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Keke
01-10-2017, 03:19 PM
Hi everyone,

I have been reading Aikiweb for years but never participated in the discussions. I have been training in aikido in Amsterdam for about 6 years now.

Although I still have many doubts, overall I really enjoy aikido and wish to deepen my knowledge and practice.

Cheers!

fatebass21
01-11-2017, 09:35 AM
Welcome Kevin,

Great to have you here. My wife is from Zwijndrecht

What doubts do you have about your training?

Keke
01-12-2017, 07:07 AM
Thanks Chris.

My doubts are beyond the effectiveness of aikido. I do believe that aikido can be effective. However, I'm disappointed with the lack of uniformity and standardization to reach this proficiency across the dojos.

In my opinion, aikido is too recent and too small (in comparison to other martial arts like karate or judo) to have so many styles and flavours.

Just in Amsterdam there must be at least 10 different dojos with mostly small groups. This makes it quite difficult to train more than a couple of times a week (I tried combining training in different dojos and it didn't go so well). With so many teachers and students we could have a full-time dojo like the aikikai has in Tokyo and New York but instead practitioners are stuck with options that often don't offer more than two classes per week.

I imagine this diversity can be great when someone starts to be very experienced with aikido but let's face it, what's the proportion of practioners training for ten years or more?

Anyway don't let me start with the negative :) I really enjoy the dojo where I train and I try to attend seminars in the weekend whenever I can. I just wish I could progress faster!

Cheers,
Kevin

fatebass21
01-13-2017, 11:59 AM
I understand what you mean with regard to uniformity across the Aikido world

zivk
01-18-2017, 07:27 AM
Welcome to aikiweb, Kevin.


My doubts are beyond the effectiveness of aikido. I do believe that aikido can be effective. However, I'm disappointed with the lack of uniformity and standardization to reach this proficiency across the dojos.

In my opinion, aikido is too recent and too small (in comparison to other martial arts like karate or judo) to have so many styles and flavours.


Regarding your concern with the lack of uniformity and standardization across dojos, I've recently found this quote from John Stevens sensei's book Abundant Peace. He wrote:
"The best advice in judging the different interpretations of Aikido is this: Do not look for the differences, look for what is the same".

PS, thanks for the link to your blog in your signature. It is interesting to read your reflections from the Aikikai hombu dojo.

fatebass21
01-19-2017, 11:47 AM
I thought the blog was great as well

Keke
01-26-2017, 03:07 AM
Welcome to aikiweb, Kevin.

Regarding your concern with the lack of uniformity and standardization across dojos, I've recently found this quote from John Stevens sensei's book Abundant Peace. He wrote:
"The best advice in judging the different interpretations of Aikido is this: Do not look for the differences, look for what is the same".

PS, thanks for the link to your blog in your signature. It is interesting to read your reflections from the Aikikai hombu dojo.

Very true! I'll look for the book :)

Thanks for the compliments on my blog guys.

Peter Goldsbury
01-26-2017, 04:07 AM
Hello,

I echo the welcome to AikiWeb given by others.

I understand your concern about the multiplicity of dojos and styles in the Netherlands and Amsterdam, but the reason for this is closely bound up with the origins and development of aikido in the Netherlands and its early very close association with judo. If I look back on my own involvement with Dutch aikido in the late 1970s, it began with a request for help made to me by a Dutch aikidoka, who wanted to free his dojo and training from the control of judo. Things became quite messy and there were disputes and splits. Later I was requested to look after a group and the reason was quite open: I lived in Japan, but was not Japanese, and I have a close association with the Aikikai.

I note the earlier quote from John Stevens. However, the search for what is common can well be enriched by a clear understanding of why and how the differences arose. It will not do simply to appeal to human nature. I suggest that you supplement your reading of Stevens by looking at the books of Ellis Amdur, who also contributes to this forum. I especially recommend Dueling with O Sensei and Hidden in Plain Sight.

Best wishes,

PS. When I came to Japan, I visited the Aikikai, but they knew I was coming and I also had a letter of introduction. So I was taken to meet Doshu (Kisshomaru Ueshiba) and my partner during the first training was Mr Seki (now an 8th dan shihan). The Hombu Dojo likes to give the impression of being a true Mecca of aikido and this is true: it is a world centre. However, it is also the headquarters dojo of the Aikikai and so it is quite reasonable for them to require membership as a condition for training there. I am surprised that you received no introduction from your own dojo, for there is an international department and English is well understood.

Mary Eastland
01-26-2017, 12:30 PM
Why do you want to progress faster? The journey can be for a lifetime. If you want to get better you can practice on your own. You could do ki exercises and weapons practice eon your own.

Keke
02-04-2017, 01:38 PM
Hi Peter,

Thanks for your message and the insight into the Dutch aikido history. I will see if I can find another dojo to complement my training.

Regarding the aikikai hombu dojo, it was just purely bad preparation and foolishness from my side. Somehow I thought I could just show up and train but it was a bit more complicated. Everything went smoothly once I could get an aikikai membership card.

Best,
Kevin

Keke
02-04-2017, 01:43 PM
Why do you want to progress faster? The journey can be for a lifetime. If you want to get better you can practice on your own. You could do ki exercises and weapons practice eon your own.

Hi Mary,

Yes, I suppose I could practice the jo and ken suburi on my own. I would need more discipline though :)

As for the progress, I don't want to rush things but seriously don't think training twice a week for two hours is enough. I would love to be able to train everyday, even if that's just for one hour.

Best,
Kevin