Tanomo Saigo & Asayama Ichiden-ryu: The Forgotten Roots
We, Aikidoka, must respect Takeda Sokaku and Daito-ryu as the precursor of O'sensei and Aikido. It is no public secret anymore that should O'sensei didn't learn Daito-ryu from Sokaku, we could never find Aikido as we practice today. Sokaku is the disseminator and at the time, indeed, he had the highest Aiki ability.
We Aikidoka annd Daito-ryu practitioners all give credit to Takeda Sokaku as the disseminator of Daito-ryu. That's not wrong at all, it's a fact instead. But do we ever realize who's the real man behind the dissemination of Daito-ryu to the general public?
Now, I should say that we must give credits to Tanomo Saigo, who was the last Lord Retainer of the Aizu-han and teacher of Sokaku himself. It is Tanomo, who directed Sokaku to disseminate Daito-ryu to the general public. It is comprehensible that Tanomo didn't teach like Sokaku did, as we could know, that at the time Tanomo advised Sokaku in around 1898-1900, Tanomo had already reached near the end of his life, while Sokaku was still relatively young. Should Tanomo didn't direct Sokaku to disseminate the art, Daito-ryu could still remains a secret martial art!
Now, if talking about Asayama Ichiden-ryu, lots of Daito-ryu practitioners will raise their eyebrow if they listen to the rumor of "Asayama Ichiden-ryu is the sister art of Daito-ryu". But let's face this thing: both Tokimune and Takeda Sokaku used Asayama Ichiden-ryu as the basis/model to devise the Daito-ryu syllabus and waza we learn, so I think it'll be never wrong to say that Asayama Ichiden-ryu is one of the ancestor of Daito-ryu!