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Old 04-30-2003, 10:35 PM   #1
GregH
Location: Harrisburg, Pa
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Styles of Aikido

Hello all,
Curiosity got the best of me tonight. I am imagining that the answers and replies to this question will be purely speculative but who knows. Here is goes. With Aikido being a relatively new martial art, what accounts for the different styles/branches of Aikido. How did they come about? Which one, if any, most closely resembles the one originally practiced by O Sensei? Just curious on that matter. Thanks for your time.


Greg
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Old 04-30-2003, 11:39 PM   #2
Clayton Drescher
 
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Dojo: Beach Cities Aikido
Location: Long Beach, CA
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Whoa Greg,

I was just thinking about that today, and I found a book in the University of Texas library a few minutes ago, before I had even read this, that kind of explained it. It might be called "Aikido" by Greg O'Conner. Unfortunately that's all I could partially retain without taking notes---pretty bad, huh. I'm as interested as you in hearing about this topic from some folks in the know.

Peace,

Clayton
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Old 05-01-2003, 12:00 AM   #3
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
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Someone should be able to suggest an historically-oriented book that will answer your question in detail. The development of different styles are just the natural way human beings do things. Take a look at any art, martial art, or practice of any type and you will see the same branching out pattern develop over time. The broader and more popular the activity the faster it will branch out. BJJ and grappling arts are even younger, and there is even more divergence of styles.

As to which is most like what O'Sensei did, the answer is: O'Sensei when? The man practiced something he called Aikido for many years, and his style changed a lot over time. Different pupils studied with him and subsequently left the nest at different periods during his development. Once on their own, the various teachers continued to change and reinterpret things from their own perspectives. All the different current styles are products of this. None of the living teachers are O'Sensei.

Personally, I don't find much interest in the issue of authenticity, or the idea of attempting to be just like some dead man from halfway across the world that I've only seen in scratchy photos. I don't want to be just like anyone but me, and it seems unhealthy to me to expend much effort pining for Aikido experiences outside those that are actually available to me.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 05-01-2003 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 05-01-2003, 12:43 AM   #4
Kyri Honigh
Dojo: Aikido Curacao
Location: Curacao
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Well I'd like to throw in my 5 cents too!

It's true that every martial art has branched out.For several reasons, including a certain individual having other thoughts about certain subjects.We should not forget that martial arts are the creation of man and will evolve and adapt because of us.Authenticity is important!Not in the sense of who was the inventor or what's "real", but aikido not based on centering is not aikido.We should keep walking the aikido path,its a great highway with several lanes though..and to mr Willbanks, O-Sensei is not just a dead man to some people, you should put ur thoughts into words more carefully, I believe..just a suggestion
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Old 05-01-2003, 05:15 AM   #5
Col.Clink
Dojo: Waiuku Ki Society
Location: New Zealand
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GregH wrote: "With Aikido being a relatively new martial art, what accounts for the different styles/branches of Aikido. How did they come about? Which one, if any, most closely resembles the one originally practiced by O Sensei? Just curious on that matter. Thanks for your time."

Hi Greg,

I guess the different schools came about for a number of reasons, but the well known schools such as Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Tomiki, Ki no Kenkyukai, are there because of the student's ( Doshu, Shioda, Tomiki, Tohei) idea of what O'sensei was trying to show, or, what they perceived Aikido to be from their experience with O'Sensei. What he taught them and how they perceived that training through watching and learning.

Kind of like a bunch of engineers who all learn their craft at the same school. Each one will have a different perspective on their trade depending on when they were taught and how long they learn't it, and at what stage the professor had developed his knowledge.

But what is important? who is closest to the professor's technique that taught them? or who can actually build safe buildings that will stay standing and have some of the professors teachings and ideas about construction in the foundations? Bad Engineer's buildings will fall down,and hopefully not hurt too many.

Our challenge, is to find a good engineer, and learn the trade, to develope ourselves, not to mimick the professor, but let the trade become part of us and build on it, while in the process of not forgeting where this knowledge came from in the first place.

In the beginning all we can do is immitate, after that, it is all growing.

Mind you, that's just my view, and I know bugger all really.

cheers

Rob

"Excess leads to the path of Wisdom"
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Old 05-01-2003, 05:28 AM   #6
Jeff R.
Dojo: River Valley
Location: New Hampshire
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Unfortunately, when techniques filter through several generations, there is the potential for them to become too altered, watered down. New styles can be created just because one person's hip may be too sore to perform the traditional methods, so he might make adjustments to favor his deficiency. These changes will be passed down. I've seen it.

Try making it to seminars. Experience as much Aikido from as many different sources as possible.

It's true; Aikido is going to evolve, and as long as the essence and philosophy are maintained, then it is as it should be.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-01-2003, 06:22 AM   #7
ian
 
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I don't believe that the whole reason for different styles is the different periods when people trained. I think it has to do with physique, attitude and previous training. When you look at early videos of the uchideschi you can see their different 'styles' even though they are training in the same class.

I was told that Ueshiba always told you you were doing well regardless of what you were doing, therefore he didn't constrain people to do exactly what he was doing.

I don't like to talk about styles, since there is so much variation within each style. I also think different styles have different things to offer. In my mind you should always ask yourself how you can achieve the best at your martial arts. This may mean picking the brains and training with people from very different styles - this is also how the great martial artists became great (and it also means analysing other martial arts) - although a good base is necessary prior to doing this.

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 05-01-2003, 08:36 AM   #8
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink) wrote:
Kind of like a bunch of engineers who all learn their craft at the same school. Each one will have a different perspective on their trade depending on when they were taught and how long they learn't it, and at what stage the professor had developed his knowledge...

Our challenge, is to find a good engineer, and learn the trade, to develope ourselves, not to mimick the professor, but let the trade become part of us and build on it, while in the process of not forgeting where this knowledge came from in the first place.
That's a great illustration, Robert!


DAVE

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