View Full Version : Yamada DVD vs Chiba DVD for USAF

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Anson Liu
07-26-2005, 06:39 PM
Hi everyone!

I'm a relatively new Aikidoka looking to supplement my training with DVD's on USAF testing guidelines. I'm training fairly hard (about 5 days per week) at my dojo but I find that sometimes when I get home I forget some of the more subtle but important steps in the moves. I'm looking to use either Yamada Sensei's or Chiba Sensei's DVD's to consolidate the mental images of the moves in my head. I really want to make sure that when it's time to test that I have these moves perfect for my sensei. Has anyone watched or owned either set of videos? What are the pros and cons of each? Any recommendations?

With thanks,

Anson Liu

07-26-2005, 11:14 PM
The difference in choosing which video is which region are you affliated with Eastern or Western? Yamada is Eastern and Chiba is Western. The testing requirements are different between the two and the teaching paradigms are somewhat different. I did a search of your school and it looks like your Eastern Region affiliated, but your sensei also has ties to Chiba Sensei. You first need to ask a sempai which testing requirements you need to familiarize yourself with and which videos would be best to purchase.

I can't compare the two, but since where I train is USAF - Eastern Region, I first focused on Yamada sensei's videos the Power and the Basics (Vol. 1 is a good start) for my test techniques. Vol. 1 covers some basics and the 5th kyu test. Vol. 2 the 4th and 3rd kyu, and Vol. 3 focuses on 1st kyu (for some reason Yamada Sensei didn't do the 2nd kyu techniques like he did for the other kyu tests. Also there is Aikido3D which features Donovan Waite, who is also Eastern region and a student of Yamada Sensei. Aikido3D apparently covers all the test requirements 5th through 1st kyu for the USAF Eastern Region.

At the moment we have one dan rank in the dojo with a Western Region background and he often teaches Chiba "style" weapons. As a result, I'm interested in getting the Jo Basics series. But realize if your "eastern region" you won't be tested on the "western region" test requiremens. I'm told that his jo basics series is very good, but I haven't bought the Western Region tapes because I'm not tested on them.

Overall, I found the videos specific for my tests very helpful in preparation, but discovered that I shouldn't get too caught up in doing my techniques exactly like the tape because sometimes my sensei would expect us to do the techniques a little different. Also, please don't expect to go to your sensei with "perfect technique" but rather go to him when you have your hours and you feel like you have a good grasp of the techniques. Finally, ask someone in your dojo for help.

Joe Bowen
07-27-2005, 01:27 AM
Sound advise...........

07-27-2005, 01:06 PM
I think you should ask your sensei, since he has trained under both.

07-27-2005, 01:35 PM
Hmmm. Unless your wallet is simply hemorrhaging cash, and you have to find a place to put it, my advice would be to prop up your feet on the couch when you get home and let your mind and body REST. You are going to burn out, at this rate.

As a newbie, your enthusiasm is wonderful and expected -- I think we've all been there -- but you build up your aikido "vocabulary" over time (they call Iriminage the Twenty-Year Technique for a good reason). Let yourself relax, enjoy life outside of the dojo, and you'll be much better for it. :ai: :ki: :do:

On the hippo-critical side, if you are hemorrhaging cash, buy them BOTH and do a technique by technique comparison ;)

Anson Liu
07-29-2005, 09:30 PM
Thank you everyone for your wonderful advise. I approached one of our Sempais at my dojo and he was able to give me some perspective into Sensei's directions. He basically told me I will not go wrong with either series as Sensei's style is influenced by both Chiba Sensei and Yamada Sensei. If anyone else has watched either series, please feel free to comment on them. Thanks!

07-30-2005, 07:10 AM
Hello Anson,

I would echo both Anne-Marie and Peters answers, in that since you are in an ER dojo (and there is no indication that Kevin ever actually trained under Chiba Sensei-is just influenced by) that you stick with the Yamada Sensei videos. You will want to have a firm grasp on one before going to the other, and being that you just started, I would recommend taking the official line. Peter makes the suggestion of just practicing, and not getting too involved in the videos (Peter, is my read right?) and it will come in time. Just relax and enjoy life and don't burn out, which is something that can happen all too easily.

My roots are in WR, having trained with a student of Chiba Sensei's for @ 8 years. I switched over to ER 4 years ago or so, and am really a blend of the two myself, but it can be confusing at times on what your body wants to do. I alternately practice at a ER dojo and a WR dojo, and have become a bit of a hybrid. Even with 20+ years of aikido under my belt, I still get discombobulated (hey, still a beginner here!). So, the reason I mention all of this is that if someone who has practiced a long time gets confused, someone starting out is going to get even more so.

All things being equal, why not just ask Templer Sensei what his preference is? He will not steer you in the wrong direction, and it is his dojo and he will be the one testing you. :)

05-14-2011, 09:36 PM
Where can I find the Yamada DVD set?


Janet Rosen
05-14-2011, 10:33 PM
um... lots of hits if you google "yamada dvd set"

Diana Frese
05-14-2011, 11:19 PM
There is a link for USAF Aikido News posted in Active Topics right here on Aiki Web within the past five days. I don't see a list of books or DVD's for sale but they suggest emailing the editor, Laura Jacobs Pavlik (laura@usaikifed.com) so I'm sure she would be happy to let you know about availability of the videos.

Or you could contact Yamada Sensei's home dojo by email(info@nyaikikai.com) or phone "during business hours" (212) 242-6246 . Their fax number is listed as (212) 242-9749.

Thanks for your interest, and thanks to Janet too, I'll check out Google tomorrow...

Gorgeous George
05-15-2011, 08:04 AM
This might be of interest (check the related links):


05-15-2011, 08:21 AM
I agree with Peter. If you're relatively new, skip the videos. You shouldn't be expecting to master technique at this point anyway. If you find that, an hour after class, you can't remember the nuances of the techniques...guess what, that's normal. The solution is to show up for your next class, pay attention, and focus on body learning. What may be more helpful is to take notes after each class of what attacks and techniques were taught. But focusing on particulars might very well be counterproductive at this point, because there are so many different and equally valid ways that a technique can be done. Generalities are more useful, and trying to understand something about the essence of the techniques. And, yes, as Peter says, giving yourself a break from aikido. “Crash programs fail because they are based on theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month.” (Werner von Braun). The "baby" won't be born before its time, so stop trying to hurry it along.

raul rodrigo
05-15-2011, 09:30 AM
The original post was made in 2005. He could be a yudansha by now.

Diana Frese
05-15-2011, 01:22 PM
It seems that Haroon picked up on the old thread because he wants a copy of the Yamada Sensei DVD. I was going to add that he should probably specify that he wants the training DVD because I think they just completed the biography. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to purchase DVD's but as soon as we are able to financially, we would like to. In the meantime, thanks for the link Graham! It will take us some time on dial up, but it will be worth it.

And Mary, my husband and I have re-started training in our yard but when we are able to drop by the local dojo, I will find your advice useful, because the techniques are done a bit differently from the way we remember from years ago. Writing them down afterwards, focusing on body learning rather than the nuances at this point are great suggestions, thanks, I appreciate them and the other thoughts you mentioned and am looking forward to visiting our friend Ray as soon as we can get there.

David Yap
05-16-2011, 01:01 AM
The original post was made in 2005. He could be a yudansha by now.

LOL. He probably want to sell his DVDs by now. :D

05-16-2011, 08:19 AM
LOL. He probably want to sell his DVDs by now. :D

Just going by averages, he probably stopped training years ago.

05-16-2011, 08:26 PM
Aikidoon-line.com should have the dvd set of Yamada. I think that is where I bought mine if my memory serves me correctly.

05-19-2011, 11:01 PM
Thank you all for your replies!