“Aikido has a very powerful martial efficacy when trained properly. It’s simply been trained out by certain groups or teachers over the years as it was watered down.”
The text below was submitted as a comment in reply to a video blog title “Iriminage — O-Sensei Style”. The author brings up a number of salient point that I think will be of interest to many of our readers. – Editor
I’m glad to see continued attention paid to Morihei’s methods, and using the sources available, from Budo to Saito, to show the actual facts of the matter. It’s interesting what I’ve heard people say over the years, from intermediate students to shihans, about various techniques. It seems everyone claims to be doing the “best thing that Morihei perfected,” because they practiced with such-and-such teacher who was, of course, Morihei’s most trusted, experienced student. I never knew there were so many masters out there, so many super-long time, super-close students! He must’ve had uchideshi piled in his lap. It annoys me when people try to basically lie to their students about a given teacher’s time under Morihei. It’s not like time under Morihei equals a master; he trained tons of students who probably weren’t that great, and at the same time, plenty of people have come out of that era of the Aikikai with superb aikido and almost no time at all (some none at all) with teaching from Morihei. It’s just a status thing, and until you put forth the evidence for people to draw their own conclusions, it was easy to get away with saying that stuff. Thankfully, no more.
Seriously, though, this video and the others like it are fantastic. I’m glad the more controversial aspects are being addressed head on. It’s about time to begin setting the record straight. A thesis supported by raw fact is what I see in your videos and articles like this. Of course, the reader can draw his or her own conclusion, but one cannot deny facts and photo/video evidence. The photos and video available to us has allowed us a very big and important glimpse into Morihei’s personal method of doing his techniques.
This has proven invaluable to me in my own study, as I’d rather go to the source or something close to the source (such as Saito) than to people who changed things later on. I think those people are still wonderful and they inspire me every day; people like Nishio, Yamaguchi, Osawa, and on and on. However, I think that one should begin their method by looking at what Morihei did, or perhaps even what the extant Daito Ryu schools are doing, given our common heritage. From there, of course we evolve and create our own aikido. However, without that groundwork upon which to create one’s own aikido, that aikido is bound to be fraught with problems insofar as martial efficacy is concerned. And also potentially the safety of one’s uke if one attempts to go into all of this fast nagare waza without that solid foundation. Of course, Morihei and even Daito Ryu aren’t the only sources for developing a solid foundation, but what draws me in is that I’m doing aikido here, so why would I want to look elsewhere when we have so much material from Morihei and Saito to study?
I hope you will continue to be more vocal and draw emphasis to these things. I’m entirely on board with a mission to bring aikido closer to the Founder and, perhaps more importantly for some people, show that aikido has a very powerful martial efficacy when trained properly. It’s simply been trained out by certain groups or teachers over the years as it was watered down, and much of it with good intentions in mind, I’m sure, but, well, results are results.. One could argue the reasons, but those are meaningless because results are what count. If your technique fails, it doesn’t matter what Kisshomaru or someone did to change aikido. It matters that you study up and figure out what’s wrong with yourself, you know? I think Morihei’s legacy is a damn fine place to look for those solutions, but that’s just me.