Aug
01

“Common Misconceptions about Aikido History,” by Stanley Pranin

morihei-ueshiba-portrait-575

Have you heard or read any of these?

I began the publication of Aiki News in 1974 centered on translations of a series of Japanese newspaper articles on Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. From this modest beginning, I gradually came to realize that many of the notions about aikido history I began with ran contrary to actual fact.

Over the years, I have endeavored to correct what I regard as erroneous information through editorials and essays published in Aikido Journal. Rather than offer undocumented opinions, I have attempted to clearly state my sources of information and the reasons for reaching such conclusions.

Many of the common mistakes made by historians have been perpetuated in print for decades. Unfortunately, they are here to stay. This is especially true for works written in Western languages which, in almost all cases, draw on secondary sources. Although Aikido Journal has a broad readership built up over 37 years of publication, we do not represent the mainstream of thought in the aikido world on historical matters.

Below I have listed a number of oft-repeated viewpoints on historical issues relating to aikido that one frequently encounters in mainstream publications. Have a careful look at these statements purported to be historical fact and see if you have encountered any of them.

1. Morihei Ueshiba’s father, Yoroku, was a wealthy farmer and councilman in Tanabe, Morihei’s birthplace. He funded Morihei’s activities as a young man. Moreover, he lent large somes of money to Tanabe families who joined Morihei on his move to the wilderness of Hokkaido. He also provided the financing of the considerable sums paid to Sokaku Takeda for Morihei’s instruction in Daito-ryu jujutsu.

2. Morihei Ueshiba learned only a short time under Sokaku Takeda. Daito-ryu was one of several old-style martial arts that influenced aikido. Morihei drew from several technical sources when creating aikido, not mainly Daito-ryu.

3. Morihei was not a regular member of the Omoto Sect, but rather a personal follower of Onisaburo Deguchi.

4. Morihei’s son, Kisshomaru, was groomed to succeed his father from childhood.

5. Morihei Ueshiba took an active role in the postwar dissemination of aikido.

6. Postwar aikido instructors studied directly under Morihei Ueshiba for lengthy periods in the 1950s and 60s.

7. Historically speaking, aikido forms are based on taijutsu or empty-handed techniques. The study of weapons is optional, and an adjunct to empty-handed training.

Please weigh in with your opinions on these viewpoints. Have you come across any of these in your readings? In what context? Add you comments, please. We have many smart and articulate readers here, and I would love to hear your viewpoints.

After we have heard from you, I will write a follow-up article to explain what I have found to be historical fact on these subjects. I will point to my sources and how I arrived at my viewpoints.

Over to you!

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Comments

  1. I don’t know some points before, but I’ll speak my mind for some points that I have known.

    1st point: I’ve heard that Sokaku Takeda sometimes come to Morihei Ueshiba when he needs money. I’ve read this from Shin’ei Taido history on some sites.

    4th point: Some people said that Kisshomaru Ueshiba doesn’t interested to Aikido when childhood.

    7th point: For me weapons is not a “tools”, but an extension of our body.

    Sorry for my bad English.

    Thank you for reading my comment.
    Regards,

    Aria.

  2. Gabriel Goh says:

    “– Historically speaking, aikido forms are based on taijutsu or empty-handed techniques. The study of weapons is optional, and an adjunct to empty-handed training.”

    As quoted above, in my opinion is not very correct. Aikido training started with the sword thus the reasons that the empty handed techniques had very close relations to sword movements. I have come across a website (http://martial.com.au/info_pages.php/pages_id/29) that goes more into this although parts of it has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Maybe the common misconception for this is that as many of us lack the time and the commitment to grasp the inner teachings of the heart. That’s likely why O Sensei never taught much weaponry in Hombu Dojo. City dweller simply had no time to devote themselves to what is perhaps not applicable to the modern era.

    My humble opinions and 2cents worth.

    • Sam says:

      Several of these I have come across and a few I would take issue with (based only on my understanding, which is in part informed by your own work Stanley).

      Point 1: I have heard this reported many times and have never heard anything to the contrary.

      Point 3: I would have thought Morihei was indeed an active member of the Omoto society as I understand he was among the party of them sent to Mongolia to establish a utopia of sorts where upon he and the other followers were captured and help prisoner until the Japanese embassy released them.

      Points 5 & 6: It’s been my understanding, informed by writings at Aikido Journal that Morihei had little to do with the spread of Aikido post-war as he had by this time retired to Iwama and spent most of his time training and working on his farm land. This would also mean that very few post-war Aikido instructors would have studied personally with him for any length of time, with the exception of those lucky enough to be Uchideshi to him at Iwama during this time.

      Sam

  3. I’m not sure I’ve understand but you’re saying that these points are incorrect, correct?

    I’d say that Aria Enggar is correct on the 4th.

    I’d say the 5th point is incorrect since rather that was Kisshomaru’s endeavour and also because O’Sensei just once in a while would visit the Aikikai Hombu and his presence was even somehow unwelcomed, from what I’ve read recently on one of your articles, I believe, and that actually makes sense to me.

    As far as point 6 is concerned I wouldn’t say they studied for “lengthy” periods. Maybe the opposite ;) But that maybe depends on what is lenghty for me or other person.

    Point 7 I really do not know if the sentence historically is correct or not, but since I know you defend an aikido with weapons, I guess that maybe a tip for you to pick it up and say that yes, weapons are really an important aspect on aiki training (or it was).

    Well… my 2 cents :)
    Cheers

  4. mikel says:

    Wow!
    Now I’m a bit confused.

    My main sources are my sensei and your interview-books/docuvideos.

    As I understood:

    1st point (wealthy father financing him): Absolutely agreed. I understood that until the postwar period (there O’Sensei got a number of “promoters”) his father and his uncle (Noriaki Inoue’s father) financed his practice. O’Sensei never had a “proper” job except for the “colonization adventure” and neither had lots of students, so the had to come from somewhere.

    2nd point (influences of aikido): My personal conclusion was that O’Sensei studied many arts for very brief but intense periods of time, but Daito-ryu is the one he most studied. In fact, it seems like he took daito-ryu and he kind of evolved/adapted it. Of course, there no video of Sokaku Takeda, and I suspect that Daito-ryu itself got influenced by Aikido, but couldn’t we say that Aikido’s main technical influence was Daito-ryu?

    3rd point (Onisaburo Deguchi’s follower): That’s what I understood.

    4rd point (Kisshomaru Ueshiba as sucesor): I thought that Kisshomaru wasn’t that fond of Aikido when he was a child, but of course, his father was a great artist and he had to follow his way (keep on with the familiar bussiness). But, I thought that O’Sensei asked Minoru Mochizuki to be his successor (because of his technical expertise), Mochizuki Sensei refused, and then there wasn’t any clear successor. So, the wise way to go was to name Kisshomaru as successor, and let the other “candidates” be the “great senseis” in Aikikai itself.

    5th point (O’Sensei as disseminator): At the time he was still young, he was the “great great sensei” to follow. I understood that he did participate in the dissemination of Aikido for the first years, just because he was kind of “carried on”. Very influencing people asked him to teach here and there, he was young and strong… he just “happened” to disseminate Aikido. But the impression I got (not based in any particular source) is that O’Sensei didn’t care that much about disseminating Aikido, getting lots of followers, money, or anything like that; his main concerns were his spiritual and technical development. Did it jump to some “stereotypical” conclusion?

    6th point (lenghtly period students): I thought that postwar students in the 50′s and 60′s learned directly under O’Senseis instruction for about 4 or 5 years top, often instructed by other students (O’Sensei couldn’t always be there, or had other things to do). Is 4-5 years considered a long period of time of instruction?

    7th point (empty-handed or weapon): From your books I understood that weapons are part of the Aikido training, but not part of the basic Aikido training.; one had to be quite proficient in empty-handed techniques before even thinking of touching a bokken. From videos, historical context and my sensei I understood that O’Sensei himself practiced with lots of weapons (he never had instruction, but he used them), and that Daito-ryu techniques (and for extension, Aikido techniques also) had to work with/against weapons; even thought weapons where banned in Japan, Sokaku Takeda himself carried a metallic fan, for example. I also happen to feel like we just follow the same principles when practicing with or without a weapon, and Kendo practicing people seems to follow quite a lot of similar principles (in a sporting way, of course). Also, videos from Shoji Nishio seems to clearly display the paralelism in empty-handed practice and practice with a weapon.

    As I said, these points you brought up confused me. I’m starting to think that you wrote some true and some false facts to test us, to see if we were paying attention…
    I’ll keep track of this post and eagerly wait for you answer.

    I hope I didn’t bore you.
    I tend to write quite long sentences with lots of subordinated frases and bracketed comments, but I just can’t help it.

    Thanks a lot for sharing with us.
    Regards,

    Mikel.

  5. Roberto says:

    Hi Stan!

    For me points 2. – 7. are clearly incorrect and your research clearly shows that these statements cannot be supported.

    But I have a question about the 1st statement. In your interview with N. Inoue (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=373&highlight=Inoue), he clearly states that his and Morihei’s father sent a considerable sum to Takeda. But since you listed that as your 1st point, I conclude that you have found out that this is not really the case. However, I don’t remember reading so much about this issue. Can you give some more detail about that?

    Thanks!
    Roberto.

  6. Dan Dease says:

    6. Postwar aikido instructors studied directly under Morihei Ueshiba for lengthy periods in the 1950s and 60s.

    Most of the “major” aikido associations in the States have shihan from Japan that claim they ‘were the last true uchi deshi of the Founder.” You, Stan, have provided us over the years the factual information that the Founder retired to Iwama in the early 1940′s, prior to the second world war. You have also reported that the Founder visited Tokyo quite infrequently. Therefore, if we put two and two together, how is it that there are so many shihan that were Osensei’s “personal” disciples?

    Perhaps it lies in the Japanese sempai-kohai mentality that helps to establish authority and seniority? Perhaps it simply reads better on the “History” page of a website? In either case, I appreciate your diligence, hard work, and willingness to report aikido history accurately.

    I will conclude with the point that it matters less who studied longer with the Founder, or even “who’s” aikido we are practicing today in our dojos. What matters is that the Founder’s example, be it directly or otherwise, set the founding principles of the art. And as aikido continues to grow, and its history better revealed to us, it is clear that the art has diversified immensely and it has impacted many peoples lives positively. In this sense, the Founder would be proud.

    Sincerely,

    Dan Dease
    cfaikido.com

  7. Robert Norris says:

    I think point 7 is the most damaging one, because I know there are those who refuse to allow students anywhere near a weapon before they reach shodan. This robs them of a vital opportuntiy to train their balance, centre and (mind-body) integrity, as well as to understand that bukiwaza and taijitusu are one integrated system, in other words that you don’t get one without the other.

    The other point I would make is that it would seem clear that Sokaku Takeda had a very significant influence on the younger Morihei indeed. How could it be otherwise when two of the greatest martial artists of modern times met and trained together so intensively?

    Lastly, I would be interested in gaining a clearer picture of the Tanabe community and the life of its inhabitants at the end of the 19th c., to understand exactly what Morihei represented and who his father and mother actually were. What is the importance of the fact that the Ueshibas were samurai? How high up (or down) the scale were they? Is it possible to read an old Japanese class-distinction into the differences between aikido and, say, karate (e.g. in the fact that karate uses its feet)?

    And, to link this to the first point raised by Stanley above, what are we to make of the fact that Morihei had the financial backing of his father? That aikido is less ‘cool’ as a result?

    • mikel says:

      I never heard anything about Ueshibas being samurai.
      Wasn’t O’Sensei’s father a wealthy landlord, and wasn’t Noriaki Inoue’s father a wealthy merchant (wool, cotton, or something similar)?
      Anyway, I wouldn’t take that as bad neither good thing. It just makes me think that he devoted all his life to martial arts, meditation, etc.
      That’s why I mentioned that I imagined him not worrying about anything else than his art and a few more things; he didn’t have to; lucky for us.

    • mikel says:

      Oh, I forgot.

      I’m quite a newcomer (not 3 full years yet), but I like practicing with weapons. Nothing fancy, just basic technique; I prefer the absorption, accuracy, harmony part more than the “clashing part”.
      I’m lucky that my sensei also practiced Kendo and Iaido (that has to have been an influence), so I guess my technique is not “coming from O’Sensei”, but I find the weapon practice really helpful.
      Yesterday, a colleague and I were sharing some impressions about how weapon practice seems to exaggerate each one’s virtue and errors.

      If I was to make a decision, I would absolutely include weapon practice (controlled weapon practice, not film-type crazy clashing) in Aikido curriculum.
      Really helpful.

    • Peter Marendy says:

      I can’t believe they aren’t allowed to use a weapon before reaching shodan. I practise Aikido Yuishinkai and it allows Aikidoka to use weapons from the beginning. Master Koretoshi Maruyama is the founder.

  8. Tony Wagstaffe says:

    My interest in the history of aikido and related arts came after being in Tomiki/Shodokan aikido for about 16 years. I got something in the post, a leaflet called aikinews. At first didn’t bother, as I thought it a tad too expensive, but I thought what the hell, nothing to lose by looking…… Thanks Stan…..

  9. Damien G says:

    Your extensive historical work has contributed to provide answers to these points. But first, let me say that before reading your site, I never heard of such points.

    My present answers :
    1) Seems to be true
    2) Depends what you call “short time”. My opinion is that he studied during numerous seminars with Takeda
    3) He considered himself as an omoto believer
    4) Obviously not, and Kisshomaru himself didn’t pretend to
    5) My point of view : yes. Had Ueshiba not been alive after the war, his art would not have had the same success. Most people were attracted by his public demonstrations. He was the attractive figure, not his students.
    6) Once again, it depends what you call “lengthy”. Same discussion as for Takeda’s student Ueshiba. And when you consider that for him, three months were sufficient to transmit his knowledge…
    7) Before reading your articles, I never heard that empy-handed and weapon techniques were separated. I never heard about such an issue : what was tought to me is that aikido is a whole single thing, whereas empty-handed or armed. My conclusion after reading your research is that he tried lately to develop weapon techniques that would fit his empty-handed techniques.

  10. Well Stan, seeing as most of what I know about aikido history I learned from you…

    1. Morihei Ueshiba’s father, Yoroku, was a wealthy farmer and councilman in Tanabe, Morihei’s birthplace. He funded Morihei’s activities as a young man. Moreover, he lent large somes of money to Tanabe families who joined Morihei on his move to the wilderness of Hokkaido. He also provided the financing of the considerable sums paid to Sokaku Takeda for Morihei’s instruction in Daito-ryu jujutsu.
    - true as far as I know

    2. Morihei Ueshiba learned only a short time under Sokaku Takeda. Daito-ryu was one of several old-style martial arts that influenced aikido. Morihei drew from several technical sources when creating aikido, not mainly Daito-ryu.
    - don’t know the duration of O Sensei’s formal study with Takeda sensei, but it’s obvious from Kondo sensei’s video that there is a great similarity and challengingly subtle differences between aikido and daito ryu.

    3. Morihei was not a regular member of the Omoto Sect, but rather a personal follower of Onisaburo Deguchi.
    - as far as I know, nonsense. Further, O Sensei was up to his eyebrows in the prewar and wartime Japanese traditional/militaristic establishment. A lot of folks would like to think that the guy was Gandhi, but seems to me that his love of peace came from intimate knowledge of its opposite.

    4. Morihei’s son, Kisshomaru, was groomed to succeed his father from childhood.
    - have heard a rumor that most of O Sensei’s sons died during the war (starved at Rabaul?). Kisshomaru was the survivor and stood up to continue the family tradition

    5. Morihei Ueshiba took an active role in the postwar dissemination of aikido.
    - to the extent that he deputized or approved his students to teach overseas… but maybe that was Kisshomaru or Tohei…

    6. Postwar aikido instructors studied directly under Morihei Ueshiba for lengthy periods in the 1950s and 60s.
    - I think I’ve been studying for a lengthy period, something over 35 years. By definition, anybody who studied with O Sensei after WWII would have been there for less time. Plus, not everybody was at Iwama and O Sensei only visited Hombu.

    7. Historically speaking, aikido forms are based on taijutsu or empty-handed techniques. The study of weapons is optional, and an adjunct to empty-handed training.
    - basic nonsense when prewar sources like the “Budo” video are considered. I sort of regret the absence of the rifle/bayonet practice. I can sort of visualize a neat kata… Johanna (my wife) recently bought “Alatriste”. The last scene is a 17th century battle, including the use of all contemporary arms, muskets, cavalry with pistols, artillery, 12′ spears (!), light infantry with rapier/dagger… and you know Bill Witt’s story about the rifle/bayonet duel in no-mans-land, Korea?

    - chuck

  11. Oolz says:

    1. It was more likely that Zenzo Inoue covered the bulk of the costs for the Hokkaido trip and likely for Takeda sensei’s instructions

    2. Daito-ryu was his primary art of study. Nothing else really “stuck” before that or afterwards. Aikido owes everything to DR.

    3. The newspaper interview with Ueshiba that Stan posted a day or so seems to support that he was NOT a regular Omoto follower.

    4. It seems that he took the responsibility much later in life and couldn’t be considered to be groomed. After all, he wasn’t even given the position of head instructor.

    5. Nope, K. Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei.

    6. This one is dicey. As Ueshiba’s aiki had become more formless at this point. He didn’t really teach techniques so much as he taught principles. So it’s probably accurate to say that few trained with him for significant amounts of time after he returned to Tokyo. That’s not to say some didn’t spend significant amounts of time with him though, taking ukemi, traveling with him, etc. Which likely offered better insights into how he got what he got than any actual teaching.

    7. Is one of the most cloudy of all. He obviously found the sword and jo to be important to what he did, but at some point he also felt it wasn’t important. Maybe because nobody was getting what he was trying to do empty handed, so why bother with the weapons?

    • Editor says:

      You are very perceptive in your remarks. Well done!

      Point #3 is a tricky area. There is a story behind the story here that will shed more light on the subject. Morihei himself was sometimes a bit of a revisionist with regard to his own past!

  12. Luke says:

    Fun. :)

    I like your game! Without digging through source material (it’s all yours and available here, anyway), I’ll take a stab.

    1.) The money would have come from Inoue Zenzo’s wealth, correct? He would probably be best described as Morihei’s patron, right?

    2.) Aikido draws perhaps its entire technical repertoire with Daito Ryu, with the possible exception of koshi-waza?

    3.) Morihei was a devout follower of the Omoto Sect his entire life, not just a follower of Deguchi.

    4.) Kisshomaru was not groomed in this fashion. Was Morihei even interested in this sort of familial succession or care at all? One person mentions Mochizuki, but my vote would probably go to Nakakura Kiyoshi as someone considered early on for succession if I had to name a name? I really have no idea.

    5.) Morihei was not involved in any significant fashion after the War.

    6.) These instructors are probably not best described as direct students of Morihei, given that Tohei Koichi and Kisshomaru would have been running things by then, right? Morihei would have showed up randomly to instruct and lecture, mostly in regard to esoteric Omoto topics.

    7.) You so funny. =P

    I have heard all of these in the world of American aikido, especially the one about post-war students having received significant and meaningful training under Morihei. In order to not go insane or pull my hair out over the years, I’ve learned to listen to and enjoy these stories as I would mythology or a good story time. To try and apply logic to this sort of thing while being involved in some of the more … “cult of personality” groups is a recipe for disappointment and disaster. I don’t mean that at all as a slight against the wonderful teachers out there. There is, however, a lot of fabrication (for lack of a better word) being passed around both by word of mouth and in writing. It is presented to new students knowing nothing of the history as fact and quickly becomes almost like a belief-based structure that is resistant to research. I feel this is detrimental to the understanding of a very wonderful art and does not give proper respect to a large number of very fascinating practitioners and teachers who have helped shape that art as it has spread across Japan and the entire world.

    • Editor says:

      Also, very well done! You and Oolz have nailed #1 on the head. But we can’t just make assertions. On what do we base this? What is the proof?

      • Oolz says:

        There are some references from Noriaki Inoue that support that his Zenzo was a frequent supporter and financier of their early adventures, but not much detail. Beyond that there isn’t much else other than some 3rd party info that seems to indicate that while Yoroku Ueshiba was well off, he was more upper-middle class and not what we today would consider rich. There were circles of people that one of his station still would not have been a part of.

  13. Victor says:

    O-Sensei’s membership in Oomoto was evidently a deep, involved and lasting one. He had charge of teaching the other members budo, joined the Manchurian “mission of peace” and continued, in his last years,to preach the precepts of Oomotokyo and their primacy over the technical (superficial) practice of aikido.

  14. Hello Aikibrothers,

    Fisrt of all, we should read Kissomaru’s book, A Life In Aikido. If he said so (about his family history), we should take it as true.

    Second: O Sensei practiced Aikijo and Aikiken ’till his lasts days, so… OF COURSE, weapons are part of Aikido. One can choose practice or not, but I am sure will loose a lot if chooses not to learn weapons. Thousands of Aikido Kihons are based on JO or BOKKEN movements, and in many dojos all over he world I found many yudanshas with poor Aikido just because they couldn’t understand where the techs they were doing came from.

    Third point of view. O Sensei recognised ONLY TOHEI as JUDAN (10th). It must mean something. I really don’t think his son was in the path do be Doshu, but Tohei “kindly” refused and gave his interpretation to some O Sensei´s words.

    That’s How I think. But the true relies on O Sensei´s mind…

  15. Peter Howie says:

    A few extra thoughts

    1) The Japanese government was keen on assimilating Hokkaido and making use of its potential wealth and over a longish period (40-50 years) had been disenfranchising the local Ainu, stealing their land, and making assimilation attractive for these indigenous folks. The wilds of Hokkaido were like the wild west of the US (neither uninhabited or available) or Australia – which was treated as ‘empty’.

    2) Taking from you I think DR is the origins. I am surprised that folks want to disengage from the genealogy of the methods as in Japan, as I understand it, it is very pertinent and important. Perhaps an American influence – this entirely original method… etc. Or perhaps to glamorise or reify Ueshiba. Also I think this highlights the dilemma of a student learning only one form. Judo and aikido go well as a complete budo whereas as either one on its own misses something. This was the point of Kano sending Tomiki to training with Ueshiba. Tomiki wrote about Judo being the jui jitsu for grappling and aikido the jiu jitsu for work at a distance (according to Tomiki’s 1950 book).

    3) That area is so unclear. But in perhaps Japanese style we are not meant to question this too closely. I noted another writer mentioning the war and Ueshiba’s connection to senior people involved with it and perhaps this goes with 4) in that it seems Ueshiba and others were profoundly affected by the war in ways that their US and others were not. They were defeated – despite their centuries long development of warring processes, and they were then supported by the defeater and not punished or enslaved. This defeat by these barbarians had happened earlier with the original opening up of Japan but it must have been very painful for Ueshiba. His peace goals came late in life, and I presume it is arguable that they were influenced by the war. They didn’t just emerge from some diving enlightenment.

    From memory, maybe your material, even the naming of aikido was done so as not to get the training banned and for it be a fairly general term.

    7) In Shodokan aikido, the weapons form a part of the grading after shodan. Starting with the tanto and how to stab properly, then bokken for disarming, then jo for disarming, and finally sword to sword. I have often trained with the bokken during earlier training but it seemed to make little sense. These days it is making more sense including how to grasp people, how to move my arms and other things. My sensei is happy for me to train with other teachers such as Iaido, when I have the aikido form down.

    Great work.

    Peter

  16. Michael DiFronzo says:

    I was a student of Shihan Mitsunari Kanai, and he always told me not to believe most of the books out there, and watered down phony Aikido, especially weak attacks, hurt him dearly.

  17. We, the members of the Federación Aikikai Argentina (Argentine Aikikai Federation), have no such problems.

    We are privileged to have as Master our beloved Shihan Katsutoshi Kurata, who was direct disciple of Kisshomaru in the early ’60s.

    Kurata Sensei tells us his long hours of chatting with O’Sensei, who appeared after classes. O’Sensei personally corrected details of techniques and spent hours telling stories and answering all the questions. On both visits to Buenos Aires Moriteru (1997 and 2006) Doshu spoke at length about the esteem and respect that the Ueshiba Family keeps him, and fervently called us to cherish one of the few great forgotten by the rest of the world.

    We do not compete in who knows pretty much about the history of Aikido. We have the living history and dedicate ourselves to practice with all humility and respect as our Master teaches us through his daily example.

    The talks and discussions we let those who simply read the words of others.

    I greet all of you with respect and companionship.
    (sorry by my english)

    Gustavo Romano – 3th Dan
    Genki Dojo Chief Instructor
    headquarters: Asociación Japonesa de Escobar
    Federación Aikikai Argentina
    Aikikai Foundation

  18. hans de groot says:

    I have studied Yoshinkan Aikido for twenty years. My seniors openly speak of the relationship between Daito Ryu and Aikido, and of the importance of training in weapons–especially the ken–to understand the art. I have read some of these ‘mistruths’ you speak of; many of these seem to go against some of the very things that the founder of Aikido said about truth. Please keep up the good work!

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