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Old 07-24-2002, 02:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 48
I love Iowa.... but......

There are only like 3 Aikido dojos in the whole freakin state! Arg! None of them are within 80 miles of me either, and I live in a metro area of about 140,000 people....

What makes this such a problem is that for years I have been practicing freeform of my own style, but then recently I discovered Aikido and came to the realization that it's basically in essence a much more advanced and mature version of what I have been doing on my own. So now I want to learn, but alas, no dojo. I'm definitely also interested in the spiritualism aspect of it, or the brocoli of the Aikido dinner, as someone on the aikido faq called it lol. My own freeform practice I've been doing for years has mostly been motivated by spiritualism that I have had, that matches strongly that of O Sensei. I've had a strong belief in being a warrior and yet also being peaceful. Honestly, I don't see any martial arts that embraces this anywhere near what Aikido seems to.

So I'm not eager to take up Karate or Tae Kwan Do simply because it's all I have to choose from. I don't want to learn how to hurt people, or do fancy flying kicks, I want to learn to feel confident and balanced, and to feel in control of myself, and Aikido seems like a great path to that goal.

Any skilled high-dan-ranked person anywhere in this area(North-Eastern Iowa) feel like opening some formal or informal classes?

If not, are there good visual descriptions of various katas online, and are there some practice moves that can be done reasonably without an uke? I do some tumbling practice when I am able, any suggestions on this?

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:57 AM   #2
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Hi Dangus,

I just went to the dojo search engine here on aikiweb and found 5 aikido dojo in Iowa. Still don't know if any are close to you though.

Try some of these other links. I'm sure that most of them are repeats but ya never know.




Hope this helps a little.


"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 07-24-2002, 08:21 AM   #3
Location: Boston
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 39
And if the metro area you are talking about is Dubuque, there's UW-Platteville less than an hour away (according to MapQuest, anyway): http://www.uwplatt.edu/~aikido/

Remember: No matter where you go...There you are.
-Buckaroo Banzai
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:00 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 48
Thanks for the links Bronson. Cedar Rapids MAY be doable, because I'm in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area, but it's still 65-70 miles depending on what part of CR it's in...

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:41 PM   #5
Conrad Gus
Conrad Gus's Avatar
Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 268
I know Bill Dunlop is somewhere in your state! He's a very strong teacher and aikidoka affiliated with my old dojo, Calgary Aikikai (Inaba Shihan). I think he doesn't have a regular dojo right now, but why don't you get a hold of Calgary Aikikai and see if he's living anywhere nearby. At the very least you can probably convince him to go work on suburi with you.

Incidentally, I've been in the position where I had to train on my own for periods of time. If I were you I'd get a bokken and go to work!

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Old 07-24-2002, 02:19 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 48
Got a bokken, as well as a whole myriad of other weapons. I've been a bladesmith for about 10 years on a recreational level. I may look into doing more practice with it. Knowing at least some katas would be nice as it would help me figure out where to start... Should I look into Kendo forms for this?

I'll definitely get ahold of that place and see if I can contact Mr. Dunlop. I appreciate the info. Thanks!

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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Old 07-26-2002, 03:54 AM   #7
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 801
Hi Dangus!

If you want to do aikido-related sword practice go check out this sweedish site: http://www.hokuoaikikai.com/

They have a page demonstrating the Aiki-toho swordkata's that Shoji Nishio Shihan teaches. It's hard to figure out exactly what to do, but perhaps they can inspire you a bit. Anyway you can only realy learn aikido from a teacher - not from a book or a website, but you can expand your knowledge of the subject and perhaps benefit from this when you find a teacher one day. Good luck dojo-hunting

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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