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Old 09-04-2005, 05:36 AM   #1
Kalle Koskinen
Dojo: Shiseikan
Location: Iisalmi, Finland
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 18
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Aikido in Bangkok

I havent written english in a long time, so there is bound to be lots of mistakes.

My wife is going to Bangkok in summer 2006 and she is studying there for three months. Naturally Ill be going with her to take care of our children.

I dont know much about Fukakusa and his way of teaching aikido. Have anyone from this forum trained under Fukakusa + other teachers in Bangkok? Id be glad if someone could tell me something that could be useful information. Does he teach technique against punches and kicks, how about the use of atemi, effective throwing etc etc.

Also other info on good dojos in Thailand interests me. I heard that in Pattaya there is a dojo where Yoshinkan-aikido is the main style and Id would like to see it. If there are dojos where Kuroiwas and Nishios style of doing aikido is practiced I would like to hear from them.

So pretty much effective and strong aikido is what Im interested in. But Ill be open to any suggestions. I even plan to try some thaiboxing for the knowledge of using elbows and knees.
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Old 09-04-2005, 07:22 AM   #2
t_muraoka
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 6
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

I've trained at both. My background is in Yoshinkan but Aikikai is the only game in town in Bangkok so I thought I'd give it a go.

Fukakusa is a lovely guy and has a really beautiful style. However, he doesn't teach all that much, usually about one night a week. There is a large number of instructors there and most of them are pretty good. However, they all have different backgrounds which means that instruction is a bit inconsistent. Teaching is also done in a weird mix of Japanese, English and Thai :-( Coming from Yoshinkan, it seemed a bit unstructured and while you'll practice various techniques, there doesn't seem to be any specific approach.

I've switched to the Yoshinkan dojo in Pattaya. It's about 2.5 hours on the bus from Bangkok but it's been worth it. It's a very small dojo and there are usually only 5 or 6 students training so you usually get a lot of personal attention. Sensei Geordan is also always very keen to have visitors come in whether it be for a day or for longer.

There's also an Aikikai dojo up at Chiang Mai university in the North but the standard is a bit lower; it's mostly students wanting to give something new a go :-)
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:26 PM   #3
Beholder
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 34
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

Hello Kalle

I should say I have trained with Fukakusa shihan for several years, and was about when Renbukan dojo was set up, although I'm currently back in the UK.

I beg to differ a little from Taka's previous post in that actually sensei teaches most nights, albeit not always at the Renbukan dojo (the HQ dojo at Phrakanong BTS station -- which, incidentally, is really easy to get to).

Fukakusa shihan also teaches the Thai military in their own facilities (several of his yudansha are ranked military), as well as practical self-defence to (all) the Thai Airways cabin staff. So his background is immensely practical. However he has always made the distinction between self defence and aikido clear, and in the aikido classes what you'll get is classical aikido.

More so than any other teacher I have trained under, Fukakusa shihan moderates his technique according to the people he is teaching, and the partner he's throwing. This is, I believe, an indication of admirable modesty (which is the mark of somebody with nothing to prove, something that some other teachers are sadly lacking in aikido) because if you've ever seen him really, uh, cut it up, you'll know that he has immensely powerful technique. (He's also very fast when he wants to be!) He is, however, a very polite man and a wonderful teacher -- especially to polite beginners. Of course, you should bear Taka's report in mind because that too is based on experience, but when I was resident in Bangkok, I often attended classes with Fukakusa sensei six nights a week.

It's also worth noting that sensei has been teaching in Bangkok since he was sent there (by Tamura shihan, who was still in Japan at the time) forty years ago, so some of the other senior instructors whom he has raised are pretty impressive in their own right too. Basically, Bangkok is a great place to train in aikikai aikido. Fukakusa shihan is also a popular and admired teacher in the region -- he set up the AAF and, incidentally, this is a good time to remind people that time's running out for application to the AAF congress in November -- for more information about this (and the dojo locations/timetables) see http://www.thaiaikikai.com

I have to say I enjoy the "weird mix of language", if that's what it is! The primary language of instruction is Thai of course, but as sensei and some of the shidoin are Japanese, of course Japanese is spoken if there are Japanese students on the mat (as there often are). As a courtesy to the many foreigners who join in at the Renbukan dojo, English is common too. Incidentally, at Din Daeng dojo, it's generally all in Thai, whereas at Dance Centre dojo it's all in English.

Incidentally, Taka, I think you're probably completely, er, right when you say it seemed a bit unstructured compared to what you're used to... but I think that's what you'll find at any aikikai dojo Also, as I said above, there's quite a range of teaching styles amongst the seniors there.

Of course, bear in mind that I am a student of Fukakusa shihan, so my opinion is bound to be biased... YMMV

Regards,
Dave

Last edited by Beholder : 09-04-2005 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:31 PM   #4
Beholder
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 34
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

Hi Kalle

Oops -- I should also have told you that in Hua Hin (not far out of Bangkok, lovely beaches) there's a dojo affiliated with the Thai Aikikai that's headed by a Finnish couple.

I do believe there's even a link for you, in Finnish
http://huahin.kamppailu.info/

OK so now I agree with the weird mix of languages...

Last edited by Beholder : 09-04-2005 at 02:32 PM. Reason: can't spell "affiliated" in Finnish
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:16 AM   #5
Kalle Koskinen
Dojo: Shiseikan
Location: Iisalmi, Finland
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 18
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

Thanks for your replys!

It is good to know that the yoshinkan dojo is still there and operating. Ill propably take a couple of weeks "vacation" from my family and make a little trip to Pattaya.

I understand both of you and your opinnion on Fukakusa and Thai-Aikikai. Now Im relaxed and look forward to practice aikido in Thailand. It is good to know that Fukakusa has knowledge in self-defence, so hopefully I can get some answers Im looking for.

I forgot to mention that I knew this Mr. Rissanens dojo in Hua Hin. I met him in the summer and asked him about training in his dojo. He was very helpful and Im planning to visit there also.

One thing that I would like to know is that do these dojos have air conditioning? I mean gi + hakama + jumping up and down in 33 degrees of celcius... I can see myself already missing the winter and the freezing wind.

So everything would seem to be ok and Im excited in going to Thailand. Only if this growing fear of flying wouldnt bother me...
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:15 AM   #6
t_muraoka
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 6
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

Quote:
Kalle Koskinen wrote:
One thing that I would like to know is that do these dojos have air conditioning?
He, he :-) This is indeed the 6 million baht question. The main dojo in Bangkok is *not* air-conditioned. Instead, they have a bank of industrial-sized fans that make so much noise, it's sometimes hard to hear the instructor (as if a weird mix of languages wasn't making it hard enough already). It's HOT!

The Dance Studio, also in Bangkok is air-conditioned IIRC but it's very small and has a massive concrete post in the middle of the mats that everyone has to train around. Blending in action! :-)

The dojo in Pattaya is also quite small but is air-conditioned. It has a fantastic view of the sea and there's a very nice pool on the top floor of the building :-)
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:24 AM   #7
Beholder
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 34
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

Quote:
Taka Muraoka wrote:
The Dance Studio, also in Bangkok is air-conditioned IIRC but it's very small and has a massive concrete post in the middle of the mats that everyone has to train around. Blending in action! :-)
You remember correctly
The post is for hiding behind. Unfortunately there are mirrors on one wall.... damn, they've thought of everything...

I should also mention there's a big dojo in Ding Daeng... no air-conditioning, and no industrial fans. So you've got the full range of options if you want them
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:57 AM   #8
Amelia Smith
 
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Dojo: Martha's Vineyard Aikido Club
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Posts: 154
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

I vistited the Chaing Mai dojo a year and a half ago, when I was travelling there. As a university dojo, it of course had a higher proportion of beginners, but it was quite friendly and I had a good practice there (my last practice for many months, as it turned out. There's practically no aikido in China, outside of (recently) a few big cities in the east, and Beijing). If I remember correctly, it was also a bit less formal and/or disorganised than some places I''ve practiced. They use an open air space under a building, and have to set the mats out each time. So, while there's no air conditioning, at least there's a little cross-ventilation and a bit of a breeze.
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:51 PM   #9
bleepbeep
Dojo: kyokan dojo bacolod city/dale city aikikai, va
Location: VA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 62
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

I shared the mats with Fukakusa early this year. I wish i had more time spent with him and his way of teaching aikido. You'll be in good hands!
wish I could join the November seminar as well
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:32 PM   #10
Kalle Koskinen
Dojo: Shiseikan
Location: Iisalmi, Finland
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 18
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

Quote:
Taka Muraoka wrote:
I've switched to the Yoshinkan dojo in Pattaya. It's about 2.5 hours on the bus from Bangkok but it's been worth it. It's a very small dojo and there are usually only 5 or 6 students training so you usually get a lot of personal attention. Sensei Geordan is also always very keen to have visitors come in whether it be for a day or for longer.

Im very interested in to visiting this dojo. How much does it cost and how do they accept new (short-timed) students? At the moment Im planning to spend two weeks in Pattaya and I would like to train as much as possible.

Do they have any websites or e-mail where I could get the necessary info?

Oh, and I almost forgot. What is the quality of the instructors and trainers (quality is propably the wrong word in here, but hopefully you understand what Im trying to say). How long have they trained etc.

If you have the time to answer me, I would be happy. You can also e-mail me: junttu(REMOVE THIS)@luukku.com
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Old 09-15-2005, 02:59 AM   #11
t_muraoka
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 6
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Re: Aikido in Bangkok

Quote:
Kalle Koskinen wrote:
How much does it cost and how do they accept new (short-timed) students?
I pay 200 baht per session (USD 1 = 40 baht) or you can pay 1600B for a month (IIRC). The dojo is open 4-5 days a week IIRC. Just show up and Sensei Geordan will fit you in.

Quote:
Kalle Koskinen wrote:
Do they have any websites or e-mail where I could get the necessary info?
I've sent you an email address for Sensei Geordan.

Quote:
Kalle Koskinen wrote:
Oh, and I almost forgot. What is the quality of the instructors and trainers (quality is propably the wrong word in here, but hopefully you understand what Im trying to say). How long have they trained etc.
Excellent. Sensei Geordan is a 6th dan. I couldn't tell you how long he's been training himself but I know he's done the instructor's course at Hombu.

I've only been going there for a few months but it's been fantastic. There's usually only 5 or 6 people training, so you get lots of personal attention :-)
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