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Old 07-18-2012, 09:46 AM   #76
TokyoZeplin
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Mary, I certainly get what you're saying, and I would never claim to understand everything done in the Senshusei course - heck, I don't even KNOW all of what is being done. I am merely saying why I am unlikely to go for it, based on what I've read and seen
My conclusions come from my own time in Japan, and that dreaded teaching style (there's a reason their English levels are so poor, even with average of 7 years of education in it!), and that "gaman" attitude. I believe in a YouTube video, interviewing one of the instructors there, asking why he pushed the students so hard physically, and was so "nasty" to them, the instructor replied that this was "character building".
Some people may benefit from that sort of learning environment (though I dare say that modern research on learning doesn't quite support that), and if they do, that's just fine. I won't stop them, or say they shouldn't. I'm just saying, that that sort of teaching mentality would end up having a negative effect on me, and I would most likely cease training all together. I wouldn't mind training a lot (in fact, my current rough plan involves quite a bit of time put aside to only training), but rather the teaching mentality is not for me, as well as the seemingly overdone physical training (making the students jump laps around the dojo, in a squat position, arms curled around legs. Last person to finish does one more round).

It reminds me too much of typical military training, something I've done all I can to avoid too.
 
Old 07-18-2012, 10:46 AM   #77
Rob Watson
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
(I don't want to be tied down to a dojo/teacher) Then you don't really want to learn aikido. - Robert M Watson Jr

Well excuse me horribly for having an interest in Martial Arts in general. Apparently, if I'm not a purist, then I am not deserving of the all-mighty powerful Aikido. I apologize. Now, if instead you had read my opening post, you would see that I would move to Tokyo (where I have lived in the past). That would, quite naturally, FORCE me to change dojos. By all means, if you are willing to pay for a flight from Japan to Denmark 4 times a week, please, I'd be happy to take the money.
Well, I was relaying my own experience. I started in 1992 all full of it and in 2008 I got shodan. 3 instructors/styles (the least 'experienced' was 6 dan - means I've been blessed with an abundance of good teachers). I got a whiff that you were starting down that road and I'd hoped to save you some trouble. Oh well, seems some folks do have jump the bridge to find out for themselves.

You are standing at the beginning of the path looking forward seeing all kinds of great possiblities while I stand on my path looking back hoping others do not have to go through all that mess like I did.

Happy trails.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
 
Old 07-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #78
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Well, I was relaying my own experience. I started in 1992 all full of it and in 2008 I got shodan. 3 instructors/styles (the least 'experienced' was 6 dan - means I've been blessed with an abundance of good teachers). I got a whiff that you were starting down that road and I'd hoped to save you some trouble. Oh well, seems some folks do have jump the bridge to find out for themselves.

You are standing at the beginning of the path looking forward seeing all kinds of great possiblities while I stand on my path looking back hoping others do not have to go through all that mess like I did.

Happy trails.
By all means, I don't plan on changing dojo's just for the fun of it Apart from travelling, the only reason I would change, would be if I had some troubles at the one I was at, or somehow found something far more appealing at another one.
Naturally, if I decide to cross-train later, or possibly even give up Aikido later (both things, something I can't say for certain either way at present time), it's natural to accept that you won't get as high a level (at least as fast) in one style.
But thank you for the advice, and as I said, I don't plan on dojo hoppin' just for the heck of it
 
Old 07-18-2012, 10:58 AM   #79
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
If it takes more than 2 years of intensive training, to get any kind of competency in Aikido, then I must say that Aikido is officially the least efficient, most non-userfriendly, over-complicated Martial Art in history.
Nailed it.

Except that the issue is not that Aikido is too complicated, it's too simple. If it were more complicated you could learn it faster.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
 
Old 07-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #80
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Nailed it.

Except that the issue is not that Aikido is too complicated, it's too simple. If it were more complicated you could learn it faster.
probably because he used his experience in shotokan karate as reference. in karate, you can practice 90% of the time without another person. other than when you spar or doing self-defense practice, you don't really need a partner. you can practice kicking, punching, blocking, kata and so on by yourself and at your leisure. aikido on the other hand (whichever other hand of the other), 90% of the time it required a partner or two or three to work with. in aikido you depend on other people to improve (not talking to IS/aiki crowd since they are a bunch of freaks and i are one). in karate, a punch is a punch is a punch. in aikido, the same technique cannot be used against folks with different body types and/or reaction. essentially, you can't really do the same aikido technique twice or step on the same piece of water for that matter (unless you freeze dry the thing). aikido is simple. but simple doesn't mean easy.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
 
Old 07-18-2012, 01:21 PM   #81
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Hey! Who are you calling a freak? The word is Neanderthal, please.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
 
Old 07-18-2012, 01:26 PM   #82
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Hey! Who are you calling a freak? The word is Neanderthal, please.


Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-18-2012, 02:11 PM   #83
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
As time went by, this thread completely derailed, people are discussing things completely off-topic, are assuming things I never said, have by now taken every post I've made out of context, and really, it just became a giant hassle to reply to.
Welcome to the internet

My advice -- ASSUME, when you read something, that over 90% of what people are saying is just them thinking out loud to themselves and each other about whatever your question makes them think about... don't take it as directly precisely at you, even if there's stuff there that may apply to you.
 
Old 07-19-2012, 06:24 AM   #84
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Hey! Who are you calling a freak? The word is Neanderthal, please.
i know you want to get back to the aiki root, but you don't have to go back that far. we should just stop at the barbarian age, because any further would be uncivilized and there won't be any Grey Poupon. and everyone know that you can't do hording (is that even a word, if it isn't then i just invented one, kinda like what his name inventing the internet) without hot mustard and possibly ketchup (mayonnaise for them European).

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
 
Old 07-20-2012, 08:00 AM   #85
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
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Nailed it.

Except that the issue is not that Aikido is too complicated, it's too simple. If it were more complicated you could learn it faster.
I was actually joking... the fact that the Senshusei course exists, that riot police and other branches of the Japanese police force study Aikido, obviously shows that a certain skill level can be reached quickly enough, if you are willing to put in enough effort.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily guarantee that I might be good enough to achieve such things, but it's certainly not impossible as you some you would like to make it out to be
 
Old 07-20-2012, 11:39 AM   #86
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
I was actually joking... the fact that the Senshusei course exists, that riot police and other branches of the Japanese police force study Aikido, obviously shows that a certain skill level can be reached quickly enough, if you are willing to put in enough effort.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily guarantee that I might be good enough to achieve such things, but it's certainly not impossible as you some you would like to make it out to be
Well, perhaps, depending on you define "skill". If your assumption is that "skill" is a linear, one-dimensional thing, then that reasoning works fine: skill is a line, and you're a certain distance along that line, and that's all there is to it. I'm not sure that's how it really works for anything but the simplest skills, but whatever. There was a really interesting post someone made here (perhaps in one of the "mastery" threads; you should find and read those if you haven't already) talking about the distinction between talent and ability, or some such...all about the complexities of learning and skill development and the deceptive nature of apparent ability at any particular point. Wish I knew where to find that post.
 
Old 07-20-2012, 12:35 PM   #87
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Well, perhaps, depending on you define "skill". If your assumption is that "skill" is a linear, one-dimensional thing, then that reasoning works fine: skill is a line, and you're a certain distance along that line, and that's all there is to it.
Mary has summed up my thoughts on it far more eloquently than I could have. You can have a vast repertoire of techniques without being skilled in aikido. Skill is not a line, it has depth.

It's not impossible that you should do such things, we're merely pointing out how unrealistic it is of you to set yourself goals in an activity you have yet to start. I hope you are successful in your endeavour, but I cannot help but think you've fixed your mind on chasing a belt (whether it be a particular one, or just somewhere in a particular bracket) and you will miss the point of training.
 
Old 07-20-2012, 12:44 PM   #88
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
I was actually joking...
I know you were, but there's an element of truth to what you said. Aikido has never struck me as the quickest route to competence in either self-defense or contest fighting.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
 
Old 07-20-2012, 01:46 PM   #89
TokyoZeplin
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well, perhaps, depending on you define "skill". If your assumption is that "skill" is a linear, one-dimensional thing, then that reasoning works fine: skill is a line, and you're a certain distance along that line, and that's all there is to it. I'm not sure that's how it really works for anything but the simplest skills, but whatever. There was a really interesting post someone made here (perhaps in one of the "mastery" threads; you should find and read those if you haven't already) talking about the distinction between talent and ability, or some such...all about the complexities of learning and skill development and the deceptive nature of apparent ability at any particular point. Wish I knew where to find that post.
Well I would certainly never say skill is linear... rather I would probably say that skill works on an exponential curve, when it comes to improvement - the longer you train, the less you improve per time. From knowing nothing, to knowing what you do after your first lesson, is a massive step in knowledge. But what you know from you 186'th lesson, to your 187th lesson is a minute difference. So certainly, it works on an exponential curve in difficulty.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the rest though... I would still say skill could be defined on a single exponential curve (line). Everything else, would simply be different lines (e.g. self defence and spiritual insight would be to different lines all together).

Quote:
Geoff Byers wrote: View Post
Mary has summed up my thoughts on it far more eloquently than I could have. You can have a vast repertoire of techniques without being skilled in aikido. Skill is not a line, it has depth.

It's not impossible that you should do such things, we're merely pointing out how unrealistic it is of you to set yourself goals in an activity you have yet to start. I hope you are successful in your endeavour, but I cannot help but think you've fixed your mind on chasing a belt (whether it be a particular one, or just somewhere in a particular bracket) and you will miss the point of training.
I'm not really focused on a specific belt, or rank, but rather a certain skill level, if that makes sense? I'm merely using the Shodan rank as a rough estimate of that skill level, to have something slightly more concrete to aim for (for now, anyway).

And as I stated before, who knows! If I make it, I do, if I don't, well I don't. I don't know how I'll react when I start, maybe I'll hate it, maybe I'll "sorta like it", and maybe I'll love it and do it forever. This is merely my current roadmap.

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I know you were, but there's an element of truth to what you said. Aikido has never struck me as the quickest route to competence in either self-defense or contest fighting.
I can understand that, but I'm saying that since Japan actually uses it (granted, Yoshinkan) for training up people in self-defence, not everyone thinks that way. I don't think anyone would send their special police unites to train in something, that they all considered sub-par in defence and learning ability (in the given time frame).

I also think there is a significant difference in what style your training. While many people have so far tried to say that the difference is minute, I have come to see massive differences in how people think about Aikido, how it works, their aims, and so forth, fairly clearly between different styles (primarily Yoshinkan, which I have been looking a lot at, and have most likely found a good Dojo for, and Iwama/Aikikai).
In fact, Yoshinkan seems to be almost based on the idea of skill progression with the ranks. Having divided techniques into phases, starting at the basics and working their way up, it seems to be a lot more structured.

Nonetheless, I seem to have found a dojo that embodies everything that I asked for in my opening post (Yoshinkan, with particular (or "more than normal"?) focus on atemi and practical application of the various techniques. When I contacted the head teacher there, as he put it, "If it didn't work in practice, you might as well go practice dancing instead", and most people are cross-training in related MA's (under the same instructors).). So unless my visits to Yoshinkan Honbu and Aikikai Honbu severely persuades me otherwise, that's where I'm headed!
 
Old 07-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #90
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
I can understand that, but I'm saying that since Japan actually uses it (granted, Yoshinkan) for training up people in self-defence, not everyone thinks that way. I don't think anyone would send their special police unites to train in something, that they all considered sub-par in defence and learning ability (in the given time frame).
Well, the Japanese police usually have a choice of training in Aikido, Judo or...Kendo, so practical defense may not actually be the highest priority for them.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-20-2012, 02:24 PM   #91
James Sawers
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Learning "curve":

1.Unconscious incompetence:

The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognise their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.

2.Conscious incompetence:

Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.

3.Conscious competence:

The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.

4.Unconscious competence:

The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.

From Wikipedia
 
Old 07-20-2012, 02:25 PM   #92
lars beyer
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?


Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
In fact, Yoshinkan seems to be almost based on the idea of skill progression with the ranks. Having divided techniques into phases, starting at the basics and working their way up, it seems to be a lot more structured.
It´s not unique to Yoshinkan to start with the basics.. and to divide techniques into "phases" as you say..
But anyway good that you found the exact answer you were looking for..
Good luck
 
Old 07-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #93
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Nonetheless, I seem to have found a dojo that embodies everything that I asked for in my opening post (Yoshinkan, with particular (or "more than normal"?) focus on atemi and practical application of the various techniques. When I contacted the head teacher there, as he put it, "If it didn't work in practice, you might as well go practice dancing instead", and most people are cross-training in related MA's (under the same instructors).). So unless my visits to Yoshinkan Honbu and Aikikai Honbu severely persuades me otherwise, that's where I'm headed!
Sounds ideal. Best of luck, and don't train too hard and end up with chronic injuries. Dial your training up and down.
 
Old 07-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #94
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
Well I would certainly never say skill is linear... rather I would probably say that skill works on an exponential curve, when it comes to improvement - the longer you train, the less you improve per time. From knowing nothing, to knowing what you do after your first lesson, is a massive step in knowledge. But what you know from you 186'th lesson, to your 187th lesson is a minute difference. So certainly, it works on an exponential curve in difficulty.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the rest though... I would still say skill could be defined on a single exponential curve (line). Everything else, would simply be different lines (e.g. self defence and spiritual insight would be to different lines all together).
I disagree. I got my shodan in Japan, and I'm learning faster now than I ever have. It tends to go in spurts, I think.
 
Old 07-21-2012, 02:48 AM   #95
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
I would still say skill could be defined on a single exponential curve (line).
My experience both as student and a teacher of aikidō is completely different.

Quote:
... the idea of skill progression with the ranks. Having divided techniques into phases, starting at the basics and working their way up, ...
Sound like what I am used to. ;-)

Quote:
Nonetheless, I seem to have found a dojo that embodies everything that I asked for ...
So ... that's where I'm headed!
! This is most important, I think: To find one's own way and to walk it ...
Enjoy!
 
Old 07-22-2012, 01:27 AM   #96
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

To the original poster:

Don't lump "Aikikai" together. Most other styles are actually styles, but the Aikikai is very heterogenous. The name "Aikikai" means nothing, technically. It's an umbrella organisation.If you want information on the aikido in the dojos available to you, you'll have to mention which dojos and teachers - or at least the names of the teachers that these dojos invite for seminars. Then possibly some people, at least the Danes, probably could give you some useful information.

Considering what JJF wrote, possibly be Aikikai dojos in question are doing Nishio type aikido.

Quote:
Jųrgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
BTW: In the danish Aikikai almost all the dojo's are Nishio inspired. They are combined with the Iwama ryu inspired dojos in DAF together with a few dojos of other styles (as Lars explained above). DAF is - as far as I know - the only connection between the Aikikai and danish Aikido.
Nishio aikido is an interesting brand. Very technical, very difficult (at least for me who comes from an unrelated line). Very different. Probably more "martial art" than most Aikikai varieties. But then Nisho followers come in a range of different flavours too, from ultra orthodox (of a few types) to very liberal, also training with other Aikikai teachers - which most Nishioists won't.

So original poster: if you want to train in Denmark and in Tokyo, your local Danish dojo is your limitation. Go to your local dojos and ask what dojos in Tokyo they are connected to - this might not actually be the Hombu dojos. These are the opportunities you have in Tokyo,

But if you don't plan to continue, why not choose your Japanese dojo for what it is and leave it at that. Not a Yoshinkan stylist myself, I personally find the Yoshinkan teacher Ando Tsuneo quite impressive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UVc7ia_Yb0 and his personal line of dojos seem to have lots of westerners in them, including some uchi deshis (who probably teach the beginners) and his South African wife, which should make the place somewhat easier to survive.

When you come home you'll have nowhere to train, unless you start a dojo yourself and that you're hardly qualified for after one year. I don't really see the point in planning it that way, but...

I do believe though that most people who start out with bold plans like this won't follow through with them. It's a little bit like choosing your girlfriend from logical reasoning, planning what you want to do the upcoming years .It may sound good, but it won't work. In the end one has to follow one's heart. You pick the right girl for travelling around the world for a year, but after a month you have a heated argument and she leaves you in a Goa and you have to make new plans.

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
Aiki-jutsu also seems very interesting, but more as a possible side-study for later, to get more into the detail of the Aikido techniques, as there are no dojos for it in Denmark
There's Roppokai in Copenhagen. But again, you're planning what kind of girlfriend you'll be ready for after you quit with your current one... in reality you won't know. You'll have to just jump into the experience and see where it will take you.

Last edited by Hanna B : 07-22-2012 at 01:31 AM.
 
Old 07-23-2012, 07:32 AM   #97
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
Well I would certainly never say skill is linear... rather I would probably say that skill works on an exponential curve, when it comes to improvement - the longer you train, the less you improve per time. From knowing nothing, to knowing what you do after your first lesson, is a massive step in knowledge. But what you know from you 186'th lesson, to your 187th lesson is a minute difference. So certainly, it works on an exponential curve in difficulty.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the rest though...
I don't think "progress" in aikido can be modeled as a line...or a curve, or a wave. It's three-dimensional, at least. See, whether you're modeling progress as a line or a curve or a wave, you're still only dealing in two dimensions...you're still only modeling two factors. Time and competency, or effort and results, or ham and eggs, or whatever. To show the multiplicity of influencing factors and their many effects, you need to get out of flatland.
 
Old 07-24-2012, 01:51 AM   #98
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

By the way, I just want to add something...

You don't have to enroll in the senshusei program as a white belt. You could always just pop into one of the regular classes. They're just regular training, with different hours available, and you also get access to the same teachers. I think Shioda kancho teaches on friday... and certain other sensei's come by during the week.

Just because you enroll in Yoshinkan, doesn't mean you automatically get put into the most intense course they have. People generally go after they get to sankyo or above (my sensei recommmends ikkyo to shodan as best, since you can get the best amount of learning during that time without too many painful lessons). You can train in the regular class until brown belt and then decide if you want to try out senshusei.

As for the toughness and military styled training that they have... the origins of Aikido is drawn from a war art. Wouldn't it make sense to train your body like a soldier then? Even if the mentality is different, you still need the same discipline and spirit. A sword is only strong if the flame is hot and the metal beaten many times, and it can only become sharp after much polishing. Budo is the same, so don't dismiss the repetitive drilling of techniques; they're there for a reason.
 
Old 07-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #99
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

what's the kind of aikido that Japanese police use, integrating with judo? without the martial conditioning, isn't aikido reduced to a "walking yoga" pajama-dancing?

aikido seem not the problem, but the mindset of the people (advanced students and sensei) who can't "eat the bitter," but are gratefully tolerated for paying bills for the dojo.

still looking, "...shop for the teacher, not the style...," for a Rik Ellis (the aikido MMA player) kind of mindset of aikido-ka where there's no delusional separation from training the spirit with martial training, to resolve unarmed combat (AKA self-defense/martial art) as peacefully as possible.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 07-25-2012 at 09:58 AM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
 
Old 07-26-2012, 05:37 AM   #100
TokyoZeplin
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Re: Styles of Aikido - which is right for me?

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
what's the kind of aikido that Japanese police use, integrating with judo? without the martial conditioning, isn't aikido reduced to a "walking yoga" pajama-dancing?
I believe you're referring to Yoshinkan Aikido, the specific course they do being the Senshusei course, which Alic Xie just also described in the previous post At least it's "famous" for being used by the Riot Police. Not exactly sure they are specifically integrating it with Judo though, that's the first I've heard of it (though it's quite possible they also train that, but to my knowledge, not together with Aikido specifically).
 

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