I have been practising aikido basically in an "aikikai" form for the past year and a half (now at 4th Kyu- "unofficial"-no affiliation).
My dojo in Munich will sadly be closing soon as we donīt have enough members.
So I have an opportunity now to decide how to go forward with my aikido.
It is important to me that the aikido that I am practicing is reasonably effective. No I have no intention of getting into bar fights but aikido just seems to make less sense to me if it is done in less effective form. I donīt see why we cant get other benefits of aikido, e.g. stress reduction, without sacrificing martiality. Donīt get me wrong I donīt think you have to be smashing your uke on the ground all the time at all but my goal (after enough practice) is to have a realistic defence against realistic attacks.
So I am considering whether to try training at a yoshinkan dojo. What will the differences in training be? big difference or not much? What will be likely advantages/disadvantages of going this route. There are also other dojos including aikikai affiliated ones that I am looking at.
Any tips from the more experienced aikidokas?
Generally speaking Yoshinkan has more emphasis on martiallity and self defence than the majority of Aikikai style dojo and in lieu of Shodokan (which I know and love) that would be my choice.
Yoshinkan does have a strong emphasis in basics including quite rigid step by step moves that can be quite maddening to learn if you have background in any other style. With my background I feel that transitioning to Yoshinkan would be more than a little tough although when I invited Yoshinkan teachers to my club in Himeji everyone felt right at home.
With good teachers in can be just as difficult to transition to a different Aikikai type club - it really depends on how close the teachers are related.
So here's the thing - I will be leaving the Far East for a new position in the next 2-3 months and one of two possible places in Munich. Please let me know how your search goes. I am looking for insight.