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I signed the paperwork and got the keys this morning.
Handed over a fat check.
Going from sharing a space with a dance studio to 3000 sq feet of dedicated space. The mat wil be at 1000 sq feet. We'll have proper dressing rooms. I'll have an office. There will be a lobby. There are windows in the front. There will be no mirrors on the mat. I can put up signs.
But it's going to be expensive.
Still, I think my business will grow now. Visibility matters. Presence matters. My ongoing lack of visibility has created the impression that I have no presence.
This is the day when I can officially call myself a Teacher of Aikido.
That's when the first of my students to earn her shodan gives her shodan presentation.
The way things are done in our school, it's pretty much a done deal. We would not have set the date if I didn't plan on awarding the rank. Sure, she has a couple of things to work on between now and then - not least of which is her presentation - but I have no doubt she'll do it.
I think this may be a bigger deal than my own shodan was. At least to me.
It made me consider the good and bad of the last three years of teaching:
Good: I have some very dedicated and talented students.
Bad: I was a pretty green teacher when I fell into this dojocho role.
Good: I've learned a lot and I believe I'm a much better dojocho - and teacher - than I was back then.
Bad: In the process of learning I chased away a lot of good students.
Good: I'm solidly established in the community.
Bad: I need to do a better job of outreach.
But, mostly, I'm happy that my student has earned her shodan. And I have another one due in about three months. Will he make it? I believe so, but he's not done yet. Plus a junior shodan (different from adult shodan, but still an accomplishment) within six months.