Koyo's Book

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by aikiwolfie, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    Koyo asked me to start this thread. I think he has something in mind for all the badgers badgering him about a new book.
  2. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    You tease by not telling all you know, methinks... :) Anyhoo, definitely looking forward to this.
  3. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    After fifty years of crosstraining JMA I have come to think that the principles are all the same.

    While I was studying mainly aikido ,friends found their way in other arts and over the years we have kept in touch and crosstrained together.

    I was priviledged to receive instruction from a number of shihan in a number of arts hopefully gaining insights that I intend to post here.

    I make NO comparisons between arts nor have ANY interest in personalities or politics
    I hope that becomes apparent in the posts.


    Kuden are oral instructions given by the master to a student when it is thought he has developed the capacity to understand them. These shall be the thrust of the volume.

    My own training consisted of a series of challenges given by the shihan little "instruction" was given. An example being when I asked how to perform a ukemi..I was thrown until "I taught myself" . Of course the shan had the control to ensure I did not injure myself. This is simply to illustrate that 90% of what you learn is through your own investigation and effort.


    These are the elements of martial arts that we must study put in order of their importance.

    ICHI GAN (first the eyes)
    "Watch ,learn to observe, do not depend on the shihan "showing you". Learn to observe and be AWARE of the strengths and weaknesses you see in the training approaches of your fellow students.

    Chiba shihan said that he "did not have time so he MADE his students learn" If I had a question about the effectiveness of aikido I could watch friends in other art training and they were more than welcome to crosstrain with me so I could SEE the weaknesses and work to correct them.

    Experience is ICHI GAN.

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  4. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Example of Ichi Gan

    Below you can see the three kuzushi (unbalancing points) in shiho nage. When the technique is executed this is what the viewer will see.
    Attack blocked or avoided the attacker unbalanced and thrown.

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  5. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    ...someone trained in Ichi Gan shall also have noticed each and every opening the attacker offered. The technique would then be struck and stunned on first contact. Arm dislocated on second ,rib broken before the execution of the throw.

    A sempai (advanced student) shall ALWAYS "see" these openings during normal training and choose not to take them so as to be capable of executing the technique time and time again without injury to the uke BUT they are ALWAYS THERE.

    KUDEN a true martial artist is one with the ability to kill but chooses not to.

    Old school. You do not defend while attacking ,you get hit in the face.
    You attack with little commitment ,you get hit in the face.
    You "assist" in the technique ,you get thrown out of the club.

    Saito shihan..flowing techniques must NOY be attempted until 3rd dan.
    Tada shihan. you must never execute /demonstrate techniques beyond your ability.

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  6. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    ....So WATCH what is going on rather than listen to what you are told. learn to observe and investigate for yourself.

    Chiba shihan asked me if I understood Zanshin )awareness before during and after a technique)
    I answered yes. "Then why are your students over there training so badly"
    I looked and BANG!!!!

    I aked how to ukemi from irrimi nage and was thrown continuously until I taught myself.

    Few words were used in training Nothing WAS "EXPLAINED" it was demonstrated and you HAD TO LEARN.

    I think this is where the "Shut up and train" that some modern teachers use is misrepresented. What is actually ment is OBSERVE properly and you will not have to ask.

    Chiba shihan

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  7. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.


    One advanced in Ichi Gan is said to be capable of seeing what is "not in view".
    Example when I faced John hepburn shihan 6th dan kendo..he seamed to know what I was going to do next and it was almost impossible to mount a powerful attack against him.

    Sekiya shihan said you must "See the fighting spirit of your attacker". Succesfully detect his NEXT move.

    O Sensei said to "Attack THROUGH his INTENTION to strike"

    All examples of acute obsevation. Below O Sensei has attacked Tamura shihan's intention to strike. Striking along the line of the sword.

    Expert swordsmen speak of seeing the line the sword is about to cut allowing them to avoid or pre-empt.


    A phrase that describes the four elements, in order of importance, that a martial artist must develop,which are essential in training.
    First of all the function of the eyes ,then the placement of the body, then the execution of the technique . These three elements must become one and forth, executed boldly.

    Japanese shall say with ki. However this word has been clothed in so much mystical rambling in the west that I chose to use "boldly"

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  8. Alansmurf

    Alansmurf Back on the mats !! Supporter

    Sensei , you write it we will buy it


  9. embra

    embra Valued Member

    I get the impression that prior to Chiba Shihan there was no established Kuden tradition in the UK, due to an abscence of budo culture.

    Feeding into this abscence of budo culture in the UK circa 1960 or so, absorption and practise of Aikido would have been somewhat ad-hoc, resulting iin an ill-defined systematic understanding of Aikido (maybe Judo also) in particular and budo in general.

    Between Kenshiro Abbe Shihan and Ueshiba, Chiba Shihan was identified as the individual to forge a system of budo via Kuden for Aikido, as efficiently and quickly (effectively with minimal distortion) as possible.

    These early days of Chiba Shihan in the UK seem to be almost legendary now. Ewen Mathieson told me of a particular seminar at Paisley Ice Rink around this time, where the participants were forced to wake-up to the limitations of their previous training in Aikido, with many giving up, save for a small number of individuals.

    These are just my perceptions, which could be mal-formed.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  10. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Asked what was most important in aikido Chiba shihan replied SINCERITY. Asked what is aikido he replied a CONFRONTATION OF TWO SPIRITS.

    That kuden was the most important that I have ever received. At the time I completely mistook it. I had been training for around eight years and had been graded to shodan by Noro shihan. Within a few hours of our first meeting I had been graded back to white.Chiba shihan had stripped me of all I had already "achieved"

    I shall be brutaly honest and admit I did not enjoy my initial training under Chiba shihan.He constantly "trapped me in a place from which there was no escape" (his words) forcing me to face things I would rather not.

    I had been enjoying training hard but NOT effectively.Now it hurt and great demands were made on me phyisicaly and emotionaly. While others enjoyed the seminars, as uke I was always afraid that I would get injured. I never did of course.

    In effect Chiba shihan made me confront myself and realise that aikido must be ruthless in it's attack. Not on others but upon our own interpretation,preferences and limitations.
    It is learned heart to heart through the pores of the skin.

    Make your body learn and allow aikido to change you NOT the other way around.

    I was at that seminar and another few where more timid souls up and left.

    Chiba shihan said that true martial artists shall always be in the minority.

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009

    KOKORO KAI Valued Member

    Thanks Bill
  12. Hiroji

    Hiroji laugh often, love much

    This is great thanks Koyo! :)
  13. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    next the body.
    There are no stances in martial arts. The arts are dependant on instant mobility in all directions. Any stance shall "trap" you for that moment.

    Optimum mobility using minimum movement.

    In shotokan karate we see zenkutsu dachi,kokutsu dachi,kiba dachi et al. ALL stances.
    However Enoida shihan the tiger of shotokan clearly stated that there are no stances in combat.In kata the stances are used to develop ,strengthen and losen individual muscle groups.

    In combat the karateka shall move freely and naturaly passing through the stances never becoming trapped by them.

    These kuden are NOT peculiar to Japanese arts.

    In his book in swordsmanship written in 1630 Gerrard Therauld speaks of natural posture ridiculing "those who contort their bodies into unatural shapes placing their feet and legs in such a manner as to impede their movement."

    He also says that attack and defence must be simultaneous taking the body off line while attacking "along the line of the sword".

    He also says "One must defeat the enemy's spirit first,inevitabley when the mind is defeated the body shall follow.

    I saw demonstrations of kumite by Enoids and Kanazawa shihans and it looked like two tigers fighting. Perhaps the "stances" were there but they were invisible to the eye.

    Enoida shihan and Kanazawa shihan.

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  14. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.


    Aikdio is NOT a circular art nor is it a responcive art.
    Kuden The secret of aikido is in the triangles. (morihiro saito shihan) The art is executed from sankaku ho a triangular posture that offers the smallest target area to an opponent.
    On contact the triangle "sharpens" into hito emi (make the body small)

    The attacker must be made to spin turn and spiral around the aikidoka NOT the opposite.

    Too often I have seen demonstrations with the aikidoka spinning all over the place constantly vulnerable to counter strikes and resistance.

    Movement during combat MUST be spontaneous and natural. No one "spins around" in a natural manner.

    Enter triangularly,control circularly and execute squarely (solid) (O Sensei)
    There are circles in aikido but they have no diameter (Sekiya shihan)

    Saito shihan

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  15. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    koyo-san!! :)

    Where can I purchase such wisdom? Please please write it and get it published.
  16. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Aikido is based upon sword and spear principles. having said that we have no stances we must have form.


    david shows the sankaku ho triangular kamae (posture) that is the fundamental posture of aikido. In it,intent body aignment and attack are one.


    Shows the hito emi sharpening of the traingle at the instant of contact. Here it has been use to avoid a sword cut. The sword is held back to show the alignment.


    Shows the triangular entry to pre-empt an attack and the use of atemi.

    ALL intention, movement and strikes MUST be executed instantly and boldly.

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  17. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    :evil:Ye knows too much!:evil:
  18. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    Can we have an autobiography as well please?
  19. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.


    The five scrolls of the Go Rin No Sho are named after the five elements of Earth,water,Wind,Fire and Void. Musashi makes it clear that he had a natural skill from the outset and developing or "revealing" that natural skill must be the goal of the warrior.

    One must be calm in the midst of battle and totally allert in the times of peace.One's natural way must become the way of the warrior.The pragmatism of Musahi's art states that the "Instant you take hold of the sword you must fill yourself with the intent to cut down the enemy" THIS AND NOTHING MORE.

    This speaks of a determined attitude , a superior fighting spirit that shall use all and every advantage to procure victory.
    You must study other schools of swordsmanship (crosstrain) to learn from their strengths and weaknesses.
    Elaborate postures should be avoided and you must do nothing that is not of value.
    Far more important was to seek the ability to see what the enemy intends. Zanshin.

    Understand the timing spirit and rythm of the attacker and deny him these using broken rythm and superior fighting spirit.

    While Musashi explains sword postures he uses the words ATTITUDE of the sword.
    To me this means that the Katachi kamae means the ATTITUDE of the body more so than the structure. Similarly the Kokoro Kamae means the mental ATTITUDE during combat.

    The katachi kamae and the kokoro kamae influence each other and when both are powerfully "made as one" real strength is found there.

    Ki spirit Ken technique Tai body alignment Ichi AS ONE . Is the aim of the martial artist.

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  20. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Did Mushashi write the five scrolls of the Go Rin No Sho? If not, who did and how did they get propagated into Japanese Martial culture? Through Kuden Oral Tradition?

    Also, you mention the 5 elements of Earth,water,Wind,Fire and Void. In what manner (similarity and difference) does this relate to the Taoist 5 Elements of Earth,water,Metal,Fire and Wood?
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009

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