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TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 02:30 PM
Hello everyone!

I have a history as 3rd kyu in Shotokan Karate (quite a few years ago, and I didn't particularly like the style back then), and have worked and lived in Tokyo back and forth for a long time.
I'm finishing up my Masters degree in another 7 months or so, and I'm planning some months afterwards to return to Tokyo to study Aikido (after quite a bit of searching for a suitable new martial art to study, was considering quite a few), preferably on a Cultural Visa for a year, but if not, then back and forth on the good ol' tourist visa (my work is done online, so it's not an issue for me).

I'm planning on taking up Aikido in around September (8'ish months before my planned trip to Tokyo) when I return from my vacation in Tokyo (where I of course plan on having a look at several dojos), but my problem is this: I can no longer figure out which style of Aikido is right for me!

I am mainly looking at Aikikai or Yoshinkan, though I'm also possibly interested in Tomiki (I like the fact that it incorporates light punching and kicking, but I dislike the tournaments) I've spent several hours a day, for the last week or so, going through information, but I'm still in doubt!
So I'm asking here, what is the actual differences? I understand the teaching mentality is different (Aikikai seems more "peaceful" and Yoshinkan seems more "militaristic" in teaching nature).
But what I'm most curious about, is which is more "combat" oriented. Now I understand the principles of Aikido, and that neither aims to be an aggressive martial art, but I think I'd prefer the one that is more "practical" in nature, which seems to be Yoshinkan? (though I think I'd prefer the teaching mentality of Aikikai) What is the more practical difference between the two styles? I think that's the main question there.
While I appreciate that it is also a matter of mentality, practical use is also important to me. As one of my friends once said "You might be the guy that tries to resolve everything without a fight, but what if the other guy isn't?". Perhaps even more, it is also a matter of being able to protect those around me: getting hit in the face I can take if it avoids a fight, but I can't force that same mentality on, say, my girlfriend, or friend.

Renshinkai Aikido also peaked my interest, though I understand it's close to the same as Yoshinkan, and was mainly formed due to internal disputes?
Aiki-jutsu also seems very interesting, but more as a possible side-study for later, to get more into the detail of the Aikido techniques, as there are no dojos for it in Denmark, and even in Tokyo I can't find any dojo's that do full-time courses (generally only 3 days a week).

I hope you guys and girls here can help me out in making my decision, or perhaps suggest other things I didn't even know about!
Thank you in advance!
Yoroshiku ne!

Janet Rosen
06-27-2012, 03:19 PM
More important than "style" is individual dojo culture/teachers so I recommend actually visiting a few before you decide.

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 03:24 PM
More important than "style" is individual dojo culture/teachers so I recommend actually visiting a few before you decide.

Thank you for your reply, but as I said, I do plan on doing that already. That wasn't my question :)

George S. Ledyard
06-27-2012, 03:57 PM
Thank you for your reply, but as I said, I do plan on doing that already. That wasn't my question :)

Philip,
Janet was correct... Shop for the teacher, not the style. There are styles that were founded by amazing teachers being taught by incompetents. There are so-called hard styles being taught by individual teachers who have a soft touch. There are so-called soft styles being taught by folks who try to rip your arm off.

Find a teacher who is functioning at the highest level you can find. Any style done on a deep level is better than another style you might be more inclined to do taught by a mediocrity.

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 04:08 PM
Philip,
Janet was correct... Shop for the teacher, not the style. There are styles that were founded by amazing teachers being taught by incompetents. There are so-called hard styles being taught by individual teachers who have a soft touch. There are so-called soft styles being taught by folks who try to rip your arm off.

Find a teacher who is functioning at the highest level you can find. Any style done on a deep level is better than another style you might be more inclined to do taught by a mediocrity.

I understand your reasoning behind saying this, but I'm afraid it's of no use to me. I've already read this many times before, and it does nothing for me I'm afraid.

Firstly, in Denmark, I have a fairly limited choice: 3 Aikido clubs within a 50minute radius.
Second, I'd be changing clubs: the dojo and teachers in Denmark would obviously not be the same as the dojo and teachers in Japan.

I do not want to be tied down to one specific dojo/teacher, but much rather one specific style. Then I can always change teachers or dojos, but once I've trained Yoshinkan, for instance, for a year, I can't merely change and continue in Aikikai.

Again, I ask if anyone could please answer the question I posed, and not the question that you wish I'd asked :)

Basia Halliop
06-27-2012, 04:11 PM
Think of it this way - what you're calling 'styles' are more accurately organizations. To actually know the style a particular teacher is teaching, the organization they belong to isn't the most important thing to know about them.

There are so many different styles within one organization that you should not expect to easily just step from one dojo in an organization into another. Maybe sometimes (e.g. if both teachers came from the same teacher, perhaps, though it's not guaranteed), but sometimes you will not notice that much more or less change by changing organizations vs by changing dojos within an organization.

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 04:23 PM
Think of it this way - what you're calling 'styles' are more accurately organizations. To actually know the style a particular teacher is teaching, the organization they belong to isn't the most important thing to know about them.

There are so many different styles within one organization that you should not expect to easily just step from one dojo in an organization into another. Maybe sometimes (e.g. if both teachers came from the same teacher, perhaps, though it's not guaranteed), but sometimes you will not notice that much more or less change by changing organizations vs by changing dojos within an organization.

Luckily, my two main choices in Denmark correspond with my two main choices in Tokyo. The Yoshinkan Dojo in Denmark, has teachers that studied at Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, likewise the Aikikai Dojo in Denmark has teachers from Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo.

However, still, people seem to be avoiding the question that I am most interested in, and the question that I have not been able to find anywhere else (hence I'm asking):
Which of the two is the more practical? And what are the real, actual, differences between the two arts? (or possibly others, if you have recommendations).

robin_jet_alt
06-27-2012, 04:46 PM
I do not want to be tied down to one specific dojo/teacher, but much rather one specific style. Then I can always change teachers or dojos, but once I've trained Yoshinkan, for instance, for a year, I can't merely change and continue in Aikikai.


Yes, you can! I have trained under 3 organizations and 4 styles if you count Nishio-style as separate from mainstream Aikikai (which I do). Each time I have picked the best teacher out of the available dojos. There is a period of adjustment, but there is no problem with it. They are not so different that the skills don't translate.

Anyway, I don't have an answer to your question either, because it depends on the teacher SO MUCH! I currently train with an organization called Yuishinkai, which is an offshoot of the Ki Society. My sensei is very practical and you might even say "militaristic". He has worked as a prison guard. However, the organization as a whole does not seem to be oriented that way at all.

If I had to pick a style based on reputation, I would say Yoshinkan or Iwama style. Actually, if I were going to go to Japan, just to study aikido, I would probably go to Iwama and try to get into their uchideshi program. Of course you would need a letter of recommendation...

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 05:03 PM
Yes, you can! I have trained under 3 organizations and 4 styles if you count Nishio-style as separate from mainstream Aikikai (which I do). Each time I have picked the best teacher out of the available dojos. There is a period of adjustment, but there is no problem with it. They are not so different that the skills don't translate.

Anyway, I don't have an answer to your question either, because it depends on the teacher SO MUCH! I currently train with an organization called Yuishinkai, which is an offshoot of the Ki Society. My sensei is very practical and you might even say "militaristic". He has worked as a prison guard. However, the organization as a whole does not seem to be oriented that way at all.

If I had to pick a style based on reputation, I would say Yoshinkan or Iwama style. Actually, if I were going to go to Japan, just to study aikido, I would probably go to Iwama and try to get into their uchideshi program. Of course you would need a letter of recommendation...

Now, see THIS is a useful answer :)
However, when changing between styles (such as Iwama/Aikikai and Yoshinkan), would your current rank in the other art, create some problems in the new one? How would it carry over? I mean, lets say you are a nikyu in Iwama, and you decide to start training Yoshinkan, how in the world would they figure out where to "start" you? o_0

I'm not the uchi deshi type of person... I'm deadly addicted to my internet and smoking, not to mention that I would need privacy for my work :) I considered doing the Yoshinkan Senshusei program, until I found out exactly how much it would kill me :p
I do plan on training 5-6 days a week, with probably 2'ish classes a day, but I prefer to still live at my own place, and more freely be able to decide which times of day I can train, possibly change a tuesday for a saturday, and so forth :)
But thank you for the suggestion :)

EDIT: Further, would you then say that the difference in the styles, is more so the "mentality" or "intent" of it, rather than the actual techniques/training of it?

lars beyer
06-27-2012, 05:28 PM
Now, see THIS is a useful answer :)
However, when changing between styles (such as Iwama/Aikikai and Yoshinkan), would your current rank in the other art, create some problems in the new one? How would it carry over? I mean, lets say you are a nikyu in Iwama, and you decide to start training Yoshinkan, how in the world would they figure out where to "start" you? o_0

I'm not the uchi deshi type of person... I'm deadly addicted to my internet and smoking, not to mention that I would need privacy for my work :) I considered doing the Yoshinkan Senshusei program, until I found out exactly how much it would kill me :p
I do plan on training 5-6 days a week, with probably 2'ish classes a day, but I prefer to still live at my own place, and more freely be able to decide which times of day I can train, possibly change a tuesday for a saturday, and so forth :)
But thank you for the suggestion :)

EDIT: Further, would you then say that the difference in the styles, is more so the "mentality" or "intent" of it, rather than the actual techniques/training of it?

Forget about the style but find the right dojo and Sensei as people describe above. If you are a Nikyo in Chibu dojo in Iwama you are a Nikyo in Aikikai because Chibu dojo is an Aikikai branch dojo. T Being a beginner like yourself I don´t pay too much attention to ranks btw. They don´t mean s..., and the first thing I noticed at shodan is that the black belt doesn´t work. These should be the least of your concerns btw.
cheers
Lars

Pauliina Lievonen
06-27-2012, 06:06 PM
The reason you have a hard time getting an answer for your question out of people is that the answer doesn't exist. There are Yoshinkan dojo that are very "realistic" and there are Aikikai dojo that are the same, and without actually visiting the dojo that you are planning to train at no one of us can tell you where on the spectrum those particular dojo will fall. You said yourself that you haven't found the answer to this question anywhere on the net... maybe that should give you a clue? ;)

A couple of thoughts: if self defense is really a concern, something else not aikido would be a much better choice. If self defense actually isn't a pressing concern, both Yoshinkan and Aikikai are equally good choices, and there are other aspects of training at a dojo that become more important - a group that you fit into, a teacher that you can connect with, class times that work for you in the long run, a location that you will still be willing to drag yourself to over a couple of years...sometimes things that you won't even think of beforehand.

Also, I've seen quite a few people stop training after moving to another place, especially if they were training very intensively at first. They move and can't find quite the same intensive training experience in their new location, get disillusioned and stop. I think it's a very good plan as you mentioned to start training already in Denmark, that way you already know what is available to you when you return from Japan.

Really, at this point all that's left to do is stop researching and get on the mat as soon as it's possible. I realize there might be less possibility in the summer, I'm assuming that's why you're waiting until september to start?

kvaak
Pauliina

phitruong
06-27-2012, 06:07 PM
Forget about the style but find the right dojo and Sensei as people describe above.
Lars

he already said that sort answer is of no use to him. he wants to hear the answers that he likes, and not the right answers.

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 06:27 PM
Forget about the style but find the right dojo and Sensei as people describe above. If you are a Nikyo in Chibu dojo in Iwama you are a Nikyo in Aikikai because Chibu dojo is an Aikikai branch dojo. T Being a beginner like yourself I don´t pay too much attention to ranks btw. They don´t mean s..., and the first thing I noticed at shodan is that the black belt doesn´t work. These should be the least of your concerns btw.
cheers
Lars

Well yes... because they are both under Aikikai, I understand that. But as I said (and you quoted), what about situations where they don't fall under the same organization, such as Yoshinkan and Iwama for instance?

The reason you have a hard time getting an answer for your question out of people is that the answer doesn't exist. There are Yoshinkan dojo that are very "realistic" and there are Aikikai dojo that are the same, and without actually visiting the dojo that you are planning to train at no one of us can tell you where on the spectrum those particular dojo will fall. You said yourself that you haven't found the answer to this question anywhere on the net... maybe that should give you a clue? ;)

A couple of thoughts: if self defense is really a concern, something else not aikido would be a much better choice. If self defense actually isn't a pressing concern, both Yoshinkan and Aikikai are equally good choices, and there are other aspects of training at a dojo that become more important - a group that you fit into, a teacher that you can connect with, class times that work for you in the long run, a location that you will still be willing to drag yourself to over a couple of years...sometimes things that you won't even think of beforehand.

Also, I've seen quite a few people stop training after moving to another place, especially if they were training very intensively at first. They move and can't find quite the same intensive training experience in their new location, get disillusioned and stop. I think it's a very good plan as you mentioned to start training already in Denmark, that way you already know what is available to you when you return from Japan.

Really, at this point all that's left to do is stop researching and get on the mat as soon as it's possible. I realize there might be less possibility in the summer, I'm assuming that's why you're waiting until september to start?

kvaak
Pauliina

Thank you for the in-depth reply :)
Quickly though, I'm still trying to find out the more factual differences in the styles? Are there specific differences in the techniques, that matter to any noticeable degree?
While self-defence is a concern, it is only one point out of many. I think one of the main reasons I'm so fascinated by Aikido, is that it's very different from what I trained before (very "dumbed down" Shotokan Karate, which was horribly linear and boring).

To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again. I'm not sure I'm interested in overly specializing in one specific martial art in the long run, but you never know :)

And yes, originally I was going to start training this coming month, but I realized that the only Yoshinkan dojo around me is closed until September, and I really wanted to have a look at it before deciding. As such, I'm going to wait until I've had a look at the dojo's in Japan in August, and then decide when I get back, and I can have a quick trial lesson at the Iwama and Yoshinkan place :) Otherwise I'd already be checking out the two!

robin_jet_alt
06-27-2012, 07:09 PM
Now, see THIS is a useful answer :)
However, when changing between styles (such as Iwama/Aikikai and Yoshinkan), would your current rank in the other art, create some problems in the new one? How would it carry over? I mean, lets say you are a nikyu in Iwama, and you decide to start training Yoshinkan, how in the world would they figure out where to "start" you? o_0


Well, believe it or not, the rank doesn't really matter.

When I changed from Fuji-Ryu to Aikikai, I was 1st-kyu. I trained without a rank to begin with, and then graded to shodan when sensei thought I was ready. The organization might not recognize your rank, but your sensei will recognize your ability, and you will do the sort of training that reflects that ability.

When I changed to Nishio style, the rank wasn't a problem because it is under the Aikikai umbrella. The different techniques took a lot of adjusting to though.

When I changed to Yuishinkai, sensei informally recognized my rank and let me keep wearing my belt and hakama. 6 months later, I am about to grade to 2nd dan. That was about when I was planning to do it with the Nishio style dojo anyway.

Anyway, listen to what people are saying. There is such a wide variation between teachers within the organizations that the organizations are largely irrelevant (unless you are particularly hung up about bits of paper signed by doshu etc.). If you want to train 5 times per week without the rigors of an uchideshi style program, then maybe Aikikai Honbu would be your best bet. Not the most "martial" by any means, but you will work up a sweat, especially on the top level.

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 07:38 PM
Well, believe it or not, the rank doesn't really matter.

When I changed from Fuji-Ryu to Aikikai, I was 1st-kyu. I trained without a rank to begin with, and then graded to shodan when sensei thought I was ready. The organization might not recognize your rank, but your sensei will recognize your ability, and you will do the sort of training that reflects that ability.

When I changed to Nishio style, the rank wasn't a problem because it is under the Aikikai umbrella. The different techniques took a lot of adjusting to though.

When I changed to Yuishinkai, sensei informally recognized my rank and let me keep wearing my belt and hakama. 6 months later, I am about to grade to 2nd dan. That was about when I was planning to do it with the Nishio style dojo anyway.

Anyway, listen to what people are saying. There is such a wide variation between teachers within the organizations that the organizations are largely irrelevant (unless you are particularly hung up about bits of paper signed by doshu etc.). If you want to train 5 times per week without the rigors of an uchideshi style program, then maybe Aikikai Honbu would be your best bet. Not the most "martial" by any means, but you will work up a sweat, especially on the top level.

I see, thanks for the reply :)
I compare it to when I was training Shotokan Karate, where my teachers were generally very hung up on your rank, and training you specifically in what you were supposed to be training in that rank. To the point where you were just happy to graduate to the next rank, just so you could start learning something new, LOL. Happy to hear that it seems Aikido is a bit more "flexible" than that.

I'm assuming then, that technique wise can differ a lot per teacher too, then?
What would be the main differences, technique wise, between Yoshinkan and Iwama, if you know? When I've tried searching for it, it generally just says "hard style" and "soft style", but without a frame of reference, that means nothing to me ._.'
Seems it'll largely depend on what I experience when I get there, then! I'll be sure to put aside a few days to head by Yoshinkan, Iwama, and possibly a few smaller ones (the smaller ones sort of appeal to me... I've seen the group training at Aikikai Hombu for instance, and it looks so... I dunno, like a scene from Clone Wars, with very little personality (training wise)).

Uchi deshi is just not an option for me. Even if I wanted to (which I don't, that part of the Japanese lifestyle never appealed to me personally, at least not for a year (short term might be a different thing!)), it would mess up my work too much, which would in turn make the entire trip impossible financially :)

James Sawers
06-27-2012, 08:16 PM
To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again. I'm not sure I'm interested in overly specializing in one specific martial art in the long run, but you never know

A shodan in aikido in two years....??

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 08:41 PM
To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again. I'm not sure I'm interested in overly specializing in one specific martial art in the long run, but you never know

A shodan in aikido in two years....??

Both Yoshinkan Hombu and Iwama Hombu in Tokyo actually centers practice around making Shodan in about a single year, if followed strictly. Yoshinkan obviously has the senshusei course, which is 3 hours a day 5 days a week (which I'd actually be planning on doing, timewise, I just don't like the "military camp" feel of what I've seen of the course). The Aikikai website also mentioned it, but I can't find the specific page right now (their website is quite disorganized, but I'm sure it was there, as I'm referencing it in a Facebook update I did a few days ago).

But think about it like this:
2 lessons a day = 3 hours. Training 6 days a week = 18 hours a week = 936 hours a year.
If you trained Aikido for 1½ hours, 3 times a week, that's 234 hours. So the intensity you can go at it at certain dojos can easily equal out to much much more, in this case it's the same as having trained 3 times a week, for four years.

odudog
06-27-2012, 09:08 PM
2 years worth of aikido training won't get you no where close to shodan. Yoshinkan will get you to shodan but only from the senshusei course and you can't really live a life during the course.

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 09:11 PM
2 years worth of aikido training won't get you no where close to shodan.

You realize that the Senshushei program is, literally, making people from scratch to Shodan in 11 months, right? I believe it's 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Basia Halliop
06-27-2012, 09:20 PM
"Quickly though, I'm still trying to find out the more factual differences in the styles? Are there specific differences in the techniques, that matter to any noticeable degree?"

People have answered you already, several times. I don't know, maybe we're just not explaining clearly?

Seriously, no one is trying to not answer your question, it's just that your question seems to already assume certain things, which make it impossible to give the kind of answer you're looking for without just making stuff up.

So instead of just making stuff up, we try to tell you the truth, which is that the differences between individual teachers in each organization are larger than the differences between organizations. This is my experience in the Aikikai, including very basic techniques that are the first techniques taught to new people. Different teachers within one organization usually do different techniques differently (and yes, this includes different teachers from Hombu, it's an enormous place). Sometimes the differences are small (a different variation or a somewhat different emphasis) and sometimes they are enormous and involve completely different footwork, posture, etc. This is in addition to more subtle or hard to define features ('hard' or 'soft', 'practical focus' or not) and in addition to teaching style and in addition to quality.

I have a few times trained with people from other organizations and sometimes the differences in how we did basic techniques were minor (they were more similar than some people in my own organization) and other times they were hugely different.

Aikido is just very unstandardized.

Basia Halliop
06-27-2012, 09:24 PM
"You realize that the Senshushei program is, literally, making people from scratch to Shodan in 11 months, right? I believe it's 3 hours a day, 5 days a week."

3 hours a day, 5 days a week isn't that much -- you can train that much in a number of dojos in North America, and they wouldn't call you a shodan after a year, it would still take several years.

Which just goes to show that rank is arbitrary and unstandardized anyway. Don't worry about what rank you will be labelled as in a given amount of time, it doesn't mean you're better or worse, it means that's what that particular organization has chosen to label as a certain rank.

TokyoZeplin
06-27-2012, 09:24 PM
"Quickly though, I'm still trying to find out the more factual differences in the styles? Are there specific differences in the techniques, that matter to any noticeable degree?"

People have answered you already, several times. I don't know, maybe we're just not explaining clearly?

Seriously, no one is trying to not answer your question, it's just that your question seems to already assume certain things, which make it impossible to give the kind of answer you're looking for without just making stuff up.

So instead of just making stuff up, we try to tell you the truth, which is that the differences between individual teachers in each organization are larger than the differences between organizations. This is my experience in the Aikikai, including very basic techniques that are the first techniques taught to new people. Different teachers within one organization usually do different techniques differently (and yes, this includes different teachers from Hombu, it's an enormous place). Sometimes the differences are small (a different variation or a somewhat different emphasis) and sometimes they are enormous and involve completely different footwork, posture, etc. This is in addition to more subtle or hard to define features ('hard' or 'soft', 'practical focus' or not) and in addition to teaching style and in addition to quality.

Aikido is just very unstandardized.

Well yes, I am assuming certain things, and if those are wrong, it would certainly be nice to have someone say so, instead of being a smart ass and replying to something else :p I ain't no Yoda, can't read yer' minds :)
Am I then to correctly understand this, as you saying that the difference between Yoshinkan Aikido, and Iwama Aikido (as examples), are just as big as the differences between different teachers within each of those styles?
If yes, then no further questions.
If no, then my question is still valid, and I'm asking, "what are those fundamental differences then?"

"You realize that the Senshushei program is, literally, making people from scratch to Shodan in 11 months, right? I believe it's 3 hours a day, 5 days a week."

3 hours a day, 5 days a week isn't that much -- you can train that much in a number of dojos in North America, and they wouldn't call you a shodan after a year, it would still take several years.

Which just goes to show that rank is arbitrary and unstandardized anyway. Don't worry about what rank you will be labelled as in a given amount of time, it doesn't mean you're better or worse, it means that's what that particular organization has chosen to label as a certain rank.

It's interesting to see how people on these forums see things differently. A couple of people being all up in it going "that's impossible!" (hence the rank would be a big deal), and another going "pff, who cares what rank that is".
However, I choose to use it as a simple measurement tool, to keep track of process and goals. Some may choose not to, and that's fine too. To each their own.

I do want to point out that the Senshusei program is an official program done by the Yoshinkan Aikido Hombu, in Tokyo, though, for those that didn't know, and is the course described in the book "Angry White Pyjamas".
I should also note, that those that graduate from the course are graduated INSTRUCTORS.

Another quick note: It seems it's about 4½ hours a day, not 3, my bad :) Says "3 lessons", and the lessons generally being either 1½ hours or so as far as I remember from their site.

robin_jet_alt
06-27-2012, 09:33 PM
Well yes, I am assuming certain things, and if those are wrong, it would certainly be nice to have someone say so, instead of being a smart ass and replying to something else :p I ain't no Yoda, can't read yer' minds :)
Am I then to correctly understand this, as you saying that the difference between Yoshinkan Aikido, and Iwama Aikido (as examples), are just as big as the differences between different teachers within each of those styles?
If yes, then no further questions.
If no, then my question is still valid, and I'm asking, "what are those fundamental differences then?"

YES. that is what we are all saying. Any differences between organizations are gross generalizations, and aren't necessarily reflected in the teachings of any particular sensei.

With that in mind, the generalizations can be useful. You probably won't want to train with the Ki Society for instance. But, apart from the glaring differences, it depends so much on the teacher that we really can't help you.

Basia Halliop
06-27-2012, 09:37 PM
Moving between organizations - your rank is not automatically recognized but teachers do have some discretion, particularly at the lower ranks. Though the way most classes are structured (at least in all the dojos I've been to) everyone is in the same class studying the same things regardless of rank so it doesn't really matter that much anyway.

Basia Halliop
06-27-2012, 09:47 PM
If you want to know more about different styles or teachers your best bet is probably to look for videos (e.g. youtube is a start). Even if you find someone who has trained in both organizations with a variety of teachers in both, I don't know how easily you can describe technical differences in words, especially to someone who doesn't already kind of know what you mean (which is part of why people tend to end up saying really vague and hard to define things like 'hard' which as you say aren't that useful).

lars beyer
06-28-2012, 03:40 AM
Well yes... because they are both under Aikikai, I understand that. But as I said (and you quoted), what about situations where they don't fall under the same organization, such as Yoshinkan and Iwama for instance?

Thank you for the in-depth reply :)
Quickly though, I'm still trying to find out the more factual differences in the styles? Are there specific differences in the techniques, that matter to any noticeable degree?
While self-defence is a concern, it is only one point out of many. I think one of the main reasons I'm so fascinated by Aikido, is that it's very different from what I trained before (very "dumbed down" Shotokan Karate, which was horribly linear and boring).

To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again. I'm not sure I'm interested in overly specializing in one specific martial art in the long run, but you never know :)

And yes, originally I was going to start training this coming month, but I realized that the only Yoshinkan dojo around me is closed until September, and I really wanted to have a look at it before deciding. As such, I'm going to wait until I've had a look at the dojo's in Japan in August, and then decide when I get back, and I can have a quick trial lesson at the Iwama and Yoshinkan place :) Otherwise I'd already be checking out the two!

If you go to Aikido Journal´s website you will find lots of in depth articles on many different important persons in Aikido and you can spent the next 10 years + refining your research. You will also find an easy step by step guide at Aikido Journal written by Stanley Pranin describing the various steps in finding the right dojo for you.
If you want to find out how the various styles do this or that just read all the articles and threads on this forum and all the articles on Aikido Journal, search the web and youtube and that will give you a broad idea and there is plenty to choose from, but it will not provide you with personal experience which is more important. You decide.
There are several lineages in Denmark as well represented by "Dansk Aikido Forbund" ( the danish aikido federation ) which is affiliated to Aikikai. Maybe you should start your research there and try out the various dojo´s in your area for yourself.

Cheers
Lars

lars beyer
06-28-2012, 04:54 AM
I seem to have offended you... not exactly sure why though. If you're simply going to be posting passive-aggressive troll replies, and have nothing constructive to add to this at all, I'd rather you just leave the thread alone :) Ironic that you seem to take offence at my search for answers, and turn to such behaviour, on an Aikido forum. I hope you are not in any way a hint of things to come.

Being constructive is a two way process dear Philip. It´s give and take. I think you know the answers allready and maybe you should try to put the puzzle together for yourself. We all have to do that you know.
You won´t get anyone to say publicly which style is better than the other, and you will never reach a point where people will agree on this.. so why bother asking this question ? If you notice this whole forum is discussing all possible aspects of aikido for years and years and many more years to come.
There are no easy answers and no easy fixes to general questions and problems.
I have learned that by writing here as well and publicly making an ass of myself at one point.
So my advice to you is to start listening carefully before you do the same. We are afterall merely beginners and we should act accordingly. I wish I realized that 3 months ago but we all learn I guess.
:)
Regards
Lars

JJF
06-28-2012, 04:55 AM
BTW: In the danish Aikikai almost all the dojo's are Nishio inspired. They are combined with the Iwama ryu inspired dojos in DAF together with a few dojos of other styles (as Lars explained above). DAF is - as far as I know - the only connection between the Aikikai and danish Aikido.

Therefore: go try out each of the relevant dojos. Don't judge on the dan level of the instuctor. Judge on the way it feels to you. That is more important than anything else.

But if you are not planning on sticking to Aikido more than two years because you want to 'shop around' then I think you should start on something else. You seem to go for quick fix rather than the benefits of the long haul. Cross-training is not a shortcut around dedication.

Good luck

lbb
06-28-2012, 08:49 AM
You won´t get anyone to say publicly which style is better than the other, and you will never reach a point where people will agree on this.. so why bother asking this question ?

I think there are two reasons why people won't say publicly which style is better:

It's a bit like talking about which kitchen implement is better. Better for what -- peeling potatoes or frying eggs? OK, so you've said you're interested in "combat" -- but assuming that you actually find yourself in "combat" situations (and that's a big and probably erroneous assumption unless you're in the military, and even then it's unlikely for most), you still haven't clarified who's attacking you, using what weapons, with what skills, with what objectives, and what you want to do about it. If you walk into a kitchen store and say, "I want the best gadget you got!", don't expect to do anything but annoy people and disappoint yourself.
Any valid generalization about which style is "better for combat" (once "combat" is defined) has a good chance of being INvalid when you compare two actual dojos. It's an abstraction, and if you want to have an abstract discussion, well and good. If you want to find a place to train, it's not particularly helpful and can lead you in the wrong direction.

I don't get the reluctance to just take the original advice. If you use style as an arbitrary filter, sure, it will narrow down the number of schools you have to visit, but is that really necessary? Picking a school is a big deal -- if you're unwilling to spend the time to visit all the schools you might train at, maybe you should reconsider the whole endeavor.

Michael Hackett
06-28-2012, 11:00 AM
Go back and read Post #4. A very senior and experienced instructor gave you very sage advice - a man who fills seminars quickly because of his skill and teaches law enforcement officers defensive tactics. After re-reading Post #4, read it again. He knows what he's talking about (as do the others here). Notice how he hasn't written another word since you blew him off?

Don't waste the two years you've planned on studying aikido - it takes much longer to become really competent. Just start off with Krav Maga or Systema and you'll probably be much happier - but I suspect that will depend more on who the teacher is than the art yet again.

Good Luck.

NagaBaba
06-28-2012, 02:52 PM
I hope you guys and girls here can help me out in making my decision, or perhaps suggest other things I didn't even know about!
Thank you in advance!
Yoroshiku ne!

Hi Philip,
So if I understood well you want to study aikido max 2 years and get a black belt in 'combat' oriented style? Then you will move to bjj or MMA to continue study?

My advice is to not waste your time for aikido training. Even if you get black belt in 1 year, it means nothing at all outside of this particular dojo. Especially for MMA folks, they will simply destroy you in 10 seconds. Better start MMA immediately. I don’t see any benefit you can get from your short aikido training.

Rob Watson
06-28-2012, 03:11 PM
I do not want to be tied down to one specific dojo/teacher ...

Then you don't really want to learn aikido.

Dave Gallagher
06-28-2012, 06:52 PM
Quote from Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen:

"I do not want to be tied down to one specific dojo/teacher, but much rather one specific style. Then I can always change teachers or dojos, but once I've trained Yoshinkan, for instance, for a year, I can't merely change and continue in Aikikai".

.......Philip, it won't matter. You can go from one dojo to another within the same organisation and it will be different. Every dojo teaches and practices it's own Aikido. When you must change dojos you will need to practice the Aikido taught in the new dojo anyway no matter what style or organisation.
If rank is the only thing you are worried about then perhaps Aikido is not for you. If you change organisations and you worry only about if they will honor your rank then again perhaps Aikido is not for you. Worrying about rank in a new is a problem of the ego. If ego is at the root of the question then I know Aikido is not for you. I would add this post to your list of answers you were not looking for.
If Aikido is your real concern please do as others have suggested and visit each dojo and then decide. You can't pick one without visiting one.

lars beyer
06-29-2012, 09:00 AM
Then you don't really want to learn aikido.

In a way youre right, but hey.. we all learn something in the process, no.. ?.. at least I feel I shifted my focus during my 12 years of training, even I am no saint or kami offcourse..
Thumbs up !
Lars

Cyril Landise
06-29-2012, 10:48 AM
Hello everyone!

I'd prefer the one that is more "practical" in nature

This response does not answer your question, but questions your question. It addresses your assumption that it is the style that makes it more or less "practical" and I would suggest that it isn't even the teacher.

It's essentially you.

"...Aikido can't be "used" on anyone but yourself. It is a training method, or way, to learn the power of harmonious action. Boxers don't "use" a jump rope in the ring, that doesn't mean that jumping rope is not an effective way to train. These skills can then be taken into life to apply as desired. The best real-life Aikido "street stories" are, to me, when nothing happened."

The above is from an article in the USAF newsletter entitled Aikido for Recovering Engineers
The full article is here:http://archive.usafaikidonews.com/articles/aikido_for_recovering_engineers.pdf

I also suggest that you somehow archive your question and your follow up responses and review them in the future after 10 years of training. You might find them quite interesting.

James Sawers
06-29-2012, 02:22 PM
Considering the amount of time you want to spend studying aikido (about 2 years, you said), it would not matter what style you finally decide to study. Arts like aikido are not usually studied for their martial or combat orientation. If this is your priority, a good long weekend course in applied self-defense would be more appropriate and more practical for you. If your goal is to achieve a black-belt ranking, then again, it would not matter what style of aikido you finally study.

Hilary
07-02-2012, 09:48 PM
From your writing so far, you seem to be more interesting in what "club" you are joining and what rank you will get in a certain amount of time. In that case find the dojo with the most authoritarian instructors, with the coolest uniforms and the highest membership fees.

If on the other hand, you would like to learn how to maintain poise and control when 3-5 skilled individuals are attacking you with energy and intent, go find a sensei who knows what he/she is doing. This is what most of the people here are trying to tell you. See how the yudansha treat the kyu ranks, how much is ornate formality, how much of the curriculum are the big throws and how much is an ongoing perfection of the basic movements and qualities you will need if you are ever pressed to actually use your art.

As to how long...it is an art and some are more gifted than others. Steady, hard work and a good sensei can train you in the basic techniques but to get to a useful level, against skilled opponents you will have to have develop any innate abilities and have a master level practitioner to help you understand how they apply. This doesn't go according to a preset timeline, shodan merely denotes a serious student.

TCSSEC
07-04-2012, 08:31 PM
There are 3 issues/questions:
1. Which is the right martial art or "DO" for you?, then
2. Which is the right style for you?, then
3..Which is the right instructor for you?

All 3 must marry-up I think.

And if you don't have passion for your art, then your time maybe better spent elsewhere.

ramenboy
07-06-2012, 03:10 PM
I hate to say this, but if Your question is Which style is more practical for you, the answer is 'none.'

You're only going to be as good as the style you put time and sweat into, and from what I've read, you don't plan to put much time into the study.

I'd try another martial art, where you can see concrete results in a short amount of time.

Aikido as many other 'do,' is a life long study. There's no end.

You use the yoshinkan senshusei course as the equation for getting a shodan. But like any intensive course, it's... Intensive. Austere training. Not that many dojos could put you through the same paces, but the goal of a normal practice is not the same as the goal of that of a senshusei.

If you hold that high of a regard for that course, then go for it! Accept no substitutes! If you'll be in Japan for that time, then as they say in the Nike commercials, just do it. You don't need us to make that decision.

OwlMatt
07-06-2012, 04:22 PM
I do not want to be tied down to one specific dojo/teacher ...
Then you don't really want to learn aikido.
I strongly disagree with this. Aikido is much bigger than one club and one instructor, and there is nothing disingenuous about wanting more than one instructor and one club can give you, especially in the case of someone like Philip who already has a lot of martial arts experience.

Philip, I'm not sure if someone's mentioned this already, but Yoshinkan and Shodokan clubs are generally much harder to find than Hombu-affiliated clubs. If portability is important for you, keep that in mind.

NagaBaba
07-09-2012, 03:26 PM
I strongly disagree with this. Aikido is much bigger than one club and one instructor, and there is nothing disingenuous about wanting more than one instructor and one club can give you, especially in the case of someone like Philip who already has a lot of martial arts experience..
Every instructor with serious reputation has a distinguish system of teaching. If you take some elements out of this system they will have little value or no meaning at all. So if you jump from one system to another you will learn nothing significant even with some training background in other MA.

That is why it is so important to choose right instructor and not a ‘style’.

SRB
07-09-2012, 07:31 PM
You realize that the Senshushei program is, literally, making people from scratch to Shodan in 11 months, right? I believe it's 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Why are you so concerned with making shodan? Be concerned with learning Aikido. Aikidoka will tell you that you don't start to learn Aikido UNTIL you make shodan. I think your looking to Aikido for the wrong things, I hope you find what it is your looking for. :ai: :ki: :do:

Mark Harrington
07-10-2012, 08:57 PM
...and the first thing I noticed at shodan is that the black belt doesn´t work...
I'm not sure what you mean. My belt holds my gi closed. Isn't that what it's supposed to do?;)

robin_jet_alt
07-10-2012, 10:50 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. My belt holds my gi closed. Isn't that what it's supposed to do?;)

Nah, my black one was really stiff when I got it and if it wasn't for the hakama, it would have come ondone all the time. The old white one worked way better. :freaky:

lars beyer
07-12-2012, 05:41 AM
I'm not sure what you mean. My belt holds my gi closed. Isn't that what it's supposed to do?;)

"work" ;)

SuperFLY
07-12-2012, 08:53 AM
I see, thanks for the reply :)
I compare it to when I was training Shotokan Karate, where my teachers were generally very hung up on your rank, and training you specifically in what you were supposed to be training in that rank. To the point where you were just happy to graduate to the next rank, just so you could start learning something new, LOL.

would just like to point out that, that is also down to the specific organisation/teacher.

I train in both shotokan and aikido, i have however been doing karate a lot longer. i used to do it as a kid many years ago and reached 1st kyu. about 15 years later when i took it back up (completely different style and school) my current teacher just evaluated my skills over a few weeks and i was given 4th kyu to start on. in other words, i was judged on my skills not my apparent 'no belt'. i also, twice graded quicker than you would otherwise do so as they felt i was ready and could do it so my school appears a lot more flexible than the one you were in. (still had to wait a whole year before being allowed to grade for black though, no choice in that one, heh).

we also run a mixed rank class so students often see 'more advanced' techniques and kata. the phrase 'you dont need to know this yet but...' comes up quite often :) keeps things interesting and gives a good idea of whats to come for the lower grade students. we also do a lot of self defence techniques that help break from the norm. (i've in fact been asked to adapt some of my aikido knowledge into workable self defence in these lessons in the past)

sorry, i realise that's a bit off topic but just wanted to reaffirm the point being made by others here that its not the style that dictates the way things are done, its mostly the organisation and in turn the teachers that influence that.

OwlMatt
07-14-2012, 12:41 AM
Every instructor with serious reputation has a distinguish system of teaching. If you take some elements out of this system they will have little value or no meaning at all. So if you jump from one system to another you will learn nothing significant even with some training background in other MA.

That is why it is so important to choose right instructor and not a ‘style'.
I just switched clubs. Does that mean I'm not learning anything significant?

PeterR
07-14-2012, 02:50 AM
I just switched clubs. Does that mean I'm not learning anything significant?
The really scary thing is that crass though he may be the unpronounceable one is like the proverbial wise man. He may not always be right but he is never wrong.

When you have the luck and opportunity to fall in with a significant teacher it takes time to reach a level under his eye for you to really begin to be taught.

Switching styles and dojo hoping needs to be weighed against that.

That said - by not exploring and exposing yourself to other arts and styles you run the risk of self/group delusion. Worse - what happens if the first pick is the wrong one. The trick is, like in all things, is to find the balance.

To answer the question - you only start to learn really significant things after some time with the right teacher.

OwlMatt
07-14-2012, 12:46 PM
The really scary thing is that crass though he may be the unpronounceable one is like the proverbial wise man. He may not always be right but he is never wrong.

When you have the luck and opportunity to fall in with a significant teacher it takes time to reach a level under his eye for you to really begin to be taught.

Switching styles and dojo hoping needs to be weighed against that.

That said - by not exploring and exposing yourself to other arts and styles you run the risk of self/group delusion. Worse - what happens if the first pick is the wrong one. The trick is, like in all things, is to find the balance.

To answer the question - you only start to learn really significant things after some time with the right teacher.

I agree with all of this. My issue was with the assertion that originally started this exchange, that is, that you're no doing "real" aikido unless you're attached to a particular instructor like a young apprentice to an old master in a kung fu movie.

phitruong
07-14-2012, 05:01 PM
I agree with all of this. My issue was with the assertion that originally started this exchange, that is, that you're no doing "real" aikido unless you're attached to a particular instructor like a young apprentice to an old master in a kung fu movie.

weren't those uchideshi of Ueshiba sort of apprenticeship? since he passed away, there haven't been that many good ones shown up. there's something to say about apprenticeship.

robin_jet_alt
07-14-2012, 07:19 PM
weren't those uchideshi of Ueshiba sort of apprenticeship? since he passed away, there haven't been that many good ones shown up. there's something to say about apprenticeship.

There is certainly something to be said for it, but the original assertion was that if you don't train exclusively with the one teacher, then you are wasting your time. I don't think I have wasted my time at all...

PeterR
07-14-2012, 08:34 PM
There is a lot to be said for the apprenticeship. I hesitate to toss around terms like deshi, soto and uchi since they tend to be misused by Japanese and non-Japanese alike.

I have seen the products of full time study under top teachers and compared it with the part timers such as myself and the difference is real. In the cases I know there is a selection based on talent but I know there is a synergistic effect that goes beyond the number of training hours, one on one time with teacher (on and off the mat) and just the idea that you have totally dedicated your self to this for a period of time.

This is the value of the Yonshinka Senshu course - not the accumulative hours so much as the mind set. The period can vary but of course is proportional.

That said there are very few of the big teachers (past and present) that can claim to be true uchideshi to Ueshiba. Some of those part-timers did pretty well for themselves but in every case they did commit themselves to study for a period of time.

Szczepan Janczuk is right - if you say I will do Aikido for a short time before you even start - the most you will get out of it is the ability to make a pretty forward role.

phitruong
07-14-2012, 09:35 PM
There is certainly something to be said for it, but the original assertion was that if you don't train exclusively with the one teacher, then you are wasting your time. I don't think I have wasted my time at all...

i think folks put too much emotion into the "wasting time" thing. not important. the right way needs too many factors: the right teacher, the right student and the right opportunity. now a day, you can count on been pretty lucky if you can get one of the three. now wasting time would be spending 10 minutes looking at a donut and debating whether you should eat it or not. :)

PeterR
07-14-2012, 10:45 PM
i think folks put too much emotion into the "wasting time" thing. not important. the right way needs too many factors: the right teacher, the right student and the right opportunity. now a day, you can count on been pretty lucky if you can get one of the three. now wasting time would be spending 10 minutes looking at a donut and debating whether you should eat it or not. :)

Really depends on the donut. :D

robin_jet_alt
07-15-2012, 12:55 AM
i think folks put too much emotion into the "wasting time" thing. not important. the right way needs too many factors: the right teacher, the right student and the right opportunity. now a day, you can count on been pretty lucky if you can get one of the three. now wasting time would be spending 10 minutes looking at a donut and debating whether you should eat it or not. :)

I've done that. You are right.

OwlMatt
07-16-2012, 09:08 AM
weren't those uchideshi of Ueshiba sort of apprenticeship? since he passed away, there haven't been that many good ones shown up.
I am not so pessimistic as you about the quality of available aikido instructors..

there's something to say about apprenticeship.
Perhaps, but I think it's silly to claim that it's the only "real" way to train aikido.

OwlMatt
07-16-2012, 09:14 AM
Szczepan Janczuk is right - if you say I will do Aikido for a short time before you even start - the most you will get out of it is the ability to make a pretty forward role.

I agree with this, but I don't think that's what OP is saying here.

phitruong
07-17-2012, 08:41 AM
I am not so pessimistic as you about the quality of available aikido instructors..

i have not traveled and meet many of the current aikido teachers. i only used those that i had taken ukemi: Saotome, Ikeda and Endo sensei. currently, they represented gold standard from my point of view. those other teachers, that i have encountered, are nowhere near their level. just look at ASU alone, anyone has remotely approached Ikeda level where he was 5 years ago? don't think so. not pessimistic, but kinda depressing. however, i do have some hope from the small ground swell of folks who have been pursuing the aiki/IS recent years from outside of aikido. and before folks start another of those aiki/IS war, i am not talking about spiritual stuffs, because i am a descendant of Barb and the only spiritual stuffs we care about is to send folks to the spirit world to seek whatever spiritual they need while we steal their donuts and screw their lawyers. :D

Perhaps, but I think it's silly to claim that it's the only "real" way to train aikido.

never mentioned that it's the only way. however, it's a pretty good way for transmission of body knowledge. this isn't a new idea. it's still valid in some areas such as wood working, metal smithy, underwater basket weaving, donut appreciation, ... :)

NagaBaba
07-17-2012, 09:42 AM
I agree with this, but I don't think that's what OP is saying here.
...........


To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again.

Basia Halliop
07-17-2012, 10:54 AM
Doesn't it depend what his expectations are, though?

If all he really wants is to learn the basic forms of some new joint locks and throws, some new ways to fall, etc... he may be perfectly satisfied with what he gets.

SRB
07-17-2012, 11:16 AM
Doesn't it depend what his expectations are, though?

If all he really wants is to learn the basic forms of some new joint locks and throws, some new ways to fall, etc... he may be perfectly satisfied with what he gets.

Aikido is not some 2 dollar hooker that you just use to get what you want. Aikido is a commitment. A dogi is not a costume it's a way of life. I believe that is what makes aikido different than other arts. It is not something you do, or practice. It is something you are or become.:ai: :ki: :do:

Janet Rosen
07-17-2012, 12:04 PM
Aikido is not some 2 dollar hooker that you just use to get what you want. Aikido is a commitment. A dogi is not a costume it's a way of life. I believe that is what makes aikido different than other arts. It is not something you do, or practice. It is something you are or become.:ai: :ki: :do:

That can be said about anything...depending on YOUR attitude towards it
There are many reasons for investigating or starting into ANY possible human activity be it aikido, hatmaking, swimming or car repair...the newbie who is curious is in no position to accurately gauge his or her reaction upon actually starting to learn it and may quickly leave, may dabble a bit and say "not really for me", may become a dedicated but hobbyist level person, or may end up devoting his life to it to the exclusion of other things.

phitruong
07-17-2012, 12:10 PM
Aikido is not some 2 dollar hooker that you just use to get what you want.

certainly costs more than 2 dollar. being pimping out aikido for awhile now. definitely costs more than 2 bucks. sometimes it sucks, other times, blows, but folks tend to be happy with what they get. :D

Basia Halliop
07-17-2012, 12:52 PM
It is not something you do, or practice. It is something you are or become.

Speak for yourself. For me, if I'm looking for some kind of religious experience, I go to church. I go to Aikido to practice.

Basia Halliop
07-17-2012, 12:56 PM
And agree with Janet -- the introductory level of most activities are fundamentally different experiences than what more advanced practitioners have, and someone just starting something just does not have the real life experience yet to know how far they want to go in it.

lbb
07-17-2012, 03:13 PM
Not to mention...how many of us can remember the "newbie enthusiast" who was so certain that [fill in the blank, maybe aikido, maybe something else] was the be-all and the end-all, the key to absolutely everything, the Way, the Truth...who had to train every day, twice a day if possible, who swallowed everything whole in the biggest gulps possible on the theory that more is always better, more extreme is always better, with nine women pregnant you can get a baby in a month...

...and who were nowhere to be seen a year later.

Don't get snooty at a newbie who is just sticking a toe in the water. Look at who actually lasts. IME, it's not the most gung ho types.

Belt_Up
07-17-2012, 03:28 PM
I suggest you go for it. But when you get a horrible shock, and don't reach shodan in two-ish years, what will you do then?

SRB
07-17-2012, 05:47 PM
That can be said about anything...depending on YOUR attitude towards it
There are many reasons for investigating or starting into ANY possible human activity be it aikido, hatmaking, swimming or car repair...the newbie who is curious is in no position to accurately gauge his or her reaction upon actually starting to learn it and may quickly leave, may dabble a bit and say "not really for me", may become a dedicated but hobbyist level person, or may end up devoting his life to it to the exclusion of other things.

I see your point but I feel Aikido has a "code" if you will (maybe code is the wrong word) that we practice off the mat in our daily lives or at least that's what I was told and try to practice wait....didn't I say It's not something you practice? LOL. Seriously though I think a person just trying to get shodan is not right for Aikido just my thought.

SRB
07-17-2012, 05:50 PM
certainly costs more than 2 dollar. being pimping out aikido for awhile now. definitely costs more than 2 bucks. sometimes it sucks, other times, blows, but folks tend to be happy with what they get. :D

:D LOL! Nice!:D

TokyoZeplin
07-17-2012, 07:39 PM
So, some might have noticed (and some might not!) that I haven't replied to this for a long time now. This is finally my reply! The reason for this long delay, while I have been posting in other threads, is this:
Several people started becoming quite hostile in their attitude and replies. I didn't want to make a heated reply, so I waited. While I waited, more replies were added. As time went by, this thread completely derailed, people are discussing things completely off-topic, are assuming things I never said, have by now taken every post I've made out of context, and really, it just became a giant hassle to reply to. So in advance, excuse me for this super-long-ass-reply that I will now post.

Firstly, I want to say thank you, to those of you who were kind enough to give a sincere, thought-out, non-biased reply to my questions. To those that read my original post, and didn't jump to weird conclusions. To those that didn't act high and mighty. I might not have liked what I read every time, but I still say a big resounding "THANK YOU" to you, good Sirs and Madams, for your replies.

To the rest, I am thoroughly disappointed. Long has it been, since I've read replies that have been posted with such a "I worthier than thou" attitude attached to them. Just, wow. From some people posting outright flames / trolling, to others demanding respect. So many have, in short, posted "my Aikido way, or the highway" - which is ironic, since it's been made perfectly clear, that people on these forums themselves, cannot agree what is "correct" Aikido. When replying to "newbies" such as myself, making my thoughts on training Aikido be "man, I hope I never have to train with these people", is not the advisable way to represent your Martial Art. Never have I encountered such negativism, from enquiring about a Martial Art that people practice, nor have I ever seen such uproar from people basically saying "DON'T TRAIN THIS!". If you are indeed grown men and women, seriously training a MA that is supposed to give you inner strength and calm, then please, start acting like it.

Now, onto some more specific points. Since so many have jumped the bandwagon on some points, completely disregarding what I originally posted, I will be grouping the replies.
Before, I again quickly want to thank those, that took their time and read my actual replies, and replied in a sensible, mutually respectful, and clear manner. Much interesting insight was learned from your replies.




On the topic of "Shodan":
From your writing so far, you seem to be more interesting in what "club" you are joining and what rank you will get in a certain amount of time. In that case find the dojo with the most authoritarian instructors, with the coolest uniforms and the highest membership fees. - Hilary Heinmets

So if I understood well you want to study aikido max 2 years and get a black belt in 'combat' oriented style? - Szczepan Janczuk

If rank is the only thing you are worried about then perhaps Aikido is not for you. - Dave Gallagher

But when you get a horrible shock, and don't reach shodan in two-ish years, what will you do then? - Geoff Byers

Why are you so concerned with making shodan? Be concerned with learning Aikido. - Shane Bournival

I'm not entirely sure where people have got this weird idea from, that my only aim is "Shodan". First off, in my original post mentioning this, I say "Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts". After that one remark, people seems to have jumped on a bandwagon that said "You just want Shodan". First off, I say "something up around", so I'd say maybe Sankyu to Shodan... Shodan itself is not important. What I'm saying is, that after reaching a certain level of proficiency, chances are that I would move on. But you never know, I might get addicted to Aikido, and I might not. How in the world could I decide that now? Nonetheless, point stands, I have no clue why you are bringing up this "Shodan" thing as much as you are, stop jumping on bandwagons.




On the topic of "Not putting in the time":
You seem to go for quick fix rather than the benefits of the long haul. - Jørgen Jakob Friis

Szczepan Janczuk is right - if you say I will do Aikido for a short time before you even start - the most you will get out of it is the ability to make a pretty forward role. - Peter Rehse

if you're unwilling to spend the time to visit all the schools you might train at, maybe you should reconsider the whole endeavor. - Mary Malmros

from what I've read, you don't plan to put much time into the study. - Jerome Cervantes

So, apparently, not saying "I'll commit myself to this for the rest of my life", means that everything is worthless. Lets completely ignore the fact, that I, in my opening post, said that I planned on later studying 5-6 days a week, 2 lessons a day. But sure, f' that, the fact that I dared to say, and I quote, "To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years.", clearly means that I am an unworthy fool.
I would say, that anyone committing to a lifetime of training, without having trained in the art before, is a complete idiot. How would anyone know if it is the correct MA for them, without having trained it? In fact, how many here, started out by saying, while walking to the dojo before the first times training, "I promise to the Holy Mother (or whatever deity you worship) that I will never quit this Holy Martial Art"? I'm guessing, zero.
And apparently, not spending hours after hours searching through every single random dojo, means I'm not putting any effort into it. Good to know there.
I'm guessing all of you either have a PhD, or are completely uneducated. Why? Because why go for a Bachelors or a Masters? That's not putting effort into your studies. You either take a PhD, OR IT MEANS NOTHING, am I right? Because that's what you're saying.




On the topic of "Shopping Around" and "Dojo Hopping":
you want to 'shop around' then I think you should start on something else - Jørgen Jakob Friis

(I don't want to be tied down to a dojo/teacher) Then you don't really want to learn aikido. - Robert M Watson Jr

Well excuse me horribly for having an interest in Martial Arts in general. Apparently, if I'm not a purist, then I am not deserving of the all-mighty powerful Aikido. I apologize. Now, if instead you had read my opening post, you would see that I would move to Tokyo (where I have lived in the past). That would, quite naturally, FORCE me to change dojos. By all means, if you are willing to pay for a flight from Japan to Denmark 4 times a week, please, I'd be happy to take the money.




On the topic of "Miscellaneous":
You won´t get anyone to say publicly which style is better than the other - Lars Beyer

I didn't ask which style is better than the other. I asked a general question, regarding the differences between the styles, so I might better find one that suited me.


He knows what he's talking about (as do the others here). Notice how he hasn't written another word since you blew him off? - Michael Hackett

I'm terribly sorry, that I don't spend the time checking up on the background information on every single member here, that replies to a thread. At the same time, I didn't realize that politely disagreeing, and to some extend misunderstanding (though to be honest, the answer wasn't really worded well for a newbie like me either), was "blowing someone off".


Don't waste the two years you've planned on studying aikido - it takes much longer to become really competent. - Michael Hackett

If it takes more than 2 years of intensive training, to get any kind of competency in Aikido, then I must say that Aikido is officially the least efficient, most non-userfriendly, over-complicated Martial Art in history. Luckily, the Senshusei course disagrees with you.


Aikido is not some 2 dollar hooker that you just use to get what you want. Aikido is a commitment. A dogi is not a costume it's a way of life. - Shane Bournival

I'm happy to hear that you have found, what sounds like, religious fulfillment in Aikido. However, perhaps it would be a good idea to ever so lightly discuss this with others, as that by far doesn't seem to be the general case for everyone. It would be nice if you could avoid such sweeping generalizing statements, posted in such an authoritarian manner, when replying.



Ending on a light note:

certainly costs more than 2 dollar. being pimping out aikido for awhile now. definitely costs more than 2 bucks. sometimes it sucks, other times, blows, but folks tend to be happy with what they get. :D
I C WUT U DID THAR! ;D

lbb
07-17-2012, 10:02 PM
To the rest, I am thoroughly disappointed.

The last time someone said something like that to me, it was followed by, "This is going down on your permanent record."

I'm still giggling.

ramenboy
07-17-2012, 10:13 PM
Dude, you keep bringing up the senshusei course as your measuring stick, but then you say you wouldn't do it because of how hard it is. So bsically, you're saying you want to accomplish as much as the senshusei course, but you don't want to be pushed as hard as the senshusei.

I say go for it. Do your thing. Whatever it is. Then check back with us in 2 years.

TokyoZeplin
07-18-2012, 05:07 AM
The last time someone said something like that to me, it was followed by, "This is going down on your permanent record."

I'm still giggling.

That's what you get for speeding on the AikiHighway! :p

Dude, you keep bringing up the senshusei course as your measuring stick, but then you say you wouldn't do it because of how hard it is. So bsically, you're saying you want to accomplish as much as the senshusei course, but you don't want to be pushed as hard as the senshusei.

I say go for it. Do your thing. Whatever it is. Then check back with us in 2 years.

I... what... I don't even...
The main reason I don't want to do the Senshusei course, is because from all I can see, I focuses on overly hard and painful physical exercise for no real apparent reason. Well, I've seen it called "character building". From the instructors I've seen (there's luckily quite a bit of footage), it looks like a playground for sadism. It's a typical "drill it a million times and you'll be an expert" mentality (reminds me of a guy I once met, a Japanese English teacher, who told his students to read an English book 100 times over, and "then you'll know English").

I have no issue with the actual time spent in it, but greatly dislike (if others do like, I have no issue with them, go for it!) the teaching methodology of it.

With that said... yet another reply putting so much focus on "two years" and "shodan". After my long ass post there, I'd have hoped some of that would have stopped :(

Belt_Up
07-18-2012, 07:02 AM
So, apparently, not saying "I'll commit myself to this for the rest of my life", means that everything is worthless.

Melodrama, and a straw man.

I am not deserving of the all-mighty powerful Aikido.

Probably not. Still, try it and make sure you're not worthy first.

If it takes more than 2 years of intensive training, to get any kind of competency in Aikido, then I must say that Aikido is officially the least efficient, most non-userfriendly, over-complicated Martial Art in history.

Because you know all about it? Seriously, give the attitude a rest, try aikido, and get back to us. I can't help but think, given how you've ignored quite a few experienced aikidoka in this thread, that you're in for a horrible surprise if you try the same thing in your training. Don't ask for people's opinions and then throw your toys out of the pram when they don't say what you want to hear.

lbb
07-18-2012, 09:56 AM
The main reason I don't want to do the Senshusei course, is because from all I can see, I focuses on overly hard and painful physical exercise for no real apparent reason. Well, I've seen it called "character building". From the instructors I've seen (there's luckily quite a bit of footage), it looks like a playground for sadism. It's a typical "drill it a million times and you'll be an expert" mentality (reminds me of a guy I once met, a Japanese English teacher, who told his students to read an English book 100 times over, and "then you'll know English").

I have no issue with the actual time spent in it, but greatly dislike (if others do like, I have no issue with them, go for it!) the teaching methodology of it.

You might be right about the sensushei course's focus, methodology and reasons, and obviously you don't like what you see, which is reason enough not to go there. I'm not saying this as an argument in favor of the sensushei course, about which I know little except what's written in "Angry White Pyjamas" :D However, I think it's true of most (maybe all) worthwhile endeavors that the reason behind them is never completely clear to an outsider -- in fact, often they look dumb, pointless, silly, etc. Or maybe you can see something you like, but as an outsider, there's a good chance that you're picking up on something obvious and superficial, and that the real value of the pursuit is elsewhere. For example, you look at kyudo and say, "Hey, archery! I can learn to hit a target with an arrow!" Then you find out that hitting the target isn't the point, and the whole thing looks like a stupid waste of time.

So how do you know when there's something worthwhile in that fogbank and when it's just a case of the emperor's suit of clothes, with everyone exclaiming about the worthiness and profundity of Whatever-it-is in order to appear knowledgeable and clued-in? Well, you don't usually -- not as a complete outsider. Sure, there are some signature characteristics of scams, cults and charlatanry, and if you are wise to those kind of workings, you can often smell them a mile away and not get too close. But on the flip side, the true worth of something that really is worthwhile, is almost never apparent to an outsider (unless the something in question is dead simple, and we're not talking about that kind of thing). You can pose the question, but you don't yet have the vocabulary to understand the answer -- it's like asking someone to explain the central idea behind differential equations, and what they're good for, when you haven't even studied trigonometry.

Perhaps more to the point (for us as human beings trying to find our way), even if a pursuit is worthy, it may not work for you. Here, you're really on your own. The alchemy between you and what you're doing...nobody can tell you how that will work out. You may be able to figure it out for yourself, if you've got some insight into your own character and are willing to use it, but no one else can tell you "which is right for me". So I'll say once again, with everyone else, that you have to accept the limitations of the knowable here, and decide to either do it or don't. And my advice, take it or leave it, is to not burden the experience with too many expectations. Let it be what it is, and let yourself become what you can -- not what your Ten-Point Plan outlines. The more issues and baggage you bring in the door, the less you'll be able to reap the rewards of any new experience.

TokyoZeplin
07-18-2012, 10:46 AM
Mary, I certainly get what you're saying, and I would never claim to understand everything done in the Senshusei course - heck, I don't even KNOW all of what is being done. I am merely saying why I am unlikely to go for it, based on what I've read and seen :)
My conclusions come from my own time in Japan, and that dreaded teaching style (there's a reason their English levels are so poor, even with average of 7 years of education in it!), and that "gaman" attitude. I believe in a YouTube video, interviewing one of the instructors there, asking why he pushed the students so hard physically, and was so "nasty" to them, the instructor replied that this was "character building".
Some people may benefit from that sort of learning environment (though I dare say that modern research on learning doesn't quite support that), and if they do, that's just fine. I won't stop them, or say they shouldn't. I'm just saying, that that sort of teaching mentality would end up having a negative effect on me, and I would most likely cease training all together. I wouldn't mind training a lot (in fact, my current rough plan involves quite a bit of time put aside to only training), but rather the teaching mentality is not for me, as well as the seemingly overdone physical training (making the students jump laps around the dojo, in a squat position, arms curled around legs. Last person to finish does one more round).

It reminds me too much of typical military training, something I've done all I can to avoid too.

Rob Watson
07-18-2012, 11:46 AM
(I don't want to be tied down to a dojo/teacher) Then you don't really want to learn aikido. - Robert M Watson Jr

Well excuse me horribly for having an interest in Martial Arts in general. Apparently, if I'm not a purist, then I am not deserving of the all-mighty powerful Aikido. I apologize. Now, if instead you had read my opening post, you would see that I would move to Tokyo (where I have lived in the past). That would, quite naturally, FORCE me to change dojos. By all means, if you are willing to pay for a flight from Japan to Denmark 4 times a week, please, I'd be happy to take the money.

Well, I was relaying my own experience. I started in 1992 all full of it and in 2008 I got shodan. 3 instructors/styles (the least 'experienced' was 6 dan - means I've been blessed with an abundance of good teachers). I got a whiff that you were starting down that road and I'd hoped to save you some trouble. Oh well, seems some folks do have jump the bridge to find out for themselves.

You are standing at the beginning of the path looking forward seeing all kinds of great possiblities while I stand on my path looking back hoping others do not have to go through all that mess like I did.

Happy trails.

TokyoZeplin
07-18-2012, 11:53 AM
Well, I was relaying my own experience. I started in 1992 all full of it and in 2008 I got shodan. 3 instructors/styles (the least 'experienced' was 6 dan - means I've been blessed with an abundance of good teachers). I got a whiff that you were starting down that road and I'd hoped to save you some trouble. Oh well, seems some folks do have jump the bridge to find out for themselves.

You are standing at the beginning of the path looking forward seeing all kinds of great possiblities while I stand on my path looking back hoping others do not have to go through all that mess like I did.

Happy trails.

By all means, I don't plan on changing dojo's just for the fun of it :) Apart from travelling, the only reason I would change, would be if I had some troubles at the one I was at, or somehow found something far more appealing at another one.
Naturally, if I decide to cross-train later, or possibly even give up Aikido later (both things, something I can't say for certain either way at present time), it's natural to accept that you won't get as high a level (at least as fast) in one style.
But thank you for the advice, and as I said, I don't plan on dojo hoppin' just for the heck of it :)

hughrbeyer
07-18-2012, 11:58 AM
If it takes more than 2 years of intensive training, to get any kind of competency in Aikido, then I must say that Aikido is officially the least efficient, most non-userfriendly, over-complicated Martial Art in history.

Nailed it.

Except that the issue is not that Aikido is too complicated, it's too simple. If it were more complicated you could learn it faster.:cool:

phitruong
07-18-2012, 01:34 PM
Nailed it.

Except that the issue is not that Aikido is too complicated, it's too simple. If it were more complicated you could learn it faster.:cool:

probably because he used his experience in shotokan karate as reference. in karate, you can practice 90% of the time without another person. other than when you spar or doing self-defense practice, you don't really need a partner. you can practice kicking, punching, blocking, kata and so on by yourself and at your leisure. aikido on the other hand (whichever other hand of the other), 90% of the time it required a partner or two or three to work with. in aikido you depend on other people to improve (not talking to IS/aiki crowd since they are a bunch of freaks and i are one). in karate, a punch is a punch is a punch. in aikido, the same technique cannot be used against folks with different body types and/or reaction. essentially, you can't really do the same aikido technique twice or step on the same piece of water for that matter (unless you freeze dry the thing). aikido is simple. but simple doesn't mean easy.

hughrbeyer
07-18-2012, 02:21 PM
Hey! Who are you calling a freak? The word is Neanderthal, please.

Chris Li
07-18-2012, 02:26 PM
Hey! Who are you calling a freak? The word is Neanderthal, please.

:cool:

Best,

Chris

Basia Halliop
07-18-2012, 03:11 PM
As time went by, this thread completely derailed, people are discussing things completely off-topic, are assuming things I never said, have by now taken every post I've made out of context, and really, it just became a giant hassle to reply to.

Welcome to the internet :)

My advice -- ASSUME, when you read something, that over 90% of what people are saying is just them thinking out loud to themselves and each other about whatever your question makes them think about... don't take it as directly precisely at you, even if there's stuff there that may apply to you.

phitruong
07-19-2012, 07:24 AM
Hey! Who are you calling a freak? The word is Neanderthal, please.

i know you want to get back to the aiki root, but you don't have to go back that far. we should just stop at the barbarian age, because any further would be uncivilized and there won't be any Grey Poupon. and everyone know that you can't do hording (is that even a word, if it isn't then i just invented one, kinda like what his name inventing the internet) without hot mustard and possibly ketchup (mayonnaise for them European). :)

TokyoZeplin
07-20-2012, 09:00 AM
Nailed it.

Except that the issue is not that Aikido is too complicated, it's too simple. If it were more complicated you could learn it faster.:cool:

I was actually joking... the fact that the Senshusei course exists, that riot police and other branches of the Japanese police force study Aikido, obviously shows that a certain skill level can be reached quickly enough, if you are willing to put in enough effort.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily guarantee that I might be good enough to achieve such things, but it's certainly not impossible as you some you would like to make it out to be :)

lbb
07-20-2012, 12:39 PM
I was actually joking... the fact that the Senshusei course exists, that riot police and other branches of the Japanese police force study Aikido, obviously shows that a certain skill level can be reached quickly enough, if you are willing to put in enough effort.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily guarantee that I might be good enough to achieve such things, but it's certainly not impossible as you some you would like to make it out to be :)

Well, perhaps, depending on you define "skill". If your assumption is that "skill" is a linear, one-dimensional thing, then that reasoning works fine: skill is a line, and you're a certain distance along that line, and that's all there is to it. I'm not sure that's how it really works for anything but the simplest skills, but whatever. There was a really interesting post someone made here (perhaps in one of the "mastery" threads; you should find and read those if you haven't already) talking about the distinction between talent and ability, or some such...all about the complexities of learning and skill development and the deceptive nature of apparent ability at any particular point. Wish I knew where to find that post.

Belt_Up
07-20-2012, 01:35 PM
Well, perhaps, depending on you define "skill". If your assumption is that "skill" is a linear, one-dimensional thing, then that reasoning works fine: skill is a line, and you're a certain distance along that line, and that's all there is to it.

Mary has summed up my thoughts on it far more eloquently than I could have. You can have a vast repertoire of techniques without being skilled in aikido. Skill is not a line, it has depth.

It's not impossible that you should do such things, we're merely pointing out how unrealistic it is of you to set yourself goals in an activity you have yet to start. I hope you are successful in your endeavour, but I cannot help but think you've fixed your mind on chasing a belt (whether it be a particular one, or just somewhere in a particular bracket) and you will miss the point of training.

hughrbeyer
07-20-2012, 01:44 PM
I was actually joking...

I know you were, but there's an element of truth to what you said. Aikido has never struck me as the quickest route to competence in either self-defense or contest fighting.

TokyoZeplin
07-20-2012, 02:46 PM
Well, perhaps, depending on you define "skill". If your assumption is that "skill" is a linear, one-dimensional thing, then that reasoning works fine: skill is a line, and you're a certain distance along that line, and that's all there is to it. I'm not sure that's how it really works for anything but the simplest skills, but whatever. There was a really interesting post someone made here (perhaps in one of the "mastery" threads; you should find and read those if you haven't already) talking about the distinction between talent and ability, or some such...all about the complexities of learning and skill development and the deceptive nature of apparent ability at any particular point. Wish I knew where to find that post.

Well I would certainly never say skill is linear... rather I would probably say that skill works on an exponential curve, when it comes to improvement - the longer you train, the less you improve per time. From knowing nothing, to knowing what you do after your first lesson, is a massive step in knowledge. But what you know from you 186'th lesson, to your 187th lesson is a minute difference. So certainly, it works on an exponential curve in difficulty.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the rest though... I would still say skill could be defined on a single exponential curve (line). Everything else, would simply be different lines (e.g. self defence and spiritual insight would be to different lines all together).

Mary has summed up my thoughts on it far more eloquently than I could have. You can have a vast repertoire of techniques without being skilled in aikido. Skill is not a line, it has depth.

It's not impossible that you should do such things, we're merely pointing out how unrealistic it is of you to set yourself goals in an activity you have yet to start. I hope you are successful in your endeavour, but I cannot help but think you've fixed your mind on chasing a belt (whether it be a particular one, or just somewhere in a particular bracket) and you will miss the point of training.

I'm not really focused on a specific belt, or rank, but rather a certain skill level, if that makes sense? I'm merely using the Shodan rank as a rough estimate of that skill level, to have something slightly more concrete to aim for (for now, anyway).

And as I stated before, who knows! If I make it, I do, if I don't, well I don't. I don't know how I'll react when I start, maybe I'll hate it, maybe I'll "sorta like it", and maybe I'll love it and do it forever. This is merely my current roadmap.

I know you were, but there's an element of truth to what you said. Aikido has never struck me as the quickest route to competence in either self-defense or contest fighting.

I can understand that, but I'm saying that since Japan actually uses it (granted, Yoshinkan) for training up people in self-defence, not everyone thinks that way. I don't think anyone would send their special police unites to train in something, that they all considered sub-par in defence and learning ability (in the given time frame).

I also think there is a significant difference in what style your training. While many people have so far tried to say that the difference is minute, I have come to see massive differences in how people think about Aikido, how it works, their aims, and so forth, fairly clearly between different styles (primarily Yoshinkan, which I have been looking a lot at, and have most likely found a good Dojo for, and Iwama/Aikikai).
In fact, Yoshinkan seems to be almost based on the idea of skill progression with the ranks. Having divided techniques into phases, starting at the basics and working their way up, it seems to be a lot more structured.

Nonetheless, I seem to have found a dojo that embodies everything that I asked for in my opening post (Yoshinkan, with particular (or "more than normal"?) focus on atemi and practical application of the various techniques. When I contacted the head teacher there, as he put it, "If it didn't work in practice, you might as well go practice dancing instead", and most people are cross-training in related MA's (under the same instructors).). So unless my visits to Yoshinkan Honbu and Aikikai Honbu severely persuades me otherwise, that's where I'm headed!

Chris Li
07-20-2012, 02:54 PM
I can understand that, but I'm saying that since Japan actually uses it (granted, Yoshinkan) for training up people in self-defence, not everyone thinks that way. I don't think anyone would send their special police unites to train in something, that they all considered sub-par in defence and learning ability (in the given time frame).

Well, the Japanese police usually have a choice of training in Aikido, Judo or...Kendo, so practical defense may not actually be the highest priority for them.

Best,

Chris

James Sawers
07-20-2012, 03:24 PM
Learning "curve":

1.Unconscious incompetence:

The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognise their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.

2.Conscious incompetence:

Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.

3.Conscious competence:

The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.

4.Unconscious competence:

The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.

From Wikipedia

lars beyer
07-20-2012, 03:25 PM
:freaky:

In fact, Yoshinkan seems to be almost based on the idea of skill progression with the ranks. Having divided techniques into phases, starting at the basics and working their way up, it seems to be a lot more structured.


It´s not unique to Yoshinkan to start with the basics.. and to divide techniques into "phases" as you say..
But anyway good that you found the exact answer you were looking for..
Good luck

Belt_Up
07-20-2012, 03:30 PM
Nonetheless, I seem to have found a dojo that embodies everything that I asked for in my opening post (Yoshinkan, with particular (or "more than normal"?) focus on atemi and practical application of the various techniques. When I contacted the head teacher there, as he put it, "If it didn't work in practice, you might as well go practice dancing instead", and most people are cross-training in related MA's (under the same instructors).). So unless my visits to Yoshinkan Honbu and Aikikai Honbu severely persuades me otherwise, that's where I'm headed!

Sounds ideal. Best of luck, and don't train too hard and end up with chronic injuries. Dial your training up and down.

robin_jet_alt
07-20-2012, 06:14 PM
Well I would certainly never say skill is linear... rather I would probably say that skill works on an exponential curve, when it comes to improvement - the longer you train, the less you improve per time. From knowing nothing, to knowing what you do after your first lesson, is a massive step in knowledge. But what you know from you 186'th lesson, to your 187th lesson is a minute difference. So certainly, it works on an exponential curve in difficulty.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the rest though... I would still say skill could be defined on a single exponential curve (line). Everything else, would simply be different lines (e.g. self defence and spiritual insight would be to different lines all together).



I disagree. I got my shodan in Japan, and I'm learning faster now than I ever have. It tends to go in spurts, I think.

Carsten Möllering
07-21-2012, 03:48 AM
I would still say skill could be defined on a single exponential curve (line).
My experience both as student and a teacher of aikidô is completely different.

... the idea of skill progression with the ranks. Having divided techniques into phases, starting at the basics and working their way up, ...
Sound like what I am used to. ;-)

Nonetheless, I seem to have found a dojo that embodies everything that I asked for ...
So ... that's where I'm headed!
! This is most important, I think: To find one's own way and to walk it ...
Enjoy!

Hanna B
07-22-2012, 02:27 AM
To the original poster:

Don't lump "Aikikai" together. Most other styles are actually styles, but the Aikikai is very heterogenous. The name "Aikikai" means nothing, technically. It's an umbrella organisation.If you want information on the aikido in the dojos available to you, you'll have to mention which dojos and teachers - or at least the names of the teachers that these dojos invite for seminars. Then possibly some people, at least the Danes, probably could give you some useful information.

Considering what JJF wrote, possibly be Aikikai dojos in question are doing Nishio type aikido.

BTW: In the danish Aikikai almost all the dojo's are Nishio inspired. They are combined with the Iwama ryu inspired dojos in DAF together with a few dojos of other styles (as Lars explained above). DAF is - as far as I know - the only connection between the Aikikai and danish Aikido.

Nishio aikido is an interesting brand. Very technical, very difficult (at least for me who comes from an unrelated line). Very different. Probably more "martial art" than most Aikikai varieties. But then Nisho followers come in a range of different flavours too, from ultra orthodox (of a few types) to very liberal, also training with other Aikikai teachers - which most Nishioists won't.

So original poster: if you want to train in Denmark and in Tokyo, your local Danish dojo is your limitation. Go to your local dojos and ask what dojos in Tokyo they are connected to - this might not actually be the Hombu dojos. These are the opportunities you have in Tokyo,

But if you don't plan to continue, why not choose your Japanese dojo for what it is and leave it at that. Not a Yoshinkan stylist myself, I personally find the Yoshinkan teacher Ando Tsuneo quite impressive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UVc7ia_Yb0 and his personal line of dojos seem to have lots of westerners in them, including some uchi deshis (who probably teach the beginners) and his South African wife, which should make the place somewhat easier to survive.

When you come home you'll have nowhere to train, unless you start a dojo yourself and that you're hardly qualified for after one year. I don't really see the point in planning it that way, but...

I do believe though that most people who start out with bold plans like this won't follow through with them. It's a little bit like choosing your girlfriend from logical reasoning, planning what you want to do the upcoming years .It may sound good, but it won't work. In the end one has to follow one's heart. You pick the right girl for travelling around the world for a year, but after a month you have a heated argument and she leaves you in a Goa and you have to make new plans.

Aiki-jutsu also seems very interesting, but more as a possible side-study for later, to get more into the detail of the Aikido techniques, as there are no dojos for it in Denmark

There's Roppokai in Copenhagen. But again, you're planning what kind of girlfriend you'll be ready for after you quit with your current one... in reality you won't know. You'll have to just jump into the experience and see where it will take you.

lbb
07-23-2012, 08:32 AM
Well I would certainly never say skill is linear... rather I would probably say that skill works on an exponential curve, when it comes to improvement - the longer you train, the less you improve per time. From knowing nothing, to knowing what you do after your first lesson, is a massive step in knowledge. But what you know from you 186'th lesson, to your 187th lesson is a minute difference. So certainly, it works on an exponential curve in difficulty.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the rest though...

I don't think "progress" in aikido can be modeled as a line...or a curve, or a wave. It's three-dimensional, at least. See, whether you're modeling progress as a line or a curve or a wave, you're still only dealing in two dimensions...you're still only modeling two factors. Time and competency, or effort and results, or ham and eggs, or whatever. To show the multiplicity of influencing factors and their many effects, you need to get out of flatland.

Alic
07-24-2012, 02:51 AM
By the way, I just want to add something...

You don't have to enroll in the senshusei program as a white belt. You could always just pop into one of the regular classes. They're just regular training, with different hours available, and you also get access to the same teachers. I think Shioda kancho teaches on friday... and certain other sensei's come by during the week.

Just because you enroll in Yoshinkan, doesn't mean you automatically get put into the most intense course they have. People generally go after they get to sankyo or above (my sensei recommmends ikkyo to shodan as best, since you can get the best amount of learning during that time without too many painful lessons). You can train in the regular class until brown belt and then decide if you want to try out senshusei.

As for the toughness and military styled training that they have... the origins of Aikido is drawn from a war art. Wouldn't it make sense to train your body like a soldier then? Even if the mentality is different, you still need the same discipline and spirit. A sword is only strong if the flame is hot and the metal beaten many times, and it can only become sharp after much polishing. Budo is the same, so don't dismiss the repetitive drilling of techniques; they're there for a reason.

Chris Evans
07-25-2012, 10:55 AM
what's the kind of aikido that Japanese police use, integrating with judo? without the martial conditioning, isn't aikido reduced to a "walking yoga" pajama-dancing?

aikido seem not the problem, but the mindset of the people (advanced students and sensei) who can't "eat the bitter," but are gratefully tolerated for paying bills for the dojo.

still looking, "...shop for the teacher, not the style...," for a Rik Ellis (the aikido MMA player) kind of mindset of aikido-ka where there's no delusional separation from training the spirit with martial training, to resolve unarmed combat (AKA self-defense/martial art) as peacefully as possible.

TokyoZeplin
07-26-2012, 06:37 AM
what's the kind of aikido that Japanese police use, integrating with judo? without the martial conditioning, isn't aikido reduced to a "walking yoga" pajama-dancing?

I believe you're referring to Yoshinkan Aikido, the specific course they do being the Senshusei course, which Alic Xie just also described in the previous post :) At least it's "famous" for being used by the Riot Police. Not exactly sure they are specifically integrating it with Judo though, that's the first I've heard of it (though it's quite possible they also train that, but to my knowledge, not together with Aikido specifically).

Chris Evans
07-26-2012, 02:39 PM
By the way, I just want to add something...

You don't have to enroll in the senshusei program as a white belt. You could always just pop into one of the regular classes. They're just regular training, with different hours available, and you also get access to the same teachers. I think Shioda kancho teaches on friday... and certain other sensei's come by during the week.

Just because you enroll in Yoshinkan, doesn't mean you automatically get put into the most intense course they have. People generally go after they get to sankyo or above (my sensei recommmends ikkyo to shodan as best, since you can get the best amount of learning during that time without too many painful lessons). You can train in the regular class until brown belt and then decide if you want to try out senshusei.

As for the toughness and military styled training that they have... the origins of Aikido is drawn from a war art. Wouldn't it make sense to train your body like a soldier then? Even if the mentality is different, you still need the same discipline and spirit. A sword is only strong if the flame is hot and the metal beaten many times, and it can only become sharp after much polishing. Budo is the same, so don't dismiss the repetitive drilling of techniques; they're there for a reason.

which also means physical fitness (suppleness, explosive power, and anerobic endurance training) and mind training (zazen/shikantaza) are all helpful

TCSSEC
07-30-2012, 02:30 AM
I feel that this forum has tried earnestly to address the questions and issue raised by TokyoZeplin. Many people have tried their utmost in fact but we can’t listen and understand for him. (i.e he is a time waster in my view.)

At the end of the day, he needs to cease being academic - Masters Degree or whatever (who cares?) or 3rd kyu (again who cares?) in Shotokan - and get himself on the aikido mat.

I have tried all the major aikido styles and eventually I found the one for me and the instructor – since 2005, I commute over 300km each way and 3 ½ hours to train.

If I had stopped at the first aikido dojo (which was not for me), then I would not now be doing something that I feel passionate about.

If TokyoZeplin does not go all the way with aikido, then the aikido world has not missed any thing of significance

TokyoZeplin
07-30-2012, 07:10 AM
I feel that this forum has tried earnestly to address the questions and issue raised by TokyoZeplin. Many people have tried their utmost in fact but we can’t listen and understand for him. (i.e he is a time waster in my view.)

At the end of the day, he needs to cease being academic - Masters Degree or whatever (who cares?) or 3rd kyu (again who cares?) in Shotokan - and get himself on the aikido mat.

I have tried all the major aikido styles and eventually I found the one for me and the instructor – since 2005, I commute over 300km each way and 3 ½ hours to train.

If I had stopped at the first aikido dojo (which was not for me), then I would not now be doing something that I feel passionate about.

If TokyoZeplin does not go all the way with aikido, then the aikido world has not missed any thing of significance

For people saying they study an art of peace, and many claim to have become better at conflict solving in their personal lives, some posts here sure seem to do their best to make this discussion as hostile as possible.

lbb
07-30-2012, 09:51 AM
For people saying they study an art of peace, and many claim to have become better at conflict solving in their personal lives, some posts here sure seem to do their best to make this discussion as hostile as possible.

Well, it's your choice about whether you want to characterize these posts as "hostile". I'm not going to go back and scrutinize the thread, but I think that in some cases, your basis for assessing hostility seems to be that someone (who has experience in aikido that you don't) didn't agree entirely with your take on things, or who said anything that disagreed with your proposed course of action as the best way to go. These are uncomfortable voices, but if you can find a way to listen to them (and defuse your own inclination to characterize them as "attacks"), uncomfortable opinions now will probably save you from some pain and disappointment later on.

(as an aside, I'd be careful about playing the "art of peace" card more than once in a very great while, and that in situations where it's clearly warranted, as it is not here. It's a bad habit whose most likely outcome is layers of self-delusion.)

TokyoZeplin
07-30-2012, 11:07 AM
Well, it's your choice about whether you want to characterize these posts as "hostile". I'm not going to go back and scrutinize the thread, but I think that in some cases, your basis for assessing hostility seems to be that someone (who has experience in aikido that you don't) didn't agree entirely with your take on things, or who said anything that disagreed with your proposed course of action as the best way to go. These are uncomfortable voices, but if you can find a way to listen to them (and defuse your own inclination to characterize them as "attacks"), uncomfortable opinions now will probably save you from some pain and disappointment later on.

(as an aside, I'd be careful about playing the "art of peace" card more than once in a very great while, and that in situations where it's clearly warranted, as it is not here. It's a bad habit whose most likely outcome is layers of self-delusion.)

You seem to be a bit confused here... I continuously said that I have no issues with that giving advice that I do not necessarily agree with. I have continuously pointed out peoples weird misconceptions of what I'm saying, which seem primarily based off of other posters misconceptions, even though I have repeatedly said that their interpretation of what I'm saying is wrong (several times saying things I have never even mentioned).
Rather, it is the tone of posts, that I find hostile, as well as some replies which outright ARE hostile. Examples: "he already said that sort answer is of no use to him. he wants to hear the answers that he likes, and not the right answers. i was wondering if you want some cheese to go with the whine?" I do not see how that could, in any sense of the word, be considered a constructive post.
Another example: In the post I was replying to (which you seem to completely disregard, and again, take my post out of context... why?), I was a "time waster" and if I ended up not doing Aikido "then the aikido world has not missed any thing of significance". I was replied to with "who cares" (to points that were relevant).

In those cases, yes, I find it ironic that in a forum of people, who will post endlessly about the internal benefits of Aikido, and how great it has made them at conflict resolving, I have received in many ways a more hostile "welcoming" than on any other forum. Even more ironic is it, that the people that feel entitled to post these fairly hostile replies, seem to think it's fine doing so, without actually reading the thread and my replies. It's getting tiresome to reply to the same things over and over again, and explain the same things over and over again.

lbb
07-30-2012, 01:04 PM
Eh. It's generally a good idea to be very careful about inferring tone from internet communications. If you find the thread tiresome, your best bet would be to take what you can of value and simply walk away. But since my suggestions are unwelcome, I'll stop offering them. Best of luck with whatever you're looking for.

TokyoZeplin
07-30-2012, 02:11 PM
Eh. It's generally a good idea to be very careful about inferring tone from internet communications. If you find the thread tiresome, your best bet would be to take what you can of value and simply walk away. But since my suggestions are unwelcome, I'll stop offering them. Best of luck with whatever you're looking for.

See again, you are implying I'm saying things which I am not, and acting like I'm somehow scuffing you off, when that is not at all the case.
By all means, if you could see what I quoted as anything but in a hostile view, please, tell me how I should interpret them, because really, I don't see it.
If you don't put tone on written words, I imagine reading books are REAL boring for you :p

I didn't say your suggestion were unwelcome. Please don't put words in my mouth.

... "best of luck with whatever you're looking for" - you mean the dojo, that I already said I found on the last page?

lars beyer
07-30-2012, 04:11 PM
:freaky:
For people saying they study an art of peace, and many claim to have become better at conflict solving in their personal lives, some posts here sure seem to do their best to make this discussion as hostile as possible.

It sounds more like a monologue on being misunderstood than a discussion about aikido.. but offcourse.. how can you engage in a discussion about something you have never tried for yourself..? You posted a question, people responded. What´s the problem.. :freaky:

TokyoZeplin
07-30-2012, 05:24 PM
:freaky:

It sounds more like a monologue on being misunderstood than a discussion about aikido.. but offcourse.. how can you engage in a discussion about something you have never tried for yourself..? You posted a question, people responded. What´s the problem.. :freaky:

Am I the only person here (well, I'm not, because several have posted good replies, whether I agree / was looking for that specific answer or not) that understands the meaning of "constructive criticism"?

TCSSEC
07-31-2012, 02:06 AM
For people saying they study an art of peace, and many claim to have become better at conflict solving in their personal lives, some posts here sure seem to do their best to make this discussion as hostile as possible.

Sometimes I find those that default to the “peace” and “conflict solving” theme, are those who try to defend the indefensible …

You reminded me of peace and conflict resolution but no where in my aikido training/research do I find that I/we have to accommodate those who chose NOT to listen or understand.

You have not been on an aikido mat. You do not have a recommendation to go to a traditional dojo – in short, you are a non-entity.

You have been to Japan and bowed (?) to people. You have been on the Shotokan karate mat and bowed. What do you understand when you bowed?

FYI - bowing is about demonstrating your respect to others, to demonstrate your humility and your appreciation to those who went before you, to demonstrate a LACK OF ARROGANCE.

Towards the start of your thread, you blew away at least one well regarded sensei and his comment. So when you blew away those who have went before you (in aikido) and tried to give you earnest advice, were you thinking of “peace” and “conflict solving”?

Before I retired from work, I had a management role in which I inducted new employees. One of my advice to them was: “It’s ok to make a mistake because it is a learning experience. It is even ok to make the same mistake twice as long as you learn something. But if you make the same mistake 3 times, then we start to think if there is something not right with you.” So how many mistakes have you made by ignoring sound advice from those who went before you?

The martial arts world and the aikido world do not dance to your tune. Get over it. And get on the mat. You cannot learn aikido by theorising and making it an academic issue. In the process you may learn what bowing is really all about.

You initial question “which is right for (you)” is not something for which there is a black and white answer … something that many in the forum have tried to convey to you.

It’s like asking “Which is the best martial art?” The answer is … “It depends”. And there is not one best martial art.

Finally, someone (much more worthy than I) observed that you cannot buy the training. Sure you can sign-up, pay your membership/training fees and train on the mat, but your sensei will soon work out if you are worthy or not. Please keep this in mind when you start knocking on the doors of aikido dojo.

Good luck in your future endeavours.

TokyoZeplin
07-31-2012, 08:43 AM
Tom, what in the world are you ranting on about? Exactly how much of this thread have you read, before you decided to make your replies? You are bringing up things that either I have already answered, or have already made clear people misunderstood. And then there's the things I don't even know where you're getting...
I know you haven't read some key points in this thread, since you clearly don't know I already found a dojo. But no, I will not start repeating myself, simply because you write without having read...

And I'm not "defaulting" back to saying "it's an art of peace" - I'm making an observation, that it's ironic that for a group that supposedly puts great emphasis on this, I really really don't see in many of the replies.

lars beyer
07-31-2012, 09:24 AM
Tom, what in the world are you ranting on about? Exactly how much of this thread have you read, before you decided to make your replies? You are bringing up things that either I have already answered, or have already made clear people misunderstood. And then there's the things I don't even know where you're getting...
I know you haven't read some key points in this thread, since you clearly don't know I already found a dojo. But no, I will not start repeating myself, simply because you write without having read...

And I'm not "defaulting" back to saying "it's an art of peace" - I'm making an observation, that it's ironic that for a group that supposedly puts great emphasis on this, I really really don't see in many of the replies.

I believe you will do yourself and others a huge favour if you forget about aikido and concentrate all your efforts on finishing your artstudy with good grades. There is absolutely no need to waste your own and other peoples time blabbering away on topics where you have no authority whatsoever and start training in an artform that takes both sincerity, courage, devotion and most of all respect for your peers very seriously.. As Tom mention above that is key in budo training.

What your problem is I can only guess, but I do think that the prospect of finishing school soon is putting
a huge pressure on you, so why not spend your energy on finishing school instead of starting out in a new artform which you very clearly have very limited mental acces to- at least for the time being ?

All the best
Lars

akiy
07-31-2012, 10:27 AM
Thread closed for the moment while I go back and review people's behavior in it.

-- Jun