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Old 09-25-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
hughrbeyer
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Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

This came up in the "Spiritual Power" thread and I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hijacking that one--

Where did O-Sensei pick up his swordwork? Is anything really known about it?

What I've heard, without checking references, is that at least one master swordsman said that Ueshiba was the best swordsman in Japan. I've heard that he said Aikido techniques are based on sword techniques ("When you have no sword, move like you have a sword.") And he regularly demonstrated and taught swordwork.

But I've also heard that there's no real evidence of him being signed up with any sword school or taking lessons from a known master. So where did it come from?
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #2
MM
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
This came up in the "Spiritual Power" thread and I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hijacking that one--

Where did O-Sensei pick up his swordwork? Is anything really known about it?

What I've heard, without checking references, is that at least one master swordsman said that Ueshiba was the best swordsman in Japan. I've heard that he said Aikido techniques are based on sword techniques ("When you have no sword, move like you have a sword.") And he regularly demonstrated and taught swordwork.

But I've also heard that there's no real evidence of him being signed up with any sword school or taking lessons from a known master. So where did it come from?
They came from both Takeda and Daito ryu aiki.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:43 PM   #3
hughrbeyer
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Do we know that? Or do we assume that, since he got so much else from Takeda?

(Sincere question, not snark, btw)
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:46 PM   #4
Richard Stevens
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
What I've heard, without checking references, is that at least one master swordsman said that Ueshiba was the best swordsman in Japan.
Considering that sword wasn't his sole focus of study it seems likely that a statement like that would be nothing more than hyperbole. Did Takeda teach him Itto-Ryu? I've heard mention of training in Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:55 PM   #5
DH
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

There are many suspect things about his weapons. But you need to have perspective about certain things. Do you know how many guys broke their promises and or simply the rules and taught koryu to friends. How many others informally traded info ala " You teach me yours, I'll teach you mine but shut up about it?" Oh, the stories!!. It is happening right now in Japan as we speak.
What we do know, (and who knows if it is all); He had a smattering of informal koryu and watching Koryu taught to others. While Takeda taught him, Takeda's own lineage is weird by Japanese standards.
As far as an expert swordsman (wasn't that a kendo and Iai guy?) thinking he was the best in Japan...well, everyone has an opinion right?

Look Takeda and Ueshiba were great Martial artists, so was Musashi-who lacking any formal education in weapons destroyed schools and more or less fought over sixty duels. No one says your stuff has to come from somewhere established to be great stuff. All koryu was gendai at one point and mostly it was from MMA.
Many said Takeda and Ueshiba were genius with the sword. They also both used it supposedly single handed, switching back and forth. Leave it at that. I attribute their skills to their IP/Aiki (gee no surprise there). That doesn't mean that the aiki-ken you are seeing today is what he was doing.
As two Yagyu and Katori guys reluctantly said to Stan on AJ after they visited and trained at Iwama...(paraphrasing as I know the guys in question)
AJ:So what did you think?
Koryu guys: Well. it was interesting.
AJ:So was it good?
Koryu guys:Er...well, we could see how they used it for their aikido
AJ:Come on, what did you think about it as a weapons system?
Koryu guys: Weapons? That aint weapons!
Koryu is Koryu. Aiki weapons are aiki weapons and never the two shall meet, but everyone is happy with what they do.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:59 PM   #6
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Haga Junichi was the one who said that Ueshiba was the best swordsman in Japan. On the other hand, a person expert in classical sword spoke scornfully to me about the way Ueshiba executed yokogi-uchi (hitting the bundle of sticks, a Yakumaru-ha Jigen-ryu practice), because, done properly, one strikes exactly the same point every time (until the sticks break), whereas films of Ueshiba show him hitting the sticks at various portions. (The swordsman said to me, "He's doing exercise, not kenjutsu).

As for where Ueshiba learned what, I'm not aware of any records or accounts of Takeda teaching Ueshiba in detail. However, I've seen one article in Hiden magazine where the writer uses photos of pretty much all the major figures in Daito-ryu and some of Ueshiba's major students as well, to establish that there are several components (technique) that are common to all of them.

Ueshiba is known to have taken other people's forms and saying, "in aiki we do it this way," which suggests that he used sword kata as vessels to hold what he considered his primary study. Among the ryu that he used in this way were Yagyu Shinkage-ryu and Kashima Shinto-ryu.

I could go on for quite a few pages, but - oh yes! It's already been done. HIPS - "A Unified Field Theory: Aiki and Weapons

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Old 09-25-2011, 05:16 PM   #7
MM
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Hugh,

Taken as a sincere question. The answer, given sincerely, is that I know it. But, when the question turns to the aikido crowd ... do we know it? Mostly, no.

There are videos of Ueshiba with a sword in hand. There are interviews about Ueshiba's weapons work. Stan has tons of reference material. Watch Ueshiba. Then sit and watch as many koryu kenjutsu demonstrations as you can. Youtube has a lot. Do you notice anything similar between Ueshiba and koryu?

Now, who was training koryu sword? Kisshomaru was. What were the conversations like afterwards? His father said, You would do it this way with aiki.

Takeda was known to switch hands when holding a bokken. Ueshiba did, too. Takeda worked with weapons, including the sword. It would be silly not to think that Takeda taught Ueshiba something of the sword. We do know that Takeda taught Ueshiba aiki.

Finally, Ellis Amdur's Hidden in Plain Sight. While Ueshiba "learned" some koryu kenjutsu, it was never complete nor did Ueshiba keep to the koryu model. Instead, Ueshiba took out bits and pieces of what he wanted, used aiki to infuse them with power, and then either practiced them or taught them to a few select people.

And even though it grates on people, the answer is still -- pretty much all the martial skills and abilities about Ueshiba can be traced back to Takeda. Ueshiba *was* a Daito ryu man, through and through. From Takeda to Sagawa to Horikawa to Ueshiba, they all talked about the same things. Just because Ueshiba took some of the spiritual stuff a bit farther than the rest, doesn't mean Ueshiba created something "new". He did exactly like Sagawa and Horikawa did ... they all said they went in different directions from their teacher.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:30 PM   #8
DH
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
And even though it grates on people, the answer is still -- pretty much all the martial skills and abilities about Ueshiba can be traced back to Takeda.
I don't think that is true, Mark. IP and aiki most certainly, but he wasn't frozen in time. He had plenty of exposure to other things. I even think his aiki grew, as did everyone elses.
Quote:
Ueshiba *was* a Daito ryu man, through and through. From Takeda to Sagawa to Horikawa to Ueshiba, they all talked about the same things. Just because Ueshiba took some of the spiritual stuff a bit farther than the rest, doesn't mean Ueshiba created something "new". He did exactly like Sagawa and Horikawa did ... they all said they went in different directions from their teacher.
While true, that is attributable more to his aiki and movement, then to his waza. He changed the practice greatly. Some think for better, some for worse. I think he made improvements in some areas, not in others, but that's just opinion. Aikido is not DR that is for sure, although a very intriguing discussion can be had behind closed doors as to what Takeda looked like in person and on film. Maybe...just maybe, Those two were not as different as some would like to think.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2011 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:53 PM   #9
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I don't think that is true, Mark. IP and aiki most certainly, but he wasn't frozen in time. He had plenty of exposure to other things. I even think his aiki grew, as did everyone elses.
I disagree. If Takeda had not taught him, Ueshiba would have been just another unknown person who had some training in bayonet, judo, and a bit of sword. He would have been just another of those muscle-bound martial artists who liked it when people broke their hand on his head. He would have remained unknown.

While Ueshiba did learn some sword from Takeda ... which is true, even if we don't have any direct proof. It's too coincidental that Ueshiba swung the bokken and switched hands with it easily. Some training was there. But, the fact remains that Ueshiba never picked up any koryu to any extent except enough to pull out bits and pieces of what he liked that he could fuel with aiki.

Prior to Takeda, nada. After Takeda, we do it this way with aiki. If not for Takeda, Ueshiba probably never would have picked up the sword at all.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
While true, that is attributable more to his aiki and movement, then to his waza. He changed the practice greatly. Some think for better, some for worse. I think he made improvements in some areas, not in others, but that's just opinion. Aikido is not DR that is for sure, although a very intriguing discussion can be had behind closed doors as to what Takeda looked like on film. Maybe...just maybe, Those two were not as different as some would like to think.
Dan
I don't think he changed *his* practice greatly.

From Takeda, "The purpose of this art is not to be killed, not to be struck, not to be kicked, and we will not strike, will not kick, and will not kill. It is completely for self-defense. We can handle opponents expediently, utilizing their own power, through their own aggression. So even women and children can use it."

Takeda stating his art is not to strike, kick or kill. Completely for self defense. Utilize the opponent's power. Ueshiba repeated these core values in his own way, but he got them from his teacher. Everyone thinks that Daito ryu is all kill, but according to Takeda, it isn't. Who's to say that Takeda didn't change in his later years towards this more spiritual, universal, harmonizing, self defense attitude? There are things out there that sort of point to this. Takeda's words, Sagawa's scroll (see below), etc.

Even more evidence of where peace, love, and harmony came from is looking at Sagawa. The scroll in his dojo:

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=27
Quote:
Aiki is the harmonization of ki.

The entire universe sustains itself perfectly through maintaining an endlessly fluid balance, or harmonization. This harmony is aiki.

It is never stagnant, but rather unites while in this constant state of movement to create harmony without producing negativity or conflict since the ki of aiki is natural.

The harmony created by aiki must serve as a fundamental part of the foundation of human society. This concept is known as World Peace through Aiki (Aiki no Daien Wa).

One should use the principle of aiki to harmonize with and de-escalate those who threaten violence. In the case where an enemy has already initiated an attack, one should rely completely on the principle of aiki to blend with or redirect their attack, which in turn produces a state of harmony.
Sagawa is talking about the harmony of the universe, aiki as part of that, world peace, etc.

Who is the common factor in both Sagawa and Ueshiba? It sure isn't Oomoto kyo. It's Takeda.

Sagawa never expanded on those ideas the way that Ueshiba did. But, so far, most everything in Ueshiba's martial skills and outlook can be traced back to Takeda.

Ueshiba, like Sagawa, went off on his own aiki training. The difference is Sagawa went one direction and Ueshiba went with Oomoto kyo, kotodama, etc. The ideas behind both, though, are nearly identical, and most likely came from Takeda.

I don't think Modern Aikido is like Modern Daito ryu. But then again, I don't think Sagawa or Horikawa are anything like Modern Daito ryu either. And I really do think Takeda, up until he died, thought of Ueshiba as a Daito ryu student. I think, had Takeda lived post war, he would still have thought of Ueshiba the same way. After all, Takeda saw Ueshiba through all of his Oomoto kyo studies, changes, and training. Who was it that kept trying to show up at Ueshiba's door? Who was the one who was never there?
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:15 PM   #10
DH
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I disagree. If Takeda had not taught him, Ueshiba would have been just another unknown person who had some training in bayonet, judo, and a bit of sword. He would have been just another of those muscle-bound martial artists who liked it when people broke their hand on his head. He would have remained unknown.
Well, I think you are taking this way past the question at hand. Not to be nitpicky...seriously.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
And even though it grates on people, the answer is still -- pretty much all the martial skills and abilities about Ueshiba can be traced back to Takeda.
Come on Man. The guy stopped training with Takeda before the war and he continued to train for thirty more years! I am possibly the strongest advocate on the web that he was Daito ryu through and through. I drive people nuts over it. That his internals and aiki are sourced to Takeda is certain, but hell all of his peers stated they all grew past Takeda's teaching. All 5 of the greats.
I am certain that when he was hanging out an experimenting/ training/watching all manner of things; koryu, modern weapons, Bayonet, even playing with Judo, that he...learned..something...anything different than what he got from Takeda.
I mean let's face it, he came from an informal Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu background into watching/ possibly training (I'd bet on it) informally in TSKSR and KSR and Yagyu. No one is EVER going to mistake Itto ryu's approach for Shinto ryu.
Ya don't think he picked up some things? Continued to develop? So even if he picked up one principle...cough. With all that exposure that's it...ONE...are you kidding me....What was he, blind?
There goes your absolute argument out the window. It's not reasonable.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2011 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:26 PM   #11
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Quote:
Who was it that kept trying to show up at Ueshiba's door? Who was the one who was never there?
Mark - not quite. In an interview with one of the prewar deshi from the 1930's, (I can't remember who of the top of my head), he described his admiration for Ueshiba's absolute fidelity to service to Takeda when he came, that this was the thing that made the greatest impression on him. Stan Pranin enumerates Ueshiba training with Takeda through fairly late in the 1930's.

There was only one time that Ueshiba "was not there," the time leading to their break. For those who don't know the story (check AJ for details), one of the deshi was at the dojo and heard screaming outside and there was Takeda cracking a nikkyo on a taxi-driver whom Takeda thought had overcharged him. He then went in to the dojo, prowled around looking for attackers, pulled a table up against the wall to barricade himself, accused the deshi of possibly poisoning him, and when he found out that Ueshiba was in Osaka at his new gig at the Asahi newspaper, went there and walked in, said essentially that Ueshiba didn't know what he was doing and took over. THAT'S when Ueshiba made a de facto break, by simply leaving town. In the context of the disciple-master relationship, particularly with one as difficult as Takeda, I think Ueshiba just threw up his hands, not able to conceive of a way to successfully resign face-to-face. If the song had been available at the time, I imagine Ueshiba was singing this one all the way back to Tokyo.

On the matter of "peace-and-love-in-DiaitoFighto," it is very possible that in his latter years, Takeda paid lip-service to harmony in the human sphere, but he was a nasty old coot, a man who stabbed his own son when he tried to cover him up on a cold night, and blamed the little boy for getting himself wounded in the first place. (And NO, this is not normal behavior for bushi of that or any other period. It is the behavior of profoundly traumatized folks with PTSD or those who are simply paranoid) - AND - I truly do not believe that THIS was what Ueshiba meant when he said that Takeda sensei showed him "true budo"

One point, by the way, that most writing about this period don't mention. That not only Ueshiba, but Takeda took this as a goodbye - a way of making a break. Ueshiba continues to travel to Osaka, and to teach in various venue, and all the while, Takeda was there as well, teaching at the Asahi newspaper. Takeda never sought him out either.
Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 09-25-2011 at 06:35 PM.

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Old 09-25-2011, 08:39 PM   #12
graham christian
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
This came up in the "Spiritual Power" thread and I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hijacking that one--

Where did O-Sensei pick up his swordwork? Is anything really known about it?

What I've heard, without checking references, is that at least one master swordsman said that Ueshiba was the best swordsman in Japan. I've heard that he said Aikido techniques are based on sword techniques ("When you have no sword, move like you have a sword.") And he regularly demonstrated and taught swordwork.

But I've also heard that there's no real evidence of him being signed up with any sword school or taking lessons from a known master. So where did it come from?
Hi Hugh. yes it came up on my thread and as I said, others may have much more data on it. By the look of the answers that appears to be the case.

One thing I remember seeing though was relating to the time period and traditions. Once again others here can fill in the blanks but basically it seems to me that something called otome ryu which if I remember rightly was a name representing secret teachings was where many could learn swordwork and indeed iaido.

Being within not only that time period but also that 'hierarchy' for want of a better word I would be surprised if he didn't learn much from such sources.

Regards.G.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:26 PM   #13
DH
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Graham
Otome was a term used for official arts of a clan or say, the Shogun. It would encompass multiple arts in a given domain. It was a designation not an art. And of them, Iai-do would never be a part. Those arts came later, like;
Kend-do.
Ju-do
Iai-do
Aiki-do
Ueshiba was only a member of one Samurai art; Yagyu Shingan ryu, which is mostly jujutsu and that only part time on the weekends as it was a five hour train ride away. The rest of his supposed connection and study in multiple Samurai arts is all a modern myth. His training was pretty much a little Judo under a 17 yr old shodan when he was a kid, part time study in Yagyu, some Army training, and then twenty plus years of Daito ryu, and then he opened his doors teaching Daito ryu for about Sixteen years, gradually changed the waza retired and that was it until he went back to help Kisshomaru try to get people back into the dojo after the war.

All of your early prewar Deshi -like Shirata and Shioda, were students of Daito ryu not Aiki-do. They all have their scrolls. Budo Renshu was a privately published book that Ueshiba gave as a gift. It is a book of Daito ryu waza. Gradually, things changed. Stan has it pretty much all mapped out to time and place and even names and witnessess. There is an even an interview about it here on Aikiweb.
In essence Aiki-do has no connection to the Samurai.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:01 PM   #14
DH
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Graham
I would like to again point out to you that this stuff is widely known. Knowing in/ yo is Ying/Yang, knowing what the Samurai arts were, what they are called, and that your art is not one of them. Knowing what your founder did, knowing he was reciting Japanese and Chinese axioms as his doka and his internals and aiki are in keeping with a broader Asian model is getting to be more of a requirement to be conversant and professional.

Teachers really.....seriously need to get up to speed on this stuff. They owe it to their students. Gone is the day of dazzling a student base in a closed dojo who largely had no access to information. It's crucial to understand what the art was and is, and it makes people sound more credible when they open their mouths to an educated audience. Its going to get more and more embarrassing if they don't at least know that what they are saying has...oh thousands of years of history behind it and their students googled it and the teacher was the dumbest one in the room.. And its worse when the information is so readily available to the teacher!!
I mean...ouch!
A word to the wise is sufficient, as this scenario is already playing itself out in dojo all over.
Just Say'n
Dan

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2011 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:52 PM   #15
hughrbeyer
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Mark, I answered your "Ueshiba *was* a Daito ryu man, through and through" claim back in the thread where you first made it, and you never posted a rebuttal. Did you miss it?

The summary is that by the time of the Asahi News demo in 1935, I think Ueshiba has already moved well beyond Daito-Ryu to something that looks a lot like modern aikido. This is before any handing over of the art to his son, and before any post-war epiphany. When did the final break with Takeda happen? After this?

I spent the flight to Chicago re-reading the weapons chapter in HIPS. Picking up on Dan's point, the idea that a serious martial artist of the period wouldn't be training sword somehow is unlikely, and it's certainly likely he learned from Takeda.

Is there any video around of Ueshiba switching the sword from hand to hand? Where's the evidence for that? Asking because I don't think it's mentioned in HIPS and it would be cool to see.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:11 AM   #16
kewms
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

I think the fact that more than a few of Ueshiba Sensei's students looked elsewhere for sword training -- with his approval and assistance -- is telling. "Best swordsman in Japan" or not, it's clear that both he and his students thought there was more to learn about sword than he was able to teach.

Katherine
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:59 AM   #17
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Having trained in shinkendo for a number of years, a modern form of kenjutsu, I think I would say that O Sensei was not a swordsman in the koryu or bujutsu sense. That he used weapons as a part of his power development and his own misogi I believe, having seen the same in the system of my teacher Hiroshi Kato Shihan. I can handle a live blade as a weapon, but the bokken in his hands comes alive and is strongly reminiscent of O Sensei's movements.
It is clear from many sources that Takeda was a swordsman, but peculiarly he also used two swords. Whether this was the Nitoken attributed to Musashi, (doubtful) or something he designed himself (more likely) to develop cutting hands i cannot source properly. Undoubtedly Ellis has more historical data on this.
It has also been stated a number of times that Ueshiba was a genius thief, capable of watching a demonstration and then introducing his version a few days later as a training tool in his dojo, "in aikido we do it this way"One aspect of weapon training that is important is that by extending the mind towards the end of the weapon your body follows a kind of rearrangement in internal organization. This is most keenly felt in the long pole exercises of CMA. A 2 meter pole is difficult a 3 meter pole almost impossible unless the arms are almost anchored to the the central body mass.
Traditional swordsmanship enforces a 2 hands joined together approach to body movement, often stressed in Aikido and yet Takeda split the hands and maintained, I believe, a 2 handed connection to his center. Thoughts anyone?

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:12 AM   #18
Richard Stevens
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

I still find myself curious as to how much Itto-Ryu training Ueshiba received from Sokaku, if any at all. There are obviously questions regarding the development of Sokaku's take on Itto-Ryu. However, having seen the result of its passing from Tokimune to Okabayashi and to the Uhler's, it's glaringly obvious that the menkyo holders of Sokaku-den Itto-ryu have an extremely high skill level.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:35 AM   #19
MM
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Mark, I answered your "Ueshiba *was* a Daito ryu man, through and through" claim back in the thread where you first made it, and you never posted a rebuttal. Did you miss it?

The summary is that by the time of the Asahi News demo in 1935, I think Ueshiba has already moved well beyond Daito-Ryu to something that looks a lot like modern aikido. This is before any handing over of the art to his son, and before any post-war epiphany. When did the final break with Takeda happen? After this?

I spent the flight to Chicago re-reading the weapons chapter in HIPS. Picking up on Dan's point, the idea that a serious martial artist of the period wouldn't be training sword somehow is unlikely, and it's certainly likely he learned from Takeda.

Is there any video around of Ueshiba switching the sword from hand to hand? Where's the evidence for that? Asking because I don't think it's mentioned in HIPS and it would be cool to see.
Hi Hugh,
Yeah, must have missed it. Do you have a link? I'm currently mulling over Dan and Ellis' posts. I'd be remiss if I didn't give them some weight, time, and thought.

Mark
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:05 AM   #20
Cliff Judge
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Takeda was known to switch hands when holding a bokken. Ueshiba did, too.
Mark, I've never heard this before about O Sensei. Where have you read or seen this?

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I mean let's face it, he came from an informal Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu background into watching/ possibly training (I'd bet on it) informally in TSKSR and KSR and Yagyu.
Dan or anybody, what was the Katori connection? I am aware that O Sensei had a high-level Yagyu Shinkage ryu swordsman train with him, and he sent Kisshomaru to train in Kashima Shinto ryu. I am not sure if I've read anything tangible about a connection to Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu.

My two cents, Ueshiba lived a life where there was a good deal of "ambient" sword training going on, but it doesn't seem to me that he ever pursued sword training for its own sake; I don't think he went through a traditional shu ha ri process inside a koryu.

Takeda no doubt showed him plenty of swordwork, and other weapons - but it doesn't seem to me that he formally trained him in Ono ha Itto ryu, or else you'd see a lot more of that school in modern aikiken. So its best to say, the stuff he learned from Takeda was "informed" by Ono ha Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu.

Ellis's Hidden in Plain Sight mentions that Ueshiba had a student who was a high-ranking Yagyu Shinkage ryu swordsman, and there is the case of the YSR menkyo given to Ueshiba by Takeda that still boggles my mind - I accept that it happened but I still don't understand what it actually was.

We know that Kisshomaru was sent to train Kashima Shinto ryu, and that O Sensei was also entered into the roles there. In my very humble opinion, there is no stronger influence on Saito Sensei's aikiken than Kashima Shinto ryu. I understand that Saito Sensei did NOT train Kashima Shinto ryu, so this to me indicates that Kashima Shinto ryu was actually the most significant koryu kenjutsu influence on Ueshiba. (Unless Saito's aikiken actually comes from Kisshomaru...)

But hey - he also trained Yagyu Shingan ryu for some time, right? That school has sword. And I believe its a Kashima-descended system as well - straight bokken and all that.

Who knows what else he may have picked up while serving in the army. He practiced jukendo - did that have any sword component? And what's the deal with the time, place, and class that he grew up in - did kids go at each other with bokken? Might be a silly point, but I think the deal is that swordwork was always around, adjacent to what he was working on. I think he thought it was perhaps boring, perhaps archaic, perhaps shallow. But I am pretty sure he was trying to make Aikido something that superseded the sword, went beyond it.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 09-26-2011 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:04 PM   #21
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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Dan or anybody, what was the Katori connection? I am aware that O Sensei had a high-level Yagyu Shinkage ryu swordsman train with him, and he sent Kisshomaru to train in Kashima Shinto ryu. I am not sure if I've read anything tangible about a connection to Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu.
Yoshino Sugino and Minoru Mochizuki were both pre-war Ueshiba and Katori students. I have no idea how much Ueshiba watched or absorbed (if anything at all).

I'd also note that Kiyoshi Nakakura had a kendo group going at the Kobukan while he was there.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #22
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

As I note in HIPS, Sugino sensei recalls, post-war, accidentally meeting Ueshiba and the latter asking him to teach him TSKSR spear (which is, in fact, rather unique). Sugino replies that he is unworthy, he'll send his teacher, and Ueshiba replies that he'd rather learn from Sugino.

There are a couple of other ramifications that I discuss in the text, but here, it is significant to note that Ueshiba does NOT want to be formally initiated in the school, he does NOT want to learn the entire curriculum, he sees a certain something that intrigues him and he desires to incorporate this something in his own training regimen.

That, in a nut-shell, sums up how he learned various weaponry, post Takeda (which as much as anything was, it is fairly safe to infer, was Takeda's derivation from Hozoin-ryu sojutsu). And that, in itself is interesting - one of the first weapons he learned was jukendo, he learned spear from Takeda, and then, at the twilight of his career, he circles around with a desire to learn a very different version of spear.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-26-2011, 12:29 PM   #23
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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As I note in HIPS, Sugino sensei recalls, post-war, accidentally meeting Ueshiba and the latter asking him to teach him TSKSR spear (which is, in fact, rather unique). Sugino replies that he is unworthy, he'll send his teacher, and Ueshiba replies that he'd rather learn from Sugino.
Ellis,

I once asked someone knowledgeable, but outside of any koryu, if Ueshiba had ever met Otake from TSKSR. The answer was, "I believe he did". Nothing certain, mind you, but if Ueshiba had met Otake ... there might be a lot more to the situation with Sugino.

Mark
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:31 PM   #24
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

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Mark, I've never heard this before about O Sensei. Where have you read or seen this?
I'm pretty sure I've read it. Just don't recall where at the moment. Good bet is from somewhere on Aikido Journal.

As for seen ... I believe there is video of Ueshiba swinging a bokken and switching hands with it. I'm not sure which video it's on though, sorry.

If I run across the references, I'll post them.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:32 PM   #25
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

There is a translation of an early 20th century japanese military swordmanship and bayonet fencing manual in, the usually interesting website, kenshi247.net.

Part 1, part 2 and part 3.

I don't think what Ueshiba practised while he was serving would be very different from what is shown in the manual linked.

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