Evidence that Osensei’s Aikido remained relatively the same post war.
Although limited, we can still find enough photos and videos about Aikido’s history.
As an Aikidoka (practitioner of Aikido) I am fascinated by our Aiki history. From General Yoshimitsu (credited by Daito Ryu Aikijutsu) research in the battle field, to Takeda Sensei swashbuckling days to Osensei’s retirement and perfection of Aikido in Iwama.
I usually leave Aikido history to our Aikido historians to talk about. I enjoy Aikido stories from well known Aikido scholars such us Stanley Pranin Sensei, and John Stevens Sensei, to the not so well known historians such as the remaining first generation and the matured second generation shihan and sensei that are generous enough to share their knowledge of Aikido history.
As a third generation Aikidoka I sit back and listen to the tales of old and enjoy the stories over a beer or sake at the dinner table.
Just imagine, if Osensei is your actual instructor what would he teach you and how would he teach you.
Although I am interested and I love Aikido history, I am not obsessed by it. This way I distance myself to Aikido dogma, politics and the argument of ‘which Aikido is better or which Shihan is right’. I guess this is my own little way of sticking to the ‘No competition in Aikido’ principle. I don’t compete with other Aikido styles to prove which Aikido is the better. We don’t need this criticism in Aikido, we have all the violent MMA and UFC trolls do this for us.
To me Aikido is personal, at the end of the day the Aikido that only matters is the Aikido that is inside of Aikidoka. Osensei nor any sensei cannot make your Aikido better, they can’t do your push-ups for you, nor fight your battles for you. Only you the Aikidoka can make your Aikido better through practice.
Having said all of that, I am fascinated and perhaps a tad obsessed by Osensei’s raw Aikido, no I am not talking about Pre War Aikido versus Post War Aikido, I am talking about Osensei’s actual raw Aikido. Just imagine, if Osensei is your actual instructor what would he teach you and how would he teach you. I have sourced his book ‘Budo’ and countless of videos. I am still looking for the fabled holy grail of Aikido Books, Osensei’s ‘Aiki Kyusho Jutsu’ book.
I guess, I want to move like Osensei, I want my Aikido to be like Osensei’s Aikido.
Osensei nor any sensei cannot make your Aikido better nor fight your battles for you. Only you the Aikidoka can make your Aikido better through practice.
One of the old stories I heard or read was after the war, Osensei went to Iwama to retire and there he amalgamated all his martial art experience, perfected his art and invented Aikido. This story was my answer to the question ‘why are there so many Aikido styles’, because ‘Aikido evolved and continues to evolve’.
My next question were, did Osensei teach his students different Aikido at different times or the different Aikido styles came from the interpretations of Osensei’s Aikido? I think the latter question (hypothesis) is closer to the truth.
Being closer to the truth, my quest to seek Osensei’s Aikido is cemented. I really want to move like him.
Let me share with you a good video from Marius V (YouTube). In this video you will see that Osensei’s Aikido remained similar or even same after the WWII.
Thank you reading,