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Old 08-17-2002, 03:34 PM   #1
Eugene Juzek
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2
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Two dojos/Training time

Hello all, and forgive me if this subject has been covered before - I couldn't find any answers, myself..

I'm pretty new to Aikido - just over a year's experience - but a passion for the art is definitely developing. Where I currently train, I'm only able to practice twice a week. Would more time be beneficial? Even for a beginner?

Also, what's everyone's opinion on training in two Aikido dojos? I would think there could be a lot to be gained this way..

If it's an acceptable idea, what is the etiquette regarding this? Should one be open about it with one's Senseis, or might they take offense?

I could just be getting caught up in having too much free time, if so feel free to slap me around a bit. Advice, however, would be appreciated!
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:40 AM   #2
MaylandL
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
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Re: Two dojos/Training time

Quote:
Eugene Juzek wrote:
...Would more time be beneficial? Even for a beginner?

Also, what's everyone's opinion on training in two Aikido dojos? I would think there could be a lot to be gained this way..

If it's an acceptable idea, what is the etiquette regarding this? Should one be open about it with one's Senseis, or might they take offense?

... Advice, however, would be appreciated! ...
Hello Eugene

I'm not sure that I can give you some specific advice. I can give you what I did and hopefully that might trigger some ideas and things that you might want to consider.

I currently train at two dojos with the blessing of Sensei - both in aikikai. Currently 4 sessions a week. He encourages his students to seek out other dojos to get a wide range of experience.

When I started aikido I trained with one dojo in the beginning for a couple of year. After I got used to the movements and some basic technique I tried other dojos that had a similar style of teaching and aikido. Also, those few initial years gave me a clearer understanding about what I wanted to achieve out of aikido so that I could chose compatible and complimentary dojos.

As for the etiquette, I asked the senior students in the first dojo if they trained in other dojos and also asked sensei if he could recommend other Senseis that I might be able to train with. I raised the discussion with Sensei and Sempais on the basis that I was very happy with the instruction and that I wanted to increase my training. Also that I was very interested in aikido and wanted to learn more.

Hope this helps.

Mayland
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Old 08-18-2002, 07:28 AM   #3
Chris Li
 
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Re: Two dojos/Training time

Quote:
Eugene Juzek wrote:
Also, what's everyone's opinion on training in two Aikido dojos? I would think there could be a lot to be gained this way..
Some people recommend it, some don't, some recommend it, but not until you've been training for some period of time. Me, I think it depends on the person - some people do better with a mixed environment and some people don't.

I train at 3 different dojo, and their styles vary greatly. At one of the dojo where I train there is a person who recently got passed his 4th dan. From the very beginning he's always been with the same instructor in the same style. He has clean, consistent technique, very reliable. I often have trouble with consistency, but with my background I can often pull something out of my hat that he can't. He often comments about how much he envies the kind of training I've had and the flexibility that it produces - I often feel the same way about the consistency that his training has produced. In the end, I think that you can't cover all the bases, you have to choose a method that suits you try to develop it to the best of your ability.
Quote:
Eugene Juzek wrote:
If it's an acceptable idea, what is the etiquette regarding this? Should one be open about it with one's Senseis, or might they take offense?
I think that it's not their training, it's yours. If they don't like it then, well, they don't like it. You have to decide whether or not you'll let that rule your decision. To be honest, I've never had a problem cross-training in Japan, but a lot of people in the US seemed uncomfortable with it. I'd be upfront with it if asked, but if it's a problem there's really no need to volunteer information that is none of their business.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-18-2002, 09:01 AM   #4
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
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It could end up being confusing. I trained at a dojo where there were multiple teachers with differing opinions and styles under one roof. I heard some beginners complain that they were not receiving consistent feedback on how to do the basic techniques, and had to juggle multiple methods. I can see their POV. Even after a few years, I found the diversity frustrating - especially when trying to prepare for a test. In this situation, at least they knew each other, and there was an above-board way to get a final opinion about confilicting information from the head sensei.

I think a lot would depend on the compatibility of the styles of the 2 dojo, and how open people at each place would be to differences you might develop elsewhere. If the styles are quite different, you might be faced with having to learn two 'versions' of many techniques and keeping straight which one to use where, which might bog you down. In this case, the confusion might not be worth the trouble, and you might be better off adding training in another art which won't directly interfere, but might still be beneficial for learning sensitivity, body control, etc... like BJJ or Tai Chi.

The only real way to find out is to try it for a while and see what happens.
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Old 08-18-2002, 09:04 AM   #5
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
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Oh, and any sensei that only offers two classes per week, yet prohibits students from doing additional training elsewhere can take some flying ukemi into the nearest lake, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-18-2002, 02:23 PM   #6
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
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I train with about four "dojos" depending on how you look at it.

I don't know if I would recommend this to a beginner since you have so much to learn in the beginning, and there are so many methodologies for teaching that you could struggle just trying to figure out basics.

From most of the "newbie" type post that you see in these forums, most people struggle with just trying to figure out some real simple things in one dojo!

That said, I decided that in order for me to grow that I need to expose myself to several people that I consider to be good in many respects.

I do have a "home" dojo where I and pay my monthly dues. I conider the sensei at that school my sensei for aikido.

I have the fortune as do all of us in Northern VA to be associated with Saotome's home dojo, so I go there when I can to work with others and to be exposed to different teachers and students. It is a great experience. I simply pay a mat fee when I go there.

I study Karate with a sensei a couple of hours away. It was my first dojo and I have been studying there for about 10 years, and continue to do so to not only sharpen my skills and hone them, but to introduce new paradigms via what I am learning in aikido to them.

I also have found another sensei that my karate sensei studies aikido with, when I can I plan on spending more time with him.

It is lots of fun and keeps me on my toes and challenged.

I do recommend though that you pick one place to call home and spend most of your time there studying. I have seen people "float" around and never commit to a dojo. Sort of like all those people in college that could never choose a major and seemed to "audit" the courses cause they had fun!

to each is own, but you'd be better to pick a home to progress and develop in!

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Old 08-19-2002, 12:59 AM   #7
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Just a word about what the instructor thinks.

I think that there is much to be learned (and, of course, much to be discarded) in the Japanese traditions of respect and ceremony. I think that they have added a lot to my understanding of AiKiDo and have changed the ways that I'm willing and able to learn. Thus, it would be my recommendation that if your sensai says that you should not train at other dojos, you should either respect those wishes or leave your sensai. It would be 'impolite' (a very strong word in Japanese culture, I think) in my understanding of AiKiDo ettiquette to ignore your Sensai's wishes in this matter.

That said, I trained at at least two or three dojos starting at 5th kyu. It probably slowed me down (so confusing), but it also taught me a lot. My sensai insisted that I should make his classes a priority in cases of conflicting classes at different dojos. And I did that, although it took me a while to understand the wisdom of it.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-19-2002, 02:17 AM   #8
Eugene Juzek
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Thanks for everyone's replies. I have a much clearer idea of what I should be considering now.

I think I will try other schools and see what kind of gut reaction I get from them, keeping in mind everything mentioned here.

I hope I didn't give any wrong impressions about my Sensei. He's never even hinted at frowning upon training outside of his dojo.. maybe I didn't phrase my question right. Should I take the initiative to breach this subject to him, or merely stick to my business until asked? He's a very inspirational teacher, so I'd like to keep his dojo my "home" base.

About Tai Chi/BJJ - These arts, too, are a consideration for me. Would I be opening a few too many huge cans of worms if I asked the pros/cons of training in two Aikido dojos versus Aikido + another art? I could even ask what else might be considered complimentary to Aikido!

Until next time, and thanks again..
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Old 08-19-2002, 03:34 PM   #9
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
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Quote:
Would I be opening a few too many huge cans of worms if I asked the pros/cons of training in two Aikido dojos versus Aikido + another art?
Well, if you're interested then there is a long and interesting thread on exactly this topic: Incorporating different martial arts. I think there are others as well, but htis was the first I found.

Opher

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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