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AikiWeb System 01-31-2005 09:51 AM

Bond Street Dojo Relocation
Posted 2005-01-31 09:09:34 by
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In 1973 two friends, Terry Dobson and Ken Nisson, first gave aikido classes in a store front in New York's East Village that would become the Bond Street Dojo. For over 30 years, thanks to the generous support of the owners of the building, Jan and Calcotte Kindler, aikido training continued in the space.

Things change. The once rundown neighborhood has become gentrified. The Kindlers have both passed away. And the Bond Street Dojo is pulling up stakes.

Things change, and sometimes we wish that they wouldn't. How many million times did nage met uke on the Bond Street mat? Attack, receive, attack, receive; do these things work their way into the floorboards and walls? Do our places miss us as much as we miss them?

Although we will miss our old training location, we are excited by the opportunities that our new dojo provides. It is much larger - the mat alone is as big as the old dojo space was - and we believe that when we have finished construction we will have the best training space in New York City.

If you are in New York, please come on by and train. While the new dojo may be in a bit of a raw state for a while, the welcome will be warm.

The name remains Bond Street Dojo.

The new location is 214 W. 29th Street, on the 3rd floor. The mat is laid down. We look forward to training with you.

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akiy 01-31-2005 10:07 AM

Re: Bond Street Dojo Relocation
Hi folks,

I never did get to visit the old Bond Street Dojo location. I think it's amazing that a dojo could have remained in one single location for over thirty years. I wish eveyrone involved with the new dojo luck and hope I'll be able to train at the new location some day.

Best regards,

-- Jun

donhebert 01-31-2005 06:50 PM

Re: Bond Street Dojo Relocation
I have been a regular visitor to the Bond Street Dojo for at least twenty years. It's going to feel very strange not to take the well-remembered route to the dojo from the subway. Although I will miss the old dojo (serviced by the worlds smallest rest room) I am looking forward to training at the new facility.

Best wishes to all my friends at the Bond Street Dojo!

Warm Regards,

Don Hebert

AsimHanif 02-01-2005 07:51 AM

Re: Bond Street Dojo Relocation
What's the cross street? 29th and ? Sounds like near 6th avenue?


Fred Little 02-01-2005 09:16 AM

Re: Bond Street Dojo Relocation

Asim Hanif wrote:
What's the cross street? 29th and ? Sounds like near 6th avenue?


The new location is between 7th and 8th on the south side of the street.

Last night I discovered just how easy it is to get there via the PATH train. Take either the Journal Square-33rd Street or the Hoboken-33rd Street line, leave the 33rd Street Station at the 30th Street exit. Walk one block south on Ave. of the Americas, 1.5 blocks west on 29th Street. My time was just under one hour door to door including a leg on the Newark Subway from Warren Street to Penn Station Newark, so access from Jersey City, Harrison, Newark Liberty Airport, and Hoboken should all be much, much better than was previously the case.

As the original press release said, the space is still pretty raw, with temporary dressing rooms, but the first classes on the new mat went well last night as we began to get accustomed to the new mat surface and configuration (Zebra Mats on top of a woodframe platform, with significantly different dynamics and more width than the mat-space at the old location).

It looks like work on the tokonoma should be commence this week with more permanent dressing rooms should start soon. Till the dust settles, bringing a pair of zori or flip-flops is highly recommended. Who knows? It might become a standing custom.

Don, you'll be happy to hear that the new bathroom is definitely not like that legendary room that Groucho Marx tagged as "too small to change my mind."


Fred Little

donhebert 02-01-2005 01:28 PM

Re: Bond Street Dojo Relocation
I think many people will be thankful for the more spacious accommodations at the new location. I myself retain a painful memory of the one (and only) time I attempted to use the restroom at Bond Street with my hakama still on. However, life would be dull without these humbling comic moments.

With reference to the question of whether the old space will remember the people, in this respect the new owners of the old building may be getting more than they bargained for. For example, I was always somewhat spooked and yet curious about the single barred window behind the commode. It appeared to open out into some nameless pit (presumably located in the nether regions of Jones Alley) and in the blackness one could dimly make out wafting cobwebs and god knows what else. I have long harbored a secret fancy that Terry Dobson's ghost lives back there - not because he has banished himself, but simply because he is waiting for a good moment to reach through the bars with one of his big mitts and scare the bejeesus out of some hapless patron. For some reason this gives me a small feeling of satisfaction when thinking of the new tenants.


P.S. By the way, if people have some interesting Bond Street stories, this would be a fun place to post them.

AsimHanif 02-01-2005 03:51 PM

Re: Bond Street Dojo Relocation
Thanks Fred. I was in NY a few weeks ago but practiced at NYAikikai. Next time in I'll stop by the new Bond St location.

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