View Full Version : Folded, but new beginnings

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11-07-2004, 08:54 AM
Hi folks,

A lot of you know me from my previous 2.5 years postings about trying to get a fledgling dojo off the ground, and have offered advice and support. After two years of running the dojo, I have thrown in the towel on it so to speak. Due to my new job, which is routinely taking 80 hours a week of my life, and the difficulties financially with the dojo, I have closed up as of last month.

Fortunately for me, I have a wonderful friend who has a terrific dojo not far from me, and he invited me to come and practice at his dojo. Now I get the best of both worlds, which is to actually get to train hard, and to continue to teach.

Making the decision to close the dojo was difficult, as my students were wonderful to have, and I really believed in what we were doing. In the end, it was the pressure of my life outside the dojo though that was the deciding factor. That and the graciousness of Rodger Park Sensei and both the ER and WR in accommodating the move.

I am truly grateful to belong as a member to the USAF, both ER and WR, and hope you will hear nothing but positive posts from me well into the future.

Best to all, Rachel

Larry Feldman
11-07-2004, 09:10 AM
Rachel - Sorry to hear about the closing, I know it is something you wanted to do. However it sounds like the right thing to do at this time, when 'life calls' you have to listen.

Now that you are more knowledgable from the experience, perhaps you will see another opportunity at some time on the future, but for now just training isn't a bad thing!

11-07-2004, 11:01 AM
Compliments and compassion. Your attitude does you honor. Enter and blend with what life gives us.

Aiki U-Dansha
11-07-2004, 12:02 PM
I'm very sorry for your Dojo.

Good luck for everything :)

11-07-2004, 12:03 PM
Thanks Lynn, thanks Larry! I do believe it was a good move at this point in my life. No use constantly swimming upstream like a salmon waiting to spawn (since I have no desire to spawn at this point in my life).

Take care, and we'll all chat soon.

Mel Barker
11-07-2004, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the update Rachel. While I know this has been difficult, you sure are looking at it positively. Thanks for setting such a good example.

I suppose you didn't make Winter Camp since you are posting right now. Me either. I'm traveling for business, and am currently sitting in a hotel in Decatur, IL.

Hope to see you soon.


11-07-2004, 12:59 PM
Hey Mel!!

No, Winter Camp (as well as Summer Camp) were a no-go this year. I started my new job in June, and I have only managed two seminars since then. It's been crazy! I'll be going to the seminar in Glen Ellyn with Takeguchi Sensei (if I can ever remember to print the registration form and get it off on time), and I am going to make it to Cincinnati at least once before the beginning of next year. I have just had to work through most weekends on top of the regular work week, so things have been rough. Hope to see you at either place soon.

Thanks for the well wishes!

11-07-2004, 02:47 PM
My sympathies as well. I was pulling for you. Enjoy your new venue. Good luck with training and new job.

11-07-2004, 03:07 PM
Hi Rachel; sorry about the dojo - I know how much it must've hurt to have to close it.

Still; the important thing is that you know this isn't a failure - in the grand scheme of things it isn't even a setback; just a step along the way towards having a permanent dojo. It's painful; but you made the right decision at the right time; in the end it's a valuable lesson and excellent experience. When you open your next dojo; it'll be that much stronger because of it. :)

11-08-2004, 11:30 PM
Hey Rachel,

Sorry to hear it finally had to end. Sounds like the new training arrangments are working out better though, that's a plus :)

We had a great time when we came to visit and we still talk about what you showed us. Hopefully we can get on the mat together again sometime soon.



11-09-2004, 02:08 AM
Hi Rachel;

If you remember we started our groups at about the same time. For that reason I followed your adventure with some interest. Sorry to hear that you were forced to close but .....

When I opened my group in both Quebec City and Himeji it was with the knowledge that eventually I would leave (new jobs). Always a little sad but you gained some experience, your students gained some knowledge and the next time opportunity and desire converge (and that will happen) you will be more capable.

Till the next time.

11-09-2004, 09:28 AM
Hi Rachel,

I'm sorry to hear that your dojo isn't continuing, but am happy that your training will be. I'm sure that the next time you take on such a project, you'll have this experience to refer back onto and that things will work out more smoothly!


-- Jun

Jerry Miller
11-09-2004, 10:52 AM

I have followed your dojo through this site for some time. I am sure that you have made the right decision for yourself. Your postings always provided balance to any thread. I hope that you are enjoying you job and happy training to you.

11-09-2004, 11:02 AM
Thank you again everyone for your well wishes! This forum really can be a community and it is refreshing and bolstering to have such a large network of kind folks to speak with.

My new job is very intense, and I am consistently working 14-16 hour days, leaving me little time for anything other than eat, sleep, work and some aikido. Fortunately I am back my old dojo, where I had practiced for 10 years prior to going on my own, and have been welcomed back with open arms. I feel a lot stronger now from my experience of having run a dojo for two years, and I would imagine at some point I will do so again, perhaps when I am a little older and more experienced, and hopefully not from scratch again....

Again, thank you all for your kindness and support.

best regards, Rachel

Thomas Ambrose
11-14-2004, 03:32 PM

I am sorry to hear about the closing of your dojo. It was nice to have a choice of different aikido dojos around here. I will enjoy training with you at HVA though!


11-14-2004, 04:38 PM

Sounds like a good decision and conducted with grace.

Please be careful, though. 14 hour jobs can be a tremendous drain on your mental and physical health--don't let it wear you down.

Mary Kaye

11-15-2004, 06:14 AM
Wauw, 80 hours a week! Glad not to be in your shoes!
(hope it is worth your while!)

Good luck,


11-15-2004, 06:48 AM
The 80 hours a week is hopefully temporary. Frankly I burned out last week and had to escape. It should go down to 50-60 hour weeks shortly, and that I can handle. Thanks for the concern, fortunately it is only a temporary situation, and is already beginning to lessen (thank goodness!).

Matt Molloy
11-15-2004, 11:34 AM
Sorry to hear about the dojo Rachel but glad to hear that the new job is chilling out a little.

All the very best for the future.