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.
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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.
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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.
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Here is a really interesting article about Kito that echoes a lot of what Miyake et al. have told us.

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