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Old 01-30-2014, 07:35 PM   #1
Sojourner
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Question The History of Aikido in Australia?

Greetings all,

Am looking over the history of Aikido and would like to look into how Aikido became started in my own country, where the first Dojo's were and who began them, along with who were the first Aussie men and women to recieve gradings in Aikido in Australia as opposed to overseas, then I guess a footprint of how each of the Aikido denominations got started here. I have tried Google without a great deal of success and am hoping that a member here may be able to point me in the right direction for a search like this?
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:32 PM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Good luck!
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:47 PM   #3
danielajames
 
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Here are some of the Ki-sters in action
http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido...kido-australia

the funny thing about documenting is that knowledge comes out of the woodwork and the back stories are quite interesting too

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:15 AM   #4
sefie
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Here's a short history of Aikikai in Australia: http://www.aikido.org.au/aikidohistory.html
More assorted historical articles can be found in the newsletters: http://www.aikido.org.au/aikikaiaustralie.html
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:24 AM   #5
danielajames
 
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Stan Pranin, has some of the early history in an Australian entry in his encyclopaedia of Aikido here
http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=54

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:40 PM   #6
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

The aikikai site above claims it "is the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan".

I know it used to be the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from Aikikai Honbu, but I'm pretty sure A.K.I. and one other that I can't remember right now also have grading authority at present. They might want to update their website.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:52 AM   #7
Richard Sanchez
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
The aikikai site above claims it "is the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan".

I know it used to be the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from Aikikai Honbu, but I'm pretty sure A.K.I. and one other that I can't remember right now also have grading authority at present. They might want to update their website.
Agreed- All my Dan grades including my Godan were awarded to me in Australia under the direct authority of Aikikai Hombu, beginning with my Shodan nearly 30-years ago, and I am not, and have never been, a member of Aikikai Australia. To my knowledge Aikikai Hombu has awarded at least 200 hundred Dan grades to teachers and students in Australia who have no connection with Aikikai Australia, including my own students when I was teaching there.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:52 PM   #8
Millsy
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

I think Aikikai Australia have been making that claim for a long time, I'm they told me that when I trained with them briefly. But I'm pretty sure Kenkyukai (A.K.I), Aikido Alliance Australia (through Robert Nadeau Shihan in California), and I think some "Iwama" style dojo's like Barry Knight in Melbourne are all affiliated with the Aikikai hombu. There are surely many more Aikikai Australia doesn't have a monopoly on this.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:00 PM   #9
sefie
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

I think it's that Aikikai Australia can conduct dan gradings and award dan ranks on behalf of Hombu. I've only ever trained with Aikikai, I've never even met someone who practiced a different style in real life, so this might be splitting hairs, and may very well be incorrect.

It's also the only Australian organisation listed on the Aikikai Foundation website, if you believe things published on the internet: http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/info2/overseas.htm

I'll ask someone who would know more than me

Last edited by sefie : 02-02-2014 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:10 PM   #10
Millsy
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Diana,
Pretty sure you are correct about the only Australian based organisation, but I think the difference is that Aikikai Australia is affiliated directly to the Honbu, where other organizations such as AKI and AAA are affiliated to the honbu via overseas aikikai shihan (ie. Japan (Tekada Shihan) and USA (Nadeau Shihan) for these 2 examples) and can still award Aikikai Dan rankings.

It is interesting that I have trained with at least 2 senior Aikidoka in US who were very surprised that I was not from Aikikai Aust because when they visited Australia with Yamada sensei, they were told by the locals that Aikikai was the only Aikido organisation in the country. May be a language barrier with the Americans and Australian, I find that a lot here .

I think Aikido landscape and history in Australia is quite devise and I would be very interested in what the original poster could put together.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:32 PM   #11
Millsy
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Diana Hope wrote: View Post
... I've only ever trained with Aikikai, I've never even met someone who practiced a different style in real life ...
To digress slightly. It is interesting to note the difference between training in Australia to the US. I always noted how closed Aikido was back home, organisations would hold seminars but only be open to members of their organisation. In the US thing are far more open (at least in my limited experience here), I can't think of a seminar I haven't been able to go to regardless of the organisation it was conducted by. Which means I have trained with a larger variety of Aikidoka in the US than I do in Australia, which I think has been a good thing. Maybe this might make an interesting new thread, or is it part of Australian Aikido history?
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:46 PM   #12
sefie
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Tony Mills wrote: View Post
Diana,
Pretty sure you are correct about the only Australian based organisation, but I think the difference is that Aikikai Australia is affiliated directly to the Honbu, where other organizations such as AKI and AAA are affiliated to the honbu via overseas aikikai shihan (ie. Japan (Tekada Shihan) and USA (Nadeau Shihan) for these 2 examples) and can still award Aikikai Dan rankings.

It is interesting that I have trained with at least 2 senior Aikidoka in US who were very surprised that I was not from Aikikai Aust because when they visited Australia with Yamada sensei, they were told by the locals that Aikikai was the only Aikido organisation in the country. May be a language barrier with the Americans and Australian, I find that a lot here .
Language is difficult! Thanks for your input. I recently did an instructors course during our national summer school, and we didn't dwell on this point too much. I was much more concerned about not falling asleep after 3 hours of training and a big lunch

I agree that this was probably a mis-speaking about being the "only" organisation. I pass by a Ki Society dojo on my way to training, and I think there's a Yoshinkan one nearby as well. I couldn't speak to numbers or popularity of the different schools, though.

Quote:
I always noted how closed Aikido was back home, organisations would hold seminars but only be open to members of their organisation. In the US thing are far more open (at least in my limited experience here), I can't think of a seminar I haven't been able to go to regardless of the organisation it was conducted by
Again, speaking with limited knowledge, but I believe it's mostly to do with our insurance coverage. We can only cover people who are "members" of our organisation. How memberships work is definitely material for a different thread. We've done a lot of legal work recently to accommodate as many different people as possible, especially with our 50th Anniversary coming up next year. It's not that we don't "let" people from other organisations train (at least in the dojos I've been to!), it's figuring out how we can cover them (and us) for worst case scenarios.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:44 PM   #13
Millsy
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Diana Hope wrote: View Post
We've done a lot of legal work recently to accommodate as many different people as possible, especially with our 50th Anniversary coming up next year. It's not that we don't "let" people from other organisations train (at least in the dojos I've been to!), it's figuring out how we can cover them (and us) for worst case scenarios.
More an observation of the closed nature in Aus than a criticism of Aikikai Aus, I've noticed it in more than one group, and really noticed the difference training in the US. Interesting to hear Aikikai's reasons/limitations. Really interested to see how opening up to "outsiders" for the 50th anniversary goes, as I'll be back in Melbourne next year
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:46 AM   #14
Alex Megann
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Tony Mills wrote: View Post
I think Aikikai Australia have been making that claim for a long time, I'm they told me that when I trained with them briefly. But I'm pretty sure Kenkyukai (A.K.I), Aikido Alliance Australia (through Robert Nadeau Shihan in California), and I think some "Iwama" style dojo's like Barry Knight in Melbourne are all affiliated with the Aikikai hombu. There are surely many more Aikikai Australia doesn't have a monopoly on this.
and there is at least one splinter group from Aikikai Australia who are now affiliated to Hombu via New Zealand Aikikai (Brisbane Aikikai).

Alex
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:03 PM   #15
sefie
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Tony Mills wrote: View Post
More an observation of the closed nature in Aus than a criticism of Aikikai Aus, I've noticed it in more than one group, and really noticed the difference training in the US. Interesting to hear Aikikai's reasons/limitations. Really interested to see how opening up to "outsiders" for the 50th anniversary goes, as I'll be back in Melbourne next year
Nice! If you are coming for the 50th Anniversary, or train at one of our dojos, say ahoy
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:35 PM   #16
robin_jet_alt
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Diana Hope wrote: View Post
Nice! If you are coming for the 50th Anniversary, or train at one of our dojos, say ahoy
Oh? Are those of us who learned our aikido elsewhere welcome? My experience is that Aikikai Australia does not even approve of people such as myself who received their black belt from Aikikai in Japan, let alone non-affiliated organisations.

You said that you have never met someone who does aikido outside of Aikikai Australia, and I find this is a remarkably common state of affairs. As Tony said, Aikido organizations in Australia can be very insular.

For our part, we always invite all the local schools to our major events, and we often have people from the local Tomiki school attend. We also have people who train with us as well as the local A.K.I. dojo on a regular basis and I have attended seminars at the A.K.I. dojo as well. Insurance has always covered everyone who attends our seminars and the same goes for the other schools. In spite of our invitations, we have never had anyone from Aikikai Australia join us for one of our events, and it is my understanding (although I'm happy to be corrected) that their students are forbidden from doing so by the organisation.

I know this is getting sidetracked a little, but as Tony said, this insularity is a particularly Australian quality and is an important element of the history of Aikido in Australia.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:33 PM   #17
Travers Hughes
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

I train in Australia, under Aikikai Australia. We are just down the road from the Brisbane Aikikai who are now aligned with New Zealand. This created an issue as the Brisbane guys were originally students of the head of QLD, who actually started trainig under a different shihan in England. There certainly are (unnecessary) politics. I don't pay much attention to them. (Interestingly, I'm related by marriage to a japanese shihan who outranks any practicioner in Australia). From what I have heard in the past, whenever there have been high-profile shihan visiting Aikikai Australia, other groups are welcome to attend on some days, but not on grading days. I imagine this would be the same for next January.

Shame really - was it Kermit the Frog who said "it's nice to be important, but its important to be nice?"

Last edited by Travers Hughes : 02-03-2014 at 11:34 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:10 AM   #18
Sojourner
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

First off, thankyou for those links that you were good enough to post, that is very much appreciated and I am working through them at present. I am attempting to create a thumbnail sketch of Aikido in Australia and will post a version of it up here when I get it in a format that works and one that can be added to as I come across new information.

As for the discussion re the Aikido organizations we have the following here in Adelaide, I am not sure how they relate to one another, yet my mail is that its not uncommon for students in our city to attend seminars and so forth run by different organizations. Adelaide is a small city in Australia and maybe not as involved in the politics of it, I really am not sure, when I contacted some of these on this list, I found them nothing but helpful.

Aikikai,
Ki Society
Budo Kan. (Aikido / Atemi Jujitsu)
Yoshinkan Aikido
Aikido Kenkyukai International (Affiliated to AIkikai)
Traditional Aikido Australia (Affiliated to Aikikai)
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:37 AM   #19
Millsy
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Ben,
From memory there is also an Aikido Yuishinkai affiliate in Adelaide, couldn't find a web page but found this listing http://www.aikidojournal.com/dojodetails?id=3194

If it helps, ones I know of in Melbourne are

Yuishinkai
Aikikai
Yoshinkan
Aikido Takemusu
Iwama Ryu Aikido Australia

And I what think may be indepandant dojos?
Pure Aikido
Ki Fusion
Aikido Yoga

Diana mentioned walking past a ki society dojo, but couldn't see one one associate with ki society on a quick search, maybe it was the ki fusion mentioned above. Also I remember there were people interested in starting a Kenkyukai dojo before I came to the states but not sure if that eventuated.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:33 PM   #20
sefie
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Oh? Are those of us who learned our aikido elsewhere welcome? My experience is that Aikikai Australia does not even approve of people such as myself who received their black belt from Aikikai in Japan, let alone non-affiliated organisations.

You said that you have never met someone who does aikido outside of Aikikai Australia, and I find this is a remarkably common state of affairs. As Tony said, Aikido organizations in Australia can be very insular.
For the 50th anniversary, yes, some of the training days will be opened to non-Aikikai practitioners. With the Doshu coming, I don't think we could stop them if we tried. Not all of the details have been hammered out yet, and I don't want to overpromise, so I can't give more information right now. All we have are the dates (Jan 19th-25th 2015). I think Jan 22nd-25th are the days that will be open.

Quote:
You said that you have never met someone who does aikido outside of Aikikai Australia, and I find this is a remarkably common state of affairs.
I slightly misspoke - I do train with people who previously trained in Tomiki and Iwama, but only because they now train in Aikikai. For what that's worth

Quote:
Diana mentioned walking past a ki society dojo, but couldn't see one one associate with ki society on a quick search, maybe it was the ki fusion mentioned above.
Possibly! I went to check but they haven't put their sign out for a while. I assumed it was due to Christmas/New Year holidays but that's stretching it a little. We had an influx of new members recently due to a Tomiki dojo closing down, but none of them have stuck around longer than a month
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:09 PM   #21
danielajames
 
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Hi Ben, all,
Here are a few organisations i've collated over the years might be a bit dated though
http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-australia

FWIW some aikido orgs are more closed than open, some that were quite closed are now more open and vice versa over time. I have found though that regardless of organisation budo people serious about getting better end up congregating and so there are all these ura kind of relationships between individuals that transcend organisations.

Hopefully what is happening in the USA (which is perhaps generationally ahead in aikido organisations) might be come more the norm here. Certainly when looking at smaller eco systems there is a lot of support for when a teacher comes out from Japan (or elsewhere) to visit them and being only 8hrs from Japan .

I went to a seminar in Adelaide (back when it had a Yuishinkai dojo there run by a good friend) and witnessed a delightful budo network and to this day I'm not sure who organised the seminar http://www.aikidorepublic.com/trip-a...ikido-adelaide

best to all and look forward to what you come up with
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:18 PM   #22
Richard Sanchez
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post

FWIW some aikido orgs are more closed than open, some that were quite closed are now more open and vice versa over time.
This is very true and Aikikai Australia are certainly not the only organisation to have placed restrictions on their members training elsewhere. I doubt this is peculiar to Melbourne and Victoria but I think it is the main reason why there are so many splinter groups there. I personally know of at least 20 dojos that have been operating independently and successfully for many years, run by very experienced and dedicated teachers- many of them friends of mine.

Some people just like to be independent while others choose that option to escape a paranoid organisation or Dojo-cho. However, getting back to the Hombu recognition issue, there are several Dojos in Victoria that conduct their own gradings under the direct guidance of the Aikikai Hombu who are not affiliated with Aikikai Australia.

We did an estimate once based on independent dojo student numbers and figured there were as many people training in independent dojos in Victoria as there were in the affiliated organisations. That was a 10 years ago and I have since moved to another country so am a bit out of touch but it probably hasn't changed very much.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:23 AM   #23
Alex Megann
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Quote:
Richard Sanchez wrote: View Post
We did an estimate once based on independent dojo student numbers and figured there were as many people training in independent dojos in Victoria as there were in the affiliated organisations. That was a 10 years ago and I have since moved to another country so am a bit out of touch but it probably hasn't changed very much.
Hmmm. That sound VERY familiar! Here in the UK there is a rainbow array of more than forty organisations, some affiliated to their respective hombu, some that have been independent for decades, and some with affiliation via an overseas organisation. It's sobering to realise that this is a global and inevitable tendency. The only exception I can think of is France, where there are legal requirements for teaching qualifications, which has tended to keep the number of separate factions low.

Alex
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:51 AM   #24
Patrick O'Regan
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Hi all,

This is a fascinating conversation. I am a member of a dojo that has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread (Brisbane Aikikai). I write this as an individual, not as a representative of the dojo.

We chose to split away from Australian Aikikai and were an independent dojo for some time. We are now affiliated to Hombu through Aikido Shinryukan which has its head quarters in New Zealand. We are honoured that they accepted us. Hombu recognised gradings have taken place in our dojo recommended through our organisation.

Hi Travers, I remember training with you. Our split from Australian Aikikai may have "created issues" however it was as a result of significant issues that led to the split. Some have been referenced above but there was more to it. Our choice had nothing to do with anyone in Queensland and we were consultative and respectful in our decision. It was not a decision taken lightly. Yet one that we are very pleased with. I would be happy to discuss this with you further and you would be welcome to train with us any time. As Robin mentioned above, insurance won't be major issue.

I hope to see some of you on the mat soon!

Paddy

Last edited by Patrick O'Regan : 02-06-2014 at 05:02 AM.

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Old 02-06-2014, 07:12 AM   #25
Millsy
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Re: The History of Aikido in Australia?

Ben
These might be interesting to look at from a historical point. Scroll to the bottom of the page in the link and you will find a bunch of old Ki Society Australia news letters (late 90s). http://www.northsideaikido.com/index...dojo-downloads

Patrick,
As Dan pointed out, more eloquently than I, for the grunts on the ground like myself, we are happy to train with like minded aikidoist regardless of affiliation, and make friends across organisations. Its at the organisational level things get sticky, competing ideologies for the same limited students. I think Dan James did some great sums at one stage working out how many dojos an area could support. Although I say its more open in the US, I still hear the friction, X shihan dosn't like us training with Y shihan because they split away, doesn't seem to stop anybody at the lower dan ranks though
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