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Old 08-18-2001, 10:30 AM   #1
taro
Location: thunder bay
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 37
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Aikikai vs Yoshinkan

Hey there again. I'm the guy looking for a new place to train soon. I have the opportunity to try Yoshinkan, but I'm not sure I'm clear on the differences between Yoshinkan and the Aikikai schools of training. Is there anyone with experience in both schools that could tell me, in their view, what those differences are? The dojo I have been attending sticks mainly to the Aikikai as far as I know. Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2001, 12:24 AM   #2
Paja
Dojo: Isshinkan Litomerice
Location: Czech republic
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 11
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Hi Taro,

Yoshinkan is considered as a harder style, but this is a very general description. In wide range of Aikikai styles you can find hard Aikido and soft Aikido.

Of course there are the differencies between Yoshinkan and Aikikai.

But intead of thinking about them, you better go to the Dojo and find out, if the training (instructor, people, athmosfere) is good. If so, start to train, and the differencies , you will have to deal with, can be challenging for you.

Paja
(Yoshinkan based guy)
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Old 08-20-2001, 09:30 AM   #3
taro
Location: thunder bay
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 37
Offline
ok thanks Paja. I understand, and I do plan to visit the dojos before I make a decision. I would be a fool not to. But I won't be able to do any of that until next month, so I figured I'd do a little research in the mean time. However, I have an overwhelming choice of schools to go to. I plan to select one of the bigger ones even if it's more expensive. But the thing is in my line of work, I may end up moving several more times before finally getting settled. It would be nice if I didn't have to start all over everytime I moved to a new city. Of course I wouldn't be starting "all" over again, but I trust you know what I mean. For this reason, aikikai schools seem to have this advantage. On the other hand, it's not THAT big a deal to be a whitebelt everytime I move if I really prefer the style. But I know nothing about Yoshinkan other than the fact that katas are taught whereas in Aikikai they are not. As far as I can tell, this will only have a bearing on training in the early kyus. Which method is better, I haven't decided. I like both in fact. In fact, from what I know about Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Tomiki, and Ki(Shin-Shin Toitsu?) branches of aikido, I like all of their principles. I would like to try all of them, but for now I need to select one and stick with it. When and if I ever reach the dan levels, I don't think the style/branch of aikido would make too much difference. But in these early stages, I think it will.

So, once again, I ask for your help. Could you share your experience with me?

1. In your experience, how does Yoshinkan differ from Aikikai?

2. What exactly is meant by "hard/soft" style? I still have no clue. More atemi's? Less circular and more linear movements? Quicker paced practice? More aggressive attack simulations? Starched gi's? I'm from Mars, know what I'm sayin'?
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Old 08-21-2001, 12:05 AM   #4
Paja
Dojo: Isshinkan Litomerice
Location: Czech republic
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 11
Offline
Hi Taro,

I'm trying to use my poor english to write something usefull for you.

Quote:
You wrote:
1. In your experience, how does Yoshinkan differ from Aikikai?

1. In your experience, how does Yoshinkan differ from Aikikai?

2. What exactly is meant by "hard/soft" style? I still have no clue. More atemi's? Less circular and more linear movements? Quicker paced practice? More aggressive attack simulations? Starched gi's?
I don't have many experiences with Aikikai. What I've seen so far, was good, flowing soft Aikido with almost no atemi and with strong co-operation of uke. It looked very nice but there was a lack of "martiality" (I guess you know what I mean).

For Aikikai guys, please don't get me wrong, I've seen only several training lessons in two local clubs, I know that there exists many styles in Aikikai from soft to hard. And soft styles have their own place on the planet Aikido, I respect them, but my choice is different.

Yoshinkan was based on O'sensei's pre-war teaching. At this time the techniques were stronger, very close to Daito ryu. Gozo Shioda (the founder of Yoshinkan), wanted to preserve martial aspect of Aikido when he founded his own style. As a result, Yoshinkan is harder than many other styles in general.

Practise is focused on good posture (different one than posture in Aikikai), hips movement, movements are more linear, and atemi is often used.
The "basic development tool" is Kihon Dosa. This is a set of movements (maybe this is, what you considered as Kata) - Tai no henko ichi & ni, Hiriko no yosei ichi & ni, Shumatsu dosa ichi & ni ( ichi means Irimi, ni means Ura), which helps you to build solid basis for your techniques. You can find theese kihon dosa movements in every (Yoshinkan) Aikido techniques. (I practise it every day and find it very helpfull, and I believe , it have a bearing on training in every stage your aikido life).
Kihon waza may looks like kata, the techniques are practised in very strict manner (of course on dan level it looks different).

Also Yoshinkan terminology differs from Aikikai. There are used older names in Yoshinkan - for example ikkyo = ikkajo, nikyo=nikajo and so on.

What is advantage towards Aikikai (especially if you will move very often), that the practise is the same (or very similar) in every Yoshinkan dojo (no matter if it is in USA or Europe or elsewhere).

That's probably all, what my language skills alows me to write. Finally, try to get Gozo Shioda's books - Dynamic Aikido and Total Aikido, also Yoshinkan trainig manual (available on www.aikidojournal.com) is good resource for your research. Also try to see some Yoshinkan videos, especially ones with Gozo Shioda senseis. Some short mpeg clips you can find on http://www.yoshinkan.com.

Hope it helps,
Best regards
Paja

Last edited by Paja : 08-21-2001 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 08-21-2001, 01:53 PM   #5
taro
Location: thunder bay
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 37
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Thanks for your help Paja. It's been very helpful. I'm beginning to get a better idea. I'll check out those websites. Thanks again.
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