Researching schools

The Dark Pearl

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Hey all! I was wondering if you could help me with something. I'm currently researching some martial art schools in my area. Unfortunately I was unable to locate any schools in my hometown that taught the styles I'd like to learn. I found a few schools in the same town about 45 miles away from where I live that teach some arts I'm the very interested in.

Autumn Wind Dojo:
http://www.budoarts.com/tahlequah/

Right now, this is the school I'm thinking about joining the most. I heard Aikido is a good martial art to start with.

The next two schools are taught at the Asian Winds Dojo.

The first on is Aikido by Paul Ross:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/a94/98a
He also teaches an art he founded called Tenchi Ryu Aiki Bujutsu.

The second is Aiki-Jitsu of Tahlequah:
http://www.aiki-jitsu.net/
I'm unsure about this school because of its connection to Gary Dill, whom I've read some things about online that question his credibility. I don't know if those alligations are true or not.

There's a place called Kuk Sool Won of Tahlequah, but they have no website.

I would just like to know anybody's take on these places. I'm also interested in Hapkido, Wing Chun, and weapons. Recommendations on any other schools are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks!!
 

jks9199

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Why do you want to learn martial arts? What do you want from your training?

Visit the schools, and ask to observe a class or two. Look at the teaching style, the atmosphere of the class, and the interactions between and among teachers and students. Find out who will be teaching the beginners classes; it's not uncommon (in any art) for a "NAME" to be listed as the head instructor but only teach a few of the most advanced classes.

Then pick the one that's the best fit for you.
 
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The Dark Pearl

The Dark Pearl

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My main reason for wanting to learn martial arts is for self defense and to help boost my confidence. My next reason is that martial arts look interesting to me. There's always something new to learn.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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First school listed : Autumn Wind Dojo

I don't see anything really odd I don't know if the Jodo he learned was seperate from the Aikido I don't know how many and if any Jodo schools are in the U.S.
is a Level 1
Modern Army Combatives
I have no idea what that is.

Second school listed: I don't see anything bad if it is just Aikido.
The Tenchi(Heaven/Earth) Aiki(universal) Bujutsu(martial art) Man thats a mouthful!! He says he created it I have no problem with that if you like it by all means practice in it.

Third school is questionable.

7th Dan SDS Aiki-Jitsu
- Master Black Belt Bojutsu
- 5th Dan Bushido Kempo
- 6th Dan Jeet Kendo
- Shihan Menkyo Teaching License Jeet Kendo
- Black Belt Kobujutsu
- Master Member World Head of Family Soke-ship Council
- Black Belt of the Year for Self-Defense Systems
- WHFSC Hall of Fame (Master Instructor of the Year)
- SDS Shihan Board
- SDS Aiki-Jitsu Board of Directors Member
- Bushido Kempo Board of Directors Member
Aikijutsu is not the same as Aikijujutsu. I have no idea what SDS Aikijutsu is sounds fishy. I think learning Aikijutsu not Aikijujutsu is an advance practice of Daito ryu so it seems odd to just know Aikijutsu.
Bushido Kenpo sounds made up. Jeet Kendo sounds made up. Word head of family soke-ship is a bunch of people who will rank you for money.
Eh so many Americans use the term Soke,Dai Soke I wonder if there is anyone in Japan calling themself a cowboy and dressing up like one.

Dark Pearl I think the first school seems ok second one a little iffy third one smells fishy.
 

MarkBarlow

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Jeet Kendo

Jeet Kendo is a sword system utilizing the Japanese Katana (samurai sword). This system teaches the use of both the Daito (long sword) and the Wakizashi (short sword).

Is this a joke? Jeet Kendo? Is it supposed to be Bruce Lee's kenjutsu system? I assume Gary Dill has some connection with this but regardless of his background, or perhaps because of his background, he should know better than to mix Chinese & Japanese nomenclature.


 

jks9199

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My main reason for wanting to learn martial arts is for self defense and to help boost my confidence. My next reason is that martial arts look interesting to me. There's always something new to learn.
Then aikido may not be your best choice, right away. Aikido has some fantastic principles -- but it can take a long time to get to a level where you can use it dynamically outside the dojo. And, unfortunately, there are some aikido dojos that are rather new-agey and don't have any interest in developing useful skills. There are others that just don't really know how to develop the functional side of the art. Note, please, that there are quite a few that definitely DO still have those skills!

For rapid self defense skills, your best choice is really a self defense class. Some other arts have more rapid ways to acquire functional skills, too. If you poke around MartialTalk a bit, you'll find lots of threads discussing this.

But -- don't let this dissaude you from looking at the schools; unless you're in an environment where you are needing self defense a lot, you probably have plenty of time to develop those skills.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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Jeet Kendo is a sword system utilizing the Japanese Katana (samurai sword). This system teaches the use of both the Daito (long sword) and the Wakizashi (short sword).

I think the correct term is Hyoho Niten Ichi ryu. A school that uses well I will let Wiki tell it:

-ryū is mainly known for the two-swordkatana and wakizashikenjutsu techniques Musashi called Niten Ichi (二天一, "two heavens as one") or Nitō Ichi (二刀一, "two swords as one").
The Hanzi for Jeet is: 截 In Japanese this would be read as setsu meaning to cut off kinda of like intercept hence the term Jeet kun do.

Jeet Kendo sounds like a clever marketing ploy on homophones kundo and kendo and people may get confused.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi,

Not quite Jadecloud, there are many schools that teach long and short swords... in fact, there is no mention there of the use of both at once. For example, Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu teaches Tachi/Katana (long sword), Kodachi (short sword) and Nito (two swords); Kukishinden Ryu teaches Tachi and Kodachi; Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu actually teaches three separate sets of sword kata, a twelve kata set for Daito (long sword), a seven kata set for Shoto (short sword), and then a five kata set for Nito (long and short sword used together).

So mentioning both long and short sword may just mean that it teaches long sword techniques, as well as short sword techniques, not necessarily two sword techniques. But the name used is quite bizarre, to say the least. The long list of ranks, often doubling themselves up (6th Dan Jeet Kendo; Shihan Menkyo Teaching Licence Jeet Kendo etc), combined with changing methods of ranking himself (6th Dan this; Black Belt Master [no grade] that), and the mention of organisations that have been shown to have less-than-high quality requirements for members (not mentioing which, if you know them, you'll know which I'm refering to here...) leaves me with a little doubt, if you understand.

I mean, seriously, "Jeet Kendo"?! Is that for real?! Seriously?!
 

Chris Parker

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No problem. Niten Ichi Ryu may be the most closely associated with Nitojutsu, but it is by no means the only one. The above list is incredibly brief, some other classical systems that teach Nito include: Shingyoto Ryu Kenjutsu, Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Hyoho, and Tendo Ryu Naginatajutsu. Other arts teach (as I believe the system in question here does) the use of long sword as well as the use of short sword, such as: Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage Ryu Kenjutsu (different to Jikishinkage Ryu Naginatajutsu), Shinmuso Hayashizaki Ryu Iaijutsu, and Owari Kan Ryu Sojutsu, obviously amongst many others.

Arts known for their unarmed syllabus also have these weapons in their syllabus, such as Takenouchi Ryu Jujutsu, which is also famous for it's use of short daggers, sword, and bo. And the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, in some branches, teach an approach for defence against Nitojutsu using a single long sword, called Nito Yaburi (two sword breaking). The story goes that when Musashi was developing his Niten Ichi Ryu, he spent time researching and training with Yagyu Hyogonosuke of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, and while developing the Nito aspect, they worked on ways to defeat a two-sword wielding opponent. Rarely taught, but quite interesting to experience.
 

Chris Parker

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By the way, back on topic, I'm going to echo Jadecloud's wariness of the last school you listed. Just had a bit of a look around the website link you gave, and there were a number of things that leapt out at me, not least of all the grades and times listed for them, as well as certain technical aspects (surely Mr Dill should at least have some idea of how to grip a sword at least, yes?). I would look to other organisations for credible study.

That said, the only way for you to find your school is to visit, ask questions (of the instructor, the students, and yourself), and make the decision based on your own experience. In the end, you will be the one spending your time and money at one of these schools or another one, so it has to be the right one for you.
 

Thesemindz

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I wonder if there is anyone in Japan calling themself a cowboy and dressing up like one.

Wonder no more pardner-san.

japcowboy-1.jpg



-Rob
 

Hyper_Shadow

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Just a little tidbit from me mate. Don't judge a school based on opinions, instructors apparent 'credibility' and don't judge a school upon the art itself. Just go to a few places, try a session, don't just observe, feel it, if you don't like it move on. Find something you like through actually experiencing it, don't just observe.

Just go with what feels right for you. If you get a gut instinct for a place then go with it, if martial arts are what you're meant to do in life then your gut will never fail.
 

MarkBarlow

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Just a little tidbit from me mate. Don't judge a school based on opinions, instructors apparent 'credibility' and don't judge a school upon the art itself. Just go to a few places, try a session, don't just observe, feel it, if you don't like it move on. Find something you like through actually experiencing it, don't just observe.

Just go with what feels right for you. If you get a gut instinct for a place then go with it, if martial arts are what you're meant to do in life then your gut will never fail.

I agree about the importance of experiencing a class when choosing a school but sometimes, if it looks like a duck... And as for always trusting your gut, there are a lot of folks with bad tattoos and/or ex-spouses who would disagree with you.
 

Hyper_Shadow

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And as for always trusting your gut, there are a lot of folks with bad tattoos and/or ex-spouses who would disagree with you. Today 10:58 PM

Heh, ya know that's a good point, maybe I just eat too much stuff that gives me gas before I make life changing decisions. But seriously I have to agree with the whole if it looks like a duck. And you know what, I have a tattoo..... and it seriosuly needs to get finished!
 
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The Dark Pearl

The Dark Pearl

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Thanks everyone for you replies!

Then aikido may not be your best choice, right away. Aikido has some fantastic principles -- but it can take a long time to get to a level where you can use it dynamically outside the dojo. And, unfortunately, there are some aikido dojos that are rather new-agey and don't have any interest in developing useful skills. There are others that just don't really know how to develop the functional side of the art. Note, please, that there are quite a few that definitely DO still have those skills!

For rapid self defense skills, your best choice is really a self defense class. Some other arts have more rapid ways to acquire functional skills, too. If you poke around MartialTalk a bit, you'll find lots of threads discussing this.

But -- don't let this dissaude you from looking at the schools; unless you're in an environment where you are needing self defense a lot, you probably have plenty of time to develop those skills.

Well, how long it takes isn't really an issue for me. All martial arts take time. Plus, I'm not in an area where I need to know self-defense just right away. Aikido just looks interesting to me. I plan on trying it first, and if I don't enjoy it, I'll just keep looking until I find a martial art I do enjoy.
 

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