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Old 05-24-2017, 06:56 PM   #26
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: What are the demographics off Aikido practitioners in your dojo

Hello again, Mr Babin,

Since I had never heard of Squamish until I read your opening post, my curiosity was aroused and I did some research via Wikipedia.

I learned that Squamish is twinned with a township in Japan. The township is Shimizu-cho and is part of Shizuoka Prefecture, in which Mount Fujii is located. As I indicated in my earlier post, the Aikikai maintains an extensive database of dojos here and I checked on their Japanese-language website. There are 50 dojos in Shizuoka Prefecture affiliated to the Aikikai, and three of these are located in Shimizu-cho.

I have some knowledge of Shizuoka Prefecture, since it is a major JR station on the Shinkansen bullet train and the late K Chiba used to live in a small local township there, before he moved to the US. I used to visit him and stay in his house. Occasionally, we moved the furniture in his Japanese-style house and trained together on the tatami mats, just Chiba Sensei and myself. (I borrowed a set of his keikogi.) I do not know whether you ever met him, but I can assure that training with him, one-to-one, was an extraordinary and very precious experience.

It occurred to me that establishing a twinned relationship between Squamish and Shimizu-cho suggests that some language communication took place possible in English and that you yourself might consider establishing communication with a local dojo or local dojos there. (This is one value of the Aikikai’s database and it is a pity that it does not appear in English on the English website.)

Actually, I suspect that the situation of the two communities is not so different. Fujii-san is probably THE major symbol of Japan and the Izu Peninsula has a very long history. The location is highly rural, but professionals in many local communities are within easy commuting distance of Tokyo via shikansen (on average, there is a 16-car train every ten minutes during the weekday rush hours). So I suspect that there are some similarities here with Vancouver. Anyway, I would not be surprised if there was a similar mix of traditional farming communities and white-collar professionals.

I have found the great value of cross-cultural contacts in aikido from running my two dojos here. I have a teaching connection with the Netherlands and some Dutch groups have visited my dojos at least twice. Their visits have transformed local attitudes among my Japanese students here, especially the younger ones who attend high school.

Of course, Japan is still a long way away from Canada, but it is still quite a lot closer to Vancouver and BC than it is to Europe. It takes me at least 17-20 hours to reach Amsterdam from my house here in Hiroshima and at my age I can feel it.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-25-2017, 07:00 AM   #27
MattMiddleton
 
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Dojo: MUN Aikido
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Re: What are the demographics off Aikido practitioners in your dojo

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
I did not even know they did Aikido at Newfie U. back in the day. I fenced.
I've only been practicing there since late 2010, but I gather that the club has been around for 40ish years (exact founding date seems to have been lost to the mists of time). There are two other dojos in town, and I gather that there's been Aikido in one form or another in Newfoundland since the 60s. One of the original students of Graham Burt sensei, who seems to have first brought Aikido here, has been working on a photo archive: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45235062@N08/
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Old 05-25-2017, 08:18 AM   #28
PeterR
 
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Re: What are the demographics off Aikido practitioners in your dojo

Quote:
Matthew Middleton wrote: View Post
I've only been practicing there since late 2010, but I gather that the club has been around for 40ish years (exact founding date seems to have been lost to the mists of time). There are two other dojos in town, and I gather that there's been Aikido in one form or another in Newfoundland since the 60s. One of the original students of Graham Burt sensei, who seems to have first brought Aikido here, has been working on a photo archive: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45235062@N08/
I was there from 78 to 83 but before the budo bug caught me. MUN isn't huge but that doesn't mean I couldn't have missed it.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:57 AM   #29
MattMiddleton
 
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Re: What are the demographics off Aikido practitioners in your dojo

We used to have a combat room, where martial arts clubs and the wrestling team practiced. Sadly, it was turned in to a lecture hall in 2011, and we've all been off-campus since then.

If you're ever out this way again, be sure to come out for a practice!
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:22 AM   #30
Grant
 
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Dojo: Aikidaily International Academy
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Re: What are the demographics off Aikido practitioners in your dojo

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello again, Mr Babin,

It occurred to me that establishing a twinned relationship between Squamish and Shimizu-cho suggests that some language communication took place possible in English and that you yourself might consider establishing communication with a local dojo or local dojos there. (This is one value of the Aikikai’s database and it is a pity that it does not appear in English on the English website.)

Best wishes,
Goldsbury Sensei, thank you again for your insights. Chiba Sensei was a fantastic technician and inspiring teacher. You were very fortunate to get some private time with him. I had the opportunity to attend a few of his seminars years ago. The idea of making connections with a dojo in Shizuoka is a great one. I have actually spent some time there when I visited Izu with Kanazawa Shihan for a gashuku. It's a beautiful part of the country.

Making connections there might not be so difficult. My wife is Japanese and I lived there for several years. We still travel there every year for Spring Break. You've managed to plant some seeds. The prospects are exiting.

Thank you.

Last edited by Grant : 05-25-2017 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:35 AM   #31
Grant
 
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Dojo: Aikidaily International Academy
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Re: What are the demographics off Aikido practitioners in your dojo

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Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
Some estimates of our dojo. Excluding kids classes.

15 or so 50+ years old, 20 at 30-50, 15 at 20-30, 5 15-20

45 males to around 10 women

Predominantly european, with 1 asian practitioner and 1 american.

A lot of the group are business owners, company executives, self-employed, professionals, a few types of therapists (mostly physical, masseurs, PT and the like), creatives (designers, artists, photographers). Many of the younger crowd are studying, often doing first or second degrees, masters etc. (common up until around 30) Blue collar workers are the minority, we have maybe 5 tops. Around 5 more own/run their own dojos as well as attending ours.
Mrs. Heatly,
Thank you very much for these figures. This is the kind of information I've been looking for.
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:36 PM   #32
PeterR
 
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Re: What are the demographics off Aikido practitioners in your dojo

It's funny but every group I've started has been different and it is really hard to predict. I think it is heavily influenced by the local.

Right now its about half Chinese and half Polish with a smattering of others which looks like the neighborhood. This is East end London after all. What really surprises me, based on how I teach and past groups, is the majority are women.

At this point I would never presume to target a market - I am sure I would guess wrong.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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