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WW-squared
12-08-2004, 01:12 AM
Hi all,
I've just started aikido about 5 months ago and doing it once a week (hardly enough sessions/ week, IMO) and I plan to move to Tokyo next year to train at the Aikikai Honbu for one year.

On the Aikikai website, there is a regular class and beginner's class and based on what I could find on the site and previous responses to a past inquiry on Aikiweb, I'm still not too sure which class I should enrol in? Or is it up to me to decide this?

In addition, the monthly rate for the regular class is 10 500 yen/month. Is the beginners course the same rate?

I would appreciate any advice from anybody with present or past personal experience with the Aikikai Honbu.

Thanks.
Wil

Peter Goldsbury
12-08-2004, 01:50 AM
Hi all,
I've just started aikido about 5 months ago and doing it once a week (hardly enough sessions/ week, IMO) and I plan to move to Tokyo next year to train at the Aikikai Honbu for one year.

On the Aikikai website, there is a regular class and beginner's class and based on what I could find on the site and previous responses to a past inquiry on Aikiweb, I'm still not too sure which class I should enrol in? Or is it up to me to decide this?

In addition, the monthly rate for the regular class is 10 500 yen/month. Is the beginners course the same rate?

I would appreciate any advice from anybody with present or past personal experience with the Aikikai Honbu.

Thanks.
Wil

You can find the information on the Aikikai's web site, (aikikai.or.jp),but ti is in Japanese. On the left hand menu, you will find nyuujou annai (I wrote the kanji, but the text encoding does not work) and the whole fee structure appears in a chart. Regular classes cost the same as beginners' classes: 10,500 yen per month for unlimited practice on weekdays; 13,650 yen per month for unlimited practice including weekends.

Sincerely,

WW-squared
12-08-2004, 03:54 AM
Hi Peter,
Thanks for the reply, but my Jpaanese is still at the laughable stage so I might need some help with the Japanese.
Wil

Peter Seth
12-08-2004, 05:39 AM
How Many Yen to the ?

Creature_of_the_id
12-08-2004, 05:49 AM
1.00 GBP = 201.021 JPY

www.xe.com

Peter Goldsbury
12-08-2004, 06:23 AM
Hi Peter,
Thanks for the reply, but my Jpaanese is still at the laughable stage so I might need some help with the Japanese.
Wil

You mentioned in your previous post that you have been training for 5 months. Where is this? Who is your instructor?

I mean that if one of my Dutch students decided to come and train at the Hombu, I would write him a letter in Japanese for him to take to the Hombu and present to Doshu. As it happened, the last of my Dutch students to train at the Hombu for any length of time mentioned my name and as a result the people at the desk were rather more welcoming. He was a yudansha, so he took the regular classes. In your case, it is not clear whether you should take the regular classes or the beginners' classes, and perhaps your instructor might be in a better position to decide this.

The Aikikai hombu is a large dojo and is rather impersonal. This can be rather intimidating to the beginner who does not know any Japanese and has had no previous contact. Thus, some sort of introduction is a definite advantage, if you can obtain this.

Best regards,

Holly Nesbeitt
12-08-2004, 06:58 AM
Hi, Wilfred. Are you moving to Tokyo only for the sake of training, or are there other reasons (work, school, etc)? If you've got the Japan bug, by all means go ahead, but if what you're mainly interested in is training a lot, there are many places in America (and Canada, and other countries) where you could do that. Large dojos may offer as many as 17 classes per week, or more. And they may be a lot less expensive than training at Hombu (and living in Tokyo).

Charles Hill
12-08-2004, 06:08 PM
Hi Wilfred,

I think that it is good to know that the regular classes are open and anyone can attend. This means that the teachers basically have no say in who can practice and who cannot. The various shihan react to that in various ways. Some make an effort to help everyone, some will help those who are really trying to learn what is being taught, and some ignore everyone but their personal students. This also means that you don`t really know what kind of person your partner is until you start practicing. Many people who train there for a long time only practice with people they know for that reason.

A good idea is to establish some relationships with some of the teachers. One way is to take Prof. Goldsbury`s advice and get a letter of introduction to give to Doshu. Another way is to participate in the "Aikido School" program. This meets twice a week in the evenings and has an extra charge. The shihan in your class will directly help you and then you have a shihan who will continue to personally help you even after the course is over. A third way is to regularly attend beginner`s classes. If you go directly to the regular classes, you`ll likely be ignored.

If I can help you in anyway, just let me know.

Good luck!
Charles Hill

WW-squared
12-10-2004, 07:30 AM
Thanks everybody for your input.

To elaborate more about my situation. I'm currently living in Japan and I thought I'd take advantage of this opportunity and head to the Honbu. (Plus, Holly, not really ready for the career thing.)

I'm currently studying Nishio Sensei's "style" in Ishikawa-ken. My dojo is in a fairly small town, so I doubt anybody would know my teacher. I currently only practice once a week and I'm hoping to do it at least 3 times a week.

I will talk to my sensei and see what he thinks about the level I should enter and also the letter.

Charles, thanks for your offer. I'll let you know how everything goes.
Peter, thanks for your insight.

Cheers.
Wil

Chad Scott
12-14-2004, 02:26 AM
Hello Wilfred,

I have been living in the Kanto area for about 5 years, and for about the past year I have been a member of hombu dojo.

If you don't already know, the hombu website is also available in English. You can check out the various times for the lessons. I am attending the lessons for beginners at different times/days of the week. Just some advice: Sunday morning beginner's lesson is pretty crowded; I personally like the 5:30pm lessons during the week - bigger dojo and fewer people.

The percentage of foreign students at hombu is about 40%, so you shouldn't have any trouble making immediate contacts. Maybe you can start with the beginner's lessons and see how they go for you. When I started, I just showed up with no introduction and made contacts along the way! Maybe I'll see you sometime. Good luck and have fun.

WW-squared
12-15-2004, 10:49 PM
Thanks Chad!
I think I am leaning towards the beginners course. And i'll probably be doing the early morning sessions.

Btw, Chadare you teaching english in tokyo?

JJF
12-16-2004, 01:38 AM
Hi Wilfred

Allow me to point out that if you are currently studying Nishio sensei's style of aikido then you might find that at least some - perhaps even most - of the senseis in Hombu dojo practice a very different style. It might not matter to you since you are fairly new in aikido, but if you want to go on doing Nisiho-ryu then you might concider another posibility which is to go to one or more of the Nishio-related dojos in and around Tokyo. I have never personally been to any of them but I am told that there is a good one in Warabi.

There is also Shishiya sensei (6. dan) and Takao Arisue sensei (7. dan). I believe they both have dojos somewhere within commuting distance from Tokyo. They are both long time students of Nishio sensei and I have enjoyed practicing with both of them on several occasions.

Shishiya sensei has a homepage on this address: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~bk2i-ssy/

I hope you find what you are looking for. If all goes acording to plan I will be in Tokyo next year sometime in september for the anual Nishio-ryu seminar. Who knows - I might see you there ;)

If I can be of any other help please don't hesitate to PM me.

WW-squared
12-16-2004, 06:08 PM
Jorgen.
I aprreciate your comments. I'm currently practicing once a week so I think even by next year, when I'm ready to move to Tokyo, aikido will still be a new thing for me. So either ryu will do.

I'm curious, does the aikiaki honbu's beginner course have a regimented/ structured course of studies. i.e. does it start from teaching the fundamentals like ikkyu, nikyuu...or does it teach aikido in a fairly shot gun approach, i.e. one random technique to another. I ask because that's how it feels in my current situation and my grasp of ikkyu and other fundamental techniques (and doing it correctly) is fairly shakey.

Wil

Chad Scott
12-19-2004, 06:03 AM
Yes, I am an English instructor at a university in the Tokyo area. That's what brought me to Japan in the first place.

The classes for beginners at Aikikai hombu focus on techniques from 5th to 3rd kyu (I believe). Apart from that, each class they are presented in a "random" order. We usually end class with a sitting technique -- kokyu-ho.