View Full Version : Choosing a dojo in New Jersy

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Wayne C
11-30-2002, 03:03 PM
I am looking for a dojo to begin Aikido training for my self and my daughter (8 years old). I'm interested in recommendations/references. There are two near me (I'm in Plainfield, Union County) that seem good, although with entirely different approaches based on their websites. One, (in Roselle Park) seems more relaxed with an approach that emphaizes training at your own pace and unlimited practice time based on a monthly membership.

The other (in Dunellen) has a clearly defined curriculum and seems to take a more rigorous and demanding approach and includes a variety of Japanese and Okinawan fighting styles including;
Shorin Ryu Karate
Kobujutsu -- Okinawan Weapons
Kenjutsu, Iaijutsu, Iaido - Samurai Sword Arts
Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu
as well as Aikido.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on approaches, these schools and schools in general (including the best way to check them out).


11-30-2002, 04:41 PM
did you check out:

Distance: 12 miles (Northwest of Plainfield, NJ)

Address: Morristown, NJ

Country: United States

Contact: 42 Bank St. Morristown, NJ 07960

Instructors: Greg O'Connor, 5th dan

Phone: (973) 898-9858

Fax: (973) 328-2828

Schedule: MWFSu

E-mail: Greg O'Connor

URL: http://www.aikidocenters.com

Style: Aikikai

Affiliation: USAF East

O'Connor Sensei is very good, and I would suggest you go check him out too.

Go and visit the dojos, and see which one "feels" best to you.

Best wishes in chosing a dojo, please let us know where you end up, and how you like it.


Bruce Baker
12-01-2002, 11:32 AM
I guess you are looking at Sensei Rick Stickles in Roselle Park, and an associate of Master George Dillans in karate, either Mark Klines state of the Arts, or the other fellow down the street whose name doesn't come to me at this moment.

There are many links to the martial arts puzzle, and for children ... exposure is a good thing, but they have to want to do the art. My personal recomondation is to let them try karate, for what ever trial period you can get, three to six months, then see if you child is still interested in Aikido. Both have advantages, and for a child to learn basics in either depends upon the teaching staff.

As far as Aikido...

Both Sensei Stickles and Sensei O'Connor are aptly proficient and both have begun their studies under Yoshimitsu Yamada shihan of NYC. I have been with both of them for many events, and although they have diverged in personal styles, they are both excellant teachers to be considered in your search.

Your own personality, and social asperations will determine which one of these excellent teachers will be for you or your children.

Go and visit all the places you think you might be interested in, watch a class, think about what you child considers to be the most instructional, and then sit down ... talk ... make your decision.

I know it doesn't make it easy, but the approach of each teacher is differnent to achieve the same goal ... you will have to choose the approach that is right for you.

Choku Tsuki
12-01-2002, 03:35 PM
…is my top reccomendation.

I echo Rachel, she's right.

Visit each dojo with the thought "Does this feel right to me?" Come back to the one your gut tells you to. Try it out; if you don't like it, keep looking. You may have to travel a little to the perfect one for you and your daughter. Good luck.