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Thread: Oshikiuchi / Gotenjutsu (Daito-ryu)

  1. #16
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    Default thanks for getting my back

    Nathan -

    Actually, I just continue to write that because with as many words as I throw out, it keeps the focus on what I'm trying to say, and it saves me and everyone else time from getting in a discussion that I, at least, am not interested. As for your points. First of all, I've no evidence for what I say. It's an inference from what I know about koryu and japan in general, and from what information I am provided.:

    1) I think the idea that Daito Ryu was a primary weapons art prior to Takeda is metaphor, not fact, in the same way that Ueshiba used to say he studied Aioi Ryu, which was, in fact, his term for a period in his own martial arts development. I believe Takeda called the agglomeration of all the arts he studied - Jikishin kage Ryu, Kyomeishin Ryu, Onoha Itto Ryu, etc., etc., as Daito Ryu, pre-jujutsu. This is not being loose with the facts - this is a rather common way to describe one's antecedents. As in you saying, "nathan ryu was not originally a method of cutting with obsidian blades. At one point, it was largely cutting with japanese style katana, and aiki-type hand-to-hand techniques." You could give credit to Obata, but lets say you studied with seven, ten or more teachers in your wanderings, and you, in essence, are saying that what i'm doing now is the synthesis I created through all that I studied, not a descendent from one particular teacher or ryu.

    2) I'm aware that there is a lot I haven't seen. However, I've been told that Kondo sensei says that the highest level of aiki must be present in the ikkajo techniques. It's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together - all the aiki folks I've seen or seen videos of, including Don Angier, and in particular, watching what various people do in their free-style demos - and I have an admittedly incomplete picture - but I think, still, a fair idea. I could show you the initial three techniques of Araki Ryu, and although you'd have no idea of most of what we do, or even what all the weapons are, you'd get a real good sense of the character of the ryu. I'm not saying I "get" DR. I am saying that i believe I have a fair idea of what part of the map they live.

    3) Principles vs. method - I think the minimal movement/kuzushi, etc. provides marvelous info that could be applied were one to focus training on folks with weapons. But lots of the techniques clearly don't.

    4) I think that your idea about learning through feeling is quite possibly an important part of the picture. In koryu, that's exactly why the teacher does ukemi. That the information in DR needs to be conveyed in such a different manner, as a rule, proves my point that DR is quite different from other koryu jujutsu.

    5) Takeda Ryu - maybe so. But, as has been pointed out, the techniques themselves are not unique to DR. I certainly have no "problem" with a Takeda family jujutsu art, probably rather simple, being passed down within the family, and Takeda's dad, that remarkable sumotori, also knowing a family art of jujutsu. It's a good point, actually. Family arts often would not have makimono, etc., because there was no need to certify the person. Toda-ha Buko Ryu, was once, in another form, a family art of the Suneya family. There are no makimono whatsoever.

    6) BTW, re "warfare" arts, Kondo sensei takes pains to say on his website that Daito Ryu is not an art of war, but a self-defense art. he's not only talking philosophy here - he is defining it's parameters.

    7) As for the successors who "that the DR instructors that have founded their own line or art have all opted to simplify the techniques into a handful of core methods, more in keeping with koryu," close, but different from what I meant. The koryu simplicity is to have few one-size fits all techniques. Basic training, so to speak. The DR lines that "simplified," are focusing on the gokui level. The danger is that if, in eliminating the basic levels, one erases the methodology by which one achieves the gokui. For example, the Jigen Ryu gokui is simply - basically, "whatever the spacing, hit the target." Is that enough to do Jigen Ryu now? My criticism of Ueshiba has always been that it is as if he marched up Fuji in the snow, trailing branches behind him, erasing his footsteps, and then asks people to practice on the top.

    8) As for "Kuroda sensei and his Shishin Takuma ryu jujutsu. As you say, the methods appear to be more classical in approach, and are extremely soft. He displays many of the aiki principles found in other arts like Daito ryu." I respect him, but I am not viewing his methods as more "classical." I read an interview in which he talked, in depth, about his lack of understanding and/or desire to practice the jujutsu he inherited with a bunch of other ryu, and attributed his cross-training with Kono for his current ability in his jujutsu. He seems to indicate that he thereby reconstructed an understanding of the jujutsu of his grandfather. He may be very good, he may be better than grandpa, but it is very dubious to me that the art he only experienced as a little boy can be resurrected as it was through the coaching and training with a practioner of a style of aikido.

    With respect

    Ellis Amdur

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    Great thread and thanks to all. Perhaps Nathan-san will bestow a few rating stars for this thread.? Take care, and thanks again for such a thought provoking discussion.

    mark

  3. #18
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    Default Archives....

    Another one for the archives. Just checking in so I am subscribed to this thread....

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    Thanks for the informative response Mr. Amdur. I think I better understand where your coming from now, and largely agree with you.

    For the record, I did not intend to question the experience of which you base your opinion. But, in the case of Daito ryu, I've been finding that even the branches/instructors that are more open publicly still guard the "gokui" from outsiders. There are many who have not felt the techniques and don't have the overview of classical jujutsu that think they have a good idea what Daito ryu is all about. Personally, I think it might have been better not to show anything at all than to show bits and pieces of the art partially obscured.

    Interesting POV in your 1) response. I'll have to think some more on that.

    BTW, for the benefit of anyone take notes here, I believe you meant to write "Kyoshin Meichi Ryu" as opposed to "Kyomeishin Ryu".

    In 5), you mention that most the DR Jujutsu techniques are not unique to DR. When looking at the basic kuzushi and kansetsu principles and shapes, this is definitely true, and I hope other people realize this.

    Sorry for mis-paraphrasing your writings that you address in 7). What you clarified is the impression I got reading your article. I just didn't get it out right.

    Good point about Kuroda sensei. His arts are classical feeling in that there (appear) to be a handful of kata in each of the arts, and everything you need to know (in his opinion) is in the kata. His Jujutsu does not seem to include some of the complex/aggressive joint locks found in much of the upper DR techniques, but does manipulate the opponent's center and emphasize off balancing. One of the things Kuroda s. says in his article is that, as long as the kata is transmitted correctly, the potential to understand the intended teachings is present. While you could say that Kuroda s. "recreated" the jujutsu based on his own research and following the transmitted kata, I get the impression it may have been a bit more than that. Kuroda s. grew up in around the arts, and had the chance to see his grandfather, and in particular the senior students, perform for many years. He was not taught HOW to perform them, but had a picture in his mind. If I remember correctly, Kono Yoshinori acted more as his "mirror" than as a teacher, though he was surely influential in other areas as well. Kuroda s. knew his grandfather could do (some number of) ukemi on one tatami, but had to discover the method on his own using only what he had seen and the instruction "try to put your head in your crotch" (I know, I know. Keep the jokes in PM's).

    From what I've seen, a lot of what is taught in classical methodology is through self discovery and minimal guidance from the instructor, unlike many modern arts. Unfortunately for Kuroda s., there was not continued guidance in the latter part of his development - from within his family line at least.

    Anyway, not to say the Shishin takuma ryu has not changed in this generation, but my impression of Kuroda sensei's development was a bit different. It seems like this is typical for family members that are taught in classical arts. They get hammered hard, and really have to do their own work.

    Oh - one other thing I wanted to ask you about. In your first post here you said: "Most jujutsu ryu, sengoku or edo, focused against someone armed with a kodachi or dagger. And despite any formality, these would be carried inside the palace - that was part of normal dress. To be unarmed was not the way one would present oneself."

    From what I've read, the inner chambers of the palace, or in this case specifically Edo-jo, was where many bushi were not allowed to carry most, if not all, weapons (aside from perhaps sensu or tessen). In other words, the closer you get to the boss, the higher the security. Smaller spaces (low ceilings), long hakama, longer distances of interaction, more bodyguards, etc. Have you found this not to be the case? Castles are big places, and security measures varied depending on your position and location in the castle.

    As another example (outside DR), Charles V. Gruzanski wrote in his book "Spike and Chain" (later bastardized as "Ninja Weapons - Chain and Shuriken") under the history of Masaki ryu:

    "While assigned as Head Sentry for the main gate of Edo (Tokyo) Castle, it was the responsibility of Masaki and his disciples to guard against the intrusion of bandits, hoodlums, or otherwise insane persons. It was at this time that Masaki became aware and gravely concerned that should an attempt be made to breach the gate, it would certainly result in the heavy flow of blood.

    Masaki's convictions dictated that such bloody battles should not take place before such a famous and important gate. He felt that a sword should never be unsheathed at such a sacred place nor should it be soiled with blood, yet the castle gate must be defended at all costs."
    Masaki created methods that are now referred to as Masaki ryu manrikigusari (short weighted chain art) in response to his concerns. Though this text does not state anything about a specific rule regarding weaons, it does indicate that perhaps those working in the castle were very concerned about such manner in front of the lord.

    Also, Laszlo Abel writes in his article "The 47 Samurai of Ako" (JMAS vol1/#3) in 1983 that:

    "Since drawing any weapon within the Shogun's castle was a serious crime, Asano was deprived of his domain and exiled to Ishin no Seki in Mutsu, to the castle of Tamura Nobuaki. After deliberations by the Shogunate, he was invited to disembowel himself by Tsuchiya Masanao, a court official."
    I've heard that the more refined techniques taught to say Hatamoto were not only designed to give them a technical edge over their juniors, but also were generally minimal in movement to allow the upper ranking bushi to defend themselves with seemingly minimum effort. The idea being that it wouldn't do to have a Hatamoto rolling around on the ground grappling for his life with a farmer. This is of course an ideal in any event, and perhaps not always realistic. But it does match the kind of techniques described as oshikiuchi, which were to be used in the inner chambers of Edo-jo by upper ranked bushi in confined quarters - probably attacked while seated.

    Any thoughts?

    Mark - just so you know, anyone can place a star rating to a thread (or so I'm told), so feel free to rate threads as you feel.

    And ya'll said there was nothing left to talk about...
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 13th July 2014 at 17:58.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  5. #20
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    Hi,

    This really is a great thread and covers some very fascinating material. Ellis's insights sort of continue a topic we were covering when I visited him at his home last year.

    The Takamura ha SYR is sort of a living example of some of what Ellis is discussing here. It operates in some ways and on some levels like a koryu art but is at the same time distinctly different.....obviously evolutionary. One thing definitely koryu-esque is the uchitachi/shitachi relationship within the formal kata. Takamura Sensei covered this very clearly in his interview in Aikido Journal a few years ago. In his teaching he always preferred to take ukemi so he could feel the progress of the students technique. The only time I saw him reversing the role was when none of the students knew a specific kata he was covering.

    Once students were beyond shoden level the teaching methodology became much more intense and started incorporating the basic elements of freestyle. This is obviously very un - koryu like. Once one familiarized himself with the traditional kata Takamura's emphasis shifted significantly towards the spontaneous application of numerous henka waza within the framework of various drills. This, like in Daito ryu has resulted in a great divergence in personal expression of SYR technique.

    By Joden the art is taught in dynamic freestyle stressing strategy and principle in movement as opposed to the more stylized kata . At this level the art develops a flow of movement and relaxed timing more like that associated with so called "softer" arts. Once flow is mastered a series of specialized drills are initiated to develop a broken rythym which should exist within the flowing movement. It is from within this rythym, or better yet, lack of rythym that we apply atemi. Interestingly the Joden curriculum concludes with the freestyle application of weapons in an offensive role as well as a defensive role. This kinda takes the art back full circle back towards its koryu roots.

    The reason I bring this all up on a thread about Daito ryu is that Takamura Sensei's grandfather knew both Takeda Sokaku and Yoshida Kotaro...especially Kotaro. i have always wondered about these connections and potential influences. Interestingly Takamura Sensei's grandfather studied Jikishinkage ryu under Kenkichi Sakakibara around the same time as Takeda did. Yoshida Kotaro's influence is specifically recognized in our ryuha but due to the unknown "mixing" between the Yoshida clan's Yanagi ryu and Takeda's Daito ryu, what really came from who and in what amount it was then mixed with mainline SYR is unknown and probably unknowable.

    The most interesting indirect evidence I have of any influence via Kotaro comes from the fact that Takamura Sensei befriended Don Angier and in his later years encouraged Don to accept me as a formal student of Yanagi ryu. In time I came to realize that there was a hidden reason behind Takamura's efforts at this. There are definite technical connections between these two arts. These connections are now most identifiable to me in the taijutsu and tantojutsu waza. It is as if the Takamura ha SYR is in some ways a more straight forward and less intricate version of Yanagi ryu that embraces more striking. These arts embrace many of the same basic techniques, one of which Stan Pranin even confided to me that he had never seen before outside these two systems. Alternately, significant differences between these two traditions show up in the use of the sword. I assume this is because Takamura Sensei's SYR sword work was most influenced by Shinkage ryu thru Namishiro Matsuhiro. Interestingly SYR's founder Matsuoka Katsunosuke was, like Takeda Sokaku, an advanced student of Hokushin Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu. ( Although Takamura Sensei's grandfather was an adept of Jikishinkage ryu, Takamura Sensei said he never learned any significant part of the Jikishinkage curriculum from his grandfather.)

    For years my lack of exposure to koryu made me wonder if a great deal of technical diversity really existed between modern & classical jujutsu schools. Thru hands on exposure and personal conversation I've come to appreciate that both grand differences and significant similarities exist side by side in many of these martial traditions. I find the mysterious ebb and flow of these various influences within Shindo Yoshin ryu fascinating stuff to ponder. I wonder how often what we assume to be cohesive systems were actually "cross polllinated" and then re-pollinated by this school and that school without there being formal recorded evidence of such influences?

    So ...after all this verbage I guess what I'm trying to say is that the differences we discuss & debate here although ocassionally significant are more often than not, much more subtle and hard to pin down than many of the uninitiated realize. And thats why information from people like Ellis Amdur, Meik Skoss, Karl Friday and Stan Pranin is such a gift.

    Toby Threadgill

  6. #21
    Yamantaka Guest

    Question TRIVIA : WHO SAY WHAT?

    Originally posted by Ellis Amdur
    Supposedly, after Takeda's fight with the construction workers, the judge, although letting him off, told him that the age of the sword was over and that he should concentrate on jujutsu. Perhaps Takeda took it to heart (he was, essentially, a law-and-order kind of guy - preferring to teach judges, military and police).
    Ellis Amdur
    YAMANTAKA : Hello, Ellis San!
    Just a trifle but wasn't that advice to Takeda atributed to Tonomo Saigo and not to a judge?
    Best regards and congratulations on excellent posts.

  7. #22
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    Toby - nothing to add to your post except fascination regarding the art(s) you practice.

    Ubaldo - My recollection comes from reading Draeger, who may not have been accurate, for all I know. One would do best to refer to T. Tokimune's biography of his dad. I assume it's in there somewhere.

    Nathan -
    1) I honestly do not know details about when one disarmed within the palace, be it shogun's or daimyo. My belief, however, has been that one always carried a short sword - that it, symbolically defined one's role.
    2) AS for the 47 ronin, it merely said you couldn't shed blood. it didn't say you couldn't carry a weapon. (and I've never known if that would apply to someone defending the shogun). BTW, the greatest tragedy in the 47 ronin story was Asano's incompetence. He was a student of military tactics and largely untrained in personal combat. He slashed the forehead of his enemy. If he had known how to use a kodachi, he would have killed him, and later committed seppuku, but his incompetence would not have then resulted in the deaths of his 47 retainers.
    3) Gruzanski studied Masaki Ryu from Fumio Nawa, who substantially augmented and revised the techniques of manrikigusari. In addition, he hardly studied very long. The manrikigusari was originally only five techniques within a much larger ryu which studied a variety of weaponry, and the manrikigusari was padded with cotton, put in a black silk bag (for silence) and placed in the belt as a hidden weapon. Laszlo Abel would be able to say if this legend of the founder was alleged to have been said by him or created by Gruzanski, but practically, it's nonsense. I hope if I ever have to go on a mission with a sword, my enemy is armed with a manrikigusari, and I don't mind if he's the best in the land. (We have the weapon in my ryu, so I am familiar with it's capabilities. We train against either a short sword or dagger, which is a realistic scenario, and offers some possibility of victory. Not against a sword carried by a professional.)
    4) You wrote:.I've heard that the more refined techniques taught to say Hatamoto were not only designed to give them a technical edge over their juniors, but also were generally minimal in movement to allow the upper ranking bushi to defend themselves with seemingly minimum effort. The idea being that it wouldn't do to have a Hatamoto rolling around on the ground grappling for his life with a farmer. This is of course an ideal in any event, and perhaps not always realistic. But it does match the kind of techniques described as oshikiuchi, which were to be used in the inner chambers of Edo-jo by upper ranked bushi in confined quarters - probably attacked while seated.

    I've read it too - and I think it's romantic claptrap, fit for novels, but not real life. Imagine the secret service having different tactics to protect the president from crack heads because they smell bad and are unseemly. The simple fact is that a good man with a sword or even short sword, is already a fifth dan in regards to someone unarmed. And if they are of equal skill in their respective arts, it's no contest, is it? And since one could never tell how skilled the farmer or Edo crackhead is, this kind of idealistic stuff would be risking the life of your daimyo. The flourishing (efflourescence?) of unarmed jujutsu techniques occured when the arts were adapted to the use of commoners. That is not to say that advanced techniques were not trained in by the upper ranked bushi. I'm sure they were. I just think that they were mostly sword. From my limited knowledge, most otome ryu (official ryu of a daimyo) concerned weapons. The grappling schools were the red-headed stepkids of the han.

    Oh, BTW, one final point. In the Edo period, there were several thousand farmer revolts. Generally, the farmers defeated the samurai in the initial clashes, using hoes and other farm implements against the samurai with their swords. The latter would retreat to the castle, get out the stored guns and decimate the farmers. Most samurai were bureaucrats wearing swords. they had so many responsibilities, they had little time for training, and for many, little inclination. This was particularly true for the high ranking administrators - hatamoto. This idea that the samurai wouldn't demean himself by using a blade against a farmer, or rolling around in the muck - it was gundo, not jujutsu or even kenjutsu that was used to handle rude peasants. otherwise, most samurai would have gotten their booty handed to them.

    With respect

    Ellis Amdur:

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    Hello,

    Neither of the examples that I listed (Masaki ryu and Chushingura) mention a specific law regarding the wearing of weapons in the inner chambers, but they do show (if they are credible) a bit about how proper manner in castles was regarded.

    Interesting information about Masaki ryu, Nawa Yumio and Gruzanski. I've always wondered how informed Gruzanski was. I was aware that the original manrikigusari was contained within a silk sheath, but did not know that the curriculum had been "enhanced" so much. I've also had serious doubts about manriki vs. katana, or any-kind-of-short-hand-held-weapon vs. katana for that matter. The aikido branch I study in has tachidori methods, but the difference is that the sword does not lose in our techniques! It isn't a pretty sight.

    My instructor Obata sensei has a friend in Japan (Mr. Togo) that is apparently highly skilled with manrikigusari, and he seems to have been impressed with the speed and potential of the weapon in the hands of someone capable.

    In regards to fights between upper bushi and lower bushi/commoners, I've also suspected that there may be some idealistic romanticism about the methods of dealing with such attacks, not getting clothes ruffled, etc. Akechi Mitsuhide (a retainer of Oda Nobunaga who ended up assasinating Oda) was ambushed and killed by a farmer with a homemade bamboo spear.

    "Gundo" - that almost stumped me! I was thinking "gun = military; maybe this is slang for general military methods or something ...". Yuck yuck yuck. Jikiden blam-blam ryu kaeshiwaza.

    Ubaldo - I believe that the Judge reprimanded Sokaku for carrying a sword, as he felt that things would not have gotten as out of hand as they did had he not had a sword to draw. Saigo also wrote a poem to Sokaku on a different occasion, that basically said that the time of the sword was over. In other words, I believe that there may have been two circumstances in which he was advised in this manner.

    Regards,
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 13th July 2014 at 18:00.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    “Unlike Daito-ryu, Almost all other koryu insist that the one in the teaching position takes falls.”

    While the entire thread has been great I find the discussion about the differences in koryu training methods and Daito-ryu very interesting. Following are a few of my thoughts that I would like to hear feedback on. This is not meant to defend Daito-ryu as a possible koryu or an attempt to claim sameness, personally I don’t care about a label. The following is presented solely as discussion material.

    I don’t know about each of the branches of Daito-ryu, although I would be curious to hear their input, but it was not uncommon for Okamoto Sensei to take falls during his visits here. I also remember him telling us that Horikawa Sensei took many falls for him while he was training. During my brief trip to Japan I don’t recall Okamoto Sensei taking any falls, however that doesn’t mean he doesn’t. At first glance this probably seems no where near as often as in koryu arts, however, I think the method that Okamoto Sensei uses to train might be closer than some may initially think.

    After Okamoto Sensei demonstrated the technique to be trained on each person present the class divides into lines (or groups) with a senior student heading each line. Each person in the line performs the technique on every other person in that line, starting with the senior person and working to the junior. The senior student in the line is responsible for teaching and assisting the other students in the line. In this manner the senior student is receiving the technique from his/her juniors and is able to provide instruction. During this time Okamoto Sensei would watch and add instruction as he saw fit to the various lines but a great deal of the communication flow comes from the senior student in the line. I think this in itself is a method to further teach the senior students, for not only do they have to be able to do the techniques they have to be able to understand them well enough to explain them to others. This leads to a great deal of thinking, evaluating and discovery by the senior student, imo. In short, an instructor/senior student is taking falls for junior students through out their training and giving them feedback accordingly, while not the head master is it really that different?

    I agree with what Nathan stated about learning by feeling the technique performed repeatedly, although that is surely not the complete method of training. Feeling others perform the technique helps to build the motions in one’s body/mind, however one must still struggle to apply what they feel by doing the technique repeatedly. I believe it is the combination of the two that ultimately leads to learning and self-discovery of technique.

    What method of training do the other branches use?

    mark

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    Incredible posts. Thank you.

    On the subject or DR being similar to Aikido I completely agree with Ellis. I do aikido and I've seen lots of stuff and had friends doing different kinds of jujit's and the jujit's stuff always had a different flavor. After 10 years of Tomiki Aikido I played with DR for about a year and the transition was completely easy-- on the other hand, when after a year, I decided to stick with aikido, but moved to a traditional style, the transition was much more difficult.
    Some people even questioned whether or not I had been doing "aikido" prior to switching dojos and styles.

    So... That's my two cents.

    Thanks.
    Robert Deppe

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    Default Back on topic - Donn Draeger

    In the spirit of further documenting references to Oshikiuchi, following is a rather long selection of comments from "The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan: Modern Bujutsu & Budo", by Donn F. Draeger (pages 137-143). Lots of interesting stuff, though having been written in 1974, may not completely reflect the current trend in research:

    Takeda takumi-no-kami Soemon (1758-1853) [Sokaku’s grandfather], a scholar, taught theology and Neo-Confucian (Chu-Hsi) doctrine to the daimyo of the Aizu-han (present-day Fukushima Prefecture); these teachings were known as aiki-in-yo-ho, or “the doctrine of harmony of spirit based on yin-yang.” The Aizu-han was a stronghold of the Chu-Hsi doctrine because Hoshina (Matsudaira) Masayuki (1611-1672), a grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa shogun, was a staunch advocate of this bakufu-approved school of Neo-Confucainism when daimyo of the Aizu-han. The Aizu warriors were thus all educated in the Chu-Hsi ethic. Their interpretation of bushido was a strict code embodying Chu-Hsi concepts.
    [The Aizu-han] secondary systems of hand-to-hand combat were subsumed under the generic term oshikiuchi. This system was based on the dualisms of the Neo-Confucian philosophy as taught in the aiki-in-yo-ho doctrine. Only samurai with high social and financial status were permitted to study oshikiuchi. Leadership for the propagation of oshikiuchi eventually devolved on Saigo Tanomo [Chikanori] (Hoshina [Chikanori]; 1829-1905), who became a minister of the Aizu-han and the head of Shirakawa castle.
    Saigo Tanomo [Chikanori] was at this time [the dissolution of the Aizu-han, 1871] a Shinto priest at the Nikko Toshogu shrine, and it was there that he met Takeda Sokaku Minamoto Masayoshi (1858-1943), a highly skilled swordsman.
    Saigo was so favorably impressed with Sokaku that he hired him to be his personal bodyguard; but the aging Saigo’s motives for employing Sokaku may have included his hope that Sokaku would study oshikiuchi. Be that as it may, this turn of events enabled Sokaku to devote his entire energy to the study of martial arts.
    In 1877, Saigo Tanomo [Chikanori] sponsored Shida Shiro (b. 1868) and took him to Aizu to teach him oshikiuchi. After three years of arduous training [1879-1880], Shida move to Tokyo to further his education. While studying at the Seijo Gakko, a training school for army personnel, Shida enrolled in the Inoue [Keitaro] Dojo of the Tenjin Shin’yo ryu in 1881. Two years later, he caught the eye of Kano Jigoro, who was also a disciple of the Tenjin Shin’yo ryu. Kano was, as this time, struggling to build a reputation for his Kodokan Shida’s skill in hand-to-hand encounters convinced Kano that it would be a good idea to offer Shida an assistant instructorship at the Kodokan and Shida accepted [Saigo Shiro was 159cm tall, 58 kg in weight, and 20 years old in 1888]. Upon marrying Saigo Tanomo’s daughter in 1884, Shida became an adopted son of the Saigo family and therewith changed his name to Saigo Shiro. Using the technique of yama arashi (mountain storm), which is based on the principles and techniques of oshikiuchi, Saigo decisively defeated all comers and was instrumental in making both Kano and his Kodokan Judo famous.
    Saigo Shiro’s precipitous departure made the elder Saigo look for another worthy disciple whom he could entrust with the complete teachings of oshikiuchi. While serving as a priest at the [Ryozen] Shrine, the elder Saigo selected Sokaku for this honor and began teaching him the once exclusive art of the Aizu warriors in 1898. Sokaku’s zest for martial learning, coupled with his skill in classical swordsmanship, led him to rapid mastery of oshikiuchi. In the same year in which he began his study under Saigo, Sokaku was authorized to instruct people selected from the former samurai class in Aizu. Shortly before the elder Saigo died, he encouraged Sokaku to spread the spirit and techniques of oshikiuchi on a wider basis. In compliance with his master’s wish, Sokaku gradually modified the original oshikiuchi teachings. In response to an official request he traveled to Hokkaido in 1908 to instruct police units in hand-to-hand combat.
    Sokaku regarded oshikiuchi in its modified form as jujutsu. To lend prestige to his teachings he appended the name Daito ryu (not to be confused with the Daido ryu of the Aizu-han) to them. Daito ryu jujutsu, under Sokaku’s leadership, remained a conservative but effective system of self-defense.
    The rationalism of Neo-Confucian doctrine is fundamental to all aiki-do teachings. This fact exemplifies the effect of a Chu-Hsi education on Aizu warriors and the influence of the aiki-in-yo-ho doctrine on their martial disciplines. The Aizu art of oshikiuchi, and consequently of Sokaku’s aiki-jujutsu, are both steeped in dualisms of the Chu-Hsi doctrine. The concept of ki, which is the essence of all aiki-do, is not without an antecedent in the Chu-Hsi dualisms, where it is described as “material force” in connectionn with its complement, ri, or “principle.” Ki is also explained by the Neo-Confucian Kaibara Ekken, who qualified the dualisms of Chu-Hsi and viewed ki as a monism. The doctrine of aiki-ho is found in the teachings of Yagyu Shinkage ryu, wherein the concept of aiki is made analogous to the action of a willow branch as it flings snow that has accumulated on its surface. And in the practical application of aiki technique, ki is stressed in the teachings of Tenjin shin’yo ryu, which were studied by Saigo Shiro and may have influenced the Meiji-era development of oshikiuchi.
    Those interested in this subject, as well as the relationship of Aikido to Daito ryu, "ki", and other subjects, are encouraged to read the entire chapter.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 13th July 2014 at 18:01.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  12. #27
    chris davis 200 Guest

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    One thing about Daito Ryu - there is a truly vast number of techniques against an unarmed enemy. Most, in fact. Most jujutsu ryu, sengoku or edo, focused against someone armed with a kodachi or dagger. And despite any formality, these would be carried inside the palace - that was part of normal dress. To be unarmed was not the way one would present oneself.
    Appologies but where do you get this information.

    Virtually all of the techniques in daito ryu are from an armed attacker. Shomen, yokomen represent short sword,tanto attacks in daito Ryu. they are not hand strikes as found in many Aikido Schools.

    Hence ALL techniques defending Shomen or Yokomen attacks are defending against armed opponents. Many techniques are from stabs, from pulls away from the sword lead next to you etc etc.

    In fact only techniques where Emon Jime or double hand grabs are applied are not against weaponry attacks.

    But then double hand grabs were to stop you reaching for a weapon whatever it may be so the weaponry aspect is stil very prevolent.

    Maybe you miss interpretation of the perpose of the attacking / defending methods is part of the problem here.

    Aikido is a modern system adapted by Ueshiba to modern times, sword cuts became knife hand strikes stabs became punches etc. This is not true of Daito Ryu.

    It doesn't make sense to me that hundreds of techniques with an armed uke were stripped of their tanto. It's not that simple - a weapon in the hand changes how one grips, pins, attacks, etc.
    The techniques are aganist armed attackers.

    Also wepons such as Tessen, tanto and Hambo were part of the inside palace system, Sokaku always carried his tanto even when he slept. There are / were specific methods of use for this weapon. Hanbo was also used, Sokakus hanbo was around 2ft long, roughly a foot shorter than the classical size, due to his diminutive stature.

    Although the Kondo line and the Takuma kai do not practice these methods still, other branches do, i understand.

    I think that this is stemming from a gross misunderstanding of what Daito ryu Kata represent and and composed of.

    But Daito Ryu has a very different rhythm, a different flow, a different expectation of what the uke will do. (and once again, I am venturing no opinion on effectiveness). Despite whatever differences they may have, aikido and Daito Ryu look far more alike and bear far more in common than either does to any other jujutsu ryu I've seen - at least in so far as koryu schools go.
    This is due to Daito Ryu not being a Ju Jutsu style. it is an Aiki Ju Jutsu style. This is what creates the difference in form and application. There is Ju Jutsu in Daito Ryu and it does look and feel like JuJutsu but there is a principle differnce because of the application of aiki. This is what marks it out from other Koryu JuJutsu schools.

    As for the aikido Daito Ryu connection, this is very clear and needs not to be explained again.

    A principle difference between application of Daito Ryu and applcation of Aikido is the intension of defending against a skilled ARMED opponent.

    Kind Regards
    Chris
    Last edited by chris davis 200; 27th November 2003 at 16:18.

  13. #28
    chris davis 200 Guest

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    Although the Kondo line and the Takuma kai do not practice these methods still, other branches do, i understand.

    I think that this is stemming from a gross misunderstanding of what Daito ryu Kata represent and and composed of.
    I did not mean that the Kondo Line and Takuma kai misunderstand. they quite obviously do!

    I ment that many aikido ka dont, due to the changes made to their art by its founder.

    just to clear that up - it wasnt very clear in my post.


  14. #29
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    Mr. Davis -

    Shomen and Yokomen may represent armed attack, but they are not armed attack, nor in any of the public presentations I have seen, are they executed in the way a skilled person actually uses weapons. I understand what you are saying, but it makes as much sense to me as practicing gun disarms against a pointed finger. DR, if your perspective is the mainstream view, may assert that every technique is against an armed opponent - and maybe many of the kata are practicing one principle in isolation, but the kata publicly presented suggest that one do things that might make sense against an unarmed enemy, but would be suicide against an armed one.

    From my perspective, just as aikido is a distilled adaptation of an older method (Daito-ryu), so too is Daito-ryu an adaptation of older methods which practiced against weapons in far more practical ways (Takenouchi-ryu would be a good example).

    That Takeda went armed everywhere is irrelevant, really. That is the equivalent of saying BJJ is really against armed attackers because R. Gracie always carries a Sig or a Glock with him.

    It may be that the Aizu han was different from other han and that weapons were absolutely forbidden, and thus, even the guards to the daimyo were unarmed and thus, practiced unarmed techniques against weapons as their primary responsibility, but I've read or heard nothing authoritative to support that thesis.

    You quote me about DR having a different rhythm, etc., as does aikido - and note that, of course, this is because it is aikijutsu, not jujutsu, to which I can only say - Sigh. Yes. It is what it is, and that essential difference you could call aiki - or you could call it, as I do, "a very different rhythm, a different flow, a different expectation of what the uke will do." All I was saying is this is what makes it profoundly different from koryu schools.

    I have seen, in person or on extensive video tapes - two/three hours per tape, sometimes, Takumakai, mainline, Roppokai, Inoue's group, and the white-haired gentleman (the name is escaping me right now - who recommends a same arm-same leg way of walking that has been discussed elsewhere), and several other groups as well.

    I'm aware that some of these groups do not demonstrate their okuwaza, and perhaps all these are all weapons kata, very sophisticated fighting techniques with weapons. It is also true that as I am not a practitioner, I may not understand that the kata are all honing of principals not apparent to an uninitiated person.

    But having studied nearly thirty years a system pre-jujutsu, that focused specifically on killing with short weapons, and having observed most of the remaining other systems with close-combat with weapons, I am familiar with the parameters of combat in older Japanese society as it pertained to small weapons. In this vein, the Daito-ryu method of training is definitely the long-way around to mastery in this area. If the literally hundreds of techniques/kata I have seen over the years are are the survival methods taught to protect, unarmed, against armed assasination in the palace, I hope they had good cleaning supplies for the tatami after the blood settled.

    You seem to be assuming that I am observing DR from an aikido perspective. I'm not - I'm observing it from a koryu bujutsu perspective, and all I asserted it that it's training method is quite different from all older schools that came from a period when one had only a brief period to train (like basic training, so to speak) before one actually had to fight.

    Best

    Ellis Amdur

  15. #30

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    Originally posted by Ellis Amdur
    ......and the white-haired gentleman (the name is escaping me right now - who recommends a same arm-same leg way of walking that has been discussed elsewhere)
    Ellis Amdur
    Pardon the intrusion as this question is off-topic, but could someone point out the link to that thread? I apparently missed that one.

    Regards,

    Ernesto Lemke

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