Daito-ryu & Other Aiki Arts
Aikido is one of the most popular martial arts in the world with many styles now proliferating around the globe. On a personal level, Aikido was my first martial art and I still am very fond of Aikido. I have friends that practice Yushinkai, Yoshinkan and Aikikai Aikido and I like to keep in touch with these schools by practicing with these guys on occasion. Here is what Stanley Prannin of Aikido Journal has to say about the relationship between the development of Aikido and Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu:
Many who have practiced aikido for sometime are surprised to learn
that the basis for most modern aikido techniques is the jujutsu
forms of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu as disseminated by Sokaku Takeda in
the early twentieth century.
This fact was downplayed in early accounts of aikido history for a
variety of reasons, mostly having to do with the desire of
decision-makers of the headquarters organization to create an
“official history” of the art that bore its stamp of approval.
For this reason, aikido practitioners today will have an
eye-opening experience when seeing Daito-ryu techniques for the
first time. The powerful, precise nature of these earlier forms
will serve to remind aikidoka today of the martial origins of
Morihei Ueshiba’s art. This is an indisputable, though perhaps
inconvenient, historical fact.
I also have enjoyed a taste of Hapkiyusul and Hapkido which are also Aiki styles but are based in Korea not Japan. I am less interested in the debate about their origins than in the interpretation of waza that they have developed. There are some excellent practitioners of these arts who do their best to preserve the integrity of these styles whilst making them relevant to the modern world.
My martial arts focus is the Takumakai Daito-ryu path which resonates for me as a serious Koryu Daito-ryu school whilst also forming a bridge to Ueshiba’s modern Aikido. In Takumakai we are fortunate in that our founding teachers included both Takeda and Ueshiba. The Takumakai have also benefited from the teachings of Takeda Tokimune who was Takeda Sokaku’s son. Takeda Tokimune sensei trained some select Takumakai teachers who brought back the Shoden curriculum from Hokkaido to the Takumakai Dojos in Osaka.
I encourage and implore all students of Aiki or Hapki to find time in their busy schedules to build bridges and practice on occasion with other related schools. I think that it is useful for all of the Aiki styles to maintain good relations as we are all originally cut from the same branch. There is always something new to be learned, this is the nature of Aiki.