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Old 07-16-2006, 01:35 PM   #1
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Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of July 16, 2006:

How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Critically active
  • Very active
  • Somewhat active
  • Not very active
  • Not at all active
Here are the current results.
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Old 07-17-2006, 12:20 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

I wrote "very active" because even though I no longer train w/ other partners or pay dues, I very actively maintain the dojo website as a volunteer, doing once or twice monthly news updates, posting pictures, and keeping the email list together.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:41 PM   #3
RoyK
Dojo: Nishin Kan
Location: Herzliya
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Israel
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

I wrote "not very active", since the only activities I attend beside 2 weekly classes are the dojo seminars and the occasional combined classes with all dojo groups.
It's not that I don't care to socialize with them in dojo events, but most events are oriented towards kids since most aikidoka are married + children. I'm just 24, I'd rather socialize with a bottle of beer in my hand and 3 in my center
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:47 PM   #4
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

I voted very active. To me, critically active is either uchi or soto deshi or being dojo-cho. I do help out a lot with the dojo, I help with registration, dues, keeping track of attendence, helping with seminars, help newbies adjust to training, help people get ready to test, etc. I also train anywhere from 3-5 times a week (was more when I was "in between jobs.") But I don't consider myself "critical" as the dojo will still exist without me there.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:15 AM   #5
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

How can you be a student in the dojo and not be either a sotodeshi (outside student) or uchideshi (inside student)?
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:20 PM   #6
Qatana
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

I attend five out of six classes at my dojo so that would seem to belong in the "very active' group. What is missing for me is a sense of community outside the dojo, we never socialise, only go out for beers after a test, and I have given up inviting dojo members to my annual party, so that would seem to be "not very active by default".

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:44 PM   #7
akiy
 
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

Hi everyone,

What are some examples of "community" in the context of your dojo?

Does your dojo's "community" remain only on the mat? In the dojo? Outside of the dojo? Into the personal life arena?

-- Jun

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Old 07-18-2006, 03:46 PM   #8
billybob
 
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Dojo: Academy of Warrior Spirit
Location: tampa
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

For my (South Florida) dojo beer following class has been a staple, and Sensei leads by example!

At the University branch the students have less time and do not socialize after class, but the annual 'jello wrestling party' at one's house was a smashing success.

I personally have a flair for - irritating the hell out of - everyone I know. So, my aiki has been learning social appropriateness. I'm invited to Sunday's party, so I will don my best party dress, and be a very good, and mostly sober boy (kidding about the dress).

david
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:52 PM   #9
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi everyone,

What are some examples of "community" in the context of your dojo?

Does your dojo's "community" remain only on the mat? In the dojo? Outside of the dojo? Into the personal life arena?

-- Jun
Our dojo "community" is people going to class, seminars, helping each other out with testing. All this takes place within the dojo itself. Then our community expands beyond the dojo by different people socializing with others. It can be sitting and chatting with sensei after class or going out for sushi after class. It is having dojo parties and get togthers. It only gets into your personal life if you make friends in the dojo and you take it there.

Regarding "soto deshi" and "uchi deshi", it's my understanding that these are very specific relationships not just someone showing up to train "inside" or "outside" of the dojo. You can easily be a student and not be a "soto" or "uchi" deshi, and you can still be dedicated student and not be a "soto" or "uchi" deshi. If you have these in your dojo then I would find them as important as sensei and would consider it critical to the dojo. I think there have been a few threads that discuss these concepts.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:18 AM   #10
RoyK
Dojo: Nishin Kan
Location: Herzliya
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi everyone,

What are some examples of "community" in the context of your dojo?

Does your dojo's "community" remain only on the mat? In the dojo? Outside of the dojo? Into the personal life arena?

-- Jun
Our Dojo tries to have monthly events, including joint practice with all classes (dubbed "drinking practice"), parties whenever an event calls for it (holiday, newyears etc), demonstrations of Aikido, and sometimes field trips ("aiki trips").
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:31 AM   #11
Amelia Smith
 
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Dojo: Martha's Vineyard Aikido Club
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

In my dojo we rarely have parties (maybe once or twice a year) and go out for beer, etc., even less often. I really try to encourage people to go to seminars, but it's still not really a well-established part of our dojo culture. So, community remains more or less on the mat. People do establish friendships with each other, but less so than in other places where I've trained.

I think it's because the dojo is too far from the nearest bar (a 20 minute drive) and most of the senior students have non-practicing spouses/partners who expect them to be home reasonably promptly after class. I would really like to see more of a dojo social life, but it can be difficult to get people to do anything. We do occasionally (every couple of years) have dojo video nights, where we sit around and watch aikido videos. That's a lot of fun, when it happens.
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:02 AM   #12
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

I teach several classes per week, train in other teacher's classes, organize seminars, set up holiday training events (annual Memorial Day and Labor Day trainings and picnics), help scrub the mats after the Thursday night class, and typically lead post training beer waza (I also keep the fridge stocked with frosty adult beverages).

However, I voted critically active for one very important reason: I scrub the toilet!

(Ours is smaller dojo run by a Board of Directors, who all work very hard to keep the place open and running smoothly. Kudos to all the members of our Board)

Last edited by Eric Webber : 07-19-2006 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:26 PM   #13
Aikiscott
Dojo: Central Coast Aikikai
Location: Gosford
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

I voted very active.
I help out with teaching as required by my sensei, I also teach our Kids class & Adults Beginners class. I also hold the position of General secretary for my organisation. Plus a lot of other fiddely bits, like liaising with the centre that our Dojo is in, advertising/promotions & I'm also the editor of our organisations news letter.

Our Dojo & organisation have a very active social scene regular post grading/seminar parties, Go to the pub after Saturday morning training for an Orange juice & spin tall stories.
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Old 07-22-2006, 09:46 AM   #14
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
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United Kingdom
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

This may be controversial, but I don't believe that a dojo can ever be a community. It is too traditional and hierarchical for the individuals involved in it to ever have the flexibility and ego control to truly be a community.

A true community allows for floating leadership, equality and many other things that are simply not permitted within the comparative ranking system which underpins a dojo.

Sure you can volunteer and help out, sweep the floor, turn up to all the classes, take the mat fees, be a helpful member. But sensei and / or the dojo-cho will be making all the important decisions, often without group consultation.

This suits most people fine, as they are there to learn Aikido and don't have any interest in being a member of a community, as this involves taking on responsibilities that most folk are not prepared to accept.

I see the model of a dojo as being more like that of a family, with the senior members making the important decisions and the junior members learning from them.

Feel free to disagree!

Ruth
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Old 07-22-2006, 03:38 PM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
This may be controversial, but I don't believe that a dojo can ever be a community. It is too traditional and hierarchical
what makes you think every dojo fits that model?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-24-2006, 07:26 AM   #16
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
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Re: Poll: How active are you in your aikido dojo's community?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
what makes you think every dojo fits that model?
I suspect that some modern US dojo do not, but Japanese tradition suggests that most would follow the Japanese precedent.

Here in the UK I have never found a dojo that operates as a community - instead, rank = status, and sensei makes the decisions. This is the model that they inherited from their Japanese teachers (in the 50's & 60's).

At least it's not as strict now as it used to be

If anybody knows of a UK dojo which does operate as a community I'd be very interested to hear about it.

Ruth
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