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Thread: Letter of Apology (Tommaso Leonetti & Giacomo Merello)

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    Default Letter of Apology (Tommaso Leonetti & Giacomo Merello)

    Below is a copy of the message posted at aikidojournal.com. It sounds like the author intended for it to be posted here as well:

    http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=5103

    Mr. Tommaso Leonetti’s Public Letter of Apology to Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei

    I have been asked by Mr. Tommaso Leonetti to publish this surprising letter that outlines his initial involvement in Daito-ryu aikijujutsu and his role in leading a discussion questioning the credentials and claims of Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei. Mr. Leonetti further explains how later he discovered incontrovertible evidence that Kondo Sensei’s claims were, after all, true and that Mr. Leonetti had unknowingly mislead many practitioners of the art with his writings and conclusions.

    Since I was intimately involved in the events in question and have already commented on various points, I will refrain from expressing an opinion here. Mr. Leonetti is Italian but writes in English very well so only minor edits have been made for clarity.
    [Stan Pranin, Aikido Journal]

    * *
    Dear Mr. Pranin et al,

    Some 15 or more years ago I committed for a period of a few years (perhaps 5 or 6) my thoughts and comments to various web sites and forums concerning legitimate Daito-ryu succession and technical covenants issues.
    At the time I had been a full time student and uchideshi of Certa Sensei and subsequently of Kato and Sano Sensei too during which time I had gained their trust and confidence. I had slowly become the puritan organizational backbone of the School. I believed, in good faith, such line to be the hon-ryu.
    Due to such privileged position I had been granted access to an incredible wealth of original documents, written and audio visual, some of which I still possess today. I was granted vast leeway which permitted me to gather in depth knowledge of the School’s matters. I meticulously recorded and noted everything, making timelines, reconstructions and organizational charts and graphs that often allowed me to comprehend the full panorama of Daito-ryu’s last 15 years at times even better than individuals could recall singularly. In fact I was putting together a complex puzzle made of tales, pictures, videos, letters, ledgers, and 90% of this I photocopied and recorded (plus some originals which I was given as personal gifts) from other students, teachers, friends and family members who were openly answering to all my questions: I was a totally trusted and reliable student.

    At those times I had not yet acquired other items of evidence which induced me to start questioning what I had been told. Besides, I am Italian and honour plays a strong part in our culture. Questioning my Masters’ information was not even on the horizon of possibilities. Until slowly, some logical and chronological assumptions which I was surfacing during my studies made me pursue and steer in directions where I felt that the usual latitude of investigations was being compressed. And every time with different excuses, sometimes contradicting and… well, it felt strange.

    I then went to live in Japan to better study. I was going to research my passion and love: hon Daito-ryu. I entered Takeda Masanobu’s school in the outskirts of Tokyo and I started again from Ippondori forfeiting all my ranks and positions as I was only seeking truth not ranks or technique. I was in Tokyo under what we had come to call “Mission Impossible” to re-unite Mrs. Oshima (now Mrs Takeda) with the Abashiri School and thus unifying once and for all the hon Daito-ryu against what I believed to be the usurper Kondo Sensei. I even suggested and helped in the registration of Trade Marks in all the world and finally managed to make these 2 parties meet and start discussing the re-unification. We were near accomplishing the unthinkable: uniting the legitimate descendant heirs to what I believed to be the true technical heritage.

    One day I was offered Tea by an old lady, back in Abashiri, a personal friend of the late Soke who asked for my oath of secrecy before introducing me to some startling evidence. She was trusting my good faith and the record of my battles in favour of Abashiri. I gave such oath willingly as I was convinced in good faith of the genuine stand which we were holding.
    Little did I know that my world was about to crumble under my feet. She revealed some startling information and handed me some shattering insight into the truth. I had in my hands the incontrovertible proof of my errors and the legitimacy of Kondo Sensei’s claims.

    The video and other evidence that I was given left no doubt whatsoever. The shock which I felt in my heart left me silent for months, years in fact, until now. And not only because of my oath to secrecy, but more important for the love of those masters in whom I had believed and the love for friends whose world I would have destroyed overnight if I had made such information public.
    Those videos and that information would have spelled only one thing: the death of the School as they knew it and as I believed in it.

    I did the only thing that my honour permitted: I severed all ties with everyone and all in my school and retired to a life that had nothing in common with Daito-ryu. My absence was noted and I started receiving numerous requests for an explanation: why had I left the School? What insight had I gained that made me disappear? And, well, all those who read now will recall the pressing insistence with which you all questioned me.

    Last year one student of the School came to visit me. One Giacomo Merello, whom I later learned had taken over my role in the School as factotum.
    I will not enter into his private life and other personal matters but we became friends. So much so that his candid belief of truths and beliefs as I had meticulously laid them down made me feel ashamed at my silence. I realized that my silence was in fact now deception.
    I decided to show him the video and I revealed to him the whole picture as I had put it together. I showed to him pictures, documents, ledgers, photocopies, recorded interviews, videos and a patrimony of other items which I had collected in over 10 years of unrestricted access to the personal records, homes and dojos affairs of so many.

    Giacomo soon left the School. For the whole next one year, relentlessly, he asked me, insisting, to divulge such information. This spring we met again in Italy and I finally conceded. I gave him permission to copy the video and to diffuse it.

    What Giacomo will do with it, it’s up to him. I shall have no more part in Daito-ryu as through my good faith and then my silence I have hurt too many.
    I thus publicly wish to first of all apologise if my good faith has led so many astray, in primis Mr. Kondo, and I then also wish to say:

    1. Kondo Sensei is the only legitimate technical and moral successor of Takeda Tokimune Soke.

    2. I assume ALL and EVERY responsibility for misleading and dis-informing those who read and believed my words. The fact that I did so in good faith does not alleviate my responsibilities as I didn’t denounce, until now, my findings. My oath is my only excuse. I am breaching it now because I finally realized how many were, and still are, so deeply involved. I never realized this before I met Mr. Merello who was investing his heart, his life and capitals of his own, again in good faith, and was like me “living” Daito-ryu, not only studying it. He was unknowingly dragging others along.

    3. Many high ranking teachers and long serving deshi in Abashiri too were themselves completely unaware and in good faith. It is easy to recognize who they are as they too severed all links with Abashiri a few months after my departure. These include Sano Sensei and the secretary Kobayashi Sempai. Please do not ask me why I claim (with due cause) that they are not responsible for any wrong doings, let it suffice to say that Daito-ryu would only be further hurt if they were to be held responsible. Shunting them off would equate to destroying a technical wealth which is truly unique and genuine.

    4. I don’t know how much my Masters knew and avoided sharing. I cannot even say if it was bad faith or simple negligence. I only know that what I said and claimed was, in a very small BUT VITAL part, false, even if in good faith I believed it to be true. In fact probably at least 90% of what I wrote and held then still stands correctly today and I could even go further and prove it, beyond doubt, to be so. However, I have chosen to stand off. If I were to continue I would only dig deeper and irreparable trenches, de facto hurting Daito-ryu itself.

    5. I might consider sharing my records and documents with students who wish to study them for private purposes only but I shall not publicly expose any more evidence. The one piece of evidence that I now have allowed to be publicly shown will suffice. All the rest would only sustain further quarrels and initiate new problems.

    a. As previously mentioned, Kondo Sensei is the only legitimate Menkyo Kaiden and genuine mainline technical successor, of the late Soke Tokimune Sensei.

    b. Kondo Sensei, in absence of a legitimate and formal investiture of Tokimune Takeda Soke’s nephew as Soke is also the Moral successor of the School’s heritage.

    c. Tokimune Takeda Soke wished that his daughter, Mrs. Yokohama, hold the interim position of School Head (she had been living with him) and his first daughter Mrs. Oshima too, to be involved in the School’s governance, but both only until the Soke’s nephew came of age and until he had been appropriately groomed into such role.

    d. He further indicated Kondo Sensei to be his technical mentor.

    e. Subsequently Mrs. Yokoyama abdicated her position publicly in favour of her sister Oshima, during a meeting in Abashiri; records show that Mr. Kondo was present at this meeting.

    f. Immediately after, Mr. Oshima (Mrs Oshima’s husband) changed his name to Takeda Masanobu but did so WITHOUT Takeda Tokimune’s adoption or approval. He had already passed away.

    g. Mr. Oshima (now Takeda Masanobu) then unilaterally claimed to be the next Soke. This was illegitimate as Takeda Tokimune Soke never thus vouched.

    h. Most senior uchideshi of Takeda Tokimune resigned from the Honbu once the 2 sisters began an internal quarrel. There are other reasons that I will not comment.

    i. There is a written will of Tokimune Takeda. However I shall not enter into this matter because such will was, in the best of cases extracted with deceit, or plainly fabricated with the illegitimate use of his seal. More detail is irrelevant: The very Soke Takeda Tokimune declared him Hamon while the Soke was still completely mentally fit, and did so publicly.

    j. Takeda Tokimune Soke did teach slightly different techniques to different students. However, the basic principles are unique and I can only vouch for Kondo Sensei’s teachings.

    k. In an amateur video document the Soke explains to Kato Sensei how slightly different teachings for him and Kondo Sensei were because of their different bodily structures.

    l. In another video (on a bridge, in Tokyo, perhaps) again the Soke performs slightly differently; in a subsequent request for explanation concerning that video the Soke replies that the different flow of a response —he uses the term “just like in water flow”is necessary to keep the energy flowing against the opponent. I have no date for these videos. Here I am making assumptions from inscription on the VHS covers, circumstances not dates.

    m. My previous Masters Certa Sensei, Kato Sensei, Sano Sensei and other students are legitimate uchideshi of the Soke and some possess a truly very proficient technical wealth and do represent mainline technical heritage.

    n. Some of these students (senior ones only) did study considerably more than Kondo Sensei according to the school records. By considerably I signify ten folds and more under a mere time measure.

    o. The Densho, the School’s ledgers, the seal and a wealth of other documents 9 years ago—when I abandoned—were in the possession of Mrs. Oshima.

    I hope that this note can shed some light. I also hope that my findings may help, not prevent, Daito-ryu from re-unifying. Intelligence in victory should call for the party remaining standing to sway and unite his opponent rather than to suppress him. I feel it is today possible to unite Daito-ryu, finally under one single leadership and by doing so the Art itself, before the man, would benefit.

    Please farewell to all,

    Tommaso Leonetti di Santojanni

    * *

    This is an additional email from Mr. Leonetti that adds further clarifications:

    Dear Mr. Pranin,

    Certainly, please do make such note public.

    This was, in fact, my initial intention as I could not access your bulletin board. I tried to insert this note also in other bulletins (in which I was engaged: Skoss, Nathan Scott, e-Budo etc) but I gave up when I was asked to register. Please forward my note to them too, for their evaluation of my request to publicize it.

    This note contains only MY opinion. A copy of the factual proof is now in Giacomo Merello’s hands. The proof is incontrovertible. The Soke, Takeda Tokimune, talks of Katsuyuki Kondo as his successor and calls him Menkyo Kaiden, in front of everyone. Abashiri students included.

    This should foster Daito-ryu’s unity around the only legitimate individual that has legitimacy to do so: Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei. All other ryu-ha are illegitimate once the evidence surfaces as Daito-ryu is NOT as Karate, Aikido, etc i.e. a public art but a family transmitted art.

    I would have no impediment in communicating directly with Kondo Sensei as you suggest. Or even to visit him personally as I now live in Tokyo and have been doing so for the past 8 years. I simply considered a public expression far more telling than a private apology - a sincere one is not verbal, but factual.
    I feel that nothing can be more sincere than the act writing such a public note. My determined defense of Abashiri was in good faith and so are my apologies today. I don’t think that any embellishment would change these facts, but you are more than welcome to let Kondo Sensei have a copy of all my notes.

    Please farewell,

    Tommaso Leonetti

    Posted on July 30th, 2008
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 7th October 2011 at 04:50.
    bryan white

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    Very noble of him.
    George Kohler

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    I commend him for his honesty. I am sure that we can all understand what he went through emotionally before writing his letter.
    Jose' delCristo Garrido
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    I'm glad more of this information has been made public and some of the people who have lead the attack are making apologies. Some of us have been defending Kondo sensei since the days of Daito-ryu.com's forum where their attacks were first launched, so this is a bit of vindication. Hopefully, no one will be dragging Kondo sensei's name in the mud anymore.
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
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    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    Default Fall of the "Seishinkai"

    Another bitter sweet victory that reminds me of the Kaze arashi-ryu unveiling.

    You can't help but feel empathy for the many serious minded students who trusted the word of their teachers. Hopefully the knock down - drag out debates we had at their long defunct discussion forum at daito-ryu.com eight years ago was instrumental in starting this ball of realization rolling. I remember Mr. Kobayashi, mentioned as one of the students that left the group in Leonetti's letter above, was the "Honbu Secretary" at that time that I argued with primarily.

    In any event, I had still intended on writing an essay summarizing the succession issues at some point, but now (thankfully) it would appear it is not necessary. Back when this issue was still heated, Kondo Sensei provided me with copies of his menjo, makimono, Daito-ryu name registration, exclusive rights to teach, demonstrate, and operate under the name of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, endorsement letters from the Nippon Budokan, Nihon Kobudo Kyokai and Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai, a copy of a letter sent from Sano Matsuo to Kondo Sensei w/ Kondo's response, and finally copies of the Daitokan resignations submitted by Arisawa, Kato, and Sano.

    Suffice it to say the documents provide compelling evidence of Kondo Sensei's position. I'm glad these points are not points of contention anymore.

    Good luck to those branching away from the Daitokan / Seishinkai groups.

    Regards,
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 7th October 2011 at 04:50.
    Nathan Scott
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    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Dear Nathan,

    Kondo Sensei showed me the same documents on Wednesday night, and actually let me take copies of the most important ones, too.

    Kobayashi-san was the Secretary of the Seishinkai Hombu dojo in Abashiri; but in 2002, when Kato decided to go on his own to found the Daitokai, and Sano left the political scene to just retire in Kitami and practice, Kobayashi LEFT Daito-ryu completely. Now he's a constructor worker in the middle of Honshu and does a little Tai Chi Chuan. He used to be the BEST young practitioner at the dojo, with a very very high level of technical ability.

    It's sad but that's how it is.

    There is a fundamental difference, though, between this situation and the Kaze Arashi-ryu one. What we did and what at Abashiri did *was* real Daito-ryu, as passed by the Soke. All the teachers and people involved were real practitioners of the art, certainly qualified for teaching. The issue here was WHO was the real heir of the legacy, and I think it is now peaceful for everybody to say it is Kondo Sensei and his group. That's it, it's as simple as that.

    Best regards to everybody,

    G.
    Last edited by judasith; 1st August 2008 at 09:32.
    Giacomo Merello

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    This note contains only MY opinion. A copy of the factual proof is now in Giacomo Merello’s hands. The proof is incontrovertible. The Soke, Takeda Tokimune, talks of Katsuyuki Kondo as his successor and calls him Menkyo Kaiden, in front of everyone. Abashiri students included.
    Well, I guess this closes the discussion for ever, who knows? Since the subject is now public and directly viewable for everybody worldwide, I would like to ask a question about this video:

    How come, when the controversy started, the existence of that video never showed up? We have talked about Makimonos, Menjos, copies of kaiden and so on, we have talked about technical differences, people have written their own essays, we have filled hundreds of pages, spent nights reading at the differents posts, we have talked about videos, all videos publicly available but this one. This could have settled the matter before it even started. Mr Kondo possesses a lot of information on different supports (videos, papers, pictures), why had he decided not to talk about this video or to mention it?
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

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    Giacomo,

    Kobayashi-san was the Secretary of the Seishinkai Hombu dojo in Abashiri; but in 2002, when Kato decided to go on his own to found the Daitokai, and Sano left the political scene to just retire in Kitami and practice, Kobayashi LEFT Daito-ryu completely. Now he's a constructor worker in the middle of Honshu and does a little Tai Chi Chuan. He used to be the BEST young practitioner at the dojo, with a very very high level of technical ability.
    If Kobayashi is now living in he middle of Honshu, maybe he would like to know members of his old group are now training under Kondo Sensei. Maybe he would be interested in training again if there were friends of his in Tokyo training still.

    As far as Sano Matsuo goes, I'm not sure what you said is best left the way you said it. Kato Shigemitsu apparently announced he would split from the "Nihon Daito-ryu Aikibudo Seishinkai" organization in early/mid 2001. Sano Matsuo sent a letter to Kondo Sensei in July of 2001 announcing to him why they formed the Seishinkai, and that the Seishinkai was being disbanded due mainly due to irresponsible acts and statements by a "key" member who they could not persuade to return to his humble origins (Kato Shigemitsu). Sano also announced that he was going to form a new organization for himself and members in the Kitami area called the "Daito-ryu Aikibudo SoHonbu Shiseikan", under the umbrella of "Soke Takeda Masanobu", then asks for Kondo Sensei's support (!). Kondo Sensei replied to this letter advising him that Takeda Masanobu is not the Daito-ryu Soke, and that Sano should refrain from stating that his group is under his umbrella.

    In other words, having read the letters I believe it is more likely that Sano "chose" to retire based on the reply he received from Kondo Sensei.

    There is a fundamental difference, though, between this situation and the Kaze Arashi-ryu one.
    You misunderstood me. I didn't mean to imply that your situation is the same as that of Kaze arashi-ryu, but rather that the outcome of your situation reminds me of the outcome of the KAR issue. KAR also had a number of serious, long time students who had trusted their teacher and fought for what they were told was true, only to find out they had been lied to over the years. As I've said before, Kato and Sano were long-term students under Tokimune Sensei, and were senior to Kondo Sensei in regards to time in at Tokimune's dojo. The problem came to a head when the Seishinkai decided to announce that they were the headquarters for Daito-ryu Aikibudo despite the fact that Kondo Sensei was already using that title and was clearly qualified to do so.

    I'm glad to hear you've decided to continue training Daito-ryu despite your bad experience. I hope others will choose to continue training in the art as well. Good luck to you.

    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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    Talking Offered Thoughts

    How come, when the controversy started, the existence of that video never showed up? We have talked about Makimonos, Menjos, copies of kaiden and so on, we have talked about technical differences, people have written their own essays, we have filled hundreds of pages, spent nights reading at the differents posts, we have talked about videos, all videos publicly available but this one. This could have settled the matter before it even started. Mr Kondo possesses a lot of information on different supports (videos, papers, pictures), why had he decided not to talk about this video or to mention it?
    I think the point here, is that there was a significant amount of factual information provided through out this era. The information was either ignored, discounted, or controverted. One more video clip, if it truly is not already out there, would not have changed the course of this debate. Once someone provides sufficient documentation of who they are, they should not be required to continue to provide more and different documentation.

    Looking at the big picture, this is an example of how schools and arts can be damaged through the falsification of facts, fraud, and the prevarication of those who seek to exploit others for there own gain (monetary or otherwise).

    Many good people were hurt in this drawn out fiction - on both sides. Clearly, misrepresenting oneself causes significant damage all around.

    I, along with many others, am very happy to see this end in this satisfying and spectacular manner. Movies don't even end this well! I am also very sad for those who were wronged, although most will persevere no doubt.

    Finally, without the selflessness and veracity of Mr. Leonetti and Mr. Merello, this resolution would not have come to fruition. This spotlights the fact that, in these situations, more often than not, there are good people on both sides.

    Good luck to those good people who were part of the Daitokai.
    Last edited by wagnerphysed; 1st August 2008 at 22:34. Reason: for clarity
    Your's in health,
    Brian Wagner
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    Thanks to everybody for the words of encouragement and understanding. We've been living a very bad moment, but I think I'm starting to see a way out...

    I hope to meet most of you on the tatami one day! I know that some here will go to the special course Kondo Sensei is holding in Katsuura, but I'm unable to go since I'm already guest of another Kendo-Iaido teacher in those days...

    To Raphael, well this video is basically the recording of the 36th demonstration in Abashiri, last appearance of the Soke. In the video, which I might put on YouTube when I go back from Japan in September, in front of the Soke, the Soke's family, Nakagawa Ise, Yamada Michio, Kato S., Sano S. and Arisawa S. plus countless others, it is plainly accepted (and said by the speaker, who actually WAS Mr. Kobayashi!!!) that Kondo Sensei is Soke Dairi, and "the only Daito-ryu Menkyo Kaiden". Why it didn't come out earlier... well it's obvious that those who had it already were convinced of Kondo Sensei's position, and those who did not, simply did not!

    On a second note, I have to say that 90% of this controversy was started by the GAIJIN students of Kato, Sano and Arisawa, even before me: these three teachers never actually presented themselves as "Hombu" of Daito-ryu, but they called themselves with different names, like Seishinkai and Daitokai. They don't even know or knew about the internet website, for them in Hokkaido out there even the regular phone is already a marvel of technology. To tell the whole truth, last year I discovered that www.daito-ryu.com is not sanctioned in any way EVEN by the Daitokai, their Secretary, Mr. Koishikawa whishes it to be closed, but he has no control over it.
    That website is basically only representing the opinions of Mr. Certa and the remainder of his group, which is dwindling in numbers by the day.

    I apologize for what was my fault, especially a fault in checking thouroughly whom I was placing my faith in, and I thank Tommaso for the suffered decision that led him, after all these years, to shed some light on the truth.

    With my best regards,

    Giacomo Merello

    P.s.
    To all the posters out there, don't worry, I will still keep you occupied with interesting posts in the future eheheh
    Giacomo Merello

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    To Raphael, well this video is basically the recording of the 36th demonstration in Abashiri, last appearance of the Soke. In the video, which I might put on YouTube when I go back from Japan in September, in front of the Soke, the Soke's family, Nakagawa Ise, Yamada Michio, Kato S., Sano S. and Arisawa S. plus countless others, it is plainly accepted (and said by the speaker, who actually WAS Mr. Kobayashi!!!) that Kondo Sensei is Soke Dairi, and "the only Daito-ryu Menkyo Kaiden". Why it didn't come out earlier... well it's obvious that those who had it already were convinced of Kondo Sensei's position, and those who did not, simply did not!

    Well, that does not make any sense to me. If such an annoucement was made in front of such a hudge crowd and in presence of the Soke and his familly, everybody would have remenbered it and when the heated controversy about Mr Kondo's Menkyo Kaiden authenticity started, that very information should have come out like a bullet. All the self proclaimed historians of the School should have known that and should have said: "Are you joking? Kondo Sensei has been designated in front of all the School members and in presence of the Soke the only Menkyo Kaiden holder and thus the natural successor of the School". Especially if the event had been filmed as it seems to be the case since you possess a copy of it. When the controversy started, this should have been the first information to come out since everybody knew.

    We have talked for ever about an alledeged written will that actually never existed, we have talked about the various ranks and positions held by all the individuals involved in the controversy, about how long they had studied under the Soke. Do you truly believe that only Westerners followed the controversy on this very site and on Aikidojournal.com and that no Japanese practioners ever read one of the countless messages during all those years? Should I remind you that in your essay, you wrote that you believed Mr Kondo's Menkyo Kaiden to be a forgery, a counterfeited one, the information on the public annoucement made in front of everybody never showed up? This would have closed the case for ever!!!!!! When Mr Pranin called Tokimune's Sensei daughters to get some information about the would be will, how come they did not say" A public announcement has been made in (I guess) 1991?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not questionning the video's authenticity, but when I read the various reactions here and there, I get the feeling that only Tommaso and you were aware of the existence of that precious document and that makes me feel rather uncomfortable. I guess you are aware that much damage has been made and that many errors were commited, all those years of hatred, vicious low blows, deliberated misinformation and false accusations for NOTHING. All the controversy could have been avoided, I simply can not understand why it did not happen.

    Please put the video on every support you might wish because I really want to see it before turning definetly the page and starting afresh.
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

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    Dear Raphael, frankly I don't know what me and Tommaso can do more than try to repair the damage done and work for the rebuilding of the School and its unification under Kondo Sensei's guidance.

    It took Tommaso a few years, and to me the entire last year to metabolize and grow through everything... but we made it. I bought a new Keikogi, with a simple white belt, everything's so new that I look like a small Michelin puppet, and presented myself to Kondo Sensei asking for instruction starting from zero.

    It's HARD. But if you are interested in the truth and especially as is my case, in the care for your friends that practiced with you for 10 years, well, you DO IT.

    I don't think any of the major posters ever saw the video or maybe they didn't listen to the voiceover, or couldn't get it since it's in Japanese... but I have to say that even in one of Kondo Sensei's books only published in Japan, kind of a big illustration book with techniques, there are pictures taken from that event, where Kondo Sensei offers himself as the only uke to Takeda Soke, during his very last demonstration.

    I will publish the relevant part of the video on YouTube.it as soon as I can (which is in September, when I go back to Italy), since there is nothing secret in it (it was a public demonstration) and can really help in making everybody understand the true importance to the Soke of the chosen inheritor of the art, Kondo Sensei.

    We've been practicing together for years, Raphael, if I did it, you can do it, too... but I suggest that if the discussion becomes personal you should write to my personal email giacomo.merello@fastwebnet.it so that we don't turn this topic into a flame.

    With all my best,

    Giacomo
    Giacomo Merello

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Germany
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    We've been practicing together for years, Raphael, if I did it, you can do it, too... but I suggest that if the discussion becomes personal you should write to my personal email giacomo.merello@fastwebnet.it so that we don't turn this topic into a flame.
    Agreed, anyway, this was my last message on this board, I do not wish to participate in any forum dealing with Daito-Ryu anymore.

    Good luck to you Giacomo and to all my friends that will follow you, I have spent a beautiful time with all of you on and outside the mat.
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    In my opinion, the Seishinkai instructors knew full well the political situation and issues, and Certa was likley updating his webpage based on what he was hearing from them.

    The first part of the debate was largely between myself and Mr. Kobayashi in Japan. He gave us answers to questions, and in many cases asked Kato or Sano Sensei for answers when he did not know. For example, the word from Kato, Sano and Arisawa that we received through Mr. Kobayashi was that none of them had quit the art, but just the dojo. They also were actively implying that Kondo Sensei's MK was not legitimate, etc. etc. So while I understand they may not surf the net for English language websites about DR, much of the conflict came directly from them. I'm sure there are some younger members at the dojo in Japan that were computer/internet savy anyway (there always is).

    Also, when you run an organization, you are responsible for what your people do. It is incumbent on the instructors to teach etiquette and manner, and the organization heads to dictate levels of authority and field the politics. Generally this means those not in a position to speak on behalf of the organization, or not authorized to speak on behalf of the organization, either shut up or ask permission first. Not knowing what members of your organization are doing, or not properly controlling the members actions is ultimately the fault of the organization leaders. Most bad politics are caused by someone speaking about something who is not authorized to do so.

    So basically I believe the Seishinkai instructors knew most if not all the political manuervering that was going on, and in any event must be held responsible for the actions of their membership.

    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)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Nathan,
    Thank-you for re-posting this.

    Jose Garrido
    Jose' delCristo Garrido
    Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Mainline Tradition
    NYC Metro Area Branch Dojo
    facebook.com/daitoryudojonj

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