[quote]Originally posted by taro
1. The school I have been going to wasn't affiliated with either aikikai or yoshinkan or any other 'federation' as far as I know. So I can't really continue what I've been doing. I'll be exposed to something different either way. Up until I've had no choice. This was the only aikido school in town. I'm wondering whether you meant stick to the same style of aikido or to the same style of martial art. If you meant the former, do you think it would be that bad to go from an predominantly aikikai style of teaching to yoshinkan?
I meant the former, and no it would not be THAT bad. Yoshinkan just tends to use more atemi waza and is a more effective self defence style than "Typical" Aikikai I think (and this is just My opinion ok?).
It may not be as circular as Aikikai in some techniques also.
3. Could you please elaborate on this point?
I'm not clear on what you meant by
"...controls the class..." - This means that the instructor must be extremely aware of what is happening at any point in the class, and should be able to stop students and address problems, before they go out of control. This includes problems with technique, personality differences, tests of strength between students when they should be practicing and things like that. In other words, discipline should be enforced by him at all times.
"...facilitating the progress...", - This has a bit to do with the previous one. The instructor must be attentive to the needs of the class as a whole, as well as individual needs. He should be able to determine where some students may have critical problems and address them immediately to avoid the students developing negative habits that can really hurt their Aikido later on. This refers technically to things like using extreme muscular force to do techniques, inability to heed when uke taps in pain and things like severe lack of self-confidence among certain students. Aiki awareness needs to be increased exponentially when one is an instructor.
"...natural flow..." - I guess this comes from my Shodokan background.
I believe that classes should flow from beginning to end in a more or less structured manner. It should begin with basics and very light partner practice and increase incrementally in intensity and difficulty as you near the end of the class. This creates a graduated process where the students can develop from basic exercises into technical applications and then develop those techniques into practical elements of self defence in a step by step manner.
4. what specifically made you make the comment that Yoshinkan would be a better bet for self-defense?
If you get the chance, read any of the books by Gozo Shioda, such as Dynamic Aikido. I believe that Yoshinkan is the Aikido style that closest resembles Takeda's Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu (the forerunner of Aikido, sort of) which was a devastating form of hand to hand combat. It is also the self defence style taught to the Tokyo police force.
I hope this clarifies stuff.
Good luck in your search and let us know how it goes.