I'm very interested in taking up Aikido, and am after a recommendation as to which organisation or lineage to join. I'm really looking for a dojo that teaches authentic Aikido with a strong self defense focus, as I'm coming from a more MMA-ish background, but have been really impressed with a couple of Aikido guys I've sparred with in the past and would like to expand my horizons. Plus after an extended period of illness has pretty much destroyed my fitness level, the idea of being able to fight with a gentler, more intelligent style while I get my health back together is appealing. That said, I've been less than impressed with a few other Aikido practitioners I've met (they seemed to think I was going to attack with an overhead chop move or not really resist being arm barred or wrist locked, wow
) so I'd really like some advice on which organisations are kosher, and which are just another black belt factory.
I'm on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, so if anyone here happens to be from the area and can point me towards an excellent local dojo, that'd be fantastic! Otherwise, there are a couple of dojo's I've been looking at who are affiliated with the International Aikido Federation, although I'm really not sure if that equals quality or not. If they're known for consistently good quality training, I'd love to hear some experiences and opinions!
Regardless, greetings to everyone!