A Shinden Isshin-ryu master talks about aiki in 1911 or 1912….

These days, most people understand that the word “aiki” has been used many different ways, in many different traditions, and has been for centuries 1). But here is a Shinden Isshin- ryu master, in 1911 or 1912, talking about aiki in – at times – strikingly familiar terms: the “wonderful aiki-no-jutsu”, “acquired only by long and patient study” that allows one to “place another under one’s influence,” “see in the dark, bring walking men to a full stop, or break the sword brandished to slay [one].”.

The passages below are extracted from a talk given at his dojo, to help E. J. Harrison write his wonderful book on the esoteric aspects of bujutsu, as the reporter learned and observed them between 1903 and 1913. This is a fascinating look into the world of bujutsu as it was during O’Sensei’s formative years….

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