Recommended reading: “Interview with Tokimune Takeda (3)” by Stanley Pranin

The interview below with Tokimune Takeda Sensei, son of Sokaku Takeda, 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 a student of Kenkichi Sakakibara and studied Jiki Shinkage-ryu. There was a person called Jirokichi Yamada who taught the sword at Hitotsubashi University. Sokaku was a fellow student of his. In those days there were scores of students in Sakakibara Sensei’s dojo. All of them had experienced brain concussions as a result of being struck on the head by their teacher’s sword. When he would thrust at them, they went flying.” I understand they scattered beans on the floor of the dojo and practiced there. Since they had very little to eat, they made thin rice gruel and ate it for breakfast. They sucked the gruel through a bamboo tube and that was all they had for breakfast. They were starving. Sokaku lived with these students as an uchideshi during such a period.

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