Which of the Aikido Styles Are You Most Attracted To?

Today, there are a variety of Aikido styles that are studied 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...

what do you want from your training?

Best known styles have head dojo in Japan with a 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.

Many other styles have been developed over time that 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...

  • Yoseikan Aikido - founded by Minoru Mochizuki in 1931.

  • Manseikan Aikido - founded by Kanshu Sunadomari in 1954.

  • Yoshinkan Aikido - founded by Gozo Shioda in 1955.
  • Shodokan Aikido - founded by Kenji Tomiki in 1967.

The emergence of Aikido styles came before the founder's death and did not cause a major upheavals, with the exception of Kenji Tomiki's Shodokan, which caused some controversy as it introduced a unique rule-based competition that some felt was contrary to aikido spirit.

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 Kisshomaru Ueshiba, who headed the Aikikai. The disagreement was over the proper role of ki in training.

A number of additional styles of Aikido developed over time...

Shin'ei Taido is an aikibudo 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.

Aikido styles trace their lineage through senior students back to the 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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Have You Chosen One
of the Aikido Styles Yet?

Well, as you can see, its a rather confusing affair. The main problem is that Morihei Ueshiba taught many different ways of practicing Aikido. Right from hard, effective techniques all the way through to soft flowing beautiful one's.

The founders students, developed 'their own preferences' could not keep it all together. So, the focus of training was reduced to a particular way of practicing.

There is nothing wrong with this, it was very difficult to emulate and copy 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 practice!

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 30 years. But I have included many of the soft flowing techniques of Aikikai with an emphasis on developing the energy flow of Ki Aikido.

I made a detailed study of the Aiki principles, that make techniques work. I also 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, Rosicrucian, acupressure, reflexology, energy and muscle balancing, etc.

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