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Young Grasshopper Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 01-28-2011 01:49 PM
A blog written from the point of view of a martial arts beginner, which I am. You can find the full blog at http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com. Here on AikiWeb, I'll post only those entries which are relevant to aikido.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 28
Comments: 78
Views: 121,807

In General How I Got Here Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #9 New 02-18-2011 05:52 PM
I have been asked before how I chose aikido as the martial art I wanted to train. The truth is, I didn't.

I never painstakingly researched the relative merits of different of martial arts. I never asked for a lot of input from experienced martial artists on what would suit my goals or my body type. I never took introductory classes in different martial arts to see how they felt.

What I did do was go online and look at the web site of every martial arts training center within 20 miles: taekwondo dojang, judo dojo, kung fu center, whatever. If what I saw looked interesting and there was an e-mail address provided, I shot them an e-mail asking for more information.

My questions were, I thought, pretty reasonable ones. What styles did they teach? How much did they charge? When were their classes? As it turned out, nearly all of the people I contacted were unwilling to part with even this most basic information. The responses were all the same: come on in, see a class, and we'll talk about it.

I, for one, didn't want to devote an evening to seeing a class and listening to the instructor's pitch if I didn't think the program would fit my budget or my work schedule. So most of these places never heard another word from me.

A funny thing happened, though. The e-mail I sent to a small nonprofit aikido club got a reply in an hour-and-a-half. The reply gave detailed information on the club's class schedule, fees, and monthly dues. The dues were reasonable and the classes were mostly at times when I could attend, so I decided to go see a class.

I liked what I saw at that class, so I went to another class. I liked what I saw at that class, too, so I decided to join the club.

In the end, I chose a dojo, not an art. Rather than trying to judge the relative merits of the different arts available to me (something I was wholly unqualified to do), I went to the place where the people had been forthcoming and honest with me.

I suspect I am not unique in this. How many other would-be martial artists are out there who have decided not to pursue the martial arts because every instructor they contacted came on a like a used car salesman? If more private martial arts establishments dealt with people as openly and honestly as that small nonprofit aikido club, I might be paying twice as much or more for karate or jujutsu somewhere else.

Private instructors, are you listening? I could be paying for your kids' braces right now if only you'd been willing to tell me what, when, and how much.
Views: 2192 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "How I Got Here"
#2 02-20-2011 09:48 PM
OwlMatt Says:
My point was that, at least in my case, they might have made more money from me had they done it a different way.
#1 02-19-2011 01:13 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Thank you for sharing that. It is a pity people who do martial arts gets salesmen, but on the other side how can they survive otherwise, but it is true always beeing honest is the best way.

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