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Old 07-18-2001, 10:52 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Unhappy Two Dojos in One ( Ronco (tm))

First of all, let me say that it is good to be back. I don't know how long I have been away, but it seems like ages.

Now, don't let the light hearted thread title fool you, I have a serious question that I would like to get some feedback on. Recently, another dojo affiliated in the same organization as ours lost their training facility. We made accomodations for them to train with us in our dojo and there was a great hope that the two programs could come together as one. In fact, there were several seminars that we went to where we brought the largest contingent of any represented dojo.

But not all was happy in paradise.

There were natural, expected issues to overcome: training nights were different, as were training intensities, it seemed, and attitudes toward training (some completely held to aikido only as an art and a way of self-improvement, shrugging off all suggestions of practical self-defense as "not what I'm training for," while some were completely interested in the self-defense side, leaving the art as an afterthought). Tangible differences, such as training schedules could be worked out, but the intangibles, the attitudes, went unchanged.

There was an announcement made in the beginning that there would still be two dojos, with two distinct dojo names - which seemed silly, to me. To my thinking, if the visiting dojo intends to remain independent then they should conduct themselves as guests in the house of another until such a time as they could get their own facility again. For instance, which dojo are new students signed up under? Do they go to the visiting dojo, so that while the home dojo gets no new students the visiting dojo gets to develop their program without having to worry about maintaining their own facility (thereby being that much stronger when they inevitably split, for what other purpose could their be for keeping the visiting dojo's name but the hope that someday they will be independent again?). Again, IMHO, if they are interested in coming together to form one family larger and stronger than the two could be separately, then there should be one dojo; one dojo name. This point was made to my Sensei by the leader of the organization we are both affiliated through, "There are not two dojos. There's one. Your house, your dojo."

My question is, has anyone else gone through something like this? And if so, how was it handled? What did you do that worked? What didn't work? What didn't feel good but was for the best? How do you handle disrespectful students who won't attend classes given by one sensei or the other because, "That's not what I'm training for," "That's not what I'm used to," or "That's not the way my sensei does it"? Should two dojos exist like this under one roof, or if two come together should there be only one?

Last edited by Magma : 07-18-2001 at 10:55 AM.

It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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