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Brion Toss
01-15-2012, 12:10 AM
Hello all,
On another thread, I floated the idea that examining the differences between Aikido and Daito Ryu might help us learn something about ourselves. Christopher Lee called me on it, inviting me to elaborate. Here are a few thoughts. Can't wait to see what you do with them.

1) Fewer Techniques, More Structure
O Sensei, pruned Daito Ryu techniques way back; Aikido has only a fraction of the number that its parent art does. This makes great sense if what one wants to do is impart principles: you provide only as much detail as you need to in order show how the principles might manifest, but you concentrate on the foundations. I donít know if this is what Ueshiba had in mind, and there certainly are enough techniques to keep me dazzled for a few more decades, but thereís little danger of getting lost in minutiae.

2) Uke Has a Way Out
In brief first-hand experience, and from videoís and other sources, it seems that Daito Ryu is all about crushing uke, which makes great sense martially, for why would you want to give your attacker a break? Ueshiba appears to answer that question by asking in turn, ď Why hurt somebody if you donít need to?Ē Tactically, uke might be almost as likely to leave you alone after a survivable throw as after a nasty one. Strategically, ukeís relatives and buddies might be less likely to come after you. And at least as important, I believe that human beings have a need, all-to-rarely-expressed, to be kind to one another. Aikido potentially, at least, gives us the opportunity, because its throws tend to allow for less torturous falls. Which brings us to

3) Compassion
Donít worry, Iím not going to go all Aiki-bunny on you here. I know that O Sensei was not what Westerners think of as a pacifist, I know that he hurt people when he thought it appropriate, appeared to condone injurious behavior in his dojoís, etc. But by and large, he seems to have taken all the flowery words about gentleness and compassion that martial arts masters have been spouting for centuries, and try to walk that particular talk. His followers and successors have certainly taken this to be so; I have rarely been in a dojo where the topic of being kind to oneís attacker didnít come up at some point. Maybe we are utterly misunderstanding some crazy old Japanese man. Actually, it is almost certain that to some extent we are. But for whatever reasons, Aikidoists at least seek to put gentleness and forgiveness and kindness at the center of their Art.
The trouble, of course, is that it is a lot harder to defeat someone gently than it is to do so by thrashing them. It takes a level of skill that only thorough, rigorous, and effective training has even a chance of providing, and most of us arenít willing or able to put in the effort, even if we are lucky enough to find a dojo that isnít teaching yoga with hakamas. Hence our all-too-often-deserved reputation for being toothless do-gooders, useless in a fight.
Daito Ryu appears to stay with the much more sensible notion that if someone wants to hurt me, I want to use the most efficient, certain method I can find to hurt them first. I might not have a kumbaya endorphin release when the fight is over, but Iíll still be upright.

At times, over the years, Iíve looked longingly over the fence at Daito Ryu, and I can certainly understand why some Aikido practitioners have jumped that fence. But for myself, Aikido is an opportunity to give form to my aspirations to humaneness, and its principles and techniques have gotten me through a blessedly few martial encounters. I think Iíll stay with it.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Chris Li
01-15-2012, 01:06 AM
Here's an interesting translation (by Nathan Scott) of a scroll written by Yukiyoshi Sagawa, which hung on the wall of his dojo. Sagawa was, at one time, asked to be the Soke of Daito-ryu, and he was not a big Ueshiba fan:

"The Martial Art of Aiki is Synonymous with the Way of Human Cultivation & Development"

Aiki is the harmonization of ki.

The entire universe sustains itself perfectly through maintaining an endlessly fluid balance, or harmonization. This harmony is aiki.

It is never stagnant, but rather unites while in this constant state of movement to create harmony without producing negativity or conflict since the ki of aiki is natural.

The harmony created by aiki must serve as a fundamental part of the foundation of human society. This concept is known as World Peace through Aiki (Aiki no Daien Wa).

One should use the principle of aiki to harmonize with and de-escalate those who threaten violence. In the case where an enemy has already initiated an attack, one should rely completely on the principle of aiki to blend with or redirect their attack, which in turn produces a state of harmony.

We must seriously study the basic techniques of aiki as well as the taijutsu (jujutsu), tachi no jutsu (swordsmanship), sojutsu (spearmanship), and bujutsu (staff techniques) as passed down within the methods of aiki through its founder, Prince Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, and in the process strive to follow the Way found in the martial art of aiki (Aiki no Budo), which can be thought of as synonymous with the Way of human cultivation and development (Ningen Shuyo).

As to number 1 - that's basically true, although there is quite a bit of variation between schools of both Aikido and Daito-ryu. OTOH, although you could argue over which approach is better pedagogically, in and of itself that says nothing much about whether the principles being covered are the same or different.

For number 2 - that's also generally true, but the same caveat as above holds. In either case, it's really a minor variation at best rather than a substantive change in technical principles. If I have control over what's happening I can wrap someone in close or release them outwards - and remember that releasing them outwards is not always the least damaging option.

From what I can see the differences you are talking about are mostly that Ueshiba was more religious - which is probably true, but again doesn't say anything about whether the technical principles are the same or different.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
01-15-2012, 01:10 AM
As a caveat, I'd like to note that I'm not a Daito-ryu guy, although I have enjoyed practicing a small amount of Daito-ryu in the past.

Best,

Chris

TimB99
01-15-2012, 04:24 AM
I don't know about number 1's "fraction" bit... I'm no daito-ryu-guy by any standard, so you'd be better off asking them, but I have found a thread which compares the techniques of aikido and daito-ryu which estimates the correlation between daito-ryu's hiden mokuroku and aikido's techniques to be 82% or so..

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15096

Interesting stuff :D

PaulieWalnuts
01-15-2012, 05:11 AM
There is no such thing as just AIKIDO any more, you cant just compare the name to Daito ryu, we all know there are many styles and flavours of Aikido, some Very Martial and others are just for exercise only. SO you have to say what style your comparing to...

graham christian
01-15-2012, 05:46 AM
Spirit. Daito ryu is the mental and physical application and view of aiki, the developing yet undeveloped flower.

Aikido is the spiritual, encompassing both the physical and mental, the fully formed.

The 'do'

The way.

G.

Chris Li
01-15-2012, 08:55 AM
Spirit. Daito ryu is the mental and physical application and view of aiki, the developing yet undeveloped flower.

Aikido is the spiritual, encompassing both the physical and mental, the fully formed.

The 'do'

The way.

G.

That may well be true, it's hard to argue that many people were more religious/spiritual than Ueshiba. I have a few comments to consider:

1) Sokaku Takeda and Daito-ryu, although not nearly as spiritual as Ueshiba, are hardly as soulless as they are often made out to be, as evidenced in the scroll above. Did you know that Takeda made extensive studies of esoteric Buddhism?

2) There are only a couple of people that I know of in the world who are really delving into the spiritual beliefs of the Founder in depth. Despite what many people think they know, what has been translated into English is fragmentary, often mistaken or misleading, and very abstract. Much of the material is specific to Japanese culture, and is difficult even for native Japanese in their own language.

3) There is quite a lot of technical instruction embedded in the lectures left behind by the Founder, but the same caveats noted above make it extremely difficult to extract.

4) That still leaves open the question of differences of a technical nature. Traditionally, the talking points have been that the Founder produced an art of a profoundly different and original nature - not only spiritually, but on the level of technical principles.

On the spiritual side - many of the Japanese and Chinese martial arts had very complex and complete spiritual systems attached, so much so that I'm not sure that the case for a new and unique world view can really be made in it's entirety. There's nothing wrong with not being unique, of course.

On the technical side, I think that the argument for uniqueness in Aikido has traditionally been that it is a new technical paradigm that allows for control of an attacker without causing harm. If this is true (I'm not sure that it is, or that it is even really possible except as a goal), than what are the specific differences in principle? So far, none have been presented except as a matter of choosing to be more charitable - something that other arts, even Daito-ryu, have been known to do. What are the specific and original technical innovations that were introduced by the Founder that are not variations of his earlier training?

In the thread noted above (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15096) there is an extremely extensive technical comparison of the two arts. How about an equally detailed review showing the differences in core technical principle?

Best,

Chris

gregstec
01-15-2012, 08:57 AM
IMO, I see Aikido as just another offshoot of DR - the various organizations under the Aikido and DR umbrellas all have the same roots; they just have been taken in different directions with different aspects being focused on.

If given the freedom to do so, everyone that teaches will always impart and focus on their own particular view of everything, and this is true regardless of the size of a group. In the DR camp you have groups that focus on the hard to soft, like Kondo's mainline group's hard style to Okamoto's soft style - same thing with the Aikido organizations, you got Shioda's stuff at one extreme and Tohie's ki stuff at the other.

I have trained with various Aikido groups over the years (Ki Society, Iwama, AAA, ASU, etc) and I currently lead a small DR study group under the guidance of Howard Popkin where the DR stuff we focus on is the high level aiki stuff that evens makes some of Tohei's stuff appear hard :D (caveat: I am by no means an expert in any of this, but I have experienced the differences)

Bottom line is that I do not think you can categorically state that Aikido is more benevolent than DR - It all depends on one's application of the concepts and principles of the art. And as Chris stated, projections can very easily be changed to a drop with a very minor adjustment, and could also be more devastating; as in projecting someone off a roof or into the path of a bus - your choice based on the reality of the situation. :D

Greg

graham christian
01-15-2012, 09:32 AM
That may well be true, it's hard to argue that many people were more religious/spiritual than Ueshiba. I have a few comments to consider:

1) Sokaku Takeda and Daito-ryu, although not nearly as spiritual as Ueshiba, are hardly as soulless as they are often made out to be, as evidenced in the scroll above. Did you know that Takeda made extensive studies of esoteric Buddhism?

2) There are only a couple of people that I know of in the world who are really delving into the spiritual beliefs of the Founder in depth. Despite what many people think they know, what has been translated into English is fragmentary, often mistaken or misleading, and very abstract. Much of the material is specific to Japanese culture, and is difficult even for native Japanese in their own language.

3) There is quite a lot of technical instruction embedded in the lectures left behind by the Founder, but the same caveats noted above make it extremely difficult to extract.

4) That still leaves open the question of differences of a technical nature. Traditionally, the talking points have been that the Founder produced an art of a profoundly different and original nature - not only spiritually, but on the level of technical principles.

On the spiritual side - many of the Japanese and Chinese martial arts had very complex and complete spiritual systems attached, so much so that I'm not sure that the case for a new and unique world view can really be made in it's entirety. There's nothing wrong with not being unique, of course.

On the technical side, I think that the argument for uniqueness in Aikido has traditionally been that it is a new technical paradigm that allows for control of an attacker without causing harm. If this is true (I'm not sure that it is, or that it is even really possible except as a goal), than what are the specific differences in principle? So far, none have been presented except as a matter of choosing to be more charitable - something that other arts, even Daito-ryu, have been known to do. What are the specific and original technical innovations that were introduced by the Founder that are not variations of his earlier training?

In the thread noted above (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15096) there is an extremely extensive technical comparison of the two arts. How about an equally detailed review showing the differences in core technical principle?

Best,

Chris

1) Takeda no doubt studied many things. I don't know all of his history, no.

2) Many in the world, ie: more than a couple, understand to varying degrees the message of ueshiba spiritually. They don't have to be in Aikido or anything to do with culture.

As I see it history itself is fine for orientation and great for culture or understanding culture and the true sense of culture. Thus culture is something Ueshiba liked and talked about, the history, the classics, but that is culture. Spiritual needs to be differentiated from culture in order to understand better the words he used.

3) and 4) Technical. You are correct in saying that is the point of contention, the unanswered by many difference, the asked for differentiation.

So something that has never adequately been done you ask me to attempt. Actually I find that a great challenge, my world, for it is what I teach. I will look at the above reference first.

By the way there is nothing wrong with not being unique is true from one perspective but plenty wrong from another. Uniqueness is wholeness, we are all unique. As we lose some of ourself and adopt trying to be like someone else or other than ourselves then we become fragmented, incomplete, searching.

Regards.G.

Chris Li
01-15-2012, 09:36 AM
So something that has never adequately been done you ask me to attempt. Actually I find that a great challenge, my world, for it is what I teach. I will look at the above reference first.

Well, not you specifically, anybody who's willing is fine.

Off to Tokyo...

Best,

Chris

graham christian
01-15-2012, 10:03 AM
Well, not you specifically, anybody who's willing is fine.

Off to Tokyo...

Best,

Chris

Tokyo? Sounds nice. Have a nice trip.

Just looked and scanned briefly the reference and that is a physical comparison, that's fine and shows a few physical differences, that's fine also.

This validates the physical connection and similarity. That's about it. That will never lead to understanding the difference between the two arts. (I believe you know this already)

The start of the difference was Ueshiba's 'enlghtenment(s). Spiritual.

He then realized he could use the same vessel, in fact that the vessel itself was based on spiritual truths. Thus finding he only had to learn the spiritual truths for they would naturally be expressed through this physical form of techniques.

The spiritual being very certain in both purpose and principle would lead to modified technique, and most of all a completely different way of viewing. Thus he called it the true martial art for the views he expressed as truly martial would be hard for others to come to terms with or see any connection.

First a person would have to accept that spiritual is the base, the source, the true power that leads to understanding the uniqueness and difference.

After acceptance, only then can they allow themselves to look at the principles and how they apply. Thus find to their surprise that there are spiritual, technical, principles.

Those spiritual. technical, principles at last give life understanding and enlightenment to the uniqueness of Aikido.

Regards.G.

Carsten MŲllering
01-15-2012, 11:58 AM
Graham, I don't see how your understanding relates to historical facts?

And as someone who in all those years never was taught aikido as spiritual art I simply don't get your point. Loving peace and harmony, or, to use Brians word, being compassionate to me is not the same as spiritual. And, above all, is not unique to aikido.

IMO, I see Aikido as just another offshoot of DR - the various organizations under the Aikido and DR umbrellas all have the same roots.
Yes, this is what I think: Just different members of the familiy. Different characters, different biographies. But relatives.

graham christian
01-15-2012, 01:14 PM
Graham, I don't see how your understanding relates to historical facts?

And as someone who in all those years never was taught aikido as spiritual art I simply don't get your point. Loving peace and harmony, or, to use Brians word, being compassionate to me is not the same as spiritual. And, above all, is not unique to aikido.

Yes, this is what I think: Just different members of the familiy. Different characters, different biographies. But relatives.

They relate to spiritual historical facts.

If you haven't been taught then sure, thats all good. Hence your view on compassion.

Regards.G.

sorokod
01-15-2012, 01:55 PM
Not sure about "2) Uke Has a Way Out". Saito sensei wrote; "Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true Ki form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the centre of opposition." and the latter "When let loose mercilessly, Aikido techniques do not allow Ukemi."

- Traditional Aikido Vol. 5
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39061921/M-Saito-Traditional-Aikido-Vol-5-Training-Works-Wonders

Alex Megann
01-15-2012, 02:02 PM
Not sure about "2) Uke Has a Way Out". Saito sensei wrote; "Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true Ki form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the centre of opposition." and the latter "When let loose mercilessly, Aikido techniques do not allow Ukemi."

- Traditional Aikido Vol. 5
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39061921/M-Saito-Traditional-Aikido-Vol-5-Training-Works-Wonders

Exactly. Anyone who took ukemi (in the strict sense of "receiving with the body") from Masatake Fujita Sensei will be very aware of this :)

odudog
01-15-2012, 04:26 PM
Depending on who you are learning Aikido from, you might find just as much techniques as in Daito-ryu. The main difference that I find in the number of techniques is that Aikido grouped a lot of the techniques under the same classification while Daito-ryu maintained a specific name for any deviation. So, you could see 10 techniques that would have 10 names in Daito-ryu while 1 name in Aikido.

I was watching a Shirata Sensei video that had names for a lot of techniques that I didn't know had names or had a specific name besides just kokyu.

Another difference is the minute details in which the defense is done. Daito-ryu puts a lot of pressure points into the techniques and subtle differences in the way to put a person down is to cause breaks, sprains, dislocations, etc... They have certain ways in which to raise your arm or hands so that you don't use a lot of muscle. I'm weak, so I need these subtle details to help my technique become smoother and easier.

Brion Toss
01-15-2012, 04:33 PM
Hi again,
So far, I'm hearing that other arts address the issues of compassion, unity, mercy, etc. Which is what I said, adding that Ueshiba actually tried to act on those high principles, with the implication being that this attitude imbued his art. Or at least tended to; this is a martial art, and I don't expect absolutes of sweetness. Likewise I wholly agree that, at anything like full force, Aikido does not take it easy on uke. But if we are talking differentiation here, then I think the answer has to do with how the founder's intention was manifested, to whatever degree. By contrast, Takeda studied esoteric Buddhism, but he also drew a knife on his son. These were two very different people, and their arts reflect that fact.
As for the number of techniques, I'm hoping someone will be dropping in to confirm or deny, but what I understand is that, while most Aikido correlate to Daito Ryu, the opposite is not true.
Finally, I am painting in broad strokes here; considering how close the roots are, and how much the styles of both vary, I don't expect to find much in the way of absolute distinction.

mathewjgano
01-15-2012, 05:02 PM
Nothing much to add, but I remember going to a budo expo in Himeji and seeing Daito Ryu was on the list of demonstrations. I was really excited to see the mother art of Aikido. I was a little surprised at how it looked (to my very low-level eye) just like Aikido. I don't recall who was demonstrating, unfortunately.

danj
01-15-2012, 07:11 PM
There is no such thing as just AIKIDO any more, you cant just compare the name to Daito ryu, we all know there are many styles and flavours of Aikido, some Very Martial and others are just for exercise only. SO you have to say what style your comparing to...

Perhaps the same can be said for DR as well, though to an outsider it seems the process of transmission might see slightly less variation in the ryu and ryuha ?
Dan

graham christian
01-15-2012, 11:23 PM
Not sure about "2) Uke Has a Way Out". Saito sensei wrote; "Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true Ki form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the centre of opposition." and the latter "When let loose mercilessly, Aikido techniques do not allow Ukemi."

- Traditional Aikido Vol. 5
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39061921/M-Saito-Traditional-Aikido-Vol-5-Training-Works-Wonders

Circular movements, true Ki form, not allowing ukemi, all one and the same thing spiritually.

Consider this, rather than 'uke has a way out' but uke is always given a way out.

This doesn't mean escape, it means shown no escape and yet unharmed, defeated yet still whole, returned to humility.

The word 'fierce' above is a descriptive term for non resistive. The next descriptive term 'mercilessly' to me means merely without deviation or addition. Not allowing ukemi means to me not allowing the uke to choose which ukemi for the end result is already there.

Regards.G.

PeterR
01-16-2012, 12:02 AM
I think we went to that together - is that the time the firearms set off the sprinkler system.

Also not sure who demonstrated but the similarity between that and the Koryu Dai-san of Shodokan Aikido was striking.

Nothing much to add, but I remember going to a budo expo in Himeji and seeing Daito Ryu was on the list of demonstrations. I was really excited to see the mother art of Aikido. I was a little surprised at how it looked (to my very low-level eye) just like Aikido. I don't recall who was demonstrating, unfortunately.

mathewjgano
01-16-2012, 12:18 AM
I think we went to that together - is that the time the firearms set off the sprinkler system.

Also not sure who demonstrated but the similarity between that and the Koryu Dai-san of Shodokan Aikido was striking.

That's the one! :D Black powder and indoor sprinklers don't mix well...although it did make for an exceptionally memorable event!

Chris Li
01-16-2012, 03:25 PM
Hi again,
So far, I'm hearing that other arts address the issues of compassion, unity, mercy, etc. Which is what I said, adding that Ueshiba actually tried to act on those high principles, with the implication being that this attitude imbued his art. Or at least tended to; this is a martial art, and I don't expect absolutes of sweetness. Likewise I wholly agree that, at anything like full force, Aikido does not take it easy on uke. But if we are talking differentiation here, then I think the answer has to do with how the founder's intention was manifested, to whatever degree. By contrast, Takeda studied esoteric Buddhism, but he also drew a knife on his son. These were two very different people, and their arts reflect that fact.
As for the number of techniques, I'm hoping someone will be dropping in to confirm or deny, but what I understand is that, while most Aikido correlate to Daito Ryu, the opposite is not true.
Finally, I am painting in broad strokes here; considering how close the roots are, and how much the styles of both vary, I don't expect to find much in the way of absolute distinction.

There's no question that Takeda was rough on his son - on the other hand, I'm not sure that it's possible to judge a person of that period by the standards of this period, or even of Ueshiba's period and background. Still, can Takeda's parental style reeally be an argument for differentiation? Quite a few Aikido folks have horrible skeletons in their closets, yet are still respected teachers of the "Art of Peace".

Here's an interesting quote from...Sokaku Takeda:

"The purpose of this art is not to be killed, not to be struck, not to be kicked, and we will not strike, will not kick, and will not kill. It is completely for self-defense. We can handle opponents expediently, utilizing their own power, through their own aggression. So even women and children can use it. However, it is taught only to respectable people. It's misuse would be frightening..."

So far on this thread I haven't seen much (any) evidence presented for a significant variation in core technical principles. Some people have brought up some points of variation, but I have to point out that Daito-ryu varies widely within itself, and the same is true for Aikido.

Then we have the spiritual angle. But then, there are many people who teach Aikido with a very limited spiritual overlay, just a general moral ethic, and they are considered, without argument, to be respected teachers of conventional Aikido.

So where do that leave us?

Best,

Chris

Best,

Allen Beebe
01-16-2012, 03:47 PM
Tokyo?

ChrisHein
01-16-2012, 03:50 PM
1) Fewer Techniques, More Structure
O Sensei, pruned Daito Ryu techniques way back; Aikido has only a fraction of the number that its parent art does. This makes great sense if what one wants to do is impart principles: you provide only as much detail as you need to in order show how the principles might manifest, but you concentrate on the foundations. I don't know if this is what Ueshiba had in mind, and there certainly are enough techniques to keep me dazzled for a few more decades, but there's little danger of getting lost in minutiae.


After studying other forms of Jujutsu and chin na, I started adding lot's of things to my Aikido. Things that I thought perhaps the founder overlooked. Then when I started seriously looking at Daito Ryu waza I realized that most of the techniques I was adding were in Daito Ryu. That made me ask the same question, why did he "prune back" the techniques. It was only after doing very heavy randori with multiple attackers that I found what I believe to be a reasonable answer- most of the techniques removed were not ideal for dealing with multiple attackers. I found this out the hard way, as when I did multiple attacker heavy randori I wasn't using many of these more involved techniques. Most of the techniques that were removed were to involved, and are only useful when facing one opponent at a time. I believe Ueshiba was streamlining Aikido for multiple attacker situations.



2) Uke Has a Way Out
In brief first-hand experience, and from video's and other sources, it seems that Daito Ryu is all about crushing uke, which makes great sense martially, for why would you want to give your attacker a break? Ueshiba appears to answer that question by asking in turn, " Why hurt somebody if you don't need to?" Tactically, uke might be almost as likely to leave you alone after a survivable throw as after a nasty one. Strategically, uke's relatives and buddies might be less likely to come after you. And at least as important, I believe that human beings have a need, all-to-rarely-expressed, to be kind to one another. Aikido potentially, at least, gives us the opportunity, because its throws tend to allow for less torturous falls. Which brings us to


I also believe much of the leaving a "way out" for Uke comes from a multiple attacker context. Many of Aikido's techniques have a very powerful first blend, if done correctly there is nothing less crushing about Aikido's initial blends than those found in Daito. However, Aikido technique doesn't have the dominating, continuous control found in Daito Ryu. Again if one is always expecting multiple attackers, you don't have time to overly involve yourself with just one attacker. If your initial blend didn't stop them, and you are free to keep moving, then it's likely a good idea to move on. The set up's for more powerful/devastating throws often require you to more fully commit your body to one person. This takes time, and when you're facing multiple attackers you just don't have that time.

There is no doubt that Ueshiba was very interested in multiple attacker situations. For me, asking the question, "how useful is this technique in a multiple attacker situation" cleared up many of my earlier misconceptions about our syllabus.

Chris Li
01-16-2012, 04:01 PM
Tokyo?

My father-in-law passed away yesterday, so we're here for the funeral.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
01-16-2012, 04:05 PM
After studying other forms of Jujutsu and chin na, I started adding lot's of things to my Aikido. Things that I thought perhaps the founder overlooked. Then when I started seriously looking at Daito Ryu waza I realized that most of the techniques I was adding were in Daito Ryu. That made me ask the same question, why did he "prune back" the techniques. It was only after doing very heavy randori with multiple attackers that I found what I believe to be a reasonable answer- most of the techniques removed were not ideal for dealing with multiple attackers. I found this out the hard way, as when I did multiple attacker heavy randori I wasn't using many of these more involved techniques. Most of the techniques that were removed were to involved, and are only useful when facing one opponent at a time. I believe Ueshiba was streamlining Aikido for multiple attacker situations.


That may be true, OTHO, does it necessarily follow that core principles where changed? I know plenty of people who focus on perfecting one or two basic techniques for one reason or another (Zenzaburo Akazawa would do almost nothing but shiho-nage - and that was in the Daito-ryu days), but that doesn't mean that what they're doing is an entirely new and original art...

Best,

Chris

Marc Abrams
01-16-2012, 04:52 PM
My father-in-law passed away yesterday, so we're here for the funeral.

Best,

Chris

My condolences to your family and your wife's family. Travel home safely.

Marc Abrams

Rob Watson
01-16-2012, 05:09 PM
Check out the 50th anniversary commemorative DVD (http://www.aikidojournal.com/shop/productdetails?code=dvd19) and see many schools of Daito ryu and others (Yoseikan) and a representative group from Aikiai. See if you can find a commonality that can be stamped 'Daito ryu' and then contrast that with the Yoseikan and Aikikai presentations.

Note that ones aikido may not be fairly represented by that shown by the aikikai group!

Allen Beebe
01-16-2012, 07:05 PM
My father-in-law passed away yesterday, so we're here for the funeral.

Best,

Chris

心からお悔やみ申し上げます

Sincerely,
Allen

Cliff Judge
01-17-2012, 09:21 AM
I think a really great answer to the original poster's question can be found in the DVD of the 50th anniversary of Sokaku Takeda demonstration that you can purchase here from Stan Pranin. (http://www.aikidojournal.com/shop/productdetails?code=dvd19)

Buy the DVD from Stan. Many of these video clips are pirated on youtube but you've got to watch the whole thing. There is a lot of really amazing stuff, some merely decent stuff, and there is also Kodokai.

But watch all of the Daito ryu demonstrations - they are put in a nice order. Shihan and senior level practitioners perform various selections of Daito ryu's very large syllabus.

Then, watch the demo by Masatoshi Yasuno, who is a 7th dan at the hombu. Whatever you may think of his Aikido, look at it for what it is in the context of that event.

Chris Li
01-17-2012, 04:20 PM
I think a really great answer to the original poster's question can be found in the DVD of the 50th anniversary of Sokaku Takeda demonstration that you can purchase here from Stan Pranin. (http://www.aikidojournal.com/shop/productdetails?code=dvd19)

Buy the DVD from Stan. Many of these video clips are pirated on youtube but you've got to watch the whole thing. There is a lot of really amazing stuff, some merely decent stuff, and there is also Kodokai.

But watch all of the Daito ryu demonstrations - they are put in a nice order. Shihan and senior level practitioners perform various selections of Daito ryu's very large syllabus.

Then, watch the demo by Masatoshi Yasuno, who is a 7th dan at the hombu. Whatever you may think of his Aikido, look at it for what it is in the context of that event.

Seen it - and actually trained with some of the guys giving demonstrations. Trained with Yasuno, too.

So...based on that what would you say are the differences?

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
01-17-2012, 04:43 PM
Seen it - and actually trained with some of the guys giving demonstrations. Trained with Yasuno, too.

So...based on that what would you say are the differences?

Best,

Chris

I'd like to beg your indulgence in allowing me to not share my personal opinion here. I think there is something fairly obvious in this DVD that reflects well on the potential of both Daito ryu and Aikido training.

Chris Li
01-17-2012, 05:05 PM
I'd like to beg your indulgence in allowing me to not share my personal opinion here. I think there is something fairly obvious in this DVD that reflects well on the potential of both Daito ryu and Aikido training.

Well, I trained with people giving demonstrations on both the Aikido and the Daito-ryu side (one of my Daito-ryu teachers can be sitting right in the front, too) - and it doesn't seem as obvious to me as it seems that it does to people just watching the video clips. Why cite the video at all, then?

Best,

Chris

Brion Toss
01-18-2012, 11:15 AM
After studying other forms of Jujutsu and chin na, I started adding lot's of things to my Aikido. Things that I thought perhaps the founder overlooked. Then when I started seriously looking at Daito Ryu waza I realized that most of the techniques I was adding were in Daito Ryu. That made me ask the same question, why did he "prune back" the techniques. It was only after doing very heavy randori with multiple attackers that I found what I believe to be a reasonable answer- most of the techniques removed were not ideal for dealing with multiple attackers.

This sounds like a correlation/cause error. If you saw a car that had two tires with no tread on them, and the other two of a different side, idling really roughly, you might conclude that the owner was poor, or not good at maintenance. But a little further information might reveal that the car was in fact optimized for drag racing.
Similarly, it seems unlikely that Aikido's evolution was shaped by a consideration for multiple attackers, even if the forms adapt well to that situation. A simpler, more encompassing explanation might be that aiki was stressed, making for, among other things, cleaner, quicker entries, and compassion was stressed, making for, among other things, less time spent with uke.

Brion Toss
01-18-2012, 11:25 AM
So far on this thread I haven't seen much (any) evidence presented for a significant variation in core technical principles. Some people have brought up some points of variation, but I have to point out that Daito-ryu varies widely within itself, and the same is true for Aikido.

Then we have the spiritual angle. But then, there are many people who teach Aikido with a very limited spiritual overlay, just a general moral ethic, and they are considered, without argument, to be respected teachers of conventional Aikido.

So where do that leave us?


Hi again,
And yet, they are different. Earlier I made the analogy of Anglican and Catholic tenets and principles. Very similar, root and branch, and yet very different in practice. Any number of other examples might be found in the fields of architecture, music, cuisine, etc. Sure, everything is relative, but meaningful distinctions do occur.
As for the spiritual component, I'll say, once more, that martial arts masters are well-known for speaking of Cosmic Oneness, Compassion, etc.; it's just that Ueshiba put a lot more emphasis on that aspect, and lived it, and that the way he lived affected those who followed him, even the ones that were not the nicest people in the world. And that this effect was significant enough that it persists to this day, so that people choose Aikido -- with good reason or not -- in part for that reason.

ChrisHein
01-18-2012, 02:03 PM
This sounds like a correlation/cause error. If you saw a car that had two tires with no tread on them, and the other two of a different side, idling really roughly, you might conclude that the owner was poor, or not good at maintenance. But a little further information might reveal that the car was in fact optimized for drag racing.
Similarly, it seems unlikely that Aikido's evolution was shaped by a consideration for multiple attackers, even if the forms adapt well to that situation. A simpler, more encompassing explanation might be that aiki was stressed, making for, among other things, cleaner, quicker entries, and compassion was stressed, making for, among other things, less time spent with uke.

You are correct. With your analogy, just looking at the car, we don't know what we have. We can ask questions to the owner of the car, and find out if he is an auto racer or a poor mechanic. Since in our case, the owner of the car is no longer among us, we can only infer from his writings what he was interested in. In my case, I've seen Ueshiba write many times about his interest in multiple attackers, here is a quick example: (from http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews/interviews.html)
"At about the age of 14 or 15. First I learned Tenshinyo-ryu Jujitsu from Tozawa Tokusaburo Sensei, then Kito-ryu, Yagyu Ryu, Aioi-ryu, Shinkage-ryu, all of them Jujitsu forms. However, I thought there might be a true form of Budo elsewhere. I tried Hozoin-ryu Sojitsu and Kendo. But all of these arts are concerned with one-to-one combat forms and they could not satisfy me. So I visited many parts of the country seeking the Way and training. . . but all in vain. "

My experiences working with the Aikido syllabus within the context of heavy randori I've found that, many things I felt were lacking when doing randori one-on-one, were very effective when looking at multiple attackers.

Again, back to the analogy, we only have the car to look at, that car can teach us, whether the "modifications" were purposeful or due to lack of care. My theory is that these modifications are purposeful, and due to design for a specific task; multiple attackers. But it is only my opinion.

Howard Popkin
01-18-2012, 02:46 PM
Hi,

I have a slightly different point of view here, never having studied Aikido, only jujitsu and Daitoryu. Since I am not qualified to comment from the Aikido perspective, these comments relate to my views only.

1) Daitoryu randori varies form teacher to teacher. The Daitoryu I have studied clearly focuses on multiple attackers, just in a different manner than the Aikido I have seen ( I said, the Aikido I have seen).

2) Daitoryu has much smaller footwork than that of the Aikido I have seen ( I said, the Aikido I have seen). That doesn't hold true for all Daitoryu.

3) The Daitoryu that we practice is very soft. By soft I don't mean not damaging or non-concussive. I mean two major differences:
A) The muscular energy and tension used is much less than in Aikido (unless you come from a soft style of Aikido)
b) The point of contact is never a power struggle.

So, in summary.....it all depends on your teacher :)

Hope that helps, but it doesn't.......bottom line, get out there and feel as many people as you can. Find the one that fits you the best.

Enjoy !

Howard

Chris Li
01-18-2012, 04:14 PM
Hi again,
And yet, they are different. Earlier I made the analogy of Anglican and Catholic tenets and principles. Very similar, root and branch, and yet very different in practice. Any number of other examples might be found in the fields of architecture, music, cuisine, etc. Sure, everything is relative, but meaningful distinctions do occur.

I saw a very detailed comparison of the technical similarities, can you give the same for the differences?


As for the spiritual component, I'll say, once more, that martial arts masters are well-known for speaking of Cosmic Oneness, Compassion, etc.; it's just that Ueshiba put a lot more emphasis on that aspect, and lived it, and that the way he lived affected those who followed him, even the ones that were not the nicest people in the world. And that this effect was significant enough that it persists to this day, so that people choose Aikido -- with good reason or not -- in part for that reason.

Well, different teachers have different personalities and beliefs, and their students reflect that - in any art. That doesn't necessarily mean that there is a differentiation in the art. Further, what about the Aikido schools who don't put an emphasis on the spiritual - does that mean that they are not doing Aikido?

Best,

Chris

DH
01-18-2012, 07:37 PM
I saw a very detailed comparison of the technical similarities, can you give the same for the differences?

Well, different teachers have different personalities and beliefs, and their students reflect that - in any art. That doesn't necessarily mean that there is a differentiation in the art. Further, what about the Aikido schools who don't put an emphasis on the spiritual - does that mean that they are not doing Aikido?

Best,
Chris
And lest we forget...in order to balance things out:
Takeda and Sagawa emphasized the defensive aspects of the art
and Ueshiba talked about exerting his will on his opponant, calling uke an opponant, the potential killing aspects of it, and he taught assassins before the war.
To me, part of the the beauty of these arts is to see each of the founders in their fullness.
Without aiki, Aikido both arts are rather palid and stale forms of jujutsu.
Dan

Jeff Smith
07-28-2012, 06:35 AM
Hi Chris,
I've always wondered what was pared and why. I had noticed through my training that daito had more detail. Your answer makes logical sense. I will be using your explanation when the question arises.
Cheers
Jeff

JuniorB
07-28-2012, 08:51 AM
http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/traditional-martial-arts-training/aikido/daito-ryu-aikijujutsu-vs-aikido/

Very interesting article I just read, a little over generalized but a decent read.