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Old 03-04-2014, 04:35 AM   #2
zivk's Avatar
Dojo: Do-Gen-Do/Holon
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 53
Re: Aikido in Israel?

Hello Ben,

Ben White wrote: View Post
I have some questions on Aikido in Israel and am hoping some of those Aikidoka who are in Israel or know of Aikido in Israel may be able to assist.
I'll try to answer your questions according to my humble understanding. I guess that more senior and seasoned practitioners than myself might add some more (or even correct unintended mistakes).

Ben White wrote: View Post
First off I noticed that the Aikikai is well represented in Israel with several Aikikai dojos listed as well as an Independant dojo, can you tell me what other branches of Aikido are represented there?
Other Aikido organisations that are represented in Israel are Yoshinkan, Seidokan and Kokikai. There are several dojos that practice Aikido that were developed by different founders than O-sensei: Korindo (created by Minoru Hirai sensei) and Real aikido (developed by Ljubomir Vračarević).

Ben White wrote: View Post
Secondly I wondered if Aikido has any relationship with Krav Maga in Israel in terms of mixed training or Krav students taking Aikido training to improve their Krav? I know that the founder of Krav used Aikido training as a part of his grouping of techniques to from Krav Maga and that the first two Black Belts in Krav Maga in Israel were Israeli Aikidoka. Hence I wondered if the relationship may have continued in some way?
As far as I know there is a teacher in Israel, Ami Niv, who teaches a martial art called Aiki Krav Maga. Beside that I know of several aikido practitioners who have background in Krav Maga. I never had the chance to meet him so I really can't say how he combines aikido and Krav Maga. I can't say anything in general regarding how they incorporate their background in Krav Maga to aikido. However, I can say that I participated in several lessons that were dedicated to the similarity and difference between aikido and Krav Maga perspective.

Ben White wrote: View Post
Thirdly I did wonder how Aikido is embraced by the Jewish community in general? Do Orthodox people do Aikido or Martial Arts and if so do they train in their own groups or with others? Do students wear the kippah in training and is there training held on the Sabbath or is that not done because of the fact that it is the Sabbath? I have been pondering a lot lately about how Judaism has a strong focus on personal holiness and I wondered how Jewish people view the teachings of O'Sensei with his rejection of violence and his belief in world peace and universal harmony and if there is a connection there between some of those ideals in Judaism and Aikido?
Religion belief is a complicated matter, especially in Israel which hosts sites sacred to four religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahai. I know of several religious Jews who practice aikido. Most are practicing in dojos side by side with people of different views and beliefs. Regarding issues of possible religious limitation on an orthodox aikido practioner, I'm afraid I cannot answer. However there is an aikido teacher in Israel who is a Rabbi as well as an academic scholar, Dr. Rabbi Isaac Lifshitz. If you can read Hebrew, I think you might find his article on "Aikido and Judaism - bowing and other thoughts in Aikido practice" helpful:

Thank you Ben for your interest in our small but thriving aikido community here in Israel. If by any chance you visit Israel, please PM me. It'll be nice to practice together.
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