Peter A Goldsbury
A few more comments, questions about a couple pf points in Post #89
PAG. The question then would be: what was the content and manner of Saigo Tanomo's mastering of aiki? The latest publication on Saigo Tanomo I have acquired is another memoir, begun by Tanomo late when he was 70 years of age. Again edited by Setsuo Hotta, the title is: 『帰る雁が祢』私法: Notes on "The Returning Wild Goose as a Shrine Priest". Saigo began writing this memoir the year after he was visited by Takeda Sokaku. This visit lasted from May 12 to May 26.
PAG. There might well be a recent precedent, but we are still left with the problem of the nature of the training model and this is why I devoted some space to a discussion of Takeda's teachers. Kurokochi Kanenori is an interesting case here, because we know that he was a martial artist held in awe by his contemporaries, that he taught in the Nisshinkan, and we also know what he taught. Did he have a training model for aiki, which he communicated to Sokichi?
Again I see you reverting to the balance of your comments looking at extant martial arts listings regarding Tanamos ability to have taught Takeda aiki. I am trying to stress something different for you to consider. That the “nature of his aiki training”- that I am trying to discuss here might be outside of the extant arts. Therefore, we might not find evidence in tradtional listing in martial arts; be it sword, spear, what have you and searching for Tanamos presence and ranking in them. Stan, Ellis and you cannot find anything. When you don’t you all go back to the search in Martial arts. Forgive me, but I already knew that going in to the discussion. It's not new information. Done and done.
Can we move on to another possibility?
Solo body training outside of any existing martial system?
Now that we have established no lineage; begin a search outside of established martial arts. I went down this road with Eliis, and now I am asking you, to consider alternates. Ellis did in his book. I think that were you more versed in the material I am discussing it would help you to understand the very real possibilities of another explanation, such as Ellis is looking at. Though he came up with little, the little he did come up with is because he now has a deeper understanding and his eyes were opened to another possibility; IP/ aiki outside of established arts.
I referenced many different forms of these in my previous post, so I will not repeat them here. However, if we are going to have a discussion I think it best that those points are addressed in some manner before we continue as they are pertinent to the discussion in many ways and could explain much.
Anyway, back to Tanamo / Takeda
With the backdrop I addressed in previous posts about solo training in various other arts; modern example of solo training that went ignored within Diato ryu itself, Misogi power building exercises completetly outside of any ryu etc.,
With Takeda, it is interesting that he spoke about martial arts often in various interviews. But when he discusses Tanamo Saigo, only two key points are raised.
That Tanamo told him to put down the sword, and teach empty hand arts, and that Tanamo taught him Aiki.
He was very clear. We have no other evidence suggesting he was a dishonest man either. Why did he himself differentiate?
Why did he not call himself soke like so many others before him when they had an enlightenment?
Why did Tanamo have something called oshiki-uchi in the first place?
Was is made up be him as a repository for his own solo power training he wished to pass on, or was it something shared with Takeda’s father as well, or even with a family or clan?
Knowing what is now known and more accepted about these skills it certainly could explain their reputations when used within the martial arts.
It might be fruitful to explore others for unusual power that might be related.
Regarding Tanamo’s admonitions about sword and empty hand.
There is a very clear relationship from sword and spear to empty hand in regards to aiki if you know what to look for. I have seen certain things demonstrated where men with decades of experience in the classical arts did not have a clue how to explain what just happened to them. Same thing happened in switching to empty hand. Nor could they replicate it. This understanding I am talking about did not come from an exhaustive mastery of several different classical arts either noe would a research project of any kind come up with the “correct” answer.
I will add to that there are dozens of teachers with decades of experience in an myriad of established arts out learning aiki from others with few credentials and they are totally stumped on how to stop what is happening and cannot explain it. To me that offers yet another modern explanation for Tanamo /Takeda. How is that? Lets consider, that twenty years from now were some one to interview these modern teachers and ask what they did in their careers, I think you would here some very similar comments to what Takeda said.
They would talk about various teachers in established arts teaching them aikido, or Daito ryu or Karate. Talk about waza and such, and then they could curiously switch and say..."I have to thank _____________________ for teaching me aiki."
Why can I say that?
I have heard it from the lips of men with many decades of experience who would in fact be found at the top of your “search into various lists of rank in the established martial arts.”
And were our future interviewer (in our contemporary example to match the Tanamo anomaly) were to go and research the current " names"
out there who were teaching IP/aiki to the men we would be interviewing? how many are going to show up on a list of established arts with high ranks in anything. Yet here they would be; credited for teaching a skill that was changing the entire careers of those established artists you were interviewing.
There you would have yet another present and future example of the same dilemma we see in looking at Tanamo/ Takeda.
Last, curiously when Ueshiba talks about Takeda he talks about "having his eyes opened to true budo"..
and he never talks about an incredible array of waza, and when he talks about weapons he talks about them outside of established arts and only talks about aiki.
I don't mind reading and considering the discipline of historical research. I have just seen it reach erroneous conclusions many times. I suggest there may be reasons that Takeda was actually telling the truth
. And that the truth has a basis in fact that researchers didn't ever consider pursuing because they didn't even know how to consider the nature of a subject matter that he could have been talking about in the first place.
I am equally aware that it might prove to be a very difficult matter to pursue, but in keeping with Ellis original intentions -to entice others with more information and means to do further research in this area-you might the first step in opening up other possible research avenues to that end.
You have IP/aiki training as separate training, the possibiltiy of Misogi, solo training within Yagyu, and Sagawa himself retaining outside of his own teachings etc..