View Full Version : Poll: Is regularly training at multiple aikido dojo beneficial to experienced aikido practitioners?

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AikiWeb System
09-10-2006, 01:30 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of September 10, 2006:

Is regularly training at multiple aikido dojo beneficial to experienced aikido practitioners?

I don't do aikido

Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=340).

09-11-2006, 06:32 AM
A more interesting question.

I replied no, because I think regular training with different styles in not necessarily useful. However, I would say that it is certainly important to train with different styles or at least different clubs - indeed even with different martial arts.

I think the aikido each of us take is a path, and when we have a question in our aikido, we need to answer it. Sometimes this means focusing on a different style, trying something new, testing it out in some way, or re-visiting something you'd previously rejected. Thus, for advanced students, maybe it is best to spend time with another club, but not necessarily to try to do this at the same time as the current club.


09-11-2006, 11:59 AM
Yes - even if it's just so they can say that Yosh are thugs and Ki are fruities with a little experience to back up their claims.. :D

I've trained regularly in almost all the styles and can confidently say that it's all Aikido at the end of the day :)


09-11-2006, 12:07 PM
Yes I think it is important, but I don't think it is an important necessity towards the development to your Aikido. Like people say, everybodies Aikido is different; which personally thinking you can't learn everything from your main instructor. Which means you would have to travel further afield to study with other local instructors, same system or different system to that of your own.

09-11-2006, 05:07 PM
It is one thing to acknowledge that there is a lot of aikido out there. It is something else to know it on a physiological level. I think that, with a certain level of competency, training at multiple dojos would only deepen ones' understanding of the art.


09-11-2006, 05:33 PM
Hey William,
While in Portland this summer I stopped by Portalnd Aikikai for a couple of hot and muggy "noon" classes. One was taught by Rick and the other by Craig. Good classes and good solid aikido.

Amelia Smith
09-11-2006, 06:59 PM
I voted yes, not because of training, but because of teaching. After a while, most people with a lot of experience will be asked to teach. Until you really get into the stratosphere of 6th Dan and up, and your peer and sempai group gets smaller and smaller, I think it would be good for most people who teach regularly to have a place where they can just go and train, and participate in class.

Janet Rosen
09-11-2006, 07:11 PM
YES! There are so many implicit training conventions and agreements in each dojo that it behooves a person who is interested in genuine training to get out and taste how other folks teach/learn/do aikido.

When, say, four different styles of doing a turn or a roll are each presented as "the only safe way" you quickly learn that there is in fact no one way that fits all situations. You start to recognise the assumptions that you've ingrained as habit.

You also learn nifty stuff to bring back with you :-)

09-12-2006, 06:24 AM
I said no - just because of my personal experience. I tried studying in my Aikikai dojo and at a Yoshinkan dojo (that combined BJJ) at the same time and while I definitely learned interesting techniques at the Yoshinkan dojo, I found that I learn faster when attending only a single dojo, even with less training days a week.

09-14-2006, 04:17 PM
I replied "YES", but there is a caveat: define "regularly".

It's important, I think, to be consistent in our training. IOW, having a "home dojo" where most of our practice occurs is important. But in such an environment bad habits can creep in without anyone realizing it. Bad habits are, well, bad.

One of the biggest benefits in getting out of your home environment on a "regular" basis is having the bad habits pointed out to you in bold relief. That being said, it's important to remember that the place you're visiting will have its own set of bad habits and it won't always be easy to distinguish when a difference is your problem or theirs.

Still, I think most of the bad habits are in assumptions made during training and simply having to step away from the ones we usually deal with is enough.

Of course this doesn't even begin to address the value of different perspectives. I've learned no less than four distinct versions of, for example, kote gaeshi. Every one has been presented to me as The One True Kote Gaeshi. They all work, they all have times when they fail. Learning all of them gives me an insight into what, actually, makes the technique work.

As a teacher this kind of insight is invaluable in helping my students learn. As a student this kind of thing makes a huge difference in my own learning.

So, "regularly": monthly, every few months, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, bi-annually? I actually think monthly is too frequent. Bi-annually is not frequent enough. Beyond that, well, I expect it depends on who you are.

09-16-2006, 07:33 PM
I said no. I took regular training to mean every week. If you got good teachers at your school, I see a lot of negatives to this and very little benefit. Not a good use of time or money. If you haven't got good teachers well this isn't the right solution for that either.

Occasionally going to other style seminars is fine or visiting a different style while traveling is fine or going to a mixed style seminar is fine. all good to broaden your experience.

Dan Hover
09-17-2006, 05:48 PM
I said yes to both this question and re: beginners. Essentially when you think about it a) unless you have the same instructor for every class, you kind of are going to a different dojo each night and b) are you studying the Art of Aikido or one person's interpetation of that art? Like what was mentioned before regarding giving it a greater depth of understanding, it also can break the habit of "dojo group think" whereas 'your' aikido is only really effective in 'your dojo'. But without breaking out of that mold or unquestioningly taking what is given to you. The student will never really "strip away" to the basic unifying principle that connects aikido techniques. The gift is the same regardless of how you wrap it up. Sadly, I feel as if we have drifted somewhat away from cross training, and put more emphasis on student instructor loyalty.

Daniel Blanco
09-17-2006, 07:47 PM
Training at mutiple dojos helps to see different variations and styles of aikido. This can be learned at any level of your training,its works best when you can review what you have learned with your sensei.

09-18-2006, 04:25 PM
actually the basic unifying principle that connects aikido techniques is Ki. Once you understand that, mechanical differences like training to put your foot here rather than there isn't terribly useful. It is useful to understand any assumptions in the role uke may be playing in your kihon waza, but I hope it isn't necessary to go to another school to learn that.

I suspect that cross training has actually increased in last 10-15 years in so far for those who are interested have a much easier time finding independent information about other groups with the growth of the internet.

Exposure to cross training is probably most useful for intermediate students, not unlike studying a foreign language helps you rexamine the structure of your native tongue.

Not useful for beginners who should have already shopped around and should be concentrating on building up their foundation.

For advanced students, well I personally find it less and less interesting unless it adds something to my toolkit that fits into my aikido. Doesn't mean I can't appreciate what they are doing, but if I already have good solutions which I am refining and deepening my understanding of it's unlikely to be worth my time and money. If I cross train now, it's either with teachers I am interested in that I feel are in some way further along the path I have chosen or excellent teachers of other martial arts that might give me a more well rounded understanding of my own art. Unfortunately, those opportunities usually aren't local.

Dan Hover
09-18-2006, 10:12 PM
actually the basic unifying principle that connects aikido techniques is Ki. .

Not really, as look at Tomiki Aikido, Ki is somewhat downplayed as in Yoshinkan Aikido as well. Ki is also somewhat indefinable and yet individually definable. So to say that the basic unifying principle that connects aikido is Ki. Is really saying In YOUR opinion that is what connects. clearly coming from a Ki related ryu, your statement is biased towards your training style, which is the point of cross training to begin with. Not really to take various dojo and fit them into your schema, but to see how perhaps their way can fit you. And what if I don't believe in Ki? Is there then no unifying principle of say Shoji Nishio and Mitsugi Saotome?

09-19-2006, 05:42 AM
I am a big fan of regular cross-training in seminars (not only in Aikido, but other martial arts), but feel there needs to be one base or hub from which to center.