Re: "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" Forum
Since someone else re-opened this topic, I have some thoughts I would like to discuss.
Over the last year since the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum was started, I've gone back and forth on whether I think Daito-ryu should be considered "Non-Aikido" (or whether Aikido should be considered "Non-Daito-ryu"). But as time has gone by, I've started to feel straight-jacketed a bit by the distinction.
For the record, I've been training Daito-ryu (Hakuho-ryu, specifically) for about a year and a half. The longer I train, the more I see similarities between the two. I think the (technical) differences between Daito-ryu and Aikido are often exaggerated---especially given the wide spectrum of Aikido styles out there. I think the differences are exaggerated because: a) people are unfamiliar with Daito-ryu and/or have misperceptions about it, or b) various people and groups (on both sides) have a political interest in keeping the two separate.
I don't think the technical difference is necessarily any greater than the difference between the various Aikido branches. They all utilize different strategies and training methods. Some schools/styles are hardcore martial, some utterly "spiritual". Some are more circular, some more linear. Some include internal training, some don't. Various styles have also incorporated techniques and strategies from other arts (most notably the Shodokan and the Yoseikan). Etc, etc.
The "spirit" or "culture" of Daito-ryu is definitely different, but is that a big enough difference to separate the discussion? The big stumbling block I see---besides unfamiliarity of Daito-ryu, in general---is that the curriculum of Daito-ryu is a lot different from Aikido. So I admit that communication between the two groups might be a bit labored.
But I think the "General" forum would benefit a lot from Daito-ryu discussion, if for nothing else, for the fact that Daito-ryu provides a historical context for Aikido.