I'm not an Aikido expert, but I've got a few years off and on in a number of schools. My Aikido experience is primarily with Iwama style, but I did a little Yoshinkan many years ago. It was right after the Hapkido school I'd been with for 5 years closed and I had moved cross country, which is kind of relevant for context.
Interesting videos.The Yoshinkan, like other lines such as Iwama or Shodokan, was started by a student of Morihei Ueshiba and remained independent from the main branch. It was thus not affected by Ueshiba's son's technical reforms which simplified the techniques and made them more "flowy".
Yoshinkan folks train with physical resistance and their kata are very strict, with an emphasis on proper positioning, structure and leverage. It's one of the best methods to understand the basic idea and principles behind the techniques which make up aikido's jujutsu arsenal. Gozo Shioda (the founder of Yoshinkan)'s book "Total aikido" is in my opinion THE reference book for basic techniques, for all styles. And some of the top Yoshinkan guys can do very cool stuff.
Ah also, Shioda's grandson Masahiro is a skilled and passionate young aikidoka who might one day become very influential within the school and conducts interesting research:
If that sounds like something you'd like, go for it.
What are your reasons for learning Aikido? Regardless of the Ryu it's basically still the same basic locks & principles. If it was me I would look at Tomiki Aikido. Much more interesting with a good Judo influence in there. They also have competition randori.
That video may not be the best example The problem is that live sparring looks sloppy in general, and somehow even more for aikido under this ruleset. And this was the final of a sports tournament so competitors played it "safe" (think how some boxers may stall with a point lead). Here are some highlights:I’ll be honest, if this is a typical example of Tomiki aikido competition, I find myself uninterested by it. I would not spend my limited training time on something like that.
That is somewhat more interesting to watch, but still not anything I am interested in.That video may not be the best example The problem is that live sparring looks sloppy in general, and somehow even more for aikido under this ruleset. And this was the final of a sports tournament so competitors played it "safe" (think how some boxers may stall with a point lead). Here are some highlights:
As mentioned, depends on your goals. If you're interested in applying aikido in live environments, the Tomiki style is the only one that does sparring (randori in other lines is more like dynamic drilling and quite compliant). Kata-wise, they are quite similar to Yoshinkan.