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sjl001
01-19-2001, 09:42 PM
I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on Yoseikan Budo as a style? As compared to other styles? I am not interested in a debate about which style reigns supreme, but info that will help me understand stylistic differences. This is the style I have the oppurtunity to study and although I have read and been given descriptions I would like to call upon the experience of those involved here so that I may get a broader group of impressions of Yoseikan Budo.

Thanks

Justin

Gerardo A Torres
01-20-2001, 04:04 AM
Hi Justin,

My first aikido teacher learned from a French sensei who had been a student of Minoru Mochizuki (Yoseikan's founder) and Alain Flocquet (a high-ranking Yoseikan sensei). So what I did was what many consider a "pre-war" style of aikido. This is because Mochizuki sensei became O'Sensei's student around the 1930-40's, so the aikido he learned looks like what O'Sensei was doing those days, which is kind of different from what you see in Aikikai-afiliated dojos nowadays.

My first dojo wasn't an official Yoseikan branch. We didn't include the sword (Katori Shinto-ryu, I think), sutemi, karate, etc, that I believe is part of the curriculum in official Yoseikan dojos. We did only the aikido part of the Yoseikan Budo system, but at least our aikido was as learned and passed on by Mochizuki sensei.

Overall I think the aikido in Yoseikan Budo is very clean and elegant. A lot of emphasis on tai-sabaki (body movement), posture, and the repertoire is very extensive, thanks to Mochizuki sensei's varied budo background (aikido, karate, sword, judo, all learned from the founders of each style). Even though I practice Aikikai now, I still do some of the exercises and technical variants I learned before, because they are very helpful.

Although I am sure that Mochizuki sensei's Budo legacy is worth following, I recommend that you don't completely close yourself from other aikido styles, because there is a wealth of knowledge out there. Try to get a little training in other styles when you get a chance.

Another thing: I remember that when I switched to Aikikai style aikido, I was very confused because the Yoseikan-influenced aikido technique I did before “didn’t work” anymore. You’re going to go through that sort of thing if you train across styles, even when you train at different dojos within the same style. Don’t worry about it. This happens because in different styles (and dojos) people tend to train differently and even take ukemi differently, so when faced with something that does not concur with what we have learned, we sometimes create doubt and therefore reach the easy conclusion that a certain interpretation of a technique “doesn’t work.” Learn to deal with these differences by keeping an open mind, that way you learn more. I’m sure that if executed correctly, Yoseikan works, and so does Aikikai Hombu, Iwama-ryu, Yoshinkan, etc…

Good luck in your training.




[Edited by gerardo on January 20, 2001 at 03:10am]

sjl001
01-20-2001, 11:56 AM
Thanks Gerardo,

That was exactly the type of response I was hoping for. I do plan (over the span of a liftime) to study across styles as you suggest. From what I understand Yoseikan is very ecclectic with its inclusion of technique from various arts that influenced its organizer (i shy away from using the term creator/ originator).
After speaking with students and seeing the background of the instructors where I plan to study i think I am fortunate to be able to study with them. Also I am glad to find a quality place to study Aikido, the art I had hoped to engage in when I decided to start studying martial arts. Thanks again for your post

Justin

darin
01-22-2001, 01:58 AM
sjl001 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on Yoseikan Budo as a style? As compared to other styles? I am not interested in a debate about which style reigns supreme, but info that will help me understand stylistic differences. This is the style I have the oppurtunity to study and although I have read and been given descriptions I would like to call upon the experience of those involved here so that I may get a broader group of impressions of Yoseikan Budo.

Thanks

Justin



Hi Justin,

I might be able to help you out. I have a 3rd dan in Yoseikan Aikido and 4th kyu in Yoseikan Iaido. Also I have been to the Hombu and spoken to Minoru Mochizuki and some of his students.

As you know, Yoseikan Budo is a mixture of different Japanese martial arts. Students are encouraged to learn not just aikido but karate, judo and weapons. The goal is to develop well rounded martial artists.

From a technical point of view, I would say that Yoseikan style looks more like jujitsu than aikido because of the amount of jujitsu, karate and judo techniques in the syllabus. Interestingly, Minoru Mochizuki calls his art Nihon den jujitsu.

The aikido techniques are more linear than traditional aikido. Almost all techniques have the provision of changing into a judo throw, choke or karate strike.

What you find in a Yoseikan class will depend on the teacher. Some teachers are more developed in Judo and others karate so the training system can vary from school to school. For example, my teacher is also 6th dan in Yoseikan karate so we have a lot of karate techniques and training exercises in our school.

Yoseikan teachers often talk about kenkyu (research). Mochizuki incourages his students to find out new and better ways of doing the techniques.

I hope I have been helpful.

Regards,

Darin

sjl001
01-22-2001, 10:04 AM
Thanks Darin that was helpful and informative.

Justin