Michael Stuempel wrote:
One point that you may want to consider when you make your list of what you require in a dojo is that it is highly probable that your needs and requirements will change as you pursue your training. I have talked to many fellow Aikido practitioners about this and I cannot think of a single person who is still training with the same expectations and desires they started with.
We all evolve as people and Aikido is one very positive way to grow within yourself. My expectations of what Aikido will do for me have changed/mutated a dozen times over the years and when I think back I can't believe how limited my original "goals" were.
Go train. Find out the parts that you like in the dojo and see if they outway the parts that you don't like. If they do, stay...if they don't, go someplace else and try again.
I have trained with Joe Thambu Sensei and highly recommend him. Not only is he highly proficient at Aikido he is a genuinely warm and interesting individual. I suspect that his dojo will be the same.
Absolutely Michael! When I started HapKiDo (my first foray into MA) I am ashamed to say that all I was after was a way to win fights. It didn't take long for me to grow beyond that. The change never stops of course
You suggested that I weight up the parts I don't like with the parts I do... And that's pretty much where I am now... Only thing is that the way I see it, although Thambu Sensei may be a top bloke and a top teacher at a top school (all reports would make it so), fact is that he doesn't respect the meaning of the hakama in the way that I and OSensei, and hopefully someone else out there, do. (Please, no offense is intended here, just calling it how it is. I'm not suggesting that it's wrong for Thambu Sensei or his school or students)
It's a paradoxical situation... Do I let my morals slip to keep my aikido (physical), therefore losing a piece of the aikido (seems pointless), or do I uphold my morals to keep my aikido (spiritual), therefore losing a piece of the aikido. Either way I win some, I lose some.
If I am truly non-attached, the solution isn't to drop the hakama, or drop the training, it's to drop aikido altogether.... At least for the time being.
But lord knows that doesn't feel right
Still a win some lose some situation. I'm a win-win kinda guy.
I thought that maybe I could do the physical side in the dojo and the spiritual in my own time... But I feel as though separating the spiritual from the dojo could defeat what I feel to be aikido - more than just something physical, but also physical representation of a spiritual way.
Still lost eh... The answer will surely present itself in time, and probably sooner than expected while I have helpful posts like yours