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#415423 - 02/03/09 09:27 AM Aikido Styles Question
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
Still in the Dojo window shopping phase. I was wondering if someone could enlighten me in the general differences one could expect between:

Ki Aikido
Aiki Aikido
and a school that says they are part of the American Aikido Association (If that tells anything of style)

Of course the instructor's style makes a difference. Just looking for a 1000 foot view of what one might see different in general training practices between the styles. I got an idea of the history from Wikipedia if that says anything.

Ken

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#415424 - 02/03/09 11:13 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: TheKen]
iaibear Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Attend a free introductory class. If the teacher demonstrates a set of moves and then says, "Practice", be prepared to do a lot of guessing if you are not a close observer.

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#415425 - 02/03/09 11:31 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: iaibear]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
Quote:

Attend a free introductory class. If the teacher demonstrates a set of moves and then says, "Practice", be prepared to do a lot of guessing if you are not a close observer.




I am afraid I don't see where your answer answered my actual questions in anyway. Perhaps you could clarify?

Ken

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#415426 - 02/03/09 12:57 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: TheKen]
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
iaibear is actually right on here, and he is talking about teaching styles. Some teachers teach the 'old way' where you have to 'steal the technique', meaning they demonstrate and then you break off into partners and figure out how to make it work. Others just show the damn technique and actually help you figure it out.

As for your question, I will do my best:

Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, aka 'Ki Aikido', aka Ki Society, is one of the 'softer' forms of Aikido. If you were to look at the spectrum of styles Yoshinkan would be the 'hardest' and Ki society the 'softest'. Of course this is a general statement, and as such keep in mind that there are always variables.

Ki Aikido was formed by Koichi Tohei after his split from the Hombu (headquarters). Koichi Tohei was one of the only Aikidoka to be given the 10th dan by O'sensei, and he was for a time before the split, the cheif instructor at Hombu.

Tohei felt that Ki should be directly taught and devised methods of teaching it (often referred to as 'ki tricks'). Apparently this did not sit well with Kishomaru Ueshiba (the founders son) who felt that Tohei was teaching methods that did some come from the founder. Apprently Tohei's method of teaching these skills owes as much to his Zen training and Japanese Yoga training as to Morihei Ueshiba. Either way, this caused an eventual split from Hombu, with Tohei creating his own organizations.

Today the style has seperate ranking for ki skills and Aikido techniques, although you practice both in the same class. At this point, many techniques have been omitted from the syllabus, or altered. Keep in mind that most people alter techniques to suit their bodies though. On the pro-side, I think Ki society is a great method for a foundation study in internal body skills, and a relatively easy method to learn these foundational skills. The art is taught on a more directly 'principle' basis, as opposed to the 'technique' method of other styles.

As for the cons, well there aren't a heck of a lot of dojos around (not as many as Aikikai) so if you move and there is only Aikikai, then you will have to start at square one again.

I think by "Aiki Aikido" you are talking about 'Aikikai.' Aikikai really runs the gamut between 'hard' Aikido, with atemi and pressure points, to very soft, more flowing and circular Aikido. As such, it is hard to define an 'Aikikai style' and it is better to look at it as an 'organisation'. The organisation is headed by the Ueshiba family.

The nice thing about Aikikai is the amount of differing approaches to Aikido you will find under its umbrella. As I said, there are a wide variety of teachning styles. The benefit of this kind of thing is that, as long as the technique holds to its principle, then it can be executed in differing ways. Aikikai is all over the world, and your rank should carry from dojo to dojo.

I don't really know anything about the 'American Aikido Association', so maybe someone else could help you out with that.

The last thing is, that although 'style' can play a valid role in your decision on what to study, of far more importance is how you mesh with a particular teacher.

Also, in this day and age of so much information, it is easy to bombard yourself with overload and start learning too much theory before you actually practice. It's nice to have so much info availible, but it can also lead to too many preconceived notions of what the art should be. I have seen, and myself experianced, this holding back your progress in the art. The best advice I can give you is to pick three dojos and go try a class in each.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#415427 - 02/03/09 01:27 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Ames]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
Ok thank you, iaibear sorry if I seemed abstruse!

Right now I have two schools, one aikikai the other ki society that I am looking at. I have spoken over email with the instructor at the former and am trying to set up a time to go visit there.

Ken

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#415428 - 02/03/09 01:38 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: TheKen]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
If you like, do a school review after you meet with them and let us know how it goes.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#415429 - 02/03/09 03:38 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Ames]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
It may not be the most informed review though. I mean I have been to plenty of dojos, but this technically my first visit to an Aikido dojo of any form. I can speak in generalities I guess.

Ken

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#415430 - 02/03/09 04:49 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: TheKen]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
First impressions can say a lot, though, you're right it would be general, but that's okay. And you might have questions after your first time.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#415431 - 02/03/09 05:04 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Ames]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
Well it looks like I am going to go there on my lunch hour tomorrow, weather depending as when it snows in the Carolinas everything shuts down.

Anyway it is rather convenient they have noon classes and are so close to my work. That makes it extremely convenient.

We shall see.

Ken

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#415432 - 02/04/09 01:38 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: TheKen]
Richard_Norris Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/06
Posts: 43
Quote:

...the American Aikido Association





That'd be the organization started by the late Toyoda-sensei (as in, student of and instructor in Japan under Tohei-sensei, moved to Chicago at behest of Tohei-s). There's Ki no Kenyukai (Ki Society) lineage there, of course, though his experience teaching in the US clearly led Toyoda-s to a distinctive attention to teaching methods particularly suited, perhaps, to folks who didn't grow up in Japan doing martial arts. Nice curriculum and explicit attention to instructor development, very important. Not so explicitly KnK in instruction now, not unlike that of Kobayashi-sensei (Seidokan, another Aikido style that developed from KnK roots in North America).



R

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#415433 - 02/05/09 12:00 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Richard_Norris]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
Well I went last night. Clean dojo, nice instructor, rates reasonable, and well the typical things one would expect from an Aikido dojo for a basics class based on some research.

Sorry this isn't the greatest review. I saw nothing bad, most everything was as expected to good. Honestly it is hard to really pick out everything when you are watching from the side with 2 toddlers and an infant in tow!

Ken

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#415434 - 02/19/09 02:00 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: TheKen]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
I can help clarify. I was directed to study w/ Oshima Sensei when now Shihan Minoru Oshima was sent to America as Instructor for the Aikido Association, he served as Master Tohei's uchideshi in the Ki Society and now is Founder of Kodokai Aikido (Ki Aikido). There is also The Federation.
Federation Aikido hard (and effective)-Aikido Association softer-Kodokai soft. Ask potential instructors time in training and if they have a lineage. It is easy to be more effective w/ harder Aikido (techniques effective as they would tend to disable)-Ki Aikido harder to make effective as rapidly (read longer time training) but as The Sensei Oshima Sensei trained and having taken ukemi from them it will be effective (Proof in Pudding, Oshima Sensei trained correctional and police officers as a consultant, his Technique works) also he would mingle the hard Federation and counterpoise it to Ki Aikido, the difference was one of an effective tech that by nature damaged vs Ki aikido where a minor variation in wrist/elbow/shoulder tech had less chance to damage, he seemed to always ensure we knew how to properly damage and then say "but that is not Aiki" (e.g. kote gaeshe in knife disarm, he would show us how poor uke "accidentally" severed his own carotid during technique, pause and say "but that is not aiki", continue tech to breakfall and shoulder pin to strip...oops the knife slipped severing uke spine, "but..") all techniques were shown as joint opposing and so potentially destructive then demonstrate the slight variation in position which was as effective but had less chance to damage. Oshima Sensei I believe felt we should be able to execute either, situation dependent but wished us to be inclined to display mercy if warranted, why shred some slow drunks wrist and elbow, hes drunk soft will suffice, Shihan Oshima is truly a Master of his craft after 30 yrs. All Aikido share blending, harmony, becoming the calm eye of the hurricane. but to defend and not hurt or be hurt is a longer practice. Coming to him from rather aggressive karate made my training harder, Choose style and instructor wisely, cruel attitude is passed on reverence to do no harm is also passed on. I truly dont know but would have to guess breathing and ki exercises more pronounced in Ki Society. theres more if you ask, but this is enough. In 20ish years I have been blessed to work with 3 Masters, great Instructors are there perhaps one meets a Master when the time is right.
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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#422381 - 09/17/09 12:24 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: karl314285]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 913
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
I thought I'd re-open an older Thread rather than start a new one.

I am hoping that the Aikidoka will be able to explain to me and help me understand my findings below

Question: I have dabbled in Aikido several times (the longest being 9 months (ungraded)) but As a Karate Ka I can't see the effectiveness of the style. I understand that Aikido is considered a deadly art.

I found during my brief training so many weaknesses in some of the techniques we practiced.

Not too sure on the names but quite a lot of the techniques are from wrist grabs etc. I found that if I just "let go" then the technique wouldn't work or if I turned with the defender then again the technique wouldn't work.

I also found the "offering" of the hand a bit strange something I definately would not do in a month of Sundays in a real situation.

Just some questions and observations I have, I still think the art is a wonderful style I've even put some Flyers of the Aikido Dojo up at my place of work along side my Karate Dojo's flyers. I think its a shame I can't practice Aikido as I disagree with so many of the techniques.
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#422384 - 09/17/09 02:13 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Dobbersky]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
We're on dangerous ground here Dobbersky so I'll tread lightly... last thing we need is another "Aikido sux/no it doesn't" thread.

In my opinion, Aikido trains and teaches body skill. By that I mean it teaches you to move in a certain way. Many of the "techniques" of Aikido are designed to help you learn this body skill in an easier way. They are not like kihon kumite or bunkai in karate, where literally the techniques are the method of defense. The "techniques" of Aikido are a method of teaching particular movement of the body. Once you've got that down, you'll be able to find all sorts of ways to deal with things.

For example, look at Roy Dean. He is a black belt in BJJ and Aikido. He has managed to incorporate his the bodyskill (the movement) of Aikido along with his BJJ to great success in Sub Wresltling competitions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK-K4ia26...&playnext=1

Aikido Body Skill + Grappling

If someone is telling you that uke grabbing the wrist (a movement which replicates someone reaching for your sword) is a directly applicative technique, they don't know what they are doing IMO.

Same goes for Taiji. Here is a great clip of a Taiji teacher in the US. He uses his Taiji bodyskill to help him perform/react in a more functional way. In this clip, he discusses how he uses his body skill (Taiji) to help generate power in punching:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkO7wuCSBYA

Another thing Taiji and Aikido have in common is the lack of good teachers (heck, decent teachers). In Northern Ireland, there are about 20 places you can learn Aikido. Through seminars and what not, I have met just about everyone who teaches. Of those 20 head teachers, there is a decent teacher, and another teacher is pretty good. The rest... well, if you can't say something nice...

Based on that, you have a 1 in 10 chance of finding a decent/good Aikido teacher, so good luck!

NB I'm not a mod, but Dobbersky specifically asked AIKIDOKA. If you are not an AIKIDOKA, past or present, please take it elsewhere as a courtesy. Thanks.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#422387 - 09/17/09 05:52 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Prizewriter]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 913
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
We're on dangerous ground here Dobbersky so I'll tread lightly... last thing we need is another "Aikido sux/no it doesn't" thread.
.....................................

Based on that, you have a 1 in 10 chance of finding a decent/good Aikido teacher, so good luck!

NB I'm not a mod, but Dobbersky specifically asked AIKIDOKA. If you are not an AIKIDOKA, past or present, please take it elsewhere as a courtesy. Thanks.


Prizewriter-san

Appologies if my post appeared derogatory. I tried to write it without causing offence.

My Post was one looking for answers and who better to answer questions about Aikido than Aikidoka.

I wouldn't put up flyers for my local Aikido Dojo if I was being derogatory.

I read somewhere that when Kano Sensei (founder of Judo) saw an exhibition of Aikido he expressed "Aikido was the purest form of Judo" or something like that.

I have 3-4 books on Aikido and enjoy reading them, the style I practice has Nage Kata devised by a Aikido Yudansha that Ashihara Kancho knew.

Thank you for your understanding and again my sincere appologies for offending anyone
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#422390 - 09/18/09 03:37 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Dobbersky]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Originally Posted By: Dobbersky
I thought I'd re-open an older Thread rather than start a new one.

I am hoping that the Aikidoka will be able to explain to me and help me understand my findings below

Question: I have dabbled in Aikido several times (the longest being 9 months (ungraded)) but As a Karate Ka I can't see the effectiveness of the style. I understand that Aikido is considered a deadly art.

I found during my brief training so many weaknesses in some of the techniques we practiced.

Not too sure on the names but quite a lot of the techniques are from wrist grabs etc. I found that if I just "let go" then the technique wouldn't work or if I turned with the defender then again the technique wouldn't work.

I also found the "offering" of the hand a bit strange something I definately would not do in a month of Sundays in a real situation.

Just some questions and observations I have, I still think the art is a wonderful style I've even put some Flyers of the Aikido Dojo up at my place of work along side my Karate Dojo's flyers. I think its a shame I can't practice Aikido as I disagree with so many of the techniques.
Dobbersky,
It is actually a more common problem than you realize. The problem is people tend to come to the art and start to poke holes in what they see, without really fully appreciating the art for what the art is really showing/teaching. The other problem is that people equate "martial art" with something I call "aesthetic physical effectiveness" - IOW, if it doesn't look "martial", it can't possibly be effective. People tend to superimpose a fixed perception of martial effectiveness upon the art, which is in fact completely defensive in nature.

And of course, if you decide to spontaneously change the premise for a technique, then it's obviously not going to work, because your partner will be forced to do something different. OTOH, once you understand that Aikido has NO techniques, just like all other MA at progressively higher levels of sophistication.

Seeing the apparent technical flaws (or perhaps what may be perceived as teaching flaws) is actually a good thing, but not at the expense of learning what the technique is supposed to be teaching. Quite often, there is a disparity between actual martial application and technique initially, but as you begin to understand the technique, you will begin to see where the possibilities lie, in terms of effective and sometimes deadly application. 9 months (training X times a week) is certainly not long enough to fully appreciate this.

Fundamentally speaking, Aikido shares a common technical base with jujitsu - many of the wrist techniques can be found in your garden variety jujitsu. Many similar techniques for locking, striking and throwing can also be found in kempo, karate and various Chinese MA - simply because they are based on the same, if not similar, principles.

So, my suggestion would be to not focus too much on the techniques themselves, and to look at the principles of the techniques instead. Martial effectiveness comes from understanding the principles, AND being able to apply such principles dynamically. Technique is what happens when these 2 things come together harmoniously.

HTH.

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#422391 - 09/18/09 03:48 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Prizewriter]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
For example, look at Roy Dean. He is a black belt in BJJ and Aikido. He has managed to incorporate his the bodyskill (the movement) of Aikido along with his BJJ to great success in Sub Wresltling competitions:
Roy is a great ambassador for both BJJ and Aikido. It'd be interesting to see where he's at in 10, 20, 30 years time and to see how much he changes in the years to come.

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#422392 - 09/18/09 05:09 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Dobbersky]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Dobbersky

No offence was caused. My comments relating to dangerous ground and non-aikidoka responding were directed to anyone else who read the thread, and without any experience or knowledge of Aikido, feel the need to give their 2 cents worth when clearly they don't know what they are talking about. Believe me, it has happened A LOT on the Aikido Forum, and it seems to be the same culprits over and over again. Nothing wrong with your post or the questions you asked, just hoped you found something useful in my answer (or Eyries).
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#422397 - 09/18/09 12:37 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Prizewriter]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<<I also found the "offering" of the hand a bit strange something I definately would not do in a month of Sundays in a real situation.>>

For what it's worth:

Last Tuesday in my new dojo we were shown six (of many more) ways to respond to the "offered hand".

Uke "offered the hand" as a punch to nage's mid section.

In a single line the class took turns, each person against the rest in order, using as many of the six as we could remember. Some were inventive. Great good practice

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#422398 - 09/18/09 01:46 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: iaibear]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
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Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 913
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Thank you all for explaining the reasons behind the techniques that I need answers for

I see more involvement in the techniques and the "slowness" of the Uke's techniques is namely for safety as with the correct breakfall techniques when Nage throws Uke
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#422409 - 09/18/09 09:33 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Dobbersky]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Originally Posted By: Dobbersky
Thank you all for explaining the reasons behind the techniques that I need answers for

I see more involvement in the techniques and the "slowness" of the Uke's techniques is namely for safety as with the correct breakfall techniques when Nage throws Uke
Actually, not really. In Aikido, as it is in jujitsu, uke plays the more important role, which is to help nage learn. Uke provides nage with myriad learning opportunities, commensurate with nage's abilities and skill level.

If as uke, you change the premise of the technique, by changing the attack, or by resisting nage (over and above their level of ability), you deprive nage of a learning opportunity. That opportunity is wasted, and so is the time spent on the mat. Uke learns just as much, if not more, by simply doing their job - taking ukemi. Turn it the other way round... would you appreciate it if uke resisted and changed the attack, and deprived you of the opportunity to learn a new technique?

If, say, it was your first time learning how to put on a choke, and your uke resisted and fought back, or shifted so you couldn't apply it, wouldn't it be a waste of time? More often than not, it becomes a contest of strength, and neither of you learn anything in that encounter - except the truism that the stronger person will always win.

The slowness and highly cooperative nature of training is designed to inculcate correct body mechanics, with little or no effort. All too often, I see people muscling their way thru technique, in an attempt to complete the technique and put uke into the mat. That, to me, defeats the entire purpose of learning correct body mechanics - and how to use the other person's strength and force against themselves.

Which to me, is the entire premise of martial arts and self-defence. It's not designed for people who are already strong. It's to give the weaker person a tactical advantage over another's strength.

Aikido is not a force-on-force paradigm. It's about redirecting force, and outputing just enough force, on very subtle levels of sensitivity. That's why it's done slowly and deliberately. Training safety, is and should be a primary concern in any case, irrespective of what MA you're doing.

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#422410 - 09/18/09 10:14 PM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: eyrie]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Despite the fact that this is largely a showcase demo, I think it pretty much highlights the potential of Aikido application (as in applied technique). Mazhar Al-Dardari is a high ranking aikido teacher in Syria, which by all accounts, is a fairly rough part of the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r8G8ol8ios

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#422415 - 09/19/09 08:22 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: eyrie]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 913
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
I like that video, I can understand it takes years of practice to get to that level but he made it look so fluid as dare I say easy.

OSU (in my school this is a highly respectful response)
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#422424 - 09/20/09 02:02 AM Re: Aikido Styles Question [Re: Dobbersky]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
NP Dobbersky... as long as it made you THINK about things at a deeper level, I feel that I've helped in some way. smile

Skill can only be acquired through correct practice of principles and technique. For some it may take years, and others a lifetime - simply because there are gradations and levels of skills. Which level do you want to shoot for?

That my friend, is the answer... wink

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