Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > "Off-The-Mat"

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-24-2006, 02:16 PM   #1
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
Offline
Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

Do you have to travel through a DMZ (de-militarized zone) to get to class?

Last year at "Training Across Borders (see my blog)," it was noted that the Separation Wall in Palestine has make it difficult for one Palestinian (at least) to get to his dojo. Before, the dojo was right across the street, and he could get to class from his home in minutes. But the Wall bisected his street, forcing him to walk over a mile to the next checkpoint. The trip to the dojo now takes at least 45 minutes, often longer.

I asked an Iraqi Aikidoist what was his experience in getting to the dojo. With his permission, I am posting his resonse (for time reference, he sent this to me late last August):

Quote:
Soorkeu wrote:
Dear Neil,
I hope by now you have received my email.
You also asked me about training in Iraq and I thought maybe this deserves to be in an email of its own.
Nowadays we go to practice three times a week. I would try to skip the things that are a bit relative to a person like the distance or other job obligations.
Regarding practicing any form of descipline in here maybe it is all the same.
We do our best to attend but sometimes the odds are simply unbeatable.
I will not tell you about the dilmas of accidental delays like, bombs or armed groups who seek to destablize the situation or horrify the local neigbourhoods or the religious freeks or the problems with the police, the related forces or the presence of military in its many forms but I will tell you that from what I have seen and known from my fellow aikidokas, we love the practice and we love to improve ourselves but we have many problems and what we have come to realize is that all we can do right now to keep aikido running is to try to attend our practice sessions as much as possible...
I think one thing that we share with all our aikidokas in Iraq, may be a bit more than with the aikidokas from the other parts of the world is that for us aikido is not just aikido, it is an escape from what I have mentioned above, a very bright and illumiated space in our minds in which we try to clear our thoughts and focus only on harmony, internal energy and the physical extension that connects the two...
Thanks again Neil and all the very best
Soorkeu
Do you have any slice-of-life stories about difficulties in getting to your dojo (DMZ, or no)? I have one of my own, but I will post it, later.

Last edited by Neil Mick : 03-24-2006 at 02:18 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2006, 02:48 PM   #2
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
Location: Nashville, Tn
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 288
United_States
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

That will make you think twice about complaining about rush hour traffic on your way to the dojo.

My only horror story about getting to the dojo is I work 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM so I can't train at night. By the time I get off work, get home and get in bed it is around 12:30 AM and I get up at 5:30 AM to make my 6:30 AM class so I get to train on 5 hours sleep (if I'm lucky) twice a week.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2006, 04:33 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,715
United_States
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

I am a veteran.
I go into Little Saigon to train under an Vietnamese Aikido instructor.
The DMZ was the first year, sitting in the parking lot, talking myself into going inside.
A lot of healing.
A lot of training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2006, 02:39 AM   #4
AikidoJordan
Dojo: AmmanAikikaiAikido
Location: Amman
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1
Jordan
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

Th emost glamorous effort I think put thorugh to train in a DMZ is not that of Aikiodoka that live in a DMZ (not to demise their situation or unnderestimate it, but lets face it they have no choice this is where they live) but rather those people that go out of their way to go into a Militarized zone to extend a helping hand to people they never met ... Aikido seems to them the best excuse...
There are no ill feeling in Aikido training everyone is there for the same reason... to Enjoy a little bit of descency in dealing with other humans (regardless of wht sort of Person they are in reality).

This false pretence that gathers Aikidokas in a Dojo is a code that that encrypts the basis needs for humans to get along and face problems with a win win attitude..

Everything is just so different in a dojo ..

I would like to remind myself from time to time that Aikido managed to bring me and my enemies on a mutual ground other thatn Conflict and blatant hatered...
I am an Arab, a Jordanian , A PLASTINIAN... and i hate Israelis but I cannot deny that I have Israeli friends that Visited me and I visited them (Boy was that an emotional Cross to bear)... and still from time to time communicate...

Still when reality strikes in I have to admit that I am not strong enough to carry on this beautiful basic understading on anything other than an Individual level..

Thank you Aikido, Thank you Many others that made this possible (They know whom they are), and thank you mick

Alaa
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2006, 03:08 PM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

Good post Neil! Makes you think about what is important in life and to enjoy the things that you do have!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2006, 05:05 AM   #6
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 643
Israel
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

I had a problem to reach my dojo a few times in the past, there were a couple of terrorist bombers who blew themselves up not so far away and the whole area was blocked. I would still not consider Tel Aviv to be a DMZ (I live here).

Lately the situation has calmed some, I hope this will remain. And if the wall is the reason then though it causes significant discomfort, I could not compare that with the lives saved ( I could go on about my disagreement with more then one decision with regard to the wall construction and placement, but who here agrees with all the actions of his government? ). I hope the Arab-Palestinian-Israeli conflict be resolved in peacefully manner. And personally, I do not hate anyone because of his ethnic origins (I do hate some groups of people because of their Fanaticism, Jews and Arabs both).


Amir

Last edited by Amir Krause : 03-27-2006 at 05:07 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2007, 05:34 AM   #7
soorkeu atrooshi
Dojo: satomi
Location: Baghdad
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 12
Iraq
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

Hi Neil,
I just posted the following as a comment or a reply somewhere elase in Aikiweb but may be it fit better here. So here it goes again:

I am sorry; actually this has got nothing to do with the article I should be commenting on. I was just looking for somewhere to start and since I have been away for a long long time I can say I am a bit lost. So this is how it goes:

I am so sorry for being away for such a long time. Actually around two years.
In fact we were training whenever possible but there were so many interruptions that I have lost count.

Two years ago I was residing in Baghdad. Now I am residing around 300 km to the north. In a Kurdish city called Erbil or Hawler as us Kurds call it.
My 1st priority was to get my family out of there and fortunately I have managed that. Also I had to transfer my carrier and find a place to live. I have been lucky enough to do all that and now we are leading a different life here. The point is that we can breathe again; it is actually possible here….

Around 6 months ago I ran into one of our trainers, Sensei Bashar from Baghdad and then discovered that Sensei Saad has also moved over here. It actually was like the re-birth of hope for me as despite the small number we were a team again and there was hope for training again.

It took some time and a lot of patience to find an appropriate place, some mats and a permission to use the place twice a week, in the afternoons. Unfortunately just before starting again Sensei Bashar had to leave for Jordan and it was just Sensei Saad and I. Still we did start and it was actually working. Eventually some newcomers joined in and even though the number never exceeded 6 people it was still working.

Around three weeks ago the finals started at the university and even though I myself am an academic but from a different college, unfortunately; the place we were using became inaccessible for us. We were told to wait and we are still waiting and hopefully we will go back to training some time soon. Mean while we are looking for alternative places but the main problem remains to be the mats as they are a real rarity here and a big set back for our efforts.

I am sorry again to have put together such a long story but I felt I had to tell you about it may be you'll excuse my extended absence. Now that I have broken the silence, I promise to participate more in the weeks to come and thank you for taking me in again if you will.

Dr Soorkeu Atrooshi (Soor)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 11:41 AM   #8
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

If things don't shape up in relation to gang issues in California and elsewhere it won't be long before teaching at my school will be teaching in a DMZ. We can apply our aiki understanding anywhere and make a positive difference; that's the good news.

A note about my feelings towards fanatacism: I try not to let haters, under any skin or any name, drive me to hate. It's work, but it's good work.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2007, 06:27 AM   #9
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

as things go, we may all be studyng our pratice in a DMZ. How do you practice in a DMZ? You practice before the DMZ becomes your reality.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2007, 04:32 PM   #10
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

Run DMZ? My Adidas.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2007, 11:05 PM   #11
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

Quote:
Soorkeu Atrooshi wrote: View Post
Hi Neil,
Two years ago I was residing in Baghdad. Now I am residing around 300 km to the north. In a Kurdish city called Erbil or Hawler as us Kurds call it.
My 1st priority was to get my family out of there and fortunately I have managed that. Also I had to transfer my carrier and find a place to live. I have been lucky enough to do all that and now we are leading a different life here. The point is that we can breathe again; it is actually possible here….

Around 6 months ago I ran into one of our trainers, Sensei Bashar from Baghdad and then discovered that Sensei Saad has also moved over here. It actually was like the re-birth of hope for me as despite the small number we were a team again and there was hope for training again.

It took some time and a lot of patience to find an appropriate place, some mats and a permission to use the place twice a week, in the afternoons. Unfortunately just before starting again Sensei Bashar had to leave for Jordan and it was just Sensei Saad and I. Still we did start and it was actually working. Eventually some newcomers joined in and even though the number never exceeded 6 people it was still working.

Around three weeks ago the finals started at the university and even though I myself am an academic but from a different college, unfortunately; the place we were using became inaccessible for us. We were told to wait and we are still waiting and hopefully we will go back to training some time soon. Mean while we are looking for alternative places but the main problem remains to be the mats as they are a real rarity here and a big set back for our efforts.

Dr Soorkeu Atrooshi (Soor)
Hi Soorkeu,

Thanks for responding after so long. I am very glad to hear that your current situation has improved since the last time I heard from you.

I am not posting in aikiweb very much anymore (disagreement with the moderating policy), but I saw your response, and I thought that you and the rest of the aikido community should know what I am currently up to.

Funny you should mention your Sensei Bashar, because I am spearheading a fundraising effort to help send Bashar to run a dojo in Africa. There will be a Benefit Seminar for Bashar on September 29th at Aikido of Berkeley, with 4 (or 5) prominent Sensei's each teaching one class. Registration is limited to 50 students.

Check for upcoming announcements, or PM me if you'd like to know more information.

Now then...onto the thread topics. Normally (as some of you readers well know), I like to debate politics. I thought that in THIS thread I'd leave off and just let people speak their minds, beliefs and prejudices without comment. I think I'll keep to that policy, here.

I have a story about getting to my dojo in a DMV. Between 1998-2003, I was living in what was considered a "bad" part of town. Gang warfare was commonplace, and a lot of houseowners invested heavily in a gun collection. By the time I moved in, though, most of the violence had settled, as the gang members were either all dead, or in jail. The neighborhood was featured in a film "Straight Outta Hunter's Point"

to get from my house to my dojo, I had 4 choices:

1. Drive. My car died in 1999, making this choice unviable (unless I borrowed a car, which I sometimes did).
2. Bus. Took over an hour to get there, and was not reliable.
3. CalTrain (commuter train). This was actually a better way coming from the dojo to my house, as the inbound train sometimes didn't stop in my neighborhood.
4. Bicycling. Took about 45 minutes. Once a car tried to run me off the road, in Hunter's Point. Dangerous, but thrilling.

Here in Santa Cruz, I am an easy 20-minute walk (along a pleasant riverpath) to my amazing dojo. Talk about polar opposites!

Anyway, check for the announcements about the September 29th Benefit Seminar for Bashar. Stay in touch, Soorkeu: either here or via email.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2007, 10:48 AM   #12
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Getting to your dojo in a DMZ

Thanks for sharing everyone. No horror stories here...I've heard stories about the times in Michigan and in North Philly where my teacher used to be, but now pretty much just my laziness between me and the dojo.

Best, and best wishes for peace,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
We need dojo help Aiki-lost Anonymous 13 05-13-2006 09:17 AM
Beginners Retention Rates akiy Teaching 45 04-05-2006 11:13 PM
Questions on Starting a New Dojo Paul Barrett Teaching 12 08-01-2004 05:46 PM
Dissatisfied at my Dojo Ryan Porter General 8 07-09-2004 05:39 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:26 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate