I've heard it time and again from the usual suspects. Those from the outside who seem to indicate that there is no way that anyone can expect to get the goods from a teacher who has commented on what his teacher has said.
It's worse than that. Kondo stated it himself in an interview in AJ ...BEFORE he came to the U.S. on his first tour. That Takeda told Tokimune to only teach true technique to one student (gee where have we heard that before? Sagawa said Takeda told him the exact same thing!!), and that Tokimune told Kondo to do the same thing.
The inside joke was-and this was an active, inside, joke in two branches of DR...
"Who would be dumb enough to line up to train after reading this?"
Then he said it again in another interview.
Then as I said, couple it with Sagawa stating the same thing, and that it came from Takeda.
So forget Giacomo. Read Kondo's own words and see his own doings and then check around behind the scenes. I'm not commenting good or bad either way, just check around. Its worth doing so after such public statements by teachers in the art. As Toby said-"Its shocking" and very much goes against a tacit trust in Budo between teacher and student.
I'm going off the assumption that what Dan is saying is that there is no way Kondo Sensei would teach the real techniques. To those who share this point of view...
I have been training under Kondo Sensei, and the US Sempai who have returned from nearly a decade of training in his dojo, for nearly ten years myself. In that time, I have regretfully only been to Japan twice.
On the first trip, I and my group foolishly stayed in Shinjuku; it was comforting to stay in a region that catered to foreigners, but it was difficult to get to Shimbukan dojo. Thankfully, Derek Steel Sempai acted as our guide...an initial indication of what we could expect from those involved in the mainline of Daito-ryu. On this first trip to Japan, Kondo Sensei walked us through the first kajo in mainline Daito-ryu, the Ikkajo and taught us the from to develop DR Aiki. We must have been very frustrating to work with because we clearly were not able to reproduce what he was teaching us. However, he continued to work with us for the next 6 hours that day and the rest of our nine days at his dojo. In addition, he taught us the correct movement, kata and waza for the first thirty techniques that make up the Ikkajo series. The movements that make up the techniques are complicated and intricate and require a great deal of practice to understand, more time than we had in Japan. Further, Kondo Sensei watched over us as is customary for a caring teacher and mentor. This is not to say that there was not a certain level of tough love that went into the instruction and practice...we experienced moments of enlightenment that only come when your body is deprived of oxygen, energy, and you have worked so hard on Idori techniques that your knees are deprived of skin. Outside of practice, Kondo Sensei fed us between practices, taught us about Japanese culture, told/taught us about Daito-ryu, and set us up with sight seeing opportunities as well as helping us to procure tickets to a Sumo Basho at a point that it should have been sold out. Derek Steel Sempai continued to act as our tour guide outside of the dojo.
On our second trip to Japan we stayed in Shinkoiwa and Kondo Sensei was just as gracious a host as on the first, if not more so. Being closer to the dojo, we were more available for instruction and training. From an instructional standpoint..., well, lets just say Kondo Sensei was even more thorough at showing us the true techniques of Daito-ryu Ikkajo and Nikajo. The truth of the matter is is that we were better at learning on this second trip and we were also more a part of the ryu than on the first trip. Nothing was ever held back. The only limiting factor was our ability to pick up all of the intricacies and nuances contained within the techniques...those that are only obtainable through practice. Outside of the dojo, Kondo Sensei took us antiquing, to dinner, and even invited us into his house.
Daito-ryu does not require kepan. Despite this, I clearly feel my obligation and responsibility to the ryu and my teachers. This includes John Goss Sensei whose efforts brought mainline Daito-ryu to Maryland and the United States and who held the first seminar featuring Kondo Sensei, the one and only Seminar with Kondo Sensei that Dan Harden attended.
Goss Sensei still heads the Maryland study group and still provides instruction in Daito-ryu in Belair MD. This marks more than ten years of Daito-ryu practice for Goss Sensei despite his 7th dan and obligations to Makata-ha Korrindo Aikido.
Back in the States, our group has been consistantly supported by Derek Steel Sempai and Scott Vogley Sempai as well as Kondo Sensei during his trips here for seminars. The training has been good, the instruction has been good, and my own martial ability has benefit immensely from the support. So don't forget Giacomo. Forget Dan.
He's an outsider who does not practice Daito-ryu and has no frame of reference to make such sweeping commentaries on the art other than his misguided interpretations of interviews and articles.
Let me be clear as someone who knows, Kondo Sensei has been nothing but sincere in his interest to teach true Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and I find it offensive that anyone would suggest otherwise. This is especially offensive from someone whose only experience with the man is a single seminar.
Yeah, I know what you are going to say Dan,...I'm to close too see the truth. However, the reality is, you're too far away to see the truth.
Mark, if I am hijacking your thread, then I apologize. You seem like a genuine person. Giacomo, you know exactly what I am talking about. Dan, I'm sorry, but you have no clue.
Brian S Wagner
Mainline Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu
"Sweep aside the demons from within and all will fear the majesty of your sword!"