Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-30-2015, 10:10 AM   #1
Peter Boylan
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 274
United_States
Offline
A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

I was thinking about what goes into a good dojo, what kind of atmosphere and training. I decided that a good dojo isn't quite comfortable. I wrote my thoughts out in this blog.

http://budobum.blogspot.com/2015/04/...ble-place.html

What do you think is required for a good dojo?

Peter Boylan
Mugendo Budogu LLC
Budo Books, Videos, Equipment from Japan
http://www.budogu.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
nikyu62
Dojo: Aikido Club of American Samoa
Location: American Samoa
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 93
American Samoa
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Well written article with excellent points.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 03:14 PM   #3
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 917
United_States
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Excellent article. I really enjoyed this one. My teachers often say that the dojo is a laboratory. A safe place to explore topics that are often difficult and uncomfortable or to face up to things about ourselves that we would rather not know or admit. I know I have been far out of my own comfort zone many times and have come out better for it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 06:09 PM   #4
Susan Dalton
Dojo: Greensboro Kodokan
Location: Greensboro
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 315
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

I really enjoyed this article, Peter. Isn't that what budo is all about, working on becoming a better human being?
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 07:04 PM   #5
Rupert Atkinson
 
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 892
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Good article. I have 'started' so many things in my time and that beginning phase is often the most difficult. The #1 problem for beginners in anything is managing to survive the initial period. What keeps me going is the incredible learning curve when learning new things - I love it. But many find it to be too much and go through life starting and quitting many things too soon. It is a fascinating process - both the positive and the negative. Staying power is very important: Temperance. Good article. Makes you think.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2015, 05:32 AM   #6
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Onegaishimasu, when a person looks for a dojo comfort does matter. My two cents.
In gassho,
Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2015, 09:07 AM   #7
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,058
United_States
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

I liked the essay, but I think it could have been two or three different (but related) essays, perhaps to better effect.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2015, 10:47 AM   #8
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,255
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu, when a person looks for a dojo comfort does matter. My two cents.
In gassho,
Mark
Comfort or trust, in this context?
One needs to have a basic comfort/trust level in the instructor/students/dojo culture in order to accept having one's buttons pushed to and then past the baseline comfortable-with-self level needed in order to improve.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2015, 11:28 AM   #9
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,073
United_States
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

I've been resisting the urge to post, but I think the topic is interesting.

First, I would argue that many people who train aikido do so because the dojo is comfortable. We are looking for a place where we can dress up and pretend to do things to each other within a micro-environment of fantasy. While we don't want to admit that point, I think Nick Lowery said it best, "90% of the people who train pay for the 10% who are serious in their training."

Second, not everyone wants to change. I've posted before about students who possess an expectation that differs from their actions. I think you have a big assumption that people who train are using the dojo to catalyze change.

Dennis Hooker Sensei used to joke, "if you don't get injured a couple times a year, you're not training [hard enough]." He referred to the simple fact that if you are pushing yourself, you will occasionally push too hard. This is not a critique about whether (and how) we push ourselves in our training, only a distinction in who is on the mat. I also don't think sensei's comment was limited to physical injuries.

Martial arts are not for everyone and aikido attracts a lot of people who would otherwise not participate in a martial arts system. I think you could easily differentiate a martial art from a martial education process. The problem is having the conversation with someone that what they are doing is not what they should be doing... Or worse, what they are doing is not what they perceive they are doing...

Last edited by jonreading : 05-04-2015 at 11:30 AM.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2015, 02:13 PM   #10
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,316
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Second, not everyone wants to change. I've posted before about students who possess an expectation that differs from their actions. I think you have a big assumption that people who train are using the dojo to catalyze change.
I think pretty much everyone will say, "Yes, of course I want to be a better person." (Or whatever.) But actually changing is difficult. Most people will fight tooth and nail to avoid it, without even realizing that they're doing so.

And so the dojo needs to be comfortable enough that they don't just quit, but uncomfortable enough to nudge personal development along.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2015, 05:21 PM   #11
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,267
Japan
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Well a dojo should always be clean and well-lit. Some HVAC may be in order depending on where your dojo is - here in DC I am for heat but I tihnk people should sweat during the summertime.

And a couch and other places to sit are conducive to community-building after class - preferably with beverages.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2015, 02:47 PM   #12
Peter Boylan
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 274
United_States
Offline
Re: A Dojo Isn't A Comfortable Place

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I've been resisting the urge to post, but I think the topic is interesting.

First, I would argue that many people who train aikido do so because the dojo is comfortable. We are looking for a place where we can dress up and pretend to do things to each other within a micro-environment of fantasy. While we don't want to admit that point, I think Nick Lowery said it best, "90% of the people who train pay for the 10% who are serious in their training."

Second, not everyone wants to change. I've posted before about students who possess an expectation that differs from their actions. I think you have a big assumption that people who train are using the dojo to catalyze change.

Dennis Hooker Sensei used to joke, "if you don't get injured a couple times a year, you're not training [hard enough]." He referred to the simple fact that if you are pushing yourself, you will occasionally push too hard. This is not a critique about whether (and how) we push ourselves in our training, only a distinction in who is on the mat. I also don't think sensei's comment was limited to physical injuries.

Martial arts are not for everyone and aikido attracts a lot of people who would otherwise not participate in a martial arts system. I think you could easily differentiate a martial art from a martial education process. The problem is having the conversation with someone that what they are doing is not what they should be doing... Or worse, what they are doing is not what they perceive they are doing...
Jon,

I would agree that people do aikido because the dojo is a comfortable place. Comfortable enough for them to risk trying something very different and very uncomfortable.

A good dojo will provide the support and keep nudging people towards change, even if they are unconsciously resisting it. That's why the dojo has to be uncomfortable. The dojo has to be comfortable enough for people to feel secure about trying things, but uncomfortable enough to keep them working at change.

As for aikido being popular with people who wouldn't otherwise try a martial art, I agree. A friend of mine calls aikido a budo entry drug. I know lots of people in hardcore koryu styles that started their budo journey with aikido.

Peter Boylan
Mugendo Budogu LLC
Budo Books, Videos, Equipment from Japan
http://www.budogu.com
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
108) The Dojo Environment: September 2013 Marc Abrams External Aikido Blog Posts 3 09-09-2013 09:56 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 24 Peter Goldsbury Columns 6 07-07-2013 06:40 PM
Aikido Memorial Events 2010 Guillaume Erard External Aikido Blog Posts 0 02-27-2011 10:00 PM
Sempai/Kohai Relationship in Aikido Ron Tisdale Training 82 09-07-2009 10:12 AM
Dojo search tutorial suren Humor 2 11-05-2004 12:53 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:45 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2016 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2016 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate