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-   -   Styles of Aikido - which is right for me? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21471)

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 01:30 PM

Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Hello everyone!

I have a history as 3rd kyu in Shotokan Karate (quite a few years ago, and I didn't particularly like the style back then), and have worked and lived in Tokyo back and forth for a long time.
I'm finishing up my Masters degree in another 7 months or so, and I'm planning some months afterwards to return to Tokyo to study Aikido (after quite a bit of searching for a suitable new martial art to study, was considering quite a few), preferably on a Cultural Visa for a year, but if not, then back and forth on the good ol' tourist visa (my work is done online, so it's not an issue for me).

I'm planning on taking up Aikido in around September (8'ish months before my planned trip to Tokyo) when I return from my vacation in Tokyo (where I of course plan on having a look at several dojos), but my problem is this: I can no longer figure out which style of Aikido is right for me!

I am mainly looking at Aikikai or Yoshinkan, though I'm also possibly interested in Tomiki (I like the fact that it incorporates light punching and kicking, but I dislike the tournaments) I've spent several hours a day, for the last week or so, going through information, but I'm still in doubt!
So I'm asking here, what is the actual differences?
I understand the teaching mentality is different (Aikikai seems more "peaceful" and Yoshinkan seems more "militaristic" in teaching nature).
But what I'm most curious about, is which is more "combat" oriented. Now I understand the principles of Aikido, and that neither aims to be an aggressive martial art, but I think I'd prefer the one that is more "practical" in nature, which seems to be Yoshinkan? (though I think I'd prefer the teaching mentality of Aikikai) What is the more practical difference between the two styles? I think that's the main question there.
While I appreciate that it is also a matter of mentality, practical use is also important to me. As one of my friends once said "You might be the guy that tries to resolve everything without a fight, but what if the other guy isn't?". Perhaps even more, it is also a matter of being able to protect those around me: getting hit in the face I can take if it avoids a fight, but I can't force that same mentality on, say, my girlfriend, or friend.

Renshinkai Aikido also peaked my interest, though I understand it's close to the same as Yoshinkan, and was mainly formed due to internal disputes?
Aiki-jutsu also seems very interesting, but more as a possible side-study for later, to get more into the detail of the Aikido techniques, as there are no dojos for it in Denmark, and even in Tokyo I can't find any dojo's that do full-time courses (generally only 3 days a week).

I hope you guys and girls here can help me out in making my decision, or perhaps suggest other things I didn't even know about!
Thank you in advance!
Yoroshiku ne!

Janet Rosen 06-27-2012 02:19 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
More important than "style" is individual dojo culture/teachers so I recommend actually visiting a few before you decide.

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 02:24 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 311858)
More important than "style" is individual dojo culture/teachers so I recommend actually visiting a few before you decide.

Thank you for your reply, but as I said, I do plan on doing that already. That wasn't my question :)

George S. Ledyard 06-27-2012 02:57 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: (Post 311860)
Thank you for your reply, but as I said, I do plan on doing that already. That wasn't my question :)

Philip,
Janet was correct... Shop for the teacher, not the style. There are styles that were founded by amazing teachers being taught by incompetents. There are so-called hard styles being taught by individual teachers who have a soft touch. There are so-called soft styles being taught by folks who try to rip your arm off.

Find a teacher who is functioning at the highest level you can find. Any style done on a deep level is better than another style you might be more inclined to do taught by a mediocrity.

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 03:08 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote: (Post 311866)
Philip,
Janet was correct... Shop for the teacher, not the style. There are styles that were founded by amazing teachers being taught by incompetents. There are so-called hard styles being taught by individual teachers who have a soft touch. There are so-called soft styles being taught by folks who try to rip your arm off.

Find a teacher who is functioning at the highest level you can find. Any style done on a deep level is better than another style you might be more inclined to do taught by a mediocrity.

I understand your reasoning behind saying this, but I'm afraid it's of no use to me. I've already read this many times before, and it does nothing for me I'm afraid.

Firstly, in Denmark, I have a fairly limited choice: 3 Aikido clubs within a 50minute radius.
Second, I'd be changing clubs: the dojo and teachers in Denmark would obviously not be the same as the dojo and teachers in Japan.

I do not want to be tied down to one specific dojo/teacher, but much rather one specific style. Then I can always change teachers or dojos, but once I've trained Yoshinkan, for instance, for a year, I can't merely change and continue in Aikikai.

Again, I ask if anyone could please answer the question I posed, and not the question that you wish I'd asked :)

Basia Halliop 06-27-2012 03:11 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Think of it this way - what you're calling 'styles' are more accurately organizations. To actually know the style a particular teacher is teaching, the organization they belong to isn't the most important thing to know about them.

There are so many different styles within one organization that you should not expect to easily just step from one dojo in an organization into another. Maybe sometimes (e.g. if both teachers came from the same teacher, perhaps, though it's not guaranteed), but sometimes you will not notice that much more or less change by changing organizations vs by changing dojos within an organization.

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 03:23 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Basia Halliop wrote: (Post 311869)
Think of it this way - what you're calling 'styles' are more accurately organizations. To actually know the style a particular teacher is teaching, the organization they belong to isn't the most important thing to know about them.

There are so many different styles within one organization that you should not expect to easily just step from one dojo in an organization into another. Maybe sometimes (e.g. if both teachers came from the same teacher, perhaps, though it's not guaranteed), but sometimes you will not notice that much more or less change by changing organizations vs by changing dojos within an organization.

Luckily, my two main choices in Denmark correspond with my two main choices in Tokyo. The Yoshinkan Dojo in Denmark, has teachers that studied at Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, likewise the Aikikai Dojo in Denmark has teachers from Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo.

However, still, people seem to be avoiding the question that I am most interested in, and the question that I have not been able to find anywhere else (hence I'm asking):
Which of the two is the more practical? And what are the real, actual, differences between the two arts? (or possibly others, if you have recommendations).

robin_jet_alt 06-27-2012 03:46 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: (Post 311868)

I do not want to be tied down to one specific dojo/teacher, but much rather one specific style. Then I can always change teachers or dojos, but once I've trained Yoshinkan, for instance, for a year, I can't merely change and continue in Aikikai.

Yes, you can! I have trained under 3 organizations and 4 styles if you count Nishio-style as separate from mainstream Aikikai (which I do). Each time I have picked the best teacher out of the available dojos. There is a period of adjustment, but there is no problem with it. They are not so different that the skills don't translate.

Anyway, I don't have an answer to your question either, because it depends on the teacher SO MUCH! I currently train with an organization called Yuishinkai, which is an offshoot of the Ki Society. My sensei is very practical and you might even say "militaristic". He has worked as a prison guard. However, the organization as a whole does not seem to be oriented that way at all.

If I had to pick a style based on reputation, I would say Yoshinkan or Iwama style. Actually, if I were going to go to Japan, just to study aikido, I would probably go to Iwama and try to get into their uchideshi program. Of course you would need a letter of recommendation...

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 04:03 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Robin Boyd wrote: (Post 311877)
Yes, you can! I have trained under 3 organizations and 4 styles if you count Nishio-style as separate from mainstream Aikikai (which I do). Each time I have picked the best teacher out of the available dojos. There is a period of adjustment, but there is no problem with it. They are not so different that the skills don't translate.

Anyway, I don't have an answer to your question either, because it depends on the teacher SO MUCH! I currently train with an organization called Yuishinkai, which is an offshoot of the Ki Society. My sensei is very practical and you might even say "militaristic". He has worked as a prison guard. However, the organization as a whole does not seem to be oriented that way at all.

If I had to pick a style based on reputation, I would say Yoshinkan or Iwama style. Actually, if I were going to go to Japan, just to study aikido, I would probably go to Iwama and try to get into their uchideshi program. Of course you would need a letter of recommendation...

Now, see THIS is a useful answer :)
However, when changing between styles (such as Iwama/Aikikai and Yoshinkan), would your current rank in the other art, create some problems in the new one? How would it carry over? I mean, lets say you are a nikyu in Iwama, and you decide to start training Yoshinkan, how in the world would they figure out where to "start" you? o_0

I'm not the uchi deshi type of person... I'm deadly addicted to my internet and smoking, not to mention that I would need privacy for my work :) I considered doing the Yoshinkan Senshusei program, until I found out exactly how much it would kill me :p
I do plan on training 5-6 days a week, with probably 2'ish classes a day, but I prefer to still live at my own place, and more freely be able to decide which times of day I can train, possibly change a tuesday for a saturday, and so forth :)
But thank you for the suggestion :)

EDIT: Further, would you then say that the difference in the styles, is more so the "mentality" or "intent" of it, rather than the actual techniques/training of it?

lars beyer 06-27-2012 04:28 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: (Post 311880)
Now, see THIS is a useful answer :)
However, when changing between styles (such as Iwama/Aikikai and Yoshinkan), would your current rank in the other art, create some problems in the new one? How would it carry over? I mean, lets say you are a nikyu in Iwama, and you decide to start training Yoshinkan, how in the world would they figure out where to "start" you? o_0

I'm not the uchi deshi type of person... I'm deadly addicted to my internet and smoking, not to mention that I would need privacy for my work :) I considered doing the Yoshinkan Senshusei program, until I found out exactly how much it would kill me :p
I do plan on training 5-6 days a week, with probably 2'ish classes a day, but I prefer to still live at my own place, and more freely be able to decide which times of day I can train, possibly change a tuesday for a saturday, and so forth :)
But thank you for the suggestion :)

EDIT: Further, would you then say that the difference in the styles, is more so the "mentality" or "intent" of it, rather than the actual techniques/training of it?

Forget about the style but find the right dojo and Sensei as people describe above. If you are a Nikyo in Chibu dojo in Iwama you are a Nikyo in Aikikai because Chibu dojo is an Aikikai branch dojo. T Being a beginner like yourself I donīt pay too much attention to ranks btw. They donīt mean s..., and the first thing I noticed at shodan is that the black belt doesnīt work. These should be the least of your concerns btw.
cheers
Lars

Pauliina Lievonen 06-27-2012 05:06 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
The reason you have a hard time getting an answer for your question out of people is that the answer doesn't exist. There are Yoshinkan dojo that are very "realistic" and there are Aikikai dojo that are the same, and without actually visiting the dojo that you are planning to train at no one of us can tell you where on the spectrum those particular dojo will fall. You said yourself that you haven't found the answer to this question anywhere on the net... maybe that should give you a clue? ;)

A couple of thoughts: if self defense is really a concern, something else not aikido would be a much better choice. If self defense actually isn't a pressing concern, both Yoshinkan and Aikikai are equally good choices, and there are other aspects of training at a dojo that become more important - a group that you fit into, a teacher that you can connect with, class times that work for you in the long run, a location that you will still be willing to drag yourself to over a couple of years...sometimes things that you won't even think of beforehand.

Also, I've seen quite a few people stop training after moving to another place, especially if they were training very intensively at first. They move and can't find quite the same intensive training experience in their new location, get disillusioned and stop. I think it's a very good plan as you mentioned to start training already in Denmark, that way you already know what is available to you when you return from Japan.

Really, at this point all that's left to do is stop researching and get on the mat as soon as it's possible. I realize there might be less possibility in the summer, I'm assuming that's why you're waiting until september to start?

kvaak
Pauliina

phitruong 06-27-2012 05:07 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Lars Beyer wrote: (Post 311886)
Forget about the style but find the right dojo and Sensei as people describe above.
Lars

he already said that sort answer is of no use to him. he wants to hear the answers that he likes, and not the right answers.

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 05:27 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Lars Beyer wrote: (Post 311886)
Forget about the style but find the right dojo and Sensei as people describe above. If you are a Nikyo in Chibu dojo in Iwama you are a Nikyo in Aikikai because Chibu dojo is an Aikikai branch dojo. T Being a beginner like yourself I donīt pay too much attention to ranks btw. They donīt mean s..., and the first thing I noticed at shodan is that the black belt doesnīt work. These should be the least of your concerns btw.
cheers
Lars

Well yes... because they are both under Aikikai, I understand that. But as I said (and you quoted), what about situations where they don't fall under the same organization, such as Yoshinkan and Iwama for instance?

Quote:

Pauliina Lievonen wrote: (Post 311892)
The reason you have a hard time getting an answer for your question out of people is that the answer doesn't exist. There are Yoshinkan dojo that are very "realistic" and there are Aikikai dojo that are the same, and without actually visiting the dojo that you are planning to train at no one of us can tell you where on the spectrum those particular dojo will fall. You said yourself that you haven't found the answer to this question anywhere on the net... maybe that should give you a clue? ;)

A couple of thoughts: if self defense is really a concern, something else not aikido would be a much better choice. If self defense actually isn't a pressing concern, both Yoshinkan and Aikikai are equally good choices, and there are other aspects of training at a dojo that become more important - a group that you fit into, a teacher that you can connect with, class times that work for you in the long run, a location that you will still be willing to drag yourself to over a couple of years...sometimes things that you won't even think of beforehand.

Also, I've seen quite a few people stop training after moving to another place, especially if they were training very intensively at first. They move and can't find quite the same intensive training experience in their new location, get disillusioned and stop. I think it's a very good plan as you mentioned to start training already in Denmark, that way you already know what is available to you when you return from Japan.

Really, at this point all that's left to do is stop researching and get on the mat as soon as it's possible. I realize there might be less possibility in the summer, I'm assuming that's why you're waiting until september to start?

kvaak
Pauliina

Thank you for the in-depth reply :)
Quickly though, I'm still trying to find out the more factual differences in the styles? Are there specific differences in the techniques, that matter to any noticeable degree?
While self-defence is a concern, it is only one point out of many. I think one of the main reasons I'm so fascinated by Aikido, is that it's very different from what I trained before (very "dumbed down" Shotokan Karate, which was horribly linear and boring).

To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again. I'm not sure I'm interested in overly specializing in one specific martial art in the long run, but you never know :)

And yes, originally I was going to start training this coming month, but I realized that the only Yoshinkan dojo around me is closed until September, and I really wanted to have a look at it before deciding. As such, I'm going to wait until I've had a look at the dojo's in Japan in August, and then decide when I get back, and I can have a quick trial lesson at the Iwama and Yoshinkan place :) Otherwise I'd already be checking out the two!

robin_jet_alt 06-27-2012 06:09 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: (Post 311880)
Now, see THIS is a useful answer :)
However, when changing between styles (such as Iwama/Aikikai and Yoshinkan), would your current rank in the other art, create some problems in the new one? How would it carry over? I mean, lets say you are a nikyu in Iwama, and you decide to start training Yoshinkan, how in the world would they figure out where to "start" you? o_0

Well, believe it or not, the rank doesn't really matter.

When I changed from Fuji-Ryu to Aikikai, I was 1st-kyu. I trained without a rank to begin with, and then graded to shodan when sensei thought I was ready. The organization might not recognize your rank, but your sensei will recognize your ability, and you will do the sort of training that reflects that ability.

When I changed to Nishio style, the rank wasn't a problem because it is under the Aikikai umbrella. The different techniques took a lot of adjusting to though.

When I changed to Yuishinkai, sensei informally recognized my rank and let me keep wearing my belt and hakama. 6 months later, I am about to grade to 2nd dan. That was about when I was planning to do it with the Nishio style dojo anyway.

Anyway, listen to what people are saying. There is such a wide variation between teachers within the organizations that the organizations are largely irrelevant (unless you are particularly hung up about bits of paper signed by doshu etc.). If you want to train 5 times per week without the rigors of an uchideshi style program, then maybe Aikikai Honbu would be your best bet. Not the most "martial" by any means, but you will work up a sweat, especially on the top level.

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 06:38 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Robin Boyd wrote: (Post 311899)
Well, believe it or not, the rank doesn't really matter.

When I changed from Fuji-Ryu to Aikikai, I was 1st-kyu. I trained without a rank to begin with, and then graded to shodan when sensei thought I was ready. The organization might not recognize your rank, but your sensei will recognize your ability, and you will do the sort of training that reflects that ability.

When I changed to Nishio style, the rank wasn't a problem because it is under the Aikikai umbrella. The different techniques took a lot of adjusting to though.

When I changed to Yuishinkai, sensei informally recognized my rank and let me keep wearing my belt and hakama. 6 months later, I am about to grade to 2nd dan. That was about when I was planning to do it with the Nishio style dojo anyway.

Anyway, listen to what people are saying. There is such a wide variation between teachers within the organizations that the organizations are largely irrelevant (unless you are particularly hung up about bits of paper signed by doshu etc.). If you want to train 5 times per week without the rigors of an uchideshi style program, then maybe Aikikai Honbu would be your best bet. Not the most "martial" by any means, but you will work up a sweat, especially on the top level.

I see, thanks for the reply :)
I compare it to when I was training Shotokan Karate, where my teachers were generally very hung up on your rank, and training you specifically in what you were supposed to be training in that rank. To the point where you were just happy to graduate to the next rank, just so you could start learning something new, LOL. Happy to hear that it seems Aikido is a bit more "flexible" than that.

I'm assuming then, that technique wise can differ a lot per teacher too, then?
What would be the main differences, technique wise, between Yoshinkan and Iwama, if you know? When I've tried searching for it, it generally just says "hard style" and "soft style", but without a frame of reference, that means nothing to me ._.'
Seems it'll largely depend on what I experience when I get there, then! I'll be sure to put aside a few days to head by Yoshinkan, Iwama, and possibly a few smaller ones (the smaller ones sort of appeal to me... I've seen the group training at Aikikai Hombu for instance, and it looks so... I dunno, like a scene from Clone Wars, with very little personality (training wise)).

Uchi deshi is just not an option for me. Even if I wanted to (which I don't, that part of the Japanese lifestyle never appealed to me personally, at least not for a year (short term might be a different thing!)), it would mess up my work too much, which would in turn make the entire trip impossible financially :)

James Sawers 06-27-2012 07:16 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again. I'm not sure I'm interested in overly specializing in one specific martial art in the long run, but you never know

A shodan in aikido in two years....??

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 07:41 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

James Sawers wrote: (Post 311903)
To be honest, I don't know if I'd train for much more than 2'ish years. Chances are that once I reach something up around Shodan, I'd want to change to another martial arts, something like Judo/Krav Maga/Aiki-jutsu/BJJ or such, something very different again. I'm not sure I'm interested in overly specializing in one specific martial art in the long run, but you never know

A shodan in aikido in two years....??

Both Yoshinkan Hombu and Iwama Hombu in Tokyo actually centers practice around making Shodan in about a single year, if followed strictly. Yoshinkan obviously has the senshusei course, which is 3 hours a day 5 days a week (which I'd actually be planning on doing, timewise, I just don't like the "military camp" feel of what I've seen of the course). The Aikikai website also mentioned it, but I can't find the specific page right now (their website is quite disorganized, but I'm sure it was there, as I'm referencing it in a Facebook update I did a few days ago).

But think about it like this:
2 lessons a day = 3 hours. Training 6 days a week = 18 hours a week = 936 hours a year.
If you trained Aikido for 1― hours, 3 times a week, that's 234 hours. So the intensity you can go at it at certain dojos can easily equal out to much much more, in this case it's the same as having trained 3 times a week, for four years.

odudog 06-27-2012 08:08 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
2 years worth of aikido training won't get you no where close to shodan. Yoshinkan will get you to shodan but only from the senshusei course and you can't really live a life during the course.

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 08:11 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Mike Braxton wrote: (Post 311909)
2 years worth of aikido training won't get you no where close to shodan.

You realize that the Senshushei program is, literally, making people from scratch to Shodan in 11 months, right? I believe it's 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Basia Halliop 06-27-2012 08:20 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
"Quickly though, I'm still trying to find out the more factual differences in the styles? Are there specific differences in the techniques, that matter to any noticeable degree?"

People have answered you already, several times. I don't know, maybe we're just not explaining clearly?

Seriously, no one is trying to not answer your question, it's just that your question seems to already assume certain things, which make it impossible to give the kind of answer you're looking for without just making stuff up.

So instead of just making stuff up, we try to tell you the truth, which is that the differences between individual teachers in each organization are larger than the differences between organizations. This is my experience in the Aikikai, including very basic techniques that are the first techniques taught to new people. Different teachers within one organization usually do different techniques differently (and yes, this includes different teachers from Hombu, it's an enormous place). Sometimes the differences are small (a different variation or a somewhat different emphasis) and sometimes they are enormous and involve completely different footwork, posture, etc. This is in addition to more subtle or hard to define features ('hard' or 'soft', 'practical focus' or not) and in addition to teaching style and in addition to quality.

I have a few times trained with people from other organizations and sometimes the differences in how we did basic techniques were minor (they were more similar than some people in my own organization) and other times they were hugely different.

Aikido is just very unstandardized.

Basia Halliop 06-27-2012 08:24 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
"You realize that the Senshushei program is, literally, making people from scratch to Shodan in 11 months, right? I believe it's 3 hours a day, 5 days a week."

3 hours a day, 5 days a week isn't that much -- you can train that much in a number of dojos in North America, and they wouldn't call you a shodan after a year, it would still take several years.

Which just goes to show that rank is arbitrary and unstandardized anyway. Don't worry about what rank you will be labelled as in a given amount of time, it doesn't mean you're better or worse, it means that's what that particular organization has chosen to label as a certain rank.

TokyoZeplin 06-27-2012 08:24 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Basia Halliop wrote: (Post 311913)
"Quickly though, I'm still trying to find out the more factual differences in the styles? Are there specific differences in the techniques, that matter to any noticeable degree?"

People have answered you already, several times. I don't know, maybe we're just not explaining clearly?

Seriously, no one is trying to not answer your question, it's just that your question seems to already assume certain things, which make it impossible to give the kind of answer you're looking for without just making stuff up.

So instead of just making stuff up, we try to tell you the truth, which is that the differences between individual teachers in each organization are larger than the differences between organizations. This is my experience in the Aikikai, including very basic techniques that are the first techniques taught to new people. Different teachers within one organization usually do different techniques differently (and yes, this includes different teachers from Hombu, it's an enormous place). Sometimes the differences are small (a different variation or a somewhat different emphasis) and sometimes they are enormous and involve completely different footwork, posture, etc. This is in addition to more subtle or hard to define features ('hard' or 'soft', 'practical focus' or not) and in addition to teaching style and in addition to quality.

Aikido is just very unstandardized.

Well yes, I am assuming certain things, and if those are wrong, it would certainly be nice to have someone say so, instead of being a smart ass and replying to something else :p I ain't no Yoda, can't read yer' minds :)
Am I then to correctly understand this, as you saying that the difference between Yoshinkan Aikido, and Iwama Aikido (as examples), are just as big as the differences between different teachers within each of those styles?
If yes, then no further questions.
If no, then my question is still valid, and I'm asking, "what are those fundamental differences then?"

Quote:

Basia Halliop wrote: (Post 311914)
"You realize that the Senshushei program is, literally, making people from scratch to Shodan in 11 months, right? I believe it's 3 hours a day, 5 days a week."

3 hours a day, 5 days a week isn't that much -- you can train that much in a number of dojos in North America, and they wouldn't call you a shodan after a year, it would still take several years.

Which just goes to show that rank is arbitrary and unstandardized anyway. Don't worry about what rank you will be labelled as in a given amount of time, it doesn't mean you're better or worse, it means that's what that particular organization has chosen to label as a certain rank.

It's interesting to see how people on these forums see things differently. A couple of people being all up in it going "that's impossible!" (hence the rank would be a big deal), and another going "pff, who cares what rank that is".
However, I choose to use it as a simple measurement tool, to keep track of process and goals. Some may choose not to, and that's fine too. To each their own.

I do want to point out that the Senshusei program is an official program done by the Yoshinkan Aikido Hombu, in Tokyo, though, for those that didn't know, and is the course described in the book "Angry White Pyjamas".
I should also note, that those that graduate from the course are graduated INSTRUCTORS.

Another quick note: It seems it's about 4― hours a day, not 3, my bad :) Says "3 lessons", and the lessons generally being either 1― hours or so as far as I remember from their site.

robin_jet_alt 06-27-2012 08:33 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Quote:

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: (Post 311915)
Well yes, I am assuming certain things, and if those are wrong, it would certainly be nice to have someone say so, instead of being a smart ass and replying to something else :p I ain't no Yoda, can't read yer' minds :)
Am I then to correctly understand this, as you saying that the difference between Yoshinkan Aikido, and Iwama Aikido (as examples), are just as big as the differences between different teachers within each of those styles?
If yes, then no further questions.
If no, then my question is still valid, and I'm asking, "what are those fundamental differences then?"

YES. that is what we are all saying. Any differences between organizations are gross generalizations, and aren't necessarily reflected in the teachings of any particular sensei.

With that in mind, the generalizations can be useful. You probably won't want to train with the Ki Society for instance. But, apart from the glaring differences, it depends so much on the teacher that we really can't help you.

Basia Halliop 06-27-2012 08:37 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
Moving between organizations - your rank is not automatically recognized but teachers do have some discretion, particularly at the lower ranks. Though the way most classes are structured (at least in all the dojos I've been to) everyone is in the same class studying the same things regardless of rank so it doesn't really matter that much anyway.

Basia Halliop 06-27-2012 08:47 PM

Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?
 
If you want to know more about different styles or teachers your best bet is probably to look for videos (e.g. youtube is a start). Even if you find someone who has trained in both organizations with a variety of teachers in both, I don't know how easily you can describe technical differences in words, especially to someone who doesn't already kind of know what you mean (which is part of why people tend to end up saying really vague and hard to define things like 'hard' which as you say aren't that useful).


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