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07-09-2006, 10:40 AM
A Short History of Daito-ryu Aikijutjitsu

THE DAITORYU is believed to have originated within the family of Emperor Seiwa and to have been greatly developed by one of the emperor's descendants, Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, in the eleventh century. Through his careful study of human anatomy-he made a point of visiting battlefields and execution grounds to examine and dissect the bodies of war dead and executed criminals-Yoshimitsu determined which were the most effective strikes, blows, holds, joint locks, and pins. To fathom the mysteries of aiki, or harmonized energy, Yoshimitsu spent hours observing a female spider trapping prey in her web. Furthermore, he was a talented musician, and while accompanying dancers on his sho (a type of wind instrument), he gained insight into the nature of good rhythm and smooth transition between movements. Yoshimitsu incorporated all of this knowledge into the martial art he had been taught by family members and then passed on to his sons this improved and expanded system-which came to be known as the "Daitoryu," after the name of one of his residences.

Omiya, Shiro, The Hidden Roots of Aikido, Kodansha International, Tokyo 1998.

For the Aikido practitioners with musical backgrounds, does playing a musical instrument help you with your Aikido?

07-09-2006, 11:21 AM
No, but listening to music can make a difference in timing techniques out during training.

Pauliina Lievonen
07-09-2006, 01:42 PM
No... and aikido has been somewhat detrimental to the health of my flute, at least until I figured out that swinging it like a bokken wasn't a good idea.... :P


07-09-2006, 02:16 PM
For the Aikido practitioners with musical backgrounds, does playing a musical instrument help you with your Aikido?
IMHO, and modest talent, having a good sense of rhythm has been extremely helpful.

Pauliina Lievonen
07-09-2006, 05:14 PM
Ok it's true that a sense of rhythm helps. Though I shouldn't be speaking, my first aikido teacher used to try to get me to move more smoothly "You wouldn't change the tempo in the middle of Mozart either, would you?"... :D actually that analogy really helped me in the beginning to not suddenly speed up or slow down in the middle of a technique.


07-09-2006, 06:05 PM
I've heard it said that there is an old expression that "the one who is in control of the rhythm wins". I think music in training can help with this.

Of course, it's important to remember that while you're trying to be in charge of the rhythm, so is your attacker.

I'm always amused when subtle stuff like this actually makes a difference.

07-09-2006, 10:52 PM
Here's an article folks may have read (or missed) here on AikiWeb entitled, "Rhythm and Aikido":


-- Jun

07-10-2006, 01:24 AM
Playing a wind instrument certainly helped. It meant that breathing from the diaphram didn't come as a mystery.
As for dancing, having a partner involved some what ruins my natural sense of rhythm which no doubt tells you as much about my mental state as you need to know ;) . However, when I went back the other way, from Aikido to dancing with a partner, years spent trying to find my partners centre on the Tatami made responding to a dance partner easy as pie!

07-10-2006, 04:26 AM
My previous experience as a (mediocre) drummer certainly helped. Knowing how to hit something outside my field of vision, fast, at exacctly the right moment with exactly the right force certainly built a certain coordination, especially with regards to punching and the like. And playing the timpani while standing on one foot ('cause there's never enough of them, so I need the other foot to adjust their tune while playing) has done wonders for my balance and the ability to keep a relaxed knee :D

Mark Freeman
07-10-2006, 04:30 AM
Aikido is like 'jazz' :cool: once you learn the scales, timing, rhythm, melodies and structures you can improvise and create a thing of great beauty :D



07-10-2006, 07:42 AM
My former sensei used this example to make my understand the timing in Aikido ; think and-one in relation to uke attacking on one.

I think timing as 1-2-3 (with acceleration) and uke as 1-2 from
his attack beginning to his full impact.

But in general making comparison between music and Aikido
doesn't really work for me,in music you have anticipations,
in Budo you should have no preconceptions.
Maybe with time it will get more related.

But I do see similarities in learning the basics, much as you
learn classical music - and later on you end up in jazz territory :confused: :)

07-10-2006, 07:48 AM
i hope they aren't too related as i sure can't dance! :p

07-10-2006, 08:12 AM
The article, "Aikido and Creative Expression" may be of interest at the link below:


Trish Greene
07-10-2006, 12:36 PM
It certainly has helped me in both the musical and aikoda realms. In playing the flute, I learned how to project my sound better ( extend that ki!) and with Aikido I can regulate my breathing better.