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Old 09-07-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
Mike Routen
Location: Gresham, OR
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Questions on Yoshokai Aikido

Hello all,

I am new to the forum and new to Aikido. In fact I'm scheduled to start training in a few days! While I am very excited to start training, I do have some questions I hope you good folks can help me out with.

My son was in an Aikikai dojo a few years ago, so I got to observe quite a few lessons and techniques while he was in training and when I could I would stay after his class to observe the adult class.

I really enjoyed the smooth, flowing style of what I saw there.

The class that I am currently enrolled in is a Yoshokai dojo. Honestly it is the only dojo that I can currently afford. After watching a class at this dojo, I'm concerned that the style seems very robotic and not very smooth. I'm also concerned that they do a lot more high-falls and I'm not sure my back can take very much of that.

Can anyone here tell me if the Yoshokai style smooths out as one progresses? Or does it continue to have the stop-and-go type of movements? I truly do not mean to be disrespectful, just curious.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 09-07-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 822
United Kingdom
Re: Questions on Yoshokai Aikido

Looks much like Yoshinkan to me:


and this is why:


Last edited by sorokod : 09-07-2011 at 04:40 PM.

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Old 09-07-2011, 05:53 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 705
Re: Questions on Yoshokai Aikido

I'm not sure about Yoshinkai but I'll talk about Yoshinkan for a minute.

I've never done Yoshinkan but from what I've seen and heard, they work from the theory that in order to develop 'aiki' and free flowing movements, you need to get all the basic movements absolutely correct first. That means a lot of starting and stopping and doing techniques to a count. It seems like a good way to do it if you are patient and have a logical and ordered mind, but if you are like me and want to jump ahead to the good stuff, you might find it a bit frustrating. When you get to a very high level, it tends to look quite similar to some Aikikai aikido, but it will take many years to get to that stage. In the mean time you will most likely be doing techniques to a count.

They also seem to require very good ukemi, but the upside of this is that they will most likely teach you how to do it, and it is a valuable skill to have.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
David Yap
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 561
Re: Questions on Yoshokai Aikido

Mike Routen wrote: View Post
...Can anyone here tell me if the Yoshokai style smooths out as one progresses? Or does it continue to have the stop-and-go type of movements?
Hi Mike,

Yoshokai is an off-shoot of Yoshinkan Aikido.
The founder, Takashi Kushida shihan, together with Kyoichi Inoue shihan were formulators of the present Yoshinkan syllables. According to Inoue shihan (in his interview with Aikido Journal), when the sllyables were first formulated, it was expected that the waza should smooth out when one reaches 1st Kyu but present expectation is 3rd dan.

Yoshinkan practitioners please correct me if I am wrong.

David Y
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:34 PM   #5
Mike Routen
Location: Gresham, OR
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Re: Questions on Yoshokai Aikido

Thank you everyone for your information.

My son and I are looking forward to our first class tomorrow.

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Old 10-13-2011, 10:47 PM   #6
Adam Huss
Adam Huss's Avatar
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 709
Re: Questions on Yoshokai Aikido

Kushida Sensei is an excellent teacher. In the upper kyu ranks you will likely encounter specific sets of movement designed to develop fluidity based on the solid basics practiced over the previous several years.

I can not speak for the atmosphere of the specific dojo you are looking into, though, but hopefully it works out for you.

High falls should be taught well in that organization and, if done correctly, create little impact on the body. Ukemi, in general, is focused on quite a bit.

If I was traveling through that area and saw a Yoshokai dojo nearby I would go well out of my way to train there.

Hope it works out for you!

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
Mike Routen
Location: Gresham, OR
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Re: Questions on Yoshokai Aikido

Thank you everyone for your input!

My son and I finished our first set of classes and we both tested and passed our first tests!

I have started my second set of classes and am planning on taking my pre-7th Kyu test in a few weeks.

The fears that I had regarding the high falls have been needless at this point. The instructors are very good at teaching ukemi and everything is going very well.

Thanks again,

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