I am going to be moving in the near future and I have been training at the same dojo for the last 3 years. I have grown very close to the people in my dojo and I am going to miss training with them very much. My question is, when I join my new dojo, how should I go about it? Should I just go and watch a class first and see how things are run, or should I just go for a class right off? Thanks.
When I returned to Law School in January of this year, I had to leave my old dojo behind too. Like you I was really close to the folks in the dojo even though I had only been there for six months.
Since I was new to aikido and because there were no schools that offered my original style, I really was not much concerned as which style or affliation I choose. I just wanted to find a place to practice and learn aikido. What I did is check out the dojos in my area. I did a web search, first. The web sites provided the most basic information like class and fee schedules. If I liked what I saw I visited the dojo. I pretty much went to view a class to get a "feel" for the instruction and the style. (I was changing from a Aikijujutsu Daito-Ryu offshoot to Aikikai). I spoke with the instructor and one of his shodan. It turned out they were going to offer class on my campus. I received a good impression so that was how I chose.
Now, I also had the issue of not only changing dojo cultures but also change of styles. While the style I originally practiced is similar, it was different enough to make this beginner confused. Since I only had 6 months experience previously, I just decided to "start over" so to speak. I just took basics classes for a while to get an understanding of the foundations that this school taught. That worked that best for me.
I hope this helps.
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