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Randall Lim
10-22-2010, 04:40 AM
Hi all!

I was wondering what the role of any National Aikido Federation should play. Should they aim to unite all Ryus of Aikido together??

In my country, the Aikido Federation does not seem to do that. It seems like an exclusive club by itself, recognising only those dojos that it set up. It has its on Chief Instructor, Instructors & Assistant Instructors. It operates like an exclusive club. It does not take care of any other Aikido Ryus which is not their own.

There are currently about 10 different Ryus/Clubs of Aikido in my country. And this "Federation" is just one of them. Shouldn't it be aiming to unite all Aikido Ryus together?? Shouldn't all the other 9 Ryus be under its umbrella?? Shouldn't it be concern with the overall development of Aikido in the entire country??

I am puzzled why it is called the "Aikido Federation" of my country when it does not even have any affiliation to all other Aikido clubs other than its own.

RED
10-22-2010, 10:23 AM
The international Aikido Federation is a blanket federation in which many (but not all) of the Aikikai dojo are under.
http://www.aikido-international.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=32

The IAF was founded by the Doshu.To be a member of the IAF, or any of it's member nation federations you have to be affiliated by Hombu Aikikai. The president is the Doshu.
The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation.
To have a school recognized be any federation under IAF you must have lineage through that federation, and possibly its Shihan.
The IAF's purpose was to help give the world access to high ranking Hombu instructors. The Uchi Deshi of O'sensei are the founders of many of the Member nation's Federation. The goal was so that every country would have access to the Aikikai Shihan.
The goal is to not just spread Aikido, but good Aikido.

Your school won't have affiliation to any other dojo outside of the IAF, but if will have lineage with any other Aikikai style dojo. So long as your black belt is through Aikikai Doshu, it will be recognized as a belt in Aikikai. (You can't expect Yoshinkan or Suenaka schools to recognize an Aikikai belt either A black belt in Aikikai doesn't mean you are proficient in other styles Aikido, it means you know Aikikai style Aikido.)The same can not be said for kyu ranks however. Kyu is only recognized if it within the IAF, other school's kyu is not recognized because they might have different standards for belting.

Rob Watson
10-22-2010, 10:55 AM
Ponder the meaning and implications of the use of the ryu appellation and consider how that helps in the 'grand unification' ideal.

Being proud of a lineage is one thing but does that fit with the term ryu and the associated 'baggage'?

To some the distinction is trivial or non-existent while to others it means a great deal indeed.

Randall Lim
10-22-2010, 07:06 PM
The international Aikido Federation is a blanket federation in which many (but not all) of the Aikikai dojo are under.
http://www.aikido-international.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=32

The IAF was founded by the Doshu.To be a member of the IAF, or any of it's member nation federations you have to be affiliated by Hombu Aikikai. The president is the Doshu.
The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation.
To have a school recognized be any federation under IAF you must have lineage through that federation, and possibly its Shihan.
The IAF's purpose was to help give the world access to high ranking Hombu instructors. The Uchi Deshi of O'sensei are the founders of many of the Member nation's Federation. The goal was so that every country would have access to the Aikikai Shihan.
The goal is to not just spread Aikido, but good Aikido.

Your school won't have affiliation to any other dojo outside of the IAF, but if will have lineage with any other Aikikai style dojo. So long as your black belt is through Aikikai Doshu, it will be recognized as a belt in Aikikai. (You can't expect Yoshinkan or Suenaka schools to recognize an Aikikai belt either A black belt in Aikikai doesn't mean you are proficient in other styles Aikido, it means you know Aikikai style Aikido.)The same can not be said for kyu ranks however. Kyu is only recognized if it within the IAF, other school's kyu is not recognized because they might have different standards for belting.

Perhaps a more appropriate name would be "Aikikai Federation". sigh.....

By the way, the founder of my Ryu was an Uchi Deshi of O-Sensei.
After O-Sensei's death, however, he broke away from Hombu and established his own Ryu. Is this still not considered lineage??

Randall Lim
10-22-2010, 07:15 PM
Ponder the meaning and implications of the use of the ryu appellation and consider how that helps in the 'grand unification' ideal.

Being proud of a lineage is one thing but does that fit with the term ryu and the associated 'baggage'?

To some the distinction is trivial or non-existent while to others it means a great deal indeed.

I recognise the differences in physical techniques. But this, to me, is immaterial. What matters, and what should unite all Aikido Ryus together should be Aikido's philosophy of Harmony & Love.

It seems that World Aikido will never be truely united, unlike in Judo where most Judo clubs come under the umbrella of the Kodokan for lineage or the International Judo Federation for the sporting aspect.

raul rodrigo
10-22-2010, 10:04 PM
If as you say, the founder of your school broke away from Hombu, why do you expect the Aikikai federation in Singapore to "unite" with your school? The decision to break away from Aikikai was his.

Jorge Garcia
10-23-2010, 04:53 AM
Hi all!

I was wondering what the role of any National Aikido Federation should play. Should they aim to unite all Ryus of Aikido together??

In my country, the Aikido Federation does not seem to do that. It seems like an exclusive club by itself, recognising only those dojos that it set up. It has its on Chief Instructor, Instructors & Assistant Instructors. It operates like an exclusive club. It does not take care of any other Aikido Ryus which is not their own.

There are currently about 10 different Ryus/Clubs of Aikido in my country. And this "Federation" is just one of them. Shouldn't it be aiming to unite all Aikido Ryus together?? Shouldn't all the other 9 Ryus be under its umbrella?? Shouldn't it be concern with the overall development of Aikido in the entire country??

I am puzzled why it is called the "Aikido Federation" of my country when it does not even have any affiliation to all other Aikido clubs other than its own.

There is a saying that in every issue, there is the public reason, the private reason and then there is the real reason. The issue is the many groups and why they aren't united - the real reason is that they aren't separated because of style or lineage. They are separated because of jurisdiction. Usually, all divisions are over jurisdiction or what is commonly called authority. The real question is that of protecting your own jurisdiction in order to protect your internal cohesion and viability as a group. The removal of all boundaries is a surrender of jurisdiction. The surrender of jurisdcition means that the money can go anywhere, the protection of jurisdiction is the attempt to protect the finances. All you have to do is to follow the money. I'm not suggesting this is wrong. It is the way of all humans. Groups leave the Aikikai so not to have to be accountable to their authority. In leaving, they take the money with them. If the Aikikai (which is the organization of the Founder's family) wants to protect certain ideals that they feel are essential to Aikido, they must protect their authority to enforce their ideals within their own jurisdiction. Those who leave are not accountable to the Founder's family and can do whatever they want. Some who leave make significant deviations and some don't but despite that, the issue is who will have the authority to say who does what. It is only natural that the mother organization would want to keep a say so in how the art is generally disseminated. Anyone who wants to leave is free to go. Some who go do a great job of maintaining the Founder's legacy but even so, they now control their own money. This now becomes a competition in the open market place over the funds. Again, this may not appease the idealistic but there won't be much of an Aikikai if the group breaks up into 1000 equal factions. The money will also be divided that way. The one that can control the greater portion of the money will have the greater influence and thus control it's own future better.

It is only natural that this kind of competition would ensue in the open market place. It is the way of the world. The issues aren't the same for the big groups and the little groups. The little groups want more freedom and they are inhibited by the rules made by the larger group which cannot respond to their needs so often they depart. In the larger group, the public can be assured of certain things. In the smaller independent groups, you can never know what you are getting.

Don't ever expect the larger groups to surrender jurisdiction for an idealistic idea of everyone holding hands over fences singing kumbaya. That will never happen. The larger group will discourage small split offs because this chipping away will eventually mean the end of it's organizational life. The smaller groups may want to leave in order to better serve themselves and to have more freedom and to control their own funds. Member dues, test fees and the right to generate and keep income are the hallmarks of the smaller groups. In both large and small, ego plays a part and there are good things and bad on both sides but the struggle will always continue.

As I said, this is all happening because it's normal in organizational and human relations. There are good and well intentioned people on both sides of the issue. It's an easy out to demonize the other side but the truth is that there are both good and bad examples of everything I have said. The Aikikai was first, then all other divisions follow for whatever reason. They won't support those divisions which weaken them. I think though that all should be charitable and do what they can for themselves and let the people in the open market place decide how things all work out.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Randall Lim
10-23-2010, 06:14 AM
If as you say, the founder of your school broke away from Hombu, why do you expect the Aikikai federation in Singapore to "unite" with your school? The decision to break away from Aikikai was his.

Broke away or not, it is still Aikido nonetheless. Besides, the name of the federation is "Aikido Federation", and not "Aikikai Federation". We do have an "Aikikai Singapore" also.

Randall Lim
10-23-2010, 06:29 AM
There is a saying that in every issue, there is the public reason, the private reason and then there is the real reason. The issue is the many groups and why they aren't united - the real reason is that they aren't separated because of style or lineage. They are separated because of jurisdiction. Usually, all divisions are over jurisdiction or what is commonly called authority. The real question is that of protecting your own jurisdiction in order to protect your internal cohesion and viability as a group. The removal of all boundaries is a surrender of jurisdiction. The surrender of jurisdcition means that the money can go anywhere, the protection of jurisdiction is the attempt to protect the finances. All you have to do is to follow the money. I'm not suggesting this is wrong. It is the way of all humans. Groups leave the Aikikai so not to have to be accountable to their authority. In leaving, they take the money with them. If the Aikikai (which is the organization of the Founder's family) wants to protect certain ideals that they feel are essential to Aikido, they must protect their authority to enforce their ideals within their own jurisdiction. Those who leave are not accountable to the Founder's family and can do whatever they want. Some who leave make significant deviations and some don't but despite that, the issue is who will have the authority to say who does what. It is only natural that the mother organization would want to keep a say so in how the art is generally disseminated. Anyone who wants to leave is free to go. Some who go do a great job of maintaining the Founder's legacy but even so, they now control their own money. This now becomes a competition in the open market place over the funds. Again, this may not appease the idealistic but there won't be much of an Aikikai if the group breaks up into 1000 equal factions. The money will also be divided that way. The one that can control the greater portion of the money will have the greater influence and thus control it's own future better.

It is only natural that this kind of competition would ensue in the open market place. It is the way of the world. The issues aren't the same for the big groups and the little groups. The little groups want more freedom and they are inhibited by the rules made by the larger group which cannot respond to their needs so often they depart. In the larger group, the public can be assured of certain things. In the smaller independent groups, you can never know what you are getting.

Don't ever expect the larger groups to surrender jurisdiction for an idealistic idea of everyone holding hands over fences singing kumbaya. That will never happen. The larger group will discourage small split offs because this chipping away will eventually mean the end of it's organizational life. The smaller groups may want to leave in order to better serve themselves and to have more freedom and to control their own funds. Member dues, test fees and the right to generate and keep income are the hallmarks of the smaller groups. In both large and small, ego plays a part and there are good things and bad on both sides but the struggle will always continue.

As I said, this is all happening because it's normal in organizational and human relations. There are good and well intentioned people on both sides of the issue. It's an easy out to demonize the other side but the truth is that there are both good and bad examples of everything I have said. The Aikikai was first, then all other divisions follow for whatever reason. They won't support those divisions which weaken them. I think though that all should be charitable and do what they can for themselves and let the people in the open market place decide how things all work out.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Thanks, Jorge, for your very comprehensive explanation. I buy it.
That explains this point: Unlike the Singapore Judo Federation (which is government-supported), the Aikido Federation is self-supporting. :)

But it does not explain this: There is also an Aikikai Singapore which is not affliated to the Aikido Federation. :confused:

raul rodrigo
10-23-2010, 07:09 AM
Yes, Tendoryu aikido is still a branch of aikido, even if Shimizu broke away. But the Aikido Federation of Singapore is an Aikikai organization, and as such it relates only to other branches of the Aikikai. It is not expected to link up with the groups that have left the Aikikai such as Yoshinkan, Tomiki/Shudokan, Yoseikan, Iwama Ryu, Tendoryu, Manseikan, and so on. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn't have to. That isn't its job.

The Aikikai recognizes several different organizations in Singapore: Aikikai Singapore, Shinjukai and the Ueshiba Aikido Association.

RED
10-23-2010, 05:06 PM
Perhaps a more appropriate name would be "Aikikai Federation". sigh.....




No, I mind you there are many Schools outside of the IAF who are also recognized by Aikikai, and trace their lineage back to Aikikai.

RED
10-23-2010, 05:16 PM
Perhaps a more appropriate name would be "Aikikai Federation". sigh.....

By the way, the founder of my Ryu was an Uchi Deshi of O-Sensei.
After O-Sensei's death, however, he broke away from Hombu and established his own Ryu. Is this still not considered lineage??

Does he say he teaches Aikido?...then yes his lineage is through O'Sensei.

Does he claim to have developed his own "ryu" or martial style? ..then:
Depends. He can trace that he learned Aikido from O'sensei. But the moment he created his own martial art he created his own lineage. He can not claim O'Sensei in lineage to his Ryu. It is HIS Ryu, not O'Sensei.
He is simply just a student of O'Sensei who went off to do his own thing after the fact.

The legacy of his Ryu starts with him, rightfully as it's founder.

O'Sensei respected his teachers, but from their teaching developed his own Ryu. We respect the Founder's instructors for what they helped O'Sensei develope, but the lineage of Aikido commonly is considered to start with O'Sensei.

Janet Rosen
10-23-2010, 05:21 PM
Semantically, I would like to ask those w/ more knowledge than me: is the word "ryu" correct in use with gendai budo as opposed to a koryu art?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-23-2010, 06:20 PM
There are various gendai arts who use the suffix "ryu" without major problems, Hakko-ryu jujutsu (a DRAJJ derivative) and Toyama-ryu battojutsu (Imperial Japanese Army swordmanship) comes to mind.

I don't think the use of "ryu" in a gendai budo is semantically incorrect. But I can be wrong.

Anyway, if someone more knowledgeable appears, he/she could also explain where is the frontier between a "ha" and a "ryu" for its something that I still haven't managed to figure exactly.

niall
10-23-2010, 10:56 PM
ryū is style
ryūha is the group of people following that style
ha is group

Ryu is still used - for example Goju-ryu karate and Tendoryu aikido - but perhaps there is a feeling of something traditional.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%AB_(school)

mathewjgano
10-23-2010, 11:35 PM
Does he say he teaches Aikido?...then yes his lineage is through O'Sensei.
I'm not sure this is correct. Nihon Goshin Aikido would be at least one counter example, at any rate.

Randall Lim
10-24-2010, 03:37 AM
Does he say he teaches Aikido?...then yes his lineage is through O'Sensei.

Does he claim to have developed his own "ryu" or martial style? ..then:
Depends. He can trace that he learned Aikido from O'sensei. But the moment he created his own martial art he created his own lineage. He can not claim O'Sensei in lineage to his Ryu. It is HIS Ryu, not O'Sensei.
He is simply just a student of O'Sensei who went off to do his own thing after the fact.

The legacy of his Ryu starts with him, rightfully as it's founder.

O'Sensei respected his teachers, but from their teaching developed his own Ryu. We respect the Founder's instructors for what they helped O'Sensei develope, but the lineage of Aikido commonly is considered to start with O'Sensei.

Yes, the Founder of my Ryu, Kenji Shimizu, says it is Aikido he is teaching. But a style that is characterised by softness, gentleness, smoothness & large circles, This was O-Sensei's own evolved style in his golden 70's when Shimizu was Uchi Deshi, so he claimed.

So, it is still very much Aikido.:p

Rob Watson
10-24-2010, 11:35 AM
Anyway, if someone more knowledgeable appears, he/she could also explain where is the frontier between a "ha" and a "ryu" for its something that I still haven't managed to figure exactly.

I'm not the one you are looking for but it appears to me that the dictionary definitions are one thing and how the words/meanings are actually used and how they are used can be very much different.

In addition what Doshu thinks about it may be different from what the Aikikai Foundation or the IAF thinks about it. Things are always more complicated than they seem.

By no means based on anything besides my own construction I use ryu is used to designate a new art while ha is used to designate a particular persons expression of an art. Generally in the koryu one obtained a level of license that permitted them to teach that art so if some one went around saying they were teaching such and such an art but did not have the appropriate license great consternation (or total ambivalence) could result.

To the OP:

A huge 'problem' with Aikido is Osensei told folks to go create their own Aikido but the formal structure of license and naming were not in place. Recall Shimizu was there when Osensei said 'That's not my Aikido!" so clearly there was a distinction in his mind.

Why not ask Shimizu why he decided to break with the Aikikai? While you are at it do us all a favor and ask him what he thought was happening when Osensei said 'That's not my Aikido!" and what that means for the rest of us?

raul rodrigo
10-24-2010, 09:17 PM
From an interview of Shimizu by Stan Pranin:

Why did you leave Hombu Dojo?

I couldn't get along with Tohei Sensei. I feel very sorry for O-Sensei, Doshu (Kisshomaru Sensei) and Osawa Sensei. I ignored their attempts to restrain me and left the dojo. I have been independent teaching Tendo-ryu now for six years. (Tendo is the name of my hometown). I am surprised that I have managed to come this far on my own having had to go through so many risky situations since I became independent. Although this happened many years ago, Osawa Sensei of the Aikikai told me that if I had stayed there I would have become a top teacher. I said that I am what I am now because I quit the Aikikai. If I still belonged it would be like crossing the sea in a heavily laden ship. I am just a small boat. When the wind blew, my boat listed and when it rained we had to bail out water. We were always exposed to risks. This gave me a certain amount of mental and physical training.

Randall Lim
10-24-2010, 10:21 PM
From an interview of Shimizu by Stan Pranin:

Why did you leave Hombu Dojo?

I couldn't get along with Tohei Sensei. I feel very sorry for O-Sensei, Doshu (Kisshomaru Sensei) and Osawa Sensei. I ignored their attempts to restrain me and left the dojo. I have been independent teaching Tendo-ryu now for six years. (Tendo is the name of my hometown). I am surprised that I have managed to come this far on my own having had to go through so many risky situations since I became independent. Although this happened many years ago, Osawa Sensei of the Aikikai told me that if I had stayed there I would have become a top teacher. I said that I am what I am now because I quit the Aikikai. If I still belonged it would be like crossing the sea in a heavily laden ship. I am just a small boat. When the wind blew, my boat listed and when it rained we had to bail out water. We were always exposed to risks. This gave me a certain amount of mental and physical training.

Thanks, Raul, for the contribution. What a touching interview... :sorry:

raul rodrigo
10-24-2010, 10:49 PM
It's a pity he left Hombu because of Tohei, Randall, particularly since Tohei himself left not long after. And some of Tohei's own deshi, who left Hombu with him, have since returned to the Aikikai, including Shiohira and the late Fumio Toyoda. Saotome, who left the Aikikai in 1976, returned in the late 1980s. I think the late Ozawa Kisaburo (who Shimizu mentions) was instrumental in their returns to the fold. So a reestablishment of ties is possible.

Chris Farnham
10-25-2010, 02:03 AM
Randall,
I am a little confused when you say Aikido Federation in Singapore. Are you talking about the IAF, or are you talking about a group that calls them self the Singapore Aikido Federation. Just calling them self the such and such Aikido Federation doesn't mean that any group is claiming to be the top governing body for Aikido in a given country. The Tomiki ryu organization is the called the Japan Aikido Association, does that mean they claim to be the main association for Aikido in Japan? No, it's just a name that they use for their group.

Randall Lim
10-25-2010, 03:43 AM
Randall,
I am a little confused when you say Aikido Federation in Singapore. Are you talking about the IAF, or are you talking about a group that calls them self the Singapore Aikido Federation. Just calling them self the such and such Aikido Federation doesn't mean that any group is claiming to be the top governing body for Aikido in a given country. The Tomiki ryu organization is the called the Japan Aikido Association, does that mean they claim to be the main association for Aikido in Japan? No, it's just a name that they use for their group.

Hi Chris!

Its official name is "Aikido Federation (Singapore)".

Check out website: aikidofederation.com

Ryan Seznee
10-25-2010, 01:52 PM
There is a saying that in every issue, there is the public reason, the private reason and then there is the real reason. The issue is the many groups and why they aren't united - the real reason is that they aren't separated because of style or lineage. They are separated because of jurisdiction. Usually, all divisions are over jurisdiction or what is commonly called authority. The real question is that of protecting your own jurisdiction in order to protect your internal cohesion and viability as a group. The removal of all boundaries is a surrender of jurisdiction. The surrender of jurisdcition means that the money can go anywhere, the protection of jurisdiction is the attempt to protect the finances. All you have to do is to follow the money. I'm not suggesting this is wrong. It is the way of all humans. Groups leave the Aikikai so not to have to be accountable to their authority. In leaving, they take the money with them. If the Aikikai (which is the organization of the Founder's family) wants to protect certain ideals that they feel are essential to Aikido, they must protect their authority to enforce their ideals within their own jurisdiction. Those who leave are not accountable to the Founder's family and can do whatever they want. Some who leave make significant deviations and some don't but despite that, the issue is who will have the authority to say who does what. It is only natural that the mother organization would want to keep a say so in how the art is generally disseminated. Anyone who wants to leave is free to go. Some who go do a great job of maintaining the Founder's legacy but even so, they now control their own money. This now becomes a competition in the open market place over the funds. Again, this may not appease the idealistic but there won't be much of an Aikikai if the group breaks up into 1000 equal factions. The money will also be divided that way. The one that can control the greater portion of the money will have the greater influence and thus control it's own future better.

It is only natural that this kind of competition would ensue in the open market place. It is the way of the world. The issues aren't the same for the big groups and the little groups. The little groups want more freedom and they are inhibited by the rules made by the larger group which cannot respond to their needs so often they depart. In the larger group, the public can be assured of certain things. In the smaller independent groups, you can never know what you are getting.

Don't ever expect the larger groups to surrender jurisdiction for an idealistic idea of everyone holding hands over fences singing kumbaya. That will never happen. The larger group will discourage small split offs because this chipping away will eventually mean the end of it's organizational life. The smaller groups may want to leave in order to better serve themselves and to have more freedom and to control their own funds. Member dues, test fees and the right to generate and keep income are the hallmarks of the smaller groups. In both large and small, ego plays a part and there are good things and bad on both sides but the struggle will always continue.

As I said, this is all happening because it's normal in organizational and human relations. There are good and well intentioned people on both sides of the issue. It's an easy out to demonize the other side but the truth is that there are both good and bad examples of everything I have said. The Aikikai was first, then all other divisions follow for whatever reason. They won't support those divisions which weaken them. I think though that all should be charitable and do what they can for themselves and let the people in the open market place decide how things all work out.
Best wishes,
Jorge

I do agree that there are many private reasons for an organization operating a certain way that is differant than their public reason that they state, but I think you are oversimplifying it by saying it is an issue of money entirely. Although that does have something to do with it (man cannot live by bread alone, but he can't live at all without bread).

Another reason for different federations is an issue of control of transmission and standards. Some teachers are very prideful of their students and demand longer training time due to their higher standards than others. I have heard some shihan even say that no one should teach Aikido if they don't at least have a godan. That would cut the amount of viable dojos in a lot of federations if that was the accepted norm, would it not?

Chris Farnham
10-25-2010, 06:21 PM
Hi Chris!

Its official name is "Aikido Federation (Singapore)".

Check out website: aikidofederation.com

I see that this group is aligned with Fukakusa Shihan in Thailand. Is Fukakusa Shihan the official Hombu Shihan in charge of Aikikai in Singapore? Are they the IAF delegation for Singapore? If not this group could just be for those dojos with affiliation to Fukakusa Shihan.

amoeba
10-26-2010, 03:36 AM
In Germany, there is no national aikido federation as such. There is one federation that's called "Deutscher Aikido-Bund", which means something like "German Aikido Federation", but they only represent one style of Aikido (not Aikikai). Then there's the AFD, which is french-oriented and maybe some others...
A lot of dojos are not affiliated with any organisation at all, except for Aikikai Tokyo. I don't see any problem with that, I've never seen the need to be in any national organisation...

Randall Lim
10-26-2010, 08:36 AM
I see that this group is aligned with Fukakusa Shihan in Thailand. Is Fukakusa Shihan the official Hombu Shihan in charge of Aikikai in Singapore? Are they the IAF delegation for Singapore? If not this group could just be for those dojos with affiliation to Fukakusa Shihan.

This Aikido Federation (Singapore) is indeed affiliated to Fukakusa Shihan from Thailand. However, Fukakusa Shihan is not affiliated to Aikikai Singapore. Koichi Fujii Shihan is the one in charge of Aikikai Singapore.

Aikikai Singapore is affiliated to the following organisations:

(1) Aikikai Foundation.
(2) Aikido World Headquarters, Japan.
(3) The International Aikido Federation (I.A.F)
(4) Asian Aikido Federation (A.A.F)
(5) Hombu Dojo, Japan.

But NOT to the Aikido Federation (Singapore). :confused:

Jorge Garcia
10-26-2010, 09:19 AM
I do agree that there are many private reasons for an organization operating a certain way that is differant than their public reason that they state, but I think you are oversimplifying it by saying it is an issue of money entirely. Although that does have something to do with it (man cannot live by bread alone, but he can't live at all without bread).

Another reason for different federations is an issue of control of transmission and standards. Some teachers are very prideful of their students and demand longer training time due to their higher standards than others. I have heard some shihan even say that no one should teach Aikido if they don't at least have a godan. That would cut the amount of viable dojos in a lot of federations if that was the accepted norm, would it not?

I think that there are a lot of sub reasons - yes, I agree- but what's the real reason? To me, it's jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the range of your authority. Standards are an expression of your authority. Once you have jurisdiction, then you express your authority in all sorts of ways. You make the internal rules once it is determined that you're the boss over a certain territory. Organizationally, then you protect your organizational "life" by guarding the perimeters of your territory. There is seeping incursions into your territory but you identify those and either "regularize" them into your group or you segregate them.

Organizations sell themselves by advertising higher standards, a better truer style, masters that were closer to the founder or understood his Aikido better, etc. Haven't you ever noticed how many "last" uchi deshi's there are or how the organizations say that their shihan was a favorite of the Founder. These are advertising methods that are intended to convince the followers that they are in the best group and that their group is superior. This is an ego enhancing method. Organizations must distinguish themselves from the others somehow. They drive toward distinctions. Distinctions keep them apart. They want to be apart because if they are all together, then jurisdiction disappears. Distinctions like "better standards" are an advertisement used to convince the followers to stay within the jurisdiction.

Best wishes,
Jorge

Ryan Seznee
10-26-2010, 03:24 PM
I think that there are a lot of sub reasons - yes, I agree- but what's the real reason? To me, it's jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the range of your authority. Standards are an expression of your authority. Once you have jurisdiction, then you express your authority in all sorts of ways. You make the internal rules once it is determined that you're the boss over a certain territory. Organizationally, then you protect your organizational "life" by guarding the perimeters of your territory. There is seeping incursions into your territory but you identify those and either "regularize" them into your group or you segregate them.

Organizations sell themselves by advertising higher standards, a better truer style, masters that were closer to the founder or understood his Aikido better, etc. Haven't you ever noticed how many "last" uchi deshi's there are or how the organizations say that their shihan was a favorite of the Founder. These are advertising methods that are intended to convince the followers that they are in the best group and that their group is superior. This is an ego enhancing method. Organizations must distinguish themselves from the others somehow. They drive toward distinctions. Distinctions keep them apart. They want to be apart because if they are all together, then jurisdiction disappears. Distinctions like "better standards" are an advertisement used to convince the followers to stay within the jurisdiction.

Best wishes,
Jorge

I don't think there is just "one true" reason, though. An organization is made up of individuals, so it tends to be a balancing act to make everyone happy. I just was trying to point out that the people who make a living teaching aikido are few and far between. There exists no federation or aikido organization that is "for profit" to my knowledge.

As for your higher standards tangent, I would think that is a little off topic as this thread is about the purpose of a federation, not the application of marketing to accomplish that purpose. I will answer you in another thread, though.

Jorge Garcia
10-27-2010, 10:05 AM
I don't think there is just "one true" reason, though. An organization is made up of individuals, so it tends to be a balancing act to make everyone happy. I just was trying to point out that the people who make a living teaching aikido are few and far between. There exists no federation or aikido organization that is "for profit" to my knowledge.

As for your higher standards tangent, I would think that is a little off topic as this thread is about the purpose of a federation, not the application of marketing to accomplish that purpose. I will answer you in another thread, though.

For the record, I am posting my reply here as well.

When I originally answered , I was making reference to this sentence.

"I was wondering what the role of any National Aikido Federation should play. Should they aim to unite all Ryus of Aikido together??

In my country, the Aikido Federation does not seem to do that. It seems like an exclusive club by itself, recognizing only those dojos that it set up. It has its on Chief Instructor, Instructors & Assistant Instructors. It operates like an exclusive club. It does not take care of any other Aikido Ryus which is not their own."

My answer to that question was jurisdiction. My answer is still the same for what you have just said but it's now different in the aspect that you introduced. To me, you are now describing a smaller group breaking away from the larger group for more freedom. The larger group may have rules that inhibit personal choices and creativity so they break away. If a Shihan wants a certain "take" on his Aikido, and the larger group prohibits that - then he has the motivation to break away and form a new group so he can have the freedom to fulfill his goals and to explore his own Aikido to it's greatest potential. Yes, this is true but think about this - after he has done that, what does he need to operate? It's money or better put finances. Initially in fact, this is the one thing he doesn't have and that he needs the most so the initial drive will be to raise funds for the new organization so that it can stabilize. After things are stabilized, he will need even more funds so that he can accomplish his larger goals and expand his organization. This smaller organization is now headed up the road of the larger one that he came from. Soon , he will need to clearly establish his own jurisdiction and defend it's borders and then process begins again. All organizations strive for standardization and the life of organizations are the finances without which they cannot exist.

Things though do not not universally have to be that way. The ways to go around this merry go round are several. An organization can stay small and work with a small budget. They can also decentralize and separate the finances into regions to keep ambition and ego under control. They can try to use general standards instead of universal ones. They can decentralize authority by disconnecting the power people from the rule making committees within the organization (a highly unusual move).

While it is true that most Aikido groups are non profits, that is a complicated issue because that refers to the profit motive vs business model but it doesn't change the underlying needs of every organization. It just occurs on a smaller and more controlled scale.

Going back to this post you made though, please understand that when I mentioned having better shihan's and the "truest Aikido", I am referencing weaknesses and ego based arguments that people succumb to over time. I don't want to denigrate all organizations nor the many good people that lead Aikido groups worldwide. There are good, mature people that inspire others and lead them ethically and are in fact egoless (in as much as anyone can be that) and humble. It is usually the followers that attach themselves to people and groups that make them feel better about themselves. I guess I am referencing the trail that an organization can go down if they don't intentionally try to avoid it.

I do know this , that anywhere there are people, there will be ego, ambition and pride and we as humans need to resist the road that leads to authoritarianism. We need to emphasize gifting, freedom and creativity and encourage that organizationally so that our energies are funneled in positive and productive ways.

Best wishes,
Jorge

aikidoc
10-27-2010, 02:55 PM
"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.

Organizations are complex. Territorial behaviors, personalities and other issues interfere with the normal functioning of organizations. People leave for various reasons and set up their own organizations-much like what has happened over the years in the Aikikai. Issues such as: ethics, personal integrity, personality conflicts, leadership style, perceived slights or wrongs, static promotional opportunities, internal politics and Machiavellian behaviors, money issues, getting lost in large organizations, travel requirements, and a multitude of other issues can all play a role in why people leave or why organizations fracture.

Unfortunately, fractured organizations often lead to additional fracturing. The dilemma here involves maintaining technical quality the farther the organization becomes removed from the source. Larger organizations tend to display a stronger variety of technical skills and quality given their more varied experience and exposure. Futher erosion occurs when a splintering occurs at lower levels and these instructors become elevated in rank from below instead of above.

The individualist mindset of the participants often is at odds with the collective mindset of the organization. Sort of the "if you don't play my way, I'm going to take my ball and go home" mentality. Splinter groups can trace their lineage to the founder most of the time. However, most have long left any connection to the founding organization or Aikikai. Therefore, lots of federations, associations, etc.

Ryan Seznee
10-27-2010, 09:14 PM
"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.


The IAF and the Aikikai Foundation are differant entities. You are confusing them. The IAF has only one member in the US, the USAF, and that has always been the case. There are other Aikikai affiliates (like ASU or Steven Segal's and Chiba's federations...). The Aikikai is NOT the IAF.

Jorge Garcia
10-27-2010, 09:59 PM
"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.

Organizations are complex. Territorial behaviors, personalities and other issues interfere with the normal functioning of organizations. People leave for various reasons and set up their own organizations-much like what has happened over the years in the Aikikai. Issues such as: ethics, personal integrity, personality conflicts, leadership style, perceived slights or wrongs, static promotional opportunities, internal politics and Machiavellian behaviors, money issues, getting lost in large organizations, travel requirements, and a multitude of other issues can all play a role in why people leave or why organizations fracture.

Unfortunately, fractured organizations often lead to additional fracturing. The dilemma here involves maintaining technical quality the farther the organization becomes removed from the source. Larger organizations tend to display a stronger variety of technical skills and quality given their more varied experience and exposure. Futher erosion occurs when a splintering occurs at lower levels and these instructors become elevated in rank from below instead of above.

The individualist mindset of the participants often is at odds with the collective mindset of the organization. Sort of the "if you don't play my way, I'm going to take my ball and go home" mentality. Splinter groups can trace their lineage to the founder most of the time. However, most have long left any connection to the founding organization or Aikikai. Therefore, lots of federations, associations, etc.

I agree with you completely John.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Chris Farnham
10-27-2010, 10:10 PM
The IAF has only one member in the US, the USAF, and that has always been the case.

I thought that the IAF changed that rule a couple of years ago. I remember something that Yamada Sensei said about how he had been pushing for the change and they were finally making it.

Peter Goldsbury
10-28-2010, 04:03 AM
"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.


Hello John,

It is not quite correct to state that the IAF member in a country represents the Aikikai Hombu. I do not know much about the internal workings of the USAF, but it is the IAF member for the USA. However, I do not think any Aikikai-recognized organization represents the Aikikai Hombu in that country. The Aikikai made this clear when they last changed their regulations.

Despite the fact of Hombu multiple-recognition, the IAF has not changed its rule of one member per country. The IAF has a UN-type structure mainly because it is not a private organization, like the Aikikai, but a democratically-structured federation, which maintains relations with national governments, sports councils and Olympic committees and international sports bodies. The US does not regulate sports or martial arts organizations within its borders, but many countries do and in this case it is essential for an aikido organization to be affiliated to an international federation like the IAF.

The relations between the IAF member in a country and other Aikikai-recognized organizations is a burning issue that is being debated. It was discussed at the recent meeting in Moscow and the IAF is planning to issue a statement on its website. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, the IAF member is actually an amalgam of different Aikikai organizations, all with their respective shihans and with their own grading practices. Thus, a member of one organization can freely train with another organization and even move from one to another without leaving the Aikikai. In other countries there is no communication whatever between the IAF member and other groups, and in yet other countries, there seems to be some hostility. This is unfortunate, but undeniable, and is not something that can be changed overnight.

Best wishes,

PAG

NB. I am posting here as a private individual, not as an IAF official.

aikidoc
10-28-2010, 08:02 AM
Sorry, I misspoke by using the IAF terminology. I meant to refer to the change the hombu made in its rules. My error. Thanks for the correction.

jitsumania
10-29-2010, 12:49 AM
This thread has been quite an interesting read. I have been a practicing martial artist in multiple arts for over 4 decades and have had my share of exposure to federations, associations, etc not just Aikido related . I have found that some of them are very legitimate with good leadership and a set of driving principles that are geared toward individual and group improvement, growth and support. I have also been exposed to those that are driven mostly by economic motives and my obsevations over the years lead me to these conclusions:
1. When money is the driving factor compromises are made that affect the integrity of the organization and sometimes that of the practitioner. Standards are lowered (sometimes to dangerous low levels) all in the interest of keeping the paying participant hooked by promises of rank, fame or possible fortune.
Leadership tends to loose its way due to greed, egocentric drives and needs, etc. Unity is expoused but behind closed doors there is backbiting, rumor mongoring, dissent and a host of other cancerous symptomology. The ultimate result is always death from within and the ultimate demise of the association, federation, etc.. Then there are a host of practitioners left behind trying to understand what happened while trying to pick up the pieces of the wreckage left behind. Many are left with worthless rank because it will not be recognized by another organization as legitimate. This happens in spite of the practitioners abilities within the same martial art/style and they are left to start from ground zero or go rouge because they were on the wrong side of the political arena.
2. Healthy organizations will have leadership that promotes growth on an individual as well as a group level. The practitioners needs will be addressed and supported by the leadership and all voices will be heard and respected, even in the face of disagreement. Truth will be the guiding light and individual as well as collective honesty will be the driving force for success and growth. Lines of communication remain open and questioning decisions is allowed and encouraged (obviously in proper decorum). This is done because accountability maintains the ability for the organization to have checks and balances that prevent abuse of power or fiscal inpropriety by those in power. Transparency and accountability is the order of the day.
I know that Federations and Associations are needed but one must never throw a victim of fraudulent or mismanaged organizations out to the curb. They should be allowed to demonstrate their ability and let the Tatami sort out the truth of that individuals character and skill level (or lack of). There are many who believe that power in the hand of one fuels monopoly and hinders the growth of others and others belive that unified, single minded direction is the cure for too much diversity that waters down what was attempted to be passed down.
I tell my students all the time that the Tatami reveals all secrets of those that dare to walk upon it. Your character will be revealed as well as your technical expertise or lack of. Are you a hokey dokey soke with the Master waddle walk or are you a dedicated practitioner helping others to grow while at the same time sharing your art with the rest of humankind, not hoarding it like a child hiding his candy. Unity in federations and associations is great but nothing beats the blood sweat and tears shed on the tatami shared with like minded individuals, association/ federations or not.
Peace, unity and growth should be the driving forces.
Domo

kokyu
11-14-2010, 09:21 AM
Hi all!

I was wondering what the role of any National Aikido Federation should play. Should they aim to unite all Ryus of Aikido together??

In my country, the Aikido Federation does not seem to do that. It seems like an exclusive club by itself, recognising only those dojos that it set up. It has its on Chief Instructor, Instructors & Assistant Instructors. It operates like an exclusive club. It does not take care of any other Aikido Ryus which is not their own.

There are currently about 10 different Ryus/Clubs of Aikido in my country. And this "Federation" is just one of them. Shouldn't it be aiming to unite all Aikido Ryus together?? Shouldn't all the other 9 Ryus be under its umbrella?? Shouldn't it be concern with the overall development of Aikido in the entire country??

I am puzzled why it is called the "Aikido Federation" of my country when it does not even have any affiliation to all other Aikido clubs other than its own.

I'm not sure why you have brought up this sensitive issue in this forum, but for the benefit of international readers, perhaps some background would be helpful

I am also not sure why you have called this Federation a National Federation... IMHO, a National Federation is usually government sponsored, like the National Museum and runs under government auspices... in your case however, I interpret the name of your organization to be the Singapore branch of an Aikido Federation

Regarding your multiple points about uniting the various 'ryu', you may have read the following article about Aikido in your country Aikido in Singapore (http://www.oocities.com/Aikido_in_Singapore/aikido_singapore.htm)... if you read the history carefully, you will realize the bigger Aikido organizations in Singapore were started by the original team of Aikido practitioners who initially belonged to one group... and then decided to go their separate ways... so it may be a bit difficult to come together again after enjoying independence and success on their own

I also don't think you can draw similarities between dojos in your country returning to a single umbrella, with that of organizations in America coming back to the Aikikai... the membership of the Aikikai includes various senior Shihan, some of whom were the *original* students of O-Sensei, and membership of the global Aikikai organization probably outnumbers a single Aikido organization in any country. Hence there is a big difference in scale between the parent organization and the group returning to this organization

:ai: :ki: always