I've just returned from Japan, where, among others, I had some conversations with a fairly high ranking member of Goto-ha Yagyu Shingan-ryu. Yes, that's the ryu that Ueshiba engaged in about 5 years of a couple times a week training. That's the ryu that John Driscoll pretty convincingly wrote
about in Aikiweb, as having probably provided Ueshiba with his later, much used koshinage technique (the only aikido technique that can plausibly be suggested as NOT being part of the Daito-ryu syllabus).
As is probably well known, Akuzawa Minoru derived much of his Aunkai from a branch of Yagyu Shingan-ryu, but this is, I believe, a very different, many generations separated line. I've always thought that Goto-ha YSR did not have internal training.
Well, HIPS yet again!
We ended up discussing Goto-ha Yagyu Shingan-ryu's sophisticated breathing methods, and a set of sword forms that I must have viewed 50 times over the years. And I was told that they are specifically for developing internal power. (!!!!!!) Now, looking at those forms, I can see their potential. In fact, I lust after those forms. I always liked them for their power, but hadn't realized exactly the power they were working. (Anmd I think it's a fair call that most practitioners either don't see it either, or are not putting in the mileage - the same story everywhere.)
Now, before anyone runs with it, I'm talking about the presence in the o erall currculum, not that Ueshiba learned it there.
It is apparent to me from my conversations, not only with this gentleman, but also with other practitioners over the years, that it's largely HIPS to them too. And Ueshiba, to the best of our knowledge, studied the taijutsu, not the sword.
And if he was already so good, why could Takeda handle him so easily? And why are YSR guys listed on some of Takeda's first eimeimokuroku? (Uh-oh, it's catching. The Hardenesk rhetorical question. Damned contageous.).
So, all I'm saying is that the more I look, the more traces - or presence - of internal training I find in almost every ryu. BUT - the more I question people, the more I find that they really WERE much better in the old days, because - as I mentioned in my book - otherwise, Takeda and later Ueshiba would not have been such astonishments. What I hear all too often is: "there were giants in those days."
In short, IF Ueshiba had stayed with YSR AND
if his own teacher had the skills that are imbedded in the curriculum, then maybe he would have made his "aikido" from a completely different ryu. But he didn't stay. And there's no evidence that his teacher mastered internal abilities either.