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Thread: Saigo Shiro (aka: Shida Shiro) / "Yama arashi"

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    Default Saigo Shiro (aka: Shida Shiro) / "Yama arashi"

    There is currently a thread in the Judo forum regarding a throw called "Yama Arashi". I do not consider myself a Judoka, but I did have the opportunity to work out under a rokudan in Okinawa.
    Quickly cutting to the point: My instructor, when the topic came up, said that "Yama Arashi" was an Aikijutsu technique. Could someone verify that for me? If YA is in the Daito-ryu curriculum, how it executed?

    SPC Jason C. Diederich, MOARNG
    FEMAS, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Kali-Silat
    www.geocities.com/shaolinninjamarine

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    profsarj Guest

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    Yama Arashi is the technique introduced by Shiro Saigo, then formerly of Daito Ryu Aiki Ju Jutsu, while competing under the Judo banner.

    Hope that this info is useful.

    Prof. Darrell Sarjeant

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    It's a Daito-ryu secret.

    Supposedly at the time, Shiro Saigo was the only one who could execute this technique (yama arashi). Although there are several other techniques that go by the name "yama arashi", Saigo's technique was not passed on in Judo. Even in Daito-ryu, there seems to be much speculation as to which technique it may have been.

    Tradition has it that Shiro Saigo, the adopted son of Tanomo Saigo was the first designated heir of Daito-ryu's "oshikiuchi" from which Daito-ryu's aikijujutsu is said to derive. But eventually, Sokaku Takeda replaced him.

    Supposedly, Saigo was torn between loyalty to Jigoro Kano and Daito-ryu, so he retired to Kyushu where he continued to practice only swimming and kyudo. He had no students and his "yama arashi" technique may have even died with him. Of course every imitation Daito-ryu group now claims a secret link to either Shiro and/or his adopted father Tanomo, because they have no link to Sokaku Takeda who as the reviver of the tradition (chuko no so), was the first to teach Daito-ryu to outsiders. But there is no evidence whatsoever to support these so called Saigo-ha claims.

    Okamoto sensei has not said what he knows of this technique (yama arashi), prefering that we don't waste our energy memorizing the names of techniques, or speculating about history, but instead he says, "Just practice".

    "If you master aiki", he says, "you can do yama arashi or any other technique." Then he does several differnt techniques, and each time he smiles and calls it "yama arashi". He was clearly implying that the name of the techniques don't mean anything.

    There's no doubt that many folks today would like to discover what this mysterious technique may have been like, in the hopes that they might discover some "secret trick" that would enable them to defeat today's NHB champions. Childish fantasies aside, I interpret Okamoto sensei's comments to mean that even if this technique was passed down within Daito-ryu and known by him or any of the other Daito-ryu masters, that it would prove useless to everyone else unless they had first mastered "aiki", therefore he'd prefer that we train in such a way as to master the "essence" of Daito-ryu, rather than worry about various specific techniques. This is consistent with the idea that "aiki" is an essential component of Daito-ryu's rather unique operating system.

    It was said by other "jujutsu/judoka" at the time that Saigo's techniques were unique to him. It wasn't just that no one else could copy his techniques, but also that Saigo was able to effectively use these sophisticated techniques against the most skilled and feared jujutsu fighters of the day. His skill was naturally attributed to the training he received as a youth in Aizu. Although he was he was competing in matches and tournaments for Jigoro Kano, helping to promote Judo at the time, it's generally understood that he used "aiki" techniques and principles he learned from the "oshikiuchi" in order to win. Although these rough and tumble challenge matches were a far cry from the Judo tournaments of today, they were still competetive matches.

    Another time when asked about it, Okamoto sensei said something like, "Yama arashi is a technique for shiai, Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is for real situations."

    FWIW.

    Brently Keen


  4. #4
    MarkF Guest

    Post aiki and yama arashi

    Originally posted by Brently Keen

    Supposedly at the time, Shiro Saigo was the only one who could execute this technique (yama arashi). Although there are several other techniques that go by the name "yama arashi", Saigo's technique was not passed on in Judo. Even in Daito-ryu, there seems to be much speculation as to which technique it may have been.



    I agree with Brently, as this is the story. No one knows anything for sure, and as many judo/jujutsu ryu which exist, there are at least that many descriptions and kata of yama arashi today. But the daito ryu is one of the hard to believe, if you believe Shiro to have been only about fourteen at the time he went to the Kodokan, but even this is somewhat in doubt. From where he came, is not, as his nickname was little "Aizu" warrior, and, as of this morning, there is a description of Okazaki's kata of yama arashi (Kodenkan or danzan ryu).

    There is, of course, the story that he could have not used an aiki technique because he could not have had that much instriction in daito ryu. This one, I will leave to whomever wants to reveal it, as it matters little.

    I also agree with Brently in that names of technique do not matter at all. My second, and last, instructor, had never taught by way of terminology, even though he was from Japan, so there is good thinking here, as well. To this day, after thirty-seven years of judo, I must look at a book or the handout I have just given my students for the techniques they will be learning in the next however many weeks. This is either due to my teacher or my memory. I do not remember which . Naming techniques, especially if you do not speak the language, has little to do with waza. Doing the waza is always of much more importance. Now this is not what my elders or peers think, in general, but it does have merit. The stories of a clash between Takeda Sokaku and Kano Jigoro are just that: stories. Either way, what I know of Saigo Shiro, is that he did leave the Kodokan and did go on to do kyujutsu (kyudo). He did win the most infamous of judo shiai, or shi ni ai, and with a technique called yama arashi. Minutes were taken at the shiai but know one knows for sure. The novel Sugata Sanshiro gives us a hint in that it was written by the son of one of the contestants in those matches. The movie by that name is so censored, as to only give the appearance that it may have been a throw in which the foot does leave the ground, and it also hints that uke was thrown across the room. To see a fun, if not accurate description of the match, go to: http://www.furyu.com/archives/issue3/judo.html . But this match was sensational only in that little Shiro beat a man of fearsome talent, and of much larger build. It was another match, a draw, after 55 minutes of fighting, which is the one said to be that which put judo "on the map" to stay. The use of an aiki technique is as plausible as every other waza which is said to be YA, and, at the very least, it did leave a trail to the plausibility for aiki. Go to the judo forum for a discussion of yama arashi, and to another thread there which has taken a turn into YA territory as well, titled "poorly executed waza in shiai," I think is what it is.

    Sincerely,

  5. #5
    JOEY Guest

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    I HAVE SEEN AN INTERPRETATION OF YAMA ARASHI BY OBATA SENSEI IN TH BOOK Samurai Aikijitsu. Kodokan Judo also has a version but it is no longer in the sylallabus

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    While I mean no disrespect to Obata sensei, he is a strong aikido teacher and very accomplished swordsman. I do not believe the book "Samurai Aikijutsu" is an authorative book about Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu techniques or history.

    I believe the title more accurately reflects not the content of the techniques in the book, but rather the premise of the book which strongly stresses the legacy of the samurai spirit which still survives in some aikido styles. Obata sensei seems to lament the general tendency of most modern aikido styles to emphasize the "do" to such an extent that they lose their martial effectiveness. So the title of the book emphasizes "jutsu" instead of "do".

    The book also naturally reflects Obata sensei's own philosophy and "hard style" aikido which is basically like the Yoshinkan Aikido he learned under the late Gozo Shioda sensei.

    While I'll probably get flamed for saying this (I always do) it's not my intention to revive the old aiki debates. So please let's not go there again, ok? I just want to clarify what I believe, as a Daito-ryu practitioner are popular misconceptions or myths about aikijujutsu.

    IMHO, the idea that Yoshinkan Aikido = aikijujutsu is incorrect. While Yoshinkan Aikido does reflect the more martial, prewar "Aikibudo" of Ueshiba sensei, both resemble (Daito-ryu) jujutsu much more than they do aikijujutsu. In Daito-ryu there is a very important distinction between the two.

    Aikijujutsu is not hard style, throw him into a brick wall, combat aikido. Nor is aikijujutsu defined by painful joint locks and breaks or atemi. Aikijujutsu is soft, very soft and subtle in it's application.

    Sorry for the digression here, but despite the title of the book, the techniques described in "Samurai Aikijutsu" are aikido techniques and should not be confused with aikijujutsu techniques. As for Obata sensei's version of yama arashi? My seniors in Japan didn't think so, but then again who knows if anyone knows for sure?

    Brently Keen

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    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 12th June 2014 at 04:18.
    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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    Nathan,

    Please feel free to call me Brently. I'm not surprised at all, I wouldn't have expected you to flame the hell out of me. I was anticipating that some others might try to rehash the old debates as soon as I said something about Daito-ryu aiki being different than aikido though.

    I'm quite aware that "Samurai Aikijutsu" was published before very much was known about Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. I think that Obata sensei deserves a lot of credit and respect for what he has accomplished in the martial arts. It doesn't surprise me either that Obata sensei concurs with more recent discoveries regarding Daito-ryu history. His translation of Yamamoto Kansuke's "Heiho Okugisho" is a favorite of mine that I like to quote often.

    As far as I'm concerned though, the jury is still out on "oshikiuchi". I do not agree with the conclusions that some folks are drawing recently. Let's just say that I think there's more speculation going on than research.

    Please remember that Daito-ryu as a tradition or system includes both jujutsu and aiki (or aikijujutsu), they are very different. Traditionally, when one begins to study the system of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu they are only taught jujutsu in the beginning. The Shoden level in Daito-ryu is jujutsu. The Daito-ryu hiden mokuroku (also sometimes called the shoden mokuroku) is made up of 118 "jujutsu" techniques.

    Much of the confusion comes from the fact that Sokaku made a change in the name and started referring to his art as a whole as "Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu". At that point the mokuroku's he issued reflected this change, and "aiki" was added to the description of the art. However the content of the hiden mokuroku (118 jujutsu techniques) did not change. Shioda sensei and several other students of Ueshiba received this same mokuroku. People naturally mislabeled the jujutsu techniques as aikijujutsu techniques.

    As for the book "Aikijujutsu Ogi" I believe the title was a result of this same misunderstanding (either that or a marketing ploy), because the vast majority of the techniques come straight from the Daito-ryu "jujutsu" curriculum, not the "aiki no jutsu" curriculum.

    Likewise, I believe that Tokimune sensei and/or Kondo sensei have at different times both used the terms Aikijujutsu and Aikibudo perhaps interchangeably. When we watch Kondo sensei give a demonstration of the art of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu he usually (until very recently) only demonstrated techniques from the Ikkajo series, the first basic jujutsu techniques in the hiden mokuroku. The vast majority of all the techniques Kondo sensei has demonstrated on publically available video tapes are all jujutsu techniques. Therefore any resemblance we see between Yoshinkan Aikido and Kondo sensei's demonstrations are primarily a resemblance to the "jujutsu" techniques of Daito-ryu, not the "aiki" techniques.

    As you said, in Daito-ryu we have our own definition of aiki, and the distinctions between it and jujutsu are both clear and important. I have not seen or felt Obata sensei's "aikiage" technique so I cannot comment on that, but I will say that although Aikido's "kokyu-ho" and Kashima Shinryu's "reiki no ho" both resemble Daito-ryu's "aikiage" they are in fact quite different.

    It would be interesting to hear Obata sensei's thoughts on the yama arashi technique and/or any recollections he might have of Shioda sensei's feelings about it.

    Regards,

    Brently Keen


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    [Post deleted by user]
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 12th June 2014 at 04:18.
    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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    Nathan,

    Well put, I pretty much agree with your whole summary. Especially about Sokaku Takeda's view that aiki was the essence or core of Daito-ryu, and that any Daito-ryu techniques performed at the highest level would likely include some aiki or elements of aiki.

    You are correct that Shioda sensei had an ongoing interest in Daito-ryu and aiki. However, I believe some of the stories floating around on another BB are incorrect, and/or misleading. Out of respect for the parties involved, I'd rather not discuss the details of what I know in public though.

    I think this has been a profitable discussion.

    Regards,

    Brently Keen


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    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 12th June 2014 at 04:19.
    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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    Default More on Saigo Shiro

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    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 12th June 2014 at 04:19.
    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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    [Post deleted by user]
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 12th June 2014 at 04:19.
    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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    I recently wrote a 6-pages article on an italian Martial Arts newspaper regarding the famous Judo/Jujutsu tournament and Yama Arashi.

    I do not really believe that Shiro Saigo knew anything in Daito-ryu more than the very first techniques. So I guess the best explanation is the simplest, Yama Arashi was a modified version of the one by the same name in Kodokan Judo.

    To spice the article a little, we also showed a different theory, saying maybe Yama Arashi was Daito-ryu's Kuruma Daoshi, based on ease of application and the written description, which is a perfect fit.

    But I do not believe Kano cheated in the tournament, they won because the most dangerous techniques were forbidden and the judo guys were very good on applying with great force and efficiency less-than-lethal techniques and nage. It was a tournament with different purposes than "real fight", I don't know if they met each other on the streets at night which of the two system would have won.
    Giacomo Merello

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    Much to my surprise dear Giacome, I must say that for once I disagree with your theory. First of all and before carrying it on, could you please send me your article in subject, I’m very interested.

    To start with, Jigoro Kano is very often called Professor Kano, very rarely Sensei, Shihan and/or Kancho, how come the founder of the most famous Japanese martial art is called Professor rather than Sensei?

    Pr Kano was not a fighter or a martial phenomenon, he certainly was a very dedicated student truly devoted to the preservation of the various Ryu-ha but as far as I know, he was never famous for defeating any worthy opponent. Even though Pr Kano is the founder of Kodokan Judo his skills are not nearly to be compared to those of Ueshiba, Sokaku Takeda or Mas Oyama.

    If we look very carefully at Kano’s martial background, we find out that he had studied Tenjin Shiny’o Ryû and Kito-Ryû for a very short period of time, his Senseis being actually quite old (actually at least two of them soon passed away forcing the young Jigoro Kano to seek out a new teacher), in reality, Kano hardly studied for 4 years before founding the Kodokan, and, there is another aspect often underrated, the Dojo Kano trained in had indeed very few students, we can easily say that Koryu at that time were simply passing out.

    The rest is history, the first student to sign the enrollement book was one of the famous Shitenno: Tsunejiro Tomita whose son is the author of Sugata Sanshiro, I think that Saigo was the 8th or 9th student to join the Kodokan, it is worth mentioning that Kano had previously met Saigo at the Tenjin Shiny’o Ryû Dojo.

    It is an indisputable fact that Saigo was already a skilled martial artist far superior to Kano when he entered the Kodokan, he was the first one to defeat and convert!!! The first challengers who stepped by the Kodokan, one of those who were defeated by Saigo is nobody less that Sakujiro Yokoyama an exponent of another Ryû (I can’t remember the name at the moment) know as the Demon, I guess that somebody bearing such a nickname must have been a feared fighter, Yokoyama was also Kyuzo Mifune Teacher. After losing to Saigo, Yokoyama joined the Kodokan becoming one of the Shitenno.

    So, I guess that if Kano did not cheat, he was at least clever enough to get the best fighters of the time to defend the Kodokan. It certainly did help a lot even if it should not downplay Kano’s pedagogy and training methods.

    I would like to add a last word about the famous Police Department Tournament, the Koryu were fading, the Pax Tokugawa was certainly bearing a great responsibility in that loss of both combative spirit and skills. The Kodokan won because they were far better prepared than the exponent of the other schools and also because the Koryu believed that they would easily despatch the Kodokan players.

    Some scholars are now expressing a brand new theory about Yama Arashi: Some argue that it could be a description of Saigo’s fighting style, I tend to support that theory.
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

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