Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kitoryu in aikido

A few years back, Tsunako Miyake made a tour through the United states teaching Kodokan Goshin Jutsu. I got to see her and work with her at the Baton Rouge dojo. That was a fabulous learning experience and I got to see an amazing martial artist. Ms. Miyake was in her early 70's at that point and she literally moved like a young adult. She picked my student, Jamie, as uke for an impromptu demo of wakigatame and he later told me that he thought she would pull his arm off.
One of the more remarkable things about that trip to the U.S. was that after the Goshin Jitsu lectures were over she had a layover of a week or two during which she was asked to teach something at the Houston dojo - whatever she wanted. She said, "Let's work on Koshiki no Kata." Everybody was bewildered, because of those that even knew it existed, nobody had ever worked on it.
Miyake went on to explain that this was the kata of the old Kito school - one of the schools upon which both aikido and judo was based. Unfortunately I didn't get to participate in those sessions, but it really seems to me that Ms. Miyake really brought that Kito theory into the center front of our system in a big way. We'd already played with pretty much all the concepts before, but Miyake really got us to thinking and talking Kito.
Here is a really interesting article about Kito that echoes a lot of what Miyake et al. have told us.

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