As a new
topic, many students will have conjured up all sorts of
thoughts of what Aikido is, and most of thoughts are
probably correct. Aikido means different things to
different people. To
avoid confusion we must first look into its history.
to the original form, "AIKI JUJUTSU", date back to
fighting form was closely guarded by the heads of Japanese
Clans in Feudal times and was only taught to the knights of
the Clan. The
close combat weapons used in those days were, swords,
spears, staffs knives to name a few.
In general fighting was carried out in close
as we have seen in recent times, battle is fought at distant
and with explosive weapons such as guns & bombs etc.
To use a Martial Art against such devices would be
the reasons for learning a Martial Art today are entirely
different from the original reasons. Today it is more
about leisure and in essence the spirit of what once was.
From this we can practise and become skilful with a more
useful purpose. This purpose is the development of
body and mind for the good of all.
A SHORT HISTORY OF KIKUSUI
Aikido is a Martial Art that
has a history that reaches back to 11th Century Japan. It is
system of training that is attributed to a Samurai General
by the name of Shinra Saburo Yoshimitsu. Having studied many
forms of Ju-Jitsu, the general devised a system of
self-defence without weapon, that would provide his officers
with both physical fitness and spiritual well being. This
system, which he named Daitoryu-Aiki-Ju-Jutsu, proved so
successful and valuable that for centuries afterwards it was
kept secret and handed down only through members of the
powerful Minamoto family. Later it was handed down to the
Takeda family of the Aizu clan. Dr. Sogaku Takeda taught the
hereditary successor, Professor Morihei Uyeshiba in 1910
when the professor was 28 years of age.
He too possessed a wide
knowledge of the Japanese martial arts and was expert in
many schools of Ju-Jutsu. His first master in the martial
arts was one Tokuzaburo Tozawa who taught him the forms of
the Kito-Ryu school when he was in his teens. At the age of
20 he studied Yagi-Ryu and early form of fencing from
Masakatsu Nakai. It was Nakai Sensei who taught Uyeshiba to
use the Bokken (Wooden Sword) really well. He also studied
Judo with Kiyoichi Takaki in Wakayama Ken. From all these he
took the best of the techniques he had learned and added to
them his mastery of Daitoryu-Aiki-Ju-Jutsu and so formed his
own system, which is now known as Aikido.
One famous samurai who has
had a deep and lasting influence on the formation of Kikusui
Kai was Masashige
was a powerful symbol of loyalty to the Emperor Go-Daigo.
defence of Chihaya Castle became one of the most famous
examples of bushido.
The Kikusui no Mon (the Kikusui Kai emblem or
badge) comes from his family crest, which consists of kiku
and sui – water.
Early forms of the Kikusui
translation of old characters which form part of the battle
flag of Masashige
is a explanation of the world order, which reads,
“Atrocity cannot win over Justice.
Justice cannot win over Law.
Law cannot win over Authority.
Authority cannot win over God.”
This teaching dates back to 13th century
Japan and may be difficult to relate to modern times.
below the Kikusui
no Mon are
old style characters which form part of the battle flag of Masashige
simpler definition might read:
TRUE SPIRIT WE STRIVE EXCELLENCE,
WHICH PREVAILS OVER INJUSTICE AND INIQUITY"
YAMADA's BADGE (KIKUSUI KAI MON)
Today the "Battle Crest" is worn
in a much simpler form and signifies a belonging to and
perpetuation of the great loyalty that was demonstrated by Masashige
A modern explanation might be that
the Chrysanthemum shows true natural beauty and the bottom
half is the road leading to this excellence. The blue
circle around the outside represents a circle of friends.
Kikusui Kai - The UK's
original Tomiki Aikido Group, established 1959