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Ben Selford
11-11-2005, 12:02 PM
Greetings - I'm not yet started on this journey but am anxious to get going. My name is Ben and I live in Hatfield PA. I've written to some local schhols but there are so many styles different ranked teachers that I simply just don't know how to begin.

I'm hoping that by going to this source, I can rely on some expert guidance.

Can anyone reccommend a good instructor / Dojo ? - I don't want waste time and have to begin again if I make a bad choice.

So I'm asking for some help please..

thanks

Ben

akiy
11-11-2005, 12:09 PM
These two articles are in the training section of the aikido articles (http://www.aikiweb.com/general/articles.html) on this site.

http://www.aikiweb.com/training/akiy7.html
http://www.aikiweb.com/training/witt1.html

-- Jun

Ben Selford
11-11-2005, 12:19 PM
Thanks Jun - these are very good articles and this makes perfect sense. My problem is one of styles - within a 25 mile radius, I think there 5 different styles !!

Aikikai
Yoshinkan
ASU
Kenkyukai
USAF

etc. etc..

I might have to visit all of these schools but was wondering if anyone could give me push in the right direction..is any one better than the others ?

thanks

akiy
11-11-2005, 12:25 PM
I might have to visit all of these schools but was wondering if anyone could give me push in the right direction..is any one better than the others ?
No.

Go visit all of the dojo and make the decision for yourself. Choosing a dojo is a personal decision, not for one of us to "push" you in one direction or other.

-- Jun

Ben Selford
11-11-2005, 01:21 PM
I understand...

How about if I phrase this differently -

I'm looking for a style of Aikido that maintains martial integrity. It is my understanding (and after reading many of the forums here) that some styles are very "artsy". This is not what I'm looking for ..

I want to be able to train and have conidence in my training that it will allow me to potentially defend myself.

Is there anyone out there with an opionon on this ?

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2005, 01:23 PM
Actually, I'm a neighbor of yours (live in North Wales). I'll send you a PM with my phone number, you should give me a call...

Best,
Ron

Ben Selford
11-11-2005, 01:28 PM
Thanks Ron - you seem to have been around for a while with lots of posts. Where do you train and do you know the dojos in this area ?

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2005, 01:35 PM
Uh, the reason I gave the phone number is so we could discuss offline. It would probably be more appropriate. Jun's advice is spot on...even with someone experienced to guide you / take you around it would still be your decision. One person might view a particular style as martial, and another might say 'oh no, that's not martial, you're full of it!' I have some questions that I can ask to get a feel for what your needs are, but I'd rather do that voice to voice or face to face if possible. You can check your private messages by going to the top of this page under where its says Welcome, and then your name.

Best,
Ron

Ben Selford
11-11-2005, 01:58 PM
Thanks Ron - I'll give you a shout this weekend sometime. can't really have a conversation here at work.

I have to say though - I've been a student of the martial arts previously and usually folks are quick to jump and say "train here it's a good school" or " so and so is a good teacher" etc . Basic stuff..can't imagine that it would offend anyone. In fact, it would be a compliment

Anybody else ?

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2005, 02:14 PM
Its not a matter of offending any one necessarily. I've trained at at least 8 different dojo in the phila. area at one time or another (That's about 5 different 'styles'). There are some dojo (not in the list just mentioned) I would definately advise against. But I try not to do that in public anymore. Mainly because even though **I** would never train there, it might just be perfect for you, and you should feel free to consider it, as long as you have the facts.

I also just don't feel like typing out a 5 page survey on every where I've ever trained. :) I may have something out on ebudo where I speak a little of the different offerings in the area. I also don't want to say where I train is the best thing since sliced cheese. Obviously, it is for me, which says nothing about what you might like. But you're more than welcome to tag along with me one saturday for a free class :)

Best,
Ron

Ben Selford
11-11-2005, 02:25 PM
Here's the 2 dojos I'm checking out this week. If you have any thoughts, great, if not, I'm hittin the road,,,

www.Aikidoseishinkan.org - ASU
www.lpaikido.com - AAA

both of these guys are 4th dan...

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2005, 02:37 PM
Both of those dojo are excellent. David Goldberg was my second instructor in aikido...Jeff Bowden was a 1st kyu rank in his dojo way back when, and helped me a lot. He now runs...guess what...wait for it....Lower Providence Aikido!

Either place is fine, very safe training, good instruction.

Best,
Ron

NagaBaba
11-11-2005, 03:01 PM
Hi Ben,
Don't waste your time. Simply go directly to Doshinkan dojo, where Ron practice. These guys have all you need and Ron badly needs an experiences martial artist like you to pratice with. He loves to be unified with tatami :)

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2005, 03:08 PM
Hi Ben,
Don't waste your time. Simply go directly to Doshinkan dojo, where Ron practice. These guys have all you need and Ron badly needs an experiences martial artist like you to pratice with. He loves to be unified with tatami :)

:D Actually, we have had several experienced martial artists come by, and great fun was had by all. And the forth dans give me all the 'unified with the tatami' experience I could ever hope for!

Best,
Ron

Ben Selford
11-11-2005, 04:11 PM
Here's the deal - I'm fast learner so I'm going to ramp up and come and give you some competition !!! :D :D

SteveTrinkle
11-11-2005, 11:03 PM
Hello Ben,

I train at Aikido Kenkyukai in North Wales ( www.aikidokenkyukaipennsylvania.org ). You are welcome to visit and see if you like our training. Ron is a great resource for you - he seems to know everyone in the area and beyond. He will give you his honest impression of our dojo as well as others.

Good luck,
Steve

Ed Shockley
11-12-2005, 07:57 AM
You are lucky to have someone of Ron's ability volunteer to help you in your dojo search. I've trained with him and always learned quite a lot. If it seems like everyone is being cautious about recommendation I suspect it is because we all respect the sensei/student relationship. I, like Ron, train many places and can do so because my Sensei and the dojos that I visit are open minded. Not everyone is and if I had started in a less inviting place then I would either have to change homes or forgo an important and fun part of my Aikido life. Each fold of the hakima represents a meditation and one of the principles is "loyalty." I interpret that to mean that you find a home and matriculate there under the guidance of a sensei. The choice of home, like buying a house, shouldn't be cavalier. Take your time and enjoy the search. If you're in Philly come share what you have learned with us at Aikikai. We welcome visitors and respect the different interpretations of O'Sensei's vision.

Camille Lore
11-12-2005, 02:52 PM
You're going to find the interaction is different in Aikido than other arts. Hence people are more open to how they will direct you to a dojo. It all depends on what you are looking for. There are many different flavors to aikido, depending on when the lineage came from Ueshiba, or if it came from him at all.... I would check out a few classes from each dojo and see where you find what you are looking for. Ron could certainly be a good local guide for you.
I just wish my dojo had as frequent classes as those you listed! But, I'm hooked.... my dojo is small, but the training is great!
Good luck!

Ben Selford
11-13-2005, 03:33 PM
I had my first class today but first , let me say that there is way too much "hush-hush" regarding schools in this art. C'mon guys/gals, are you proud of your school or not ? Is everyone being so politically correct here that they can't stand up and say "the teacher that I have is very good and this is a great school" - Honestly, if I was teaching at a dojo and someone stood up and said " this guy is doing a great job - check it out.." I'd be very proud of that and the students reading this would think "hey I must be in a good school"

If I want to join a school, I'm looking for enthusiasm and excitement. There is nothing more envigorating than having to go to a place where people are excited about what's going on. I think it's time to shake things up in the Aikido world a bit..everyone talks about the openess of this art, however, the replies are all "we better talk off line"..what a shame...

Lower Providence Aikido is where I'm starting - I'm going to start a journal now so you can find my journey there..thanks to all who responded and I hope you seriously consider some of my comments- off to aikiblogs, hope you follow me there..

Ben

Ron Tisdale
11-14-2005, 08:54 AM
You know, it's funny. I gave you a way to contact me, but never heard from you. You could have come with me to an excellent seminar at Bucks County Aikido, where Juba Noir and George Lyons were teaching Saturday night. Ed Shockley was there as well as some other aikiweb folks. You would have gotten plenty of enthusiasm, plenty of hard training, and a chance to experience some of Chiba Sensei's top students. Oh well.

Frankly, the reason's I've already given for not trying to push your decision one way or another are pretty clear. But to sum it up for you; the aikido I know is not about competition. I am not going to compete with other schools to get you to try the Doshinkan. I have too much respect for the other schools, and my relationships with them, to jeapordize those relationships for you, an unknown.

I have offered to meet you in person, and go with you training to different places. I have given you my personal phone number. I really don't know what else anyone could expect.

Best of luck on your entry to aikido. LP Aikido is a great place with a great instructor.

Ron

Andy
11-14-2005, 09:22 AM
The fact that Ron who has a lot of information on dojos near him offered to give his thoughts privately but was refused says a lot. Sure sounds like Ben isn't really interested in hearing about the dojos around him. Maybe Ben has a hidden agenda to promote LP Aikido?

People who toot their horns about their dojo turn me off. If where you trained wasn't the best place for you then you wouldn't be training there.

Ben Selford
11-14-2005, 09:41 AM
I didn't want to offend anyone. I'm really grateful that Ron has offered to help me find my way, I just kinda felt that maybe I should gather a little info and take the first few steps on my own. The only agenda I have is to learn some cool stuff and maybe meet some nice people.

I guess it was just confusing to me in the beginning. I'm not used this type of response in the arts and maybe that's a very good thing.
I'm gonna keep my mouth shut now...

My apologies Ron...I hope to meet you one day..

Ron Tisdale
11-14-2005, 10:36 AM
No problems at all. I'm sure we'll get together after some mat time one day and have a laugh about this over a beer!

Best,
Ron

Ed Shockley
11-30-2005, 10:45 AM
I'm wondering if it might be fun to consciously visit each other's dojos? Obviously many of us do this already as Ron pointed out but I'd love to get a bunch of us together on the same day at the same area dojo. I always either ask the Sensei or ask a senior student to ask on my behalf but the answer has always been, "Yes, come train." (As with Utada Shihan, Ron's Sensei, or Skip Chapman, Sensei who is having a seminar this Sunday in North Jersey) I also got my own Sense's blessing before I started and inform him as a courtesy of where and when I intend to train. (Sometimes there are important events at my own dojo that require my presence more urgently-testing, for example or spring cleaning) If there is an interest we could do something like once a month rotating visits, train and grab the ever popular beer after. It would be a bit like $10 seminars. Just a thought.

Dirk Hanss
11-30-2005, 04:44 PM
I'm wondering if it might be fun to consciously visit each other's dojos?
Obviously it is not helpful, if you are unconscious while visiting the others' dojo. ;)

Sorry, OT

Dirk