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Old 06-22-2000, 07:42 AM   #5
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670

In our younger days there wasn't so much Aikido here in the Northwest as there is now (15 dojos in the immediate Seattle area). We were hungry for any training we could get.

We hit every seminar that was held within a ten hour drive. That would cover all the way down to Arcada, CA where Tom Read sensei was doing magical stuff, up to Vancouver, BC where Saotome Sensei, Ikeda sensei, and Mary Heiny Sensei were apt to go in those days, all the way over to Missoula Montana wher Raso Hultgen has had her dojo for many years now.

Some of us additionally flew to as many seminars with our teachers as we could afford.

Now people are jaded. In the Seattle area each dojo sponsers a certain number of events.The vast majority of students don't seem interested enough to travel across town to train. There is either an attitude of "that isn't my style so I'm not interested" or "we'll have the Sensei at our own place later in the year so I won't bother". It is truely amazing to me. We used to have to really travel to get to these vents. Now, on one weekend last year, there were five major Aikido events held simultaneously in the immediate Northwest area and three were in Seattle! We'd have died to have that kind of access in the old days but now students don't seem to care much. I often have trouble convincing students at the dojo to attend our own events and they are covered in the dues payments so they don't even have to pay anything extra. There are of course major exceptions to this. I have some students who are traveling almost every weekend to train, they are really "hungry". But it seems not to be the main practice these days. I have unfortunately been unable to train like I did in the old days due to extensive family obligations but I still get to a few and like to get back to DC Summer Camp at least every couple years. The seminars we have held have given us some fabulous training over the years (Mary Heiny, Tom Read, Frank Doran, William Gleason, Clint George, Raso Hultgren, John Messores, Saotome and Ikeda Senseis have all taught at oure school.) The people who took advantage of these seminars received invaluable lessons! It is beyond me why more students, who fancy themselves serious about what they do, don't go out of their way to get more exposure to the wide variety of fine teachers there are doing seminars around the country.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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