Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo
In my opinion this is one of the most important threads on AikiWeb and I congratulate Mr Valadez for starting it.
I am in the unusual position of running two aikido dojos in Japan, but as a dojo-cho / chief instructor who is not Japanese, but whose students are almost entirely Japanese. We recently celebrated our 15th anniversary and for the past few years we have been independent of any aikido organization apart from the recognition of dojo and dan ranks by the Aikikai Hombu. I suppose there is some irony here, since I have spent over thirty years working for, and eventually leading, a very large international aikido federation.
This thread is of such importance as to warrant more dialogue, which I hope to do when I have the time. Suffice it to state here that I think that Mr Valadez uses a platonic approach, which is to search for a good model and then to spend much effort to make sure that the actual dojo fits the model. This model has an excellent pedigree, but I have never used it--as I hope to explain eventually.