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aiki-jujutsuka
04-20-2013, 12:34 PM
Another new blog, this time examining where the principles of aiki can be seen in the techniques of Dentokan Aiki-Jujutsu. While Hakko Ryu forms of Aiki-Jujutsu place less stress on aiki than possibly Daito-Ryu or Aikido; I believe the principles are still there. From my own training aiki seems to be most connected to breaking balance in Dentokan Aiki-Jujutsu. Aiki is never talked about when explaining the waza (at least not at Shodan level), unless we are practising specific "aiki" variations. However, the principles of the circle, balance and posture and distance are. I believe all these principles are important to aiki both in Aiki-Jujutsu and Aikido, not just breaking balance. I hope my explanations are clear and concise.

http://myjujutsujourney.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/where-is-aiki-in-dentokan-aiki-jujutsu.html

Mert Gambito
04-20-2013, 02:40 PM
Another new blog, this time examining where the principles of aiki can be seen in the techniques of Dentokan Aiki-Jujutsu. While Hakko Ryu forms of Aiki-Jujutsu place less stress on aiki than possibly Daito-Ryu or Aikido; I believe the principles are still there. From my own training aiki seems to be most connected to breaking balance in Dentokan Aiki-Jujutsu. Aiki is never talked about when explaining the waza (at least not at Shodan level), unless we are practising specific "aiki" variations. However, the principles of the circle, balance and posture and distance are. I believe all these principles are important to aiki both in Aiki-Jujutsu and Aikido, not just breaking balance. I hope my explanations are clear and concise.

http://myjujutsujourney.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/where-is-aiki-in-dentokan-aiki-jujutsu.html
Ewen,

Hakkoryu includes principles and specific means by which to achieve aiki as core to the jujutsu and shiatsu aspects of the system. The opening section of the Hakkoryu shodan manual, which all mudansha first read, discusses kamae, eschewing use of force, and other qualities required for use of aiki, and use of ki specific to Hakkoryu through understanding of shiatsu (heck, the Hakkoryu public website even touches on these things openly).

Aiki Nage, for example, is a waza that appears early in the order of shodan-ge, and the spiraling in and yo that is required to create aiki is emphasized in that technique, building on the foundational in and yo of Hakko Dori (Hakkoryu's expression of Aiki Age, with emphasis on the atemi that generally differentiates Hakkoryu from Daito-ryu and aikido). Hakkoryu waza are ordered so that each informs its successors, so: Hakko Dori and Aiki Age, along with Atemi, lay the foundation for developing and using aiki, and ki via atemi, that are required for Te Kagami and the Osae Dori waza you mentioned in your blogpost.

Unfortunately, the degree to which these things are taught, and how they're taught, is a major mileage / kilometerage variable, as in Daito-ryu and aikido.

aiki-jujutsuka
04-20-2013, 03:27 PM
Ewen,

Hakkoryu includes principles and specific means by which to achieve aiki as core to the jujutsu and shiatsu aspects of the system. The opening section of the Hakkoryu shodan manual, which all mudansha first read, discusses kamae, eschewing use of force, and other qualities required for use of aiki, and use of ki specific to Hakkoryu through understanding of shiatsu (heck, the Hakkoryu public website even touches on these things openly).

Aiki Nage, for example, is a waza that appears early in the order of shodan-ge, and the spiraling in and yo that is required to create aiki is emphasized in that technique, building on the foundational in and yo of Hakko Dori (Hakkoryu's expression of Aiki Age, with emphasis on the atemi that generally differentiates Hakkoryu from Daito-ryu and aikido). Hakkoryu waza are ordered so that each informs its successors, so: Hakko Dori and Aiki Age, along with Atemi, lay the foundation for developing and using aiki, and ki via atemi, that are required for Te Kagami and the Osae Dori waza you mentioned in your blogpost.

Unfortunately, the degree to which these things are taught, and how they're taught, is a major mileage / kilometerage variable, as in Daito-ryu and aikido.

Hi Mert,

Thank you for your reply and insight. Sadly I think some concepts are lost in translation sometimes. So for example "kamae" and "kuzushi" are never used in my club but posture and balance are. The same principles are being taught but there is no connection made to aiki. The issue I have is is that Aiki-Jujutsu is a Japanese martial art. If you don't use Japanese terminology to explain the principles behind the waza, then the concept of "aiki" can become lost and become just a name, merely a prefix added to Jujutsu. Likewise, we are constantly taught not to use strength, but again no connection is made to aiki...or even jujutsu for that matter. I want to know what distinguishes Aiki-Jujutsu from Jujutsu, hence my study. I believe aiki (though something to be internalized in practice) is a real martial concept. It puzzles me that it is not emphasised more in my club.

Mert Gambito
04-20-2013, 03:42 PM
Hi Mert,

Thank you for your reply and insight. Sadly I think some concepts are lost in translation sometimes. So for example "kamae" and "kuzushi" are never used in my club but posture and balance are. The same principles are being taught but there is no connection made to aiki. The issue I have is is that Aiki-Jujutsu is a Japanese martial art. If you don't use Japanese terminology to explain the principles behind the waza, then the concept of "aiki" can become lost and become just a name, merely a prefix added to Jujutsu. Likewise, we are constantly taught not to use strength, but again no connection is made to aiki...or even jujutsu for that matter. I want to know what distinguishes Aiki-Jujutsu from Jujutsu, hence my study. I believe aiki (though something to be internalized in practice) is a real martial concept. It puzzles me that it is not emphasised more in my club.
Yeah, what's something's called doesn't mean much in the greater scheme of things. I know that the Dentokan, KoKoDo and other arts that descended from Hakkoryu have changed nomenclature, and to varying degrees, the syllabus. Aiki Nage is still in the Dentokan's shodan-ge according to the Dentokan hombu's website. So, a natural question is, when Aiki Nage is taught, how is the definition, importance and role of aiki imparted to people who're learning that waza? This isn't something you necessarily have to publicly discuss here, if you're not comfortable doing so. But it is important for addressing what you're trying to resolve.

Now, after doing such investigation, if it turns out "aiki" is truly just an add-on term, then that is indeed too bad.

aiki-jujutsuka
04-20-2013, 04:48 PM
don't get me wrong, I'm taught well. But as a brit living in England with English instructors who teach in English, sometimes I don't think we fully articulate the essence of the art, which is Japanese culturally and historically.

Mert Gambito
04-20-2013, 06:14 PM
don't get me wrong, I'm taught well. But as a brit living in England with English instructors who teach in English, sometimes I don't think we fully articulate the essence of the art, which is Japanese culturally and historically.
Understood. Fortunately, it's not a barrier if there's underlying passion for and understanding of the subject matter.

https://i4.ytimg.com/vi/33J15nBXVXw/mqdefault.jpg (http://youtu.be/33J15nBXVXw)

There are Hakkoryu folks in the U.S., for example, who travel to Japan to train, even if a special event/training is not being hosted in Saitama. Fortunately, there are some quite accomplished teachers in the U.S. who are quite versed in Hakkoryu's internal aspects: and those are the folks who are ardent shiatsu practitioners.

odudog
04-20-2013, 09:41 PM
I want to know what distinguishes Aiki-Jujutsu from Jujutsu, hence my study. I believe aiki (though something to be internalized in practice) is a real martial concept. It puzzles me that it is not emphasised more in my club.

What distinguishes the two arts is muscle. The aiki-jujitsu art that I was cross training seperates the two levels by muscle. Once you get high enough into it, they then introduce the aiki. You re-learn the waza but with aiki involved. Some techniques stay the same while others add an extra step or two. If it is not emphasized in your club, you maybe are not high enough yet or that is something that you will have to investigate on your own using outside sources.

aiki-jujutsuka
04-21-2013, 05:55 AM
What distinguishes the two arts is muscle. The aiki-jujitsu art that I was cross training seperates the two levels by muscle. Once you get high enough into it, they then introduce the aiki. You re-learn the waza but with aiki involved. Some techniques stay the same while others add an extra step or two. If it is not emphasized in your club, you maybe are not high enough yet or that is something that you will have to investigate on your own using outside sources.

I appreciate that and it's probably true to a degree. There are several shihans in my club but not all of them either care to or are able to articulate the aiki side of the art. My senior shihan who has spent alot of time with Hobbs Sensei likes to lift the veil on the shihan kata more and introduce little nuances to students he feels are at a point where they can be shown it.

Mert Gambito
04-22-2013, 02:49 AM
From Hakkoryu.com:
Constant throughout Hakkoryu training is the concept of abandoning force. Muscular strength is not required in Hakkoryu. Instead, the techniques rely mainly on an understanding of anatomy and physiology, both the exponent's and his/her attacker. Disciples are encouraged always to relax both mind and body so that one's Tanden or Hara (center of gravity) settles in the proper place. Thus, body weight may be easily focused at various points during the execution of techniques. Should a disciple try to use strength alone, his/her body weight will not be focused properly, and techniques will be much less effective. Once a disciple can grasp and unconsciously practice this concept, progress becomes rapid.
Pretty straightforward admonition. The key is to devote whatever time and mental resources it takes to really understand this via jujutsu and shiatsu, with lots of time practicing both as discreet parts of the system and exploring the nexus between the two -- solo and paired.

Devon Smith
04-22-2013, 11:32 AM
From Hakkoryu.com:

Pretty straightforward admonition. The key is to devote whatever time and mental resources it takes to really understand this via jujutsu and shiatsu, with lots of time practicing both as discreet parts of the system and exploring the nexus between the two -- solo and paired.

Mert,

Glad you quoted it, as I would have done the same. About the only place "muscle" belongs in beginning the study of Hakkoryu is in one's wrist, and eventually we're supposed learn to negate that, too (I know, that sounds obscure). It took me a long time to embrace this, but it's key.

On a side note, we recently accepted a student who is built like like a brick outhouse (his trade is actually heavy masonry); you'd think he'd be the antithesis of relaxation. Turns out he has a significant background in a Chinese art called Wing Chun, and his ability to quickly learn correct posture and his ability to relax and "unuse" muscle is exemplary - he's going to be a quick study, I think. His biggest battle is proper use of his hands (grip) of all things, it's frustrating him a lot believe it or not!

Ewen,

The work you're doing to examine your jujutsu is exactly what every student should be doing to find out more. I don't know if you'll find what you're looking for with your school or not, as I don't have experience with them. Maybe compare notes with Richard Stevens who is also a member of your school with similar questions, he's also a member here.

Devon

aiki-jujutsuka
04-22-2013, 11:38 AM
Mert,

Ewen,

The work you're doing to examine your jujutsu is exactly what every student should be doing to find out more. I don't know if you'll find what you're looking for with your school or not, as I don't have experience with them. Maybe compare notes with Richard Stevens who is also a member of your school with similar questions, he's also a member here.

Devon

Thank you. :)

Devon Smith
04-22-2013, 12:37 PM
Thank you. :)

You're very welcome. Reading your posts and your weblog makes me wish we weren't so far apart location-wise. If you're ever in the US near Michigan, please let me know ahead of time in case we can meet and spend some time together.

Devon

aiki-jujutsuka
04-22-2013, 04:01 PM
You're very welcome. Reading your posts and your weblog makes me wish we weren't so far apart location-wise. If you're ever in the US near Michigan, please let me know ahead of time in case we can meet and spend some time together.

Devon

I'm humbled. Thank you for the invitation. I don't have any plans on visiting the US, but I am happy to make contacts and friends who I can learn from and interchange with in our study and practice and who knows what will happen in the future. :)

Mert Gambito
04-23-2013, 01:04 PM
I'm humbled. Thank you for the invitation. I don't have any plans on visiting the US, but I am happy to make contacts and friends who I can learn from and interchange with in our study and practice and who knows what will happen in the future. :)
Ewen,

I agree with the notion that exposure to Hakkoryu would be valuable: as first-hand reference to understand what's emphasized in Dentokan vs. its parent art, if nothing else. Training with Devon would definitely be worth the trip west.

Not sure if there are any Hakkoryu shihan in the UK.

aiki-jujutsuka
04-23-2013, 01:58 PM
From Hakkoryu.com:

Pretty straightforward admonition. The key is to devote whatever time and mental resources it takes to really understand this via jujutsu and shiatsu, with lots of time practicing both as discreet parts of the system and exploring the nexus between the two -- solo and paired.

Do you think this is the same in Kokodo Jujutsu?

Mert Gambito
04-24-2013, 11:50 AM
Do you think this is the same in Kokodo Jujutsu?
KoKoDo has gradually continued to differentiate itself from Hakkoryu over the years, but since KoKoDo is still a martial-and-healing system like Hakkoryu, I'd say the answer is yes.

When I was formally affiliated with KoKoDo, practicing kamae and developing spiraling within the kamae were emphasized by Irie Yasuhiro. Jamie Campbell and Ivo Belmans (http://youtu.be/mAptAjXHOMY), two long-time KoKoDo shihan who were also affiliated with Hakkoryu in the past, also both emphasized the importance of practicing kamae -- though it was still up to the student to discover for himself / herself why this is important, and how to attain the qualities of relaxed strength. Ivo does quite a bit of traveling throughout Europe as KoKodo's main representative there. I would recommend you train with him as well, if the opportunity arises.

aiki-jujutsuka
04-24-2013, 12:24 PM
do you know of any Kokodo clubs in the Kansai area of Japan? There's a club in Osaka according to the Kokodo website but as I don't know which part of Kansai I'm going to be living in yet, I was wondering if there were any alternatives?

I was thinking of transfering to Aikido when I move to Japan, however, one of my shihan's said he would ask Hobbs Sensei for a possible letter of introduction if he had any contacts in my area. I have no idea whether Hobbs would give me a letter or even if he has any contacts in the Kansai area, but as Aikido is not an art that falls under the Dentokan umbrella I would expect his links to be with Kokodo. However, that is just speculation on my part.

Mert Gambito
04-25-2013, 12:58 PM
Ewen,

Please see my PM.

Richard Stevens
04-28-2013, 05:01 PM
After a great deal of training in the system it makes more sense to refer to the Dentokan style as simply Jujutsu. Mainline Hakkoryu and KoKoDo seems to explore the concept of aiki in a way Dentokan does not. If you sat down and had a conversation about aiki with Hobbs sensei you would be presented with a viewpoint more in line with Karate-Do or Judo.

I've come to prefer the "mechanical" approach to aiki myself. I was initially caught up in the deep aiki/ip training concepts, but I find myself more interested in taking the other path. Kick them in the nuts, mochi mawari the crap out of their wrist and call it a day.

aiki-jujutsuka
04-29-2013, 03:27 PM
After a great deal of training in the system it makes more sense to refer to the Dentokan style as simply Jujutsu. Mainline Hakkoryu and KoKoDo seems to explore the concept of aiki in a way Dentokan does not. If you sat down and had a conversation about aiki with Hobbs sensei you would be presented with a viewpoint more in line with Karate-Do or Judo.

I've come to prefer the "mechanical" approach to aiki myself. I was initially caught up in the deep aiki/ip training concepts, but I find myself more interested in taking the other path. Kick them in the nuts, mochi mawari the crap out of their wrist and call it a day.

Well I've only had direct training from Hobbs once, at a seminar two years ago, but one of my shihans is a very senior ranking member of Dentokan, and often has anecdotes of his times training with Hobbs Sensei, so I think his teaching is a fairly good representation of Hobbs'. I would be inclined to agree based on my training that aiki is not really taught. However, as you mentioned Kokodo and Hakkoryu explore aiki in more depth and so I think it can be found in Dentokan, but you have to discover it for yourself. There's nothing wrong with having a strong foundation in Jujutsu and I like my training in Dentokan aiki-jujutsu and its emphasis on the Jujutsu waza. However, for me the martial arts are a path of learning and self-development, and I want to continue to pursue this path and not just tread water. Aiki, I believe is part of the path I have chosen through the martial arts and so therefore I want to learn how to develop it.

Mert Gambito
04-30-2013, 01:02 PM
Well I've only had direct training from Hobbs once, at a seminar two years ago, but one of my shihans is a very senior ranking member of Dentokan, and often has anecdotes of his times training with Hobbs Sensei, so I think his teaching is a fairly good representation of Hobbs'. I would be inclined to agree based on my training that aiki is not really taught. However, as you mentioned Kokodo and Hakkoryu explore aiki in more depth and so I think it can be found in Dentokan, but you have to discover it for yourself. There's nothing wrong with having a strong foundation in Jujutsu and I like my training in Dentokan aiki-jujutsu and its emphasis on the Jujutsu waza. However, for me the martial arts are a path of learning and self-development, and I want to continue to pursue this path and not just tread water. Aiki, I believe is part of the path I have chosen through the martial arts and so therefore I want to learn how to develop it.
Here's a demo of Hakkoryu Niho Nage that can be used for reference and comparison: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=388689471243710&set=vb.134900506622609&type=2&theater

So, in one's respective art, what would be used to generate similar ukemi against someone who is bearing weight forward and down to defeat the Hakko Dori / Aiki Age?

Richard Stevens
04-30-2013, 03:05 PM
Dentokan version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao2OKuVMnKw

aiki-jujutsuka
04-30-2013, 04:12 PM
Here's a demo of Hakkoryu Niho Nage that can be used for reference and comparison: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=388689471243710&set=vb.134900506622609&type=2&theater

So, in one's respective art, what would be used to generate similar ukemi against someone who is bearing weight forward and down to defeat the Hakko Dori / Aiki Age?

Sorry but I don't exactly understand the question!?

What do you mean by "to defeat" the Hakko Dori/Aiki Age? If you mean what principles are employed to execute the technique, then it is the same - bodyweight and kuzushi.

Dentokan version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao2OKuVMnKw

This is the kihon waza version whereas the Hakkoryu demo appeared to be more of a henka waza version.

Mert Gambito
05-01-2013, 02:32 AM
What do you mean by "to defeat" the Hakko Dori/Aiki Age?
The uke is leaning forward, and pressing forward and down with his hands, frame and weight to keep the tori's / nage's arms pinned to the wall.

aiki-jujutsuka
05-01-2013, 07:16 AM
I don't see any difference between dentokan and hakkoryu in this demo. However, the uke is wearing socks and so there is less friction on the mat, which aids the Shihan's escape. If it were the street with uke wearing shoes then it would be more difficult. With Nihonage I've always been taught to take posture first, keep body contact, while bringing their arm into your centre and get lower than your uke while tenkaning to break their balance.

Richard Stevens
05-01-2013, 10:31 AM
If you're not taking their balance before the tenkan there is an issue. Kuzushi should happen before you start moving through.

aiki-jujutsuka
05-01-2013, 10:37 AM
If you're not taking their balance before the tenkan there is an issue. Kuzushi should happen before you start moving through.

balance is taken first - posture first and then uke is kept off posture throughout the technique. What I meant by my last sentence was getting lower than your uke, breaking their balance to effect the ukemi once you have tenkaned.

Richard Stevens
05-01-2013, 02:28 PM
I see what you mean. I thought you meant uke had their balance until you began your tenkan. I'm tall so I get extremely low. Hobbs-Sensei gave me a very good tip that has helped. He told me to get low and place my elbow on my knee before I lock out the wrist. It really gets uke on their tip toes.

Devon Smith
05-01-2013, 11:53 PM
I think Mert is trying to get you to think about what you'd do in the instance shown in the video he posted, which is an application of Hakkoryu's niho nage as taught in the past and still described by Shodai Soke Okuyama in the higishi manuals today. Realize this is an exercise, like waza, but it has a point to teach.

Even if the receiver has traction on the floor, the movement to upset him is the important point, and to be able to do this with relaxation is key. This isn't the technique that best demonstrates "aiki" in my opinion but I can understand why he chose it.

Mert, please let me know if we're on the same page in this regard.

Devon

Mert Gambito
05-02-2013, 12:52 AM
I think Mert is trying to get you to think about what you'd do in the instance shown in the video he posted, which is an application of Hakkoryu's niho nage as taught in the past and still described by Shodai Soke Okuyama in the higishi manuals today. Realize this is an exercise, like waza, but it has a point to teach.

Even if the receiver has traction on the floor, the movement to upset him is the important point, and to be able to do this with relaxation is key. This isn't the technique that best demonstrates "aiki" in my opinion but I can understand why he chose it.

Mert, please let me know if we're on the same page in this regard.
Thanks Devon.

Yes, that's what I was going after. What works in this variation of Niho Nage is the same thing that must be present for the very first technique in the syllabus, and all others thereafter, to work; and so it's foundational to aiki vs. being a grand exposition of aiki.

But the wall is there to set parameters: the tori has to get really low -- so yes, that's a prerequisite for any interpretation of the technique -- but the tori's body can't leave the wall, he can't physically lower his posture to get leverage, and yet he must relax. This is a challenge whether the uke is wearing socks or not, and whether the tori is relaxed or not. If someone hasn't tried it, perhaps give it a go.

aiki-jujutsuka
05-03-2013, 07:30 AM
I think Mert is trying to get you to think about what you'd do in the instance shown in the video he posted, which is an application of Hakkoryu's niho nage as taught in the past and still described by Shodai Soke Okuyama in the higishi manuals today. Realize this is an exercise, like waza, but it has a point to teach.

Even if the receiver has traction on the floor, the movement to upset him is the important point, and to be able to do this with relaxation is key. This isn't the technique that best demonstrates "aiki" in my opinion but I can understand why he chose it.

Mert, please let me know if we're on the same page in this regard.

Devon

I understand but my point was that I don't see any difference between how Dentokan would approach this exercise and Hakkoryu. I've not practised this particular exercise but I am sure, judging from the demo itself, that my instructors would teach the same principles. The aim of every dentokan aiki-jujutsu waza is to be able to perform without strength and proper use of bodyweight. The principles integrated into the waza are designed to achieve this - posture before technique as one sensei once put it.

Mert Gambito
05-03-2013, 05:09 PM
I understand but my point was that I don't see any difference between how Dentokan would approach this exercise and Hakkoryu. I've not practised this particular exercise but I am sure, judging from the demo itself, that my instructors would teach the same principles. The aim of every dentokan aiki-jujutsu waza is to be able to perform without strength and proper use of bodyweight. The principles integrated into the waza are designed to achieve this - posture before technique as one sensei once put it.
I have no doubt that's the case. But, it's to the point of your OP to emphasize that I don't see a de-emphasis regarding aiki in Hakkoryu vs. Daito-ryu and aikido, but rather there are different flavors of these principles between Daito-ryu and its descendants, and in turn between Hakkoryu and its offshoots. Executing tachi waza from a starting point of being pinned to a wall by a ryote attack simply helps elucidate the flavor of a given interpretation.

I'd venture to say that there are notable differences today in those interpretations between Hakkoryu, Kokodo and the Dentokan. And, not only can the interpretations of the principles differ greatly from art to art, but also to a certain degree from teacher to teacher within an art, and student to student within a dojo. I feel that Hakkoryu, for its part in recent years, has reaffirmed its baseline interpretations and protocols by increasingly pointing out to the student body how the art today correlates to the original teachings of the shodai soke. So, while there are various flavors of kihon waza in terms of minutiae of form, the vocabulary regarding what the underlying principles mean is growing more cohesive within the art -- aided by the nidai soke's direct participation in these efforts in Japan and abroad.

In the spirit of the preceding advice in the thread, I'd encourage you to not adjudicate these things from the comfort of your computing device keyboard and the confines of your own dojo. There have been some remarkable discoveries and/or reaffirmations when people actively seek out a qualified other perspective (Devon, Richard and I, for example, have reported some of ours on AikiWeb).

aiki-jujutsuka
05-04-2013, 04:53 AM
I have no doubt that's the case. But, it's to the point of your OP to emphasize that I don't see a de-emphasis regarding aiki in Hakkoryu vs. Daito-ryu and aikido, but rather there are different flavors of these principles between Daito-ryu and its descendants, and in turn between Hakkoryu and its offshoots. Executing tachi waza from a starting point of being pinned to a wall by a ryote attack simply helps elucidate the flavor of a given interpretation.

I'd venture to say that there are notable differences today in those interpretations between Hakkoryu, Kokodo and the Dentokan. And, not only can the interpretations of the principles differ greatly from art to art, but also to a certain degree from teacher to teacher within an art, and student to student within a dojo. I feel that Hakkoryu, for its part in recent years, has reaffirmed its baseline interpretations and protocols by increasingly pointing out to the student body how the art today correlates to the original teachings of the shodai soke. So, while there are various flavors of kihon waza in terms of minutiae of form, the vocabulary regarding what the underlying principles mean is growing more cohesive within the art -- aided by the nidai soke's direct participation in these efforts in Japan and abroad.

In the spirit of the preceding advice in the thread, I'd encourage you to not adjudicate these things from the comfort of your computing device keyboard and the confines of your own dojo. There have been some remarkable discoveries and/or reaffirmations when people actively seek out a qualified other perspective (Devon, Richard and I, for example, have reported some of ours on AikiWeb).

I agree with everything you said; You can't learn any martial art purely from the internet, dvd, or book. I hope to gain further experience and tuition from other teachers and other arts when I can get the opportunity. At the moment that opportunity is not available to my knowledge here in the UK (I don't think there are any Hakkoryu or Kokodo dojos in the UK). Once I'm in Japan however, I hope to broaden my experiences and carry on my training.

Richard Stevens
05-04-2013, 11:03 AM
Both mainline Hakkoryu and KoKoDo place a lot of emphasis on the koho shiatsu and Dentokan does not. I think that is the defining difference. We make reference to meridians and vital areas, but Hobbs-Sensei is certainly not teaching shiatsu and considering the fact that I don't think he has studied it since his time at the hombu in the 80s, I don't imagine he will start anytime soon.

Dentokan is largely just Hakkoryu from the 1980s with no emphasis placed on the shiatsu. In my conversations with Devon and KoKoDo practitioners, the koho shiatsu is where the "aiki" comes from. In my mind, that sets Dentokan Jujutsu (or Dentokan Nihon Jujutsu as it's referred to now) apart as something significantly different. Not better or worse, just different.

Mert Gambito
05-04-2013, 08:57 PM
Both mainline Hakkoryu and KoKoDo place a lot of emphasis on the koho shiatsu and Dentokan does not. I think that is the defining difference. We make reference to meridians and vital areas, but Hobbs-Sensei is certainly not teaching shiatsu and considering the fact that I don't think he has studied it since his time at the hombu in the 80s, I don't imagine he will start anytime soon.

Dentokan is largely just Hakkoryu from the 1980s with no emphasis placed on the shiatsu. In my conversations with Devon and KoKoDo practitioners, the koho shiatsu is where the "aiki" comes from. In my mind, that sets Dentokan Jujutsu (or Dentokan Nihon Jujutsu as it's referred to now) apart as something significantly different. Not better or worse, just different.
I have to admit though, when I was looking for a martial art to practice, the shiatsu was a major deal-maker for me re: Hakkoryu (we were a Hakko Denshin Ryu dojo at the time). I checked out a number of schools, and in many there were students attending class who were sitting out (e.g. in BJJ, judo, aikido, striking arts) due to injuries. During one of the first time's I walked into my teacher's dojo, a sankyu said, "Don't worry. He (Gil Adams) knows a million ways to break people, but he can fix 'em too." Very true words.

aiki-jujutsuka
05-05-2013, 05:39 AM
I really understand this Mert,

the philosophy of budo and its emphasis on protecting life wherever possible, is a very powerful motivator to me. I want the confidence to be able to defend myself but I also want to be able to help others as well.

I find the approaches of aikido and hakkoryu to budo fascinating, both ultimately view budo as the way of peace just take different roads to achieve this. I always think about budo like this, you must first learn to take life before you can give it. We train in the martial arts to equip ourselves with the skillset and self-control to be able to respond decisively and react rationally to a violent confrontation. This is where we need the knowledge and ability to defend ourselves even against or with lethal force if necessary; but we are able to use that knowledge and ability to protect life when there is the option to do so.

Mert Gambito
05-06-2013, 12:53 PM
I want the confidence to be able to defend myself but I also want to be able to help others as well.
That's the bottom line for me too. And, over time, pursuit of the former, as a fellow student and later a teacher, opens more and more opportunities for the latter.

One pragmatic, ethical thing that Hakkoryu addresses, that I wish was the norm not the exception in martial arts as a whole, is the notion that helping others should include the ability to mitigate, and within reason address injuries that occur in one's dojo. After all, injuries are possible, if not likely in any physical activity, particularly in martial arts that stress sport and/or self defense. If, for example, you're going to repeatedly apply torque to others' joints, and expect them to take copious hard ukemi, you better know how to treat the inevitable toll such practice will take on people's bodies.