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neb1979
04-27-2005, 10:47 AM
Hi everyone, I have been training in Yoseikan ( Seifukai ) Aikido for about six months and just recently I purchased some dvds on Shudokan Aikido from Joe Thambu Sensei . There is a very noticeable difference between the two " styles " and I have been thinking that to get the whole picture of Aikido I would like to try out different types of Aikido. The problem is would this be seen as disrespectful towards my Sensei? I am having real trouble making a decision weather or not to train in other Styles as, well or not.

Any input on this would be much appreciated

Thanks
Ben :)

John Boswell
04-27-2005, 11:08 AM
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7793&highlight=styles+aikido

John Boswell
04-27-2005, 11:11 AM
Read what others have said.

Personally, I would love to train in different places and get more training in. Some instructors will feel threatened by that. Others encourage it.

If you really want to know: ask your instructor. Politely tell him/her that you have been thinking of seeing what other styles are like and are curious about how others may be different. Be polite. Don't argue. LISTEN... and then thank them for their feedback.

Then if you still want to check other dojo's out... it'll be up to you. Personally, I would. If my instructor had a problem with that, I would wonder why that is the case.

Never hurts to ask questions.

Good luck!

jester
04-27-2005, 11:18 AM
It's like limiting yourself to one beer and never trying anything else. Although you might like it, you have nothing to compare it to.

siwilson
04-27-2005, 11:30 AM
I have been lucky to train with Joe Thambu Sensei a number of times over the past few years, in both Malaysia and the UK (some friends are just back from a trip to Australia to train with him). He is awesome and I have those videos too.

It is not disrespectful to train other styles of Aikido, in fact I would encourage it. You must speak to your Sensei first though.

The other thing is that in my opinion, the time to be training in different styles is at the start to see which one is for you, and then once you have a grounding in your chosen school. In between I think people should focus on their school's way and learn Aikido from that approach, then you can look further afield later.

Jeremy Young
04-27-2005, 12:03 PM
My thought is that you should concentrate mostly on YOUR "style", but i do think that it is good to experience different styles and instructors. Many times other intructors can give different views that may help your technique. That is what is nice about attending seminars where a different teaching method or variant of the technique is practiced. My instructor is usually for attending seminars with different sensei and different styles. I dont think you should "bounce around" though. It seems better to have one style, kind of a base, and then use different things learned from other styles and techniques to enhance what you are already studying. You should definetly ask your instructor first and maybe even they can give you an idea of what styles would better increase your overall technique.
Anyways, that is my thought.

Jeremy Young
Tatsumaki Dojo
Springdale, AR

neb1979
04-28-2005, 01:49 AM
Thanks everyone for your help it is much appreciated.

Anat Amitay
04-28-2005, 06:18 AM
Hi,
I agree that you should ask your sensei, even if just for the cortesy. Some senseis are good friends and if you do visit other dojo's, your sensei should hear it from you and not from other people (as if you're doing so being his back). I think, since you're at the beginning of aikido, that you should try other styles. Just to see what your perspective of them. Luckly for me, I found a sensei and style I really connected with right from the start, but I have seen styles I don't like. I respect their work, but I know I wouldn't fit in their dojo.
What ever you decode to do, hope you learn from it for the better.
Anat

Dazzler
04-28-2005, 07:00 AM
My thought is that you should concentrate mostly on YOUR "style", but i do think that it is good to experience different styles and instructors. Many times other intructors can give different views that may help your technique. That is what is nice about attending seminars where a different teaching method or variant of the technique is practiced. My instructor is usually for attending seminars with different sensei and different styles. I dont think you should "bounce around" though. It seems better to have one style, kind of a base, and then use different things learned from other styles and techniques to enhance what you are already studying. You should definetly ask your instructor first and maybe even they can give you an idea of what styles would better increase your overall technique.
Anyways, that is my thought.

Jeremy Young
Tatsumaki Dojo
Springdale, AR

Its a good thought...!

I'm all for gaining experience from any source.

The danger is when the student has limited knowledge and is unable to differentiate between what will help and what is just different.

Its quite frustrating to work with students along a development path then have them go to a course and come back doing everything differently without understanding why they do it differently.

As long as courses are recognised as a snapshot to gain an insight into other ways and the knowlege gained is added to what the student has...and not taken as a superior version to replace their existing knowledge then you retain your base and build on it.

That doesn't mean that you won't experience superior version...in fact its quite a high probability if you attend courses with high ranking instructors.

However, unless you commit to training with these guys on a regular basis then it is not beneficial to replace your existing practice with their new work.

To explain this...its not how you do ikkyo thats important...its what you learn from doing it. So replacing your existing ikkyo with a new version from a course is not helpful if its out of context with what your teacher is teaching.

Remember that most instructors will be committed to developing their students over a period of years using a gradual process with each class building on its predecessor.

On the other hand - a special course is a one off..the instructor can pick and choose whatever they like to show off their aikido, to give an insight into its potential and such like. They may not know the students at all and there is no responsibility for developing the students. Mo matter how good the aikido is ...very often its a show.

Now ...with students that want to go elsewhere on a regular basis...politics may well rear its head...but generally if they want to go I believe they will go. Why fight it? all you can do as an instructor is give your best while they are with you.

Again its frustrating to watch a 1st kyu leave your club....train elsewhere because they were intimidated by the thought of dan grading ...and they later find that they got so badly injured at the new club that they can never train again.

But thats just a worst case scenario...If they want to go. Let them.

If you handle the situation carefully many come back.

In my experience anyway.

Being an instructor is not all beer and skittles. Its a regular hard commitment and instructors face some tough choices to provide a good and safe environment .....its easy to forget what someone has done for you when a new club opens in town....or when some professionally produced DVDs arrive in the post.

Whatever anyone chooses to do...have the bottle to tell your instructor. If you are a serious student of aikido then tell him or her that you wish to train elsewhere....and thank them for the time invested in you.

Anyway....nuff from me.

Cheers all

D

geoffsaulnier
04-28-2005, 07:49 AM
As someone who has had to try many dojos and styles after teaching at my own dojo for 5+ years, continuing very much in my sensei's "way," I can vouch for it being a weird experience. At 2nd dan, especially after teaching for a while, and 12 years down the road, you very much have your own style. It is easy to adapt for seminars and the like, but it is a whole different thing trying to find another "home dojo" to train at...

I think Si is dead right when he says that you try different styles at the beginning to find the one that suits you best. Then, once you have a firm grounding (probably 2 or 3 years in), you can start training regularly in other styles without getting confused (too early) or frustrated (too set in your ways). In would encourage you to attend as many seminars of as many different schools and styles as possible, though - since that's not regular training in a different style, it is easier to get more from a couple of days or a week at a seminar. People also expect a mix of styles there, so they make allowances, etc. At another dojo's regular practice, it might be a different experience.

darin
04-28-2005, 09:11 AM
Hi everyone, I have been training in Yoseikan ( Seifukai ) Aikido for about six months and just recently I purchased some dvds on Shudokan Aikido from Joe Thambu Sensei . There is a very noticeable difference between the two " styles " and I have been thinking that to get the whole picture of Aikido I would like to try out different types of Aikido. The problem is would this be seen as disrespectful towards my Sensei? I am having real trouble making a decision weather or not to train in other Styles as, well or not.

Any input on this would be much appreciated

Thanks
Ben :)

Hi Ben,

I teach Yoseikan Aikido at PCYC in Scarborough. Your welcome to try out our classes anytime you want. Recently we had Mitchi Mochizuki (grandson of Minoru Mochizuki) and Roy from YWF Australia conduct a seminar at our dojo.

Personally I don't think its necessary to tell or ask for permission to train in other schools. Its your money and time so you can do what you want.

Darin

Dazzler
04-28-2005, 09:30 AM
Personally I don't think its necessary to tell or ask for permission to train in other schools. Its your money and time so you can do what you want.

Darin

Thats true enough.

I guess maybe its down to the individual dojo and the relationship that the members share.

I'd like to think that I have a relationship with my instructor and my own students that goes beyond the boundaries of what I see as 'sports centre mentality'.

Doesn't stop me training elsewhere...I did jujitsu for 8 years alongside my aiki and only stopped due to injury and then being a dad stopped me going back.

If you train somewhere without this extra relationship element and see your practice as something you are entitled to following a payment then sure, practice where you like.

Personally my Aikido is more valuable than mere payment ...who can put a price on knowledge.

For others things may be different and I can accept that.

Cheers

D

rob_liberti
04-28-2005, 10:14 AM
If anyone who trains under me wants to train somewhere else they do not have to ask. I wish they would go out and get more experience than just me.

When people from other dojos want to visit me, the moment I find out that they train somewhere else, I inform them that while it is okay with me it is their responsibility to tell their teacher.

Rob

Jeremy Young
04-28-2005, 10:21 AM
Daren Sims, thanks for explaining it better. What you put in your post was exactly what i was trying to say!

"Personally I don't think its necessary to tell or ask for permission to train in other schools. Its your money and time so you can do what you want."

I agreen with Daren on that one...If it is merely a class provided in exchange for payment i guess it does not matter. but for me the relationship between my instructor and myself is more than just that. For me, the "student/teacher" relationship is an important part of my training, and i guess i kind of see it as a form of respect to my instructor to run these kind of things by him first since your instructor is kind of your guide.
anyways, that is just my opinion on the subject

djalley
05-02-2005, 11:27 AM
Hi everyone, I have been training in Yoseikan ( Seifukai ) Aikido for about six months and just recently I purchased some dvds on Shudokan Aikido from Joe Thambu Sensei . There is a very noticeable difference between the two " styles " and I have been thinking that to get the whole picture of Aikido I would like to try out different types of Aikido. The problem is would this be seen as disrespectful towards my Sensei? I am having real trouble making a decision weather or not to train in other Styles as, well or not.
Ben :)

I wish I'd have tried different styles in the early 90's. I went to the only Aikido dojo in my area at the time (in college), and it was unfortunately a form-only school (Aiki-Dance) rather than a martial-application school. While I understand form-only has its place, I wanted a more well-rounded practical education in Aikido. So, when I moved back home, rather than continue to pursue it, I left it. 10 years later I'm practicing again, in a very well-rounded dojo with great instructors, and my only lament is the 10 years away. :)

:ai: D

pezalinski
05-02-2005, 03:51 PM
On one hand, I'd recommend attending camps and seminars as a way of experiencing other instruction and other styles, rather than the "wondering ronin" approach... You are more likely to enjoy the experience, since they often expect different styles to attend, and will make allowances for the differences. Plus, the format allows for a longer, in depth exposure -- rather than a single hour, you usually are blessed with multple hours in the same day.

On the other hand, talk to your instructor about it -- how he or she answers will reveal a few things about them and how secure they are in their place in the Aikido world. It is likely to get you a few good leads on other instructors in the area that they respect; as well as advice on some you may wish to avoid.

I travel frequently for work, and have been blessed with an instructor who has extensive relationships in and around aikido -- I'm often able to get referrals to dojos near where I'm travelling to.

Charlie
05-02-2005, 04:34 PM
I feel that you really have to weigh in your experience level as well. There are many benefits from experiencing other ways of doing aikido, however, if your are still at the stages of "learning to walk" you will probably not be able to get past the confusion that is bound to arise between the two different styles.

You just started in YOSEIKAN and want to experience Thambu sensei who is YOSHINKAN. A very sound choice if you have the necessary foundations in place to be able to decipher between the differences of the two styles.

Yoshinkan is very particular about body placements and such when it comes to learning the basics. I, myself, have never experienced the YOSEIKAN style but can imagine that they have specific particulars as well.

My advice...learn to walk first then run. Otherwise the instructors usually end up having to "correct" the "differences" between the styles and that is not fair to the instructors.

ruthmc
05-03-2005, 07:53 AM
Its quite frustrating to work with students along a development path then have them go to a course and come back doing everything differently without understanding why they do it differently.
Hi Daren,

The only solution to this is to drill it into the student's heads that they must practise what the instructor at the time is showing. If they want to show you what they've learned elsewhere, regular class time is not the place to do so!

A gentle reminder "We do it this way here" may be necessary if they've picked up different ways of doing things without realising it. :) If they were my students I'd actually be pleased that they had learned something new - it's a good sign :D

With senior students it's ok to try out new stuff, as they generally have a better idea that they're doing something different, and can switch between different ways of doing things with a reasonable degree of understanding.

Ruth

Dazzler
05-03-2005, 10:31 AM
Hi Ruth

I'm not adverse to differences in practice, I think this is a great way for a dojo to benefit from its members travels.

Its the blind adoption of something different simply because a big name instructor did it that way that can be a bit galling if its a bit out of context with the current lesson.

Its quite a tough call since I believe everyones aikido is their own and try to encourage students to find what works for them. On this basis I don't want to discourage some invention / cross pollenation from external sources and I certainly don't want everyone to try and be exactly like me...I hope they have far higher ambition!!

I guess all thats to be done is as you say, explain why we are doing things the way we are doing them. If something new comes along evaluate it and absorb it to an appropriate level.

Finally - I'd just be pleased if some of my students went on a course full stop!

Cheers

D

aikigirl10
05-03-2005, 07:45 PM
Ben,
I would not consider this disrespectful at all, i have been in aikido since i was 8 yrs old and recently i told my instructor i had started a second martial arts (shaolin kung fu). he was interested in how much i liked it , and did not seem upset at all. Over all i think ppl who take aikido are very understanding about other martial arts and taking a second martial arts has helped me realize that u really can learn alot by not just commiting to only one style, dont get me wrong , aikido was my first love and still is.
hope this helps - Paige

maikerus
05-04-2005, 03:09 AM
Its quite a tough call since I believe everyones aikido is their own and try to encourage students to find what works for them. On this basis I don't want to discourage some invention / cross pollenation from external sources and I certainly don't want everyone to try and be exactly like me...I hope they have far higher ambition!!

Hi Daren,

Just a comment about the idea that "everyone's aikido is their own" which probably comes from my Yoshinkan hombu brain-washing.

I agree with that statement, however I think its important to realize that beginners...and I use this term to include years of practice - who knows how long..cannot find their own aikido by themselves.

I feel that part of the instructors job is to give and enforce a strict standard of what's "right" until they judge that the student can explore outside of that narrow focus without losing the fundamental principles that they were taught within the "strict implementation" of the technique.

I do think that its important for people to get experience to other styles and other disciplines. However, I encourage people to look for what's the same, rather than what's different.

Just a thought...

--Michael

geoffsaulnier
06-14-2010, 12:03 PM
Interesting discussion here... I was googling myself (looking for a job - worth checking what's out there on the web about me!) when I came across my comment in this thread a few years ago.

I still stand by my comment, but I can now offer a little more perspective.

A while before posting that comment (no idea why I was suddenly posting again in 20051!), I had taken a long break in my aikido life, with only the occasional trips back up to St Andrews or training. I just couldn't find any dojo or style that I was happy with and, with commitments at work, etc, I just stopped training. I had a brief bout of "hard-ish" aikikai-style training that was OK for a couple of months but ended up leaving me feeling empty and constrained, to I jacked that in too. In the end, I think I didn't train regularly for about 10 or 11 years (physically, anyway - the mental side never really stopped). I missed it. A lot.

About two or so years ago, I came across a ki aikido club not far from my office, and I gave them a go. My original teachers had taken most of their inspiration, if not their regular training, from a few Tohei sensei seminars. So, I was willing to give it a proper go with scepticism held at bay.

I had tried another couple of ki aikido clubs before, and the fairy dust was heavy in the air there... 'nuff said. However, having trained with Kevin Jones in California, another exponent of ki aikido I knew that ki aikido was the real deal, if done right. These guys were totally awesome, with strong, powerful, effective aikido. This club in London I had just found was the same thing: the real deal.

To my surprise, aikikai aikido seems to have reached a point where people are still looking for better ways and answers, it doesn't seem to be changing much. In Belgium where my original teacher is still teaching, there is some evolution, especially as the original group if sensei there get older and realise they can't practice like 25-year-olds anymore. This club, though, shows that this particular lineage of ki aikido under Yoshigasaki sensei (politics again - there are a bunch of ki aikido groups out there!!) is continuously evolving, changing, improving, and finding new and better ways to teach and communicate ki and aikido. This is awesome - it is really, truly a living, breathing beast.

So, in summary, I have found my new home dojo in London. I tell you what though: it is hard as all Hell to adapt to a new style as your home style!!! There are nearly 25 years of "bad" habits to unlearn, change or adapt. it's not like a seminar: this is a new "way" of doing things. It's a challenge. Sometimes, it's depressing enough that you really don't want to go to training. Sometimes it's bewildering. Sometimes, they take a little tweak to what they are doing from you, but not half as much as you take from them!! :) Sometimes - in fact, most of the time - it is just simply wonderful. it feels so right, so smooth and yet so effective and impossible to counter, that you just feel good doing it. Heck, it even feels more right to me than what I knew originally!!

I look forward to my next trip to St Andrews to meet my old club, old hands that I once taught and the new arrivals and all the people in between who can make it back. And my original teacher, still kicking butt at the age of 76. There is a certain amount of trepidation there, too: I don't know if I can do my new home/style justice and, at the same time, I know that what I am learning now works better than what I was originally taught. Then again, I tell myself that this aikido thing is different for everyone - there are as many styles as there are practitioners (well, from 2nd kyu up at least - before that, i believe you should just try to copy what sensei is teaching as best you can!). What she does clearly works for her, and that is what she tries to pass on. It's the same for Yoshigasaki, for Jayesh and David, and for me.

I look forward to seeing what happens next!!

G>

Adam Huss
06-14-2010, 05:30 PM
I would feel very fortunate if I had the chance to train with Thambu Sensei.

I train in many dojo as I travel quite often. My teachers encourage having these experiences...but at the same time I always let them know first....just so they are aware of what I'm up to.

neb1979
06-17-2010, 06:48 AM
Geoff thanks for the update and sharing.

When I saw this thread had new replies I was shocked, reason being I started it 5 years ago and never thought it would surface again. I never did end up training in any other "style" but have been thinking about it ever since the original post. I have trained and fought MMA since then though and MMA has definitely helped my Aikido.

To my surprise, aikikai aikido seems to have reached a point where people are still looking for better ways and answers, it doesn't seem to be changing much. In Belgium where my original teacher is still teaching, there is some evolution, especially as the original group if sensei there get older and realise they can't practice like 25-year-olds anymore. This club, though, shows that this particular lineage of ki aikido under Yoshigasaki sensei (politics again - there are a bunch of ki aikido groups out there!!) is continuously evolving, changing, improving, and finding new and better ways to teach and communicate ki and aikido. This is awesome - it is really, truly a living, breathing beast.

I have found that this is true in a lot of places. Aikido seems to have stalemated in a sense in regards to evolution. It is great to hear that your original Dojo is moving forward in new and from the sounds of it exciting ways.

My Sensei is doing the same thing in regards to evolution he is making training more interesting and including new techniques into the original techniques to tweak them in a way that makes them more applicable to today's threats.

Lyle Laizure
06-18-2010, 07:26 AM
Ask your sensei for his/her thoughts.

Buck
06-18-2010, 09:05 AM
On one hand, I'd recommend attending camps and seminars as a way of experiencing other instruction and other styles, rather than the "wondering ronin" approach... .

I skimmed though the thread so I apologize for any redundancy. With that said, from my point of view is the above is a reasonable approach. Because, I have found some senseis feel it is a matter of respect to tell them. For example, your sensei might have a rival and would feel it disrespectful for you to go. There maybe bad blood between the two, not checking with your sensei could mean trouble, as Senseis are human too. Therefore, going to camps and seminars can be a way to avoid that. Especially well known and high ranked senseis with good reputations.

One caveat is camps and seminars can be expensive and it isn't like paying a mat fee, at the most ,when visiting another dojo. Doing so, can be pricy, is usually over a weekend, and a bit of travel. That can be limiting to the number of times you can go, and which places you go. But, than again, if you go to someone like Joe Thambu sensei it is worth it. It is Aikidoka such as he who really give you a good picture.

Personally I look at a sensei in the same terms as a coach, mixed with se a private lessons teacher. There is a certain level of respect and courtesy afforded to their position (in terms of being out in other dojos) If they say "no" or get upset, that doesn't mean you have to agree, or comply. But you know where the sensei stands. You just don't want to unknowingly upset an apple cart. And, if the sensei is unreasonable about it, then it is time to change dojos. I agree it is always good to check with your sensei.

Andrew Macdonald
06-19-2010, 09:56 PM
hey man

cross training is always a good idea, even with people focusing on different thing with in on broad style.

but, i would be careful cross training too early, if you don;t have a root in one style it can be confusing to try other things. get grounded and comfortable in one thing then you can try the variations or additions