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bryce
08-30-2010, 09:00 PM
Hi all,

Bryce here. Long time reader, first time poster. :D

Like many of you, my heart is in Aikido. But recently I've found my love is waning. And I'm hoping for some advice.

Now, before people get hotheaded, I first want to acknowledge that everybody trains for different reasons. With that in mind, please note that I don't train for health, socializing, fitness, to develop my spiritual core, or as a hobby.
I train for improving martial skills. We cannot say there is "only one way". or a "correct" way, or "right" way. All we can do is point out "our" way. Please keep in mind that I'm referring to what I'm looking for.

Long ago, in my home country I trained with a Japanese Aikidoka for about 4 years. What I saw from that man convinced me that there is a real core of Budo within Aikido, and there are definitely useful skills to be learned.

What concerns me is that I've been unable to find a dojo training with a "martial" spirit, here in Tokyo. Quite naturally, most people are training for their health, or spiritual development, or just for the fun of it (and Aikido is a hell of a lot of fun). As such, we can usually see the kind of training that is derided by practitioners of other arts. For example, the running-extended-arm punch, the self motivated ukemi, the lack of a truly committed attack.
Of course these kinds of things provide a safe environment, and are necessary for beginners to learn control. And they provide the beginning of understanding "harmony" with a partner.
However if we observe honestly, we can often see these things continue into dan grades, and even high-level teachers. Once more, I'd like to point out that this is fine, if that's what they want. Hobby Budo is fine, but its not for me.

But what I'm looking for is genuine martial skills, which I think we can all agree, requires serious committed training, and shall we say, requires one to put oneself at risk of injury. I feel we can't improve martial skill by continuing with "safe" Aikido training.
I'm looking for Aikido teachers who are not satisfied with simply looking good for demonstrations, but ones who will test their skills, demand to be attacked with intent, strive for improvement, and of course demand the same from their students.
For me, this is real budo, real Aikido.

And I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Does anyone know of such a place in Tokyo?

Best regards,

Bryce

David Orange
08-30-2010, 09:11 PM
And I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Does anyone know of such a place in Tokyo?

I know Minoru Akuzawa, of Aunkai, is in Tokyo and I think Seigo Okamoto of daitoryu roppokai is there, also.

But if you want martial improvement, definitely go see Akuzawa Sensei. You can get incredible instruction and probably a lot of help in English, too.

It's a blast.

Give Akuzawa-sama my regards.

Best to you.

David

Rabih Shanshiry
08-30-2010, 09:18 PM
I would second David's recommendation. However, if you want to stay within Aikido, have you checked out the Yoshinkan Honbu dojo? Particularly the senshusei program?

David Orange
08-30-2010, 09:31 PM
I would second David's recommendation. However, if you want to stay within Aikido, have you checked out the Yoshinkan Honbu dojo? Particularly the senshusei program?

Oh, yeah. Shioda Sensei (Gozo Sensei's son) is a real gentleman and that senshusei program is about as martial as the modern world can provide. That's real aikido and real martial, though anyone in Tokyo should definitely visit Aunkai for a deeper perspective on any art.

Great point, Rabih.

Regards.

David

Demetrio Cereijo
08-30-2010, 09:36 PM
I know Minoru Akuzawa, of Aunkai, is in Tokyo and I think Seigo Okamoto of daitoryu roppokai is there, also.

But if you want martial improvement, definitely go see Akuzawa Sensei. You can get incredible instruction and probably a lot of help in English, too.

It's a blast.

Give Akuzawa-sama my regards.

Best to you.

David
Seconded.

Chris Farnham
08-30-2010, 11:19 PM
Are you still in contact with your teacher from home? What was his lineage? If he is Japanese maybe he at least knows of some people in Tokyo that would be more along the lines of what you are looking for.

WilliB
08-31-2010, 01:46 AM
I know Minoru Akuzawa, of Aunkai, is in Tokyo and I think Seigo Okamoto of daitoryu roppokai is there, also.

But if you want martial improvement, definitely go see Akuzawa Sensei. You can get incredible instruction and probably a lot of help in English, too.

It's a blast.

Give Akuzawa-sama my regards.

Best to you.

David

Are you talking about the Aunkai guy? In that case, I disagree. I have visted him, I enjoyed his class, I find his teaching interesting. But I donīt get feeling at all that this is what the original poster was asking about.

Methinks what he is looking for is something hard, direct, and obvious. Something along the famouse "angry white pajama" 1-year riot police course at the Yoshinkan hombu, perhaps?

Marc Abrams
08-31-2010, 06:37 AM
Bryce:

I strongly suggest that you meet Kenji Ushiro Sensei (Shindoryu)! Mrs. Ikuko Kimura is the contact person. Tell her that you were referred by Marc Abrams. Her contact information is:

Ikuko Kimura [kimura@dou-shuppan.com]

Youtube search for clips on Ushiro Sensei.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

ps- I will be in Japan in October to attend a special training camp with the tokyo branch. If you want to meet when I am in town (only a couple of days), please let me know.

WilliB
08-31-2010, 06:56 AM
Bryce:

I strongly suggest that you meet Kenji Ushiro Sensei (Shindoryu)! Mrs. Ikuko Kimura is the contact person. Tell her that you were referred by Marc Abrams. Her contact information is:

Ikuko Kimura [kimura@dou-shuppan.com]

Youtube search for clips on Ushiro Sensei.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

ps- I will be in Japan in October to attend a special training camp with the tokyo branch. If you want to meet when I am in town (only a couple of days), please let me know.

"Ki Karate"? "He was pushing me with his ki?"
Are you serious?

David Orange
08-31-2010, 07:54 AM
"Ki Karate"? "He was pushing me with his ki?"
Are you serious?

What is it you do, Willi?

David

Marc Abrams
08-31-2010, 08:27 AM
"Ki Karate"? "He was pushing me with his ki?"
Are you serious?

Willi:

You do not know what you do not know. The international heavyweight champion of Kyokushin Karate (Mas Oyama style) is a student of his now. The list goes on.... O'Sensei seemed to have used Ki effectively. He takes on any and all people who want to try kumite with him. That was how Kazumi (person mentioned above) decided to study under Kenji Ushiro Sensei.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajime_Kazumi

Before you eat too much more of the foot that is embedded in your mouth, you should explore Ushiro Sensei a little bit more, before solidifying your impressions.

You wanted real budo with a serious spirit, I presented you with an opportunity. I frankly think that you will have a very hard time finding a teacher who is that good. If you do not want to try and take advantage of this opportunity than that is fine with me. Does not make any real difference in my life.

Oh, by the way, the person who was talking about being pushed by Ki, just so happened to have been the runner-up several years ago in the Kyokushin open tournament in the United states. Would you like to try and go a couple of rounds with him? He is a friend, I can easily arrange that.

Marc Abrams

WilliB
08-31-2010, 08:59 AM
Willi:

Before you eat too much more of the foot that is embedded in your mouth, you should explore Ushiro Sensei a little bit more, before solidifying your impressions.

You wanted real budo with a serious spirit, I presented you with an opportunity.

Me? Moi?? Boku? I was not asking for anything. I simply followed your suggestion to search Youtube for "ushiro sensei", and it led me to this "no-touch" Ki knockdown stuff a la George Dillman or Yanagiryu ken.

Maybe I found the wrong video. Please give a better search suggestion.

David Orange
08-31-2010, 09:06 AM
Maybe I found the wrong video. Please give a better search suggestion.

A better search suggestion would be his address. You're in the same city. He's internationally respected by fighters and his approach is nothing like Dillman's. Go see him in person. It's as easy as typing on the internet.

Good luck.

David

Larry Feldman
08-31-2010, 10:25 AM
If Marc says he is genuine, then it is worth the visit. Period.

Easy enough to form your own opinion after that.

Marc Abrams
08-31-2010, 10:52 AM
Me? Moi?? Boku? I was not asking for anything. I simply followed your suggestion to search Youtube for "ushiro sensei", and it led me to this "no-touch" Ki knockdown stuff a la George Dillman or Yanagiryu ken.

Maybe I found the wrong video. Please give a better search suggestion.

Willi:

Stanley Pranin, Saotome Sensei, Ikeda Sensei, Michael Ryabko (systema),..... are just a few of the people out there who know that Ushiro Sensei has the real stuff. Then again, maybe you know more than they do:eek: .

Do me a favor and do not contact Ikuko Kimura, because I will not not vouch for you and will simply send her an e-mail to reject any attempts by you to gain entrance. If and when you wake up and can recognize what is real and what is not, get in line with everybody else in Japan who is waiting for permission to train with him. My understanding is that wait can be up to several years. Good luck in your journeys!

Marc Abrams

WilliB
08-31-2010, 11:01 AM
Do me a favor and do not contact Ikuko Kimura, because I will not not vouch for you and will simply send her an e-mail to reject any attempts by you to gain entrance. If and when you wake up and can recognize what is real and what is not, get in line with everybody else in Japan who is waiting for permission to train with him. My understanding is that wait can be up to several years. Good luck in your journeys!
Marc Abrams

LOL, I neither asked you to vouch for anything, nor did I write any opinion about this guy. I simply followed your advice, googled for the name you gave, and got to this video, which is quite Dillmanesque:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsuhU8uouNs

Now, I am quite willing to believe that there is more to this and he is really good. No problem with that, afaic.

NB: "Get in line with everybody else in Japan"... wow. I have been here for quite a while an never heard the name. They must have all been keeping a secret from me! :-)

Seriously, why so aggressive? I did not say any of the things you react to.

Marc Abrams
08-31-2010, 11:15 AM
Willi:

I am not aggressive, just very direct. There is a very big difference between the two. From my perspective, I extended a sincere and cordial offer for you to experience a truly remarkable martial artist. Your response indicated to me that you could not tell the difference between high level martial arts and a lot of what is out there.

I assume a tremendous amount of responsibility when I refer people study under him in Japan. I am essentially allowing people to go to the head of the line. Your comments lead me to conclude that my decision to not refer/vouch for you to study with him was correct.

I hold no feelings towards you positive or negative. I truly wish you the best of luck on your martial arts journeys.

Marc Abrams

LOL, I neither asked you to vouch for anything, nor did I write any opinion about this guy. I simply followed your advice, googled for the name you gave, and got to this video, which is quite Dillmanesque:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsuhU8uouNs

Now, I am quite willing to believe that there is more to this and he is really good. No problem with that, afaic.

NB: "Get in line with everybody else in Japan"... wow. I have been here for quite a while an never heard the name. They must have all been keeping a secret from me! :-)

Seriously, why so aggressive? I did not say any of the things you react to.

akiy
08-31-2010, 11:17 AM
Can people please return to discussing the topic of the original poster's inquiry, namely:

I'm looking for Aikido teachers who are not satisfied with simply looking good for demonstrations, but ones who will test their skills, demand to be attacked with intent, strive for improvement, and of course demand the same from their students.
[snip]
Does anyone know of such a place in Tokyo?


Thank you,

-- Jun

WilliB
08-31-2010, 05:42 PM
Marc:
"From my perspective, I extended a sincere and cordial offer for you to experience a truly remarkable martial artist."

For the third time: why? I did not ask for any referral. Please stop mistaking me for Bryce. Different user names, different people.

Bryce:
Have you considered looking outside the Aikido world? It seems to me you are looking for something like full contact sparring, which of course there is of, but not in the Aikido universe.

mathewjgano
08-31-2010, 09:48 PM
May I suggest looking into a Shodokan school. A quick search should yield something in Tokyo. I'm not sure if it's what you're looking for: "martial skills" is a pretty broad concept that can include quite a number of possibilities.
Here are a couple examples of Shodokan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL9hQ3yuTaA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTt8YwPaPCY&feature=related

bryce
08-31-2010, 11:10 PM
Thank you all for your replies. You've given me some good leads, and that's a much more than I had.

It's much appreciated.

Bryce