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Old 02-23-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
Location: Sacramento CA
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
On my way to my first Aikido Dojo

I'm about to leave to check out this aikido dojo in my town, watch a class, decide if I wanna join or not, and possibly sign up for more classes. First martial art I've taken after Tae Kwan Do when I was 8. So...I'll come back and see what you guys think of the place. Here's a website to get started:


Its actually on the border between the 'hood' and downtown, but luckily I know people on both sides so its safe for me. It'll cost $70 a month if I sign up. I'll be back to check with you guys. Peace
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:38 PM   #2
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 7
Re: On my way to my first Aikido Dojo

I hope you enjoyed your first Aikido experience.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:58 PM   #3
Location: Sacramento CA
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Re: On my way to my first Aikido Dojo

Well I'm back, and it was certainly interesting.

Ends up they were in a sorta bad part of town. Took a while, but we found it in some very small space. Right when you walk in, you are 2 feet from the mat. It was small, and you can see it was a little poor, but they got the best they could. The people were moving around, and the sensei told us to take a seat.

We just sat and watched for a little, observing the class. There were only 3 students (1 more came maybe 5 minutes after us). 2 were beginners, and the other was advanced. The chick that came in late was also advanced. They were definately older than me. The advanced students looked 20's-30's. The beginners were in their 40's-50's. Sensei was maybe 30's. I later learned that they only have 1 child as a student, who is 12. Since there were 2 beginner and 2 advanced (1 who was going to take his Blackbelt test Monday), I could easily compare them.

The two beginners were larger, and sweated. They were a little calm, but you could tell they were beginners. The avanced, however. They were VERY calm. I mean woah. Even in technique, they seemed to flow very well. Like water. The soon-to-be-Blackbelt definately got more focus, and he stayed consistent till the end where he started slacking. The other advanced was very small, but she had, in my eyes, greater flow. After an hour or so of practicing techniques (including weapons, bokken, bo, and tanto), they sat and did some weird grabbing thing where they tried to knock eachother over. Was a little odd but I understood.

After class I was able to learn more. The sensei is very philosophical. Saying that there shouldn't be styles, that they are only limitations. About how people learn the style, teach it, and such. He was friendly and funny, students respected him but did not show fear.

Overall I liked the dojo. A lot. I'm probably going to join, but they're gonna move out to another place further from my house and in a worse neighborhood. The only way I can get out there for now is a ride from my mom, and I'd get there maybe 10 minutes late. I can also take the bus/light rail, but I'm probably an easy target (being 15) for thugs or whatever, but usually I've been cool with people in those areas. Besides I can bring a knife. Only problem is finding the route.

So what do you all think?
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:19 AM   #4
Dojo: aikido dojo nippos Crete
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 75
Re: On my way to my first Aikido Dojo

Evan, Aikido is a wonderfull martial art that takes years to master and understand. The thing that should be of outmost importance to you should be safety. If you can get a safe drive back and forth to the dojo from your mom that will be the best solution. Avoid at all costs problematic areas that might endanger your well-being. I am not saying that you should become the class slob because you are afraid; just that there is no point tryning to learn something new in your life whilst having to worry that you might get stabbed on your way there. And please do forget the knife idea. It might actually put you in even more trouble (am talking from experience). Secure a safe journey to your new dojo and if you cannot do so try and find a dojo closer nearby to where you live. Common, Sacramento is a large city, surely enough there will be other dojos teaching your favorite art.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:52 AM   #5
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crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,502
Re: On my way to my first Aikido Dojo

First, I think you have correctly identified some of the benefits of extended Aikido training through observation and comparison of those people you watched. That said, I think you should look at all the dojos close enough for you to regularly train in before you come to any decisions. Lastly, I would avoid any temptation to arm yourself to get to class. Concealed weapons are not meant to be carried by 15-year-olds.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:03 AM   #6
Dojo: Seibukan, Milton Keynes
Location: At Work unless I am at the DOJO!
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 111
United Kingdom
Re: On my way to my first Aikido Dojo

Evan McDonald wrote: View Post
... Besides I can bring a knife ...

So what do you all think?
Stupid idea . IMHO those who carry knives for self defense reasons find them in one of two places.

1) The hand of a police officer as they arrest you; or
2) Having it used on themselves.

Aside from this. When I was 14 I started in kickboxing. The gym was tucked away in a bad area and the bus route was a five minute walk each side. I did not have the option of getting a ride from my parents, so I would walk. Without drawing it out. If you want to train you will find a way. Maybe this club is not for you because of geography, now I am a lot bigger, stronger and sure of my place in the world I realise that walking through that unlit industrial estate or the crappy side of town is no where as dangerous as I led myself to believe.

Vorsprung durch Aikido!
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