Daito ryu has a Tai Chi lineage?


Master of Arts
May 19, 2010
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Under an Oaktree
Hi Jason,
Usually writers take two directions when writing something A.Informative or B.Persuasive. I

f I were writing a book on a subject that may be contradicting or controversial than I would need a plausible case with plausible evidence to support my book. Of course when someone posts on a public forum they have evidence to support their conculsion it is only natural for us all to ask for the evidence to see if it makes any sense.

Mr. Silver in one of my links proposed a plausible theory to how Taijiquan came to be with evidence that supports his theory at least enough to entertain the idea that maybe another family had a hand in its creation.

Credentials do carry weight in writing and publishing a book which is why on most martial art books the back lists the authors experience.
Many people turn to books as a source of authority because to be honest if you are writing a book on the subject your authority on that subject should be on an academic level of understanding of the material. I think connecting the Chinese idea of Qi and the Dantian with Ki and the Hara in the Chinese internal arts and the Japanese arts and using Qigong and Kokyu in Taijiquan and Aikido or Daito ryu might make your conclusion more sound.

However your posts and what little evidence you have presented is just not enough to draw a plausible conclusion to the theory you have present. It is the authors job to provide enough support in his or her arguement or thesis for the reader or audience. I really look forward to the book who knows maybe it will be your first draft and with some critques maybe your second edition could be one worth proud of. My English professor in college use to say"Don't worry about your first draft to much its going to be garbage anyway, its just there to get the kinks out"


White Belt
Jun 12, 2012
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I appreciate your comment and thoughtfulness. Thank you as well for your past comments and offer to help. I am not sure what the real issue is but it seems it resides with me. This is not the first time I have had these kinds of troubles and I can't really understand it. I have never tried to put myself above anyone or put anything anyone was doing down. I have only tried to be the best I could be and do my best for my family, friends and teachers, yet I seem to stir up strife and dislike for myself wherever I go.

I have not lied and I can't think of a reason why some people would think that I would not knowing me at all. I hold on to things I know to be true until someone proves to me that I am wrong - I have always considered this to be an act of integrity and honesty to the very things I say I believe. I am willing and ready to learn from anyone. My experiences have taught me that what is seen or even taught usually is different from what IS so I tend to look deeper for something else most of the time until I get it.

I have almost finished the book so I do intend on putting it out. Like most things I do I was always and still intend to offer it for free. I have put the ideas and the things I found looking for the source of Aiki in the book and they are just my ideas right or wrong. I don't nor do I intend to put out a scholarly effort to try and convince people of anything. My students and I are convinced and we will simply continue on the path we continue to find until we reach whatever destination we are headed to. It was not a mistake that I ended up training Roppokai - that too was a result from an effort that started in my childhood to find the source of Gozo Shioda's ability after reading my first martial arts book, Dynamic Aikido. Next that path led me to train "old frame" Chen Tai Chi. Now the path is leading me to Mt. Emei and who knows what.

I trained Roppokai as hard as I could for 13 years. I was honest and gave (money, time, effort, support). I did countless demos for free, taught for free, endlessly recruited and even paid for people to attend seminars. I drove to NY, and did everything I could to support Howard and the entire group. During the time between the NC Roppokai closing and starting back again I stayed in contact with Okamoto sensei. Okamoto sensei sent me books and videos to help me continue my training and I just simply repeated what I had learned over and over and have many pictures from those years of students practicing to prove it. When the group re-formed I supported it full steam. When I was asked to start over at white belt even though I had my certificates I did so. Three of my students even rose to the rank of shodan. Even after all this Howard and others ended up not liking me and more than that belittling me online. I can't honestly say nor understand why?

I have made great mistakes because I have made great strides (maybe not in view of others but great strides for a simply person like myself). I thought this thread and this community would be fun. I thought being honest and having ambition and perseverance would at the least be respected. The last time I was attacked because I supposedly didn't have the skills to teach MMA. I did everything I could to turn that around to no avail. I even went to a sparring session alone and met with people and rolled with them while having 1 crushed disc in my neck and another pushing into my spine. I even turned out a fighter who went undefeated to become a Heavyweight Champion in VA. Regardless I was made fun of and had even people like Howard saying my injuries were even fake. Now 2.5 years and spinal surgery later I thought I could start over. I changed a lot from that time and I learned a lot about myself.

It seems I still have much more to learn, however, I am starting to feel that maybe its just me that people don't care for and that is something I don't think I want to alter for other's approval.

When the book is done I will post a link here for people to freely download it (and mock it and laugh at me over it or whatever).

Thank you again to everyone.


Let me clarify a few things:

1) I do not hold a grudge.
2) I hope your injuries were fake. Being the proud owner of a titanium knee since 2008, I wish you only good health now and in the future.
3) When we last interacted, I had an issue with some ways you represented yourself in the past. I also had issues with the way you appeared to burn certain items in a symbolic ceremony.

If you say you learned some things and you are a different person, I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. You were, in my opinion, the victim of a few things:
a) you were involved with a group under Okamoto that self destructed
b) you were an early proponent of cross training, which has pros and cons - pro - great skills - con - not enough time in one area to get the full picture or rank
c) In my humble opinion, if you did speak with one of Okamoto's representatives, you were misled...intentionally or unintentionally

Bottom line, water under the bridge.

I had to leave Okamoto's organization...not because I didn't love Okamoto or his Daitoryu, but because his organization simply didn't fit my needs. I wasn't permitted to teach where I wanted or when I wanted and the organization couldn't send qualified instructors anymore.

So why am I telling you this....???

I am training....I am taking what I learned and continuing to explore the Datioryu as taught by Okamoto and will do so for the rest of my life.

I urge you to do the same.

Best wishes in your training.


PS -I think Daitoryu has many aspects that are similar, if not identical to Tai chi, wouldn't surprise me if there was a direct connection, I just don't know of any.

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Sep 21, 2005
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San Francisco
bit of a trainwreck here but I'll just throw out an example, something to consider...

My white crane Sifu told us that many years ago an acquaintance of his stopped by his office at work to chat with him. This person said that he thinks White Crane came from Taiji, and wanted to know what my Sifu thought about that. Sifu thought it was garbage, had never heard of that before, and told the guy as much.

Later, Sifu did train some Chen taiji for a while. He gained an understanding of how Taiji works, and he even saw some similar principles at work, tho the expression was different. He suddenly realized why his friend thought White Crane came from Taiji. There are similiarities.

That doesn't mean one came from the other. It only means that people figured out the same key elements and found a way to put those elements into action, within their respective systems. This kind of thing happens independently. Of course that doesn't rule out the possibility that someone in the past did get some influence from the other system, but there is no documentation of it, it cannot be proven and is mere speculation.

But other than that possibility, the history of our system is pretty well documented, and it is not a Taiji derivative.

This may also be the case between Daitoryu and Taiji.

Chris Parker

MT Mentor
Feb 18, 2008
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Melbourne, Australia
Right. We've moved locations, have we? Okay then...

Chris - the tone of this comes across as if Howard is confirming a truth opposite of the one I had already stated which you questioned and I don't appreciate it. I shared the truth with you earlier and you didn't like hearing it from me (which is ok - to each his own, remember that whole when the student is ready thing), however, Howard is only confirming everything I said except for 1 minor detail and then we have 1 disagreement.

Let's take a look for the record;

Not necessarily opposite, but far more congruent with what I've heard from other sources as well. Now, whether you appreciate it or not, the story you have put forth has raised a large number of questions, and that is what I was seeing answered, or at least, presented congruently to other versions.

1) Mr. Brinn was never my student

I said this earlier Chris and you acted like it didn't make sense and proceeded to tell me how that seemed false. I reassured you that this was the truth but you didn't seem to believe me then. This statement by me was NEVER an attack on Howard, only the truth. I consider Howard a great teacher and even considered moving to New York to live to train with him in Daito ryu. The fact is I wanted to make the statement to assure everyone that my beliefs and ability are not a result of Howard thats all.

Well, as you said, "let's take a look for the record". You never stated a name. You mentioned "other people", "former seniors", a "former leader of the Roppokai NC group" and so on, but never a name. In fact, I was the first to bring up Howards name here... as the leader of the NY group, not the NC group. That was Dean Stewart.

What I said didn't make sense was you saying that you trained for 13 years with Okamoto, when obviously you were part of this other group (under Dean Stewart), as well as the issue of you receiving Shodan twice (although you then said that you were "nearing Shodan" the first time, and were actually a brown belt...), and so on.

2) Mr. Brinn was never my Sempai - He first met Okamoto in April of 1997, I began training with Okamoto in February of 1997

Here is where I was wrong. I never knew that Howard started training 3 months before me in Roppokai. This however is still a matter of "grey" which I don't think is that important to get into the details of though. I understood that Howard had years of Kodokai training before coming to the Roppokai so the point is more or less mute when it comes to exposure in Howards favor. I was, in any case, training Roppokai techniques with the instructor in Huntersville at least 5 months prior to April back in November of 1996. The April date is when Okamoto sensei himself gave me my first direct instruction so either way you want to look at it.

"Moot", not "mute". As for the rest, that's really neither here nor there... but you have nicely demonstrated that seminars under Okamoto are not the exclusive method of training... after all, you now say you were training for five months before hand.

3) Mr. Brinn is correct, I never taught him anything of martial value

Again, I meant NO attack on Howard with this statement. I feel that this is my loss as I believe Howard has a ton of martial value to share - only that I never got any real opportunity to train it. He did show me a very cool variation on a "bow and arrow" choke once but it wasn't like he really trained me in it. Howard helped me correct my Roppokai techniques and he was my senior and those two points I have always supported and have always and will always be grateful for.

See, again, I thought you were talking about Dean Stewart there...

4) Mr. Brinn did not train with Okamoto for 13 years.

This is the one point Howard is wrong about, however, it is a matter of opinion and one that I simply don't care to go into.

Personally, I think you're choosing a phrasing that could be considered misleading by saying you trained with Okamoto for 13 years. That implies, as Elder was referring to earlier, constant contact (weekly, if not more often) with him. For example, I trained for over 12 years with my instructor, and took over for the school as instructor a number of years ago... and I've been training in my organisation for nearly 20 years, under my Chief Instructor. But I wouldn't say I've been training for 19 years with my Chief Instructor, because I haven't.

5) Mr. Brinn was told by Okamoto to keep training, that is not an acknowledgement of rank, knowledge, responsibility, or authority.

Howard doesn't actually know himself what Okamoto sensei or the members of the Roppokai board or senior members in Roppokai told me, he only knows what he was told happened years later. The fact is I have never acted or represented myself as an authority on Roppokai. Okamoto sensei has acknowledged my rank, knowledge and has charged me responsible of different things throughout my history with him. I never formed an official "club" myself as it never seemed to be anything that was essential to do. I wanted to learn Roppokai and Okamoto sensei provided a way for me to do that when he himself was unavailable - it wasn't him which was a shame but he never stopped being my teacher nor trying to help me progress.

You don't speak or read Japanese, but the senior members and board of the Roppokai were telling you, as a brown belt, to be the leader of the training group, because you had superior knowledge? Can you see how this is a little difficult to swallow without anything backing it up? Especially when the reports that came out had all brown belts and above in the Roppokai NC group being asked to take over the running of the group, so they would probably have similar communication to the type you received? They just might not have read so much into it...

6) When asked about the history of Daitoryu, Okamoto was very candid...."I don't know, it was before my time" was a common quote.

I have NEVER said Okamoto sensei told me any history either - the FACT is that I stated earlier in this thread that the theories were my own and NOT Okamoto sensei's or anyone else in the Roppokai.

Uh, yeah... got that. First you danced around, and said "The answer .... is in the book!", before finally saying that this idea didn't come from him. Which has left the still unanswered question of why you feel that you're in a better place to comment on the history, if you trained for 13 years with Okamoto, he was the only one teaching you, and you don't speak or read the language...

Mr. Brinn and I do not like each other, so please don't take my word for it. If you need confirmation of any of these facts, please contact an authorized member of Roppokai. I am no longer a member, although I do accasionally speak directly to Okamoto Sensei.

I don't like Howard Popkin, but I do respect his ability even if I don't respect how he as chosen to act towards me or others I know. I didn't care for Howard's leadership, not saying that he is not or was not a good leader its just he is not one that I care to be under. Howard and I have a fundamental difference in LIFE approach, and more acutely "end of life" approach. Howard for whatever reason has been very angry with me in the past and attacked me and this is something I did not nor do not appreciate.

I do, however, appreciate him taking the time to come onto this board and re-iterate most of what I had already said. I also appreciate him the manner by which he did it.

As others have said I too think highly of Howard's ability and often, to this very day, encourage people seeking to FEEL Roppokai or Aiki to seek him out for instruction.

Who likes each other and who doesn't isn't really anything that has much relevance, honestly. Who was in a position to get what information, on the other hand, is.

Now Chris, I never understood nor understand why when people disagree with something someone says or they don't like what it may mean for them that they feel the need to attack that person's character, even if just slightly. No one on this bord KNOWS me nor my ability and training background (except in segments) including Howard so why not take the time to get to know me and my background through time and posts and until then focus on my ideas not me. Can't you just say that you don't agree there could be a linkage and leave it at that?

Before I deal with the main thrust of this part, can I just ask again, "linkage"? Are you sure that's the word you want to use? Particularly if you're trying your hand at being an author...

But back to it. I haven't attacked your character, Jason. I've questioned where you got your ideas from, what support you have for it, and so on. And so far you have been far from forthcoming with such answers. But can I ask what you think we were trying to do by asking for clarification of your background, in not "taking the time to get to know you and your background"?

The only comments on your character have been from others, I might add, and they are more to do with the way you have dodged answering anything, refused to provide any backup to your claims, ignored arguments put forth by other members (who were using established history to counter your idea), and so on. If you're unsure about why you're being addressed the way you are, look to the way you've conducted yourself.

Paul - being curious to hear opinions/stories/comments is a world apart form having to PROVE your own training history for people just because they don't link your idea. Chris and others seem bent that a new idea can only come from a place they know and understand - not true. Its cool to say I don't think your idea is valid because xyz but to say I don't hink your idea is good because I think you suck is juvenile.

You presented the idea. You were immediately met by posts that demonstrated what was thought of that idea on face value (ie not very much). Those of us that were being more constructive about it wanted to know why you thought this. And yes, you were presenting it, not as a question of possibility, but as something that you were stating was fact, so we wanted to know what evidence you had. You might have only thought you were asking for opinions, but what you were asking for opinions on invites the questioning.

And, once more, we weren't saying that your idea isn't good because you suck (at martial arts), we were saying that there is no support for your idea that has been presented, and there are questions as to how you would be able to have access to the types of research materials needed to come up with, and support, such a claim. In fact, I don't think anyone here has even implied what type of martial artist you are, except for you. My comments on your relative rank is based in knowing the structure of Koryu (and Koryu-like... I really don't believe that Daito Ryu is Koryu) systems, where you don't get access to certain information until you are at a certain level. Not that you weren't good, just that you hadn't reached a level where such things would be there for you to access.

Oh I see. That is fair and a true hurdle for my research. However, I feel that with good help and available historical records that I should be able to learn something about all of this without knowing the language. Don't most people learn martial arts without knowing the language of the country from which it originates? The Bible was also written partly in Hebrew and many preachers don't know Hebrew yet they are agreed in studies with the ones that do.

You can study the martial arts (the physical methods) without knowing the language, but if you're researching the history, particularly combined with the histories of other arts, other cultures, other countries, over a long period of time, you're going to need to look to the contemporary texts, should they exist, in which case, yes, you need to know the language. The Biblical scholarly argument is really not the same thing, you know. But, for the record, serious biblical scholars (which is really where you are placing yourself here, not the local priest reading from the Bible on a Sunday morning service) do study the relevant languages, cultures, contexts, and more. Additionally, those more "lay" preachers who are in agreement with the more scholarly researchers really doesn't mean anything here, as you'd find that they are coming to the same agreement more out of the way they were taught, rather than by independent research.

Serving in the military I was asked to comment on many things that I was not culturally an expert of after given time to conduct research and I had good results there - I guess that along with the fact that MANY people author books on subjects about cultures where they don't speak the language and seem to get acclaim has led me to believe that it is not impossible to do so.

I do appreciate your comment and belief though - it is something I would correct if only time allowed.

Relying on other peoples research is not the same thing as coming up with your own. And I'm really doubting you have much clue as to what the people who author books on other cultures have behind them... I'd be interested in some examples, if you would.

The Daito ryu art has a long Japanese tradition that is provable from Yoshimitsu and even before. Daito ryu gained a close relationship with the Rinzai school of Zen during a critical time in its development. It is my assertion that the Chan-Zen connections afforded the transfer of exercises and techniques that led to the "creation" of the aiki introduction into the art and the subsequent "aiki no jutsu" kata. I believe that the origin of aiki and the Chen family's chan su jing is one in the same and therefore share MANY similarities (which did not ever appear before these connections). I believe that these connections for both aiki and chan su jing all come from Mt. Emei and the taoist traditions rooted there. I believe that after the longest period of instruction time by almost any student of Takeda's that Ueshiba made plans to go to China and study Bagua following the same lines that I have in reaching my belief.

See, now, here's a big part of why I find this so hard to swallow. If the Daito Ryu's claimed history is provable, prove it. No-one has so far. Takeda Sokaku didn't, his son Takeda Tokimune has stated that he believes it to be as old as he was taught, but so far no-one has been able to demonstrate anything that proves that the art pre-dates Takeda Sokaku. No-one. But you, as a junior member of a split off group, and no longer even a member of that, not speaking or reading the language, who got the majority of your training at seminars, can prove it? Really?

Go on, then. Put the doubters of Daito Ryu's Koryu status to rest.


White Belt
Jun 12, 2012
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Ha, cool, you get the credit, Elder!

Seriously, even Okamoto, while reading my hiden mokuroku(which contains the supposed lineage) showed many multi generational gaps in the lineage.

It is possible that yoshimitsu was credited with something familial, but I have no evidence that Daitoryu predates Takeda, even with the lineage in my hand.

On the other hand, who cares, it is some serious stuff in the hands of a qualified practitioner.

Take care,