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Old 01-09-2006, 08:32 PM   #16
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Re: Where do they have Aikido Tournaments?

Tomiki in America has been addressed just fine. Shiai can be great fun but is not for everyone. The randori method (from which shiai is based) can be practiced by all and is a great training method.

Mary Kuhner wrote:
My understanding is that Shodokan (Tomiki) competition also requires learning a distinctive style, to avoid moves banned from tournaments on account of risk; it would be difficult to just walk in and pick it up. But I'm not speaking from experience here as I've never had the chance to train at a Shodokan dojo.
Well yes and no.

Shiai/randori does involves rules so it takes a bit of time to understand what's what but they are quite simple and allow most techniques in some form (same can be said for Aikikai randori). I had the last Aikikai club I visited (over Christmas) doing passable Shodokan style randori within the hour. I introduced a few more restrictions but less than I would with Shodokan beginners.

There are at least two other styles of Aikido besides Shodokan that have resistive randori and hold shiai: Yoseikan Aikido and a Yoshinkan derivative (Fumio Sakurai). All the major styles of Aikido have held Enbu competitions at one time or the other and in fact there are Aikikai clubs that have competed at Shodokan Enbu events. In fact there are Aikikai clubs that use the Shodokan randori method. Not sure how the rest of the world interacts but I found Japan to be quite incestuous and not as clear cut as some people would like.

For the more intolerant a few points of interest.

Shodokan Hombu is an Aikikai Club - always has been. Kobayashi Shihan taught there from its inception and since his death it has been Kimura Shihan. When the dojo had its reopening last year (after an expansion) there were several major Osaka based Aikikai Shihan in attendance.

On a personal level an Aikikai Shihan in Japan did me the honor of visiting my group and sending a student on another occasion. I have always been welcomed and treated well by Aikikai groups that I have visited including those of some top level instructors.

I can only recommend the various articles on Kenji Tomiki that can be found at Aikido Journal.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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