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Old 03-29-2011, 04:49 AM   #1
Chicko Xerri
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyukai International Fudoshin dojo Australia.
Location: Noosa Heads, Australia
Join Date: Dec 2002
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How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Please give your examples and experiences when you have visited another dojo where the Aikido method of practice differs from what you are used to.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:10 AM   #2
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
Chicko Xerri wrote: View Post
Please give your examples and experiences when you have visited another dojo where the Aikido method of practice differs from what you are used to.
I've only done that once - well.. I watched because I was sick, and the other person from my dojo took part. He put his feet in places that were different from where the other dojo put their feet, from time to time, but they took him in, let him practice, no harm, no "you're doing it wrong." There was "thanks for coming" and "thanks for the practice" from both sides at the end.

We're Aikikai, at the time from Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada), they were Yoshinkan in London, Ontario (also Canada). We were in London collecting a trailer and half a dozen rowing shells from the manufacturer.

I have, however, visited lots of Aikikai dojo. (Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton (2 dojo), Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Auckland (3 different places), Gisborne, Hamilton (NZ), Wellington, Cambridge (NZ), Dunedin, Christchurch, Queenstown, Hiroshima Police, Aikikai Hombu (Tokyo). Haven't had a bad visit.
W

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 03-29-2011 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:19 AM   #3
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
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England
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

I was in Australia many years ago, I visited Perth - I was informed that there was an Aikido dojo nearby. I went to the dojo and everyone was on the mat, I entered with good etiquette and sat quietly watching. other than a high grade looking at me for approval everytime he made a technique, no one spoke to me, as the class ended they put the mats away and still ignored me. I began to feel like the invisible man .I left before they turned the lights off and locked me in...

I then went up near Cairns where I visited a dojo run by a Robbie and Greta, they were so welcoming and charming, invited me to their home and to teach at the dojo. I went out in the evening for a meal with the students. I really did enjoy meeting them and training with them and their students..

Henry Ellis
http://henryellis-aikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:23 AM   #4
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

I've always been welcomed very kind. And was treated with respect.
I mostly was corrected only a little and could take my time to try to adjust to the different movents and footwork.

We often have visitors from other styles or lines of aikido. And it was always a pleasure.
(Only one exception: We had to ban someone who injured his partners willingly.)

One of the teachers of our federation, who travlells a lot round the world, once statet: "It's one big family."
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:10 AM   #5
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Dear all.
If I venture into any other groups dojo other than my own I am unwelcome. I have been barred from training , given petty excuses [no insurance, instructor has not cleared you for training]and since then I do not even bother visiting any more.Even my kohai [B.A.F] never invites me to my ex dojo. The list of excuses made by other groups are mind boggling.
For myself I will practice anywhere any place.I have no time for Aikido sectarianism.If people are in their own little kingdom and are comfortable there -wonderful.Joe. Ps When we hold seminars I send information to various groups.Most of them dont even have the courtesy to state if they are coming or not.Aikido as a family? Only if you like control freaks , egomaniacs and hypocrites as cousins.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:50 AM   #6
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear all.
If I venture into any other groups dojo other than my own I am unwelcome. I have been barred from training , given petty excuses [no insurance, instructor has not cleared you for training]and since then I do not even bother visiting any more.Even my kohai [B.A.F] never invites me to my ex dojo. The list of excuses made by other groups are mind boggling.
For myself I will practice anywhere any place.I have no time for Aikido sectarianism.If people are in their own little kingdom and are comfortable there -wonderful.Joe. Ps When we hold seminars I send information to various groups.Most of them dont even have the courtesy to state if they are coming or not.Aikido as a family? Only if you like control freaks , egomaniacs and hypocrites as cousins.
Joe:

I am curious as to why you believe that people enact this policy with you. I frankly have only heard of people being barred for intentionally hurting other people or simply making spectacles of themselves.

marc abrams
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:53 AM   #7
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
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England
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear all.
If I venture into any other groups dojo other than my own I am unwelcome. I have been barred from training , given petty excuses [no insurance, instructor has not cleared you for training]and since then I do not even bother visiting any more.Even my kohai [B.A.F] never invites me to my ex dojo. The list of excuses made by other groups are mind boggling.
For myself I will practice anywhere any place.I have no time for Aikido sectarianism.If people are in their own little kingdom and are comfortable there -wonderful.Joe. Ps When we hold seminars I send information to various groups.Most of them dont even have the courtesy to state if they are coming or not.Aikido as a family? Only if you like control freaks , egomaniacs and hypocrites as cousins.
Joe

You are always welcome in my dojo and my home.
"" Aikido as a Family "" now that is something we often hear / read, it always gets a smile...I saw a grand thread on the BAB website """" Aikido- a way to reconcile the world """"" I am sure the poster meant well, the first four responses were his own and then a couple of others....
In the early days Aikido as you will recall was a fairly tight knit community - I never thought that I would see it so fragmented as it is today....... Aikido to unite the world

Henry Ellis
http://henryellis-aikido.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Hellis : 03-29-2011 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:00 AM   #8
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

I have always been made welcome at other dojos - in fact, this is one thing I find quite special about aikido. I also try to make visitors from other dojos and styles feel appreciated and welcomed in my own classes.

When I first started teaching in my own (Aikikai affiliated) dojo, a few of us started visiting the local Tomiki club once a week, and were treated very well. Some aspects of the class were rather unfamiliar, especially the solo footwork and tegatana exercises, and I could never get the hang of the randori with the rubber knife, but there was of course plenty of overlap.

More recently, I have made a habit of taking my dogi when I have travelled for work, and have dropped in on the local dojo: this has without exception been a very enjoyable experience. I normally e-mail the instructor or secretary a few days beforehand (although I did surprise Peter Brady in Birmingham a few years ago, having completely failed to get through to his club secretary). I have particular praise for Miami Aikikai, which I have visited twice - a nice vigorous practice, which I don't often have the chance to get at home.

My own attitude is that one should try to fit into the training environment as much as possible, and leave everything pertaining to "style", grade and training history until after the class - this has always worked for me.

By the way, Joe would always be welcome in Southampton...

Alex
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:25 AM   #9
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Almost always had completely positive experiences of visiting dojos in various countries.

In fact I spent my summer vacations as a student visiting dojos in Europe and America and was often allowed to stay in the dojo overnight rather than pitch my tent nearby.

As my close friend says Aikido must be the only community where you can turn up not knowing anyone and be welcomed with open arms.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:29 AM   #10
john.burn
 
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Dojo: Chishin Dojo
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Henry / Joe & anyone else...

If you're ever unlucky enough to be stuck in Coventry, or sent to Coventry then you're more than welcome to come along and take a class or three at my dojo. We might be a small club but at least we're open minded and friendly .

And Joe, I promise I'll try and understand those principles

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #11
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
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England
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
Henry / Joe & anyone else...

If you're ever unlucky enough to be stuck in Coventry, or sent to Coventry then you're more than welcome to come along and take a class or three at my dojo. We might be a small club but at least we're open minded and friendly .

And Joe, I promise I'll try and understand those principles
John

Thanks for the invitation.
I remember teaching in Coventry with Ken Williams Sensei around 1960. In those early days we always stayed at the home of the senior teachers. This particular visit was rather special, we arrived to find that we were booked into the " Leofric Hotel " I seem to remember that name.
It was the first time we had been booked into an hotel...It was much better than the dojo or the back of the car...
Good times

Henry Ellis
http://henryellis-aikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:53 AM   #12
john.burn
 
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Hi Henry,

Yep, The Leofric... It's now a Travelodge.

Do you remember who was around then? I know Tom hadn't started Aikido, maybe Pat Stratford? Not sure about his lineage to be honest.

Thankfully we have a nice old pub about 2 minutes away from where we train which we always seem to end up in after class for some reason or other.

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:07 AM   #13
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

It is nice to hear so many positive experiences about people visiting other dojos. Imaizumi Sensei's policy at Shin-Budo Kai is that everybody is always welcome to visit, watch, train. That open door policy is in effect at my school as well. Simply looking at the different people whom I have teach seminars at my dojo, should clearly get across the fact that all martial artists are welcome to visit and train.

I have been fortunate to travel extensively throughout the world. I have uniformly had good experiences at other dojos and other gatherings such as the Aiki Expos.

At the end of the day, we should be practicing what we preach. Ellis Sensei so clearly pointed this out in an earlier post. Opening doors typically leads to more enriching experiences in aspects of life.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:41 AM   #14
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
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England
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
Hi Henry,

Yep, The Leofric... It's now a Travelodge.

Do you remember who was around then? I know Tom hadn't started Aikido, maybe Pat Stratford? Not sure about his lineage to be honest.

Thankfully we have a nice old pub about 2 minutes away from where we train which we always seem to end up in after class for some reason or other.
John

So, I remembered OK. nice to confirm that the brain is still making contact........Now the Leofric is a Travel Lodge , It was supposed to be the best hotel in Coventry ? I still had a great time.....

I seem to recall we discussed before that the Judoka who opened up Aikido in Coventry was a great guy named Ken Webster, he was with the BJC and Abbe Sensei....I have just emailed my old friend Gerry Gyngell who worked with Abbe Sensei and Bill Woods in the London office of the BJC to see what he knows of Ken Webster.....

Mr Pat Stratford, to be honest, I had never heard of him until a few years ago...I don't know him .............

Henry Ellis
Aikido Books
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:45 AM   #15
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
Do you remember who was around then? I know Tom hadn't started Aikido, maybe Pat Stratford? Not sure about his lineage to be honest.
.
As I understand it, Pat Stratford has a connection with Shigeho Tanaka (who was, incidentally, the teacher of Minoru Inaba, the latter being mainly responsible for the influence of Kashima Shinryu on aikido, but that's another story). I have seen a film of Tanaka Sensei which I found rather impressive - very charismatic and very powerful, although I have no experience of Pat Stratford himself.

Here is a site with some more information on Stratford Sensei's lineage, although it seems to be rather out of date.

Alex
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #16
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Canada
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Most of the times I've visited other dojos has been for seminars, which is a different kind of situation so I don't know if I'd compare it (except to say all my experiences of that kind have been positive).

But when I've visited another dojo when traveling on business I was treated very welcomingly, with everyone introducing themselves and trying to make me feel at home and show me where everything was in the dojo. I was corrected for some things I was doing differently from how the instructor was teaching them, but not in any 'insulting' way, just in a teaching kind of way which seemed natural to me (if I'm taking a class for someone I would expect them to assume I want them to teach me how they're doing what they're doing).
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:10 AM   #17
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

A few years back I spent a summer month in Helsinki on holiday and free to do as I pleased. I visited I think ten different dojo in Helsinki and the neighbouring Espoo and Vantaa.

The main impression I got was that it was quite common for people to visit each other there, maybe even to train fairly regularly at another dojo. These were all dojo under the Finnish aikikai umbrella, though with different lineages. I felt welcome everywhere (in the usual understated Finnish way).

Two places that made the strongest impression was a group doing Nishio style aikido, at the same time very serious and obviously dedicated to their training but also cheerful and relaxed, and Juhani Laisi's dojo, who follow Endo sensei. Endo-style aikido is very different from ours, but somehow I felt very much at home at that dojo. Laisi sensei made it all make sense.

I've visited a Tomiki school in Holland and had a very nice experience. Felt like a complete newbie of course but one of the yudansha kindly helped all through the class. And funnily enough there's a Shinkendo dojo in Amsterdam that does aikido that feels very familiar to me in many ways, through our dojo's history with Kanetsuka sensei.

I've also visited several Aikikai dojo in Holland and always felt welcome. Have to confess that visiting different styles was easier when I was more of a beginner. That's a difficulty that comes from inside myself though, it's harder to let go of everything I've learned now.

Pauliina
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:31 AM   #18
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

uniformly welcomed by each group I have managed to connect with
(mostly here in Texas.) Mostly through seminars, but the occaisional odd visit when travel makes it possible.

Uniformly welcoming.

Just visited a Nishio style dojo in San Antonio and was treated like a long-lost family member.
Very nice people at Bollinger Sensei's school.
(hope I spelled that right)

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:39 AM   #19
john.burn
 
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Mr Pat Stratford, to be honest, I had never heard of him until a few years ago...I don't know him .............

Henry Ellis
Aikido Books
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
Yup... I had a conversation with a very drunk ex student of his the other week demanding I refer to him as Master Stratford...

Alex, yes I've seen his websites... enough said

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:45 AM   #20
john.burn
 
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

In order to answer the original question...

I've always been made to feel very welcome. The first time I went to Boulder Aikikai for 3 weeks or so I trained, went out for dinner afterwards and during the day got to travel around Colorado with Ikeda sensei and Ginger to all sorts of places from the Rockies to a sculpture fayre in Loveland - I was kind of sat there thinking hmmmm, I'm just a nobody from the UK and you're being this kind to me? Wow. It's something I'll never forget.

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:12 AM   #21
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

My first visit to Gisborne, NZ, I contacted the local sensei, Alan Wade, 6th dan aikikai, one of Chiba's students from the UK. I asked if there was a practice that I could attend. That visit I had no time to fit in, but at another visit, when I was free on Sunday, Wade sensei got his dojo together for a practice on a day when there was no scheduled session. Very interesting, very pleasant teaching style, and no nonsense.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:38 AM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

I have visited a variety of dojos in the USA over the years and never had a bad experience. It may help that often there would be someone - an instructor or a student - who I knew from aikido-l or aikiweb. I always check website and if it says visitors welcome and lists a mat fee, I show up but if in doubt I call or email ahead.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:07 PM   #23
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

You can search on my name here, on e-budo, and aikido journal and find many if not most or all of my experiences training in other "styles", affliations, independant dojo, countires, etc.

In brief, I'd have to say never had any real issues or problems, always enjoyed myself, and never was asked not to return. I hope they all got at least a little something positive out of my presense...I certainly learned a TON from all of them, and wouldn't pass up the experiences for anything.

Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. That should bout do it.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #24
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
Henry / Joe & anyone else...

If you're ever unlucky enough to be stuck in Coventry, or sent to Coventry then you're more than welcome to come along and take a class or three at my dojo. We might be a small club but at least we're open minded and friendly .

And Joe, I promise I'll try and understand those principles
Dear John,
I would be happy to see you in Coventry.As you know I have a fairly strong personality, some might say arrogant.I do not consider this to be a fair assessment of my character,As far as understanding principles are concerned , principles in Aikido are very important .How we use these principles in the forms can of course be subject to interpretation.
Hope you are well. Joe.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:45 PM   #25
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: How well are you treated when you visit other dojo

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Joe:

I am curious as to why you believe that people enact this policy with you. I frankly have only heard of people being barred for intentionally hurting other people or simply making spectacles of themselves.

marc abrams
Dear Marc,
I am referring to the local dojos in my own backyard. I have always been welcomed by dojos in France, Greece, U.S.A, Tunisia and Holland. As it happens I consider I am made far more welcome by strangers than by people I have known over the years . Certain people within the U.K aikido community sad to say are not on my Xmas card list.
Cheers, Joe.
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