“Your Key to Understanding the Evolution of Modern Aikido Technique!”

Cover of “Takemusu Aikido -- Special Edition”

Among the technical volumes authored by Morihiro Saito, certainly the most unique must be his publication of “Takemusu Aikido – Special Edition.” This 176-page book is an exhaustive analysis of the famous 1938 technical manual published by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1938. This prewar volume is a landmark document that provides the missing link to understanding the technical evolution of aikido from its Daito-ryu jujutsu origins to the modern form of the art.

Now for the first time, Aikido Journal is offering Saito Sensei’s wonderful treatise on Morihei’s technique in ebook format. This PDF publication is extremely high-quality and affords readers the opportunity of being able to zoom in to inspect details of the images of Saito Sensei performing each technique. This is a tremendous advantage in that fine points such as hand and foot position become easily discernible, something not always possible in the print edition.

Click here to view sample pages from the book

The 50 techniques covered include preparatory exercises, basic techniques, knife (tantodori), and sword-taking techniques (tachidori), sword vs. sword forms (ken tai ken), mock-bayonet (juken) techniques, and finishing exercises (shumatsu dosa).

Takemusu Aikido Special Edition also features a fascinating essay by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin on the history and background of the publication of Morihei Ueshiba’s prewar manual “Budo” containing newly-discovered findings.

About the author

Morihiro Saito, is a 9th degree black belt and author of the highly acclaimed technical series, Traditional Aikido. Saito Sensei enrolled as a student of aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1946. He had the rare opportunity of being able to train in Morihei’s Iwama Dojo and privately with the Founder for many years.

One of the art’s foremost technicians, Morihiro Saito was the acknowledged authority on aikido weapons training. Saito Sensei operated Ueshiba’s private dojo in Iwama, Japan and served as guardian of the Aiki Shrine for over 30 years. He traveled extensively throughout the world teaching his comprehensive aikido methods during his long teaching career. Morihiro Saito passed away in Iwama in 2002.

Morihei demonstrating from 1938 "Budo" with son, Kisshomaru

Contents of “Takemusu Aikido — Special Edition”

Editor’s Note • Introduction to Budo • Commentary on Budo Exercises

Kamae • Katatedori iriminage • Tai no henka (henko) • Katatedori kokyunage • Shumatsu dosa • Hiriki no yosei (Morotedori kokyuho) • Se no undo • Aiki no tanren (kokyunage) • Yokomen no tanren • Tsuki iriminage

Shomenuchi ikkyo omotewaza • Shomenuchi ikkyo urawaza ki no nagare • Shomenuchi kokyunage ki no nagare • Shomenuchi kotegaeshi ki no nagare • Shomenuchi nikyo urawaza • Shomenuchi sankyo urawaza

Yokomenuchi iriminage • Yokomenuchi shihonage • Yokomenuchi gokyo urawaza • Yokomenuchi nikyo urawaza • Yokomenuchi yonkyo omotewaza

Ryotedori shihonage omotewaza • Ryotedori shihonage urawaza • Ryotedori tenchinage ki no nagare

Ushiro eridori kokyunage (When Pulled) • Ushiro eridori katamewaza (When Pulled) • Ushiro eridori kokyunage (When Pushed) • Ushiro eridori kokyunage • Ushiro ryotedori kokyunage

Tachidori kotegaeshi • Ken shomenuchi • kokyunage • Tachidori kokyunage • Migi no henka • Hidari no henka • Yokomen Do Sayu no henka • Ken tai ken kote • Ken tai ken men 130 • Ken tai ken tsuki

Tanken tsuki kokyunage • Tankendori kotegaeshi • Tankendori gokyo urawaza
Juken • Yari

Juken tsuki kokyunage • Jukendori kokyunage • Juken tsuki rokkyo • Juken tsuki kokyunage • Juken tai juken • Yaridori kokyunage

Suwariwaza kokyuho 1 • Suwariwaza kokyuho 2 • Suwariwaza kokyuho 3 • Suwariwaza kokyuho 4

Stanley Pranin comments on the discovery of Morihei’s “Budo” book

Morihiro Saito referring to "Budo" book

One day in July 1981, I was conducting an interview with Zenzaburo Akazawa, a prewar uchideshi of Morihei Ueshiba from the Kobukan Dojo period. Mr. Akazawa proceeded to show me a technical manual published in 1938 titled “Budo” which I had never seen before. It contained photos of some fifty techniques demonstrated by the Founder himself. As I slowly turned the pages of the manual, I was amazed to see in the photos that the execution of several basics techniques such as ikkyo, iriminage and shihonage were virtually identical to what I had learned in Iwama under Saito Sensei. Here was the Founder himself demonstrating what I had up until then regarded as “Iwama-style” techniques. Mr. Akazawa, who lives only a few blocks away from the Iwama Dojo, kindly lent me the book and I hurried to show it to Saito Sensei.

I’ll always remember the scene as I called at Sensei’s door to share with him my new discovery. To my surprise, he had never seen or heard mention of the book before. He put on his reading glasses and leafed through the manual, his eyes scanning the technical sequences intently. I felt compelled then and there to apologize to him for having ever doubted his assertion that he was making every effort to faithfully preserve the founder’s techniques. Saito Sensei laughed and, obviously with great pleasure, bellowed, “See, Pranin, I told you so!” From that time on up through the end of his life, Saito Sensei always had along his copy of Budo in the Iwama Dojo and on his travels to use as proof to show that a particular technique originated in the Founder’s teachings.

The discovery of Budo was, to be sure, a watershed event in my personal aikido research, but I was even more delighted to see how important it was to Sensei to have this amazing document to wave in the face of his critics who doubted the authenticity of his aikido.

– Excerpted from “Remembering Morihiro Saito Sensei”

“Takemusu Aikido — Special Edition” is a work of great importance for serious students of aikido. Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, personally guides you through Morihei Ueshiba’s prewar curriculum, and discusses the progression of technique from this early era to modern aikido. You will have your personal copy safely downloaded to your computer and be reading this volume within minutes of your purchase. This ebook in PDF form costs only $7.99, less than 1/3 the retail price of the print version. It is no longer necessary to pay for shipping, customs charges, or lost packages. Nor is there any need to wait!

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