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08-29-2003, 12:29 AM
Do you guys prefer big schools or smaller ones? I can see pros and cons of both, but just wondering what the general consensus was.

C. Emerson
08-29-2003, 03:27 AM
I like 10 to 15 people. Less than that I feel like theres not enough diversity. More than that, I don't have that close family feel. And more ego's and personalitys to balance.


08-29-2003, 03:36 AM
I like 10 to 15 people. Less than that I feel like theres not enough diversity. More than that, I don't have that close family feel. And more ego's and personalitys to balance.
Same here.

Shodokan training involves a definate rythme of drills and changing partners. You just can't get the right feel with too small of a group and although a larger group is workable it starts to get impersonal.

08-29-2003, 07:28 AM
Right now my school has 6 members and I would like about 10 more (for the moment), so that puts me in with what folks above have commented. If I were a student in another dojo, I would like it to be a larger group, with at least 50 members!

Hope one day my dojo will be that big!!!

08-29-2003, 08:09 AM
I think we have about 25 members, but of these about 15 are practicing on a regular basis. An average training session might be anything from 2 to 18 students. Ususally it's around 4 to 7 students.

I think we have a good size dojo, allthough I could wish for just a few more regular students. A certain level of turnover is good for the spirit, but it's important to maintain a body of knowledge.

Perhaps 10 more students would be nice. More than that, and we would have trouble staying on the mat at the same time :D

08-29-2003, 08:18 AM
We currently have both at our dojo, one session has a regular attendance of between 20 and 30, the other normally about 10. The only problem I've found with a larger class is teaching things such as randori, projections etc. due to sheer mat size needed. However, I've noticed the larger class seems to help the lower kyu grades more as they have a larger "sub-dojo" group to work with who are all at around the same level. The smaller class sometimes intimidates our beginners at first.

My favorite class size is about 15, large enough group to give a broad range of practioners, but small enough to let loose at need.

08-29-2003, 08:45 AM
Hi Rachel, glad to hear you are still working on building your dojo - I seem to recall some time back you were questioning the level of effort and financial cost it was taking?

It would be really interesting to see what the general average dojo size is. I wonder if Jun has done a poll on this....?(off to have a look)


08-29-2003, 08:54 AM
Found it. Looks like it falls off pretty rapidly after 20-30 people.

20-30 sounds nice, but it must be a big challenge for the instructor to help at an individual level. Maybe this is why most dojo are less than 30. I think the instructor is the number 1 reason people train at a particular dojo, and too many people could reduce the level of interation substantially.


Hanna B
08-29-2003, 09:33 AM
I like small dojos. Anything from 4 people on the mat to a dozen.

08-29-2003, 09:37 AM
I train at the HQ dojo of the Ki Federation (run by Sensei K Williams and commity members) which you'd imagin would have a billion students. But we have about 7 or 8 regular commited guys and gals between 3rd Dan and 5 kyu.

But as its the HQ we have visiting students from around the world and other local dojo's, so it could be as many as 25.

Ofcourse during the seminars it ranges from 40 ish to 120.

Eric Joyce
08-29-2003, 10:06 AM
I like smaller class sizes (between 5 and 10 people). From my experience, I feel I get more special focus and attention within a group this size from the sensei vs. being in a group of 30 plus. Just my humble opinion.

Clayton Kale
08-29-2003, 08:03 PM
I like to have about 16-20 people on the mat. I think with that amount of people, it provides good energy. You can feel the pace of the people training next to you, and there are plenty of people to ask questions of.

That being said, a small class is good, too because you get more one-on-one instruction from the teacher. I have found out when the crowded classes are and the not-so-crowded classes. I try to catch two crowded classes a week and one not-so-crowded.

:ai: :ki: :do:

Hanna B
08-30-2003, 06:30 AM
Number of people in the dojo has importance, not only number of people on the mat each class.

Advantages of small dojos: you get to know everyone. If you have some special problems like a sensitive wrist, you do not have to keep telling yor partner all the time. People know if you like to fly in high ukemi or not, if you like to be helped by your partner of if you want to try and search yourself first. When you have a problem with training with a specific person, there is no way to escape - you have to work on it, and most often it suddenly appears that the problem is gone. If you are away a few years and come back, people remember you.

A big dojo has short memory. Coming back after abscence is tough, since there has been so many peolple coming and going nobody really has a reason to care about you. When you meet and train with people on the mat, it is often a fresh new meeting and those that you have trained with before you do not know so well. If you are a bit coward but want to work on your ukemi, it might be difficult to convince your sempai to throw you. Etc.

But, the small dojo can lock you up in a role that everybody think is you, including yourself, while you could have grown a lot more in you changed environment and had an opportunity to be treated differently than you normally are.

Hanna B
08-30-2003, 06:32 AM
IMHO, three person classes are only dreaded if you are afraid of them.

08-30-2003, 07:08 AM
IMHO, three person classes are only dreaded if you are afraid of them.
Actually that isn't true. Three person classes are only dreaded because they don't pay the rent!!!


Hanna B
08-30-2003, 08:20 AM
Point taken, Si.

I know some teachers who kind of loose their energy if they have too few students on the mat, and do not even try to teach a decent class. And then they complain that practise is more fun with more students! I agree that you get another energy with more people on the mat, and easier get some tempo training. But few students is perfect for working on technical details.

08-30-2003, 11:12 AM
I've always been told that size doesn't matter... . :D

But I have had lots of email purporting to increase the size of your dojo using all natural methods! (After all, they add, don't you want uke to have the most pleasurable experience possible?)

Paula Lydon
08-30-2003, 12:23 PM
~~I train in a large dojo of 30 to 60 folks, maybe more, and I personally prefere a smaller one. However, I've come to realize--and maybe this is simply what happens when a group reaches a certain size--that there are two distinctive groups opperating within the same structure, almost two dojos. Different types of folks, ideas, training practices, outlooks, etc., and they really don't seem to interact all that often with each other. I'm still studying this...

09-03-2003, 11:40 AM
there were 35 people on the mat at the dojo where i study when i took my 6th kyu test recently. i found this to be alot.