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Thread: aiki toho iaido

  1. #1
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    aiki toho iaido

    Has anyone heard of aiki toho iaido?

    It seems to be associated with aikido, but has anyone heard of it being taught as a seperate system?
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

  2. #2
    Aiki Toho is the sword system synthesized by Shoji Nishio Sensei. Nishio Sensei unfortuantely passed away on March 15th. Aiki Toho is nearly exclusively taught as a part of Nishio Sensei's Aikido curriculum, and represents the very tight integration of his Aikido and his sword work a concept referred to as 'riai.' Nishio Sensei was a direct student of the founder of Aikido, but also an accomplished Karateka and Iaidoka in his own right. His integrated system of Aiki Toho is, in my opinion, the clearest and most legitimate weapon study available to Aikidoka and represented obvious skill with the sword and jo outside of an Aikido context. From a biography of Nishio Sensei from an affiliated dojo, "Shoji Nishio Sensei is an 8th dan Shihan, Aikikai Federation, and 7th dan Shihan in the Nihon Zendoku Iaido Federation. He also holds a 4th dan in Kodokan Judo and a 4th dan in Shindo Shizen ryu of Karatedo. He has also studied Shindo Muso ryu - Jodo(staff), and Hozoin ryu - Yari(spear). He has developed a new school of Iaido with forms based upon Aikido techniques, Aiki Toho Iaido."
    Christian Moses
    Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
    Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club

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    Arrow Re: aiki toho iaido

    Originally posted by PatrickA
    Has anyone heard of aiki toho iaido?

    It seems to be associated with aikido, but has anyone heard of it being taught as a seperate system?
    From http://www.aikipeace.com/aikido/:

    Aiki Toho Iaido is “Iaido using the sword methodology of harmony with energy”. Aiki Toho Iai is a series of kata founded by Shoji Nishio Sensei based directly on Aikido techniques, movements, and principles. These sword kata do not cut your opponent as in the other Iaido styles, although the understanding of how to cut your opponent is presented. The choice, not to kill, is made available; a path of resolution is to cut in order to lead the opponent, releasing them from harm, and the responsibility of harming. ...
    Sounds as if this is Iaido modified for Aikido in the same way that Aiki-ken is Kenjutsu modified for Aikido. Unless you are studying Aikido, there is no reason to have a stand alone practice of Aiki Toho Iaido.
    Raymond Sosnowski
    Battodo, Iaido, Jodo, Kyudo, Naginata, Suizen,Zazen

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    Re: Re: aiki toho iaido

    Originally posted by R A Sosnowski
    Sounds as if this is Iaido modified for Aikido in the same way that Aiki-ken is Kenjutsu modified for Aikido. Unless you are studying Aikido, there is no reason to have a stand alone practice of Aiki Toho Iaido.
    That was my thought too from that same web page, but I figured someone might have more data than just the limited source information I could find off Google.

    Thank you.
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

  5. #5
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    What about Stefan Stenudd's Aiki Batto? Would this be in the same light as Aiki Toho Iaido?

    http://www.stenudd.com/aikibatto/
    Boston Samurai Arts
    www.bostonsamuraiarts.com

    "They must find it difficult...Those that have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority." - Gerald Massey

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    Originally posted by Walter Y.F. Wong
    What about Stefan Stenudd's Aiki Batto? Would this be in the same light as Aiki Toho Iaido?

    http://www.stenudd.com/aikibatto/

    I have no idea. I'm asking because I don't know. *smiles*
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

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    Originally posted by christianmoses
    His integrated system of Aiki Toho is, in my opinion, the clearest and most legitimate weapon study available to Aikidoka and represented obvious skill with the sword and jo outside of an Aikido context.
    Christian,
    Ussually I find your post very informative, and I tend to agree with what you write. But this time I have to take exception. I would like to know how many aikido weapons systems that you have experience with in order to make such a bold statement?

    I personally study Chiba sensei's aikido and weapons system. I find it a very effective and coherent weapons system (aiki-ken, jyo & batto) based on koryu weapons schools. But seeing how I have only had experience in several other aiki-weapons systems from seminars I would not make such a bold statment as you did.

    Tim
    Tim Mailloux

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by christianmoses
    Aiki Toho is the sword system synthesized by Shoji Nishio Sensei.
    Thank you.
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

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    Hello Mr. Mailloux,


    It is my understanding that all weapons systems falling under the categorization of "aiki", such as aiki-ken, aiki-jo, etc., and wedded inexorably to the parent system of aikido. That is, the combative principles involved are not that of the weapons, per se, but rather adapted from aikido proper to help the aikidoka improve his/her aikido. In other words, the purpose is not to learn how to kill the enemy with a particular weapon, but rather to become more skilled at aikido. The quotes above about the purpose of this aiki-iaido not being about killing the enemy, but releasing him from harm as some sort of choice seem to bear this out.


    To be clear, I find nothing wrong with aikido weapons work for what it is, and I know from what my teacher has said about his experiences in the 70's and 80's training in aikido in Japan that Chiba Sensei did some interesting work with aiki-weapons. But they are still aiki-weapons and not dedicated weapons systems, such as the koryu. Some ideas may have been lifted from the koryu, but without the sophisticated, ryu-specific psychological, physical, and spiritual training involved in the koryu, and the core concept of killing or maiming your enemy, you certainly don't have the same caliber of weapons training in aikido as you do in koryu.

    So when you talk about an "...effective and coherent weapons system," are you referring to your specific use of weapons within the system of aikido to make your aikido better, or are you stating that you find the aiki-weapons you study to be an effective system for killing the enemy? I ask simply because aiki-weapons usually get knocked within the koryu community, yet you seem to be asserting something different. I'm just curious as to your experiences.

    Thanks.

    Kevin Cantwell
    Last edited by K. Cantwell; 03-21-2005 at 06:22 PM.

  10. #10
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    Arrow Original vs. modified for aiki

    Originally posted by tim mailloux
    Christian,
    Ussually I find your post very informative, and I tend to agree with what you write. But this time I have to take exception. I would like to know how many aikido weapons systems that you have experience with in order to make such a bold statement?

    I personally study Chiba sensei's aikido and weapons system. I find it a very effective and coherent weapons system (aiki-ken, jyo & batto) based on koryu weapons schools. But seeing how I have only had experience in several other aiki-weapons systems from seminars I would not make such a bold statment as you did.

    Tim
    Aiki-buki (Aiki-ken & Aiki-jo) systems are primarily designed to teach Aikido. They are NOT substitutes for learning Iaido, Batto-do, and Kenjutsu.

    I went through three Aiki-buki systems starting with the Iwama style, and then studied Iaido, Batto-do, and several styles of Kenjutsu. IME, there is no comparison.

    Anyone who mistakes Aiki-buki for Iai-/Batto- do/jutsu, Kenjutsu or Jodo is only fooling themselves.

    Aiki-buki has its place and its use - but do not oversell it.
    Raymond Sosnowski
    Battodo, Iaido, Jodo, Kyudo, Naginata, Suizen,Zazen

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by K. Cantwell
    Hello Mr. Mailloux,


    It is my understanding that all weapons systems falling under the categorization of "aiki", such as aiki-ken, aiki-jo, etc., and wedded inexorably to the parent system of aikido. That is, the combative principles involved are not that of the weapons, per se, but rather adapted from aikido proper to help the aikidoka improve his/her aikido. In other words, the purpose is not to learn how to kill the enemy with a particular weapon, but rather to become more skilled at aikido. The quotes above about the purpose of this aiki-iaido not being about killing the enemy, but releasing him from harm as some sort of choice seem to bear this out.


    To be clear, I find nothing wrong with aikido weapons work for what it is, and I know from what my teacher has said about his experiences in the 70's and 80's training in aikido in Japan that Chiba Sensei did some interesting work with aiki-weapons. But they are still aiki-weapons and not dedicated weapons systems, such as the koryu. Some ideas may have been lifted from the koryu, but without the sophisticated, ryu-specific psychological, physical, and spiritual training involved in the koryu, and the core concept of killing or maiming your enemy, you certainly don't have the same caliber of weapons training in aikido as you do in koryu.

    So when you talk about an "...effective and coherent weapons system," are you referring to your specific use of weapons within the system of aikido to make your aikido better, or are you stating that you find the aiki-weapons you study to be an effective system for killing the enemy? I ask simply because aiki-weapons usually get knocked within the koryu community, yet you seem to be asserting something different. I'm just curious as to your experiences.

    Thanks.

    Kevin Cantwell
    Perhaps my responce was a bit hasty and I was unclear. What I was trying to express was that Mr. Moses comments seemed very authoritative and absolute. And that while I find Chiba sensei's weapons systems very good based on several others I have seen / tried at seminars. I would not dare make such an absolute statment as Mr. Moses did. For the record I was not comparing the validity of Chiba sensei's stuff to Nishio sensei's, just using my personal experiences to help make my point.
    Last edited by tim mailloux; 03-22-2005 at 05:48 AM.
    Tim Mailloux

  12. #12
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    Re: Original vs. modified for aiki

    Originally posted by R A Sosnowski
    Aiki-buki (Aiki-ken & Aiki-jo) systems are primarily designed to teach Aikido. They are NOT substitutes for learning Iaido, Batto-do, and Kenjutsu.

    I went through three Aiki-buki systems starting with the Iwama style, and then studied Iaido, Batto-do, and several styles of Kenjutsu. IME, there is no comparison.

    Anyone who mistakes Aiki-buki for Iai-/Batto- do/jutsu, Kenjutsu or Jodo is only fooling themselves.

    Aiki-buki has its place and its use - but do not oversell it.
    Yes, I tend to agree for the most part. Which is why I also train in MSR. My original post was taken out of context. I was not comparing the effectiveness of what I studie to anything else. Just stating my opinion to help prove a point. See me previous post.
    Tim Mailloux

  13. #13
    Originally posted by christianmoses
    His integrated system of Aiki Toho is, in my opinion, the clearest and most legitimate weapon study available to Aikidoka and represented obvious skill with the sword and jo outside of an Aikido context.
    Please note that I clearly stated that this assertion was my opinion. Also note that I am not in any way affiliated with Nishio Sensei, so I'm not making this statement as a student supporting his teacher.

    My Aiki-ken background: I received the rank of Shoden-ni in Seiki-Ryu "kenjutsu/jodo" from Minouru Kurita Sensei. This is the weapons system he synthesised (to the best of my research) from OSensei, Iwama Aiki-ken, Kendo no Kata and Nishio's Aiki Toho. He studied with Nishio Sensei while OSensei was still alive though, so it may not have been as formalized as we see now. The first time I was exposed to Nishio's Aiki-toho, I found that I already knew approximately 50-60% of it, and I've verified that Kurita Sensei spent time specifically studying the sword with Nishio Sensei.

    I trained in a dojo that taught Chiba's Aiki-ken and Aiki-jo for a short time as a shodan (while in transition between schools). After a month of classes the teacher responsible for teaching the weapons felt too uncomfortable with me in his classes and the weapons were abandoned as a part of the school. I feel this had more to do with the individual than the style, but I was taught several of the basic forms.

    I have also attended an extended demonstration of one of Chiba Sensei's Canadian instructors a couple years ago. He and his students both demonstrated their iai, kumitachi and jo forms and discussed the integration of the weapons with their open-hand work. Scott Irey will, I'm sure, remember this demonstration (if he's following this).

    A training partner of mine (from Shinto Ryu) currently studies with one of Chiba's students in Oregon, though primarily the MSR, not the Aiki-ken curriculum, and he speaks highly of him as does another Aikido friend of mine who studied with the same intructor for a time.

    I have watched quite a bit of Iwama Aiki-ken and know quite a few of the basic forms as they existed in Seikikai's weapons work. I have never formally trained at an Iwama dojo.

    I teach at an Aikido school that uses Saotome's kumitachi and Hikitsuchi Sensei's (of Shingu) aiki-bo. I frequently act as the instructor of the kumitachi/weapons classes at our dojo and have attended seminars with Ikeda Sensei, Lee Crawford Sensei, George Ledyard Sensei, Patty Saotome Sensei and Saotome Sensei himself. I have watched Saotome Sensei do some of his kumitachi and received instruction in the kumitachi (though not what I would call extensive instruction by any means) from the other teachers I mentioned.

    I'm not saying that other forms of Aiki-ken are bad, or not related to the open hand work of Aikido, but that the degree of integration present in Nishio's very thorough system is a step above. Despite this, he and his system is the only one I have repeatedly heard singled out when the koryu 'silverbacks' have been speaking in less than flattering terms about Aiki-ken as swordwork. I'm not sure if you've seen Nishio's Aiki-toho, it would be worth the money over at AJ to pick up one of the DVD's, even if you never study the style.

    Hope that clears up my statements, again I'm only expressing my opinion, others are welcome to disagree. I'll also make it clear that further, it's my opinion that the best thing Aikidoka can do to further their understanding of the sword and how that can relate to their Aikido, is to study a traditional non-aiki sword art and then try to relate the lessons learned there back into their Aikido.
    Christian Moses
    Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
    Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club

  14. #14
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    Christian,
    Thanks for the clarrification, and for the record I knew what you meant in your original post and probobly shouldn't have singled your post out. But I think that the flurry or authoritative opinions published in these types of forums without any information to back them up does more harm than good. If your last post was your first, I would have never said anything. But reading something like "In my opinion its the best system" without any information to back that opinion up just doesn't cut it with me.

    Also, for the last time. I am not trying to compare what I study to what anyone else does. I was simply trying to make a point.
    Tim Mailloux

  15. #15
    Originally posted by tim mailloux
    But I think that the flurry or authoritative opinions published in these types of forums without any information to back them up does more harm than good. If your last post was your first, I would have never said anything. But reading something like "In my opinion its the best system" without any information to back that opinion up just doesn't cut it with me.
    .
    Agreed, thanks for the opportunity to clarify, appologies for offending you with my first post.
    Christian Moses
    Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
    Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club

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