Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
I have just come back from a very interesting trip to Malaysia and Brunei, where they appear to start from the back foot. I suspect this was a convention established for the purposes of teaching maai etc, since no swordwork has been officially taught in the dojos I visited. I myself have been brought up on the kumi-tachi model (as seen in the early Saito volumes), where everything starts from ai-hanmi.
Hmmm... that's a good point, but dojos in Singapore have official classes for swordwork and they also start from gyaku hanmi for shomenuchi.
Also, I should correct myself about "the split into Ki no Kenkyukai, Aikikai, Tomiki and Yoshinkan". If I'm not mistaken, the Yoshinkan and Tomiki groups were formed prior to O-Sensei's passing away and before Tohei Sensei became the Head Instructor.