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Old 07-24-2008, 04:42 PM   #26
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
In Las Vegas there are two places I'd check out. One is Desert Wind Martial arts. The Sensei is Jim Sterling. He runs a very tight ship, very traditional. He's ex-military and law enforcement and the dojo reflects that so it's not everyone's cup of tea... But I teach there once a year and his students make steady progress (which is more than I can say about some places) and are very nice folks. They are in the ASU.
I have trained at Jim's dojo. I liked his style and presentation.
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:36 PM   #27
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Re: Do I Have The Right DOJO?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I strongly recommend you actually go in and train a couple of times at EACH of them. Your on the mat experience is in the long run (IMO) more important than affiliation.
i agree with janet. what difference does affiliation make. i'm sure there are some very good independent dojo's out there...
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:28 AM   #28
Amir Krause
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Rod, one thing I would do...and this is just me - get a copy of their syllabus. They dont test...fine - but hes teaching something.

Personally, I hate not knowing what it is Im going to learn.
It could be 5 techniques or 50...and you have no idea.
No idea of time length, nothing to shoot for.

Again, this is me -
Seeing how structured they are would be how I chose a dojo.

If its willy nilly your not going to get far...i.m.o.

Peace

dAlen
Dalen
This is exactly the thing which disturbs me most, it gives a feeling of a market place:
- Exact syllabus
- Tests schedule
To each his own, but I prefer the teacher to have the freedom of adapting as things go along. The teacher should adapt the sylabus to the class status, in the long run, learning one technique or another does not matter, nor does it matter if you study 20 techniques with 50 variations or techniques with 100 variations.

When my teacher gave us an instructor course, he presented a syllabus, it was not divided to months, rather to technical groups, each of which better adjusted to a different development stage of a beginning student. He then opened the syllabus for discussion, so we will understand the reasons for selecting each technique in each stage.
He said this was since when we teach, we should select the techniques based on our understanding of the syllabus, and we should not stick to the letter. When one of my friends in the course started teaching, and consulted with Sensei, he did not follow the syllabus exactly himself.

Even our ranking system is dependent on the teacher, some groups only hold Q1 and Dan tests, others have a mid stage of about Q3. All belong in the same organizational branch, with a single head of branch which teaches himself, and all other teachers are his direct students. Yet, he does not enforce his way, rather let each Sensei to adjust the ranks for his own group.

Since, in real life, there can not be a single standard requirement per rank, as people test differently, at different times, and with different Uke. And there is no point to giving mathematical score. My Sensei does not try to force such a concept on his students who are teachers.

So, I prefer a teacher who is not obliged to some pre-set table.

Quote:
Im actually looking beyond teacher and to myself what I find helpful.
For me at seminars it does a world of good to know who is at what level and not swimming in a sea of possibly all beginners or all advanced and not knowing.

Again, this is perhaps because of how we train...senior students are more vigorous, and in a seminar it would eat up time asking where each partner is at.
Being in a small organization - I know who is who by sight (especially the 4-5 people who are more veteran than me). By the time anyone gets 1st Q, I should have met him a couple of times in seminars, so he should even have a name I may remember

I am against the concept of training only in your level, particularly in a seminar. One purpose of a seminar would be to let the students from other Dojo to train with me and the other Yundasha, and get a feel.
When I go to a seminar, I know I must prepare mentally and set my mind to place where I get as much fun practicing with a beginner as I do with a veteran, or I will in the wrong. You might be surprised, but I still have things to learn from beginners, even if they are stiff, less sensitive, and I must be careful not to force an unknown (to them) surprise Ukemi on them.

Quote:
As far as papers, it would seem aikido does have a track (Hombu) of who are registered, so you at least know your instructor has a base level.
This is only true for some organizations, not for all. (you are invited to check how long it would take you to confirm I got Dan certificates from the Korin-Kai Aikido organization, I hope you can write and read Japanese and have lots of patience ).

Obviously, to each his own.
But, had I been forced to look for another teacher, I would have gone to all relevant dojos, and taken a look, then talked with the teacher. I would have been less interested in their lineage, and more interested in their views and targets (do they conform with mine? are we looking for the same things?), with their ability and knowledge (Do they have anything to teach me as teachers? Will they know how?), and with their approach and our chemistry (will I be able to learn from them?)
Those are the important criteria for me. In this respect, you, Dalen, gave a partial description of some of the attributes you look for in the approach section.

Amir
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:03 AM   #29
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Dalen
This is exactly the thing which disturbs me most, it gives a feeling of a market place:
- Exact syllabus
- Tests schedule
To each his own, but I prefer the teacher to have the freedom of adapting as things go along.

Amir
Your right Amir, each must do what suits them best.

We can both give our reasons why we do what we do - in the end it will only work what is 'natural' to us.

Personally, I typically find that when there is no structure that things develop a lot slower than if there were some basic structure and idea of where one is headed.

Im a video producer by profession, and project management is key...with artist (yes, I am one) you can have a project which is due in a week take 100 years. - Trust me, I understand the concept of letting things flow all to well. Its part of my milieu.

Here is a clear example though of when 'letting it flow' is really just sloppiness.
You have a set requirement of what is to be learned for a grading level - but in the year you are there, you only cover some techniques once...or twice.

The 'do it as I feel led' does not work, or rather benefit, in a situation where someone wants to maximize their time, when that time is limited - no there is nothing wrong with spending two years learning Kotegaeshi, (as an example), if that is your intent.

So it goes down to what your goals are, as you mentioned.

Again, personally, I want to know what it is that makes the art structurally and then go for attacking it and making it real as far as implementing that knowledge in my life.

Especially in the light of trying to integrate arts - say Thai boxing into Aikido, etc. - or B.JJ. into Aikido.

For clarification, there is nothing wrong with going with the flow...but a lot of times its an excuse for sloppiness.
(Now my example with the artist doesnt work here, as an artist takes their time to refine, and refine...and I suppose that is where you are coming from...which is understood.

From an artist perspective take a look at the 3rd Harry Potter movie...I say its a piece of art if you look at the imagery throughout...the camera moves make it. The director took his time and made it better - in the same time, the problem was the time the director took to make his art work - the studio had to get someone else to direct the other movies who could push the project forward before the actors became grandparents.)

Anyway -

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 07-27-2008 at 09:13 AM.

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:22 AM   #30
lifeafter2am
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Dalen:

Would you say that you are a little more interested in rank, as well as progresion in the art? Because, I agree more with Amir, but I am not at all interested in rank, but more increasing my skill with Aikido. Sure, rank can come with that, but actually improving my rank isn't high on my priority list at all. I could stay 5th Kyu forever for all I care, doesn't mean thats my skill level though.

I think thats why I don't really look for a concrete type of schedule. I train 5 days a week and have no clue what the next day holds. Doesn't bother me at all, but I am only interested in increasing my Aikido abilities.

Just trying to understand the differences.


"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:25 AM   #31
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
I am against the concept of training only in your level, particularly in a seminar. One purpose of a seminar would be to let the students from other Dojo to train with me and the other Yundasha, and get a feel.
Amir
I totally agree - this is why I mentioned colored belts are good.

We train black with white, etc.
When there is 50+ people at a seminar, and we mix like we do...and its fast paced, an advanced student will not know by looking at you that you are only 5th kyu, etc.

And when the senior students do get with each other - its hard...and less hard as it goes down the line.

A brown belt, I believe it was, took bad ukemi from another senior person at the seminar, and went to the hospital...not to come back.
They knew each others ranks and trained accordingly.

Accidents happen, and again, its good we are able to see the belt to know who is where. Thats all Im saying. (Not that some people within a rank wont be more 'fluid' than others - but this way not everyone is walking away crippled.)

As for lineage - my point is that you at least can look to access what it is you have. A kid from a garage trying to teach you from his dvd set... (might be a bit of a stretch to make a point, but you should see to where Im pointing to) - or someone that has literally truly trained.

From there, you must watch and see if there is chemistry...doesnt matter who gave the certificate if you dont like the person, etc.

Anyway, not sure how this helps clear things up a bit.
But I felt that perhaps you were getting lost in the words themselves instead of seeing to where I was pointing with them.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:44 AM   #32
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Andrew Hanson wrote: View Post
Dalen:

Would you say that you are a little more interested in rank, as well as progresion in the art? Because, I agree more with Amir, but I am not at all interested in rank, but more increasing my skill with Aikido.

I think thats why I don't really look for a concrete type of schedule. I train 5 days a week and have no clue what the next day holds. Doesn't bother me at all, but I am only interested in increasing my Aikido abilities.

Just trying to understand the differences.

Thanks for trying to get clarification - sorry the post did not provide it - but I will try again.

You say you want to increase skill - I do to.

We often get lost in words and in our take on what we think is being said with the word based on our experiences and perspective with it.

The term test/rank seem to be a hanging point here where many people appear to get lost to what Im referring to.

Structure:

Aikido is made up of various building blocks.
You take a look at them and break them up into digestible phases.

These phases can be given time frames as a reference guide and motivation as not to be compliant and lazy...

Say within this time frame, your dojo only trains in 4 out of 8 of the techniques and even then only really study 2 out of 4, then something needs to be re-evaluated.

Do you want to slow down and only focus on 2 techniques in a set amount of time? Did you make the load to much? Or do you just go in and say, "ah, lets do kotegaishi class." - you know, not pushing it and just doing it to do it.

Now catch where Im going with this?

Rank is a milestone, for me.
Its not about the rank as for ego - as I mentioned when I got my rank...who of you truly cares as each rank is different from dojo to dojo, as are the requirements.

My excitement is about setting goals - and achieving it for myself - especially when there were obstacles to be 'overcome'. So, yes, in that sense I like rank - but its not about 'bad a**' - its more of sharing an excitement that we can all, hopefully, relate to as we all are going through and achieving milestones in various areas of our life.

Point - goal.
Again, if your goal is not to have a goal...that to is good.

I doubt this cleared it up any better.

I find that typically either someone gets what the other is saying the first time around, and if not, doesnt really matter how its re-worded as its hard to communicate across mental filters so to speak.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:48 AM   #33
lifeafter2am
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Thanks for trying to get clarification - sorry the post did not provide it - but I will try again.

You say you want to increase skill - I do to.

We often get lost in words and in our take on what we think is being said with the word based on our experiences and perspective with it.

The term test/rank seem to be a hanging point here where many people appear to get lost to what Im referring to.

Structure:

Aikido is made up of various building blocks.
You take a look at them and break them up into digestible phases.

These phases can be given time frames as a reference guide and motivation as not to be compliant and lazy...

Say within this time frame, your dojo only trains in 4 out of 8 of the techniques and even then only really study 2 out of 4, then something needs to be re-evaluated.

Do you want to slow down and only focus on 2 techniques in a set amount of time? Did you make the load to much? Or do you just go in and say, "ah, lets do kotegaishi class." - you know, not pushing it and just doing it to do it.

Now catch where Im going with this?

Rank is a milestone, for me.
Its not about the rank as for ego - as I mentioned when I got my rank...who of you truly cares as each rank is different from dojo to dojo, as are the requirements.

My excitement is about setting goals - and achieving it for myself - especially when there were obstacles to be 'overcome'. So, yes, in that sense I like rank - but its not about 'bad a**' - its more of sharing an excitement that we can all, hopefully, relate to as we all are going through and achieving milestones in various areas of our life.

Point - goal.
Again, if your goal is not to have a goal...that to is good.

I doubt this cleared it up any better.

I find that typically either someone gets what the other is saying the first time around, and if not, doesnt really matter how its re-worded as its hard to communicate across mental filters so to speak.

Peace

dAlen
That clarified it more for me. I understand what you are getting at now.


"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:50 AM   #34
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Andrew Hanson wrote: View Post
That clarified it more for me. I understand what you are getting at now.

Im not always the best at getting my point across...so Im glad my post helped to clarify things a bit.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 07-28-2008, 02:37 AM   #35
Amir Krause
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Thanks for trying to get clarification - sorry the post did not provide it - but I will try again.

You say you want to increase skill - I do to.

We often get lost in words and in our take on what we think is being said with the word based on our experiences and perspective with it.

The term test/rank seem to be a hanging point here where many people appear to get lost to what Im referring to.

Structure:

Aikido is made up of various building blocks.
You take a look at them and break them up into digestible phases.

These phases can be given time frames as a reference guide and motivation as not to be compliant and lazy...

Say within this time frame, your dojo only trains in 4 out of 8 of the techniques and even then only really study 2 out of 4, then something needs to be re-evaluated.

Do you want to slow down and only focus on 2 techniques in a set amount of time? Did you make the load to much? Or do you just go in and say, "ah, lets do kotegaishi class." - you know, not pushing it and just doing it to do it.

Now catch where Im going with this?

Rank is a milestone, for me.
Its not about the rank as for ego - as I mentioned when I got my rank...who of you truly cares as each rank is different from dojo to dojo, as are the requirements.

My excitement is about setting goals - and achieving it for myself - especially when there were obstacles to be 'overcome'. So, yes, in that sense I like rank - but its not about 'bad a**' - its more of sharing an excitement that we can all, hopefully, relate to as we all are going through and achieving milestones in various areas of our life.

Point - goal.
Again, if your goal is not to have a goal...that to is good.

I doubt this cleared it up any better.

I find that typically either someone gets what the other is saying the first time around, and if not, doesnt really matter how its re-worded as its hard to communicate across mental filters so to speak.

Peace

dAlen
Actually, I think I understood you very well.

I just think that there is a differnce between a factory, which should set goals and achieve them (in reality, often only to a certain point), and between learning an Art, and particularly a M.A.

The building blocks concept is not the right model for learning Aikido. One can learn the same technique at different levels (after many years [>15], I still have things to learn about the techniques I learned in the first lesson).
Looking at Aikido, the knowledge is not the number of techniques you know, but the level at which you can execute them. Much of that is in "between techniques", identifying the evolving opportunity, setting up the situation ...
It takes higher level to be able to do the same technique from almost any situation at adaquate level, than to execute a different technique from each of the same situations at the same level. Since each technique has some situations which are less adjusted for it.

When I tried to model Aikido learning, I modeled it as a widening up-going spiral. You return to learn the same elements, again and again, but each time, your perspective is different, as you are aware of more things.

If I were to teach my own group (a path I chose not to take for a while yet), I would have given serious consideration to learning only 3-4 techniques for the first 2 years. Yet, re-visit those techniques each time from a different prespective. And with a different focuses. At times, focusing on practical \ Self-defense like\ short execution, at other times, focus on classical\soft\long execution.

Going after milestones is one behavioral type. I live like that at work (electronics engineer ...), and at other times, when I do a project. I am not sure it is the best learning methodology for a M.A. and my own charecter development. I like the idea of opening myself to additional models- "living in the now". Aikido is not a poject, it is a "do" - way of life.

If you have a good teacher, and one you can trust. In the long run this way can should get you progressing as much as the other, you might not notice it by external milestones (number of techniques you learned), but it does not make it less true (e.g. other will find resisting your techniques is not as easy).
If you do not have a good teacher, his definition of milestones will not save you. If he is no good, his definition is even more flawed (experiance has shown me that less people know how to plan correctly and realisticly than those who can do).

If you look for a place which teaches with mielstones, and it makes you comfortble.
So be it, enjoy!
Do not assume this is any guaranttee of quality.

The same goes for certifications. A teacher must be honest of his history. It is not the certificate which proves this.

Quote:
A brown belt, I believe it was, took bad ukemi from another senior person at the seminar, and went to the hospital...not to come back.
They knew each others ranks and trained accordingly.

Accidents happen, and again, its good we are able to see the belt to know who is where. Thats all Im saying. (Not that some people within a rank wont be more 'fluid' than others - but this way not everyone is walking away crippled.)
As you show in your own example, ranks and additional belts do not provide additional safety. Everyone should be aware of the momentary situation of his Uke.
This is another example of the conept that indicators are nice, but must not be double checked.

Amir
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:42 AM   #36
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
1- Actually, I think I understood you very well.

2 - The building blocks concept is not the right model for learning Aikido.

3 - If I were to teach my own group (a path I chose not to take for a while yet), I would have given serious consideration to learning only 3-4 techniques for the first 2 years.

4- If you look for a place which teaches with mielstones, and it makes you comfortble.

5 - Do not assume this is any guaranttee of quality.

Amir
Hey Amir

1 - From how you answer it seems you do not understand where Im coming from. Yes you do have an understanding of how and what you think Im saying, but the subtleties have been overlooked.

1a - this is quite natural at points in our evolution as we read and interpret though that which we understand and know...also, words are limiting pointing beyond themselves, yet we get weighed down in them.

It always feels comfortable to feel we know.

2 - "Not the right model?" I think we can agree that ego says what is 'right and wrong' as absolutes. What is 'right' is a matter of perspective. I gave an example of what I see works in the realm of form...but Im not selling this as a 'the way'.

3 - Yes, if you re-read what I said, you may indeed want to teach only 2 techniques. That fits into the system and way I described perfectly - just need to go back and re-read it. (Its about structure and goals of some sort) you have to look past the words and really feel and not go with what you 'think' Im saying.

4 - Exactly, I set my own milestones, and yes it does make me comfortable. True, in a world where we live forever, I may learn to relax and just do things will nilly.
Again, I am NOT saying that focusing on 2 techniques is willy nilly...

...If you keep doing the same techniques and do not add depth, this is the issue - I believe others saw what I was pointing to with this.
I did not imply that doing techniques (a few) is bad if you want to discover something in it - but there are teachers who do just go in and are not progressive the way that you and I together are talking about.

5 - When I read your post, I feel that you and I truly do agree.
I do feel that perhaps you may have me caged in your mind in how your interpreting what I say. - please remember, Im not the most eloquent and precise in how I communicate. After all communication is indeed an art, and to communicate from ones station to all the multitudes of stations (so to speak) with their different frequencies of perception and understanding isnt an easy task.

5a - Typically wherever I post I do not follow up once I make a comment. It is bound that people either get it, or they dont. Its a rare occasion where someone tries to understand from the other side where someone is coming from - and Im not saying this is you...as mentioned, communication is an art (something I am still working at.)

So this post proves that indeed, I need to continue with posting my thoughts - and forget the follow up.

Again, if you re-read what I wrote, I believe you will see we are saying something very similar...Im just attacking the subject from a different view than you.

Peace to you Amir...

dAlen

p.s. - it would seem my philosophy or approach on Aikido may resemble that of Minoru Mochizuki of Yoseikan Aikido. (again, this is a pointer, not a box.)

Last edited by dalen7 : 07-28-2008 at 03:53 AM.

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Old 07-28-2008, 03:46 AM   #37
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
As you show in your own example, ranks and additional belts do not provide additional safety. Everyone should be aware of the momentary situation of his Uke.
This is another example of the conept that indicators are nice, but must not be double checked.

Amir
Amir, accidents happen - Im sure in life you have had an accident or two. (doesnt have to be aikido.)

Uke took the throw wrong...I was there and know what happened.

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
My point about ranks was made clear in the other post in this thread...its there for those who want to understand.

Last edited by dalen7 : 07-28-2008 at 03:49 AM.

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Old 07-28-2008, 10:56 AM   #38
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Actually, I think I understood you very well.

I just think that there is a differnce between a factory, which should set goals and achieve them (in reality, often only to a certain point), and between learning an Art, and particularly a M.A.

The building blocks concept is not the right model for learning Aikido. One can learn the same technique at different levels (after many years [>15], I still have things to learn about the techniques I learned in the first lesson).
Looking at Aikido, the knowledge is not the number of techniques you know, but the level at which you can execute them. Much of that is in "between techniques", identifying the evolving opportunity, setting up the situation ...
It takes higher level to be able to do the same technique from almost any situation at adaquate level, than to execute a different technique from each of the same situations at the same level. Since each technique has some situations which are less adjusted for it.

When I tried to model Aikido learning, I modeled it as a widening up-going spiral. You return to learn the same elements, again and again, but each time, your perspective is different, as you are aware of more things.

If I were to teach my own group (a path I chose not to take for a while yet), I would have given serious consideration to learning only 3-4 techniques for the first 2 years. Yet, re-visit those techniques each time from a different prespective. And with a different focuses. At times, focusing on practical \ Self-defense like\ short execution, at other times, focus on classical\soft\long execution.

Going after milestones is one behavioral type. I live like that at work (electronics engineer ...), and at other times, when I do a project. I am not sure it is the best learning methodology for a M.A. and my own charecter development. I like the idea of opening myself to additional models- "living in the now". Aikido is not a poject, it is a "do" - way of life.

If you have a good teacher, and one you can trust. In the long run this way can should get you progressing as much as the other, you might not notice it by external milestones (number of techniques you learned), but it does not make it less true (e.g. other will find resisting your techniques is not as easy).
If you do not have a good teacher, his definition of milestones will not save you. If he is no good, his definition is even more flawed (experiance has shown me that less people know how to plan correctly and realisticly than those who can do).

If you look for a place which teaches with mielstones, and it makes you comfortble.
So be it, enjoy!
Do not assume this is any guaranttee of quality.

The same goes for certifications. A teacher must be honest of his history. It is not the certificate which proves this.

As you show in your own example, ranks and additional belts do not provide additional safety. Everyone should be aware of the momentary situation of his Uke.
This is another example of the conept that indicators are nice, but must not be double checked.

Amir
What a great post!

I often point out to my students that Ikkyo is on a 6th kyu exam and a 5th Dan demonstration. Irimi Nage is 'the 20yr throw' , Ikkyo takes a lifetime.

I'm also fond of rediscovering that aikido is a 360 degree education; slice into the pie and just keep turning it.

Best to you,
Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:19 PM   #39
Cynrod
Location: Las Vegas
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

My utmost thanks to everyone who replied to my post, I learned a lot from all of you. Now I made up my mind which Dojo am I going to spend most of my life training and learning the art of Aikido.

Again, thank you very much to each and everyone of you.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:57 PM   #40
Janet Rosen
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Best of luck, Rod - happy training to you!

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:35 AM   #41
crbateman
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Good luck, Rod... Remember to take a little time to just enjoy the journey!
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:04 AM   #42
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Quote:
Rod Lansangan wrote: View Post
My utmost thanks to everyone who replied to my post, I learned a lot from all of you. Now I made up my mind which Dojo am I going to spend most of my life training and learning the art of Aikido.

Again, thank you very much to each and everyone of you.
Great to hear

Good luck and enjoy

Amir
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:37 AM   #43
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
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Re: Do I Have The Right Dojo?

Ran my dojo for 18 years without affiliation..... students come students go,,,, its only the very few that really stick it and they got good...... the rest.... well just superfluous......
Then again wasn't in it for the money...... If people phone up I say "Sure, want to set it up?...... Happy to come along and teach/join in" Just don't want to subsidise peoples training anymore!
Anyone in the Hampshire (UK) area needing an aikido sensei.... just drop me a line sometime.......
Tony
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