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stephenbaker
03-12-2021, 12:38 AM
Good evening,

I may have the distinct pleasure of taking up Aikido while living in Tokyo for a few years. I have other budo training including a little of another aiki art. I have read many comments about the Hombu Dojo and searched the threads for a recent discussion of my question, unsuccessfully.

May I inquire as to people's view of starting Aikido at the Hombu vs a local dojo? I may have to train mornings but there are still a few options within 45 minutes of where I live.

As a bit of a kissing up, but true, I have enjoyed immensely reading the forums over the years.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Best regards,

Stephen Baker

Ellis Amdur
03-12-2021, 10:14 AM
Local dojos usually practice in the evening, whereas the Aikikai Honbu has classes morning, afternoon and evening.

The advantage of a local dojo is you get a family. There is a warmth and closeness that you definitely won't get at the Honbu - although you'll certainly be able to make lots of friends. At a local dojo, you'll be mostly with Japanese, which will make it a more powerful cultural experience - truly training in a Japanese martial art, and your language skills will improve. It is very easy to simply hang with your non-Japanese friends at the Honbu - in fact, although I found it easy enough to be <friendly. with Japanese at the Honbu, I never really got close to anyone.

The Kuwamori Dojo in Sakuradai (SEibu Ikebukuro line) is a wonderful community dojo - that's where I trained.

Also, depending on how much time you have, the best thing to do, in my opinion, is train at your local dojo - and join the Honbu as well - go to the latter a couple times a week, and train at your local regularly.

stephenbaker
03-12-2021, 09:56 PM
Mr. Amdur (Please advise if you prefer Ellis). Thank you for the kindness of your quick and helpful response. I have found two dojos Sakatsubo Sensei and possibly Mizoguchi Sensei's dojos) that have morning hours similar to the Hombu and that are within a distance to allow me to make it to work and train. To be honest, I am embarrassed that I did not think of joining the Hombu AND a local dojo. With morning and other options on both slides I may be able to make that happen. Thank you again for your advice. Best regards, Stephen

Ellis Amdur
03-12-2021, 10:16 PM
Ellis is fine. And, you are welcome.

Peter Ralls
04-04-2021, 12:51 PM
Hi Stephen.

I agree with Ellis’s pros and cons of training at Hombu vs a local dojo. If you are near Suginami Ku, you could try Suginami Aikikai. They are a very friendly and welcoming group. A friend of mine is one of the teachers there. He is English, and his name is Stephen Baker. I am not kidding you. They are closed right now as they at at a community athletic hall and those have been shut down during the pandemic, but when it opens up you might want to check it out, just for the name recognition, if nothing else.

Peter Ralls

stephenbaker
04-11-2021, 09:12 PM
Hi Stephen.

I agree with Ellis's pros and cons of training at Hombu vs a local dojo. If you are near Suginami Ku, you could try Suginami Aikikai. They are a very friendly and welcoming group. A friend of mine is one of the teachers there. He is English, and his name is Stephen Baker. I am not kidding you. They are closed right now as they at at a community athletic hall and those have been shut down during the pandemic, but when it opens up you might want to check it out, just for the name recognition, if nothing else.

Peter Ralls

Mr. Ralls,

Thank you for the information. Apologies for the late reply, I have been offline for a bit.

Suginami is only an hour away. I will take a look at the schedule. Even if I cannot make it work regularly, I do feel obligated to meet my name doppleganger.

Thank you again and best!

Stephen