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Old 05-14-2006, 05:27 AM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Should I be Worried?

Obviously you want to practice at the best place you can possibly practice! However, when nothing else it available...then you do the best you can with what you got!

Not everyone has access to robust dojos with Shihan and lots of experienced senior students!

That is okay! You can be the best that you can be with what you have.

I think a McDojo is more about the attitude and intent of the instructor more so than skill level etc. You will/would probably be able to tell as most people's BS meters are pretty good if they are willing to cut them on. Sounds like yours is working fine!

If your instructor is sincere, he is exposing you to things that you feel are of value...even if it may not be the best in the world, then I'd say you are good to go!

Hopefully he is somehow tied into others in the world of aikido that will allow you to see others and be exposed to their training.

I current am running a small dojo that is a mixture of BJJ and Aikido. I do not profess to be an "instructor", but run a "club", while I am recognized as the senior member and do instruct, if I were in a larger area, or someone more qualified came along, I would defer to there abilities. I also bring in instructors, mine, and others to expose my students to things I simply cannot convey or teach them.

To me i'd be running a McDojo if I professed to be a "master", sensei, or worse yet Shihan. If I professed to have studied aikido and other martial arts for years and taken the best from each one since all of them were lacking and designed my own system that is most complete and bestowing the title of Soke, 10th degree, grandmaster on myself. I'd be a McDojo if I scoffed at others and professed knowledge about the internal secrets of the arts that have been transmitted to me by my long gone sensei. If I concentrated on "combat effectiveness" yet refused to really engage my students for fear of them beating me some how.

However, just because you live in a small town, and may be working with someone that may not have as good ofknowledge of aikido as others in the world, does not necessarily mean you are studying in a McDojo.
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