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09-05-2005, 10:21 PM
Let me introduce myself...
My name is David Young, I am a 22 year old Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) student living in Perth, Western Australia. I am not yet an Aikidoka but hope to be in the very near future.
I started martial arts in about 1995 in an art called Ninjukai Taijutsu, I continued this art for 6 years. I have been told this art is a 'fake' although from observing some Jujitsu I can see that Ninjukai Taijutsu was either heavily influenced or completely stolen from Jujitsu, personally i'd prefer to just stay out of the politics... all I know is what I learned worked and I enjoyed it. During my training in this art I found out what works best for me and made my own beliefs about the martial arts.
My journey continued a few years later when I started to miss the joys of training and felt all the things I gained from training slowly slipping away such as balance, coordination, flexibility, calm etc. This is when I noticed that the Wing Chun Kung Fu school of William Cheung (student of Yip Man and friend of Bruce Lee) had a branch in my local town, so I went there and liked what I saw, I joined up and trained but for only one month as I lost my job and funding for training.
This leads me to my current situation, it has been perhaps 2 years since I was at the Wing Chun Kwoon (kwoon is the chinese version of dojo) and I am very much missing the joys of training again. Since I know what was working for me I have been looking into many martial arts to find what has these elements, and most were not what I am looking for. I had heard of Aikido many years ago and when I looked into it, it seems to be perfect for what I believe in and what works for myself, so I am now searching for a school of good quality in my city.
The unfortunate thing is that we are a very remote city in the world and there is very little choice, though luckily for me there is a few Aikido dojos around. A friend who is very skilled in many martial arts and has studied Yoshinkan Aikido was grilling me on exactly what I want and what strain of Aikido I was going for.
I am still unsure what type of Aikido I am going to train in, and perhaps I will find some answers from the stories of this community. I have been able to find a few different types, including Yoseikan, Iwama, Tomiki, Aikikai and Kokikai though some of these schools are a long distance away, which restricts me to very little choice again.
At present I am looking at the Yoseikan Aikido taught at Jan de Jongs Ju Jitsu dojo. From their information Jan de Jong was uchideshi to Minoru Mochizuki, from my research I do not particularly like what Hiroo Mochizuki is doing turning Yoseikan into competition sport etc so I hope that they have kept their strain to the art Minoru was teaching. I am unsure about Iwama due to their focus on using weapons. I despise competition (excluding sparring as a training tool, but thats not really competition) so perhaps Tomiki is not what im after.
I have noticed some members of these forums are also in my city so I will endevour to find out about their dojos also, look around and see with my own eyes and choose one that suits me.
That is me and my journey through martial arts so far. The journey continues!
- David Young
09-06-2005, 02:58 AM
I'm normally a 'lurker' on these forums but feel that my viewpoint might actually help with your decision.
When I started aikido it was just 'aikido'. It was only after a while I started asking questions, did some reading and realised there were (obviously!) different associations and schools with a slightly different take of how and what to practice etc. In my wisdom I then decided that I was lucky because what I was training in just happened to suit me. It's only more recently that I realised that most people are the same - they feel their style suits them - or is in some way superior - but ultimately it's what we're used to.
Wobbling somewhere near to getting to a point, I really wouldn't get too hung up on the 'style' of aikido. To be honest I don't think it's that important, as people will find that they get used to the training method, theories and techniques that are used no matter where they go. It's only after many years of training people can form any sort of objective opinion about what they are doing, and by then you've been doing it for years anyway!
I honestly would choose where to practice after weighing up a variety of things, the actual 'style' to someone starting aikido for the first time in my opinion, should be way, way down on the list - most importantly I'd decide based on the instructor teaching there. Are they teaching well? Are their students any good? Are they modest, friendly people? Is it a good atmosphere? Is it taken seriously? Safely? etc etc etc.
Practical considerations: Is it near enough for regular training? Is it overly expensive? Can you train within regular class times? And so on...
Check other threads about what you should be looking for (or avoiding!) as there's loads of great advice here by people who know what they're talking about.
Good luck choosing!
09-06-2005, 03:19 AM
Unfortunately at present I dont even have a job so I am held up until I can get some money, I am also moving out into the bush making everything a fair distance away. But as many have said, if im dedicated ill do anything it takes.
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