“Aikido Densho” Technical Manual by Morihei Ueshiba’s Biographer!

“Free Download through Friday, Dec. 16!”

We are pleased to announce the archiving of an almost totally unknown training manual compiled by Kanemoto Sunadomari, Morihei Ueshiba’s biographer. Kanemoto Sunadomari was from a family of devout Omoto believers and was the elder brother of Kanshu and Fukiko Sunadomari. He began his training in an earlier form of aikido in 1928 after observing a demonstration by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in Ayabe.

Kanemoto maintained a long relationship with Morihei that lasted until the end of the latter’s life. In 1969, he published the first biography of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei after having conducted research for many years and gathering documents with the assistance of his siblings. Kisshomaru Ueshiba cites passages from Sunadomari’s book in his later biography of his father published in 1977.

Given the time frame of Kanemoto’s study under Morihei Ueshiba, the techniques covered in this manual reflect an early stage in the development of Morihei’s art. As such, this technical volume warrants a thorough study along with such documents as the Noma Dojo photos series and the 1938 training manual “Budo.” Quite a number of the techniques covered in this book are no longer practiced in mainstream aikido, but will be familiar to students of Iwama Aikido curriculum.

We invite members of the Aikido Journal readership to download this 80-page training manual in PDF form to peruse its contents. From there, we would be interested in hearing your feedback concerning the book’s content. We offer this manual free to all readers through Friday, December 16, at which it will become part of our permanent archives.

Aikido Journal Members Site subscribers: Click here to download the “Aikido Densho” by Kanemoto Sunadomari

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  1. I will be very interested in reviewing this material!

  2. What a precious document! I think, without doubt it clearly depicts techniques of prewar aikibudo as seen in Noma dojo series, no doubt.However the obstacles for deeper study of the techniques as reference to original prewar Ueshibas art is,not enough photos for each technique,and somewhat not precise execution of waza(truly, there is no match seen anywhere of precision, vigour and deep mastery of the art as in Noma dojo with Ueshiba Morihei demonstrating himself !), and maybe japaneese language.. The other very valuable document of this sort would be the Soden of Takuma Hisa(especially volumes from 1 to 6), i very hope to see it and study one day. Thank you Stan very much for sharing this one with us, i believe there are many who realy enjoy documents like this.

    • After downloading this manual and briefly looking it over I think I can honestly say that, yes, perhaps it does depict techniques of prewar aikido (Daito Ryu) since I am familiar with every technique depicted. In fact, my initial thought was, “Great! This just save me a ton of trouble seeing how it depicts many of the techniques in our curriculum!” I’m certain that my students over the years will recognize most of the what is depicted here (with a few adjustments to nage’s structure and alignment at times), the rest are just a fraction of the many, many techniques passed on. Three thousand included variations, but there were a large number of techniques even without the variations!! It is so nice to see this along with Tomiki, Shioda, and Mochizuki sensei’s (I would love to see more of Iwata sensei.) so congruous with what I was taught.

      It is funny for me to hear post war sensei feeling threatened by pre-war input after literally decades of one voice dominating “what is Aikido.” It is a breath of fresh air to hear and see these students voices finally rising to the point of being heard at all. How can it be that their input is seen as a “threat?”

      Thanks Stan! When it comes to burning these images into the greater memory I’m on the side of, “Burn baby, burn!”

  3. Nice manual with atemi included…something not often seen in today’s Aikido world.

  4. Bernd Schmitt says:

    Very very very NICE :-)

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