Monday, July 18, 2011

old ways...

Aikido, while regarded (perhaps erroneously) as one of the more gentle of the martial arts, has its basis in more traditional and aggressive styles.

Morihei Ueshiba, prior to developing his own art, had mastered other forms of combat such as daito ryu and even sumo when he was younger. It was from this solid base--not out of thin air--that he then developed his own interpretation of martial arts in the style of aikido.

He said:

"Even though our path is completely different from the warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon totally the old ways. Absorb venerable traditions into this new Art by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms."

Myself, I study japanese jiu-jitsu, but glean from the traditions of karate, boxing, and, of course, aikido. I'm dressing up my own training in fresh garments in order to create the best forms for myself.

And if Ueshiba were practicing today, no doubt his style would evolve to meet today's nuances. But of course, it would again be a tweaking of the "old ways".

And ultimately, the Master would repeat the one thing that has transcended every epoch of Japanese warrior history.

That is, "Illuminate your path according to your inner light."

This is the true legacy of Morihei Ueshiba.


  1. Classical ju-jitsu? Rather Daito Ryu, which IS aikido. Ueshiba simply rebranded it, and marketed with a different attitude. Depends on the school, but IMHO the arts are one in the same.

  2. i'm learning about aikido, so my mistake...

  3. Good article, JC. Taking input from all sources is a tradition in the martial arts. Bruce Lee is a clear modern example, using fencing, boxing and what he learned from friends as well as his own background to further his studies. I recall more than a few jujutsu ryu being created based on some esoteric techniques from a visiting scholar, meditation and a solid background in a martial art.

  4. yamabushi, thanks. ever since i fenced over a decade ago, my stance has switched to (mainly) strong hand forward... it really impacted me in many ways.

  5. it's funny, I still have a bias to use my right hand forward as a result of sparring with a blackbelt who was left handed. To this day, I am comfortable with switching back and forth, and I can use this to overwhelm those without that experience.

  6. we have a lefty in the dojo and it's invaluable.