Recommended reading: “History of Daito-ryu” by Tokimune Takeda Sensei

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

Sokaku Takeda was born in the Takeda residence in Aizu Oike in Oisenomiya on October 10, 1860 as the second son of Sokichi. Sokaku is said to have learned arts such as Kenjutsu, Sojutsu, Sumo and Daito-ryu from his father. He learned Onoha Itto-ryu from Toma Shibuya, head of the volunteer army of the Aizu Clan. In 1873, he visited Kenkichi Sakakibara together with his father who was a friend of the elder Takeda. He learned the secret techniques of Jiki Shinkage-ryu from Kenkichi as his uchideshi. He had matches with various martial arts masters from different schools in the Sakakibara Dojo. He devoted himself to all of the military arts (the so-called bugei juu happan which included training in sword, staff, spear, bow, short staff, etc.) and attained proficiency. He travelled all over Japan visiting many schools and engaging in matches. In 1875, when he was 15 years old, Sokaku became an apprentice priest to Ginshin Hoshina (formerly Saigo Tanomo), who had become the head priest of a shrine, and learned Daito-ryu Oshikiuchi from the latter.

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