Dawn of Aikido Book Set ($49.95)
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Step to the top of the class!
For some, Aikido is a leisure activity. For others, it is a life-transforming path they take very seriously. What is it for you?
If you fit into the later category, you train diligently and focus your energies on learning the art to perfection.
Part of your toolkit for achieving success in Aikido is an understanding of the origins of the art. Who was Morihei Ueshiba, the man who created this highly refined martial discipline? Who was the enigmatic martial genius by the name of Sokaku Takeda who disseminated Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, the art that forever changed Morihei’s life?
Two books by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin answer these questions and many others based on authoritative research conducted at the source in Japan over a period of decades.
Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters and Aikido Pioneers - Prewar Era, both fascinating collections of interviews with the key figures of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and early Aikido, belong in your collection of must-read books!
Find answers to all your questions about the origins and evolution of the marvelous discipline we practice by obtaining these books comprising nearly 600 pages, now made even more affordable through this special offer!
See below for detailed descriptions of the contents.
Sokaku Takeda was one of the outstanding figures of 20th century Japanese martial arts. For over fifty years he taught his art of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu to nearly thirty thousand students, including Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Today, Daito-ryu is perhaps the best known of the Japanese jujutsu styles, but there has been surprisingly little information in print in any language on this fascinating and complex art. Daito-ryu aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters is the first book in English to explore the life of Takeda, the history of his art, and the techniques that are practiced in Daito-ryu today.
The heart of this book consists of a series of interviews with the leading exponents of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu—including several direct students of Sokaku— featuring Tokimune Takeda, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Chieko Horikawa, Yusuke Inoue, Takuma Hisa, Keisuke Sato, Katsuyuki Kondo, Hakaru Mori and Seigo Okamoto. Also, a rare newspaper article from 1930 that spotlights Sokaku is featured.
In addition, Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters includes an authoritative essay on the life of Sokaku Takeda and the history of the art by Aikido Journal Editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin.
Tokimune Takeda: The third son and successor of Sokaku Takeda, Tokimune Takeda underwent extensive martial arts training as a youth under his father beginning in 1925. He completed the Hokkaido Police Officer Training Course in 1946, and in 1947, a police course in stick handling techniques. While a member of the police force, Tokimune received several awards for outstanding service in arresting criminals. He joined the Yamada Fishery Co., Ltd., in December 1951 and worked there until his retirement in 1976. Tokimune established the Daitokan Dojo in Abashiri, Hokkaido in 1953, and organized Daito-ryu techniques, incorporating into them elements of Onoha Itto-ryu to create his own Daito-ryu Aiki Budo. Received the Cultural Social Education Award from Abashiri City on 3 November 1987.
Yukiyoshi Sagawa began his formal study of Daito-ryu under Sokaku Takeda at age eleven. He was certified as an instructor by Sokaku in 1932. Later, he accompanied his teacher to various locations in Japan as an assistant instructor. One of the most prominent students of Sokaku Takeda, Sagawa remained semi-active and operates a dojo attached to his home in Kodaira City, a suburb of Tokyo.
Kodo Horikawa: The eldest son of Taiso Horikawa, Kodo learned jujutsu from his father during adolescence. He became a student of Sokaku Takeda in Daito-ryu in 1914. Kodo received the Hiden Mokuroku in January of 1931, the Hiden Okugi Mokuroku in June, and became an instructor in October of the same year. He established the Daito-ryu Kodokai in Kitami in 1950, and taught Daito-ryu until his death.
Takuma Hisa was captain of his sumo club at Kobe Commercial College (presently Kobe University). In 1927 he entered the head office of the Asahi News through an introduction from his university senior, Mitsujiro Ishii, and in 1934 he assumed the important post of Director of General Affairs at the Osaka Asahi News. Through an introduction from Ishii, Hisa invited Morihei Ueshiba to come from Tokyo to teach aikijujutsu at the Osaka Asahi News Head office. In 1936, he began training under Sokaku Takeda when the latter came to Osaka. Sokaku awarded Hisa the Daito-ryu aikijujutsu menkyo kaiden in 1939. In 1959, Hisa founded the Kansai Aikido Club. He relocated to Tokyo where he lived his final years in 1961 after suffering a stroke.
Keisuke Sato began practicing judo while a middle school student. Later while preparing for his university entrance examination in Kyoto, he studied judo intensively at the Butokuden. Later, he received a 2nd dan in judo directly from Jigoro Kano at the Kodokan. After enrolling in Takushoku University in Tokyo, he took up the study of karate under Gichin Funakoshi and also devoted himself to zazen practice. About 1929 in Semi, he first met Sokaku Takeda and became an enthusiatic student of Daito-ryu in his hometown. He was certified as an instructor by Sokaku in 1935. Sato has not actively practiced the martial arts since his training was interrupted by military service, but he has followed the postwar development of Daito-ryu closely and maintained contact with the Takeda family.
Katsuyki Kondo learned Daito-ryu aikjujutsu from Tsunejiro Hosono and Kotaro Yoshida. He later studied under former Headmaster Tokimune Takeda. Kondo was certified as a Daito-ryu instructor in 1974 and appointed Soke Dairi in 1988. He is an authority on swordsman, calligrapher, and Zen master, Tesshu Yamaoka. Kondo currently operates the Shimbukan dojo in Tokyo and assumed leadership of the mainstream Daito-ryu organization following the death of Tokimune Takeda in 1993.
Seigo Okamoto entered the Daito-ryu aikijujutsu school of Kodo Horikawa in 1963 at the age of thirty-eight. Okamoto received his 7th dan in 1974, and three years later moved to Tokyo. In 1978, he received an instructor’s license from Horikawa. After Horikawa passed away in 1980, Okamoto established the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai in order to spread the art in Tokyo. He is the author of a Japanese-language technical book titled Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu.
Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) drew on his extensive martial arts experience as a young man, fusing this knowledge with his deeply-held religious beliefs, to create the modern self-defense art of Aikido.
During his long career, Ueshiba associated with some of prewar Japan’s most colorful characters, including famous jujutsu master Sokaku Takeda, the charismatic religious leader Onisaburo Deguchi, and numerous members of Japan’s military, political, and business elite. Here is the captivating story of the birth of aikido, based on the first-hand accounts of Ueshiba’s top students prior to World War II.
The interviews contained in Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era have been meticulously edited from hundreds of hours of conversations conducted over a 30-year period with those closest to the Founder. These early devotees of the art offer an insightful portrayal of the character of the Aikido Founder, and a detailed description of his teaching and activities, spanning nearly half a century. More than 100 photos, many published for the first time, add an important visual dimension to the testimonies of the interviewees. This is an essential volume for those desiring to discover the roots of Aikido, a true cultural treasure of Japan.
Historical Overview by Stanley Pranin - 20 interviews with the following Aikido Pioneers of the Prewar Era:
Noriaki (Yoichiro) Inoue - nephew of Morihei Ueshiba, and one of the most skilled of the Founder’s students who went on to create Shinei Taido following the war
Kenji Tomiki - began Daito-ryu aikijujutsu in 1925 under Morihei, later becoming Waseda University professor and Founder of Tomiki Aikido, the only form of the art to incorporate competition
Hisao Kamada - one of Morihei’s earliest students with an insider’s knowledge of the beginnings of aikido
Hajime Iwata - early disciple of Founder who taught Aiki Budo in Shanghai, China, and later rose to the rank of 9th dan
Minoru Mochizuki - judo champion sent to study with Morihei by Jigoro Kano of Kodokan Judo fame who later pioneered aikido in France and created Yoseikan Budo
Shigemi Yonekawa - one of the most skilled of the prewar uchideshi known for appearing with the Founder in the famous Noma Dojo photo series
Rinjiro Shirata - the pride of the Kobukan Dojo who, following World War II, taught aikido in the Tohoku region and was later awarded 9th dan
Gozo Shioda - dynamic early disciple of Morihei who took the lead in developing postwar aikido and established Yoshinkan Aikido
Yoshio Sugino - judo and Katori Shinto-ryu adept who enrolled at Kobukan Dojo, and later choreographed martial arts scenes for Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Yojimbo
Kiyoshi Nakakura - adopted son of Morihei Ueshiba, and one of Japan’s top swordsmen of the twentieth century
Takako Kunigoshi - one of the few female Aiki Budo practitioners, and skilled artist who created technical drawings for Budo Renshu
Zenzaburo Akazawa - from a family of Omoto believers, began Aiki Budo at 12 years old and served Morihei and his family during the prewar era
Tenryu - the famous sumo wrestler who rebeled against the feudalistic prewar Sumo Association, and who studied under Morihei after finding himself powerless against the Founder
Bansen Tanaka - prewar student of Morihei from Osaka who created a large aikido organization after the war, and was awarded 9th dan
Shigenobu Okumura - a student at famous Kenkoku University in Manchuria, who became one of the backbones of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo after the war, and rose to the rank of 9th dan
Minoru Hirai - General Affairs Director of Kobukan Dojo who had a key role in selecting the name “aikido,” and who would later found Korindo Aikido
Koichi Tohei - one of Morihei’s most famous students, pioneer of aikido in Hawaii and the USA, who attained the rank of 10th dan, and later founded Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido
Kisaburo Osawa - devoted early student of Founder who served as Dojo-cho of the postwar Aikikai Hombu Dojo, and rose to the rank of 9th dan
Kanshu Sunadomari - from a family of devout Omoto believers, trained at Kobukan Dojo during the war, and later pioneered aikido in Kyushu, reached the rank of 9th dan, and established Manseikan Aikido
Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba - Morihei’s son, administrator and leading figure of postwar aikido, prolific author, and the art’s Second Doshu
About the Author
Stanley Pranin is a 5th degree aikido black belt, and Editor-in-Chief of Aikido Journal, formerly known as Aiki News. An avid historian of Aikido, Pranin has lived in Japan for more than 20 years conducting research into the art, especially the life and work of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. He is the author of The Encyclopedia of Aikido, and hundreds of articles written about every aspect of this Japanese martial art.
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