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Diane878
01-23-2008, 11:16 AM
Hi! I've always wanted to learn Aikido, but I wanted to finish my schooling first. I have a couple more months and then I'm done.

I've never taken an Aikido class before, so I am completely fresh.

I'm looking to learn from someone who is 7th Dan or higher and am willing to invest 1 to 2 years full time anywhere in the world.

Where do you suggest I train and who would I contact about getting the training?

ChS_23
01-23-2008, 11:45 AM
I'm looking to learn from someone who is 7th Dan or higher and am willing to invest 1 to 2 years full time anywhere in the world.

To get the first 111 "7th Dan or higher" look her:
http://www.aikidofaq.com/cgi-bin/sensei.pl/Search?search=&paint=on&f%3A1=Rank&e%3A1=%3E%3D+x&v%3A1=7

If that's not enough I have at least one more (not listed) who is the sensei of my dojo-cho.

Ask if they have an ushi-deshi program.

---

The rest of the answer to your question will hopefully be done by someone else :D

Viele Gre
Christian Schnarr

Keith R Lee
01-23-2008, 12:00 PM
http://www.aikiweb.com/links/browselinks.php?c=7

Diane878
01-23-2008, 12:53 PM
Are there recommended dojos where I can train fulltime, and possibly live while training?

Joseph Madden
01-23-2008, 01:25 PM
Diane,
If you have the time and money available, the Honbu dojo of the Yoshinkan offers a senshusei course that will take you to instructor level in one year. Go to www.yoshinakn.net for info. Tokyo is a beautiful city and the teachers are some of the best in the world. But then again, I'm prejudiced.

Diane878
01-23-2008, 01:38 PM
Diane,
If you have the time and money available, the Honbu dojo of the Yoshinkan offers a senshusei course that will take you to instructor level in one year. Go to www.yoshinakn.net for info. Tokyo is a beautiful city and the teachers are some of the best in the world. But then again, I'm prejudiced.

I have the time but not necessarily the money (I'll have ~$3500 to spend available at the end of my schooling)

mathewjgano
01-23-2008, 01:40 PM
Are there recommended dojos where I can train fulltime, and possibly live while training?

I'm not sure what region you're interested in visiting, but my dojo essentially has an uchideshi position. I'm not sure if there is room for another shrine assistant or not, but at Tsubaki America Jinja the shrine assistants do train in Aikido, and so far as I know, tend to live in the kaikan as well.
I imagine it's not exactly the same as most other Aikido uchideshi positions in that it's a Shinto shrine, but from what I understand (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) it's pretty similar in nature.
Take care.

Diane878
01-23-2008, 01:53 PM
I'm not sure what region you're interested in visiting, but my dojo essentially has an uchideshi position. I'm not sure if there is room for another shrine assistant or not, but at Tsubaki America Jinja the shrine assistants do train in Aikido, and so far as I know, tend to live in the kaikan as well.
I imagine it's not exactly the same as most other Aikido uchideshi positions in that it's a Shinto shrine, but from what I understand (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) it's pretty similar in nature.
Take care.

Who would I contact about the possibility of a shrine assistant opening? Is there a fee to train, live, and eat, or is all that provided in exchange for work?

mathewjgano
01-23-2008, 02:27 PM
Who would I contact about the possibility of a shrine assistant opening? Is there a fee to train, live, and eat, or is all that provided in exchange for work?
I think somewhere on aikiweb there is an ad that was posted (maybe a year or two ago?), but you can visit the web page. Sensei Barrish is the Kannushi.
http://www.tsubakishrine.com/
...I'm not sure about the details though, sorry.
Good luck and Gambatte.

lbb
01-23-2008, 03:13 PM
Are you quite sure you want to make such a substantial commitment when you have yet to step onto the mat? Maybe you want to pick up a copy of "Angry White Pyjamas" first. It's not that wanting to study aikido full-time is a bad idea, but I think that making a substantial commitment to something you have no experience in is like buying a lottery ticket: it's pretty much a matter of chance as to whether it will work out or just be money (and time) down the drain).

Diane878
01-23-2008, 03:17 PM
Are you quite sure you want to make such a substantial commitment when you have yet to step onto the mat? Maybe you want to pick up a copy of "Angry White Pyjamas" first. It's not that wanting to study aikido full-time is a bad idea, but I think that making a substantial commitment to something you have no experience in is like buying a lottery ticket: it's pretty much a matter of chance as to whether it will work out or just be money (and time) down the drain).

I have researched Aikido for about 2 years. I want to learn from the best and dedicate myself to learning it. I'd prefer to learn outside of North American where I can be around another culture while I learn Aikido.

crbateman
01-23-2008, 03:34 PM
Diane, I am sure you will get many excellent recommendations. One suggestion that I would like to make is that you contact Pat Hendricks Sensei at Aikido of San Leandro (http://www.aikido-sanleandro.com/) (CA). In addition to having her own well-regarded uchideschi program, she has participated in the Iwama, Japan uchideshi programs of Morihiro and Hitohiro Saito Sensei for many years. Hendricks Sensei is a wonderful technician and person, and if you are serious about this undertaking (and it certainly sounds like you are), I know she would be only too happy to offer valuable insights into your options, and help you any way she can, as she has walked this very path herself.

ChS_23
01-23-2008, 06:02 PM
the Honbu dojo of the Yoshinkan offers a senshusei course that will take you to instructor level in one year.
http://www.yoshinkan.net/images/_pdf/Senshusei%20Information%20Package.pdf
I'll have ~$3500 to spend available
lol
One suggestion that I would like to make is that you contact Pat Hendricks Sensei
http://www.aikido-sanleandro.com/info.html#uchideshi
I'll have ~$3500 to spend available
lol

odudog
01-23-2008, 06:59 PM
I would recommend that you first find out what type of Aikido you would like to practice before setting of on this endeavor. Type meaning major style {Aikikai, Iwama, Yoshinkan,etc...} then flavor within the major style. Each sensei has his/her own flavor. You might end up at a place that is very soft for a long time just to find out in the end you would like to practice a hard version. Practicing long hours everyday is very taxing and will be especially so for someone who hasn't step foot on the mat.

Diane878
01-23-2008, 09:34 PM
I would recommend that you first find out what type of Aikido you would like to practice before setting of on this endeavor. Type meaning major style {Aikikai, Iwama, Yoshinkan,etc...} then flavor within the major style. Each sensei has his/her own flavor. You might end up at a place that is very soft for a long time just to find out in the end you would like to practice a hard version. Practicing long hours everyday is very taxing and will be especially so for someone who hasn't step foot on the mat.

I am interested in Aikido Yoshinkan. Because I will only have around $3500 I am willing to travel and train in a country other than American and Japan.

Joe Bowen
01-24-2008, 05:45 AM
Diane,

It is an admirable ambition to dedicate your life to aikido. I don't know from your posts how old you are nor what type of life experiences you have had to date. Uchideshi programs cost money and invariably the money for the programs come for the uchideshi themselves. Unfortunately in today's world $3500 will not get you very far.

I will also echo what several other folks have recommended here, that you "check out" a class or too before you jump head first of the high dive. While what form of aikido you study is not necessarily a life or death decision, if you are moving to another country on somebody else's dime, you will invariably incur a type of obligation to them and you could be putting yourself in a compromising situation.

While living in South Korea, I had the opportunity to train in Zen Meditation with some Buddhist monks at a temple just south of Taejon. After the meditation there was a Dharma talk and the opportunity to question the abbot of the temple about anything and everything. Most folks asked about specific problems in their lives and one women in particular asked the monk about problems she was experiencing while trying to meditate because people she owed money too would continually hound her to pay them back. The abbot's response was,"why are you meditating? If you owe these people money, get a job and pay them what you owe them,
then, meditate".

The moral of the story leads me to my final advice to you: You need a method or means to obtain some form of income. If you're really interested in living overseas, check out English teaching programs. There are multiple programs at private institutes as well as overseas educational institutions. This will enable you to live abroad and experience some very nice aikido, while making some money.

One more tidbit, many uchideshi programs have recommendation requirements, meaning that someone, usually an aikido someone, has to vouch for you before you are able to be an uchideshi. This would be very hard if you have not trained anywhere beforehand.

So, all told, I encourage you to shoot for the moon and your uchideshi dream with a 7th dan Aikido instructor, but please do it intelligently and with an eye for a bit of self-reliance.

As the great swordsman Musashi Miyamoto wrote, "Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not rely on them".

AsimHanif
01-24-2008, 06:34 AM
Hi Diane.
You might want to contact NY Aikikai.

Randy Sexton
01-24-2008, 07:44 AM
What I sense here is a plan for disaster. Being "fresh" means I have NO experience in Aikido whatsoever. Wanting to learn from a high ranking sensei (7th Dan) is great but the truth is you will learn from EVERYONE in the dojo and the sensei personal rank is more a thing of your pride than their true value as an instructor. The truth is the sensei instructs and you and your fellow students practice with each other with his guidance and watchful eye. A great deal of your instruction will come from students higher ranking than you (Sempai) and the lower ranking Dan members. The lower ranking Dan students can often be the best source of one-on-one instruction and training for your first years in Aikido. Higher Dan ranking does not necessarily correlate with teaching ability.
High ranking Dan sensei will instruct you personally at times but the overall design of the dojo is to have the lower ranking Dan instructors gain experience in teaching by instructing the Kyu ranks and assuming a sense of responsibility for their growth.
I would recommend finding a good job in your career field you are training for and find a dojo near where you WANT to live, train in Aikido with a local instructor and then if you want to train with other sensei you have some experience. You will learn from other sensei through seminars, reading, the internet, and books. Seminars are one of the great things in Aikido. You can learn from the "Greats" and still support your local dojo. Stop being "fresh" and get sweaty.
IMHO Doc:cool:

Ron Tisdale
01-24-2008, 08:19 AM
I would NOT recommend generally that a person fresh to aikido join the Senshusei course. Just my opinion.

There are 7th dan and higher instructors from the yoshinkan tradition in NA...Utada Sensei, Kimeda Sensei, Kushida Sensei (ex yoshinkan), and non japanese instructors as well (Payet Sensei, Mustard Sensei, Parker Shihan, etc).

Utada Sensei has a house next to the dojo where students often live for extended periods of time, and I'm sure these other instructors have similar arrangements on occation. Personally, I recommend you try one of these arrangements first, then look to going to Japan later, if you still feel the same way.

But some unusual people can dive right in, and I don't know you at all.

Best,
Ron

Mato-san
01-24-2008, 08:33 AM
well put Ron

Mato-san
01-24-2008, 08:38 AM
Senshusei course at this time is a touchy subject... would love to go there but i wish to stay away from it.... if you like being dominated ..go for it!

charyuop
01-24-2008, 09:51 AM
http://www.yoshinkan.net/images/_pdf/Senshusei%20Information%20Package.pdf

lol

http://www.aikido-sanleandro.com/info.html#uchideshi

lol

I might be wrong, but these are not Uchideshi. A Uchideshi is someone who lives and trains with his Sensei 24 hours a day (O Sensei was famous for waking up in the middle of the night and attacking his Uchideshi to check their awareness). A Uchideshi also protect his Sensei (well, probably nowadays no longer need for that). A Uchideshi doesn't really have a personal life. For sure no other job, no school or no training in any other job... I am not sure about sentimental life.
For what I consider to be an Uchideshi the 2 above offers are far far away from being a real Uchideshi system. Above all the one in San Leandro which will charge for everything, even the night classes. Those are schools that offer regular teaching but in addition can give you a place where to sleep at a cheaper rate than sleeping in a rental place.
This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't call those "systems" Uchideshi, but after all as Saotome Shihan said more than once, nowadays it makes no sense of speaking of a Uchideshi System.

lbb
01-24-2008, 11:16 AM
I have researched Aikido for about 2 years. I want to learn from the best and dedicate myself to learning it. I'd prefer to learn outside of North American where I can be around another culture while I learn Aikido.

Understood. I don't want to discourage you, but I do want to encourage you to get some knowledge of aikido that isn't abstract before making this kind of commitment. This is because most people who try out aikido, or any martial art, find that it isn't for them. They may practice enthusiastically for a few months, but look at who's still around and training in a year. Answer: not very many. A lot of people come in the dojo door following some idea they've gotten about martial arts training. When they experience the reality, and realize that you don't "get there", you just keep on training day after day and year after year, most lose interest fairly quickly. I'm not criticizing these people, just pointing out that martial arts is a minority taste, and you simply cannot know that it is to your taste through any amount of research, or by any method other than spending some time on the mat. Dedicating yourself to a path in which you have no experience is like buying a used car that you've never seen -- if ditching it six months from now isn't going to bother you, then go right ahead, but otherwise best look more closely and carefully before you leap.

As for learning from the best...I always wonder when beginners say this. I want to learn to play tennis, and I've never picked up a racket -- should I seek out lessons from Roger Federer? That seems pointless, and maybe a little bit presumptuous. He's the greatest tennis player in the world, and I'm a rank beginner -- why would anyone think that I needed his instruction to learn tennis, or could benefit from it?

Ideally, you would like to learn from the best teacher of beginners -- which is not necessarily someone holding a certain dan ranking. But even that's a bit much. The outcome of a learning experience depends at least as much on your quality as a student as it does on the teacher, and there are many senseis who are plenty good enough to teach a beginner everything that that beginner is capable of learning at that time.

mathewjgano
01-24-2008, 11:38 AM
I have researched Aikido for about 2 years. I want to learn from the best and dedicate myself to learning it. I'd prefer to learn outside of North American where I can be around another culture while I learn Aikido.

I just want to echo the idea that being an uchi-deshi can be pretty demanding. I haven't had any real experience with it, but I get the sense it can be a full-time job with little to no pay sometimes. It's particularly hard if you have no experience, I think too. Still, it's certainly not unheard of.
As far as spending such a large sum of money is concerned, don't overlook the idea of investing it somehow. 2 Years of off-mat study probably can't give you a very deep impression...you may want to train in it locally for a little while and get a base understanding before dedicating so much of your time.
I don't know your particular situation so I'm mostly speaking for how I'd act; based on what little I know. I've known folks who've done it right after school like you describe and it seems to have been a good experience, but I think you need to be sure you get a real good sense of the commitment involved. The idea sounds pretty adventurous to me, though it demands a great deal of trust for potentially moving so far away. "Buyer beware," always.

Diane878
01-24-2008, 01:17 PM
Can someone provide me a list of dojos that have 24/7 programs where you can work/live/train? I'd like to train outside of America in an English speaking dojo.

Bronson
01-24-2008, 02:00 PM
If you tell us where you currently or plan to live, someone can probably recommend a dojo close by for you to visit. Heck, you may live just around the corner from one of the Aikido greats ;)

Bronson

Pauliina Lievonen
01-24-2008, 02:10 PM
I don't think such a list exists, so it's a question of asking around I think.

Here's one in Switzerland: http://www.aikidomontreux.com/EN_uchideshi.html

My teacher's teacher's dojo in Liverpool has enough classes to fill a week nicely, though you'd have to find a place to stay yourself since the dojo doesn't have live-in space: http://www.komyokan.aikido.co.uk/timetable.html

kvaak
Pauliina

Will Prusner
01-24-2008, 02:11 PM
an English speaking dojo.

I find this somewhat humorous... but i'm not sure why...:freaky:

grondahl
01-24-2008, 02:26 PM
Check out Aikido Nippon Kan in Denver, they have a well documented uchideshi-system.

justin
01-24-2008, 02:42 PM
may i ask why you are seeking out 7th dans not that i have anything against them before someone points that out, just there are so many great instructors out there 1,2,3,4 who might fit the bill better for you.

Diane878
01-24-2008, 04:33 PM
may i ask why you are seeking out 7th dans not that i have anything against them before someone points that out, just there are so many great instructors out there 1,2,3,4 who might fit the bill better for you.

I'm interested in learning from the best and I take the assumption that 7th through 10th dans tend to be better at teaching than 1st through 4th.

Bronson
01-24-2008, 05:04 PM
I'm interested in learning from the best and I take the assumption that 7th through 10th dans tend to be better at teaching than 1st through 4th.

That assumption is, in my opinion, flawed.

Just because someone is a high level practitioner doesn't mean they are a high level teacher. And just because someone has a reputation as a good teacher doesn't mean (s)he will be the best teacher for you. The teacher/student relationship in a martial art setting is something rather unique for westerners. It can be very personal and challenging. It is worth the time to find the teacher that you can connect with and learn the best from. And in general dan ranking has very little to do with that.

To quote an earlier post:
As for learning from the best...I always wonder when beginners say this. I want to learn to play tennis, and I've never picked up a racket -- should I seek out lessons from Roger Federer? That seems pointless, and maybe a little bit presumptuous. He's the greatest tennis player in the world, and I'm a rank beginner -- why would anyone think that I needed his instruction to learn tennis, or could benefit from it?

Bronson

roadster
01-25-2008, 03:01 AM
Ah, another plug for the Uchi Deshi blog. :D

http://uchi-deshi.blogspot.com/

Joe Bowen
01-25-2008, 06:49 AM
Diane,

Not to seem rude or anything but I think you are not really paying attention to what folks are taking the time to write for your benefit. An Uchideshi program is not something you can just look up in the yellow pages. If you had looked at the Aikido of San Leandro Website you would see that a) an uchideshi does not receive any payment for the work that they do at the dojo b) an uchideshi must pay for the privilege of being an uchideshi and living and training in the dojo and c) a recommendation from an aikido instructor is required to participate in the uchideshi program. Given your $3500, you would only be able to participate in this particular program for a maximum of 6 months which would include your monthly fee of $500, your $100 registration fee, your $200 gift to the dojo leaving you with $200 for food for the 6 months. Not a pretty picture. Not to mention the fact that you don't have a recommendation from anyone to even get into the program.
While I have not been an uchideshi, no uchideshi program that I am aware of takes folks that just walk in off the street.
The Aikido of San Leandro is just one example of an uchideshi program but I'll wager that it is a good model to give you a general idea of what you'll need to participate in any uchideshi program.
To serve as you internet "jimminy cricket" let's take an overseas example of an uchideshi program in Japan, with an aikido dojo run by an 8th dan Aikikai, Kobayashi Dojos. General expenses:


Fees:
A trainee needs to pay for his/her own expenses. Expenses include transportation, meals, the fee for living in the dojo, training fees, and any other expenses for personal needs.
Transportation expense includes both travels to and from Japan, and in Japan: metro (subway), busses, trains, etc.
Meals include both the food that a trainee buys to him/herself and the meals that the trainee participates (for example, a trainee must pay his/her share of dojo breakfasts on Friday mornings).
Lodging fee and instruction fee must be paid to Kobayashi Dojo in cash monthly. It covers the use of dojo materials and equipment.
A trainee must pay the training fees to those dojos other than Kobayashi Dojo for extra training sessions. For example, if he/she visits Hombu dojo for an extra training while participating the live-in training program at Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, he/she must pay a visitor fee to Hombu dojo. Moreover, a trainee must pay his/her expenses if he/she attends any Aikido seminars and camps.
A trainee can use the dojo computers with Internet connection when it is agreed with the person in charge at the dojo.
The fees at Aikido Kobayashi Dojo:

Lodging fee: 30,000 yen per month
Instruction fee: 10,000 yen per month

Qualification requirements:
1.Those who wish to become live-in trainees should talk to the shihan or other person in charge of any dojo affiliated with Aikido Kobayashi Dojo or one of the overseas aikido organizations which has instructional ties to it. After making initial contact through this person, the approval of the head of Aikido Kobayashi Dojo is required prior to beginning training.
2.Live-in trainees must provide a letter of recommendation from the shihan or head instructor of their aikido organization, and will also be required to sign a contract outlining the rules and responsibilities of live-in training.
3.Live-in trainees must obtain a guarantor. In the event that the trainee causes a traffic accident, he/she and the guarantor will share responsibility for whatever liability is incurred.
4.Aikido Kobayashi Dojo must be informed of the date or period of intended training prior to the trainees arrival.
5.Trainees should be behave at all times in the awareness and with a sense of pride in being live-in trainees, and should be diligent in their aikido practice.
6.Trainees must strive to understand well and respect the customs and routines of life in a dojo.
7.As a trainee of Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, one must try to be on good terms with other members of the dojo, and refrain from doing anything that might bother or create a sense of mistrust among other members or residents of the neighborhood of the dojo.
8.Trainees may not be absent from a scheduled practice without first giving a reason. In cases of an anticipated absence, one should contact the head of the dojo or one of the instructors beforehand to explain the situation.
9.Trainees must contact the head of the dojo (Dojo-cho) or one of the instructors prior to spending a night away from the dojo.
10.Trainees should pay the instruction and lodging fees for their training prior to the starting date of their period of training.
11.In the event that a trainee wishes to test for a promotion of dan or kyu rank while at Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, he or she must first obtain the permission of the shihan or other person in charge of the aikido organization to which they belong.
12.As space to store personal belongings is limited at the dojo and Kumegawa Lodge, live-in trainees should be prepared to make do with only their most necessary possession for the period of their stay.

Note: 40,000 yen = $372; cost of living in Tokyo is high and plane tickets to Japan are around $1,000-2,000.

So, please listen to what is being said [written] and find a job, and join a dojo, then pursue your dream intelligently. I'm not pointing these things out to discourage you but to help you make an informed decision.

stuarttheobald
01-25-2008, 09:43 AM
The fact that you seem to be totally ignoring the advice given here screams to me that you will find it quite hard to be a full time student.

The humility and steepness of the learning curve, even for part time students, is high. Stepping into an Uchidehsi role without having sampled it before will be very difficult.

I will echo what has been said a dozen times already, try it first at a local club. No amount of research will prepare you for what it is like and the demands it puts on you physically, and more importantly mentally.

Ron Tisdale
01-25-2008, 10:15 AM
Gianluigi is technically quite correct. The Senshusei course approximates the uchideshi experience, but it does not meet the full requirements that a traditional definition of that experience would entail. I do think that in these modern times, it does give a pretty fair approximation, and it is definately more difficult than your average aikido training.

Speaking of the strict definition, most of the people who claim to be uchideshi to Ueshiba since the war would not meet the strict definition themselves.

Best,
Ron

I might be wrong, but these are not Uchideshi. A Uchideshi is someone who lives and trains with his Sensei 24 hours a day (O Sensei was famous for waking up in the middle of the night and attacking his Uchideshi to check their awareness). A Uchideshi also protect his Sensei (well, probably nowadays no longer need for that). A Uchideshi doesn't really have a personal life. For sure no other job, no school or no training in any other job... I am not sure about sentimental life.
For what I consider to be an Uchideshi the 2 above offers are far far away from being a real Uchideshi system. Above all the one in San Leandro which will charge for everything, even the night classes. Those are schools that offer regular teaching but in addition can give you a place where to sleep at a cheaper rate than sleeping in a rental place.
This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't call those "systems" Uchideshi, but after all as Saotome Shihan said more than once, nowadays it makes no sense of speaking of a Uchideshi System.

Larry Cuvin
01-25-2008, 01:33 PM
Hi Diane,
Please do your self a big favor and get some mat experience. Also be realistic on your goal and assess what you have and what might it take to get to your goal. Think of some "what if" scenarios like changing style after not liking what you got into. Or, what if I get injured and have to stop for a while. I know that you have the time but you have to have resources as well. Good luck.

Larry

Pierre Kewcharoen
01-25-2008, 02:13 PM
Somebody's been watching too many kungfu movies. Get some experience first before making a huge jump like this. If you are dedicated as you say you are, you would have at least learned to speak japanese or at least the language of the country that you plan to go to. Im sorry to be putting down someone but this is comical almost to the point of sounding like a fake poster.

First steps should be take a class and experience it firsthand. After a few years then decide if you want to fully commit.

If you decide that you want to commit and find a higher rank teacher, you should do your own research and find the person that you want to learn from. What their background is or you might find someone who claim that they are 15th dan and can shoot invisible ki balls at people.

Typically you don't have the luxury of having a school out of the country be required to speak english to you. If your going to japan be prepared to learn japanese. If you going to france you better learn french etc.

If you plan to travel, you are gonna need more money than 3k. Remember places like Japan, the Japanese Yen is worth more money than american dollars. You are better off traveling there through a program like JET whre you can teach japanese kids english. At least you have a place to stay and are paid.

mathewjgano
01-25-2008, 02:48 PM
If you plan to travel, you are gonna need more money than 3k. Remember places like Japan, the Japanese Yen is worth more money than american dollars. You are better off traveling there through a program like JET whre you can teach japanese kids english. At least you have a place to stay and are paid.

Good advice! I'm assuming by saying, "school," University was the meaning in which case the JET program would be a great way to go to Japan. My wife was in the program for 2 years (which is how I was able to experience the Himeji Shodokan club). It varies from region to region, but generally speaking you get paid well and have plenty of free time to do other things like train in Aikido, etc.
Plus, if Diane is largely looking to travel and be immersed in a new environment, that might be a great way to kill two birds with one stone...something to consider at any rate.
Take care.

cserrit
01-25-2008, 05:51 PM
Diane,

Not to seem rude or anything but I think you are not really paying attention to what folks are taking the time to write for your benefit.

I agree. If advice is asked, then an attempt to head the advice is needed. I know it is difficult to read/listen to advice that goes against what I assume to be "the best aikidoka you want to be."

Think about what would happen if you immersed yourself in a program (in another country) that you knew very little about and then had a serious personality conflict with one of it members or maybe even the sensei...You might be stuck and have to use what limited income you had left to return home or move to another dojo to start over.

Check out all the leads and trust your own eyes and ears as to what is best for you. Everyone on this site is wonderful at giving advice and truly want to see you succeed. However, you need to live your own life and learn by your own mistakes and accomplishments. Take it one step at a time and you will get to your final goal.

-C

Sy Labthavikul
01-25-2008, 07:11 PM
Don't many uchideshi programs require a letter of introduction from your current sensei, a sort of recommendation that basically says "this person in front of you isn't insane, won't walk out on the program, is decent at aikido and I sorta like him"?

And for what its worth, I agree with the majority of what everyone is saying in this thread: it just seems a very romantic notion to travel abroad to somewhere exotic and train with some highly ranked exponent of this mysterious and awesome art for a year or so. How do you even know you will enjoy aikido when you start doing it? I personally remember researching Olympic style fencing for 2 or 3 years, watching videos and such, before ever learning it. I was most definitely passionate about it. When I finally did study fencing, I even trained with an Olympic class fencer and also a national champion (two great coaches, lucky me), but after a year of it, I realized fencing just didn't have that appeal to me anymore. Of course, this was AFTER spending several thousand dollars on lessons, equipment, and tournament fees.

Do I regret it? Hell no, it was a wonderful experience and I'm actually using principles of fencing in my aikido (the concept of stop-cutting helps me a LOT with my irimi and preemptive atemi). But what you're proposing is a much huger investment than what I put into fencing, and the risks of disappointment greater.

I mean, would you buy a car before test driving it?

TCSSEC
01-02-2009, 07:59 AM
Noting it has been almost 12 months since the original postings and the issues raised, there is Australia:

Michiharu Mori Sensei, 7th Dan
http://www.yoshinkan.info/index.php?pageID=Sensei

Joe Thambu Sensei 7th Dan, http://www.aikidoshudokan.com/shudokan.htm

Darren Friend Sensei 5th Dan and Peggy Woo Sensei 4th Dan
http://aikido-sydney.com.au/dojo/instructors

... And others in this part of the globe.

good luck!

mwible
01-03-2009, 08:43 PM
Hi! I've always wanted to learn Aikido, but I wanted to finish my schooling first. I have a couple more months and then I'm done.

I've never taken an Aikido class before, so I am completely fresh.

I'm looking to learn from someone who is 7th Dan or higher and am willing to invest 1 to 2 years full time anywhere in the world.

Where do you suggest I train and who would I contact about getting the training?

The head of my organizations is one of the most knowledgable instructor's out there, and studied directly under Tohei sensei and O'Sensei himself.
His name is Roy Y. Suenaka Sensei, and his Hombu dojo is in Charleston, South Carolina. And he currently holds the ranks of 8th dan in both Aikido and Karate-do.
I would highly recomend studying there; i wish i could afford to do the same, haha :p
And his website is at http://www.suenaka.com/

-morgan

jennifer paige smith
01-04-2009, 10:02 AM
Diane, I am sure you will get many excellent recommendations. One suggestion that I would like to make is that you contact Pat Hendricks Sensei at Aikido of San Leandro (http://www.aikido-sanleandro.com/) (CA). In addition to having her own well-regarded uchideschi program, she has participated in the Iwama, Japan uchideshi programs of Morihiro and Hitohiro Saito Sensei for many years. Hendricks Sensei is a wonderful technician and person, and if you are serious about this undertaking (and it certainly sounds like you are), I know she would be only too happy to offer valuable insights into your options, and help you any way she can, as she has walked this very path herself.

On that note, I'd go right to Hitohiro's Dojo in Iwama and experience their uchi-deshi program, which ranges in commitments from weeks to months. His uchi-deshi program is well established.
When you return to the US you could take up residence at Pat Hendrick's dojo and continue in the same tradition.

Pat is a wonderful teacher and a beautiful person. She loved Saito Sensei and he treated her well. It shows through and through!