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seph
10-28-2005, 02:33 PM
was just wondering what are everyones views on the tomiki style aikido, what are the pros and cons, how does it differ from other styles etc.

tony cameron
10-28-2005, 04:41 PM
Hi Mathew,

i lifted this quote from the Aikido FAQ webite (which is very informative btw). judge for yourself. i tend to agree with O Sensei because, after all, he is the founder of Aikido... but hey, what do i know i'm just a beginner!

-Masakatsu Agatsu Hayabi (True victory is victory over oneself)



Founded by Kenji Tomiki, and early student of O Sensei and of Judo founder Jigoro Kano. Tomiki Sensei believed that a "rationalization" of Aikido training, along the lines that Kano Sensei followed for Judo would make it more easily taught, particularly at the Japanese Universities. In addition, he believed that introducing an element of competition would serve to sharpen and focus the practice since it was no longer tested in real combat. This latter view was the cause of a split with O Sensei who firmly believed that there was no place for competition in Aikido training.
Tomiki-ryu is characterized by using Kata (prearranged forms) in teaching and by holding competitions, both empty handed and with a rubber knife.

crbateman
10-28-2005, 05:20 PM
The competitive aspect is the biggest difference. And it is one of philosophy, rather than technique. Tomiki Sensei was a dyed-in-the-wool judo man before undertaking aikido, and thus the desire to measure oneself against another in competition was there already, and remained. Ueshiba O'Sensei had adopted a more peaceful path for Aikido (particularly after WWII) and did not want any competitive flavor in Aikido (after all, this was the way of peace, of harmony, of HALTING conflict). Tomiki Sensei knew that, if competition was to be part of HIS Aikido, he would have to take it elsewhere, and eventually, he did. The fundamental physics between the two styles remains similar, as they are from the same root. The attitude and training regimen is different, and works well for some, not so well for others.

Zato Ichi
10-28-2005, 06:56 PM
Tomiki Sensei was a dyed-in-the-wool judo man before undertaking aikido, and thus the desire to measure oneself against another in competition was there already, and remained.
Mistake number one. Much like Kano-sensei, Tomiki-sensei believed that competition was a form of training for yourself and your opponent - not to see who's aikido was better. From training at honbu, as well as most of the visitors we've had from various parts of the world, I'd say this is pretty accurate in my limited experience (the BAA not withstanding).
Tomiki Sensei knew that, if competition was to be part of HIS Aikido, he would have to take it elsewhere, and eventually, he did.
Mistake two. Ueshiba Morihei never told Tomiki to take it elsewhere - that was his son (I forget his name at the moment).
The attitude and training regimen is different, and works well for some, not so well for others.
I'm curious, what is the attitude of shodokan aikido and what is it different from?

mathewjgano
10-28-2005, 07:36 PM
Hi folks,
I've just begun training in Shodokan Aikido here in Himeji and I'd certainly recommend the dojo I'm at to anyone. My primary experience comes from an organization that is somewhat obscure, but in compareing the two, I find them perfectly complementary. I think the biggest difference is the very structured nature of training at Shodokan.
Regarding competition, I think there's a fine line between the attitude of sincere training and competing. At my old dojo, someties a senior student would point out flaws in my technique by countering it. Students of relatively equal ability would try to do the same...very carefully of course. It's all about attitude. Like someone said, if you approach competition as being truly a competition with yourself and using the other person as an opportunity to find weaknesses in your method, then I think there's little difference. Having trained with a highly accomplished competitor I can say my limited experience with those who compete has demonstrated one can compete and still be humble and carefull. Shodokan Aikido is good stuff, and I recommend at least a taste of it to anyone.
Take care,
Matt

PeterR
10-28-2005, 07:44 PM
Um just to point out to other Shodokan people who might be reading this - the highly accomplished competitor is not me.

Perhaps Mathew is referring to Hara-sensei or Omonishi-san or some other competition.

crbateman
10-28-2005, 09:05 PM
Mistake number one. Much like Kano-sensei, Tomiki-sensei believed that competition was a form of training for yourself and your opponent - not to see who's aikido was better. From training at honbu, as well as most of the visitors we've had from various parts of the world, I'd say this is pretty accurate in my limited experience (the BAA not withstanding).Competition is competition is competition... you yourself chose to use the word "opponent". This is where the differences in philosophy begin. Call it what you will. Many will say that any "training" value to be gained from competition may be gained equally as well by earnest cooperative practice between a good uke and nage, without the need for there to be a "winner" and a "loser".

Mistake two. Ueshiba Morihei never told Tomiki to take it elsewhere - that was his son (I forget his name at the moment).If you read my post again, you will see that I did not say that O'Sensei asked anybody to leave, only that Tomiki Sensei knew that he would have to go elsewhere to include competition in his Aikido. You are entitled to your opinion, as am I, but I would appreciate it if you would refrain from putting words in my mouth.

I'm curious, what is the attitude of shodokan aikido and what is it different from?Please re-read my initial statement, and look at your own responses for one possible answer to that question. I tried to give a balanced and non-judgemental answer, from my own perspective, to a "loaded" question. I neither supported nor decried either view of the issue. "Attitudes" vary, because perspectives and backgrounds vary. There is nothing negative inferred in that statement. That an attitude works for some, and not for others, can be said of almost ANY attitude. I could have used the word "philosophy" instead of "attitude", but thought it too grandiose a word. I do not understand why you have taken offense, but as I have said, you are entitled to your point-of-view. Please excuse me if I have wronged you, or anyone else, in some way. I have nothing against the Tomiki style.

mathewjgano
10-28-2005, 09:14 PM
Um just to point out to other Shodokan people who might be reading this - the highly accomplished competitor is not me.
Perhaps Mathew is referring to Hara-sensei or Omonishi-san or some other competition.

Yes, i was refering to Omonishi-san. He threw me around like a rag-doll, but was very carefull (I never once felt like I was anywhere close to being hurt) and always seems like a very humble and all-around friendly person. I know my experience is rather limited, but wanted to offer it since I know many people think competition creates ego-maniacs who are dangerous to their partners.

xuzen
10-28-2005, 10:49 PM
Tomiki-ryu = Academia aikido,

Yoshinkan-ryu = Kick-ass aikido but definitely debatable,

Aikikai = Bureaucrat aikido par excellance,

Ki-Soc = Esoteric Shinto priest wannabe,

Iwama-ryu = stick swinger par excellance.

Once I was accused of pigeon hole'ing the various style. I know I will stir up a hornet nest for saying the above. That is why I will change my address, my look and my identity to escape being lynched by the aikiweb mob.

Falsely,
Boon but not for long...

P/S Praying feverishly that aiki-people still have a sense of humour.

Charles Hill
10-29-2005, 12:40 AM
Tomiki Sensei was of the older generation of the Founder`s students. This generation was of a high economic class and thusly very highly educated. Like Kano Sensei, Tomiki Sensei seems to have applied a Western intellectual approach to education to his teaching of martial arts. This seems to be similar to Mochizuki Sensei, Shirata Sensei and Shioda Sensei to some degree. As far as differences btwn Tomiki and Aikikai, they may be there but I have heard that Honbu Dojo`s Okumura Sensei was strongly influenced by Tomiki Sensei and shares a similar sensibility.

Charles

Zato Ichi
10-29-2005, 12:42 AM
Competition is competition is competition... you yourself chose to use the word "opponent". This is where the differences in philosophy begin. Call it what you will. Many will say that any "training" value to be gained from competition may be gained equally as well by earnest cooperative practice between a good uke and nage, without the need for there to be a "winner" and a "loser"
With this statement, you have shown your utter ignorance of how the shodokan system works. I think I've had enough with the know-it-alls and so-called masters on Aikiweb.

Goodbye.

PeterR
10-30-2005, 07:30 PM
The intent might have been to provide a non-biased view on the differences between Shodokan/Tomiki and Aikikai but assumptions and incorrect information still worked its way in.

Of course the entire homepage is worth a read but to the question at hand I suggest the FAQ.
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/faq.html
It's not that long and pretty concise.

mathewjgano
10-30-2005, 07:35 PM
Tomiki-ryu = Academia aikido,

Yoshinkan-ryu = Kick-ass aikido but definitely debatable,

Aikikai = Bureaucrat aikido par excellance,

Ki-Soc = Esoteric Shinto priest wannabe,

Iwama-ryu = stick swinger par excellance.

Once I was accused of pigeon hole'ing the various style. I know I will stir up a hornet nest for saying the above. That is why I will change my address, my look and my identity to escape being lynched by the aikiweb mob.

Falsely,
Boon but not for long...

P/S Praying feverishly that aiki-people still have a sense of humour.
Well, that cracked me up! I've been told a sense of humor is the most important thing anyone can have...but especially martial artists. Take care, martial-artist-formerly-know-as-Boon,
Matt

crbateman
10-30-2005, 08:17 PM
If I have been incorrect, then I stand corrected. I can only go by what I have read and heard, as I have not personally trained in the system.

I stated that the main difference in the Tomiki style is the competition. Is there a bigger one? If so, please tell me what it is, because I have not seen mention of it anywhere. It also seems irrefutable that O'Sensei did not want competition in HIS Aikido, or it would have been there. And knowing this, it goes without saying that Tomiki Sensei must have known that he would have to do his own thing to include that aspect in the training.

These are not controversial statements, and I made them non-judgementally, and without even a hint of disrespect. But the immediate hostility and personal attack was disrespectful and nonproductive. It would have represented the system in a better light if the reaction had been "I disagree... Here's how I was taught..." instead of "Mistake One... Mistake Two..." or to throw around words like "know-it-alls", "so-called masters" and "utter ignorance". I deserve better than that; everyone does.

I know enough Shodokan people to know that he doesn't speak for you all. My apologies to any I may have offended, and that is all I have to say about this.

PeterR
10-30-2005, 09:03 PM
Clark - it is the Internet and nothing is in isolation. Your statements were one of many that accumulate and got Rob to respond in the way he did. Rob Hori is a Shodokan Honbu yudansha and his frustration with the mis-informed is shared be many - including myself. If you haven't trained in the system why comment on it? For him you may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. I've gone off on my own rants at other times for much the same reason and that little behavior is not style specific. I suspect using the term "different attitude" is what set him off.

Tomiki and the randori method were practiced within the Aikikai while Ueshiba was alive and surprise surprise there are Aikikai dojos that still utilize the method. The JAA as a separate organization was only formed in 1974 and still maintains quite close ties with certain Aikikia dojos. Shodokan Honbu is also an Aikikai dojo by the way. Yoseikan utilizes its own form of shiai, and I know for sure that Enbu competitions are and have been held within Ki-society (Taigi), Yoshinkan and even the Aikikai. There is a winner and looser in these as well. I would say the major difference between Tomiki Aikido and other styles is the particular combination of kata and the randori method. Shiai (and it is optional) was never specifically condemned by Ueshiba M. - it seems to me he was very careful with his choice of words. He uses the term kousou which is more like brotherly rivalry (I do think he thought shiai is a potential source of this) but that occurs everywhere doesn't it.

akiy
10-30-2005, 09:05 PM
It also seems irrefutable that O'Sensei did not want competition in HIS Aikido, or it would have been there.
Here's a thread you might find interesting regarding the term often translated into English as "competition" which I started a few years back. Of particular interest, perhaps, is message # 15, Peter Goldsbury's very first post to these Forums:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=998

I've had the pleasure of training with Tomiki folks in the past and found them very friendly, engaging, and competent -- to the point that I appreciate what they've taught me. In fact, I've used some of the thoughts that were given to me in classes I've lead.  Heck, I can say the same regarding folks in judo, karate, and other arts which include shiai.

I'll end this by saying that, in my mind, every single aikido dojo has competition in it in its myriad forms and definitions. It may not be shiai, but it's there, for better or for worse.

-- Jun

Rupert Atkinson
10-30-2005, 09:49 PM
I did Tomiki Aikido for my first ten years of Aikido training. I started Akikai four-five years into that first ten and had no problem with doing both at the same time. You just learn to keep them separate and keep your mouth shut. Anyone who tries both will simply learn to look at advantages and ignore disadvantages. I quit Tomiki Aikido when I went to Japan as there wasn't much around and have done Aikikai ever since.

The hoopla that people have with competition is mostly misinformation or mystical conversion to 'love and peace man' having started Aikido. Within a Tomiki Aikido club people tussle around a lot but it usually remains friendly co-operation - the aim is to improve. When some smart alec tries it on and wants to win too often, no one wants to train with him. It's much the same in Judo. Within the club is friendly co-operation to learn, the way it should be. It rarely goes beyond that - except between clubs, when people fight strangers and often develop an anything-goes attitude, which includes bending the rules to the edge of cheating in order to win etc. Which is also the same in Judo. That, like it or not, is the reality of it.

For me, the philosophy of it is not as important as what it offers, what it can give you, what you can get out of it. Tomiki Aikido gives you techniques that work, and encourages you to MAKE them work against your peers who refuse to go down. It can get ugly, but real beauty - superb technique - can emerge, from time to time. Also, Tomiki Aikido has lots of katas with tons more stuff than you'll likely find in an Aikikai dojo. I am no longer a member of any Tomiki club but I still go through the katas by myself. I think Tomiki Aikido gave me a good start to Aikido and it helps clear my mind when witnessing a lot of the Cr@p I see being done in certain other places.

At the very least, Tomiki Aikido offers the idea to be able to make the techiques you do actually work. Like, as far as I can tell, some people do not seem to have that simple idea. Surely, what we do should work ... and ... how do you know?

Chris Li
10-30-2005, 11:56 PM
I would say the major difference between Tomiki Aikido and other styles is the particular combination of kata and the randori method. Shiai (and it is optional) was never specifically condemned by Ueshiba M. - it seems to me he was very careful with his choice of words. He uses the term kousou which is more like brotherly rivalry (I do think he thought shiai is a potential source of this) but that occurs everywhere doesn't it.

On page 128 of "Take Musu Aiki" Morihei Ueshiba says "for this reason competition in Aikido is strictly prohibited". He uses the word "shiai", not "kyousou".

There are other quotes in "Take Musu Aiki", such as "using martial technique for winning and losing is not true budo", but the above one is clear in that it specifically uses the term "shiai".

If by "specifically condemn" you mean some kind of "official" statement, then I think that would have been out of character in Japan, especially for some one of Morihei's generation.

Randori and kata training methods are, of course, different from "standard" Aikikai (if there is such a thing), but my hunch is that those differences would have been overlooked without the presence of shiai.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
10-31-2005, 12:31 AM
Chris is this the same quote that Peter G. referrs to in the thread and post Jun pointed to earlier.


2. Where does O Sensei discuss competition in Aikido? I have seen no evidence for any general declaration made by O Sensei against competition. There is a reference to sports understood by O Sensei in a western sense on Page 50 of Hideo Takahashi's book, "Takemusu Aiki", which records lectures given by the Founder. A translation of O Sensei's ideas is given on Page 21 of Issue 117 of Aikido Journal. There O Sensei does talk about competition as applied to aikido, always using the Chinese character I explained above. His views are clearly old-fashioned and he makes statements about Japan and western sports which are no longer true.


Possible different editions have different page numbers.

In that same post Peter G. refers to Ueshiba's objections regarding Aiki Taiso which interestingly has no bearing on the subject being a series of solo exercises now refered to as unsoku and tegatana dousa. But I digress.

In any case competition is not unique to Tomiki Aikido and neither is shiai which is basically the point I was trying to make in addition to the basic problem of describing the motivations behind a system and/or person one has no experience of. I would say heresay but that would be hypocritical since I can't read Japanese and can not check "Takemusu Aiki" directly myself.

Chris Li
10-31-2005, 01:04 AM
Chris is this the same quote that Peter G. referrs to in the thread and post Jun pointed to earlier.

I don't believe so.

In any case competition is not unique to Tomiki Aikido and neither is shiai which is basically the point I was trying to make in addition to the basic problem of describing the motivations behind a system and/or person one has no experience of. I would say heresay but that would be hypocritical since I can't read Japanese and can not check "Takemusu Aiki" directly myself.

Well it's easy enough to interpret the word "competition" in a broad enough sense to cover just about any situation, but in the section I quoted it is clear, I think, that Ueshiba was referring to competitive matches. Certainly, such matches are not unique to Shodokan, nor are they the only difference - but it can't be denied that they are one of the major sticking points.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
10-31-2005, 01:27 AM
Certainly, such matches are not unique to Shodokan, nor are they the only difference - but it can't be denied that they are one of the major sticking points.
Well I can certainly agree with that but also definately with Rob's corrections in post #3.

PeterR
10-31-2005, 01:46 AM
I think its safe to say that in the Shodokan view the presence or absence of competition does not define Aikido but rather the techniques learnt from Ueshiba M.. Certainly Tomiki K. was accomodated in the Aikikai fold while his teacher lived and by accounts quite shocked by the events in the early 70s.

Ian Upstone
10-31-2005, 03:23 AM
As far as I know (I may be wrong!), Waseda university (where Tomiki sensei was on the staff) would only allow an aikido group to be created there on the proviso that an element of competition would be introduced... Had the university not asked for this, would Shodokan aikido be different today, or would Tomiki sensei's judo background have included this aspect of practise anyway?

I would be interested on others' opinion on this, and also at what point does a budo become a sport? Is there an overlap - can a martial art be both?

PeterR
10-31-2005, 04:15 AM
A good question one of which I have never gotten a satisfactory answer to. Classic chicken and egg situation.

I will speculate that if Waseda hadn't made the requirement Tomiki would have continued to teach Aikido without to interested members of the Judo club under the premise that the particular benefit of shiai can be transfered between both arts quite easily. Hard resistive randori to test and develop your own Aikido would exist in some form - possibly toshu - mainly because of no nonsense demands of Judoka but a formalized competition format would at least be delayed. Tomiki's main critique of Aikikia Honbu was the lack of previous Budo training among the new students (as opposed to the good old days - sound familiar?) but this was not the problem with his pool of new students which tended to be experience Judoka. Even so, actual organized competitions were not held right away.


I have been told that Ueshiba M. wanted his Aikido taught at Waseda and was aware of the requirement. When one talks about an understanding being reached it is not just between Tomiki and his teacher. Ueshiba M. could have nixed the idea at any time.

Kendo is Budo, Judo is Budo, Kyudo is Budo, Karate has shiai. Various Koryu have held matches throughout the Edo period. Name your Budo and you will find a means of testing your skill. Those that do find it keeps their Budo alive in a time of peace.

Still I will say that striking a balance is key to maintaining the martial integrity. What exactly that balance is needs to be debated and constantly re-evaluated. You often hear critics with no experience of Tomiki's method saying that we train to win tournaments. Frankly speaking it is very rare to see randori as part of the class at Honbu - its kata kata and more .... basics. Someone once send we compete to train rather than train to compete and that really does reflect the situation at Honbu.

So yes I think that a martial art can have elements of sport and still maintain its sanctity of Budo. Generally what Rupert stated in his post is pretty much close to the mark.

As far as I know (I may be wrong!), Waseda university (where Tomiki sensei was on the staff) would only allow an aikido group to be created there on the proviso that an element of competition would be introduced... Had the university not asked for this, would Shodokan aikido be different today, or would Tomiki sensei's judo background have included this aspect of practise anyway?

I would be interested on others' opinion on this, and also at what point does a budo become a sport? Is there an overlap - can a martial art be both?

Peter Goldsbury
10-31-2005, 05:01 AM
As far as I know (I may be wrong!), Waseda university (where Tomiki sensei was on the staff) would only allow an aikido group to be created there on the proviso that an element of competition would be introduced... Had the university not asked for this, would Shodokan aikido be different today, or would Tomiki sensei's judo background have included this aspect of practise anyway?

I would be interested on others' opinion on this, and also at what point does a budo become a sport? Is there an overlap - can a martial art be both?

If you have not done so already, I think you need to read Tomiki Sensei's Budo-ron, which sets out his views on the possible educational aims of aikido training in great detail. Tada Hiroshi Shihan, also a graduate of Waseda (along with Kisshomaru Ueshiba), taught at more strictly 'aikikai' flavored club, also set up at that university.

As for my earlier post, cited by Jun Akiyama, I made it with reference to the portions of Takemusu Aiki that had appeared in Aikido Journal and had been translated by into English.

It seems clear to me that the Founder regarded (shiai, by which I think he meant Olympic-style tournaments, where participants compete under the eye of judges who hold up scores or flags when someone wins or loses) as incompatible with aikido as he understood it. However, in Takemusu Aiki he also talks about kyousou, in far less derogatory terms and seems to regard it as beneficial, other things being equal.

This term has a stronger nuance of rivalry, as, for example, among Toyota car dealers here, who sometimes strongly compete to sell an identical car to the same customer. When I bought my car, I had to deal with five different dealers, all frantically competing to sell me the same model. But this situation is hardly a shiai and less directly related to wining and losing. True the unsuccessful dealers lost my order, but they hardly lost a tournament.

Apart from Takemusu Aiki and Aiki Shinzou, there are no texts attributed to the Founder where he discusses competition. Aikido Ichiro, which I mentioned in my earlier post contains a long section about Tomiki Sensei and I think that this has to be balanced with Budo Ron, which I referred to earlier. Neither Tomiki Sensei nor Kisshomaru Doshu were the first disciples of the Founder to make some crucial decisions concerning what they had learned from him. In Stanley Pranin's Modern Masters, it seems clear that Minoru Mochizuki, having trained at the Kobukan, also decided to go his own way.

As for the difference between budo and sport, the Japanese Budo Association accepts aikido, along with judo, sumo, kendo, naginata, shorinjikempo, jukendo, kyudo and karate, as a member of this association, but it is understood that in aikido there are no torunaments, only demonstrations.

Best regards to all,

Chris Li
10-31-2005, 09:09 AM
As far as I know (I may be wrong!), Waseda university (where Tomiki sensei was on the staff) would only allow an aikido group to be created there on the proviso that an element of competition would be introduced...

FWIW, as Peter (Goldsbury) mentioned there are, and have been, other Aikido groups at Waseda. As I understand it, the competition requirement only applied to courses taught as part of the university sports curriculum.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-31-2005, 09:18 AM
I think its safe to say that in the Shodokan view the presence or absence of competition does not define Aikido but rather the techniques learnt from Ueshiba M.. Certainly Tomiki K. was accomodated in the Aikikai fold while his teacher lived and by accounts quite shocked by the events in the early 70s.

Well, these things build gradually, and not all that much happened while Morihei was alive - and none while he was still active. Tomiki didn't begin experimenting with competitive practice until after 1958, and his first real dojo didn't exist until 1967. The first full competition didn't even occur until 1970 - the year after Morihei Ueshiba's death, so it's not that surprising to me that things didn't come to a head until then.

A typical Japanese response to an uncomfortable situation is to ignore it and pretend that it doesn't exist - of course, even that has limits.

Best,

Chris

jonreading
10-31-2005, 11:02 AM
Interesting thread. I am sorry to see inflammatory comments and offenses to dampen the mood.

I have not practied Shotokan or any Tomiki variation, but I'd had the pleasure of working with several individuals that did/do. I think that as an outsider, I have two comments:
1. The Tomiki folks I've worked with said Tomiki style can be intimidating because of the element of competition in training. I use "competition" in the sense of a paired match with a victor. In some styles of aikido, the concept of "competition" is avoided and even shunned - it's no wonder than the Tomiki folks are constantly defending misconceptions.
2. The Tomiki folks I've worked with had an easy time applying technique even when I was non-compliant. Some styles of aikido almost depend on cooperation between partners to successfully apply technique. This is another situation that can be intimidating for a student.

These two observations don't answer the original question and that answer should be left to a focus group of students that have experience in both styles. Obviously, the best way to find out if you like Tomiki style aikido is to try a dojo for a while...

PeterR
10-31-2005, 06:11 PM
FWIW, as Peter (Goldsbury) mentioned there are, and have been, other Aikido groups at Waseda. As I understand it, the competition requirement only applied to courses taught as part of the university sports curriculum.
At the time there were no Aikido clubs at any university.

Peter Goldsbury
10-31-2005, 09:15 PM
At the time there were no Aikido clubs at any university.

Hiroshima University is now in its 35th generation of members. So it was established in 1970. However, its foundation was comparatively late and other university clubs nearer Tokyo were established earlier. So it is likely, though I do not have access to a calendar and so cannot be sure, that there were university clubs in existence in the later years of the Founder's life. I think the date of the founding of the Aikikai's Gakusei Aikido Renmei is recorded in the back of either Kisshomaru's biography of the Founder or of his own autobiography. My impression is that aikido was actively encouraged in Japan's universities as a means of resurrecting the art after the war.

Best regards,

PeterR
10-31-2005, 09:25 PM
Peter - I meant at the time Waseda made the conditions to Tomiki. I am however, also under the impression that getting Aikido into the universities was a priority for the Aikikai. Tomiki came through in that regard.

Chris Li
10-31-2005, 09:44 PM
At the time there were no Aikido clubs at any university.

The Asia University Aikido club (the first Aikikai university Aikido club) was started in 1954.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
10-31-2005, 09:56 PM
Thanks Chris always a pleasure.

I guess your original conjecture about curriculum was correct. Were there any other clubs or circles formed before Waseda.

The official formation of that club was 1958 - prior to that Aikido was taught to interested members of the Judo club. Tomiki started teaching at Waseda from 1954.

Chuck Clark
10-31-2005, 10:30 PM
With regards to aikido being practiced at Waseda, I had heard stories from people (that seemed credible) years ago that there was a difference between a university student activity "club" practicing aikido and a "for credit" course of training that they felt needed a means to "test" and quantify skill development. In order to begin such a course, Tomiki began the shiai to meet the qualifications made necessary by Waseda administrators.

I also heard that Tomiki had visions of many young people being attracted to the shiai activity and hoped that a large number of them would stay around after shiai lost it's appeal and practice just for the sake of the practice.

Best regards,

Chris Li
10-31-2005, 11:02 PM
Thanks Chris always a pleasure.

I guess your original conjecture about curriculum was correct. Were there any other clubs or circles formed before Waseda.

The official formation of that club was 1958 - prior to that Aikido was taught to interested members of the Judo club. Tomiki started teaching at Waseda from 1954.

There were quite a few university Aikido clubs formed in the Tokyo area around 1955 (Kisshomaru Ueshiba mentions Tokyo, Keio and Kokugakuin University Aikido clubs forming around that time in "Aikido Ichiro", also I believe that Meiji University formed their club in 1957).

Apparently, Hiroshi Tada claims to have been appointed as the shihan for the Gakushuin University, Keio University, and Waseda University Aikido clubs in 1957 (see http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~yp7h-td/hiroshi.html). However, I'm not sure how accurate that was, since Kisshomaru says in "Aikido Ichiro" that the Aikikai club at Waseda was formed shortly after Tomiki's club in 1958 by a group of students who wanted to stay with the Aikikai hombu methods of training.

In any case, there was plenty of Aikido activity at universities prior to 1958. I think that the main thing at Waseda was getting it recognized as an official part of the sports curriculum.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
10-31-2005, 11:03 PM
Hi Chuck;

In one of his articles he makes that statement specifically however I can not find it right now. The closest I can come to is his On Jujutsu and its Modernization which also is a great article concerning the original question. Of course I know you are familiar with it but for those that are not
http://judoinfo.com/tomiki2.htm

It's a long article and well worth a read but I will quote just two parts. One the closest to statement we are discussing


It is the case, though, that the method of training used in aikido today is not only based upon the practices of long ago, but is indeed just about unchanged from what was done back then. If we consider the matter from the standpoint of an up-to-date education in budo, however, a system of randori practice ought to be added and should be based upon a method of training that incorporates both kata and randori. When one is young it is important for one's budo training to pass through rigorous bodily and spiritual ordeals in randori and, further, tournaments. And as for the vast array of techniques that cannot be incorporated into randori training, the profound martial arts principles embodied in those techniques can be--must be--mastered thoroughly through the practice of kata. In this way, one may develop one's body to the wonderful state known as mugamae or shizentai, and thence through further exertions reach the ascetic practice of mushin. This is "the Way" for the practitioner of austerities.

and two because I want to


For example, within kenjutsu in the middle of the Edo era, schools such as kempo-kaho were ridiculed. The ridicule was because these schools were revealed to have kata-only practises that made it easy to develop weak points. It is said that the rigor of bujutsu training was forgotten, that the training sank into easy-going ways, that real power was not sought, and that pretentious bombastic activity increased. In short, history reports that the sword kata of budo degenerated into the sword kata of the stage.

PeterR
10-31-2005, 11:14 PM
In any case, there was plenty of Aikido activity at universities prior to 1958. I think that the main thing at Waseda was getting it recognized as an official part of the sports curriculum.
Nicely clarifying a few things. It's pretty clear I erred and transposed the first of one thing onto the first of another. My bad, my lesson.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=96 is an interview with Shizuo Imaizumi part of which says


I believe you were one of the founders of the Waseda University Aikido Club. Would you please describe how it was that the club was established?

There were several Waseda students who were practicing aikido at Hombu Dojo. In the spring of 1960, Akira Kuwamori, Tsuyoshi Takahashi, Tadaharu Wakabayashi, Kin'ichi Iwasaki and I decided to set up the Waseda University Aikido Dokokai on behalf of the Aikikai separate from the Tomiki-style group at Waseda. We consulted with Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei who was a Waseda graduate. Then we asked Hiroshi Tada Sensei, another Waseda graduate, to become our regular instructor. At that time, the Keio University Aikido Association already existed under the guidance of Koichi Tohei Sensei who graduated from that university.


a bit earlier in the text he writes


When did you start aikido training?

In April 1957, I enrolled in Waseda University where I majored in commercial science. As a freshman I took judo as a required subject for physical education. There were several judo instructors at Waseda University. My instructor's name was Yamamoto Sensei. When I became a junior in April 1959, I took another required subject as physical education. I chose judo taiso (exercises) taught by Kenji Tomiki Sensei. I bought his textbook with the same title Judo Taiso.

Saji Jamakin
11-02-2005, 01:22 PM
I think we should exercise caution and not be too dogmatic about any martial art.
I have great respect for Ueshiba Sensei for founding Aikido. I also have great respect for Sensei Kenji Tomiki.
After all he was an instructor at a Japanese University.

But they are not deities that we should give our unquestioning allegience to. Every martial art has changed and thus evolved. So let Aikido evolve.

So to address your original question:

was just wondering what are everyones views on the tomiki style aikido, what are the pros and cons, how does it differ from other styles etc.

Although I've only actually studied Tomiki (Shodokan) Aikido I've seen other styles in demos and classes.

So from my prospective here are the pros and cons:

PROS:
Easy to Learn:
We have 17 basic techniques in the form of stylized katas and
3 movement exercises: Un Soku, Tando Kundo, and Tai Sabaki which we drill.

Attacks vary in intensity:
Stylize (predictable) attacks vary from slow with little resistance to
fast and deliberate with moderate resistance.

Early exposure to Randori:
At least in my dojo we try to expose a beginner to a sort of free-style attack with tantos early.

Defense against Multiple Attackers:
Alternating Free style attacks are done with a tanto by 2 ukes with moderate intensity.
Very intense. Very tiring. Very humbling.

Shiai: Matches
Competitive match with referees, points and timers. This really tests the level of your technique because your opponent knows every technique you know. Therefore your technique is refined through this healthy competition.
Also; Very intense. Very tiring. Very humbling.

Speed and conditioning drills (Kakari-geiko):
Tests your technique by applying it to a non-resistive UKE as fast as you can within 30secs to 1 min. This conditions uke because of the sequence of falls and attacks he must quickly perform.

Ura Waza, Go-no-sen, Counter Techniques:
Also maybe called soft-soft. I counter you counter and so on.

The seventeen techniques are extensible:
I am often confused on this forum when others ask "Can Aikido be used in a real fight?" To which my response is Huhof course! Or "how do you get out of X hold?"
Although they are not done exactly like the kata I believe any Tomiki practitioner will be able to call out the name of the technique if they see it performed in response to a self-defense situation.

In my dojo we practice the 17 basic techniques in self defense situtations not just katas. It's also part of our test for promotions. I don't know if this is true in other Tomiki dojos but I suspect it is. Therefore, I am confident that I can extend the 17 basic techniques to different types of attacks. For example I can use 6 of the 17 techniques to counter a double rist grab (where one person has two hands on your rist). Here's some other examples of attacks and an application of one some of the 17 techniques:
Wild swing -- Irimi Nage, Hiki-otoshi
Double collar grab and push -- Kote Gaeshi, OshiTaoshi
Single collar grab with punch coming -- Block (if you need too) Waki Gatamae, Kote Gaeshi, Mae Otoshi ShomeAte(Combo).
Rear Bear Hug -- Sink pop elbows up grab a hand and perform Tenkai Kote Hineri
Rear Choke -- Sink and pull choke are down. Step behind and slip out of choke perform WakiGatamae
Rear Hair grab -- Turn and peel hand off to Kote Gaeshi, Kote Hineri, OshiTaoshi
I could go on.
Tomiki practitioners help me out.

I had always thought that this type of extensibility is taught in all styles of Aikido. Correct me if I am wrong.

Cons:
Because of the speed of the attacks sometimes the odds of an injury is higher.

The Tomiki style tends to have a student muscle a technique thus making it less effective against someone stronger and heavier. This is not the correct way but its something the practitioner needs to be aware of.

That's all can think of right now.
;)

Patrick
11-06-2005, 08:08 PM
OK, so this might be old hat to so some people, but I just saw a video clip of the current Doshu and he did a shomen ate. I was amazed I though only people that did tomiki aikido and its variations did that.

Rupert Atkinson
11-06-2005, 08:31 PM
The first technique of the first Aikikai lesson I attended in Japan was shomen-ate. Never saw it done once in Aikikai in the UK so was nicely surprised.

Rupert Atkinson
11-06-2005, 09:10 PM
Over the years I have read whatever has been available about Tomiki Aikido. I believe that Tomiki Kenji simply tried to fit Aikido into the modern sporting paradigm, much as Kano Jigoro did with Judo. As educators, both men saw sport as being for the good of all and both were willing to throw away the old to accept the new. Such was not unique thinking, rather it was the trend after 1868 and explains why Japan modernised so quickly, to the extent of being able to defeat Russia at naval warfare in 1905. Kano tried to preserve what he saw being lost and sent his students out here and there to study old Ryu. But, not much has been preserved in modern Judo -- a few katas that few people are interested in these days. Tomiki tried harder and his school contains six Koryu katas from 16 -- 50 techniques each. They are not real koryu, of course, but they nevertheless contain a lot of interesting stuff you will rarely see in Aikikai -- and more importantly, people still practise them.

If people have their reservations about Aikido it is almost always in terms of its effectiveness. Sure, Ueshiba Morihei was something special, but who has followed him? Tomiki Aikido has various means of practice: Hand and foot movement exercises, kata, randori (free fighting), kagari-geiko (jyu-waza), tanto randori, ninin dori -- all to be tested in competition. Competition usually means shiai, set matches, but I believe that what Tomiki was really interested in was creating a scenario for developing technique. I'll say that again -- creating a scenario for developing technique. And, as such, that could be a direct reflection of what he perceived to be a weakness in Aikido, as indeed many do today. In creating his shiai scenario, competition was the natural result, as in Judo. So, while students these days are busy preparing for competition, Tomiki, as an educator, was simply aiming to find the means to improve (modernise) old methods to make them more effective -- to make Aikido work and to make it teachable large scale. However, the danger is if competition becomes the ultimate goal. In such a case, what is or is not allowed becomes defined by rules, then the rules define the training, then you start to loose out. To keep people interested in the old stuff' he created a set of katas and named them old stuff' (koryu) and created kata competition. Judo has failed to do this and people have lost interest' in its katas.

So, while the students are naturally interested in winning, if they compete (some don't), Tomiki the man -- as an educator -- created the means to test and improve on technique, the modern method. He was also interested in creating better men, as was Kano, which some argue competition hinders, and others say it helps.

As a simple comparison one only need ask questions: Would boxing (Western) have developed to the extent it has today had it remained secretly hidden in some family? Would it have developed without competition? Would runners run as fast today if they only trained by themselves and had no races? Has wrestling ever existed independent of competition?

So for any Aikikai student, like myself, we have to ask: What do I know, how good is it, how can I make it better, and how do I know what' is better (or worse)? Who do I ask and how can I trust them?

PeterR
11-06-2005, 09:27 PM
Hi Rupert;

Nice post but I will add that winning competitions is not the driving force among the bulk of the students at least those I have contact with. Some of the younger (ie University) students are really into doing well in shiai and Enbu competition when they occur but even here their primary goal seems to be getting good at Aikido.

I do realize that some groups (no names) in some countries have strayed from the ideal and just don't get what Tomiki was on about but those who maintain ties close to the source are doing a pretty good job.

Matthew White
11-12-2005, 12:34 AM
There's a lot of discussion of competition as being the big difference (and yes it is one difference), but I've heard of Tomiki referred to as "the last Japanese innovator". Where as Ueshiba was undoubtedly a fantastic martial artist, he was not an educator (in the western sense) and it was his gifted students who could learn intuitively who excelled and became the "big names" we know and love today. Tomiki was a modern educator. He took the theories and principles behind western epistemology and educational paradigms and applied them to aikido. He (along with Miyaki and some others) created a more "compact" syllabus for teaching principle-to-technique (as opposed to the more technique-to-principle style of training in many Japanese martial arts, including aikido). Whether one works better than they other (IMHO) is largely based on the what kind of Learner the student is (the quality of the teacher is also a large factor).

Another major difference is how very linear Tomiki style is. His system focuses initially on irimi movements. The entire Junana Hon Kata, which is the first and perhaps "most fundamental" (if I may make that qualification) of the syllabus, is application of Irimi (no or almost no turning involved).

Some might also claim that Tomiki is more "combative" or is a "harder" style (depending on who you talk to). Much of his stuff comes from the pre-war aikibudo (as opposed to aikido), and his first licensing that he received from Ueshiba (I believe) was listed as Daito-ryu (thus the koryu no kata series in Tomiki style).

Dave Himrich
11-15-2005, 08:57 PM
I just thought I would jump in this thread to mention that I have been practicing for the past two years within a Tomiki-derived organization, Fugakukai. This is the organization founded by Karl Geis sensei, who was a student of Tomiki in judo and aikido. Some years ago, in consultation with Tomiki, Geis dropped competitive tanto randori as a training method. My understanding is that Geis sensei determined that other methods would be more appropriate for his students, as they were generally older and tended to practice aikido for longer periods of time than Japanese university students.

We have retained the Tomiki kata structure, although I understand also that Geis sensei has modified the techniques over the years, as very senior aikido instructors are wont to do. We also use a hand randori training method that is not competitive. I think I am one of the few Fugakukai members in this area who does not do both aikido and judo. Many of the judo players do compete, and their practice methods are more competition-oriented than the aikido practices.

I started my serious Aikido career with the AAA in Illinois, which is Aikikai affiliated, but with significant Ki Society influence owing to their founder, the late Fumio Toyoda sensei. If I were to compare the two styles, I would say that the Fugakukai training is more focused on balance breaking, and is more explicitly organized with self-defense applications in mind. My sense is that the teaching methods differ more than the applied techniques.

- Dave Himrich