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Old 12-05-2004, 05:30 PM   #4
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Re: Different Styles of Aikido, same smiles?

Hi Sue,

I think all the styles eventually end up at the same place. The easiest analogy being that its the same mountain, but the different styles are just different ways of getting to the top.

The difference is probably most seen in the training methods and where the emphasis is placed within that training. In addition to seeing that, you also have to ask why the emphasis is placed where it is and then decide if both that training style and that reason suit you.

To give an example from personal experience, Yoshinkan (one of those "Y" styles <grin>) emphasizes a very strict core of basic movements and basic techniques. In basic training and testing there is very little margin for differences (including placement of hands, and angles of feet) within a technique. The reason for this emphasis is that you are taught how to move your partner where you want them to be when you want to do a specific technique. In training and in testing, therefore you are focused on a particular technique and are trying to learn how to do that technique even when it might be "easier" to do something else. By doing this you are hopefully learning how to stay very balanced and focused throughout the technique and to keep control of your partner from the moment of the initial attack. That being said, there are advanced techniques and training where you keep the ideas that you learn from doing the basics, but there is more freedom in how to implement the technique and the ability to choose the technique based upon what is happening with any particular attack.

The Aikikai classes I initially watched confused me because the teacher would demonstrate a technique to practice and when you look around the room only about half of the people would be doing that technique (although they would all start from the same attack). I didn't understand this at all until I asked and someone told me (a little bit incredulously) that different attacks caused different flows because of intent, timing, balance, body type, speed, etc. and the final technique to be done was a direct result of that flow. So, even though the initial idea was to do the technique demonstrated by the instructor the final technique that came out of it was totally dependent upon what happened during the technique. The emphasis in this training is just different from what I was used to. They were all trying to feel the flow and the way of least resistance to determine which technique to finally use.

With respect to Devin, I believe that both ways of training are valid as long as neither of them gets hung up on the training method itself and ignores the actual goal of training, which is to become strong, balanced, controlled, flowing and fluid from any unique attack and able to do any particular technique.

Other styles have there own emphasis which comes out in the training method.

I hope that all made sense :-)


Last edited by maikerus : 12-05-2004 at 05:36 PM.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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