View Full Version : Training in other dojo's as a beginner

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01-14-2005, 04:09 AM
Dear All,

I recently started Aikido and already think it's everything I was looking for and a bit more! I'm trying to attend training as often as I can, averaging 3 times a week at the moment. Due to previous experience in other martial arts, the start hasn't been as complicated as I expected, although I'm very much aware that I'm still a complete beginner. But things are slowly improving...

However, my work regularly requires me to travel abroad for a week or two, meaning I can't attend classes. Would it make sense to go to local dojo's when I'm abroad? As a beginner? And taking account the fact that there's a big language barrier (I tend to go to places like Bosnia, Bulgaria and Lithuania and I unfortunately don't speak the local language)?

Would be great if you could give some advice!


01-14-2005, 06:08 AM
Yes, I would try it. Most good aikido dojo are very welcoming. However you must make sure you are covered by insurance (yours or theirs). You will have to be open minded, in that different clubs have different ways of training and some instructors will say 'this is the right way' whilst others will say that is wrong. However it will be very much like going on a course - you train in their method, and when you go back to your own dojo you incorporate only that which is useful for you.

I doubt language will be a great problem - you'll be able to see what they are doing (in the past there was a concept that the instructor just shows and doesn't say anything anyway)

Pauliina Lievonen
01-14-2005, 07:54 AM
Hi Arjan! Where do you train in Rotterdam, if I may be curious? I train in Utrecht with Piet Lagerwaard, and sometimes visit the Kai shin kan dojo in Rotterdam as well.

I used to visit other dojo when I was a beginner as well, didn't speak much Dutch at the time either but it was never a big problem. You just have to look more carefully! agree with what Ian said, keep things you learn elsewhere well separate from what you learn "at home", at least for now.

welcome on the boards

01-14-2005, 12:50 PM
I've done this, though so far not across a language barrier. It's a lot of fun.

The basics of throwing and falling are very recognizable across every dojo I've visited (four different styles) and you can learn a lot as a visitor. Weapons classes are more iffy because there is more divergence among styles, and learning the first eight moves of a kata your school doesn't do is not as useful as working on the unarmed techniques.

It actually get a bit scarier as you advance, at least for a while (I'm fourth kyu now, hoping to be third soon) because if you look like you know what you are doing, people will treat you accordingly. I come from a style which de-emphasizes breakfalls and have had a few surprises while visiting, but so far no injuries. If you know there's a gap in your repetoire it may be a good idea to tell the teacher so.

Mary Kaye

01-14-2005, 01:30 PM
I've heard the principals of Aikido are the same wherever you go. I actually think there would be a huge advantage to training at other dojos because you get to apply the principals of Aikido to different people, big, small, experienced, inexperienced, different techniques etc... I read somewhere that once you get to a certain point you should abandon the techniques and make it your own. I don't think it meant to abandon your training and techniques, but to abandon relying on them to apply Aikido principals. I could be wrong because I've only been training for 5 months.

I attended a seminar last week. The style seemed different than what we do at our dojo, however because of this difference I was able to feel the principals behind Aikido that were the same. Hope this helps??

Lyle Laizure
01-22-2005, 07:03 AM
If it is acceptable by your Sensei most definately.