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There seems to be a constant butting of heads, on this site and I'm sure else where, over what 'style' of Aikido people study.
I have very little knowledge of different styles of Aikido. When someone writes Aikikai or Iwama I have no idea what they really mean. I have some vague notion of Tomiki Aikido due to a fellow class member studying it in a former life and an equally vague notion that Yoshinkan sounds quite scarey but other than that its a bit of a mystery. I'm greatful to Templegate for giving me a brief but enlightening introduction to other ways of 'doing things'. Attending one of their courses felt rather like a licence to adapt my aikido to me rather than adapting my square peg to one associations round grading system. I'm not exactly planning any kind of revolution; in a "Strictly Ballroom"-style performing the forbidden steps fashion. But it's good to see proof of life outside our box, lovely though our box is..
Anyway, I digress.
I always see the training of Aikido as being similar to the story telling traditions of many societies. The 'bare bones' of the story remain the same but the embellishments are unique, not only to each teller but to every listener. Rumplestiltskin will always be Rumplestiltskin whatever language it's translated into. The adaptations are almost by accident. Yes O Sensei (as I understand it but again it's only recently that I've learnt much outside my Dojo's 'Do') had a mid-life career change as it were, deciding tha