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Mark Freeman
08-24-2011, 08:55 AM
So here's the plan...

I am currently trying to work out the feasibility of taking a gap year to 18 months out, to travel the world as a full time aikido dojo bum.

Since discovering Aiki web 5/6 years ago, my eyes have been opened up to the wider world of aikido, all it's different types/styles and the aikidoka who practice. I have long thought it would make a great trip to get out there and meet some of the characters that frequent the forums. As well as find out for myself what each style feels like and has to offer. I know it will be a challenge, a massive learning experience as well as an adventure.

Now, I have loads of questions I need answering, that will help me with planning and most importantly budgeting. As well as questions that relate to etiquette and how to deal with the inevitable issues that might arise from both difference, status, rank etc.

There are many people from these boards that I definitely would like to meet and train with, as well as requests for recommendations of who I should search out in my quest.

A brief overview of my plan is as follows: May 2012 London>New York, buy a cheap campervan and travel in a meandering fashion, seeking out any aikido dojo on my way, dropping in, practicing (if possible) and moving on. I am thinking I may spend around 4/5 months doing this. I know there are plenty of dojos out there. October 2012, Los Angeles > New Zealand, about a month there, before moving onto Australia, some months there, before moving onto the relative inexpensiveness of SE Asia. Of course Japan is on my list in 2013, then possibly China and the long and tricky overland trip back to Europe.

I would like to blog the whole experience, with a view to possibly cobbling together a book at the end of it all, will anyone be interested in reading it?

At this stage all I would like to know what forum members think. I will be 56 when I leave, I will be spending all of my pension money/savings, and will return to start from scratch again (I've done 2 big trips before and swore I wouldn't come back to nothing again, but have found that, I now trust that everything will work out ok in the end, it usually does).

This post is already getting long and I haven't even started asking specific questions. I think the best thing for me to do is to start a new thread to address each question as some may be a bit complex.

I am about 80-90% sure that this will happen, there are a couple of circumstances that might change everything, if they happen they happen and I will change things a necessary.

So some of you reading this, may next year (or the year after) be getting a visit from a wandering Englishman with a camera, a notebook, an open mind, bags of curiosity and dodgy sense of humour.

What do you think? am I mad to do it or mad not to?

Regards

Mark

Marc Abrams
08-24-2011, 08:59 AM
Mark:

My dojo doors are always open. My dojo would even host you to help you get your plans together when you arrive in the US.

Cordially,

Marc Abrams

chillzATL
08-24-2011, 09:01 AM
life is short, live it. If you find yourself Atlanta, Ga, look me up.

Diana Frese
08-24-2011, 09:04 AM
I was just about to write that we might be able to have a dojo space by then or even have the house a bit tidier to invite for tea (my husband is a tea drinker, lots of Lipton tea is consumed) but in any case there are many dojo in this area. In fact, while I was logging in to post, Marc just sent you a reply!

We will be fascinated to read the threads you plan on adding, your blog of your travels, and your eventual book! My husband and I are just now getting back into training and enjoy Aiki Web very much.

gregstec
08-24-2011, 09:08 AM
Great idea, if you can afford it - wish I could join you, but I don't think the wife would let me :)

Anyway, if you get to central PA, look me up - we can train at anytime.

Greg

Mark Freeman
08-24-2011, 09:11 AM
Mark:

My dojo doors are always open. My dojo would even host you to help you get your plans together when you arrive in the US.

Cordially,

Marc Abrams

Hi Marc,

thank you for that kind offer, which may well be taken up, I appreciate it. You personally are one of the people I would like to meet, so thanks again for being the first to offer help.

I will be posting further questions soon.

I look forward to it.

regards,

Mark

RonRagusa
08-24-2011, 09:27 AM
Hi Mark -

Kindly consider including a visit to the Berkshires in your plans. Mary and I would love to have you here as a stop on your journey.

Best,

Ron

lbb
08-24-2011, 09:32 AM
In general, if you've got the funds and the time for it, why not?

In specific, if you've never had a smaller-scale adventure of this type, you might want to try a month's worth of this sort of thing a bit closer to home as a sort of warmup, to refine your travel skills, and also to find if this sort of thing is for you. A lot of people love the idea of travel before they do it, but home has a lot of comforts -- creature comforts, yes, but emotional comforts more importantly -- and many people find it too jarring to leave those comforts for an extended time. It's rare to do a trip like this one without at least occasional moments of uncertainty and loneliness, so it's good to find out what your comfort level is with such things before you buy that camper van.

One pragmatic note: you will need to register any vehicle you purchase, and in almost all states you will also be required to insure it. Check around to find out what the requirements are in various states -- you may find it significantly easier and/or cheaper to do it in a different state than New York.

jimbaker
08-24-2011, 09:34 AM
You're welcomed to stop here in Norfolk, VA, if you find yourself winding down the East coast.
Then again, yesterday we had an earthquake and this weekend we may get hit by a category 3 hurricane named Irene. But in between, it's a lovely place.
Oh, we also have beer.

JIM in Norfok

Mark Freeman
08-24-2011, 10:06 AM
In general, if you've got the funds and the time for it, why not?

In specific, if you've never had a smaller-scale adventure of this type, you might want to try a month's worth of this sort of thing a bit closer to home as a sort of warmup, to refine your travel skills, and also to find if this sort of thing is for you. A lot of people love the idea of travel before they do it, but home has a lot of comforts -- creature comforts, yes, but emotional comforts more importantly -- and many people find it too jarring to leave those comforts for an extended time. It's rare to do a trip like this one without at least occasional moments of uncertainty and loneliness, so it's good to find out what your comfort level is with such things before you buy that camper van.

One pragmatic note: you will need to register any vehicle you purchase, and in almost all states you will also be required to insure it. Check around to find out what the requirements are in various states -- you may find it significantly easier and/or cheaper to do it in a different state than New York.

Hi Mary,

thanks for the sound advice, appreciated. I have in the past travelled by road in the US 1990/91. My wife and I bought a Winnebago Indian and travelled USA, Canada Mexico and Guatemala for just over 18 months with 3 small children in tow, they were 4, 2 and 10 weeks old when we set off. So I am not phased too much by the enormity of it all (I also did London to Capetown in a VW bus, but that is another story)

I am really keen to find out more about the current vehicle/insurance requirements and the benefits of different state purchase. I bought the the winnebago in Florida and had to get a state Driving Licence to be able to insure it. I will post this as a specific question in another thread, as I will also need to know about selling on the West Coast.

Thanks for your response, maybe I'll see you on the trip.

regards,

Mark

tarik
08-24-2011, 10:16 AM
So here's the plan...

So some of you reading this, may next year (or the year after) be getting a visit from a wandering Englishman with a camera, a notebook, an open mind, bags of curiosity and dodgy sense of humour.

What do you think? am I mad to do it or mad not to?


It sounds like a dream that would be worth living.

I love that you did a version this with your small children. My wife and I have discussed the possibility a time or two, particularly if I can work on the road in my current (or a future) job.

Best,

PS - We're a tiny place in CA, but you're certainly welcome to visit.

Mark Freeman
08-24-2011, 10:49 AM
Hi all,

Jason - Atlanta is on my wish route,

Diana - If I find myself in Conn - I'll call so that you can get the kettle on!

Greg - I will almost certainly be passing through PA so will do

Ron - You and Mary are definitely on my people to see list, I'll be in touch.

Jim - Beer is our preferred fluid replacement therapy after practice here in the UK, I look forward to sharing a cold one with you.

Tarik - California is on my places to go list. I will look you up, but maybe you will be on the road yourself (kids are really easy to travel with, if they are young enough, I'm not sure I would attempt it with teenagers though!)

thanks all for the invites, it will make my trip planning easier if I have specific people to see on the way.

regards,

Mark

Eva Antonia
08-24-2011, 11:12 AM
Dear Mark,

if your route comprises Brussels, Baku, Istanbul, Abidjan or Odense, please let me know. I'm training regularly in the first three cities and have aikido friends in the two others, who are all very welcoming.
You could also try the aikido group on www.couchsurfing.org (and you would find some aikiweb acquaintances over there...).

Best regards,

Eva
(currently with a camper van in Istanbul)

Gary Petrison
08-24-2011, 11:47 AM
Why you skip Hawaii?

Nicholas Eschenbruch
08-24-2011, 12:03 PM
Hi Mark,

what a great and courageous plan!

If you feel like coming to Freiburg, Germany, please feel invited and send a pm now or later.

I also recommend you visit Kayla Feder in Berkeley, California, and Patrick Cassidy in Montreux, Switzerland, both very inspiring teachers who have dojos that accommodate uchideshi for any length of time from a day or two to some years. (And both very attractive places to visit, I have been.)

Let me know if I can be of any help in this, now or later.

Nicholas

Richard Stevens
08-24-2011, 12:17 PM
Sounds like a great adventure. I would definitely follow your blog and it sounds like it would make a great book as well.

lbb
08-24-2011, 12:31 PM
Thanks for your response, maybe I'll see you on the trip.

I hope so! I'm in the same general neck of the woods as the other Mary (and Ron), although when you go to drive it, you'll find that it's not a fast drive (scenic as all get-out, though). Give a holler when plans get more solid, you'd be most welcome (and I'll stand you a beverage at the People's Pint)!

Budd
08-24-2011, 12:45 PM
Hi Mark,

If you get an itch to see the sights of the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area (perhaps more the latter than former) then let me know. I am in the throes of putting together a small public class, but otherwise it's just me working out some crazy ideas for an aikido group/style/curriculum.

Best,

FiuzA
08-24-2011, 01:38 PM
Hello Mark,

I would like to blog the whole experience, with a view to possibly cobbling together a book at the end of it all, will anyone be interested in reading it?

I would definitely read both!

Please remember to visit Portugal as well. Even if aikido-wise Portugal may not be world class (at a first impression), sure the rest of it will compensate. ;)

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to ask something about training here.

Cheers!

Michael Hackett
08-24-2011, 01:50 PM
Mark,

If you get to Southern California, we are located in Vista, about 30 minutes north of San Diego and we have a place on the mat for you already and beer in the fridge for after class. Feel free to PM me for specific contact info.

Also, selling a vehicle in California is generally no big deal. The dealers, particularly for an RV will give you the lowest price, so it is advisible to sell to a private party if you have the time and inclination. The buyer will have to get it smog checked before it can be registered in California, and there are many more smog check facilities than there are dojo here.

I'll read the blog and buy the book too.

Janet Rosen
08-24-2011, 02:33 PM
on the road north of San Francisco I'm two hours north in a small town with great food, organic brewpub, small dojo, and guestroom with private bath!

phitruong
08-24-2011, 03:25 PM
was going to say "me too", but realize that we are nobody important, and don't have anything other than free room and board, and aikido beating free of charge. :)

crbateman
08-24-2011, 04:13 PM
Sounds like a grand adventure! As you can already see from the responses here, you will find a wealth of interesting people only too willing to share with you.

I can offer a couple of suggestions: I have found most folks are as curious as you are, but never assume that everybody will want to know how you do it at home. Best to stay humble, smile a lot, and wait for folks to ask before you say too much. Also, make it a rule to offer a mat fee everywhere you go, out of politeness and respect (although you won't get many takers). Always show up showered and with a clean dogi, and keep the nails short. Try to gauge how hard or soft the training is in each dojo, and do your best to emulate. Always thank the seniors and the sensei after you are finished. Keep a journal, and maybe take some photographs (with prior permission, of course).

I know most of this stuff is common sense, but still bears saying. Just try to keep in mind how you would like to be treated by visitors in your own dojo.

Oh, and most importantly... relax and have fun!

DanielR
08-24-2011, 04:25 PM
Well, Mark, since you're flying into NYC... Bond Street Dojo, 214 West 29th street between 7th and 8th ave! The building doesn't allow overnight stays unfortunately, but we can recommend some inexpensive lodging (by Manhattan standards of course...), and will be delighted to practice with you!

Mark Freeman
08-24-2011, 06:29 PM
Hi again all,

thank you for your words of encouragement and offers of practice, places to stay and after practice beers!

I know I will feel bad that I won't get to see everyone who writes, but I will do my best to see as many as I can.

Eva - if all goes to plan I will be coming back overland through Asia to Europe, so I will be in touch, but it may not be for a while.thanks for the link I will check it out.

Gary - I would love to stop off in Hawaii, but I think it does add massively to the cost, I will ask the agent what deals are available, it has always been a desire of mine to surf in Hawaii.

Nicholas - thanks for the recommendations, I will definitely look up Kayla as SF will be part of my route, I'll stay in touch.

Richard - thanks, I have one follower and made a sale already, yay!

Mary - I look forward to that beverage in the Marxist sounding drinking establishment.

Budd - not sure if I will make it up that far, but if I do, I'll be in touch.

Andre - thanks for being the second customer for the book (move over JK Rowling), Portugal may not be on the itinerary for this trip, but I would like to get out there at some point, thanks for the support.

Michael - more beer waiting, I like it. Thanks for the heads up re the smog checks I will probably have more detailed questions for another thread. And another book sale I'm starting to feel like an author!

Janet - I will almost certainly be travelling south down the west coast, so look out for a thristy traveller in need of a shower!

Phi - if I didn't know and love your sense of humour I would think you were being serious. I will do all I can to drop by and take that kindly offered beating from you!:D

Clark - thanks for the sage advice, just what I need. I will post a more detailed question regarding the points you raise in another thread. I may well make it down to Florida just to have a peek at your book collection.

Daniel - thanks for the invite, you may have to be gentle with me as I will be brand new at that point, I'll be in touch nearer the time.

Thanks everyone, I know that if I can pull it off (Phi, there is a lead in for a joke for you, if ever I saw one;) ), it will be an amazing trip and it will be made so by the people I meet and practice with on the way. Sightseeing and places of interest are incidental to the main purpose. I know I will learn so much and make many friends.

I will be posting a few more questions soon.

regards,

Mark

Janet Rosen
08-24-2011, 07:46 PM
Mark in terms of general travel/road info I'm familiar w/ California between Oregon border south to San Francisco, including SF where I lived over 30 yrs - at which point Tarik can probably take over very nicely for the south of SF/central coast area til somebody else picks up as general road guide for SoCal!

oisin bourke
08-24-2011, 08:31 PM
Mark,

I would be more than happy to invite you to Hokkaido for some training and help out with accommodation, but I'm not sure if I'll be here in two years! Anyway, you should consider going to Hokkaido on you itinerary. Apart from the training, you can visit Shirataki village, where Ueshiba started training under Sokaku Takeda. There's still a dojo there and you can visit the Shrine that Ueshiba prayed at! You can also sleep in the dojo. I'd recommend training there for a few days. It's a really special place with a powerful atmosphere.

NagaBaba
08-24-2011, 09:47 PM
Hi Mark,
If you want to visit Montreal, let me know. A travel across North Am. Japan and Australia will be very easy. However Asia is another story. It will be very dangerous going through the South - Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Sooner or later you will surly get kidnapped and possibly killed. Going by north Asia(China and Russia ) is also dangerous and technically difficult. This is different world. I know few friends (experienced travelers) who gave up going this way after few days....

Garth Jones
08-24-2011, 09:52 PM
What a cool idea! If your travels take you near Pittsburgh (south western PA) please stop in for a visit. We can provide beatings (wiht a feeling of kind loving protection, of course), bed and beer.....

Cheers,
Garth

Mark Freeman
08-25-2011, 06:02 AM
Mark in terms of general travel/road info I'm familiar w/ California between Oregon border south to San Francisco, including SF where I lived over 30 yrs - at which point Tarik can probably take over very nicely for the south of SF/central coast area til somebody else picks up as general road guide for SoCal!

Hi Janet,

Many years ago in the 1970's (it seems like another lifetime) I travelled just about the whole length of highway 101 from LA to Seattle. I really loved that road. I also did the same journey on I 5, can't say that I really like that one too much!

I know things change, so I will contact you as and when I know when I'm heading your way.

regards,

Mark
p.s. thanks for the PM

Dazzler
08-25-2011, 06:03 AM
Mark

Yes - you are mad! ;-)

But its your life...and you only get one as far as I know.

Enjoy it...I'll deffo read your blog!

Cheers
D

Mark Freeman
08-25-2011, 06:07 AM
Mark,

I would be more than happy to invite you to Hokkaido for some training and help out with accommodation, but I'm not sure if I'll be here in two years! Anyway, you should consider going to Hokkaido on you itinerary. Apart from the training, you can visit Shirataki village, where Ueshiba started training under Sokaku Takeda. There's still a dojo there and you can visit the Shrine that Ueshiba prayed at! You can also sleep in the dojo. I'd recommend training there for a few days. It's a really special place with a powerful atmosphere.

Hi Oisin,

I hope you are still there, it would be great to practice with you. I will definitely visit the Shrine and hope to get some good practice in there too. I will be in touch nearer the time for recommendations of good teachers to search out whilst in Japan.

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
08-25-2011, 06:11 AM
Mark

Yes - you are mad! ;-)

But its your life...and you only get one as far as I know.

Enjoy it...I'll deffo read your blog!

Cheers
D

Hi Daren,

thanks for that:p

I'll definitely come up and see you before I take off. I will probably need some toughening up to prepare me for what lies ahead:cool:

cheers

Mark

Aviv
08-25-2011, 06:28 AM
Come train with us at one of the nicest dojo in the US.

Dazzler
08-25-2011, 07:17 AM
Hi Daren,

thanks for that:p

I'll definitely come up and see you before I take off. I will probably need some toughening up to prepare me for what lies ahead:cool:

cheers

Mark

ha ha...not sure you'll get that from us Brissle softies...but happy to try.

D

Mark Freeman
08-25-2011, 07:32 AM
Hi Mark,
If you want to visit Montreal, let me know. A travel across North Am. Japan and Australia will be very easy. However Asia is another story. It will be very dangerous going through the South - Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Sooner or later you will surly get kidnapped and possibly killed. Going by north Asia(China and Russia ) is also dangerous and technically difficult. This is different world. I know few friends (experienced travelers) who gave up going this way after few days....

Hi Szczepan,

have you seen what has been happening in the UK recently! I have as much chance of being battered and beaten in London as I have in Russia or China.

I appreciate your warning of caution, I know there are dangerous places and people in the world, however, with a bit of awareness, it is possible to avoid most of them. When I was travelling in the US/Canada with 3 small children, when people heard that we were going to Mexico, many advised us it was dangerous down there and that we were irresponsible to put our kids at risk. They couldn't have been more wrong. We felt safer there, than in the average north american city.

If I get to Montreal, I will look you up, I hope you live in a safe part of the city:)

regards,

Mark

graham christian
08-25-2011, 08:11 AM
Go for it. I will buy the book definitely. I'm sure I'll also recommend it to others I know who haven't had the pleasure of meeting you in this cyber world. So put me down for ten copies in advance.

Regards.G.

tarik
08-25-2011, 10:04 AM
Many years ago in the 1970's (it seems like another lifetime) I travelled just about the whole length of highway 101 from LA to Seattle. I really loved that road. I also did the same journey on I 5, can't say that I really like that one too much!


The smallest (and slowest, and most stunningly scenic, and in some places, quite scary) one to try for a similar route would be Highway 1.

Mark Freeman
08-25-2011, 10:42 AM
Go for it. I will buy the book definitely. I'm sure I'll also recommend it to others I know who haven't had the pleasure of meeting you in this cyber world. So put me down for ten copies in advance.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham,

10 it is then, I'll sign them all (may be worth something in generations to come;) )

I hope to get up to London to see you before I take off, I'll PM you when I know I am coming up there, to find out your training schedule.

regards,

Mark

graham christian
08-25-2011, 11:23 AM
Hi Graham,

10 it is then, I'll sign them all (may be worth something in generations to come;) )

I hope to get up to London to see you before I take off, I'll PM you when I know I am coming up there, to find out your training schedule.

regards,

Mark

Hey, you're welcome. You'll be a much honoured guest.

Regards.G.

Steve Pilling
08-25-2011, 11:57 AM
we are only a small club/dojo but if you would like to visit us in Munich then just send us a mail at aikidomunich@t-online.de. We would be happy to train with you.

Abasan
08-25-2011, 01:34 PM
Hmm reminds me of a thread in couch surfing.. The guy wanted to do a dojo surfing, but he's still not here yet after 2 years. Hopefully you'll one up him...

Janet Rosen
08-25-2011, 01:59 PM
Hmm reminds me of a thread in couch surfing.. The guy wanted to do a dojo surfing, but he's still not here yet after 2 years. Hopefully you'll one up him...

Somewhere there is a dead uke stinking up a dojo....:D

danj
08-25-2011, 07:16 PM
theres a nice network of dojo down the east coast of australia, which is pretty much a backpacker route as well. much to see and do and often a floor to crash on as well

Abasan
08-25-2011, 09:15 PM
Somewhere there is a dead uke stinking up a dojo....:D

Lol... You're pretty morbid. But yeah, he must have gone to Canada and met szczepan.

NagaBaba
08-25-2011, 09:22 PM
Lol... You're pretty morbid. But yeah, he must have gone to Canada and met szczepan.
nah, he would be frozen in this case....
Actually he died because was uninformed, closed mind and didn't have aiki.

jamie yugawa
08-25-2011, 10:07 PM
What a great idea!!!

Should you visit Hawaii please feel free to visit our dojo (Gary goes to the same). If you decide to visit another island we can help you find the other dojos also. We can help provide you with information on places to stay and landmarks to visit.

Hawaii is a great place for Aikido as many first and second generation people are still practicing and teaching here.

Mark Freeman
08-26-2011, 01:38 AM
theres a nice network of dojo down the east coast of australia, which is pretty much a backpacker route as well. much to see and do and often a floor to crash on as well

Hi Daniel,

The Ki Federation of GB has a dojo in Brisbane, so it is definitely on my list of places to go. I will look forward to coming to see you, when I get there.

regards

Mark

Mark Freeman
08-26-2011, 05:45 AM
The smallest (and slowest, and most stunningly scenic, and in some places, quite scary) one to try for a similar route would be Highway 1.

Hi Tarik,

I just checked the atlas, and realise that I was on Highway 1 as well as 101, I agree it is great road for scenery and you don't want to be anywhere fast. I remember sitting for hours, somewhere south of Monterey (I think) while a mudslide was being cleared.

regards,

Mark
p.s. if there are any aikido dojos located on H1 that would be a bonus:)

Michael Hackett
08-26-2011, 09:58 AM
Mark,

Highway 1 runs MOST of the length of California and is also known by various other local names such as "Pacific Coast Highway" and "Coast Highway". There certainly are dojo along Highway 1, or at least just a few blocks away, depending what city or town you're in. Highway 101 is usually a much faster drive and you've already experienced Interstate 5 - a long boring trip in most cases. Parallel to Interstate 5 are Highway 99 and Highway 395. In central California 99 runs through the middle of many cities and towns most of the way, while 395 runs along the eastern edge of California. Both are more scenic and slower than Interstate 5. I make frequent drives the length of California and often take 5 North and 99 South for variety.

tarik
08-26-2011, 10:02 AM
Hi Tarik,

I just checked the atlas, and realise that I was on Highway 1 as well as 101, I agree it is great road for scenery and you don't want to be anywhere fast. I remember sitting for hours, somewhere south of Monterey (I think) while a mudslide was being cleared.

regards,

Mark
p.s. if there are any aikido dojos located on H1 that would be a bonus:)

There are definitely a number of dojo on or close to 1. :-)

My old dojo was (and still is) literally on Highway 1 (known as Misson St. in Santa Cruz). My current dojo is a short ways off of Highway 9, a little mountain highway that branches off of 1 towards San Jose.

Best,

Mark Freeman
08-26-2011, 10:48 AM
There are definitely a number of dojo on or close to 1. :-)

My old dojo was (and still is) literally on Highway 1 (known as Misson St. in Santa Cruz). My current dojo is a short ways off of Highway 9, a little mountain highway that branches off of 1 towards San Jose.

Best,

Hi Tarik,

I've just checked out exactly where you are on the map. It is just down the road from where I stayed for about a month with with some very good friends in Bonny Doon, just off of Pine Flat Rd.

I had some great time on their motorbikes around there, I remember sections of Empire Grade to this day:)

I look forward to being in that part of the world again.

cheers,

Mark

JO
08-26-2011, 08:58 PM
Good luck Mark. This is the kind of trip I would love to do if my priorities allowed.

If you make it as far north as a visit with Szczepan in Montreal, you might as well go a little further and visit us in Quebec City, very possibly the safest city anywhere (as long as you're not trying to drive through a winter snow storm).

graham christian
08-27-2011, 05:10 PM
Mark. How about some potential titles for your book? I'm sure some will have some great ideas.

Hitch-hikers guide to aiki? Well that's my effort, i'm sure there's better.

Regards.G.

Mark Freeman
08-27-2011, 06:44 PM
Mark. How about some potential titles for your book? I'm sure some will have some great ideas.

Hitch-hikers guide to aiki? Well that's my effort, i'm sure there's better.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham,

Interesting that you mention a potential book title, I like the one you suggest, as long as I don't have to hitch-hike the whole way :).

I was, only a few hours ago, sitting on a rock in a shallow stretch of the river Dart up on Dartmoor. It's an absolutely beautiful spot, both banks of the river are lined by Birch, Oak and Sycamore trees. The leaves are just starting to turn to autumn colours, a bit early in the year mind, but what does that matter.

I was sitting looking upstream, with the peat stained water passing by me, it was the colour of well made tea, before the milk is added.
The sound of the water is musical, there are shallow rapids and many small, round granite moss covered stones in the shallows, the different rhythmic sounds the water makes, when it flows over and around these, creates a liquid symphony.

As I sat there immersed in this lovely place, pondering the relationship between the water and the rock. I was looking at, hearing and feeling the harmony of the two different states, liquid and solid.

I have learned through practice that to achieve the mind/body state that is required for aikido to take place, one has to become like both water and like rock, 'simultaneously'. Immovable mind, non-contention, a completely relaxed body, but at the same time, solid body.

So the title that 'floated' into my mind at that point was "Like Water and Rock" - One man's journey into the world of Aikido.

I would love to take suggestions, a free signed copy, to the one that's used:cool:

What I am not clear on yet, is what form the book would take? part diary, part travelogue, part how too manual, part philosophy ? I am not sure yet. I'm not even sure if I can write it at all. It's easy to talk about writing one, it's another to actually do it.

I would be happy to take suggestions, as to what people would be interested to read and what for it should take.

regards,

Mark

graham christian
08-27-2011, 07:37 PM
Hi Mark.
Sounds good to me. My only advice on type or form of book is take the time before now and leaving to practice writing. I'm serious, do a trial run on something you already know. Do it from the view of you finding your own style of writing.

I have done this myself, it's a very interesting experience. It's a bit like Aikido, trying to do it like someone else is not natural.

I have written two books in this way, unpublished, as part of my training. I even printed them out and made covers and my own binding.

The next step I did was make twenty copies of each and handed them out to friends and associates, some who knew the subject concerned and some who never heard of it. Then I waited for the responses.

By the look of what you wrote above I think you have a good poetic style down pat so a few poems thrown in wouldn't hurt.

Just some thoughts.

Regards.G.

Mark Freeman
08-28-2011, 02:17 AM
Hi Mark.
Sounds good to me. My only advice on type or form of book is take the time before now and leaving to practice writing. I'm serious, do a trial run on something you already know. Do it from the view of you finding your own style of writing.

I have done this myself, it's a very interesting experience. It's a bit like Aikido, trying to do it like someone else is not natural.

I have written two books in this way, unpublished, as part of my training. I even printed them out and made covers and my own binding.

The next step I did was make twenty copies of each and handed them out to friends and associates, some who knew the subject concerned and some who never heard of it. Then I waited for the responses.

By the look of what you wrote above I think you have a good poetic style down pat so a few poems thrown in wouldn't hurt.

Just some thoughts.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham,

thanks for the advice, which I know is good. I will probably enrole on a creative writing course just to start getting me focussed on things. The funny thing about writing is, we can all do it, but that doesn't mean we can all be good writers, does it? (a bit like aikido, too?).

If and when I start the whole blogging malarky, I will be inviting comment and criticism, on content, style etc. this will be a way of both practice and discipline.

thanks,

Mark

Janet Rosen
08-28-2011, 12:05 PM
There are definitely a number of dojo on or close to 1. :-)

My old dojo was (and still is) literally on Highway 1 (known as Misson St. in Santa Cruz). My current dojo is a short ways off of Highway 9, a little mountain highway that branches off of 1 towards San Jose.

Best,

My favorite route south out of SF was always 35 (Skyline) down the spine of the coast hills to pick up 9 into Sta Cruz, then pick up 1 if I were continuing further south.

Larry Feldman
08-28-2011, 12:43 PM
Mark - If you are in NYC, it would be a mistake not to stop by Shin Budo Kai and practice with Shizuo Imaizumi. Marc A. is one of his senior students.

If you get to Atlanta, you are welcome to practice with us.

What particular style do you practice now, and is your interest in furthering your study in that, or a broader exposure to other styles - I think that may help you set your itinerary. Great way to see the States.

Larry

Abasan
08-28-2011, 01:38 PM
If you accompany that book with pictures of your travel, it could very well become a hit. Please no dojo group poses though. Candid all the way.

Mark Freeman
08-29-2011, 07:12 AM
Mark - If you are in NYC, it would be a mistake not to stop by Shin Budo Kai and practice with Shizuo Imaizumi. Marc A. is one of his senior students.

If you get to Atlanta, you are welcome to practice with us.

What particular style do you practice now, and is your interest in furthering your study in that, or a broader exposure to other styles - I think that may help you set your itinerary. Great way to see the States.

Larry

Hi Larry,

Marc will possibly be my first meeting on my trip. It would be great to practice with Imaizumi Sensei if I can.

My style for the past 19 years has been ki-aikido as taught by Ken Williams, who was the first brit to learn Aikido in the UK when Kenshiro Abbe started teaching it it in 1955. At some point after Abbe returned to Japan, KW went with Tohei, which is where he learnt his teaching method, then developed from there.

My interest is to explore the wider world of aikido and as many different styles and teachers as I can manage. I know that I will find Ki Society dojos to be the most similar, but I really want to experience it all.

I will be posting a more detailed question in a new thread, regarding this matter.

I will be looking for recommendations of the best teachers I can meet along the way, and I will go out of my way to experience the best.

I hope to be calling through Atlanta on my journey south on the east coast, so I hope to see you on the way.

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
08-29-2011, 07:16 AM
If you accompany that book with pictures of your travel, it could very well become a hit. Please no dojo group poses though. Candid all the way.

Hi Ahmad,

thanks for that piece of advice, I agree, too many group shots would just become a blur.

I'm not expecting to write a best seller, however there are many aikido in the world who may find it of interest.

Where is your dojo located, I may be able to see you (and get a candid photo:) )

regards,

Mark

Peter Goldsbury
08-29-2011, 07:17 AM
Hello Mark,

You really ought to visit Hiroshima. I am sure you can think of reasons why besides aikido.

As for the book, I suggest a series of Aikiweb columns first. Then you can judge the strength of the market.

Best wishes,

PAG

Mark Freeman
08-29-2011, 07:18 AM
My favorite route south out of SF was always 35 (Skyline) down the spine of the coast hills to pick up 9 into Sta Cruz, then pick up 1 if I were continuing further south.

Hi Janet,

is that the route that Alice's Restaurant is on? if it is, it is a great road to ride a motorcycle on:)

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
08-29-2011, 07:27 AM
Hello Mark,

You really ought to visit Hiroshima. I am sure you can think of reasons why besides aikido.

Best wishes,

PAG

Hi Peter,

I will, and I hope to meet you when I am there.

The way thing are working in my mind at the moment, it wont be until some time in 2013. For some reason I have stuck on going west first. However, someone just suggested to me that I go east, which is just as possible, I suppose. My ticket purchasing is scheduled for October this year, so I will have to have made my mind up by then.

I will be asking you and other forum members who are familiar with Japan, for more information about both the aikido practicing opportunities and other things you feel I would be crazy to miss.

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
08-29-2011, 07:34 AM
As for the book, I suggest a series of Aikiweb columns first. Then you can judge the strength of the market.

Best wishes,

PAG

Hi Peter,

good suggestion, I will look into that once I get going. I will contact Jun to see what is possible.

My intention is to create a blog, and record my experiences and musings there. I guess that will give me a good indication of interest. As I have not written like this before, it will be an ongoing experiment. The only writing I have published so far, are training manuals for courses I used to run as a corporate trainer.

thanks,

Mark

Mary Eastland
08-29-2011, 08:19 AM
I am pretty sure Alice's Restaurant was in the Berkshires...we live about a quarter of a mile from Arlo's church.
Maybe it is a completely different one you are talking about.

Mark Freeman
08-29-2011, 09:27 AM
I am pretty sure Alice's Restaurant was in the Berkshires...we live about a quarter of a mile from Arlo's church.
Maybe it is a completely different one you are talking about.

Hi Mary,

you may well be right, I was never sure if it was the one mentioned in Arlo's epic tale.

I remember buying a sweatshirt (long since comandered by my daughter!) there and the address was, Skyline Drive CA.

If you are right and yours is the real one, I'll buy you and Ron a coffee there, when I come to visit:)

regards,

Mark

graham christian
08-29-2011, 10:04 AM
Hi Mark. Make sure it's the right one cos you can get anything you want there.

Here's my thinking......

You see, you can get anything you need
With Alice's new Aiki.......
You can get anything you need,
With Alice's new Aiki,
Just rush right in you'll be on your back,
Wondering how you got there from your best attack,
It's cos, you can get anything you need from Alice's new Aiki.

Sing along now......

Regards.G.

Janet Rosen
08-29-2011, 10:38 AM
Hi Janet,

is that the route that Alice's Restaurant is on? if it is, it is a great road to ride a motorcycle on:)

regards,

Mark

Indeed! IIRC that is where Skyline meets 84 to La Honda. :)

Mark Freeman
08-29-2011, 12:27 PM
Hi Mark. Make sure it's the right one cos you can get anything you want there.

Here's my thinking......

You see, you can get anything you need
With Alice's new Aiki.......
You can get anything you need,
With Alice's new Aiki,
Just rush right in you'll be on your back,
Wondering how you got there from your best attack,
It's cos, you can get anything you need from Alice's new Aiki.

Sing along now......

Regards.G.

:D

Although Arlo's version made Alice famous, Smokie's sing along song, keeps coming to mind:cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlzn9lVUMtE&feature=related

;)

Mark

graham christian
08-29-2011, 12:43 PM
:D

Although Arlo's version made Alice famous, Smokie's sing along song, keeps coming to mind:cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlzn9lVUMtE&feature=related

;)

Mark

Just played it. Excellent. Memories.....

Hey, I saw this dude singing on the proms. Brilliant I thought. Was waiting to introduce it into a conversation but thought you might like it so what do you think?

http://youtu.be/dg3PberzvXo

Regards.G.

Mark Freeman
08-30-2011, 04:19 AM
Just played it. Excellent. Memories.....

Hey, I saw this dude singing on the proms. Brilliant I thought. Was waiting to introduce it into a conversation but thought you might like it so what do you think?

http://youtu.be/dg3PberzvXo

Regards.G.

I think this guy is hugely talented, I really enjoyed that one, thanks!

cheers,

Mark

phitruong
08-30-2011, 09:29 AM
Although Arlo's version made Alice famous, Smokie's sing along song, keeps coming to mind:cool:

Mark

nah! i preferred this one

I don't want a pickle
I just want to do my wild aikido
And I don't want a tickle
`Cause i rather do my wild aikido
And I don't want to die
Just want to do my aiki wild....do
:D