Shihan Certification & Hiden Ogi scroll awarded to Okamoto Seigo by Horikawa Kodo
What are the basic techniques of Daito–ryu?
Okamoto: These are basics that were created by Shisho (Kodo) in Hokkaido. In our case we have changed them a little, but basically speaking they are the same.
If one looks at these basic techniques from the viewpoint of other Budo they appear to be high level techniques.
That is to say, in the former Aizu Domain Daito-ryu was only taught to warriors of five hundred koku and up (Note: the stipend for a samurai, one koku was supposedly enough rice to feed one man for one year), and the people at that level were already training in other types of bujutsu. So they were a compilation of those things.
For that reason, the basic techniques themselves are like hiden (“secret”) techniques, and by just practising these enough one can become quite strong.
These techniques can be taken as an introduction to Daito-ryu Jujutsu when practiced without Aiki in the beginning, but when one practices them faithfully they all become Aiki techniques.
Originally, they had to contain Aiki, because Jujutsu that does not employ Aiki becomes techniques powered by strength, and when that happens it can become difficult if one is physically inferior the opponent.
Small excerpt from “The Essence of Aiki: an Interview with Seigo Okamoto Soshi – Part 2” over at Chris Li’s Sangenkai Blog