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Old 07-29-2015, 07:34 PM   #22
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 433
Re: For whom the mat calls..

One dojo was in a college town, and was mostly medical professionals with some engineers (I seem to remember many engineers in the CAF). Lots of college degrees on the mat, but the dojo was associated with the university for years and then remained physically close by. I remember starting with a group of white belts, taught by a community health nurse who became a nurse practitioner. I became a nurse, one became a chiropractor, another became an orthopedic surgeon, another became an anesthesiologist. A teacher before my time was a neurologist. Firefighters and professional coaches joined us. It would be fair to say the environment developed my eventual choices in life, and maybe I reflected an aspect of my teacher. Different schools, different experiences.

If you're going to dedicate your life to an art, there is a disposable time and disposable money requirement. If your job runs the risk of injuries, hobbies and training with the risk of injuries isn't a great mix but I've seen it happen. There's also the simple fact that you will be in the same room with the same people and taking corrections from the same instructors for years. Don't like them, don't respect them, don't want to be around them - hard to imagine (maybe even sad to imagine) being a student there decades later, or being promoted. I think it starts with the Sensei, and the students will reflect some aspect of their teacher. The Aikido of that school will be a reflection of the teacher, and the students called to that often have at least something in common in my experience.

All Aikido in my home province can be traced back to one gentlemanly visiting Commerce professor from Japan. Had he been a different person, probably all successive generations of students in that province would be different than they are - some people may have never started training, others would have never quit.

Last edited by rugwithlegs : 07-29-2015 at 07:39 PM. Reason: More
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