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Old 08-02-2009, 10:16 AM   #17
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Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,471
Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

At this point, there are many different perspectives being mixed together.

- The questionnaire is not enough.
- The questions in the questionnaire are not good or relative to Aikido training.
- The questionnaire will only draw people that think they can be or are committed but may not necessarily be so.

Because the questionnaire is "not enough," it should not mean that it is useless and therefore should be dismissed. It could be the beginning of a process. For example, in our dojo, though we do not use a questionnaire, or even an interview process to make ultimate decisions, we do ask a person if they feel they can meet the two day per week training minimum and if they can meet the Intended Training Schedule protocol at the very beginning. (We do not ask if they can meet a Dues Responsibility.) If they say, "yes," and should we have openings, they go right into the trial period - where they work to develop an intimacy with the dojo (and vice versa). If this intimacy is not developed enough for either party to make an informed decision, the trial period is extended to a suitable length. In this way, those first questions work as an initial context to help all parties involved IF the person MIGHT BE capable of commitment to the training. Perhaps the questionnaire is part of a larger system like this. If it is, as it is for us, it may be wiser to draw folks to the dojo that are fine answering they can meet a training minimum than those that are repelled by the question.

If folks feel the questions themselves are negative, they should be considered thus in an interview as well, or even over a month long period. To that, what can one say. This dojo is not for you. That should not be a bad thing, as a dojo commitment is indeed a very intimate relationship, and thus is in the end a very personal thing. For us, we do not judge other ways, only our own departure from our own chosen way. We advertise the other local Aikido dojo for folks that are more well-matched for a dojo of their nature. In fact, during the Trial Period, folks are requested to attend the other local Aikido dojo (if Aikido is what is drawing them to our dojo), or other schools in the area (if training is what is drawing them to our dojo), so that they can make better informed decisions.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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