This came up in the "Spiritual Power" thread and I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hijacking that one--
Where did O-Sensei pick up his swordwork? Is anything really known about it?
What I've heard, without checking references, is that at least one master swordsman said that Ueshiba was the best swordsman in Japan. I've heard that he said Aikido techniques are based on sword techniques ("When you have no sword, move like you have a sword.") And he regularly demonstrated and taught swordwork.
But I've also heard that there's no real evidence of him being signed up with any sword school or taking lessons from a known master. So where did it come from?
Hi Hugh. yes it came up on my thread and as I said, others may have much more data on it. By the look of the answers that appears to be the case.
One thing I remember seeing though was relating to the time period and traditions. Once again others here can fill in the blanks but basically it seems to me that something called otome ryu which if I remember rightly was a name representing secret teachings was where many could learn swordwork and indeed iaido.
Being within not only that time period but also that 'hierarchy' for want of a better word I would be surprised if he didn't learn much from such sources.