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Old 01-04-2002, 12:34 PM   #21
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 265
The dojo where I instruct is very small. There are no special introductory classes for newbies. This means that for the first three weeks or so (sometimes much longer) beginners spend most of their training time learning to fall and practicing katate-tori shihonage over and over. As well, three practices a week is the minimum standard for training. No one is permitted to train less than this consistently. This means we tend to have only seriously interested people join us. These sort don't require alot of encouragement or support. They know what they want and aren't impeded by a lack of a sense of inclusion.

Fortunately, my dojo is a prime example of the "birds of a feather" principle. While we train hard, we do so in a lighthearted and pleasant manner. Laughter is a common and valued occurence during practice; though it never diminishes the intensity of training. This is a result of the generous and fun-loving nature of the people who train. When I have questioned new students about why they have decided to join our dojo inevitably they cite as a reason the sense of fun that permeates practice. Happy people generally tend to be friendly people and so feeling included and accepted in our dojo as a new student is not a problem.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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