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#277093 - 08/05/06 06:40 PM Yoseikan Budo - Is it Aikido?
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Hi all. I am returning to Aikido this week, as I am no longer able to attend Judo for the time being.

Although I study Tomiki Ryu, I have always liked to look at the other styles of Aikido. Tomiki is the only style in the area though, so I am forced to read about other styles, rather than experience or observe them.

I am very interested in Yoesikan. I understand that it is now a different art now, Yoseikan Budo.

Does anyone have any experience with this art, or know of it? I am just curious as to whether it is an aikido style, or has it changed so much it no longer resembles aikido?

I understand that this is somewhat of an abstract question, as the answer may well be determined by what each of us considers aikido to be.

I am aware the techniques of Yoseikan Budo are not entirely those of Aikido ( Yoseikan Budo contains Judo techniques, for instance). Do these additional techniques penetrate to the heart of the art, the essence of it, and if so, is it still aikido?

What I am trying to get at is do the techniques in Aikido make the art, or is it more a question of personal understanding of what Aikido is, and the ideals of Aikido, and how these ideals are realized by physical and mental manifestation. For instance, if a practitioner of Yoseikan were to control uke with a powerful yet ultimately harmless strike (harmless in the sense that no unnecessary pain or injure were caused, and no long lasting effects occurred) then is this Aikido?

I am aware that with time, an Aikido student should not consider Aikido movements "technique", that they should see past technique. With this said then, is Yoseikan Budo still aikido?

Can I dabble in semantics or what lol!
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#277094 - 08/08/06 11:26 PM Re: Yoseikan Budo - Is it Aikido? [Re: Prizewriter]
aikikiai Offline

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 61

You have asked a complicated question and I see that no one so far has decided to address it. So I will give it a shot.

Minoru Mochizuki Sensei was uchi deshi to Morihei Ueshiba. He got a scroll from Ueshiba Sensei in 1932 and remained a close friend as well as a student of OSensei until the end. He was the first person to demonstrate aikido outside Japan, according to Kisshomaru Ueshiba in his book, Aikido. In 1978 or so, Kisshomaru Ueshiba concurred that Mochizuki Sensei merited 10th dan in aikido and supported his promotion to judan and meijin by the Kokusai Budo Renmei.

Yet Mochizuki Sensei's son, Hiroo, now world head of Yoseikan Budo, says that yoseikan should never have been called aikido at all. He teaches a form of aikido, I've been told, that is much more like generic, mainstream aikido to be found anywhere in the world, in almost any style. The yoseikan budo system is broader than that, incorporating jujutsu, judo, karate and sword, among other arts. But the aikido is more of a standard kind of aikido.

What made his father's art so different that he said that it should not have been called aikido?

We might look back to his introducing aikido to France around 1951. It was not long after WWII and Mochizuki Minoru was the first to teach aikido outside Japan. There, he met western style wrestlers, boxers, foot boxers, western fencers, knife fighters, knife throwers and every other kind of fighter to be found in the west. From the wrestlers, he saw a lot of suplex techniques and he saw in those the essence of what Jigoro Kano had taught him: maximum efficient use of energy. What could be more efficient than to use gravity to throw the opponent by dropping one's own body in harmony with gravity? Let gravity do most of the work. That's efficient use of energy. So he started applying this kind of thinking to the gyokushin jujutsu he had learned when he was a young judo student of 18, before Kano Sensei sent him to learn aiki from Ueshiba Osensei. The gyokushin ryu was full of sutemi waza, comparable to the suplexes of western wrestling. Mochizuki Sensei then began to think of the sutemi he had learned with Kyuzo Mifune, 10th dan of judo and he began to apply those principles and hints from gyokushin ryu to transform many aikido techniques into sutemi waza.

Besides this, when he returned to Japan, after all his experience with Western styles of fighting, he told Ueshiba Sensei that they should expand aikido training to include all the many varied types of attacks to be found in the West. From the aikido I've seen, the attacks are not much more varied than shomen uchi, yokomen uchi and oi tsuki and gyaku tsuki. We seldom see kicks or sophisticated boxing techniques as attacks in aikido training. Mochizuki Sensei suggested to Ueshiba Sensei that they broaden the training to include many more kinds of attacks, but Ueshiba Sensei became very angry at this idea. So Mochizuki Sensei went on to teach and train against many, many more kinds of attacks than ordinarily seen in aikido. He also added the many sutemi waza (sacrifice techniques) he had conceived since training in Europe. Over the years, he developed a superb style of aikido that included all kinds of weapons and empty-hand attacks, including kicks, and incorporating sutemi as a central principle of his technique.

In 1992 or so, Mochizuki Sensei awarded menkyo kaiden to his top 20 students. He announced that, on his retirement, his son, Hiroo, would take over leadership of the yoseikan and when he died in 2002 or 2003, that was the case.

Hiroo Sensei stated that the yoseikan style should never have been called aikido. He taught divisions in yoseikan budo for sword, judo, karate, jujutsu and the mainstream kind of aikido. When the old menkyo kaiden holders asked him to include a division for the old hombu style of yoseikan budo aikido, he declined. At that time, the menkyo kaiden holders (some of them) withdrew from yoseikan budo and formed Sei Fu Kai at the old hombu dojo to teach the old way taught by Minoru Mochizuki. It is closest to the way that Mochizuki Sensei taught. Hiroo Mochizuki Sensei continues to teach yoseikan budo but it is not the way his father taught. His father is said to have resounding approved Hiroo Sensei's approach and to have been dissatisfied with the creation of Sei Fu Kai. In any case, the modern yoseikan budo is not the old yoseikan budo and the old yoseikan budo is now Sei Fu Kai, based on the pen name, Sei Fu, which Mochizuki Minoru Sensei used with his writing. He published a periodic newsletter under the name Sei Fu.

And that is where it stands today. I was uchi deshi to Minoru Sensei and I have had only a little exposure to Hiroo Sensei's method. I also did not affiliate with Sei Fu Kai. So now it's hard for me to say just what yoseikan budo is, whether it is aikido now and whether it should ever have been called aikido.

But I know that Mochizuki Sensei once told me, "Anta wa aikido wo daibu wakaru." (You understand aikido pretty well.) But the aikido I understood was his old style of yoseikan budo aikido, which Hiroo Sensei says should never have been called aikido.

So that's what I can tell you. If you want to know more, I suggest that you go directly to Hiroo Sensei to ask. Accept no intermediary. Don't drink downstream from people who pee in the water. Go straight to the source. If you like it, stay there. If you don't, at least you will know what yoseikan budo is now and you can go elsewhere if you prefer.

Best wishes.


#277095 - 08/09/06 12:06 AM Re: Yoseikan Budo - Is it Aikido? [Re: Prizewriter]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

I have met with Auge Sensie once. I have seen one of his classes once. I have practiced with a black belt who trains with him a few times. Here is the link to the school.

The people seem nice, the instruction competent. Judo doesn't enter too much into the adult instruction as I am aware of it, but they add aspects of traditional karate into the mix.

If they are close to you, take a look and decide for yourself.



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