View Full Version : Style differences?

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Rob Coote
03-28-2003, 10:10 AM

I've been a student of Aikido for about 6 months, and have begun to wonder about the different styles that I have read about here and from other sources. The dojo I train in practices Tenshinkai Aikido. I really enjoy the classes and have learned a lot in the short time I have been there, but I am not really clear on what separates what I am learning from other styles.

I have seen other "types" of Aikido named in my reading, such as Yoshinkan, Ki Society, Aikikai, and others, and was wondering if there was some source of information or description of the variations in these different styles of Aikido that a rookie like me could read?

Thanks all!


Greg Jennings
03-28-2003, 10:32 AM
http://www.aikidofaq.com/ has a section on styles of aikido.

That said, style really isn't a big issue. Dedication, tenacity and good teachers are.


03-28-2003, 10:55 AM
I agree with Greg.

As for the books I really like

"Aikido and the Dynamic sphere"

"Aikido" By Koichi Tohei (Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido)

03-28-2003, 11:25 AM

I believe your teacher studied with Sensei Phong, the head of the Tenshinkai organization. Having studied under him for several years myself, I can say that his particular style is a little different than the others you mentioned. But fundamentally, it is pretty basic Aikikai style Aikido.

Sensei Phong, as you may know, learned Aikido from several Hombu Dojo Shihan as well as from his brother, Tri. He also learned numerous other arts, such as judo, kung fu and taichi.

Having been somewhat on his own for many years in Viet Nam, his own particular style developed, naturally, somewhat differently than others. He particularly has developed a great group of techniques collectively known as "kokyu nage" that are based on his tremendous understanding and ability at koshi nage. These techniques require a very strong foundation in the basics to be effective.

This is most important in any Aikido dojo. But I would especially advise you to learn your basics! Tenshinkai style can be wonderful.



P.S. Lynne S. - are you out there? You know what I'm saying.

Greg Jennings
03-28-2003, 06:29 PM
I agree with Greg.

As for the books I really like

"Aikido and the Dynamic sphere"

"Aikido" By Koichi Tohei (Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido)
I'm a big fan of the Traditional Aikido and Takemusu Aikido series by the late Morihiro Saito Sensei and Total Aikido by the late Gozo Shioda Sensei.

If you have the dough, the CD-ROMs by Mike McVey Sensei of Yellow Springs Aikido are good.

I guess that all reveals my kind of aikido...

Before he was deployed due to the current mess, we had a member that had reached shodan under Phong Sensei in Vietnam. He hadn't trained in many years, but was still quite good. Very smooth.


Sven Groot
03-29-2003, 06:08 AM
"Ki in daily life" by Koichi Tohei is also a great book.

And for a good introduction in the basic techniques with lot's (and I do mean lot's) of photos, try "Best Aikido: The Fundamentals" by Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Moriteru Ueshiba.

03-29-2003, 12:18 PM
A book that will help you obtain a fuller understand Yoshinkan Aikido is "Aikido Shugyo" written by Gozo Shioda. He talks about how the Yoshinkan was formed, the principles behind Yoshinkan style, and even has many stories from his days learning under Morihei Ueshiba. You can read this and compare Tenshinkai to it. I find that many of the sources on the internet dont explain the differences between styles in any detail.

03-29-2003, 02:35 PM
The definitive work on Shodokan aikido (also a highly recommended read for aikidoists of any style) is "Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge" by Fumiaki Shishida and Tetsuro Nariyama.



Larry Feldman
03-31-2003, 01:10 PM
Try these links for a 'style guide' overview.http://www.shugenkai.com/astyles.htm