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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions > Events Listings: Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

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Old 09-11-2008, 12:29 PM   #1
MM
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Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

We all know that "pre-war aikido" really isn't aikido at all but Daito ryu. It's that simple.

So, for a timeframe up until the late 1930's to the early 1940's, we have Daito ryu in some incarnation from Ueshiba. Aiki News Issue 74 (page 58) shows various names Ueshiba used throughout the years and it's a very significant thing that it wasn't really called "Aikido" until 1942.

And two things happened after the war:
1. Ueshiba rarely taught at Tokyo.
2. Kisshomaru changed Aikido for a worldwide appeal.

Now, Ueshiba retired to Iwama and that war changed everyone. But, the one thing that it didn't change and couldn't was the core skill given to Ueshiba by Takeda -- Daito ryu aiki.

Also, Saito's teachings are close to what Ueshiba was doing in 1938. And quite a bit of what Takeda's students held as being Daito ryu can be found to be very, very similar to what Ueshiba espoused.

===
Aiki News Issue 68:
Quote:
Takeda wrote:
This technique is a perfect self-defense art where you avoid being cut, hit or kicked while at the same time you don't hit, kick or cut. As the attack comes you handle it expediently using the power of your opponent.
Sounds like what other people say about aikido using the attacker's energy against themselves.

===
Aiki News Issue 073

Here we would like to reproduce the main points of an article entitled, "The aiki Self-Defense Techniques of Daito-ryu" written by Horikawa Sensei and published in the "Yuseikoho" in Yubetsu:
Quote:
Yawara (jujutsu techniques) which are peculiar to Japan have been transmitted for more than a thousand years. The basis of these techniques is called the "theory of yawara". In this system you adapt your movements to those of your opponent when he comes to attack you using force and you control him and defeat him using his power. Especially in the techniques of Aiki, there are techniques for all parts of the bodies including the hands, legs, shoulders and chest. With these techniques you can freely defeat your opponent in a thousand different ways by utilizing his power, taking away his power or attacking him on his unguarded side. You adapt yourself to the circumstances. These techniques are comprehensive in nature where you take quick measures suited to the occasion." Further, Horikawa Sensei explains that in Daito-ryu, "you don't cut your opponent nor are you cut by him, you don't strike him nor are you struck by him, you don't kick him nor are you kicked by him". These words not only represent the essence of Daito-ryu but also the beliefs and life view of Kodo Horikawa.
Adapt your movements to those of your opponent = aikido blending

Defeat him using his power = aikido use of attacker's energy against himself

Defeat your opponent in a thousand different ways = Ueshiba stating there are thousands of techniques.

Don't strike your opponent = the no attacks in aikido mantra

===
Aiki News Issue 78
Quote:
Yoshihisa Ishibashi wrote:
Although in the Aikido world, Aiki is understood in various ways, I feel that there are people who know nothing about Aiki who are confusing practitioners with abstract and quasi-spiritual expressions. Originally, Aiki is rational and something any new practitioner can understand theoretically.

Aiki is expressed in simple terms is a general name for various techniques which contain "shinpo" (mental dimension), "giho" (technical dimension) and "kokyuho" (breathing dimension) which are used to instantaneously incapacitate the offensive or defensive power of an opponent and draw him into one's own rhythm. It is something profound which cannot be expressed in a word.
===
Aiki News Issue 079
Quote:
Kondo wrote:
I don't think there is any difference. In Daito-ryu too practice begins and ends with courtesy. And its final goal is the spirit of love and harmony.
===
Aiki News Issue 084
Quote:
Kiyokazu Maebayashi (about Sagawa) wrote:
When I am on the receiving end of one of Sagawa Sensei's techniques, I don't feel any power from the point at which we are connected, but I feel an energy which penetrates my whole body to affect my center and break my balance. Because my body does not sense Sensei's intention, it is unable to respond to his power and thus unable to resist it.
Sounds like being connected and also the no resistance in aikido theme.

===
Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, Hisa, Okamoto all said you can make up waza. Everything that Ueshiba did, even in his later years, can all be found in Daito ryu.

Just as Sagawa improvised, changed, and modified what he had learned ... but still trained Daito ryu.

Just as Kodo viewed his training ... and continued Daito ryu.

So Ueshiba did Daito ryu all his life in his own personal manner.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:14 AM   #2
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

Referencing the thread, Which Aikido Are You Doing:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15088

We can start to get a picture that all the students of Ueshiba *changed* what they'd learned. At least in outward form. So, technique-wise, Tomiki, Shioda, Tohei, etc all look different.

But, from this thread and from the thread, Exploits of Ueshiba Morihei, and the thread, Push Test with Ueshiba, it's not hard to see that Ueshiba was still doing the core component of Daito ryu -- the aiki. Other Daito ryu greats did the same thing.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15035
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

And if you do a little bit of research, you find that the schools of Daito ryu (Hisa, Kodo, Sagawa, etc) all do different techniques, too. Yet, they are Daito ryu. But, the greats kept doing similar "magical" things.

The only common reference between Ueshiba, Kodo and Sagawa is Sokaku Takeda. What Takeda did, so did his students.

Doing some more research, you would find that Takeda and Ueshiba were at some point very close. At some point, Ueshiba and Deguchi were close. And yes, something happened. We speculate on what. But, for the idea I'm putting forth here, what happened does not matter. What matters is what happened *after* the relationships that Ueshiba had went away.

Ueshiba distanced himself from Takeda. And in doing so, he distanced himself from the name, Daito ryu. And as such, he changed the name of what he was doing. We can recall that at one point, Takeda changed the name to Daito ryu aikijujutsu. And we know that Ueshiba taught aikijujutsu. It's not a leap to see that Ueshiba changed the name to aikibudo, dropping Daito ryu altogether. And when the organization said, we want to call these arts, aikido, it wasn't that great of a leap for Ueshiba to agree. It's what he was doing by then, anyway. He stamped the ground and exclaimed "Aiki? I am aiki!" when he was older.

Tying up another point above -- techniques. All the greats around Takeda said that the art was formless. Thousands of techniques. Techniques were created spontaneously. It is the very nature of what Ueshiba said, "I am aiki!" that creates takemusu aiki. It is the nature of Daito ryu aiki that was passed from Takeda to Ueshiba, Kodo, Sagawa. (I use the big three because they are prime examples.)

This is why every student that traces their lineage back through either Daito ryu or Aikido has a different outward expression. Tomiki, Hisa, Shioda, Okamoto, Kondo, Tohei, etc, etc, etc.

Ueshiba, near the end of his life stated it so simply, "Aiki? I am aiki!". He was. And he built it from Sokaku Takeda. Even to the end, Ueshiba was Daito ryu aiki, but because of something that happened between him and Takeda, he quit referencing his teacher's art -- Daito ryu. But he never stopped being it.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:30 AM   #3
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

So Mark, what do you call the art you are now practicing? Perhaps the art formerly known as 'Daito ryu?'
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:52 AM   #4
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

Hi Mark
The historical record through the eimoroku and the densho he signed and gave out to all the "founding deshi" through the late 30's offer irrefutable evidence of that.
What is more compelling for todays practitioners is the sharing of the body skills. Once again going back to my initial meeting and dinner with Ellis and his observations and encouragment for me to start sharing-ok, he shamed me into it- his thoughts were that sharing and giving the skills to others was going to prove to be far more definitive, and make the connection between Daito ryu aiki aikido startlingly obvious to more folks than an internet debate would.

As you know more and more teachers of advanced rank are feeling it and are stunned, and once they start learning it and can start to manifest skills in short time frames they are essentially saying 'Sh....t! we missed it. This is aiki!"

Ellis knew the best-if not the only way to end the argument-was going to get some fellas from DR to start actually teaching-not just showing, but teaching the body skills so aikidoka could actually see where the connections were from DR to Aikido for themselves. This combined with Mike who was showing the connection from the ICMA to the Japanese arts, and Ark who combined both, really brought the argument to a close. If a picture was worth a thousand words, the experience for those who trained with all three of us was either the nail in the coffin for detractors, or the credit card receipt for Ellis's book!!!! .
Why?
Personally I think the bastard was just setting us all up for the eventual...(we could all be dead before) publishing of his book on DR and Aikido and the link of internal power from China to Japanese arts.

I remember trying to discuss this years ago. It is refreshing to see aikidoka now presenting the same arguments. Again I think it was experiencing the power and training in it, to make the historical connections between DR and aikido finally and suddenly become more...obvious, to more people.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
So Mark, what do you call the art you are now practicing? Perhaps the art formerly known as 'Daito ryu?'
Hi Ricky,

Personally, right now, I've taken a short break from training in organizational aikido. If I was closer to some of the Jiyushinkai dojos, I would definitely be training with them. I love what they do. If I was closer to Harrisburg, PA, I'd train at Itten. Out in the Portland-Seattle area, it'd be with those folks out there (Chris, Jeremy, Allen, etc.) In the Boston area, I'd train under Rob. There are a lot of great places out there to practice. I'm in the middle of WV, so I find that all the places that *I* want to train are quite a ways off.

To answer your question, I call what I'm doing right now as training to gain structure with aiki as the end goal.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:03 AM   #6
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
So Mark, what do you call the art you are now practicing? Perhaps the art formerly known as 'Daito ryu?'
How about aiki...do?
Daito ryu and aikido are all "The way of aiki" they are inexorably intertwined. It's just that, by and large, most in them show they don't have aiki to any substantial level.
That...is going to change.
When it does aiki will be the defining difference in expressing themselves. I will bet the farm that in ten years. Aikido as we now know it is on the wain. People will identify the teachers who don't have it and walk out and go to those who actually have aiki and teach it.
Aikido waza will change, as the big movements, which were never necessary and never expressed aiki will fade and be a thing of the past, and the general skill level will rise to the point that trying to throw someone will prove to be quite a challenge and when you do-they are ...never...ever....going to look like aikido does now unless someone wants to put on a show. If aiki is the goal, its going to be forward progress and defining decade for the art.

Here's something that may prove ironic. More aikido people are open to training this way than Daito ryu people. The teaching model in DR is ...well...ask around. It isn't good. A lot of DR students are in deplorable shape when it comes to aiki power-and they remain convinced they got it, or will in twenty years from their teacher. The day may come when aikido has aiki and DR no longer does and DR will have to go to Aikido sensei to re-learn aiki!

Last edited by DH : 09-12-2008 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Ricky,

Personally, right now, I've taken a short break from training in organizational aikido. If I was closer to some of the Jiyushinkai dojos, I would definitely be training with them. I love what they do. If I was closer to Harrisburg, PA, I'd train at Itten. Out in the Portland-Seattle area, it'd be with those folks out there (Chris, Jeremy, Allen, etc.) In the Boston area, I'd train under Rob. There are a lot of great places out there to practice. I'm in the middle of WV, so I find that all the places that *I* want to train are quite a ways off.

To answer your question, I call what I'm doing right now as training to gain structure with aiki as the end goal.
Thanks for your response Mark. My question was a bit 'tongue-in-cheek' but I do appreciate your response. I'm in a similar situation as you, being out in the middle of the Mojave desert. I have a small dojo in which I teach mostly young people the art of aikido as I know it, however, I now recognize the great value in what Dan and Mike have trying to pound into my stubborn head. This has caused me to have a huge shift in my training paradigm. As a result I will be attending less 'aikido proper' seminars and saving my money and vacation time for a chance to train with those that are teaching these internal skills. I am hungry for them. I am currently considering trying out this place;
http://www.taoistsanctuary.org/ as well as Harvey Kurland (http://www.aikidoredlands.org/instructors.htm) who is teaching Tai Chi at Redlands Aikikai. Anybody know if I might be able to learn the skills being discussed from these sources?
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:52 AM   #8
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

I would be careful where you go. Power and sensitivity is instantly felt and known. Forget being impressed by "some guy." We've all met good MAers
Go meet his students. If most of them don't have it and they are not not easily identifiable by skills levels expressing their time-in ...walk away.

I have met about a hundred ICMA so far.
So far I have mat all of one...who has any appreciable power.
Yes I know there are many -I just haven't met them yet. I am only suggesting that you consider the percentages as no different that you are going to find anywhere else.
The real trouble regarding the ICMA is that so many have the "lingo" down. They know the theory...intellectually, and that's about it.
Ask around if you have to travel, or show up to test their students if it's close by.
Good luck
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:21 PM   #9
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Talking Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
They know the theory...intellectually, and that's about it.
You mean the theory isn't enough? LOL

Mark
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:49 AM   #10
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido is Daito ryu

Many used iron fans, but Takeda was known for it.

Also, I'm told that Takeda could also immobilize people as Ueshiba demonstrated.

From Black Belt 1988 Vol 26 No 4
An article about Virginia Mayhew by Chuck Bush

"He used to demonstrate with his little iron fan, standing in the middle of the mat as three or four of his strongest instructors attacked him with wooden staffs."

"He also used a technique which many people experienced - coming around and putting his finger on you very lightly, hardly touching you- and you couldn't move, no matter how hard you tried."
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