Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Re: Aikido Transmission and Class Size
Thanks for the passionate post. I am with you all the way, especially the "George" at the end that questions if it is possible the way things currently are. In other words, I'm feeling, using the beast to tame the beast ain't gonna happen.
So, what can folks do at the individual grass-roots level? Something really practical and immediately effective? Here's what we did: We offered as many hours as we can per week. Of course, here I'm referring to certain types of dojo and certain types of instructors - those that have access to most or all of the hours in a given day (via one reason or another). In my area, as far as I can tell, this is all of the Aikido schools - even most of the martial arts schools in our area. So, I'm thinking this is not so few of schools world-wide.
Of course, my desire for holding more hours originally came out of my greed for more hours to train in personally (note: I do not do the show and watch type of teaching common in every dojo I trained in up until now). So, though we are unable to hold most or all of the prime-time hours (business-wise), we still look to have a class wherever we can. As a result, we have, generally, a class at 6 a.m., a class at 9 a.m., a class at noon, a class at 4 p.m., and classes at 9/10 p.m. For the most part this schedule is maintained, or close to it, seven days a week.
As I said, this was a natural by-product of my own greed for training hours. As a consequence however, members started taking advantage of it - since they were able to more personalize their training week. Thus, because of the multiplicity of lives, no two folks have the same schedule. This in turn has led to most classes being attend by as few as one person to about an average of about four or six. Our most crowded class, currently (since it changes as the LEOs schedules change), is Sunday, when we might have a max of about 10 or more (only a few more) - if that, since a common Sunday attendance is, I would say, 6 to 9. In essence, because no one shows up at the same time, because no one has to, we are currently training in very small groups. This has turned out to be a wonderful byproduct of my own greed! As a result, as folks have already commented, improvements come fast.
So, this is my grass-roots suggestion: If one can, hold more classes, as many classes as you can. Your membership will naturally fan out, classes will reduce in the numbers attending, more attention can be given to what ails, improvements come faster, as the depth of those improvements also increases.
Now, all you got to do is deal with the withdrawal in those students that have grown up on the energy of the group, feeding off it for inspiration and dedication. It's a hard medicine for some folks, but it's good for them since inspiration and dedication should never come from without. New folks, that grow up in this other system of training never know the difference, and if anything, actually come to hate (current) seminars like they should at quite a young (training) age.
Last edited by senshincenter : 02-26-2007 at 06:37 PM.