View Full Version : Please help us in saving our dojo!

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03-10-2013, 12:09 PM
Dear all,

I am the dojo cho of a little aikido club in Esslingen, Germany (near Stuttgart) and I am writing to you because we need help in saving our beloved dojo! Our club is an open style dojo with teachers from differents styles teaching and working together and currently we have about 150 members (about 50 kids).

Our dojo is located in all old, historic hall in Berkheim, near Stuttgart (Germany). Unfortunately, the city of Esslingen is about to sell this hall to a big company, who wants to tear it down and build a paking lot instead.

Our club is now trying to save our beloved hall and dojo by buying the premises ourselves. The decision as to who gets it in the end will be a political one and we are hoping to get your support in our cause!

If you would like to help us in saving our place, you can do one (or all :) ) of the following:

- Go to our facebook page and like the page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-our-dojo-Aikido-Verein-Esslingen/252859674851218). Here you can also see pictures of our beautiful dojo.

- Sign our online petition (on the starting page of our dojos website: http://www.aikido-esslingen.de/) and maybe even leave a comment as to why an aikido dojo has more value for the community than a parking lot
(the petition is in German, but it is very easy to fill in, the boxes are first name, last name, city, country, email address).

We need as many votes as possible, so we would be really grateful for everyone who is willing to spend two minutes to help us!

Domo arigato gozaimashita!!!

Best regards from Germany,

Linda Eskin
03-10-2013, 01:01 PM
I just signed the petition, and left this comment:

"The Aikido dojo (school) is a good asset to the community. It is a place for learning to resolve conflict peacefully, for training in a disciplined and culturally rich martial art, for fitness and health, and socializing with other positive, thoughtful people on a path of personal transformation. Please do not destroy such a beautiful place."

Good luck!

03-10-2013, 04:17 PM
signed the petition... You hve. Beautiful dojo. Good luck!

Eva Antonia
03-11-2013, 04:09 AM

I just signed, too.
wish you much luck with your endeavour to save the dojo!


03-11-2013, 05:08 AM
Thank you so much! :)

03-11-2013, 10:40 AM
Would be a crying shame if such a lovely building was torn down in favor of a parking lot.
Having such a great place for a dojo of this size and with such an open idealistic approach is something that no politician or businessman should be allowed to destroy.

If you decide to hold a protest seminar I will be happy to attend - either to practice or to teach a lesson on Nishio Aikido.

Best wishes


03-11-2013, 05:09 PM
Wow, the support we are getting from all over the world is truely moving, we have letters from two shihan now and almost 500 people have signed the petition so far :) Thank you all for this!

03-12-2013, 06:03 AM
+1 from here

All the best :)

03-13-2013, 03:43 PM
Two German newspapers printed articles about our dojo situation today (in German):




03-13-2013, 08:15 PM
Just signed your petition - Best of luck with this :)

03-19-2013, 04:29 PM
The citiy made their decision yesterday - for the company and against us :-(

A big thank you to everyone who helped - the worldwide support was really phantastic!

George S. Ledyard
03-19-2013, 04:32 PM
The citiy made their decision yesterday - for the company and against us :-(

A big thank you to everyone who helped - the worldwide support was really phantastic!

Of course they did...

Mary Eastland
03-19-2013, 04:33 PM
I bet you will find a better place.

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2013, 05:03 PM
Sonja, I had no idea. I am sorry to hear this. I have gone there with Jason before and it is a wonderful dojo. I wish there was something we could do!

Kevin Leavitt
03-19-2013, 05:07 PM
oh...btw, I am Miles' Dad Sonja! I had no idea you were on Aikiweb!

03-20-2013, 08:22 AM
Sonja, I'm so sorry that you've lost your beautiful space. That's got to be a major blow to your martial arts community. I hope that your dojo will remain as a strong and committed dojo, wherever you find yourselves training.

Basia Halliop
03-20-2013, 08:45 AM
I'm really sorry to hear about the building; it sounds like such a shame. I hope you don't get too discouraged, though - in the end it's the teachers and students that make a dojo, not the space.

Not that any of us wouldn't rather have the teachers and students in a nice big space in a convenient location, of course :).

03-20-2013, 01:29 PM
Hi Sonja,

I'm really sorry to hear about losing your dojo's building. I wish you the best for you and everyone else there in your future endeavor.


-- Jun

03-24-2013, 09:45 AM
Not a big suprise that they decide this solution.

I hope you can find the energy to find a new and better place so that this will be more of a transition than a setback.

At least you have the size as a dojo to rent a decent place.

My best wishes for you all


Eva Antonia
03-25-2013, 04:13 AM
Dear Sonja,

I'm really sorry to read that!
Some years ago I remember there was a lead article in DER SPIEGEL on conservation of historical substance in Germany, and the essence of the article was that investment in new construction projects (= demolition of historical buildings) after the second world war led to more destruction than all bombs of WWII together. So there's a new contribution to destruction by the city of Esslingen :-(

Wish you all the best for finding an equally beautiful dojo!


03-25-2013, 03:12 PM
Dear Sonja
So sorry to see that you lost your beautful dojo - it may not all be bad.

Some years back I had a very good dojo - 30/40 adults and about 40 kids. The facility employed a new manager who turned the place upside down - we were a casualty and had to leave.
My students spent money in the bar after training, so they did rather well out of us.
A month later the `new super manager ` stole 48,000 - emptied the bar slot machines and took all the champagne and spirits from the celler.

We received a call from the manager of another centre offering us a much better hall and we have been there until last November when we moved to a newly built facility.
Have faith.

Henry Ellis
Co-author of `Positive Aikido`

03-26-2013, 02:06 AM
As everything happens for (whatever) a reason, do not worry. You will find a better place, i am sure.
Chin up