Aikibudo

My Aikibudo Story - An Interesting Detour

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My Aikibudo Story

An Interesting Detour

 

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Since I don’t teach Matsukaze Aikibudo and have not formally trained in the art for a few years, I am not going to do too deep a dive (for me anyway!) in this post/article. Since I have incorporated some of the techniques and principles from Aikibudo into the arts that I do teach, I wanted to cover enough of this information so that if you have an interest in any of them, you can follow up through your own research. Or, you are always welcome to contact me and I will be more than happy to help however I can.

In the 1990’s, I made a bit of a “detour” in my martial arts training and search for what I thought was a more comprehensive martial art. Where I ended was with Matsukaze Aikibudo1松風合気武道 – here 松風 – matsukaze – translates to Pine Wind, 合気 – aiki – is a bit more difficult to translate fully. In this case it would be the principle of blending with the attacker and his technique and then dominating or defeating him through the proper use of ki or qi. Then 武道 – budo – translates to military way or path. . This training started with Sensei Terry Thoburn (who has since passed, RIP) and he is pictured with me in the image below. This picture was taken in the early 1990’s at a seminar in San Antonio, TX. At that time, he and I were both members in an organization that specialized in teaching kyusho2急所 – vital points – note that many individuals and organizations supposedly teach vital points. In our particular case, we use the vital points from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) AND Western Medicine.

Aikibudo Terry

Sensei Terry Thoburn – RIP

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

It may come off badly for me to say this. But, in the martial arts, I really don’t trust anyone. At least not completely and especially not at first. Why? As I have said before (and said for years), martial artists can be a crazy bunch of people. One of the ways that they are “crazy” is that they play the game of what I call “Rank Swap”. Essentially, you come join my organization and I will give you rank. The implication or out right stated plan is that you, in turn, swap back rank (and/or titles) in your art. No real learning, no real rank. Just swapping paper back and forth so that individual martial arts resumes can then be padded. To Terry Thoburn’s credit, he never once asked or even remotely implied anything of the kind from me. I issued no rank of any kind to Terry or anyone in his organization. It was strictly a one way process. I ended up, in Aikibudo, attaining the rank of yondan 3四段 – 4th degree black beltand a renshi 4the first of three teaching titles, the other being kiyoshi and hanshiteaching license.

I am only bringing up this game of what I call “rank swapping” because it is something most martial artists will run into in one form or another. Personally speaking, you should avoid it in most cases. There are times where someone will cross rank you in their art with no implication that you should do anything for them. Nor are they charging you some sort of insane price to do it. You should evaluate such situations on an individual basis and prior to committing to ANYTHING, you should ask the right questions to know fully what you are getting into. And, to be doubly clear here, Terry Thoburn NEVER asked me for any rank in anything. Nor did any of his students. I issued no rank or anything to Terry or anyone in his style or organization. It is only mentioned here as a warning to my students in particular as well as anyone reading this.

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Teaching Titles

In the near future, I plan to do a few posts on ranks and teaching titles as this is a topic that Americans, in particular, usually get very wrong. Since I did receive a teaching license in Matsukaze Aikibudo, I thought I should at least touch on the topic here for the sake of clarity.

Kyoiku Shogo

教育称号

Within most Japanese and Okinawan martial arts, ranks are divided between kyu5級 – translates as grade, class or rank. In martial arts, those with a kyu level rank are considered to be 無段者 or mudansha – a person without a black belt level rank and dan6段 – in martial arts, those with a black belt level ranking are referred to as yudansha – 有段者 – or a person with a black belt level rank levels. Working in parallel with this grading system (at the black belt level) is the use of kyoiku shogo7教育称号 -teaching titles or, sometimes just shogo. While it gets a bit more entailed than I will get into here (and some styles do things a little bit differently), the first and lowest level of these shogo or teaching licenses is renshi8練士 – translated generally as polished teacher. The other two main shogo licenses are 教士 or kiyoshi that generally translated to expert teacher and 範士 or hanshi, which generally translates as exemplary teacher.

 

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Between moving from Texas to Atlanta, GA then from Atlanta to Minneapolis, MN and from there to Jacksonville, FL, I ended up loosing some of my martial arts pictures, certificates, etc. Once in Jacksonville, I went through two back to back hurricanes that literally wiped me out each time. Most of my photos and the like got destroyed. I am trying to go through all of the old electronic devices I still have to see if I can locate more of them. They will be posted as I can find them. You can view the few I do have here:

Kodawari Hombu Dojo Line Divider

Aikibudo Matsukaze

Aikibudo Kanji

Aikibudo Matsukae

Aikibudo Weapons

Aikibudo

 

When it comes to Aikibudo, one should not be confused by the name. One of the first things that people may think of when seeing the name is Aikido9合気道 – often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit” that was developed by Ueshiba Morihei10(植芝 盛平 – December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969. While there is a connection, the two arts are implemented in a very different way.

If you have not seen the graphic above yet, you will be seeing it here quite often as we do discuss the difference between “jutsu” and “do” arts. In the case of Aikibudo, the name is a bit “incorrect” in my opinion. Aikibudo is a gendai budo art11現代武道 – literally meaning modern budo or modern martial arts or ways. This term would be applied to all martial arts created after the Meiji Restoration that happened in 1866–1869. This is opposed to the term koryu – 古流 – which would be those martial arts that were developed before the Meiji Restoration. BUT, it is not a “do” (道) or way based art that is interested in the “perfection” of the person practicing it. Aikido, on the other hand, is. Aikibudo comes directly what would have been referred to as aiki-jujutsu12合気柔術 or aikijutsu13合気術.

 

 

Aiki-Ken

合気剣

 

Aikibudo Aikiken

  • 1
    松風合気武道 – here 松風 – matsukaze – translates to Pine Wind, 合気 – aiki – is a bit more difficult to translate fully. In this case it would be the principle of blending with the attacker and his technique and then dominating or defeating him through the proper use of ki or qi. Then 武道 – budo – translates to military way or path.
  • 2
    急所 – vital points – note that many individuals and organizations supposedly teach vital points. In our particular case, we use the vital points from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) AND Western Medicine
  • 3
    四段 – 4th degree black belt
  • 4
    the first of three teaching titles, the other being kiyoshi and hanshi
  • 5
    級 – translates as grade, class or rank. In martial arts, those with a kyu level rank are considered to be 無段者 or mudansha – a person without a black belt level rank
  • 6
    段 – in martial arts, those with a black belt level ranking are referred to as yudansha – 有段者 – or a person with a black belt level rank
  • 7
    教育称号 -teaching titles
  • 8
    練士 – translated generally as polished teacher. The other two main shogo licenses are 教士 or kiyoshi that generally translated to expert teacher and 範士 or hanshi, which generally translates as exemplary teacher
  • 9
    合気道 – often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit”
  • 10
    (植芝 盛平 – December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969
  • 11
    現代武道 – literally meaning modern budo or modern martial arts or ways. This term would be applied to all martial arts created after the Meiji Restoration that happened in 1866–1869. This is opposed to the term koryu – 古流 – which would be those martial arts that were developed before the Meiji Restoration
  • 12
    合気柔術
  • 13
    合気術

About Michael Davis

Michael Davis
Beginning his martial training almost 50 years ago, Michael Davis has spent almost his entire adult life attempting to internalize, add to and propagate the body of knowledge that makes up the principles and techniques of the life preserving combative arts and sciences. Michael has taught or assisted with the teaching of seminars and events in 17 US states and four countries. In addition to training every day martial artists, he has taught members of the US military as well as law enforcement at every level...from local LEOs to Federal Marshalls and US Secret Service agents (protective detail). He has co-authored a martial arts book, written numerous magazine articles that were published internationally as well as appearing in and assisting with the production of martial arts videos and other training materials.
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