Do Aikido Styles Cause Schism in Aikido Teaching?

Do Aikido Styles Destroy the One True Teaching?

Most people aren’t aware that there are Aikido Styles. This is because most schools are removed from any politics, and because of the overriding intention of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. There are, however, several Aikido Styles, and they can be traced easily.

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The Gentle touch of Aikido

aikido kung fuWhen O Sensei was young, like many young men, he trained with an eye towards combat and reality. The fact that he could defeat an armed military officer, without using a sword, backs this theory up. During those years the training was so rugged that the floors of the dojo would give way, this is supported by tales of the legendary ‘Hell dojo.’

The first Aikido style to branch off from O sensei’s teachings was  the Yoseikan. Yoseikan was founded by Minoru Mochizuki, who was a live in student of Morihei Ueshiba. The style was expanded into a more combative type of mode, including such arts as Karate and Judo.

The Next Aikido style to diverge from the official Aikido of O Sensei was Yoshinkan. Yopshinkan was founded by Shioda Gozo. Master Shioda was a uchi deshi, a live in aikido student, who became a tenth dan.

The third art to diverge from the main school was the Shodokan. This was begun by Kenji Tomiki, and there was actually some consternation and concern when this split occurred. This style proposed and advocated the use of competitions as a valid training method.

The fourth, and possibly the most important school to split from the main school was the Ki Society, founded by Koichi Tohei. This split occurred because of a difference of opinion between the founder’s son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, and Master Tohei. The main reason for the divergence involved opinions as to how ki should be used, its important to training, and so on.

There are many other styles of Aikido to have split off over the years. This includes such martial arts as Iwama Ryu, Kobayashi Aikido, and so on. Still, in spite of all differences, the Aikido taught by Morihei Ueshiba has remained at the forefront.

The teaching of O Sensei is one of love and harmony, so in spite of any differences, the various schools have remained on good terms. The people who founded these other schools were on good terms with Morihei Ueshiba, one of whom was a nephew. Thus, the message of this marvelous martial art goes on, and the various Aikido Styles, in spite of all differences, are one.

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