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Old 11-03-2005, 05:52 AM   #1
doronin
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Seidokan Aikido

Hi. I'm new to Aikido, and I'm going to start my Aikido training as soon as I manage to choose dojo here in Tel Aviv area.
To understand where to go, I've googled pretty much in search for information about Aikido, and read a lot. I tried, but with no success, to find more information about Seidokan Aikido - the general information appearing on the different dojo web pages doesn't explain much.

What are the major differences between Seidokan and Ki Society in approach to Aikido? There must be some reason Seidokan was established even though Ki Society seemed to have so much in common with them.

What are the major conceptual and practical differences between Seidokan and these-days Aikikai?
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:46 AM   #2
crbateman
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

If you haven't run across them yet, you may find useful information on the web at http://www.seidokan.org and http://www.aikidoinstitute.com or by Googling the name of the founder of Seidokan, the late Roderick Kobayashi Sensei. Good luck.
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:46 AM   #3
Saji Jamakin
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

I think you first have to decide what you want to get out of your training. Then visit the different schools. You should observe their practices. Most should let you participate in a couple of classes before commiting. Don't forget to ask the instructor and students any questions you have.
The ultimate goal is to make this style the right fit for you.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:56 AM   #4
happysod
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Dmitry - I'm with Saji here, forget books, philosophy and agonizing about stylistic differences, go to the the dojos which interest you and see which fits you best. Even dojos under the same banner provide quite different environments, so I'd suggest you go by the dojo rather than the style.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:41 AM   #5
Millerwc
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

From a technical standpoint Seidokan Aikido generally has much smaller movements, we've reduced a lot of the large, classical sweeping circles into much smaller circles, that tend to be a little quicker, and a little easier to transition into another technique if something goes wrong. We place more of an emphasis on teaching, so there tends to be a little more verbal description than is common in the Aikikai.

Sei-, or makoto we typically translate as "absolute sincerity", and we attempt to embody this in our training, keeping things realistic. We believe that the art should continue to develop and evolve, and therefore you will see techniques that more traditional dojo's don't practice, and a lot of the traditional forms have evolved some. We've had to name them, and therefore the body of nomenclature is slightly larger.

We have a set of 22 Aiki taisso that are performed at the beginning of every class.

My sensei mentioned the other day that one of the reasons we changed the name to seidokan from Ki society, was a practice called Aiki Ryoho, or Ki Therapy, which they use for an income source, and we use primarily when sensei has a stiff neck. I haven't trained with Ki society, so I'm not sure of some of the other differences between the two, but I do know they place more of an emphasis on Ki development, for anything more specific about the differences between the two, you'll have to find someone who's trained in Ki Society.
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Old 11-03-2005, 12:58 PM   #6
kironin
 
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

No one I know of outside of Japan in Ki Society using Kiatsu-ho or Ki Therapy as an income source with the possible exception of the Oregon Ki society which has the one school outside of Japan to train people who wish to learn just that rather than aikido. It's pretty much a separate thing in Japan as well and most people practicing aikido in Ki Society just use it as a therapy on each other and haven't gone through a certified school course.

Technically Seidokan and Ki Society have a great deal in common which may not be surprising since the Seidokan founder was formerly the Ki Society USA West Coast Chief Instructor. The Aiki Taiso and much of the rest in Seidokan comes from Ki Society. Ki Development is of course the foundation of good technique in this lineage of aikido and people ignore working on it at the risk of eviscerating their aikido.

The recommendation that you just forget all this and go check it out and see if you like the particular school and teachers as well as checking some other schools out is a good one.

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Old 11-04-2005, 02:20 PM   #7
doronin
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Thanks all for your replies.

I understand the point: "come and see", but that's me, I tend not to believe to my eyes if I don't understand what's going on there at all ...
Of course I'm going to visit a few dojos in my area to see what I like more, however I'm concerned with my ability to evaluate it correctly given I have zero experience. So, I'm just trying to get some basic information to know what to look at.

Wayne, while practical, self defence aspect of Aikido is not among my primary motives, as a newbie I permit to myself to be curious about that as well. I don't want to sound stupid, but... do you consider Seidokan to be as effective as Aikikai in case of unfortunate necessity, assuming equal levels of training?
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:29 PM   #8
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

If you can, and if it's in your area, there is a Korindo Aikido school in Israel. Korindo Aikido is one of those rare treasures...you should check it out if you get a chance.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:12 AM   #9
doronin
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Essence of Seidokan Aikido?

Well, guys, can anyone explain me the essence of Seidokan Aikido in comparison to other styles? Advantages and disadvantages?


Ron, thanks, but considering how selective they known to be in accepting new students, I just don't feel myself ready at this moment to give it a try.

Last edited by doronin : 11-07-2005 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 11-07-2005, 04:11 AM   #10
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Quote:
Dmitry Doronin wrote:
I don't want to sound stupid, but... do you consider Seidokan to be as effective as Aikikai in case of unfortunate necessity, assuming equal levels of training?

Hi Dmitry,

In this case, it really boils down to how good the individual is as opposed to how good the art is.

Quote:
Dmitry Doronin wrote:
I understand the point: "come and see", but that's me, I tend not to believe to my eyes if I don't understand what's going on there at all ...Of course I'm going to visit a few dojos in my area to see what I like more, however I'm concerned with my ability to evaluate it correctly given I have zero experience. So, I'm just trying to get some basic information to know what to look at.
Based on this, how much easier is it to determine whether what I say over Ron or Craig is more accurate, when we all could be? This really is going to be a case of suck it and see, most of the people here, regardless of association or style agree on this. But don't justy watch, join in, then you can feel as well as see.

There's a thread around here somewhere, or an article in one of the other sections (unable to find it right now as my system seems to have jammed up), that highlights things to look for when going to see what Aikido is all about, it's certainly less about style and more about the interaction between people in the dojo. I'll edit this post if I can find it.

and here it is

http://www.aikiweb.com/training/witt1.html

Regards

Bryan

Last edited by batemanb : 11-07-2005 at 04:15 AM.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:13 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Quote:
Ron, thanks, but considering how selective they known to be in accepting new students, I just don't feel myself ready at this moment to give it a try.
I have found that the best things in life don't come easy.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:38 PM   #12
Larry Feldman
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Rod Kobiyashi broke off from the Ki Socity to 'do his own thing', so Seidokan is an offshoot of the Ki Society. You can get some generalized Style descriptions here
http://www.shugenkai.com/aikidostyles.html look under "Modern Styles".
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:03 AM   #13
doronin
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

What they say of Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido:"Most schools are not primarily concerned with practical physical application of the techniques, considering them exercises to further develop unification of mind and body."
Would this also be true for Seidokan, and in what extent?
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:26 AM   #14
MikeE
 
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Having extensive experience with Seidokan, I would say it depends on the teacher. My instructor was a high ranking Seidokan instructor, before he started his own organization. His concern was that the technique was natural and relaxed, but it had to be martially effective.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:37 AM   #15
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

I had the opportunity to take some ukemi from Terry Pierce Sensei of the Ki Society. I don't care what anyone says about the Ki Society...His Aikido was Martial! One of the best martial artists I've ever been thrown by. I think like in everything else, it comes down to the individual. And your relationship with them.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 11-08-2005, 09:01 AM   #16
doronin
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Now you're talking!

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Old 11-08-2005, 10:14 AM   #17
Millerwc
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Well, as far as a practical self defence application *as a beginner*, I would give someone with seidokan a slight edge- simply because our techniques tend to to be simpler in execution, and because because our philosophy is to train realisticly. With enough training both styles likely equally effective, but I think seidokan is a little easier to learn.

I have to agree with everyone else who has said that the teacher and the people should be your primary deciding factor. I would personally recommend Seidokan over Aikikai, as my experience with it has been very good, and I personally prefer it over what experience I've had with Aikikai, but that is only a personal preference. Try out both and see which fits you best.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:02 AM   #18
MikeE
 
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

I second that Ron! When Pierce Sensei was here a couple of months ago, he was great. Also, I don't think I ever trained with a nanadan that I threw and pinned as much as he threw and pinned me.

He is a class act, and definitely martial. I love the old school Ki Society guys.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:55 AM   #19
kironin
 
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Quote:
Michael Ellefson wrote:
My instructor was a high ranking Seidokan instructor, before he started his own organization. His concern was that the technique was natural and relaxed, but it had to be martially effective.

I think it comes down to this. You will find teachers and people in various Ki Society lineage (Ki Society, Seidokan, Shin Budo Kai, Shugenkai, Ki Federation, PAF, Yuishinkai, etc.) with these same concerns. Understanding this is of course a process.

and then you will find people whose goals, agenda, whatever is not primarilyy concerned with the martial aspects of the art. I have to say I think this holds true in every aikido organization regardless of the organization's agenda.

so you are back to visiting dojos and trying out classes, talking to instructors regardless of organization and seeing if it is a place you want to spend a lot of time.

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Old 11-08-2005, 05:41 PM   #20
Nathan Gusdorf
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Quote:
Well, guys, can anyone explain me the essence of Seidokan Aikido in comparison to other styles? Advantages and disadvantages?
I have practiced Seidokan for about 2 years now. We do some ki work, though I'm not sure exactly how much incomparison to other schools. I'm not aware of its disadvantages as I have not had experience in other styles but I think it does have some specific advantages. Often times my instructor will show how he was originally taught a technique and how it was modified for seidokan. Kotegaeshi for instance, instead of turning the hand over the wrist it is turned straight back towards the wrist. This has a couple advantages- one, it does a better job of protecting your attacker (a big focus in seidokan) and two, it is actually more effective because you cant get out of it. If they twist your hand over your arm then you can twist in and drop down on their neck and reverse it. Obviously done at high speed it would be pretty damn hard to reverse but my sensei was originally taught those things. Then they were changed for Seidokan. If your hand is turned straight back you can't move in. As Wayne said seidokan means 'earnest' and 'sincere' so it is all very practical. This is the attitude toward ki development. There is notreally any mysticism involved, it is basically 'this is how your body works and if thinking of it in terms of ki helps you do it then think of it in terms of ki'. As in all aikido it is hard to learn the techniques well and it takes much time, but the focus on protecting your attacker typically results in fewer injuries. Another advantage of seidokan is that it is designed to train instructors. Not to pass judgement on other styles, but the lower ranking balck belts I have seen teaching in other styles I did not think the teachign was quite as good as my dojo. This could of course be simply a function of the students themselves, but I know for certain that there is an emphasis placed on teaching in seidokan. Obivously its important to check out the dojos, but thats what I can tell you for what it's worth.
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:43 AM   #21
Amir Krause
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Re: Essence of Seidokan Aikido?

Quote:
Dmitry Doronin wrote:

Ron, thanks, but considering how selective they known to be in accepting new students, I just don't feel myself ready at this moment to give it a try.

We are that selective ???
I doubt it. It is true we expect people to commit when joining, and do not normally have free trial lessons. Nor are we willing to let a student from another non-Korindo dojo (in Israel, visitors from abroad are welcome ) just drop by to visit uninvited.
But we are very happy to accept new students. And give them the fullest attention of Sensei and Sempai, to the point the first few lessons are as close as it gets to a private lesson (this is one of the reasons for no trial lessons - we can't spare that much attention for nothing, and the first lessons are so different from any others).

Quote:
I have found that the best things in life don't come easy.
I am not sure we qualify there. But when trying to find an Aikido Dojo in Tel-Aviv, I wouldn't skip our Dojo.
Actually, more because of Sensei Shlomo David knowledge and experience. about which I can write he is unparalleled in Israel with regard to Aikido - the most veteran teacher, a full time M.A. teacher, and senior in other M.A. (Judo, Karate) too.
You should also consider the number of Yundasha in the group, which is substantially larger then in most groups around (too many have Shodan/Nidan teachers - at the same level as us sempai in the Dojo).

Obviously, that does not mean Korindo Aikido is the right answer for you. Every person is different

The Dojo site:
www.Shirokan.com
Sensei is currently slightly injured - has more time to talk, and most of the group guiding is being done by us sempai. Though Sensei does keep an eye on us


Amir
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:54 AM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Hi Amir. Good post, and good to see you in this thread. I hope your teacher recovers soon.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:28 PM   #23
doronin
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Shirokan dojo

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
But when trying to find an Aikido Dojo in Tel-Aviv, I wouldn't skip our Dojo.
Amir, I'm honored by your offer, and by no means I was going to skip Shirokan dojo. After reading few discussions in other forums about this dojo, my impression was that I'm not "good enough" for it yet. I'll PM you a couple of questions, if you don't mind.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:09 PM   #24
Bronson
 
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Hi Dmitry,

I'm coming to this a little late but I'll throw in my penny.

Just so you know where I'm coming from...I've practiced Seidokan aikido for nine years now. It's the only aikido style that I've actively studied, I've only been to a couple of seminars of other styles.

I'm not going to tell you that what we do is the best thing going and that it holds everything you need or want.

I'll echo those who've said to visit the various dojo available. I think it's far less important to pick a style than to pick a sensei you feel you can learn from. My sensei happened to teach Seidokan, if he taught something else I'd be doing that.


Like most aikido out there it really is difficult to classify Seidokan (or any styles) technique. You'll find teachers who only want to focus on ki development, others are only concerned with martial application, others want precise technique, and some care less about what external form looks like and more that the principles are followed. Most people will probably be a mix off them all. Again find a teacher you like.

Some technical aspects you'll probably find/not find in Seidokan are:
  • The previously mentioned version of kotegaeshi. While not exclusive to Seidokan this is our standard version instead of being a variation.
  • No head controls
  • No koshinage (hip throws)
  • Few techniques that require breakfalls (high falls)
  • Little to no atemi (striking vital points)
  • Our standard shihonage is a controling technique instead of a projection (throw)
  • Strong emphasis on teaching. Usually start teaching/assisting relatively early in training.
* These are, of course, dependant on the instructor. While these things (and others like ground techniques) are not part of the "official" syllabus some instructors may still teach them.

As far as differences from other aikido I'll leave that for people with more experience with other aikido

That's just my take. If you need me to elaborate on anything let me know....you may want to email me through the AikiWeb system as my school responsibilities often keep me away from the forums.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:39 AM   #25
Amir Krause
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Re: Seidokan Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Hi Amir. Good post, and good to see you in this thread. I hope your teacher recovers soon.

Best,
Ron

Thanks
If you ever tour near us - come and visit.



Quote:
Amir, I'm honored by your offer, and by no means I was going to skip Shirokan dojo. After reading few discussions in other forums about this dojo, my impression was that I'm not "good enough" for it yet. I'll PM you a couple of questions, if you don't mind
Sent a PM back. In short, we have both advanced students and beginners in the class. And make no mistakes, advanced students have to work on the basics much of the time.

Actually, replacing Sensei in the last couple of lessons this has gave me quite and headache - experienced Yudansha on the on hand (some at my level, some better then me though less veteran) and several beginners on the other hand. It's quite a challenge, isn't it amazing how Sensei seems to solve these things so easily ?



Amir
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