mercredi 20 décembre 2017

Aiki in the Edo (1603-1868), Meiji (1868-1912), and Taisho (1912¬1925) periods

Aiki in the Edo (1603 - 1868), Meiji (1868 - 1912), and Taisho (1912 - 1925) periods

In the Edo era (1603-1868)
Kito-ryu Jujutsu's "Touka Mondou" (Lamplight Dialogue) of 1764. 

 toka mundo  燈下問答

There, "aiki" (相気) is used to refer to the difficult state of engaging in attack and defense when in the same kisetsu* as the opponent. 
 The use of "aiki" (合気) can be found in many martial arts writings of the 1800s, with the same meaning as in the Touka Mondou.** 
* kisetsu 気節is a compound of "ki", in this case meaning "feeling, intention", and "setsu", which carries a sense of both "time/rhythm" and "joint/break". In this context, it refers to the ebb and flow of intention and timing between attack and defense. 気節が合う, then, is talking about both opponents engaging in attack, or both opponents engaging in defense, or matched in permutations thereof, creating a stalemate.

** This meaning of "aiki" matches with the one reference to
合気   found in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, indeed, in a document dating to the early 1800, there it refers to a state of stalemate created by both opponents embodying 攻防一致, a unity of attack and defense.

Aiki concept in Yagyu Shinkage ryu , here's the situation in the kata:
Shidachi is in a strong chudan stance; no suki. Uchidachi is a in a strong chudan stance; no suki. 
The situation is a stalemate. This is "aiki", as in "kisetsu ga au".In the kata, shidachi drops his strong chudan stance, to invite uchidachi's attack, or any kind of response, and create a suki. This is called "departing from aiki". Breaking the stalemate. This is the use of the term "aiki" in YSR, and the use that Mr. Shishida is talking about.

The word aiki is found in Edo era books on some kenjutsu (sword fighting) documents. 
For example, Kenjutsu Hiden Hitori Shugyo (Secret Sword Techniques, Training Alone) written by Sen-en in 1800 reads, “A situation in which two people stand facing each other is aiki.

Ittoryu Heiho Toho Kigenko (A Study on the Origin of Itto-ryu’s Freestyle Practice) written by Zesuke Nakanishi in 1822 reads, “When facing an enemy, this gets to the point of aiki, waiting and seeing how one beats the other.” 

Both books use aiki as a disagreeable term, a confrontation of strong wills. 

 So it is said aiki is a negative point in sword fights.

In the Meiji era (1868-1912)

However, in the Meiji era, books about aikijutsu rather than kenjutsu put a positive significance to aiki. 

The shift away from this meaning began with the 1892 "Budo Hiketsu Aiki no Jutsu" book (The Secret Budo Techniques of Aiki) wrote by Bukotsu koji 武骨居士 

Here "aiki" is an inner teaching of budo, with the meaning of "being one step ahead of the enemy" (敵より一歩先んずる). Here, "techniques of reading the mind of the enemy" (敵人読心の術) and "the aiki of battle cries" (掛け声の合気) are explained with "being ahead" (先んずる) as a presupposition, but specifics are not noted.

The author wrote that tekijin dokushin no jutsu (techniques of reading an opponent’s mind) and kiai (yelling) are the most important parts of aiki.

 The former teaches the control of an opponent before an actual fight; that is, reading his thoughts at the same time as they spring to his mind, or using go no sen, which is avoiding his thoughts of beating you. The latter teaches you how to defeat an opponent with your voice.

気合術 : 殺活自在 Kiai-jutsu: Sakkatsu jizai

Extract of Katsusatsujizai kiai-jutsu 1911 book :
 ()合氣、靜的方面  雲無心にして岫を出づるといふ場合である。(潜䍠の
()氣合、動的方而  或る特別の目的に向つて邁進し活動する場合である。
とは出來ないのである。たとへば顯䍠と潜䍠との如きものである。 要は

 Translation in english :
(1) Aiki,i is a static direction, inactive ,  innocent spirit, latent heat..
(2) Kiai, is when dynamic & active ways. kiai is a dynamic direction, a cared feeling, and a sensible heat.
Kiai is also sometimes spoken of as aiki. Although the two are one and the same thing when construed in a broad sense, yet they admit of distinction when more narrowly interpreted.
Briefly kiai implies the active side of one’s mind, whereas aiki has to do with its passive state. In other words, the former [KIAI] represents a condition in which one’s ki or mental energy is actively concentrated upon the object in view, whereas the latter [AIKI]  indicates a state in which this mental force is quiescent (quiet, calm, peaceful).
For practical purposes there is no need to distinguish between the two. They stand to each other in much the same relation as active to latent heat.
Kiai is thus the motive power which prompts man to an action with the strong resolve to carry it to a successful issue; it is the force which furnishes the impulse to take advantage of opportunity.”
According to this authority, kiai may be described as the potential power which governs the course of human life, and the source of the energy inherent in the human race,the energy of all energies, in short.

  「忍術気合術秘伝」(東京催眠術学会・大正6年)Ninjutsu kiai-jutsu hiden
(Tōkyōsaimin-jutsu gakkai 1917)

Ninjutsu kiai-jutsu hiden    Page 49   Aiki no jutsu 合氣の術

Ninja uses techniques of study and cow disease. The secret mystery of Aiki is kiai jutsu  and technique of reading an opponent's mind dokushinjutsu.
In the Taisho era, this trend continued and we can find aiki along with kiai in many books on
bujutsu. They say aiki is the technique in which you can take advantage in a battle by reading
an opponent’s mind.

In japanese by Fumiaki Shishida:

 合気武道という名辞が他の武道と識別されるのは、「合気」という概念にある。合気という言葉は、日本の江戸時代の武術伝書、例えば、一七六四年の起倒流柔術書「灯火問答 」に見ることができる。そこでは、「あいき(相気)」を、技の攻防の際に相手と気筋が合って闘うのに困難な状態になる意味で用いている。「合気」という用語の使用は、一八 〇〇年代の多くの武術伝書にも見いだすことができるが、これらの意味も「灯火問答」と同義である。こうした意味内容を転換させたのは一八九二年の「武道秘訣合気の術」であ り、ここで、「合気」の意味は武道の奥義であり、「敵より一歩先んずる」こととしている。ここには、「先んずる」前提として「敵人読心の術」と「掛声の合気」が説明されて いるが、具体的内容について記していない。
 大東流柔術において合気の意味をどのように定義付けていたのは、現在ではあまり明確に伝えられていない。それは同流中興の祖武田惣角が、日本武術の秘密主義の伝統に従っ てその内容を書物として残さなかったことによる。しかしながら、高弟の一人佐川子之𠮷は一九一三年のノートに「合気をかける としばしば記しておる、大東流柔術おいて合気という言葉や技法が大東流合気柔術改称以前から指導されていたことが知られる。合気という言葉のこうした不明確性が、大東流合 気柔術教授代理・植芝の合気の解釈に曖昧さを生んだ。
 しかし、植芝流が大きくなるにつれて、植芝の門下生や後継者たちはその曖昧さを補うように、合気道における合気という言葉に次ぎのような解釈を行った。つまり、「合気」 が 「合」と「気」からなる文字の構成から「天地の気に合わせる道」という解釈や、体験的悟境から生まれた自然の動きや、動きのリズムに合わせるという「天人合一」の解釈 などである。」

Sources :
The Actual Conditions and Educational Strength of Budo Education by Fumiaki Shishida

In Japan in late 1800 and early 1900 Japan was in a period of absorption of Western theories (medical, military, political ...), including also "esoteric" practices such as "mesmerism", "magnetism" , hypnotism ... that they mixed with their own "esoteric" practices (Shinto, Buddhism, shugendo ...)
If we search in Japanese digital libraries it is easy to see that there are many books dealing with the concepts of Hypnotism (催眠 術), Kiai-jutsu (sound kiai) 気 合 術 and Aiki-jutsu (silent kiai) 合 気 術 published late 1800 early 1900 in Japan:

1.        books on hypnosis in Japan early 1900 (between 1880 and 1919: 242 books are referenced as mentioning the term Saimin-jutsu (Hypnosis) in their title or in their summary)
2.        books on kiai-jutsu in Japan early 1900 (between 1900 and 1919: 32 books are referenced as mentioning the term kiai-jutsu in their title or in their summary)

About esotericism practices in Japan
Onmyōdō (陰陽道, also In'yōdō, lit. ‘The Way of Yin and Yang’) is a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology, a mixture of natural science and occultism. It is based on the Chinese philosophies of Wu Xing (five elements) and yin and yang, introduced into Japan at the beginning of the 6th century. It was accepted as a practical system of divination. These practices were influenced further by Taoism, Buddhism and Shintoism, and evolved into the system of onmyōdō around the late 7th century. Onmyōdō was under the control of the imperial government, and later its courtiers, the Tsuchimikado family, until the middle of the 19th century, at which point it became prohibited as superstition.

Shugendō evolved during the 7th century from an amalgamation of beliefs, philosophies, doctrines and ritual systems drawn from local folk-religious practices, pre-Buddhist mountain worship, Shinto, Taoism and esoteric Buddhism.
The 7th century ascetic and mystic En no Gyōja is widely considered as the patriarch of Shugendō, having first organized Shugendō as a doctrine. Shugendō literally means "the path of training and testing" or "the way to spiritual power through discipline." In modern times, Shugendō is practiced mainly through Tendai and Shingon temples

Hypnotic phenomena existed among the Miko (Shinto female shaman, mediums) and Shyu-genjyas and Gyōja 行者 (ascetics) in ancient Japan (Shugendo and Yamabushi).
At that time, people attached great importance to Mikos; However, most people today do not believe it, with the exception of a few old people in northern Japan who talk to Mikos as their advisers. If we mean by "hypnosis" in the broad sense of the term any condition of mind and body, we can say that in Japan there were religious sects that have a close relationship with hypnosis.
After 1867 the Meiji government's desire to create a form of state Shinto headed by the emperor—the shaman-in-chief of the nation—meant that Shinto needed to be segregated from both Buddhism and folk-religious beliefs. As a result, official discourse increasingly repeated negative views of Miko.

Esotericism practices in Japanese martial arts

Example in video of the existence of an "occult" practice with the 9 Juji or Kuji kiri personal protection signs practice in the katori Shinto ryu school

The Kuji Kiri diagram appears here in this section of Tokimune Takeda's private notes of his father Sokaku's teachings :

Tokimune takeda about aiki (interviews conducted with Tokimune Takeda between 1985 and
1987 in Abashiri, Hokkaido and Tokyo)

Could you explain in a little more detail about the concept of aiki ?

Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled. It is the spirit of slowness and
speed, of harmonizing your movement with your opponent's ki. Its opposite, kiai, is to push to the limit, while aiki never resists.
Aiki applies to self-defense when an opponent attacks first, and we use the term to refer to self-defense for people in general. These two must not be confused. Thus, the police do not use the word aiki. They use jujutsu. They fight with kiai, using a sen sen attack. Attacking is kiai. Aiki, on the other hand, is go no sen. policemen are permitted to attack first. This is why the police studied Daito-ryu, though these days the mixture of judo, kendo, Aikido, and other arts used by the police is usually referred to as taihojutsu or arrest techniques. 

Tokimune Takeda about kiai
Kiai in the situation in which the opponent becomes involved by my ki-ai. As an example the shout (Ehi, Toho, Hath, Iehii, Ihaa) increases each one's courage and consequently allows the dealing of you opponent by you own will, scarring him and putting him a discouragement condition, without being able to offer any resistance.

Tokimune Takeda about ki
In Daito-ryu are kept the secrets of aiki. The life depends on ki, therefore the ki has to be developed. With the right way of breathing one can properly the ki and succeed at reaching mental concentration.
Developing a determined and courageous spirit, one can obtain an almost divine mental state and be in position of understanding, based on the nature of the ki that he encounters [a opponent], of how to act and manage the situation. Thus, the attach of opponent can nearly be seen before it happens.

Tokimune Takeda about aiki in-yo
In means reaching a calm state through the closing of our hands in fists and correct breath inhalation.
Yo instead is to exhale completely while opening the again. Thanks to the way of breathing, the Aiki-in-yo-ho, the mind is focused and the gaze is more penetrating; one will therefore succeed therefore at maintaining his courage and manipulate the opponents in a nearly supernatural way using [only] the ten fingers [of the hands].

Tokimune Takeda about  Aiki-tanren-ho
It is practiced in couples and when the partner grabs our wrists, one must try to focus the ki in the armpits, the legs and fingertips: then we will be able to throw the opponent in every direction. Since this is a training to also improve the breathing, it is important that both [the students] practice without making too much use of force; it is also possible to practice without a single hand. The aim of this exercise is to reinforce properly the ki and the muscular power.

A step apart from the mystic of aiki

Takeda Sokaku Sensei used the aiki concept in Shugendo, Buddhism “esoteric practices “ that he added to his Jujutsu but but he did it in a very practical way.

 For Takeda Sokaku Sensei Aiki concept was technical principle to neutralize enemy power during first contact !

Sagawa Sensei began training in Budo before he was 10 years old, and from the time that he first met Takeda Senshi in Taisho year 1 (1912) he would often hear him speak the word “Aiki”. The word “Aiki” as a technical term in Budo was unfamiliar to the young Sagawa, so he made particular note of its usage. 

Further, the notes taken by (Sagawa) Sensei’s father, Nenokichi Sagawa Sensei (佐川子之吉), from the workshop at which he was taught Yonkajo (四ヶ条) by Takeda Senshi in Taisho year 2 (1913) have survived to this day. In those notes “Apply Aiki” (合気をかける) can be seen written in the corner. This memo, which can said to be absolute material evidence, was confirmed by Stanley Pranin, the editor of “Aiki News” when he visited Sagawa Sensei while gathering materials on Aiki.

An Aiki body : an internal body conditioning

As Makoto Kojima Sensei always said to us: Basic training of Kata constructs Aiki body from inside little by little...”

Aiki is to constructs a unified , connected & stable body who does not use our muscles and bones in partial ways.
We usually, unfortunately initially, tend to use our limbs and our body in a partial way, like an athlete who raises weights in order to build muscles.

But stable does not mean immobile, constructs Aiki body is build a Sensible body so one can react instantly to our opponent's change


Aiki as a philosophical Way of Human Development

This scroll was written by Yukiyoshi Sagawa, that he hung on the wall of his Dojo. A picture of the actual scroll appears at the top of this article, and appears in Kimura Tatsuo’s book “Discovering Aiki” (“合気修得への道“)

First transcription in Japanese, and then translation in English by Christopher Li :



        Aiki is the fitting together of Ki.
Through this harmonious reconciliation all things under heaven and earth in the universe move peacefully without disturbance. This harmonization is Aiki.
As the Ki of Aiki is natural it unifies and reconciles without the slightest ill feeling or resistance.
The harmonious reconciliation that is Aiki must be the basis for the formation of human society.
This is the Great Circle of Harmony (Daienwa) of Aiki.
Through the principles of Aiki pacify and reconcile those threatening violence. Also when the enemy has already attacked, likewise transform and change according to the attack of the enemy through the principles of fitting together Ki and achieve reconciliation.
Enlightened people have received this transmission from the Founder, Shinra Saburo Minamoto Yoshimitsu, and must train devoutly in the basics of Aiki no Jutsu as well as Taijutsu (Yawara), Tachi no Jutsu, Sojutsu, and Bojutsu to attain the state where Aiki Budo is the Way of Human Development.

 Aiki in Kishin Juku Jujutsu ?

Nowadays it seems that some Aiki Jujutsu or Aikibudo groups claim the origin of the term "aiki" .Concequently, we simply notice that these groups have in fact no knowledge of the history and context of use of the term "aiki" in Japanese martial arts history !

As exemple some Aiki practitioners hold the belief that with only the principle of total relaxation they can neutralize a REAL ennemy attack but we are forced to note that their aiki is often only a simple choregraphy where their partner never resists ! This is like AIKI DANCE CHOREGRAPHY , this can look beautiful but this so far way of martial art efficiency . Often they have no experience of the reality of street aggression in fact !

These practitioners are often very active in showing to others their budo certificates, their budo scrolls (that they often buy with very expensive MONEY) .... These actions are nothing else than demonstration to other their desire to make demonstration of their EGO 

On the other hand, some people use the term aiki abundantly too, but we find that their techniques are only demonstrations of physical strength with a large amount of technical errors.
These practitioners are often very active to post their videos on the internet or social networks....Again this is just a demonstration of their technical incompetence and their desire to make demonstration of their EGO.

No in Kishin Juku we have not find a "magical" aiki technique. Kishin juku Jujutsu school has chosen REALITY aiki world instead of the world of fiction and MAGICAL aiki world 🤣

You want to know what is Aiki concept for us ? Start by participate one of Kojima Makoto Sensei seminar and just grab his wrists, you will begin to have a clear idea of what the concept of Aiki means for us !


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