Morihei Ueshiba first learned Daito-ryu jujutsu from Sokaku Takeda in Hokkaido in 1915. Morihei mastered much of the Daito-ryu repertoire that consisted founder hundreds of techniques. Their association would last more than 20 years and the curriculum of Daito-ryu supplied the technical basis of aikido. Sokaku was succeeded by his son Tokimune who in turn was the teacher of Daito-ryu’s Katsuyuki Kondo, Menkyo Kaiden.
Editor Stanley Pranin recounts his first meeting with Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei and their long association
My association with Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu began in 1987, Kondo Sensei was “told” by Tokimune Takeda Sensei, son and successor of Sokaku Takeda, to coordinate with me and participate in the 3rd Friendship Demonstration in Tokimune’s place.
Kondo Sensei was not particularly pleased with this idea, and from the outset, seemed very suspicious of me and my motives in “courting” the Daito-ryu world. He was also very surprised that Tokimune Sensei would cooperate to the extent he had with Aiki News, and make open so much documentation to a little-known foreigner from the aikido “side of the fence.”
His coldness towards me was very evident when we were first introduced by Tokimune Sensei at a Kobudo demonstration in Tokyo. Following our first meeting, I was invited to Kondo Sensei’s home shortly thereafter for what turned out to be a “grilling.” I was met by Kondo Sensei and one of his ranking instructors, and the two of them proceeded to ask pointed questions of me in order to ferret out my motivations in staging this Friendship Demonstration in which Daito-ryu would be sharing the stage with aikido instructors.