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Old 05-17-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
graham
 
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Dojo: Northampton Ki Aikido Club
Location: Northampton
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Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Hi guys,

I'm looking to begin studying Aikido, but wanted to air a few questions first. Feel free to answer honestly and/or brutally!

1) I'm nearly 32 and have hardly exercised since I stopped Kung-fu 14 years ago. (To call me "un-fit" and "fat" would both be compliments!)

So, am I gonna stick out like a sore thumb at a dojo, or am I stupid for even considering it.

2) I work in Community Development for a church in the area of Violence prevention. My interest in Aikido comes from both my previous martial arts experience and my peace studies.

I can cope with the Buddhist element - being a fairly "progressive" follower of Jesus - but will the Sensei assume that we all "buy" it? That is, is he likely to be bothered by my presence if he learns that I'm more Christian than Buddhist and that I might understand ki differently to him?

3) Any advice on which style? Is Tomiki normally considered to be not as serious, i.e. more sport than art?

Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:18 PM   #2
graham
 
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Dojo: Northampton Ki Aikido Club
Location: Northampton
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

I meant to ask if anyone in the UK has any experience or knowledge of these schools/styles:

Kai Shin Kai (http://members.tripod.co.uk/markgoff/index-2.html)
Yama Arashi UK (http://www.aikido.aub.btinternet.co.uk)
Kenji Tomiki

Cheers.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:43 PM   #3
PhilMyKi
Dojo: Seibukan, Milton Keynes
Location: At Work unless I am at the DOJO!
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
I meant to ask if anyone in the UK has any experience or knowledge of these schools/styles:

Kai Shin Kai (http://members.tripod.co.uk/markgoff/index-2.html)
Yama Arashi UK (http://www.aikido.aub.btinternet.co.uk)
Kenji Tomiki

Cheers.
Further to my PM ...

KSK - yes, trained a couple of times with a guy who used to teach KSK in MK.
Yama Arashi - IS the other dojo I mentioned.
Tomiki - afraid not.

Give it a go

Vorsprung durch Aikido!
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

[quote=Graham Old


3) Tomiki normally considered to be not as serious, i.e. more sport than art?

Thanks.[/QUOTE]

I currently practice Shodokan ( Tomiki style) Aikido. I studied Aikikai
Aikido previously. While Shodokan does have a sport element you have the option of not competing. From my experience in both styles, I think Shodokan is a more practical application of the art for self defense. This is not to say that other styles are not practical. If I were you I would visit and try different styles to find one that fits you. Any style of Aikido is better than not practicing Aikido at all.
Shodokan Aikido links;
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/
http://www.tomiki.org/

Last edited by dps : 05-17-2006 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:10 PM   #5
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
Location: Rhode Island
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 262
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
Hi guys,

I'm looking to begin studying Aikido, but wanted to air a few questions first. Feel free to answer honestly and/or brutally!

1) I'm nearly 32 and have hardly exercised since I stopped Kung-fu 14 years ago. (To call me "un-fit" and "fat" would both be compliments!)


Thanks.
Dont worry about sticking out, I was in not so great shape before I started again, I was out of the art for 7 years, and I was in a caraccedent two years ago and I was basically couch bound for months,I couldnt do aything physical all I did was snack and play video games, needless to say I was off in a bad way, but Ive been back 4 months, my stamina is up, Im feeling better, my muscle tone is coming back, so yeah dont worry about it

Dan Hulley
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:32 PM   #6
ESimmons
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

1. Lots of out-of-shape people practice aikido.

2. Only a small percentage of dojo emphasize the spiritual aspects of aikido, and even when they do it's kind of a universalist spiritualism (whatever that is) rather than any specific religious view. Also, O Sensei wasn't a Buddhist.

3. Shop around. Don't worry about style.
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Old 05-18-2006, 02:08 AM   #7
batemanb
 
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Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Hi Graham,

Our dojo's are in Milton Keynes, over the years we have been a member of both the KSK and Yama Arashi. We have classes Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30 - 9:30. Full details at our website www.seishinaikido.com. You're welcome to come and see what we do.

One of the links you gave is for Aubrey Smith, if you don't want to come down to MK, go and train with Aubrey, he is an excellent aikidoka. If you go visit him, tell him I said hi.

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-18-2006, 02:38 AM   #8
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Hi Graham,

You've already had some good advice (and a cordial invitation), so I don't have much to add. However...

Re: Kai Shin Kai - I have a one of their clubs quite close by, and used to train with them quite regularly. There are a lot of good folks and some excellent instructors in the KSK, though I don't know anything at all about your local club.

Most associations have a lot of good folks and some excellent instructors (as well as some less than excellent ones) though, so I'm not really telling you much here.

Re: Shodokan (aka Tomiki) - Those who've trained with us mostly take us fairly seriously as aikidoists. Regardless of their opinion on the whole "competition" debate (which really has been done to death), they usually find we're training in the right kind of spirit.

In your case its pretty academic though, because there isn't a Shodokan club in your area that I'd recommend anyway.

Best of luck.
Sean
x
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:23 AM   #9
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Hi Graham!

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
So, am I gonna stick out like a sore thumb at a dojo, or am I stupid for even considering it.
Not at all! At my club we have a couple of guys who are considerably older than you, who joined within the last year or so, and they are doing fine. Your fitness will improve if you do any regular exercise, especially at your age

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
I can cope with the Buddhist element - being a fairly "progressive" follower of Jesus - but will the Sensei assume that we all "buy" it? That is, is he likely to be bothered by my presence if he learns that I'm more Christian than Buddhist and that I might understand ki differently to him?
In the vast majority of clubs, your spiritual beliefs are your concern and the Sensei will not expect you to change them! Aikido is not a part of the Buddhist tradition, and more than it is Christian. It is a martial art. I have trained with Aikidoka of all religions and of none, and it makes no difference to our practice.

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:
Any advice on which style? Is Tomiki normally considered to be not as serious, i.e. more sport than art?
Rather than advising you on a style, I would advise you to go along and watch a few classes at different dojo. Then try out a class at each dojo (if the Sensei is happy for you to do so with no commitment at that time). You are in the right place if you feel you can learn there, and that the students and teacher are supportive of your learning.

Enjoy finding out as much as you can, and let us know how you get on!

Ruth
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:42 AM   #10
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Graham,

You may want to check out Sensei Ian Walters at email aikido.northampton@ntlworld.com or
http://kifederationofgreatbritain.co...orthampton.htm

I can thoroughly recommend him as a teacher. He is a student of Sensei Williams who has more aikido under his belt than any other person in the UK. So worth taking the time to see what his students have to offer.

Don't worry about either your fitness, size, or religious persuasion, everyone feels self conscious when they start no matter what. Just do it and find out.

kind regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:55 AM   #11
graham
 
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Dojo: Northampton Ki Aikido Club
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Thanks, everyone.

Bryan, thanks for the info. Someone had already mentioned Aubrey Smith to me. Unfortunately, his club trains on Tuesdays, the only night I can't make every week! However, there's another Yama Arashi club that train on Fridays. Presumably they're connected.

Mark, I hadn't seen that link or heard of Ki Aikido. Thanks.

Sean, we have a Tomikio Aikido club in Northampton (http://www.ntac.info/). Is that different to Shodokan Aikido?

Thanks for the advice, Ruth. I'm gonna take it! I'll also see which are most children-friendly as my daughter is also thinking of taking it up.
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:28 AM   #12
batemanb
 
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Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Hi Graham,

Is there another Yama Arashi club in Northampton or do you mean the guys at Stony Stratford? The Stony guys are nice folks ( we all used to be the same club many moons back)..Go check them out, but still feel free to come and see what we do too.

regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:18 AM   #13
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Quote:
Graham Old wrote:


Sean, we have a Tomikio Aikido club in Northampton (http://www.ntac.info/). Is that different to Shodokan Aikido?
No, Shodokan = Tomiki Style
Shodokan is the name that Professor Tomiki preferred that his style of Aikido be called.
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:06 AM   #14
graham
 
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Dojo: Northampton Ki Aikido Club
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

Quote:
Is there another Yama Arashi club in Northampton or do you mean the guys at Stony Stratford?
Bryan, according to this site there is: http://www.bab.org.uk/club_directory...ptonshire.html

Anyway, I've emailed Aubrey Smith for further info.

Thanks, David. That makes sense.
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:19 AM   #15
batemanb
 
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Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
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Re: Getting started: what, where, HOW?!

HI Graham,

John Wevill is / was one of Aubrey's students. I haven't trained with him for many years, so don't know what his aikido is like these days. Steve Copson at Irchester is also one of Aubrey's students, and is also very good.

You won't go wrong with Aubrey , just don't ask the questions "what is sankyo?" or "what is nikkyo?" .

rgds
Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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