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Old 03-03-2008, 10:58 PM   #12
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 899
Shioda and Kodokai

There is no doubt that Shioda trained - a little - with Kodo Horikawa. It's not a secret either. I wrote to the Yoshinkan and had a very clear email exchange with one of the younger shihan. He said, essentially, "yes, everyone knows that." Horikawa came to the Yoshinkan and taught at least one open seminar, and then on several occasions (I've heard a few and up to ten or so), Shioda and some senior students met with him behind closed doors. I then wrote and asked if Shioda sensei's technique changed from that point. The young shihan said he would check with some who were there. He got back to me and said that Shioda sensei, per the senior shihan, did not change before and after. (Which could be true and could be not). I do have independent, first hand, confirmation that Shioda, himself, was somewhat discomfited when his association with Horikawa was made (sort of) public.
A couple of points - descriptions of Ueshiba, when he was NOT trying to do his "aikido" sound remarkably like Daito-ryu. Specifically, his demo at Kenkoku University in Manchuria, where Ohba Hideo, (Tomiki's 1st deshi) believed that he would be disrespectful if he didn't try to attack all in, trying to destroy Ueshiba. Ohba was highly ranked in judo, in karate and had extensive training in various weaponry as well.
"Since the Emperor of Manchuria was in an exalted position at that time like the Emperor of Japan I thought I should not take ukemi for Ueshiba in the way I usually did. If Ueshiba Sensei were a true master he could freehand handle a true punch, thrust or grab. Therefore, I decided to attack him seriously.
Tada Hiroshi stated:
My cousin, who is one year older than me, told me it was a fantastic demonstration. Apparently hardly anyone could take Ueshiba Sensei's ukemi. They weren't just being thrown, it was if they were being shocked by high-voltage electricity.
Ueshiba was furious with Ohba, because, he felt, he was not able to demonstrate what HE thought was important. Ohba recalled that Ueshiba stomped off the mat, yelling at him, "Omae wa baka."
He was mollified, however, when Sonobe Hideo, the most wonderful naginata sensei in Japan at that time ,approached him.
She said, ‘Mr. Ueshiba I have never seen more wonderful techniques than what you showed today. They were fantastic!' Ueshiba Sensei, who had been in a bad mood, asked her what part she liked. He asked me to find a place where they could talk and we all went down to the basement of the Shimbuden and they discussed the theory of martial arts for two hours. While I was listening to their discussion Ueshiba Sensei asked her what she liked and she replied that she liked the ‘connections' (tsunagari) between techniques. However, I didn't understand these connections. I understood that the Dai Nihon Butokukai [Kyoto-based organization which governed Japanese martial arts] then was having a hard time trying to decide who they should choose as the best swordsman of that year and had asked Sonobe Sensei for her opinion. When I heard Sonobe Sensei tell Ueshiba Sensei that she had never seen such wonderful techniques even though she had seem him demonstrate often, I decided to learn Naginata in order to search for these ‘connections.'"
I highlighted the one section of the last quotation. She'd seen him and thought she knew what he could do - but he, unleashed, showed her something different. In other words, we very well could be making a mistake about Ueshiba simply basing things on his films, where he was showing what he "wanted aiki-do to be."
Which leads to a final point. Tenryu, the ex-sumotori, stated that Shioda was closer to Ueshiba's technique than anyone. Yet when we look at Shioda, we sometimes not this "sharp" and subtle technique which is, those in the know say, more Daito-ryu than Ueshiba's aiikido.
So maybe Shioda, too, was guilty of not doing Ueshiba's aikido ("That's not my aikido!"). But he very well could have been doing what he had actually learned from Ueshiba, something that Horikawa confirmed rather than it being new to him - whether or not Ueshiba himself wanted that to be his legacy.
The argument is not whether or not Shioda studied with Horikawa for a few classes - he did. The Yoshinkan states that openly. And further, I'm not denying the possibility that a few sessions with Horikawa somehow opened up a new world to Shioda. But one of the least attractive aspects of Daito-ryu society is how one teacher will claim another person as a student, after one or two lessons. Horikawa, himself, took six of his students to learn some DR jujutsu (he'd concentrated on the aiki with Takeda) from Sagawa, signed a book, and from that day forward, Sagawa stated, "Horikawa's my student."
In sum, then: No denial whatsoever that Shioda studied from Horikawa. But the evidence I've cited above suggests the strong possibility that Ueshiba could do that style as well - but he eschewed it for his own reasons.

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