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Thread: Oshikiuchi / Gotenjutsu (Daito-ryu)

  1. #31
    chris davis 200 Guest

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    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.
    Not really. the Maiai (sp) of the Yokomen / shomen attacks are set so that if the hand were to not be blocked it would easily pass the opponent, with the tip of the weapon in use cutting the opponent. as per normal kenjutsu practice. In aikido the hand itself is used, the maiai is set completely differently.

    Also the attacking skill of an opponent in daito ryu is higher than that in aikido IMO. They attacker in daito Ryu strictly adheres to the attacking principles as they would be in Swordsmanship, not simple throwing hard a yokomen, being off balanced, out of control & easily lead.

    We often train with Rubber tanto, Bokken and Shoto. After the aikinojutsu, as part of the Goshinyo-no-te, there are hanbo, tessen and tento usage ( as i understand it)

    My teacher is a Menkyo in Ono Ha itto Ryu so he is very skilled with weaponry.

    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.
    Again i think there is a misunderstanding here. Who has stated that weapons were not allowed?

    Short swords, shoto, tanto, tessen, hanbo, jutte etc would all have been allowed inside. Hence the need for defenses against them, and the use of some of them in defense.

    You have stated that if an attack on some one of status were to take place the lightly hood of it being an official style of attack would be low. Thus we can conclude that attacks would have been done in a surprise manner.

    This would have required immediate action from the bodyguards, either with a weapon to hand, or with unarmed methods, OR as is the case in many many kata, a combination of both. An initial unarmed method followed by the use of a tanto or similar. Idori - Ipondori has a stab to the armpit in its original form. Many schools have changed this to a strike, but it was a stab originally. a stab to this location is common to other Koryu arts.

    "....a different expectation of what the uke will do."
    I believe this is definitely true of aikido, but i do not believe that this is true of daito ryu. We are often told to attack skillfully as we would with a sword, we all practice ono ha itto ryu so we have some skill with a weapon, some of us practice other koryu also in addition.

    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)
    Okabayashi Shogen sensei.

    Watching something on videotape and drawing the conclusions you have from it does not really sound like your usual deep research. I feel that you are interpreting the kata from an aikido perspective, as an Aikidoka. This is understandable, grouping similarities is easy to do. But does not really prove anything other than an aikidoka's understanding Daito ryu.

    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.
    Agreed - your credentials are not in question here my friend.

    But have you ever seen Koryu Ju Jutsu schools 'Simulating' weaponry attacks? Short weapon attacks CAN be simulated in terms of ju jutsu. The principles remain whether you have a tanto in your hand or not. Hence the omission of weapons from demonstrations.

    Also as i understand it Kondo sensei did not study deeply the weaponry arts. As he is one of the main disseminators of the art maybe it is on his line that you are drawing your main conclusions.

    Other lines have a greater representation of the older movements of daito ryu in relation to weaponry, because of a more extensive knowledge of weaponry systems.
    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.
    The formulation of set Kata happened via Sokaku and Tokimune. It is possible that many kata were shuffled around the order of the system.

    I suspect you have only seen Shoden Waza, as

    Aiki-no-jutsu ----------------------------- 53 Techniques.
    Hiden okgui------------------------------- 38 Techniques.
    Goshinyo-no-te--------------------------- 84 Techniques.

    Are not often shown. These make up more waza than the shodens 118 and are the more direct teachings of defense. especially Goshinyo-no-te. Surely it would be more appropriate to judge after viewing the majority of kata rather than just Shoden waza.

    Part of the reason for shuffeling the kata around was to enable novices to learn the basic principles prior to gaining knowledge in the advance methods. This would not have been the case in its origional format (high ranking bushi would have already been skilled JuJutsu ka)- basics would already be there, so many of the Shoden would have only been taught in one form, not with variation.

    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.
    Indeed. But we are not talking about battlefield JuJutsu here. We are talking about a closed door system taught to high ranking bushi, which contained traditional etiquette and ceremony alongside martial methods.

    The requirement for basic skills training would not have been there.

    Most / all high ranking bushi (many in a body guard capacity) would already be extremely proficient in JuJutsu, Kenjutsu etc etc. So why teach BASIC juJutsu methods to someone already highly skilled in JuJutsu.

    Hence the difference you observe. Many of the other Koryu were designed to teahch from scratch if you will. Oshikiuchi was design to advance and already advanced warrior.

    kind regards
    Chris
    Last edited by chris davis 200; 28th November 2003 at 10:17.

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    I really don't have much more to add here. Few points though:

    1) You seem to be vested in the idea that I am seeing things from an aikido perspective. I actually have four years total training in aikido, from 1974-78, I believe. I have nearly thirty years training in one koryu, and twenty-five in another. I even have more years training in judo than aikido (tho' I would not call myself a judoka either), and when I look at Daito-ryu as well as aikido, one of the things I consider is if the throw is mechanically possible. I have only brief experiences of feeling DR, and to date, I experienced nothing remarkable whatsoever. But I would be happy to be astonished some day (I have some photos in my collection of a skinny little t'ai chi teacher shrugging me off and me, horizonal in the air, flying past him in the next frame).
    2) Some aikido teachers claim exactly as you do - that the maai of yoko/shomen is a weapon's maai. This is congruent, in either case, with my example of practicing gun disarms against a person pointing a finger. That your particular school uses simulated weapons is, of course, far better practice.
    3) I'm assuming you practice Hakuho-kai, given your reference to your teacher's Ono-ha Itto-ryu. (sorry I forgot the name previously) I watched a long long video of an all Japan Hakuhokai gathering - I'd have to go back and watch it again to see what levels of techniques were practiced, but nothing in that video changed my opinion. That I have not seen all of the oku-waza is a given, which I've noted. I've given my opinion, as originally asked, based on what I've observed. Some of which, particularly the multiple attacks, were as unrealistic and magic touch as anything I've seen in aikido. (But, the stocky bald-headed man is great! He moves, he keeps his center, very impressive guy). Maybe the okuwaza are so totally different that viewing or experiencing them would turn my opinion around.
    4) Contrary to your statement, I have not seen any general significantly higher level of attacking skill in Daito-ryu practitioners than aikido practitioners. In both cases, I've seen everything from the ridiculously inept to quite skilled. Interestingly, Mochizuchi Sensei, who had a Daito-ryu menjo of some kind from Ueshiba, and was a practitioner of KSR, is reported to have very publically reamed out the assembled Daito-ryu presenters at one of Aiki gatherings in Japan - saying that their weapon's work was inept.
    5) It is a very frequent claim about Oshikiuchi that the Daito-ryu was for the unarmed inner palace guards, etc. etc. That your line doesn't claim this is good information.
    6) I have NEVER seen a koryu jujutsu school simulate weapons attacks - they use weapons to practice weapons attacks. The only exception is Kuroda Tetsuzan, and he informed me that these were practice methods he developed.

    But here are the most important points:
    a. High ranking bushi were in the later years of Edo the most combatively inept samurai. The best fighters were those outside the palace. They were in better physical shape (having to farm to make ends meet, often enough) and they trained more rigorously, having to spend less time on bureaucractic functions which were the main responsibilities of the higher ranking bushi. Thus, some farmer-warrior practicing some rough, simple martial art, repetitively training in a few simple techniques who comes howling across the tatami with a short sword out, ready to stab rather than cut, by the way, is a pretty dangerous opponent. That someone stops his attack without a weapon drawn (albeit drawing it afterwards) is not anything close to a sure bet. In Araki-ryu, for example, our kogusoku is a grappling scenario with the attacker with a blade, and the defender without. But the assumption is that most of the time, our opponent close to our level of training, we will die most of the time. It is a desparation response, when no weapon is available.
    b. With the increase in rank, the less jujutsu was practiced. "Aristocratic" kenjutsu, such as Itto-ryu eschewed hand-to-hand, trying to maintain a cutting maai. Jujutsu/sogobujutsu, was practiced less and less by bushi and more and more by commoners and low ranking warriors. They were considered sweaty and low-class. I am not that comprehensively informed, but I've never read of a jujutsu system that was an otome ryu - these were, to my knowledge, almost always weapons arts.

    Because of these two points, one part of your basic thesis is suspect to me. I do not believe, based on the historic record, that the higher ranked bushi already had the basics of "hard knocks" and the essential knowledge of combat to make oshikiuchi the icing on the cake, so to speak.

    C. And Finally, there is absolutely no evidence that Daito-ryu existed before Takeda Sokaku, nor that oshikiuchi was more than etiquette training.

    Therefore, my opinion, which is where I have to leave it: Daito-ryu was not the sophisticated otome-waza of the higher ranked warriors of Aizu han. What is remarkable is the idea that the Japanese, compulsive record keepers that they were, have no record of this otome-ryu. Heck, there are scrolls of ninja ryu available! I firmly believe that Daito-ryu was the creation of Takeda-Sokaku, drawn together from all of his studies in an utterly unique form of training. I'm aware that your in-house traditions are different, so at this point, it's just my opinion, - - -so what.

    Best

    Ellis Amdur

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    Originally posted by Ellis Amdur
    I firmly believe that Daito-ryu was the creation of Takeda-Sokaku, drawn together from all of his studies in an utterly unique form of training. I'm aware that your in-house traditions are different, so at this point, it's just my opinion, - - -so what.
    FWIW, Kimura Tatsuo has Yukiyoshi Sagawa expressing a similiar opinion in "Tomei na Chikara". Sagawa also admits that he has no proof, and that it is merely his opinion. Still, the credentials of the source certainly make me consider the theory seriously.

    Another student of Sagawa's (but who later switched to the Yamamoto Kakuyoshi line), Yoshimaru Keisetsu, also expresses this theory in some of his books.

    Best,

    Chris

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    (But, the stocky bald-headed man is great! He moves, he keeps his center, very impressive guy).
    I believe that would be Ozeki Shigeyoshi, who heads the Hakuho-ryu dojo in Fukuoka.

  5. #35
    chris davis 200 Guest

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    I believe that would be Ozeki Shigeyoshi, who heads the Hakuho-ryu dojo in Fukuoka.
    I believe you are right - he is one of Okabayashi Sensei's top students.

    High ranking bushi were in the later years of Edo the most combatively inept samurai.
    I would definatley say that you would have more knowledge about this that i.

    But i would imagine that the bodygaurds of people of great importance would have been very highly skilled warriors? Both in unarmed and armed combat?

    Is this correct?

    Because of these two points, one part of your basic thesis is suspect to me. I do not believe, based on the historic record, that the higher ranked bushi already had the basics of "hard knocks" and the essential knowledge of combat to make oshikiuchi the icing on the cake, so to speak.
    Indeed. This is just my understanding of the historical events.

    Kind regards
    Chris

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    Dear Nathan:

    Almost three years back there was the typical arguement about the relationship between the Korean Hapkido arts and DRAJJ. The only reason I mention it is because one rather obscure arguement went that there could only be the most superficial relationship between these arts because the Korean material lacked a corpus of information for the appropriate use of technique under the restricted conditions governement or religious environs something the contributor was adamant could be found in the higher areas of DRAJJ study. Despite the fact that one finds regular references to material practiced by "royal families" in Korea I have yet to find anyone who presents the correct procedures and protocols that offer guidance for the use of violence under these rarified conditions. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

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    Default Ellis fights the good fight!

    Hi Ellis,

    Originally posted by Ellis Amdur
    I firmly believe that Daito-ryu was the creation of Takeda-Sokaku, drawn together from all of his studies in an utterly unique form of training. I'm aware that your in-house traditions are different, so at this point, it's just my opinion, - - -so what.
    There may be a fine line between this and what Daito ryu exponents refer to as "revival".

    Those within DR seem to concur that the name Daito ryu was instituted by Sokaku, and that the Daito ryu of Sokaku is comprised of three influences - the Takeda family art (which did exist and was renamed later by Sokaku as Daito ryu), Aizu oshikiuchi, which is said to have been based on the Takeda family art and developed in parallel for a few generations, and Sokaku's own experiences and innovations. Sokaku re-united the family art with the Aizu oshikiuchi, and with his own research and ideas for restructuring, renamed the art as Daito-ryu.

    DR refers to Sokaku as the "Chuko-no-So", or revivor of DR. Two of the influences are Takeda family based, which collectivcely claim lineage back to Minamoto Yoshimitsu and his research at his "Daitokan", which is likely the reason for Sokaku's decision to rename the art Daito-ryu. Also, since the Takeda family art was now going to be taught openly, it could be that Sokaku thought it appropriate to rename it, since family arts are not typically taught to non-family members and much of the new innovations were not from the Takeda family.

    Of course it's all speculation, and the history of DR could all be complete BS from a historical perspective (as can most koryu histories for that matter), but the depth and structure of the ryugi represent compelling evidence towards the belief that Sokaku did not completely "invent" the art from his own experience. Unfortunately, it tends to be the people initiated in the methods who develop this opinion. The fact is that no evidence can be produced to support Daito-ryu's claims to pre-Sokaku existance (at least not in an unbroken transmission line).

    I came across another well known koryu recently that had a "chuko-no-so" in their lineage, but can't recall which one it was right now. It might be useful to compare how other arts have used the term.

    Personally, I view the transmitted historical claims of koryu more as lore than as fact - unless of course compelling documentation suggests otherwise. But that does not mean that their transmitted histories are not important to students of their arts though. The transmitted history of DR, for example, site Emperor Seiwa (martial sumo/tegoi reference) as the roots, and Minamoto Yoshimitsu as the founder (war dead dissection, spider vs. bird, movement and rhythm based on musical experience, etc.). This historical lore offers technical hints towards the principles of the art, whether they really happened or not.

    However, I would not use undocumentable historical claims such as that found in DR as bragging rights publicly, but rather, let the techniques transmitted do the bragging for me. Claims is claims, and half the arts out there claiming to be koryu probably aren't. The vast majority of the ones that really are will probably die off in this generation, which is truly sad.

    BTW, tne reason for dating arts as koryu or not is based largely on the concept of whether or not such historical techniques were proven in war or civil combat. Sokaku killed a number of people in self-defense using both weapons (mostly sword) and empty hand techniques, at least some of which has been transmitted through the art. He and his son also taught the art to military and police in particular, because of the effectiveness. From this point of view, the art has been tested within the last 100 years. Much like Toyama ryu, which was founded in 1925. Koryu.com lists Toyama ryu as a koryu dispite the late founding date, since it was created specifically for use in war, and because it was tested in combat.

    Just some more factors to consider,
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 13th July 2014 at 18:04.
    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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    CHRIS - As for the inner guards being of high level, this is not really borne out in fact. Nor is it in our own times. The best soldiers are those who have had hardscrabble lives - not the rich kids. The latter may be better nourished, but they don't, on average, do as well in tolerating deprivation.

    Simply, otome-ryu were not secret training societies - they were restricted training groups. For example, Tatsumi-ryu was the otome-ryu of the Sakura han, and it's historical records are quite accessible.

    NATHAN -

    Chuko no So is a quite common appellation - for example, it is used to refer to Suneya Ryosuke, who probably radical renovated Suneya kei (family) naginata, derived from Toda-ryu into Toda-ha Buko-ryu. The usually nuance of this term is radical renovation (like turning "Rounders" into modern baseball, for example), or reviving something almost lost/degenerated/devitalized.

    As for a Takeda family art, again, this is debatable. It is true that some family arts had no record keeping - for example, I taught one son kenjutsu, and another a fair amount of elbows, knees, head-butts and some grappling. After I die, they could conceivably get together, and either reorganize that material with other things they might have studied or dig up my Araki-ryu notes, input what they learned, and cobble together, for better or worse, a new system - in either case, they'd be chuko no so of Amdur-kei - that is, if future generations thought what they did was good - chuko no so is not something you call yourself.

    Takeda elder definitely knew sumo, and other martial arts. Surely all of that contributed to Takeda Sokaku's development. An ancient "Daito-ryu," passed down in the Takeda family is really dubious to me, however. Again, in the earlier periods, the KISS principal was paramount - quick, effective basic training - and so, if there was an earlier form, it would have to have been radically different. (And why, again, are there no makimono - even as a Takeda art, this one is claimed to have been taught to the clansman - and therefore, it would have been documented.)

    You wrote, "BTW, the reason for dating arts as koryu or not is based largely on the concept of whether or not such historical techniques were proven in war or civil combat." No, koryu means arts created before an arbitrary date, usually the inception of Meiji. Many koryu have nothing to do with war or civil combat. That Takeda killed people doesn't make it koryu, any more than if he preached aiki as the realization of the kami/love, etc. I don't have time to look at Diane and Meik's site, but I'd wager that Toyama-ryu was classified as a bujutsu, or modern bugei, not a koryu. If they did call it a "koryu," they made up a new use of terminology. (Although, I suppose it could fall in the category that some of us are using - "neo koryu," meaning arts that have a koryu flavor, or system of passing down knowledge, etc., sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.

    I find one of the most suggestive and interesting bits of data to be this. In Tokimune's bio of his father, he describes his encounter with a karate master and their subsequent measurement of skill. He describes Sokaku brooding on the karate man's speed and then his realization that he uses the sword faster, and how he adapts sword technique to empty hand and defeats the karateman. Isn't it interesting that Tokimune doesn't say, "My father brooded on the guy's speed, and realized that his 4th technique of aiki no jutsu, or the 7th technique of hiden okugi would be just the ticket to defeat him." He says nothing about his father using Daito-ryu, merely that he adapted sword to empty hand.

    All of which leads me back to this. I think Takeda was a genius, a master swordsman, who had knowledge of both sumo and jujutsu, and used that as a vessel to "insert" his principles of the mastery of the sword into empty-hand technique. And when he taught, he showed basic principals in improvisatory fashion, doing whatever he felt like to the either helpless or willing uke's. They and others noted down what they were taught and made them into kata. That's why each group has basic principals the same but different order and to some degree, content. If you can do anything (sort of like sketching with people's bodies), then you can easily end up with a lot of "kata."

    Some of what Takeda did was brilliant, and some, I believe, emerged because he was in a position to do whatever he felt like and it would be accepted (some of the multiple attack stuff, and some of the "pretzel" waza, which, according to Ogami, Hisa never wanted presented, because he thought it was unrealistic and just showmanship.)

    BTW, two other thoughts on history. Tokimune was asked who was a better practitioner of Daito-ryu, Hisa or Ueshiba, and he said, "of course, Ueshiba. he studied with my father the longest." At another point, he referred to Ueshiba as his father's favorite. Also, I definitely agree that aikido became something that is, in some ways, radically different from DR, but it is interesting that in Hisa's case, TAkeda simply gave them three notebooks of info to ADD to what UEshiba had previously taught in eight (the Soden). Then he gives Hisa his menkyo kaiden. So in the 30's, Ueshiba was still doing, as far as Takeda was concerned, DR.


    Best

    Ellis Amdur

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    Ecellent post Ellis, thank you. Am I mistating your view if I guess that you feel Daito ryu / Aikido is fine if you already outclass your opponant, but that if all skills are pretty much equal, its the strong basics of sumo/judo/karate/etc. that would win out?

    Just currious,
    Ron

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    chris davis 200 Guest

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    CHRIS - As for the inner guards being of high level, this is not really borne out in fact. Nor is it in our own times. The best soldiers are those who have had hardscrabble lives - not the rich kids. The latter may be better nourished, but they don't, on average, do as well in tolerating deprivation.
    Hmmm. I would say that superior training, in weaponry, unarmed combat and tactics is what makes them better for said position.

    Your average secret service bodyguard would have a greater technical and physical ability than your average infantry guy. in modern times that is.

    Historically i would imaging that the very best fighters would have been selected from the ranks to protect important dignitaries, not just some guy that is clever or of high status.

    Admittedly this is not born out of fact BUT common sence would sudjest that they were very skilled.

    To attempt to protect a vunerable target with poorly trained fighters is ridiculous - and as you are aware the Japanese were master tacticians, not stupid fools.

    After all these are just our opinions. This subject will never be proven one way or another. Your opinions are not Borne out of fact, my opinions are not either.

    I do practice the art however and have witnessed & practiced the higher level movements first hand.

    To think that someone just made them all up, such a vaste syllabus, using such 'apparantley old methods'??

    This seems less probably to me than it actually being developed over time as a martial tradition. I have studied other Koryu and it seems deeper than most.

    cheers
    chris

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    Ron -

    1) I think the best "soft" martial artists - who use any sophisticated system of angles, neuromuscular organization, etc. - call it aiki or any other term - are people who are familiar with impact, with rough-and-tumble background, etc. Without that background, I don't think it likely that one can bring off the sophisticated stuff. (If the ideological claims are true, here's no reason, then, why DR or aikido shouldn't work in K-1 or UFC, - even if certain atemi are forbidden. Old stories of both DR and aikido claim taryu-shiai against judoka, etc., and nowhere are there accounts of the guys from the other ryu crippled or killed. BTW, it doesn't "count" if you end up using other ryu's methods to win your fights. A friend of mine, an old aikido shihan and I were talking about a rather infamous aikidoka and I asked what techniques he used to win his many fights. My friend laughed and said, "Oh, he always reverted to judo."

    Chris - Good point re the Secret Service - at what they do, which is non-military, they are, of course, far better than a soldier. But in many senses, the Japanese stopped being "master tacticians" by mid-Edo, because they had no need. I've written this elsewhere, but in most of the 2000 - 3000 farmer rebellions, the peasants generally defeated their bushi overlords with farm implements, and the bushi had to retreat to the castle, get guns and put the rebellion down. They were out of practice, busy as bureaucrats, they didn't work with their hands, whatsoever. (Admittedly this was less so in such areas as Satsuma [the Sparta of Japan] or Aizu.)

    I'm not convinced that Daito-ryu would be all that "hard" for one man - genius - to create. Most ryu started out as one man's creation. It is a matter of it being one or two principals expressed in a lot of variations, rather than 100's of separate techniques, all of which one has to remember. That's why I think current-day DR is the product of someone(s) codifying Takeda's improvisations. I don'tgmean he created DR out of the air, with no background whatsoever. Of course what he did had roots in older things - jujutsu, sumo, and maybe a Takeda family method of jujutsu was among them - and maybe oshikiuchi WAS a "secret service" combat, despite no evidence whatsoever to support this. But either Takeda created it out of "whole cloth," or he took an undiffernentiated conglomeration of knowledge and crafted it into his Daito-ryu (chuko no so). In either event, he was the creative genius who architected DR.

    Best

    Ellis Amdur

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    <i>Am I mistating your view if I guess that you feel Daito ryu / Aikido is fine if you already outclass your opponant, but that if all skills are pretty much equal, its the strong basics of sumo/judo/karate/etc. that would win out?</i>

    Ron, I'm not Ellis, but...

    Who sez that Daito-ryu doesn't have strong basics?!

    Daito-ryu as I know and have been taught it, is a powerful, powerful tool kit. This, because the person with whom I train applies its principles in ways that reflect "rough-use enviroments." However, I have also seen it wielded in a way I could only call "emasculated."

    Its principles are sound, and while Sokaku and others may have come up with "dojo techniques" for their own pleasure or for teaching purposes, it's a mistake to assume that their adoption (or development of new dojo techniques) by lesser practitioners makes them representative of the effectiveness of the core principles from which they were derived.

    Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking of "Daito-ryu," "jujutsu," (BTW, Daito-ryu IS jujutsu...), "sumo" or "judo" (which, BTW, is also jujutsu -- but with the intentionally-lethal stuff removed to make it ammenable as a sport) as blanket, homogenous arts, they are not. They are only a basic toolkit of working principles, most with a laundry list of memorizable techniques (kata) that illustrate those principles and permit practical application of them. Their application will vary with the user.

    Providing that the principles of a given art are sound and broad enough to address the basic issues of combat, the fate of their effectiveness lies in the hands of the wielder, not in an assumption of "superiority" or "inferiority" of the art itself.

    In the hands of a brilliant practitioner, bujutsu is honed to something of great efficiency and effectiveness and improved upon in the sense that it reflects the user's specific talents, needs and experience. In the hands of lesser practitioners, though, they are at best used as-is and passed on undiminished but also unimproved.

    The weapon doesn't wield the man; the man wields the weapon.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 2nd December 2003 at 16:39.
    Cady Goldfield

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    No arguement here Cady (good to read you again). I didn't mean to sound like I was putting anything down. I was simply trying to borrow Ellis's critical eye...its so much sharper than my own.

    By basics, I didn't mean that Daito ryu doesn't have them per se...more that the rough and tumble of non-cooperative practice can yeild certain benefits even with a limited set of techniques, and a limiting set of rules. This is more reflective of my current state of mind and the fact that I'm challenging some of my preconceptions quite a bit these days.

    Its all just grist for the mill...

    Thank you Ellis for your response. I think I've heard that too...and that Mochizuki used to end up doing judo quite a bit when faced with opponants in europe. The question is, did he use the 'aiki' of judo when he did that??

    Ron

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    Hi Ellis,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I know that there is not much known about the Takeda family art(s), but as you know there are numerous references to arts associated with the DR Takeda line that include Takeda & Ogasawara ryu kyubajutsu, and Koshu ryu Gunpo, as well as a number of derivitive ryu-ha that claim roots to these arts. The techniques in Heiho Okugisho (supposedly a Takeda family catalog of strategy, attributed to a likely fictional editor) include jujutsu, which do bare resemblence to DR Jujutsu. I know, they also bare resemblence to other jujutsu arts as well, but...

    If your point is that it is unlikely that a Takeda family art has been passed down in an unbroken or radicaly unchanged condition (or at all), I'd tend to agree. But I'd also guess the same for most koryu lineages I've looked at, that either have likely or known gaps in their lineage, or are known/believed to have been largely recreated. It's not that I'm trying to defend the likelyhood of Daito ryu's historical claims though, as I find them highly suspect as well. But it does seem to me that many "koryu" arts suffer from similar restructuring and absense of supporting evidence, while making unlikely claims to divine dreams and wild tengu inspirations!

    I remember that Tokimune claimed that there were some kind of records being kept at the Ise Shrine in Fukushima (not the main Ise Shrine in Ise), and that only priests had access to them. He claimed to have been permitted to view them since he had some famial connection to priesthood, but I'm not clear what it is that is supposed to be contained within them. As such, I suppose this is neither here nor there.

    Also, Sokaku is reported to have carried around a duffle bag of sorts filled with enrollment books and scrolls, some of which is thought to have been given to him by Saigo Tanomo. But this stuff is apparently lost or destroyed. I don't know whether there ever were records to a "Takeda family art", but if there were, they seem to have been lost, so we're still left with speculation.

    As far as Jujutsu and the KISS principle, etc., agreed. My impression (and I could be wrong) is that the original Takeda family art - if it was extant and intact - may have been fairly standard jujutsu, perhaps similar to what Kondo Sensei demonstrates now. The more sophisticated stuff is believed to have been developed in the Oshikiuchi line, that was supposedly originally based on the Takeda art, but developed in a different context.

    There is a big difference in the techniques in movement seen in Kondo Sensei's line (for example) and lines like the Sagawa dojo and Kodokai, and I think this might be due to th periods in time the principals studied with Sokaku, personally. Sokaku is believed to have begun training or received his final training in oshikiuchi around 1898, revamped the art(s) afterwards, and a few years later moved to Hokkaido. Sokaku is know to have been teaching swordsmanship prior to this, so that could be why he chose to adapt sword methods to empty hand. But it does raise the question of how much jujutsu he knew prior to this, which I think was your point. I seem to recall reading that Sokaku more or less adapted his swordsmanship to empty handed methods anyway, which again would explain the major changes. Such a thing would qualify as "heavy restoration".

    You wrote, "BTW, the reason for dating arts as koryu or not is based largely on the concept of whether or not such historical techniques were proven in war or civil combat." No, koryu means arts created before an arbitrary date, usually the inception of Meiji.
    That's what I basically believed as well. I do remember hearing that there were other considerations other than founding date though, and seem to recall that Toyama ryu was being semi-formally lumped in with koryu arts because of the reasons I stated previously. Frankly, I can see the logic for both sides of the fence - the arbitrary date for koryu is selected based on relevance and testing of the methods (believed to generally coincide with the abolishment of the samurai class). I reckon this could go either way.

    Following is the link to koryu.com, which does not differentiate Toyama ryu from the other koryu listed, but I'm very much open to correction in this regard:

    http://www.koryu.com/guide/toyama.html

    As to the rest of your comments, including those of Ueshiba basically teaching DR in the 1930's, they seem like good observations to me!

    Regards,
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 13th July 2014 at 18:05.
    Nathan Scott
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    "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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    Nathan -

    1) The JJ in the Heiho Okugisho are so generic as to resemble any ryu, really.
    2) One thing that is quite interesting is that the "kempo" in H.O. is represented by men in Chinese style clothes. This seems to be a conventional view - that pugilism was a Chinese specialty.
    3) In fact, I believe in "divine dreams and wild tengu inspirations." This sort of phenomena - a non-rational gestalt experience is a human experience - quite a few scientific discoveries (in math and physics, in particular) came about in this manner. There's no doubt that other koryu had renovation, recreation, etc. My initial point, in the essay that gave impetus to the thread includes the following: there is a considerable "drag" on the parameters of other koryu - until modern times, what with taryu jiai and social pressure, even renovated arts would have the same basic assumptions, arrangement, and many qualities in common. I was commenting and still find remarkable how DR is outside those parameters, which makes it such a singular art, something that would take a singular man in a period where all the rules were crumbling anyway (Meiji) to come up with. When we look at modern arts (including Toyama-ryu, BTW) where those anchoring influences are non-existent, we can see how loose the parameters have become.
    4) Sometimes I think Kondo has become unfairly criticized for what he presents. There seems to be an assumption, which I believe may be incorrect, that he can't do the aiki/sophisticated stuff, just because he doesn't present it. As this stuff used to be gokui, he may simply be true to how the art was expected to be presented and passed down. Sagawa can be regarded, I believe, as someone who continued the creative process with DR, and Kodo seems to have made a specialty in the teaching and presentation of the aiki techniques. Truth of the matter is, I have no idea how "good" any of these fellows are, not having felt the technique for myself. But I wonder if it is either fair or accurate to have Kondo rather frequently held up as the jujutsu/crude side of DR, almost as if he didn't learn the real good stuff. I wonder if that's really true.

    Best

    Ellis Amdur
    www.ellisamdur.com

    P.S. Sent you an email about the waxwood staves.

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