May I come visit your dojo?
Hello. A student of mine recently took a business trip and was eager to visit and practice at a local dojo while away. I recommended he notify the dojo of his intentions prior to his departure on his trip. I was a bit shocked by the reply.
While I respect the feelings and sentiment behind it and understand the wariness of a visiting aikidoka from a foreign dojo, it still left me with a deflated feeling.
Below is the original correspondence from my student to the dojo followed by their reply. I have omitted any names and affiliations of the other dojo.
I am a member of Aikido Suimei of Phoenixville, PA and will be
traveling to <somewhere in USA> next week for business. If time permits I would like to visit your dojo to practice with you if that would be ok with you.
Aikido Suimei is an ASU organization of which I am a member.
I've been practicing aikido for 1.5 years now and hold the rank of
4th Kyu. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that a visit with you is possible.
------------------- Response ---------------------
It is always nice to hear from fellow Aikido students traveling in the
As you may be aware, we practice a style of aikido at least somewhat
different than what you have trained in. Although we always welcome
visitors to come and watch our classes, we have found it better to
having students of other styles "drop-in" for just a few classes.
am sure that your style and your study are both accomplished and
even small differences in training style can cause confusion or lead to
accidents. Differences in breakfalls, rituals for initiations,
striking/blocking, or throwing techniques can present opportunities for
miscommunication and possible injury.
If a student of another style of any martial art were interested in
long term and starting as a rank beginner, they are of course welcomed.
However, for such a short period, we would prefer you to visit and
rather than participate.
If you would like to visit our dojo, please let me know and we will
sure that the instructors on that evening know you are coming and have
opportunity to meet and talk with you.
In a Spirit of Harmony,
Teacher from <somewhere in USA> dojo