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John Bevard
09-02-2009, 04:01 PM
I am ready (I hope) to begin this new path with aikido. There seems to be only one dojo nearby, about 25 miles, in Gainesville, Florida.

http://www.aikidoofgainesville.com/index.html

I would like to know if any of you have experience with this dojo or the kind of vibe you get. Out of respect for the school, please keep any negative or "don't go!" comments to a pm.

Thank you for your help.

crbateman
09-02-2009, 05:38 PM
Let's see... 25 miles from Gainesville? That would put you maybe in Ocala? Yeah, I think Gainesville would be the closest school I have heard of. Huffman Sensei has a good pedigree. I know there is also a Butokukan (Todd Jones/Doc Walker connections) school at the University of Florida, but you probably have to be a UF student or faculty to participate. I'll ask around down here and see if anybody knows of any other perhaps lesser-known option for you.

John Bevard
09-02-2009, 07:25 PM
I'm actually in Reddick, halfway between Gainesville and Ocala. I've seen the groups at UF, and you do have to be student or faculty to attend (even my alumnus status doesn't cut it).

Huffman Sensei does seem to have a decent "resume," so I may be contacting him shortly. Thank you for the help.

Chuck Clark
09-02-2009, 08:27 PM
Try Ken Nin Dojo, a Jiyushinkai dojo located in Gainesville.
Contact stevenbonett@bellsouth.net for info. They're a good group to train with.

Best regards,

crbateman
09-02-2009, 08:41 PM
Try Ken Nin Dojo, a Jiyushinkai dojo located in Gainesville.
Contact stevenbonett@bellsouth.net for info. They're a good group to train with.

Best regards,Ah, Sensei... I didn't know your group was up there...

Yes, John, you should check this school out as well. If Clark Sensei gives it his endorsement, that's good enough for just about anybody.

Larry Feldman
09-03-2009, 11:48 AM
If you use the dojo finder you will find a Kodokai Dojo, which I believe is former Ki Society (a personal bias).

The three alternatives all have relatively highly ranked instructors, go see them all - choice is good!

Jason Morgan
09-04-2009, 11:21 AM
I have been training under Sensei Huffman for a bit over two years now, my previous background having been four years in Judo with some exposure to some ineffective Aikido-esque wristlocks through a martial arts club on the ship I served on in the Navy.

Sensei Huffman's techniques are quite strong and effective. He emphasizes proper use of body mechanics and effectiveness of technique. The Aikido that he teaches is not the Hombu style, he teaches Iwama style for the basics and later on Nishio style to the more advanced students. He has studied under both Morihiro Saito Sensei and Shoji Nishio Sensei, both of whom were students of Osensei. He also teaches weapons including jo, bokken, iaido, and recently some bo work from his karate days.

He has dan rankings in Aikido, two different forms of Iaido, and Okinawan Kempo Kobudo Karate (with training in Okinawa) which you can read about at aikidoofgainesville.com.

The classes tend to be small, I have had a few where it was just the two of us. I am a larger guy (5'11",230 lbs) and I rarely have problems throwing people with the techniques, but what really impressed me is that when using them against someone much larger than myself (6'4" 300lbs) they still worked just as effectively and with no more effort than throwing someone smaller.

He has his UTC schedule on his website, but if you are a Santa Fe College student he teaches a free club there on Mon, Weds, and Fri from 3:30 to 5:30.

Let me know if you have any other questions about Sensei Huffman.

John Bevard
09-05-2009, 08:42 AM
I thank you, Jason, and all else who pitched in. I have contacted Huffman Sensei and received a response. It looks like I may be observing as early as the 6th. It seems that Sensei's schedule is the best for me, so I will have to focus on that aspect for now.

Again, I thank you all for your time. For now, I will place one hand over my eyes and take that first step . . .

Jason Morgan
09-06-2009, 07:38 AM
Don't step blindly you might trip and fall.