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Erik
03-06-2001, 02:29 AM
Looking at the dojo visit numbers I'm really curious about those of you in the 4 dojo or less category. How come so few?

My first thought is that maybe there are a lot of beginners on the list or that most of you aren't blessed with an overabundance of Aikido wealth like we are in California and specifically the Bay Area. But maybe not.

My curiousity stems from the fact that in 3 of the dojos I regularly visit (in geographical proximity), I only know of 2 other folks that semi-regularly cross-train out of probably 150 or so folks and I'm the only one doing all 3. These dojos are roughly within 15 minutes of one another, there's no dojo animosity, 3 of the head instructors are fairly well-known and these dojos are incredibly complementary in their styles (it's why I use them all). But I'm the only one.

Is this just a peculiar breed of insanity on my part or is there something else here. Thanks for the feedback!

Psuka
03-06-2001, 03:35 AM
First of all, I'd like to say this is my first post. So please forgive me if there's anything wrong.

I guess you may be right. There might be a lot of beginners (myself included) who answered that poll. And you are absolutely right when you say that I'm not blessed with the "overabundance" of Aikido like where you're in.

Well, I live in Bangkok, Thailand. (Hope you guys know where it is) and from what I've known so far, there's less than 10 dojos in the entire city! Could you believe this? And each dojo is very far apart. If you were in Bangkok, you'd understand that travelling from one dojo to another wasn't simple, it really takes much time. My sensei herself can teach only 2 dojo per day. And I never heard anybody in my dojo said they ever participated more than two dojos.

Ummm....IMHO, besides the number of dojo, another reason that prohibits people to do a cross-training is the price. Yes, if you wanna train, you gotta pay. I'm also want to ask you a question. Don't you have to pay when you're doing a cross-trainig. In our country, the one who doesn't have to pay is usually the sensei or the close apprentices (which is only a few)

Well, that's all I can say and hope it'll clarify you doubts.

Simone
03-06-2001, 05:38 AM
Hi Erik!

I answered the question with 16-20, but most of them I only visited once (mostly due to my travels). Normaly I visit 3 dojos regularely and 3 other rarely. They all belong to the same style and cover the area I live. There are quite a few more where I live, but I like those three most. Maybe that's one of the reasons people stay within their ''own'' dojo. Because they like the way things are there like nice people, nice environment, nice (fitting their person) Aikido style. At least this is my reason. But when I'm travelling, I try to visit other dojos, which is very interesting!

Simone

JJF
03-06-2001, 06:08 AM
I selected 1 since I have only practiced on regular training-sessions in one dojo. I have been to other dojos for weekend seminars etc. but I assumed that didn't count.

The reason I stick to one dojo is that we have only four dojo's in this town of which is Iwama Ryu, one is Ki-aikido and the last two are Aikikai. I practice Aikikai myself and I don't feel ready to 'cross-train' in other styles yet. To avoid flames let me add right now, that I have nothing against Iwama Ryu or Ki-aikido - it's just not what I practice right now.

Brian Vickery
03-06-2001, 08:34 AM
Erik wrote:
Looking at the dojo visit numbers I'm really curious about those of you in the 4 dojo or less category. How come so few?

Erik,

The reason I voted for only 'one' dojo is that I only 'train' at one dojo,
I've only had 'one' sensei for the past 7 years. I've 'visited' more than
a dozen other dojos, but I don't consider those visits as part of my
training.

I guess I'm splitting hairs here, but I feel there's a huge difference
between the place you actually train and the other dojos that you
just visit.

Are you counting the seminars that you've attended in your total also?

Best regards,

Guest5678
03-06-2001, 01:24 PM
Well......

I've been at it 4-5 days a week for about 5 years now. I am still building what I consider to be a solid foundation in Aikido. Once I feel I've achived this, perhaps then I'll start visiting other dojo's on a regular basis. Of course, Shindai Aikikai is a little different than most places. Along with Dennis Hooker sensei (6th dan), and Doc Jones sensei (5th dan), we also have a few Sandans, a few Nidans and several Shodans. With all that talent available in one spot, a person can train very hard for many years and never exhaust the knowledge base. We are truly blessed.......
Shindai is also home to a great judo club, Karate, and two different sword styles.

Mucho budo going on here folks!

Regards,

Dan P. -Mongo

Nick
03-06-2001, 01:45 PM
For me, transportation (no car, if I had one it would be well... illegal) and money (not old enough to get a job permit) allow me to train only at one dojo, but I don't really mind...

Nick

Gerardo A Torres
03-06-2001, 03:05 PM
I feel exactly like Mongo. My teacher and sempai are constantly improving their aikido, so I don't think I'll catch with them anytime soon.

Doesn't mean I don't want to experience other aikido. I would like to spend at least one month at Hombu Dojo. I would also like to spend some time at the New York Aikikai (their teaching staff is unbelievable!).

What I don't like is dojo-hopping (some of my friends do it, but that's them), I like to focus my attention in one dojo and entrust my training to one teacher at the time. Having this kind of relation, I feel, is essential in my formation as a martial artist.

Erik
03-06-2001, 04:02 PM
Brian Vickery wrote:
Erik,

The reason I voted for only 'one' dojo is that I only 'train' at one dojo,
I've only had 'one' sensei for the past 7 years. I've 'visited' more than
a dozen other dojos, but I don't consider those visits as part of my
training.

I guess I'm splitting hairs here, but I feel there's a huge difference
between the place you actually train and the other dojos that you
just visit.

Are you counting the seminars that you've attended in your total also?

Best regards,


I did but it's still probably only about 5 dojos less as I quickly think about it. I'm not big on seminars. I much prefer the everyday class.

Gerardo wrote:What I don't like is dojo-hopping (some of my friends do it, but that's them), I like to focus my attention in one dojo and entrust my training to one teacher at the time. Having this kind of relation, I feel, is essential in my formation as a martial artist.

I've always been encouraged to get out and train with other dojos. Heartily encouraged as a matter of fact. The dojo I started at was very aggressive about bringing in different styles and even different arts. They were also independent. Perhaps, this corrupted me from the very beginning.:)

kohai
03-06-2001, 05:58 PM
I have only trained in one dojo because in the area where I live there is only one Aikido dojo. In order to visit another dojo I would have to travel about 2 hours. I know it's hard to believe but its true.

Jason

Chris P.
03-06-2001, 06:32 PM
Erik wrote:
Looking at the dojo visit numbers I'm really curious about those of you in the 4 dojo or less category. How come so few?

How much do you spend monthly to train at three different schools?

Erik
03-07-2001, 12:14 AM
Chris P. wrote:
Erik wrote:
Looking at the dojo visit numbers I'm really curious about those of you in the 4 dojo or less category. How come so few?

How much do you spend monthly to train at three different schools?

It's pretty sickening actually. My big expense is not the mat fees, it's travel and the time therein. My home dojo is the worst commute and the other dojos I visit are more or less on the way. I'm trying like crazy to move but I keep running into rental expenses that are pretty brutal and so I commute. While I will occasionally do them all in the same week I typically alternate so my mat fees don't run much more than $70 +/- a month. One of the dojos is only $5 for the mat fee. Depending on how you calculate travel expenses it's somewhere in the $400/mo range. If you factor in opportunity cost it's obscene. I'm in a unique situation and can get away with this, at least for a little while longer.

Just to put the dues in perspective. I believe that the Gracies charge something on the order of $200/mo for unlimited training.

Erik
03-07-2001, 12:21 AM
gerardo wrote:
What I don't like is dojo-hopping (some of my friends do it, but that's them), I like to focus my attention in one dojo and entrust my training to one teacher at the time. Having this kind of relation, I feel, is essential in my formation as a martial artist.


By the way, I was thinking about your teacher, his history (the bit that I know) and the history of the AANC. I'm pretty sure that he would be open to dojo hopping. My reason for thinking that is that most people back in the 70's trained with Bob Nadeau, Bill Witt and Frank Doran with a fair amount of regularity. Intermixing seems to have been pretty common back then based on what I've heard. Since your teacher is one of them the likely answer would seem to me to be that he'd go for it.

If you ask him, let me know how he responds as I'm curious.

[Edited by Erik on March 6, 2001 at 11:24pm]

petra
03-07-2001, 03:44 AM
My answer was one, that's where I train regularly. I have to travel 3/4 hours to get there (so I spent as much time traveling back and forth as training).
The second dojo I sort of visit semi-regularly is the original first dojo my teacher started and he is still the head-teacher (I train at a sub-dojo of his) which is 1 1/2 hours drive (I definately spent more time traveling than training). Believe it or not to train in a good national dojo requires a car and (a lot of) travelling. They are not in abundance although I hope some day they will be.
If you start counting seminars I come into the region of 8-9 total, but I do not concider seminars as dojo's, and you don't want to know the commute. A dojo, to me, is the place you train regularly with your fellow students. I don't know if I would cross-train if there were more dojo in my region. I think I would get confussed but then again I'm just studying aikido for 2 1/2 years.

TheProdigy
03-07-2001, 06:46 AM
Hey, I've only trained in 1 dojo and have seen 1 seminar (jujitsu actually, by Moses Powell). It's really only because I'm new to the art with about 7mths involvement, but only 3mths actual study time. I'm really interested in traveling in the near future, and so I expect in about 6mths when my traveling really gets underway I'll be seeing plenty more dojos.

I also like studyin in 1 dojo consistently (or for a few months steadily), as personally I think it helps to allow you to really understand the instructor and their teachings better. At my dojo, about half of the actual techniques that we practice were formed by my sensei. As I travel I'll undoubtedly stay with a single dojo for about 3mths before traveling elsewhere after trying a few dojos out. I just think you learn more, because people get a feel for what you know, and can help instruct you better as a result. Of course, I could be wrong on that. But anyways, that's my story...

-Jase

giriasis
03-07-2001, 11:10 AM
I have only trained at two aikido dojo. The first being the school I started training in and then I moved and had to find another school.

So at the moment I only train at one school. I train with Peter Bernath at Florida Aikikai. And like Mongo, I am very satisfied with the quality of training I receive at just one dojo. Peter is a 6th dan, his wife Penny is a 5th dan, we have few 3rd dan and a few 2nd dan, not to mention many shodan. We have many times available for us to train and at different locations as we have two branch schools. The main dojo is in Ft. Lauderdale and our branch schools are in Boca Raton and at Nova Southeastern University (West Ft. Lauderdale area). But this is all part of Florida Aikikai. :)

I have been with Peter for a year now and I love every minute of my traininig with him and the other black belts I train with. Attending seminars for me provides enough diversity that I need at such an early stage in my training as I'm still working on refining my basics. (I'm 5th kyu.)

I only pay $65/ month for the student rate. And about $50 for the occasional seminar. I really couldn't afford anything more, and I consider this a great deal considering the quality of training I'm receiving.

Anne Marie

BC
03-07-2001, 11:43 AM
I train in only one dojo when I'm home. However, my job requires occasional travel, and I always bring my dogi with me so I can practice at the local dojos. I've found it to make business travel somewhat if not downright enjoyable, as the people at every single dojo that I've visited have always treated me with the utmost hospitality and friendliness. Plus I always come away from them with at least one new tidbit of knowledge or view on a technique. Since my parents live in another state (FL) now, it has become kind of an annual thing for me to visit the dojo in their new hometown each year when I visit. Not only am I looking forward to seeing my parents next month, but also to seeing the folks at this dojo!

Gerardo A Torres
03-08-2001, 01:31 PM
Erik,

A few weeks ago I told Doran sensei that I was (and I still am) very interested in learning some particular aiki-sword movements which are not usually taught in our school. I asked him if it was worth investing time studying this. He said, “I’m sure it is.” He followed by saying something like “the more [aikido] education you get, the better.” Then he said, “for example, if I had more time, I would train more with weapons.” He then pointed me out to a dojo up north where I could find the instruction I needed.

So he left it pretty much up to me how I would spent my training time --it all depend on what your priorities are.

Going to that other dojo would mean missing Saturday class at my dojo. Knowing how much more improving I need with kuzushi (breaking balance) and shisei (posture), and how much my sensei emphasizes these in his classes, I decided to keep attending his classes whenever possible, at least until I feel confident enough about my aikido basics. Then I can use that training time to explore other things.

Some very good students at our dojo cross-train on a regular basis (especially with the three AANC heads). We also have a bulletin board where sensei posts a variety of seminars, camps and other things. This is I guess one of hi ways to encourage attending as many seminars as possible. One time he even invited a grappling expert to teach us some ground stuff! So in short, I believe he highly recommends training with different teachers (like he did), not taking anything of course from having a regular dojo and a primary teacher/mentor.

Erik
03-08-2001, 01:42 PM
Thanks for responding. That's what I thought and was certainly hoping he would say.

I assume he meant Tam in regards to the weapons class. I'm not big on weapons these days but from what I hear George Bevins does a very respectable job with them.

I'm often in So. San Francisco, so maybe I'll drop by Redwood City one of these days. It's been a long time since I've attended one of Frank Doran's classes. What nights is he teaching these days?

gerardo wrote:
Erik,

A few weeks ago I told Doran sensei that I was (and I still am) very interested in learning some particular aiki-sword movements which are not usually taught in our school. I asked him if it was worth investing time studying this. He said, “I’m sure it is.” He followed by saying something like “the more [aikido] education you get, the better.” Then he said, “for example, if I had more time, I would train more with weapons.” He then pointed me out to a dojo up north where I could find the instruction I needed.

So he left it pretty much up to me how I would spent my training time --it all depend on what your priorities are.

Going to that other dojo would mean missing Saturday class at my dojo. Knowing how much more improving I need with kuzushi (breaking balance) and shisei (posture), and how much my sensei emphasizes these in his classes, I decided to keep attending his classes whenever possible, at least until I feel confident enough about my aikido basics. Then I can use that training time to explore other things.

Some very good students at our dojo cross-train on a regular basis (especially with the three AANC heads). We also have a bulletin board where sensei posts a variety of seminars, camps and other things. This is I guess one of hi ways to encourage attending as many seminars as possible. One time he even invited a grappling expert to teach us some ground stuff! So in short, I believe he highly recommends training with different teachers (like he did), not taking anything of course from having a regular dojo and a primary teacher/mentor.




[Edited by Erik on March 8, 2001 at 12:47pm]

Gerardo A Torres
03-08-2001, 05:31 PM
Erik wrote:
I'm often in So. San Francisco, so maybe I'll drop by Redwood City one of these days. It's been a long time since I've attended one of Frank Doran's classes. What nights is he teaching these days?


He teaches Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7:00pm, Friday nights at 6:30pm, and Saturday mornings at 10:00am. He doesn't teach at Stanford University on a regular basis anymore.

If you plan to come by to see him either Friday or Saturday, check his seminar schedule (www.aikido-west.org) to make sure he's not away teaching a seminar or camp. Also, if you ever want to come on a Saturday, there is a new class (before Doran sensei's 10:00am class) at 8:30, is a very good basics class, and is taught by somebody who came from Hombu dojo last year, and I believe he trained there a long time.

Hope to see you there some day!

Mike Collins
03-08-2001, 10:10 PM
I've been to a boatload of dojo, including three or four in Texas, but I only train in one. A seminar is a great chance to get things to work on and look at, and my teacher is a great guy to help me with those things.

I've never been particularly eager to train with some of the bigger name teachers in the area, and I don't count an occasional class at a friends' dojo as "training" it is more like visiting.

I'd like to train with one of my major sempai in SF, but the commute kicks my butt. I'm not really one of the AANC guys, and I always feel a bit odd training in Redwood City (though I have at a few seminars, and was treated well), so it is more a matter of comfort (in atmosphere, not training).

I guess I should make the effort, but I am so challenged at home, I see no reason to.

I support seminars, and make friends when I do, so that seems to be enough for me, for now.