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Thread: Aikido stealing Daito Ryu techniques

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    I asked the following question in the Aikido forum and got effectively no response so I figured I'd post it over here. I have a hard time believing that with all of the opinionated people here no one has an opinion on the subject. I am interested in both sides of the debate, from Aikidoka and Aikijujutsuka (this assumes there are 2 sides).

    (From my original post):
    I was wondering what the practitioners on the list feel about incorporation of Daito Ryu techniques into general Aikido? I know some people claim that there really is no difference between the arts yet others really feel that they are very much separate. I admit that my understanding of the Daito Ryu curriculum is quite limited, videos and books, yet what I have seen is very familiar if not identical to much of the Aikido I have practiced. For example, several years ago at a seminar with one of O-Sensei's uchi deshi we got to do a number of 'special' techniques, some of which involved pinning without the hands. I hadn't seen them before or since until watching a Daito Ryu demonstration video. At the time of the seminar we were told that these techniques were shown by O-Sensei but that they were not practiced very frequently, even while O-Sensei was alive.

    I guess my question boils down to this, since O-Sensei was an instructor in the Daito Ryu, there is a good chance that he performed most of the Daito Ryu curriculum at some point in his teaching career. Are there any techniques within the Daito Ryu that are not Aikido if performed by Aikidoka? I can understand that if O-Sensei had codified the techniques of Aikido you could easily say, "Well it's not on the list." But my understanding is that he was rather vague and that most of the names of techniques and structure of the curriculum as we know it was done by his senior students/ instructors. I would also be interested in the opinions of any Daito Ryu practitioners out there. What do you think of Aikidoka doing traditionally Daito Ryu techniques and calling it Aikido?

    Looking forward to your responses...
    Christian Moses
    **Certified Slimy, Moronic, Deranged and Demented Soul by Saigo-ha Daito Ryu!**
    Student of:
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    Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club (TM)

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    I believe you'll find answers in Stanley Pranin's excellent book on Daito-ryu (interviews with the masters). There is a fine section on Ueshiba's relationship with Sokaku Takeda, and one can infer a lot from it.

    Daito-ryu practitioners tend to be pretty closed about their art and will not discuss its unique features publicly. The scions with the most "stuff" are also the most secretive. Of course, this leads folks to believe that such practitioners are full of hot air, but that's the way it goes. Aikido practitioners have no exposure at all to the original methods and principles of Daito-ryu, and are not in a position to discuss differences.

    So, rather than ask such pointed questions here on a public list -- not the most conducive place for discussions by secretive practitioners of a well-guarded art -- you are best off doing some reading of existing research. Mr. Pranin's is, by far, the best, IMO.

    Regards,
    Cady Goldfield

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    Default I must need to rephrase this...

    No one seems to be getting my question. I understand the relationship of Aikido with Daito-Ryu. I have read the interviews, poured over the lineages and examined the Daito-Ryu vs. Aikido versions of specific techniques. My pointed header was an attempt to get people to read my question so that we could get some discussion going. Apparently the question of what right Aikido practitioners have to sections of the Daito Ryu curriculum that have traditionally been outside of the Aikido curriculum is not very interesting to people. It seems like an interesting question to me.
    Christian Moses
    **Certified Slimy, Moronic, Deranged and Demented Soul by Saigo-ha Daito Ryu!**
    Student of:
    Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
    Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club (TM)

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    Wink

    Well, you seem missing my point about why there will be no discussion ensuing. It just doesn't seem to be a worthwhile topic for Daito-ryu practioners. If aikidoka wish to discuss it, they will be representing only one side of the issue. So, why pursue it?

    You're also operating on the assumption that aikidoka -- or anyone, for that matter -- have a "right" to Daito-ryu methods and principles. Your assumption is incorrect. It's a matter of fortune and circumstance that one comes into that world, not a matter of right.

    That aside... Again, Mr. Pranin's writings and documentation do contain clues that would answer your questions. From his information, you can see that Ueshiba learned Daito-ryu from S. Takeda, and that later, the two had a falling out (Ueshiba even skipped town when told his teacher was coming for a visit). Takeda might ultimately have insisted that Ueshiba stop teaching his art altogether [NOTE: this is conjecture, and not documented fact!]. Modern (Post WWII) aikido is a distinct and unique form with little if any common ground with its ancestor. To me, that can only mean that at some point, and probably early on, Ueshiba stopped teaching Takeda's system to his students. I've watched the old tapes of Ueshiba and I've observed the waza of several of the direct students of Ueshiba. It just doesn't appear that they received what Ueshiba did. But then, I'm just a schmoe, and I'm just expressing an opinion -- not any sort of expertise on the subject.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 6th April 2001 at 20:11.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Originally posted by Cady Goldfield
    That aside... Again, Mr. Pranin's writings and documentation do contain clues that would answer your questions. From his information, you can see that Ueshiba learned Daito-ryu from S. Takeda, and that later, Takeda apparently insisted that Ueshiba stop incorporating aikijujutsu into his curriculum. Ueshiba apparently complied. What might we infer from that?
    Hi Cady;

    This is the first I heard of that ("Takeda apparently insisted that Ueshiba stop incorporating aikijujutsu into his curriculum. Ueshiba apparently complied"). Could you point me to where S. Pranin says that.

    There has been cross-fertilization since Ueshiba - Alain Floquet comes to mind. When I trained in a dojo associated with him many of the "Daito-ryu" techniques were very similar to things I learnt in a Tomiki-style Dojo. Takeda did teach a large number of people and in the end handed out "kyoju dairi" to a number of people (S. Pranin article). Not really so secretive after all. Kondo sensei gives seminars in New York for example.

    Personal observation is that the dividing line is more pre and post WWII than Daito-ryu/Aikido.

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    Originally posted by Cady Goldfield
    [snip]

    You're also operating on the assumption that aikidoka -- or anyone, for that matter -- have a "right" to Daito-ryu methods and principles. Your assumption is incorrect. It's a matter of fortune and circumstance that one comes into that world, not a matter of right.

    [snip][/B]
    I am not making that assumption. That is exactly my question and why I posted it here in the Aikijujutsu forum. I suppose I could rephrase my question to, "What right do Aikidoka have incorporating Daito Ryu techniques into their personal/ technical repitoir?" I am not asking if it would be ok for an Aikidoka to start teaching "Daito Ryu" (a thought that I am sure has ocurred to a few less reputable types). If it really doesn't interest Daito Ryu practitioners, fine, sorry to wast the bandwith, it seems to me however that this might be of interest.
    Christian Moses
    **Certified Slimy, Moronic, Deranged and Demented Soul by Saigo-ha Daito Ryu!**
    Student of:
    Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
    Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club (TM)

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    Hi Peter,
    True, I jumped the gun, there. It's more a matter of inference and heresay than a statement based on documented research. At any rate, I'm editing my initial remark because it does imply that it was a documented fact, when it ain't.
    Apologies! I'm slipping in my old age.

    Cady
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 6th April 2001 at 19:39.
    Cady Goldfield

  8. #8
    Den Guest

    Default spirit of the technique

    Chris,
    I interpreted your question differently, to me the issue, the difference, is between the resultant applications of similar techniques. I'm an Aikidoka and have had no formal study in Daito-ryu, so this observation is my limited point of view. I have though studied other jujitsu schools and found the difference in the result of similar techniques to be striking. Similar techniques which merely restrain an opponent in Aikido, can have deadly results in other schools.

    Daito-ryu as a traditional art was meant to save a samurai's life when he was unarmed and facing an opponent intent on killing him. As I said, I've had no formal training in Daito-ryu, but in such a scenario the final intent is not to restrain your opponent.
    -Anthony

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    Anthony,

    Those are good perspectives and comments.

    cg
    Cady Goldfield

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    Hi Cady;

    No problem - I must say that all of Stanley Pranin's collection of articles on the relationship of Ueshiba M. with various people is worth a read. He tries very hard to get his facts right and from what I understand has explored the relationship between Daito Ryu and Aikido quite deeply.

    For those that don't know http://www.AikidoJournal.com check under Articles.

  11. #11
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    Default My take

    I am going to add my 2 cents, I usually stay out of such topics because i am not a expert in Aikido. Last time I posted on Aikido it upset some people who really love what they do. I can't really blame them. Keep in mind this is a risk for me.


    I understand the question and really it is a template question that could be used across the board. I have read other threads who have used the template to agrue on "what is yours to teach" thread. A thread which has similiarities to this one.

    It is a matter of what was Ueshiba Sensei's to teach or what Aikidoka can take from Daito Ryu. In this sense, what ever was taugh to Ueshiba is his to teach. Of course what he developed after that ( his own way ) is his. If Daito Ryu got lost in transmission to other Sensei's over time, then I see no reason for Aikidoka to seek out what Ueshiba learned from Daito Ryu. I think in Ueshiba wrote down what he learned from Daito Ryu. I could be wrong. But that is what I have been told.

    If I was more dedicated to Aikido I would seek out roots to help me understand significances if it was lost in my school. OR my Sensei lacked that knowledge. Call it a matter of researching the art. I don't think learning Daito Ryu would hurt.

    The problem I see is how I would handle the information I got from Daito Ryu and how I incorporated and translated it into my Aikido. To help me I would then depend on my Sensei.

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    Default Moderation anyone?

    [Post deleted by user]
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 28th March 2014 at 01:34.
    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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    Default Hi Cady,

    You said:

    "Aikido practitioners have no exposure at all to the original methods and principles of Daito-ryu, and are not in a position to discuss differences"

    and

    "Modern (Post WWII) aikido is a distinct and unique form with little if any common ground with its ancestor. "

    I think you are leaving out a minority of students who do indeed have exposure to both arts (some, like myself, having *very* little on the Daito ryu side, but others quite a bit). By ignoring this group of students, I think you are making much too broad of a generalization. This is not even mentioning that there are styles of aikido that have maintained a closer connection to AikiBudo, if not Daito ryu.

    That said, I'm not sure that the specific techniques of Daito ryu (at least as known and practised today) can really be "made into" aikido without losing their own particular nature. If you remove or change the underlying principles, you really aren't doing Daito ryu anymore, so I'm not sure what the point would be. The same goes for aikido techniques; change the underlying methods, and how much aikido are you doing? At least when dealing with the Ikkajo series of techniques, the differences seem strong enough to preclude a comfortable mix.

    I agree with the others who have stated that cross training would be beneficial, but I'm not sure that approaching Daito ryu as a "cross trained" art would garner the specific results that would seem to be the mainstay of Daito ryu (as little as I know of it, anyway). The same could probably be said of Aikido.

    This puts people who try something of both in a strange position. And its probably the rare person who can learn two different mind sets and sets of principles, and switch at will between them under pressure (I wonder if I could adopt either under preasure, sucsessfully anyway). But the attempt is probably worthwhile to some extent.

    As to whether any of Ueshiba's students "got it", I recently discovered on this board that at least one of those students maintained the connection to Daito ryu even after they stopped training under Ueshiba. I have a hard time believing that someone of that calliber missed it twice.

    Ron Tisdale
    Last edited by Ron Tisdale; 9th April 2001 at 14:50.

  14. #14
    Aaron Fields Guest

    Smile

    Not being a aiki ju-jutsu or aikido person I apologize in advance. What is a "stolen" technique? In my years I have never met a technique thief. I have met people who adapt techniques from outside of their original curriculum (with varying degrees of success,) but never a stolen technique. (The bio-mechanics of the body seem to prevent excessive deviation of technically sound methods.)

    Ok I'll take my tongue out of my cheek and ask a serious question.

    Isn't aikido a derivative of Daito ryu-ha?

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    Default Originally Posted on Aikido thread

    Christian,

    I have studied (under qualified intstuction) both Hombu Aikido and Daito-ryu. I have greatly enjoyed both. I would train in both if I had the time. Since my time is limited I have chosen to focus on Aikido. While my training in Daito-ryu was not extensive, I found that many of the even the most basic techniques are much to dangerous for street use. Most of the throws involved high falls which means an inexperienced aggressor would end up on his head and either crack his skull, break his neck or both. I found in Daito-ryu much that could be used in a practical sense as well, but more of Aikido seemed to me to be of practical use, or at least require less modification for practical use. I do wish I had time to train in both though.

    Since much of the foundation of Aikido is Daito-ryu the techniques are very similar. You might say that Aikido is a gentler form of Daito-ryu for the reason noted in my previous post.

    As far as an Aikidoka taking a Daito-ryu technique and making it an Aikido technique, I don't see a problem with it. A Daito-ryu practitioner could do the same in the opposite direction as well. The difference it seems to me would be in the manner and stlye of execution. Aikido is by design a gentler stlye designed to make the techniques more accessable to the general public. It takes quite a strong will to endure the Daito-ryu training I have experienced. The falls are harder and the techniques are more painful. As a quailification, Daito-ryu does not have to be trained as hard as I have experienced. The limits of the older and more frail students were respected, but the younger and more fit students trained in harder more pain inducing manner.

    One of O Sensei's first dojos was not nicknamed, "The Hell Dojo" for nothing.

    Since posting this a couple of days ago I have found that I may actually be ables to return to my Daito-ryu training. I am currently still training in Hombu style Aikido. If I in fact do start training in Daito-ryu agin I will keep everyone posted on what I find to be related and diferent about these two styles.
    Scott R. Brown

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