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Old 12-21-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
azrielg
Dojo: Shobu of Boston
Location: Cambridge, MA
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 14
United_States
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Visiting foreign dojos

I've been practicing aikido for only a few weeks (training in some way every day). I've been told that I'm advancing quickly, but obviously I am a complete newb. Now I'm home for the holidays in Los Angeles and I want to do some training. However, I'm not sure what the typical etiquette is regarding dropping in as a visitor for a few sessions, particularly as a beginner and with respect to crossing aikido divisions (there are no direct affiliate dojos in los angeles).

I've found a non-profit aikikai dojo in West LA that ostensibly welcomes visitors, but I'm concerned that being a beginner visitor might not be as welcome as a more experienced one because beginners are more of a burden. Maybe I'm over thinking it... I really just want to continue learning.

advice, onegaishimasu!

Azriel
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:12 PM   #2
Russ Q
Dojo: Shohei Juku Aikido Gibsons
Location: Gibsons BC
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 192
Canada
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Re: Visiting foreign dojos

Over thinking it for sure. Just go. Remember you are representing your teacher though so make sure you mind your manners:-)

Cheers,

Russ
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:53 PM   #3
Dan Rubin
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Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 368
United_States
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Re: Visiting foreign dojos

Check the dojo's schedule and show up for a beginner class. You'll learn something even if you're past where they're at, and you can find out if you'll be welcome in a more advanced class.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
ninjaqutie
 
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Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,002
United_States
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Re: Visiting foreign dojos

I second the above idea. Go to a beginner class and just be up front that you haven't been training long. I am sure they would love to have you on the mat and if they think you are ready, I'm sure they will invite you to other classes. Have fun!

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:08 PM   #5
odudog
Dojo: Dale City Aikikai
Location: VA
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 392
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Re: Visiting foreign dojos

Drop in train. Let them know that you are new to the art and what affiliation/style you currently practice so that they will understand where you are coming from in case of questions or hardship in doing something. Also, I think your dojo is ASU affiliated. Here are the ASU dojos in L.A.

Dojo Glendale Aikikai (single)
Distance: 6 miles (North of los angeles, CA)
Address: Pacific Community Center & Park, 501 S. Pacific Ave.; Glendale, CA 91204
Country: United States
Contact: 501 S. Pacific Ave, Glendale CA 91204
Instructors: Mark Adachi, 5th dan
Phone: (818) 548-3219
Schedule: MTh 7:30-9pm; Sa 10-11:30am
E-mail: kinlam@sbcglobal.net
URL: http://www.glendaleaikido.org
Affiliation: ASU
Admin: Last Updated: January 11th, 2010

Dojo Musubi Dojo (single)
Distance: 30 miles (East of los angeles, CA)
Address: 1420 N. Claremont Bl, Suite 204A; Claremont, CA 91711
Country: United States
Instructors: Ronald Rubin, 5th dan; Susan Perry, 5th dan
Phone: (909) 920-9929 (dojo) or (909) 624-7770 (Arete Press)
URL: http://www.aiki.com/musubi
Affiliation: ASU
Admin: Last Updated: February 23rd, 2002

Dojo Redlands Aikikai (single)
Distance: 61 miles (East of los angeles, CA)
Address: 590 Nevada Street, Suites A, B & C; Redlands, CA 92373Country: United States
Contact: 590 Nevada Street, Suite A, Redlands, CA 92373
Instructors: Chetan Prakash, 5th dan
Phone: (909) 335-5411
Schedule: MWThFSu
E-mail: info@aikidoredlands.org
URL: http://www.aikidoredlands.org
Style: Aikikai
Affiliation: ASU
Admin: Last Updated: February 1st, 2010
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:34 PM   #6
azrielg
Dojo: Shobu of Boston
Location: Cambridge, MA
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 14
United_States
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Re: Visiting foreign dojos

Thank you all very much for your responses. I will drop in on a beginner class wherever I decide to go
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:25 PM   #7
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 909
United_States
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Re: Visiting foreign dojos

I think it is important to remember to introduce yourself to the head instructor before a class. Either by showing up when you know the Sensei will be at the dojo, calling them if they having an obviously open stance with taking phone calls(check their website) or even dropping an email to ask for permission to train. Regardless, I'm believer in asking for permission to train when you aren't explicitly invited.

MM
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:21 AM   #8
Dazzler
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 659
England
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Re: Visiting foreign dojos

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I think it is important to remember to introduce yourself to the head instructor before a class. Either by showing up when you know the Sensei will be at the dojo, calling them if they having an obviously open stance with taking phone calls(check their website) or even dropping an email to ask for permission to train. Regardless, I'm believer in asking for permission to train when you aren't explicitly invited.
I'd agree with making contact first if its possible.

If it isn't I'd still go and enjoy the practice.

There are some who view one off visitors as an inconvenience, and I can appreciate why to a degree but personally I think they usually bring a positive vibe with them and enrich training for everyone.

As an instructor I always think that if I do well then they'll send their friends one day.

Maybe my situation is different to many but we are right next to a major city railway station so are ideally located for many visitors to come - and we do get a lot - mostly business visitors here for a week or less, but sometimes they come back for much longer periods.

Having said that - I did visit one dojo where the instructor was quite quiet - almost introverted and I am pretty much the opposite. In retrospect I think my enthusiasm didn't gel too well with the 'monastic' vibe in the dojo....although it sat well with some of the rather repressed students.

Was still a good learning experience though - going forward I'll be a bit more sensitive to the prevailing attitude in the dojo's I visit.

D
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