View Full Version : In between teachers and styles

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11-03-2014, 12:13 PM
:) Hi all.

I wanted to hear your thoughts and experiences with this situation.
I have been training for 6 years at a Yuishinkai dojo and tested recently for shodan. However, for the past 1.5 years I have been training at a USAF dojo with a teacher I highly respect. This is due to my school location and class schedule completely conflicting with training at my home dojo (Yuishinkai).

I was taught to train in the style of the dojo you are visiting and have a "when in rome" philosophy out of respect to the visited dojo but when at home to do things "our way."

So the problem? I feel I'm really picking up the USAF style and now I feel like an alien in my dojo when I visit home. My technique and ukemi are different and I try to forget the new style while there but it is difficult.

I have loyalty and love for my home dojo and my wonderful sensei but also feel a big pull towards my awesome USAF sensei.
I am finding it can be mentally and physically challenging to train in two styles. I have almost 2 years of school left near the USAF dojo.

Eventually I need to choose. But when?

11-03-2014, 03:25 PM
Or do I ultimately need to choose? I feel I get so much out of both dojos.

Dan Richards
11-03-2014, 03:28 PM
It sounds like you've already made the choice. For the time being you have a place where you feel at home, and another where you feel like a visitor. Go with that.

One thing that's gotten me through 25 years of different dojos, styles, federations, and teachers is a very simple idea: Just train.

And I might add, never be afraid to move forward. Your progression is your own responsibility.

11-03-2014, 03:33 PM
thank you.

Janet Rosen
11-03-2014, 04:22 PM
What Dan said.
You need not choose until or unless one of them gives you an ultimatum...and personally I would leave a dojo that did that but YMMV.
Who knows where you will end up two years from now?

11-03-2014, 08:30 PM
Sounds very much like your thoughts are maturing. I feel that restricting oneself to any style is rather limiting. The greats in Aikido all cross trained and many of Ueshiba's student came from different backgrounds Judo, Karate etc.

To quote from my particular experience going from a style closer to Aikjujutsu to Aikikai was quite a transition. My mindset was to completely train in the Aikikai style as I did not want to confuse students that may be in the early learning stages. This is why all styles have Kihon waza or basic techniques that at are shown in very similar manners between all dojos.

For example with Aikikai (due to it's wide following), I found the styles from Dojo's where they have frequent visits from Hombu sensei to be very close. The beauty about training for a while at any dojo is there is room for self-expression and experimentation.

Quite often in my dojo, given that myself and a number of others have had varied experiences, I demonstrate our particular kihon and then demonstrate other styles and allow people to experiment. In fact I actively encourage it.

Furthermore, a complete change in style to Aikikai had some rather dramatic effects on the way I practice my Yoseikan style. I enjoy all styles and believe heavily in cross training and any sensei who doesn't have an open mind is not worth his salt. However it is important to pay attention to Kihon, so that consistency is shown for people who are just beginning their journey. And sometimes I really have to be diligent with foot movement and hand movements to stay consistent with Kihon.

In the end, if I am training in a new dojo, I am 100% committed to their style. After a time or in free sparring it is usually acceptable to vary from the norm. But I like the fact that you are questioning and in the end the journey is yours...

11-03-2014, 09:33 PM
Thank you all.

11-04-2014, 03:43 AM
Train in your style... You are not being forced to fit into one slot or another. You've enough training under your belt to sense what feels right to you. Your instructors are probably wise enough not to discourage you from finding your own level, and you can do that without being disrespectful to either of them. You have an opportunity to take a broader perspective, and take the best things with you from both styles. Don't waste it...

Mark Mueller
11-04-2014, 07:51 AM
I love cake....so a baking analogy.

One of your teachers is a Master at Baking.

One of your teachers is a Master at combining interesting cake ingredients.

Learn the best of what they both have to offer and make your own cake.

Larry Feldman
11-04-2014, 02:07 PM
Once you graduate, your options will likely change anyway. No need for any proclamations now.

11-28-2014, 07:15 PM
Total agreement with everyone's comments. You are developing your very own Aikido style and that's good. You are correct in keeping in mind that when you are training at any dojo, you should be attempting to do exactly as the instructor is showing you. Not deciding to do it your way, or another instructor's or style's way. But the way that is being shown.

Train whenever and wherever you can.

11-28-2014, 07:57 PM
Personally, I'd say choose to switch now. Fulfill your own training. Your old instructor will understand... he/she probably had to make such a decision himself/herself at one time or another.