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Old 09-07-2017, 09:46 AM   #1
Dojo: Canberra
Location: Canberra
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 26
Daito Ryu and Aikido

Hi folks,

I was wondering, how different is Daito Ryu from Aikido? Is it true that Aikido is derived from Daito Ryu? Has anyone here trained in both, what are your thoughts? Thankyou.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:39 AM   #2
Dan Rubin
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 370
Re: Daito Ryu and Aikido

“Correlation of Aikido and Daito-Ryu Waza” by John Driscoll,
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:17 PM   #3
Dojo: Kitsap Aikido, Poulsbo, WA
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 29
Re: Daito Ryu and Aikido

From observations of Daito Ryu (I haven't yet had to opportunity to train in it), I get the impression that DR places even greater emphasis on atemi: in a waza we would call "ikkyo" in Aikido, where we would have probably have one atemi, at most, DR might have four. DR seems to be more okay with practicing on the "edge of danger", but some strains of Aikido do as well (e.g. Birankai of the late T.K. Chiba-shihan; certain of his direct students, especially).

Aikido also seems to have dropped quite a few of the jūjutsu techniques of DR (as compared to the aiki no jutsu techniques), I haven't really progressed far enough in Aikido to express very well, in words, what the difference is between the two is, but the difference is there, none the less.

Finally, while Daito Ryu does seem to have a "sword that gives life" philosophy, it also seems to better recognize that there could be instances where it is indeed necessary to take life, as evidenced that much of their waza retains simulations of a finishing/killing move.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:53 PM   #4
earnest aikidoka
Location: singapore
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 109
Re: Daito Ryu and Aikido

This could be explained if one compares Judo, Jujitsu, and Aikido.

Judo is the basis of combat. Which is technique, a sequence of movements which allows you to overcome an opponent under the circumstances prescribed. At this level, you have an arsenal of techniques which can all be rendered useless if your opponent has a technique of his own which overcomes yours.

Jujitsu is the refinement of combat. Understanding the effect of the technique, and causing the effect without the need for a specific technique in the first place. Aikijujitsu is at this level, where one uses Aiki to cause an effect that would normally require a specific to engender.

Aikido is the transcending of combat. Perceiving the energy that powers an attack, and affecting that energy, instead of the physical form through which energy flows. Techniques in Aikido are done, not with the purpose of honing the technique itself, but feeling and grasping the flow of energy that results from a successful throw. And from there, attacking that flow of energy in combat.

The difference between Aikijujitsu and Aikido is that Aikido is a difference in vision, even in levels of understanding. If I might be so bold.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:02 PM   #5
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,274
Re: Daito Ryu and Aikido

I've done ASU Aikido and spent some time training with the Kondos' mainline Daito ryu.

The fundamental difference is in how you train. Daito ryu is trained the same way a late Edo period jujutsu system was. It is kata based. You have a number of kata that you work on at any given time, generally completely restricted by your level. The kata are rich in technical details and reward repeated and diligent study, both in terms of what you understand and how your body functions unconsciously.

The kata are quite dangerous in the sense that if both partners are not fully paying attention or someone tries to go beyond their skill level too soon, serious injury could occur. Also, even when performed correctly with no risk of real injury, they can be very painful to receive.

When everyone comes to the dojo to work on their kata, and there is a very clear understanding in the dojo of what the kata is, formally, then training tends to take the form of students arriving, bowing in, and then spending the class time paired off, practicing their kata. The instructor's role is to facilitate this, perhaps by managing who is paired with whom, or perhaps by approaching pairs and offering correction if he sees something. There is a tradition, dating back to Takeda himself, of the senior instructors giving a lecture or seminar-style instruction by demonstration, which then became the regular class training model of Aikido.

After many hours of training, as the carefully-designed intricacies of the kata become second nature, the belief, per the classical Japanese martial training model, is that skills will be available if they are needed in a stressful situation.

In Aikido, there is a greater emphasis placed on spontaneity at a couple of different levels. Though some branches of Aikido are more kata-oriented than others, Aikikai style training involves dividing the training time into small blocks which begin with the instructor calling students to attention, calling up an uke, and demonstrating a technique, perhaps with some commentary. The technique that is demonstrated, in my training experience, has an element of improvisation to it. Students then pair off and attempt to do what they just saw, and the instructor goes around and clarifies what she was trying to get across if needed.

There are also things that are more like exercises that are trained - techniques that are not martial in nature but are devised to allow the students to explore some element of proper movement or perception. And there is the practice of randori which places the student into a very stressful situation which she must handle spontaneously.

That's basically the difference. Daito Ryu is conducted on an older model, which focuses entirely on kata training. Aikido involves kata training, but the kata themselves are a little bit different every time, and that is not the sole focus; the spontaneous expression of technique is really the most important thing.

I don't really think the technical comparison matters that much, since it kind of falls out of this contrast. In Daito Ryu you practice painful, dangerous stuff all the time, and you do so carefully and mindfully. In Aikido, since you are going to work to develop you ability to perform actions without pre-planning, the techniques must have a lower potential injuriousness/lethality. You can't just go breaking people's spines during regular training.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:30 AM   #6
Dojo: Canberra
Location: Canberra
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 26
Re: Daito Ryu and Aikido

Thankyou so much for the fantastic thoughts on this, I have truly learnt a lot.
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