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Old 09-20-2005, 04:34 AM   #21
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Re: What makes a style?

Peter Rehse wrote:
I notice on Wikipdia and Aikiwiki there is one dojo that lists itself as a style which for me at least just begs the question - what make a style?

Personally when I see a list such as Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, Shodokan - all have which have a strong pedigree, an international base, and a whole lot of dojos under their name - followed by a "style" with a single dojo founded by people I've never heard of, my hackles get raised.
I think the problem is, that in aikido/budo context the word "style" is used in two different meanings. One of them is techical style, different ways of doing thing, but IMO this is not the most common meaning of the word. Most of the time, when people say style, they mean "independent organisation". So, if a single dojo is not in an organisation with any other dojo - then in a way, it is a style (although maybe not important enough that it should get listed as a style in the Aikiwiki or in Wikipedia).

I can imagine that if you have a dojo and have a split with your teacher, and the ties to the organisation goes through your teacher - then the single dojo style is the only option, unless there is a second org where you are welcome to join. If organisations are closely connected to teachers, I believe this might be difficult.

In general, I find martial arts articles in Wikipedia a mess. Too many people write about their style of karate like if their grading system, sparring systems etc was applied in all styles of karate. Lack of good written sources on this kind on things, esp regards to what is karate-specific but not karate style-specific, is also a problem. Regarding the aikido article in Wikipedia - what is that huge section on ki doing in the article? while at the same time, Wikipedia doesn't have an article on ki. There is an article on qi though, the related Chinese concepts, but whether or not these are the same...
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