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Old 06-05-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Ellis Amdur wrote:
Mark, agreed with everything else you write, but you and others who write about a conspiracy, a cover up, are absolutely wrong. Cut it out! Jeez. Just because it wasn't talked about in some aikido dojo in x-town, American, doesn't mean there's a cover-up. There's just no interest that far from the center.
When I went to Japan in 1976, I asked about Daito-ryu (I'd read about it in ALL the forwards of all the the aikido books I'd read - sure, there were some not so nice things written about Takeda, but the gist was there) and I was told where to find it, who taught it, etc. It was common knowledge. That aikido people weren't interested in it is quite understandable, really.
Hi Ellis,
Sorry it's taken this long to respond. Things were sort of busy at home and I needed to go through a couple of books. I think you may have taken a tangent here based upon my poorly phrased sentence. I didn't mean that there wasn't information (although it was sparse) or a cover-up about Daito ryu itself. I meant that there was a cover-up regarding just how critical Takeda and Daito ryu were to Ueshiba and his Aikido.

1. Stan's Aikido Journal DVD of back issues and Stan's diligent research into Daito ryu is fairly well known. If not for Stan well, it either would have taken quite a bit longer or we may never have known the extent of Daito ryu training on Ueshiba.

2. The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Printed 1984 in English (although mine is second printing of 1985).
Page 97 has historical background of Morihei Ueshiba. Most of the page is devoted to the spiritual side and Deguchi.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote:
After his father's death and during his stay at Ayabe, the Founder's dedication to budo became single-minded, primarily due to the encouragement of Deguchi. Prior to this time he had practiced and mastered several martial arts, including swordsmanship in the Shinkage School, jujutsu in the Kito and Daito schools and others. Most remarkable among his accomplishments in the Daito School from Master Takeda Sokaku, whom he had met by chance at a Hokkaido inn in 1915, when he was 32. It was the jujutsu that opened the Founder's eyes to the deep meaning of the martial arts; Daito principles differ from aikido's but many techniques are shared in common.
Page 98.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote:
While choosing the new term aiki may have had something to do with the influences of the Kito and Daito schools, both of which are based on the principle of yin and yang and the use of ki, the fundamental source was Master Ueshiba's own budo training, life experience and the realization of ki gained during his stay at Ayabe. The most important influence was the mastery of kotodama,
Remember, most of pages 97 and 98 are devoted to spiritual development and Deguchi. These are the only bits that mention Daito ryu.

Page 99 covers the period from 1925 to 1936 with no mention of Takeda or Daito ryu.

3. Abundant Peace: The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba Founder of Aikido by John Stevens. 1987, I think. But my edition is well down the line.

This book has a fairly decent chapter on the history of Takeda, however the training between Takeda and Ueshiba is majorly downplayed. Their relationship is painted as horrible and strained.

Starting on page 14 (my edition), Stevens talks about Ueshiba training with Takeda and then leaving because of his father's illness.

John Stevens wrote:
It is my view that Morihei was both spiritually restless, still searching for life's purpose, and disenchanted with Sokaku's teaching methods, anxious to experiment on his own, free of the ceaseless demands of that exacting and exasperating mentor.
Page 37 tells of a meeting between Miura and Ueshiba where Ueshiba bests Miura.
Miura wrote:
Your techniques are a world apart from those of the Daito ryu. It is true budo. Please enroll me as your disciple.
Page 43 really sums up the way Daito ryu was presented.
Stevens wrote:
Before relating the birth of Aikido, I would like to summarize Morihei's relationships to the two major influences in his life: Sokaku Takeda and Onisaburo Deguchi.

As indicated earlier, the relationship between Sokaku and Morihei was strained almost from the start. Sokaku's son, Tokimune, who currently heads the Daito ryu, has written of his father's tender affection toward Morihei, but the truth of the matter is that Sokaku was terribly jealous of Morihei; he raided Morihei's dojos for students -- "Train with me, the real Daito ryu master" -- and, in effect, extorted money from his best pupil. Sokaku invited himself to the Kobukan not long after it was opened to present Morihei with a certificate he did not need or want.
Stevens goes on to write that Morihei "had long before surpassed Sokaku as a martial artist". He writes about one of the early disciples (I'm guessing of Ueshiba) pretending to be effectively pinned by Takeda but really wasn't and that things like that never happened when working with Ueshiba.

Page 44 caps it all with this:
Stevens wrote:
Initially, Morihei -- essentially a self-taught master -- used his Daito ryu licenses to give himself a measure of legitimacy in document-obsessed Japan.
I don't think it's hard to see that there was a cover-up going on with Takeda, Daito ryu, and Ueshiba regarding Ueshiba's training. So, let me ask you this, when you were in Japan and the knowledge of Daito ryu was common, how common was the fact that Ueshiba owed a large portion of his skills to Takeda and Daito ryu? Or was it downplayed? covered-up?
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