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Old 12-20-2015, 09:12 PM   #1
innernature
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Canada
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Freaky! seeking new dojo-home

Hello,
I recently had to leave the dojo that I started aikido in. I've been training for 4.5 years, and I love it. Aikido is one of the best things in my life.

About two years ago, my teacher's wife started to say strange things to me in the dojo. I later spoke to a professional counselor who told me that she was using abusive/bullying language, and dumping anger on me (anger that wasn't caused by my actions). When I spoke to the other teachers, they didn't/couldn't do anything about it, so I left. I was getting depressed and it was affecting my work. I'm so much happier now, but I miss aikido.

I'm currently training at another dojo in town and it's OK but it doesn't feel like home. The teacher is nice and talented but there are only two adult classes per week. I'm thinking about moving so I can continue training.

I'm looking for a dojo where:

-common sense rules the day
-it's alright to have fun training (no oppressive vibe)
-people treat each other well
-the teachers & students are fair towards women
-teachers understand that respect is a two way street
-it's OK to make honest mistakes
-no unresolved mental health issues
-awesome aikido training and lots of it
-there's a sense of community.

I'm not really sure what responses I'm seeking in posting this, but O Sensei says the best response uses as many resources as we have available to us(paraphrase).

Thanks for listening.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:38 PM   #2
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 618
Australia
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Hi,

You're always welcome to train with us, but I think Tasmania might be a bit far for you...
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:00 AM   #3
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 350
United_States
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Good for you for leaving an abusive environment.
Try the Dojo Search engine on this site, which might be a little dated but is a good start.
If you mention what part of the world you are looking for a school sometimes other posters will have suggestions.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:36 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
Good for you for leaving an abusive environment.
Try the Dojo Search engine on this site, which might be a little dated but is a good start.
If you mention what part of the world you are looking for a school sometimes other posters will have suggestions.
Yep. Any idea what country/province/state would be most helpful as there are MANY very good dojo cultures out there.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:54 AM   #5
Nick P.
 
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Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
Location: Montreal
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 642
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Ask the other dojos close to you if you can come by and watch a class or two, being up front about looking for a place to resume your training; your impression of the people you see, how they train, and how they interact is the most important.

Note that I personally would not state why you took a break, but that is just me. When stronger bonds are built after a while in your new home dojo that would be a better time to go into details, if ever.

Good luck.

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Old 12-22-2015, 09:19 AM   #6
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 704
Canada
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

There are a few different dojo in Victoria (B.C.). I've been to two of them but not in a long while so I can't really speak to the culture at either any more.. There may be more - I understand one is at UVic, there's one downtown near the legislature, and the Aikikai dojo near the Gorge. Others?

When you do find a community that you think might be a good fit, you may not need to explain why you stopped at the other community - join the new one and help it grow.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:32 AM   #7
Steven
 
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Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkan Sacramento - Seikeikan Dojo
Location: Orangevale, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 621
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Might want to visit Island Aikido, www.islandaikido.com. It's an Aikido Yoshinkai lineage dojo. Assuming this is not the dojo you left. Otherwise, you're welcome to head down Interstate 5 and join us here in Sacramento.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:46 PM   #8
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 289
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Kawahara Sensei used to live in Victoria, and he had a number of prominent female instructors like Hilary Dawson there. Very good Aikido. The U.Vic. and the downtown dojo were associated.

Respect is a two way street, but knowledge and experience are not equal - even for people of the same rank. So, no relationship is perfectly egalitarian within the dojo.

Good luck.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
JP3
 
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Dojo: Wasabi Dojo
Location: Houston, TX
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

I don't have the slightest idea of how far you are from Vancouver.... maybe 8 hours, I don't know. But, I know a warm, welcoming aikido environment there where you'd be welcome. PM and I'll point.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:57 PM   #10
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 704
Canada
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Quote:
John Powell wrote: View Post
I don't have the slightest idea of how far you are from Vancouver.... maybe 8 hours, I don't know. But, I know a warm, welcoming aikido environment there where you'd be welcome. PM and I'll point.
An FYI... Vancouver is relatively near Victoria but... There's a 20 minute drive to the ferry, an hour and a half on the ferry (plus waiting time at both ends to get on and off) and a 30-45 minute drive to Vancouver...
If traffic is light.
And in Vancouver it rarely is.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:51 PM   #11
innernature
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Canada
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Thank you everyone for your positive replies. I've been to a good dojo in Burnaby/Vancouver but am too far for regular training.

If you don't mind me asking, what do you think of the notion that it's the student's responsibility to resolve conflicts? This is what this dojo told me, but my counselor said that the teachers weren't taking responsibility for their own mistakes. I think that the teacher has more experience, more knowledge, and more power - so they should also have the greatest responsibility in bridging gaps in understanding due to a student's inexperience.

I've been thinking of Santa Monica, because the church I go to has a large center near there.

Thanks for your support.

Last edited by innernature : 12-22-2015 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:24 AM   #12
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 289
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Resolving conflicts - maybe not a beginner, but after 4.5 years not unreasonable to hope you would try. As the issue is with the instructor's wife, probably you've known this person for 4.5 years as well and anyone else short of her husband is going to be in a very ackward position.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:51 AM   #13
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 289
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
Resolving conflicts - maybe not a beginner, but after 4.5 years not unreasonable to hope you would try. As the issue is with the instructor's wife, probably you've known this person for 4.5 years as well and anyone else short of her husband is going to be in a very ackward position.
Re-read the original post, two years of trying to resolve is plenty long enough.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:30 AM   #14
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 704
Canada
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Hmm... Having re-read the op.. You're thinking of moving? How far? Within Victoria, within Canada, or ... anywhere?
I've had wonderful training experiences at Aikido Bozankan in Calgary, with Steve Erickson. If you're looking farther afield, you'll get very good training with Jon Hay in Winnipeg. Farther still? Andrew Williamson's Aikido Shinruykan Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, or Papu Siameja, Aikido Shinryukan also, but in Cambridge New Zealand... Andrew and Papu are both within the sphere of influence of Nobuo Takase, the shihan in New Zealand, who's been there for about 40 years - their annual (end of February) gasshuku usually features a weekend of training with guest shihan from Aikikai Hombu Tokyo.

I'm sure there are many other fantastic dojo all over the place. "rugwithlegs" also has solid, practical aikido - when we were participating in a demo in Osaka (was it THAT long ago?) he had me disorientated, and very grateful that he didn't throw me off the stage (pulled me back in mid-flight so I landed on the mats - at least that how I remember it)...

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 12-23-2015 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:51 AM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Quote:
Crystal Rothwell wrote: View Post

I've been thinking of Santa Monica, because the church I go to has a large center near there.

Thanks for your support.
I live in Northern California but have trained with Larry Novick Sensei two or three times at aikido-l "all-styles" seminars and also visited his dojo in Santa Monica once or twice. Unafiliated dojo with an approach that focuses on principle-based training and what Larry calls "kinesthetic invisibility. Recommended. http://www.aceaikido.com/

Also within Santa Monica is West Wind, a Nishio-style aikido dojo: never been but William Hazen trains there and has been active on aikiweb and is eminently sane and cordial.

Third, Corky Quackenbush has a dojo in Santa Monica that I've had friends speak very highly of; same background as Larry Novick and his focus is on spontaneous technique. http://westlosangelesaikido.com/dojo.html

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:29 PM   #16
jamesf
Dojo: Kitsap Aikido, Poulsbo, WA
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11
United_States
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

Probably too far for you to go on a regular basis (ferry to Port Angeles, then another hour or so drive), but you're certainly welcome to drop in on us at Kitsap Aikido in Poulsbo, WA.

Also south of the border is Aikido Port Townsend, however, they don't seem very web savvy, so I would definitely contact them by phone or email to make sure the schedule is still accurate.

Unfortunately, it looks like Clallam Aikikai in Sequim, WA is shutdown (at least temporarily).
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:07 AM   #17
Currawong
Dojo: Shoheijuku Aikido, Fukuoka
Location: Fukuoka
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 56
Japan
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Re: seeking new dojo-home

You could try Suganuma Sensei's branch dojo of Shoheijuku: http://shoheijuku.com

Very nice people. The head teacher is a woman, Tamami Nakashimada Sensei. Not sure if their dojos aren't a bit far though.
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