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Old 01-20-2005, 11:37 PM   #1
TeachmeAikido
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Question What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

What if the school is not Aikikai afilliated , does that mean what you learn is not worth much. ? Please help me understand. Thank you
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:16 AM   #2
senshincenter
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/w...yourskill.html

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:30 AM   #3
xuzen
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Donald,

Nah, Aikikai is an organization not a style specifically. It is currently headed by Doshu Moriteru U. who is the grandson of Founder Morihei U. In his lifetime, the founder has many outstanding students and in turn these outstanding students created their style of aikido based on their personal interpretation of the art. Example are G. shioda (Yoshinkan), K. Tomiki (Shodokan), M. Saito (Iwama-ryu), M. Mochizuki (Yoseikan), K. Tohei (Shin shin toitsu aikido) etc. You will still learn good aikido even if the school is not affiliated with Aikikai. These 2nd gen aikidoka in turn produces many outstanding students.

I belief aikido is like a pizza, in its core it is bread and dough but what you put on top creates different taste and flavour. But whatever flavour it should have the basic ingredient: mozzarella cheese and tomato puree

Some dojo may be unaffiliated, but don't be mistaken for they can be technically good in aikido but mainly for political reason the chief instructor may not want to be affiliated.

When enrolling into a dojo, just check with the instructor what sort of lineage, if he is an authentic practitioner his lineage can be traced back to the founder Morihei Ueshiba somehow. Aikido is a relatively new art and most instructor are 3rd or 4th generation after the founder which makes it easy to trace their lineage.

Good luck in your quest.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:44 AM   #4
JJF
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Uhmmmm pizza......

Anyway - I have been in an afiliated dojo with a nation-wide organization (small nation though). I feel no desire to change this. I LIKE the possibility to link what I do to a row of highly appraised senseis with a link directly to O-sensei. I think it makes it possible to get to practice with a wider selection of people, since we are several dojos in several countries that all follow the same 'main' line of thought.

It is however not in my point of view necessary to have an affiliation in order to practice good aikido. I guess it comes down to the quality of the teacher and the students. Perhaps the main difference is that as a student from a non-afiliated dojo you need to keep your mind very open and accept some suprises if you visit other dojos. Not an entirely bad thing actually

I like the comfort of knowing that I am sitting on a strong branch, but once you get the selfconfidence and broad understanding that makes it obvious that we all stem from the same tree, then I guess sitting on a little twig is just as good. It's all a matter of context and point of view.

Enough rambling - The core of the issue is that affiliation is not necesarily equal to - nor a prerequisit for quality.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:20 AM   #5
Bronson
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Honestly as you're just starting out I think you should focus on finding a dojo/instructor that you "fit" with regardless of what org. they are a part of (assuming they're not part of some goofball soke organization). Most of the people who start Aikido (or most martial arts I'd wager) have no idea there ARE different styles/organizations. They find a dojo with an instructor they like who is doing something they want to do and go from there.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:38 AM   #6
aikidoc
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Basically, if they are not aikikai affiliated that just means the rank is not sanctioned by the aikikai. They may teach aikikai style aikido or they may not. The only problem that occurs is that if you later switch to an aikikai dojo they may not accept your rank. Although most of the time instructors will accept kyu ranks. Dan ranks not issued by the aikikai are not recognized. This occurred even with some aikikai instructors who set up their own groups like Saito's Iwama ranks-the aikikai is not obligated to accept them even though issued by an aikikai shihan.
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:02 AM   #7
kironin
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

To turn it on the head,

Dan ranks not issued by the Ki Society are not recognized.
Kyu ranks generally have to be retested on a case by case basis.

There is no obligation for one organization to recognize the ranks of another organization. Just the way it works.

Being affiliated with a particular organization is no guarantee of quality. The big organizations have particular points of view. On the local level what matters to you is
the quality of instruction,
quality of the learning environment
and how good a fit it is for you.

You need to make visits, watch classes, participate in trial classes as a visitor, in other words do your due diligence.

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Old 01-21-2005, 08:09 AM   #8
Robert Jackson
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Quote:
Donald Griggs wrote:
What if the school is not Aikikai afilliated , does that mean what you learn is not worth much. ? Please help me understand. Thank you

How can learning something not be worth much? Isn't the art and learning more important than an afilliation?
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:32 AM   #9
TeachmeAikido
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Thanks everyone for your information. It has been greatly appreciated. I did not think it mattered but as I do not understand Aikido Organizations and styles as of yet I was not for sure how it was looked upon. I do want to thank everyone for there 2 and 4 cents worth. Once again it has been greatly appreciated and helpfull
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:18 AM   #10
MikeE
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

To slightly disagree with Dr. Riggs,

I started in Aikikai and then "jumped the fence" to a Ki Society/Seidokan offshoot. I have trained with many aikikai instructors that had no problems in recognizing my rank. I've also had students that have moved and started training in Aikikai dojos. I just had a student/friend of mine move to an area where he studies Aikikai, and they have no problem in recognizing his Dan rank. To the last, their rank has been recognized and they have not had to re-test.

I think the line is much more blurred now. I think this has to do with (quite regrettably) the old guard (1st & 2nd generation Aikido instructors) starting to get older and some cases dying off. Old grudges and biases are becoming just that, "old" and don't carry the emotional weight the once did. I like to think that "good Aikido" is recognized just as that, and organizations have less bias towards one another.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:59 AM   #11
csinca
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Quote:
Michael Ellefson wrote:
I like to think that "good Aikido" is recognized just as that, and organizations have less bias towards one another.

I'm with you on that one!

By the same token, my practice isn't too terribly tied to the color of the belt that holds my gi closed. I can train in a white belt just as easily as I can in my black one.

Chris
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:07 AM   #12
Aiki LV
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

There are many good organizations with various affiliations. Just check out a dojo first before making a commitment. Watch what they do and ask questions. You can learn many things that are perfectly "legit" so to speak, from different organizations. I myself have trained at several different dojos with various affiliations, styles, etc. To be perfectly honest they all were a lot more similar than different. Sorry, I'm rambling to answer your question directly No, a dojo does not have to be aikikai for you to learn anything "useful" or "official".
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:33 PM   #13
aikidoc
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

[quote=Michael Ellefson]To slightly disagree with Dr. Riggs,

I started in Aikikai and then "jumped the fence" to a Ki Society/Seidokan offshoot. I have trained with many aikikai instructors that had no problems in recognizing my rank. I've also had students that have moved and started training in Aikikai dojos. I just had a student/friend of mine move to an area where he studies Aikikai, and they have no problem in recognizing his Dan rank. To the last, their rank has been recognized and they have not had to re-test.

QUOTE]

Hi Michael: Recognizing your kyu rank is generally not a problem. I'm just stating what the aikikai says. If you do not have a rank issued by them in regards to a dan rank they do not recognize it. That does not necessarily mean that it won't get recognized. I think the AAA had this issue when they affiliated with the aikikai and several of their senior people came up for the next rank. Some of the shihan may also have the pull to get the rank certified. I do know of some cases where they went back and recognized and made them pay for all the previous dan ranks for a 4th dan from an independent group (quite costly I might think). There may also be somewhat of a gentleman's agreement with certain groups that the aikikai maintains friendly relations with -like the yoshinkan I believe. However, when push comes to shove the aikikai in writing states they do not recognize other styles or ranks of aikido-it's in the books written by doshu and it may even be in the regs or IAF regs-not sure on that one.

Also, by recognition I don't mean just training with them. If you are non aikikai and join and aikikai organization-they have no obligation to recognize your dan rank. I have this problem with an independent student's rank-tested for nidan but had to go through a process of issuing a shodan, waiting a period and then getting a nidan issued. It's the same with kyu ranking-even aikikai dojos don't have to recognize other aikikai kyu ranks unless they are registered with the hombu (some shihan authorized to do so will give them that opportunity).
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:22 PM   #14
NagaBaba
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Quote:
Donald Griggs wrote:
What if the school is not Aikikai afilliated , does that mean what you learn is not worth much. ? Please help me understand. Thank you
Normally, what is most important, that your instructor has a link to O sensei teaching. Aikikai or other major organisation guarranty you this link. Others, "self-made" local small organisations often headed by some kind of Soke or other 15 th dan can be risky business

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:06 PM   #15
Rocky Izumi
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Your dojo, your rules. Not even your Shihan can make you recognise someone else's rank. That is your perogative if it is your dojo. But, then, it is also your Shihan's perogative to not recognise your rank. It is a courtesy given from one dojo to another. Generally, within one organisation, it is courteous to recognize the rank given in one dojo in another. But then, I have had people coming to my dojo from another Aikikai dojo having to go down one or two ranks because their Aikido was not up to the calibre I would expect within my dojos, or their etiquette was too poor to be of the rank they had been graded to previously. My dojo, my rules. I would expect the same to happen to my students if their Aikido was too poor for the ranking system in their new dojo. For that reason, I try to train my students to the level that their rank will not be questioned in any Aikikai dojo. That means about 1 to 2.5 years before Gokkyu and about another year before Yonkyu, etc.

Rock
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:07 PM   #16
Shipley
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

I guess I come from a background that is about as non-Aikikai as possible, being in Koichi Barrish's school.

After over a decade of training under one of his students, I moved out of town and trained at an ASU school. That particular school, and the ASU, both recognized my shodan officially (although I voluntarily started training there with a white belt) (awfully nice of them, I thought). Since then I've trained some other places, and am now teaching, again under Barrish sensei's umbrella.

What I've learned over that time is that as long as you take the time to observe a couple of classes, personal fit to the dojo environment is far more important than the affiliation or style of aikido. I haven't trained anywhere that didn't have aikido that wasn't portable at least in the core techniques. They often differed in detail, but never in the bits that actually matter.

It seems from my perspective that the acrimony over affiliation issues is starting to fade. Splinter associations are reaffiliating with the Hombu organization, and hopefully within my lifetime that part of our history will pass and it will be much less of a problem.

Anyhow, have fun with the process. I love the chance to see what different people have to teach.

I hope I didn't ramble too much, and that you find this helpful.

Paul
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:58 PM   #17
Greg Jennings
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

None of this conversation really applies to DJ's situation.

One of the dojo is Yosh-oriented and is affliated with Kevin Blok's organization.

Another is an ASU dojo. I.e., Aikikai.

The third and last is affiliated with Toshishiro Obata's organization. The instructor is the southeastern rep for Obata.

I'm pretty sure that all three are going to stay affiliated just the way they are. DJ just needs to try them on for size and pick one. Any one.

Best regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:53 AM   #18
batemanb
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Hi Michael: Recognizing your kyu rank is generally not a problem. I'm just stating what the aikikai says. If you do not have a rank issued by them in regards to a dan rank they do not recognize it. That does not necessarily mean that it won't get recognized.
Not always true. When I moved to Japan and joined Hombu dojo, they wouldn't recognize my kyu grade from the UK. A non Aikikai affiliated association, but headed by one of Chiba Sensei's old students when he was living in the UK.

I also joined a local Aikikai dojo, they followed the Aikikai decision, although my Sensei recognized that I had been practicing for nine years and graded me back to my previous grade relatively quickly.

It all depends on the individual. In my club back in the UK, we have had several people join from other associations and styles, we usually recognize their grade.


rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:49 AM   #19
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

The association nor style dictates its worth. If you have a good teacher and you practice hard, that is what matters.

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 09-29-2005, 05:04 PM   #20
emma.mason15
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

My dojo is not affiliated ... and although there are some who turn up their noses ... I do not care .... it seems to me that I follow the same as everyone else ... learn the same thing as everyone else .. and although I find differences ... isnt that what makes life interesting ...
I love my training ....
and I think that is what matters ....
em

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 09-29-2005, 08:41 PM   #21
SeiserL
 
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Re: What if the school is not Aikikai assoc

IMHO, you learn from the teacher not the association. There is a lot of great Aikido outside the Aikikai. Now get training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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