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Old 03-26-2017, 01:02 PM   #1
Cass
 
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Complementary Aikido Styles

So I have tried to search for something quite comprehensive about this in the past, but at best most different styles of Aikido are loosely defined. So I am hoping here that others can use their experience to help shed light on different styles of Aikido that complement each other well or that share strong elements. For example if you are of an Iwama dojo how would you fare at a Yoseikan seminar/dojo? Or a Ki Society one? Personally I am training in the Tissier lineage, which is not it's own self-defined "style" per se but discussion on where each style like so "sits" would be very helpful. Of course saying one is "soft" and the other is "hard" on a scale is controversial at best but surely there can be agreement on some forms being more relevant to one another and more likely to go well for the aikidoka dabbling in both. Usually when looking at local seminars most sensei only define what "school" of Aikido they are descended from, but short of intensively researching every style of Aikido it seems like a bit of a minefield. Eventually I'd like to try all other styles of Aikido to see personally what fits best, but at least at this early stage I would prefer to stick to similar styles to not confuse myself.

So TL;DR What styles of Aikido are the most complementary (or related) to one another?



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Old 03-26-2017, 01:16 PM   #2
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

As an Iwamaer, I think I'd feel not completely lost in a Yoshinkan or in a Yoseikan dojo.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:32 PM   #3
grondahl
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
Eventually I'd like to try all other styles of Aikido to see personally what fits best, but at least at this early stage I would prefer to stick to similar styles to not confuse myself.

So TL;DR What styles of Aikido are the most complementary (or related) to one another?
Similar is often more confusing than styles that are very different, it´s also easier to pick up bad habits (from your dojos perspective) that way.

But since Tissier basically are flowy vanilla aikikai-aikido, I think that most modern aikido would be similar enough (including Iwama). Nishio is very different from most aikido technique wise, but as an Iwama stylist I always feel very at home with the attitude and feeling of the class. Yoseikan Budo are more than just aikido so that could probably very different from what you are used to.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:15 PM   #4
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Hi. Here in DK we have quite a few Nishio inspired schools. However within that lineage we still have extremely different interpretations of how he did his aikido. We have some dojos that do a lot of weapons work - some almost only practice it before going to a grading where it is prerequisit. Also I went to a seminar once with a student of the late Yamaguchi sensei, and I found his aikido much different from what I've seen with Yamaguchi sensei. My point is, that in the end it boils down to the individual character of the sensei, the 'air' of the dojo and the mindset of those who train there. Aikido is basically expressing yourself, so if you practice enough your personality will shine through.

That said - some styles such as Takemusu (Iwama) and Yoshinkan seem to tend to be more focused on beginning with kihon (basics), while other styles emphasize flow at an earlier stage. Nishio Aikido is in general based on more complex movements from the start. But all this is only trends.In the end it is about the teacher more than about the pedigree

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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Old 03-26-2017, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

I've spent time regularly practicing 4 styles of aikido now. I've got to say that if you go into a new style thinking it will be similar, you will not actually learn what is being taught. Throw out all preconceptions and start afresh. Also, then ones that have something to teach you are often the ones that are radically different.

Also, everything that JJF said is true.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:55 AM   #6
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Freaky! Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
But all this is only trends.In the end it is about the teacher more than about the pedigree
+1

"Styles" aren't as hard defined as the movement set of a fighting game. So the idea of "complementary" doesn't really apply.

Try different teachers, take a look at their advanced students. If you're anything like me you'll gravitate to one teacher eventually. Should you feel kind of stale after a while, start over. The longer you train, the fewer are the teachers that are interesting to you personally. That doesn't mean that you have to stick to the same line. You can start fresh, your body is already a bit more cleaned up by the misogi process so you won't be a clumsy beginner again. You might be a beginner with preconceptions though, which might be equally challenging to get rid of .
Trust your body, follow your interests

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Old 03-27-2017, 04:02 AM   #7
grondahl
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Stephan Schröder wrote: View Post
+1

"Styles" aren't as hard defined as the movement set of a fighting game. So the idea of "complementary" doesn't really apply.

Try different teachers, take a look at their advanced students. If you're anything like me you'll gravitate to one teacher eventually. Should you feel kind of stale after a while, start over. The longer you train, the fewer are the teachers that are interesting to you personally. That doesn't mean that you have to stick to the same line. You can start fresh, your body is already a bit more cleaned up by the misogi process so you won't be a clumsy beginner again. You might be a beginner with preconceptions though, which might be equally challenging to get rid of .
Trust your body, follow your interests
Some styles are pretty strictly defined, some are definitly more loosely defined.

I have always handled stuff outside of my base style as cross training in the same as way as when doing sanshou or bjj. I try my best to do what the instructor is doing when cross training and I don´t bring the new stuff home to my regular keiko.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:11 AM   #8
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

I have been to a number of different schools and lineages. I highly recommend the exposure, though for a beginner it can be confusing. As a yudansha, I have to say the devil is always in the details. And, some times it is politics that makes the teacher and the new dojo speak and act perverse.

Tomiki was a six-footer, so his basics involve techniques that Aikikai does but emphasizes less. I started to explore that style when I had a 6'8" student with bad knees. I continue to be interested in the history that is contained in the kata, and my own school does not have a kata tradition. Without kata or some way to directly look back to the source, Aikido and that particular lineage is what the person in the front of the room says it is.

Otherwise, most of the differences in the different groups are about a teaching method more than a technical syllabus. Early kyu tests will be very different, dan tests will cover much the same empty hand material. Weapons are where the differences are found for dan students, and they tie back to specific lineages.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:57 AM   #9
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
Otherwise, most of the differences in the different groups are about a teaching method more than a technical syllabus. Early kyu tests will be very different, dan tests will cover much the same empty hand material. Weapons are where the differences are found for dan students, and they tie back to specific lineages.
That is an important point - in the early stages some of the teaching methods are anything but complimentary. I would rather have a beginning student do any other martial art than another aikido style. With time any and all styles (I have experienced) compliment/contribute to what I've learnt.

I do have an order: Shodokan -> Yoshinkan -> Iwama -> Aikikai (in all its forms) -> Ki Society

For me the order is defined by emphasis but interestingly the first two have very strongly developed training methodologies that would cause real problems if a beginner tried to do both at the same time.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:06 AM   #10
Larry Feldman
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Aikido Journal had a little history of the various styles editorial in an old edition.
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:11 AM   #11
MrIggy
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
So TL;DR What styles of Aikido are the most complementary (or related) to one another?
From what i have read and seen on the net, Yoshinkan and Iwama are supposedly most complementary. But again, as people wrote, it depends on the way the instructor interprets the elements he was taught.

For instance after training to the point of almost black belt a friend of mine had to go back home so she started training in a Tissier affiliated dojo there. They keep telling her how she is too aggressive in her movement, the way she executes the techniques and so on. Her main commentary on the Tissier style is that it's like trying to grab water or smoke or move in that sense.

Also when we had a seminar, in our original dojo, with a dojo that is affiliated to the Yasuo Kobayashi Aikido dojo's branch (which is officially affiliated with the Aikikai), i worked with the main instructor on the Yokomenuchi Ude garami technique. He was basically like a swordsman, soft and sharp in receiving/parrying the attack and sharp and swift at the execution of the technque. So you see, even in dojo's that are all officially affiliated with the same organization, like the Aikikai for instance, there are different ways of interpretation of the elements that are learned.

I also posted somewhere a Tomiki video of a dojo that did their way of things dissimilar from others despite that they are officially a much tighter organization in the technical sense of things.

Last edited by MrIggy : 03-27-2017 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:14 AM   #12
Larry Feldman
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Try this link.....a good start.
http://shugenkai.org/index.php/2012-...yles-of-aikido
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:25 AM   #13
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
the page seems to have issues. I get "404 - Category not found" on both Old Styles and Modern Styles.

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Old 03-27-2017, 09:28 AM   #14
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Old schools: http://shugenkai.org/index.php/2012-...do/old-schools
Modern school: http://shugenkai.org/index.php/2012-...modern-schools
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:18 AM   #15
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Some ideas should not be used together. My first Aikikai school taught iriminage was using the neck to lock the spine, then we stepped straight with the spine. My second was light on the neck, but stepped through the hips to displace the spine. I had to realize on my own that locking the neck vertically and then flinging the spine sideways was dangerous.

Specific ukemi is the safe response for a specific variation of a technique, so your well trained ukemi may be inappropriate for what is happening. If you try to combine ideas, you might rediscover one of the many variations that my sensei said had "no ukemi."
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:04 PM   #16
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

The Wikipedia page on Aikido styles is also helpful.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido_styles
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:09 PM   #17
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
Personally I am training in the Tissier lineage, which ....
If you are following Tissier, you will have little problem. His students are usually very good so ... hopefully it passes down. The only thing you need to do if you train with others is ... to recognise what they are doing and just do it.

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Old 03-28-2017, 08:59 AM   #18
Cass
 
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

So in an attempt to summarize from the different resources, are these accurate (albeit brief) statements regarding the different styles comparatively to "vanilla" or "neutral" aikido?

Yoshinkan - The "hardest" type, similar to aikijutsu, strong emphasis on stance and basic forms before flow.

Iwama - Strong focus on weapons training, firm grip and stable hanmi.

Yoseikan - Closer to a hybrid of Aikido and judo, focus on sincere attacks.

Shodokan - Competitive aikido with lots of randori.

Ki Society - Arguably considered a softer style, lots of focus on ki, breath, relaxing and balance.

Wadokai - Emphasis on street effectiveness and philosophical teachings.

Kobayashi - More emphasis on suwari waza and aiki taiso exercises.

Tendoryu - Unclear, emphasis on ki.

Shingu - No information

Nishio - Focus before initial contact, weapons emphasis.

Yamaguchi - Sensitivity to your partner, teaching one another and feeling of the movement emphasized.

Manseikan - Softer? More about connection and breath.

Yoshokai - Similar to Yoshinkan but with more partial pivots and less blending. Weapons emphasis.

Kokikai - Similar to Ki Society, perhaps more emphasis on maintaining a "positive mind".

Shinwakan - Disbanded. Similar to Yoshinkan.

Fugakukai/Kihara - Based around self defense, toshu randori focus.

Yuishinkai - Daito Ryu influenced. 5 "levels" of aikido technique? Unclear

Nippon Kan - Emphasis on community support.

Keijutsukai - Flow without force, rational/practical approach, circular movements and adequate distance emphasized.

Tissier - Not really a style but relevant in this case. Vanilla aikido though slightly more flow-orientated.

Aikikai - The baseline for most of the above, "standard" aikido.

Would those be fair? This is from pretty minimal research at best but with a combination of wikipedia and google that is more or less what turns up for each of them.

And what I can take from the comments - training in different styles is useful and helps your aikido grow, although at least initially I should not try to use what I learn outside of my dojo within my dojo.



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Old 03-28-2017, 09:37 AM   #19
grondahl
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

The part regarding "strong emphasis on stance and basic forms before flow" is true for Iwama as well. Basically Iwama is a pedagogical approach based on the riai bukiwaza and taijutsu where the taijutsu is practiced on three levels: gotai (solid body), jutai (soft body) and ryutai (flowing body). Jutai and ryutai is basically the vanilla aikido practice that you are accustomed to.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:59 AM   #20
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
Jutai and ryutai is basically the vanilla aikido practice that you are accustomed to.
Powered by the body skills obtained after years of gotai.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:26 AM   #21
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Powered by the body skills obtained after years of gotai.
Wow, Demetrio
You sound like a convert to the IP jeebees

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:36 AM   #22
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote: View Post
Wow, Demetrio
You sound like a convert to the IP jeebees
Sure, but my IP comes not from hugging invisible trees but from hugging sweaty big dudes.

Maybe it is not the real IP, but it is way funnier.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:50 AM   #23
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Sure, but my IP comes not from hugging invisible trees but from hugging sweaty big dudes.

Maybe it is not the real IP, but it is way funnier.
I prefer the smaller, less sweaty girls

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:51 PM   #24
Amir Krause
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

A couple of comments:

A. any attempt to summarize a sub-style is bound to mislead. At the end, each teacher and dojo have their own style and emphasis. which may itself change over time.

B. You have only listed a partial list of Aikido styles, there are other Aikido styles e.g. Korindo
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:38 PM   #25
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Re: Complementary Aikido Styles

It sounds like Iwama and Yoshinkan are very similar, with perhaps the variance in frequency of weapons use, is that so?

I do not claim for the summaries to be comprehensive nor all-encompassing, but for a beginner there are so many different styles that are very lengthily described, which is great but to know if you would be interested in something or not it is better I think to have a brief list of hard facts regarding the differences. I have not found such a resource that does not dedicate a minimum of 3-4 paragraphs on the history, context and specifics of each style and instead briefly surmises each. If there is such a resource that describes the primary differences between aikido styles in 1 paragraph each that would be great. Does it lose some accuracy to do so? Of course. Does it give enough information to know if it sounds interesting to someone new (like myself)? Also yes, when there are so many styles (truly abundant in aikido) it can be pretty taxing to try and read through how each sensei was inspired when they climbed the mountain and considered how important the aiki mindset is and led to thinking about branching out and yada yada. Which is largely how many of the descriptions seemed to go (paraphrasing). In the future after much experience is it worth researching and studying each style in depth? Of course. But for the timebeing it is a bit akin to trying to do a thesis on aikido before stepping on the tatami.

Any other styles that I have missed are welcome to be elaborated about, I know there are many, these are just the ones listed on the wikipedia as "most significant" - as well as one or two more specific relevant to the topic at hand.



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