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Old 07-04-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,266
United Kingdom
Re: Open Letter to My Students

Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Hi George,

While I appreciate the sentiment, I have to disagree on some points. Not everybody has the same amount of time, and we can't all choose our working hours or the length of our commute. I trained 3 or 4 times a week for a number of years, but that was because I had time to. Right now, I work 9 hours per day, commute for 2.5 and cook dinner 7 nights per week. I am lucky to find the time to train on weekends.

I am willing to bet that all of the people you know who are able to train 3 times a week have their partners look after themselves on the nights they are training. That isn't an option for me, and if I am going to train on a weeknight, I need to have dinner in the fridge ready to reheat, and I will usually end up doing the dishes etc. when I get home at 10:30. Then I need to get up at 6 the next morning to make breakfast and lunch.

Where exactly is this time supposed to come from, or am I just being lazy?
Dear Robin,
I do realise you have very little spare time.However may I suggest that perhaps you could train one hour [say two/three times ]midweek ?As far as meals are concerned and washing dishes, you could buy a takeaway meal/go to a cheap restaurant and you would not have to think about piles of dishware.
What Mr Ledyard is saying is that his group fail to understand the importance of supporting the dojo /course.Aikido is more than just a night out , wearing fancy gear , and so forth.To fully understand Aikido one has to be committed , make personal sacrifice[money /time] while at the same time[and this is important ] maintaining a good connection with family etc.You must learn to practise both Big Aikido and Small Aikido.
May I say that I also have the same issues as Ledyard Sensei?
Many a night I turn up at my own dojo and find I am in a minority of one /two.You can take a horse to the water etc.Funny enough the students expect the teacher to be there , but with a few exceptions,
I see some students one night then I dont see them for a week or two.And as for seminars my colleagues and I [6thDan /4th dan /two 3rd Dans and a Shodan]host a bi monthly area course.We charge for 4 hours training the princely sum of between 9 dollars/15 dollars.
Hardly excessive prices-yet we struggle to get more than 16 people.
And that includes visitors from other groups.No one receives a course teaching fee, we use this money to try a fund other events.
In conclusion I sometimes think that some of the newbies at Aikido have no real idea of what aikido is.The old timers like Ledyard Sensei understand the nature of Aikido and what it means to be
a Sensei and leader.Without men like Ledyard Sensei the legacy of O Sensei may well end in the not too distant future.
To the younger generation, step up to the plate.Give back what you have been given by your own teachers to future aikidoka.
Please do not think I am personalising this issue, simply saying that sometimes with a bit of planning one can utilise time better.
Cheers, Joe.
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