Re: Advice on Schools of Aikido
In my opinion, I don't think any of the abstract differences between the styles would give you information that would help in deciding where to train. It's the concrete and substantial differences between the dojos that you need to look at. Don't "try" any of them. Call and ask to observe a class, and then do so -- at all of them. You won't understand much of what you see, but that's OK. Just observe the dojo, the training, how the students and sensei act before, during and after, and ask yourself if that -- what you see right in front of you, exactly that and nothing else -- is what you want to do. Double-check by asking the sensei or students afterwards if the class was typical, but chances are it will be. Then, make your decision based on this. Don't decide based on some abstract notion of what this style or that style "focuses on" -- look at what's right in front of your face. If that's not what you want to do, there's no way you'll ever get to this elusive "focus".