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Old 12-01-2006, 02:06 PM   #1
Leonard
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Question Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Hello everyone

I've decided to begin taking Aikido. I thought I might come here and ask all you nice folks about Aikido schools in the Tacoma, Washington, area.

I have a slight background in martial arts but nothing really worth mentioning just a few months of TKD several years ago when I was in my teens.

Even though I only practiced for a few months I've always been interested in the martial arts. I also got a great workout and enjoyed the discipline aspect of the school I attended.

I don't really know much about Aikido but from what I've read I really like the sound of it. I'll probably head over to Amazon.com and pick up a few books on it as well in preparation for starting at a new school. Any particular book recommendations?

Anyway, thanks for any advice, it's much appreciated for a newbie like me.
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:01 PM   #2
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Check out the Tacoma Aikido Club. They're good peeps with good solid basics. They also have developed a strong connection back to Isoyama Sensei in Iwama if you're looking for that kind of thing.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:25 PM   #3
Jeffrey A. Fong
Dojo: Aikido Tacoma
Location: Tacoma
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

I suggest you contact Marvin Bookman sensei with Aikido Tacoma. I've practiced with the "Y" folks mentioned above and they're a good group, but then again, I am kinda' partial to my sensei... Best way to make a decision is to visit, watch and practice a bit with both.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:24 PM   #4
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Here's a LINK to an article Jun wrote about selecting a dojo.

Here's a link to the AikiWeb DOJO SEARCH. If you search in a 25 mile radius of Tacoma you'll get 25 or so results.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:29 PM   #5
Leonard
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Thanks for the responses, folks.

I've used the dojo search link Bronson provided to identify 5 aikido dojo's in the Tacoma area and then I went and found their websites.

Tacoma Aikido Club

Aikido Tacoma

Washington Aiki Assoc. Tenchin Budo Kai Dojo

NorthWest Defensive Arts

Rising Stars - AAA Aikido Tenshin Karate Freestyle

Jeff I'd like to hear more about your experiences with Sensei Marvin Bookman at Aikido Tacoma. Can I ask what style of Aikido your school teaches?

Chris, I'd also love to hear more about Tacoma Aikido Club. I don't really know what "Iwama" is so I don't know if that's what I'm looking for. But I did look up "Iwama" style Aikido on wikipedia and it said that "Iwama style emphasizes the relation between weapon techniques and barehand techniques". That certainly sounds interesting. I had heard that students of Aikido sometimes study Kendo as well. I've always wanted to get involved in fencing so this would be very interesting to me.

I would love to hear any more thoughts anyone has about any of these schools and their respective styles etc. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:53 PM   #6
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Quote:
Leonard Kerr wrote:
Thanks for the responses, folks.



Chris, I'd also love to hear more about Tacoma Aikido Club. I don't really know what "Iwama" is so I don't know if that's what I'm looking for. But I did look up "Iwama" style Aikido on wikipedia and it said that "Iwama style emphasizes the relation between weapon techniques and barehand techniques". That certainly sounds interesting. I had heard that students of Aikido sometimes study Kendo as well. I've always wanted to get involved in fencing so this would be very interesting to me.

I would love to hear any more thoughts anyone has about any of these schools and their respective styles etc. Thanks for all your help.
Quite frankly, the best thing you could do now is go observe classes at the ones that are reasonable for you to get to and let your gut decide.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:36 AM   #7
Choku Tsuki
 
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Had Marvin Bookman stayed in New York, I would still be training with him. He was my first teacher and maybe that's why I hold him in such high regard. But I think it's because what he taught me have stayed with me and have stood up well over time.

You should visit as many places as are available to you and make up your own mind, and trust your gut.

--Chuck
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
Jeffrey A. Fong
Dojo: Aikido Tacoma
Location: Tacoma
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Leonard, I've enjoyed my training with Bookman-san for a number of reasons - some which don't make a lot of sense (at least initially). When I first met him, we were training in this small aluminum framed vinyl tent in his backyard; you know, the kind of thing you park your boat or RV in during the off season. It was cold and miserable in the winter, but it remains one of my fondest Aiki memories. Nothing like the sound of rain on fabric as you each other around in the dark. We also practiced for several months in his living room and broke a lamp or two. Now, we are in a dojo he built pretty much on his own and enjoy a spartan but clean and dry practice space. Somehow this process describes a fundamental aspect of Aikido that I find enriching...tough to put into words, but it's a colorful metaphor seems to adequately capture the AikidoTacoma "training experience."
Bookman-san trained with Yamada at the NY Aikikai, so his technique is athletic, but stresses fundamentals. Balance, timing, position and blending are the core elements of his instruction that come to mind. These seem to be essential variables that have come up time and time again in my altogether too brief learning experiences with other gifted sensei (e.g., Saotome, Ikeda, Issoyama, Lau). I figure that's a pretty good sign. He's been the only one I've trained with in Tacoma who has consistently brought these things to my training (please understand, I do not intend to denigrate other sensei in Tacoma). Lastly, I've valued Bookman-san's integrity. He is honest and says what's on his mind.
But, in the final analysis, as others have said, you really need to visit dojos and see for yourself. Good luck in your training.
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Old 12-08-2006, 01:01 PM   #9
Leonard
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Re: Beginner looking for school in Tacoma,WA

Thank you again for the responses and advice.

Jeff and Chuck, Sensei Bookman sounds like a wonderful and inspiring instructor I will definitly come and visit you guys at Aikido Tacoma.

Christian, the folks at the Y sound great as well. I look forward to meeting them.

I'll take a day and drive around to have a look at these schools. Although I'm not sure how much I can trust my gut, especially since that's exactly what I was hoping to lose by starting Aikido.

Last edited by Leonard : 12-08-2006 at 01:12 PM.
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