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Old 01-24-2008, 05:45 AM   #16
Joe Bowen
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Dojo: Yongsan Aikikai
Location: But now I'm in the UK
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 210
South Korea
Re: New Person Training Full Time


It is an admirable ambition to dedicate your life to aikido. I don't know from your posts how old you are nor what type of life experiences you have had to date. Uchideshi programs cost money and invariably the money for the programs come for the uchideshi themselves. Unfortunately in today's world $3500 will not get you very far.

I will also echo what several other folks have recommended here, that you "check out" a class or too before you jump head first of the high dive. While what form of aikido you study is not necessarily a life or death decision, if you are moving to another country on somebody else's dime, you will invariably incur a type of obligation to them and you could be putting yourself in a compromising situation.

While living in South Korea, I had the opportunity to train in Zen Meditation with some Buddhist monks at a temple just south of Taejon. After the meditation there was a Dharma talk and the opportunity to question the abbot of the temple about anything and everything. Most folks asked about specific problems in their lives and one women in particular asked the monk about problems she was experiencing while trying to meditate because people she owed money too would continually hound her to pay them back. The abbot's response was,"why are you meditating? If you owe these people money, get a job and pay them what you owe them,
then, meditate".

The moral of the story leads me to my final advice to you: You need a method or means to obtain some form of income. If you're really interested in living overseas, check out English teaching programs. There are multiple programs at private institutes as well as overseas educational institutions. This will enable you to live abroad and experience some very nice aikido, while making some money.

One more tidbit, many uchideshi programs have recommendation requirements, meaning that someone, usually an aikido someone, has to vouch for you before you are able to be an uchideshi. This would be very hard if you have not trained anywhere beforehand.

So, all told, I encourage you to shoot for the moon and your uchideshi dream with a 7th dan Aikido instructor, but please do it intelligently and with an eye for a bit of self-reliance.

As the great swordsman Musashi Miyamoto wrote, "Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not rely on them".
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