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Travis Baker
03-19-2001, 01:20 AM
Hello everybody!

Just figured I would sort of introduce myself. My name is Travis Baker (duh!)... I am 17... going to be starting college in the fall. Till then I am just working... and hopefully starting to take Aikido. I just moved to Chapel Hill, NC. There is a dojo here so I am going to go check it out as soon as I can.

I just happened to be reading up on Japanese history the other night... and came across a referece to Aikido. So, I did a quick search and found this and some other sites... haven't stopped reading since. I have always been wanting to start some form of martial arts... just as a way of staying in shape... and for the simple pleasure of learning something new. I have to admit that at first Aikido really didn't appeal to me... so I started looking into other things like TKD... for some reason I ended up back here... and started reading... and reading... I started to realize that this is exactly what I am looking for! The attitudes of the people on here have deffinately been encouraging to my eagerness to try Aikido.

Well... I just went way off course! I also had a few questions...

What do I need to get started? (Clothing Etc...) How much does this stuff cost?

What are some important things to look for in a dojo?

How much should I expect to pay?

Most of it is financially centered, just because money is really tight with me... I have $11 right now :D

Ok... I said way more then I was planning. Hope to see everyone around.

-Travis Baker

Greg Jennings
03-19-2001, 06:11 AM
Travis Baker wrote:
Hello everybody!

Just figured I would sort of introduce myself. My name is Travis Baker (duh!)... I am 17... going to be starting college in the fall. Till then I am just working... and hopefully starting to take Aikido. I just moved to Chapel Hill, NC. There is a dojo here so I am going to go check it out as soon as I can.


Welcome! I'm Greg Jennings. My info is in my profile.


What do I need to get started? (Clothing Etc...) How much does this stuff cost?


That differs.

What you really need to do is find a dojo then ask what they require. My dojo discourages new students from buying a dogi till they are sure they want to stick with Aikido.

Some dojo will ask that you purchase a dogi (uniform) up front. Still others will ask that you pay the first month's tuition and a sign-up fee up front. Dogi vary from less than $30 to $200 plus. I wear an inexpensive one ($30), myself.

Some dojo wear a hakama from the start, some start at shodan and others basically don't wear hakama at all. I don't think many dojo are going to insist that you buy a hakama if you are tight on money.


What are some important things to look for in a dojo?


The character of the people there, including the instructor(s) and the students, is the most important thing to me. Macho, B.S. (I mean overboard here), abusing the students, etc. are signs of bad character.

Are you going to be staying at this dojo for long? You mention that you're entering college in the fall. Will that be in Chapel Hill?

Aikido is a long term deal. I strongly urge you to pick a dojo that you can make a long-term commitment to. One where you can make it to class on a regular basis, one where you are comfortable with the people, one that you can afford, etc.

Does the university that you plan to attend have an Aikido club? That would be a good option for you.


How much should I expect to pay?


That varies also. :) Some university clubs do charge and some do not. Most dojo not in some special situation have to charge in order to pay the rent, utilities, etc. $35 to $70 per month would be about average, I'd say.

Again, I urge you to check for an Aikido club at the university you plan to attend.


Most of it is financially centered, just because money is really tight with me... I have $11 right now :D

I remember that feeling well. I ate a lot of rice and beans, spaghetti and macaroni and cheese for a couple of years while in school.

Regards,



[Edited by Greg Jennings on March 19, 2001 at 05:13am]

Travis Baker
03-19-2001, 05:20 PM
Thank you very much Greg.

Yes... I am planning on staying here. I might not be going to UNC right away... but the other school I am looking at will be in the same area. Kind of tired of moving... being 17 and having moved over 25 times. Just ready to start a real life. I moved here to be with my girlfriend, go to school, and to get some sense of stability. Once again, thank you for the help. :)

-Travis Baker

chrisinbrasil
03-19-2001, 05:43 PM
Hi Travis,
Welcome. Since you´re about to go through nourishment hell, I would like to suggest you eat more than just rice and beans (really great staple though)or mac and cheese. I know, totally OT(off topic).
Cheap and really good for you stuff:
1. Broccoli
2. Beats and/or carrots
3. tomatoes
4. bananas

These will help keep your strength up in class (MA and Univ.) while sparing the life of your condemned pocket.
Toodloo, :)

AikidoSteve
03-19-2001, 06:25 PM
Welcome to the Aikido community!

I think a good litmus test when looking at a dojo is to watch the faces of the students and instructors. Are people getting hurt, or are they flinching? Are they having a good time, are they smiling?

Further, I think one of the better general all round books on Aikido is "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by A. Westbrook and O. Ratti, published by Tuttle. - Can be found at the library.

Yours in Aikihood

Greg Jennings
03-19-2001, 10:12 PM
Travis Baker wrote:
Thank you very much Greg.

Yes... I am planning on staying here. I might not be going to UNC right away... but the other school I am looking at will be in the same area. Kind of tired of moving... being 17 and having moved over 25 times. Just ready to start a real life. I moved here to be with my girlfriend, go to school, and to get some sense of stability. Once again, thank you for the help. :)

-Travis Baker

Travis,

You're very welcome. I hope some of it was helpful.

Even if you aren't attending UNC, I'd contact their Aikido club. Since school clubs get space rent free they tend to be less expensive than dojo that have to pay for space.

I understand your desire for stability. I stayed in university an extra year to be with my girlfriend. It worked, we'll have been married 12 years June 10th and we have two great kids.

Aikido is like a relationship. You get out of it what you put into it.

If you have Aikido questions that you can't find answers to, feel free to e-mail me privately.

Best Of Luck,