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So, we have just started our third week in our new dojo, and we are still puttering around doing the little things that didn't get done before the first class: trimming the windows, adding extra sitting space (I guess it is a good thing that we are getting some visitors, and they need a place to sit...), extra lights.....the final touches.
And still, every time I walk in, I'm ever so grateful - again - to have the friends and training colleagues that helped make the space possible.
Last Friday, I had this bright idea. Why not write a press release and send it to the local paper. I'm not a PR person....but there are plenty enough examples of press releases on-line. And who to send it to? I had no idea, so I emailed it to the editor at three local papers.
On Monday, I had a call from one of the papers. They wanted to send a photographer to take pictures during class! (wow...as in aikido, when you try something that you are not sure is going to work, and then it works....what a heady feeling!).
So, a few minutes before class, this crusty, older guy wearing a press badge walks in. He was impressed with the space ("wow, you really have something exciting going on here")....I think he saw it when it was the old band rehersal room that hadn't been cleaned since the day the place was built....
He told me he was only going to stay for a few minutes, so I hurried through the warmups (much to my demise later...I'm old...I need stretches!). But then, he really go
So what do you do, when you are a 'rec center dojo' and the rec center has become unbearable?
First, we grinned and beared it...in true aiki manner. We ignored the soccor teams, allowed the hockey girls to tromp through and warm up in our space (well, they were BIG...even without skates)....but it was the karate people that went a nikkyo too far!
The karate tournament was huge, and on this particular day, we only had two adults and three kids. To keep the kids (who were usually enthusiastic aikido trainees) focused with the distraction of tournament fights going on all around was hard enough....but it was the parents and spectators that were the worst. When we politely asked that they not step, walk on or stand on our mats with their shoes on, we were insulted and cursed at. When I politely explained how they could walk around to the other side, I was confronted and challenged. Not even the rabid soccer moms where THIS bad.
We ended class early, but when I went back the next day...our mats had been pulled out of their storage space, someone had eaten french fries with ketchup on them...and smeared the ketchup everywhere....this was the one and only time that our mats were abused at the rec center. I have to say if these people were the best representative that the AAU Karate organization has...then I feel sad and sorry for them! What could they possibly be teaching kids???
So, the next day, we started looking in earnest for a space. You know the quest: