Today, there are a variety of Aikido styles that are practised by millions of students around the world. And, with a little research and practise, you'll soon find out which of these you are most suited to...
depending on your individual preferences!
The better known styles, all have a headquarters dojo in Japan with a very large international following.
The 1st generation style is Aikikai, which is associated with the family tradition of the founder aikido Master Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei. The 2nd generation styles were founded by direct students of the founder.
A number of other styles have been developed over time, some of which have a historical lineage back to O'Sensei, and others that trace back to a wide variety of other Aiki arts.
The Aikikai has remained centered on the family of Morihei Ueshiba, and is currently headed by the founder's grandson, Moriteru Ueshiba.
The earliest 2nd generation independent styles of Aikido are...
The emergence of these Aikido styles came before the founder's death and did not cause any major upheavals, with the exception of Shodokan Aikido, which caused some controversy as it introduced a unique rule-based competition that some felt was contrary to the spirit of Aikido.
After Ueshiba's death, additional styles of Aikido emerged...
An event that caused significant controversy was the departure of the Aikikai Honbu Dojo's chief instructor Koichi Tohei, in 1974. He left as a result of a disagreement with the son of the founder, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, who at that time headed the Aikikai. The disagreement was over the proper role of ki development in regular training.
A number of additional styles of Aikido developed over time...
Shin'ei Taido is a style closely related to aikido, founded in 1956 by Noriaki Inoue, a nephew and pre-war student of Morihei Ueshiba.
Tendoryu Aikido, founded by Kenji Shimizu in 1982. Founded the "Shimizu Dojo" in 1969, renamed Tendokan in 1975.
Kokikai Aikido International, founded in 1986 by Shuji Maruyama.
Fugakukai International Association, founded in 1982, has roots in the Shodokan style, but without the competition element.
Yoshokai, founded by Takashi Kushida in 1991.
Aikido Yuishinkai International, founded by Koretoshi Maruyama in 1996.
Keijutsukai Aikido, founded by Thomas H. Makiyama, and officially established in February 1980, in Tokyo.
The above Aikido styles can trace their lineage through senior students back to the aikido founder.
Two further well known martial arts use the name aikido but do not have this direct connection. They are Korindo Aikido founded by Minoru Hirai, and Nihon Goshin Aikido founded by Shodo Morita.
These schools, with some historical justification, suggest that the name aikido is not the exclusive domain of arts derived from Morihei Ueshiba.
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Well, as you can see from the above, it is a rather confusing affair. I think, the main problem is that Morihei Ueshiba taught many different ways of practising the art of Aikido. Right from hard brutal, effective techniques all the way through to soft flowing beautiful techniques.
The students of the founder, who developed 'their own preferences' could not keep it all together. So, it appears that the focus of training was reduced to a particular way of practising.
There is nothing wrong with this, it was very
difficult to emulate the founder as he was an enigma, a physical and
spiritual giant among men.
Which of the aikido styles you choose comes down to...
What is Your preference?
That is the way You should practise!
If you want a hard, practical, Aikido style, then... Yoshinkan, or Iwama are great. If you want a soft flowing spiritual style of Aikido, then Aikikai is for you. If you want to look more closely at energy then Ki Aikido will do it.
The main thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong, all have good and not so good aspects to their Aikido styles.
Personally, I have studied Aikido Yoshinkan for over 25 years. But I have included many of the soft flowing techniques of Aikikai with an emphasis on developing the energy movement of Ki Aikido. I have also made a detailed study of the Aiki principles, that make techniques work.
You see, I have made a study of dozens of spiritual and healing paths, before I even came to the study of Aikido. Among them are...
chi kung, yoga, meditation, chanting, shamanism, Eckankar,
Rosicrucians, acupressure, reflexology, energy and muscle balancing,
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