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07-20-2002, 10:42 PM
I recently found a dojo to start training in my hometown. BUT I go to school 1,000 miles away from here in the fall, and spring. I will have to find a new dojo. Does that mean I start from square one everywhere I go. I hope to someday train in Japan. Is there a big difference there as well?

Greg Jennings
07-21-2002, 06:23 AM
Hi Peter,

Please accept my early welcome to Alabama. We're in Montgomery, about 2 hours away. If you have free time on weekends, come see us, we'd love to have you.

The time that you spend between now and the beginning of Fall semester will be of little consequence to your aikido. The things you will learn will be basic and applicable to any training, anywhere.

That said, there used to be a Aikikai-oriented club at UofA that we helped with, but I don't think it's active anymore.

The aikido club active at UofA trains in Yoseikan AikiBudo. The UofA dojo is the longest continuously operating YAB dojo in the U.S. It's, essentially, the very first YAB dojo in the U.S.

YAB is very interesting. I keep hoping to get up there to play with them some day.

If the YAB doesn't do it for you, drop me a line and we'll see what we can do about reconstituting the Aikikai-oriented club up there.

Best Regards,

07-21-2002, 07:17 AM
Practice is practice, and even if you have to start over "from square one", you will still have benefitted from practicing (albeit for a very short time) and a dojo away from your home base. I trained for eight years in one style of aikido, and then switched to another. When I started at the new dojo, I lost all rank and started afresh. It was hard, but humbling, and definately worthwhile doing. I do not feel that any of the time I spent at my first dojo to be wasted, and feel that that training laid a foundation for the years that have come (and hopefully will come) after.

Have a great time in aikido!

07-21-2002, 10:08 AM
Referring to Rachel's post:

Sums it up very nicely and I hope to train in that manner as well. The only snag is that you may not be able to attend certain classes or seminars that are 'rank' conscious/specific though you may very well be competent enough to do so.

Bruce Baker
07-21-2002, 11:20 AM
There is a mindset of ego that goes with being a particular rank, and meeting new people or training in different dojos, I really don't like it, but it is part of makeup to hold order in our society, and one of the weak parts of our being sometimes labeled ego.

Part of being recognized as an important person is our achievenments, but this is part of flaws we must work out as polishing the stone, to be important/to be recognized/ to have an importance as a human being within our own lives.

Get over having rank or importance, it gets in the way of finding the true secrets of martial arts that provide you with a greater margin of safety because of knowledge gained in your training.

If you are a better person for it, having a better life for it, then that is the true benefit of doing Aikido.

There is a reason for being in different places, learning different things ... they are lessons, they are guides, they are the fabric of your life ... let them happen.

You are going to a new place, finding a new dojo ... very cool! Observe, learn, and make the best of where you are, it will become important how you learn to use new opportunities ... make the best of this one.

Keith R Lee
07-21-2002, 11:24 AM
FYI, I train at a dojo here in Birmingham, AL. You'd be more than welcome to come and try out a class if you'd like, you can find any info you need at USA Martial Arts (http://www.usamartialarts.com). Or go and train with Mr. Jennings, who I regrettably, still have not trained with as of yet. While, I'm not sure if I will be able to come down anytime soon (broken foot) I definitely plan on coming down for Goto sensei's seminar if there are any spaces open. Is there any more info on that as yet, or is still in the works?

Regardless, good luck with your training Peter.


Greg Jennings
07-21-2002, 12:17 PM
Or go and train with Mr. Jennings, who I regrettably, still have not trained with as of yet. While, I'm not sure if I will be able to come down anytime soon (broken foot) I definitely plan on coming down for Goto sensei's seminar if there are any spaces open. Is there any more info on that as yet, or is still in the works?
Doh! I should have thought of plugging the seminar to Peter.

Yes, Keith, the seminar is a go. Nov. 8-10. It'll be in one of the High School facilities in Prattville. We'll have a large, large mat so the seminar won't "fill up".

There will be one class Friday evening, two Saturday and two Sunday. We'll have an organized, but Dutch, dinner on Saturday evening.

Depending on which facility we use, fees will be from $50-$65 for the entire weekend or $25 per class.

Thanks, Keith, for the nice words about us. All: Our dojo is open and always free to all visitors.

Keith: Sorry to hear about your broken foot. Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

Best Regards,

Dean H.
07-22-2002, 10:02 PM
Hi Peter!

I am fairly new to Aikido, but

have some experience in the

Alabama area and want to welcome


As far as Tuscaloosa, I tried

to arrange a visit with the Yoseikan

Sensei, but he never responded

to my e-mails. I did work out with

the Yoseikan group in Huntsville,

which was fun, and was told that

the Tuscaloosa group is still active.

I guess they meet at Moore Hall,

which is the only address I came

across in the myriad links they have.

In Montgomery, you couldn't find a

more sincere group to work with.

Myers Sensei and Greg (a capable

teacher in his own right) are

extremely informed, hospitable,

practical, and down to earth.

My home dojo is in Birmingham,

the same as Keith Lee.

Our Sensei has a broad and deep

background along with a very

fine character. He is a wealth

of information regarding Aikido,

TKD, Karate, Iaido, and more.

Please visit our dojo if you can.

One of my co-workers married

a fellow from New York, who happens

to be a black belk in Aikido, and

he visited our dojo at my suggestion,

and he couldn't be happier.

As far as starting over, that is

never the case, is it?

We can only build on past experience.

Opportunity is fleeting; life is short.