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Old 02-24-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
maxham
Dojo: Shin Ryu
Location: Seattle
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Question What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Greetings, mates, as a new aikidoka, I'm still baffled about the styles in Aikido.

I've known there're alot of styles/ryu in Aikido, but I'm still wondering about the Aikido styles which were developed before Osensei died in 1969 (such as Shodokan, Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, & Manseikan Aikido).

BTW, what does the "hard-style" Aikido means? & what are their differences between their prinicples & their techniques compared to the "conservative-modernist sect" like Ki Aikido (as the principles is to preserve the Osensei's way of teaching by preserving the Aiki materials in the curriculum while adapting to modern demands) & the mainstream (the Aikikai itself)? Thanks for your infos!
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Quote:
Maxwell Hamzah wrote: View Post
Greetings, mates, as a new aikidoka, I'm still baffled about the styles in Aikido.

I've known there're alot of styles/ryu in Aikido, but I'm still wondering about the Aikido styles which were developed before Osensei died in 1969 (such as Shodokan, Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, & Manseikan Aikido).

BTW, what does the "hard-style" Aikido means? & what are their differences between their prinicples & their techniques compared to the "conservative-modernist sect" like Ki Aikido (as the principles is to preserve the Osensei's way of teaching by preserving the Aiki materials in the curriculum while adapting to modern demands) & the mainstream (the Aikikai itself)? Thanks for your infos!
Aikido is a broad church and depending on what you want or need from Aikido can determine how you practice the Art.Some people do it for meditative /health reasons , some like aikido with soft[er] flowing waza, others try and maintain a Martial attitude to their training.I would say that maintaining a Martial attitude to the Art might be deemed 'Hard Style 'by some.In my opinion its all relative .Whats hard to you might be soft to someone else.Main thing is to make sure you are learning correct principles and just enjoy the practice.Too many people get caught up in this type of discussion.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:33 AM   #3
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Search around on these forums; the question of hard vs soft Aikido and different flavors has been debated and hashed out for as long as Aikido practitioners have had access to the internet - even before the web.

You'll find many opinions and views on the subject. Here is one:

A "hard" style of Aikido may focus on the mechanics of body movement, for example leverage, using the entire body to generate power, as well as timing and angles of attack. The Yoshinkan people I have had the opportunity to train with, for example, get a very precise, step-by-step type of instruction: your feet go exactly here, your hips turn exactly this much, etc. My impression is they learn how to put their entire body behind a technique early on but don't learn about dynamically adjusting the power until much later if at all.

A soft style of Aikido is more likely to throw beginners into the deep end right off the bat by emphasizing things like sensitivity, flow, and connection. You might not be told exactly where to put your feet or how many inches you need to lower your center of gravity, instead you may be told something like, "If you just try force this movement with your arm muscles, you will make your partner tense up and give them something to use against you; so keep your arms relaxed, just put a little weight on your partner here, and then use your center to do the technique."

Another opinion of mine is that you shouldn't think that soft = more philosophical / less useful for self-defense and hard = more martial / more practical / more "combat-oriented." That has more to do with the training attitude. At the end of the day the self-defense benefits of Aikido are the same as any martial art: increased awareness of your surroundings, ability to stay calm, increased self-confidence that make predators less likely to bother you, etc. Softer styles may offer you a better set of mental and spiritual skills that you can use in work, school, and family life, but again you can probably get that from harder styles too.

Aikido is a great martial art to study and if you are interested, just visit the dojos in your area and decide where you think you'll fit in best.
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:56 AM   #4
ChrisHein
 
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

When done correctly, at the high end, there really is not a difference. However hard styles tend to enjoy crushing and smashing uke more, and soft styles tend to enjoy running uke to death.

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Old 02-25-2010, 11:42 AM   #5
lbb
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Sounds like a high testosterone marketing term to me...much like the stuff you see in beer commercials and the like.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Ueshiba Aiki, and the Founder's Aikido, have no "style".

People do.

The term "jiyu", represents freedom. Martial arts training has as a key tenet, the freedom for each student to choose a path consistent with one's core values, personal goals, and satisfaction from pursuing one's Way.

The principles of Aiki, especially of Ueshiba Aiki, represent the infinite realm of possibility for mankind to 1) judiciously use, 2) indiscriminately misuse, or to 3) maliciously abuse.

As such, without presuming judgment, let us all allow each seeker of his or her own Aikido to choose the "style" of preference, but to also resolve to include respect and honor for core Aiki Principles and the manner in which people practice them.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
Anjisan
Dojo: Aikido of Madison
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Ai symbol Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
When done correctly, at the high end, there really is not a difference. However hard styles tend to enjoy crushing and smashing uke more, and soft styles tend to enjoy running uke to death.
As I continue to progress in Aikido, the softer that I become, the harder that I can (if I so choose-and I ofter do if appropriate--no apologies) throw. To me it is much more about having the proper attitude to deal with an attack and over time adjusting one's technique so as to not become "stuck" in kata responses or attacks and to make sure that there is indeed AIKI in your technique.

That way it will be more fluid, dynamic, and responsive to whatever life throws at you whether it be on the street or in a relationship. Just because one ignores one application or another of AIkido doesn't mean that it won't be thrust in your face at some point.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:57 PM   #8
danj
Dojo: Brisbane Aikido Republic
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Are the hard styles or aikido or the soft styles better? whole can of worms there I recon
Invariably those from the hard schools say they are on the right track as this is the only way to have rigorous martial technique. While those from the soft styles say they are on the right track because aikido is about blending and you can only do that if you are soft.

Critics of the hard schools say that the movements are rigid, blocky and forceful and that students never learn to relax. When the only tool you have is a hammer....
Critics of the soft schools say that the technique is more like dance, that anyone can walk through their technique because its not martial. If you just wave a hammer around do you know how to use one

My own view is that hard or soft all aikido schools provide a particular view of aikido, but if you look at exceptional people in any of these schools you will see they transcend the hard/ soft aspects when they do aikido. I think all schools have a predelection to certain aspects and will tend to develop students favouring certain aspects.

One of my teachers says there are no styles of aikido and only 2 types of people those that can do aikido and those that can't. Fantasy aside probably i think most of us are in the latter catagory but through regular diligent training and seeking we can get glimpses of the former.

Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:55 PM   #9
crbateman
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
Are the hard styles or aikido or the soft styles better?
Better for what? I suppose it depends on what you are trying to do. All the more reason to try to experience both.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:49 AM   #10
Amassus
 
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Quoting my own sensei.
"Aikido is the art of compassion. You choose how compassionate you wish to be with your training partner."

Hard? Soft? As others have said, its relative and ultimately doesn't matter.

Yours in training.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:16 AM   #11
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

I just had the thought that it would be interesting to see training at a hard style dojo that was entirely, unabashedly, not martial.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:15 AM   #12
Mannix Moya
 
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

hardstyle aikido imho means less on the gentle side, uke may feel some pain (calibrated) depending on the techniques being practiced, and lots of hard falls (ukemi).

again, its just my opinion. i concede that meaning of "hard style" aikido can be relative
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:03 PM   #13
shakou
 
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Cool Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Quote:
Mannix Moya wrote: View Post
hardstyle aikido imho means less on the gentle side, uke may feel some pain (calibrated) depending on the techniques being practiced, and lots of hard falls (ukemi).

again, its just my opinion. i concede that meaning of "hard style" aikido can be relative
I hear that......

We have quite a martial style in our dojo. It tends towards classical on fridays but wednesdays are pretty technical. It's a nice mix of both but even our more classical night is pretty martial with regards to how we practice and apply techniques, it can be sore but gives you a good idea of why you need restraint in aikido.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:54 PM   #14
Mannix Moya
 
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Kris,

I think that's a good mix. Mabuhay!
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:56 PM   #15
Gorgeous George
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

'hard-style' means something like this to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuAgxOkrX8I

That's Daito-ryu, not aikido, yes; but i think 'hard-style' aikido would be something somewhat similar to it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Y3WZuUtVo

'soft-style':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP1b9PujnRA

In my own worthless, ignorant, amateur opinion: i have been training for about eighteen months now, only once a week for most of that, and in recent months i have achieved something of a breakthrough, and reaeched a 'higher level' - higher than somewhere very low, but higher nonetheless.

I attribute this (relatively) massive progress to the fact that i started putting more effort into my training - training 'harder'.
'If you want to get the fruit from a tree, you shouldn't shake it lightly - you should grab hold of it and shake it hard' is an analogy i think expresses my experience. Aikido is a physical activity - even if you are cultivating inner strength you are doing it via the outer - and there has to be strong movement in order to get the most out of your training.

In light of this, i have a newfound respect for and interest in Yoshinkan aikido, and Daito-ryu aikijujutsu: i think the fact that O-sensei trained in something so tough facilitated the creation of aikido - and the three tiers/styles of techniques in Daito-ryu show this truth: the first level is a lot of atemi, and the last (most closely resembling aikido), nearly all technique.

Up until recently, i had very little/no idea about the martial undertones of aikido: if i had trained Daito-ryu, where you learn to be martial first and foremost, i would have been moving in a martial way from the outset.

To summise: i think that the 'hard-style' is a pre-requisite to the 'soft-style', and i think that the principles and techniques are the same in all aikido styles: i have heard it said that 'Aikido is 90% atemi - you just don't see it' (i never did see it until recently, when i started moving in a more assertive, powerful way), and Gozo Shioda, the creator of the 'hard-style' (Yoshinkan) himself said that aikido is about yielding, and making a person's animosity disappear.

I practice British Birankai, by the way.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:35 PM   #16
Zach Trent
Dojo: Integral Dojo
Location: Tel Aviv
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Re: What does the "Hard-style" Aikido means?

Cliff- thanks so much for your ideas. I really appreciate your explanation!

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Search around on these forums; the question of hard vs soft Aikido and different flavors has been debated and hashed out for as long as Aikido practitioners have had access to the internet - even before the web.

You'll find many opinions and views on the subject. Here is one:

A "hard" style of Aikido may focus on the mechanics of body movement, for example leverage, using the entire body to generate power, as well as timing and angles of attack. The Yoshinkan people I have had the opportunity to train with, for example, get a very precise, step-by-step type of instruction: your feet go exactly here, your hips turn exactly this much, etc. My impression is they learn how to put their entire body behind a technique early on but don't learn about dynamically adjusting the power until much later if at all.

A soft style of Aikido is more likely to throw beginners into the deep end right off the bat by emphasizing things like sensitivity, flow, and connection. You might not be told exactly where to put your feet or how many inches you need to lower your center of gravity, instead you may be told something like, "If you just try force this movement with your arm muscles, you will make your partner tense up and give them something to use against you; so keep your arms relaxed, just put a little weight on your partner here, and then use your center to do the technique."

Another opinion of mine is that you shouldn't think that soft = more philosophical / less useful for self-defense and hard = more martial / more practical / more "combat-oriented." That has more to do with the training attitude. At the end of the day the self-defense benefits of Aikido are the same as any martial art: increased awareness of your surroundings, ability to stay calm, increased self-confidence that make predators less likely to bother you, etc. Softer styles may offer you a better set of mental and spiritual skills that you can use in work, school, and family life, but again you can probably get that from harder styles too.

Aikido is a great martial art to study and if you are interested, just visit the dojos in your area and decide where you think you'll fit in best.
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