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Old 01-06-2006, 12:48 PM   #22
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

John Carter wrote:
I am a 20 year practitioner of Nihon Goshin Aikido. I currently teach the art in Columbia, SC. My sensei is Steven Weber, Go-Dan, who trained directly under Shihan Bowe during the 70's. Sensei Weber is Shihan Bowe's senior student and instructor in the United States. Over the years many of our instructors have either trained in other styles of Aikido, seen technique of high ranking Aikido-ka, or have taught students from other dojos. Speaking for myself, I have obviously seen and felt the technique of Mr. Weber and Shihan Bowe. I have also seen and felt the technique of the late Toyoda Sensei of the Aikido Association of America. Additionally, Mr. Weber was invited by him to go to Japan and train at the Hombu dojo. His experiences with Toyoda Sensei were numerous. I also have seen and experienced the technique of John Waite of the British Aikido Association. Being located in South Carolina, I have seen Suenaka's technique and have worked with some of his former students. We also have two Aikido clubs here that represent Aikikai, and Seidokan. In all of my experiences thus far, I have to say even though all the styles have differences, including Nihon Goshin, they all have common threads. Irimi, tenkan, ki, immobilization's, projections, joint-locks etc. Developing an opinion from certain practitioners of any art, cannot always be applied to all practitioners of an art. Some may be more jiu-jitsu oriented, or judo, larger circles, smaller, more atemi.... That doesn't mean the art Shihan Bowe learned in Japan wasn't Aikido. Those claiming that he invented the art and utilized the word "Aikido" for what he was teaching in New Jersey, probably have not been through his historical documents, certificates, and pictures, etc. from Hokkaido, Japan.
Actually, what I have seen is similar to generic Aikido but with less movement. I am intrigued more by the story of the founding in Japan which seems to tie into Yoshida Sensei. Of course the Yoshida family had their own style and the senior Yoshida was also a teacher of Daito Ryu... From what I have seen of the art. I can't see much evidence of the Yanagi Ryu nor would I say much of the more sophisticated, more aiki aspect of Daito Ryu made the transition to the States. Someone who knows more about Daito Ryu might be able to see the relationship since Daito Ryu has a number of levels which have to be worked through. It's possible the Japanese founder of Nihon Goshin Aikido only had a limited exposure to the Daito Ryu techniques taught by Yoshida Sensei although that would be simply conjecture on my part since I am not knowledegeable enough about Daito ryu to say what part of their curriculum something might have come out of.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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