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Old 03-27-2007, 04:16 PM   #1
Haowen Chan
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Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Hullo!

I'm thinking of taking up an internal martial art to improve my health and constitution. I have qualified instructors in the area for ki-aikido and internal CMA (taiji, bagua, xingyi). The Chinese shifu is more experienced but more expensive compared with the local Ki-society branch, so I am having a dilemma in choosing. I want to be well-informed about this choice since I will be devoting many years to studying whichever art I choose.

I am wondering, is Ki-development an effective method for learning the new bodyskill of relaxed energy (aka Ki / Qi)? I've heard enogh success stories in taiji that I believe it is really effective for internal skills training: if you're really patient, have a good teacher and just hold true and keep practicing for years. Is this same phenomenon also empirically true for ki-development, i.e. the yudansha of the ki-society really can demonstrate peng-jin, fa-jin, etc?

Which art is most appropriate for which kind of person? What are the relative merits of Ki-Aikido vs internal CMA?

Thank you very much for your responses!
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
Josh Lerner
 
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Hi Howard,

I'll just state the obvious, before the firestorm starts. Figure out what kind of skills in particular you are interested in, see which instructor actually can demonstrate them in a way that is convincing to you, look at their students to see if the instructor is both

a) willing

and

b) able

to teach the skills to others, and go from there. If you are interested in body skills more than styles, make a choice by the instructor and, more importantly, by the quality of their students. Is the instructor actively trying to make his or her students better than the instructor is? Do they also have the skills, or are they merely satellites orbiting around the charismatic and powerful Sun, happy to be basking in its beneficient warmth?

Be aware of the fact that if you don't have experience with these skills beforehand, you don't really know what you are looking for, so you are in a bit of a Catch-22. To learn the skills, you need a good teacher, but in order to know if the teacher is actually good, you need some skills yourself. Don't worry too much about that now, just keep it in the back of your head. Keep your eyes open, and get ready to start sucking at these things for a long time, like the rest of us.

Josh
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:11 AM   #3
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
Is this same phenomenon also empirically true for ki-development, i.e. the yudansha of the ki-society really can demonstrate peng-jin, fa-jin, etc?

Which art is most appropriate for which kind of person? What are the relative merits of Ki-Aikido vs internal CMA?
If you're after fa-jing etc then the obvious place to go is Taiji. Both Taiji and ki-aikido will get you a good start on the way I'd say, having done both that both have plenty of stuff to teach and if you get a good start in one it will inform your study of the other. Doesn't mean ki aikido people can't do Fa-jing mind, just that they might not have a word for it, so go find the people who do have a word for it if you want what that word is supposed to be. One of my sempai does both Taiji and ki aikido and finds them equally informative and worthwhile. As far as he's concerned they are the same but different (in emphasis mainly). You shouldn't need to go to a Taiji class to make your aikido work IMO as the internal skills should be in aikido anyway (discussions as to whether they actually are or not should be left to one side for the present, suffice to say I think they should be and that they are in all good aikido I have ever seen IMO)

For myself I prefer ki-aikido, but that's just me and is largely to do with both my opinion of my aikido teacher (i.e. I don't think I've seen a Taiji or CMA teacher who can do what he does, this of course doesn't mean they don't exist, simply that I personally haven't seen them) and also my preference for the aikido waza over Taichi techniques.

I've had this discussion a number of times offline and usually it just degrades into a Chinese is better than Japanese argument, with the Chinese side insisting that everything good in Japanese MA came from China and the Japanese side telling the Chinese side they're wrong. Hopefully this won't happen in this thread. But it would be an interesting discussion to pick certain aspects of each of these internal arts and compare and contrast. I suspect they both are actually very similar in scope and depth and looking at both would be a worthy topic of conversation.

Fa-jing is the obvious starting point to my mind. Here's a question. How would one apply fa-jing to aikido waza and is it strictly necessary for them to be effectively executed? Note I'm not talking about Daito Ryu and my broad distinction between the two (DRJJ and Aikido) is that DRJJ tends to draw opponents in and aikido tends to throw them away. So you could probably re-phrase the question as: Is fa-jing (or similar) needed to effectively throw an opponent away from you? Especially if they are attacking with force and committment (force and committement issue might be best treated as a slightly different aspect of the same discussion)

Regards

Mike

PS - Yes, computer is doing simulations again for the next day or so, so lots of free time, prob not always a good thing......

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:17 PM   #4
Haowen Chan
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Thanks for the kind advice.

To be clear, I want to benefit from the "relaxed body skill" that is the goal of all internal martial arts. Not to make me a better fighter but to make me a healthier human being and be able to interact more efficiently and vitally with the world. So I'm after chi and jin, but not necessarily the skill of fa-jin per se, I'm not dreaming about bouncing people off walls or other such amazing powers.... I was using them as examples of demonstrations that there's something going on under the hood. Other examples may be stuff like the 0-inch punch. I don't know much about ki-tests but they may be good indicators too?

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
usually it just degrades into a Chinese is better than Japanese argument
Yes, I'm eager to avoid that silliness. Let's work on the premise (which I believe) that everything is good for something and every skill is best for someone. I am seeking information on the general relative merits of each system... although I am starting to see that perhaps I am asking the wrong questions. I'm getting the feeling from these responses that the attitude of the teacher is equally important (perhaps more so) compared with their skills, with the compatibility of the student and the art being secondary to that.

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
preference for the aikido waza over Taichi techniques
I would like to get more information if you don't mind. Why do you like one more than the other?

Also, do you feel that the ki-development exercises are (for you, personally, no need for generalisations) just as effective as taiji in training the "relaxed body skill" aka "ki". Perhaps you feel some of them are better for you? In what way? I like to learn by having the "hows" and "whys" explained to me... which is not so great for certain styles of taiji instruction which feels mostly like "sink or swim".... I'm willing to work hard but I'm can be really dense and lacking bodily intuition. So I'm a bit wary of "just do it" kinds of instruction where I'd likely fall into the majority of people who simply "don't get it" in terms of ki. I'm looking for something that I can make steady progress on without having a natural talent for body skills.

Many thanks in advance for answering my sincere questions.

Last edited by Haowen Chan : 03-28-2007 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:08 PM   #5
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

My Chinese internal martial arts teacher is probably one of the foremost in the nation. He recommends doing judo where it is available and cheap.

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Old 03-28-2007, 10:22 PM   #6
Upyu
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
My Chinese internal martial arts teacher is probably one of the foremost in the nation. He recommends doing judo where it is available and cheap.
Think he meant if you just wanted to develop good physical conditioning/balance etc, not if you want to develop the internal skills, that or if you want to give your blossoming internal skills (like me) a test bed by people that don't know or care about these things
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:51 PM   #7
Haowen Chan
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Think he meant if you just wanted to develop good physical conditioning/balance etc, not if you want to develop the internal skills, that or if you want to give your blossoming internal skills (like me) a test bed by people that don't know or care about these things
Hi Rob, if I was in Tokyo I'd definitely check out Aunkai... do you have any opinions about the relative teaching effectiveness of ki-aikido? Please send me a PM if you wish to be avoid the possibility of a heated debate.

Last edited by Haowen Chan : 03-28-2007 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:19 PM   #8
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Rob,
I think he meant most judo guys have better internal skills then most "internal" people. I agree with him.

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Old 03-29-2007, 12:28 AM   #9
Upyu
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Rob,
I think he meant most judo guys have better internal skills then most "internal" people. I agree with him.
Course, that also depends on your standard of an "internal" guy. The people running around walking the circle, standing the san-ti that can't even hold their own against another grappler don't count
The "internal hippies" don't register in my book.

A majority of the Judo guys I know use waaay too much pushin' and pullin' with their backs (Olympic Judo looks like "#$t if you ask me). OTOH I rolled with Aaron Field's Judo group and a couple of his guys were top notch as far as posture goes. Could they manipulate their movement internally? Not really, but they had basic frame/internal posture down. And that in itself makes them harder to throw.

So again, it comes back to the quality of instruction. As far as Modern Judo goes, I think finding the right instructor that would give you a good base for this stuff are far and few between.
If they weren't you'd see a lot more Mifune's running around
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:49 AM   #10
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
I would like to get more information if you don't mind. Why do you like one more than the other?

SNIP

Also, do you feel that the ki-development exercises are (for you, personally, no need for generalisations) just as effective as taiji in training the "relaxed body skill" aka "ki". Perhaps you feel some of them are better for you? In what way?
Personal preference to the first and having a good teacher for the second.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:40 AM   #11
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Rob,
I think he meant most judo guys have better internal skills then most "internal" people. I agree with him.
This is a mistake. A confusion of variables.
Again, I argue on two fronts.
Fighting is fighting. MMA is the ultimate equalizer over everything; Aikido, Jujutsu, Boxing, Judo, and BJJ-which many mistake for MMA. But people are shallow. They only see what they see, and they want shortcuts.

a. One may have correct knowledge of some, many or most internal training methods and have low level skills in them.
b. Another may be a good fighter
b will defeat a
Does that mean internal skills are no good and fighters are better? For most people who only see whats in front of them-it means yes.

a. One may have correct knowledge of some, many or most internal training methods and have very good skills in them and is very tough and difficult to handle.
b. Aikido, can't touch him, Judo has a tough time with him as well, yet-good MMA'er defeats him.
Does that mean internal skills are no good and fighters are better? For most people who only see whats in front of them-it means yes.

What it really means that in an all out fight- fighters win. If you don't know how to fight you can't fight. Period

Consider being an internal guy with skills that stop just about anything, give you heavy hands and great takedown resistance, lock resistance and keep you light then heavy at will.
Then
Learn how to fight.


"Judo guys have better internal skills then most "internal" people. Total B.S. -He was slamming the "supposed" internal guys not giving props to Judo. You're just confusing the best skills in the world (grappling :smile ) with the best body training in the word (internal skills)

And don't think I'm dissing Judo-I love judo. A guy once asked me if he should take AIkido or Daito ryu? Which is better?
I told him to find a good Judo dojo, walk in, and ask them.
He stayed.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-29-2007 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:56 AM   #12
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
a. One may have correct knowledge of some, many or most internal training methods and have very good skills in them and is very tough and difficult to handle.
b. Aikido, can't touch him, Judo has a tough time with him as well, yet-good MMA'er defeats him.
Does that mean internal skills are no good and fighters are better? For most people who only see whats in front of them-it means yes.

What it really means that in an all out fight- fighters win. If you don't know how to fight you can't fight. Period
Dan,
I have long felt and said that in a fight the meanest guy wins 9 out of 10 times. The portion of your post above agrees with my statement at least to some degree but seems to imply more. For much of my life I felt the ability to be mean (i.e. fight) and anger were the same thing or at least closely related. However the last few years Vladimir has shown me that the two are not the same and that anger actually hinders ones ability to fight affectively. This topic has become a larger part of my personal training. Any additional thoughts you care to share on the subject are greatly appreciated.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:14 AM   #13
DH
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Being mean has nothing to do with fighting. That bravado and nonsense is not needed at all. And many times is quickly shown the door by more skilled and relaxed men. Further still it creates latent tensions and breath loss.
It doesn't win fights against better trained men
Being mentally and physically prepared does.

I'll take openess, forgiveness, honesty and self-assessment over being mean, any day of the week and twice on Sundays. It's never hurt my game-it improved it. I've seen the change Vlad has brought to one guy's mindset. I think Vlad's on to some of the best things in life with his mindset. Make friends wherever you go. There is always something we can do to relate to our fellow man -even in conflict. And budo guys are sweating, losing, and getting up to try again. And coming back. The one word definition of our success is repeated "failure."
That alone gives us something to share as brothers.

Last edited by DH : 03-29-2007 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:15 AM   #14
Haowen Chan
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

To keep things on track, a clarification: I'm not interested in grappling or waza or fighting. I want the core bodyskill that is taught in internal cma, ki-development (of shinshin toitsu aikido), aunkai, etc.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:47 AM   #15
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

I had little time to gather my thoughts before my last post and it is clear to me that I did a poor job of getting my thoughts across clearly. Bad choice of words on my part. Unfortunately I do not have the time to correct my error now and as Howard pointed out this line of exploration departs from the original purpose of the thread (somewhat). While this is an interesting (to me at least) topic of discussion it will have to wait for another time and another thread. Gotta run.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:57 AM   #16
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post

And don't think I'm dissing Judo-I love judo. A guy once asked me if he should take AIkido or Daito ryu? Which is better?
I told him to find a good Judo dojo, walk in, and ask them.
He stayed.
Dan
Dan,
That sounds like a very smart guy!

And for the record. "this person" asked if he should stick with the Aikido he had done for 10 years or switch to Daito Ryu?
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:20 AM   #17
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Hhmmmm.
I hope that fellow eventually can see the benefits of internal training. The kind found in Daito ryu and in the orignal Non-Aikido martial tradition of Ueshiba Morihei and how-in the end it proves superior to just doing Judo, after all.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:30 AM   #18
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hhmmmm.
I hope that fellow eventually can see the benefits of internal training. The kind found in Daito ryu and in the orignal Non-Aikido martial tradition of Ueshiba Morihei and how-in the end it proves superior to just doing Judo, after all.
I hope he can too..... But I am not sure he is THAT smart. He did choose to become an architect after all. What a bone head!
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:28 PM   #19
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

In regards to M. Jakabcsin's post, #12;
That is a valid point and all too often overlooked. Most confuse anger with intensity or intent, and fail to see the detriment it causes. All that tension that is talked about as something to avoid, is amplified when angry and only inhibits your ability to perform.
Be it physically, mentally, verbally, what ever, we don't perform well with that tension in our mind / body.

Regards
Mike
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:36 PM   #20
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

My teacher is Tim Cartmell.

Undeniably a great, and knowledgeable internal master. Also undeniably a very formidable MMA, and Jiujutsu competitor.

Internal isn't so mystical. Good football players have great internal skills. So do Gymnasts, Tennis players, Baseball players, Track and field men etc. etc.

I don’t think that statement is slamming anyone. I just don’t think internal power is as hard to get as the rest of you.

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Old 03-29-2007, 06:20 PM   #21
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
My teacher is Tim Cartmell.

Undeniably a great, and knowledgeable internal master. Also undeniably a very formidable MMA, and Jiujutsu competitor.

Internal isn't so mystical. Good football players have great internal skills. So do Gymnasts, Tennis players, Baseball players, Track and field men etc. etc.

I don't think that statement is slamming anyone. I just don't think internal power is as hard to get as the rest of you.
Hmmm
Lets see your key points here.............
1.Every athlete has "great" internal skills.
2. It isn't so mystical
3.you just don't think internal power is as hard to get as the rest of us

and then......
"My teachers is an........."Undeniably great, and knowledgeable internal master"
uuhmmm.....Got it.
Thanks
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:31 PM   #22
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Tim Mailloux wrote: View Post
I hope he can too..... But I am not sure he is THAT smart. He did choose to become an architect after all. What a bone head!
Well, atleast he has his looks to fall back on. Where are those 5oz. gloves again? LOL

Mark
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:05 PM   #23
Upyu
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
My teacher is Tim Cartmell.

Undeniably a great, and knowledgeable internal master. Also undeniably a very formidable MMA, and Jiujutsu competitor.

Internal isn't so mystical. Good football players have great internal skills. So do Gymnasts, Tennis players, Baseball players, Track and field men etc. etc.

I don't think that statement is slamming anyone. I just don't think internal power is as hard to get as the rest of you.
Chris,
No one would doubt that Tim is a gifted MAist.
I've never met him, but he does talk about some pretty good concepts that overlap.
But what you just said kind of shows your ignorance on these matters. Sure some athletes, football players etc have internal "components" that are needed in order to do the internal "skills", but that doesn't make them "internally skilled"

No one has said that internal skills is mystical either, but it does have to be specifically taught.

Just curious, asides from Tim, who else have you had hands on time with that's generally accepted as having "great" internal skills?
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:15 PM   #24
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Robert,
Who is generally accepting these masters?

I've wrestled with lots of people who have great internal skills. I've also played basketball with some people who have great internal skills. However if you believe only people who have trained in Chinese internal martial arts can have internal power, then Tim is the only one. How many people do I have to have “hands on time with” to know what internal is?

I would say internal is the ability to naturally use the body. To issue great power effortlessly, and move in a coordinated rhythmic fashion.

What do you call internal?

Dan,
1. Yes ALL top level athletes have great internal ability, that's why they are top level athletes.

2. It's not mystical at all.

3. I don't think it's at all hard to get (if you are comfortable with your body), and I don't know why everyone keeps harping on it.

I only mentioned my teacher because I always thought it was funny that everyone goes around acting like internal power was the holy grail, and he (a noted internal martial artist) said you could get it from doing judo.

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Old 03-29-2007, 11:28 PM   #25
Aran Bright
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Re: Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi?

Hi Howard,

I think you should consider what sort of training you are up for. Tai Chi should really be done with chi gung and is possibly more complex than ki-aikido.

Any aikido means a lot of rolling around, how are your knees? Ar you up for learning to roll, can you roll already.

Add to this what are the individual teachers/students like, class times, ect.

We found that most students take up a particular form because it fit in best with there work schedule.

Doing something is better than doing nothing, and both are good.

http://brisbaneaikido.com

Brisbane Aikido Republic
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