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Tokimune Takeda - Aiki Kuden and Hiden - Aikido Sangenkai

“Daito-ryu Aiki-Budo Shugyo-kun (“training

Posted in the Daitokan dojo of Tokimune Takeda

The training rules at Tokimune Takeda’s Daitokan dojo:

1. The Dojo is a place of the spirit, we begin with

courtesy and end with courtesy.
2. The Way becomes profound, single-mindedly
condition and train yourself – never give up.
3. Pride is the beginning of inattention, and the origin of
4. Always be serious, sincerity is first.
Daitokan Dojo-kun
5. The ultimate level of the Way is Harmony, that is the
goal of this Ryu.

“The essential principles of Daito-ryu are Love and Harmony”

“The goal of spreading Daito-ryu is ‘Harmony and Love’, keeping this spirit is what preserves
and realizes social justice. This was Sokaku Sensei’s dying wish”
Tokimune Takeda, Soke of Daito-ryu Aiki-Budo
son of Daito-ryu Chuku-no-so Sokaku Takeda

Tokimune Takeda was born in Shimo-yubetsu, Hokkaido in 1916. The oldest son of Aikido Founder
Morihei Ueshiba’s teacher Sokaku Takeda and Sue Takeda, he was groomed to succeed his father
starting around 1925. In 1954 he established the Daitokan dojo in Abashiri, Hokkaido, changing the name
of his father’s art to “Daito-Ryu Aikibudo” and assuming the title of “Soke”. He taught Daito-ryu there until
his death on December 2nd 1993.

The young Tokimune Takeda with his mother Sue Takeda

Yoshihisa Ishibashi () was born in Tokyo in 1938 and started training in Daito Ryu

at the Daitokan dojo in 1964. He learned Daito-ryu Aikibudo and Ono Ha Itto Ryu
Kenjutsu directly from Tokimune Takeda. In 1969, together with Yoshimi
Tomabechi () and Katsuyuki Kondo (), he opened the Katsushika Branch Dojo in
Tokyo and was its first head instructor. He received an Ono Ha Itto Ryu license
from Junzo Sasamori () and has a breadth of experience from zen to judo, kendo,
Shorinji Kempo, and Chen Tai Chi.

The “118 techniques” in Daito-ryu cover the techniques contained in the Hiden
Mokuroku () certificate , from Ikajo to Gokajo, and were taught as the core
curriculum of Tokimune Takeda’s Daito-ryu Aiki Budo. The book “Daito-ryu Aiki
Tokimune Takeda and mother

Page 1 of 6118 Techniques” () was written by Yoshihisa Ishibashi and published in Dec 23, 2015 09:44:49AM MST
Budo 118 Techniques” () was written by Yoshihisa Ishibashi and published in
Japanese in 2015 by BAB Japan publishing company (BAB), which also publishes the popular martial arts
magazine Gekkan Hiden ( / “Secret Teachings Monthly”).

This is the English translation of a section from Ishibashi Sensei’s book in which he reveals some of the
Kuden (“oral teachings”) that he received from Tokimune Sensei, and also includes some excerpts from
Tokimune Sensei’s personal notes. Another section of this book appeared in the article “Solo Training for
Kokyu-ryoku and Ki in Daito-ryu Aiki Budo“.

Yoshihisa Ishibashi and Tokimune Takeda

Tokimune Takeda – Aiki Kuden and Hiden

In this section I will introduce oral statements from

Tokimune Sensei concerning Aiki, as well as
statements from his personal notes. The following
will discuss the whole of Aiki. Please read it
carefully and repeatedly in order to understand it

What is Aiki?

Yoshihisa Ishibashi and Tokimune Takeda 1) Aiki contains the Okugi (“Inner Secrets”).

“Aiki” is to throw the opponent using their own strength.

The core of Daito-ryu Aikibudo is Aiki-jujutsu, but it also contains the Okugi of the sword, the spear, the
staff and other arts.

2) “Aiki” is neutral (*Translator’s note – oral teaching of Tokimune Takeda: “Aiki is an absolute
neutral, therefore the neutral possesses In and Yo”)

The universe, phenomena, environment, conditions – all have counter actions, and have no normal form.
In/yo, front/back, long/short. Water flows from the mountains, but in the same way it always changes in
order to respond to conditions.

The Entire Body is a Weapon

Aiki is is something that is applied at the necessary time to a specific part of the opponent’s body using the
necessary areas of our bodies.

One uses every part of their body – Ki and power are focused in the necessary part.

Aiki and Moving First ()

Aiki is moving first, Sen-sen-no-sen.

“Aiki-age” contains sen-sen-no-sen and go-go-no-sen.

Defense is the greatest attack, this is Daito-ryu, this is “Aiki”.

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There is no stance in Aiki, no first attack.

Aiki, Kokyu and Ki

Aiki is enacted by concentrating Ki through the unification of the mind and the breath.

The power of Aiki is relaxation and Kokyu.

Aiki-waza: Human life exists through Ki, it is the cultivation of Ki. Fill the Seika-tandan with Ki through
Kokyu-ho, unify your mind to concentrate the power of Ki. Cultivate the Immovable Mind (“Fudo-shin” / )
that is without doubt, without fear (), reach the divine realm that is free from worldly thoughts
(“Munen-muso” / ). Match to the Ki of all things in the universe, and becoming enlightened to good and bad
fortune (“Kikyo-kafuku” / ), reach the secret methods of seeing the future, the relative weighting of the body
and insight into the human mind. Master this by tempering your Ki through Zazen (“seated meditation” / )
and Ritsuzen (“standing meditation” / ).

Aiki Kokyu-ho: Grip your five fingers and inhale – In (“yin”). Open your five fingers and exhale – Yo

Aiki Inyo-ho: Two people practice Aiki Inyo-ho together. When the partner grasps both wrists, one fills
their Tanden, underarm and fingertips with Ki and, opening both hands, pushes up towards the partner’s
underarms to destabilize the partner and throw them in all directions. The conditioning in Kokyu-ho uses no
forced strength, you are both practicing. It is the same with one hand. There will be exquisite advances in
Shin-ki-ryoku (). Oral teaching – “Asagao” ().

(*Translator’s note:”Shin-ki-ryoku-icchi” / is a popular phrase in Japanese kendo and is usually

translated as “unification of mind, spirit and technique”, although “ryoku” actually means “strength” or
“power”. Some people see this as a rephrasing of the “three internal harmonies” from Chinese internal
martial arts. “Asagao” means “morning glory” and refers to the way that the hand is opened and held in
Daito-ryu, which is similar to the way that the morning glory flower opens..)


No stance (natural stance / “shizentai”).

One matches their Ki with the Ki of the attacking opponent as water flows without stagnation. Using the
opponent’s power softly we destabilize the opponent’s body and throw them in all directions through
changes in our body.

Aiki-nage is an applied technique of Aiki-jujutsu. Without using striking or choking techniques,without

opposing their Ki, we steal the opponent’s Ki by making swift changes within our bodies.

Kokyu and timing are extremely important. When one uses strength it becomes impossible. One always
matches the opponent’s movements, breathing and Ki while throwing.


One name for this is Goten-jutsu (), an Otome-waza ( / “secret technique”) of the Aizu Domain used when
one was not carrying the two swords.

Page 3 of 6 Yoshihisa
Dec 23, 2015 09:44:49AM MST

Ishibashi shows
examples of
Right: focus
(“kime”) on the
outer pulse of
the wrist
attacking a vital
point (“kyusho”)
on the elbow
Yoshihisa Ishibashi - destabilization through pain
Left: atemi

Shinken Shobu no Kata ( / “Combat Forms”): Matching to the flow of the opponent’s Ki, one combines
striking, choking and throwing techniques, therefore the forms of defense and control are accompanied by
danger. In this training one must be especially careful to make no mistakes (the instructor must have the
courage to use discretion). From Ikajo to Gokajo, 108 techniques, Shoden Mokuroku. Here is the complete
transmission of all the mysteries.


Constantly admonishing and being aware of oneself, strive to reach the mysteries of Aiki.

There is no first attack in Aiki-jujutsu. Endure as much as you should endure. Even when it becomes
necessary, neutralize the opponent without causing injury through Aiki.

There is no stance in Aiki-jujutsu. One matches with the enemy at all times, in all places, front and back,
left and right, four directions, eight directions, thirty-six directions and changes freely, so to stop one’s mind
in a stance is to lose the mysterious effect of the changes. By always keeping one’s mind calm and open
one will become able to change freely. (*Translator’s Note: this is a paraphrase of a teaching from Ono-ha

The entire body is Aiki

Head, hands, shoulders, elbows, feet, to the end of the fingers one’s entire body must be “Aiki”. One’s
entire body matches with the opponent’s movement. To match is to remove the opponent’s power, to use
the opponent’s movement and power (“Nuki-aiki” / ). Without resisting, one drains away and annihilates the
opponents Ki through Nuki-aiki. (“De-aiki” / , “Hiki-aiki” / , “Nuki-aiki” / )

Opportunity is important in “Aiki” – it is not something that develops at random, or for everybody.

Coordination and Changes in technique:

A) Use of the technique applied by the opponent.

B) Undo the opponent’s technique, or ward off and use the opponent’s destabilized posture.
C) Take the opponent’s technique into a reversal.

“Aiki” is to use the opponent’s power to throw.

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A section of Tokimune Takeda’s personal notes

Secrets of Aiki

1. Use of the Fingers (from Tokimune Sensei’s personal notes)

Little Finger Outside

Spiral, rotation, power leading up and down.

Ring Finger Outside

Push forward. The power of Aiki-age.

Tokimune Takeda's personal
notes Extend the Index Finger

Spiral power.


(*Translator’s note: there is more information on “Kakete” in the article “Hakaru Mori on Kakete and Aiki
no Jutsu“) 

Gripping hand (“tsukami-te” / ) in Kakete concentrates the consciousness in the thumb, index finger and
little finger.

2. Stickiness (“Kuden” – “oral teaching”)

“Stickiness” is an extremely important element of Aiki technique. The following two points are important for
mastering this:

a) Cultivating softness.

Ceaselessly train the arms (from the tips of the fingers to the shoulders) to be soft. Particularly, stiffness in
the elbow is something that persists until the end.

b) When one is fortunate enough to be grabbed don’t separate from the grabbing hand until the
opponent is controlled.

Release your strength and allow the opponent to grasp you completely. Then it is necessary to build a body
with soft musculature that can follow the movements of the opponent wherever they go.

3. Returning

“Use of reaction” – this is an extremely important component of Aiki technique. Use the reaction to the
direction of the pushing and pulling power. Forward and back, up and down, left and right.

4. Stretch out the opponent’s arms.

When grabbing the opponent, the power of their arms is enabled by their ability to bend their wrists and
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5. Omote Aiki, Ura Aiki (“Kuden” – “oral teaching”)

Omote Aiki: fingertips pointing upwards

Ura Aiki: fingertips pointing downwards

6. Salmon Fishing (“Yamame-tsuri” / )

Move your hands slowly up and down, lead the opponent and throw.

Tokimune Takeda teaches Daito-ryu Aikibudo

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