The Iwama Dojo

Discussion in 'Aikido Resources' started by aikiscotsman, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. aikiscotsman

    aikiscotsman Banned Banned

    Just thought id add this info on my teachers dojo. He has set up a new website in english for people interested in Training there and what iwama aikido is. Im printing this more for the photos of daily life in the founders home to see the sort of training that has always taken place there. hope you enjoy and hope im allowed to print here.
  2. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    NICE !!

    I'm travelling to Hombu Dojo in June of 2006 - Looks like I'll have to visit and train at Iwama as well (lol)

    Steff, Saito Sensei's website mentions about making contact with them directly to arrange provisional approval, I presume therefore I won't need an official letter of introduction from my Shihan, and my IAF handbook will be sufficiant ?
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2005
  3. aikiscotsman

    aikiscotsman Banned Banned

    it can be quite difficult, but if you wrote to sensie and let him know about your plans and about yourself you aiki background, you may be allowed to visit for training. Normally you need to have at least 9 months basic iwama training as it has no connection to what is done in honbu. I dont mean this to be against aikikai, but normally when the honbu guys come to iwama they come expecting to have a great time and some leave in tears totally demorilsed by saito sensie as the iwama people hate honbu aikido, im not saying this will happen to you its just training is very different and more stronger than the hombu dojo, that does not mean that all aikikai schools are weak as i know they are not. Even though we have never met dave im aware your attitude and training are very strong.
    So yes i think you would get in if you where in japan.
    Its kind of contradictive but if you where wanting to travel from the uk striaght to Iwama and wrote directley you would probably be told to train under a recognised Iwama teacher for at least 6-9 months.
    Hope you do go mate it would be a great place to meet up, Iwama is an amazing place. There is an old saying in Aikido , when lost in aiki go back to Iwama. go for it , you can always tell sensei you where talking to stefen miller from scotland dont know if it would matter though.
  4. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Cheers for the reply Steff, :)

    Not wishing to be curt but, I have absolutely no interest in the Iwama vs. Aikikai politics. I greatly respect both the 1st and 2nd Doshu as much as I do Saito (Snr) Sensei and his son Hitohiro but; for varying reasons.

    I have a very open mind concerning 'style' and provided its 'good aikido' I care less where it stems, and of course 'good' meaning my definition and not that of others.

    I will write to Saito Sensei and see what the responce is, and if i'm in a position to travel to Iwama during my 14 days in Japan next year I will do so even if its to take in the abience and splendor of the place.

    Hope to see you at some point either in Japan or the UK.

  5. aikiscotsman

    aikiscotsman Banned Banned

    No i totally agreeave it should be for you and your needs, just trying to explain how some things can be. But it would be great to see you i wil be there from end of march to at least end of sept. Im sure you wil enjoy it, birth place of the basics.
  6. TheCount

    TheCount Happiness is a mindset

    Mm, after I've done some Aikido I'd be very tempted to train there for maybe a weekend and if I enjoy/relish it a longer period of time. Been looking for something like this. Thanks for the link
  7. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Kewl... I forgot to mention also that in April (lol) I'm in San Diego training with Chiba Sensei (My wife is well vexed at the moment lol)

  8. aikiscotsman

    aikiscotsman Banned Banned

    a wife and budo, hard mixture mate.
  9. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    The statement Iwama students hate Aiki kai students really saddens me. Such a sweeping piece of nonsense. I have trained with both Chiba shihan and Saito shihan (elder) I trained with Chiba shihan (for ten years) when he left for America he recommended that I saught instruction from Saito shihan( the elder) :confused: I trained under Saito shihan receiving a teachers scroll in Iwama weapons and both masters spoke highly and with the deepest respect for each other. I have friends in both schools and must say that comments such as these do aikido a great injustice.

    Aikido the way of harmony????
  10. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    It's like anything Bill, you'll always get the political animals spouting off bull$hit about who, when and where, what's important however is that we study, nothing more really matters at the end of the day. Iwama, Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Ki, Tomiki [whatever] who cares.. Keikogi on and study fek the rest I say !!

  11. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    This same fellow has been badmouthing Chiba shihan. Fact Chiba shihan was the first to introduce Iwama sword and stick to Britain. My dojo the makotokai was the first to invite Saito shihan to Scotland with the aid of those good old boys from the hut. Myself and a couple of my students were the first Scots to recieve instructors scrolls from Saito shihan (see photo on website) I have presented aikido demos at the IKET for the past couple of years . This is held in Edinburgh. The aikido taster sessions are always well attended by karateka, judoka and others. EXCEPT for the aikidoka.When I asked why I was told that the aikidoka in Ediburgh do not speak to each other, hence thrir absense. One fellow did approach me saying he was the instructor of a club. When I asked if he was attending the taster session he said that he could not BECAUSE HE HAD A TRAINING SESSION THAT EVENING!!!
    GUYS bin the politics and talk to each other not about each other

    iF ANYONE IS AT THIS YEARS iket TALK TO US Or at least wave we promise to wave back.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2006
  12. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Absolutely right Koyo!
    I have never understood why aikidoka spend so much time trying to knock each other.

    The Bear.
  13. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Aikido, for some, is a peculiar animal in that it provides the means to be the shark in an otherwise goldfish sized bowl. Instructors see their students as material possessions to be shielded and protected from 'outside influences', namely other instructors in the vicinity.

    Gordon Jones Sensei wrote in an article...

    ..Someone said the other day that politics is another word for ego. That's probably the biggest problem we've got: egotistical instructors who believe what they're doing is better than anyone else. And they all want to be the leader.

    Source : United Kingdom Aikikai

    Even in small communities this situation is rife ! I live in a small town and there's three aikido dojo, none of which freely communicate, share mat time or support each other. Each dojo is in a different organisation, doesn't see the providence of the technique from club to club and in two clubs, the instructors aren't welcome at each other's clubs because of personal ill-feeling.

    I host a number of seminars at my dojo each year, I generally ask nationally known instructors to teach (the lowest graded instructor to teach in my club as a guest has been a 4th dan) yet despite invitations being sent to the other clubs in the area they've never once even had the courtesy to "thanks", "kiss my ****" or anything.

    I bumped into a student from one of the other two clubs recently and said that I might pop down to his club one evening to say hello; the response to that was that he would have to check with his instructor, I later got a phone call from the student advising me that his instructor (a shodan) didn't want another dan grade from another association on his mat because he felt this would create confusion for his students, simply because I'm an Aikikai affiliate.

    I recently co-organised a charity fund raising mixed art seminar at the sports centre in Grimsby, we hired the main sports hall to host the event and, despite politely informing the instructor of the aikido dojo using the facility and inviting him and his students to attend a course with three very senior Aikido, Karate and Aikijujutsu instructors, they boycotted the event because we were using "their" dojo (a public sports hall) and hadn't asked the instructor thereof to teach.

    Sad isn't it.


    I just wanted to add another personal sentiment. If I'm totally honest, instructors who want to possess their students, look totally inwards on their training and what is taught, discourage their students from training at other clubs and dojos in the area or, actively prevent it are in my opinion, not worth the effort.

    Olive branches have in one form or another been extended to various instructors at various times and never once has that be reciprocated, I watch these people grading their own students right up to dan grade without any outside guidance or influences and, the quality of those students is ****-poor by any stretch of the imagination. Politics, ego [whatever you want to call it] is stifling and ruining aikido and this has the knock on effect that these blissfully unaware students who get overly graded overly quickly end up being the next generation of instructors who, go on to replicate exactly what was done to them.. Because they know no better.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  14. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I have a friend Gerry Kincaid who is 6th dan Kendo.I told him an anecdote that I heard from Sekiya shihan 6th dan aikido, kashima shinto ryu and katori shinto ryu. He said that if a swordsman engaged in unarmed combat with an unarmed combat exponent and was defeated then the swordsman would have to question his understanding of swordsmanship. Similarly if the exponent of unarmed fighting engaged the swordsman with a sword and was defeated he would have to question his own unarmed abilities.
    The point was that we should approach the art/s as budo and understand that the principles are almost identical. Gerry decide that he wanted to study aikido. When he attacked (unarmed thankfully) if you did not catch him the instant before he kime-ed you caught hold of an immovable object that was routed to the ground. Strangely enough the boys were fighting each other to train with him thinking if you could even unbalance him your aikido was progressing. Then the makotokai visited the kendo club and were placed in armour and set loose against the kendo yudansha who suffered stoically under a rain of blows to everywhere exept the designated targets. Gerry complimeted their spirit. Their technique was a cross between lobsters mating and helicopters crashing. Boyed by these compliments we have become great friends with the kendoka. To me that is what the martial arts are all about. Mutual respect.

  15. Shinkei

    Shinkei Valued Member

    I think that the reason for an instructor taking this stance is a lack of confidence of what they are teaching. I have always had an open mind with my budo practice. My students are free to practice with who they want.

    Many years ago I took up Jujitsu for a while when the senior instructor of the group found out that I was a Sandan at the time and a local instructor of Aikido I was told that I had to make a choice of which art I wanted to study as you could not put all your time into both, HMM novice in Jujitsu 3rd Dan Aikido with a 7th Dan instructor in Aikido, Jodo, Iaido teaching me.

    I am glad to say that I have now made some good friends who teach jujitsu who we hold seminars with from time to time.

    Through having an open mind I have had the pleasure of being taught by T Suzuki Hanshi Wado Ryu Katate. The technique he taught us were Kote Geashi Gyaku Aigamae Ate and Oshi Taoshi (Ikkyo Trad Stylist)

    I studied the Koshinki no kata of Judo under Tsuneko Miyake Judo 7th Dan, Aikido 6th Dan, Jodo 7th Dan National Treasure of Japan.

    I am affriaid that Aikido like all budo systems has split into numerous groups this happens all over the world even in Japan.

    I have my view the good associations normally have had contact with senior Japanese teachers and have technical examination through the dan grade ranks and not stopping at Sandan as many do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2006
  16. XiaoFeiXia

    XiaoFeiXia Valued Member

    if u think internal rivalry is bad with aikido. check up on the bitterness in the Wing Chun clan- they are divided into Ving Tsun, Wing Tsun and Wing Chun with each claiming senoirity and each head claming to be grandmaster of the system. there was even a controversial fight between Emin Boztep and William Cheung. stupid? u got that right. people should just shut up who is better and all work together to further their art, wouldnt that be more productive?
  17. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.


  18. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    EGO... until that is levelled in the people who divide the art, true co-operation (not just the 'appearance' of co-operation) will never really happen. :confused:
  19. David Rubens

    David Rubens Valued Member

    Open hearts and open dojo's

    Can I add something to this topic, and at the same time show my appreciation for two aikido Sensei who I feel have embodied all good things about aikido, and budo.

    Firstly, for Saito Sensei (Snr), who when I finished my training in the Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo in Japan (after four and a half years) welcomed me to Iwama, and never failed to talk respectfully of Shioda Sensei as his Sempai. I spent three months in Iwama, as an uchi-deshi, and have always considered that experience as making a significant contribution to what I am trying to achieve in my aikido training.

    The second Sensei is Koyo, whom many years ago I phoned up one Saturday afternoon, out of the blue, when I found myself in Glasgow, and was invited over to his house, treated as a welcome guest, and spent a wonderful afternoon training aikido with him and his students.

    In my own life, as a business traveller, there is hardly a month that goes past where I have not phoned up an aikido club I have found in the local phone book, and asked if I could train that evening. In fifteen years of this, though there were obviously classes that I enjoyed more than others (the good ones usually consisting of being splattered across the mats for ninety minutes by some sweat-laden Hungarian 260lb brown belt or Lithuanian 2nd Dan farmer - not too sophisticated, but man, effective!) I cannot think of a single occassion where I did not consider the experience worthwhile, and having in some way given me an added insight into aikido.

    In aikido, our own attitude to how we train is reflected in the response we see in our partners. For the most part, if you bow into a dojo expecting to have a good training experience, and to contribute to positive energy in the dojo, then it will probably work out alright.

    Best regards to all,

  20. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Hi David Rubens

    Thank you for your kind words I too enjoyed your visit. Could I ask you to visit the martial arts of aikido threads and add your comments. I am sure they would be most informative. Good to hear from you.


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