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Old 03-05-2015, 05:52 PM   #19
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 282
Re: For whom the mat calls..

Fitting a trend, I am male caucasian working in IT

Travelling a reasonable amount for work over the decades, I try to pack my dogi and practice where I can, particularly when it is more than a day or two. Visits range from California, Seattle, Houston, Boston, New York to most of Western Europe, Russia, Greece, India, Australia and Japan. Interestingly, over the years, I have been rejected 3 times: twice in the UK (ki society dojos for insurance reasons) and once in Sweden (they "didn't receive visitors"). My enjoyment of the style of aikido practiced has varied, but I have never otherwise had a bad experience. People are friendly, and often a visit results in a beer or a bite to eat, which beats eating alone.

My dojo in SW London is relatively small, but interestingly the majority nationality is a competition between British and Polish (with one joint nationality - whom I sponsored to become British and who now knows lots of stuff I don't about the country)! The most recent couple of recruits are currency traders (one English and one Czech), plus several IT, plus a hair dresser/artist and a couple of other finance guys.
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