Donate now with Patreon monthly donation. It was issued by Morihei Moritaka Ueshiba in Showa year 9 — The technique he was showing was included in the Daito-ryu scrolls issued in that same year. That morning, instead of Doshu, Shirata Rinjiro sensei taught class. There were easily one hundred and fifty people on the mat.
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Indeed, unlike other masters, he did not seem to give technical explanations, and when he did speak, his words were essentially centered on philosophy rather than technique. In this article, I would like go back to the origin of this book, explain why it is so important, and offer suggestions on what its content can bring in the context of an aikido that keeps evolving. From her first classes at the Hombu Dojo in , she took the habit once she got home after practice to draw the techniques she had studied in order to better memorize them.
The quality of her drawings was quickly noticed by her classmates, and then by Ueshiba Morihei himself, who eventually allowed her to draw at the dojo, with some of her fellow practitioners sometimes even posing for her. Kunigoshi Takako throwing Yonekawa Shigemi. Then later, at my home, I would finish up the details. Aiki News 47, April All this work took less than a year and remained more or less under the direct supervision of Ueshiba Morihei, who in some cases gave direct instructions to Kunigoshi to correct certain points or positions on her drawings.
The number of techniques practiced at the time and their difficulty were much higher than they are today, and this coupled with the fact that Kunigoshi was a beginner, made it a particularly difficult task.
These pictures were really difficult to do! I had to do them all twice, you know. Even so I felt there were some problems left. The second book was never printed after all but… At any rate, this particular version has the first drawings. Aiki News 47, April It is a shame that the second version of these drawings has never been made public.
Indeed, the book actually contains a number of approximations or even mistakes, such as the following. Note that this error will be fixed in later versions of Budo Renshu, including that of Although the drawing sessions made her job easier, Kunigoshi had to work very quickly.
She used to draw a circle for the head and straight lines for the rest of the body, adding the faces, the keikogi and and the hakama only after she got back home. Interestingly, the legend in this edition indicates that Budo Renshu dates from The explanations given during these sessions were noted by some students including Mr Miura and Mr Takamatsu. Tomiki Kenji, an advanced student who began his study with O Sensei in and who was at the time the permanent secretary of the Kobukan, was in charge of editing the book.
Ueshiba Morihei and Tomiki Kenji in Technical content and function of the book The book contains pages and presents in all techniques. Shirata Rinjiro — Interview with Shirata Rinjiro. Aiki News 36, May I have compared them and their technical content is indeed very similar. Incidentally, Ueshiba gave similar certificates to some of his own students, such as the hiden ogi to Mochizuki Minoru in It is therefore not a pedagogical book per se, but a tool to be used by people who are already familiar with the techniques.
This is entirely consistent with what was done in traditional Japanese martial arts, where students were only given access to technical documents after they had reached a certain level. Yonekawa Shigemi — Interview with Yonekawa Shigemi 2. Aiki News 62, July It should also be noted that each technique is represented only by a very small number of drawings, and many key phases of each movement are missing. There are a number of videos of Aikidoka on YouTube trying to do just that, but unsurprisingly, the result is really poor.
On the other hand, for someone who knows Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu, these techniques are quite clear. An example of the technique ura otoshi Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu — Ikkajo — Hanza Handachi. Note, in particular, the work at the level of the legs, which is totally absent in the book.
Many other points of detail exist in this movement but my goal here is not to explain it, but to illustrate what the book etchings allow to see or not. Note also that in Ikkajo, this technique is normally performed when the partner grabs the left hand because of the wearing of the sword , not the right hand.
So I voluntarily flipped the photos from my own Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu educational manual so that the side corresponds to what is presented in Budo Renshu. In accordance with the way mokuroku were used in the past, the book was offered by Ueshiba Morihei to the people he deemed worthy, and they would deposit 5 Yen 4 on the altar of the dojo as a gesture of gratitude.
So we see that this book was a kind of update of the old makimono system, which is yet another example of the rather reformist character of Ueshiba Morihei. The last page of Aiki-jujutsu Densho dated from shows its status as a Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu licence document.
Interestingly, we can learn from an interview with the second Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru that Budo Renshu was actually conceived as the first of a series of books.
Considering that the vast majority of its content covers the basic repertoire of Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu, it is likely that the follow-up volume would have addressed the superior techniques. This Budo Renshu was published as the first series of several volumes but it turned out to be the first and last one. Kisshomaru — Doshu and the Daito-ryu School speak their minds! Aiki News 79, January Still according to Ueshiba Kisshomaru, the original book was published in about or copies.
Other re-editions followed over the years with some modifications made for public distribution. It seems that this version corrects some of the inconsistencies between text and drawings that were found in the original version. It is not certain, however, that all existing versions were approved by Ueshiba Morihei. The first mimeographed version was also copied. This was a bit problematic, because it happened without consulting O Sensei.
This may explain the fact that the Aikikai has never published any other book listing the techniques of Ueshiba Morihei. Yet many elements suggest that O Sensei never changed the techniques of Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu at the fundamental level, and in any case, not the key points principles of the techniques.
Budo Renshu is one of the most convincing proofs of this. As Chris points out, this is the first book attributable to O Sensei to bear the name aikido. Like Budo Renshu in its time, it served as a memory aid and was given by Ueshiba Morihei to some of his students once they had reached a certain level. For me, that was when I reached what would now be called shodan. This document is of course interesting from a historical point of view, but what is even more wonderful is that when one looks closely, one notices that a very large number of engravings from Budo Renshu are reproduced in it, which means that Ueshiba Morihei had to consider that the Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu techniques listed in Budo Renshu were still relevant as references for post-war practitioners.
Therefore, this formally contradicts the idea that there was such a thing as a pre-war and post-war aikido. On the contrary, it confirms the fact that O Sensei did Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu all throughout his life. Note that although his practice did not change, his teaching and philosophy changed profoundly, however. Left: 14th technique of Budo Renshu Right: 10th technique of Aikido Maki no Ichi The drawings and the explanations are identical. Other proofs exist to support this claim.
Saito Morihiro was the closest pupil of O Sensei during the so-called Iwama period, yet he explains here that the techniques he learned at that time times were still extremely similar to pre-war ones. In addition, in this other video that presents side by side pre-war and post-war techniques, the similarities are striking. I came here [to Iwama dojo] at the age of 12, I think it was June 1, Regarding the differences between the two works, Aikido Maki no Ichi contains pages instead of the original and lists techniques instead of Yokoyama suggests that according to one of his acquaintances who was a contemporary of the time, the writing in this book might be that of Kisshomaru himself.
According to him, two people participated in the making of the book. The first person is Kunigoshi Takako, who drew the illustrations. Just as she had designed the illustrations in Budo Renshu, she also edited the drawings of Aikido Maki no Ichi. The other person was Yamaguchi Seigo. No evidence of its existence has been presented though. It is very interesting to note that unlike Budo Renshu, the end of Aikido Maki no Ichi does not contain any mention suggesting that the book served as a license document.
It is thought that O Sensei probably started using the dan grade system around and it is conceivable that for reasons of consistency, the Aikikai may have wished to issue only titles within the dan system from there on.
Technically speaking, several drawing boards in Aikido Maki no Ichi contain modifications compared to their original versions of Budo Renshu.
Ten of these boards were complete with drawings to illustrate phases missing from the Budo Renshu techniques these boards contained only about two or three drawings per technique.
One technique is complemented with a drawing to illustrate the attack, four techniques are completed by one drawing each to show an immobilization, three to show a projection, and two techniques are completed with an additional intermediate board to show a transition between to postures. Six drawings illustrating attacks were removed and three others were substantially modified.
Example of additional drawings added in Aikido Maki No Ichi to show key phases in the movements. Again, a Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu participation could easily have done the technique without the missing drawing.
The book contains eight techniques that did not appear in Budo Renshu. Interestingly they are all in tachi waza and include: shomenuchi — iriminage technique
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