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Old 11-14-2004, 05:53 PM   #1
Location: St. George, UT
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 44
When to start your own dojo.

I am new to Aikido but spent more than half my life training in MA. In my old style one would usually attain a 2nd dan before going out to start their own dojo. I am wondering out of those of you with a dojo what Dan ranking you were when you started your dojo? Also how much time you spend training in your own dojo (that is, by yourself) compared to training with your initial dojo and if you have noticed time difference with advancing dan ranks from when you were training and when you were teaching? Peace =0) Smile! I hope this makes sense.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:11 AM   #2
Dojo: Ima Juku
Location: Amersfoort
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 103
Re: When to start your own dojo.

Hi Jay,

I have practised aikido for 10 years now. I have practised MA for the last 21 years.
I teach a monday evening class in my dojo. Now I am trying to find a place outside my hometown to start a new group.
I am planning to keep my monday group as long as possible. Also I try to keep practising in my hometown dojo. So this will be a busy scedule but for me it is the best one.
O, I am a nidan.

On the other hand: your question is a bit strange because you have just started aikido. So at first: go practise!

Hope this helps,


Arjan de Vries
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:09 AM   #3
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: When to start your own dojo.

'starting your own dojo' tends to be something that some people are keen to do in other martial arts (mostly those popular with children) for financial or ego reasons. I've been doing aikido for around 14 yrs before I started a dojo but I only did that because there were no dojos around to train at (so it was either start one or don't train). I feel in many ways it was too early to start my own dojo, though it has been an enormous learning experience. I do aikido because I am fascinated by it and I want to get as good as I can at it. When you teach you have to sacrifice much of your own practice, though it can be replaced by a deeper understanding of the principles of aikido.

My advice, NEVER start your own dojo unless you have to. Be greedy and focus on your own improvement. (Or possibly if you feel you have developed sufficiently to be better than all the local instructors, or you have discovered something about aikido which the local instructors are not teaching).

P.S. teaching within your own club is different - that is something you may do out of responsbility to your own sensei

Last edited by ian : 11-15-2004 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:38 AM   #4
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 632
Re: When to start your own dojo.

Ian Dodkins wrote:
My advice, NEVER start your own dojo unless you have to. Be greedy and focus on your own improvement.
I might add "in order to continue your own training" to the first sentence in this quote, but otherwise.....what he said!


Fred Little
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Old 11-15-2004, 10:54 AM   #5
Andrew James
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 14
Re: When to start your own dojo.

Hi Jay,

not sure how stuff is done elsewhere in the world but here in France, by law, you need to be a nidan in order to pass the "Brevet Sportive" - Sports teacher diploma, and only after passing the Brevet Sportive are you allowed to open your own dojo.

I don't always agree with the french, but in this case I'll make an exception

Andrew James

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