Takemusu Aikido

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by mdavidg, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. mdavidg

    mdavidg Yellow Belt

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    Does anyone in here study this style? I believe that was the old, Iwama Ryu style, right? From what I have read it was the original style taught by O'Sensei before all the flash, right? I ask because in my search to find a good martial art dojo or school I stumbled upon a place that I am intrigued with. They teach Takemusu Aikido, Danzan Ryu Jiujitsu, and a few other styles. It seems this style of Aikido has a balanced approach to weapons. Is there anyone in the group that can elaborate on this Aikido?
     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Define "balanced approach to weapons"…
     
  3. mdavidg

    mdavidg Yellow Belt

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    Chris, I'm just quoting from what I read on their site. If I had to guess then I was say that there is an equal balance placed on weapons training as well. It is my understanding that the earlier style of Aikido was still heavily influenced by Jiujitsu so more weapons were used. As Aikido evolved, more emphasis was placed on training the body and mind and little training was placed on weapons training. Of course I'm not an expert so if anyone wishes to correct me they should feel free. I'm just trying to understand what this style of Aikido has to offer.

    I found this article online and it gives a better description.

    What is Takemusu Aikido
     
  4. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay. Takemusu Aikido is an alternate name for Iwama Ryu Aikido, which refers to the way that Ueshiba Sensei was teaching his Aikido for the last decade of his life (in Iwama, after WWII). As a result, it's not the "old style" so much… but the later, refined approach. In fact, even the mainline Aikikai variant, headed by Ueshiba's descendants (Kisshomaru, and currently Moriteru Sensei) dates from a bit before this approach.

    Iwama Ryu has a few defining characteristics, but the bukijutsu (weaponry methods) is probably one of the most notable. The most senior student under Ueshiba Sensei in Iwama, as well as the most consistent over that period, was Morihiro Saito, who was instrumental in helping to refine and develop the weaponry methods of the art, specifically Aiki-jo and Aiki-ken, based in no small part on his exposure to Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Kenjutsu. That said, when compared with other classical systems of Japanese weaponry, the approach used and found in Aikido, including Iwama Ryu, is somewhat… different. Realistically, in Aikido, the weapons aren't really that representative of actual weapon usage, so much as a way of expressing and emphasising the Aiki principles of O'Sensei's art.

    So, it more "balanced"? From my perspective, no, not really. There's a larger weaponry contingent to the system than in other Aikido variants, sure… but that's about as far as I'd go.
     
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  5. Felix Galt

    Felix Galt White Belt

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    Yes, in Iwama Aikido taijutsu, ken and jo are three inter-related integral components.

    There is a view on the web that the Iwama style is the real style of the founder. But it's important to keep in mind that O Sensei travelled around a lot and lived with a few close students such as Hikitsuchi Sensei in Kumano, Sunadomari Sensei and Abe Sensei. He left different teachings with each of them!

    Another verdict that the web has passed on the founder's weapons systems is that they are deficient or "not martial" or something.

    I can tell you from experience, to take the example of Ken, that if you have studied what was left with Saito, Abe, Hikitsuchi and Sunadomari Senseis, the system 'clicks' into place. ;-)
     
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  6. slink

    slink White Belt

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    Saito Sensei, the founder of Iwama Ryu, studied with O'Sensei longer than anyone else and I believe that is one of the reasons that practitioners of this style claim that it is the "real style". Another reason is Saito Sensei's desire to pass along only what he was shown with no modifications.

    Is it a good martial art? As with so many things your mileage may vary. Your average Takemusu school is likely going to focus more on the martial aspect of things than your average Aikikai school will. This is of course a generalization and there will be exceptions. Good positioning, taking your opponent's balance before attempting a lock or throw, using a strike to set up a technique, are all things you'll likely encounter. This is not to say that you're guaranteed good instruction however. I trained this style for a while and stopped because it was painfully obvious that while the teacher knew the material he could not pass this knowledge onto me or anyone else in the group. I also saw him "stab" himself with the wooden knife during a class. This wasn't a freak accident. It was nothing other than poor technique.

    I'm not sure how you would define balanced approach to weaponry. I wouldn't say that it is more balanced than other schools. I would instead say that it's more weapon focused. In my experience Takemusu schools train the aiki weapons more often than other schools do.
     
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  7. RowdyAz

    RowdyAz Orange Belt

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    When someone says balanced that is another way of saying even. I hope this has helped you a bit.
     
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  8. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    If an approach to weapons is described as "balanced" or as you have said "even" do you think there is a way to elaborate or clarify either of those terms in context such that a layperson would get what they mean? Aikido is frequently difficult to portray to those for whom it is not their lifelong art.. what are your thoughts?
     
  9. Aikidoc

    Aikidoc White Belt

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    It is not a view on the web it is based on historical recerences.
    And keep in mind that there is a lot of mystical aspects that becomes lost if not inserted into this triangular aspect of riai - Triangle - Circle - Square is very simple if connected to kannagara no michi.
     
  10. Felix Galt

    Felix Galt White Belt

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    Students of Saito Sensei are not the only people to claim that their's is the true art left behind by The Founder. Did Saito Sensei also get the Masakatsu Bojutsu no Maki that Hikitsuchi Sensei got? If not, ask yourself why not?
     
  11. Aikidoc

    Aikidoc White Belt

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    Did the Masakatsu Bo is connected to the other system like aikijo and aikiken? No. Is the Masakatsu Bojutsu for sure a Ueshiba creation or simply the maki (which origins are quite debated) is a validation for a good Bo practice of Hikitsuchi Michio? The Maki states that Hikitsuchi Michio has the right to include the practice of bo, from his martial background, in his aikido by OSensei. That is not a creation of ueshiba but a validation for a creation of Hikitsuchi Michio. Can you understand the difference?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  12. Aikidoc

    Aikidoc White Belt

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    Hikitsuchi Michio
     
  13. Felix Galt

    Felix Galt White Belt

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    Hikitsuchi Sensei began training with the Founder as a teenager. He had no other training in martial arts and never studied anything other than what the Founder taught him.

    The Masakatsu Bojutsu scroll is an e-maki which the Founder commissioned a famous artist to draw. He explained to Hikitsuchi Sensei that the drawings are very important. This scroll was awarded because Hikitsuchi Sensei was very skilled and emotionally very close to the Founder. Along with Abe Sensei and Sunadomari Sensei, he was one of the Founder's closest students. Emotionaly closer than Saito Sensei.

    You cannot accept this because you are an Iwama partisan. Transcend this attitude and things like the Masakatsu Bojutsu scroll become very interesting!
     

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