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Old 10-26-2007, 09:31 AM   #16
jennifer paige smith
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
Re: My thoughts about my dojo/sensei

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Hello gentlemen,

a month ago I decided to start aikido. Me; being a couch-potato and completely untrained from the point I stopped football (When I was like 14 years old). So, even tho I found many Dojos in my town, I preferred my local Dojo which is only referenced once in the whole internet, without a website, and just one room for practicing.
So, I visited the Dojo, I spoke with the secretary (Karate trainer), she explained me that there are three kinds of martial arts currently on schedule there (Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Aikido), and I spoke with some of the guys waiting for the Aikido class (Advanced class, Begginers class would be the next day). The were all friendly, and they would ecstatically talk about Aikido videos/techniques all the time. I watched the whole training and then I went home really happy, since Aikido seemed great.
The next day, I was there. No uniform, me and my sport uniform. I spoke with the instructor (Sensei. God Bless my Anime japanese training!), he told me that he started Aikido 10 years ago, and he currently has 2 dans. Then I took the first class; we learned how to sit (seiza)/bow and we also learned 3 grabs (Simple ones, I-grab-your-hand-and-move-out-of-your-reach). I felt awesome. I promised sensei that I would be back, and I was back indeed. After two days, I was back there! We did another great class, we learned how to counter a grab, and we also learned how to knee-walk. Exciting? Hell yeah! I talked with the secretary again, and I registered and payed for a month. She told me that we, beginners, have lessons 3 times a week, and when we pass the first exams, we will have 4 times a week (and of course we can always come to the advanced classes just to check them out, or even advanced aikidoka can come to the beginner classes for review!). Oh man, how happy I was!
Today, after my 4th Aikido lesson (I even bought the uniform! 70$ mama-mia) I ran back to my house and checked some Aikido videos on Youtube, and I also checked other local Dojos (just to see their websites, photos etc.). And there came the bomb! My favorite sensei, my sensei that easily out-grabbed and threw his students on the floor with ease, was nothing compared to other Dojo's teachers! Aw man.. a Dojo in the same area as mine, has a sensei of 5dan. And oh my God, another Dojo (a bit away from me, but whatever) has a sensei of 4 dan! Only my sensei and another one have only 2 dan. And there came the doubt! Is my sensei good enough? Can a 2-dan sensei teach my greatness correctly? So I visited these forums, and made this thread.

To sum-up this cute story: My ecstatic-sensei that always talks about Aikido techniques and traditions on the dressing-rooms and likes the fact that I'm only 18 years old (By far the youngest in the class), is quite low-ranked compared to other teachers (senseis, would be wrong, right). Do you think that this really matters?
Also, is 3 lessons a week (2 of an hour, and 1 of two hours) enough? Because by reading this forums, I see people training 6 times a week.
o.k., back to me .......i've been practicing for 15 years on a daily basis. i teach and i train. i am technically unranked, although i have assisted in bringing kohai up to godan in other systems. so all this adds up to is train with who brings out your best. rank is but a small, and often untelling, distinction. trust yourself and train in the way that rises up to greet you. joy is joy.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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