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Old 01-04-2001, 09:26 PM   #9
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Re: Thanks and more thoughts

Syniq wrote:
As far as the cost--I agree that $2/hour isn't bad. But when you add up class fees ($60-70/month), gi ($100-$200) and possibly practice weapons ($200-400), you come out with a sum well in excess of $1000.
I actually spend more than this but mine is all in driving, commute and ancilliary costs. As a beginner your out of pocket costs should be way less than this as everyone else has pointed out.

On promotion--I'm a little perplexed how it works. I know it's basically based on accumulated practice time and technical knowledge/proficiency, but any guidelines about the thresholds? I am by no means looking for a black belt in a week; but promotion/advancement serves not only to recognize a student's achievement but to also encourage the student. And encouragement is a good thing.
Ask and ye shall learn it's different everywhere you go.

What sort of questions should I ask of a Sensei? What should I look for in a dojo? What are the signs of a bad Sensei? What do you dislike in a Sensei?
Hell if I know. I think the biggest thing is if you are comfortable with the students and the teacher. You will put both your body and psyche at risk (sounds more dramatic than it maybe is) when you get on the mat so you need to feel safe. I think you'll know this when you feel it and don't be afraid to watch more than one class and visit other dojos.

One thing I do know is that I don't expect to find role models in my Aikido teachers. Your teacher is simply a teacher. Just as human failings exist with high school and whatever teachers they also exist with your Aikido teachers. Maybe another way to look at it is to try and find someone who embodied the things you liked in a school teacher and look for that in an Aikido teacher. God forbid I use some of the folks I've learned from as role models. Maybe as anti-role models?
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