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Yukiyoshi Sagawa’s Aiki, a true portrait of Transparent Power – Interview with Tatsuo Kimura Part 2

Yukiyoshi Sagawa demonstrates Aiki-ageYukiyoshi Sagawa demonstrates Aiki-age on Tatsuo Kimura
while on a train in 1987

Yukiyoshi Sagawa was a contemporary of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba and a fellow student under Daito-ryu Chuku-no-so Sokaku Takeda. He often accompanied Takeda Sensei in his travels around Japan, and received his Kyoju Dairi (assistant instructor’s license) from Sokaku Takeda in 1932 (this is the same license that Morihei Ueshiba received from Sokaku Takeda in 1922).

In Sagawa Dojo the techniques that Sagawa Sensei learned from Sokaku Takeda were organized into ten levels (“Gen” / 元). Only a few of Yukiyoshi Sagawa’s students received the Kyoju Dairi certification from Sagawa Sensei, and among those only three have completed the 10th Gen.

One of the three student to have completed 10th Gen with direct instruction from Yukiyoshi Sagawa is Tatsuo Kimura (木村達雄), a long time student of Sagawa Sensei. Born in Tokyo Japan in 1947, Kimura Sensei is a well known mathematician and professor at Tsukuba University. He published two books about Sagawa Sohan (宗範) that have been translated into English (the latter one only partially) – “Transparent Power (透明な力)” and “Discovering Aiki My 20 Years with Yukiyoshi Sagawa Sensei (合気修得への道―佐川幸義先生に就いた二十年)”. He also holds a third-dan in kendo and a fifth-dan in Aikido, which he studied under Seigo Yamaguchi (山口清吾).

This is the second part of a two part interview that appeared in Japanese in the book “Daito-ryu Aiki Bujutsu Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Divine Techniques of Aiki – Signposts to ‘Aiki’, a miraculous technical method that surpasses strength” (大東流合気武術 佐川幸義 神業の合気 力を超える奇跡の技法“合気”への道標), which was published in March 2015 by BAB Japan publishing company (BABジャパン出版局), which also publishes the popular martial arts magazine Gekkan Hiden (月刊秘伝 / “Secret Teachings Monthly”).

You may wish to read Part 1 of the interview before reading this section.

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Yukiyoshi Sagawa’s Aiki, a true portrait of Transparent Power – Interview with Tatsuo Kimura Part 1

Tatsuo Kimura - Aiki-age

Tatsuo Kimura demonstrates Aiki-age

Stretching his right hand upward, Morihei Sensei said, “Those who practice Aiki should understand the heart of faraway America.”

I immediately thought to myself, “Please come and throw me,” expecting that Morihei Sensei would read my thoughts. Of course, this was merely something I thought in my own mind. However, at that instant, Morihei Sensei, who was looking out the window, turned to me. To my surprise, he started to walk in my direction. He was small, about 150 cm tall, but at that time I felt he was very big. It seemed to me that there was a big wall in back of Morihei Sensei and it was approaching me powerfully. Since I had never taken a fall for Morihei Sensei up until that time, I became very tense. I thought to myself, “Oh no! What shall I do?” as he approached very close to me. He raised his right hand up as if to execute an iriminage throw and shouted, “Eii!” I fell backward. Then, turning to me, Morihei Sensei said, “That was good!” Then, I bowed down with both hands touching the tatami mumbling, “Ha-ha.”

I was really surprised by this. I felt that he read my thoughts at that instant. He had a powerful aura about him and an amazing kiai.

Morihei Sensei often appeared in the Hombu Dojo during Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei’s practice. One day, Morihei Sensei started to explain the kotegaeshi technique while holding Yamaguchi Sensei’s right hand with his left hand. Then Morihei Sensei applied a pressure on Yamaguchi Sensei’s right hand with his right hand. Yamaguchi Sensei hesitated an instant and then took the fall by himself. Suddenly, Morihei Sensei, who was smiling until then, shouted at us, “Do not practice so that if someone moves a certain way, the other person falls in a certain way!” Morihei Sensei’s voice had a metallic sound that could be heard far away.

His eyes flashed and I suddenly felt thunder coming down from the fine blue sky. I was really surprised. In this sense, Morihei Sensei was not a normal person. His spirit and kiai were really extraordinary I had never seen such a person up until that time.

The atmosphere was completely different when Morihei Sensei was performing techniques compared to the other instructors. When I look at the videos of Morihei Sensei I cannot feel his “ki” and more than half of the information is lost. It seems that the camera cannot capture the atmosphere or the feeling of the dojo. Actually, there was a certain tension in the air when Morihei Sensei was present.
…..

Frankly speaking, when Morihei Ueshiba died, I felt Aikido was finished. It disappeared from the world because the Aikido of Morihei Ueshiba and that of his students are completely different.

Tatsuo Kimura
from “Discovering Aiki My 20 Years with Yukiyoshi Sagawa Sensei

Tatsuo Kimura (木村達雄), born in Tokyo Japan in 1947, is a well known mathematician and professor at Tsukuba University. He was also a long-time student of the famous Daito-ryu instructor Yukiyoshi Sagawa (佐川幸義). He published two books about Sagawa Sohan (宗範) that have been translated into English (the latter one only partially) – “Transparent Power (透明な力)” and “Discovering Aiki My 20 Years with Yukiyoshi Sagawa Sensei (合気修得への道―佐川幸義先生に就いた二十年)”. He also holds a third-dan in kendo and a fifth-dan in Aikido, which he studied under Seigo Yamaguchi (山口清吾).

This is the first part of a two part interview that appeared in Japanese in the book “Daito-ryu Aiki Bujutsu Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Divine Techniques of Aiki – Signposts to ‘Aiki’, a miraculous technical method that surpasses strength” (大東流合気武術 佐川幸義 神業の合気 力を超える奇跡の技法“合気”への道標), which was published in March 2015 by BAB Japan publishing company (BABジャパン出版局), which also publishes the popular martial arts magazine Gekkan Hiden (月刊秘伝 / “Secret Teachings Monthly”).

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Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi en Adem Training in Daito-ryu [Dutch Version]

Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Takahashi and Kimura

Yukiyoshi Sagawa werpt Tatsuo Kimura (links) en Masaru Takahashi (rechts)

*This is a Dutch translation of the article “Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu“, courtesy of Ernesto Lemke of Seikokan Aikido / Aikido Leeuwarden – you can also find him on the Aikido Leeuwarden page on Facebook.

「陰 陽合気法」は呼吸法によって臍下丹田に気を充実させ、気力集中をはかって精神統一をするというもので、五指を握り、静かに入息するを「陰」、五指を強く開 き、出息するを「陽」と呼ぶ、とあり、この呼吸法を続けることによって、頭脳明晰となり、眼力は鋭く、「心」「気」「力」一致し、大勇猛心を養い、特に両 手十指それぞれの活用により、神通力を高める。

“In-yo Aiki-ho vult de Seika Tanden met Ki door Kokyu-ho en is erop gericht om de Ki-ryoku te focussen via mentale concentratie. Het sluiten van de vijf vingers en zacht te inhaleren wordt ‘In’ (‘Yin’) genoemd, de vingers krachtig openen en uitademen wordt ‘Yo’ (‘Yang’) genoemd. Door deze ademhalingsmethode te continueren wordt de geest helder, het zicht scherp, de ‘spirit’, ‘ki’ en ‘kracht’ worden verenigd, moed wordt ontwikkeld en in het bijzonder verschaffen de verscheidene praktische toepassingen van de tien vingers van beide handen toegang tot bovenmenselijke krachten.

– Tokimune Takeda – zoon van Sokaku Takeda, en Soke van Daito-ryu Aiki Budo

In-yo Aiki-ho, Kokyu-ho en Chousoku (Het reguleren van de ademhaling)

Masaru Takahashi (高橋賢) trad toe tot de Sagawa Dojo op 5 mei van het Showa jaar 47 (1972).

Als een van de gevorderde leerlingen van de beroemde Daito-ryu leraar Yukiyoshi Sagawa, die zelf een gevorderde leerling was van Sokaku Takeda, geeft Takahashi les aan de Sagawa-den Daito-ryu Aiki Budo Sagamihara branch dojo (佐川伝大東流合氣武道相模原支部) en aan de Daito-ryu Sagawa Dojo hombu (大東流佐川道場本部) in Kodaira stad.

Hij publiceerde ook een aantal boeken en artikelen over de Japanse krijgskunsten en Daito-ryu.

Dit artikel is een uitreksel over adem training in Daito-ryu uit Takahashi’s boek ‘De Waarheid over Daito-ryu Aiki’ (大東流合気の真実), die gepubliceerd werd in het Japans door Fukushodo Co. Ltd. in September 2007.

De karakters 調息 (“Chousoku” / “Het reguleren van de ademhaling”) worden gebruikt om te verwijzen naar de methode die werd onderwezen in de Sagawa Dojo – dezelfde karakters die gebruikt worden in het Chinees om te refereren naar “Tiao Xi”, Chinese Daoist ademhalingsmethodes.

De legendarische Zhang Sanfeng (張三豐), de legendarische Chinese Taoïstische priester die vaak wordt aangewezen als de stichter van Taijiquan, sprak over “Tiao Xi” in de 13e eeuw “Daoyan qianjin shuo” (道言淺近說):

“Wanneer het hart en de geest kalm worden en onder de navel gaat heet dat het leegmaken van hart/geest, wanneer de adem zich verzamelt en onder de navel gaat het dat gereguleerde ademhaling (調息).”

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Survey says – this is Aiki!

フル・コンタクト・カラテ Full Contact Karate magazine

Full Contact Karate at the Aikido Sangenkai? Not really, but many of the quotations in this article originally appeared in the January 1996 issue of the Japanese magazine “Full Contact Karate” (フル・コンタクト・カラテ), in an article entitled “Secret Technique: The Secret of Aiki” (秘技・合気の秘密). They present an interesting survey of comments on Aiki from some of the leading exponents of both Aikido and Daito-ryu.

You may also be interested in Sagawa-den Daito-ryu Aiki-Budo instructor Masaru Takahashi’s technical essay’s on the nature of Aiki “What is Aiki?” (Part 1 | Part 2  | Part 3). Continue reading »

What is Aiki? Introduction to a method of analyzing Aiki. (Part 3)

Sagawa Dojo Group

January 1974, Dojo-biraki at Sagawa Dojo
Tetsuya Taguchi (the dojo’s longest training student) to the left of Sagawa sensei
Keisetsu Yoshimaru to the right of Sagawa sensei
Yoshio Ohara, front row right
Masaru Takahashi, second row left

You may recognize Yukiyoshi Sagawa’s student Keisetsu Yoshimaru (吉丸慶雪) in the photo above from the articles “Aiki no Rentai: The Conditioned Body of Yukiyoshi Sagawa” (Part 1 | Part 2), and “Yukiyoshi Sagawa on Bujutsu and Ki-Ryoku” (Part 1 | Part 2).

You may also recognize Yoshio Ohara, famous in Sagawa Dojo for his great strength, whose picture appeared in the second part of “What is Aiki?“, being thrown by Yukiyoshi Sagawa in Aiki-nage.

Masaru Takahashi (高橋賢) also appears in the commemorative photo above. Takahashi sensei was a senior student of the famous Daito-ryu instructor Yukiyoshi Sagawa, and continues to instruct at the Sagawa-den Daito-ryu Aiki Budo Sagamihara branch dojo (佐川伝大東流合氣武道相模原支部) and at the Daito-ryu Sagawa Dojo hombu (大東流佐川道場本部) in Kodaira city.

Takahashi sensei often contributes articles on Daito-ryu to the monthly Japanese Budo magazine Hiden (月刊秘伝), and is the author of a book on Chinese Qigong, 中国秘伝の秘伝術気功法, which has been translated into English and published as “Qigong for Health“.

This is the third and final section of the English translation of his thoughts concerning the analysis of Aiki. You may wish to read Part 1 and Part 2 before reading this concluding section. The original Japanese text appeared in Takahashi sensei’s book “The Truth of Daito-ryu Aiki” (大東流合気の真実), which was published in Japanese by Fukushodo Co. Ltd. in September 2007.

Other sections from this book appear in the articles “Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu” and “Strange, Odd and False Theories of Aiki“.

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