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Old 02-10-2018, 09:08 PM   #1
senshincenter
 
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How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Reflections on Operating/Owning an Aikido Dojo.

Part I:

The maintaining of students and the increasing of one's overall membership is an important issue for dojo, especially traditional dojo, as traditional dojo can find this to be a difficult task for many reasons. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that popular media outlets frequented by the masses today are not commercially assisting the traditional arts. For dojo that have relied, knowingly or unknowingly, upon such resources, these may be dark days. It has been many years since "Above the Law" came out or since Tom Cruise was a samurai.

Additionally, the traditional arts are not being assisted by current social trends regarding such apparently disparate things as notions of masculinity, concepts of self-defense, the Wellness Industry, the Happiness Industry, etc. Most of these venues have usurped the discourses and pedagogies of the traditional arts but have done so while disparaging their sources, noting them to be wasteful, and able to be dissected without issue - all in the name of modern efficiency. In the face of these challenges, without a steady and increasingly growing membership, traditional dojo face financial risk and arts such as Aikido face degeneration and possible extinction.

While it may appear to a dojocho that the traditional arts today offer low returns and exchanges in potential cultural or social capital compared to MMA or BJJ, the mistake to avoid is trying to make one's dojo and one's art more MMA/BJJ-like. Aikido Journal is wrong in this regard. This is a mistake for two very important reasons: First, it is a mistake because the abovementioned only describes one market, a market that is already saturated, a market that is increasingly and rapidly producing lower and lower returns across the board: lower quality of practice, lower quality of art, lower student populations per school. We are also beginning to see an increase in school closures in this market as many have poorly decided to overextend themselves with second or third schools or by adopting larger facilities.

The traditional dojocho needs to understand that other markets are available and that these markets should be sought out instead since doing so always makes more sense business-wise than coming late to a game that is commencing its ending. It is also a mistake because the traditional arts' market viability actually rests in the quality of its practice and in the quality of its transmission. As such, the aforementioned market, through its mass appeal, leads to an accumulation of dabbler practitioners by default. As with all mass appeals, this market's prioritizing of meaningless and material things over things of real value, etc., makes it the wrong market for the traditional dojo.

Instead, the traditional dojocho should avoid this market and almost everything about this market. Rather than trying to make one's dojo less traditional, one should make it more traditional. By doing so, the traditional dojo thereby enters into another untapped but resourcefully sufficient market, one also conducive to training in a Budo.

Do not try and jump on the MMA/BJJ bandwagon! Let the MMA/BJJ market do its thing, and you do your thing. Wile the MMA/BJJ crowd seeks out young males indirectly addressing insecurity issues with fantasies of violence and fame, or while it seems to meet the immature and commonly held need to address ego-duels, you instead seek out all people that have seen through or that want to see through the superficiality of modern society, that are seeking the wellness of spiritual maturity, that want something as real as it is lasting.

Stop attempting to cater to the segment of the population that is by its very nature only starting an art to quit said art. Instead, seek out and cater to those individuals that can develop and keep a life-practice. Your market is not the MMA/BJJ segment share of the population. Your target population is this: Those individuals that want to cultivate their spirit and their body interdependently, those individuals that want to learn how to address reconciling their fears and self-attachment for the sake of performance enhancement across all segments of their lives, those individuals that see the benefit of and want the benefit of having a sacred space in their lives, those individuals that are seeking a weapon-based and size-irrelevant self-defense system, those individuals that want a channel for self-cultivation through craft perfection.

MMA/BJJ should have as much to do with your dojo as banking, or fishing, or making hamburgers -- nothing. As you likely do not follow the market pertaining to the "burger war" for determining your dojo's path and destiny, so should you not follow trends in the MMA/BJJ market for determining your dojo's path. The two population pools are completely different, and more than that the MMA/BJJ pool does not lend itself to the market strategy needed by the traditional arts -- my final point to be made here:

A dojo membership strategy is primarily addressed by two means: One, a dojo membership strategy can be based on getting more new students, or, two, a dojo membership strategy can be based on keeping existing students. Naturally, there is some possibility to do both but in actual practice you will see that traditional dojo should prioritize keeping existing students and allow getting more new students to happen incidentally of this prioritization. Why prioritize one's efforts this way? Here's an example: It is the keeping of existing students that allows them to develop a life practice of Budo, and this in turn keeps the art thriving on the mat and as a tradition.

This thriving is made visible to the prospective student drawn from the aforementioned population pool. Meaning, when they look on the mat at your dojo, they will see highly skilled practitioners doing powerful and sophisticated movements. This in turn attracts the right people to join the dojo while the dabbler intuitively realizes that he or she in the wrong place for doing "martial art-lite."

In short, here are my recommendations:

- Be more traditional.
- Know your population market pool and cater to that one.
- Prioritize keeping students over gaining new students.
- Separate yourself from the MMA/BJJ trends.

Now, I'm sure that every Aikido dojocho already believes him/herself to be doing these things, but such is not the case. This is because most dojocho are relying on a certain number of fallacies that actually keep them from being a truly traditional dojo, keep them from catering to the right population market pool, keep them from not prioritizing keeping students over getting new students, and that have them folloiwng MMA/BJJ (commercial) trends.

I will cover these fallacies one by one in my next segment. More to follow…

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:44 AM   #2
senshincenter
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Here is a more accurate reflection of the ideas I was seeking to discuss:

Reflections on Operating/Owning an Aikido Dojo.

The maintaining of students and the increasing of one’s overall membership is an important issue for dojo, especially traditional dojo, as traditional dojo can find this to be a difficult task for many reasons. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that popular media outlets frequented by the masses today are not commercially assisting the traditional arts. For dojo that have relied, knowingly or unknowingly, upon such resources, these may be dark days. It has been many years since “Above the Law” came out or since Tom Cruise was a samurai.

Additionally, the traditional arts are not being assisted by current social trends regarding such apparently disparate things as notions of masculinity, concepts of self-defense, the Wellness Industry, the Happiness Industry, etc. Most of these venues have usurped the discourses and pedagogies of the traditional arts but have done so while disparaging their sources, noting them to be wasteful, and able to be dissected without issue - all in the name of modern efficiency. In the face of these challenges, without a steady and increasingly growing membership, traditional dojo face financial risk and arts such as Aikido face degeneration and possible extinction.

While it may appear to a dojocho that the traditional arts today offer low returns and exchanges in potential cultural or social capital compared to MMA or BJJ, the mistake to avoid is trying to make one’s dojo and one’s art more MMA/BJJ-like. Aikido Journal is wrong in this regard. This is a mistake for two very important reasons: First, it is a mistake because the abovementioned only describes one market, a market that is already saturated, a market that is increasingly and rapidly producing lower and lower returns across the board: lower quality of practice, lower quality of art, lower student populations per school – all common effects of a mass appeal. These are all things that Tae Kwon Do also experienced in the 80’s and 90’s. Like TKD eventually experienced, we are also beginning to see an increase in school closures in this over-saturated market as many owner/operators have poorly decided to overextend themselves with second or third schools or by adopting larger facilities.

The traditional dojocho needs to understand that other markets are available and that these markets should be sought out instead since doing so always makes more sense business-wise than coming late to a game that is commencing its ending. It is also a mistake because the traditional arts’ market viability actually rests in the quality of its practice and in the quality of its transmission. As such, the aforementioned market, through its mass appeal, leads to an accumulation of dabbler practitioners by default. And, as with all mass appeals, this market, like all markets, comes to be driven by said masses. As such, slowly this mass market comes to prioritize meaningless and material things over things of real value, etc. The traditional dojo cannot survive by appealing to the mass market.

Instead, the traditional dojocho should avoid this market and almost everything about this market. Rather than trying to make one’s dojo less traditional, one should make it more traditional. By doing so, the traditional dojo thereby enters into another untapped but resourcefully sufficient market, one also conducive to training in a Budo.

Do not try and jump on the MMA/BJJ mass appeal bandwagon! Let the MMA/BJJ mass market do its thing, and you do your thing. Wile some portions of the MMA/BJJ are able to take advantage of the lucrative crowds of young males that are indirectly addressing insecurity issues with fantasies of violence and fame, or while it seems there is lots of money to be made in meeting the immature and commonly held need to address ego-duels, the Aikido dojocho should instead seek out all people that have seen through or that want to see through the superficiality of modern society, that are seeking the wellness of spiritual maturity, that want something as real as it is lasting.

Stop attempting to cater to the segment of the population that is by its very nature only starting an art to quit said art. Instead, seek out and cater to those individuals that can develop and keep a life-practice. Your market is not the average 18-28 year old male share of the population. Your target population is this: Those individuals that want to cultivate their spirit and their body interdependently, those individuals that want to learn how to address reconciling their fears and self-attachment for the sake of performance enhancement across all segments of their lives, those individuals that see the benefit of and want the benefit of having a sacred space in their lives, those individuals that are seeking a weapon-based and size-irrelevant self-defense system, those individuals that want a channel for self-cultivation through craft perfection.

The that common commercial martial arts schools seek to tap into should have as much to do with your dojo as banking, or fishing, or making hamburgers – nothing. As you likely do not follow the market pertaining to the “burger war” for determining your dojo’s path and destiny, so should you not follow trends in the commercial martial arts market for determining your dojo’s path. The two population pools are completely different, and more than that the mass market pool does not lend itself to the market strategy needed by the traditional arts – my final point to be made here:

A dojo membership strategy is primarily addressed by two means: One, a dojo membership strategy can be based on getting more new students, or, two, a dojo membership strategy can be based on keeping existing students. Naturally, there is some possibility to do both but in actual practice you will see that traditional dojo should prioritize keeping existing students and allow getting more new students to happen incidentally of this prioritization. Why prioritize one’s efforts this way? Here’s an example: It is the keeping of existing students that allows them to develop a life practice of Budo, and this in turn keeps the art thriving on the mat and as a tradition.

This thriving is made visible to the prospective student drawn from the aforementioned population pool. Meaning, when they look on the mat at your dojo, they will see highly skilled practitioners doing powerful and sophisticated movements. This in turn attracts the right people to join the dojo while the dabbler intuitively realizes that he or she in the wrong place for doing “martial art-lite.”

In short, here are my recommendations:

- Be more traditional.
- Know your population market pool and cater to that one.
- Prioritize keeping students over gaining new students.
- Separate yourself from current commercial trends.

Now, I’m sure that every Aikido dojocho already believes him/herself to be doing these things, but such is not the case. This is because most dojocho are relying on a certain number of fallacies that actually keep them from being a truly traditional dojo, keep them from catering to the right population market pool, keep them from not prioritizing keeping students over getting new students, and that have them following popular commercial trends.

I will cover these fallacies one by one in my next segment. More to follow…

Last edited by senshincenter : 02-12-2018 at 01:46 AM.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:08 PM   #3
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

There are some interesting thoughts here.

I don't agree with becoming more traditional.

You have to be the kind of dojo you are. Berkshire Hills Aikido is an American Aikido dojo. We are not Japanese. We believe in Ueshiba's philosophy that Aikido is a universal language.

Our training has evolved as we continue to practice. Our way is not for everyone. We have let some of the ritual drop since it is not relevant to our training.

An aspect that I am very grateful which has sloughed away is the mystique around the main teacher and the resulting deference that comes from fawning students.

We believe that each person can step into their own power through dedicated practice of Aikido technique and principles. Ron and I strive to provide a safe atmosphere for students to train and grow along side of us.

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Old 02-12-2018, 01:59 PM   #4
senshincenter
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
There are some interesting thoughts here.

I don't agree with becoming more traditional.

You have to be the kind of dojo you are. Berkshire Hills Aikido is an American Aikido dojo. We are not Japanese. We believe in Ueshiba's philosophy that Aikido is a universal language.

Our training has evolved as we continue to practice. Our way is not for everyone. We have let some of the ritual drop since it is not relevant to our training.

An aspect that I am very grateful which has sloughed away is the mystique around the main teacher and the resulting deference that comes from fawning students.

We believe that each person can step into their own power through dedicated practice of Aikido technique and principles. Ron and I strive to provide a safe atmosphere for students to train and grow along side of us.
These are good points. Thanks for sharing. I imagine we agree on many points, and any difference might come from my unusual way of using "traditional." I tend to draw a distinction between traditional and traditionalistic. There is something very traditional about adapting practices to fit one's circumstances, as you have done in dropping certain rituals not relevant to your training. To keep such rituals, especially when they are not relevant to one's training, is what I like to call being "traditionalistic" - tradition for tradition's sake.

Here is Pt. II. I think you will see more of what you are saying in Pt. II.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:02 PM   #5
senshincenter
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Reflections on Operating/Owning an Aikido Dojo.

Part II (Fallacies)

The following commonly held Aikido dojo business fallacies are not listed in any priority. All fallacies listed below are being looked at from the point of view of developing a comprehensive business model as described in Part I of this essay.

Fallacy: You should model your dojo after a more senior dojo or a hombu dojo.

The underlying mindset supporting this fallacy is, "There's no point to reinventing the wheel," or "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," or even "They must know what they are doing." Only the reality is that "it" is likely broken since their mats are often empty and low-energy (i.e. not a commercial draw), "they" don't know what they are doing because they never thought things through from a business perspective, and you might not want a "wheel" in the first place.

The first unsaid and negative consequences of this fallacy that I would like to point out is that its adoption very often guarantees that one's dojo will contain business and cultural aspects not consciously selected. As such, one loses the market viability of having their dojo be unique (i.e. one of a kind), and one may end up struggling to reconcile unreconcilable and contradictory combinations of business strategy and dojo culture. A good example of the latter would be one of overemphasizing the philosophical and academic aspects of the art while wanting to cater to law enforcement, or younger males, combat effectiveness, and/or wanting a crowded and energetic mat during class. Another example would be running a walk-in teen program while wanting to cater toward people looking at Budo as a life-practice. My point: Every aspect of your dojo should be consciously selected. Every aspect not in your dojo should be consciously rejected. A consultant should be able to walk through your dojo and point to any aspect of your model or even any item in your dojo, etc., and ask, "Why is that there?" and you should be able to tell them exactly why it is there and also why something else is not there.

By doing this, this allows us to gain one of the most basic sound business practices (already briefly mentioned above): Your dojo should be one of a kind. Having your dojo run or be like everyone else's or even like somebody else's requires you by default to seek a smaller share of somebody else's market. This can only be lucrative if you are in early on said market and if said market is still in its growth phase, and only if you are able to organize the market according to a pyramid shape. This is exactly what we saw with the Japanese shihan that started the USAF and the other federation movements. Today, even those schools, whether the shihan is still alive or not, are a former shadow of what they once used to be in terms of dojo membership. As was mentioned in Part I, it makes no sense to try and enter the BJJ/MMA commercial markets this late in the game, and it therefore makes even less sense to try and do so in the Aikido federation commercial markets.

Rather than following this fallacy, one should follow this mantra: If your ideal dojo could exist or does exist someplace else, you should go and train there. This is how unique your dojo should be instead! It must be nowhere else! Again, it needs to be one of kind, and it must be this even if someone tries to copy element-for-element what you are doing. Your dojo must be so unique that it cannot even be copied! This is the only way you can find your own market, and finding your own market is one of the easiest ways of successfully dominating a market, of being successful, and, in this case, of having a sustainable and growing dojo membership.

How do you create a dojo that cannot be found anywhere else? Start by using your wants and likes, your experiences, your interests, your personality, the information YOU have accumulated, the lessons you've learned, the mistakes you've made, and the mistakes you've seen others make, etc., to, so to speak, sculpt the image of your ideal dojo -- YOUR dojo. Your dojo should be YOUR ideal dojo. Look at every aspect of your current dojo, and note if it is contributing to your ideal dojo. Make sure there is no aspect of your dojo that is doing nothing toward your ideal dojo. Make sure there is no aspect of your dojo that is working against your ideal dojo.

Once you have this shape in mind, work, and dream, and aim everything you have to make that ideal dojo manifested in reality. You must be like an artist painting a painting, a sculptor sculpting, like a composer composing a piece of music -- you must work, work constantly, to generate the shape you are picturing in your mind, in your heart of hearts. Bring that into existence! Do not settle for anything else. Do not compromise. Do not veer. Only allow yourself necessary delay, the practice of patience, and the strategy of sequencing. Everything else is about uniting you, who you are, with your dojo, and manifested reality.

This is important not only from the point of view that training in your own vision is central to your own quality of life, but more importantly regarding student body size is that dojocho must be able to capitalize upon contagion (see Go Rin no Sho). Allow me to explain: The dojocho must be charismatic, for example, and to be charismatic the dojocho must him/herself be drawn to his/her dojo. It is by this drawing, this gravitational force, that you draw others to your dojo. And, this gravitational force cannot exist between deshi and dojo or between dojocho and dojo if the dojo is not unique and not uniquely desired for by the dojocho.

You must remember: If the dojocho would rather be training elsewhere, if training at another dojo even exists as a possibility for the dojocho, then it is also so for the deshi. If the dojocho is willing to go and train somewhere else, then why should the deshi not go and train somewhere else?

If you already have a dojo, then practice to counter this fallacy like this:

- Ask, what is your ideal dojo? Describe it in minute detail.
- What bothers you about your current dojo? Describe it in minute detail, but also include causations, supports, and correlations for those aspects you list here.
- Go through your business practices and ask and explain, "Why is that aspect there?"
- Go through your dojo space itself and point to everything and ask and explain, "Why is that there?"

Working in the martial arts business since 1986, I have to point out here something that I have commonly seen when people try to adopt their own ideal dojo. It is part of a fallacy I will explain in a following segment, but simply put it is this: People by nature and out of fear often come to misidentify the arbitrary and the subjective as the objective and the universal. Restructuring a business, just like structuring a business, requires acts of commitment and bravery. Commitment and bravery is what keeps one from misidentifying the subjective and the arbitrary.

Most times, dojo are filled with arbitrary and subjective aspects that are wrongly considered to be vital to a dojo's operation. During the restructuring phase, a dojocho may think that this or that aspect cannot be done without, that it cannot be discarded, thrown away, etc., even though it is at odds with the overall idealized business strategy or even though it is doing nothing for the business. In truth, there is almost nothing of popular current commercial dojo practices or of popular federation business practices that you need or that you should want. And, you're going to have to be brave and committed to your ideal dojo to figure that out in real life.

If you are going to go through the above-listed question and practices and say more often than not, "We've always done it that way" or "It is just how it is," all markers of arbitrariness and misidentified subjectivity, you are going to be like someone suffering from hoarding, like a person that cannot throw away one of the thousand boxes in their bedroom because they might need it for returning an item in the future. Meaning, your house is going to stay a mess, your dojo is going to stay a mess, and it is your fault. Don't be a hoarder. Clean your house. Make your ideal dojo. Trust -- almost anything can be thrown away!

More fallacies to discuss in the next segment of Part II…

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:28 AM   #6
Avery Jenkins
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

David, I've never run a dojo, but your comments seem pretty on-point to me. Aikido social media is saturated with the MMA/BJJ mythos; i've never seen so many people training in one thing while wishing they were training in another. I'm afraid I don't really understand it. in terms of dojo viability, the ufc gravy train ain't never making a stop at Aikido Station.

Last edited by Avery Jenkins : 02-24-2018 at 06:31 AM.

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Old 02-24-2018, 11:45 PM   #7
senshincenter
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Reflections on Operating/Owning an Aikido Dojo.

Part II Continued…

Fallacy: People join a dojo to learn a specific art.

There will be a lot of naysaying around this one, as many folks, particularly folks not running a martial arts business, or not running one for long, or not running a successful martial arts business, will here talk about how they joined this art or that art because they were looking for it. From there, they will go on to universalize their own experience – another fallacy. So, let us touch base again on our main aim and point out again that we are always talking in light of the following goal:

“To generate and sustain an increase in dojo members, AND SIMULTANEOUSLY increase the dojo’s capacity for higher levels of practice and a truer transmission of the art. Most importantly, it is held that the latter is to be organized so as to produce the former.”

My business experience, practiced since 1986, has led me to hold that while some people come to a dojo to learn a specific art, most do not. Then, out of those that do come to learn a specific art, only a small percentage of them actually have within them the capacity to practice the art as a life-practice and/or to take it to higher levels of commitment, dedication, sacrifice, and skill development – which is what we want and need. Thus, while there are indeed people that come to learn a specific art, they remain only a small portion of the market share. It makes no sense then to gear or aim one’s dojo toward them. Yet, this fallacy as a business strategy remains in place for many even though it draws from very little and produces even less. Why? Let’s get into it – for we need to know why we are prone to holding onto it if we are going to free ourselves from it.

In this fallacy, I am not solely and slowly leading us to the obvious demographic tendency that most dojo are populated by members that live within a particular geographical radius – people just looking for a school that is close and not looking for an art in particular. As such, I am not suggesting that the remedy to this fallacy is the old business standby of, “location, location, location.” Dojo uniqueness, suggested in the last section as being a key marketing strategy, should encourage folks to travel beyond said radius and with today’s social media outlets also encourage folks to follow a dojo from all over the world. In a way, quite different from the usual, I am saying, we do not want students looking to train in Aikido or that come to our dojo in any kind of general way or for any kind of general reason outside of the particularity that is our dojo.

In short, the downside of following this particular fallacy either by a conscious ignorance or by an unconscious fear is this: This fallacy inhibits or even negates the marketing gains brought about by dojo uniqueness. Moreover, identifying with a generic art, such as “Aikido,” is not only to lose oneself, is not only giving up control over self-identity, but it is also a practice in ignorance and in fear – things that negate marketing contagion and long-term dojo affiliation.

True, contemporary conventional wisdom holds that there is some marketing value to branding. As such, many people practicing Aikido or more specifically running Aikido dojo often want to make a brand out of “Aikido.” Today, most folks cannot even think without this nomenclature! It is what they say is broken, what they say they fixed, what they say needs fixing, what they do, what they don’t do, etc. “It is a set of techniques!” It is a lineage, a philosophy, etc. Yet, using classical Buddhist critical philosophy, we can easily see that it has never existed in uniformed form anywhere, and that it has not always existed in any particular form as such! Still, we hold onto it! Yet, it is but a fiction!

While this practice of nomenclature-attachment may be an extension of a political theory first utilized for and supported by an economic means, such as in the federation system, it does not necessarily mean that “Aikido” should be the brand utilized for dojo wanting to be individually successful today. For the concept of branding implies a sort of control over said brand, and there can be no control over what “Aikido” is the world over or even in the dojo down the street from yours. As such, “Aikido,” because it is a fiction, cannot function as a brand. In truth, it can never move beyond its original reason for generation and must remain what it always was: a political fiction, a political tool. A dojocho should therefore not confuse their role in a pyramid economic scheme that utilizes political fictions (e.g. federation Aikido) with sound marketing practices such as branding. Instead, as one’s dojo should be unique unto oneself, one’s “Aikido” should also be unique – unique because it is and because it has to be. The brand is not “Aikido,” but the Aikido you and you alone can control can be branded. The brand is your Aikido.

One must note, the political fiction “Aikido,” served only those at the top of the pyramid scheme, as they supplemented their membership and income with dojo memberships underneath them. As said scheme has reached the limits of its available population pools, it is those schools at the bottom that suffer financial loss first. Like all feudal systems, there are limits that must be contended with and that cannot be surpassed. What put these satellite schools in place, what has kept these supporting schools in place, what has had them forfeit their marketing uniqueness, was the symbolic and cultural capital this system promised could later be exchanged for actual material capital as long as one abided by the given political fiction. Meaning: You give us your money (material capital), and you count your membership as ours (material capital), and we will bestow upon you rank and title (symbolic capital), as well as affiliation and allegiance (cultural capital), which in turn you can then go on to use to attract new students (material capital) - ONLY THE LATTER IS FOR THE MOST PART NOT TRUE, AND ALMOST NEVER TRUE IN TERMS OF OUR AIMS (listed above).

Additionally, nowhere in the scheme was skill and truer transmission ever directly addressed. It was all only assumed and then eventually displaced. Displacement is always the result of symbolic and cultural capital economies. For example: Think on how competition negatively affects an art’s practicality, as players begin to game the rules for the sake of winning. It is the same with political symbolic and cultural capital: Players begin to game the administrative requirements for the sake of rank and title. Soon, like in competition, as when winning that once stood for skill, now no longer represents it; in political systems that make use of fictions like “Aikido,” rank and title that once stood for skill, now no longer represent it. Instead, administrative practices supplant everything! This is why all over the world today, instead of dojo being made up of deshi that train four to six hours a day, they are instead made up of deshi that train a bunch of hours in the weeks preceding an exam date.

We need to free ourselves from this way of thinking. So, think about it this way – at a practical level:

A person comes in wanting to learn the art of Aikido. How could they even know what that is, what it means? Did they read about it on the Internet? Did they hear it was good exercise? Did they read it was non-violent? Do they admire Japanese culture? Did they like “The Last Samurai”? Their friend told them it was something they would like? Is that your ideal student? A person that universalizes their beliefs simply because it is they that hold them? A person that prioritizes information over experience? A person wanting to train for reductive and alternative reasons? An ignorant person that believes you can throw people and they won’t get hurt – a person that does not take responsibility for their own will to power and seeks an external solution instead? A person so de-centered they practice exoticism? A person that romanticizes violence? A person with no mind of their own? Is this the person that is going to transmit a truer art into the future? If not, how can they help us build our particularly wanted student membership?

Or, a person comes in and they want to train in this federation or with that person of that rank? Is that your ideal student? A person so trapped by symbolic and cultural capital? A person so prey to political fictions? Are they only there to meet some administrative requirement to finish getting a fiction of their own – a black belt? Is that the person that is going to make a life-practice of the art and see it transmitted strongly and fully into the future? Hardly. But, most importantly, are they from the population pool that is going to meet the above-listed goals? No way.

Then, we must stop catering to them. Let them come into the dojo, as they do my own. But, as I do, I see this all as things that must be cut through. In many ways, give me Shoshin, give me the person that comes into the dojo knowing nothing about “Aikido” and wanting nothing from it – if you give me a choice. But, either way, what I present to them is and must be my own Aikido. As they come to learn that they knew nothing about Aikido, they must come to want to learn my Aikido. This is where you must start this key liberation process – you must find your own Aikido.

How do you find your own Aikido? Like you find your own dojo:

Every aspect of your Aikido should be consciously selected. Every aspect not in your Aikido should be consciously rejected. Both a non-practitioner and a practitioner should be able to observe any aspect of your art and point to any aspect and element, and ask, “Why is that there?” and you will have an answer. Your Aikido must be your ideal Aikido. Your Aikido cannot exist anywhere else, and must be impossible to copy by any outsider even if it is mimicked move for move. How do you create an Aikido that cannot be found anywhere else? Like the dojo, start by using your wants and likes, your experiences, your interests, your personality, the information YOU have accumulated, the lessons you’ve learned, the mistakes you’ve made, and the mistakes you’ve seen others make, etc., to, so to speak, sculpt your art. Look at every aspect of your current Aikido, and note if it is contributing to your ideal art or not. Make sure there is no aspect of your practice that is doing nothing toward your ideal art. Make sure there is no aspect of your practice that is working against your ideal Aikido. Once you have this art in mind, work, and dream, and aim everything you have to make that Aikido manifested in reality. You must be like an artist painting a painting, a sculptor sculpting, like a composer composing a piece of music – you must work, work constantly, to generate the shape you are picturing in your mind, in your heart of hearts. Bring that into existence! Do not settle for anything else. Do not compromise. Do not veer. Only allow yourself necessary delay, the practice of patience, and the strategy of sequencing. Everything else is about uniting you, who you are, with your Aikido, and manifested reality.

When you do this, and when you combine this with establishing your own unique dojo, you can capitalize upon any branding benefits these practices bring. You can also guide and determine through consistency and the absence of contradiction how increasing the skill and truth of your art’s transmission will increase the size of your dojo membership. Quite different from when one follows any feudalistic models for structuring their dojo business and/or utilizes any political fictions, your dojo is now not a place where you as the teacher train or where a federation has a satellite, or even where a person can come to meet administrative requirements to receive their black belts. Instead, you are your dojo. You, the sensei, are the dojo.

Like this, you are now following a more historical pedagogical model, the one out of which Budo was first born, and so too Aikido, the one where deshi come to the dojo not to train in an art but rather to enter into a sensei/deshi relationship, to enter into a particular mentorship. This is what you want. Like this, you cease to be a satellite. Like this you have removed that glass ceiling that kept you small and down and that only held others up. Like this your dojo is a center and like this you are the center of that center. Like this, true creation is possible, and your business can be whatever you need it and want it to be. Until then, you remain at the whims of a market that controls you, knowing full well that that market survives perfectly fine by either your existence or by your demise – like Nature utilizes a tree in the forest.

More to follow…

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:10 PM   #8
Peter Goldsbury
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

In my opinion this is one of the most important threads on AikiWeb and I congratulate Mr Valadez for starting it.

I am in the unusual position of running two aikido dojos in Japan, but as a dojo-cho / chief instructor who is not Japanese, but whose students are almost entirely Japanese. We recently celebrated our 15th anniversary and for the past few years we have been independent of any aikido organization apart from the recognition of dojo and dan ranks by the Aikikai Hombu. I suppose there is some irony here, since I have spent over thirty years working for, and eventually leading, a very large international aikido federation.

This thread is of such importance as to warrant more dialogue, which I hope to do when I have the time. Suffice it to state here that I think that Mr Valadez uses a platonic approach, which is to search for a good model and then to spend much effort to make sure that the actual dojo fits the model. This model has an excellent pedigree, but I have never used it--as I hope to explain eventually.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury

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Old 02-25-2018, 11:13 PM   #9
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Your input would be greatly appreciated Sir.

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:42 AM   #10
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Though things work a little different in many European countries, this still is an amazing analyis and outline with much universal validity. And great relevance for the future of Aikido, IMHO. I am really impressed how you almost seem to pick up on things that, for me, have been hunches, intuitions, scattered thoughts, add lots of new stuff and offer a clear and persuasive synthesis.Thank you very much! Could this be turned into an aikiweb column maybe at some point, for broader availability and to get some more attention? I hope to give some broader feedback soon.

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 02-26-2018 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:14 AM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
 
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Though things work a little different in many European countries, this still is an amazing analyis and outline with much universal validity. And great relevance for the future of Aikido, IMHO. I am really impressed how you almost seem to pick up on things that, for me, have been hunches, intuitions, scattered thoughts, add lots of new stuff and offer a clear and persuasive synthesis.Thank you very much! Could this be turned into an aikiweb column maybe at some point, for broader availability and to get some more attention? I hope to give some broader feedback soon.
Hello Mr Eschenbruch,

I am currently struggling with the very general issue of how aikido organizations, of whatever size, affect--for good or bad--one's own perceptions of training in the art. It is intended to be part of my TIE columns but it is an intractable subject and has taken far longer to write than I ever intended.

However, the reflections of Mr Valadez offer a very valuable analysis of some of the issues involved here and I plan to offer a constructive response, based on my own experience of training and teaching, first in the UK and now here in Japan, and also in being involved at a very close level with international organizations and the Aikikai Hombu.

Recently, I spent some constructive time with Jun Akiyama on his recent visit to Japan and I am confident that he will do whatever is necessary to ensure that this thread keeps its due prominence.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 02-26-2018, 07:08 AM   #12
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

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Wile the MMA/BJJ crowd seeks out young males indirectly addressing insecurity issues with fantasies of violence and fame, or while it seems to meet the immature and commonly held need to address ego-duels, you instead seek out all people that have seen through or that want to see through the superficiality of modern society, that are seeking the wellness of spiritual maturity, that want something as real as it is lasting.
I'd say your opinions about the "MMA/BJJ crowd" are flawed, and I'm wondering why.

Otherwise, nice posts.
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:00 PM   #13
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Hi Demetrio. Thanks for posting to the thread.

You pulled a quote from the first draft - that original post at the top. Here is that same paragraph from the second post in this thread - an edited version of the first post I felt more in line what I was trying to convey. I too had problems with what was originally stated here.

However, I myself couldn't figure out a way of editing the first post in place or deleting it from the thread. I chalked that up to my ignorance but thought it might also be the way Jun has things set up. So I just posted my more accurate rendition second in this thread. Please read that one.

I have pasted the same paragraph you cited for you below, copied from the second post:

"Wile some portions of the MMA/BJJ are able to take advantage of the lucrative crowds of young males that are indirectly addressing insecurity issues with fantasies of violence and fame, or while it seems there is lots of money to be made in meeting the immature and commonly held need to address ego-duels, the Aikido dojocho should instead seek out all people that have seen through or that want to see through the superficiality of modern society, that are seeking the wellness of spiritual maturity, that want something as real as it is lasting."

Please let me know if you feel it more easily agreeable. If not, I'd appreciate an elaboration you can provide as to why.

Thanks,
Dave

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Old 02-26-2018, 04:50 PM   #14
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

For the record here, like all our videos on our YouTube Channel, the posts on our Facebook page, and now in our podcast on SounndCloud, the information I produce or publish is geared toward meeting the needs of those currently in a sensei/deshi relationship with me. They are not meant for mass consumption - not as a primary concern. As such, there is a limit to how much they can function for those not currently in said relationship. Outside of that relationship, there is a lot of context missing and with that a lot of meaning is also likely to be lost and/or subject to misunderstanding. For that I apologize. I am not sure I can or will ever look to fix all misunderstandings for those not training with me. I only suggest that if you find anything useful, its yours, and its you that made it so.

I share our works here and in other places to help refine my message, as happened with the first post in this thread, and also because I do believe in what I state and do. Because of that, I share it freely with those that might be facing a particular obstacle I too faced. I think, "Maybe they will find it helpful." Often, people bother to ask if they can copy or borrow something, and a inner part of me always finds such a request odd. While I appreciate the courtesy and a courteous person, inside, I always think, "Why should I care what you do with it. It's yours."

In fact, that is how this piece came about. Explaining that might assist others gain more context for what is being stated. For additional context for those not in a sensei/deshi relationship with me but that would like to understand more accurately, I would recommend visiting all our media outlets. There is tons of information there by now and none of it comes with a fee - all free. Some might find this helpful because I seem to be off of most people's spectrums, such that in the end both parties at the poles hate me equally for supporting the other side. :-)

In this case, here is what happened:

Summarizing, a person that had noticed us on our social media outlets saw us facing a problem similar to his. We seemed to have solved it from his point of view, and from my own, but not in a typical way and not in a way most think it should or can be solved. He politely and with good intention asked if I would share with him how we went about and go about solving said problem. That problem is the two goals listed in the writing:

- How do I increase my dojo membership?
- How do I increase my quality of transmission so as to keep the Art of Aikido thriving into the future?

Summarizing my own quick response, I hold that the ensuring of the latter brings about the former. I then explained to him that I would like to use his question as a catalyst for doing what I always try to do: Leave a roadmap of sorts for my deshi. He agreed to receive my answer in this format. These are what are being posted here and on Facebook and will be published in total on our website when completed.

I'm all for discussion on points derived from the piece by the reader but the goal of leaving a roadmap for my deshi and the goal of meeting the request set before me are likely going to make this piece less universally applicable in the end. As such, and for example, and back to Demetrio's post, I am not out to make a universally applied statement on MMA/BJJ. I am not against these arts or see them as outright inferior to Aikido. I do not think in terms of arts, a context which can be gained by looking at all our published materials. I have regularly practiced ne-waza (as I call refer to BJJ and Japanese Ju-jitsu and "ground-fighting" and "Aikido's/Osensei's ground-fighting," etc.) since the late 80's and it has been a daily part of Senshin Center Dojo since 1999. The paragraph that was cited by Demetrio, rather, was aimed at current trends in Aikido marketing, such as demonstrated by Aikido Journal, a publication I love, Roy Dean, a martial artist I admire, and made infamous (my opinion) by Rokas's AikidoSiauliai YouTube Channel.

To be sure, these are not the generators of this view, and nor are they they only one's holding it. I listed them here above only so the reader can easily know that to which I am referring. While I do believe that Aikido should be martial, I do not hold that an adoption or a combination or even an integration of MMA/BJJ into an Aikido paradigm is a way of meeting the two goals listed above: How to increase dojo membership while increasing that quality of transmission of the art into the future. I do not think that kind of mixing brings in members or makes Aikido more martial and thus better transmitted into the future. That said, I am also not of the position that Aikido as is commonly practiced is martial, and nor am I of the position that a non-martial Aikido meets the two goals listed above either: How to increase dojo membership while increasing that quality of transmission of the art into the future. A non-martial Aikido does not bring in new members to any kind of high or sufficient degree, and nor does it produce a high quality transmission of the art into the future. For me, as I solved for the two goals, I had come up with something different, something I want my students to know, something the person making the original request wanted to know. Hence, the writings shared here. That is what is being addressed, and to that degree only, in the submissions. I will have to address any auxiliary discussions only in the thread.

Apologies in advance.
Dave

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Old 02-26-2018, 07:17 PM   #15
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Reflections on Operating/Owning an Aikido Dojo

Part III: Self-Reflection and Assessment Exercise

Since the aim of this writing is to go beyond mere understanding and to instead fully manifest the aforementioned changes in the real world as a practice, I am going to halt the theorizing for a bit and provide you the reader with some actual things to look for, to observe and identify. I am going to give you an exercise to do, a practice in self-reflection: A dojocho and dojo self-assessment. This exercise goes back to something I said in the first part:

“Now, I’m sure that every Aikido dojocho already believes him/herself to be doing these things, but such is not the case. This is because most dojocho are relying on a certain number of fallacies that actually keep them from being a truly traditional dojo, keep them from catering to the right population market pool, keep them from not prioritizing keeping students over getting new students, and that have them following popular (and inappropriate) commercial trends.”

And, this exercise also goes back to something I said in the second part:

“People by nature and out of fear often come to misidentify the arbitrary and the subjective as the objective and the universal. Restructuring a business, just like structuring a business, requires acts of commitment and bravery. Commitment and bravery is what keeps one from misidentifying the subjective and the arbitrary.”

Please ask and answer:

- Does your dojo smell? Is a foul or any kind of unpleasant odor that a person walking through the door for the first time would detect?
- Is there any clutter in your dojo?
- Is there any damaged property in your dojo?
- Are your dojo bathrooms clean/spotless?
- Is your dojo dirty or dusty?
- Are there cobwebs in your dojo?
- Do deshi follow personal hygiene without reminders?
- Do you or your dojo senpai feel embarrassed or guilty or hesitant when notifying members of etiquette breeches?
- Do deshi leave their uniforms, equipment, and personal belongings in your dojo?
- Do deshi forget their uniforms, equipment, and personal belongings in your dojo?
- Does your dojo have a modern lobby (e.g. chairs or benches and a partitioned off area)?
- Does your dojo have a large lobby? (e.g. 20% of your mat or larger)
- Are your men’s and women’s dressing rooms the same size and of equal access?
- Do all the adult members and mature teenagers in your dojo have a key to your dojo? Do these deshi have access to the mat 24/7?
- Does at least 90% of your current deshi train six to seven days per week?
- Does your deshi core (not the top 10%, not the bottom 10% - however you define that) train four hours or less per day?
- Is your deshi population generally and evenly divided across gender lines or are is there more of one gender than the other?
- Are the following deshi populations in your dojo minority populations in your dojo: People with poor strength-to-weight ratios (e.g. cannot do a pull-up), people with poor mobility (e.g. cannot immediately change levels), people that train four days per week two hours per day or less?
- Do you use membership contracts?
- Do you utilize a ranking system?
- Do you use testing fees?
- Do you host seminars?
- Do you take walk-in deshi?
- Do you use collection services?
- Do you use electronic deposit for your membership dues?
- Is your etiquette fully followed without incident?
- Do new members do their own thing or do you observe them immediately following suit with other deshi?
- Is there talking on your mat while training?
- Do you have people on the mat in classes that provide instruction to their partners?
- Do deshi appear fine with stopping during training?
- Do you have people in the lobby of your dojo that provide instruction or assistance to people on the mat?
- Do your deshi call you by your first name?
- Do you deshi refer to you as “sensei” outside of the dojo when speaking to you?
- Does your dojo have a teaching cadre for your adult and advanced teen program?
- Is your dojo financially surviving on your children’s program?
- Is your children’s program geared around or includes entertainment and daycare aspects?
- Do you hold kids program sleep-overs in the dojo?
- Do you have or sell dojo merchandise?
- Do you mark up wholesale discounts to retail prices?
- Does your children’s program consist of over 30 kids?
- Are parents of child members self-inclined to interact with you as if they were a deshi?
- Does your dojo offer classes seven days per week?
- Does your weekly Adult schedule include: Mediation; Striking; Ne-Waza; Kihon-Waza; Live Training Environments; Weapons (traditional and modern); Strength and Mobility-Oriented Body Conditioning (separate from all other classes); Required Readings, Studying of Strategy, Tactics, History, Philosophy, and Religion; and Topical Discussions?
- Are there striking bags, pads, and makiwara in your dojo?
- Do 90% of your adult deshi own a suburito?
- Are your mats filled during most of your classes (think 90%)?
- Do you have weekday evening classes regularly attended by less than five deshi?
- Are your classes drill-oriented/practice-oriented or are they discussion and analysis oriented?
- Do deshi keep a committed training schedule and make it known to you?
- Are there black belts in your dojo that you don’t believe should have a black belt?
- Are there deshi in your dojo that feel they are martial able but you feel are not?
- Do deshi notifiy you beforehand if they are going to miss a class they regularly attend?
- Do deshi train more regularly regardless of the calendar or do they train more periodically? (e.g. for an exam, on the weekend, during the work week, during a vacation, etc.)
- Is your dojo religion free?
- If there is a religious aspect in your dojo, is it tribal based or universal?
- Do deshi see injury as being caused by uke or by nage or by both?
- Are your classes organized thematically and in an integrated fashion according to attendees or do you decide topics by other means (e.g. kihon lexicon, testing requirements, etc.)
- Do you have self-defense classes?
- Do you have women’s or men’s classes?
- Do you have advanced classes?
- Are your children’s classes attended by your adult members?
- Do your advanced teens also regularly attend your adult classes?
- Do your deshi go to train in other dojo or do students from other dojo come to train in your dojo?
- Does your dojo culture survive fully intact at dojo parties and gatherings outside of classes and off of the mat?
- Is 10% or more of your instruction verbiage addressing what is done in other dojo or in other arts?
- Are nutrition (low-carb, low-cal, anti-inflammator, performance driven, etc.), sleep discipline (8-9 hours per night), operational fitness (strength and mobility oriented), and worldview (i.e. East Asian – Yin/Yang, Tao, Emptiness, Self-reliance, Confucian, Zen, Purity/Pollution, etc.) part of your deshi’s daily practice?
- Do the children of your adult members train in the dojo?
- Do people visiting your dojo feel your deshi are open and kind?
- Do your deshi bring in members or do they almost never bring in new members?
- Are you accepting new dojo members throughout the year?
- Are you receiving new dojo members throughout the year?

Start here, answer these. Then, in the next segment I will let you know what I hold certain answers to be, whether they are conducive to our goals or contrary to them. Some may seem very obvious in that regard, but others are not so obvious and/or are totally beyond initial considerations. Following that, I will briefly take us back to some theory, including defining key words as “martial,” “Budo,” “Aikido,” etc. From there, I will provide you with several actual policies and practices we use at Senshin Center – which is what prompted these writings in the first place.

More to follow…

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:19 AM   #16
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

As several of these questions involve the mindset of other people, I don't see how they're even answerable - but I look forward to seeing your interpretation and reasoning behind them.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:37 AM   #17
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
Please let me know if you feel it more easily agreeable. If not, I'd appreciate an elaboration you can provide as to why.
I feel this way is a less broad and negative generalization about how BJJ/MMA clubs market their product. One who doesn't really match my experiences in the art of BJJ and with the people who practise it.

Quote:
While I do believe that Aikido should be martial, I do not hold that an adoption or a combination or even an integration of MMA/BJJ into an Aikido paradigm is a way of meeting the two goals listed above: How to increase dojo membership while increasing that quality of transmission of the art into the future.
I agree to some point. From doctrine down to techniques there are some serious incompatibilities between BJJ and Aikido, however there are some elements in both arts that not only are compatible but IMO needed. Aikido practise needs some aliveness to avoid falling in autocomplacency and dishonesty, BJJ could benefit from focusing less in becoming a sport and develop a budo approach to things.

Both systems can be powerful technologies of the self if practised as such.
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:23 PM   #18
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
As several of these questions involve the mindset of other people, I don't see how they're even answerable - but I look forward to seeing your interpretation and reasoning behind them.
Hi Mary. Thanks for adding to the thread. I think I'm coming from a slightly different angle. I'm looking more for a self-assessment exercise and not so much the collection of concrete data. In that light, it is the perception of the dojocho that I'm interested in bringing to the surface for the reader. For example, one question was, "Do deshi appear fine with stopping during training?" This seems like quite a personal question, one that is best answered by asking folks, "Do you feel fine stopping during training?" However, the point of the exercise is for the dojocho to assess his/her own perception regarding what is or is not happening in the dojo. From there, the dojocho is to compare that perception with or against his/her ideal dojo and ideal Aikido. From there, one is to ask and contemplate upon what is allowing a given aspect to be a part of their manifested dojo or what is not allowing a given aspect to be a part of their manifested dojo. Like this, one brings their ideal dojo into manifested reality. This exercise also brings conscious decision making and awareness to how one's dojo is constructed - something that is innate in the reflection exercise itself and not requiring deshi to be queried.

Anyway, that's where I was coming from. I might be better able to explain it in the next installment.

Take care,
Dave

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:29 PM   #19
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I feel this way is a less broad and negative generalization about how BJJ/MMA clubs market their product. One who doesn't really match my experiences in the art of BJJ and with the people who practise it.

I agree to some point. From doctrine down to techniques there are some serious incompatibilities between BJJ and Aikido, however there are some elements in both arts that not only are compatible but IMO needed. Aikido practise needs some aliveness to avoid falling in autocomplacency and dishonesty, BJJ could benefit from focusing less in becoming a sport and develop a budo approach to things.

Both systems can be powerful technologies of the self if practised as such.
Again, we do ne-waza as a regular part of our training. My approach however is different from what I see commonly suggested. My issue is not with having ne-waza or live environments or "pressure testing" per se. My issue is with limiting our understanding of Aikido such that these things are both external, different, and able to be added to or mixed with the art. The common discourse on combining first stems from a reductionism that I find and hold is totally incorrect. It is this reductionism that I oppose.

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Old 03-01-2018, 01:13 PM   #20
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Here’s an example of my anti-reduction take on Aikido:

https://youtu.be/_kBN_J1zKSs

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Old 03-03-2018, 02:11 AM   #21
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

https://youtu.be/Nazd2ovpfGM

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Old 10-29-2018, 12:15 PM   #22
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Hi All,

FYI: I've taken this discussion to our podcast (iTunes/SoundCloud) - "Budo: The Way of the Warrior Podcast." I feel the open discussion of the podcast format lends itself better to the underlying co-dependent and interdependent nature the rationale underlying what is being said. As a result, I go into greater detail into what I am trying to say with the podcast episodes - which the reader/listener may find interesting. Episode 9 of the podcast covers Part I - already posted and ready for listening. Episode 13, not yet posted, but will be soon, covers Part II.

Thanks,
D

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Old 10-29-2018, 04:51 PM   #23
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Re: How One Can Run a Successful Independent Dojo

Part II is up on SoundCloud (Episode 13). iTunes will update itself shortly hereafter.

https://soundcloud.com/user-59747210...l-dojo-part-ii

(Part I is discussed in Episode 9)

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