I've followed this discussion with a great interest up to now and I would like to ask all of you a question: Would it be a positive action for a 5. Kyu-Aikidoist to train frequently in another dojo? I mean it may be good for a black-belt, who already has a basic experience in the technique of Aikido, but concerning a lower grade, wouldn't it produce akind of "mess of techniques" which would lead to misconceptions in his development? I ask you this question, becaue I've read in an Aikido-book that a juniior student should not try to get everything from different teachers, because the result would be a multiplication of faults and total misconception of this student.
Thanks for your replies,
It depends on what your purpose is to attend different dojos. Many people say that they like to move about to broaden their horizons but it is really a way of "hiding out" and avoiding making a commitment to a particular teacher or school. They can float around and fall in between the cracks without having anyone place any demands on them. They are almost inevitably mediocre in their practice.
On the other hand you may be very commited to a teacher or school but find that there is something else going on at a different school that you really want to try out. Years ago I was attending Mary Heiny's school. We had a particular style of practice that was excellent but was quite specific to Mary Sensei as a teacher. Bookman sensei came back from Japan and set up shop in Seattle. He was very strong and had a different style. I wanted to learn ukemi from his style of throwing. He also did weapons work which Mary Sensei didn't. And he taught iaido which i wanted to do. So I split my time between the two schools and paid full dues at both. Of course in some ways this was possible because it was always understood by everyone concerned that I was Saotome Sensei's student. It worked out well and I have enjoyed a great relationship with both Mary Heiny and Bookman Senseis for fifteen years. It didn't screw up my technique. But then again I not only don't look like Mary sensei, or Bruce Sensei, I don't even look like Saotome sensei or Ikeda Sensei. But if you look carefully you can see elements of every one of these teachers in what I do. Maybe that isn't ok with some others but it works fine for me.
[Edited by George S. Ledyard on September 26, 2000 at 08:08pm]