Re: Newbie With Question
This answer may get me in trouble, but I'll say it anyway... look for anybody wearing red tape... look for a triage center in the room... ask how often to expect to get joint sprains, bruises, bodily harm in general. ask how many injuries the dojo has had in the past 2-5 years (as in, kept them from going to work the next day, or hospitalized them).
There is, IMO, far to cavalier an attitude in the "general aikido world" about what kind of "abuse" constitutes "good training". Far too many people are being hurt.
Having said that, let me leave you with this... I've never trained with the groups you're talking about, I've never met or heard of them. So I don't know what kind of training they have, so I'm NOT knocking them. I have no experience with them. They could be great guys with a perfect history of no injuries ever in their dojo. I don't know.