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Old 01-30-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
slix
Location: Boston, MA
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
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Boston School Recommendations

From what I can tell from searching on here and google there are numerous schools for Aikido in boston. That being said it appears many of them are somewhat inconvenient for public transportation.

I've had an interest in Aikido for years and due to life situations began the study of a different art a few years ago which I now regret and would love to make up for lost time...

I live in Brookline, I work and do standup in the city, I want to find a dojo with good instruction, showers/etc facilities, flexible class times, and no 'up sell'. The last art I trained in had forced fees for testing which meant you just bought each belt. I loved training the art but this approach left a very sour taste in my mouth as kids and others were advanced without consideration of the training they had put in and whether they were adequately prepared for the next level. Perhaps as we were all beginners this was less necessary but it still tasted bad to speak.

I've heard great things bout Gleason Sensei in Somerville but it looks like the small dojo run by Randolph Sensei in Chinatown is my best bet in terms of transportation. Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions/experiences to share?

I'm hoping to narrow it down to 2 by March and start training the 2nd week of March after a couple of intro classes.

Also if you have anything potentially negative to report and don't feel comfortable doing it in a public setting, please PM me and I assure it will not see the light of day past my considerations.

thanks!
james
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:00 PM   #2
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,318
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Re: Boston School Recommendations

In my extremely biased opinion, Gleason Sensei is one of the best instructors in the US, if not the world. When I lived in Boston, I drove past several other dojos in order to train there.

Katherine
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
slix
Location: Boston, MA
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
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Re: Boston School Recommendations

Heh I'm drawn to Gleason for a couple of reasons I just feel like I'll be stuck waiting a while to actually get active there as I don't presently have transportation. But given his knowledge of sword use and my prior training in sword I think it would be pretty cool.

Hmm maybe I'll just take a closer look at how I could get over there.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:45 PM   #4
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,318
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Re: Boston School Recommendations

Quote:
James Nixon wrote: View Post
Heh I'm drawn to Gleason for a couple of reasons I just feel like I'll be stuck waiting a while to actually get active there as I don't presently have transportation. But given his knowledge of sword use and my prior training in sword I think it would be pretty cool.

Hmm maybe I'll just take a closer look at how I could get over there.
The Somerville location is on several bus lines and within good weather walking distance from the Orange line. I'd recommend at least going over to watch a couple of classes and talk to some of the students. (Tell them I sent you -- most of the yudansha, at least, should remember me.)

Katherine
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,157
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Re: Boston School Recommendations

Quote:
James Nixon wrote: View Post
Heh I'm drawn to Gleason for a couple of reasons I just feel like I'll be stuck waiting a while to actually get active there as I don't presently have transportation.
You do have transportation -- you just don't have a dedicated bus or subway line directly from your door to Gleason Sensei's dojo. The MBTA Route 85 bus is probably the most convenient, but a little browsing around http://www.mbta.com will tell the full story. Honestly, it doesn't get a whole lot easier than that.

(also, I met a few people from that dojo at summer camp last summer, and they were great)
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
heathererandolph
Dojo: Kokikai Aikido Boston
Location: Boston
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Re: Boston School Recommendations

I am Sensei Randolph and why not come and try a class to see what you think. The style is Kokikai Aikido and Shuji Maruyama, our Sensei, is actively developing the style Kokikai Aikido. Kokikai Aikido is somewhat of a departure from the other Aikido styles, in general. Sensei lives in Japan but visits the US three times per year when he teaches Summer Camp, Winter Camp, Fall Camp, Boston Seminar in November, and various other seminars throughout the year, mostly in the Northeast. I have not studied any other style of Aikido myself. It is very exciting to me, to see Sensei's development over the years, on specific techniques and believe this is a great opportunity for you to become a member of the Kokikai Aikido community at a time when the style is actively being developed. I focus on practicing techniques he is showing at the many seminars and camps I attend. I do encourage you to attend at least a class if not more at the dojo in Boston, and to find out for yourself if this style is what you want. If not I can advise you as to other dojos in the area.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:41 AM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Re: Boston School Recommendations

With great respect to all the other dedicated teachers who have dojos around the Boston area. I have to weigh in my choice being Gleason Sensei. In my opinion he is one the most inspiring and vital teachers of the art. And I don't just mean in Boston, I don't even mean in the US. I mean anywhere. The sophistication of what this man is doing with his Aikido is the equal of any Aikido you could find here or in Japan. There certainly are other styles and approaches out there which are really excellent. But I do not think you could find anyone who you'd say "that's superior".

I have had Gleason Sensei to my dojo to teach for 12 or 13 years in a row. Never has he failed to show up better than he was the year before. He is at the cutting edge of what is happening in Aikido right now. If you want to see someone who can take some of this internal skills work being discussed here and apply it directly to Aikido, he is the Man. If you have the least interest in how the Founder viewed his art, Gleason Sensei has two published works on the topic. If I was any where near his dojo, I'd be there. Period. Don't look for what's convenient, look for what has quality and great depth. You NEVER regret working a bit harder to get the best quality and you can often later regret not doing so.

And I do not mean this disrespectfully of any other instructor. If I had my own dojo in the Boston area, I couldn't, in all honesty, tell someone to train with me rather than with Gleason Sensei. In fact I'd be over at his place a couple times a week myself, even if I were teaching elsewhere.

Of course this is just my own opinion... the suggestion to try out all the other dojos is an excellent one.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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