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Old 06-23-2008, 10:40 AM   #41
oisin bourke
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 333
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

As a corollary, I would like to ask the same question of any Daito-ryu folks out there.

Sokaku Takeda has (supposedly) some 30,000 students and certified some 30 students as kyoju dairi (the same certification that Morihei Ueshiba got), and yet, according to Sagawa Yukiyoshi there was only one of those students who ever understood Takeda's Aiki - that being Sagawa himself, who kept it more or less to himself until the last years of his life.

Now, I trained with a variety of Daito-ryu folks in Japan, from various schools, but there were only a few that I thought had any kind of a real handle on the kind of internal skills we're talking about here - more or less the same kind of ratio that I've found in Aikido.

Do Daito-ryu folks feel that this "glasnost" is affecting their practice? And if so, is it affecting it in a good way?


That's a very timely question. I can only speak for my own practice. The best things about these conversations are that they stimulate concepts and approaches that I can bring to practice and try out. Sometimes these approaches elicit very postive responses in the dojo and can lead to more detailed, fruitful conversations from my seniors.

However, Aikido (in general) generally encourages practicioners to "make the art their own" and that includes bringing in influences from other arts relatively freely. Daito Ryu is a lot more traditional (conservative?) so one simply cannot practice too differently from the fundamentals of the art.

Some of the "internal power" talked about here DOES seem to have direct relevance to my practice, however some of the practice methods mentioned seem to build power contradictory to DR "aiki". Also, "aiki" in Daito Ryu seems to have many facets that have not been covered in these posts.

It's worth mentioning that the different schools of DR seem to have very different appoaches to developing aiki. There was a lengthy article by the Kodokai published in HIDEN magazine last year here in Japan, where they quite clearly distinguish between the approaches to training within the main DR schools.

Anyway, I personally find these conversations fascinating. I had planned to meet with Rob John of the Aunkai a few years back but life got in the way. Hopefully, I'll be in Tokyo in the autumn and I'd love to meet up then. Maybe after then I'll have a clearer idea of how these skills and DR aiki fit (or otherwise.)

Oisin Bourke
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