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Old 06-15-2004, 03:33 AM   #1
rsreyes
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Ki Symbol Aikikai vs Iwama

Im a newbie in practicing aikido, ive been practicing aikido for only several months. My Sensei told us that were practicing the Iwama style of Aikido.. Can you guys help me with the difference between Iwama style and the Traditional Aikikai which was developed my O'sensei


Spoon
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Old 06-15-2004, 05:44 AM   #2
villrg0a
 
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Hello Raymond

Check out this link....http://www.aikidofaq.com/introduction.html

Cheers!
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:30 AM   #3
Greg Jennings
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

This comes up about every other week. You might want to search the archives.

Best regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:41 AM   #4
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

yes somebody asked the exact same question last week, i have already replied so check the archives. and chech the web on Iwama Aikido. Its usually hard fro an Iwama student to explain as Aikikai never seem to lioke the answers, unless they are giving the answer.
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:20 AM   #5
dan guthrie
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
romuel villareal wrote:
Hello Raymond

Check out this link....http://www.aikidofaq.com/introduction.html

Cheers!
Thanks for the link. I've been wondering about the differences between the different styles and this answered all my questions. .
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:24 AM   #6
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

That link is Ok for info but if i was you id spend more time reading about it there alot of info missing
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:37 AM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
Raymond Reyes wrote:
Im a newbie in practicing aikido, ive been practicing aikido for only several months. My Sensei told us that were practicing the Iwama style of Aikido.. Can you guys help me with the difference between Iwama style and the Traditional Aikikai which was developed my O'sensei


Spoon
In a nutshell:

Common Iwama practitioner's viewpoint:
Iwama Ryu = Saito Sensei = O-Sensei
Iwama Ryu represents the truest Aikido as developed by the Founder. Those Aikido styles that came before aren't as authentic because O-sensei had not yet put the finishing touches on his development of the art. All of the Aikido that has come after the Iwama period (early 1950's) isn't as authentic as there has been considerable drift since that time. The Aikido done by O-Sensei's son, the Nidai Doshu, wasn't as authentic as Saito Sensei's. The Aikido done by all of the other post war uchi-deshi wasn't as authentic as Saito Sensei's. O-Sensei taught Saito Sensei, Saito Sensei changed nothing, therefore the closest thing to training with O-Sensei was traiing with Saito Sensei.

Common Alternative viewpoint:
Everyone knows that Sensei "X" (you supply the name) was REALLY the only one to understand O-Sensei and the other guys didn't quite get it. Sensei "X" 's Aikido might have its own style or it might be called Aikikai, or it might be non-categorized, but it is clearly what the Founder had in mind when he taught Sensei "X". Saito Sensei's Aikido was taught at a certain place in time but was frozen; O-Sensei kept on developing his Aikido until 1969 when he died. Therefore the later Uchi Deshi got the TRUE Aikido in its most highly developed form.

Minority (?) Alternative Viewpoint:

Quote:
"Through time the changing of Aikido technqiue is natural."

"There is no set form in Aikido. There is no set form, it is the study of the spirit. One must not get caught up in set form, because in doing so one is unable to perform the function sensitively." - Morihei Ueshiba from Enlightenment Through Aikido by Sunadomaru Sensei
So in other words, it's all Aikido. Find a Teacher whom you like and get on with training and don't worry about all this stylistic non-sense. Fights about "styles" are simply a way that a small number of people try to make themselves more important ralative to a larger group of people who have a different set of experiences. Forget about it.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 06-15-2004, 09:01 AM   #8
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

There is a little truth in most of that george.

Its true that Osensei was always evolving, but he always stressed that the reason for his changing and his ability to evolve and living in KI was because he always trained in Katai (kihon). This is what led to the highest form of KI. He never stopped this way all the way up to his last class in Iwama in the end of the 60s everyone was still made to KIAI always. and always start every tech with hard solid gripping. Before the next 2 levels. Then naturally evolving into The ultimate KI. But once again as he stressed he achieved this through constent understanding and practice of aikiken and aikijo and of course KIHON for over 50 YEARS. It was not Osensei who changed this and started to practice without strong grips and strong Kiai and no weapons. IT was Doshu and Tohei. So yes it is very unfair to say Iwama is the only good Aikido out there That would be total balls. But it is definatly fair to say it is the most unchanged Aikido. People forget that the hard and very different training that was being taught in Iwama in the forties never stopped at anytime even in the sixties when the Hombu was so clearly different. so why when Osensie was alive did he insist that His students in his home dojo of Iwama train so different to what he allowed in Tokyo?

Last edited by PaulieWalnuts : 06-15-2004 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:36 AM   #9
happysod
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Well Steff, with a ringing endorsement like that, I've got to ask - where's the vids on your site (preferably with THX) so I can view (and hear) the real deal aikido-wise.

All I could find in your homepage was some rather aikikai-looking pictures.

Don - preferred your answer, now if only we can stop you karmically killing people...
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Old 06-16-2004, 04:47 AM   #10
Hanna B
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
People forget that the hard and very different training that was being taught in Iwama in the forties never stopped at anytime even in the sixties when the Hombu was so clearly different.
so why when Osensie was alive did he insist that His students in his home dojo of Iwama train so different to what he allowed in Tokyo?
Let's put the question the other way around. If Iwama training is/was better/more correct/more osensei's aikido, why did he let training in Hombu evolve in the direction it did?

Did he not care?

Could he not stop it?

Or was he all for it?
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Old 06-16-2004, 05:19 AM   #11
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Exactly, why? Answer that and then you have the main difference between the two

MR HAPPYSOD SAID-All I could find in your homepage was some rather aikikai-looking pictures

? eh? what exactly does a non aikikai pic look like then?
Let me guess a KI pic would be some guy waving his magic wand or finger and while somebody flys about fifteen feet without being touched.
If you have a problem with something i said in the prevoius statement tell me so i can try to explain or discuss
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Old 06-16-2004, 07:00 AM   #12
Hanna B
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
steff miller wrote:
Exactly, why? Answer that and then you have the main difference between the two
If you know the answer, please tell me! because I don't.
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Old 06-16-2004, 07:53 AM   #13
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Well some people would say that As Osensie spent less time teaching in The hombu and more time in Iwama, Doshu and tohei kind of changed the way to incorparate for kino nagare, they also removed the Kiai.(weapons where hardly ever taught outside Iwama),thus an istant difference.

All i really know is that how the founder taught Aikido in Iwama in the forties, he never changed it alway right up to the end.
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Old 06-16-2004, 07:54 AM   #14
Greg Jennings
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

I travel with in my work and I train everywhere I go. It all comes around to something my first instructor, who is still my mentor in so many things, old me early on and what Ledyard Sensei said in a much more polite way above:

"Shut up and train".

FWIW,

Greg Jennings
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Old 06-16-2004, 08:02 AM   #15
Hanna B
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Steff, you did not answer my question at all. Is there a reason be believe that osensei disliked what the people that he personally put in charge, did in Hombu dojo? If so, what reason?

As regards the weapons - osensei forbad the weapons practise at Hombu.And some of the senior folks at hombu says (so I've been told) that the weapons class at Homby that made him angry, and made him say there should not be weapons taught at Hombu - was taught by Saito sensei. Whether this is true or not, will be difficult to find out. But the removal of weapons training at Hombu can not be said to done against osenseis wishes.

Quote:
All i really know is that how the founder taught Aikido in Iwama in the forties, he never changed it alway right up to the end.
Forgive me but English is not my first language; I do not understand the second half of this sentence.
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Old 06-16-2004, 08:29 AM   #16
happysod
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Steff, re pictures - exactly my point

If you're going to claim there's a major difference between what you're training in and everything else out there at least allow mere deluded mortals such as myself the ability to see what you mean by the unchanged melody of aikido that is Iwama. That's why I was wanting videos as your pictures didn't show any differences, whereas videos of Ki, aikikai and tomiki have all clearly shown what is meant by the differences implied.

On an unrelated note - if you're going to play the titles game with me, it's Dr Hurst. Either happysod, or (preferably) Ian on their own are more than adequate. Thanks in advance
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:16 AM   #17
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Ok if you want to see some Iwama Aikido
check out the vids here
www.aikido-france.net
www.iwama-aikido.com

theres plenty more out there on the web.
So are you saying there is no difference between your style and the others?
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:02 AM   #18
happysod
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Steff, thank you for the vid links. As regards style - as my own personal style can probably be represented by the famous "ruptured duck in trouble" series, I doubt anyone else will have my unique take on aikido.

If you mean the assoc I'm currently with, yes there are differences from other "styles", but there again, I don't think we've ever claimed to be anything other than a Ki-aikido offshoot. Certainly the inference that we're pure aikido and/or as the founder meant aikido to be - which is the inference you were providing in your posts and which briefly raised my hackles has (I hope) never been in any of my posts.

[this does not negate my on-going feud with the shodokan thugs who blithely claim to have more martial fun/training session than we aiki-fruities do - you know who you are]
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:27 AM   #19
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

One thing i love about Iwama compared to the other styles ive worked with, is that i feel the grips and attacks are so effective. But so they should be. I always felt that when i trained in other styles the grips were usless as they only seemed to be there so i could do a tech.
In Iwama you cant move or strike when gripped properly, so you learn to move around a strong attack first and also learn how to control with grips. Apperentl this is one of the fastest ways to learn and become powerful, by giving the attacker the upper hand and holding very strong through out the tech, you will find mistakes very very quickly
Both myself and my other club teacher have used aiki for real but we both used grips. he used kata dori, as he held almost side on the guy could not touch him. I used mortodori, once again becuase i wasnt standing directly infront og him he could not punch or kick although he certainly tried. THATS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR ME.
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:53 AM   #20
Fausto
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

I think that the so called strong grips and strong strikes of iwama can be found in other styles.... I practiced Iwama for a year in Italy and I really did not find that difference with others styles that I have practiced and with the one that I actually practice and teach.

What I think is that the strong grips and strikes depends on the teacher and not on the style..... just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:54 AM   #21
akiy
 
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Frankly, I think it's funny that these kinds of discussions often devolve into, "Style X is better than style Y because of A, B, and C" since, in my experience, it's a non-argument.

I've trained with some top instructors of "Iwama" aikido (including Saito sensei) and also with some top instructors of "Aikikai" aikido (including the current doshu). You know what? They all have good things to teach. In the same vein, I have trained with students in both camps (heck, of all walks of aikido) who were, um, a bit lacking (in my own opinion). So it goes.

I've been out-"subtletied" by students of Saito sensei. I've been slammed into the mat by students of Tohei sensei. I've been "slashed" into little pieces by their bokuto by students of the founder. So it goes.

All in all, creating divisions where, in my mind, there are none seems to me a counter-productive way to expend energy...

-- Jun

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Old 06-16-2004, 10:55 AM   #22
Hanna B
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
steff miller wrote:
THATS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR ME.
Evidence of what, dear Steff?

Personally, I find that too much focus on static training creates bad habits that die hard. It is a valid concept of training that has its merits, but also often leads to insensitivity. It is quite possible to work with low level of resistance, and still feel your week points - and it is easier to be relaxed during training this way, which is one very important thing to learn. I am quite capable of searching for my weak points myself, without uke teaching me where they are by stopping my technique.

Glad you like your training, and feel that your training validates your belief in it. Others like theirs, and feel that the experience they get validate their belief in their teachers and systems. Everyone is happy, neh?

Quote:
Its usually hard fro an Iwama student to explain as Aikikai never seem to lioke the answers, unless they are giving the answer.
Not everyone will buy your view of the truth, no. That's a fact of life.
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:11 AM   #23
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
steff miller wrote:
One thing i love about Iwama compared to the other styles ive worked with, is that i feel the grips and attacks are so effective. But so they should be. I always felt that when i trained in other styles the grips were usless as they only seemed to be there so i could do a tech.
In Iwama you cant move or strike when gripped properly, so you learn to move around a strong attack first and also learn how to control with grips. Apperentl this is one of the fastest ways to learn and become powerful, by giving the attacker the upper hand and holding very strong through out the tech, you will find mistakes very very quickly
Both myself and my other club teacher have used aiki for real but we both used grips. he used kata dori, as he held almost side on the guy could not touch him. I used mortodori, once again becuase i wasnt standing directly infront og him he could not punch or kick although he certainly tried. THATS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR ME.
I don't get why the Iwama folks think that they are the last bastion of Kiai, strong attacks, and weapons. Saotome Semsei was one of the last uchi deshi, staying at the Aikikai Honbu Dojo until after the death of the Founder. When I trained with him in Washington, DC I literally had no hair on my arms around the wrist from being grabbed so hard by my partners when we did static technique. We did kiai all the time, struck each other as hard as we could, etc. Weapons work was a daily practice at that dojo.

I've trained a bit with Chiba Sensei (well known as an example of wimpy Aikikai Aikido) as well and am friends with one of his early senior students, Bookman Sensei. Bookman Sensei is one of the strongest Aikidoka I have ever trained with (at least as strong as any Iwama student I've met), has extensive weapons work, as all of Chiba Sensei's seniors do, and is quite capable of doing a Kiai. I've seen films of Tamura Sensei. Seems very much in the same veinů

So where did this myth originate? I keep looking around at all of O-Sensei's uchideshi seeking the ones who fit the Iwama description of "Aikikai Aikido" and they are nowhere to be found. This is some sort of myth that Iwama folks like to tell themselves because it makes them feel special and privileged to have studied under Saito Sensei. Well, guess what? You don't have to run down other folks practice in order to feel gifted that you found a teacher who was perfect for you. Saotome Sensei was and continues to be the source of my Aikido inspiration. He was the perfect teacher for me. But I am perfectly willing to admit that there are other approaches and other teachers who are wonderful. Every person who had the great fortune to train with a direct student of the Founder has received a great gift. Most people will not have such an opportunity. This, our way is better than the others attitude is not at all in keeping with what O-sensei wished for the future of his art.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 06-16-2004, 12:02 PM   #24
grondahl
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I don't get why the Iwama folks think that they are the last bastion of Kiai, strong attacks, and weapons.
Because they haven't had the opportunity to train with Saotome, Chiba, Tamura or some of their advanced students?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
So where did this myth originate?
Honestly, in many cases, i think its after training or watching aikidoka who follow Endo, Tissier, Noel (They usually don't Kiai or attack strongly in the way that iwama folks do, not the ones i┤ve met).
I get a fake impression after watching it, mainly because i don't understand what they are doing and because they have so soft and flowing ukemi.
But it doesn't feel fake when i take ukemi....
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Old 06-16-2004, 12:31 PM   #25
Greg Jennings
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Re: Aikikai vs Iwama

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I don't get why the Iwama folks think that they are the last bastion of Kiai, strong attacks, and weapons. <SNIP>

So where did this myth originate? I keep looking around at all of O-Sensei's uchideshi seeking the ones who fit the Iwama description of "Aikikai Aikido" and they are nowhere to be found. This is some sort of myth that Iwama folks like to tell themselves because it makes them feel special and privileged to have studied under Saito Sensei. <SHIP>.
Ledyard Sensei,

A little less generalization would be much appreciated.

Just like you don't like being generalized into some mythical group, I am bothered by being generalized into some mythical "narrow-minded Iwama" group.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled debate,

Greg Jennings
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