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Old 03-12-2013, 10:11 PM   #1
Chris Li
 
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Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

New blog post!

Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu - In-yo Aiki-ho, Kokyu-ho and Chousaku (Regulating the Breath)

Best,

Chris

Last edited by akiy : 03-13-2013 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Fixed typo

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Old 03-13-2013, 07:13 AM   #2
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Sensei would embrace anything with enthusiasm if he decided that it had martial benefits. Kiai-jutsu (気合術) and Saimin-jutsu ("hypnotism" / 催眠術) are good examples of this.
...
With regards to research into hypnotism, I heard Sagawa Sensei say, "I got to the point of being capable of instant hypnosis, but it's not as if it can be applied to anybody, and for instant hypnosis to work some preparation is necessary. Since it cannot be applied to a sudden attack I gave it up."
Interesting.

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Old 03-13-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Nice Chris, Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:16 AM   #4
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Thanks, as usual, for making these historic materials publicly accessible, Chris.

P.S. Is Sagawa Yoshiyuki the secret twin brother of Sagawa Yukiyoshi?

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 03-13-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
Marc Abrams
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Thanks, as usual, for making these historic materials publicly accessible, Chris.

P.S. Is Sagawa Yoshiyuki the secret twin brother of Sagawa Yukiyoshi?
I thought he was the subliminal brother from the invisible ninja Sagawa clan?

Marc
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #6
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Sagawa's "famous" comment about breath training being unnecessary and not useful, was very interesting to see and consider within the fuller context of his training and skill level.

The process of learning certain types breath-control is a tool in developing the ability to manipulate force inside the body, for outward expression as power. At first, as with any movement or action when one is just learning it, the breath is "big," audible and obvious; later, it becomes minute and quiet, but the power is there. At that point, it has become "natural" to the body, and a condition that one can hold without overt effort. Sagawa probably just stopped cognitively thinking about it altogether because there was a level of his consciousness that was quietly overseeing it. "Eh. It's no big deal..."

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 03-13-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
Chris Li
 
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Thanks, as usual, for making these historic materials publicly accessible, Chris.

P.S. Is Sagawa Yoshiyuki the secret twin brother of Sagawa Yukiyoshi?
I must have been reverse breathing - OK, fixed (I think, unless it was in other places too...).

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-13-2013, 10:23 AM   #8
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I must have been reverse breathing - OK, fixed (I think, unless it was in other places too...).

Best,

Chris
Just the title and the links. It's correct throughout the body of the text, as far as I could see. You're always such a thorough and careful translator that I couldn't resist noting that superficial little glitch!
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
Chris Li
 
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Just the title and the links. It's correct throughout the body of the text, as far as I could see. You're always such a thorough and careful translator that I couldn't resist noting that superficial little glitch!
I'm going to leave the link, since it's already out there. The problem with proof-reading your own stuff is that you make the same mistakes the second time!

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-13-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
Michael Douglas
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
...The problem with proof-reading your own stuff is that you make the same mistakes the second time! ...
Hell yeah. impossible.

Nice article, and interesting.
I used to train my deep breathing on the bus journey to the dojo when I was sixteen :
I'm absolutely sure it was of benefit, but how and why? Mystery.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:20 AM   #11
Cliff Judge
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Re: Sagawa Yoshiyuki, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Sagawa's "famous" comment about breath training being unnecessary and not useful, was very interesting to see and consider within the fuller context of his training and skill level.

The process of learning certain types breath-control is a tool in developing the ability to manipulate force inside the body, for outward expression as power. At first, as with any movement or action when one is just learning it, the breath is "big," audible and obvious; later, it becomes minute and quiet, but the power is there. At that point, it has become "natural" to the body, and a condition that one can hold without overt effort. Sagawa probably just stopped cognitively thinking about it altogether because there was a level of his consciousness that was quietly overseeing it. "Eh. It's no big deal..."
Yeah, this makes me wonder if a comment that I received from a high-level guy that "at first you need breath and intention to activate ki, then later you don't need the breath so much" has come down from Sagawa, or if it is more ambient than that.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #12
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Cliff,
I'm guessing that Sagawa got it from Sokaku Takeda, and that the concept and method itself initially came from China.One thing that breath is very useful for, in beginners, is as a vehicle for learning how to "drop" one's "innards" downward, a precursor for one kind of power production. After a while, once you gain awareness of what's moving inside, and how, you no longer need to use the breath as vehicle or guide; intent is sufficient to fire the internal movements to manipulate your "innards." That might have been one thing that Sagawa had in mind when he made his comment on breath work.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:05 AM   #13
Cliff Judge
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Cliff,
I'm guessing that Sagawa got it from Sokaku Takeda, and that the concept and method itself initially came from China.One thing that breath is very useful for, in beginners, is as a vehicle for learning how to "drop" one's "innards" downward, a precursor for one kind of power production. After a while, once you gain awareness of what's moving inside, and how, you no longer need to use the breath as vehicle or guide; intent is sufficient to fire the internal movements to manipulate your "innards." That might have been one thing that Sagawa had in mind when he made his comment on breath work.
Actually, it seems from the article here, that Sagawa spent extensive time exploring breath power, and at length determined, for himself, that it is optional. While I have no doubt that this originated as some Taoist practice in China, I wonder if this was actually an enunciated part of Takeda's system.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:32 PM   #14
Chris Li
 
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Actually, it seems from the article here, that Sagawa spent extensive time exploring breath power, and at length determined, for himself, that it is optional. While I have no doubt that this originated as some Taoist practice in China, I wonder if this was actually an enunciated part of Takeda's system.
I think that what Takahashi was trying to say was that it is not optional - until you reach a certain point, as Sagawa did. It makes sense, elementary school children learn certain drills - but that doesn't mean that they use those drills forever.

It's clear from what he was saying that it was an enunciated part of the system - note that it appears on the densho, and that he refers to a series of breath exercises taught systematically. Also, we know that other people who trained at Sagawa Dojo have brought back breathing exercises from Sagawa directly. And of course, there is Tokimune, who also spoke about and taught breathing exercises.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #15
Cliff Judge
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I think that what Takahashi was trying to say was that it is not optional - until you reach a certain point, as Sagawa did. It makes sense, elementary school children learn certain drills - but that doesn't mean that they use those drills forever.

It's clear from what he was saying that it was an enunciated part of the system - note that it appears on the densho, and that he refers to a series of breath exercises taught systematically. Also, we know that other people who trained at Sagawa Dojo have brought back breathing exercises from Sagawa directly. And of course, there is Tokimune, who also spoke about and taught breathing exercises.

Best,

Chris
I was referring more to the realization that using breath to activate ki is optional. It seems as though this is a realization that Sagawa arrived at himself.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #16
Chris Li
 
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I was referring more to the realization that using breath to activate ki is optional. It seems as though this is a realization that Sagawa arrived at himself.
Hmm, I'm not entirely clear on what you mean, but I don't think that an eventual evolution to natural breathing is all that unique - I've seen it in many places.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-17-2013, 04:00 PM   #17
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Attached is one of the ORIGINAL photos that accompanies the recent article (Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu - In-yo Aiki-ho, Kokyu-ho and Chousaku (Regulating the Breath) by Chris Li.

The photo is taken from the 1918 book entitled "Training in the Mind-Body Method" by Shunichi Ema, a longtime politician in Japan.

It seems that there were several Japanese books written regarding what I like to call "Martial health books" which would then be altered to "Martial Martial books" as the consumer market varied back and forth between longevity to combat effectiveness. This marketing technique also applied to western martial arts books in the United States.

The book by Ema shows a few exercises to enhance the "ki forging" through breath. There is a recent DVD available that shows these to enhance "Aiki" -- available thru www.budovideos.com.

Excluding the all white dapper outfit (which Tom Wolfe slavishly copies), the Ema book stresses health benefits. There are other ‘methods' at the beginning of the 1900's, some zen derived.

Takeda Sokaku would have been 59 years old when the Ema book came out, so I don't think he copied it.

It could very well be that Sagawa Yukiyoshi went looking to other sources to try and imitate / copy / perform / the remarkable things that Takeda Sokaku was able to do, much like Tohei did regarding Ueshiba.

For those that like translating things, it would be interesting to know what the original captions say.
More pics available if interest shown.

Scott Harrington
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #18
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Scott,
I get the sense that Sagawa didn't have to go looking outside of his training with Takeda, or worry about imitating or copying anything. He seems to have been confident that he was picking up skills quite handily; in fact, he claims to have "gotten" (if not mastered!) aiki-age at age 17.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:49 PM   #19
Scott Harrington
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Sagawa mentioned that he only saw two (2) training exercises by Takeda Sokaku, and even says he held back doing 'aiki' in front of him.

Now, later Sagawa made a point of telling Kimura (of Transparent Power) what Sokaku said about 'aiki.'

Was there ever a system to teach 'aiki'? What method did Takeda Sokaku learn by? Inquiring minds want to know.

Scott Harrington
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #20
Cliff Judge
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Re: Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu

Quote:
Scott Harrington wrote: View Post
Sagawa mentioned that he only saw two (2) training exercises by Takeda Sokaku, and even says he held back doing 'aiki' in front of him.

Now, later Sagawa made a point of telling Kimura (of Transparent Power) what Sokaku said about 'aiki.'

Was there ever a system to teach 'aiki'? What method did Takeda Sokaku learn by? Inquiring minds want to know.

Scott Harrington
What seems to be generally believed these days is that there was in fact a system for teaching aiki. But Takeda reserved teaching it to certain special students. Everyone else he just taught endless variations of mundane jujutsu technique. The special students included Ueshiba, Sagawa, and particularly Kodo, who was as vertically challenged as Takeda and a school teacher to boot. He taught these men the system for developing aiki when they spent time with him, studying in intense depth for relatively short periods of time. He admonished them not to give the secrets away lightly, particularly not to foreigners, because it was essentially very easy to pick up.

The secrets themselves came from either his father, or the man he was sent to live with, but as they were secrets no records exist of what they did or what it was before Takeda called it "Daito ryu."
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