Martial Arts in Taiwan


I love (loved) doing TKD, but I’m just not as flexible as I was in my twenties, and the chances of my ever becoming able to perform a snappy back-roundhouse kick to the head are becoming increasingly slim.
In my university days, I had a friend who was coaching the Aiki-Jujitsu club, and I was very impressed with what I saw. I wonder if anybody has heard of this particular discipline being taught in Taiwan?

Are there any other martial arts disciplines/schools/teachers in Taiwan that you would recommend? Let’s hear the stories…


I’m going to begin training sessions in standard Aikido next week in Nei Hu. Let me know what it was that impressed you in the Aiki-Jujitsu and I let you know if it fits into what I am doing.


You say that you are beginning sessions in standard aikido. Are you the teacher or a student? I liked my friend’s aiki-jujitsu class because of the manipulations, locks and throws that I believe are also central to aikido, but he told me that classic aikido doesn’t teach the “finishing moves” or strikes that aiki-jujitsu does. I wouldn’t consider myself a violent person, but I enjoy the strikes. (Too many years studying TKD, I guess…) I’m interested to know what you’ve got going on in Neihu. Do you think you could provide me with some more details? It would be great if you could post the details on Oriented for the benefit of others that might be interested, but if you’d prefer not to go so public, personal correspondence would also be great.


I do plan to do more posting in Oriented once I get the dojo going. I’m still waiting for my matting (Tatamis) which seem to be taking forever. I am the instructor 3rd Dan. I have been practicing Aikido for about 8 years now. Last year my teacher had a lot of health problems so I took over many of the classes at his dojo in Nei Hu. Finally due to his health, family urgings and the Junior High school where the dojo was located wanted to use the space, he closed down. I’m starting a small dojo in my house, about 5 minutes up the mountain from Nei Hu’s Da Hu Park. It’s about 12 Tatamis in size. Not real big but should be ok for 5-7 people at one time. If it seems that enough people are interested then we’ll think about getting something bigger in the city. When my previous instructor Huang Laosher (5th Dan) gets healthier, he may do some of the classes at my dojo as well.

I teach more standard Aikido, not as much grappling and as violent as the Aiki-jujitsu. Sorry we don’t do a lot of punching, almost none. Most of our punching or kicking (also almost none) is done primarily to off balance or distract not to inflict harm. we do a lot of throwing, joint locking and using the opponents energy against them. Different aikido teachers of course have different styles; some prefer to teach it more like a dance others teach more like meditation and still others teach it quite violently. I like to keep a balance in everything I do, so this would also fall over into the Aikido classes. My philosophy is that even though one of the primarily objectives in Aikido is to control the situation without doing harm and I agree with this, I still feel that it is a Martial Art and we should not forget that. Even though I have never studied with Steven Seagal I like his approach to aikido, which is that it must be usable in real situations. So I try to incorporate this into the classes while still maintaining the traditional values and forms of the art.


Peacewarrior, you speak of “standard” Aikido, a term that at least in Germany unfortunately says nothing, because there are a lot of “schools” (or “dojos”) trying to take advantage of the name “Aikido” while they might teach you nothing else than staring at the wall or singing… (no joke)
In my university days we had a Japanese teacher who held a course for “Tomiki” Aikido - the “sports version” of Aikido, as he said. It was much more interesting than the “standard” course (I heard they would gather sometimes for meditation and “overtone”(?) singing…) and one of the main differences to the (real?) standard Aikido were competitions. So, are you teaching the “Tomiki” school or the “classic” (to give it another name)? And, do you know how popular Tomiki Aikido (if present at all) in Taiwan is? I haven’t got time so far to get into Aikido again, but one day…



Hello Olaf

I guess to be more specific I should say that I teach the Ueshiba Aikido which comes from the original founder Morihei Ueshiba or O’Sensei as he is often refered. Maybe “Standard” Aikido wasn’t the best choice of words but I’m hesitate to refer to it as “Classical” Aikido if that means we are going to have sing during training. Though that might be a good self defense technique, if anyone has ever heard me sing. . I’ve heard of people who teach meditation with Aikido but never singing. I personally value my daily meditations, however I do not incorporate that into the training sessions. I can assits those who are interested by pointing them into the right direction.

I know of Tomiki Aikido, however, I have never heard of it in Taiwan. Not saying it’s not here, only that I am not aware of it. For people who enjoy competing, I think it’s great. I’ve seen videos of it, and it hasn’t done much for me personally.


Peacewarrior, thanks for your explanations. Yes, “Ueshiba” rings a bell. As for the competitions: We only had some simple competitions within our group, but I liked that style because it was much more “interesting” than the things named “classic” or whatever Aikido (probably a problem of naming conventions) that I saw in Germany. I really didn’t like those mystic circles where the teaching guy (no, I wouldn’t call those “Sensei”…) would hold his hand a few centimeters in front of you, cramping it and then urge you to “feel the power streaming”. The guy teaching at our university seriously told us to wipe off the “surplus energy” from our arms and legs and transfer it to something else - a plant for instance. “But you better choose something strong, like a tree, because a small plant might not stand it for long”…
What I really liked with the Tomiki Aikido style was the way energy invested into an attack could be redirected onto the attacker. Of course, that was the idea of Ueshiba already, but it seems that idea got somehow lost in all the different schools claiming to do the only true Aikido…