Louis Tremblay wrote:
Hence, if I would have been 3rd kyu or even shodan in a´kika´, I'm not sure that my rank would have been recognized as such in another Dojo that follows another style (Yoseikan, Yoshinkan, A´kibudo, etc.). The result : I would almost have to start all over again.
I would'nt say that this bothers me, but I'm still a bit preoccupied by the fact that seemingly, all a´kido styles are not made (or considered) equal.
That said, I'm wondering why there aren't any effort put in unifying and consolidating all a´kido styles. Or are there ?
That would'nt mean to throw away all particularities pertaining to each style, but could we at least provide a unified cursus upon which each "style" would build on ? Like, say, in medical studies. You start off by studying medecine, and then you choose to specialize in, for instance, surgery. A surgeon is still a doctor.
I used to be bothered by rank, but after training in Japan with people whose rank I will probably never reach in my lifetime - the goal has shifted to just getting better and trying to train regularly. Also, once you build up enough experience, you'll probably grade faster in a different style because the basic ideas are similar.
As for consolidating styles, who is going to judge whether a movement or teaching deserves to be in or out? For example, the Ki Society has a distinctive 'hop' in some of their movements... which I've not seen elsewhere... the Yoshinkan has a particular form of moving which sees a straight back leg - again, something which I have not seen in either the Aikikai or the Ki Society.
Having said this though, I believe there are some Sensei who have tried to blend the different Aikido styles... so this may be a step in the direction you are proposing.
I like your idea of having a basic 'course' and then specialization. However, each style has a unique way of doing even the most basic techniques. According to Total Aikido (Yoshinkan) by Shioda Sensei, kokyu dosa is done with uke pushing or pulling. Even though I'm not from the Yoshinkan, I can appreciate the logic behind it. However, the Aikikai or Ki Society don't seem to practice it this way... Again, how does one judge if one way of doing the technique is better than the other?
From my limited experience, each Sensei's Aikido is an expression of his character, and depends on his interpretation of O-Sensei's teachings. Thus, it becomes a bit difficult to unify Aikido because it's not a science like Medicine. Aikido comes from the heart and everyone's different. Personally, I'm in favor of variety as it makes training interesting and stimulates the evolution of Aikido.
Having said this, it might be good to try out different styles as part of a 'basic' course and then settle on the style that suits your personality and interpretation of Aikido. Hopefully the style will give you what you are looking for, although your demands may change as time goes on...
Just sharing my humble thoughts.