Ron Tisdale wrote:
I agree (for the most part) with Erick's assesment of the forward movement, focus and weight that is a basic for Yoshinkan. Mixing that approach with some of the specifics that Mike gives is somewhat problematic..... There are styles of aikido that are very powerfull that don't focus the weight in the same manner as in the Yoshinkan. Since I cannot conclude that "our" way is necessarily better than "theirs"...I must then conclude that Erick doesn't quite understand the topic.
Shioda is rumored to have had some instruction outside of Ueshiba in Daito ryu...
I think you may have an exaggerated sense of the difference between "ours" "yours" or "theirs" in approaches on this point, Ron. The totality of my exposure to Yoshinkan is about six or eight classes over a two year period in Yokosuka while on periodic Navy instructor travel. Enough only to intrigue as to the distinctions of focus, really. I don't think I picked up these observations there. Shioda's teachings on this are consistent with what I did receive elsewhere.
The strongest focus in my training for the aspect of irimi I describe would have been my Iwama teacher, Bernice Tom in San Diego. Most of my training has been Iwama and ASU, with Federation Aikikai in college and thrown in here and there along the way, including about seven months (during a lawschool scheduling conflict) with Chiba back in '95-ish. Nothing was really different in terms of this aspect of irimi anywhere I trained. The only wrinkle is the focus on the irimi side of the techniques, which may be front or rear, or change several times, allowing for techniques without regard to particular kamae, which is more from the ASU side.
Hitohiro Saito still teaches this, and Bernice Sensei was uchi deshi to his father. "Your body pivots around the big toe of your front foot." Interview here (down where it asks about "fundamentals of training"): http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=95