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Thread: Hakko ryu jujutsu

  1. #1
    shinja Guest

    Question

    Hey guys,

    Posted this question to the aikijujutsu uys. It was suggested that I post it under jujutsu.

    Okuyama studied Daito Ryu and based his Hakko Ryu Jujutsu on what he learned.

    What's the general opinion of those familiar with Daito Ryu and Hakko Ryu. Is Hakko Ryu considered to be aikijujutsu?


    any Hakko Ryu guys out there?

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    Steven

    Sorry for the delay, I've been on holidays.

    There are many jujutsu styles that have techniques that could be construed as aikijutsu or aikijujutsu, but that doesn't necessarily make them true aikijutsu styles.

    To be honest with you and at the risk of starting an arguement, I personally don't think there is really much difference between good jujutsu and aikijutsu. (Notice I qualified the statement by saying 'good' jujutsu, I also think that there is more bad jujutsu than good jujutsu, especially some of the stuff I've seen personally.)

    Jujutsu can be applied in a soft flowing manner full of aiki (as in aikido) or shortcut so the techniques are applied in a short, hard, quick way. In Daito Ryu there is a huge number of techniques that are pure jujutsu, the aiki no jutsu principles are applied to a few specific techniques from memory, 60 or so throws out of a couple of thousand unarmed techniques, though this does include variations so the actual number is much lower. (Please correct me if I'm wrong Nathan ).

    From what I've seen and read, Hakko Ryu does embrace certain aiki principles but prefers to concentrate on its wrist locks, which are quite good.

    I can't really go so far as to say that Hakko Ryu or any other jujutsu style is Aikijutsu, but I don't think the differences are as great as some people would have us believe.

    Regards

    Neil
    Neil Hawkins
    "The one thing that must be learnt but
    cannot be taught is understanding"

  3. #3
    Richard A Tolson Guest

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    What Neil said!!!

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    Neil and Richard and all,

    Happy Halloween!

    Maybe I should give up trying to explain things and just train more. All the pre-crash aiki wars and post-crash attempts to clarify what authentic Daito-ryu aiki is seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Perhaps it's just meant to be that way.

    Daito-ryu has had a rich and mysterious history, and details about the art, it's background, techniques and principles have been scarce. Myths and legends seem to comprise the bulk of the martial arts public knowledge about the art.

    However, recently things have began to open up significantly. There are many more people training in Daito-ryu than ever before, and other so-called "aikijujutsu" styles too. And it's all because of the efforts of some very dedicated people. Now there is much more information available to the public as well, because of the dedication and efforts of those same people.

    What doesn't help sincere seekers of knowledge about authentic aikijujutsu or more specifically Daito-ryu; is when folks outside of the tradition continue to try to define and describe what aiki is or isn't to everyone else. For jujutsu practitioners of other traditions to say what aiki is like is comparable (IMHO) to a guy saying he knows what having breast cancer feels like.

    Ok maybe, it's more like a woman saying she knows what it feels like because her friend or her mother had it, but it doesn't matter. The truth is, only a woman who can say from personal experience - can really say that she knows what it feels like. And anyone who really wants to understand, and/or sympathize objectively must listen to those who've been through it, not just observed it or read about it.

    Even for someone who's had skin cancer and may have a lot in common, such as having received similar treatments and ended up with similar results, it's not the same. For them to assume they understand, or presume to explain to someone else what it's like is at best speculative and/or misleading, but at worst is insensitive and damaging.

    What is frustrating (but perhaps shouldn't be) for someone like myself who has made considerable efforts to describe my experiences, and share what I've learned about Daito-ryu through my direct training with an authentic master of the art, is when assumptions are made based on preconceived notions and previous experience. The problem I see is that too often people outside Daito-ryu try to use and define terms and concepts according to the way they were taught in their system of jujutsu and/or aikido. This only obfuscates things further and contributes both to the "mysteriousness" and overall confusion surrounding aikijujutsu.

    When "aiki" becomes everything to everybody, then everybody has their own "aiki", and then aiki loses it's objectivity and becomes completely subjective. The real aiki then becomes nebulous and elusive because who can say what it is? If good jujutsu becomes like aiki, and flowing cooperative aikido is also full of aiki what is it? In my mind, good jujutsu might very well be soft, effortless, and flowing, but good jujutsu does not necessitate cooperation - good jujutsu is effective jujutsu. Is it not?

    Two aikido practitioners may also flow together in wonderful harmony, tori may lead and uke might follow in perfect sync, and that could be very good, even great aikido, but as long as uke cooperates can we objectively consider it to be equally effective or efficient?

    If you want to know whether a Mac is better than a PC you need to not only use a Mac you need to use it the way it was intended. You can't try to operate it as if it were a PC. Sure they're both computers and they both perform many of the same functions and share many features, but no matter how much Windows based systems try to copy Mac features it uses a different operating system, they're more different than they are alike. If you want to know what a Mac can do, understand and utilize it to its full potential, then you've got to learn the system, become familiar with it, you have to immerse yourself completely in it and adopt it's operating system.

    Most martial systems are comprised of techniques of a certain type or style, some are based on concepts and principles as well. Aikijujutsu is a principle based art. Jujutsu and aikido both share some of those principles, and may also be based on those principles as well, but they are not to be mistaken for aikijujutsu (or even the principles themselves). The aiki no jutsu in Daito-ryu are techniques, not principles. They illustrate, use and follow certain principles, but they are not the principles themselves. In aikido "aiki" is seen primarily as a concept and sometimes as a combining force (ai+ki), likewise in some jujutsu systems, but other jujutsu systems see "aiki" as other things.

    But if people want to know more about the real, authentic aiki then they should join an authentic aikijujutsu dojo and train directly with a teacher who is willing and able to teach it. But that's not all, if you really want to get it, you've also got to adopt the system, you've got to come with an empty cup and set aside everything you've learned up to that point, in order to get it undistorted from the source. And if you're unable or unwilling to make that commitment, then at least have the objectivity and courtesy to accept the word of those who have, as coming from much closer to the source than anyone outside the tradition, or just stick to commenting on what you really know.

    Pardon my tirade guys, no offense was intended here, this just touched one of my buttons. I've no intention of continuing to argue about this or reigniting the old aiki wars. People can go back and read some of the older threads (mostly on the AJJ forum) for more distinctions, but if you really want to know, find a good dojo, with a great teacher, become a (beginning) student again, adopt that system and train, train, train.

    To answer the main question posed by Steven:

    Hakko-ryu Jujutsu is derived from Daito-ryu Jujutsu. It has a few techniques that could be considered aikijujutsu techniques, but it is definitely a Jujutsu system. Many of the techniques are virtually unchanged from Daito-ryu Jujutsu techniques, however there is more emphasis on pressure points in Hakko-ryu. From my limited experience, it's my opinion that the Hakko-ryu Jujutsu system is based on the use of the body's meridian system (via pressure points) combined with the skeletal locking aspects of Daito-ryu Jujutsu, and a self-defense oriented philosophy of No Challenge, No Resistance and No Injury.

    Remember, that in Daito-ryu there is both jujutsu and aikijujutsu, and they are both completely different. Technically there's not a whole lot of difference between Hakko-ryu and Daito-ryu Jujutsu, but there is a big difference between the mindset, intent and philosophy of the two. The difference between Hakko-ryu and Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is even greater because technically they're also completely different.

    While I'm not ranked in Hakko-ryu, I did study it briefly and intensely for almost a year. This was after I'd been practicing aikido for about three years, and before I started training in Daito-ryu with Seigo Okamoto sensei.

    Brently Keen




    [Edited by Brently Keen on 10-31-2000 at 11:08 PM]

  5. #5
    Richard A Tolson Guest

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    Brently,
    Sorry pal, but you lost me. What exactly did you disagree with in Neil's post? Was it his statement about aiki no jutsu?
    Sometimes it sounds like you interpret all aikijujutsu from your Roppokai and past aikido experience. That is only a piece of the puzzle. The last I heard you were a shodan in Roppokai. Not that shodan is a small achievement. How long have you been training in Roppokai? Just curious. I don't really know much about you.
    Even one intense year is not enough to judge Hakko-ryu. Though many of the points you raise were right on target.
    The only thing that bothers me about your post is that you seem to think you are the only "true" aikijujutsu practitioner to respond to this thread. That is assuming quite a bit! But perhaps I just misread your intent.
    BTW, Happy Halloween back at ya .


    [Edited by Richard A Tolson on 10-31-2000 at 11:32 PM]

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    Brently,

    Sorry, it was certainly not my intention to get you worked up. I don't think I said anything to denigrate Daito Ryu, I merely wished to put some things into perspective. I will be the first to admit that I know very little about Daito Ryu, and my interpretation of aiki is definitely based on Ueshiba's model. There are a number of styles that affect the term aikijutsu to differentiate the softer style from the hard style. I think I alluded to the fact that Daito Ryu was different from these and merely mentioned that a large percentage of the Daito Ryu techniques are jujutsu. A point that you confirmed in your post.

    I apologise if you took offence at anything I said, I was merely trying to explain to Steven why some people might refer to Hakko Ryu as aikijutsu. Again, I don't want to resurrect any of the old arguements, but your contention that I cannot explain what aiki is like is erroneous. I may not be able to describe your (or Daito Ryu's) concept of aiki, but I can certainly explain my concept using aikido terms, and despite what you say, some of the aiki I have seen and felt demonstrated in aikido and jujutsu is very practical. It is this form of energy/power that I use and it is taught in a number of older jujutsu schools. Obviously the techniques or principles pre-date aikido and so who knows where or how they originated, but the descriptions used by aikido illustrate them well. There are some that would consider a well executed, powerful punch to contain aiki (body and spirit in harmony), just because it doesn't fit our concept doesn't mean they are wrong, they are just using the same word in a different context.

    You are correct when you say 'good' jujutsu is effective jujutsu. But this does not have to be short and sharp, effective technique encompasses a huge number of things, but primary is (IMO) unbalancing. There are many ways to unbalance an opponent, most are physical, some are mental, but however you do it, ki plays an essential part especially when the movements are longer. The flow of ki is what keeps the opponent off-balance, this taken to its extreme in the exercise called Aiki no taiso but is manifest in many other techniques.

    Regards

    Neil

    PS. Richard, settle down a bit will ya, that last post sounded a little confrontational, no one is questioning Brently's credentials. I have the utmost respect for Brently even if we disagree sometimes.
    Neil Hawkins
    "The one thing that must be learnt but
    cannot be taught is understanding"

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    Originally posted by Brently Keen
    [snip]
    (IMHO) to a guy saying he knows what having breast cancer feels like.

    [snip]The truth is, only a woman who can say from personal experience - can really say that she knows what it feels like. And anyone who really wants to understand, and/or sympathize objectively must listen to those who've been through it, not just observed it or read about it.
    [snip]

    Brently Keen
    [snip]
    One thing- men CAN get breast cancer. Adipose tissue is subject to cancerous tumors for guys (and while it isn't common, it does happen).

    Be well,
    Jigme
    Jigme Chobang Daniels
    aoikoyamakan at gmail dot com

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    Red face

    Jigme - Yeah I thought the same thing, but consider the psychological difference between a man losing his breast and a woman. Of course the man most likely ignored his symptoms and is dead anyway.
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

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    True,

    But for guys, the whole "women are supposed to get this not me..." factor seems like it could be devastating to one's self-image. This is not to diminish female breast-cancer patients at all (recently lost a close family friend to it), but the assertion that it is something that only women get is just wrong.

    Be well,
    Jigme
    Jigme Chobang Daniels
    aoikoyamakan at gmail dot com

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    It's important to remember that some of the terminology we're discussing in these forums are used as "terms of art" within certain disciplines, but are used in a more general sense by other groups.

    For example, there are the terms used in discussing the tactical implications of early- or late-initiative in combat. In a general sense, we all have an idea what is meant by "sen-no-sen" and "go-no-sen," but _within_ a given martial tradition, the terms might be used in a very specialized, even idiosyncratic way: What one _ryuha_ calls "go-no-sen" might well be described as "sen-no-sen" when using the customary language of a second _ryuha_.

    As I understand it, the concept of _aiki_ has been used by many koryu for a long time. Daito Ryu has made it a particular specialty, and uses the term with a very specific meaning, but other groups may also use the term, and it may have a somewhat different meaning within those groups. There's nothing wrong with that.

    Indeed, _aiki_ may not mean exactly the same thing to different Daito Ryu factions. Do Roppokai and Daitokan _really_ mean the same thing when they say _aiki_? If not, then why is it a big deal when aikido uses the term in their own specific sense?

    Many experienced practitioners of Daito Ryu recognize that the broader, more general concept of _aiki_ can be honored by traditions far outside the Daito Ryu lineage. On the kamiza at my dojo hangs a piece of calligraphy that reads (wait for it)......AIKI! I'm sure some people, seeing it in a Judo club, figure we probably don't know what it says & just hung it up 'cause it looks so good

    We received it as a special gift, in honor of the opening of our new dojo. It was sent from Japan by Inoue Yusuke, menkyo-kaiden of Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu Kodokai, who brushed it in our honor, and was presented to us at the opening by Kiyama Hayawo sensei.

    We treasure it, _and_ the concept it represents.
    Yours in Judo,

    Brian P. Griffin

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    Hello,

    First of all, I wouldn't look forward to trying to squash me breasty in a mamogram machine. I'll pass.

    Secondly, I'm all for using the terms "Aiki" (as used by most traditions that coin the term aiki in their system) and "DR Aiki" for the unique definition used by exponents of Daito ryu. What DR aiki is, and whehter it is everything DR students say we'll never know unless we join a ligit dojo and train very hard for most of our lives (even then it's a bit iffy, from what I've heard!).

    The general public should and will likely have to settle for "DR aiki is defined differently than all/most known traditions", because those that know (senior DR exponents) are probably not going to be inclined to explain it to outsiders, being one of the higher core principles of their tradition. If they did, they would (at this time, at least) be chastised by their peers and perhaps fired from the tradition.

    So lets avoid aiki wars by simply qualifying the concept as "aiki" or "DR aiki". No need to have a war about it, or disagree on it's usage. I think it is within the right of DR exponents to say that they have not seen aiki as defined by DR in other styles yet, as long as its stated in a similar way to this to avoid ruffling feathers of those that define aiki in the more general/classic sense.

    Fair enough?

    Regards,


    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. #12
    Richard A Tolson Guest

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    Nathan,
    Good suggestion! I can live with that.

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    Richard,

    I just reread my post, and I think I was being clear about what I meant. I certainly begged everyone's pardon for my "tirade" and even stated that I meant no offense. I was just expressing a frustration of mine, it wasn't personal.

    I am not one to go around advertising the ranks I hold in the martial arts that I've studied. Rank in fact means very little to me. Instead it is the aquisition of skill that matters more to me. I have never asked for or sought out rank promotions for myself. IMO, years spent training in a martial art are also not much of an indicator of skill or expertise either. It is not the years of experience that matter nearly as much as the depth of of that experience.

    I've only been training in Daito-ryu for eight years, and I'm the first to admit that's not a very long time, (Heck, I'm even a slow learner), but that means absolutely nothing because those years are entirely relative and subjective. Some of my students have grasped in months what took me years to figure out. It's enough that Okamoto sensei has granted me the responsibility and priveledge of representing the Roppokai as a shibu-cho.

    I can only share my perspective based on what I have been taught and have learned from my experience. My point was that it only obfuscates the issues when people outside of a tradition try to define or describe something that stems from that tradition. Especially when their own experience derives from a different system or systems altogether.

    I certainly was not judging "Hakko-ryu", I simply stated some of the characteristics of the art, based not only on my own admittedly limited experience, but also on what the founder, and some other top teachers have said about the art.

    Jigme,

    I stand corrected. I'd never heard of men getting breast cancer. I think my point is unaffected though, and that is: In order to truly understand and know what it feels like, you'd have to have gone through the experience yourself. Barring that, if you wanted to know more you'd best ask someone who had been through it to tell you what it was like and how it made them feel. Their perspective is gonna give you the best idea short of going through it yourself.

    Neil,

    It seems that you pretty much understood the intent of my post (thanks), and you certainly caused me no offense. I simply think that a lot of misconceptions about (Daito-ryu) aikijujutsu stem from perspectives outside of Daito-ryu.

    Since these perspectives seem to come primarily from aikido and other jujutsu systems, they naturally reflect the interpretations and biases of those those systems, which are quite different from the Daito-ryu perspective. Although aikido is derived from Daito-ryu, it's interpretation and definition of aiki still differs significantly, IMO.

    I don't really disagree too much with the actual points you made (such as what constitutes good and bad jujutsu, and that while Hakko-ryu may contain some ajj techniques it's still a jujutsu system), as much as I object to some of the assumptions you made along with them, like:

    "I personally don't think there is really much difference between good jujutsu and aikijutsu." and "I don't think the differences are as great as some people would have us believe." and that soft flowing jujutsu (or aikido) is full of aiki.


    Everyone,

    The question of this thread was:

    "Okuyama studied Daito Ryu and based his Hakko Ryu Jujutsu on what he learned. What's the general opinion of those familiar with Daito Ryu and Hakko Ryu. Is Hakko Ryu considered to be aikijujutsu?"

    It seems clear to me that while the perspectives and definitions of terms also used in aikido or other jujutsu systems may be valid in the context of those other systems, they do not apply to discussions of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu (because discussions about Daito-ryu AJJ should use the terms as they are defined and understood in Daito-ryu).

    If you ask a Daito-ryu AJJ practitioner if Hakko-ryu Jujutsu can be considered aikijujutsu, he'll say, "No, Hakko-ryu is jujutsu." If you ask Hakko-ryu practitioners the same thing most would say, "No, it's Hakko-ryu Jujutsu not Hakko-ryu Aikijujutsu."

    Now some might want to think that they're learning aikijujutsu just because Hakko-ryu descends from Daito-ryu, but even though Okuyama sensei taught Daito-ryu for some time before he created Hakko-ryu (as did Ueshiba before he created Aikido) it would be incorrect to say that Hakko-ryu is (a form of) aikijujutsu, not just because the Daito-ryu definition is different, but also because Shodai soke himself named the art Hakko-ryu Jujutsu, and described it as a jujutsu system.

    It's also a misnomer to replace the "do" in aikido with "jutsu" and call it 'aikijutsu' just because you emphasize practical technique over philosophy and self-development. Because that's nothing like Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu or aiki no jutsu. Likewise a lot of people like to mix judo or jujutsu with a little aikido, throw in a few kicks and strikes for practical measure and presto, call it "aikijujutsu"! But it has nothing to do with authentic aikijujutsu at all.

    Once again, it's not my intent to offend, or provoke further argument with anybody here. For what it's worth, I don't claim to be anyone special, or to be any kind of authority, or even to be an expert at all, only that I have a perspective from within Daito-ryu's tradition rather than from without.

    Brently Keen






    [Edited by Brently Keen on 11-02-2000 at 01:14 AM]

  14. #14
    Richard A Tolson Guest

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    Brently,
    Thanks for the clarification! No offense was intended. Hopefully none was taken.
    I do have one major difference of opinion though with you and several others from another thread concerning whether rank is important. Now realize that I am from the old days of martial arts. In other words, B.M.D. (before McDojos). Back when eight year olds were not running around with black belts and testing was not based on where it fell on the calendar. Rank was earned through blood, sweat and tears (no, not the rock group).
    Rank meant your instructor validated your skill. Shodan was the beginning and nearly killed you. Anyone who stopped after shodan/nidan/sandan was considered a loser! Though few people had the stones to make it to shodan.
    I witnessed many friends fight this uphill battle for their instructors substatiation of their skills. And since most styles today do use the belt system, it is the only way someone across the Internet can even get an idea where you may be in your instructor's eyes.
    I am not including you in this statement, but I usually find that those who do not think rank is important are the ones with little rank/outward physical validation of their instructor's confidence in them.
    Just an old man's opinion.

  15. #15
    shinja Guest

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    Thanks for the input!

    I have recently taken up study in Hakko Ryu. I asked my instructor about this very question and he did say that Hakko Ryu does not consider itself Aikijujutsu.

    I do actually agree that even though aikido and Hakko Ryu both decended from aikijujutsu they in fact are not aikijujutsu.

    I am an american with both american indian and irish ancestry but that doesn't make me either irish or american indian.


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