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Old 05-09-2014, 03:04 AM   #13
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 45
Re: Origins and inspirations of kumijo

Cliff Judge wrote: View Post

So the aikijo and aikiken are paired suburi, and were simply constructed of some movements that Saito observed Osensei making consistently, as he was wandering about the farm hallucinating, and Saito was following him around so he didn't hurt himself?
Irony put aside, that seems to be the point of the author who was told so by Saito sensei himself. When we watch O sensei's jo movements we can easily recognise the jo suburi elements but obviously those are like extracted to be practiced one by one.

I have lost the reference but in Youtibe you can see an old school practicing jo suburi and they do the same: they isolate movements to master the weapons one movement at a time. It is most likely in my opinion that O sensei did the same in his youth (with the spear and bayonet, I don't exactly see how one could do otherwise tbh. After all that's what saito sensei went through during his first years in Iwama, plenty of shomen...

Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
The problem I have with that is that the resemblance of aikiken to some early-training Kashima Shinto ryu kata is too close to ignore. It implies to me that either Osensei directly taught those kata to Saito, or Kisshomaru did, or Saito did some study of Kashima Shinto ryu himself (Iwama to Kashima is not terribly far, I understand the rail that terminates at Kashima Jingu is pretty old, perhaps Saito found himself out that way sometimes).

Maybe Saito's aikijo were put together like that, but I am kind of suspicious of this theory because it really doesn't seem to apply to aikiken.
Undeniable for the first kumitachi, keeping in mind that the same kumitachi is done in a very different way than KSR. (The 1st kumitachi dealing - among other things - with yokomen uchi and the structure of shiho nage - what seems quite fundamental in order to learn the spiralling principle).

Beyond that I have never seen anywhere any other practice of the 5 remaining kumitachi. I guess but it is only a guess that the truth lies in between: A mix of known forms and created forms from scratch. I'd love to learn more about it.

Also one has to consider the structure of the exercises as a whole. The way the whole system is organised reveals a pedagogical goal (line, spiral, up, down, circle, etc).

Tony Mills wrote: View Post
Also worth remembering Saito isn't the only one who formalised aikiJo and aikiken, just seems to be the most accessible, I see a lot of non Iwama groups practicing it. A number of teachers have taught very different version: Satome, Chiba, Nisho, Kobayashi, Ki Society, and Kanai are ones that come to my mind as having quite different Jo work from Saito. I'm pretty sure in the case of Nisho and Kanai there was Shinto Muso Ryu influence.
Again undeniable. Keeping in mind that for instance most of Chiba sensei's kumitachi (as I practiced both) are directly inspired by Saito sense's (but not his jo practice). I'm not extremely familiar with Ki society but for what I have seen, they are also very close. When I first studied Saotome sensei's weapons I couldn't but see all the links with Iwama.

All this seems quite logical when (and if I should add) we recognise the kind of central/pivotal role of Saito sensei in spreading the weapon system as organised in the 1940-50 period (roughly). Most of post war students were heavily influenced by his teaching since there was none other really available or so well conceived.

I'm conscious here to state only the obvious. I'll let more expert people to go beyond that...
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