View Full Version : Iwama Ryu Aikido - Is this for me?

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07-06-2005, 05:59 PM
Hello. I'm new to aikido and just signed up for a 3 months worth of classes here: http://www.aikidointhefan.org/index.htm

I did WingChun Kungfu for about 2 years, but it just wasn't for me. I'm not a very violent person, nor do I really want to hurt someone. But at the same time, my reason for taking a martial art is to be able to defend myself and take some kind of action in helping others.

I'm going to try to stay openminded about it all, althought I do remember people at my old wingchun school saying that aikido is not effective, but screw them. I'm going to try it out and see for myself.

What is Aikido all about? Aikido being circular movements, seem to be the exact opposite of wingchun which is rather linear with its forward energy and taking the centerline priniciple.

I'm also looking to find peace and harmony. I have suffered from depression and lack of focus in the past. I'm incollege and really need to focus on my studies and I've got no girlfriend so in my freetime I either train a martial art or play music.

During my 3 months of training, what should I look for?

Also, the school I study at has 3 styles they teach-

Iwama Ryu Aikido
Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo
Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu

I know that Iwama Ryu is the traditional aikido but what are the other 2 styles? Should I study all 3 at once? Iwama is only taught 2 days a week but they have classes of the other styles every day of the week which I am allowed to attend.

Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

07-06-2005, 08:18 PM
Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo is the martial art of the jo. It's a completely different style than what you'll learn using the jo in aikido class. And I loved the little amount of SMR Jodo I got to do. I'm looking to study it again, but there aren't many places in WV that teach it. Take it for a little while and see if you like it.

I've seen quite a few people say aikido is not effective. Let them have their opinions. Aikido is effective. Take your three months with an open mind and learn as much as you can. Then take another three months before you begin to decide whether you want to keep at it or not. IMO, 3 months isn't long enough to get a taste of aikido. If you get a chance, watch some higher ranks work out or play. That'll give you an opportunity to see things that you might not be able to do yet.

As for peace and harmony ... I found them inside myself and not in some dojo or any martial art. :) But aikido helps one to learn to harmonize energies, so maybe for you, it'll be a road leading to peace and harmony.

As a sensei said (and I'm ashamed that i've forgotten which one and I'm paraphrasing horribly here), Aikido is neither hard nor soft. Martial arts can not be hard or soft. People are hard or soft. You make aikido whatever you want it to be.


07-06-2005, 08:31 PM
Aikido is a non-competetive martial art , that combines joint locks, pins, and throwing. Thats how i define it. It also does incorporate some peace and harmony, but this really depends on the dojo.

I would not recommend starting out taking all 3, start out taking one (whichever interests you most) and then after you get the hang of that one , say half a year of training , then try another one and repeat the process. Starting out on 3 different martial arts at once , can cause confusion.

hope i could help

07-06-2005, 09:01 PM
I was a tomiki style practitioner 14 years ago. Sports aikido, I competed in Melbourne Australia. It was fun and one gets really fit.

My sensei decided to move interstate, and sent us to Iwama ryu. Since then I am proud that my lineage is only two generations from Osensei. The difference is tramendous. Iwama ryu has trained me to use weapons such as ken, jo, tanto, and shuriken. It gave me an insight that no sport can offer. Zanshin is so strong, that when randori is in place it is like having a third eye, one does feel that moment where the whole world seem to slow down and one knows what to do about that particular moment.

I took up martial art because I am not the biggest guy in town. My father is san dan in karate, he trained me as a kid. The reverse happened and I became a bully at school. In high school I picked on this small skinny quiet guy. We entered a fight, I kicked and punched I missed he was not there. I arrogantly did a hook kick to the head, that was the end of it, like before he was not there to be kicked, he was behind me and I was thrown to wall. That was the end of the fight. Embarrassed I apologised for my behaviour, we became mates, and he introduced me to tomiki aikido.

I have noticed that the more I knew of aikido the less that I entered fights. Probably because the philosophy that I Iearned from reading and talking to other aikidokas made me a "Peaceful Warrior". Also doing aikido I noticed I do not have the need to prove anything. Also because in aikido we are taught to relax, centre our ki, and feel the moment, I reckon these principles can give peace, and diplomacy a good chance instead of blatantly jumping in a fight. The last fight I was in is when five people tried to mugg me in Central Sydney in 1996. All I can say mate is tanto dori, kotegaeshi, irimi nage, kokyu nage, Aigame ate, maai, Zanshin, a big WILL to live, and a lot of luck saved my brown skin.

Good luck mate with Iwama Ryu, enjoy your weapons they are really cool and very effective. May Peace, Harmony, and the universal Ki be with you all the time. :)

07-07-2005, 02:15 AM
Also, the school I study at has 3 styles they teach-

Iwama Ryu Aikido
Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo
Daito Ryu Aiki-jujitsu


Wow! Three very good and related arts in one dojo... How lucky can you get. If I am in your shoe.. I would do all. But then all I get here is some <mumble...grumble...shumble> Yoshinkan aikido :D .

In a nut shell:

1) Iwama Ryu aikido is aikido that has more weapon orientation compared to most other aikido branches, generally speaking.

2) SMRJ is the art of jo... 4 feet staff. This weapon is studied in most all branches of aikido school, as an adjunct, not primary. SMJR studied it as their primary art.

3) Daito Ryu Aiki-jutsu is the precursor of modern aikido. It emphasis is more on the jutsu (martial side of things). DRAJ and Iwama-ryu can be described as cousins.

Again... you lucky bart@rd. Good luck with your aiki journey.


07-07-2005, 01:45 PM
There website says they are affiliated with the Aikikai Foundation (Hombu Dojo) & Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU). I'm guessing that is a good thing. Are they legit then?

I havent asked how long my sensei has been teaching, but by the way he described and taught me just a few things my first lesson he seems liked a man of great knowledge and passion for the art.

Ron Tisdale
07-07-2005, 03:11 PM
Well, ASU and Iwama are pretty different styles...which is it?

Do you know what lineage their Daito ryu is from? Who teaches, who taught them, etc.? There's a lot of flaky stuff out there mascerading as Daito ryu...caveat emptor...

Ron (man, my latin sucks)

ps, from the website it seems they are ASU and have someone teach Iwama material once a week.