Jon Sharp wrote:
...Some of the techniques that I was fond of such as Hanmi handachi suwari waza shiho nage (ura) don't appear in the iwama syllabus which I think is a shame. I also really enjoyed the strong emphasis on ukemi in Hombu. ..snip
Hi Jon, I just wanted to comment on this. I train Takemusu Aikido, which is part of Aikikai. Here in Europe, this is what used to be called Iwama Ryu. Hitohiro Saito Sensei's style is now called "Iwama Shinshin Aiki Shuren Kai" as far as I am aware, and is not Aikikai affiliated. I am not certain which style the original poster is asking for. In the dojos I have trained in, hanmi handachi shiho nage ura waza (and omote waza) are taught, and are definitely part of the curriculum. Oh yeah, and ukemi is highly emphasised as well...
Regarding style. I train in the Iwama style because I am attracted to the harder training which defines the dojos of this style in my "neighborhood". This is just how it is here, and that probably varies after where you go.
Some people that I would say represents the Takemusu Aikido(Iwama) style as I see it are:
Ulf Evenås (Sweden)
Ethan Weisgard (Denmark)
Mark Larson (America)
Lewis de Quirós
Pia Moberg (Sweden)
Lars Göran Andersson (Sweden)
Most of these people have spend periods as uchi deshi in Iwama under Saito Sensei. The people with the reputation as "old" warriors of this bunch are Mark and Lars Göran (Lasse).
I have heard Mark Sensei complain about his forearms getting thinner by the day. Not like back when he was in Iwama, and his "battleweight" was 130 kg. Mind you, his forearm is like both my forearms put together, and then some
I realize that you are from UK, and unfortunately don't know of anybody there personally. I have heard about a guy called Justin Christou from England. But I know that there is a seminar coming up with Ulf Evenås in London quite soon.
Hope this helps... Kind Regards