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Old 09-09-2001, 09:13 PM   #1
Scott_in_Kansas
Location: Kansas City, KS
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Smile Who is Ken Ota?

Hey Guys,

Does anybody know who Ken Ota is and what style of AIKIDO he teaches? I recently saw a video series that he puts out and was wondering:

1. What style does he teach (Akikai, Shin Shin Toitsu, etc.)?
2. What is his lineage?

Has anybody seen the video series? It is available at www.panthervideos.com.

What are some of the best videos to help supplement one's aikido training?

Respecfully,

Scott in Kansas
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Old 09-09-2001, 09:42 PM   #2
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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Hi Scott,

I would recommend you ask a senior at your dojo or your sensei about videos, for this reason:

The fact that you are asking implies you are new enough to Aikido that you don't already know what you are looking for in a tape.

Which means you might go with what someone here suggests, which may not be very similar to the style your sensei teaches. This will only confuse you. I don't mean by this you shouldn't see as many different styles as you want (I personally really like learning a new/different way to try things)...

But I've seen students before get really worked up and anxious when after a few weeks of Aikido they come across a book or tape that shows something different. Who to believe!
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Old 09-10-2001, 02:19 AM   #3
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
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Cool Re: Who is Ken Ota?

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
Hey Guys,
Does anybody know who Ken Ota is and what style of AIKIDO he teaches?
Respecfully,
Scott in Kansas
KAMI : Ken (Kenji) Ota was born in 1923 and is an Aikido and Dojo instructor. He began Aikido in 1964 at the Los Angeles Aikikai and got his first Aikido instruction from KOICHI TOHEI Sensei. He is affiliated with the Aikikai.
And Colleen is right, Scott! Without knowing how long you have been training and in what style, it's very difficult to suggest videos for you.
Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-10-2001, 04:44 PM   #4
john_sing
 
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Dojo: Traditional Aikido of Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida
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Smile More Information on Ken Ota from former student

Hello, Scottn and everyone else here:

Ken Ota was one of my original Aikido teachers and you can find much more information on him at:

http://www.west.net/~aikido/

Also, Aikido Today Magazine (www.aiki.com) of Claremont, Calif, USA, was kind enough to publish an article written by me about Ken Ota's teaching and his methods. Look for the March/April 2000 issue for that extensive interview.

All of the following are my personal comments and not Ken Ota's or Ki Society. I hope you like what I have to say below, and I offer it mainly to as an offering to all of you for innovative proven ideas on what's possible with Aikido (and in my own way help preserve the beauty of Ken Ota's teaching methods for future Aikido generations). Ken is 78 today and unfortunately we will not have him with us forever (although he is still in generally good health for now). If you would like to talk to me further, pls post here or email me at:

singj@us.ibm.com

Ken was my one of my original teachers and I was fortunate to spend an entire summer with him as uchideshi during 1998. His major Aikido influence was Koichi Tohei (during the late 1960's and early 1970's). My personal characterization of his style is 'early Ki Society', i.e. a large emphasis on effortless power, rhythm, timing. His video tapes illustrate this to a great degree. You can see some superb technique, especially by his son Steve Ota, on the videotapes. There are QuickTime movies on the web site listed above.

I offer that Ken differs from most Ki Society dojos, and for that matter most Aikido dojos, in that he has a unique emphasis on speed, rhythm, and timing. What makes him unique is the speed and advanced ukemi that all his students can go; in my experience, his students reach these speed and grace levels much earlier than most. This is due to his creativity in using adapted modern gymnastics technology to teach beginning and advanced ukemi; his adapted ballroom dancing backleading to teach beginning students (Ota is a champion ballroom dancer); his emphasis on a safe yet quite high speed of innovative drills in addition to just basic waza. The drills emphasize rhythm, timing, centrifugal force, and build a very high level of practice and repetitions in the students. .

His most unique aspect is that the above methods have allowed his 10, 11, 12 year old children Aikido students to do 8 basic Aikido techniques at full speed with adult ukes, effectively, allowed by the fact that these youngsters and the adult students are generally all capable of safe breakfalls.

His students, both child and adult, do practice safe randori drills from the time they are barely 5th kyu, so by the time his students reach shodan they are quite experienced in randori.

Let me know if you would like more info, or call Ken directly using the contact information in his web site above.

The March / April 2000 ATM magazine article expands on on this.... hopefully the work I and other Ota students just completed on the web site will be posted soon and you could just go on line and see more......... and I will submit to ATM Magazine soon, the just-completed 'Ken Ota Aikido for Children' articles about what he does to achieve the results with children that he has.

Take care all!

Respectfully submitted,

John Sing


John Sing
singj@us.ibm.com
My website documenting Ken Ota's unique Aikido teaching methods:
http://home.comcast.net/~j.sing/Ota_Aikido/
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Old 09-10-2001, 05:46 PM   #5
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
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Unhappy Re: Information on Ken Ota

Quote:
Originally posted by john_sing
His major Aikido influence was Koichi Tohei (during the late 1960's and early 1970's). My personal characterization of his style is 'early Ki Society', i.e. a large emphasis on effortless power, rhythm, timing. I offer that Ken differs from most Ki Society dojos, and for that matter most Aikido dojos, in that he has a unique emphasis on speed, rhythm, and timing.
John Sing
KAMI : I stumbled...
Ken Ota Sensei is Ki-Society, not Aikikai. My mistake...
Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-10-2001, 08:00 PM   #6
Scott_in_Kansas
Location: Kansas City, KS
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 16
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Thanks for the info guys! I agree with Colleen about learning the techniques from an instructor first. Truth is I studied aikido a few years ago and am planning to return to a local Ki Society and resume classes. I mainly wanted to find a "Ki Society tape" to work on my preliminary warmups before I start studying again. (I currently work nights and can't make class yet.)

I have a book "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" that Montgomery Sensei recommended years back.

Thanks again for your input! Oh by the way, the style I study is Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. (Tohei Sensei's aikido.)

Respectfully,

Scott in Kansas
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Old 09-10-2001, 08:49 PM   #7
guest1234
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Well, then, Scott, it sounds like the tape you asked about (Ota Sensei's) would be great...maybe you could let us know later how your selection turned out.
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Old 09-12-2001, 04:08 PM   #8
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
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Ki Society tapes

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott_in_Kansas
Thanks for the info guys! I agree with Colleen about learning the techniques from an instructor first. Truth is I studied aikido a few years ago and am planning to return to a local Ki Society and resume classes. I mainly wanted to find a "Ki Society tape" to work on my preliminary warmups before I start studying again. (I currently work nights and can't make class yet.)

I have a book "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" that Montgomery Sensei recommended years back.

Thanks again for your input! Oh by the way, the style I study is Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. (Tohei Sensei's aikido.)

Respectfully,

Scott in Kansas
You'll probably want to take a look at the tape Kashiwaya Sensei has released that gives the new Test Criteria for 5th Kyu thru 2nd Kyu. You can find it at the Northern California Ki Society website.

Last edited by tedehara : 09-12-2001 at 04:12 PM.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:46 PM   #9
john_sing
 
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Dojo: Traditional Aikido of Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida
Location: Sarasota, Florida
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Re: More Information on Ken Ota from former student

Quote:
John Sing wrote: View Post
Hello, Scottn and everyone else here:

Ken Ota was one of my original Aikido teachers and you can find much more information on him at:

http://www.west.net/~aikido/

Also, Aikido Today Magazine (www.aiki.com) of Claremont, Calif, USA, was kind enough to publish an article written by me about Ken Ota's teaching and his methods. Look for the March/April 2000 issue for that extensive interview.

Ken was my one of my original teachers and I was fortunate to spend an entire summer with him as uchideshi during 1998. His major Aikido influence was Koichi Tohei (during the late 1960's and early 1970's). My personal characterization of his style is 'early Ki Society', i.e. a large emphasis on effortless power, rhythm, timing. His video tapes illustrate this to a great degree. You can see some superb technique, especially by his son Steve Ota, on the videotapes.

I offer that Ken differs from most Ki Society dojos, and for that matter most Aikido dojos, in that he has a unique emphasis on speed, rhythm, and timing. What makes him unique is the speed and advanced ukemi that all his students can go; in my experience, his students reach these speed and grace levels much earlier than most. This is due to his creativity in using adapted modern gymnastics technology to teach beginning and advanced ukemi; his adapted ballroom dancing backleading to teach beginning students (Ota is a champion ballroom dancer); his emphasis on a safe yet quite high speed of innovative drills in addition to just basic waza. The drills emphasize rhythm, timing, centrifugal force, and build a very high level of practice and repetitions in the students. .

His most unique aspect is that the above methods have allowed his 10, 11, 12 year old children Aikido students to do 8 basic Aikido techniques at full speed with adult ukes, effectively, allowed by the fact that these youngsters and the adult students are generally all capable of safe breakfalls.

John Sing
Hi, all,

Back in 2008, I placed copies of my articles and documentation of time spent with Ken Ota here:

http://home.comcast.net/~j.sing/Ota_Aikido/

On the above web site, you can see the aforementioned Quicktime movies, there are probably 50+ videos there. I talked with Ota Sensei couple of weeks ago - he's doing as well as can be expected at age 92, and his spirit is still strong. The Wikipedia entry on him pretty much says it all:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_and_Miye_Ota

I hope you may find this information interesting and informative. :-)

John Sing
now in Sarasota, Florida
February 25, 2013


John Sing
singj@us.ibm.com
My website documenting Ken Ota's unique Aikido teaching methods:
http://home.comcast.net/~j.sing/Ota_Aikido/
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Who is Ken Ota?

That series was one of the first aikido videos I ever bought! No clue where its at though...

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
john_sing
 
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Re: Who is Ken Ota?

Quote:
Adam Huss wrote: View Post
That series was one of the first aikido videos I ever bought! No clue where its at though...
Hi, Adam,

The Ken Ota Aikido video series was filmed in and around Goleta and Santa Barbara, Calif.

Ota Sensei's dojo is still there at:

Goleta Aikido with Ki
255 Magnolia
Goleta, California 93117
(805) 967-3103

And his senior students still teach classes there, see: http://goletaaikido.net/video.html

and: http://www.west.net/~aikido/

Goleta is a suburb of Santa Barbara, Calif - a pleasant little town and of course, beautiful along with Santa Barbara, which is 120 miles north and west of Los Angeles, Calif, driving along US Highway 101.

Ota Sensei is 92 and still with us (along with his wife Miye, who is 94). She deserves a ton of credit, having supported and worked right alongside Ota Sensei all these years to make the Goleta Aikido Dojo a continuing reality and a Santa Barbara institution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_and_Miye_Ota

I hope that helps, and I suspect there's many of us here on AikiWeb who have seen Ota's Aikido videos, which were made 30 years ago, way back in 1983 or so. How time flies. :-)

John Sing
Sarasota, Florida


John Sing
singj@us.ibm.com
My website documenting Ken Ota's unique Aikido teaching methods:
http://home.comcast.net/~j.sing/Ota_Aikido/
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:48 AM   #12
Adam Huss
 
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Location: Ohio
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Re: Who is Ken Ota?

Quote:
John Sing wrote: View Post
Hi, Adam,

The Ken Ota Aikido video series was filmed in and around Goleta and Santa Barbara, Calif.

Ota Sensei's dojo is still there at:

Goleta Aikido with Ki
255 Magnolia
Goleta, California 93117
(805) 967-3103

And his senior students still teach classes there, see: http://goletaaikido.net/video.html

and: http://www.west.net/~aikido/

Goleta is a suburb of Santa Barbara, Calif - a pleasant little town and of course, beautiful along with Santa Barbara, which is 120 miles north and west of Los Angeles, Calif, driving along US Highway 101.

Ota Sensei is 92 and still with us (along with his wife Miye, who is 94). She deserves a ton of credit, having supported and worked right alongside Ota Sensei all these years to make the Goleta Aikido Dojo a continuing reality and a Santa Barbara institution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_and_Miye_Ota

I hope that helps, and I suspect there's many of us here on AikiWeb who have seen Ota's Aikido videos, which were made 30 years ago, way back in 1983 or so. How time flies. :-)

John Sing
Sarasota, Florida
Ah, I meant I am not sure where those videos are located physically! I think I have them on DVD, though, not VHS. I think one of the gentlemen in my organization used to train with Ota Sensei, Marcus Schoon, before he moved out toward the East Coast.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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