When I was studying Aikido, I was like "okay, this is good. It's not quite working for me yet. I don't have the ability that O-Sensei had. Maybe I should be studying what he studied rather than studying the art that he handed down." It's a different way of thinking about it.
One thing that he did want, he studied Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu, he didn't study Aikido, so that's part of it. And in learning other Japanese Jujutsu forms, like Hakkoryu Jujutsu or Seibukan Jujutsu, I was able to study techniques that he had actually eliminated out of Aikido, techniques he had taken out. So you look at Aikido a little bit differently and said, okay, he knew these techniques but he chose not to teach them or they weren't part of his personal expression.
Also, he had a lot of attributes. They said his arms when he worked in Hokkaido for some time to kind of found a town out there, and he was doing quite a bit of logging. Apparently, his arms were massive. Massive, like as big as people's legs. So he was a strong guy. He trained like a madman. And some people, there's a little bit of speculation that there may have been some bipolarity there, but he trained like a madman. He had all the physical attributes and he had razor-sharp technique taught by a guy who was a true killer, Sokaku Takeda, who had killed many men in his time. So, you combine all that, yeah, you're going to end up with somebody who's effective.
And particularly against Judo players at that time, when you read stories about the Judo guys challenging Morihei Ueshiba, the Judo guys, like Kenji Tomiki, when he went and attacked him, he was like, "This old man, I'm not going to attack this old man." [Ueshiba] said "No, go ahead and attack me." So when Kenji Tomiki attacked him, he found himself thrown to the other end of the room. And he was like, "Wait a minute. Alright, let me do that again." He's like, "Okay, you can do it again." So [Tomiki] attacked him again with everything he had and he mysteriously found himself thrown to the other side of the room. Then he bowed and said I would humbly like to become your student.
And so what was that? Well, a lot of it is technological superiority. I'm not saying the techniques of Aikido are superior to those of Judo. I'm saying that he was using a technology, basically a form of standing grappling. As soon as somebody goes in to reach for you, you blend with it. In Judo, you just grab each other and then you begin. But because he was working at a different range of motion, but really no different than Royce Gracie in the first couple UFCs. Because he was working in that altered range of combat that the Judo guy wasn't familiar with, he had, clearly, the upper hand.