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Old 12-14-2017, 07:33 PM   #26
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
Re: NE USA, UK and France - Senseis?

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Cass - I think it's a great idea, and I do not agree at all with the perspective that you should travel across the globe and nestle yourself in one dojo. If that was so, then when one trained at the Aikikai Honbu, I suppose one should quickly decide on one teacher and avoid the classes of all the rest (which is what some people do).

Some of the best experiences of my life were traveling from one dojo to another - first of all, most dojo are really pleased that someone would seek them out - even a beginner - and senpai and the teacher him/herself are often very pleased to make an effort to teach. (For one example, I visited Nakazono sensei's dojo in Santa Fe, on my way to Japan. He was aware that I made a special point to stop in Santa Fe to train at his dojo. He was retired from teaching aikido, leaving teaching to his son, while he pursued other paths (kotodama, acupuncture, and numerous other etc.s) Pleased that someone sought him out, however, he taught the entire week I was there - his students thanked me because this was the first time he'd taught in a long time.

The key to making it valuable is to commit to imitating as best as you can the exact movement and methodology of the teacher whose dojo you are in - no matter how different it is from what you are used to, no matter how 'ineffective' you believe it to be in comparison to what you've done to date.

Yes, some of it will be confusing, some will go right past you, but given you cannot train with Ueshiba Morihei, the root of the art, the best chance you have of comprehending his legacy is to train with a number of the branches.

Ellis Amdur
I second this, as an aikimutt who attended all kinds of seminars and visited all styles of dojos starting at 4th kyu. It took me longer to achieve rank but along the way I quickly learned in my body to adapt to any and all norms - fall via inside foot! No, via outside foot! With toes live! No, with toes untucked! Do this at this angle....or that angle....it meant I could go anywhere and fit in enough to learn something AND start figuring out the principles under them....GO FOR IT

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 12-14-2017 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Spelling

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:06 AM   #27
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,199
Re: NE USA, UK and France - Senseis?

I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea, but I do have to wonder if any of you have ever been to Vermont.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:30 PM   #28
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,243
Re: NE USA, UK and France - Senseis?

I have been to Vermont, often. I don't know about now, but there were a cluster of dojos in New England attached to the New England Aikikai in the early 70s, when Mitsunari Kanai was in charge in Cambridge. I also used to visit dojos in Montreal and Toronto.

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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Old 12-17-2017, 03:01 PM   #29
Cass's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Academy
Location: Athens
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 67
Re: NE USA, UK and France - Senseis?

Thank you everyone for the input and suggestions (keep them coming!). I will have access to a car (and accommodation) while I am in VT as my father lives there. One particularly promising opportunity there seems to be an uchi deshi program (very affordable for one, $390 p.m.) with Benjamin Pincus, if anyone has any experience with him they would like to share? Of course I would try visiting the dojo prior to undertaking something like that, but it's certainly tempting (said dojo is 2hrs from where I'll be in VT so just training daily there is not an option).

I also appreciate the concern regarding confusion, but this is more or less similar to what I've done here. I've attended 12 seminars this past year, 6 of which were of other styles (the earliest of these when I was 4th kyu) and have always done my best just to imitate what they show and haven't struggled too much. Also I have visited several dojos of our city all of which have been outside of the circle. I am 2nd kyu for reference so my baseline in aikido is not too shaky so as to be completely lost (though also not that solid). I believe training in multiple styles can bring great perspective and hopefully will aid me in creating an aikido that is "my own". Anyway as far as I am aware there is no presence of any Tissier-lineage senseis in the northeastern US anyway? Or at least certainly not in trainable distance to where I'll be in VT. My greatest concern I suppose is dropping many training hours, I train 12 hours a week at my present dojo and will train 13 at Tissier's, but looking at most VT dojos it looks like 2 or 3 hours a week is the most (except with Pincus) . But regardless I will have to "leave" my style in the US, so I want to get as broad of a scope of what the aikido world has to offer as possible.

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Old 12-20-2017, 10:29 AM   #30
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,199
Re: NE USA, UK and France - Senseis?

I'm hoping someone with actual experience with Ben Pincus will speak up; I haven't trained with him, only shared the mat with him (he came down to our place a couple of years ago for a Chiba Sensei memorial/Didier Boyet seminar). You might look for other students of Kanai Sensei for a comparison. You'd also be willing to drop in with us at Green River Aikido in Greenfield MA, but it's quite a bit further away (2.5 hours vs. a little more than an hour to Burlington) and the style is rather different from the Kanai style.
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