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Gareth Hinds
04-12-2004, 05:54 PM
Hi. I just received my 1st kyu at Shobu Aikido of Boston (Bill Gleason Sensei). I love this school. I've been here for about 5 years now.

That seems like a long time, since prior to Shobu I had a long history of *dabbling* in the martial arts -- including Karate, a few styles of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and a bit of Kendo and Brazilian Jiu-jutsu; also I've done short aikido stints at Montpelier, Burlington (both dojos), Bond St in NY, Two Rivers in OR, and New England Aikikai.

I'm an artist by trade, and there are samples of the various artistic things I'm juggling up on my website, www.garethhinds.com (including an aikido flipbook I did in college).

I've been using Aikiweb for a while to find schools and seminars, but I'm afraid I only started reading the forums a short while ago :p

Nice to meet you all.

04-12-2004, 05:59 PM
Hi Gareth,

Welcome to the AikiWeb Forums and thank you for your introduction!

You have a very nice dojo there. One of these days, I'm going to have to revisit your new location...

-- Jun

Gareth Hinds
04-12-2004, 07:03 PM
Yes, the new space is nice. Now featuring 50% more space and 100% more poles!

04-13-2004, 09:52 AM
Hello Gareth,

I'd like to know if there are some common points between these martial arts you've done. How did you find Aikido's philosophy after Karate and Kung-fu..?

Janet Rosen
04-13-2004, 01:56 PM
Welcome Gareth--

I trained and had dinner with your sempai Katherine just last night across the country! and the next time family stuff brings me to Boston I look forward to visiting Shobu Aikido.

Gareth Hinds
04-14-2004, 07:53 AM
Devrim, that's a very involved question.

I think that if there is a final 'destination' in the partice of martial arts, it is essentially the same for all styles. When you see old masters of different arts they are all doing much the same thing. But the paths are very different. I found, for my taste, karate was too simplistic. Some kung fu styles had too much emphasis on forms, but I practiced in one style of Northern Shaolin that I really liked. Brazilian Jiu-jutsu is fun and has a fast learning curve, but I saw a lot of minor injuries, and got a few myself, so I stopped. They also are in denial about dealing with multiple attackers, weapons, etc. Kendo is great, but definitely a sport. Tai Chi is actually very similar to aikido in its principles, but the practice is much less dynamic, as it only consists of slow forms and 'pushing hands' (though high-level pushing hands looks a bit like aiki).

No other art has quite as nice a philosophy, in my opinion, as aikido. However, even in the hard styles you often find a good code of conduct, and sometimes it is actually better actualized than in some aikido schools. (as an example of a code of conduct, in Northern Shaolin we were to practice 4 principles: patience, kindness, humility, and diligence.) When it comes to the integration of the philosophy in the actual practice, though, aikido seems unique to me. And the reason I've ended up staying at Shobu is largely because Gleason Sensei's interpretation and embodiment of aikido philosophy *really* impresses me.