AIKIDO or AIKIJUTSU - Way of Harmony
AIKIDO is a term better known than AIKIJUTSU. While AIKIDO is a modern system restructured by O Sensei Ueshiba, for a pacifist society based on Aikijutsu from Daito Ryu school, Aikijutsu represents the old martial / military samurai tradition, in real life and death battles. In fact, AIKIDO is the result of that O Sensei began to teach after receiving Menkyokaiden (the final level) of Daito Ryu school. So, it is about a self vision, revolutionary, opening the martial art to the large public. This way had been opened by another visionary master Jigoro Kano considered as modern Judo founder (originated from some Jujutsu schools at that time).
The AIKIJUTSU of Takeda school is also the fundaments of the Daito Ryu school, appeared in 16th century, at the same time with Takeda family decline, after the death of famous general Takeda Shingen. Aikijutsu is a real military discipline, tested by many generations on the battlefields, in life or death fights. The Aiki technique is obvious derived from sword techniques, so it is ensued from the Aiki principle legend. Even if a lot of medieval schools influenced each other, the Aiki principles followed a very pure development, strictly inside Takeda school, where they were attentively preserved. The perfect coordination and typically Aiki harmony were only the final level of a method, based on suppleness, lack of balance forms and the use of opposite force, divided on many levels:
- AIKI JUTSU the harmony is still an ideal hard to be achieved, but there are used levers which facilitate a smaller use of force than those of the adversary. JU is translated through suppleness and it is a principle intensely studied and fully applied. The states of disequilibrium are done by displacements of the body, sliding aside, together with Atemi (strokes), and they are finalized by techniques on articulations. This is the phase corresponding to a beginner, up to 1 Dan level (3 years of practice minimum). The training is focused on procedures (waza) in Irimi forms entering, extremely visible and energetic.
- AIKI no JUTSU the typical synchronizing for Aiki begin to be perceived, beyond the JU principle well managed and already felt by the practitioner body (the feel of the body). The controlled breathing practice KokyuHo is certainly the way of passing towards Aiki The practitioner is not looking for the force any more in technical execution, he feels the states of disequilibrium Kuzushi, and Atemi become more natural and induce only the state of the disequilibrium to the adversary, beginning the drill on stimulated reaction. The entering is just a way for absorbing the adversary force, through circularly movements Tenkan.
- AIKIJUTSU it is the last stage that we can call AIKIDO also, the stage in which it is truly felt the self KI as of the adversary one, and both of them can be manipulated after the will. Atemi (the stroke) is at the strict energetic level, the disequilibrium (Kuzushi) is more than physic and the adversary does not feel any more an opposition, but only a hollow which absorbs. This is the momentum where the Tenkan principles neutralize any adverse attacks. The techniques are reduced to natural movements, performed at the right moment, with minimum of force, regardless the age or physically abilities.
AIKIJUTSU Takeda Ryu characteristics:
TAI SABAKI the proper positioning of the body, it consists of specific displacements which offer a minimum impact with the aggressor, an angle which unbalances him due to his own force.
KAMAE the posture, the attitude are natural, relaxed, well implanted in soil, but in the same time mobile. Any displacement of the body must be a Kamae dynamic attitude, full of stability even during the movement. The right backbone, the down pelvis, the relaxed shoulders, the open palms and the widespread tendons are the attributes of a well natural posture of guard, which will constitute the departure base for neutralizing the adverse attacks.
UKEMI means to receive, a generic concept which refers to the knowing manner of accepting the contact with the soil (while being projected) or to the knowing manner of accepting a too stronger attack at a full reception. In this case is about a kind of deviation of the attack, a parallel stepping with it, till the moment in which it decrease enough to permit the taking over and the redirecting / controlling. Ukemi and sabaki imply much mobility primarily at the mental level!
KUZUSHI the disequilibrium, it is created to the adversary using, accepting, controlling and redirecting his own force. In a way, this is an opposite concept of the Kamae. The physical disequilibrium can be created at the beginning through strokes, attacks in vital points, and subsequently only through hooking, displacement of his center of gravity, and finally through energy explosions which induce subtle losses of equilibrium at energetic level (a real Aiki form).
METSUKE the regard, it always controls the adversary without focusing on a certain point of his body. It is about a peripheral view, attentive to the movement and not to the details.
MA AI the fight distance, it is essentially as in protection (Goshin) and in counterattacks. The managing of distance, of angles define a correct technique, which offer a total control over the adversary, without the possibility to riposte. Moreover, a good sense of distance MA AI offers the key of applying the same Waza (technique), either with empty hand or with weapons of different lengths (tanto, boken, bo).
ZANSHIN it is the spirit which remain even after the technique is performed, but also what keep us alert before and during the fight. It is the consciousness that the attack of a dojo colleague could be very real, of an enemy determined to kill. The Zanshin is specific to a real martial art and it has nothing in common with the sport idea.
AikiJutsu Takeda Ryu structure
The techniques of Takeda Ryu AikiJutsu school are transmitted even in present time unchanged, exactly as they were performed on the battlefields. The basic curriculum includes:
- Kihon Waza a series of 30 fundamental techniques for 1 Dan, a kind of alphabet, the basic ones, mandatory for evolution. They are studied only with simulated attacks, with minimum of force, in order to assimilate the essential principles specified above. There is no request of efficiency at this level.
- Henka Waza an unlimited series of applications of this techniques, deriving from basic forms, after the understanding of the principles beyond the technique. They mark the personality and creativity development of the practitioner. Once the Henka Waza are deepened, a numerous Randori forms follow. All of these offer to the practitioner the basics, needed for the beginning of a serious study of the martial art, and this study begin along with the first level of black belt. The black belt represents the real debut in martial arts, it is a new beginning of a way and not at all the end.
ROMANIA TAKEDA RYU|