The Essence of Aiki: an Interview with Seigo Okamoto Soshi – Part 2

Kodo Horikawa (front left) with Kazuto Ishida (right)
Ishida was the 5th Chief Justice of Japan,
the second chairman of the All Japan Kendo Federation
and 5th Soke of Yamaoka Tesshu’s Itto Shoden Muto-ryu
Ishida’s wife (front center) and daughter (back right)
Seigo Okamoto, back left

Born in 1894 in Kitami, Hokkaido, Kodo Horikawa began Daito Ryu Jujutsu training with Sokaku Takeda at around the same time as Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Sokaku focused on instructing Kodo in “Aiki” because of his size, and Kodo came to be known for techniques that were extremely subtle and soft. In 1930 Kodo received the certificate of “Acting Instructor” or Kyoju Dairi from Takeda (the same certification that Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba received from Takeda in 1922), and was later awarded a certificate of complete transmission in the art, the Menkyo Kaiden. In 1950 he established the Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu Kodo Kai in Hokkaido.

It seems that there are many differences among Daito-ryu techniques.

I have not often viewed the techniques of other schools. I have seen them only at the demonstration held by the Headmaster [Tokimune Takeda]. When I entered Horikawa Sensei’s dojo, there were some people from other schools who criticized his techniques when they saw them saying that he could not really execute a technique with such a small movement and that his students were very meek. However, I believe that there were no such stupid, critical men among the students, seniors and juniors alike of Kodo Sensei. We followed him because his techniques were real. However, there were many who could not continue their practice for long because they found the techniques too difficult.

I have learned a lot since I came to Tokyo. In the Roppokai there are some students who have practiced another school’s art …continue reading