Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Takeda Sokaku
The only real problem-if we are discussing DR- is that the stickiness or ability to draw someones power in is a skill that is essential for the connectedness in the waza-particularly the more complex ones. And it is almost never going to be developed by doing the waza. The percentage of people who "get it" (DR suffers the same issues as Aikido-a lot of people...smelling up the place) is low, for the simple reason that kata is simply the dumb ass way -to- try and get it. When you work on the body; all the aiki effects follow as your body changes. Gradually all of these "things" start to happen.
The power side is the other side of the same coin. Where it starts to get complex is that there are things you can do to make the body absorb and issue power at the same time and THIS is fully displayed in various techniques as well
The idea of having to focus on Waza or Aiki from the beginning is simply nonsense. The fact that Takeda said it to people, doesn't make it true. There are any number of reasons for him stating a lie as fact. Chief among them is him being "Japanese." The truth of it is rather obvious; that he could have-by choice- taught anyone aiki. I hate to think of the reasons for the ones he chose to raise up as being as base as they first appear-Money and prestige. But the fact remains that those who became the "stars" Sagawa, Ueshiba, Kodo, all came from money.
Hisa, I suspect, was a revenge, a slap in the face to the defecting Ueshiba. Not withstanding the prestige of teaching at the Asahi Newspaper dojo. Not surprisingly it was beautifully capped off with the appropriate finishing touch of the appearance of the first Menkyo Kaiden. Large size in a full formal portrait. "Hey Ueshiba!! Look what you still don't know." It was all show of course. But since he was "the man" it sent others scrambling to get there's as well. The more recent of which I sited in an earlier post where Tokimune himself had to "borrow one" to copy it for Kondo. Budo...
I knew full well that my ideas of Takeda making it up as he went along was not going to be received well in any venue. But the evidence is obvious and pervasive. The diversity of the syllabus is the most obvious, the ever growing number of scrolls, the creation of the Menkyo-all while Takeda was alive. No traceable lineage line, no extent scrolls predating Takeda. There are other anecdotal stories-like Rennis being told Takeda ryu morphed into Daito ryu-kicking around in the weeds as well; there is an early interview in AJ with discussions of selecting the name. Other hints where there was a supposed discussion between Kotaro and Kodo about the early scrolls. The obvious and weird stories of never repeating a technique! You can almost take the entirety of the Daito ryu story and put up against more common norms in Koryu and it's all damn strange. The single validation is the immense and undeniable presence of Takeda. Both his family and clan history and his phenomenal skill. Then you had his ability to teach; Sagawa, Kodo and Ueshiba further proved its worth. The method-from way back in the day-was so kick ass, that no one questioned whatever Takeda chose to say about. I would guess were he to have said he was a ninja, we would all be talking about the ninja art of Takeda.
Jujutsu V aiki
The single greatest attribute of Daito ryu is NOT its jujutsu. I don't argue with those in DR who bandy about the "brilliance" of its jujutsu. Every Koryu menkyo I know, looks at DR jujutsu and it "supposed" Koryu usage and sort of smiles. Most will not say anything publicly but they state flatly that "that stuff is weird" Or "that ain't koryu jujutsu." It is a testiment to Tatemae / Honne just to see how certain well known DR teachers are "received" and then what is actually said about them in Koryu circles. As far as the overal opinion of DR. I will be so bold as to say that I am making headway. None of the Koryu people I know gave it much respect at all, and no one in grappling or MMA venues would do anything but laugh till they felt what I could do with it's aiki. And they STILL don't think much of its jujutsu. I said to a former teacher of mine "Stop resenting it, I go places you can't, and fight with it without loss of reputation and do things FOR the art that you could never accomplish."
DR isn't koryu. But it has something at its core that is brilliant and stands head and shoulders above koryu. It's all about the aiki. And the aiki is all about the body. Only then does "your juts" have the real juice. Personally even then I wouldn't give you a nickle for most of their jujutsu. If you take the same body attributes and the same principles; they seamlessly apply to more rational movement in modern combatives. Further, you become aiki and anti-aiki to anyone trying to do aiki to you. No Aiki from Aikido or Daito ryu will work on me. I'll just stand there looking at you. In summation I still look at most of the practice shown in the aiki arts and see it all as missing the forest for the trees.
The real power- isn't in the juts.
Last edited by DH : 09-22-2009 at 09:46 AM.