From an interview with Stanley Pranin, premier researcher of the life of Ueshiba, right here on Aikiweb
When asked about Ueshiba reportedly studying a lot of other koryu arts outside of Daito-ryu he stated:
I would say that that's not true.
You have this very brief stint in Tenjin Shinryo Ryu, (about three or four month's total)
Some training in Yagyu Ryu jujutsu (which was a couple of hundred miles away and he had to go up by ferry! Again, maybe he went up three, four, or a half a dozen times)
A smattering of judo (under a seventeen year old Shodan)
And then Daito-ryu. (for over twenty years)
That's it. The impression that he studied many different arts other than Daito-ryu and mastered them is completely false.
His Daito ryu training spanned over twenty years before he left Takeda. No other training he ever did outside of Daito ryu equaled a tenth of that time.
Let's still take everyone's opinions and throw them in the mix. Throw in all the exaggerations and flat out fabrications. Then examine them in light of Ueshiba's own actions
After all his supposed mastery of all these Japanese arts
On the day that he chose
to hang a shingle
On the day he chose
to teach Daito ryu
And for the next sixteen years, that is exactly what he did and awarded scrolls.
This is a critical point
He did not teach Yagyu, he did not teach anything that even remotely looked like Koryu jujutsu. He did not teach Judo. Takeda appears in his dojo frequently. The uniqueness was never there (yet). What he did was instantly recognized by anyone who had ever seen Takeda.
It was Takeda who was the unique one at that point.
Over time Ueshiba did change the expression of the art-(in ways I admire and truly were unique)
Yes he did continue to grow
Yes he did chose to separate from Takeda
But he never...left aiki.
The first signs of revising history were done by Ueshiba's own hand and not his sons
The mid thirties to prewar were a remarkable period of growth for him. It was during this time that we first hear of him starting to explore changing the name of his art. Several names were considered Aoi-ryu (a family art he claimed) Aiki budo (the name that stuck the longest) even something as simple as aikijutsu (which SHioda says was used for a few years)
Also during this time he started to erase the name of Daito ryu
from the Daito ryu Hiden Mokuroku he was issuing. These were photographed by Stan Pranin and are irrefutable. So here he was issuing the scrolls of another art, another mans work, and putting his own arts name on them. This is pretty interesting as it reveals his own mindset; a sense of ownership of this art he was doing. I have searched for any hint of the relationship between he and Takeda to substantiate or ground this unique and entitled action. At first glance an outside viewer could consider it simple fraud. But is it that simple?
In order to understand how or why it might have felt he had the freedom to so such a thing we need only to look at Ueshiba's peers in Daito ryu. Daito ryu is highly unique and odd when compared to a koryu. It claims it is one, but bears little resemblance to the way a koryu is transmitted.
*Koryu have soke and a provable pedogogy / Daito ryu has neither. Takeda never claimed such a role and never proved a lineage or even something as simple as pre-existing scrolls.
*Koryu have a standardization of waza/ Daito ryu has none. The five major schools share no consistency in numbered waza, 1,2,3 etc. They share a look, a certain method.
*The scolls are not consistent. The number of scrolls awarded continued to increase during his life time.
The result of this lack of standardization produced some interesting results. And this is where we find Ueshiba's sense of freedom Ueshiba shared with his peers;
Sagawa-the most senior of Ueshiba's peers who was never issued a Menkyo, created his own syllabus for his art, different from others.
Kodo, the next most senior was issued a Menkyo in Daito ryu Aikijujutsu but it was signed by Takeda's son. Who himself developed his own system.
The Takumakai has a unique set of waza from both Taked and Ueshiba and Hisa was the only one awarded a Menkyo signed by Takeda Sokaku…the not Soke,
Tokimune Takeda developed something outside of Daito ryu aikijujutsu. He called it Daito ryu Aikibudo and declared himself soke of that. He then awarded ranks in both it and Daito ryu aikijujtsu as the not Soke,
Soke of one, and as the Soke of his own creation!!
This certainly left Ueshiba to most likely feel the same sense of independence and freedom from this lack of consistency of transmission and ever changing syllabus among his peers.
In any event, at the end of a process of growth, he in fact did change things to make a creation of his own. To address some posts in this thread, it most certainly shares little if anything to koryu jujutsu and koryu weapons. To most well educated in Japanese bujutsu it is yet another Daito ryu look alike just like his peers. Though each share their own take-Ueshiba's is the most substantially different.
1. It is absolutely fair to say the Morihei Ueshiba talked about aiki to the day he died.
2. Curiously, he never mentioned Aiki until after Takeda's long 6 month stay with him in Ayabe in 1922. A visit which so impressed Deguchi that he asked Takeda to change the name of his art to AIKI-jujutsu.
3. It was after this visit that Ueshiba was allowed to teach and in Ueshiba's own words (quoted by Kisshomaru while leaving out the source of his aiki-DR) he believed he had the first of his epiphanies; he recalled the wonder of aiki, how it was everything, and how it informed his faith and not the other way around, how aiki could change the world.
4. Aiki, aiki, aiki. There was nothing in his life, before, during or since, that gave him aiki but
Daito ryu. No other art, no other source we know of.
5. His aiki by his own admission
was the driver behind everything he did till the day he died.
6. We assume that he grew in it. That he continued to learn and train himself. He was researching and growing. It is a reasonable assumption-particularly based on what he was later quoting, but again, all he chose to speak of was...Aiki, from the time in 1922 (same year as the picture) when he was taught it and allowed to teach aiki-jujutsu.
The best quote to summarize the rewrite of his own training history in Daito ryu- from student to teacher- now totaling over twenty three years was from his son:
When asked about Daito ryu in an interview once, he said
"Yes, he did Daito ryu too."
Reducing the various things the Aikikai has done in their re-write of history to reduce the impact of DR on Ueshiba to just....spin
is the greatest use of spin
I can think of! ,