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Old 02-01-2012, 11:30 AM   #27
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
United_States
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Re: Three dojo management questions...

A great thread, I've been stopping by and reading around in it over the past several days and just now clicked on the new page where Katherine quoted Krystal. It reminded me of an experience I had years ago. I had been teaching at a local Y in my home town since returning from Japan, but had visited other dojos and seminars and camps.... but still I felt I was much slower than the other yudansha who had moved into the area and wanted to improve in order to keep up a bit more when practicing with them....

A neighbor had showed a karate kata at an outdoor practice we had by the Mianus River in Cos Cob where one of my students was renting the downstairs of a house. To make a long story short, I ended up thinking that might be good for my balance and to make my legs stronger, and to be able to move faster, etc. and went to the dojo his friends from Hampshire College were training at in NYC at Columbia (Teachers' College, actually)

My comment is about a new person deciding whether to join a dojo. First of all there was a very enthusiastic woman, Miriam from Israel, who was very friendly. This is important. The other thing was that there were white belts, brown belts and black belts. Miriam, by the way, just assumed I probably would want to join, although she admitted Connecticut was a bit further (by train) than the others had to travel to get there.

But the other point was something I used as advice from then on whenever anyone asked: Watch the black belts when you visit a dojo, and see if it's something you would like to emulate one day, or at least work at progressing towards....

Watch the white belts to see if it's something you would enjoy training at now.

I hope this little testimonial might give just one more example of what might cause a visitor to join

For those who already know me, yes my neighbor and I eventually got married and still are...
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