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rsreyes
06-15-2004, 04:33 AM
Im a newbie in practicing aikido, ive been practicing aikido for only several months. My Sensei told us that were practicing the Iwama style of Aikido.. Can you guys help me with the difference between Iwama style and the Traditional Aikikai which was developed my O'sensei


Spoon :)

villrg0a
06-15-2004, 06:44 AM
Hello Raymond

Check out this link....http://www.aikidofaq.com/introduction.html

Cheers!

Greg Jennings
06-15-2004, 08:30 AM
This comes up about every other week. You might want to search the archives.

Best regards,

PaulieWalnuts
06-15-2004, 08:41 AM
yes somebody asked the exact same question last week, i have already replied so check the archives. and chech the web on Iwama Aikido. Its usually hard fro an Iwama student to explain as Aikikai never seem to lioke the answers, unless they are giving the answer.

dan guthrie
06-15-2004, 09:20 AM
Hello Raymond

Check out this link....http://www.aikidofaq.com/introduction.html

Cheers!
Thanks for the link. I've been wondering about the differences between the different styles and this answered all my questions. :cool: .

PaulieWalnuts
06-15-2004, 09:24 AM
That link is Ok for info but if i was you id spend more time reading about it there alot of info missing

George S. Ledyard
06-15-2004, 09:37 AM
Im a newbie in practicing aikido, ive been practicing aikido for only several months. My Sensei told us that were practicing the Iwama style of Aikido.. Can you guys help me with the difference between Iwama style and the Traditional Aikikai which was developed my O'sensei


Spoon :)

In a nutshell:

Common Iwama practitioner's viewpoint:
Iwama Ryu = Saito Sensei = O-Sensei
Iwama Ryu represents the truest Aikido as developed by the Founder. Those Aikido styles that came before aren't as authentic because O-sensei had not yet put the finishing touches on his development of the art. All of the Aikido that has come after the Iwama period (early 1950's) isn't as authentic as there has been considerable drift since that time. The Aikido done by O-Sensei's son, the Nidai Doshu, wasn't as authentic as Saito Sensei's. The Aikido done by all of the other post war uchi-deshi wasn't as authentic as Saito Sensei's. O-Sensei taught Saito Sensei, Saito Sensei changed nothing, therefore the closest thing to training with O-Sensei was traiing with Saito Sensei.

Common Alternative viewpoint:
Everyone knows that Sensei "X" (you supply the name) was REALLY the only one to understand O-Sensei and the other guys didn't quite get it. Sensei "X" 's Aikido might have its own style or it might be called Aikikai, or it might be non-categorized, but it is clearly what the Founder had in mind when he taught Sensei "X". Saito Sensei's Aikido was taught at a certain place in time but was frozen; O-Sensei kept on developing his Aikido until 1969 when he died. Therefore the later Uchi Deshi got the TRUE Aikido in its most highly developed form.

Minority (?) Alternative Viewpoint:

"Through time the changing of Aikido technqiue is natural."

"There is no set form in Aikido. There is no set form, it is the study of the spirit. One must not get caught up in set form, because in doing so one is unable to perform the function sensitively." - Morihei Ueshiba from Enlightenment Through Aikido by Sunadomaru Sensei

So in other words, it's all Aikido. Find a Teacher whom you like and get on with training and don't worry about all this stylistic non-sense. Fights about "styles" are simply a way that a small number of people try to make themselves more important ralative to a larger group of people who have a different set of experiences. Forget about it.

PaulieWalnuts
06-15-2004, 10:01 AM
There is a little truth in most of that george.

Its true that Osensei was always evolving, but he always stressed that the reason for his changing and his ability to evolve and living in KI was because he always trained in Katai (kihon). This is what led to the highest form of KI. He never stopped this way all the way up to his last class in Iwama in the end of the 60s everyone was still made to KIAI always. and always start every tech with hard solid gripping. Before the next 2 levels. Then naturally evolving into The ultimate KI. But once again as he stressed he achieved this through constent understanding and practice of aikiken and aikijo and of course KIHON for over 50 YEARS. It was not Osensei who changed this and started to practice without strong grips and strong Kiai and no weapons. IT was Doshu and Tohei. So yes it is very unfair to say Iwama is the only good Aikido out there That would be total balls. But it is definatly fair to say it is the most unchanged Aikido. People forget that the hard and very different training that was being taught in Iwama in the forties never stopped at anytime even in the sixties when the Hombu was so clearly different. so why when Osensie was alive did he insist that His students in his home dojo of Iwama train so different to what he allowed in Tokyo?

happysod
06-15-2004, 11:36 AM
Well Steff, with a ringing endorsement like that, I've got to ask - where's the vids on your site (preferably with THX) so I can view (and hear) the real deal aikido-wise.

All I could find in your homepage was some rather aikikai-looking pictures. :straightf

Don - preferred your answer, now if only we can stop you karmically killing people...

Hanna B
06-16-2004, 05:47 AM
People forget that the hard and very different training that was being taught in Iwama in the forties never stopped at anytime even in the sixties when the Hombu was so clearly different.
so why when Osensie was alive did he insist that His students in his home dojo of Iwama train so different to what he allowed in Tokyo?


Let's put the question the other way around. If Iwama training is/was better/more correct/more osensei's aikido, why did he let training in Hombu evolve in the direction it did?

Did he not care?

Could he not stop it?

Or was he all for it?

PaulieWalnuts
06-16-2004, 06:19 AM
Exactly, why? Answer that and then you have the main difference between the two

MR HAPPYSOD SAID-All I could find in your homepage was some rather aikikai-looking pictures

? eh? what exactly does a non aikikai pic look like then?
Let me guess a KI pic would be some guy waving his magic wand or finger and while somebody flys about fifteen feet without being touched.
If you have a problem with something i said in the prevoius statement tell me so i can try to explain or discuss :rolleyes:

Hanna B
06-16-2004, 08:00 AM
Exactly, why? Answer that and then you have the main difference between the two

If you know the answer, please tell me! because I don't.

PaulieWalnuts
06-16-2004, 08:53 AM
Well some people would say that As Osensie spent less time teaching in The hombu and more time in Iwama, Doshu and tohei kind of changed the way to incorparate for kino nagare, they also removed the Kiai.(weapons where hardly ever taught outside Iwama),thus an istant difference.

All i really know is that how the founder taught Aikido in Iwama in the forties, he never changed it alway right up to the end.

Greg Jennings
06-16-2004, 08:54 AM
I travel with in my work and I train everywhere I go. It all comes around to something my first instructor, who is still my mentor in so many things, old me early on and what Ledyard Sensei said in a much more polite way above:

"Shut up and train".

FWIW,

Hanna B
06-16-2004, 09:02 AM
Steff, you did not answer my question at all. Is there a reason be believe that osensei disliked what the people that he personally put in charge, did in Hombu dojo? If so, what reason?

As regards the weapons - osensei forbad the weapons practise at Hombu.And some of the senior folks at hombu says (so I've been told) that the weapons class at Homby that made him angry, and made him say there should not be weapons taught at Hombu - was taught by Saito sensei. Whether this is true or not, will be difficult to find out. But the removal of weapons training at Hombu can not be said to done against osenseis wishes.

All i really know is that how the founder taught Aikido in Iwama in the forties, he never changed it alway right up to the end.

Forgive me but English is not my first language; I do not understand the second half of this sentence.

happysod
06-16-2004, 09:29 AM
Steff, re pictures - exactly my point

If you're going to claim there's a major difference between what you're training in and everything else out there at least allow mere deluded mortals such as myself the ability to see what you mean by the unchanged melody of aikido that is Iwama. That's why I was wanting videos as your pictures didn't show any differences, whereas videos of Ki, aikikai and tomiki have all clearly shown what is meant by the differences implied.

On an unrelated note - if you're going to play the titles game with me, it's Dr Hurst. Either happysod, or (preferably) Ian on their own are more than adequate. Thanks in advance

PaulieWalnuts
06-16-2004, 10:16 AM
Ok if you want to see some Iwama Aikido
check out the vids here
www.aikido-france.net
www.iwama-aikido.com

theres plenty more out there on the web.
So are you saying there is no difference between your style and the others?

happysod
06-16-2004, 11:02 AM
Steff, thank you for the vid links. As regards style - as my own personal style can probably be represented by the famous "ruptured duck in trouble" series, I doubt anyone else will have my unique take on aikido.

If you mean the assoc I'm currently with, yes there are differences from other "styles", but there again, I don't think we've ever claimed to be anything other than a Ki-aikido offshoot. Certainly the inference that we're pure aikido and/or as the founder meant aikido to be - which is the inference you were providing in your posts and which briefly raised my hackles has (I hope) never been in any of my posts.

[this does not negate my on-going feud with the shodokan thugs who blithely claim to have more martial fun/training session than we aiki-fruities do - you know who you are]

PaulieWalnuts
06-16-2004, 11:27 AM
One thing i love about Iwama compared to the other styles ive worked with, is that i feel the grips and attacks are so effective. But so they should be. I always felt that when i trained in other styles the grips were usless as they only seemed to be there so i could do a tech.
In Iwama you cant move or strike when gripped properly, so you learn to move around a strong attack first and also learn how to control with grips. Apperentl this is one of the fastest ways to learn and become powerful, by giving the attacker the upper hand and holding very strong through out the tech, you will find mistakes very very quickly
Both myself and my other club teacher have used aiki for real but we both used grips. he used kata dori, as he held almost side on the guy could not touch him. I used mortodori, once again becuase i wasnt standing directly infront og him he could not punch or kick although he certainly tried. THATS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR ME.

Fausto
06-16-2004, 11:53 AM
I think that the so called strong grips and strong strikes of iwama can be found in other styles.... I practiced Iwama for a year in Italy and I really did not find that difference with others styles that I have practiced and with the one that I actually practice and teach.

What I think is that the strong grips and strikes depends on the teacher and not on the style..... just my 2 cents.

akiy
06-16-2004, 11:54 AM
Frankly, I think it's funny that these kinds of discussions often devolve into, "Style X is better than style Y because of A, B, and C" since, in my experience, it's a non-argument.

I've trained with some top instructors of "Iwama" aikido (including Saito sensei) and also with some top instructors of "Aikikai" aikido (including the current doshu). You know what? They all have good things to teach. In the same vein, I have trained with students in both camps (heck, of all walks of aikido) who were, um, a bit lacking (in my own opinion). So it goes.

I've been out-"subtletied" by students of Saito sensei. I've been slammed into the mat by students of Tohei sensei. I've been "slashed" into little pieces by their bokuto by students of the founder. So it goes.

All in all, creating divisions where, in my mind, there are none seems to me a counter-productive way to expend energy...

-- Jun

Hanna B
06-16-2004, 11:55 AM
THATS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR ME.
Evidence of what, dear Steff?

Personally, I find that too much focus on static training creates bad habits that die hard. It is a valid concept of training that has its merits, but also often leads to insensitivity. It is quite possible to work with low level of resistance, and still feel your week points - and it is easier to be relaxed during training this way, which is one very important thing to learn. I am quite capable of searching for my weak points myself, without uke teaching me where they are by stopping my technique.

Glad you like your training, and feel that your training validates your belief in it. Others like theirs, and feel that the experience they get validate their belief in their teachers and systems. Everyone is happy, neh?

Its usually hard fro an Iwama student to explain as Aikikai never seem to lioke the answers, unless they are giving the answer.

Not everyone will buy your view of the truth, no. That's a fact of life.

George S. Ledyard
06-16-2004, 12:11 PM
One thing i love about Iwama compared to the other styles ive worked with, is that i feel the grips and attacks are so effective. But so they should be. I always felt that when i trained in other styles the grips were usless as they only seemed to be there so i could do a tech.
In Iwama you cant move or strike when gripped properly, so you learn to move around a strong attack first and also learn how to control with grips. Apperentl this is one of the fastest ways to learn and become powerful, by giving the attacker the upper hand and holding very strong through out the tech, you will find mistakes very very quickly
Both myself and my other club teacher have used aiki for real but we both used grips. he used kata dori, as he held almost side on the guy could not touch him. I used mortodori, once again becuase i wasnt standing directly infront og him he could not punch or kick although he certainly tried. THATS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR ME.

I don't get why the Iwama folks think that they are the last bastion of Kiai, strong attacks, and weapons. Saotome Semsei was one of the last uchi deshi, staying at the Aikikai Honbu Dojo until after the death of the Founder. When I trained with him in Washington, DC I literally had no hair on my arms around the wrist from being grabbed so hard by my partners when we did static technique. We did kiai all the time, struck each other as hard as we could, etc. Weapons work was a daily practice at that dojo.

I've trained a bit with Chiba Sensei (well known as an example of wimpy Aikikai Aikido) as well and am friends with one of his early senior students, Bookman Sensei. Bookman Sensei is one of the strongest Aikidoka I have ever trained with (at least as strong as any Iwama student I've met), has extensive weapons work, as all of Chiba Sensei's seniors do, and is quite capable of doing a Kiai. I've seen films of Tamura Sensei. Seems very much in the same vein…

So where did this myth originate? I keep looking around at all of O-Sensei's uchideshi seeking the ones who fit the Iwama description of "Aikikai Aikido" and they are nowhere to be found. This is some sort of myth that Iwama folks like to tell themselves because it makes them feel special and privileged to have studied under Saito Sensei. Well, guess what? You don't have to run down other folks practice in order to feel gifted that you found a teacher who was perfect for you. Saotome Sensei was and continues to be the source of my Aikido inspiration. He was the perfect teacher for me. But I am perfectly willing to admit that there are other approaches and other teachers who are wonderful. Every person who had the great fortune to train with a direct student of the Founder has received a great gift. Most people will not have such an opportunity. This, our way is better than the others attitude is not at all in keeping with what O-sensei wished for the future of his art.

grondahl
06-16-2004, 01:02 PM
I don't get why the Iwama folks think that they are the last bastion of Kiai, strong attacks, and weapons.

Because they haven't had the opportunity to train with Saotome, Chiba, Tamura or some of their advanced students?

So where did this myth originate?
Honestly, in many cases, i think its after training or watching aikidoka who follow Endo, Tissier, Noel (They usually don't Kiai or attack strongly in the way that iwama folks do, not the ones i´ve met).
I get a fake impression after watching it, mainly because i don't understand what they are doing and because they have so soft and flowing ukemi.
But it doesn't feel fake when i take ukemi....

Greg Jennings
06-16-2004, 01:31 PM
I don't get why the Iwama folks think that they are the last bastion of Kiai, strong attacks, and weapons. <SNIP>

So where did this myth originate? I keep looking around at all of O-Sensei's uchideshi seeking the ones who fit the Iwama description of "Aikikai Aikido" and they are nowhere to be found. This is some sort of myth that Iwama folks like to tell themselves because it makes them feel special and privileged to have studied under Saito Sensei. <SHIP>.
Ledyard Sensei,

A little less generalization would be much appreciated.

Just like you don't like being generalized into some mythical group, I am bothered by being generalized into some mythical "narrow-minded Iwama" group.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled debate,

Don_Modesto
06-16-2004, 02:57 PM
Let's put the question the other way around. If Iwama training is/was better/more correct/more osensei's aikido, why did he let training in Hombu evolve in the direction it did?

Did he not care?

Could he not stop it?

Or was he all for it?

Someone suggested that Osensei fled Osaka upon hearing of Takeda Sokaku's arrival not out of fear, but out of courtesy: He didn't want a conflict. That works for me.

Similarly, to avoid conflict, perhaps he just told all his people (Saito included) they were doing the true thing. Everyone comments on how he wasn't really interested in technique anyway. In Sue Perry's book Remembering Osensei, I think, there's a quote from someone saying that Osensei didn't correct people, he just said, "Learn and forget" and "That's it."

George S. Ledyard
06-16-2004, 07:20 PM
Ledyard Sensei,

A little less generalization would be much appreciated.

Just like you don't like being generalized into some mythical group, I am bothered by being generalized into some mythical "narrow-minded Iwama" group.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled debate,

Apologies are profusely offered to all of the many Iwama folks who don't feel this way and haven't posted anything in this vein. It's quite possible that I am being influenced by a vocal minority but if that's the case, the other Iwama folks who know better should pipe up. Otherwise it's fairly easy to believe, especially from the European Iwama folks, that most Iwama folks do believe that they have the inside track on the real Aikido. (Also, I have friends inside the Iwama style and they have commented on this tendency from their own folks so I am not just an outsider making this up).

But, of course, I want to be on record as not having said anything negative about Saito Sensei or any of his teachings. I think he was an awesome instructor and he turned out a great number of wonderful students who are carrying on his tradition.

It has simply been my experience that you are far more likely to hear a non-Iwama person be complimentary of Saito Sensei or another senior Iwama style teacher than you are to hear an Iwama style person be complimentary of one of the other uchideshi or their senior students. Just an observation, draw your own conclusion.

Finally, I will say that I do know that not every Iwama person is this way... I was on the mat at the Expo when Pat Hendricks Sensei joined in the Systema class and I thought that was extremely classy!

So to sum up. if you are the way I described, I did mean you and if you aren't the way I described I didn't mean you and I apologize. That should cover just about everybody one way or another.

Amassus
06-16-2004, 07:41 PM
To quote the Black-Eyed Peas.

"Where is the love?"

PeterR
06-16-2004, 08:01 PM
[this does not negate my on-going feud with the shodokan thugs who blithely claim to have more martial fun/training session than we aiki-fruities do - you know who you are]
Grrrr!!!!! :D

George S. Ledyard
06-16-2004, 08:28 PM
Grrrr!!!!! :D

Hi Peter, was wondering when you see that...

PeterR
06-16-2004, 08:38 PM
It's a running gag - quite apt in the context of the thread.

shadow
06-16-2004, 08:48 PM
i think thirty to fourty years down the line, with a good teacher and sincere spirit/training it all ends up about the same anyway, regardless of style.

steff..... is that the steff from scotland who came to train in sydney with mic for a short while?

Greg Jennings
06-16-2004, 09:57 PM
My grand dad had a saying: "No generalization is worth a damn including this one". Based on that, I've always tried to empty my cup and take each person as an individual. I enjoy training with them or I don't.

YMMV,

Greg Jennings
06-16-2004, 10:12 PM
Apologies are profusely offered to all of the many Iwama folks who don't feel this way and haven't posted anything in this vein. It's quite possible that I am being influenced by a vocal minority but if that's the case, the other Iwama folks who know better should pipe up. Otherwise it's fairly easy to believe, especially from the European Iwama folks, that most Iwama folks do believe that they have the inside track on the real Aikido. (Also, I have friends inside the Iwama style and they have commented on this tendency from their own folks so I am not just an outsider making this up).

But, of course, I want to be on record as not having said anything negative about Saito Sensei or any of his teachings. I think he was an awesome instructor and he turned out a great number of wonderful students who are carrying on his tradition.

It has simply been my experience that you are far more likely to hear a non-Iwama person be complimentary of Saito Sensei or another senior Iwama style teacher than you are to hear an Iwama style person be complimentary of one of the other uchideshi or their senior students. Just an observation, draw your own conclusion.

Finally, I will say that I do know that not every Iwama person is this way... I was on the mat at the Expo when Pat Hendricks Sensei joined in the Systema class and I thought that was extremely classy!

So to sum up. if you are the way I described, I did mean you and if you aren't the way I described I didn't mean you and I apologize. That should cover just about everybody one way or another.
I just get tired of being put down...including just about every other sentence at all three days of a seminar by one of the *very* most senior instructors in your organization, Ledyard Sensei. Most of what he said, btw, I knew to be incorrect and I'd only been training for about 8 years at the time.

FWIW, my instructor was in that Systema class also.

Regards,

kironin
06-17-2004, 12:31 AM
FWIW, my instructor was in that Systema class also.

Regards,


mmm... I may have met him cause I was in that class too.

Craig

Greg Jennings
06-17-2004, 10:33 AM
mmm... I may have met him cause I was in that class too.

Craig
I guess the question is which Aiki Expo. Haven't there been two? Were there Systema classes at both?

At any rate, his name is Hans Goto.

Best regards,

kironin
06-17-2004, 10:59 AM
That's not hard. I went to both.

Systema was only at the second one, and I was in the Systema class that Pat Hendricks and George Ledyard attended. In fact I think I trained with both of them. George for sure. We did a knife thing together. Pat was in a number of the classes I was in. I already had a good deal of respect for her from having been in a small randori class she taught on the last day of a seminar in Virginia some years ago. It's always a good thing to see senior teachers not act like they are on a pedestal and getting into it just like another student. My respect always goes up a notch.

I am terrible about names, but Hans Goto sounds familiar.

Craig

Mark Mueller
06-17-2004, 11:17 AM
Greg,

Ledyard Sensei is a part of ASU. From the dojo listings on aikiweb Hans Goto lists his Aikido as Iwama style and his organization as Takemusu Aikido Association. Let's make sure we keep our facts straight.

Greg Jennings
06-17-2004, 12:05 PM
Greg,

Ledyard Sensei is a part of ASU. From the dojo listings on aikiweb Hans Goto lists his Aikido as Iwama style and his organization as Takemusu Aikido Association. Let's make sure we keep our facts straight.
I believe my facts are straight. Perhaps you misread the messages.

I'm very familiar with both organizations and with Goto Sensei's affiliation.

I did, indirectly, indicate that Goto Sensei does Iwama style aikido by indicating that he's my instructor (albeit long-distance) and that the instructor that was dog-talking the late Saito Sensei (he was still living at that time) while teaching a seminar I was attending was (and is) a very high ranking instructor in the ASU.

My only point in all of this is that, *regardless of the truth of the seminar instructor's statements*, and regardless of his free-speach rights to do so, it that is was not in the best of etiquette.

Of course, Saito Sensei famously did pretty much the same same sort of thing in some of his seminars. And, yes, I was equally uncomfortable hearing it. I think that sort of thing is what generates much of the attitude that generates some of the "one true way" posts out there. As another member of this forum said "things like that tend to roll down hill".

The only thing that I have to add is that I have read Ledyard Sensei's postings here for as long as he's been posting and believe him to be a fine instructor and human being.

I'll answer Craig's posting and I'll have nothing more to do with this thread.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
06-17-2004, 12:08 PM
I am terrible about names, but Hans Goto sounds familiar.

Goto Sensei had a column in the AJ hardcopy version. Perhaps you know the name from there.

He's in San Rafael, CA....A long way from Hoooston.

Best regards,

George S. Ledyard
06-17-2004, 12:43 PM
I just get tired of being put down...including just about every other sentence at all three days of a seminar by one of the *very* most senior instructors in your organization, Ledyard Sensei. Most of what he said, btw, I knew to be incorrect and I'd only been training for about 8 years at the time.

FWIW, my instructor was in that Systema class also.

Regards,
I totally agree about getting tired of being put down...

I can't take responsibility for what other folks say. If I had to take responsibility for everything I've heard a senior say I'd have to go into seclusion from embarrassment. Suffice it to say I do not believe any such thing. I don't think anyone can quote me as having said or written anything that was uncomplimentary of Saito sensei, any of his students, the training at Iwama, etc. (other than questioning the tip bounce on a sword cut which I don't think is too serious a criticism). In fact we recently hosted Kayla Feder Sensei at my dojo and everyone had a great weekend training with her and hearing her own stories of Saito Sensei and training at Iwama.

I think Saito Sensei was clearly one of the giants of Aikido. He did as much to spread good, solid Aikido around the world as any single teacher. I don't question why people would love him, or why they would be loyal to him. However, if you comb the posts here and on other forums, you will see a stream of posts that consistently have the flavor of Iwama being more authentic, closer to O-Sensei's Aikido, with the best weapons work, etc. Quite a bit is made of the fact that Saito Sensei supposedly changed very little from what he was taught by O-Sensei. I do not think I am misreading these posts or misconstruing their flavor. So I occasionally poke a bit of fun at this attitude, which I do not think can be justified, but it is the attitude not the training or the people that I am joshing.

Please do not take grave offense based on something you've heard from another in my organization. If you look at my posts, you can see that I equally poke fun at other folks who have similar ideas about their teachers having a lock on O-Sensei's teachings or his Aikido technique.

What we need is alot more interchange and respect for each others approaches. It is hard to generate this when someone gets attached to a particular approach and is not interested in knowing about any other. There are plenty of folks who do this from EVERY organization, my own included. I think it is a mistake and I think it restricts Aikido's growth. This is why I am such a huge supporter of the Expo idea.

Anyway, I apologize if I touched a nerve made sensitive by other people's narrow mindedness. Let's make sure we train together at the next Expo and you can introduce me to your teacher as well.

Mark Mueller
06-17-2004, 12:49 PM
"I just get tired of being put down...including just about every other sentence at all three days of a seminar by one of the *very* most senior instructors in your organization, Ledyard Sensei. Most of what he said, btw, I knew to be incorrect and I'd only been training for about 8 years at the time."

Greg...My apologies. I misread your comment.

kironin
06-17-2004, 02:55 PM
Of course, Saito Sensei famously did pretty much the same same sort of thing in some of his seminars. And, yes, I was equally uncomfortable hearing it. I think that sort of thing is what generates much of the attitude that generates some of the "one true way" posts out there. As another member of this forum said "things like that tend to roll down hill".


Yes the first seminar I attended by Saito Sensei, I recall him stating clearly at the beginning of the first class (like 200 people there) about
how Tohei Sensei does his thing, and so-and-so does his thing, and Hombu HQ does their thing, etc. but that he is not that creative, he only does what he was taught by O'Sensei, only O'Sensei's aikido. At the time,
I had not taught an aikido class yet, but as an academic who studies the neural basis of human behavior, I thought this was sort of an impossible statement just on the face of it. After making this pronouncement, he then proceeded to demonstrate several techniques. I just exchanged a look with my teacher who was sitting beside me. After class we confirmed we were both thinking the same thing. What he did looked very relaxed and just like Ki-Aikido!

What can I say, I was sankyu at the time and enjoyed where and who I was training with.

Craig

AriesS
06-26-2004, 02:01 AM
I have summarized he following to put a better view on what I have observed in my practice with different styles.


For the KIHON

Iwama style schools put strong EMPHASIS on KIHON e,g attacks holds execution of techniques etc. Though am not saying that non-Iwama style are not doing this, I AGREE with people who say that it depends on the the SENSEI and the DOJO practice, but it tends to be a generally COMMON for Iwama dojos to do this and not simply rest on the personality of the sensei.

For the attacks and holds:

The argument that NOT ONLY IWAMA style schools HOLDS STRONG is TRUE. I however, seen that on NONE IWAMA its more of an EXCEPTION than a RULE ( not holding strong) whereas in most IWAMA style its a COMMON PRACTICE . Yes its true that once in a while somebody will hold you lightly but more often than not its going to be strong. For non- Iwama my statement above still holds ( It depends on the sensei and dojo)

Iwama schools tends to do shomenuchi with the NAGE initiating the attack while it’s the other way around for most Aikikai Hombu Dojo folks.

For the UKE:

I have observed that UKEs in non-Iwama style schools tend to be more cooperative that Ukes in the Iwama schools. If your execution of the technique is incorrect they will not go down. Again for non-Iwama schools depends on the dojo and sensei.


I spent a number of years with a non-Iwama style shool and I can attest to the fact that the holds and attacks in that dojo were very strong. The only difference? Iwama students are reminded of the PROPER holds and not just strong holds.


Execution of techniques:

Shomenuchi Ikkyo OMOTE – partners in right hanmi.

Hombu Aikikai - Uke initiates the attack, nage OBLIQUELY blocks and attacking hands, slightly slides right foot while grabbing Uke’s arm then moves the left foot simultaneously unbalancing uke.

Iwama – Nage Initiates the attack, Uke blocks, Nage slides right foot grabbing hands of Uke. Nage brings his hands in front uke gets unbalanced; Nage moves left foot deeply in the armpit of Uke.


Katatedori Ikkyo Omote

Nage left hanmi – Uke right

Hombu Aikikai - Uke attacks by holding nages left arm, nage moves FORWARDwith right foot delivering atemi to Uke’s face. Nage executes tenkan pivoting on the right foot while putting his tegatana on Ukes arm. Nage grabs Ukes arm then executes ikkyo similar to the above.

Iwama – Uke attacks by holding nage left arm, nage moves SIDEWAYS, unbalancing uke, while delivering atemi to the face. Nage holds uke’s arm while moving right foot slightly diagonal. Bringing to front Ukes arm then executes Ikkyo similar to the above.


Whats better? Whose technique is near or similar to that of the founder? Well the answers out there.

AriesS
06-26-2004, 02:16 AM
To Hannah:

In one of Saitos interviews, he mentioned that he will get calls from Senseis of Hombu and asking him to fetch O sensei.This after several days of stay by Osensei in Tokyo. They told Saito that O sensei was mad at the way things and techniques are executed in Hombu.

You can look for this interview in Aikidojournal.Just search for it :-)

Hanna B
06-26-2004, 02:53 AM
AriesS: ROTFL

People say many things, and often they are contradicting. I have already told you that some people say that Saito sensei's weapons classes at hombu made osensei mad, neh? If I interview them and print it in a magazine, then it will become the truth... will it not?

I have with my own ears heard Saito sensei say, "this is how they do in Tokyo. It is wrong." OK, I only heard what the translator said but I seriousy doubt that the translator would make Saito sensei's words more harsch than they were. In my mind, it is a pity when people take a teacher's worst sides and glorify them. The kind of talk you are doing is a direct derivative of what came from late Saito sensei's mouth, and boy was it a bad attitude. You are saying that people seldom argue against Saito sensei's claims. Well, it is very difficult to do so without speaking badly of the person that som many people half-deify. Most people are not cruel enough to do so.

I know people who think Iwama aikido is the worst aikido there is, less developed then the rest - where of course their own variant is the most developed. They don't lump the aikido world into Saito and non-Saito, but use their own teacher for a similar division of the aikido world of "those who get it" and "those who don't get it". I have heard people shout demeaning things whan watching Iwama aikido videos, just as I have heard Iwama folks saying ugly things when watching more-or-less-Nishio-style aikido videos. Personally, I have respect for the Iwama way of training and have felt some wonderfully delicate Iwama style practioners doing koshinage I can only dream of. It is the attitude of some of them that make me want to puke.

Please live in your little box. You will remain happy. If you don't preach that others should join your little box, they will be happy also. If you go to Aikido Journal Bulletin Board, you will meet more of your kind than here. Just one thing: please don't lump "non-Iwama-aikido" together. Non-Iwama aikido is a diverse world. One question: on how many dojos of how many affiliations do you base your summary? You might just as well lump "non-aikido-budo" or "non-karate-budo" together. IMHO it would make a lot more sense to lump all "non-Nishio-aikido" together and mind you, I am not and have never been a Nishio stylist.

Charles Hill
06-26-2004, 04:46 AM
Hi Aries,

I don`t know much about Iwama style other than what I have seen in videos and experienced at a few seminars, but I do know that quite a few Aikikai Honbu shihan do shomenuchi ikkyo and katatetori ikkyo omote the way you described as Iwama style.

Charles Hill

AriesS
06-26-2004, 04:48 AM
Hanna:

Quote: Please live in your little box. You will remain happy. If you don't preach that others should join your little box, they will be happy also. If you go to Aikido Journal Bulletin Board, you will meet more of your kind than here. Just one thing: please don't lump "non-Iwama-aikido" together. Non-Iwama aikido is a diverse world. One question: on how many dojos of how many affiliations do you base your summary? You might just as well lump "non-aikido-budo" or "non-karate-budo" together. IMHO it would make a lot more sense to lump all "non-Nishio-aikido" together and mind you, I am not and have never been a Nishio stylist.: Quote

I don't know what made you say this but just to give you a background, I am practicing both Hombu, Iwama and Tohei styles. I am also into Kali and boxing with little bits, of Grappling, TKD, and MT. If you think this is a small box I don't know how big a box you have in there.

I did lump it for a while for non-Iwama but if you look and read below my post, I SPECIFIED HOMBU FOLKS when I went to discuss techniques. Knowingly, I will not do that if I was referring to the WHOLE WORLD of AIKIDO (e.g. YOSHINKAN, KI, TOMIKI etc etc.) but I am not. Remember all I said was observation of my practice which means AIKIDO schools and styles I went into.

Well just to CLARIFY my post here it goes:

When I say non -Iwama am referring to:

1. Tohei style before his Ki society - A good number of Dojos are still doing it here
2. Aikikai Hombu dojo - A lot of them here
3. Indenpendent Dojos - a mix of everything, Taijutsu Hombu, Bukiwaza Iwama

I DID NOT say that NON-IWAMA are the WORST kind of Aikido. I don't know if you assumed that I did so because it seems to me - by the way you REPLIED to my post - that I stated something like that, which of course I DID NOT.

What I did was to STATE what I HAVE OBSERVED during my PRACTICE. No offending words or accusation. JUST MY EXPERIENCE. Is there a law in Aikiweb that says I cant do this? If there is, I will not do it again

I made an observation of how things are done differently BUT I did NOT made any conclusion that IWAMA is better. Yes, I asked who and what style is better and/or near Osensei's technique BUT I did not present any materials or arguments and then draw up my own conclusions. I let it to the reader of my post to draw up his own conclusions. All did was asked and say "the answer is out there". Do you find something wrong with this?

If you will look into my two previous posts I did not say anything nor stated ANYTHING that says IWAMA BETTER than the rest. I only posted what I have observed.

My last post was for your question. You asked, I replied to what I think is my honest reply. As for weapons I dare not reply for I dont know anything about that. If you dont want to go and search for it FINE no problem with that.

To summarise things:

1. I only posted my observations from my actual practices
2. I did not make any claims that Iwama is better
3. I made a statement differentiating the actual practices of each style (HD vs IR)
4. I did not draw up any conclusions
5. My post was simply to state what I have observed
6. I replied to your post without the thoughts of offending you or anyone else
7. Last but not the least I am not RECRUITNG anyone

After all this clarification and if you still think that my last two posts are OFFENDING to you, then I think you are the one inside that little box and not me.

AriesS
06-26-2004, 05:01 AM
Hi Charles:



Quote:

I don`t know much about Iwama style other than what I have seen in videos and experienced at a few seminars, but I do know that quite a few Aikikai Honbu shihan do shomenuchi ikkyo and katatetori ikkyo omote the way you described as Iwama style.

Quote

I posted only from my observation of my actual practices, however I have heard of what you posted. As what have already POSTED by other people before, "there is NO ONE style in Aikikai Hombu. It depends on who is teaching" . - Before somebody shoots me again,I am NOT the AUTHOR of this statement.

Have a nice day

George S. Ledyard
06-26-2004, 12:02 PM
The pattern itself is only secondary. Find the pattern's true meaning and awaken your soul, and gain mastery of the heart! -MORIHEI UESHIBA

"Through time the changing of Aikido technique is natural."

"There is no set form in Aikido. There is no set form, it is the study of the spirit. One must not get caught up in set form, because in doing so one is unable to perform the function sensitively. In Aikido, first we begin with cleansing of the ki of one's soul. Following this, the rebuilding of one's spirit is essential. Through the physical body, the performance of kata is that of haku [the lower self]. We study kon [the higher self/the spirit]. We must advance by harmoniously uniting the higher and lower self." - Enlightenment Through Aikido p. 23

Discussion about which style puts its foot in a certain place and which does a technqiue in a certain way is fruitless and completely misses the point. If you wish to be effective in your Aikido you should strive to be able to execute any possible variation at any appropriate time. Aikido technique is about Freedom!

Aikido is about mastering principle, not some particular set of physical technical variations. Anyone who gets too attached to a particular way of doing anything within Aikido is limiting what should be infinite and is not going to attain what O-Sensei had which was complete freedom of movement.

So much of what one hears in these discussions is one group which is in reaction to another group(s). They actually begin to derive their collective identity from being the folks who "do this", not "that". Rather like Dr. Suess and the charcters who were so proud of being the ones that had red stars on their chests intead of white stars.

When you start to define yourself in opposition to others you loose the freedom to become what you could become as an individual who is unique in the world. When you find your practice is limited by artificial boundaries such as those that define a "style" you are missing the whole point of training as far as I can see. Every individual is unique. Each individual needs to find his own Aikido eventually. You obviously have to start somewhere, so you find a teacher and begin to train. But it isn't too far down the line that you start becoming exposed to other elements and teachings and if the process is working correctly you should be able to incorporate those that work for you, that fit your own unique predilection.

This attachment to form, which is only encouraged by focusing on physical technique and stylistic differences is not, at least from what I can glean from O-Sensei's writings, what the Founder had in mind at all for Aikido. I keep hearing the mantra "the way O-Sensei did it" repeated over and over again like a magic charm which assures success for those who use it... But those same people ignore what "O-Sensei said and wrote about it" as far as I can see. Quotes like the ones above abound; I could have filled the page with them. These quotes didn't come from someone who was obsessed by stylistic variations or was interested in creating some sort of Orthodoxy regarding technique.

When you hear the quote about O-Sensei bemoaning the fact that "no one was following him up the trail towards the heights" (loosely paraphrased) he wasn't referring to technique. He was clearly talking about the Spiritual Path he had tried to show his students. This Path has nothing to do with set forms, organizations and styles, particular teachers, or anything else along those lines. It is about discovering the essential connection within all things in the Universe and refining those elements of our own personalities which keep causing us to resist this understanding. Form is Upaya, or Expedient Means. It is the tool we use to move forward in our understanding. It is not the Goal.

I think it is a point for consideration that perhaps the folks who are most obsessed with strong, Orthodox, unchanging technique are no closer to what O-Sensei was trying to teach than the so-called "aiki-bunnies" who are doing their "wishful thinking" Aikido. I believe that more focus on what O-sensei said is in order, not this emphasis on trying to capture some aspect of his technique frozen in time.