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aikishrine
05-23-2010, 07:43 PM
Can someone who has trained in both tell me the basic differences technically in both of them?

Adam Huss
05-23-2010, 09:37 PM
That could take all day...what specifically do you want to know? I'll throw out some basics:

The basics:

Organization; Yoshinkan aikido has split into many groups since, and even before, Shioda Gozo Sensei's passing so each group has developed a little differently since their departure. For example, Kushida Takashi Sensei our of Ann Arbor, Mi has added A LOT of weapons forms. I will go over some main points, but each dojo and group may have slight variations, however probably less so than the differences between most Aikikai schools.

Kamae: is very distinguishable from Aikikai. Generally there are three basic kamae based on weight distribution; 60/40, 70/30, and 80/20 with the numbers representing percentage of weight on front/rear leg respectively. The front foot is turned toes outward, as is the rear foot but to a lesser extent. If one were to bring the feet together front foot heel to rear foot ankle they would meet at a 90 degree angle known as shimoku no ashi or the 'log and bell' concept. From there the 60/40 stances is 1-1.5 feet lengths apart measured from front heel to rear toe. The 70/30 stance is 2-2.5 feet lengths apart, and the 80/20 is 3-3.5 feet lengths. The forward hand is about mid-chest high with a slight bend in the elbow making the arm almost the same curvature as a sword. Rear hand is about stomach high with the pam heel about a fist length off the belly. Both hands are in a vertical orientation to each other in the middle of your body representing a concept known as Shu Chu Ryoku or (focusing energy to the front)....this is often related to the Triangle in the triange/circle/square often represented in aikido. This stance allows the knee to lock securely to the outside of the body as the hip comes completely forward, square to the front (kamaemi). There are other stances such as Hitoemi (pronounced with 'sht' where the t is) which has the same leg orientation but the upper body is twisted so the forward shoulder is perpendicular to your uke, often inline and 'hiding' behind a weapon, or else done temporarily during certain projection throws to add a little extra movement for the projection.

O'toku. The great resolving. This is done after technique and is a set movement where uke/shi'te maintain a mental and spiritual connection with each other as they disengage and return to their start positions...often seen in many other budo's weapon pairing sets.

Zanshin: We have specific hand/body positions to represent zanshin at the conclusion of projection throws. A utilitarian purpose of this is to protect from legs/other stuff that may pop up after a throw and also helps to ensure shi'te has 'follow through' similar concept to that of a basketball player shooting a ball and not short stroking it.

Ukemi: There are many different ukemi in Yoshinkan aikido...for the most part broken down to 8 basic breakfalls.

Kihon Dosa: These are sorts/kinda like tai sabaki. Basic moves either with partner (sotai dosa) or alone (tandoku) that focus on maintaining correct body posture and control over oneself while moving and changing direction. There are about 8 of these and each one also is directly related to techniques in a systemic set called kanren waza.

Kihon Waza: you basic techniques. These are like mini-kata as they are done in a very specific manner and often taught in a step by step fashion. Techniques are named after the attack and subsequent waza; for ex. wrist grab all-direction throw from aihamni is written as katatemochi shihonage osae ichi (A).

*The person doing a technique is referred to as the Sh'te (often spelled Shite...but I find that leads to improper pronunciation!) which basically means "doer"...and the Uke attacks and receives technique.

Variations: There are #1 and #2 variations of each kihon waza. #1 var. generally mean energy goes toward uke's rear. #2 variations generally mean energy goes toward shi'te. The result is that most times #1 are irimi and #2 are tenkan....but not always. #1's are almost always done in ai hamni dachi while #2's are almost always gyaku hamni dachi. There are also distinctions made for oyo waza variations of techniques, and qualifiers such as shi'te going on one/both knees, projecting vs. pinning, etc.

Attacks:
Grabs: There is little or no foot movement for grabs. In #1 variations Uke will grab Shi'te rear hand/shoulder, etc with their forward hand. In #2, uke will grab shi'te front hand/lapel from gyaku hamni dachi. If its a #1, uke will pull shi'te, if its a #2 uke will push shi'te (hence the distinction of where energy is going.

Strikes: Same rules apply for stances with #1 and #2. Open hand strikes uke is shuffling in. Punch and kicks uke is cross-steping in.

Behind techniques: I won't even get into this, there is a complicated hojo dosa (preparatory movement) done for uke to get behind shi'te, then specific movements for shi'te to off balance depending if its a #1 or #2. I'll try to post a video of some techniques...hopefully with this on there.

Renzoku waza: There are continuation drills set up to enforce fluidity of movement while maintaining powerful technique. These are named after the first and last techniques in the series. For example there is a kaeshi waza continuation drill called "Hojo dosa Kokyunage" that starts with a hojo dosa (prep. movement) and ends with a kokyunage throw but has 8 reversal techniques in between. These continuation drills...and some oyo waza, are some of the times you will see uke cross step attack with open hand strikes and grabs.

Ronbun: written essays are required for tests, almost always at the yudansha level, but some teachers require it before hand.

Koto Shitsumon: You are often required to answer questions asked by the testing committee. Things such as explaining why certain things are done (for example why there is a #1 and #2 variation and where that comes from), knowledge of history and philosophy, and in particular knowledge of yourself (why you study martial arts, how you apply it to daily life, etc). Generally speaking, you want to answer questions in relation to their physical/technical, mental, and spiritual application.

Shido ho: Teaching technique is usually done at the yudansha level. My last test I spent well over 10 minutes explaining/answering questions about katatemochi shihonage osae ichi. You are expected to explain how and why techniques work, their history, etc. Answers like "extend ki" are not sufficient...you must be able to explain in technical terms what you need your body to do to make technique happen.

Other:
Hakama: Yondan and above can wear hakama, unless someone is teaching a class. Anyone teaching can wear hakama. Teaching licensees can be given to 1st kyu and above, but not all yudansha have teaching licensees.

Tests: yudansha tests run a little over an hour per person. I don't remember how long mudansha test last. I am at work and don't have my requirements on hand...can PM a couple example to you if you like at a later time.
Up until sandan, the testing candidate has the same partner for the whole test (unless there is multiple person requirement). This is for the Yoshinkan group I train with...could be different for others.

Testing, and most other things, are very formal events. That being said, everything we do has a specific purpose with training/growth value. Heavy emphasis is placed on philosophies relating to personal and spiritual growth through accomplishing difficult tasks and doing things that are hard. Specific and tedious etiquette is often enforced but is done for personal growth and training. These things are explained at instructor meetings, Kenshu classes (an advanced program..many Yoshinkan schools have something similar to this), at seminars and sometimes at regular class. Ideals are often spoken of...often referred to as "ishi" or 'watchword' or 'saying.' Things like "ken no fumo, ichi go ichi ei, shinken shobu, san sei no kiai, et al" are all philosophical or training concepts that are taught to students at all levels. We have many of these.

Weapons: This depends on the teacher. We have 97 weapons forms in our curriculum...we had many more by my teacher cut the others out and put them in a different class.

Generalities:
Most people say that Yoshinkan aikidoka develop effective techniques from the very beginning of their training and develop fluidity as they progress to the yudansha ranks while Aikikai people develop fluidity at the beginning of their training and develop effective techniques at the yudansha levels. In my experience this is, for the most part, true.

Yoshinkan aikido founder Shioda Gozo Sensei was promoted to 9th dan and told to start his own dojo by Ueshiba Sensei before WW2. Technically one could call Yoshinkan Aikibudo, but out of respect of Ueshiba Sensei, Shioda Sensei changed the name to Aikido in conjunction with Aikikai Honbu (actually, that's kind of an assumption on my part...I don't really know why Yoshinkan is called aikido vice aikibudo...but my story sounds good, right?).

Yoshinkan aikido is often looked at as harsh, brutish, with rigid technique lacking flow. I actually find the way technique is done as quite beautiful...I am fortunate enough to have trained in both. I trained in AAA-related Aikikai for six years, then was uchideshi at a Yoshinkan school for a bit less than a year and have trained in both since.

To re-emphasize, I am giving you information from my experiences (I'm in the military, travel a lot, and have trained at a lot of dojo not affiliated with the organizations I belong to). That being said, both Yoshinkan and Aikikai are large and hard to really pin down. Even each dojo-cho will do things a little different...let alone stylistic differences between each sub-organization. I would hazard to say one can't really call Aikikai...and to a certain extent...Yoshinkan a specific style. I will also generalize that perhaps the various Yoshinkan groups are more similar to each other than the Aikikai groups, which I would attribute to the broken-down, step by step, nature of most Yoshinkan aikido basic movements.

Want to know anything else let me know via here or PM....I work midnights and have nothing to do but type about aikido online!

Here is a clip of some kihon tandoku dosa (basic alone movements) and kihon sotai dosa (same thing, but with a partner added some resistance and weight to load up on shi'te around 1:33 into clip). He also does kanren waza, or applied technique of the basic movement. One of them is around 1:50. Ando Sensei also does a very basic continuation drill around 2:38...and some other stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNbiiKpuv8k

Here is a clip of a high-level aikido practitioner conducting a demonstration. Realize this is a demonstration and at a high level..not a typical class: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEmpmHBMgsA&feature=related

I can probably post a clip of me teaching a basic Yoshinkan technique....just have to upload it to youtube first...if interested.

Adam Huss
05-23-2010, 10:14 PM
Sorry, forgot something:

Kamae....fingers are spread apart. This is a training kamae and not considered a combative posture...although it is done throughout most advanced techniques as well.

Strikes/grabs: Shi'te has specific non-verbal leads which let uke know how and when to attack.

I would love to break down the format for #1 and #2 variations of strikes but I have just tried three times and failed. Lol! Guess I have a way before being a teacher! There are many commonalities in these formats, but there are a lot of oddballs as well.

Weapons: my groups has five tanto and five jo kata and a couple sword kata. We have many weapons pairing as well; kihon, oyo, and renzoku. We pair sword/sword, jo/jo, tanto/tanto, sword/tanto, sword/jo, tanto/jo. 97 weapons forms all together I think.

Oh and both those video clips are Yoshinkan aikidoka....

Cheers!

A

Walter Martindale
05-24-2010, 06:39 AM
I've not practiced in Yoshinkan dojo but have observed a session or two. I understand that the learning process is more codified, or structured, in Yoshinkan, where in Aikikai it is more random. Both systems have their merits, and a yondan in one looks a heck of a lot like a yondan in the other when things get warmed up.
W

chillzATL
05-24-2010, 08:59 AM
Adam,

Thanks for the post. I've recently watched Shioda Sensei's DVD set and I really enjoy the Yoshinkan style as a whole. After watching that and reading your post, there are a lot of similarities between our styles.

Adam Huss
05-24-2010, 08:17 PM
That is interesting Jason. There are a lot of aikido offshoots that are similar to Yoshinkan aikido...if not a direct offshoot of Shioda Sensei. I can not speak for Yoseikan, as that is one of the few major aikido styles I have yet to watch or practice with, but I believe Saito Sensei has knowledge of aikibudo techniques (even though he doesn't normally practice them), and maybe Tomiki is a little similar from what I've been told (the only Tomiki school I've been to actually trained regularly in Aikijujutsu and only belonged to Tomiki aikido for the sake of belonging to an organization). If I may ask, where do you train? Oh yeah, I just read a bumped post about someone being nervous for their test at the Shinjinkan (Moore M. Sensei) and much of the vernacular used in the requirements she posted I have only seen at Yoshinkan schools. I am kind of curious to speak to them about where that influence came from vice Moore Sensei's background with the AAA.

Adam Huss
05-24-2010, 08:24 PM
I've not practiced in Yoshinkan dojo but have observed a session or two. I understand that the learning process is more codified, or structured, in Yoshinkan, where in Aikikai it is more random. Both systems have their merits, and a yondan in one looks a heck of a lot like a yondan in the other when things get warmed up.
W

Walter,

That is the general consensus, however, I find that to be a bit much of a generalization. Certainly I would hope that a yondan from any training methodology would be a proficient technician, however I can tell if someone has received Yoshinkan influenced training. Most notable are either the kamae, zanshin, posture, and simply some techniques that most Aikikai groups just don't do (or rather do in that way). Not saying one is better than the other....just that there are subtleties that really stand out to me. If I saw Andy Sato Sensei or Tsuneo Ando Sensei from behind/afar I could definitely recognize them as being practitioners of different styles (well that and they look nothing alike...just the first two names that popped in my head). I don't mean to be argumentative...I definitely know what you are talking about...but at the same time I find it is not entirely accurate.

V/R
A

Adam Huss
05-24-2010, 11:13 PM
EDIT:

I was just informed by another Aikiweb member, with direct ties to Yoshinkan Honbu) that much of what I described above is a bit off what is being taught by Y. Shioda Sensei. My knowledge base is closer to Yoshokai and Chudokai offshoots of Yoshinkai's aikido which dates to what was being taught at Yoshinkan Honbu around 1963-1973, when Kushida Sensei left for the US. I suspect Yukio Utada Sensei may have similar curriculum in his Aikido Association of North America (AANA), as he is from the same time period, but I have no personal experience with that group yet so I really have no idea. Maybe this is something Mr. Tisdale could clarify? Sorry for any confusion. Anyway, to make a long story a little longer, there are rather noticeable differences between most of the Aikikai styles and most of the Yoshinkan styles!

Adam Huss
05-25-2010, 12:53 AM
...and please understand that I speak for myself, not my teachers. Anything offensive or incorrect is the fault of me due to my own ignorance in regard to a given subject!

v/r
Adam

Walter Martindale
05-25-2010, 04:39 AM
Walter,

That is the general consensus, however, I find that to be a bit much of a generalization. Certainly I would hope that a yondan from any training methodology would be a proficient technician, however I can tell if someone has received Yoshinkan influenced training. Most notable are either the kamae, zanshin, posture, and simply some techniques that most Aikikai groups just don't do (or rather do in that way). Not saying one is better than the other....just that there are subtleties that really stand out to me. If I saw Andy Sato Sensei or Tsuneo Ando Sensei from behind/afar I could definitely recognize them as being practitioners of different styles (well that and they look nothing alike...just the first two names that popped in my head). I don't mean to be argumentative...I definitely know what you are talking about...but at the same time I find it is not entirely accurate.

V/R
A
I was generalizing. Observing one yoshinkan training session when I was a sankyu does not an expert make...
I was visiting London Ontario to collect a trailer full of new rowing shells for Saskatchewan, my co-driver was another member of my dojo, I was sick, he practiced...
In 1997
I tend to generalise a lot.
Walter

Adam Huss
05-25-2010, 05:33 AM
Walter,

Sorry to sound a bit like a priss in my last response. I guess what I was trying to say is I both agree and disagree with your statement! I think I was being indecisive while trying not to sound indecisive...didn't work! Again, apologies if I came off argumentative and haughty.

I think I know the school you visited, but have never been there myself.

cheers,

Adam

Rabih Shanshiry
05-25-2010, 05:41 AM
EDIT:

I was just informed by another Aikiweb member, with direct ties to Yoshinkan Honbu) that much of what I described above is a bit off what is being taught by Y. Shioda Sensei.

Interesting...care to share what Junior has changed?

Osu!
...rab

Walter Martindale
05-25-2010, 06:28 AM
Walter,

Sorry to sound a bit like a priss in my last response. I guess what I was trying to say is I both agree and disagree with your statement! I think I was being indecisive while trying not to sound indecisive...didn't work! Again, apologies if I came off argumentative and haughty.

I think I know the school you visited, but have never been there myself.

cheers,

Adam
Hi Adam,
No worries - I realise that most cases of blunt or otherwise possibly "testy" discussion on the net, it's a matter of - hmm, didn't quite mean that tone..., I think the session was somewhere on the UWO campus.
Walter

Steven
05-25-2010, 09:55 AM
Interesting...care to share what Junior has changed?

Osu!
...rab

Nothing ... the simple difference is between what Adam's organization teaches and how and what the Yoshinkan HQ does and has always done. No matter ... it's all Yoshinkan. Nothing to see here, no conspiracy, no smokin' guns. Move along.

Steven
05-25-2010, 10:12 AM
Can someone who has trained in both tell me the basic differences technically in both of them?

Hard to answer because of the diverse nature of both organizations. I've been to Aikikai schools whose structor rivals that of the Yoshinkan when it comes to structor, breaking things down, etc. Most notably those schools who follow the teaching of Saito Sensei and who work with the bokken and jo. While others were big and flowery. I've been to Aikikai schools where the techniques were earth shattering when uke hit the mat. While others, not so much. Same can be said for the Yoshinkan

If I had to point one or two things out, I would say the syllabus. All Yoshinkan schools should be following the grading syllabus set forth by the honbu dojo. Dojo's have the ability to add to it if they so desire, but a 3rd kyu in Japan and a 3rd kyu in England and a 3rd kyu on Mars should all be the same as to what they know and can do in regards to the syllabus. What order the techniques are taught is what makes the schools unique, but ultimately everyone should have the same knowledge for the level they are at, regardless where the dojo is located.

This is not the case within the Aikikai, or hasn't been in the past. It's also the importance of our six basic movements. Every person in the Yoshinkan should know this, regardless of lineage. It's what ties us all together.

What Adam posted is just one school of thought within the Yoshinkan. His teacher is a registered and recognized 7th dan in the Yoshinkan. So it's Yoshinkan. Case closed.

Rabih Shanshiry
05-25-2010, 10:25 PM
Nothing ... the simple difference is between what Adam's organization teaches and how and what the Yoshinkan HQ does and has always done. No matter ... it's all Yoshinkan. Nothing to see here, no conspiracy, no smokin' guns. Move along.

Hi Steven,

I've always respected your contributions to AikiWeb, so I'm going to assume that you intended your response to be humourous and not paternalistic.

There is no reason to bristle at my suggestion that Shioda Jr. may be taking the Yoshinkan in a direction that reflects his understanding of aikido. I wasn't trying to imply anything conspiratorial. The Yoshinkan evolved under Shioda Kancho, and I'm sure it will under his son.

Osu!
....rab

Steven
05-26-2010, 01:35 AM
Hi Rabih,

That wasn't intented to be directed at you, so sorry if you took it that way. Guess I should have pointed that out initially. After re-reading, I see you point. Sorry Dude!

Rabih Shanshiry
05-26-2010, 06:25 AM
Hi Rabih,

That wasn't intented to be directed at you, so sorry if you took it that way. Guess I should have pointed that out initially. After re-reading, I see you point. Sorry Dude!

No worries! Sorry if I misread myself...you know how the internet thing goes.

aikishrine
05-30-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks for all your replys, they have been helpful.