Thanks for your response Bob. It is good that what you are doing is working for you on a dojo and personal level. Don't worry, no slamming anyone for their spiritual beliefs...everybody gets different things out of Aikido, that's part of its beauty and fascination, and why it is truly an art. My response to your post, however:
COMMUNITY ACTION+AIKI +PERSERVERANCE= new dojo w/ little cost and never advertizing.
Devine intervention aside (no offense) Where is the community action in just practicing and never reaching out to the community at large? For example: if our goal is to give our community an opportunity to experience the benefits of what Aikido can do for them, how are they supposed to get that oppportunity if no one is aware of us, or even what Aikido is? Is advertising considered "community action"...I think it can, depending on its goal. I also think doing things like demonstrations are a good idea as part of our responsibility to show "the community Aikido (of course, you may have to advertise the fact that you are going to do a demo, too
) I hope I'm not giving the wrong idea in this post about why I'm interested in attracting new students. There are both self interested and altruistic reasons in it. I think Aikido training greatly improves when you have more people practicing. Training with the same partners over and over again can begin to bring a little too much "comfort" into your training. Having varying body types and personalities to practice with can greatly improve your "aiki". I'm not interested in attracting new students for the sake of "business" or money or having the biggest dojo around. I also don't want to compromise ideals or training just for the sake of growth itself...but I believe there is a middle ground that has to be found, and some effort needs to be put forth for growth as an integral part of our training (both individually and for the group). Our goal in Aikido should be to improve ourselves and one of the best ways to do that is through correct interaction with our fellow human beings. This whole thing reminds me of a little "parable" I remember hearing when I was a child in Sunday school;
One day there was a great flood, and a man was in his house and there was a knock upon his door. When he opened the door there was a man standing knee deep in rising water.
"Hurry you need to leave!" the man said, "the flood is rising and will soon wash you away, I have a truck outside large enough to drive through the water!"
"No" replied the man in the house "I have faith, and God will let no harm come to me!"
Shaking his head and frowning the man outside moved along.
Later, the man in the house had to climb onto the roof of his house as the flood waters rose. Along came the other man in a boat and called out to man on the roof "Hurry, jump into my boat before the flood carries you away!"
"No" refused the man on the roof "I have faith, and God will save me!"
So, shaking his head and frowning the man in the boat moved along.
A while later a helicopter comes flying by, and again the same man that was in the boat and driving the truck is flying the helicopter. He lowers a rope and and calls out to the man on the roof.
"Hurry and climb into the helicopter, before the flood carries you away!"
"No," again replied the man on the roof "I told you before, I have faith and Goad will save me!"
Shaking his head and frowning the man in the helicopter moved along.
Well, of course as time goes by the flood waters rise, and tragically the man on the roof was swept away and drowned. He finds himself at the gates to heaven, and calls out to God. "God, why did you never help me as the flood waters rose!?" The gates to heaven open, and there is the man who drove the truck, and rowed the boat, and flew the helicopter. Shaking his head and frowning he says "My son, no less than three times did I try to save you"