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  1. Jieze is offline

    Featherweight

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    26

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 9:09am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Aberdeen Banyu Hatten Aikido Club

    Introduction:

    I have been attending classes at Aberdeen Banyu Hatten Aikido Club for around eight months now and have thus far thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and the company. The class is opened, overseen and in some cases, taught, by the lead instructor, Mike Haft sensei (2nd Dan) and occasionally visited by Geoff Flather sensei (7th Dan.)

    A Normal Class:

    A normal class will begin with the standard ettiquite (Bowing etc. and any important details that need to be addressed) followed by a light warm up session. When I say light warm up session, I mean light. There are no conditionining exercises, simply a short jog, sidestep then run around the mat followed by some stretching and then hand exercises and Ki exercises. The hand and Ki exercises are basically small exercises designed to teach you basic principles which will come in useful early on. They can be very confusing to beginners, but a more experienced student is usually assigned to newcomers to assist.

    After some rolling practice, instruction will begin. The students are seperated into groups according to grades and assigned an assistant instructor. This allows the bulk of the teaching to be done by the assistant instructors and allows the lead instructor to oversee and go from group to group, offering help when needed. This system allows everyone to receive tuition, with the exception of the assistant instructors of course.

    The class is held on a mat in the the middle of a large sports hall. This gives us plenty of space but also has its drawbacks. Most noticably, the noise level. We can share the hall with a football match, another Martial Arts class and two badminton games simultaenously. This can sometimes cause issues with concentration and even hearing instructions.

    Aliveness:

    There is no sparring in the most obvious sense of the word (I.e: Two people are pitted against each other and are allowed to use any technique that they know of against each other) but all techniques are obviously attempted with a receiving partner (reffered to as uke) Partners are switched often to give everyone experience with opponents of various sizes.

    Occasionally, harassment tests are given. Essentially, the student receives punching attacks from a group of senior students and must utilize any of the moves on his or her syllabus to stop the attacker. This provides a rare insight into how the student reacts under pressure.

    Equipment:

    Mats are laid out at the start of every class. Equipment such as weapons are brought by some of the more senior members and the instructors and shared out around the class. The weapons are seldom in high demand as usually only a small part of the class will require them. Protective equipment etc. is not necessary.

    Size:

    We have about an eighth of the hall to ourselves, this allows 15+ students to train easily, with room for expansion if the need arises in the future.

    Instructor/Student Ratio:

    Because the class is relatively small (usually around 12 non-instructors) this allows for groups of four to be taught by an assistant instructor each whilst the lead instructor can oversee. Good ratio.

    Atmosphere:

    A fairly relaxed attitude is taken to the classes though obviously safety is taken seriously. Chatting about non-aiki related topics is not common during class, though discussions about other Martial Arts are and can be distracting. Friendships amongst students are quickly formed, especially during club evenings out (To a restaurant or bar etc.)

    Striking:

    Not applicable.

    Grappling:

    I wouldn't exactly call most of the techniques 'grappling' though a better word escapes me. I will simply say that the techniques are a lot more fluid than seen in some grappling arts and allow you to maintain balance.

    Weapons:

    Weapons are part of the syllabus for higher ranks. Having not yet reached these ranks, I cannot comment on this, though our teacher sometimes teaches a little Iaido to those interested and only on Thursdays.

    Additional Information:
    • Classes cost 6 per lesson (5 for the unemployed/students)
    • Children are welcome, depending on age (enquire on the forum)
    • For more information, check the website.
    Please note that the pictures are from a Club grading, at a different location.

    Review done using this template, and this as inspiration.
    Thank you to Petter and PSanderson.

    Addtional Notice:

    Just a few additions to the above review, striking is also taught though the reviewer hasn't been present when it has been.

    In reference to aliveness, again, the reviewer hasn't been present when advanced levels of training has been done, there is plenty of aliveness but with defined roles of attacker and defender as is in keeping with the nature of the art. We do occasionally do some sparring in the more traditinal sense but it is not a regular feature of training.
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    Last edited by Jieze; 6/19/2007 12:19pm at .
  2. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,964

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 10:29am


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Is this a review or an advertisement?
  3. Jieze is offline

    Featherweight

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    26

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 10:32am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It would be hard to give an honest review without advertising the Dojo.
  4. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,964

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 10:40am


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If you were to read some of the good reviews around here -- like this one -- you'd see that even a largely positive review consists of more than just saying how awesome it is and what distinguished instructors there are. What's the training like? What about all the numerical criteria that usually go with reviews? What are the cons? -- no school is perfect.
  5. Jieze is offline

    Featherweight

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    26

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 10:46am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ah right, then perhaps I'm not in the best position to offer such a comprehensive review, I'll admit that even though I have attended the club for some time now, there are many other students in much better positions who could offer much more insightful posts.

    I apologise, I thought this was more of a list of Dojos, despite the title.
    Last edited by Jieze; 6/10/2007 10:52am at .
  6. Jieze is offline

    Featherweight

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    26

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 12:35pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Review updated, please share your thoughts.
  7. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,964

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 3:57pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Looks much more like a review! I can't really say much because I'm hardly a connaisseur of Bullshido reviews (if I thought I were qualified I might review my own dojo...), but it looks good to me (although your discussion on grappling seems a bit redundant -- that's what aikido is compared to most grappling arts).

    I'm curious, though -- what are these "ki exercises" you speak of? What about the assistant instructors -- when do they get instruction?
  8. chaosexmachina is offline
    chaosexmachina's Avatar

    Unexpected Elbow

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    4,450

    Posted On:
    6/10/2007 6:15pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: MMA/Pankration

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think we should 'banyu' for doing aikido! J/K you're alright.
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall." - Mitch Hedberg

    El Guapo says dance!
  9. Jieze is offline

    Featherweight

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    26

    Posted On:
    6/11/2007 7:34am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The assistant instructors receive instruction on Thursdays, when the class is much smaller, or sometimes on Mondays when minimal supervision is needed for the rest of the students. All of the assistant instructors also attend the University part of the Club.

    As for Ki exercises, GIYF.

    Feel free to message me if you have any more queries: kabalmaster@talk21.com.
    Last edited by Jieze; 6/11/2007 10:59am at .
  10. s558 is offline

    Featherweight

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    16

    Posted On:
    6/15/2007 7:04pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Aikido Kendo Iaido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just a few additions to the above review, striking is also taught though the reviewer hasn't been present when it has been.

    In reference to aliveness, again, the reviewer hasn't been present when advanced levels of training has been done, there is plenty of aliveness but with defined roles of attacker and defender as is in keeping with the nature of the art. We do occasionally do some sparring in the more traditinal sense but it is not a regular feature of training.
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