Re: Sokaku Takeda footage
Ed -- From unknown translator -- English version of Daitokan newsletters regarding Sokaku Takeda, Daito ryu headmaster as told by his son, Tokimune Takeda, late headmaster.
With the Boshin War over (during Takeda's childghood), and then the Seinan Civil War, the government put pressure on control of weapons and martial arts schools. Thus Sokaku's sword training was temporarily curtailed. -- Ed.
Sokaku's Training as an acrobat
As he was traveling for self-training, he happened across a troupe of acrobats who were very popular at that time. The group consisting of about 12 acrobats made their headquarters in Nagasaki Prefecture.
The head of the troupe asked Sokaku to help them with their act if he did not have any pressing business. Sokaku had been small in size since childhood but quite nimble. He was skillful at somersaults and had been nicknamed "Kozaru" (little monkey.)
Since he was interested in acrobatics, he joined the troupe and toured with them performing acrobatic stunts. The most popular attraction was tightrope walking on a unicycle. Sokaku absorbed himself in practicing riding the unicycle on the tightrope every night till dawn after the others had fallen asleep. Finally, he mastered the technique in about seven days. The leader of the troupe was amazed at his skill in acrobatics in such a short time. He also perfected other acrobatic skills in addition to riding the unicycle.
Neat story -