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ze'ev erlich
09-27-2005, 09:19 AM
Hello Everyone,
Does anybody know what brought Alain Peyrache to leave Tamura Sensei's organization and to form his own ISTA (http://62.193.226.55/dojoista2/Default.aspx) Aikido organization?

Thank you very much,
Ze'ev. :triangle: :circle: :square:

Ki No Nagare
09-27-2005, 04:34 PM
Hey Ze'ev erlich,

I'm member of his organization EPA and my teacher was a student of his. But I don't know why he started on his own exactly, I heard that he could' ve been the head of the organization but refused it. But that could be small talk. I do know he wanted to teach Aikido in the traditional way.
Maybe they argued over that..... but the important thing is that he is a very good teacher.

But how do you know him?

ze'ev erlich
09-28-2005, 04:28 AM
Thank you Stijn for your kind reply.
Well... if he wanted to teach in a traditional way why could not he do it when he was with Tamura Shihan? Tamura teaches in a very traditional way.
Also, If he was offered to become the head of the organization, why then after being so respected did he leave Tamura's organization?
I hope you or someone could answer that...
Thank you very much,
Ze'ev.

jss
09-28-2005, 06:58 AM
First of all, this complete post is my personal interpretation and speculation based somewhat on my personal experience, but mostly what these two French pages from the ista and the epa:
http://62.193.226.55/epa_be/site/fr/pages/peyrache.htm
http://www.epa-aikido.org/epa1.html
So there is probably a lot more to it, but perhaps this can be part of an answer. (Hence all corrections and additions are welcome.)

Peyrache was an important member of the Fédération Française Libre d'Aikido et de Budo (currently the Fédération Française d'Aikido et de Budo) of Nobuyoshi Tamura. He has refused the presidency of the national commision of gradings against the wishes of Tamura. The reason being that he wanted to stay loyal to the spirit of the traditional dojo, in which the teacher teaches and grades as he sees fit. With the succes of the FFLAB the usual games of power, opportunism, etc. begin and thus he leaves the federation. As to what happened at that point between Tamura and Peyrache, it might have been nothing more than that Tamura was unable or unwilling to change the workings of the FFLAB. If they parted ways as friends or not, I really don't know.
After four years of independance, Peyrache and some like-minded aikido teachers found the EPA, an European aikido school for people who want to practice traditional aikido far away from the politics of an aikido federation. For Peyrache, aikido is not a sport and it cannot function as one (i.e. in a federation).
What sets the EPA/ISTA apart from other federations is that it is kept as small as possible and that it serves manely administrative purposes such as insurance. In accordance with the above mentioned spirit of the traditional dojo, Aikido teachers within the EPA/ISTA have a lot of freedom (one teacher - one dojo) in their pursuit of aikido.

ze'ev erlich
09-28-2005, 03:34 PM
Thank you Joep, I appreciate that :)

It is difficult for me to understand Peyrache's wish to teach Aikido in a traditional way. Aikido is taught usually in a traditional way. Once he parted from Aikikai he disconnected himself from Doshu. That means that he disconnected himself from the routs of Aikido.

One aspect of keeping the tradition is cooperating with the head of the art. In this case it is Doshu.

Aikido is not practiced as sport by Tamura Shihan. For Tamura Shihan Aikido is Budo.

Really strange.

My feeling is that Peyrache wanted to be the head of an organization. The way he chose is by collecting around himself people who left organizations...

The reason I am asking so much about it is that here in Israel people appeared in the last two years with 2 Dan or 3 Dan after spending very short time - less than a year as students with Peyrache's students in France.

They state that Aikikai's Shihans teach wrong Aikido.
In my opinion, this kind of attitude is far from being traditional. :rolleyes:
They claim that they have easy-to-understand technical explanations to techniques that Aikikai Shihans teach in a method that takes too many years. What ISTA teachers here say is that they can teach the same way in a more logical and in a very very short time.

jss
09-28-2005, 04:53 PM
As I have already said, I know very little about Peyrache and the EPA/ISTA. I have read the two websites and I train at an EPA-affiliated dojo. So what follows are just some of my personal thoughts and opinions, it is not up to me to speak for Peyrache or his organisation. Again all comments and corrections are welcome.

It is difficult for me to understand Peyrache's wish to teach Aikido in a traditional way. Aikido is taught usually in a traditional way. It is not about the way aikido is thaught, it is about the way it is organised. Federations are not the right way according to Peyrache. First of all, they treat aikido as a sport and sport implies 'higher, harder, further' when aikido does not. Secondly, most aikido federations have too much power. Peyrache thinks that the head of the dojo gets to decide what is taught, how it is taught and how it is graded. Most federations tell you what and how you should teach and the important gradings are done by someone else. So the teacher lacks the freedom to explore aikido and his relationship with his students is disturbed. Of course, it is possible for everyone in a federation to get along, but most stories I have heard say otherwise.
So if you don 't want your typical federation, what do you want? It's nice to have some kind of organisation. Being part of a group is important. Negotiating insurance is easier when in bigger numbers. And there are probably some other advantages I can't think of right now. Hence founding the EPA/ISTA.

Once he parted from Aikikai he disconnected himself from Doshu. That means that he disconnected himself from the routs of Aikido.
One aspect of keeping the tradition is cooperating with the head of the art. In this case it is Doshu.
Couldn't agree with you more. I don't know to what extent he parted or distanced himself from the Aikikai, though. And even if there is no official connection between the Aikikai and the EPA/ISTA, an important aspect of the EPA/ISTA is that you have the freedom to follow the teachings of the Doshu and of the Aikikai, if you choose to.

My feeling is that Peyrache wanted to be the head of an organization. The way he chose is by collecting around himself people who left organizations...
He probably did, since being the head of an organisation is the only way to tell how things are to be done. He wanted to do things differnetly and that must have attracted people who agreed with that. And those just happen to be the people who left their respective organisations.

The reason I am asking so much about it is that here in Israel people appeared in the last two years with 2 Dan or 3 Dan after spending very short time - less than a year as students with Peyrache's students in France.
In my opinion, grades are an expression of the teacher-student relationship. They cannot be compared between students of one teacher and even less so when given by different teachers.
I still have trouble accepting this sometimes, though. :)

They state that Aikikai's Shihans teach wrong Aikido.
In my opinion, this kind of attitude is far from being traditional.
They claim that they have easy-to-understand technical explanations to techniques that Aikikai Shihans teach in a method that takes too many years. What ISTA teachers here say is that they can teach the same way in a more logical and in a very very short time.
Perhaps the ISTA teachers are able to do so.
The Japanese (Eastern) way of teaching is mainly "I'll show you and then you can try to figure out what I did." which is not an interesting short-term teaching strategy. (It has been raised in other threads: why does it take so long to get any good at aikido. Part of the explanation might just be the teaching methodology.) Especially in the West the Eastern way runs into problems, since people are not familiar with that teaching methodology, they expect someone to actually teach them.
The advantage of a more Western approach is that you can advance quite fast technically. The advantage of the Eastern approach (besides discouraging the not-so-serious students, perhaps) could be that teaching by showing requires more input/effort from the student than teaching by telling. So to get to a certain technical level you need to have a deeper understanding of aikido than if all had been taught and explained to you.

crbateman
09-28-2005, 05:06 PM
A suggestion: Rather than engage in speculation, why doesn't one of you ask the gentleman directly? Then you can get the definitive answer, if he wishes to disclose it.

jss
09-29-2005, 04:36 AM
Good point, but I'm in no position to ask.
But I'll start a thread about the advantages/disadvantages of different kinds of federation.

ze'ev erlich
09-29-2005, 04:06 PM
Dear Joep,
Thank you for your kind and informative reply.
I appreciate it. :cool:

I learned Aikido in Japan for Seven years and never ever saw there the attitude mentioned here : "I'll show you and then you can try to figure out what I did.". :dead:

My Sensei and other Sensei I saw always taught in great details and with so much effort.

And about testing - many many Aikikai Senseis grade their students and test them in different ways. There is a list of Waza for each test which is common in many dojos but many Senseis choose to make their own way of testing.
Aikikai does not force people to teach in a certain way. Each Aikikai Sensei that I know teaches in his way and some are completely different from each other.

I feel sorry that Payrache left Tamura's organization and created an organization which in not connected to Doshu and to Aikikai. :(

Again, thank you very much for your reply, :rolleyes:
Ze'ev.

jss
09-29-2005, 05:24 PM
And about testing - many many Aikikai Senseis grade their students and test them in different ways. There is a list of Waza for each test which is common in many dojos but many Senseis choose to make their own way of testing.
Aikikai does not force people to teach in a certain way. Each Aikikai Sensei that I know teaches in his way and some are completely different from each other.
I should have said I was talking about the local federations that represent the Aikikai. To spread aikido the Aikikai has sent out its sons. The problem is that those shihan defined aikido in the region where they taught. They were the absolute example of how things were to be done. And I think this created a sort of style absolutism: what our Japanese guy does is aikido, what yours is doing ...

And thank you too, Ze'ev.

ze'ev erlich
09-30-2005, 04:39 PM
Joep, If you ever come to Israel please enjoy an Aikido class with us... :-)