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Old 09-28-2004, 09:43 AM   #1
ltl-grasshopper
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 3
France
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Styles

I curently live in france but will move to sweden soon to study,and i am hoping to be able to finaly satisfy my long standing curiosity about aikido wich started in my early teens while taking judo lessons and talking to one of the teachers who also practiced aikido .
I have found several dojos in stockholm that seem interesting,but that leads me to another question about wich "style " they practice
What "akikai" (mainstream if i understand corectly) stands for exactly and what the "Tomita Academy (Iwama influence)" is what i would most like to know .
The thing that interested me most about aikido as it was presented to me was it's inovation, an art were techniques are not the most important part, that encourage you to find your own balance , that can evolve , however many dojo i have seen and resource i have found seem much more "stiff" if that makes sense.

thanks in advance
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Old 09-28-2004, 11:07 AM   #2
Alfonso
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 346
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Re: Styles

I'll take a stab at this one, since it's a touchy subject for many.

Replace the word "style" with "method" and you may get a more accurate idea of what happens. Different students of the founder became the lead teachers in organizations that developed either along or besides the Aikikai.

The differences are of pedagogical approach. "Style" is misleading, its more an issue of training approach. Some schools emphasize a method of learning by strict adherence to forrm, some by a strict focus on the mindset of the student, or on the interaction between students. Some teachers have built a curriculum based on a teaching weapons as a vehicle to teach body movement ( Saito sensei is best known for this, his school was based in Iwama) , other teachers have different ways of teaching the same priniciples.

Beginning students , when switching dojos may run into the problem of starting new curriculums and having to learn another teachers version of the basic building blocks in that organizations pedagogy. Of course , basics are very important to every school, and as they say knowing a little of something makes for more trouble than knowing nothing at all..

Look at the teacher, at the senior students, observe an advanced class, ask questions here on the web... all good ideas.

The Aikikai has many teachers with different teaching methods, other teachers have left the Aikikai, others have come back into the Aikikai, it's not a "school" per se, and there isn't an "Aikikai style" .
Some teachers in the Aikikai have their own organizations , and so on.

Which method is best? Well, that's a subjective question .. usually the answer is "mine"

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:22 AM   #3
ltl-grasshopper
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 3
France
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Re: Styles

HI alfonso and thank you for your answer

I m sorry if i used the wrong term, i'm just trying to understand those styles or method more (not find the "best") so i can make my choice, even though i know that it s impossible to know without trying just like it is impossible to judge a dojo without having been there, wich i can't do right now as i will have to move first , so for now i m trying to gather information .
anyway thanks again for your answer , it was interesting .
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:46 AM   #4
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 550
Sweden
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Re: Styles

More information.
Http://www.budo.se/aikido and Http://www.budo.se/forum
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Old 09-30-2004, 07:04 AM   #5
crbateman
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Re: Styles

Books have been written on this subject, and most are not objective. Most authors are passionate in the belief that their way is the best, and yet are offended if it appears that they have been "categorized". It's very confusing. Many teachers in the past have come up through the Aikikai, but reached a point where their vision differed from the status quo, and they felt compelled to break away and do their own thing. The differences may have been over technique, training methods, politics, or any number of different reasons. Some of the reasons may have been noble, others selfish. Some may have been of great import, and yet others appear trivial. Who is to say who is right? Perhaps all of them were. Even Saito Sensei, who dedicated his life to the preservation of the Founder's dojo, way of life, teachings and principles, has said that there are things that he personally felt different about.

If you avail yourself of different "styles" of Aikido and different teachers, you will find one (or maybe many) that feels right for YOU. Let me give you an analogy... Have you ever gone to a store to buy a pair of jeans, and tried on a pair that was your size, but just didn't feel comfortable? Yet another pair feels like they were meant to be with you?

Even though they may subscribe to a similar set of principles, every Aikido teacher is different. You will be different, too, because you will bring your particular strengths, weaknesses, experiences, capabilities and influences to your Aikido, and it will truly be YOUR Aikido. A good teacher will understand the need for a good foundation, but also that your Aikido will probably be, to a degree, different than his, just as his is probably different than his teachers. He will help you find what is best for you.

Try not to limit yourself to a strict set of absolutes. All "styles" have common similarities, and fundamental differences. There is good to be found in each of them. Experience as many of them as you can. There is no rule that you have to choose your path before your first lesson. The benefit is not in the destination, but in the journey itself.

Good luck, train hard, and have FUN.
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