Re: Complementary Aikido Styles
To be clear, I am paraphrasing what others have said regarding Tissier, I train under one of his students myself and my experience with Aikido is exclusively under this "style", even the seminars I have attended were under Senseis Guillemin and Gonzalez. For this reason, I am deferring to others definitions as I am not impartial and have no frame of reference. I consider it a fast, powerful style of aikido with beautiful flow that strongly encourages contact, but I don't know in comparison to other styles if that stands true. When I receive techniques from my sensei I feel as if the style is quite hard, but perhaps if I had experienced Yoshinkan for "scale" I might believe otherwise. I do not define it as a style explicitly because Tissier himself does not, as he says, he trains in the style of the Aikikai though many of his students prefer to refer to it as "Tissier style", so he does not believe that it exists per se. I suppose it then gets into a discussion of is a style only determined by the root of it - i.e. is it not a style because Tissier says it isn't? Or is it a style because some of his students say it is? There is no clear cut line. Either way I will train with the man himself this coming May, I am eager to see what differences - if any - there are between his Aikido and that of his students that I have experienced.
Primarily by comparing styles I am talking about physical differences, such as doing more suwari waza or perhaps different approaches to specific techniques. Ones where there is a tangible difference in training, rather than a philosophical difference.
Also to be clear I am talking of sampling other styles, to either visit a dojo for one or two sessions or to attend a seminar. Not to permanently cross train. But there are few Tissier disciples in Greece, so inevitably attending a seminar outside of my dojo will be another style, hence the prompting of how the styles relate to one another. I may permanently cross train with something else once I am yudansha, but to do so long-term at this point I think stands to be more confusing than anything.
Regarding permission to train elsewhere, I think this is a difficult point too. Is it good etiquette to inform your sensei, even if it will most certainly only be once? I feel like this could only cause conflict, as if you feel like their aikido is not enough when in fact you are only curious of what else exists. Either way it may make them question your loyalty to the dojo, which nobody wants. And what if you ask for permission and they deny you? Then you feel as if they are restricting your training and/or possessive. But going behind their back also seems like a politically tense situation if it manages to get back to them. I did ask my Sensei once about an upcoming seminar several weeks ago because I knew he had trained with the shihan in question (Endo Seishiro), but he was a bit standoffish about it, not disallowing but there was an implied "why do you need more?" to the discussion. And no helpful information regarding if someone from our style would be fine at such a seminar (the information I was searching for). I have a feeling the conversation would go similarly with discussing of visiting any other dojo or seminar of another style.