Jackie Oshiro: Aikido

For my CIP I decided to find an aikido dojo. I’ve practiced aikido at home in Hawaii since I was nine, so it felt only right to continue my practice in Japan where aikido was founded. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was for it to feel so different.

Of course there was a difference in style, which took some getting used to, but I was surprised that even the beginners were already really used to that style. Back at home, the beginners generally take a while to get used to the movements and move pretty awkwardly for a while, but here, it’s obvious that the first thing that beginners learn how to do is to move according to the style’s logic. I think that’s a really good way to teach and I’ll probably start incorporate it when I go back to teaching the children’s class at home. I think, though, that this difference comes from the fact that in Japan people tend to appreciate instructions a lot more than in America and tend to deviate less from what they’re told despite the initial uncomfortableness of the movement.

Another thing I noticed that was different, which maybe has more to do with this specific situation than with differences between aikido in Japan and America, is that at my Kyoto dojo, the main sensei is female, which has seemed to attract proportionately more women than normal aikido classes. Truly, there are far more women in my classes here than any other classes I’ve been to with male head instructors. Despite that, however, the class dynamic is no different. There are still people who I prefer practicing with, people who are too gentle, and people who are too rough. Although I previously ascribed rough practice to males, I have found here that in a female-dominated situation, the women have filled that role.

My experience with Aikido Kyoto has been nothing but positive, and I will definitely be keeping with it next semester as well.

2 thoughts on “Jackie Oshiro: Aikido

  1. 大城さん、CIPでの学びを共有してくれてありがとうございました。日本のお稽古で生徒は、先生がやることをちゃんと観察して、先生がやる通りにやるから、たとえ初心者でも、型が身に付いているというのは、本当に面白い観察だと思います。この法則は、合気道だけではなく、日本の「〜道」と名のつくもの全てに当てはまります。まずは、型から。アメリカは正反対で、型より個性や自己表現が重視される文化ですよね。大城さんのブログを読んで、大城さんがCIPでよく観察していたことが分かります。来学期も引き続き頑張ってください!またブログを楽しみにしてます!

    • コメントありがとうございました!本当に面白いと思います。でも、そのことのせいで、間違えた時私は初心者より下手そうです!先生が分かりますが、ちょっとまだ恥ずかしいです。でも、それはもっと練習することの理由ですね。