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Thread: Interview: "Daito-ryu", by Kent Moyer (Kondo Interview)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Los Angeles, CA USA
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    Default Interview: "Daito-ryu", by Kent Moyer (Kondo Interview)

    Hi all,

    In the May 2006 issue of "Black Belt" magazine is an interesting interview of Kondo Katsuyuki Sensei from Daito-ryu Shinbukan. It was written by Kent Moyer, who is a regular contributor to magazines like BB, and used to be the guy writing the Steven Seagal articles back in his day. I believe Mr. Moyer teaches Karate in the Hollywood CA area.

    Following are some comments I found interesting in the article. I've edited these clips a bit to reduce the amount of typing necessary and increase clarity of meaning, indicated in brackets "[]" :

    "...[Katsuyuki Kondo] is the only living person certified by Tokimune Takeda, son of [Sokaku] Takeda, to have attained a rank higher than first-degree blackbelt." (intro comment by Kent Moyer)

    "Kondo: Tsunejiro Hosono was a high-level student of [Sokaku] Takeda."

    "BB: Were the techniques under Hosono [Tsunejiro], Yoshida [Kotaro], and Tokimune Takeda the same? Kondo: The techniques were a lot different.
    BB: How did the techniques differ? Kondo: If I anwser this question based on what I know today, [I would say that] Hosono and Yoshida did not understand what aiki is. If I go back to my opinion when I was younger, it would have been different. I have grown to a higher level as a person and instructor, and each instructor is different ... Many teachers were taught the same technique, but each one teaches it differently. In summary, the ability of each person to understand the waza was different. Each instructor would interpret the techniques differently. [Sokaku] taught that, whatever you could steal, go ahead and steal. This was Tokimune's way of teaching, also."

    "BB: When you met [Ueshiba Morihei], did you ever discuss his Daito-ryu training? Kondo: Yes, of course. I met [Ueshiba] in 1968 or 1969 at the Aikikai honbu dojo. I had an introduction from Tokimune Takeda. When he saw the introduction letter from Tokimune, [Ueshiba] said, "I learned Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, also." Ueshiba was practicing the jo and said, "Let me show you some of the techniques I learned from [Sokaku] Takeda." So he called me over to train, and he threw me using the jo."

    "Kondo: I have heard that [Sokaku] went to Okinawa, but I do not have any documents to support it - and I have 98 percent to 99 percent of the Daito-ryu documents from Tokimune Takeda."

    "BB: Did Tokimune Takeda ever teach in Okinawa or the United States? Kondo: No. He never taught abroad."

    "BB: Were the techniques of [Sokaku] Takeda and Tokimune Takeda different? Kondo: I never saw [Sokaku's] techniques, so I do not know. But I knew many of his students and trained with them. I can imagine, through his students, what [Sokaku's] techniques were like. I think the closest techniques to [Sokaku's] were Tokimune's. The reason I say this is my techniques are the closest to Tokimune's techniques. Tokimune's daughter would tell me, "When I see your techniques, it reminds me of my father." I had the most training under the students of [Sokaku] Takeda because I wanted to visit each one, train and see what Takeda's techniques were like. Each instructor [was different. So I wanted to experience all their techniques to get a better overview of Sokaku's techniques]. So from this knowledge, it was my feeling that Tokimune's techniques were the closest to this father's."

    "BB: How many children did [Sokaku] Takeda have? How many trained in Daito-ryu? Kondo: He had seven from his second wife. None of them is alive. The only child that trained in Daito-ryu was Tokimune. This is because of the Japanese custom of [isshi-soden], which says you should teach your skills to only one child to prevent conflict within the family. That was the samurai system."

    "BB: Are any of Tokimune Takeda's children certified to teach Daito-ryu? Kondo: He has two living daughters. They did not train in Daito-ryu, and the first daughter's husband did not train in Daito-ryu. The second daughter's husband trained a little - maybe a year altogether. None of them received any certification. Tokimune wanted his grandson to train and continue in the Takeda family [art]. While Tokimune was alive, his grandson trained under him a number of times. Both of Tokimune's daughters have one son. The one grandson who trained for a short time did not like it becuase the training would hurt. When Tokimune gave me the menkyo kaiden, he sat down, did a formal bow and said: "I was not able to teach my own grandsons. I am giving you Daito-ryu, and a I want you to teach my grandsons to the extent which is possible."

    "BB: In your opinion, where is Daito-ryu aikijujutsu going? Kondo: I have responsibility for Daito-ryu and the approval of the Japanese government, which has recognized my Daito-ryu organization. Before the recognition, there were court battles for many years. I did not go to court, and I did not initiate the lawsuit, nor was I the plaintiff. Among the legitimate Daito-ryu organizations, there are the Takumakai in Osaka and the Kodokai in Hokkaido; we have a good relationship. I do not recognize the other Daito-ryu organizations. I have a copyright and intellectual property rights to the ledgers, training videos, DVD's, books and the [art of] Daito-ryu aikijujutsu under Japanese law. I ahve not exercised my right to stop ohter instructors. I do not want to engage in this legal activity, but I could if I needed to."
    Pretty strong statements in general. It would seem that Kondo Sensei is getting more outspoken about Daito-ryu politics.

    Nathan Scott

    "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. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Nagoya, Japan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kondo Katsuyuki
    Ueshiba was practicing the jo and said, "Let me show you some of the techniques I learned from [Sokaku] Takeda." So he called me over to train, and he threw me using the jo."
    Whoa. That looks like the smoking gun Ellis Amdur is looking for over on his Aikido Journal blog...
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Atlanta - USA
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    Unfortunately not really...
    Ellis has mentioned jo nage waza in various Daito ryu branches. What would be interesting is jo no jo or jo no ken waza.
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

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