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?
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"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.