathan Scots old signature line here quoting Musashi lamenting those vulgar Samurai who sold the arts. As Takeda traveled with Sakakibara in what amounted to as a budo traveling circus performing budo stunts like body stacking and ridiculous displays such as whacking away at Helmut's with swords!!!
Thank goodness there wasn't budo science television or movies back then as I am sure we would have seen Takeda next on the T.V.
* Takeda's skills for sale on the seminar circuit
Again, sadly, this followed with him traveling about charging exhorbitent fees for teaching, recruiting students to try and find benefactors and high rollers to support ten day seminar extravaganzas. And in the case of Ueshiba, to chase wayward students down for money and take over their schools.
* Takeda's odd behavior
Unfortunately, this all led to him passing out menkyos in arts he never studied and continually inventing scrolls of his own.
The set up of a control mechanism as a false teaching model (only teach one or two the real art) while taking their money seems highly insulting to outside observers, but those in the art seem oddly complacent with it.
All so sad.
I can only imagine what would have happened were he alive today and doing all of this and he ran into your groups talking points!!! He would have been eviscerated on the net.

As for your position. Have you ever applied your own standards to your founder?
This reminds me of a frustrated church commitee putting up a pastoral candidate to a never satisfied board of elders. Their candidate was a known trouble maker, heretict, he had between jailed several times for disturbing the place, he had written the most popular chuches, accusing them of being arrogant and hypocritical and while claiming the true vision-and correcting other pastors- had never so much as served as a pastor before. The elders scoffed "How dare you??"
The candidates CVS? Was the apostle Paul.

Do I care about any of the above? Not really. Is just that your attempts to outline all the arts as singular visions unique in all the world could be made in a far more comprehensive manner- and I could help you in that regard were I so inclined- using some *legitimate* koryu's methods, compared to others and their rather singular approaches to common problems they all faced, as it might bolster your otherwise weak arguments.
I think I will refrain, and continue to point to the fact that your own art uses the joining of two kis (aiki) , fure aiki, aiki-in-yo, directed lines of energy, motion before contact, kuzushi on contact, are laid out in arts from China to Indonesia to Japan, from ICMA to koryu to karate.

The fact that they share many aspects of yin/ yang as their operating systems should seem understandable considering Takeda's mining of other arts in his travels.
It also seems oddly out of place to object to it considering Daito ryu's origins.
These discussions will continue as students views naturally evolve as they grow and experience a larger world and the Various talking point's evolve with them. hopefully they grow less adversarial in the process.

Cady Goldfield
23rd November 2014, 02:31
I am intrigued by the possibility, however remote, that Saigō Tanomo played a role in Takeda Sokaku's acquisition of aiki, via esoteric practices from his "Chinese connection," when Sokaku was sent to learn oshikiuchi from him.

Dan Harden
23rd November 2014, 05:12
While I am familiar with the story and the source, there isn't enough evidence to make it definitive.
The stories of Chikanori practicing single hand saber work (dao) and solo training, is interesting as it is more of a trade Mark of ICMA training than Japanese. It also would explain Takeda being known for single hand sword work. The very name oshiki- uchi ( inside the threshold or indoor) is a common parlance for an *indoor* student in the ICMA.
The whole idea of oshiki- uchi standing for practicing* that* sort of jujutsu protecting a lord *inside the threshold* is just more fanciful myth making.
It also would help explain why Chikanori had no mention of training in a Japanese art.
The name, is as oddly out of place as "general affairs director" as a leader of a Koryu. It is however, more or less, oddly fitting as Chinese source given Takeda and his aiki line quoting ICMA training methods.
The typical Japanese uke/ nage model with their cooperative jumping and hoping and freezing and other shenanigans can mask the commonalities and make it hard for certain people to see what's actually happening.

Devon Smith
23rd November 2014, 05:20
I am intrigued by the possibility, however remote, that Saigō Tanomo played a role in Takeda Sokaku's acquisition of aiki, via esoteric practices from his "Chinese connection," when Sokaku was sent to learn oshikiuchi from him.

You're not alone.

Devon

Dan Harden
23rd November 2014, 05:34
I'm reminded of a conclusion that was reached here years ago, that applies here from; origin to present day.
*Never use real skills, no matter how good they may be, to validate a false lineage.
*Never let lineage be used to validate a lack of skill.

Chris Li
23rd November 2014, 07:08
I am intrigued by the possibility, however remote, that Saigō Tanomo played a role in Takeda Sokaku's acquisition of aiki, via esoteric practices from his "Chinese connection," when Sokaku was sent to learn oshikiuchi from him.

There's an interesting series of books in Japanese by Ei Ikezuki arguing links between Esoteric Buddhist (primarily Shingon) sources and Sokaku Takeda as one of the sources of Aiki (he also explores the linguistic issues of the term "Aiki"), and Tokimune's personal notes about his father's instruction also contain numerous references to Shingon. Esoteric Buddhism is Tantric Buddhism from India via China. This line of thought leads to some interesting thoughts about Ueshiba, but more on that another time.

Saigo Tanomo doesn't figure into that particular connection, but there is also some interesting things about his relationship with Takeda in the books.

Best,

Chris

Cady Goldfield
23rd November 2014, 12:23
Shingon-shu's founder obtained his foundation in China, and it has been noted that the skills he then introduced to Shingon that are specific to the sect (mudra and other physical/body-related aspects) can only be learned by direct transmission from a master/teacher - they can't be learned from a scroll or verbal teaching.

So, there are tantalizing tidbits that, if you squint the right way, would be supportive of the possibility of a connection. But, still, nothing definitive. ;)

Chris Li
23rd November 2014, 15:55
Shingon-shu's founder obtained his foundation in China, and it has been noted that the skills he then introduced to Shingon that are specific to the sect (mudra and other physical/body-related aspects) can only be learned by direct transmission from a master/teacher - they can't be learned from a scroll or verbal teaching.

So, there are tantalizing tidbits that, if you squint the right way, would be supportive of the possibility of a connection. But, still, nothing definitive. ;)

Well, you have to read his books to get the full argument, he actually argues for a connection through specific personages. Anyway, something for a future date, I just thought I'd toss that out.

Best,

Chris

Koshu
23rd November 2014, 17:31
Shingon-shu's founder obtained his foundation in China, and it has been noted that the skills he then introduced to Shingon that are specific to the sect (mudra and other physical/body-related aspects) can only be learned by direct transmission from a master/teacher - they can't be learned from a scroll or verbal teaching.

So, there are tantalizing tidbits that, if you squint the right way, would be supportive of the possibility of a connection. But, still, nothing definitive. ;)
Interesting. Awhile back, a long-time Daito-ryu practitioner showed me mudras reportedly associated with the art. Curious if anyone else has seen these.

Cady Goldfield
23rd November 2014, 17:59
Interesting. Awhile back, a long-time Daito-ryu practitioner showed me mudras reportedly associated with the art. Curious if anyone else has seen these.

Mert, besides mudras, I have read and been told that there are other physical practices that apparently require "hands on" instruction from a master. That particularly grabbed my interest, but I have not been able to find anything more about it. I do have a friend in Japan who, while not a practicing adherent of Shingon-shu, has made a study of the sect. I'll see what he can tell me.
Meanwhile, I'm hoping that Chris will take on the translation of the most relevant passages of Ei Ikezuki's books in the not-too-distant future... :)

Hissho
23rd November 2014, 19:16
Shingon permeates most older koryu - this is a commonly known and well researched subject. See Hall et al. Shingon is also full of Chinese metaphysics that are the same underpinnings of the CMA.

There is plenty of material - scholarly and popular - available piecemeal and in books in English on the subject if you have Google fu, or you can write to Koya-San or find an ordained priest for more. It's not that hard if you are all that interested.

Many things surrounding the issues of pedagogy and certification (very common in CMA) talked about here may even have derived from these religious practices.

Cady Goldfield
23rd November 2014, 21:31
Shingon permeates most older koryu - this is a commonly known and well researched subject. See Hall et al. Shingon is also full of Chinese metaphysics that are the same underpinnings of the CMA.

There is plenty of material - scholarly and popular - available piecemeal and in books in English on the subject if you have Google fu, or you can write to Koya-San or find an ordained priest for more. It's not that hard if you are all that interested.

Many things surrounding the issues of pedagogy and certification (very common in CMA) talked about here may even have derived from these religious practices.

Well, evidently there is plenty of stuff written by outsiders, but the sect itself is secretive about its practices. There is an apparent lack of written texts within Shingon-shu itself, so that would explain why there has been a direct teacher-disciple transmission of the disciplines and rites of the sect -- not necessarily because there is any "aiki-like" practice being transmitted, but because the tradition as a whole is an oral one and must be taught. Some of the things I'd read earlier seemed to point to actual physical instructions, but it looks like that is just for mudra and meditation practices, and maybe some ritualistic practices around the interpretation of mandalas. If there are any special exercises for "chi-gong" types of things, they are shrouded in secrecy and are likely kept in the innermost recesses of the sect.

What I do find interesting, though, is that Shingon's founder had used specialized mantra training to develop prodigeous memory skills. He also did sojourn in China in order to study under a master, Huiguo, and -thanks to the memory skills - was able to absorb the complete set of knowledge on a seminal mandala, plus learn Sanskrit and Chinese, in the space of only three months. Whether he picked up any internal skills in the process, is not clear and actually doesn't seem likely within the context of how his trip has been described. But, of course, a lot can be lost in the succession of re-tellings and over the course of centuries.

Hissho
23rd November 2014, 23:20
Meh. The basic stuff is pretty readily available, even from Koya san. Not sure where the idea that Shingon does not have written texts derived, Kukai himself was a prolific writer. Scholarly studies on Japanese religion also provide a lot of background - either East Asian Religion classes or at least the texts and surveys of Japanese religion that you can find in series in good book stores. Some old scholarly journals as well have all sorts of info. If you have a basis in language studies - and not all that deep frankly - and some basis in CMA you can easily see where the finger is pointing.

Its not the moon, though. And yeah that was teacher-student. And yeah the Chinese arts follow a similar approach.

FWIW I think Kukai's experience in China is a direct indicator of the idea that this kind of transmission is - was - only given to one or two "special" folks in the East Asian teaching tradition, and was not dependent on "time in."

Walker
24th November 2014, 03:59
Sorry, I have to jump in here too. Kit and I both know and I spend most Thursday evenings hanging with a Shingon priest ordained and trained on Koya-san. No big deal, no big secrets, but there is an order and a process to transmission of information like always. You know, four noble truths etc. etc. etc. You don't start in the middle or at the end. If anything, the problem is getting people to show up, same as every other real thing these days it seems. Oh, and he is also a very knowledgable practitioner of various CMA and yoga too, but isn't running around proclaiming the secret to IP/Aiki in Shingon.

Hi Chris.

Chris Hellman
24th November 2014, 04:08
Although Shingon, and esoteric Buddhism, teaches/taught a variety of little known skills, I would be most surprised if there was ever a flourishing tradition of body skills closely related to what we are discussing here as aiki. The connection between various strands of esoteric Buddhism and bugei is well established, but I think that where there was a cross-over of skills, it was in the area of 'mind' rather than body (and this is an area with which these strands are closely associated).

It seems far more likely that the body skills of Daito-ryu came through bugei, which did have a long tradition of body skills, rather than this rather recondite route.

Chris Hellman
http://www.ichijoji.blogspot.com

Chris Li
24th November 2014, 04:17
Although Shingon, and esoteric Buddhism, teaches/taught a variety of little known skills, I would be most surprised if there was ever a flourishing tradition of body skills closely related to what we are discussing here as aiki. The connection between various strands of esoteric Buddhism and bugei is well established, but I think that where there was a cross-over of skills, it was in the area of 'mind' rather than body (and this is an area with which these strands are closely associated).

It seems far more likely that the body skills of Daito-ryu came through bugei, which did have a long tradition of body skills, rather than this rather recondite route.

Chris Hellman
http://www.ichijoji.blogspot.com

As I mentioned above, the argument is spread over three books, and is not limited to Shingon (although that is a big component). In any case I'm not prepared to translate it all here, so arguing one way or the other over books that nobody has read doesn't seem likely to be all that productive. I just meant to add a comment to Cady's post to note that, perhaps, there is still quite a bit of territory out there to explore.

Best,

Chris

Hissho
24th November 2014, 15:45
Hi Doug- yes to clarify I am speaking to the metaphysical underpinnings, the pedagogical style, and to Kukai's writing- not that IP is at all going to be taught within Shingon.

I've been intentionally unplugged lately- did not realize Kosho was still in the area. Tell him I said hi!

Walker
24th November 2014, 21:48
Chris, Long story. He returned to the area recently and is teaching nearby at TaborSpace in a donated office. Hope you are well.

Dan Harden
25th November 2014, 03:06
As I mentioned above, the argument is spread over three books, and is not limited to Shingon (although that is a big component). In any case I'm not prepared to translate it all here, so arguing one way or the other over books that nobody has read doesn't seem likely to be all that productive. I just meant to add a comment to Cady's post to note that, perhaps, there is still quite a bit of territory out there to explore.

Best,

Chris
For historic perspective and possibly further discovery of a connection it might be interesting, but I doubt we are going to find any additional training modalities that aren't already known and taught...Er...or known and not openly taught...or..uhm... are just being ignored. ;-)
I continue to be shown indoor training material; each with a different spin on it. Granted it's not widely known, but it is known nonetheless and essentially the same material.

Dan Harden
1st December 2014, 10:41
Edit
The only question remaining, is that since this material is so profound that it has spanned cultures and eons of warriors, and exposure to it has continued to change the minds of seriously accomplished modern budo people, to include Shihans and Menkyos.....why aren't more seeking it out?
I've yet to meet anyone in budo who is not easily moved and easily stopped. Further, that budo people who are also grapplers find it to be compelling and worthwhile. Many of whom consider it a game changer to what they have previously done.

Then again, why should we be surprised that there were, after all, secrets in budo?

Cliff Judge
1st December 2014, 13:41
Probably the combination of sketchy historical claims and an aversion to the personalities involved.

Chris Li
1st December 2014, 16:21
Probably the combination of sketchy historical claims and an aversion to the personalities involved.

Daito-ryu history is extremely sketchy - Kondo himself told me directly that he had severe doubts as to whether or not the oral history really has any factual basis. But I see that there are still some folks practicing Daito-ryu...

I'm going to disagree with Dan here, I think that there are large numbers of folks working on this stuff now. When we first brought him out here in 2010 there wasn't much around, now there are groups all over the world doing this stuff. This weekend's Honolulu workshop will have folks flying in internationally from Australia and Japan, not to mention the Mainland and Hawaii neighbor islands. Actually, it's shaping up to be the largest Aikido seminar in Hawaii for 2014 - from any group.

I just wish that more people were actually averse to him - that would leave more time for the rest of us.

Best,

Chris

Dan Harden
2nd December 2014, 13:33
Probably the combination of sketchy historical claims and an aversion to the personalities involved.
Cliff does raise a good point. Its funny that so many sayings or tropes prove true. In this case, "that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
It is odd to see the teaching remain so in your face I am going to openly lie to you...and the students be actually proud of it.
*From the founder being in budo circuses doing stunts to modern television test cutting and people stacking.
*From no menkyo in the art and the creation of scrolls as the founder went along, to modern cases of weirdly back-dated menkyos and secret behind the scenes awarding of scrolls.
*From the founder saying "Never teach white people." and only teach one or two per generation the real art. To modern teachers doing just that and lying to droves of students by their own, public admissions of same.
*From Takeda telling Sagawa not to show the solo training on to modern DR practitioners not even knowing they existed in the art!! To menkyos not teaching them even to 4th and 5th dans to others showing them to newbies.

Sketchy and weird history and aversion to personalities? Well Cliff's point is in context of the thread. I know two prominent writers and researchers who were lied to, set up and played, and were disgusted with their contact with the art's teachers. They just never wanted to say it in public. It remains one of the oddest arts I have ever heard of. As I said earlier; If Takeda, and Tokimune were alive today and tried to spin that tale as modern, no-ranked, made up history, body staking, budo people? How far do you think they would get as judged by the arts own current members?
Skill doesn't validate a crazy, inconsistent, history, any more than genuine history validating skill.


Chris Li wrote:
I'm going to disagree with Dan here, I think that there are large numbers of folks working on this stuff now. When we first brought him out here in 2010 there wasn't much around, now there are groups all over the world doing this stuff. This weekend's Honolulu workshop will have folks flying in internationally from Australia and Japan, not to mention the Mainland and Hawaii neighbor islands. Actually, it's shaping up to be the largest Aikido seminar in Hawaii for 2014 - from any group.
Well, I was really only discussing percentages; which remain pretty low. Consider what Cliffs own teacher's teacher has done; He self-admittedly doesn't teach the real art. He doesn't show the solo training he was taught. Oh, wait a minute, we have to consider that along with ono ha itto ryu, he may not have been taught them. We know what Tokimune stated to the Takumakai shihan about solo training to make an aiki body; "My guys don't want to do them either!" Thankfully we now know from the many quotes and demonstrations from DR teachers... that their secret sauce was the every day mustard used in most other Asian arts, sans the overly cooperative jumping and freezing ukemi.

Cliff Judge
2nd December 2014, 14:17
Why do you make all of these claims about Ueshiba Morihei, Yamaguchi Seigo, Saotome Mitsugi, Yagyu Nobuharu, Muto Masao, Namiki Yasushi, Tokimune Takeda, Donn Draeger and Takaji Shimizu? I'm the one who talks publically about who my teachers are.

Dan Harden
2nd December 2014, 14:26
Cliff,
Maybe I'm confused aren't you the one who talked about aversion too crazy personalities and sketchy history...OF DAITO RYU? That's what we're talking about. DR has one of the most consistently, wierdest histories from beginning to the present day, that I have ever heard of.

Cliff Judge
2nd December 2014, 14:58
Cliff,
Maybe I'm confused aren't you the one who talked about aversion too crazy personalities and sketchy history...OF DAITO RYU? That's what we're talking about. DR has one of the most consistently, wierdest histories from beginning to the present day, that I have ever heard of.

I was responding to this:


Edit
The only question remaining, is that since this material is so profound that it has spanned cultures and eons of warriors, and exposure to it has continued to change the minds of seriously accomplished modern budo people, to include Shihans and Menkyos.....why aren't more seeking it out?
I've yet to meet anyone in budo who is not easily moved and easily stopped. Further, that budo people who are also grapplers find it to be compelling and worthwhile. Many of whom consider it a game changer to what they have previously done.

So you are suggesting that Daito ryu has spanned centuries and eons of warriors? Because the name was coined by Sokaku Takeda (his own name for his own art, he didn't appropriate the terminology of something else to sell his teaching but let his performance speak for itself).

If you were speaking, as I thought, about the general set of 'internal power" type skills that you call Aiki because you think it is okay for you to do so, then let me rethink this.

If it's truly a common type of training that has existed forever, and it is truly unstoppable, whatever, and few people are practicing it, then yes, that is kind of strange. Certainly these skills would be trained to infantry and special operators all around the world, right?

Or you know...there is no real pattern there, no common type of training, its just a lot of different things that kind of look similar. Or it isn't really that important to fighting.

Or it could be that the claim of a consistent and powerful training method that has spanned centuries hits some people in the same part of the brain as the Duxes and Luvrets of the budo world?

I'm just speculating.

Raff
2nd December 2014, 15:21
I'm going to disagree with Dan here, I think that there are large numbers of folks working on this stuff now. When we first brought him out here in 2010 there wasn't much around, now there are groups all over the world doing this stuff. This weekend's Honolulu workshop will have folks flying in internationally from Australia and Japan, not to mention the Mainland and Hawaii neighbor islands. Actually, it's shaping up to be the largest Aikido seminar in Hawaii for 2014 - from any group.

I just wish that more people were actually averse to him - that would leave more time for the rest of us.

Best,

Chris

There are many reasons why people do not work on this "stuff" at the moment. The first and most obvious one is that the vast majority does not even know that a different kind of training potentially bringing different skills actually exists. I have personaly met countless people who just practice without the slightest interest for the history and the development of their own art. They are mostly coming twice a week to meet other people whom the befriended and train. Most of the time, "Budo" for them is just a hobby, a way to keep fit or a simple sport. They usually study by the book without asking themselves too many, if any, questions. That´s it. Is it so bad after all? I could not say but the question remains open.

On the other hand, it is also true that a relatively small minority of people do actually strive for getting something different. Some are even making huge financial sacrifices in order to fulfill this ambition to improve themselves. As a matter of fact, it is now becoming a new market. Like every market, different offers/methods are proposed to the people, some extrememly good, some good and others which are indeed nothing more than deception. It has become quite easy nowadays to travel worldwide, so getting to the source of knowledge tends to become a lot easier than it used to be 25 or 30 years ago.

We should also not forget that not everybody is willing to teach openly and some do not even seem to be concerned about the survival of their method once they pass away. I remember reading that HINO Akira stated that he did not really cared if what he had created and taught during decades should disparear with him.

As for Takeda Sokaku´s odd behavior, I can not find anywhere in the history of Japanese Martial Arts somebody who made such a deep impression on the whole martial arts community nationwide. For sure, there have been very skilled people, Mas Oyama comes to mind here, who did like start from nothing and created something huge, but Sokaku is really in a class for his own. The term Aiki might have been in used long before he were even born but he is the one who displayed in public the best martial abilities. No one before him, and most probably no one after him.

Dan Harden
2nd December 2014, 15:36
Sure Takeda's skills were supposedly fantastic, but how does that support a history? It doesn't. I think he made it all up. Which is fine. But why not just say so? Does that mean anyone can make up an arts history? Can they say anything they want based on their skills? I don't think so.

Koshu
2nd December 2014, 17:31
DR has one of the most consistently, wierdest histories from beginning to the present day, that I have ever heard of.
This ties back to why I spotlighted certain general characteristics of Asian culture earlier in this thread. Creation myths, ancient and modern, and modern paying homage to the ancient, are part of the fabric of the culture.

What matters are the skills preserved within the peculiar fabric/medium of the culture, the software/operating system behind the skills (since we're all born with the hardware), and how the software can be maintained, refined and made more potent and portable going forward. I agree with Dan's past comments about the west being arguably more fertile ground than Asia for this going forward. Sam Chin once described I Liq Chuan, in its modern form, as an "American martial art".

Cliff Judge
2nd December 2014, 19:39
This ties back to why I spotlighted certain general characteristics of Asian culture earlier in this thread. Creation myths, ancient and modern, and modern paying homage to the ancient, are part of the fabric of the culture.

In Takeda's day and age, and to his customers, a "mythological" history was expected and desired. If he had gone around demonstrating some stuff that he had kinda worked out from sumo, the jujutsu he learned as a kid, and some etiquette material, and said "this is the result of my own training in many different arts, but I've gotten rid of most of the context of those arts and put this together myself. Look its a great way to fold people up when they come at you on stage like this." Nobody would have paid him for techniques.

Today, its the opposite, really. Or it should be. The underlying credulity is different; what a background story is meant to convey, how accurate and verifiable it must be, etc.



What matters are the skills preserved within the peculiar fabric/medium of the culture, the software/operating system behind the skills (since we're all born with the hardware), and how the software can be maintained, refined and made more potent and portable going forward. I agree with Dan's past comments about the west being arguably more fertile ground than Asia for this going forward.

These things matter to whom? if you are talking about "Asian culture" or even Japanese culture, you are painting with a mighty broad brush. You and the IP folks obviously feel this way. But many schools of koryu have simply been left to die on the vine rather than change the school to adapt to students or the times, and the idea that you would try to extract some piece of teaching and blend that with other things from other arts and consider that "refinement" or "making it more potent" is a little appalling to some people.

Raff
2nd December 2014, 20:17
Sure Takeda's skills were supposedly fantastic, but how does that support a history? It doesn't. I think he made it all up. Which is fine. But why not just say so? Does that mean anyone can make up an arts history? Can they say anything they want based on their skills? I don't think so.


The probability that Takeda Sokaku actually discovered a principle which was later called Aiki is indeed very high. Techniques per se existed long before him but he somehow found a way to enhance them. In transparent power, we are told that:


"Kimura: But it is possible for one person to come up with something so remarkable?

I believe so, if you realize a certain principle. The position of the hands or wether your opponent comes at you from the front or the back, none of these things present a problem. The number of techniques is not a problem either. Besides that, there is no way that something so great could be transmitted from generation to generation. Nor have I heard that Tanomo Saigo was a master.

Of course, there are many problems with this quote but it shows that even the closest students of Sokaku did not really believe in the "official story". If we take for granted that Sokaku is indeed the founder of DR, why did he choose to make up a whole story and who helped him in the process, if not Saigo Tanomo? Whatever the hypothesis, Saigo Tanomo remains a central figure in DR history, everything starts, so it seems, with him.

You have surely noticed that Sokaku did appear at a very specific moment in the Japanese history. The Meiji restoration proved to be cruel for the native martial arts and many japanese tended to reject their own culture. In Japanese sport. A history Mr Thompson and Mr Guttmann say:


There were [...] some intellectuals whose admiration of the West was (and denigration of their own culture) was uncritical and extreme. Mori Arinori (1847-1889 a politician and a scholar) suggested in 1872 that the country adopt English as the national language and Takahashi Yoshio (1835-1901 jounalist and businessman), writing in 1884, urged that Japanese husbands divorce their wiwes and marry Western women of robust physique and superior intellect".

I find it rather interesting that Sokaku actually poped up right at that moment of massive self-flagellation showing skills far above the average level and claiming that they were indeed very old. Those familiar with his eccentric personality should not be that surprised anyway since it is quite typical of his behavior.

To tell the true, I´m also skeptical about the official history but as far fetched as it may look, Sokaku´s version remains nevertheless the most plausible. I truly believe that when he started, as a 16 years old, his Musha Shugyo, Sokaku did not have any knowledge or mastery of the skill which will make him famous in later years. Something happened between his Musha Shugyo and his time as an apprentice under Saigo Tanomo. Even if Saigo is not the source, we might well speculate that someone belonging to Saigo´s entourage could have initiated Sokaku. DR techniques, even the most basic ones, are so subtles and so precise that they could not have been created by a single man, not even by a genius. Obviously, somebody possessing superior body skills can create spontaneously a technique only by moving or reacting but this cannot explain everything.

You stated that Sokaku issued scrolls and makimomos. Since he was illiterate, he could hardly have made them up on his own. Here again, I cannot help thinking that those scrolls were probably given to him by Saigo Tanomo and that he might have helped him in shaping and embellishing the story but there is most certainly true in it.

As long as he lived, Sokaku always credited Saigo Tanomo as his teacher and insisted that DR was a secret martial art of the old Aizu Han. By taking this stance, he reduced himself as a simple link belonging to a much bigger chain while he could easily have claimed "I´m the greatest".

By the way, there are many martial arts who do have wierd history, Systema, for instance, makes strange claims, kyusho jitsu also. Everything tends to become a myth with time. DR makes no exception. I will never forget what were told at the university in the history department the very first day: "You should quickly forget all what you have previously learnt about history until today for the real teaching starts here and now. Everything you were told before is either wrong or incomplete".

On a far dramatic subject, you might interested to read what historian Shlomo Sand has to say about certain myths concerning his own people.

Dan Harden
2nd December 2014, 20:38
In Takeda's day and age, and to his customers, a "mythological" history was expected and desired. If he had gone around demonstrating some stuff that he had kinda worked out from sumo, the jujutsu he learned as a kid, and some etiquette material, and said "this is the result of my own training in many different arts, but I've gotten rid of most of the context of those arts and put this together myself. Look its a great way to fold people up when they come at you on stage like this." Nobody would have paid him for techniques.

Today, its the opposite, really. Or it should be. The underlying credulity is different; what a background story is meant to convey, how accurate and verifiable it must be, etc.



These things matter to whom? if you are talking about "Asian culture" or even Japanese culture, you are painting with a mighty broad brush. You and the IP folks obviously feel this way. But many schools of koryu have simply been left to die on the vine rather than change the school to adapt to students or the times, and the idea that you would try to extract some piece of teaching and blend that with other things from other arts and consider that "refinement" or "making it more potent" is a little appalling to some people.
This is the finest bit of irony, in that you are attaching to the so called *IP crowd* the very same thing your founder did, while excusing him for lying.
Comically, Takeda fullfilled every cut up, every fraud, every character flaw, the strip mining of the arts, the sale of the inner core of the arts in public seminars, teaching without qualifications in those arts, and chasing people for money that the ebudo crowd has pasted onto so many in IP crowd. None of whom I have ever met who has ever come close to this bizzare behavior.

Cliff continued in what I considered and explained as the apple not falling far from the tree. He defined it and then defended it. Takeda's *customers* expected lies. So..... That was okay.
Again it is the most bizarre art I have ever heard of. With some modern practitioners of DR seeking to destroy the reputations of others for the very things their art was fine upon. There is no need to say it for them, they say it themselves. They continue to do it like clockwork. Right on time. Every time.

Cliff Judge
2nd December 2014, 21:01
Sure Takeda's skills were supposedly fantastic, but how does that support a history? It doesn't. I think he made it all up. Which is fine. But why not just say so? Does that mean anyone can make up an arts history? Can they say anything they want based on their skills? I don't think so.

No no no, sir, This here is some fine irony. Indeed, skills have no bearing on historical claims.

Dan Harden
2nd December 2014, 21:42
What you call the IP crowd (the few of us here cannot represent such a diverse group anyway)...are not making claims, Cliff. We are quoting your own teachers and using teaching modalities that they also know are a match to other cultures....as noted and quoted by them. The difference being that we......uhm....are actually teaching those same modalities.

I noticed you side stepped all of the other issues that are very hard to defend; like those modalities coming out of inner teachings of other arts and that Takeda stripped them out to make his new art. A charge you frequently lay at the feet of everyone else.
The efforts here to defend the history of the Daito ryu and its supposed ownership of aiki have brought into focus a dialogue of the past history and behavior of your arts founder and teachers that has not been addressed on the web before. I am not sure that it has resulted in exactly a positive effort on the part of DR's defenders, nor that it accomplished what you had collectively hoped to accomplish. Suffice to say, there are many in the art who categorically disagree with the views expressed by the DR practitioners here.

Cliff Judge
3rd December 2014, 03:41
I'm not actually interested in defending Daito ryu's history.

Takeda had exposure to multiple systems, and sumo, and IMO Tanomo taught him an etiquette system that may have also been a palace policing art. To the extent that he "mined" anything, it certainly isn't clear that there was any intentionality about it. And he didn't present himself as teaching any of those systems. He made up a martial lineage for just himself and didnt try to paint a connection between what he was now doing and what he had been taught. I don't think he would have broken any oaths if he did though, I don't think he got far enough in anything with empty-hand skills to matter that much.

That's my opinion based on what I've read. I don't know how that squares with the defense of the history of Daito ryu you are comfortable with arguing against.

I don't believe that Daito ryu owns any particular individual skill or training method either, and I've never said that. But I don't think using the word "Aiki" to reference those particular skills is appropriate for just anybody.

Dan Harden
3rd December 2014, 14:40
I'm not actually interested in defending Daito ryu's history.
No just in going after anyone questioning it.
Lets see...
You guys have gone from being incredibly rude and insulting to me and those who train with me, all while offering us an argument based supposedly on me teaching the inner secrets of DR, on to me not knowing the inner teachings of DR, on to me exhibiting anti social behavior equal to criminals, on to me strip mining the arts to sell their secrets in seminars, on to me falsely equating the training model of DR with those of ICMA, on to just about any appalling behavior you can think of to apply to me personally.
This...as we present quote after quote of your own teachers discussing Chinese training models for internal strength and descriptions of the manipulation of yin/yang (in/ho/ho), using actual classic internal Chinese training sayings... in your own art?
Has it escaped your attention that your arguments are so convoluted and contrary to their own talking points, as to be absurd?

Cheapening and strip mining the arts

In Takeda's day and age, and to his customers, a "mythological" history was expected and desired. If he had gone around demonstrating some stuff that he had kinda worked out from sumo, the jujutsu he learned as a kid, and some etiquette material, and said "this is the result of my own training in many different arts, but I've gotten rid of most of the context of those arts and put this together myself. Look its a great way to fold people up when they come at you on stage like this." Nobody would have paid him for techniques.

Today, its the opposite, really. Or it should be. The underlying credulity is different; what a background story is meant to convey, how accurate and verifiable it must be, etc.
If we add Takeda's taking his material from a collection of other arts, essentially strip mining them for his own invention, lying about its history, inventing additional scrools, his budo circus stuff, his teaching seminars for large sums of money, his recruiting students to find high-roller clients, him chasing Ueshiba for money where is there a modern equivalent?
If you are so very concerned Where are your concerns over this?
*Do we look for the Art of DR being held accountable for the outright stealing of the internal Chinese arts innner secrets? They quote it, they discuss it, they use them? Why are you not outraged...for them, Cliff?
*Do we look for modern helmut cutting test cutting all stars who wrote books about an art they never took part in?
*Do we look for secret back-dated menkyos?
*Do we look for Trademarks and other money making protective devices?
Where do we look to find lies, and bizarre behavior?


You and the IP folks obviously feel this way. But many schools of koryu have simply been left to die on the vine rather than change the school to adapt to students or the times, and the idea that you would try to extract some piece of teaching and blend that with other things from other arts and consider that "refinement" or "making it more potent" is a little appalling to some people.
A perfect description of what Takeda did and what DR really is. Again the question is....
Why are you not appalled for the koryu he stole it from and the Chinese arts your teachers keep quoting?
Aiki is the joining of two kis. It is the manipulation of in/yo (yin/yang) heaven/earth/man etc. etc.. Dantian rotation, as defined and taught within the art according to the teachers of the art. The various methods for training it from solo training and breath power expressed in in-ho-ho on to the use of it in circular and spiral force in directed paths are well known in other arts.

Suggestions
If you guys are so concerned for the accuracy of Aiki and where it came from and who should own it; you need to present a better argument with support material, to counter your own teachers quoting other arts as their source material.
If you are concerned for ethics and morals, you really need to clean up your own arts very public and colorful history.

The IP crowd as you call it? We at least give credit where credit is due and site source material, we offer no rank and gladly have no colorful stories to tell.

Dan Harden
3rd December 2014, 16:21
EDIT:
One last bit worth mentioning. This IP crowd you keep mentioning? I have lost track of how many Koryu people, as well as advanced -even shihan level- teachers are involved. All of whom remain in their arts, involved with preserving them. Your accusations are unfounded, without merit and don't even meet any criteria as a credible insult or critique.

Cady Goldfield
3rd December 2014, 16:35
The thread is veering away from an objective discussion, and head-on into the realm of personal yet again.
Let's please steer clear of the old accuser-defender routine and get back on track.
Thank you.

Dan Harden
3rd December 2014, 18:24
Good point. There is enough to be discussed objectively without having to continually defend this or that.

jdostie
4th December 2014, 00:57
I think this is the quote I was looking for. If not, it's close. I saw it a few weeks ago looking at old threads, and thought it contextually applicable to this topic.


No one is trying to be secretive, imply superiority, hand out decoder rings or anything like that nonsense. Just the opposite is true.
You could look at it like this- no one wants to talk about it lest they are looked upon as those who "stand in the face of true mastery and speak out of the depth of their ignorance."
Superior attitude?
Hardly.
The history is great stuff.
Most of us feel the art is off-limits to discuss in any depth.
But your mileage may vary

By the way should you think it in some way odd or unique-consider this.
I Haven't noticed anyone discussing
Katori Shinto Ryu
Araki Ryu
Yagyu ryu
Shindo Yoshin Ryu
Yanagi Ryu
Tatsumi ryu
Sho-Sho ryu
Or many other things I could name either. Whats the difference?
Too many people know and are interested in the Daito ryu right now.
That will pass.

cheers
Dan


http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?15372-Daito-ryu-Ranking-Criteria/page2


Have your feelings on this subject changed Mr. Harden, or have I misread?

Dan Harden
4th December 2014, 01:43
Yes they have. Mostly based on the reactions and responses of people like Cliff Judge

Koshu
4th December 2014, 03:26
In Takeda's day and age, and to his customers, a "mythological" history was expected and desired. If he had gone around demonstrating some stuff that he had kinda worked out from sumo, the jujutsu he learned as a kid, and some etiquette material, and said "this is the result of my own training in many different arts, but I've gotten rid of most of the context of those arts and put this together myself. Look its a great way to fold people up when they come at you on stage like this." Nobody would have paid him for techniques.

Today, its the opposite, really. Or it should be. The underlying credulity is different; what a background story is meant to convey, how accurate and verifiable it must be, etc.
Again, Asians as a whole, in the west or Asia, could care less about slicing and dicing this mythology and metaphor stuff back then or now. The main debates are here online between westerners, and the forum archives support this.

Bruce Lee was open about amalgamating and he certainly got paid and attracted an enormous following as well. Both he and Takeda could walk their talk.


These things matter to whom? if you are talking about "Asian culture" or even Japanese culture, you are painting with a mighty broad brush. You and the IP folks obviously feel this way. But many schools of koryu have simply been left to die on the vine rather than change the school to adapt to students or the times, and the idea that you would try to extract some piece of teaching and blend that with other things from other arts and consider that "refinement" or "making it more potent" is a little appalling to some people.
Yes, a bit of clarification is in order. No, this isn't a culture-specific issue (e.g. as I previously mentioned, modern ILC has a "Made in America" tag). Aiki wasn't started by, nor is unique to Daito-ryu, by the mainline's own admission, various koryu menkyo-kaiden holders, the Aikikai hombu, and men who directly trained with Morihei Ueshiba, to name a handful of examples, have vetted that what the "IP folks" are doing is aiki or results in the equivalent sublime body skills in their respective arts. Tokimune Takeda felt aiki was non-proprietary, and Katsuyuki Kondo hasn't opted to reverse the ryuha's formal stance in this regard. The Aikikai hombu top brass were surprised, but not affronted, to encounter aiki from one of Dan's students. If these types of people aren't crying foul (and why should they if aiki is not proprietary?), then really, what is all the fuss about? For example, I like what Toby Threadgill once said on this topic (in an Aikiweb thread pertaining to training with Dan):


All too often people in budo become rather myopic, forgetting there are many ways to train and many ways to access certain universally applicable skills. Just because one type of training provides you with a specific result doesn't mean similar skills are not achieveable by someone else thru a different pedagogy. Budo training can speak to each of us in very specific ways. Every once in a while an individual comes along with a unique set of keys to unlock skills we desire. The question is, can we be open minded enough to recognize these keys if they appear to be something we have already rejected or seem totally different than what we have come to expect?

Sam Chin, who in the past decade has traveled the world more than Dan, and has gotten direct hands on with more "aiki" people than the vast majority of those in any of the aiki arts, describes the various neijia and aiki arts as simply different vehicles for "masks" (flavors) of the same body skills. Sam Chin can walk his talk.

I suppose if a koryu lineage holder and a Chinese internal art lineage holder, both of whom are held in very high regard, are "IP folks", then that's good company to be counted among.

Dan Harden
4th December 2014, 13:51
As you know, that is my point as well...
Here's the thing: If people don't have aiki.... And thereby do not have an understanding of internals as well.... It's all one big mystery. That why you see people in the so called aiki arts thinking their art is unique. It's all a mystery to them. So they think all the arts are mysterious and wonderful storehouses of unique material!
The best aiki I have felt was an old taiji guy. He blew away any DR teachers I have known. Then again two of Sagawa's students left him to train with that same taiji guy as well, so here again you have several opinions stating the aiki in Taiji and DR can be the same.
Personally I think the aiki in DR is inhibited, or limited, by its cooperative training practices. Things that work in Kata will fail under stress. People will never know that until they spar and fight with aiki. I tried telling Nathan (and others here in a thread in the AJJ forum) that very same thing back in 98. In fact we argued over it. They were saying aiki was fine motor skills that would fail under a stress induced adrenaline dump. By then I had been using aiki to defeat freestyle fighters and a 5th Dan Japanese judo teacher among others. Granted you had to have fighting skills to use aiki at that level, but aiki worked none the less. But if you didn't have it you would a) never know how a) never know the difference between aiki or anything else.
I think most people get confused by *the feel* of it in cooperative Kata. They think it is that signature *feel* that defines it, so they look for that. They don't know what makes the feel, but it's that *feel* they want to reproduce. The*feel* was really just a singular manifestation in Kata use and not the larger picture. I just had this discussion with Bill Gleason about me and Yamaguchi. Hec stated that e are both the softest people he has ever felt but we both *feel* different and he wondered why.

Raff
4th December 2014, 14:42
Aiki wasn't started by, nor is unique to Daito-ryu, by the mainline's own admission, various koryu menkyo-kaiden holders, the Aikikai hombu, and men who directly trained with Morihei Ueshiba, to name a handful of examples, have vetted that what the "IP folks" are doing is aiki or results in the equivalent sublime body skills in their respective arts. Tokimune Takeda felt aiki was non-proprietary, and Katsuyuki Kondo hasn't opted to reverse the ryuha's formal stance in this regard. The Aikikai hombu top brass were surprised, but not affronted, to encounter aiki from one of Dan's students. If these types of people aren't crying foul (and why should they if aiki is not proprietary?)


The above quotation is probably much more a wishful thinking of yours than the reality. As you might know, the Daito-Ryu world is extremely fragmented and the various organizations are not always on friendly terms and usually tend to ignore themselves. One of the major issue of the various disputes is, not surprinsingly, the mastery of Aiki.

While I do believe that developing "superior bodyskills" is not unique to Daito-ryu, I do not think that the concept of aiki is the same wether we talk of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu and Aikido. A lot of people with no experience in Daito-ryu tend to believe that the concept and principles of Daito-ryu and Aikido are one and the same. This is just wrong.

Following are some quotations from Daito-ryu masters, their statement are quite clear and could hardly be missunderstood:

Kondo Katsuyuki:


BB: Were the techniques under Hosono [Tsunejiro], Yoshida [Kotaro], and Tokimune Takeda the same? Kondo: The techniques were a lot different.
BB: How did the techniques differ? Kondo: If I anwser this question based on what I know today, [I would say that] Hosono and Yoshida did not understand what aiki is. If I go back to my opinion when I was younger, it would have been different. I have grown to a higher level as a person and instructor, and each instructor is different ...

Hosono Tsunejiro and Yoshida Kotaro were direct students of Takeda Sokaku, Yoshida got a kyoju dairi from Sokaku in 1915 and is also remenbered as the teacher of a certain Oyama Masutatsu. Nevertheless, they had apparently a poor understanding of aiki.


"BB: In your opinion, where is Daito-ryu aikijujutsu going? Kondo: I have responsibility for Daito-ryu and the approval of the Japanese government, which has recognized my Daito-ryu organization. Before the recognition, there were court battles for many years. I did not go to court, and I did not initiate the lawsuit, nor was I the plaintiff. Among the legitimate Daito-ryu organizations, there are the Takumakai in Osaka and the Kodokai in Hokkaido; we have a good relationship. I do not recognize the other Daito-ryu organizations. I have a copyright and intellectual property rights to the ledgers, training videos, DVD's, books and the [art of] Daito-ryu aikijujutsu under Japanese law. I


Mr Kondo has claimed on several occasions that out of all Tokimune Sensei´s former students, only he (and another person dead many years ago) had truly understood what aiki is and that he was the only person who got the genuine teaching from Tokimune Sensei, thus acquiring aiki. Of all the Daito-ryu organisations, he only recognizes two of them. It is obvious that the recognition is based on their matery of aiki because aiki is mainly what distinguish Daito-ryu from other Ju-jutsu schools. It seems highly improbable that Mr Kondo would publicly admit the aiki he learnt from Tokimune Sensei is to be found somewhere else.

If you have read the interview given by Tokimune Sensei to Mr Pranin, you might have noticed that Tokimune Sensei actually said:


The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu.

Please note that Tokimune Sensei used the word term and not the word concept or principle. He did not say that aiki as a concept or as a martial skill was known since ancient times and had been used by other martial artists in the past. Rather he said that the word aiki did exist. This makes a huge difference. As a matter of fact, there have been martial artists who have displayed extraordinary skills long before Takeda Sokaku. May be they were even better than Takeda at what they did but they did not use the word aiki to refer to their school or method. Once again, it does not necessarily mean that the skills were different or inferior to those of Takeda Sokaku but rather that it was possible to acquire superior body skills and apply them freely in the middle of a physical confrontation without making use of the term aiki.

I do not have the feeling that Tokimune Sensei believed that Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and Aikido were the same thing:


Would you give us your views of Aikido today?

Aikido and Daito-ryu have different meanings. In Daito-ryu, once you have captured an enemy, you must finish him off with a second or even third technique. Techniques do not exist in isolation but are followed by second and third techniques. I have been watching Aikido techniques at the Nippon Budokan but I find that those demonstrating do soft techniques. They won't work in a real fighting situation. Their partners are only taking falls for them. It is as if they are practicing taking falls. If your partner takes a beautiful fall, it makes your techniques look good. In our practice we don't have our partners take falls. We practice throwing. There is no need for them to take falls.

Okabayashi Shogen


Q. Sensei, how did you research the techniques and develop your method of teaching?


A. I watched very closely how Soke moved (Takeda Tokimune), and he was always moving in hitoemi -- one line (moving the body in one line so there are no twists in the body or pivots in movement). I looked at old paintings of the bushi (an old Japanese term meaning warrior), and their bodies were also always portrayed as being in a hitoemi position because that is how the bushi moved. I read old history texts about life in old Japan and how things worked back them. Through all of this I did not find anything in particular, but there were hints here and there. Then, when researching the techniques, we had (the Tokimunikai) pictures of the beginning of a technique and the end of a technique, but could not make certain techniques work (the photos were taken at the Asahi News by Hisa Takuma when Takeda Sokaku was teaching there to document the techniques taught). I asked myself why have a technique that doesn’t work? So by applying my knowledge from Soke and my research, applying hitoemi and gravity principles, I could make those techniques effective and efficient.

Yet another Daito-ryu Shihan claiming that he succeeded in understanding what others could not. Do you truly believe that Okobayashi Shogen would admit that what took him so many efforts to achieve could be find in other schools right from the start?

Kimura Tatsuo, the de facto head of Sagawa-ha Daito-ryu Aikibujutsu states in Tranparent power:


First, I wish to make it clear that Aiki is a concrete skill found in the deepest studies of Daito-ryu. In modern times, Aiki was most likely discovered by Sokaku Takeda Sensei. When Sagawa Sensei was 17, he penetrated its essence and spent a great deal of time developing it. Because Aiki is exceedingly difficult, it is believed that with the exception of these two men, no one else has succeeded in mastering it. At least, this writer has never encoutered anyone other than Sagawa Sensei who could use Aiki. This writer has met several people who claimed to be able to apply Aiki, but when I pinned them down in a match, they were unable to move, thus proving that it was not Aiki they were using. Anyone who really grasps Aiki ought to be able to toss me around like a doll. Because Sagawa Sensei always gave me the benefit of the direct instruction, using his own hands to teach me, I can determine wether someone has achieved Aiki or not".

Is it possible to be clearer? Throughout the book Kimura Tatsuo emphasizes the differences between the Sagawa-ha Daito-ryu Aikibujutsu and the other organization, especially in regard to the mastery of aiki.

We went from: aiki can be found anywhere as is the general belief to aiki was ever mastered by only two people. This is quite different from what you are implying in your post. I would be very interested in reading an interview in which a Daito-ryu Master does declare that their skills can be learnt somewhere else. If you can provide a link or a reference, I would be very grateful. Please note that I´m not saying that Daito-ryu masters never said that, but simply that I never came across such a declaration.

Aiki might very well be a product of non japanese martial arts which were imported centuries ago. There is acrtually no doubt about it. In the same time, Japan has always been a perfect example of syncretism. Japanese adopt traditions, knowledge, techniques and so on from abroad and then adapt and perfect them to the point that they become eventually japanese. Karate is one example, imported from China to Japan via the Ryukyu islands. The art has been modified and polished to become entirely japanese and to suit the needs of the Japanese people. The same logic can be applied to aiki.

Once again, I´m not trying to deny that aiki does own something to Chinese, Indian or Tibetan martial arts but my feeling is that aiki as it was taught by Takeda Sokaku and understood by some of his most talented students (how many I do not know) has become a concept very specific to Daito-ryu (not better, no worst, just different) even though other people from other arts do show skills which are not less impressive and worthy to be studied.

Cliff Judge
4th December 2014, 14:52
Again, Asians as a whole, in the west or Asia, could care less about slicing and dicing this mythology and metaphor stuff back then or now. The main debates are here online between westerners, and the forum archives support this.

Again that's a really broad brush that obscures a lot of history.

Takeda grew up and taught in a specific time in a specific nation's history. A very stable order that had existed for more than two centuries was being overturned inside of a generation. There was an extreme amount of lamentation and hand-wringing over where they were going, and what they were losing in terms of culture and tradition. Martial traditions had a direct participation in all of this - there were dojo that were basically gathering places for men of certain political affiliations. A couple of lesser-known gendai arts came out of this - Takeda ryu was one of them, there is another one whose name I can't remember - and it went on until WWII, with Ueshiba's dojo being involved in this kind of thing. Heck, Kano, who was creating a new, modernized budo, was highly politically connected. And yet he made it a point to provide funding the older schools. Why? Because a connection to the past was capital - political influence and money.



Bruce Lee was open about amalgamating and he certainly got paid and attracted an enormous following as well. Both he and Takeda could walk their talk.

He was a product of an entirely different time and place, entirely different stresses and fortunes shaped him. Obviously a guy who grew up in an occupied land, who was mixed-race, and had a history of struggling with his heritage and identity is going to choose to break away from old traditions. Same as a man who grew up as a scion of an old, overturned order would choose to connect himself with old traditions.

By some accounts, Bruce Lee was a divisive, arrogant prick. But you know, like Takeda, he came up with a name for his own system.



Yes, a bit of clarification is in order. No, this isn't a culture-specific issue (e.g. as I previously mentioned, modern ILC has a "Made in America" tag). Aiki wasn't started by, nor is unique to Daito-ryu, by the mainline's own admission, various koryu menkyo-kaiden holders, the Aikikai hombu, and men who directly trained with Morihei Ueshiba, to name a handful of examples, have vetted that what the "IP folks" are doing is aiki or results in the equivalent sublime body skills in their respective arts. Tokimune Takeda felt aiki was non-proprietary, and Katsuyuki Kondo hasn't opted to reverse the ryuha's formal stance in this regard. The Aikikai hombu top brass were surprised, but not affronted, to encounter aiki from one of Dan's students. If these types of people aren't crying foul (and why should they if aiki is not proprietary?), then really, what is all the fuss about?

I'll just state once again that I am not arguing about skills. I've never claimed they are unique to any art or pedagogy. And in fact, my stance is that the label "Aiki" for in/yo stuff is appropriate for Daito ryu and Aikido, as it was most explicitly coined by Ueshiba, Deguchi, and Takeda.

I am troubled by the fact that I seem to be the only one who understands the difference between a name and the thing it names, but it is what it is.



Sam Chin, who in the past decade has traveled the world more than Dan, and has gotten direct hands on with more "aiki" people than the vast majority of those in any of the aiki arts, describes the various neijia and aiki arts as simply different vehicles for "masks" (flavors) of the same body skills. Sam Chin can walk his talk.

Have you trained with him? I am curious if he calls what he does "Aiki." I bet not.



I suppose if a koryu lineage holder and a Chinese internal art lineage holder, both of whom are held in very high regard, are "IP folks", then that's good company to be counted among.

I should not be using the term "you IP folks" as I have been. Too broad a brush.

Cliff Judge
4th December 2014, 15:45
If you have read the interview given by Tokimune Sensei to Mr Pranin, you might have noticed that Tokimune Sensei actually said:



The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu.


Please note that Tokimune Sensei used the word term and not the word concept or principle. He did not say that aiki as a concept or as a martial skill was known since ancient times and had been used by other martial artists in the past. Rather he said that the word aiki did exist. This makes a huge difference. As a matter of fact, there have been martial artists who have displayed extraordinary skills long before Takeda Sokaku. May be they were even better than Takeda at what they did but they did not use the word aiki to refer to their school or method. Once again, it does not necessarily mean that the skills were different or inferior to those of Takeda Sokaku but rather that it was possible to acquire superior body skills and apply them freely in the middle of a physical confrontation without making use of the term aiki.

Thank you so much for posting this, Raphael. Nice to hear someone speak to the distinction.

The fact of the matter is, that there is scant evidence of the term "Aiki" actually being used outside of the Toda ha Buko ryu. This, and a number of things Tokimune has been recorded to have said, are challenging.

But he is a really interesting figure. He put together a really interesting system, I've really enjoyed the time I have spent studying it.

Dan Harden
4th December 2014, 16:15
Raff
Your post largely relies on the opinions and statements of Japanese teachers in DR. I use them as well if only to counter the talking points of those in the art.
That said, being that DR is so factionalized over aiki I don't actually care what any of them say about aiki. The teachers lie, then tell you that they lie. Who would ever put trust in anything that they say?
That cannot be seen as harsh, as they admit it themselves.
As for aiki. Personally I have no interest in Kondo's view of aiki as I don't think he has any himself. Shocked? I know of no one in DR- outside of his organization- who thinks he does either. He is generally considered a jujutsu guy.
Sagawa didn't think anyone in DR really got aiki but him. He also thinks he was better than Sokaku. He stated that to a Kodokai shihan.
Kondo made a sarcastic comment to me about the Kodokai and its practices.
I can name names and give dates of some pretty damning commentary about this or that DR teacher and indeed entire branchs along with letters of some well known and highly regarded people in the art talking about what they really think of the Roppokai, the Kodokai, the mainline etc. But to what purpose? The public face is to support each other...blech!!!!

History
How does that.... or stated better how would anyone really ever know what any of them really know or honestly think?
Given the history? Why would anyone care?
I am only concerned with real skills and what statements they make regarding training models that are consistent with other known internal methods. Why?
Considering their colorful pasts they need more credible support.
Research is best done with independent verification and consistency. At least the Chinese terminology, solo training and use of in yo ho is known and can be trusted. We can look at that and arrive at a consistency, at least in method.

Raff
4th December 2014, 16:45
Dan,

Thank you for your message. I´m not trying to corner anybody in this thread. DR world is fragmented and everybody has a poor opinion concerning his fellow practitioner. This is a sad situation. I know all too well that the nastiest politic permeates the world of martial arts and that it will lead us nowhere.

Like you, I´m only interested in real skills and I have no problem in going to the source of knowledge wherever it may lie. I´m not stubborn and I try not to let himself being cornered by dogmas. I´m interested in learning and improving and, of course, in having constructive discussions without too much passion though.

Respectfully

Dan Harden
4th December 2014, 17:58
Hello again
I'm not interested in cornering anyone either. Let them fight. It would be terrible to see the factions fighting with westerners both in and out of the art.

The arts one true treasure is it's aiki. Without it, like aikido, you are left with some lukewarm, low percentage, jujutsu. They understandably want to hold on to whatever version of aiki they might have attained.

Koshu
4th December 2014, 20:11
Well, Asians literally and figuratively have historically painted with a very broad brush. It is what it is. Something like an enso embodies this: big brush in execution and meaning. And yes, I have trained with Sam. His statement when asked about the the aiki-vs.-neigong-yada-yada nomenclature debate was to say, "Aiki, taiji, what I do: the same." He then demoed some aikido to prove the point.

While some, like Sagawa (via Kimura) and the others quoted earlier in this thread feel its appropriate to segregate Daito-ryu aiki from other aiki, or as Dan has pointed out, sub-segregate their particular Daito-ryu aiki from other Daito-ryu aiki, their sandboxes and sample sizes are relatively small, even if we assume their comments are objective and not motivated by self promotion (Transparent Power is largely a Sagawa-den marketing tool, at even Takeda's expense). Really, how broad could Sagawa's experiences be, for example, if he was remiss to train with non-Japanese? The commentary within Daito-ryu invalidates any definitive claim that aiki is unique to anyone or any ryu / ryuha. Just look at these two blatantly self-serving statements mentioned above:

If I anwser this question based on what I know today, [I would say that] Hosono and Yoshida did not understand what aiki is.
vs.

In modern times, Aiki was most likely discovered by Sokaku Takeda Sensei. When Sagawa Sensei was 17, he penetrated its essence and spent a great deal of time developing it. Because Aiki is exceedingly difficult, it is believed that with the exception of these two men, no one else has succeeded in mastering it.

On the other hand, I mentioned Dan and Sam earlier in the same sentence because they travel the world ongoing and can back up their statements about "aiki" being part of a greater internal martial arts whole based on coming into physical contact with thousands of practitioners from varying martial arts backgrounds. Mike Sigman, who I've also trained with, feels the same way, and he's traveled the world as well. Toby Threadgill, who I quoted earlier, has also made a point to get in front of a broader audience of martial artists, and those experiences with others drove his conclusions stated in the quote.

In any case, to me, the whole debate is like people insisting that Samsung Galaxies and Apple iPhones are fundamentally different while waving U.S. Patent and Trademark Office paperwork in the air as proof. Fine. You win. In the meantime, folks in both camps will continue to co-opt the best features of each other's products to improve the smartphone as a general concept. Same as what's happening with "aiki" as a sublime, universal and practical body skill.

Dan Harden
4th December 2014, 21:44
Hi Mert
I agree with Sam, but you can add LCD to that list as well. He was guy who Sagawa's guys left for.
His caustic summation of the DR and Aikido people he met was priceless:
"All this talk of aiki, but when asked; Where is yin? Where is yang? They cannot say. How then can there BE AI...KI? You cannot pretend Dantian. You will be found out."
He taught there for 11 years. He was so unimpressed with the Japanese that he refused to believe I had gotten my training from Japanese arts. I had to explain the lie in Daito ryu: that the Japanese DR teachers use their students as crash test dummies and only teach a few the real deal. He asked if the students knew? I said yes, they all think they are the special one being taught! :-)
At any rate he agrees as well. We had a day long meeting discussing, testing and feeling theories.

Using intent to produce in/yo is the source. It is universal to produce both power and aiki. In/ yo becomes in/yo ho. This creates and is the driver of all the higher level arts. All who know this, know these things are the same.
Everything else is an outer shell of applications and strategies that indeed accomplish a certain feel that helps define an arts feel.
*It is why techniques are all but meaningless.
*Why Sagawa stated only amateurs think you can get aiki from doing techniques.
*Why Ueshiba stated it the was the working of the attraction point between yin and yang (dance of the gods ) that was the source of his art. The birthplace of all techniques.
*Why DR and Aikido teachers do not teach the joining of the two kis (aiki)
*It is why you are having a one sided monologue with so many students.

There is no one here in this thread who knows these things, and only a fraction in the arts. We have to be patient. They haven't gotten that far yet.

WVMark
5th December 2014, 00:43
Following are some quotations from Daito-ryu masters, their statement are quite clear and could hardly be missunderstood:



Quite a few of your quotes related strictly to techniques. As Sagawa stated, aiki is a body changing method. Not techniques.

More from Transparent Power by Tatsuo Kimura:
The elder Sagawa, who sometimes had a fiery temper, would take what he learned from Takeda and try it out on strong and mean-looking construction workers he came across. He quickly realized that if you lacked the sort of aiki that Sokaku Takeda possessed, none of the techniques would work against a persistent opponent. So Sagawa's father said to Takeda, "I'm already so old, I think it would be better if you'd teach me Aiki instead of techniques."

Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba all stated their art was formless. Not defined by techniques.

Ueshiba stated that he couldn't be moved by Tenryu because he(Ueshiba) knew the secret of aiki. No technique.

Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda
As mentioned earlier, at the Ueshiba Dojo in the old days we didn't explicitly have any pre-set forms. The only thing the students could do was copy the techniques that Sensei performed on their own. In terms of instruction, the only thing we were told was to "become one with heaven and earth."

Ueshiba's words focused on martial training theories like ka-fire/mi-water, heaven-earth, circle=spirals, etc rather than on building a curriculum of techniques.

So, if we remove techniques from the equation, we find an entirely different world. Ueshiba's aiki, Sagawa's aiki, Horikawa's aiki is all the same. That came from the training provided by Takeda. And it wasn't about techniques.

P Goldsbury
5th December 2014, 06:51
Again, Asians as a whole, in the west or Asia, could care less about slicing and dicing this mythology and metaphor stuff back then or now. The main debates are here online between westerners, and the forum archives support this.

Hello Mert,

Have you ever tried to follow the scholarly discussions concerning the Kojiki, the book that Morihei Ueshiba cites so liberally? You can find much dicing and slicing in any scholarly edition of the work. Ueshiba of course, bases his own interpretation on the Omoto version of kotodama, which involves slicing and dicing of a different kind, against which scholastic discussions about angels on pinheads do not hold a candle. :D

Best wishes,

PAG

Raff
5th December 2014, 10:31
Quite a few of your quotes related strictly to techniques. As Sagawa stated, aiki is a body changing method. Not techniques.



Sure, Aiki is a manifestastion of higher body skills. Nevertheless, all the Daito-ryu organizations and all the martial arts like Hakko-ryu and Aikido which descend from Takeda Sokaku´s teaching have created a systematized teaching methodology: The Kajo series in Tokimune Sensei´s line (Ikkajo to gokajo to start with). At the Sagawa Dojo, the curriculum has been divided in 10 Gen, each one including around 200 techniques). Kajo, Gen, serie whatever the name, how many time have you been told that DR has over 3.000 techniques in its curriculum? Sagawa Sensei claimed to have 2.000 techniques in his Ryu-ha. Kimura Tatsuo has written two books so far: Transparent power and my twenty years of study with Yukiyoshi Sagawa. Techniques are discussed at lenght in both books. In Transparent power, Sagawa Sensei, talking about Takeda Tokimune, said that the latter was such a secretive man that he suspected that he must have known techniques which he had never shown anybody.

I have a very poor knowledge of Aikido, but it is my understanding that Aikidokas are training a lot from ikkjo to gokjo as well.

Of course, all this is very disturbing since, as you said, Aiki is a method/concept which enhances your overall skills why having so many techniques, some claim above 3.000!!!! in your curriculum? Even a lifetime would not be enough to cover all the curriculum. Once you have reached such a superior global bodyskill, you do not have to worry about techniques, angles, positions anymore.

Nevertheless, all the people you are mentioning were teaching techniques and most of their students did indeed learn techniques without really grasping what was hiden inside those techniques or without finding the connexion between them.

As for Sagawa´s elder quote, it is a rather interesting one and while there are some truth in it, it is a little bit exaggerated. Sagawa´s father was already old when he started DR and did not have any martial art background unlike many other Sokaku´s top students.

Koshu
5th December 2014, 10:48
Hello Mert,

Have you ever tried to follow the scholarly discussions concerning the Kojiki, the book that Morihei Ueshiba cites so liberally? You can find much dicing and slicing in any scholarly edition of the work. Ueshiba of course, bases his own interpretation on the Omoto version of kotodama, which involves slicing and dicing of a different kind, against which scholastic discussions about angels on pinheads does not hold a candle. :D

Best wishes,

PAG
Peter,

I read, and slice and dice, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations for breakfast a few times a week, which is about as exciting as it sounds, so a change of pace regarding arcane slicing and dicing might be a welcome thing! Do you have links to any of the Kojiki or kotodama discussions? Chris Li, for one, might be interested in poring over those as well, if he hasn't already.

WVMark
5th December 2014, 15:54
Sure, Aiki is a manifestastion of higher body skills. Nevertheless, all the Daito-ryu organizations and all the martial arts like Hakko-ryu and Aikido which descend from Takeda Sokaku´s teaching have created a systematized teaching methodology:


Takeda on teaching -- no curriculum. Said his art was formless. Used his students as test dummies. Out of all the students he trained, only a very few were taught aiki.

Ueshiba on teaching -- no curriculum. Said his art was formless. Used his students as test dummies to become an avatar. Taught quite a few pre-war students aiki. Post ... not so much. Worth noting that there wasn't a lot of direct training with Takeda.

Horikawa on teaching -- sorry, not sure who created the curriculum. But he said his art was formless. Worth noting that there wasn't a lot of direct training with Takeda.

Sagawa on teaching -- supposedly, beginners did one thing for a long time. If I remember right, aiki age type training. Sagawa's dojo broke the mold and had techniques. Then again, Sagawa said that he didn't teach aiki to them until he was older. Makes you wonder what those techniques were for in the first place. Worth noting that there wasn't a lot of direct training with Takeda.

Now, on to techniques.
Hisa. Created sets and sets and based rank on it.
Kisshomaru. Created curriculum and based rank on it.
Tokimune. Created curriculum and based rank on it.
All of the students of those three held to the technique based curriculum.

Interesting that the aiki greats didn't put a lot of stock on a curriculum based teaching model. Ueshiba even told his students that he would not do a technique over again when they asked. Looking at the aiki greats versus those who trained based on techniques in a curriculum ... not a good showing for those going by a set curriculum.

Not only that, but the amount of time the aiki greats spent training with their teacher was usually 5 years or less. And not all hands on training, either. That's the yearly amount, overall. Actual hands on training with their teacher ... a whole lot less than that. Definitely not anywhere near learning 3000 techniques. But, if you look at their training regimen, they all had specific solo training that they did which filled in the gaps when they weren't training with their teacher. Yet, a lot of that solo training was dropped from the students who created technique based curriculum.

IP/aiki. If you're after that, it's not going to be found in hundreds to thousands of techniques from a technique-based curriculum.

HOWEVER ... IP/aiki only changes the body to work a different way. Once you start that process, if you want to be martially valid, you have to train in a martial system. Which is where all the martial arts schools become important. You have to learn how to use your IP/aiki changed body in a martial environment. And everyone is looking for something different. Aikido, Daito ryu, koryu, Taiji, ILC, Systema, judo, etc all are valid training environments, depending on what someone wants.

Raff
5th December 2014, 19:51
Takeda on teaching -- no curriculum. Said his art was formless. Used his students as test dummies. Out of all the students he trained, only a very few were taught aiki.

Ueshiba on teaching -- no curriculum. Said his art was formless. Used his students as test dummies to become an avatar. Taught quite a few pre-war students aiki. Post ... not so much. Worth noting that there wasn't a lot of direct training with Takeda.

Horikawa on teaching -- sorry, not sure who created the curriculum. But he said his art was formless. Worth noting that there wasn't a lot of direct training with Takeda.

Sagawa on teaching -- supposedly, beginners did one thing for a long time. If I remember right, aiki age type training. Sagawa's dojo broke the mold and had techniques. Then again, Sagawa said that he didn't teach aiki to them until he was older. Makes you wonder what those techniques were for in the first place. Worth noting that there wasn't a lot of direct training with Takeda.



If you are alluding to the gentlemen´s unique figthing style, I would have to agree with you. If you are talking about their teaching methodoly, then I disagree. Nearly all of Sokaku´s direct students have stated that he taught techniques.

Transparent power:


[...] It was his custom to practice with us for two or three hours after breakfast. He used different techniques or methods, one after the other. [...]

[...] Takeda Sensei said very little about the art. All he did was show us the external forms for a great many techniques.......... Takeda Sensei was an extremely intelligent man with a superb memory. He could not write, yet even though he didn´t write anything down, he could accuretely remenber all the techniques [...]

[...] Takeda Sensei always had beginners do an atemi as part of the technique [...] When Takeda Sensei taught ikkajo, he always made students do Aiki-age because he combined ikkajo and Aiki-age as one set; when he taught nikajo and beyond, he did not have them do Aiki-age.

[...] In a single day´s lesson, Takeda Sensei would teach only the external forms of about 20 techniques.



Conversation with Daito-ryu masters:


Q:How long did you study under Ueshiba Sensei?
Hisa Takuma: Ueshiba Sensei came to Osaka around 1933, and we learned from him for about three years. He taught us suwariwaza first, then hanmi handachi and tachiwaza. I was young and very busy back then, so I would get up around five o´clock each morning and practice for two or three hours. After every practice we would take photographs of all the techniques.

Q:How long did you study under Takeda Sensei?
Hisa Takuma: About two or three years. However, he asked me how long I had studied with Ueshiba and when I answered, "three years", he said, "well, in that case you can skip the beginning levels and I´ll start teaching you from the intermediate level".


Q:The scrolls of the Daito-ryu school have very detailed technical explanations. Who do you think was the first person to record these techniques?
Sato Keisuke (former student of Sokaku and Kjoju dairi): I suppose someone had Sokaku perform techniques and recorded them. The person who had the techniques recorded must certainly have been very intelligent. Therefore, it is reasonable to think that that person was Tanomo Saigo.

Takeda Sokaku did follow a certain curriculum when teaching, which is quite logical since he established a kind of pay per learn system.

In february 2010, the japanese magazine hiden made an article about Takeda Tokimune. We learn that Sokaku left several denshos, the oldest one dating back to 1899 was called Daito ryu jujutsu hiden mokuroku. Other names were used for other Denshos like Hiden mokuroku, Hiden okugi no koto, or Aiki jujutsu mokuroku. It looks like the number of techniques indicated in those scrolls, usually 118, did not correspond to the actual number of techniques.

Sagawa Sensei had to say the following about this:


"He carried different scrolls with him and gave each out as needed. Takeda Sensei´s scrolls had names like "hyaku juhakkajo (118 pinning techniques) or 84 techniques, or 36 techniques, because he believed that 118, 84 and 36 were lucky numbers. I do not think the names corresponded with the actual number of techniques".

Sokaku took probably some liberty with the number of techniques but taught nevertheless according to a curriculum. All his first generation students taught exactly the same way. Figthing style and teaching methodology are two different things.

Kondo Katsuyuki:


When I was training under Hosono Sensei (Sokaku´s direct student) I paid on a monthly basis but Yoshida Sensei (another Sokaku´s student) charged for each technique. For example, after we learned the kotegaeshi technique, we needed to pay for the next technique. When the time came to move to the next technique, Sensei would tell us.

There are several other direct testimonies made by first and second genration students of Daito-ryu. I do not have the time to write them all down, but I guess that the above should suffice.



Interesting that the aiki greats didn't put a lot of stock on a curriculum based teaching model

I disagree. Like Sokaku before them, they felt that many people would not be able to grasp aiki in a satisfactory way for a number of reasons. So they created a kata based curriculum.The classical kata keiko has indeed a kind of "hidden depth" that many people fail to uncover. Eventually with time, right guidance, and good partners, it is possible to get something valuable out of it´s study.




IP/aiki. If you're after that, it's not going to be found in hundreds to thousands of techniques from a technique-based curriculum.

While I do not disagree, my own interpretation is that things are a little more complicated than that especially in Daito-ryu. Solitary training, paired exercices, correct kata keiko and variations are a whole. A single missing element would prove very prejudicial to your personal studies.

A last word on aiki: Aiki is probably one of the most fascinating method/principal to be found in martial arts circles. However, the great Sokaku always carried a knife wrapped in a towel under his Kimono. I find it rather interesting that someone possesing such skills would, in case things got ugly (life and death situation so to speak) ultimately have recourse to an edged weapon instead of his prized empty hands skills.

Dan Harden
5th December 2014, 20:03
Aiki is a very powerful tool, very powerful, but... paranoia aside... In a land focused on edged weapons? Were I concerned like he was for his safety, I would carry a knife as well. We do have instinces of him killing and being in life or death struggles.
I have faced a knife wielding guy three times, I was very happy to have things to help but I still got stabbed and cut every time. He was being wise.

What he taught?
There are too many conflicting stories:
*He taught only aiki here
*He taught techniques there
*He never repeated a technique
*He taught till we got it
*he taught solo training/ he said never show it
*He taught people supposedly different curriculum.
* The scrolls changed
* He gave licenses for an art he never studied.
* He said only teach one or two the real art. So okay was he lying about that and he taught more or was he telling the truth?That he lied to his students and only a few were taught. Who knows? It continues to this day. With stories like that? Who cares?
We cannot hang our hat on anything.

Dan Harden
5th December 2014, 20:23
Edit:
There are many historical reasons/ qualifications, from past to present, to support placing The Daito ryu in the bad budo section here. It is a very strange, barely defensible, history.

Koshu
5th December 2014, 21:15
Peter,

Does this count: http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?10918-Kotodama (I recognize at least a couple gents with scholarly bent in that thread :))?

Koshu
5th December 2014, 21:26
A last word on aiki: Aiki is probably one of the most fascinating method/principal to be found in martial arts circles. However, the great Sokaku always carried a knife wrapped in a towel under his Kimono. I find it rather interesting that someone possesing such skills would, in case things got ugly (life and death situation so to speak) ultimately have recourse to an edged weapon instead of his prized empty hands skills.
Well, aiki isn't relegated to open hand today or when Takeda was making a name for himself (to which a group of construction workers could reportedly attest, or at least those who survived their encounter with him could). I know folks are trying to make a case for aiki being proprietary to Daito-ryu (which has weapon-taking/reversal waza, so it's expected aiki would be applied via weapons in at least some of those cases), but I doubt Takeda shut off his aiki spigot when doing kenjutsu.

Cady Goldfield
5th December 2014, 21:44
Well, aiki isn't relegated to open hand today or when Takeda was making a name for himself (to which a group of construction workers could reportedly attest, or at least those who survived their encounter with him could). I know folks are trying to make a case for aiki being proprietary to Daito-ryu (which has weapon-taking/reversal waza, so it's expected aiki would be applied via weapons in at least some of those cases), but I doubt Takeda shut off his aiki spigot when doing kenjutsu.

That's what I'd think. Once aiki is in one's body, it becomes how the person will choose to move regardless of whether he is empty-handed or wielding a weapon. Weapons are just an extension of body and limbs; the differences will be in the strategic aspects such as understanding range/distancing (maai) and the nature of usage for bladed- and other kinds of weapons (i.e., where to cut/strike, etc.). The differences are not in the internal/aiki body method itself.

P Goldsbury
5th December 2014, 22:44
Peter,

Does this count: http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?10918-Kotodama (I recognize at least a couple gents with scholarly bent in that thread :))?

Hello Mert,

Yes, I remember that thread. All the material I have been looking at is in Japanese and has not been translated. A major source is Yamaguchi Shido (山口志道), whose writings have been collected under the title of 『言霊秘書』. I think William Gleason mentions Yamaguchi in the introduction to his book on kotodama. The text of the Kojiki I use is the volume in the series 日本古典文学大系. It contains the text of the Kojiki with the Norito (Engishiki). I will make another post in the Shinto sub-forum when I have more time.

Best wishes,

PAG

Chris Li
5th December 2014, 23:02
Hello Mert,

Yes, I remember that thread. All the material I have been looking at is in Japanese and has not been translated. A major source is Yamaguchi Shido (山口志道), whose writings have been collected under the title of 『言霊秘書』. I think William Gleason mentions Yamaguchi in the introduction to his book on kotodama. The text of the Kojiki I use is the volume in the series 日本古典文学大系. It contains the text of the Kojiki with the Norito (Engishiki). I will make another post in the Shinto sub-forum when I have more time.

Best wishes,

PAG

Yamaguchi is essential, I think, but very thick and deep (also, 言霊秘書 is expensive! :) ).

Best,

Chris

Raff
6th December 2014, 08:52
Aiki is a very powerful tool, very powerful, but... paranoia aside... In a land focused on edged weapons? Were I concerned like he was for his safety, I would carry a knife as well. We do have instinces of him killing and being in life or death struggles.
I have faced a knife wielding guy three times, I was very happy to have things to help but I still got stabbed and cut every time. He was being wise.


* He said only teach one or two the real art. So okay was he lying about that and he taught more or was he telling the truth?That he lied to his students and only a few were taught. Who knows? It continues to this day. With stories like that? Who cares?
We cannot hang our hat on anything.

Hello Dan,

I´m sorry I did mislead you here. I did not mention that Takeda Sokaku kept this knife under his kimono while he was teaching to his students. According to Yamamoto Kakuyoshi, the blade was half drawn even during the lessons which led Sokaku to have many scars in his chest. I guess he was concerned about the possibility that a student would try to harm him inside the Dojo.

Okabayashi Shogen from the Hakuho-ryu states:


One day Takeda Sokaku was sleeping, and Soke wanted to put a cover over him to keep him warm. Sokaku, always being in a state of awareness even when sleeping, grabbed his dagger and went to stab Soke in the heart just as he was about to put the cover over Sokaku. Toimune was barely quick enough to move to the side. He got off the line and the dagger that was going for his heart stabbed him in the shoulder. Afterwards Takeda Sokaku scolded his son severely, saying: “What kind of a fool are you?! You should never carelessly come up one someone by surprise. It is your fault that you were stabbed; if you were aware I would not have cut you!” That’s the kind of man Takeda Sokaku was, so it must have had an effect on Soke.

http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=315


About the "teach only one or two people the real art". This quote is at best a third hand account. Kondo Katsuyuki said that Tokimune Sensei told that his father had told him to do that. It is probably not something that Sokaku publicly said.

As for the fight against the construction workers, in all honnesty Sokaku got very lucky since he nearly lost his life that day. I think he got rescued by his uncle and some fellow Aizuppo. Some say that he defeated all the construction workers on the spot, but the reality is that he got stabbed on the back and had almost lost consciousness which would have certainly led him to death.

Had he died that day, we would not be talking about all this.

Dan Harden
6th December 2014, 18:14
Raff
Just quickly. I was responding to his overall demeanor. I have probably read everything available in English and also other translations not available, about Takeda. That's why I added .."paranoia aside" he did live in a edge aware culture nonetheless.
As for teaching only one or two? It has been quoted by many and I got to watch it happen and participate, not from a front row seat, but on stage. :-)
That mind set is being played out now, albeit some are breaking the mold. I'm left asking, after watching the shenannigans of some high ranked petiole, who is holding back and who never found out. It is clear from watching some of these teachers move, that they don't have a clue. Internally, they are a mess.

Dan Harden
7th December 2014, 17:21
About the "teach only one or two people the real art". This quote is at best a third hand account. Kondo Katsuyuki said that Tokimune Sensei told that his father had told him to do that. It is probably not something that Sokaku publicly said.
No. This was stated by enough people- that they were told this directly- to make any counter argument, moot.

I have stated enough about others personal training accounts. I don't care to continue repeating. Martial artists typically have a kind of *belief system* about their martial arts that no truth can penetrate.

Dan Harden
7th December 2014, 18:49
There is an interesting series of books out trying to piece together Sokaku Takeda's family connection to Shingon buddhism solo esoteric training, his obtaining a collection of scrolls of a defunct koryu from Chikanori and using them as the vehicle to move away from teaching sword, which no one wanted anymore, to an idea to create a revival of an ancient aizu art form. He was supposedly in debt and looking to make money. Hence the large fees. This also tiss in with what I was told by a DR teacher about another influence; Yoshida *providing* scrolls for Kodo to copy and piece together new mokuroku. Hence why the art kept inventing new ranks and scrolls.
Interestingly, when Yoshiha died, all his scrolls, and his collection of Tesshu calligraphy.. Were stolen from his home. They later appeared as part of a famous menkyos collection.
No one knows what other revealing documents he might have had in his possession.

Raff
7th December 2014, 18:50
.
No. This was stated by enough people- that they were told this directly- to make any counter argument, moot.

I have stated enough about others personal training accounts. I don't care to continue repeating. Martial artists typically have a kind of *belief system* about their martial arts that no truth can penetrate.

Verba volant, scripta manent, mon ami.

Could you provide a link or a reference to support your assertion?

Koshu
9th December 2014, 16:33
As for the fight against the construction workers, in all honnesty Sokaku got very lucky since he nearly lost his life that day. I think he got rescued by his uncle and some fellow Aizuppo. Some say that he defeated all the construction workers on the spot, but the reality is that he got stabbed on the back and had almost lost consciousness which would have certainly led him to death.

Had he died that day, we would not be talking about all this.
Agreed. But for those in the middle of the bell curve of skill, this would've been over with no rescue possible. The man was an exceptional martial artist, ergo, we discuss and seek to extend his legacy of skills and ability.

Cliff Judge
9th December 2014, 18:05
Agreed. But for those in the middle of the bell curve of skill, this would've been over with no rescue possible. The man was an exceptional martial artist, ergo, we discuss and seek to extend his legacy of skills and ability.

If he told his prominent students to only teach the "real art" to one or two people, why do you think this would even be appropriate? Setting aside for the moment that we're in the Internal Power forum and not the Sword Arts forum here and the ostensible reason he was jumped by the construction workers was because he was walking around carrying his swords.

Koshu
9th December 2014, 20:35
If he told his prominent students to only teach the "real art" to one or two people, why do you think this would even be appropriate? Setting aside for the moment that we're in the Internal Power forum and not the Sword Arts forum here and the ostensible reason he was jumped by the construction workers was because he was walking around carrying his swords.
Cliff,

Would you mind clarifying what the statement about the encounter with the construction workers has to do with the question about teaching that precedes it.

Regarding the question: at some point, it's possible a given inheritor downstream doesn't insist on the same express restriction (whether oral or written) regarding transmission. Heck, the Nidai Soke of Hakkoryu demonstrated parts of his solo training regimen at an embukai. This wasn't in Japan in some inner sanctum: it was in New Jersey, and attended by mudansha, yudansha and shihan alike. He was setting the bar high for multiple generations of practitioners in that room: a good choice to help ensure the art survives to its full potential going forward.

Cliff Judge
9th December 2014, 21:30
Takeda's survival of the encounter with the construction workers involved the use of his weapons to defend himself, not his aiki, or whatever he called it in those days if at all. I don't think what we're endlessly fulminating about in this thread has anything to do with how he survived that encounter.

If you believe Takeda only taught one or two students "the real art," and enjoined them to do the same, then it is really arrogant to position yourself as part of his legacy. If someone robs a tomb of a crown or sceptre and gives that to you, this does not make you the heir to the throne.

P Goldsbury
9th December 2014, 22:52
Takeda's survival of the encounter with the construction workers involved the use of his weapons to defend himself, not his aiki, or whatever he called it in those days if at all. I don't think what we're endlessly fulminating about in this thread has anything to do with how he survived that encounter.

If you believe Takeda only taught one or two students "the real art," and enjoined them to do the same, then it is really arrogant to position yourself as part of his legacy. If someone robs a tomb of a crown or sceptre and gives that to you, this does not make you the heir to the throne.


Language please.

You could have made the same point with 'discussing in this thread' and 'arrogant' is a strong term to use here, tending to attack the person rather than the argument.

WVMark
10th December 2014, 00:16
Regarding transmission ... We know that aikido and Daito ryu do not follow koryu models. Just look at the history.

Takeda's training as we know it has been previously posted. No lengthy studies with any koryu. Takeda's skills stood on their own.

Takuma Hisa. Started training with Takeda around 1936. In 3 years, received Menkyo Kaiden. 3 years. Started his own organization away from Ueshiba and Takeda. How many gain Menkyo Kaiden in a koryu in 3 years? We know that there are those who gain "Menkyo" scrolls or high dan ranks as "honorary" titles. Most know Hisa from his skills that impressed people rather than his title.

Ueshiba. Maybe spent the longest time with Takeda, but that isn't long at all. Looking at the time frames and noting that each training session was 10 days with Takeda's seminars, we have a total of 80 days of recorded training throughout 5 years. How many gain a teaching license in so short a time? Ueshiba walked away from Takeda and issued rank of his own. Ueshiba didn't use his license from Takeda. It was his aiki that impressed people.

Tokimune. Didn't spend a whole lot of time with his father. His father was away a good bit. He created Daito-ryu Aiki Budo and awarded titles in it. Awarded Kondo a Menkyo which supposedly is in Daito ryu aikijujutsu. Fairly confusing since we have two separate systems. Considering that his father only awarded two Menkyo certificates, none to his son, it's hard to understand what Tokimune did with lineage. Adding to that, Takeda never said he was a soke or that his art was koryu. If Tokimune, like the rest of Takeda's students, was issuing rank in his own lineage, it all lines up nicely. If Tokimune was issuing rank as soke of a system his father never created ... things get very weird.

As you can see, lineage is utterly chaotic in Daito ryu/aikido. If anything, skill was far more desired and sought after. Even then, Takeda's students didn't spend a whole lot of time with him (some say Ueshiba had the most. 80 days isn't a whole lot) and they took what they learned and did their own thing.

Heir to the throne? Looking at history of all of Takeda's students, then we have to say that the heirs to the throne were those who were shown aiki, actually trained it until they stood out from everyone else, and then did their own thing. Those are the true heirs in a system so convoluted with trying to cover historical tracks that no one will ever make sense of it.

Takeda-Sagawa-Kimura who is the most known.
Takeda-Ueshiba-geez, too many. Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, Mochizuki, etc
Takeda-Horikawa-Okamoto as one example.

Kimura, Ueshiba's students, Okamoto all started their own thing and continued with it once they were taught aiki.

So if we follow the actual historical example from Takeda, those that were shown aiki, all went their own way with it. Heirs to aiki as passed down from Sokaku Takeda. Not a single one of Takeda's students were deeply initiated for long years in a systemized curriculum. There's even doubts that Takeda studied anywhere long enough to learn 2500+techniques from anyone. It was all about aiki and as Sagawa noted ... aiki is a body changing method and not about techniques.

Mark

Koshu
10th December 2014, 02:09
Takeda's survival of the encounter with the construction workers involved the use of his weapons to defend himself, not his aiki, or whatever he called it in those days if at all. I don't think what we're endlessly fulminating about in this thread has anything to do with how he survived that encounter.

If you believe Takeda only taught one or two students "the real art," and enjoined them to do the same, then it is really arrogant to position yourself as part of his legacy. If someone robs a tomb of a crown or sceptre and gives that to you, this does not make you the heir to the throne.
Again, aiki isn't relegated to open hand, and no one knows when Takeda became adept at aiki (he'd been training in martial arts for some time by the time of that incident) -- though given his legendary reputation and talent, I don't feel it's unreasonable to think aiki may have been a factor in his survival (and, of course, he presumably further developed his skills with aiki throughout the rest of his life).

Unfortunately, as happened earlier in this thread, my statements are being mis-characterized and mis-represented. I said, "at some point, it's possible a given inheritor downstream doesn't insist on the same express restriction (whether oral or written) regarding transmission", and then offered a first-hand account in my own martial arts lineage, which directly descends from Daito-ryu, that the internal teaching is not limited to one or two chosen inheritors now, regardless of whether or not that was the case early in the preceding century. Besides, no arrogance, just a fact: as a Hakkoryu practitioner, I'm by default part of Takeda's legacy -- in general, as well as in terms of being given an opportunity to pursue both the internal aspects inherited from Daito-ryu, and from traditional Asian medicine (as codified in, and inherited by the Japanese, from China).

And then there's this:

My teacher [Tokimune Takeda] explained . . . "What will you do if you teach people the true techniques and the next day they leave the school? The oral and secret teachings of Daito-ryu will flow outside of the school." He also said, "Out of a thousand people, only one or two are genuine students. Find them out and teach them what is real; there is no need to teach such things to the rest." My teacher only taught real techniques to a person if he could ascertain, from his questions, technical and physical ability, apprehension, and diligence, that they carried a sincere and genuine attitude. He inherited this method of teaching from Sokaku sensei.

Among explanations of aiki I heard from my teacher were "tsun" and "asagao" ("morning glory"). It took me several years to understand the meaning of asagao. Even now I cannot forget when my teacher told me "You did well", praising me for solving this riddle. These days, with my own students, I teach the same technique many times and I always hear my teacher scolding me from the heaven. There he is looking down on me and saying, "What a fool you are!"

So, we have the soke-dairi of mainline Daito-ryu teaching to non-inheritors in his lineage what he describes as "secret teachings" of aiki, and admitting that he believes his teacher would disapprove. However, given Kondo's position of authority and willingness to state for the record his deviation from T. Takeda's wishes, it's logical to conclude that there must be a clear distinction in Kondo's mind between his teacher's opinion and a material breach of oath or contract. In any case, Kondo indicates that he continues to teach as described, accepting foolishly or not that some students will leave over time and may disseminate the teachings beyond the ryu. This also synchs with Dan's account of Kondo teaching solo training outside the context of a closed-door class.

So, is it a curiosity that a westerner, such as Dan. got the "secret teachings" regarding aiki with the freedom to further explore its utilization in venues outside of the one in which he received them? Perhaps several decades ago. Now, not so much.

Raff
10th December 2014, 07:16
Mr Murray,

I´m sorry but once again you are not giving the right information here. I do not have the time to write down everything since it would take a considerable amount of time. For anybody interested in Daito-ryu´s history, some books are vital. Those are: Conversation with Daito-ryu masters from Stanley Pranin, Transparent power from Kimura Tatsuo, Daito-ryu Aikibudo history and techniques from Antonino Certa.

If you haven´t read those books, I can only recommend them.

In CWDR, Tokmune Sensei makes it clear that Ueshiba Morihei did study much more than 80 days. It´s on page 57.

By the way, Sagawa Yukiyoshi believed that he was the one who actually studied the most with Sokaku. If we are to believe Tranparent power, it does not seem that Sokaku did teach him "aiki on purpose". Sagawa Sohan stated many times that he got aiki by himself as a 17 years old deshi.

I do believe that it is fairly clear that Sokaku wanted his son to succeed him as the head of the school. Tokimune Soke has indeed taken many notes which are faithful recordings of his father´s traning and oral instructions. Those documents are known as the Tokimune´s notes and contain a lot of teachings, both practical and esoteric.


Originally Posted by Katsuyuki Kondo (from daito-ryu.org)
My teacher [Tokimune Takeda] explained . . . "What will you do if you teach people the true techniques and the next day they leave the school? The oral and secret teachings of Daito-ryu will flow outside of the school." He also said, "Out of a thousand people, only one or two are genuine students. Find them out and teach them what is real; there is no need to teach such things to the rest." My teacher only taught real techniques to a person if he could ascertain, from his questions, technical and physical ability, apprehension, and diligence, that they carried a sincere and genuine attitude. He inherited this method of teaching from Sokaku sensei.

Among explanations of aiki I heard from my teacher were "tsun" and "asagao" ("morning glory"). It took me several years to understand the meaning of asagao. Even now I cannot forget when my teacher told me "You did well", praising me for solving this riddle. These days, with my own students, I teach the same technique many times and I always hear my teacher scolding me from the heaven. There he is looking down on me and saying, "What a fool you are!"


With all due respect, this quote does not make any sense. There are no such things as "true techniques". Once the basics are acquired, the only way to improve your game is to get Aiki or any kind of superior skills. I have met people who have amazing skills, they do not care about "techniques", angles, postions of the hands, right or left, or whether the opponent is pulling or pushing. They just do and that´s it. Every move they make does affect the opponent in a rather disconcerting way. Some are teaching very openly, others not.

Cliff Judge
10th December 2014, 13:38
Language please.

You could have made the same point with 'discussing in this thread' and 'arrogant' is a strong term to use here, tending to attack the person rather than the argument.

Mert, I apologize for my choice of words. I meant to include myself in the aspersion that this thread is an "endless fulmination," and I had hoped that I was being hyperbolic when I used the term "arrogant," i.e. I was saying that a particular statement would be arrogant, not that you yourself were arrogant.

I maintain that, if you believe Takeda only meant for one or two people to be taught the "real art," then it is an arrogant statement to describe yourself as extending or participating in his legacy, unless you are one of the lineal, chosen, one or two.

But I have my doubts about how people tend to interpret that statement of Takeda's. I've never read it in Japanese to know what is being translated as "real," and I'd want to see some cross-examination of the interview's context before I accepted that. If one or two people are only being taught the "real art" then that means all of those other thousands were taught the "fake" art. Who would want anything to do with an art like that? The only thing stupider than training the "fake art" would be believing that you've found someone who knows the "true" art.

Some things Mark said:


Regarding transmission ... We know that aikido and Daito ryu do not follow koryu models. Just look at the history.


Absolutely. But what model was Daito ryu intended to follow? Scrolls were granted, there was a mythological lineage stretching back many generations. Takeda was not a man who embraced the direction history was taking Japan. He looked to older systems and models.

What if instead of teaching his inner people that they should teach a fake art to most students, and a real art to only one or two students, he was saying that they should teach Daito ryu in layers, along the lines of a koryu? Perhaps we should be reading that Takeda said "only teach the inner secrets to one or two people," which would be similar to how a koryu works.


IP/aiki only changes the body to work a different way. Once you start that process, if you want to be martially valid, you have to train in a martial system. Which is where all the martial arts schools become important. You have to learn how to use your IP/aiki changed body in a martial environment. And everyone is looking for something different. Aikido, Daito ryu, koryu, Taiji, ILC, Systema, judo, etc all are valid training environments, depending on what someone wants.

I had a conversation with my teacher (Dr. Hall) a couple of years ago about whether the lower-level kata in the older koryu were solely meant to develop a foundation upon which later skills would rest. What I was wondering was, since there were only going to be a relatively small number of fully licensed people to come out of a certain dojo, did people enter these schools in the hopes that they would be The Ones? What about the others who washed out or got into fights before they were completely trained?

What he told me makes a lot of sense, that if you trained someone for a year, and they got into a fight and died, that would reflect poorly on you and might cost you business. So in the old days, it was unlikely that a curriculum would be organized in bad faith, or in a way that low-level teachings were useless, other than in the context of high-level teachings. The business model of a particular ryuha is as risky as any given student's first real fight.

That's logical to me, so the concept that Mark poses here, where you first learn internal power and then learn combat application, would seem backwards. It might serve you well as a modern person who will never get into a real swordfight, but it's doesn't fit the old model. You might not have any interest in the old model and might prefer to train in sweatpants and sneakers in an exciting new modality, more power to you, but I think Takeda was enjoining his senior disciples to stick to the old way.

Because here's the thing:



The arts one true treasure is it's aiki. Without it, like aikido, you are left with some lukewarm, low percentage, jujutsu. They understandably want to hold on to whatever version of aiki they might have attained.

If you take away the internal power work from Daito ryu, you are left with a robust and elegant jujutsu system that is as effective as any late-Edo suhada bujutsu in teaching empty-hand combat. It instills a sense of timing, distance, psychological domination, how to break down an opponent's body, how the joints work and don't work, and it builds general body strength, coordination, and resilience.

If you take all of THAT out of Daito ryu and leave the internal power...I don't deny that you are left with something very interesting and worth doing. But all I've ever heard is that it is a thing that enhances or deepens existing training, or that "and then after that you can go do this other stuff." Which in my opinion means it is not, for some value of "practical," a very practical thing to train by itself, unless there is some other primary training happening.

WVMark
10th December 2014, 16:49
Mr Murray,

I´m sorry but once again you are not giving the right information here. I do not have the time to write down everything since it would take a considerable amount of time. For anybody interested in Daito-ryu´s history, some books are vital. Those are: Conversation with Daito-ryu masters from Stanley Pranin, Transparent power from Kimura Tatsuo, Daito-ryu Aikibudo history and techniques from Antonino Certa.

If you haven´t read those books, I can only recommend them.


Please call me Mark. :)

I've read about 95% of the books on aikido that are in english. My library at one time was extensive.



In CWDR, Tokmune Sensei makes it clear that Ueshiba Morihei did study much more than 80 days. It´s on page 57.


You are right that it was more time. I was thinking of just the 1915-1919 time frame. I forgot to add 1922.

While it is unclear as to exactly how long Ueshiba trained with Takeda, we see from the Eimeiroku and Shareiroku of Takeda, Ueshiba studied for about 30 days from February to April of 1915. (3) However, some accounts state that Ueshiba trained from morning to night. (4) Other accounts agree with this. (1) One account states that a lot of Ueshiba's time was taken up with attending to Takeda. (5) We know that Takeda taught in 10 day sessions and because there were other people there, then it would be hard to think that Takeda spent morning to night with just Ueshiba. Many accounts also state that Takeda was demanding and Ueshiba spent a lot of time with non-training activities. With the Japanese system of training, this is understandable. According to the Eimeiroku and Shareiroku of Takeda, in 1916 Ueshiba trained for about 40 days from January to March. (3)

Ueshiba is recorded to have trained seven times from 1915 to 1919. As noted, this was quite a bit more when compared to other students of Takeda. (8) Clearly, there was something out of the ordinary in the relationship between Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda. Looking at the time frames and noting that each training session was 10 days, we have a total of 70 days of recorded training throughout 5 years. The actual hands-on training time with Takeda was, in the overall picture, very, very small. The majority of time spent training was done either in solo practice or with others.

Entries for AYABE are: 28 April to 11 May 1922; 1 to 10 June 1922; 11 to 19 June 1922; 1 to 10 July 1922; and 15 to 24 August 1922. An overall entry for the above 1922 period of instruction dated 28 April to 15 September 1922 is also recorded. Finally, for Tokyo, 29 March to 7 April 1931. (3) We have around 5 and 1/2 months of instruction in 1922. Again, that's overall time, not training time. Takeda was teaching seminars throughout this timeframe. Roughly, then, going by actual seminars, Ueshiba trained 5. That's 50 days of training. Total recorded seminar time with Takeda = 120 days.

1. Abundant Peace by John Stevens.
When Sokaku returned to Hokkaido a few years later, inevitably he and Morihei crossed paths. Morihei had known of Sokaku's presence in Hokkaido for some time. Once, after thrashing a sumo wrestler in an impromptu contest, Morihei was asked if he was the "famous Sokaku Takeda." On a trip to Engaru, Morihei learned that Sokaku was conducting a session in a nearby inn and immediately rushed there to attend. After witnessing an impressive demonstration and being deftly handled by the skinny Sokaku, Morihei applied for admission to the "Daito Ryu," as Sokaku styled his teaching, and was accepted. Morihei forgot about everything else, staying at the inn for a month, training day and night with Sokaku; following thirty days of practice, Morihei was presented with a first-level teaching license. (My NOTE: The next paragraph states that Morihei returned to Shirataki and invited Sokaku there.) ... and received private instruction each morning for two hours. Sokaku also taught a group lesson later in the day.

3. http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia.php?entryID=723

4. Morihei Ueshiba the Founder of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
In fact, in the course of practicing from morning to night every day for one month, the Founder was very shocked by Daito-ryu secret techniques. Although the Founder had strong power, he was outmatched as to the free application of techniques and decisiveness of pins. The Founder was captivated by these techniques, and felt that there was something to be pursued.

5. Black Belt 1963 Vol 1 No 5
Quotes Takeda as saying:
For generations Daito-Ryu was kept within the Takeda's family. But now it seemed like it would perish when I die because I am the sole survivor of the Takeda's family … Unless I teach it to an outsider, like you … (My NOTE: Article states Ueshiba studied a month but it was mostly attending Takeda.) For five years Morihei studied under his master before he was granted a certificate of mastery. During the five years ninety per cent of his training was on his own because the course was very expensive.

8. Aikido Masters: Prewar students of Morihei Ueshiba. Stan Pranin.





By the way, Sagawa Yukiyoshi believed that he was the one who actually studied the most with Sokaku. If we are to believe Tranparent power, it does not seem that Sokaku did teach him "aiki on purpose". Sagawa Sohan stated many times that he got aiki by himself as a 17 years old deshi.


Maybe Sagawa did study the most. Maybe he even had better aiki than Ueshiba. We'll probably never know for sure. What we do know, though, is that the actual hands-on training time with Takeda was very, very little compared to students today. With an hour and a half training for three days a week, you get about 230 hours in a year. That doesn't include all the seminars that students are expected to attend. If Ueshiba spent 10 hours a day at the 10 day seminars, then we have 1200 hours total. Today's student would hit that in 5 years. Probably 4 if we include seminars. Most likely 3-4 years because when students get close to brown and black belt, they put in a lot more time training.



I do believe that it is fairly clear that Sokaku wanted his son to succeed him as the head of the school. Tokimune Soke has indeed taken many notes which are faithful recordings of his father´s traning and oral instructions. Those documents are known as the Tokimune´s notes and contain a lot of teachings, both practical and esoteric.


Takeda probably did look for a successor. It's said that he had Ueshiba in mind at one point in time. But, Takeda was never a soke. Takeda didn't have a standardized curriculum. Takeda wasn't deeply initiated into any koryu. So, as successions go ... it's unclear how Tokimune could call himself soke of a standardized system when his father had neither. Unless we look at Ueshiba's example, when his son took control of Tokyo and created something very different than what his father was doing.

Mark

TimothyKleinert
10th December 2014, 17:33
If you take all of THAT [jujutsu] out of Daito ryu and leave the internal power...I don't deny that you are left with something very interesting and worth doing. But all I've ever heard is that it is a thing that enhances or deepens existing training, or that "and then after that you can go do this other stuff." Which in my opinion means it is not, for some value of "practical," a very practical thing to train by itself, unless there is some other primary training happening.
So Cliff, how would you respond to the Kodokai? Isn't the story that Takeda only taught Kodo aiki techniques, because he already had some prior jujutsu experience? What does this say about the nature of Takeda's art, if he was willing to completely cut out certain sections when instructing an "inner" student?


Because [Kodo Horikawa] had already learned some level of Shibukawa-ryū jujutsu from his father, I have read that Takeda Sokaku started teaching him the aspects of Daitō-ryū concerned with aiki, rather than its jujutsu techniques, which were not really all that different from Shibukawa-ryū. Many decades later, Horikawa visited Sagawa Yukiyoshi, another senior student of Takeda, and requested that the latter teach him the jujutsu portion of the Daitō-ryū, over the course of a few days.[article link (http://www.guillaumeerard.com/aikido/articles/it-aint-necessarily-so-banquo-s-ghost)]

Raff
10th December 2014, 18:34
Ueshiba is recorded to have trained seven times from 1915 to 1919. As noted, this was quite a bit more when compared to other students of Takeda. (8) Clearly, there was something out of the ordinary in the relationship between Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda. Looking at the time frames and noting that each training session was 10 days, we have a total of 70 days of recorded training throughout 5 years. The actual hands-on training time with Takeda was, in the overall picture, very, very small. The majority of time spent training was done either in solo practice or with others.

Entries for AYABE are: 28 April to 11 May 1922; 1 to 10 June 1922; 11 to 19 June 1922; 1 to 10 July 1922; and 15 to 24 August 1922. An overall entry for the above 1922 period of instruction dated 28 April to 15 September 1922 is also recorded. Finally, for Tokyo, 29 March to 7 April 1931. (3) We have around 5 and 1/2 months of instruction in 1922. Again, that's overall time, not training time. Takeda was teaching seminars throughout this timeframe. Roughly, then, going by actual seminars, Ueshiba trained 5. That's 50 days of training. Total recorded seminar time with Takeda = 120 days.

Hello Mark,

I think that both of us would definetely agree that the amount of time spent with a teacher is not as important as what was taught and to which level. It looks like, Sokaku´s skills were such that he could get almost anyone to study with him, there surely was something different, yet fascinating, in his teaching. Sometimes, I wish I had been there too, what an experience it must have been.

As a genius himself, Ueshiba Morihei was apparently quickly able to grasp what made Sokaku´s techniques so special and so effective and then went his own way.

I do agree with you that Ueshiba Morihei got what was fundamental, and by all accounts, it was not an easy task. It seems that despite the relatively modest amount of time (especially by our modern standards) they spent together, this time was used in a most efficient way.





Because here's the thing:


If you take away the internal power work from Daito ryu, you are left with a robust and elegant jujutsu system that is as effective as any late-Edo suhada bujutsu in teaching empty-hand combat. It instills a sense of timing, distance, psychological domination, how to break down an opponent's body, how the joints work and don't work, and it builds general body strength, coordination, and resilience.
Hello Cliff,

This is a very good description of Daito-ryu. Sure, there were people who reached (and still do) a fairly higher level that "just" the one you described, but getting to this point is not that bad to say the least. Aiki would allow the practitioner to go and to develop even further your skills giving you new possibilities and insights. This is also possible thanks to the strong basics offered by the school.

Raff
10th December 2014, 18:45
Message deleted see above.

Cliff Judge
10th December 2014, 19:08
Timothy,

I dunno. There wouldn't be anything unusual about an advanced student being skipped over the foundational material in the old days. In a lot of the older koryu, the foundational material wasn't added until generations later as the ambient quality of fighting skills fell with the peace.



Because [Kodo Horikawa] had already learned some level of Shibukawa-ryū jujutsu from his father, I have read that Takeda Sokaku started teaching him the aspects of Daitō-ryū concerned with aiki, rather than its jujutsu techniques, which were not really all that different from Shibukawa-ryū. Many decades later, Horikawa visited Sagawa Yukiyoshi, another senior student of Takeda, and requested that the latter teach him the jujutsu portion of the Daitō-ryū, over the course of a few days.


This is one of the Daito ryu legends that doesn't add up for me though. His father was a licensed instructor, but didn't teach him any Daito ryu, only the other school? And he started training with Takeda when he was 14, then 17 years later he got his scrolls. There is plenty of room for him to have actually learned the basics in Daito ryu mode in there. And Sagawa was not known as a warm, friendly guy who played well with others, so I do not understand why or how Horikawa would pay him a visit in his 60s for a refresher on what the jujutsu kata were. I assume things were more straightforward than that.

Koshu
10th December 2014, 20:33
I maintain that, if you believe Takeda only meant for one or two people to be taught the "real art," then it is an arrogant statement to describe yourself as extending or participating in his legacy, unless you are one of the lineal, chosen, one or two.

Cliff,

Why the narrow view?

From dictionary.com:

legacy
noun, plural legacies.
[. . .]
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor:
the legacy of ancient Rome.

Isn't part of the "legacy of ancient Rome", for example, the alphabet and many of the words/phrases we're using in this discussion, on this forum (<- case in point)? All of us who use these communication tools are beneficiaries of a broad legacy. Ditto for those of us who study Daito-ryu or an art derived from it.

Sokaku Takeda is long dead, and most of us are receiving information from men two generations after him. By actions and words, for which I've provided supporting information, some current Japanese and other Asian lineage holders have chosen to take calculated risks with eyes wide open to change the inheritance paradigm of the omote as well as ura aspects of their respective arts. If there are some among us who aren't happy about that, then I suppose they can take up the matter with Kondo, the Okuyama family, Sam Chin, et al.

Cliff Judge
10th December 2014, 20:54
Or one could stop worrying about whether your training is exactly as it would have been if you had trained directly with Takeda or Ueshiba, or been one of their favored deshi, or whether your training is somehow not as "good" or "real" as someone else's. Just find good people to train with, challenge yourself consistently, and be honest about who you are and what you can do. If you really buy into the concept that there is some secret, "real" aiki that is useful/meaningful to train by itself without foundational jujutsu training, and the rest is a sham that is put up to get punters, you should be running far away.

Koshu
11th December 2014, 03:02
Or one could stop worrying about whether your training is exactly as it would have been if you had trained directly with Takeda or Ueshiba, or been one of their favored deshi, or whether your training is somehow not as "good" or "real" as someone else's. Just find good people to train with, challenge yourself consistently, and be honest about who you are and what you can do. If you really buy into the concept that there is some secret, "real" aiki that is useful/meaningful to train by itself without foundational jujutsu training, and the rest is a sham that is put up to get punters, you should be running far away.

The reason why all of this, speaking only for myself, cleanly resolves is because of Hakkoryu's particular philosophy and protocols, which are presented at an introductory level for the public here and elsewhere on hakkoryu.com: http://hakkoryu.com/hakkoryu-jujutsu/techniques/.

Paraphrasing the information on the website, the art is a vehicle comprised of kata, the waza within the kata and specific underpinning principles in the waza for expressing "the way of yin and yang". (Given the quibbling over the use of "yin" and "yang" in the context of a Japanese art earlier in this thread, it's worth pointing out that the page I referenced expressly clarifies that "yin" and "yang" are synonyms for "in" and "yo".)

Yin and yang are fundamental concepts in the Taoist theories of how the body's meridians are utilized for martial and healing purposes in our system, and that body of knowledge takes you to other traditional Chinese concepts and protocols adopted by the Japanese. So, I'm comfortable seeing what I do through a pan-Asian-culture Taoist, vs. purely Daito-ryu-centric, lens.

Yes, the solo exercises in Hakkoryu, like those in certain Daito-ryu lineages, are separate from the kata/waza: after all, the exercises are taiso (conditioning) not techniques. That said: 1) the kata/waza may be approached as taiso; 2) the kata/waza are not considered window dressing, but rather vehicles for expressing and refining both external and internal principles, tactics, and the results of taiso; and 3) students are expected to transcend kata/waza over time.

The more I see, understand and experience how my art fits into a greater whole, the more I embrace the study and practice of Inyodo which enhances my efficacy in the art. I can't imagine running away from something so profoundly worthwhile for myself and of benefit to others.

Devon Smith
11th December 2014, 06:03
The reason why all of this, speaking only for myself, cleanly resolves is because of Hakkoryu's particular philosophy and protocols, which are presented at an introductory level for the public here and elsewhere on hakkoryu.com: http://hakkoryu.com/hakkoryu-jujutsu/techniques/.

Paraphrasing the information on the website, the art is a vehicle comprised of kata, the waza within the kata and specific underpinning principles in the waza for expressing "the way of yin and yang". (Given the quibbling over the use of "yin" and "yang" in the context of a Japanese art earlier in this thread, it's worth pointing out that the page I referenced expressly clarifies that "yin" and "yang" are synonyms for "in" and "yo".)

Yin and yang are fundamental concepts in the Taoist theories of how the body's meridians are utilized for martial and healing purposes in our system, and that body of knowledge takes you to other traditional Chinese concepts and protocols adopted by the Japanese. So, I'm comfortable seeing what I do through a pan-Asian-culture Taoist, vs. purely Daito-ryu-centric, lens.

Yes, the solo exercises in Hakkoryu, like those in certain Daito-ryu lineages, are separate from the kata/waza: after all, the exercises are taiso (conditioning) not techniques. That said: 1) the kata/waza may be approached as taiso; 2) the kata/waza are not considered window dressing, but rather vehicles for expressing and refining both external and internal principles, tactics, and the results of taiso; and 3) students are expected to transcend kata/waza over time.

The more I see, understand and experience how my art fits into a greater whole, the more I embrace the study and practice of Inyodo which enhances my efficacy in the art. I can't imagine running away from something so profoundly worthwhile for myself and of benefit to others.


If I may make a quick comment, I think Okuyama's goal was to teach jujutsu quickly to anyone interested, especially for the people dealing with the occupation and the troubles at the time. There are some "seeds" planted early on. Some of us didn't "get it" until later. James Benko didn't "get it" either.

CEB
11th December 2014, 15:31
Kano’s concept of Ju no Ri, was based upon the Taoist precept, “reversing is the movement of the Tao,” also described by the statement “the most yielding things in the world overcome the most unyielding.” Kano combined Ju no Ri with the interplay of forces as defined by the precept of in-yo (yin and yang, hardness and softness, negative and positive, receptiveness and resistance), and used the following to explain his concept of Kuzushi founded on Ju no Ri.

I've wonder that before if the conceptual ideas found in the arts I've studied like hardness and softness ; yielding and resistance; etc.... parallel any concepts that an AikidoKa or AikiJujutsu practitioner would refer to as Aiki and Kiai. Do you guys view KiAi and Aiki as a related opposite sort of thing?

We view KiAi as a big energy focused on the head of a pin sort of thing.

Just curious.

Koshu
11th December 2014, 21:24
If I may make a quick comment, I think Okuyama's goal was to teach jujutsu quickly to anyone interested, especially for the people dealing with the occupation and the troubles at the time. There are some "seeds" planted early on. Some of us didn't "get it" until later. James Benko didn't "get it" either.
Hi Devon,

I agree, and Okuyama's choice of eschewing "aiki" in the name of the art (though "aiki" is expressly included in the to be "gotten" in the course of training) and framing it as a goshin-jutsu in various writings, including those on the public website, support your comments.

Dan Harden
12th December 2014, 23:36
Originally Posted by Cliff Judge View Post
Or one could stop worrying about whether your training is exactly as it would have been if you had trained directly with Takeda or Ueshiba, or been one of their favored deshi, or whether your training is somehow not as "good" or "real" as someone else's. Just find good people to train with, challenge yourself consistently, and be honest about who you are and what you can do. If you really buy into the concept that there is some secret, "real" aiki that is useful/meaningful to train by itself without foundational jujutsu training, and the rest is a sham that is put up to get punters, you should be running far away.
You just described the Kodokai and the Roppokai.
Takeda himself taught aiki without jujutsu. I guess you want to say he didn't know what he was doing either?
You know, Cliff. You continue to make insulting comments that reflect both a profound ignorance and an arrogance all their own. I had to sit an listen as much the same thing was said by your teacher (kondo). I didn't care much for him or what he said, particularly since he demonstrated "foundational jujutsu" that many high school wrestlers I've known could take apart.
How about you stick to the topic and make a case... if you can make one.
And again....
You still haven't addressed why your arts teachers continue to use Chinese training models, principles and terminology.

If you learned even that much you would start to understand what aiki is and why its history is older than Takeda's efforts at strip mining it from other, more complete arts and using it to sell seminars and in his budo circus stunts and chase people for money to pay his mortgage.

You and Nathan's lament should start at home. Takeda pretty much set the standard for behavior you two continue to insult others for. I've never seen his equal. Were he alive and trying his "invention of a Koryu" and continuously re-inventing scrolls and trade-marking names or back dating entries and secretly awarding menkyos, today in the 21st century? Why, people would be all over the net slamming him. Or are you saying "skill trumps dishonesty and bad behavior?"

History
Do you even know what many in the Koryu community think of all the shenannigens in DR? Much less the skills displayed?
I don't really care, but gees.... I can't even recall the commentary by the menkyos I've known scorning DR.
I know what you guys think of me and the thousands, to include Shihans and menkyos who train this stuff. But it seems an art like Daito ryu, with such an embarrassing and inglorious past should be a little more humble and think twice before attacking others with a better pedigree

P Goldsbury
13th December 2014, 00:23
Language please.

You could have made the same points without making personal attacks on other forum members and their teachers.

Dan Harden
13th December 2014, 00:31
Edit:
Hello Peter.
I will tone it down. I am frustrated by the lack of honest debate.
The words this small group of DR people choose to use are meant to be derisive of our efforts and the material we present, without actually offering or answering our replies. I've addressed their publicized critisisms of us by demonstrating that very behavior in Takeda. Which they never address.
We discuss the training models and quotes by DRs own teachers, which they fail to counter.
And then they come back with challenges of arrogance and shams, and recommendations that people should run away... Without answering the credible argument that these people being addressed? Are senior budo people in a myriad of arts including their own Koryu and DR.

It is a pick apart diatribe used as a vehicle to just insult rather than discuss or debate.

Cliff Judge
13th December 2014, 17:11
Do you even know what many in the Koryu community think of all the shenannigens in DR? Much less the skills displayed?

Mainline and Takumakai are given a lot of respect actually. They come out for the major embu, and demonstrate hard falls on wooden floors. People in older systems don't seem to care about when Daito ryu was actually founded or anything like that...the due diligence was done to get them into the books of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai and, aside from criticisms of that organization, nobody questions the appropriateness of Daito ryu being there.

I've heard some criticism that the kata seem too complicated, but that fits in with this general inter-ryu stuff where one's own system is the only good one, everybody does it and its something you rib each other about when you are in friendly but mixed company. (My response is to point out that Katori Shinto ryu has overly complicated kata, too, and nobody treats those kata as a script.)

What most koryu people roll their eyes at is "aiki" and "internal power," particularly when these things are held up to be some unstoppable force that makes people fly through the air or seize up.



You still haven't addressed why your arts teachers continue to use Chinese training models, principles and terminology.


I am sure I've responded to this in this thread, probably more than once.

I practice three arts that are taught through paired kata, in two of them, the kata are formal, and in one of them, the kata are made up on the spot and unique to that class. I believe that is a Japanese model.

As far as Chinese principles and terminology, it is impossible to find anything in Japanese culture that is not shot through with Chinese influence. An entire academic discipline was created in the early 20th century - kokugaku - to attempt to study what parts of Japanese culture could be considered "purely" Japanese and it didn't work out that well at pulling things apart. The cultural exchange has been a two-way street, even with regard to budo - we know for a fact that Shinkage ryu went to China and it seemed to have developed over there for awhile.

It is possible that I don't fully understand what you are asking, because there is something I am not picking up on that is implied in the question.

Dan Harden
16th December 2014, 16:09
Cliff Judge wrote:
What most koryu people roll their eyes at is "aiki" and "internal power," particularly when these things are held up to be some unstoppable force that makes people fly through the air or seize up.
I continue to advise you that you are speaking beyond your experience and knowledge. Further you continue to place yourself as a spokesman for an entire group of people you clearly do not know about. As an example: in this case. I know of 5 Menkyo who either cirrently train, or have trained "this stuff" including a soke who had a room full of menkyos working it.
If we include the other shihan's and mokuroku holders, 4,5 and 6th dans from various arts, it is clear you are uninformed as to what is going on and the worth your seniors have attached to it.
As for your other critisisms about seizing and people flying through the air? I don't know who or what you are taking about as I only know of people in your art who do that stuff. Are you commenting on your art?

Dan Harden
16th December 2014, 21:29
I want to be clear here, Cliff. Your comments don't make sense. Who are these people?

First up:
You are alluding to a group of people (Koryu) looking down on us as being the ones who seize people up and fly through the air with aiki and internal power.
1. As I have stated there are menkyo training this.
2. I have many people in Koryu actively training with me.
So, the first part of your statement simply is not true or accurate. I can only assume that like the small group of DR people you know here, you know a small group of Koryu people you are speaking for?

Secondly:
This leads to your comment about seizing and flying through the air:
Are you speaking for the main line? For Kondo? Who are these people you are taking about? The mainline makes caustic comments about Daito ryu schools like the Kodokai and Roppokai and Aikido. Are you referring to them?
Since we don't do that, just who are you referring to?

P Goldsbury
19th December 2014, 06:49
Mainline and Takumakai are given a lot of respect actually. They come out for the major embu, and demonstrate hard falls on wooden floors. People in older systems don't seem to care about when Daito ryu was actually founded or anything like that...the due diligence was done to get them into the books of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai and, aside from criticisms of that organization, nobody questions the appropriateness of Daito ryu being there.

I've heard some criticism that the kata seem too complicated, but that fits in with this general inter-ryu stuff where one's own system is the only good one, everybody does it and its something you rib each other about when you are in friendly but mixed company. (My response is to point out that Katori Shinto ryu has overly complicated kata, too, and nobody treats those kata as a script.)

What most koryu people roll their eyes at is "aiki" and "internal power," particularly when these things are held up to be some unstoppable force that makes people fly through the air or seize up.

Hello Cliff,

By 'mainline', do you mean Kondo Katsuyuki? I met Mr Kondo a few years ago in Miyajima (I met him before at the first Aiki Expo in Las Vegas). He was giving a demonstration of Daito-ryu at the Itsukushima Shrine, with Mr Ando as his uke. The kata seemed familiar -- not so different from how we practice aikido in our part of the world. Mr Kondo was a close friend of Sadateru Arikawa, who also practiced a type of aikido that seemed close to Daito-ryu. He also knew Kisshomaru Ueshiba quite well. We did not discuss aiki, more the historical relationship between Daito-ryu and aikido.


I practice three arts that are taught through paired kata, in two of them, the kata are formal, and in one of them, the kata are made up on the spot and unique to that class. I believe that is a Japanese model.

I take it these include Daito-ryu and aikido. What is the third art?


As far as Chinese principles and terminology, it is impossible to find anything in Japanese culture that is not shot through with Chinese influence. An entire academic discipline was created in the early 20th century - kokugaku - to attempt to study what parts of Japanese culture could be considered "purely" Japanese and it didn't work out that well at pulling things apart. The cultural exchange has been a two-way street, even with regard to budo - we know for a fact that Shinkage ryu went to China and it seemed to have developed over there for awhile.

I think I would put kokugaku somewhat before the early 20th century. The four 'giants' of kokugaku were Kada no Azumamaro (1669-1736), Kamo no Mabuchi (1697-1769), Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801) and Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843). Hirata has a link with Morihei Ueshiba via Deguchi Onisaburo and his kotodama studies and practices.

Best wishes,

Cliff Judge
19th December 2014, 14:57
Hello Cliff,

By 'mainline', do you mean Kondo Katsuyuki? I met Mr Kondo a few years ago in Miyajima (I met him before at the first Aiki Expo in Las Vegas). He was giving a demonstration of Daito-ryu at the Itsukushima Shrine, with Mr Ando as his uke. The kata seemed familiar -- not so different from how we practice aikido in our part of the world. Mr Kondo was a close friend of Sadateru Arikawa, who also practiced a type of aikido that seemed close to Daito-ryu. He also knew Kisshomaru Ueshiba quite well. We did not discuss aiki, more the historical relationship between Daito-ryu and aikido.

When you note similarity between the Daito ryu kata and the way Aikido is typically trained in Hiroshima / Chugoku, what do you mean? In Washington, DC, the typical format is that the instructor demonstrates a technique, and everyone pairs off and practices that technique for a little while. Nothing is similar on two occasions, and there is essentially no template for formal correctness of any technique, it basically comes down to how well you can make it work with your uke.

Daito ryu (for me that's Kondo Sensei's dojo and organization) is a very interesting contrast for me, because the kata contain techniques that are dangerous and painful, and the only safe way to study and preserve them is to be very strict about form. The fact that your activity on the mat is focused on getting better at doing these kata puts me in a different state of mind than I am in when training Aikido.

The actual shape of the techniques is very similar. There are kata in Daito ryu that are not generally practiced as Aikido techniques, however since I have been doing Daito ryu, I've seen my Aikido teacher, Mitsugi Saotomei, perform some techniques that I recognize from DR that I formerly would have assumed he made up. I don't know what to make of this but it could be that he was exposed to a more comprehensive technical syllabus than what the Aikikai maintains today.

Saotome Sensei does, in fact, insist that techniques are not the point of Aikido training and these days he uses the simplest possible techniques to demonstrate principles. Large-scale principles and taking your practice seriously are basically the two things he teaches.



I take it these include Daito-ryu and aikido. What is the third art?


Yagyu Shinkage ryu, the premier kenjutsu school of Japan. :) My instructor, David Hall, was authorized by his teacher, the late Nobuharu Yagyu, to teach a study group. He has taught me primarily as he was taught by the Yagyukai. He had the opportunity to interact with senior members of other branches, though, in the course of his research. We will occasionally discuss insights he gained observing the training of these other groups, some of which split from the main branch before the 20th century.

For the most part, we practice kata and try to get them better each time. Dr. Hall will spend about an hour with you teaching you a kata, and then after that you are expected to work on it with occasional corrections and guidance. For the first few years you only learn the shidachi side, which is equivalent to "nage," but eventually you are given the other side. There is also a division in the kata between the original ones handed down from Kamiizumi Ise no Kami Nobutsuna, and the kata added later. The newer kata are seen as sort of drills / exercises, whereas the old kata are exceptionally deep and are where you spend your serious study time.

To my understanding, that's a quintessentially Japanese training model. The skills that are developed by the student are important, but the preservation of the kata is also important - but these two goals feed into each other. You cannot develop proper skill unless the kata are properly preserved, and the kata absolutely cannot be properly preserved unless the practitioner is earnestly seeking skill. But there is a definite element of leaving one's ego - one's sense of self - at the door, and submitting to a process. I've had many conversations with people in other koryu and I believe this is a general model that suffuses koryu bujutsu, and perhaps Japanese culture in a general sense as well.



I think I would put kokugaku somewhat before the early 20th century. The four 'giants' of kokugaku were Kada no Azumamaro (1669-1736), Kamo no Mabuchi (1697-1769), Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801) and Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843). Hirata has a link with Morihei Ueshiba via Deguchi Onisaburo and his kotodama studies and practices.


Thank you for the correction. My point was that the influence of Chinese culture has been pervasive in Japan for hundreds of years, and I think my observation still holds, even though there have been Japanese scholars focusing on the study of indigenous Japanese texts since the Edo period.

Cady Goldfield
19th December 2014, 15:29
It sounds like the technique demonstration and strict form you're talking about, for both mainline Daito-ryu and aikido, are the applied external jujutsu waza and not internal body training methods. It would be interesting to compare the approach(es) to the latter in both systems.

Cliff Judge
19th December 2014, 20:37
It sounds like the technique demonstration and strict form you're talking about, for both mainline Daito-ryu and aikido, are the applied external jujutsu waza and not internal body training methods. It would be interesting to compare the approach(es) to the latter in both systems.

Well, in general, I believe they are the same thing.

As far as Aikido in the ASU is concerned, that's what we do, instructor demonstrates, students pair off and train. That's how Saotome Sensei teaches, that's how Ikeda Sensei teaches, and for the most part all he teaches is internal mechanics. That's how they both trained and developed their skills, by watching a teacher demonstrate and working it out with a partner.

I'm not sure what you mean by "applied external jujutsu waza" but in Daito ryu, the kata are not meant to be applications. They involve overt physical movements and things you do to uke, but few of the kata contain as-is techniques that you would perform in a real situation. As you work with them, you learn to pay attention to very small details of how you are moving, where you are tense and relaxed, how your body and uke's are aligned, etc. It's the same as any koryu bujutsu. You practice the kata repeatedly, as correctly as possible, and over time you build a pyramid of skills. What is happening in the kata has less to do with what you are supposed to be learning than is immediately obvious.

I'm no longer interested in arguing that there is nothing more to the Daito ryu syllabus. But there doesn't need to be. "it has to be felt," right? Wouldn't a system of paired kata be an excellent vehicle for these skills?

P Goldsbury
20th December 2014, 03:53
When you note similarity between the Daito ryu kata and the way Aikido is typically trained in Hiroshima / Chugoku, what do you mean? In Washington, DC, the typical format is that the instructor demonstrates a technique, and everyone pairs off and practices that technique for a little while. Nothing is similar on two occasions, and there is essentially no template for formal correctness of any technique, it basically comes down to how well you can make it work with your uke.

Daito ryu (for me that's Kondo Sensei's dojo and organization) is a very interesting contrast for me, because the kata contain techniques that are dangerous and painful, and the only safe way to study and preserve them is to be very strict about form. The fact that your activity on the mat is focused on getting better at doing these kata puts me in a different state of mind than I am in when training Aikido.

The actual shape of the techniques is very similar. There are kata in Daito ryu that are not generally practiced as Aikido techniques, however since I have been doing Daito ryu, I've seen my Aikido teacher, Mitsugi Saotomei, perform some techniques that I recognize from DR that I formerly would have assumed he made up. I don't know what to make of this but it could be that he was exposed to a more comprehensive technical syllabus than what the Aikikai maintains today.

Saotome Sensei does, in fact, insist that techniques are not the point of Aikido training and these days he uses the simplest possible techniques to demonstrate principles. Large-scale principles and taking your practice seriously are basically the two things he teaches.

Have you come across the two books whose author is given as Morihei Ueshiba? I mean 『武道練習』 and 『武道』. The first appeared in 1933 and the second in 1938. They have both been translated, but I have the Japanese originals and have some severe reservations about the quality of the translation, especially that of the 1938 book. In an interview with Stan Pranin, the lady who did the illustrations for the first book was a student in the Kobukan Dojo stated quite clearly that they were doing Daito-ryu. Many of the waza shown were unknown to me until I came to train here in Hiroshima. On one occasion I asked the present Doshu about the 1938 book and he showed me the Hombu's copy. He also stated quite emphatically that aikido had changed since the time the book was written. To me this was as much a political statement about the position of the Aikikai as a statement about actual aikido waza, or principles.

I had the pleasure of training for many years with the teacher who influenced Mr Saotome very much. I mean Yamaguchi Seigo, who was William Gleason's teacher. Yamaguchi Sensei always taught principles, but always through waza, and this is why I think there is some ambivalence here. Morihei Ueshiba, also, always taught principles by means of waza and there are over 150 of them illustrated in the 1933 book.

Best wishes,

jdostie
20th December 2014, 04:38
You mean:
http://www.amazon.com/Budo-Training-Aikido-Morihei-Ueshiba/dp/0870409824
and
http://store.aikidojournal.com/morihei-ueshibas-1938-training-manual-a-guide-to-technical-excellence/
?
The first is on my Christmas list...

P Goldsbury
20th December 2014, 05:19
You mean:
http://www.amazon.com/Budo-Training-Aikido-Morihei-Ueshiba/dp/0870409824
and
http://store.aikidojournal.com/morihei-ueshibas-1938-training-manual-a-guide-to-technical-excellence/
?
The first is on my Christmas list...

Yes, but note the remarks I made about the translation. The version published by Aikido Journal is a heavily edited version of the original.

Raff
20th December 2014, 11:59
It sounds like the technique demonstration and strict form you're talking about, for both mainline Daito-ryu and aikido, are the applied external jujutsu waza and not internal body training methods. It would be interesting to compare the approach(es) to the latter in both systems.

Well, Kata Geiko in Daito-ryu is very deep and usually people are shown the most basic form, that is to say the omote waza. There are other forms of Kata Geiko training in Daito-ryu which naturally evolve with time and hopefully mastery but this is another subject.

In my opinion, the strict form do not have to be that strict as long as the principles contained in the Kata are present and correctly understood. You are never told to blindly copy what your teacher is showing you but rather to understand what makes the "techniques" work and why. This is very important because it is the first step one has to make in order to find out all the connexions between the "techniques". In DR, all techniques are actually all connected and starting from the same principle, any "technique" can be applied whatever comes at you.

I was always told that you should learn the Kata (and everything included in it), then forget it and build your own syllabus. The Kata Geiko is also very useful when training new students and somehow should be considered as the spinal column of the art. It might feel sometimes boring for the students but it is nevetherless a very important stage for any student.

Solo Training is supposed to bring those skills into an even higher dimension.

Dan Harden
20th December 2014, 15:06
Have you come across the two books whose author is given as Morihei Ueshiba? I mean 『武道練習』 and 『武道』. The first appeared in 1933 and the second in 1938. They have both been translated, but I have the Japanese originals and have some severe reservations about the quality of the translation, especially that of the 1938 book. In an interview with Stan Pranin, the lady who did the illustrations for the first book was a student in the Kobukan Dojo stated quite clearly that they were doing Daito-ryu. Many of the waza shown were unknown to me until I came to train here in Hiroshima. On one occasion I asked the present Doshu about the 1938 book and he showed me the Hombu's copy. He also stated quite emphatically that aikido had changed since the time the book was written. To me this was as much a political statement about the position of the Aikikai as a statement about actual aikido waza, or principles.

I had the pleasure of training for many years with the teacher who influenced Mr Saotome very much. I mean Yamaguchi Seigo, who was William Gleason's teacher. Yamaguchi Sensei always taught principles, but always through waza, and this is why I think there is some ambivalence here. Morihei Ueshiba, also, always taught principles by means of waza and there are over 150 of them illustrated in the 1933 book.

Best wishes,
The techniques shown in the budo books are Daito ryu "techniques." And that term should be used loosely as none of the schools agree on the type or order. This once again calls into question the idea of Daito ryu as a legitimate koryu V a made up on the spot, gendai art.

More importantly, this discussion of principles being taught through techniques is, in itself, an interesting proposition.
*If the principles are consistent?
Do the techniques have to be consistent as well?
* If not (And I would argue that they are not linked) then couldn't the*principles* be applied in anything?

This of course, opens up a discussion that brings us right back to the O.P. It aslo leaves us with the few midlevel Daito ryu students here having to once again make a case that not only are the DR techniques unique in all the world, but so are their *aiki* principles. And this in open contradiction of their seniors disagreeing with them.

Chinese influence
Generalizing so much Chinese influence in Japanese culture once again misses the point. It is clear that the use of the internal training concepts, both verbal and in actual body use that are used and quoted by Daito ryu's founder and teachers were chosen for good reason. Students not knowing anything about it really has no value, other than to point out once again that it just validates what the art states openly: that they didn't teach over 90% of them anyway.

It takes someone who has gone outside the art to be able to tell the students what their teachers are taking about. It seems very odd to have a Daito ryu student saying "You couldn't pay me to do a Chinese art!" then hear their teachers quoting the deepest principles of them in public." But that is a result of the *secret transmission* process, "ya don't always know what you're gittin'." or where it actually comes from. ;-)

Cliff Judge
21st December 2014, 17:04
Have you come across the two books whose author is given as Morihei Ueshiba? I mean 『武道練習』 and 『武道』. The first appeared in 1933 and the second in 1938. They have both been translated, but I have the Japanese originals and have some severe reservations about the quality of the translation, especially that of the 1938 book. In an interview with Stan Pranin, the lady who did the illustrations for the first book was a student in the Kobukan Dojo stated quite clearly that they were doing Daito-ryu. Many of the waza shown were unknown to me until I came to train here in Hiroshima. On one occasion I asked the present Doshu about the 1938 book and he showed me the Hombu's copy. He also stated quite emphatically that aikido had changed since the time the book was written. To me this was as much a political statement about the position of the Aikikai as a statement about actual aikido waza, or principles.

I had the pleasure of training for many years with the teacher who influenced Mr Saotome very much. I mean Yamaguchi Seigo, who was William Gleason's teacher. Yamaguchi Sensei always taught principles, but always through waza, and this is why I think there is some ambivalence here. Morihei Ueshiba, also, always taught principles by means of waza and there are over 150 of them illustrated in the 1933 book.

Best wishes,

I've got a copy of "Budo Training in Aikido" which I believe is the oft-maligned translation of Budo Renshu.

With regard to the principles-through-waza method in Aikido teaching, how prevalent is that in Japan?

Dan Harden
22nd December 2014, 06:48
Principles through waza... is a twice told tale. It is hardly unique or even unusual. It's a staple throughout many arts, and cultures. Once this is understood, the world of budo opens up,. It's where we see a consistency of the drivers behind the movements become the birthplace of technique.
As Ushiba said about yin and yang (aiki in yo ho): "It is the working of the attraction point between yin and yang that is the birthplace of all techniques. This is my takemusu aiki."
This ties in nicely with Sagawa teaching: "The working of two opposing points (yin/yang) as the acting bodies around a point of support."
Which marries with the classics well.
"Adhesion: caused through movement, but movement only with yin and yang. This... is the true comprehension of energy."

Today, there is no reason someone cannot understand. It is all so simple.
Takeda said: "I don't let people watch because the truth of my technique is so simple someone could steal it."

In the end, it really boils down to the working of yin and yang after all. The rather trite, overused and yet poorly understood mechanical model is the underpinning of everything.

P Goldsbury
23rd December 2014, 00:35
I've got a copy of "Budo Training in Aikido" which I believe is the oft-maligned translation of Budo Renshu.

With regard to the principles-through-waza method in Aikido teaching, how prevalent is that in Japan?

I have a copy of the older reprint, which puts the Japanese text and the translation on the same page. There is also an introduction, which is also printed, with a few changes, in the 1938 book. I prefer to have the Japanese text and the translation side by side and this is probably due to the training I received at university in collating classical texts.

As for Japan, I can speak only of my own teachers, but those who were more prominent teachers at the Aikikai Hombu, Yamaguchi, Arikawa, Tada, always did this.

WVMark
25th December 2014, 21:17
Intent is everything! Training via intent with yin/yang to change the body to work differently than normal produces aiki.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/mind-over-matter-the-brain-alone-can-tone-muscle/

"To demonstrate the power of the brain, researchers at Ohio University wrapped a single wrist of two sets of study participants in a cast — immobilizing their muscles for four weeks. One set was instructed to sit still and intensely imagine exercising for 11 minutes, five days a week. More than just casually daydream about going to the gym, participants were instructed to devote all of their mental energy towards imagining flexing their arm muscles.

The other set of study participants weren’t given any specific instructions. At the end of the four weeks, the mental-exercisers were two times stronger than the others.

Researchers also used magnetic imaging to isolate the area of the brain responsible for the specific arm muscles. Participants that imagine exercise not only had stronger arms but also a stronger brain; their mental exercises created stronger neuromuscular pathways"

Dan Harden
26th December 2014, 04:11
From a translation of Tamura's book "Aikido - Etiquette and Transmission:"
"Aiki (as distinct from Aikido) is the origin of all martial arts. This is what the Founder of Aikido wished to express when he named his art takemusuaiki.

However, it is important to note that the primordial nature of Aiki doesn't imply that Aikido is the best martial art, but only that it is one way towards aiki. Being able to develop the multiple facets of Aikido requires one to integrate the principle of Aiki."
Again, as Ueshiba stated and as Tokimune taught: it is essential to first embrace in/yo. To join and manipulate the two kis. This is also expressed in the classics: " Through change, ten thousand endings, but only through one theory. The union of opposites."
And again as it is just a continuation of the same theme:
"If one doesn't embrace in-yo-ho; first in the breath, then in the body, then expressed in the hands, there is no aiki." (Sagawa)

"All this talk of aiki. Where is yin? Where is yang? How then can there-BE- aiki? You cannot pretend Dantian. You will be found out." Liu ChengDe teaching DR and aikido students. In Japan.
Aiki....as a concept; yin and yang. The goal of solo training the body. The origin of all the higher arts. Yet largely unknown, and ignored, hence the modern versions ( or corruptions) of what the arts once were.

Dan Harden
26th December 2014, 04:41
Again, perhaps worth repeating.
The founder of Shinto ryu after years of esoteric training at Katori and Kashima jingu: Once I understood the theory of heaven/earth/man and six direction training, my sword became unstoppable." And so it was.
What could give a swordsman a true power to cut through another's defenses, both by shear strength that isn't isolated muscle, but also joined with ghosty disruptive ability?
What would that training impart that 600 years later Ueshiba was quoting him and using and touting the same theory?
What did they know, that modern adepts do not?
Why are so many of the seniors in the aiki arts, quoting these things, even as the internet crowd dismisses their own teachers?

Chris Li
26th December 2014, 06:01
From a translation of Tamura's book "Aikido - Etiquette and Transmission:"
Again, as Ueshiba stated and as Tokimune taught: it is essential to first embrace in/yo. To join and manipulate the two kis. This is also expressed in the classics: " Through change, ten thousand endings, but only through one theory. The union of opposites."
And again as it is just a continuation of the same theme:
"If one doesn't embrace in-yo-ho; first in the breath, then in the body, then expressed in the hands, there is no aiki." (Sagawa)

"All this talk of aiki. Where is yin? Where is yang? How then can there-BE- aiki? You cannot pretend Dantian. You will be found out." Liu ChengDe teaching DR and aikido students. In Japan.
Aiki....as a concept; yin and yang. The goal of solo training the body. The origin of all the higher arts. Yet largely unknown, and ignored, hence the modern versions ( or corruptions) of what the arts once were.

Here's some interesting stuff....

Minamoto no Yoshiie inherited a form called "Ten Chi Jin Sandan no Houkei" (天地人三段之法形, Heaven-Earth-Man Three Step Form) contained in "Ryuko Nikan no Hidensho" (龍虎ニ巻之秘伝書, Two Secret Scrolls of the Dragon and Tiger - "Dragon and Tiger" being one way of expressing Yin/Yang). Minamoto Yoshiie created a system called "Ten Chi Jin In Yo Godan no Houkei” (天地人陰陽五段之法形, Heaven-Earth-Man Yin Yang Five Step Form). Minamoto Yoshiie's brother was Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, the supposed Founder of Daito-ryu.

Those scrolls would eventually make their way to Kiichi Hogen, whom Morihei Ueshiba often quoted as having possessed "the secret of Aikido (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/kiichi-hogen-secret-aikido/)" (some 900 years ago).

Best,

Chris

Dan Harden
27th December 2014, 14:03
Thanks Chris
I am pleased that we continue to be part of the restoration process. Researchers and translators like yourself, now armed with the correct nomenclature ( industry terms) congruent with this body of work will continue to uncover and prove the existence of internal training practiced throughout the entire existence of the Asian arts.
Without internal training, there really is no connection to the origins. Without this ancient body technology, the modern versions are just muscle driven, meathead budo. As we continue to reveal here in just the small aiki driven arts forum; you have students of Aiki-do and Daito ryu and koryu scoffing at the idea, all while their own founder and teachers are quoting the Chinese and Tibetan practice.. of them.
I think this profound and rather embarrassing ignorance will fade in time. Most likely in proportion to the exposure of the traditional body methods at the root of their own art forms.