Aikido and Karate
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The History of Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai
INFLUENCE OF MORIHEI UESHIBA
Konishi Sensei and his wife also studied under Morihei Ueshiba, who was still teaching Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu at that time. Konishi Sensei considered Ueshiba Sensei to be the best martial artist he had ever known. Konishi Sensei carried this opinion throughout his lifetime. Having already trained in karate for a number of years, Konishi Sensei demonstrated the kata Heian Nidan (which he learned from Funakoshi Sensei) to Ueshiba Sensei. However, Ueshiba Sensei remarked that Konishi Sensei should drop such nonsense for such techniques are ineffective. This comment came as a blow, since Konishi Sensei believed in karate and that held Ueshiba Sensei's opinions in the highest regard. Konishi Sensei felt that karate still had much value and that he had the responsibility to develop it. Thus, he requested that he be allowed to continue training in karate, intending to develop the techniques so that it would be acceptable to the great teacher.
After many months of research and training, Konishi Sensei developed a kata called Tai Sabaki (Body Movement). He based this kata on karate, but incorporated principles found in the teachings of Ueshiba Sensei. Though the new kata did not contain any complex movements, it consisted of a chain of actions, with no pause after each action. After the demonstration of this kata by Konishi Sensei, Ueshiba Sensei remarked that, "The demonstration you did just now was satisfactory to me, and that kata is worth mastering." Later, Konishi Sensei developed two other kata based on the principles of Tai Sabaki. The three kata became known as Tai Sabaki Shodan, Tai Sabaki Nidan, and Tai Sabaki Sandan.
In about 1935, Konishi Sensei developed another kata - Seiryu. During this period, Konishi Sensei, Ueshiba Sensei, Mabuni Sensei, and Ohtsuka Sensei were training together almost daily. At this time, the Japanese government was largely controlled by top officers of the Imperial Army. Konishi Sensei was asked by the commanding general of the Japanese Army to develop women's self-defense techniques. His first step in fulfilling the Army's request was to ask Mabuni Sensei to help him develop standardized training methods, to help the students remember the techniques.
Together, they developed a karate kata that incorporated the essence of both their styles. As they worked to finalize the kata, they shared it with Ueshiba Sensei, who approved some sections, but advised certain changes. Ueshiba Sensei strongly felt that the kata should be modified based on the gender of the practitioner, because of the need to protect very different sensitive areas. Also a woman's training was normally executed from a natural (higher) stance. Another factor which greatly influenced the kata was the female position in Japanese society. At the time, a woman's life was defined by cultural customs, though both sexes wore kimono and used geta. All these factors were considered in the process of developing the kata.
As a result of the collaboration between three great masters, the Seiryu kata, contained the essence of both aikido and jujitsu, going with the force instead of directly opposing an opponent's attack. Ryu means willow in English, and just like a willow will bend with the wind, so should the martial artist practicing this kata. The term also implies great strength, for the willow does not break under the force of the wind. The kanji for this kata may also be pronounced aoyagi.
Re: Aikido and Karate
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