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Old 07-03-2002, 12:30 PM   #19
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Originally posted by PeterR

Is your sensei Michelle - if so please pass on my regards - I visited your Cambridge dojo a few years back. Also could you pass on my e-mail to the owner of your dojo (its the Judo dojo on Charles Street right?). I visited him just before I returned to Japan and lost the contact information. Foolish me.

By the by - its not the patience that gets them or the need for violence (they can get plenty of that in some Aikido dojos). Young men and women base a lot of their self image on who they hang around with. Aikido by its very nature does not exclude the less svelt. A young man looking into a dojo asks himself do I want to be like them and frankly that is what kept me away from Aikido for so long even though I liked the technicallity. Finally, one day I walked into a dojo in Tsukuba University full of young men and women sweating like demons and I was hooked.

Thank you so much for replying. My Sensei is Mike Henderson; who was indeed once a member of the Cambridge dojo. I will certainly pass on your information to him.
You know, I have very little experience in Aikido dojos, but I consider myself very lucky to be a member of this Dojo - of the small numbers we have, we have 3 truly superb instructors there. Sensei Mike; a careful and considerate teacher who can balance class-wide instruction with one-on-one help - a difficult task - with ease. Our senior student, Jill Nielsen, is another good teacher who can make sense and fun out of the most confusing technique. Another instructor, Gary Thomas, is a superb details man. He can point out the 'why's' of a technique, making sure the student understands the idea behind a technique - all in a rather elegant Welsh accent. They make a heck of a tag-team for us newbies: Sensei Mike introduces the technique, tells us how it works, why it works and when it works. We learn and practice the technique with Jill, who demonstrates its effectiveness and gets us practicing it with enthusiasm, then hands us off to Gary, who irons out the rough spots and gets us practicing with grace...for students. As an experienced instruction teacher, I tend to get tired very quickly with poor instructors; I really appreciate the skill of these 3. I've been told I'm learning quite quickly; I still feel like a gracless cow on the mat (LOL!), but whatever speed I'm learning at, I place all the kudos on them.

BTW; I agree wholeheartedly with your assesment of my last comment, although I still adhere to mine. I think there's enough room for both opinions
Thank you.
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