View Single Post
Old 04-26-2008, 04:57 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,313
Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
Put another way: what were these techniques developed for? What sort of budo situation were they intended to address? Were they movement and timing drills without direct application? Some sort of weapon-related art? A (strangely kata-based) attempt to create a new system of gripfighting? Arrest and restraint techniques? Nonsense developed for bored peacetime samurai? What?

"In its earliest form, it is believed that the origin of aikido technique was first used by Yoshimitsu Shinra Saburo Minamoto, a famous samurai of the Seiwa Genji-han (descendent of Emperor Seiwa), approximately 900 years ago. It is said that Yoshimitsu and his brother Yoshiie dissected and analyzed the bodies of criminals and war dead at their home, Daito Mansion (Daitokan), and with this understanding of body and skeletal mechanics based the Daito ryu style of jujutsu. Yoshimitsu passed the art to his son Yoshikiyu Gyobu Saburo, who later moved to the Takeda region of Japan. The family resided in Takeda (Kai province) from the 1500's to the late 1800's and assumed the family name of "Takeda" and the "Kai-Genji" Takeda lineage.

Originally, aikijutsu had been developed as a combat art based primarily on "Toso" techniques (sword and spear) to be used on battlefields against other bushi (soldiers) wearing armor. At the time, jujutsu was practiced as a secondary study to the weapons arts. Within this type of jujutsu were additional levels of training, called aiki no jutsu and aikijujutsu, that were reserved for the higher ranking samurai. The jujutsu techniques could be used offensively, while the aikijutsu was strictly a designed to be a defensive art. The techniques evolved with the needs of the times and were handed down eventually to the aforementioned Kai-Genji Takeda family in the 16th century as "gotenjutsu", or martial arts for use inside a palace. Takeda Kunitsugu, founder of the Kai-Genji line and "Aizu Shinan-ban" (sword teacher to the Aizu clan), passed on the teachings to qualified members within the Aizu-han. Top retainers, lords and Generals from Aizu learned aikijutsu as a defensive art to be used while working within Edo castle (also called "hanza handachi" and "oshikiuchi"). Masayuki Hoshina, an instructor to the fourth Shogun Tokugawa Ietsuna at Edo castle, is said to have completed development of this art of oshikiuchi, which was later reunited with the Takeda families traditions in the Meiji period to become known eventually by the name Daito ryu.

Takeda Sokaku (pictured left) was raised in the Meiji era (1868-1912). During this time, major changes were occurring (the Meiji Restoration) throughout Japan that involved the assimilation of western ways and the expansion of international trade agreements, as well as the elimination of the "samurai" class structure, to insure that all people would be treated equally thereafter. Among changes made during the Meiji Restoration was, in 1876, a ban on the wearing of swords publicly. Seeing the effects of these new changes, Saigo Tanomo, believed to have instructed Sokaku in the art of oshikiuchi, advised Sokaku to modify the emphasis of Daito ryu (known by the name Daito ryu jujutsu until about 1922. Research indicates that "aiki" was added later to jujutsu at the suggestion of Omoto-Kyo leader, Deguchi Onisaburo) from that of being primarily a kenjutsu (sword) based art, to that of aikibujutsu; which focused more on taijutsu (unarmed techniques). As a result of these changes, and Sokaku's willingness to spread this previously guarded art form to the general public, the revised art of Daito ryu became very popular and Sokaku was crowned with the success of his idea as the "Chuko no So" (Revivor) of the art."


Last edited by dps : 04-26-2008 at 05:02 AM.
  Reply With Quote