Re: Why so many Haters of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido?
I came to Aikido with a background of studying a 'hard' style of Gendai Ju-Jitsu and opted for Ki Aikido within Sensei Kolesnikov's association as I'd previously tried some Tai Chi which, whilst enjoyable, wreaked havoc on my knees.
I stayed with Sensei Kolesnikov's association until 3rd kyu and came to the realization that whilst the practise was enjoyable I was not getting what I wanted out of it (i.e. some element of martial application).
Kolesnikov Sensei was clear when he came to do seminars in my local area that he considered his practise of Aikido to be primarily health-related and consequently did not focus specifically on combat orientations to any great depth (the Tai Chi and Rythmic Gynastic-like Ribbon demonstrations are relatively recent developments of Kolesnikov Sensei. There were not practised nor talked about when I trained with his association 11 years ago).
I, therefore, chose to look elsewhere and joined another local Ki-based Aikido association which I remain a part of currently. The difference is like chalk and cheese in terms of practise. Combat focus is central within this association and is taught throughout the whole syllabus, whilst the Ki Aikido principles developed by Tohei Sensei are retained.
The nub of this is that I have found an expression of Aikido that works for me and enables me to combine elements of Ki, softness and effectiveness. I have had to both adapt my body and mindset to this particular style and also make some changes to my practise to accommodate my ageing and arthritic body (for example, I can only do Iaido and Kokyu Dosa whilst standing as sitting in Seiza is not possible due to the acute pain caused by Arthritis in the top of my Left foot).
To my mind, the debate should not be one of whether one particular style of Aikido is better than another in terms of effectiveness etc. I believe that it should be one of establishing what style works for each individuals body structure, mindset and temperament etc. and why that is the case.
I no longer need to rely on strength and actively use Ki, softness and weight underside to make techniques work. This does not mean that my Aikido is any better or worse than people who may use strength and/or other principles in technique in order to make their Aikido work for them. It's just a different way and means of coming to the same conclusion.
Last edited by andy crowe : 09-03-2011 at 04:03 AM.