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Thread: General Discussion - legitimacy/succession

  1. #61
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    Hello Mr. Taylor,

    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm glad you chose to de-cloak and participate in discussions. I find your presence here to be an asset, since otherwise we are limited to discussing your organization - of which we are not members - between ourselves. I am also relieved to hear that you are satsified with the quality of training at the Seishin Abashiri dojo.

    Nothing will be resolved from emotional outbursts and name calling, so I am quite happy to approach the topic logically, factually and fairly.

    So I feel compelled as a creditability issue, to share with you that my previous teacher for over 10 years, prior to joining the school was a Sandan under the late Katsumi Yonzawa Sensei.
    Out of curiousity, may I ask who your instructor was under Yonezawa Sensei? Was it under the Bokuyokan, or earlier?

    While we're at it, how do you find your training under Yonezawa S. system compares to your training now?

    While both are very important and show acheivment, to rule out the fact that senior students of the former Daitokan, whomever they might be, would not have a legitimate level of techincal ability, is unreasonable to me. Especially when many of the senior students, including those of the "Seishinkai Group", were direct and daily attending students of the late Tokimune Takeda Sensei for periods of 30-40 years.
    This is a tough subject to discuss. While I don't personally know whether the Seishin members are highly skilled or not, I would say that it is likewise not fair to assume that they *are* highly skilled.

    I instruct at the headquarters of two of the syles that I train in, and it has been an interesting experience. The members of our Honbu largely are not aware of the skill level of our headmaster, or what a rare opportunity it is to train under him directly. As such, there are quite a number of mediocre-skilled students who come to class, put in their time and don't make the extra effort and sacrifice to really excel in the systems. To some degree they take the instructor for granted since he is there five days a week. Some students have come from other places specifically to train under our headmaster, and they are the exceptions, but most students are local and this was simply the closest dojo to where they live.

    Conversely, our headmaster runs two world-wide organizations, full of members who compete for his time and attention. They do not see him often, and as such are very hungry for knowledge. Soke is treated with much respect and enthusiasm when he travels, and as a result puts alot more energy into teaching them. Also, having limited exposure to him, he tends to give them alot of valuable "homework" to work on inbetween visits.

    My point being that it has been my experience and observation that it is quite possible to have students with daily contact with the headmaster of the style who do not become highly skilled, while others not at the honbu may be able to progress at a relatively surprising pace. To many Japanese, Daito ryu is many of hundreds of ryu-ha that are taught around Japan. Many students are usually either young, and not terribly committed, or salarymen that don't have the time, inclination or energy to train seriously.

    Daito ryu was not nearly as "famous" then as it is now, and the Daitokan was a somewhat modest wooden building in the back yard of the instructor's house.

    Also, it is well worth noting that Takeda Sokaku S. performed the vast majority of his teaching through limited seminar-style opportunities. Many of the highly skilled instructors of Daito ryu managed to learn this way, seeing a technique demonstrated once and not receiving much if any corrections from the instructor. It has been documented that this is how Ueshiba Sensei and most others learned.

    While Kondo Sensei is a busy man, and lives quite far away from the Daitokan, I don't think it's fair to question his ability based on this fact alone considering that most senior exponents learned in the same fashion - and he was clearly favored and awarded the only Menkyo Kaiden by the Daitokan's own headmaster.

    I ask you this - why did Takeda T. Soke not choose to issue higher certfication to his own, daily students of 30-40 years. What about Kyoju Dairi? Why trust administrative duties to someone so far away when he's got long time direct senior students locally?

    I also find it interesting that the Seishin seniors and Mr. Kobayashi are quick to defend the honor and memory of their teacher, but they don't seem to mind boldly implying that Kondo Sensei purchased his Menkyo Kaiden from Takeda T. Soke (this based primarily on discussions on the daito-ryu.com BBS).

    These are a few points to consider.

    For the record, I'm not saying Kondo S. or Kato/Sano S. are more or less skilled. I have not seen any of the Seishin tapes yet. Mr. Taylor could very well be right. I for one remain open until I've at least viewed some video.

    As for me, I wish both groups would or could find a way to re-unite, because we in Daito-ryu are all losing out in someway.
    I think we all agree on this. Personally, it is my hope to reach some kind of understanding or conclusion through this public "trial". Like I said, all this did not happen all that long ago.

    Personally, I don't believe that one can say based on video tapes that either my teachers, or Mr. Kondo's group, are more superior. There are all sorts of photographic procedures and staging that can enhance the quality of a particular production. I like to think of video footage as a representation of certain techniques, rather than a judging instrument for the quality or caliber of a particular pactinioner or group.
    There is some truth to that, but I have had alot of luck evaluating the skill of someone by watching video. I've seen Kondo S. in his oroduced instructional videos, and I've seen video of him live during demonstrations. You can see if the uke's are flying around on their own, and if the instructor is applying techniques in a bio-mechanically sound fashion or if it is a bit rough around the edges.

    The Seishin videos are produced, which means they have had the opportunity to edit and put their best foot forward. However, while I'd like to see any video of them, I'd really like to see the demonstrating.

    Evaluation of this kind is subjective, but far from valueless.

    May I suggest that you approach your instructors about uploading a few mpegs for the world to see? It might go a long ways towards educating the public as to their skill, and it would bring traffic to the web page.

    Anyway, the main issue politically has little to do with "who is better". But I don't think we can assume that one is better or worse based off the amount of daily exposure to the headmaster. while this is a logical theory, and two students of equal drive under these opposing training opportunities would definitely have vastly different skill levels in the end, I have seen evidence in more than one case to indicate that this is not always true in reality.

    Respectfully,




    [Edited by Nathan Scott on 12-11-2000 at 08:34 PM]
    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)

  2. #62
    miguel ibarra Guest

    Default seishinkai legitamacy

    to nathan scott
    happy holidays. the answer to your question to mr.taylor re: his past instructor is the following.

    after his having received a black belt in another jujutsu style mr. taylor became my student. i as you know began studying under yonezawa shihan in 1982 prior to his establishing the bokuyokan. [prior to this i began my studies of jujutsu in 1966 in mi yama ryu jujutsu.] at that time i also studied under kiyama sensei since he was yonezawa's assistant here in the states, as well the main intructor when yonezawa was in japan. although yonezawa was a shihan 8 deg. in the kodo kai, he always emphasized applied techniques in his classes.
    he was an excellent practitioner and instructor as is sensei kiyama [a truly dedicated daito ryu istructor and practitioner]. take care and happy holidays. ibarra

  3. #63
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    Default So desu ka?

    Hello Mr. Ibarra,

    Thanks for your reply and the interesting background. I've heard stories about Yonezawa Sensei, but never had a chance to meet him (or see video, for that matter).

    Happy New Year and Holidays to you as well!

    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)

  4. #64
    Paul Wollos Guest

    Default Abashiri Group

    Greetings to You All,

    I think the real problem we face here with Abashiri Group, is their attitude. They want world to recognize them as the "only honbu" of the "only Daito Ryu" art! In doing so (or just by stating so) they greatly disrespect all others. Statements found on their webside are not informative, but challenging rather. No wonder they have received response from so many, sometimes even very rude. Its just what one deserves claiming such things.
    Sometime ago, "honbu secretary" tried his best to instruct others of their "disrespect" for Takeda Tokimune Soke, and Abashiri "honbu" generally. I thought to myself "well, how easily the facts can be twisted, reversed, and even abused".

    What have become of Daito Ryu? Another "politically dirty" MA? It sadens me to see this wonderful art being hurt.

    Well, sorry for rather a complicated post, but the whole issue is still extremally sensitive, nerve taking.

    Simply: if one wants respect, first he shall show that he can respect others.
    Unfortunatelly for Abashiri, this is far from being a case.

    I do have videos of Seishinkai, and due to [...] I choose rather not to comment on that issue.

    Yes, tahnks God we have people like Kondo Sensei, and others in Kodokai, Roppokai, Takumakai, Sagawa Dojo... otherwise there will be nothing left out of Daito Ryu AIKIjujutsu, but.... jujutsu.

    I think people should open their eyes, see the facts for themselves, and pass the judgement free from affiliation (=politics).
    The we could unite, discuss the REAL questions concerning this wonderful art, wishing each other PEACEFULL Merry Xmas.

    Merry Christmas to You All. Have a Great Time!

    sincrely

    Paul Wollos




  5. #65
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    Default URL change

    Just a quick note to advise interested parties that the SAD home page (daito-ryu.com) is down, and has been re-routed to:

    http://panoz.tol.it/~daitoryu/daito-...lish/frame.htm

    The bulletin board is completely gone. I managed to keep records of the majority of the interactions, but was not able to get it all before the posts started to expire.

    Did anyone else happen to archive them?

    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)

  6. #66
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    Default Just noticed something...

    I haven't been to the Abashiri site in a while (it's back up Nathan), and I noticed that is says, "In his last will (a public act that is available to the public) he appointed his daughter as our next Soke."

    Since I am but a very, very junior student, is it possible that someone of more stature here could request a copy of this document that is "available to the public?"

    There are several people in this forum that can translate Japanese to some extent, so this could actually settle a few issues so we can attempt to "move on."

    Just an idea.

    Carlos
    E. Carlos Estrella, Jr.

    The strength of a man is not measured in how much he can lift, how many he can fight or how much he can endure, but in his capacity to admit his limitations and learn to successfully circumvent them.

  7. #67
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    Hello,

    Yes, that part about a "public will" has been up since the beginning. That was actually one of the main points we argued about early on.

    Mr. Pranin and Kondo sensei both said that there is no last written will (at least in regards to succession). Mr. Kobayashi (SAD secretary) insists that there is, and that it is "public knowledge" that anyone has access to. I asked him specifically where such a document could be found, and that I'd like very much to see it and he did not offer any assistance or information.

    FWIW, this specific issue is not as critical as others at this point (aside from the matter of honesty). Both the SAD and Kondo sensei agree that Takeda Nobuko (married under the name "Yokoyama") was named to act as Soke until one of the son's was old enough (and qualified) to assume the headmastership. Mrs. Yokoyama resigned the position after Tokimune sensei's death, and the SAD claim that Yokoyama's sister (married under the name "Oshima") somehow obtained the right to become interim soke. Mrs. Oshima did appear to obtain the necessary records and officiating stamps (hanko).

    Kondo sensei had supported Mrs. Yokoyama while she was acting soke, but does not appear to support Mrs. Oshima or her husband, who has legally changed his name to "Takeda [Masanobu]" and is unilaterally claiming to be soke of Daito ryu! Interestingly, Mr. Kobayashi indicated that he did not feel Mr. Oshima was in the right, but the SAD lists "Takeda Masanobu" as the current headmaster anyway.

    I strongly urged the SAD on more than one occaison to provide evidence and/or documentation to support their claims, and they have provided a grand total of ZERO to date.

    So there you have it - more to come.
    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)

  8. #68
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    Thanks Nathan-san! I was thinking someone might have thought of this already but "never assume."

    BTW: Is anyone thinking of trying to bring together the schools of Daito Ryu to a major seminar here in the States (that you are aware of)?

    Regards,

    Carlos
    E. Carlos Estrella, Jr.

    The strength of a man is not measured in how much he can lift, how many he can fight or how much he can endure, but in his capacity to admit his limitations and learn to successfully circumvent them.

  9. #69
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    I don't see that happening any time soon.

    It would seem that the major branches of DR share cordial, if not friendly relations. But on a technical level there does not seem to be much (mutual) interest in merging, sharing or collaborating between branches, outside of the occaisonal joint demonstrations in Japan that commemorate Takeda Sokaku, which is a common denominator.

    There is something interesting about the methods and political structure Tokimune sensei had set up, that I'm not all that clear on still. I will start a new thread soon about that. Tokimune sensei was influntial on the Seishinkai (obviously, since they were his students) as well as the Takumakai. The other major branches seem to be more focused on aiki methods.

    BTW, Mr. Pranin does have some big plans for an aikido enbutaikai in Nevada. If it comes to be, it promises be an interesting event to be at.

    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)

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