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Old 01-14-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
Brion Toss
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What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Hello all,
On another thread, I floated the idea that examining the differences between Aikido and Daito Ryu might help us learn something about ourselves. Christopher Lee called me on it, inviting me to elaborate. Here are a few thoughts. Can't wait to see what you do with them.

1) Fewer Techniques, More Structure
O Sensei, pruned Daito Ryu techniques way back; Aikido has only a fraction of the number that its parent art does. This makes great sense if what one wants to do is impart principles: you provide only as much detail as you need to in order show how the principles might manifest, but you concentrate on the foundations. I don't know if this is what Ueshiba had in mind, and there certainly are enough techniques to keep me dazzled for a few more decades, but there's little danger of getting lost in minutiae.

2) Uke Has a Way Out
In brief first-hand experience, and from video's and other sources, it seems that Daito Ryu is all about crushing uke, which makes great sense martially, for why would you want to give your attacker a break? Ueshiba appears to answer that question by asking in turn, " Why hurt somebody if you don't need to?" Tactically, uke might be almost as likely to leave you alone after a survivable throw as after a nasty one. Strategically, uke's relatives and buddies might be less likely to come after you. And at least as important, I believe that human beings have a need, all-to-rarely-expressed, to be kind to one another. Aikido potentially, at least, gives us the opportunity, because its throws tend to allow for less torturous falls. Which brings us to

3) Compassion
Don't worry, I'm not going to go all Aiki-bunny on you here. I know that O Sensei was not what Westerners think of as a pacifist, I know that he hurt people when he thought it appropriate, appeared to condone injurious behavior in his dojo's, etc. But by and large, he seems to have taken all the flowery words about gentleness and compassion that martial arts masters have been spouting for centuries, and try to walk that particular talk. His followers and successors have certainly taken this to be so; I have rarely been in a dojo where the topic of being kind to one's attacker didn't come up at some point. Maybe we are utterly misunderstanding some crazy old Japanese man. Actually, it is almost certain that to some extent we are. But for whatever reasons, Aikidoists at least seek to put gentleness and forgiveness and kindness at the center of their Art.
The trouble, of course, is that it is a lot harder to defeat someone gently than it is to do so by thrashing them. It takes a level of skill that only thorough, rigorous, and effective training has even a chance of providing, and most of us aren't willing or able to put in the effort, even if we are lucky enough to find a dojo that isn't teaching yoga with hakamas. Hence our all-too-often-deserved reputation for being toothless do-gooders, useless in a fight.
Daito Ryu appears to stay with the much more sensible notion that if someone wants to hurt me, I want to use the most efficient, certain method I can find to hurt them first. I might not have a kumbaya endorphin release when the fight is over, but I'll still be upright.

At times, over the years, I've looked longingly over the fence at Daito Ryu, and I can certainly understand why some Aikido practitioners have jumped that fence. But for myself, Aikido is an opportunity to give form to my aspirations to humaneness, and its principles and techniques have gotten me through a blessedly few martial encounters. I think I'll stay with it.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Regards,

Brion Toss
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:06 AM   #2
Chris Li
 
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Here's an interesting translation (by Nathan Scott) of a scroll written by Yukiyoshi Sagawa, which hung on the wall of his dojo. Sagawa was, at one time, asked to be the Soke of Daito-ryu, and he was not a big Ueshiba fan:

Quote:
"The Martial Art of Aiki is Synonymous with the Way of Human Cultivation & Development"

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.

We must seriously study the basic techniques of aiki as well as the taijutsu (jujutsu), tachi no jutsu (swordsmanship), sojutsu (spearmanship), and bujutsu (staff techniques) as passed down within the methods of aiki through its founder, Prince Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, and in the process strive to follow the Way found in the martial art of aiki (Aiki no Budo), which can be thought of as synonymous with the Way of human cultivation and development (Ningen Shuyo).
As to number 1 - that's basically true, although there is quite a bit of variation between schools of both Aikido and Daito-ryu. OTOH, although you could argue over which approach is better pedagogically, in and of itself that says nothing much about whether the principles being covered are the same or different.

For number 2 - that's also generally true, but the same caveat as above holds. In either case, it's really a minor variation at best rather than a substantive change in technical principles. If I have control over what's happening I can wrap someone in close or release them outwards - and remember that releasing them outwards is not always the least damaging option.

From what I can see the differences you are talking about are mostly that Ueshiba was more religious - which is probably true, but again doesn't say anything about whether the technical principles are the same or different.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:10 AM   #3
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

As a caveat, I'd like to note that I'm not a Daito-ryu guy, although I have enjoyed practicing a small amount of Daito-ryu in the past.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-15-2012, 03:24 AM   #4
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

I don't know about number 1's "fraction" bit... I'm no daito-ryu-guy by any standard, so you'd be better off asking them, but I have found a thread which compares the techniques of aikido and daito-ryu which estimates the correlation between daito-ryu's hiden mokuroku and aikido's techniques to be 82% or so..

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15096

Interesting stuff

G'day to y'all!

Tim Bergman
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:11 AM   #5
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

There is no such thing as just AIKIDO any more, you cant just compare the name to Daito ryu, we all know there are many styles and flavours of Aikido, some Very Martial and others are just for exercise only. SO you have to say what style your comparing to...
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:46 AM   #6
graham christian
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Spirit. Daito ryu is the mental and physical application and view of aiki, the developing yet undeveloped flower.

Aikido is the spiritual, encompassing both the physical and mental, the fully formed.

The 'do'

The way.

G.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:55 AM   #7
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Spirit. Daito ryu is the mental and physical application and view of aiki, the developing yet undeveloped flower.

Aikido is the spiritual, encompassing both the physical and mental, the fully formed.

The 'do'

The way.

G.
That may well be true, it's hard to argue that many people were more religious/spiritual than Ueshiba. I have a few comments to consider:

1) Sokaku Takeda and Daito-ryu, although not nearly as spiritual as Ueshiba, are hardly as soulless as they are often made out to be, as evidenced in the scroll above. Did you know that Takeda made extensive studies of esoteric Buddhism?

2) There are only a couple of people that I know of in the world who are really delving into the spiritual beliefs of the Founder in depth. Despite what many people think they know, what has been translated into English is fragmentary, often mistaken or misleading, and very abstract. Much of the material is specific to Japanese culture, and is difficult even for native Japanese in their own language.

3) There is quite a lot of technical instruction embedded in the lectures left behind by the Founder, but the same caveats noted above make it extremely difficult to extract.

4) That still leaves open the question of differences of a technical nature. Traditionally, the talking points have been that the Founder produced an art of a profoundly different and original nature - not only spiritually, but on the level of technical principles.

On the spiritual side - many of the Japanese and Chinese martial arts had very complex and complete spiritual systems attached, so much so that I'm not sure that the case for a new and unique world view can really be made in it's entirety. There's nothing wrong with not being unique, of course.

On the technical side, I think that the argument for uniqueness in Aikido has traditionally been that it is a new technical paradigm that allows for control of an attacker without causing harm. If this is true (I'm not sure that it is, or that it is even really possible except as a goal), than what are the specific differences in principle? So far, none have been presented except as a matter of choosing to be more charitable - something that other arts, even Daito-ryu, have been known to do. What are the specific and original technical innovations that were introduced by the Founder that are not variations of his earlier training?

In the thread noted above there is an extremely extensive technical comparison of the two arts. How about an equally detailed review showing the differences in core technical principle?

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-15-2012, 07:57 AM   #8
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

IMO, I see Aikido as just another offshoot of DR - the various organizations under the Aikido and DR umbrellas all have the same roots; they just have been taken in different directions with different aspects being focused on.

If given the freedom to do so, everyone that teaches will always impart and focus on their own particular view of everything, and this is true regardless of the size of a group. In the DR camp you have groups that focus on the hard to soft, like Kondo's mainline group's hard style to Okamoto's soft style - same thing with the Aikido organizations, you got Shioda's stuff at one extreme and Tohie's ki stuff at the other.

I have trained with various Aikido groups over the years (Ki Society, Iwama, AAA, ASU, etc) and I currently lead a small DR study group under the guidance of Howard Popkin where the DR stuff we focus on is the high level aiki stuff that evens makes some of Tohei's stuff appear hard (caveat: I am by no means an expert in any of this, but I have experienced the differences)

Bottom line is that I do not think you can categorically state that Aikido is more benevolent than DR - It all depends on one's application of the concepts and principles of the art. And as Chris stated, projections can very easily be changed to a drop with a very minor adjustment, and could also be more devastating; as in projecting someone off a roof or into the path of a bus - your choice based on the reality of the situation.

Greg
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:32 AM   #9
graham christian
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
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That may well be true, it's hard to argue that many people were more religious/spiritual than Ueshiba. I have a few comments to consider:

1) Sokaku Takeda and Daito-ryu, although not nearly as spiritual as Ueshiba, are hardly as soulless as they are often made out to be, as evidenced in the scroll above. Did you know that Takeda made extensive studies of esoteric Buddhism?

2) There are only a couple of people that I know of in the world who are really delving into the spiritual beliefs of the Founder in depth. Despite what many people think they know, what has been translated into English is fragmentary, often mistaken or misleading, and very abstract. Much of the material is specific to Japanese culture, and is difficult even for native Japanese in their own language.

3) There is quite a lot of technical instruction embedded in the lectures left behind by the Founder, but the same caveats noted above make it extremely difficult to extract.

4) That still leaves open the question of differences of a technical nature. Traditionally, the talking points have been that the Founder produced an art of a profoundly different and original nature - not only spiritually, but on the level of technical principles.

On the spiritual side - many of the Japanese and Chinese martial arts had very complex and complete spiritual systems attached, so much so that I'm not sure that the case for a new and unique world view can really be made in it's entirety. There's nothing wrong with not being unique, of course.

On the technical side, I think that the argument for uniqueness in Aikido has traditionally been that it is a new technical paradigm that allows for control of an attacker without causing harm. If this is true (I'm not sure that it is, or that it is even really possible except as a goal), than what are the specific differences in principle? So far, none have been presented except as a matter of choosing to be more charitable - something that other arts, even Daito-ryu, have been known to do. What are the specific and original technical innovations that were introduced by the Founder that are not variations of his earlier training?

In the thread noted above there is an extremely extensive technical comparison of the two arts. How about an equally detailed review showing the differences in core technical principle?

Best,

Chris
1) Takeda no doubt studied many things. I don't know all of his history, no.

2) Many in the world, ie: more than a couple, understand to varying degrees the message of ueshiba spiritually. They don't have to be in Aikido or anything to do with culture.

As I see it history itself is fine for orientation and great for culture or understanding culture and the true sense of culture. Thus culture is something Ueshiba liked and talked about, the history, the classics, but that is culture. Spiritual needs to be differentiated from culture in order to understand better the words he used.

3) and 4) Technical. You are correct in saying that is the point of contention, the unanswered by many difference, the asked for differentiation.

So something that has never adequately been done you ask me to attempt. Actually I find that a great challenge, my world, for it is what I teach. I will look at the above reference first.

By the way there is nothing wrong with not being unique is true from one perspective but plenty wrong from another. Uniqueness is wholeness, we are all unique. As we lose some of ourself and adopt trying to be like someone else or other than ourselves then we become fragmented, incomplete, searching.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:36 AM   #10
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post

So something that has never adequately been done you ask me to attempt. Actually I find that a great challenge, my world, for it is what I teach. I will look at the above reference first.
Well, not you specifically, anybody who's willing is fine.

Off to Tokyo...

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-15-2012, 09:03 AM   #11
graham christian
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, not you specifically, anybody who's willing is fine.

Off to Tokyo...

Best,

Chris
Tokyo? Sounds nice. Have a nice trip.

Just looked and scanned briefly the reference and that is a physical comparison, that's fine and shows a few physical differences, that's fine also.

This validates the physical connection and similarity. That's about it. That will never lead to understanding the difference between the two arts. (I believe you know this already)

The start of the difference was Ueshiba's 'enlghtenment(s). Spiritual.

He then realized he could use the same vessel, in fact that the vessel itself was based on spiritual truths. Thus finding he only had to learn the spiritual truths for they would naturally be expressed through this physical form of techniques.

The spiritual being very certain in both purpose and principle would lead to modified technique, and most of all a completely different way of viewing. Thus he called it the true martial art for the views he expressed as truly martial would be hard for others to come to terms with or see any connection.

First a person would have to accept that spiritual is the base, the source, the true power that leads to understanding the uniqueness and difference.

After acceptance, only then can they allow themselves to look at the principles and how they apply. Thus find to their surprise that there are spiritual, technical, principles.

Those spiritual. technical, principles at last give life understanding and enlightenment to the uniqueness of Aikido.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:58 AM   #12
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Graham, I don't see how your understanding relates to historical facts?

And as someone who in all those years never was taught aikido as spiritual art I simply don't get your point. Loving peace and harmony, or, to use Brians word, being compassionate to me is not the same as spiritual. And, above all, is not unique to aikido.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
IMO, I see Aikido as just another offshoot of DR - the various organizations under the Aikido and DR umbrellas all have the same roots.
Yes, this is what I think: Just different members of the familiy. Different characters, different biographies. But relatives.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:14 PM   #13
graham christian
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Graham, I don't see how your understanding relates to historical facts?

And as someone who in all those years never was taught aikido as spiritual art I simply don't get your point. Loving peace and harmony, or, to use Brians word, being compassionate to me is not the same as spiritual. And, above all, is not unique to aikido.

Yes, this is what I think: Just different members of the familiy. Different characters, different biographies. But relatives.
They relate to spiritual historical facts.

If you haven't been taught then sure, thats all good. Hence your view on compassion.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:55 PM   #14
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Not sure about "2) Uke Has a Way Out". Saito sensei wrote; "Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true Ki form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the centre of opposition." and the latter "When let loose mercilessly, Aikido techniques do not allow Ukemi."

- Traditional Aikido Vol. 5
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39061921/M...-Works-Wonders

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Old 01-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #15
Alex Megann
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Not sure about "2) Uke Has a Way Out". Saito sensei wrote; "Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true Ki form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the centre of opposition." and the latter "When let loose mercilessly, Aikido techniques do not allow Ukemi."

- Traditional Aikido Vol. 5
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39061921/M...-Works-Wonders
Exactly. Anyone who took ukemi (in the strict sense of "receiving with the body") from Masatake Fujita Sensei will be very aware of this
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #16
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Depending on who you are learning Aikido from, you might find just as much techniques as in Daito-ryu. The main difference that I find in the number of techniques is that Aikido grouped a lot of the techniques under the same classification while Daito-ryu maintained a specific name for any deviation. So, you could see 10 techniques that would have 10 names in Daito-ryu while 1 name in Aikido.

I was watching a Shirata Sensei video that had names for a lot of techniques that I didn't know had names or had a specific name besides just kokyu.

Another difference is the minute details in which the defense is done. Daito-ryu puts a lot of pressure points into the techniques and subtle differences in the way to put a person down is to cause breaks, sprains, dislocations, etc... They have certain ways in which to raise your arm or hands so that you don't use a lot of muscle. I'm weak, so I need these subtle details to help my technique become smoother and easier.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #17
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Hi again,
So far, I'm hearing that other arts address the issues of compassion, unity, mercy, etc. Which is what I said, adding that Ueshiba actually tried to act on those high principles, with the implication being that this attitude imbued his art. Or at least tended to; this is a martial art, and I don't expect absolutes of sweetness. Likewise I wholly agree that, at anything like full force, Aikido does not take it easy on uke. But if we are talking differentiation here, then I think the answer has to do with how the founder's intention was manifested, to whatever degree. By contrast, Takeda studied esoteric Buddhism, but he also drew a knife on his son. These were two very different people, and their arts reflect that fact.
As for the number of techniques, I'm hoping someone will be dropping in to confirm or deny, but what I understand is that, while most Aikido correlate to Daito Ryu, the opposite is not true.
Finally, I am painting in broad strokes here; considering how close the roots are, and how much the styles of both vary, I don't expect to find much in the way of absolute distinction.

Regards,

Brion Toss
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:02 PM   #18
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Casual observation

Nothing much to add, but I remember going to a budo expo in Himeji and seeing Daito Ryu was on the list of demonstrations. I was really excited to see the mother art of Aikido. I was a little surprised at how it looked (to my very low-level eye) just like Aikido. I don't recall who was demonstrating, unfortunately.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:11 PM   #19
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
Stephen Miller wrote: View Post
There is no such thing as just AIKIDO any more, you cant just compare the name to Daito ryu, we all know there are many styles and flavours of Aikido, some Very Martial and others are just for exercise only. SO you have to say what style your comparing to...
Perhaps the same can be said for DR as well, though to an outsider it seems the process of transmission might see slightly less variation in the ryu and ryuha ?
Dan

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Old 01-15-2012, 10:23 PM   #20
graham christian
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Not sure about "2) Uke Has a Way Out". Saito sensei wrote; "Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true Ki form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the centre of opposition." and the latter "When let loose mercilessly, Aikido techniques do not allow Ukemi."

- Traditional Aikido Vol. 5
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39061921/M...-Works-Wonders
Circular movements, true Ki form, not allowing ukemi, all one and the same thing spiritually.

Consider this, rather than 'uke has a way out' but uke is always given a way out.

This doesn't mean escape, it means shown no escape and yet unharmed, defeated yet still whole, returned to humility.

The word 'fierce' above is a descriptive term for non resistive. The next descriptive term 'mercilessly' to me means merely without deviation or addition. Not allowing ukemi means to me not allowing the uke to choose which ukemi for the end result is already there.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:02 PM   #21
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Re: Casual observation

I think we went to that together - is that the time the firearms set off the sprinkler system.

Also not sure who demonstrated but the similarity between that and the Koryu Dai-san of Shodokan Aikido was striking.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Nothing much to add, but I remember going to a budo expo in Himeji and seeing Daito Ryu was on the list of demonstrations. I was really excited to see the mother art of Aikido. I was a little surprised at how it looked (to my very low-level eye) just like Aikido. I don't recall who was demonstrating, unfortunately.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:18 PM   #22
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Re: Casual observation

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
I think we went to that together - is that the time the firearms set off the sprinkler system.

Also not sure who demonstrated but the similarity between that and the Koryu Dai-san of Shodokan Aikido was striking.
That's the one! Black powder and indoor sprinklers don't mix well...although it did make for an exceptionally memorable event!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:25 PM   #23
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

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Brion Toss wrote: View Post
Hi again,
So far, I'm hearing that other arts address the issues of compassion, unity, mercy, etc. Which is what I said, adding that Ueshiba actually tried to act on those high principles, with the implication being that this attitude imbued his art. Or at least tended to; this is a martial art, and I don't expect absolutes of sweetness. Likewise I wholly agree that, at anything like full force, Aikido does not take it easy on uke. But if we are talking differentiation here, then I think the answer has to do with how the founder's intention was manifested, to whatever degree. By contrast, Takeda studied esoteric Buddhism, but he also drew a knife on his son. These were two very different people, and their arts reflect that fact.
As for the number of techniques, I'm hoping someone will be dropping in to confirm or deny, but what I understand is that, while most Aikido correlate to Daito Ryu, the opposite is not true.
Finally, I am painting in broad strokes here; considering how close the roots are, and how much the styles of both vary, I don't expect to find much in the way of absolute distinction.
There's no question that Takeda was rough on his son - on the other hand, I'm not sure that it's possible to judge a person of that period by the standards of this period, or even of Ueshiba's period and background. Still, can Takeda's parental style reeally be an argument for differentiation? Quite a few Aikido folks have horrible skeletons in their closets, yet are still respected teachers of the "Art of Peace".

Here's an interesting quote from...Sokaku Takeda:

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"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. However, it is taught only to respectable people. It's misuse would be frightening..."
So far on this thread I haven't seen much (any) evidence presented for a significant variation in core technical principles. Some people have brought up some points of variation, but I have to point out that Daito-ryu varies widely within itself, and the same is true for Aikido.

Then we have the spiritual angle. But then, there are many people who teach Aikido with a very limited spiritual overlay, just a general moral ethic, and they are considered, without argument, to be respected teachers of conventional Aikido.

So where do that leave us?

Best,

Chris

Best,

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Old 01-16-2012, 02:47 PM   #24
Allen Beebe
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

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Old 01-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #25
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Re: What Distinguishes Aikido from Daito Ryu?

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Brion Toss wrote: View Post

1) Fewer Techniques, More Structure
O Sensei, pruned Daito Ryu techniques way back; Aikido has only a fraction of the number that its parent art does. This makes great sense if what one wants to do is impart principles: you provide only as much detail as you need to in order show how the principles might manifest, but you concentrate on the foundations. I don't know if this is what Ueshiba had in mind, and there certainly are enough techniques to keep me dazzled for a few more decades, but there's little danger of getting lost in minutiae.
After studying other forms of Jujutsu and chin na, I started adding lot's of things to my Aikido. Things that I thought perhaps the founder overlooked. Then when I started seriously looking at Daito Ryu waza I realized that most of the techniques I was adding were in Daito Ryu. That made me ask the same question, why did he "prune back" the techniques. It was only after doing very heavy randori with multiple attackers that I found what I believe to be a reasonable answer- most of the techniques removed were not ideal for dealing with multiple attackers. I found this out the hard way, as when I did multiple attacker heavy randori I wasn't using many of these more involved techniques. Most of the techniques that were removed were to involved, and are only useful when facing one opponent at a time. I believe Ueshiba was streamlining Aikido for multiple attacker situations.

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2) Uke Has a Way Out
In brief first-hand experience, and from video's and other sources, it seems that Daito Ryu is all about crushing uke, which makes great sense martially, for why would you want to give your attacker a break? Ueshiba appears to answer that question by asking in turn, " Why hurt somebody if you don't need to?" Tactically, uke might be almost as likely to leave you alone after a survivable throw as after a nasty one. Strategically, uke's relatives and buddies might be less likely to come after you. And at least as important, I believe that human beings have a need, all-to-rarely-expressed, to be kind to one another. Aikido potentially, at least, gives us the opportunity, because its throws tend to allow for less torturous falls. Which brings us to
I also believe much of the leaving a "way out" for Uke comes from a multiple attacker context. Many of Aikido's techniques have a very powerful first blend, if done correctly there is nothing less crushing about Aikido's initial blends than those found in Daito. However, Aikido technique doesn't have the dominating, continuous control found in Daito Ryu. Again if one is always expecting multiple attackers, you don't have time to overly involve yourself with just one attacker. If your initial blend didn't stop them, and you are free to keep moving, then it's likely a good idea to move on. The set up's for more powerful/devastating throws often require you to more fully commit your body to one person. This takes time, and when you're facing multiple attackers you just don't have that time.

There is no doubt that Ueshiba was very interested in multiple attacker situations. For me, asking the question, "how useful is this technique in a multiple attacker situation" cleared up many of my earlier misconceptions about our syllabus.

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