Kanji Judo (柔道, jūdō)

Kanji Judo (柔道, jūdō) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next hurdle is to find a class. It could be as simple as finding the closest one, and although that is a consideration, it’s not the only thing to think about.

A bit of history

I started out in a Judo club affiliated to the British Judo Association, this changed to the British Judo Council. As I recall, I was around 9 or 10 when I started and  it was the only club in town! I was subjectedto heavy peer pressure to go to Karate instead, which was more fashionable – possibly due to a film released around that time!

I sat in on one class that a friend went to. After watching 45 minutes of a room full of people doing push-ups, shouting and punching the air, I walked out content that I had the better deal.

I had reached 3rd Kyu before giving up due to academic pressure and picking up some injuries. At University, I decided to continue my study of Judo. When I got to the Fresher’s Fayre there was not a Judo club in sight. Just a Ju Jitsu club. I decided to give it a go. It was fantastic – I loved it. I made loads of friends, had great times on and off the mat. We competed in regional judo competitions and leagues, but the highlight of the year was the annual Jitsu Judo nationals, where I twice won a silver medal for gatame-waza or grappling.

I hope to find a club that offers the same amount of spirit, encouragement, enthusiasm and fellowship.

Research

I did a quick search for Aikido in the United Kingdom. The National Governing Body is the British Aikido Board (BAB). There are a staggering number of styles and associations registered with the BAB. To be honest I wouldn’t know one style of Aikido from another. That is except for the Yoshinkan style. I was familiar with this from reading Robert Twigger’s book “Angry White Pyjamas”. In addition there were also Ki, Tomiki, Iwama as well as those claiming just “Traditional” as a style. Each of these styles has a listing on that well known bluffer’s reference – Wikipedia which was useful as a quick guide to what’s what. I won’t do a cut and paste number in the following piece but a quick summary of the differences as I see them. As I said before, I am less than a novice at Aikido and am open to being correcte

d via blog comments. Any constructive input is greatly appreciated.

O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido founder

  • Yoshinkan Aikido – A hard style of Aikido as taught to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Public Order Unit.
  • Ki Aikido – correctly called Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, it  means “Aikido with mind and body unified”. The style includes has specific teaching methods for the development of mind and body coordination and ki (or life force).
  • Tomiki Aikido – This style is also known as Shodokan Aikido. It emphasises free-form sparring than most other styles of Aikido and because it makes regular use of competitions, it is sometimes referred to as “Sport Aikido”
  • Iwama Aikido – This is the style of Aikido taught by the founder, Morihei Ueshiba.

The Decision

I have to say that something appeals from all the styles. I suspect that from reading Twigger’s book, the Yoshinkan style would be closest to the Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu style I enjoyed while at University. When I looked at the clubs in reasonable travelling distance, Iwama and Ki were the only ones I could find through the BAB. The idea of getting my Ki sorted out really appeals to me at the moment and its unlikely I would be taking part in any Tomiki competitions soon.

Ki Aikido looks like the best fit. Now, on to the next hurdle – Which club?

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