Katsuyuki Kondo on Daito-ryu book: “I worried
about revealing the secret teachings of the art”
“Given the traditionally closed, secretive nature of Daito-ryu, I worried to what degree
it would be appropriate for me to disclose the oral and inner teachings of the art”
The present volume, Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Hiden Mokuroku: Ikkajo, is being published on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu dojo. I would like to begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to all those who have contributed their time and effort over the years to making the dojo such a success. First and foremost, I thank my teacher, the late Tokimune Takeda, as well as all of my teachers and seniors who have supported me over the years, including those instrumental in helping me to establish my own dojo even at the young age of twenty-five, despite my youth and inexperience. On a private note, I would also like to thank my late father Kiyoshi Kondo for so generously and unconditionally donating the land upon which the dojo still stands.
This video contains highlights from an instructional video on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu by Katsuyuki Kondo, Menkyo Kaiden. Part one of this video series covers the tachiai ikkajo techniques of the hiden mokuroku transmission scrolls of the formerly secret Daito-ryu school. Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is the source of most aikido techniques.
My training under Tokimune Takeda Sensei continued for about twenty-three years, from 1966 when I first became his pupil all the way to about 1989, when his health began deteriorating to the point that he could no longer teach me directly. Even after that, of course, I still wanted to see him and went to visit him in the hospital in Abashiri and Kitami a dozen or more times, visits of which I have fond—if somewhat sad—memories.
It has been said that I recieved somewhat special treatment from Tokimune Sensei. If that is true it was probably because I was the first person to make such a great effort to journey all the way to Hokkaido to receive his teaching, not just once, but several times a year. I also sponsored him to come to Tokyo several times a year, during which visits I took time off from my work to spend twenty-four hours a day attending to him and learning from him both in and out of the dojo.
In truth, when first approached about publishing a technical volume on Daito-ryu, I had quite a few reservations. To begin with, much of the material in the ikkajo series has already been covered in several videotapes released some years ago. Further, given the traditionally closed, secretive nature of Daito-ryu, I worried to what degree it would be appropriate for me to disclose the oral and inner teachings of the art with which I have been entrusted to those outside the school. On the other hand, given the growing proliferation of technical manuals, videos and the like, not to mention the unprecedented availability of all kinds of information made possible today by the Internet—much of it incorrect and of dubious origin, I might add—I decided that it would be in the best interest of Daito-ryu to publish a written and pictorial record of the most fundamental points of at least the first portion the school’s technical curriculum, so that these do not become lost to posterity.
Regarding the aforementioned “secretiveness” inherent in Daito-ryu, it is said that Sokaku Takeda (the “interim restorer” of Daito-ryu) never taught the same technique twice. My teacher Tokimune Sensei (Sokaku’s son) told me that whenever he was teaching as his father’s representative, if he showed his students something more than once in order to have them better understand, his father would scold him for being “foolishly soft-hearted.” When I myself was learning from Tokimune, he often warned me, “If you teach the same technique twice, the second time your students will figure out how to reverse it and defeat you with it. For that reason, teach something different the second time.”
He later explained by saying, “If you teach people the true techniques and the next day they leave the school, then all of the secret and oral teachings of Daito-ryu will flow outside of the school and be known to the general public.” He also said, “Out of a thousand pupils, teach the true techniques only to one or two. Make absolutely sure of those you chose, and to them alone teach what is real. There is no need to teach the rest.”
The present volume contains descriptions of Daito-ryu techniques just as I learned them from Tokimune Sensei from the time I began training under him in 1961 until his death in 1993, now a full 32 years. If there are points that seem different from other styles, then those are probably the most important areas to focus upon. I hope that these comments will provide good hints for further study.
I would like to thank Aikido Journal editor Stanley Pranin and all of the staff at Aiki News for their great efforts on my behalf in bringing this technical volume into being. I would also like thank my students Shizuo Amano and Derek Steel, the former for assisting me in preparing the technical explanations and for appearing as my uke in the photo sequences, the latter for translating portions of the text and assisting me in preparing the technical explanations in English.
For my part, together with all of my students I hope to continue pursuing the Daito-ryu tradition left to us by Tokimune Takeda with greater fervor and devotion than ever, and from my position at the edge of the budo world I hope I may continue receiving the teaching, encouragement, and reproof of those from whom I still have so much to learn.
Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Hombucho
August 10th, 2000
Aikido Journal is offering a Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Learner’s Package in downloadable format that covers instruction in the basic techniques and history of Daito-ryu. A total of 5 videos and 2 ebooks are included in the package and include expert instruction by Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei in the Hiden Mokuroku techniques of Daito-ryu both in video and book form. Stanley Pranin’s “Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters” contains in-depth interviews with top Daito-ryu experts. Seigo Okamoto of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai demonstrates his soft form of the art. Finally, two complete historical demonstrations of Daito-ryu with many top masters are featured. This collection of high-quality materials will stimulate your understanding on aiki-related arts and improve your practice.
Readers will be able to access their downloadable products within minutes of purchase. No more paying for shipping, no more customs charges, or lost packages, no more waiting! This special offer is available for the special price of $49.95 through Saturday, March 16.