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#426264 - 04/01/10 01:57 PM Best Aikido?
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Hello all

Have you ever studied with different teachers? Have you ever studied more than one style of Aikido? If so, what has been the "best" Aikido class you have been to, and why?

My first Sensei was a tough guy. Use to work as a door man in a bar as a part time job. He was a physically strong guy too (use to bodybuild). He had great skill though.

His attendance was infrequent at class. His deputy was a good teacher, but he struggled to teach a class by himself that sometimes had 15+ students in it .

As a result, there were a lot of bad habits I was getting into that weren't being picked up on. When the head guy came down, he would chew us out about where we were going wrong. We wouldn't see him again for about 6 weeks or so, so we found it hard to correct our faults.

The next teacher I went to was a nice guy. Softly spoken, small stature. Great skill though. The class was ok, but as it was a new class there wasn't a high number of experienced students to work with. It was only a stop gap class for me though.

Eventually I was lucky enough to study at a university club. Lucky because a the teacher was a local guy had went out to Japan and studied directly under Sensei Tetsuro Nariyama, 8th dan and Head of the JAA. Sensei Nariyama was also a student of Kenji Tomiki.

This guy had studied Aikido prior to moving to Japan, but going out there took it to the next level (in his words). He gained his Sandan while out there.

He returned home for a while and I was lucky enough to get instruction from him. His understanding of traditional Japanese methods and modern understanding of human body mechanics was outstanding. On one occasion he showed me two corrections in the space of a few minutes that transformed movement and made it 1000 times more powerful. Great teacher. He moved back to Japan after a while though (he was only on a sabbatical from JAA HQ).

All of the above styles were Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido, BTW.

What about you lot?
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#426294 - 04/02/10 04:30 PM Re: Best Aikido? [Re: Prizewriter]
iaibear Offline

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
Hello all
Have you ever studied with different teachers? Have you ever studied more than one style of Aikido? If so, what has been the "best" Aikido class you have been to, and why?
What about you lot?

Three dojo, three sensei, all standard Japanese based Aikido
1) Taught the tests so even his high turnover students could learn something
2) Demonstrated variations. Students had to figure it out and "teach themselves"
3) Teaches basic moves and how to use them and/or respond to them.

I enjoyed all three.
1) for instant satisfaction
2) Nice dedicated people and it was better than Taibo
3) I feel I am finally learning something about Aikido.

Edited by iaibear (04/02/10 04:38 PM)

#426394 - 04/08/10 08:32 AM Re: Best Aikido? [Re: iaibear]
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Washington, DC
The original question reminds me of how I used to come home all bruised up from an aikido session, and my boyfriend would ask how class went. He never got a real answer, I was always noncommittal. It wasn't that I didn't want to tell him anything about it, it was just that how I felt about one class or one teacher really wasn't important. I had signed up for a long process, knowing that I would like some of it and really hate some of it, but that my own feelings didn't apply. In fact, my own feelings were my own worst enemy. The goal was to be able to take anything that was thrown at me with calm and fortitude.

And so I would say that any sensei that holds true to the path is a "good sensei". They have to do a lot of things that you won't like or appreciate at the time, but looking back later it will make sense. It's up to the student to trust the process.

#426396 - 04/08/10 09:08 AM Re: Best Aikido? [Re: Kathryn]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
it was just that how I felt about one class or one teacher really wasn't important. I had signed up for a long process

So many more people would have success in martial arts, if they kept this in mind. Good job.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#426410 - 04/08/10 02:04 PM Re: Best Aikido? [Re: Prizewriter]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Prizewriter:

I never studied Aikido sufficently that I would call it "formal study" in the art. Those which I encountered and occasionally explored were at the hands of meaningful Experts.

Harvey Konigsberg, Omega Institute.
Yukio Utada, Philadelphia
Fumio Toyota, Chicago
Akira Tohei, Chicago

The one constant between these very different individuals and their respective Aiki flavorings was their tangible joy of teaching. None was dour, angry, or militant in their presentation. And while not a comedy club by any means, the practices were quite serious and while having the dangerous edge to them, control was very much in place.

Like their "te" cousins, nobody got hurt because everyone was actively in control and knew the dangers of carelessness or inappropriate demeaner.

For me, I appreciated that the dignity of the art was very much intact without once resorting to unfortunate mysticism. Dignity and serious but without militancy seems a good approach IMHO.


#426922 - 05/03/10 09:52 PM Re: Best Aikido? [Re: Ronin1966]
DojoScore Offline

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 3
It has been said by some that Systema is the best Aikido around. wink
DojoScore Martial Arts Directory

#427234 - 05/17/10 11:26 PM Re: Best Aikido? [Re: DojoScore]
kangaroo Offline

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 11
I trained under USAF at one time, AAA and currently AWA as well as been to seminars with Kobayashi Shihan had taught and others organizations.

In fact i find differences even with in the same organizations on how techniques are taught and performed. Including ones that cover some prewar techniques not practiced by most Aikido practitioners today. I have taken away something from all them did I think some where better than others yes but overall what is the best is going to be a preference.


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