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Old 10-11-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Question Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Hi.

I have prejudices towards Aikido, but I want to start training with teachers that show the"bu" (martial) as much as the "do" (philosophy), as disillusion bounds when empty or weak words that can't or won't walk the path.

I've visited once these four local dojo, all're looking good, for my 1st impressions:
http://www.berkeleyaikikai.org/ (also offers Iaido 1/week, cool)
http://www.aikidoinstitute.org (Kim Peuser's been well recommended to me and I can see why)
http://www.aikiarts.com/ (2/week only)
http://bayareashodokan.org/default.aspx (2/week only).

My concerns is that my crude and extremely limited understanding of Aikido is that Aikido, with no weapons, discourages development of a "one hit, one 'kill'" karate mindset of hit-first to stop a felony-in-progress and how to deal with being taken down to ground fighting.

I'd like Aikido to complement and enhance my karate (and hapkido) practice.

Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley offers the most vigorous (and the least arrogant and delusional ) physical path to mental and spiritual training, please?

A nagging doubt for me is that two jiujitsu players have given up on their years of Aikido as not being useful under pressure. I feel I understand a little bit of karate and jiujitsu, but Akido seems to be a head scratching egnima.

Please pardon me, as I do not mean to appear rude (if I do so appear), just being genuinely curious.

p.s. Is Iaido as fun of a moving zen exercise as it looks?

Sei,

C
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Have you been to http://www.aikidoofberkeley.com/ ? Ive heard a lot of praise for Kayla Feder sensei.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:34 PM   #3
dave9nine
Dojo: Aikido Institute - Oakland
Location: Oakland
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 80
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Hi Chris,
I train in Oakland under Kim Peuser, and will of course attest him being a wonderful sensei. He came up in Oakland during the 70's and early 80's, when training was said to be pretty tough here. Kayla Feder sensei was also with our dojo during those years and trained with him and everyone else around at that time; i've seen her and she has some great Aikido as well. We have some great energy going right now, with many enthusiastic students taking advantage of the full 7-day availability of classes, including mornings; you are more than welcome to come and watch and ask any questions you may have (i recommend coming in on a Mon, Wed, or Fri).

Regarding your questions about martial-ness and what not:
these are tough questions that indeed challenge (plague?) the aikido community at large.

My (simple) take is that one gets out what one puts in. To train for real effectiveness, people must simulate, to the best of their ability, real situations. The further removed from real attacks and grabs, the less likely that the training is preparing someone for a real situation, IMHO.

but, that being said, Aikido has more to offer than just being able to fend off the challenges of our testy friends who believe we are wasting our time. In particular, Aikido stands out (to me) as a system that develops a degree of self (bodily) awareness as it relates to our reactions/responses to (not just physical) conflict in our worlds. Thanks to my training, i have developed (to a degree, of course) an ability to notice when my responses/reactions to the world are manifesting themselves in the body, as in tension, stress, irregular breathing, etc. This awareness then allows me to re-center myself, and operate in the world with a certain command over myself that i wouldnt have otherwise. Perhaps one can get this from other arts, but i have dabbled in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Judo, and i never experienced these benefits from those arts myself.

so, all of that is to say this:
for many, running a (Aikido) dojo in modern north america involves much more than just training people to go out and be well greased fighting machines.
our community of training partners is thriving partly because we invite anyone to come and train and be able to gain something from it. If we only strictly trained in fierce, combatitive mode all the time, we probably wouldnt have such a full roll sheet with such a diverse mix of people. Although i definitley enjoy training tough with my 25-30 something male dojomates, believe me, there is something subtle but important to learn in trying to do the same techniques with a 40-50 something women who is not interested in training that same way. (please excuse my gendered examples here)

in the end:
the only way you will figure out which dojo is right for you (and, indeed, if Aikido itself is right for you), is to try it out.

ps. (plug plug) we offer a great return on monthly dues investment based on fees and training schedule, compartively.
also, as an Iwama style school (based on the teachings of the late Saito Shihan), we train extensively with the bokken and jo (wooden weapons).

good luck on your search!

--dave
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:58 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
p.s. Is Iaido as fun of a moving zen exercise as it looks?
Oh hell yeah

The Bay Area has an embarrassment of riches - I'd suggest you visit and observe all the ones you list + Kayla's (which is actually in Richmond).

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:08 PM   #5
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley offers the most vigorous (and the least arrogant and delusional ) physical path to mental and spiritual training, please...

...A nagging doubt for me is that two jiujitsu players have given up on their years of Aikido as not being useful under pressure.
If these are your criteria then your most viable option is Bay Area Shodokan whose website you highlighted in your original post.

The training method there will involve regular pressure testing of your Aikido skills (and your own mettle) through resistance-based randori, which is one of the hallmarks of our approach. My personal experience in training ex-karate folks is that they pick up the syllabus quite quickly as long as they relax a bit.

Our Aikido is also pretty close in design to Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu as studied by Kenji Tomiki under Ueshiba M. during the 1920's and 30's so the martial aspect is supposed to be maintained in all aspects of freeplay and kata training.

As for the instructors, I have trained alongside both Sensei of the dojo at the recent U.S. National tournament. They have exceptional technical form, sound principles and are very good at randori. They also study the traditional martial roots of our training quite deeply so their understanding of Budo is also quite developed.

I suggest you speak to the Sensei of the class about your training needs and try out a session with them to decide further.

If you need more details on how we train please contact them or drop me a PM.

Best
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
odudog
Dojo: Dale City Aikikai
Location: VA
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

If you're doing Hapkido, you don't need Aikido. From what I can glimpse of Hapkido, it is just not as graceful as Aikido. Depending on the style of course. Hapkido is basically Aikido minus the kicks. I think you will just get confused.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:40 PM   #7
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote: View Post
If you're doing Hapkido, you don't need Aikido. From what I can glimpse of Hapkido, it is just not as graceful as Aikido. Depending on the style of course. Hapkido is basically Aikido minus [Chris' correction: plus lots of] the kicks. I think you will just get confused.
Right now, my focus is on Karate as Hapkido -- with all its kicks & strikes, locks, take-downs, and ground fighting -- programs are "spread thin" with its comprehensive scope.

I would like to add Aikido now to my workouts as my wife would like to try it and I've always been curious since I briefly dabbled in Davis.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:45 PM   #8
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Smile Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Oh hell yeah

The Bay Area has an embarrassment of riches - I'd suggest you visit and observe all the ones you list + Kayla's (which is actually in Richmond).
Yes, I will visit Kayla's. I've listed the ones I've already visited at least once.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:26 AM   #9
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 308
Germany
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Kayla Sensei is awesome, I just trained with her on the weekend here in Germany, and visited her dojo before. She'd be a reason to move to Berkeley....

After your initial post, I am not entirely sure aikido offers what you are looking for, but if it does, I'd say you will hardly find a better place anywhere.

She will be in Europe for a little more time though.

And its not really in Richmond, almost Berkeley....
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:46 PM   #10
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,135
United Kingdom
Online
Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
Hi.

I have prejudices towards Aikido, but I want to start training with teachers that show the"bu" (martial) as much as the "do" (philosophy), as disillusion bounds when empty or weak words that can't or won't walk the path.

I've visited once these four local dojo, all're looking good, for my 1st impressions:
http://www.berkeleyaikikai.org/ (also offers Iaido 1/week, cool)
http://www.aikidoinstitute.org (Kim Peuser's been well recommended to me and I can see why)
http://www.aikiarts.com/ (2/week only)
http://bayareashodokan.org/default.aspx (2/week only).

My concerns is that my crude and extremely limited understanding of Aikido is that Aikido, with no weapons, discourages development of a "one hit, one 'kill'" karate mindset of hit-first to stop a felony-in-progress and how to deal with being taken down to ground fighting.

I'd like Aikido to complement and enhance my karate (and hapkido) practice.

Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley offers the most vigorous (and the least arrogant and delusional ) physical path to mental and spiritual training, please?

A nagging doubt for me is that two jiujitsu players have given up on their years of Aikido as not being useful under pressure. I feel I understand a little bit of karate and jiujitsu, but Akido seems to be a head scratching egnima.

Please pardon me, as I do not mean to appear rude (if I do so appear), just being genuinely curious.

p.s. Is Iaido as fun of a moving zen exercise as it looks?

Sei,

C
Hello,
Aikido had weapons training.Try Berkeley Aikikai [ Marianne Shibata 6th Dan].Very experienced instructor.Hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:39 PM   #11
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 698
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hello,
Aikido had weapons training.Try Berkeley Aikikai [ Marianne Shibata 6th Dan].Very experienced instructor.Hope this helps.
I was just there at lunch time a few weeks ago and Shibata Ichiro Shihan was teaching so maybe he is back in town for a spell.

"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.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:57 PM   #12
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 328
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

if you want to learn about the 'bu' of budo, go to berkeley aikikai. if you're able to study under shibata sensei, you can't go wrong.

practice hard
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:06 PM   #13
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 698
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Jerome Cervantes wrote: View Post
if you want to learn about the 'bu' of budo, go to berkeley aikikai. if you're able to study under shibata sensei, you can't go wrong.
Bu lives in ones heart ... not in the senseis instructional methods.

"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.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:26 AM   #14
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,135
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
I was just there at lunch time a few weeks ago and Shibata Ichiro Shihan was teaching so maybe he is back in town for a spell.
Good to hear that Shibata Sensei is training.I have known him for years.Should anybody looking for Aikido tuition care to study with Shibata Sensei they will receive excellent tuition from one off the best Aikidokas.His body arts and weapons work are great.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:31 AM   #15
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
I haven't personally trained with her, but I hear she has great technique. May be worth checking out. I hear she can be unforgiving at times with weapons-work and will just wack away at your hand, but maybe she is different with beginners
Marianne Shibata Sensei is very sincere and an excellent teacher. Her weapons work is very good. As a teacher she is very experienced and treats people in a very good manner.I have known her for some time when we both studied the art at San Diego Aikikai.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #16
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Bu lives in ones heart ... not in the senseis instructional methods.
ok. thanx for that.

chris, if you get the chance, definitely visit both shibata senseis at berkeley aikikai. you won't regret it

practice hard
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:15 AM   #17
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,135
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
I hear she is nice. Just heard some stories from Bluhm sensei and a few other yudansha in my dojo.
Tell Bluhm SenseiI send my best regards to him and his students.
Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:07 PM   #18
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 169
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Dave Lewin wrote: View Post
Hi Chris,
I train in Oakland under Kim Peuser, and will of course attest him being a wonderful sensei. He came up in Oakland during the 70's and early 80's, when training was said to be pretty tough here. Kayla Feder sensei was also with our dojo during those years and trained with him and everyone else around at that time; i've seen her and she has some great Aikido as well. We have some great energy going right now, with many enthusiastic students taking advantage of the full 7-day availability of classes, including mornings; you are more than welcome to come and watch and ask any questions you may have (i recommend coming in on a Mon, Wed, or Fri).

Regarding your questions about martial-ness and what not:
these are tough questions that indeed challenge (plague?) the aikido community at large.

My (simple) take is that one gets out what one puts in. To train for real effectiveness, people must simulate, to the best of their ability, real situations. The further removed from real attacks and grabs, the less likely that the training is preparing someone for a real situation, IMHO.

but, that being said, Aikido has more to offer than just being able to fend off the challenges of our testy friends who believe we are wasting our time. In particular, Aikido stands out (to me) as a system that develops a degree of self (bodily) awareness as it relates to our reactions/responses to (not just physical) conflict in our worlds. Thanks to my training, i have developed (to a degree, of course) an ability to notice when my responses/reactions to the world are manifesting themselves in the body, as in tension, stress, irregular breathing, etc. This awareness then allows me to re-center myself, and operate in the world with a certain command over myself that i wouldnt have otherwise. Perhaps one can get this from other arts, but i have dabbled in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Judo, and i never experienced these benefits from those arts myself.

so, all of that is to say this:
for many, running a (Aikido) dojo in modern north america involves much more than just training people to go out and be well greased fighting machines.
our community of training partners is thriving partly because we invite anyone to come and train and be able to gain something from it. If we only strictly trained in fierce, combatitive mode all the time, we probably wouldnt have such a full roll sheet with such a diverse mix of people. Although i definitley enjoy training tough with my 25-30 something male dojomates, believe me, there is something subtle but important to learn in trying to do the same techniques with a 40-50 something women who is not interested in training that same way. (please excuse my gendered examples here)

in the end:
the only way you will figure out which dojo is right for you (and, indeed, if Aikido itself is right for you), is to try it out.

ps. (plug plug) we offer a great return on monthly dues investment based on fees and training schedule, compartively.
also, as an Iwama style school (based on the teachings of the late Saito Shihan), we train extensively with the bokken and jo (wooden weapons).

good luck on your search!

--dave
Dave, thank you.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:17 AM   #19
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,766
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Eastshore Aikikai is probably too far away for you, but if I were in the area it would be on my short list, for sure.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:08 AM   #20
David Orange
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Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote: View Post
If you're doing Hapkido, you don't need Aikido. From what I can glimpse of Hapkido, it is just not as graceful as Aikido. Depending on the style of course. Hapkido is basically Aikido minus the kicks. I think you will just get confused.
Aikido without the kicks and WITH a lot of very sharp techniques and a LOT of serious nerve pain. I don't know how the hapkido guys take the applications I've seen.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:24 AM   #21
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 169
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Thumbs up Re: Which Aikido school in or near Berkeley?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Aikido without the kicks and WITH a lot of very sharp techniques and a LOT of serious nerve pain. I don't know how the hapkido guys take the applications I've seen.
hapkido, if you can find it, is ubber-fun for learning how to fight, to play in MMA, and for self-defense, but in hapkido, after many years, we must eventually decided on a "base" to specialize into, after getting exposed to all its varied ways.

aikido is fun, learning non-load bearing throws, utemi, and take-downs. and all of aikido can "fit" into hapkido, IMHO.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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