The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yoshinkan Aikido Videos

Sensei Strange over at KyuRyu AikiBudo has been coming up with good video after good video. I thought I should do my part as well.

Yoshinkan Aikido has been criticized as being stiff and rigid. I disagree. This is an artifact of the teaching method, not of the art itself. The same criticism has been leveled at those who practice the Wu Taijiquan square form. It's a teaching method, not the art.

At one time I studied Yoshinkan Aikido under Takashi Kushida Sensei. I can't find any videos of Kushida Sensei, other than a couple of very short ones of him demonstrating very basic techniques on his organization's website.

Here are a couple of videoes of Joe Thambu Sensei, a very capable Yoshinkan Aikido teacher:

Stiff and robotic? I think not. How about razor sharp?

Another notable name associated with Yoshinkan Aikido is Toshishiro Obata. Like Kushida Sensei, he was an uchideschi to Yoshinkan founder Gozo Shioda. He also was a Kenshuu student (Kenshuu is an advanced training course) under Kushida Sensei. Obata's current martial arts practice has moved his aikido closer to Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, and places a lot of emphasis on sword practice.

I hoped you enjoyed the videos as much as I enjoyed finding them.


Sensei Strange said...

I appreciate the nod. We are working hard to take a new hard look at budo. We are not showing off, we are merely trying to figure it out.

The yoshinkan stuff is cool. Like all martial systems I have a lengthy list of critical evaluations and observations. It might make a blog sometime soon.

'Razor sharp' is an interesting evaluation. They do have a nice demonstration and presentation style. I would not call them soft or internal artists by any stretch. They employ great amounts of pain and power on opponents weak angles. Powerful - yes.

I want to see them in randori.

fencer said...

Hi Rick,

I really enjoyed the Thambu Sensei videos. He is just so erect and present. I love that move of his both with jo tori and against the tanto leaping right past the weapon and into the face and centre of uke.


Rick said...

Ont he other hand, a lot of what passes for "soft" is just flaccid.

I'll keep an eye out for randori videos by folks other than the very top level guys. It's kind of hard to relate to a guy like Gozo Shioda.