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Old 06-16-2002, 11:15 PM   #1
Benjii79
Location: Australia
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Aikido Differences

Can someone please help me?

I want to know the difference between Iwama Ryu Aikido (as taught by the late Morihiro Saito Sensei) and Aikikai Aikido as taught in the Hombu Dojo in Japan.

I am trying to decide which style to choose.
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Old 06-16-2002, 11:37 PM   #2
chadsieger
Dojo: Minh Sensei
Location: Allentown, PA
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Lightbulb

I would not decide by style. A good teacher is paramount.
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Old 06-16-2002, 11:49 PM   #3
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by chadsieger
I would not decide by style. A good teacher is paramount.
With the proviso that occasionally you end up trying to fit a round peg into a square hole Chad of course is completely right.

To expand just a wee bit - look at the students - are these people you want to spend time with. Does the particular dojo address your needs. Beyond that - well Iwamma is Aikikai isn't it?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-17-2002, 04:29 AM   #4
tedehara
 
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I'm not sure if you can call Aikikai a style. I've always considered Aikikai an organization, which many dojos are affiliated with. Within this organization are many different styles of Aikido.

In Hombu dojo there are different instructors and the student attends the classes of a teacher they've decided to study with. So even in Hombu, there is no dominating "style".

Iwami style are the techniques described by the late Saito Shihan. He studied Aikido in Post WWII, so this style would reflect Morihei Ueshiba's techniques of this time.
Iwami style dojos are affiliated with Aikikai. Peter is correct in that Iwami style is part of Aikikai.

You will probably be better off by looking at the teacher and students, as Chad and Peter mentioned, rather than the style.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
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Old 06-17-2002, 04:21 PM   #5
JPT
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How about training at both clubs. It will be a bit confusing at the start as, Sensei X will explain techniques differently to Sensei Y & you will wonder which is the correct way. Once you realise that both are correct (I.E they are just variations of the same technique) you'll reap the benefits of having two different prospectives/explainations.
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Old 06-17-2002, 06:58 PM   #6
PeterR
 
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I have to disagree strongly here. Aside from taking a few lessons in each to get the feel and understand where you want to be - it is a big mistake for a beginner to do this. You'll end up being confused and annoying your teachers.

Later on dojo visits and seminars are all part of the progression but save yourself a serious headache and become a beginner in only one dojo.


Quote:
Originally posted by JPT
How about training at both clubs. It will be a bit confusing at the start as, Sensei X will explain techniques differently to Sensei Y & you will wonder which is the correct way. Once you realise that both are correct (I.E they are just variations of the same technique) you'll reap the benefits of having two different prospectives/explainations.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-17-2002, 07:53 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Yep, gotta throw my vote in with those that suggest you make a choice. Go watch the work outs, the students, and the instructors. Which ever matches your expectations and desires may be the best place to start. Later attend seminars and learn from others. It is important to get a solid foundation in one style, any style, before you branch out or corss train.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-17-2002, 09:23 PM   #8
Mares
Location: Australia
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Re: Aikido Differences

Quote:
Originally posted by Benjii79
Can someone please help me?

I want to know the difference between Iwama Ryu Aikido (as taught by the late Morihiro Saito Sensei) and Aikikai Aikido as taught in the Hombu Dojo in Japan.

I am trying to decide which style to choose.
Hi Ben

We don't see many Australians on here. I train in Melbourne in an Iwama Ryu Aikido Dojo. If you're in the Melbourne area and want to bounce some ideas off someone you can message me or just post back on here.

Regards

Michael
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Old 06-18-2002, 01:33 PM   #9
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
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Style -vs- Style

Quote:
Benjii79 Wrote:

Can someone please help me?

I want to know the difference between Iwama Ryu Aikido (as taught by the late Morihiro Saito Sensei) and Aikikai Aikido as taught in the Honbu Dojo in Japan.

I am trying to decide which style to choose.
Various feelings come up for me when I read your post. In an effort to examine these feelings, I post this reply. I hope that you (and others) can find something for yourself in what I have to say. I encourage any appropriate feedback.

There is, of course, the idea that many have already mentioned in some form or another - that one should look at the beginners, specifically, how the senior students and the teacher interact with beginning students. This I agree with completely.

However, I would like to break down your post for a moment. You actually ask two questions. The first is about the difference between Iwama Aikido and Aikikai Aikido. The second question asks about the "difference" between Iwama style, and Aikikai Style. I will answer the second one first. "Why" I hope will become evident after I address your first question, second.

The world "Style" is a very nebulous term, one that could in fact do more to hide any answer, then reveal it. For the sake of this thread, let's designate "Aikikai Style" as meaning the Aikikai Honbu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan, and "Iwama Style" as meaning the Iwama Dojo, in Iwama prefecture, Japan.

Granted, on the surface, if one were to view the techniques from the sidelines, the techniques appear to be anywhere from "somewhat" to "extremely" different. However, where this gets sticky is that if you are asking, "What is the difference between the techniques?" I would have to say, "NOTHING."

How is this possible? Let's change our thinking from "styles" and compare this idea with two cups which are identical in all respects except for one - color. They both function exactly the same in all respects. However, from an outsider's perspective, one may prefer blue to red, and another red to blue. Extending that metaphor, what we have is "red" style and the "blue" style aikido. From the perspective of style, can we say which is better, blue, or red? Which is stronger, blue or red? which came first, blue or red? Obviously, these questions sound ridiculous, because there is only a subjective comparison one can make between blue and red. Now, as we change our thinking back to "styles" let's empty our cups (blue and red) and approach your first question.

With regards to your first question, I would like to try and reveal something that "should be" a paramount consideration when one chooses any dojo, or any teacher. I say "should be" because this very thing was related to me many times, consistently coming up in answers to many of my questions to Seiseki Abe Sensei, 10th dan. He said (and I am paraphrasing here)

Quote:
All martial arts (Aikido) are the same, "Begin with bow. End with bow."
This simple "fortune cookie" sounding expression has very deep meaning for all martial artists. It speaks to "kokoro-e" or the code of conduct with which one approaches their study of martial arts. This term encompasses a person's life-long training - first as kohai, then senpai, then if they so choose, teacher and finally master. More importantly it also relates to the inter-relationships that are fundementally implicit in the study of martial arts - from the "Senpai/Kohai" (senior/junior) relationship to the "Master/Student" relationship.

One of the more definitive points Abe Sensei made, one that has altered my course training was,

Quote:
"Between beginning and ending bow, one must observer the proper use of "Ki" and develop "Kokyu" (breath) power that is to be coordinated with each and every movement. These two principles "Kokoro-e" and "Ki/Kokyu" are further to be coordinated in that practicing of one without the other is to be admonished. When one is missing, what you have may be of particular value. However, it is not true Budo (Martial Arts)."
Perhaps then, it is the structure one seeks to create in the melding of these two ideas where one creates his "style" of martial arts. Like the two sides of a coin, there is no separation. You can't have one without the other. This is a form of balance. My point here is that to maintain this balance one must foster a high level of discipline. I believe that whether or not one seeks and trains to achieve powerful "technique" or sincere humbleness or harmony, that we can all agree that to achieve either, discipline is the path that we all must travel on.

We can all sense when we meet one who is balanced. For me, I can't see having powerful technique without humbleness. This is how I teach, because this is the ultimate goal in mind with which I personally train. However, on the other side, when a person achieves one without the other, there is imbalance. We can all sense when we meet one who is out of balance.

Therefore, when you ask what is the difference between Iwama aikido techniques and Aikikai aikido techniques?"

I would still say, "NOTHING. All aikido is the same." Both the Iwama Dojo, and the Aikikia Honbu Dojo emulate Kokoro-e and movements with Ki/Kokyu. However, the "way" or style in which they seek to instill these goals in each student is "colored" in its own unique way.

Therefore, I would also say, in terms of picking one over the other, pick the color that looks better on you.

I am sure that after reading this, some are feeling "red" and some are feeling "blue" - neh?

Ganbattemasu

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 06-19-2002 at 08:44 AM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-19-2002, 03:35 AM   #10
JJF
 
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Hi Shaun!

Very nicely put. Seldom have I read a post this length without getting bored along the line. Either it's a good post or my patience is getting better

Jun: Is Shaun's post potential material for one of the sections ? It does handle a recurring question regarding the Iwama/Aikikai relation.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 06-19-2002, 01:26 PM   #11
Doug Mathieu
Dojo: Aikido Bozankan
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Hi There

I would add one comment to consider.

Iwama Dojos do a lot more weapon work in general.

I train as an "Aikikai" student and I frequently visit a former Dojo I was at which has been an Iawama Dojo for a couple years under Pat Hendricks.

All their tests include weapons requirements.

Having seen and done some training under Iwama Senseis they have equally interesting and good approaches as my Aikikai roots. I always enjoy the training.
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