2016 International Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Convention held August 13, 2016, in Katsuura, Chiba, Japan by Katsuyuki Kondo

katsuyuki-kondo-portraitI would like to thank everyone from the Katsushika branch for their valuable efforts regarding the preparation of the demonstration. During the last demonstration at Abashiri, the head of the Nagoya branch, Suzuki Sensei, wisely mentioned that as long as there wasn’t any anniversary event, the Headquarters’ Demonstration should be held in Tokyo. This proposal was adopted at the subsequent Assembly of Branch Heads. If it is to be held in the Tokyo area, foreigners taking part in the special training summer camp could also participate, and for this reason, it was decided to have it held in Katsuura.

I have repeatedly mentioned that the Hiden Mokuroku speaks only of jujutsu and nowhere is there mention made of Aiki; all the techniques from Ikkajo up to Gokajo are jujutsu techniques. Tokimune Takeda Sensei used to teach only up to Yonkajo and no one is supposed to have received official instruction in Gokajo techniques. The reason for this is that, in order to perform correctly Emono-dori and Tasu-dori, one needs to have an understanding of the principles of Aiki.

I am sure that many people, having demonstrated both Emono-dori and Tasuu-dori on multiple occasions, claim understanding of these techniques. Imitating the form (kata) can be achieved by anyone, but both techniques cannot be performed without having studied Aikijujutsu. For this reason, both Emono-dori and Tasu-dori will be instructed to those who have been granted the scroll after the Hiden Mokuroku – the Aikijujutsu scroll.

Currently, I am introducing principles of Aikijujutsu techniques to all Ikkajo techniques, except for the five of Ushiro-dori. In other words, I am introducing at the Ikkajo level what my late Master did not instruct at the Daitokan Dojo. Without Aiki, Daito-ryu techniques are inapplicable against oversized foreigners. My late Master forbade me from doing this; he used to say that Aiki should not be taught, that if divulged, the oral and secret teachings of Daito-ryu would be disclosed to all.

The only thing that my late Master mentioned in terms of explaining Aiki was “tsun” and “The importance of Morning glory (the flower)”. He did not teach about Aiki, and all the techniques at the Daitokan were jujutsu techniques. The techniques that I am currently showing are not Kondo-style techniques; I have simply introduced Aiki from the Aikijujutsu scroll into Ikkajo.

During an open seminar abroad advertised by martial arts magazines, people paid to receive instruction. You could not possibly know who the person stepping on the mat was, but the greater part of these were people with experience in martial arts. Therefore one’s technique has to be effective against any opponent, regardless of circumstances. If not, during break-time participants who heard the news that Daito-ryu techniques are ineffective would spread it around immediately. In this sense, an open seminar is nothing short of competition between styles.

Headmaster Tokimune Takeda instructs Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei in a seated technique c1980
Headmaster Tokimune Takeda instructs Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei in a seated technique c1980

In 1975, I was by ordered of my late Master to I start instructing abroad. I went to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, DC, Maryland and New York; participants ranged from marines and VIP bodyguards to karate, judo and jujutsu practitioners. With my then poor understanding of Aiki, these were very difficult seminars.

Then during the Aiki Expo in Las Vegas from 2002 to 2005, there was a 2,000 mat dojo divided into 8 blocks, each block attended by various famous Aikido Masters (Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama Aikikai, Nishio Aikido, Brazilian Jujutsu, Daito-ryu, Systema (Russia), simultaneously providing instruction to whomever decided to step on their section of the mat – 7 times a day, three days in a row, 21 seminars altogether. The organizers kept track of how many participants attended each block throughout the event. From 500 people registered, Daito-ryu was consistently ranked at the top with high attendance peaking at 188 people and low counted as 120 people. (The numbers were provided by Shizuo Amano affilliated with World Headquarters)

Altogether, there have been 6 seminars in Maryland, USA and one each in New York and Washington, DC. Moving to Europe, there have been 5 seminars in Holland, 8 in Italy, 3 in Moscow, and 1 in Germany. Apart from that, there has been one seminar in Australia, 5 in Brunei, 3 in the Philippines.

I was granted the Menkyo Kaiden in 1988. At that time I was greatly doubtful of my abilities, but finally in 2010, I somehow managed to reconcile my feelings. My technique has changed through the years; this is called evolution.

I opened my dojo in 1970. Since then 46 years have elapsed, and the techniques that I taught 30, 20 or 10 years ago have evolved through the decades, but there was a time when I still had no true understanding of Aiki, for which fact I owe an apology to my students. My technique has invisibly changed for the last five years. Once you gain understanding of all the Daito-ryu scrolls, this change in technique is inevitable.

By all means, do try to steal my technique (i.e. obtain understanding by observing and internalizing what you have seen)

1. Daito-ryu Hiden Mokuroku contains entry level Jujutsu techniques  
2. Aiki Jutsu
3. Hiden Ogi
4. Aiki Nito-ryu Hiden
5. Hiogi (Goshinyo-no-te) 
6. Menkyo kaiden

Group photo of 61st Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Demonstration participants organized by Shimbukan Dojo
Group photo of 61st Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Demonstration organized by Shimbukan Dojo
I have been told in the past that one can be considered accomplished if he has received instruction up to Hiogi (Goshinyo no te). At that point, one is granted a certificate recognizing adeptness in all transmitted tradition in Daito-ryu. If anyone is interested, feel free to make an appointment. Beware that special training will not be for free anymore. There is a good reason for Sokaku Takeda telling my late Master Tokimune that he had never taught the same technique twice; this is a very important thing for Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. This is all the more important for instructors to keep in mind; therefore, please try to understand the importance of this concept.

Party following 61st Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Demonstration
Party following 61st Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Demonstration
For your reference, in the Eimeiroku (enrollment logs) of Sokaku Takeda Sensei, there is mention of people having trained 36 times, and on multiple occasions, Goshinyo no te techniques.

Contact Shimbukan Dojo of Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei

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