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Old 01-14-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
oharrismaytin
Dojo: Ichi Rei Dojo
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Aikido Styles & Teachers

Hello to everyone. Would appreciate if you show me where do you stand from your own experience on the following subject:

After a long time of practicing Aikikai Aikido a person decides to experiment and try Iwama Aikido without resigning at all to his Aikikai roots. During this experiment the person discovers that Iwama has a lot offer to complement what this person thinks to know.

Would any one of you think that there's any kind of conflict here? Is this person a traitor? Should this person attend different style seminars or is this person bound for life by loyalty to this only style and scholl?

Thanks for clearing up the road.

Omar
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #2
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

IMO
Saito Sensei was one of O'Sensei's closest and most treasured students. To not train within his lineage because of petty jealousies would be a betrayal of your training and your heart should you feel inspired to do so.
I would especially suggest this if you have not yet been ranked at the Dan level with a teacher who is as committed to you as you might be to them.

Your loyalty is to the art. Again IMO.

In fact, I also feel inspired to train in Iwama Ryu with Hitohiro Sensei,.
See you in Iwama!

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:51 PM   #3
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

It's very good to go to other seminars. It can be a real good learning experience. It will help you decide where you are in your training and which direction you would like to go. People change styles for different reasons. It doesn't mean that you are a traitor, but that you have found something that is right for you. Aikido is Aikido. All the styles are just as alike as they are different. It's your task to seek it out, find it, and try to understand it.

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:00 AM   #4
Chicko Xerri
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyukai International Fudoshin dojo Australia.
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

Very well expressed Nafis. I feel your heart.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:08 AM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

Hello Mr Harris,

I have come across this problem before. Please remember that Morihiro Saito Shihan never left the Aikikai and thus the only clear difference is the focus on weapons.

In its most extreme form I was once told that training with weapons was unacceptable, since it was not 'Aikikai'. This is quite wrong. I have been 'Aikikai' all my life and learned weapons kata from Saito Sensei and many other teachers affiliated to the Aikikai. Ethan Weisgard has recently sent me his books on ken and jo and I am enjoying comparing his exposure to weapons with my own.

I myself do not have a 'style', to which loyalty requires me to be bound for life. The 'style' is me--the present culmination of my training history and issues of loyalty do not arise. Personally, I believe that it is dangerous to regard even the aikido practised in Iwama as a 'style'. It makes it too definite & static and sets up unacceptable comparisons between one 'definite' style and another ('Aikikai'), where such stasis has no place.

However, I see where you train and can understand the problem. The late Miyazawa Shihan's weapons training is quite different from that of Jorge Rojo. Of course, conflict can arise, depending on an individual teacher's idea of what aikido 'is'. In my case it has never arisen.

Best wishes,

PAG

Quote:
Omar Harris wrote: View Post
Hello to everyone. Would appreciate if you show me where do you stand from your own experience on the following subject:

After a long time of practicing Aikikai Aikido a person decides to experiment and try Iwama Aikido without resigning at all to his Aikikai roots. During this experiment the person discovers that Iwama has a lot offer to complement what this person thinks to know.

Would any one of you think that there's any kind of conflict here? Is this person a traitor? Should this person attend different style seminars or is this person bound for life by loyalty to this only style and scholl?

Thanks for clearing up the road.

Omar

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 01-15-2009 at 01:11 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:28 AM   #6
crbateman
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

To close your mind and heart to whatever training gives you perspective is to ignore what is. Although there is a "dark side" (politics, mostly), that sometimes prejudices one "style" from another, no one can argue the logic of simply wanting more and broader knowledge, if only for the opportunity to fully discover what your Aikido really is. Take what you can, and then give back.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:44 AM   #7
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

Quote:
Chicko Xerri wrote: View Post
Very well expressed Nafis. I feel your heart.

Thank You. Soon or later, if you train long enough, you'll have your own "style."

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:07 AM   #8
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

Quote:
Omar Harris wrote: View Post
Hello to everyone. Would appreciate if you show me where do you stand from your own experience on the following subject:

After a long time of practicing Aikikai Aikido a person decides to experiment and try Iwama Aikido without resigning at all to his Aikikai roots. During this experiment the person discovers that Iwama has a lot offer to complement what this person thinks to know.

Would any one of you think that there's any kind of conflict here? Is this person a traitor? Should this person attend different style seminars or is this person bound for life by loyalty to this only style and scholl?

Thanks for clearing up the road.

Omar
As non-Japanese doing a Japanese art there is a tendency to try to be more Japanese than the Japanese themselves. Loyalty, in my mind, is always supporting the efforts of your teacher and your organization, putting them first. But it does not mean curtailing your own development because of personal and political conflicts between teachers and groups that started many years ago in Japan. I see absolutely no reason to carry those forward into succeeding generations.

This is YOUR life, no one else's. This is your training. Do not limit yourself. Do whatever training you think will benefit your Aikido. Too many teachers use loyalty as a way to keep their students from seeing anything beyond what that teacher can show them. Thus their students never progress beyond an imitation of a mediocre teacher.

In my own case I have been very lucky. Saotome Sensei has no such confidence problem. So he has always supported his students in any type of training they might pursue. He does this even to the point at which their investigations might take them off on some weird tangents. He seems confident that once you work your way through the issues you'll be back on track. He has students doing Systema, Daito Ryu, Ushiro Karate, classical arts, etc. I have trained with all sorts of Aikido teachers and have been able to discuss my impressions with my teacher.

If you don't have that, I'd say do whatever training you wish anyway. You have to to get as good as you are capable of being. Now, if you find a teacher that both "has it all" and can also teach what he knows effectively, then perhaps you do not need to look elsewhere. But my own experience has been that I did not start to understand what my own teacher was doing until I trained with a number of people from outside who gave me some new perspective.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:00 AM   #9
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
As non-Japanese doing a Japanese art there is a tendency to try to be more Japanese than the Japanese themselves. Loyalty, in my mind, is always supporting the efforts of your teacher and your organization, putting them first. But it does not mean curtailing your own development because of personal and political conflicts between teachers and groups that started many years ago in Japan. I see absolutely no reason to carry those forward into succeeding generations.

This is YOUR life, no one else's. This is your training. Do not limit yourself. Do whatever training you think will benefit your Aikido. Too many teachers use loyalty as a way to keep their students from seeing anything beyond what that teacher can show them. Thus their students never progress beyond an imitation of a mediocre teacher.

In my own case I have been very lucky. Saotome Sensei has no such confidence problem. So he has always supported his students in any type of training they might pursue. He does this even to the point at which their investigations might take them off on some weird tangents. He seems confident that once you work your way through the issues you'll be back on track. He has students doing Systema, Daito Ryu, Ushiro Karate, classical arts, etc. I have trained with all sorts of Aikido teachers and have been able to discuss my impressions with my teacher.

If you don't have that, I'd say do whatever training you wish anyway. You have to to get as good as you are capable of being. Now, if you find a teacher that both "has it all" and can also teach what he knows effectively, then perhaps you do not need to look elsewhere. But my own experience has been that I did not start to understand what my own teacher was doing until I trained with a number of people from outside who gave me some new perspective.
I say good advice from George

Have practised under many different teachers and have gleaned something from all of them....
Don't limit yourself....

Tony
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:31 PM   #10
oharrismaytin
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

I really thank you all for your advice. Each one of your answers hold a piece of a bigger truth and shows we are on one of many possible right tracks.

A few hours ago I came across a video I never saw before. The late Saito sensei and his uke Tristan Da Cunha sensei. Saito sensei applies a ground immobilization. He was either or too weak on his knees and legs or too sick to come up on his own and Da Cunha sensei extends his both arms and hands and Saito sensei supports his on Da Cunha's sensei. It just touched me. The blending of these two men going beyond the expected Aikido blending. Teacher and student. Friend and friend.

Thank you all.

Omar
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:33 PM   #11
locke_03
 
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
As non-Japanese doing a Japanese art there is a tendency to try to be more Japanese than the Japanese themselves. Loyalty, in my mind, is always supporting the efforts of your teacher and your organization, putting them first. But it does not mean curtailing your own development because of personal and political conflicts between teachers and groups that started many years ago in Japan. I see absolutely no reason to carry those forward into succeeding generations.

This is YOUR life, no one else's. This is your training. Do not limit yourself. Do whatever training you think will benefit your Aikido. Too many teachers use loyalty as a way to keep their students from seeing anything beyond what that teacher can show them. Thus their students never progress beyond an imitation of a mediocre teacher.

In my own case I have been very lucky. Saotome Sensei has no such confidence problem. So he has always supported his students in any type of training they might pursue. He does this even to the point at which their investigations might take them off on some weird tangents. He seems confident that once you work your way through the issues you'll be back on track. He has students doing Systema, Daito Ryu, Ushiro Karate, classical arts, etc. I have trained with all sorts of Aikido teachers and have been able to discuss my impressions with my teacher.

If you don't have that, I'd say do whatever training you wish anyway. You have to to get as good as you are capable of being. Now, if you find a teacher that both "has it all" and can also teach what he knows effectively, then perhaps you do not need to look elsewhere. But my own experience has been that I did not start to understand what my own teacher was doing until I trained with a number of people from outside who gave me some new perspective.
i also am part of ASU aikido and train here in san diego with sodeman sensei im way to new to understand it all but after last weeks bridge seminar i was told how there is a lot of blending going on and i have also been told sodeman sensei uses alot in his teaching now im just a beginner so i have no idea really what people are referring to but i think as you look back on O'Sensei and how he trained in alot of different arts before creating a completely new one that right there should clue you in to the fact that " KNOWLEDGE IS POWER" i refuse to believe that by seeking out a new challenge for yourself you could do any harm to your training.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:37 PM   #12
jxa127
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Re: Aikido Styles & Teachers

Omar,

Both Mr. Goldsbury and Mr. Ledyard (among others in this thread) speak from tremendous experience. You can't get better than their advice.

I've been off the boards for a while, but a few years ago there was a lot of discussion on the merits of cross training. The general consensus (as I recall) was that the best aikido instructors, and most of O Sensei's direct students, had significant experience with other arts like karate, judo, and various old school styles of sword arts.

From that perspective, training in a different, but related, style of aikido is hardly a big step.

Regards,
-Drew

----
-Drew Ames
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