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Xing
11-13-2007, 11:14 PM
Hi all,

I just wanted to know, is there really any difference between, Shodokan aikido, Iwama style, and Aikikan style?

Thanks ^_^.

Amir Krause
11-13-2007, 11:58 PM
There are style differences, some of them are large, others are minor.

Be aware that there are also differences inside each style, which in some cases might be as large as the differences between styles.

If you wish more specifics, use the search function and you will find multiple relevant threads about this subject.

Amir

Beard of Chuck Norris
11-14-2007, 01:53 AM
To quote Maruyama Sensei


'Every river has a name. However, these names disappear when they flow into the great ocean. Aikido has many styles, many names, but Aikido is Aikido. It is my vision and hope that, like the rivers, they flow together and unite as one.'

Mato-san
11-14-2007, 08:17 AM
I am sure this thread will be a kicker...
anyhow
Don`t matter the style you learn... as long as you learn the foundations/principles of Aikido then you will make your own Aikido... Aikido is Aikido and thats that.... Aikido is an endless path of whatever you make it.

Jo`s quote from Maruyama Sensei is a perfect explaination

Mattias Bengtsson
11-14-2007, 08:29 AM
In a nutshell, and simplified.

Shodokan is also referred to as "sports" Aikido which means it has competitions.

Iwama is also known as "traditional" Aikido and was "founded" by Morihiro Saito who was one of Ueshibas student who thought too many Aikido styles strayed away from how it was taught at Uehsibas Iwama dojo. It has slightly more weapons training and can be percieved as being more "rough" than other styles, earning it its nickname as "lumberjack" Aikido.

Aikikai started out as referring to the Aikido taught at the Hombu dojo in tokyo. Because of this it has many more variations all considered being Aikikai and more accepting to diversity. Which is why today "Aikikai" more or less refer to as umbrella corporation which includes many styles.

Thats about it in rough edges if i understand it correctly.

Ron Tisdale
11-14-2007, 08:51 AM
All good stuff above,

Shodokan Aikido is the name of an organization which does have a distinctive "style"... part of which is the use of a more judo like randori and shiai.

Iwama Aikido is more of a "style" linked to a specific place and specific teachers, Saito Sensei senior being the most known (recently deceased, unfortunately). People who practise this "style" may or may not belong to the Aikikai.

Aikikai is an organization, with many shihan, and sub organizations, and dojo. Each of which may have their own particular "style" (like Iwama, above).

Yoshinkan is yet another organization, which also has a distinctive "style", and within even that organization (known to be very uniform in many ways) there are distinct flavors depending on the instructor.

Best,
Ron

mjhacker
11-14-2007, 09:13 AM
Don`t matter the style you learn... as long as you learn the foundations/principles of Aikido then you will make your own Aikido... Aikido is Aikido and thats that.... Aikido is an endless path of whatever you make it.
Maybe I'm just curmudgeonly, but I don't even like the word "style." It implies to me that whatever differences exist are just minor surface flourishes. My experience differs.

I've trained in several different schools of thought, and while many of them talk the same talk, the walk they walk is, indeed, often quite different.

Maybe this is why I can't, in good conscience, call what I do "Aikido."

Caveat emptor

Mato-san
11-14-2007, 09:21 AM
Maybe I'm just curmudgeonly, but I don't even like the word "style." It implies to me that whatever differences exist are just minor surface flourishes. My experience differs.

I've trained in several different schools of thought, and while many of them talk the same talk, the walk they walk is, indeed, often quite different.

Maybe this is why I can't, in good conscience, call what I do "Aikido."

Caveat emptor

Call it what you like... it is just a label, but deep down you know where it`s stem is located

Mato-san
11-14-2007, 09:26 AM
We must remember that all these uchideshi and students of the founder learnt the foundations and principles of his art and there after made their own Aikido.... hence why we have so many "styles" ... and substyles (now thats a cool word)

Yes my Aikido is different from yours... so too is the other 500,000 Aikidoka on the planet (don`t quote that number).

mjhacker
11-14-2007, 09:56 AM
Call it what you like... it is just a label, but deep down you know where it`s stem is located
Yes, I do... and this is precisely the reason that I don't call it "Aikido."

Some things is just different.

Ron Tisdale
11-14-2007, 10:11 AM
Michael raises good points, which are probably reflected in some other threads on this topic here.

A "style" may be based around a pedagogical method (like the Yoshinkan focus), specific items that receive extraordinarily close attention (weapons, specific exercises, etc), specific rei (etiquette), or any number of things. Often, certain decisions are made in the training process that build one on the other. If all you do is visit occasionally, it might be hard for a newbie (or even an experienced person) to determine what specific differences mean in relation to the instructor's goal when the system was set up.

Which is not said to discourage cross "style" training...just something to be aware of.
Best,
Ron

grondahl
11-14-2007, 02:45 PM
Even if it was simplified I would like to point out that in my mind Iwama-style aikido is definitely not more "rough" than other styles. I think more of it as very precise, smooth and distinct if done well.

And for those not in touch with swedish Iwama-style aikido: "lumberjackaikido" is a very local definition of certain swedish dojo and teachers.

It has slightly more weapons training and can be percieved as being more "rough" than other styles, earning it its nickname as "lumberjack" Aikido.

Mattias Bengtsson
11-14-2007, 03:12 PM
Even if it was simplified I would like to point out that in my mind Iwama-style aikido is definitely not more "rough" than other styles. I think more of it as very precise, smooth and distinct if done well.

And for those not in touch with swedish Iwama-style aikido: "lumberjackaikido" is a very local definition of certain swedish dojo and teachers.

well, theres THAT but I also was referring to this:
, a live-in student (uchideshi) of Ueshiba at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, recalled in particular the intensity of the training that occurred at the Iwama dojo,
“ A large portion of the membership at Iwama Dojo consisted of local farmers, hard workers who spent all day in the fields. They had thick bones and great physical strength, combined with a peculiar local character known as “Mito kishitsu,” a type of manliness close to gallantry. Altogether, it was quite an opposite culture from Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. Because it is in the capital of Japan, Hombu’s membership consists of white-collar workers, intellectuals, businessmen, politicians and university students.

Any members who came to visit Iwama Dojo from Hombu must have looked pale and weak from city living to Iwama members. Indeed, the Iwama students treated us from Hombu as such and challenged us vigorously. It was a matter of survival for members from Hombu Dojo, including Hombu uchideshi like myself. And Saito Sensei was on top of that mountain, which we had to climb with all our might.

Xing
11-14-2007, 03:29 PM
Woah, thanks for all the replies ^_^.

When you say competitions, does that mean you never really compete with others in the other 'styles'? Or something else?

eyrie
11-14-2007, 03:55 PM
http://aikiweb.com/wiki/Styles

crbateman
11-14-2007, 04:09 PM
We must remember that all these uchideshi and students of the founder learnt the foundations and principles of his art and there after made their own Aikido.... hence why we have so many "styles" ... and substyles (now thats a cool word)Another thing that varies is the particular stretch of time in which each student of O'Sensei trained with him. His teachings, as did his Aikido, changed over the years.

barron
11-14-2007, 06:07 PM
I've visited a few different dojos over the past 8 years and seen a spectrum of differences....even within one "style".

This is how I see the differences between "styles".

Technique is the basic biomechanics of a movement or motion that allows the body to move through a path, that it is limited/held to, due to it's need to not stray form the laws of physiology, biomechanics and physics.

Style is an individual/group interpretation of the of the route to achieving that same goal but still adhering to the laws aforementioned. This is based upon different body size, individual biomechanics, sometimes philosophies and individual teachers' influence.

"There are many roads to Rome."

Practice where you feel happy.

Cheers

mjhacker
11-14-2007, 07:03 PM
"There are many roads to Rome."
Not everybody is going to Rome...

Practice where you feel happy.
This may be the single best piece of overall advice I've heard yet.

Xing
11-14-2007, 07:48 PM
Sorry if this sounds rude, but isn't the phrase meant to be
"All roads lead to Rome"?

Mato-san
11-15-2007, 10:32 AM
Another thing that varies is the particular stretch of time in which each student of O'Sensei trained with him. His teachings, as did his Aikido, changed over the years.

For sure!

Many factors come into play. I guess it`s evolution.

Everyone is cooking the same soup, but yeah for sure they don`t all taste the same..

mjhacker
11-15-2007, 11:00 AM
Everyone is cooking the same soup, but yeah for sure they don`t all taste the same..
I'll say it again: everyone isn't necessarily cooking the same soup. Claiming it is so doesn't make it so.

gdandscompserv
11-15-2007, 12:06 PM
I'll say it again: everyone isn't necessarily cooking the same soup. Claiming it is so doesn't make it so.
One man's soup may be another man's stew.:D

mjhacker
11-15-2007, 12:09 PM
One man's soup may be another man's stew.:D

Great... like I wasn't hungry already.

Charles Hill
11-15-2007, 09:56 PM
Another thing that varies is the particular stretch of time in which each student of O'Sensei trained with him. His teachings, as did his Aikido, changed over the years.

Hi Clark,

It seems to me that due to the efforts of Western aikido "historians" that it is clear that this is not true. The differences seem to come from the students themselves and don't have much to do with the founder himself. O'Sensei's teachings and technique did not change much over the years, at least from what I can discern.

Charles

xuzen
11-15-2007, 10:12 PM
If you come across some aikido practitioner not wearing hakama and wielding rubber tanto poking each other in funny ways.... YEP, them be the ShodoThugs (TM).

Boon.

crbateman
11-16-2007, 08:16 AM
Hi Clark,

It seems to me that due to the efforts of Western aikido "historians" that it is clear that this is not true. The differences seem to come from the students themselves and don't have much to do with the founder himself. O'Sensei's teachings and technique did not change much over the years, at least from what I can discern.

CharlesWe'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Most of the "historians" I know say that it is true. Since I was not there, I cannot say with absolute certainty, but it does not make sense to me that anyone could teach the exact same principles in exactly the same way, and with the exact same purpose, for 50 years. There would have to be some development, some refinement. I would think that the diverse technical, philosophical and spiritual influences that O'Sensei experienced over the span of his life would have had to have an effect on his training methodology, and since there is so little documentation of the pre-war years, it is difficult to know, other than from hearsay. No, the laws of physics did not change, but I think other considerations did.

Ron Tisdale
11-16-2007, 09:20 AM
Well, consider the publication of Budo Renshu and Budo. Look at the photos. Look at photos of Ueshiba training later in life. That is what John Stevens did in one of the reprints of one of those publications. Did the waza in the photos change?

From what I saw, no, they did not.

Compare those photos with what K. Ueshiba, Tohei, and others were doing. Are there differences?

Who were the greatest post war influences on AIKIKAI aikido?

Stir briskly, and decide.

Best,
Ron

crbateman
11-16-2007, 12:26 PM
Did the waza in the photos change?

From what I saw, no, they did not.As you know, Aikido is more than just waza. Vector dynamics and laws of physics did not change, but I think that what O'Sensei wanted to do with his Aikido did. I'd be willing to bet that his teachings evolved along with it. I've heard it said that some folks bailed because it changed too little, and others because it changed too much.

Charles Hill
11-17-2007, 10:43 PM
As far as the teachings go and how they changed or not, one source that has been helpful for me in the Aikido Journal website. Stanley Pranin has a translation of O'Sensei's from before the war, some kind of article or transcript of a speech for Omoto believers. I believe it was the source for an article by David Valedez here on this set which garnered a lot of discussion. It shows to me that the spiritual teachings did not change. Maybe someone more technically ept than me can find a link?

Charles