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Old 11-09-2002, 04:04 AM   #1
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training at multiple dojos?

hi all,

does anyone here train regularly at more than one dojo? that is, visits each dojo at least once a week, or a few times every month?

if so, why do you do this? i'm considering this path, and wonder what sort of thoughts people have about doing this, from a social etiquette perspective, and also wondering how to address challenges in absorbing techniques presented very differently by different teachers. is one's aikido destined to become schizophrenic doing this, or more sensitive because you will learn to be very focused on where you are and do things *just as been shown* as opposed to relying on body conditioning? thus you learn to be more in the moment, and learn to do what is appropriate in broader circumstances. or you more likely to end up confused and unhappy? is this more like trying to have an open relationship instead of committing to one partner, or is it more like having more than one friendship? where does commitment to one's own path of training fit in with needs of dojo, of senseis, of dojomates? everyone involved knows what i want and approves and is supportive, i just wonder if i'm setting myself up for disappointment.

what do you feel about the issues of loyalty to one teacher/dojo affecting one's training?
note here i'm not talking about irregular visits, dojo hopping, or seminars, but a situation where you attend everyday classes at more than one dojo regularly for the indefinite future.

thanks!
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Old 11-09-2002, 10:20 AM   #2
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Hello

I regularly train at two dojos (twice at one and twice at another) with the full blessing and encouragement of my primary sensei. He also regularly encourages other senseis at other dojos to be the guest sensei at the dojo while encouraging his students to try out new styles. He says that its important to have a braod base and not be restricted in the practice of aikido. IMHO, I thinks he feels that its all aikido with different interpretations and perspectives.

Yes stylistic differences can be a problem and it does take a certain amount of experience not to get confused. The dojos that I regularly train at are both aikikai but I have had the pleasure of training with some people in yoshinkan, yoseikan and kokikai.

My personal reasons: I get a different perspective on basic technioque and application and the greater emphasis on weapons with my other sensei.

As for getting confused, I would stick with the one teacher if you are a beginner until you get the feel and are comfortable with the way he/she shows the techniques. If you are an experienced aikidoka say with a 2 to 3 years under your belt (sorry no pun intended) it may be worth your while to broaden your horizons a bit. It may be easier in the beginning to stay within the same style too.

I have always been very open with my primary sensei and his senior students about this and he has been very supportive and encouraging as well. So no problem there.

I agree with loyalty to your sensei but if your sensei is concerned about improving your aikido, I wouldnt see that there would be a problem with you taking additional classes at another dojo. I think its important to practice the way it is taught at the specific dojo and not to get the two mixed up. Its really having an open mind and being receptive to the key lessons and principles.

Hope this helps and best for training
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Old 11-09-2002, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: training at multiple dojos?

what do you feel about the issues of loyalty to one teacher/dojo affecting one's training?

note here i'm not talking about irregular visits, dojo hopping, or seminars, but a situation where you attend everyday classes at more than one dojo regularly for the indefinite future.

I trained at two different dojos a few years ago and I personally found it confusing. I have seen one person who was doing this and he made the mistake of trying to do another style in the wrong dojo. Nobody much appreciated it.

Unless you make double-dog sure both instructors of the different dojos give you a big thumbs-up I would not do it, myself. At least until I had a shodan in one style.

As you know, depending on your instructor, there can be other issues to consider: money, professional jealousy, etc. good luck.
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Old 11-10-2002, 05:06 AM   #4
colin slider
Dojo: Aikido Shinjukai, Singapore
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i started Aikido in March this year and since July started training at three dojos every week - all part of the same organisation but obviously with different instructors. there are many other students who do the same - and i'm not aware of any of our instructors who have any objection - in fact the majority wholeheartedly endorse it as a way of widening your exposure and learning faster. obviously there are differences between instructors in their teaching style and presentation but the core techniques are the same though there may be minor differences.

on the whole, as you're training much more often, you progress much faster than those who stick to a single dojo.
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Old 11-10-2002, 10:36 AM   #5
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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I use to train regularly and over a period of a number of years at four different dojos. It can get a little addictive if you are at all connected to the 'community' of a dojo and start to have any feeling of wanting to go to practice in order to see the people and see where their aikido is going. In fact, it can become something like a strange social obligation.

In any case, I think it was ultimately great for my aikido if only because it increases the number of hours that I trained and the number of people that I trained with, and both of those are basically good things.

My teacher (the teacher with whom I did tests) insisted on two things, both of which seem reasonable to me. First, that I think of myself as his student and I have a clear sense of commitment to him. Second, that I do not skip classes in our dojo in order to go to classes in another dojo. Of course, the second rule wasn't some sort of black and white stricture. It was more like a request to show my commitment to his dojo by giving it priority and to understand my responsibility as his student to being in class.

Of course, if I didn't like the rules, I was free to find a different sensei, and he would have happily welcomed me as a guest.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 11-10-2002, 03:33 PM   #6
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Re: training at multiple dojos?

Quote:
() wrote:
hi all,

does anyone here train regularly at more than one dojo? that is, visits each dojo at least once a week, or a few times every month?
I used to practise at three-four dojos regularly, meaning more or less each weak. It can be very rewarding, if you have a few years of training behind you and the dojos and teachers are right for you. It is hard work, though, to always adopt to what is done in the different dojos! It takes that one truly respects all of the styles visited to give that effort.

If not, practising for a teacher not trying to learn what he/she is teaching is a wast of both his/her and your time. Regularly going to several dojos for a longer time just for the sake of doing so, I would advice against. If you have a keen interest in all the teachers in question, that is another matter.

It could damage your relationships to the dojo which is your home dojo. Do not be surprised if the teacher/dojo chooses other students for favourite uke/assisting in beginners class etc. It could be the price you'll have to pay, being regarded as only half loyal. I used to despise teachers who openly say that they give more to students who practise for them only. Now I think they are at least honest...!

The perfect teacher or dojo should have no problems with students practising elseware, even if it meant skipping classes at the home dojo I think. But hey, aikido teachers are human. From a perspective of individual aikido development, probably a one-year session in another dojo and one year at home would be more rewarding than two years with equal amount of training in both. But then there are such things as relationships to the teacher and/or dojo.
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Old 11-10-2002, 07:07 PM   #7
PeterR
 
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Re: training at multiple dojos?

Quote:
() wrote:
what do you feel about the issues of loyalty to one teacher/dojo affecting one's training?

note here i'm not talking about irregular visits, dojo hopping, or seminars, but a situation where you attend everyday classes at more than one dojo regularly for the indefinite future.
Well it is far better to train every day at your main dojo although I reallize not every dojo is open every day.

I actually find myself in a similar situation in that my dojo is a serious commute from my home. So much so in that I can only go once a week during which I train all day.

For extra training I've taken up Judo (no conflict there yet many similar skills) and started a small group of my own. I am very careful about joining the organizations of other Shihans (its weird about that over here) but if affiliated dojos were closer I would train in them.

One thing about loyalty though. Don't sweat it so much. This is something that builds up over time and is a two way street. I have always found it very strange that someone (not talking about you or anyone in particular) worries about it with less than a year with a sensei. I've run into some very stident examples. Train and enjoy, your path will become clearer as you travel it. If you find that training in multiple dojos is confusing you, then cut back.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-10-2002, 09:03 PM   #8
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Re: training at multiple dojos?

Quote:
() wrote:
does anyone here train regularly at more than one dojo? that is, visits each dojo at least once a week, or a few times every month?

if so, why do you do this?
By this criteria, I'm usually training at three dojos.

We have classes five days a week. If I wish to train on a Tuesday or Sunday, it means visiting another dojo. On Sundays, I'll go to another ASU-affiliated dojo, that's about fifteen miles away. On Tuesdays, I often go to an Iwama-style dojo that's about a half mile from our dojo.

The other ASU dojo, Aikido Shobukan Dojo, has more higher ranking students than we do and is also where my instructor went for fifteen years. (He still goes there on occasion and still teaches on occasion, as well.) We've always been encouraged to go to classes there when either we don't have class or a scheduling conflict means we can't make it to our class. (They have morning classes, which we do not.)

The Iwama-style dojo is a bit different. I started going there on Tuesdays because I wanted to get a class in on Tuesday (that was closer) and because I like the instructor. I've never thought of there being a question of loyalty. My instructor knows I go there and often asks how things are going there. The instructor there has always made me feel welcome. Both instructors have asked me, on occasion, if something is done differently at one place or the other. I find that if gives me a different insight on certain techniques.
Quote:
() wrote:
or you more likely to end up confused and unhappy?
It depends on what is different and how different it is. For example, I'm not sure I'd want to do too much weapons work at the Iwama-style dojo, because it's different than what we do at our dojo.

On the other hand, more techniques there are done from a static start and I find that helpful at times. I did not start training at the Iwama-style dojo until I had been training a couple of years. It might have been pretty confusing if I had started earlier.

Jim
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Old 11-10-2002, 09:34 PM   #9
Chris Li
 
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Re: Re: training at multiple dojos?

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
For extra training I've taken up Judo (no conflict there yet many similar skills) and started a small group of my own. I am very careful about joining the organizations of other Shihans (its weird about that over here) but if affiliated dojos were closer I would train in them.
I train regularly at three different dojo in three different organizations without any problems, so YMMV. I've actually found Japan to be less sticky about that kind of thing than the US.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-10-2002, 10:27 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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Re: Re: Re: training at multiple dojos?

I don't really know but last time I broached the subject about finding another Aikido dojo to train some more in I ended up opening a dojo. Still not sure what hit me although last Saturday the first class went really well. First class me, my assistant and 5 beginners averaging 5 tatami mats per person. I need to get that settled before I try something new again. Know any good kenjutusu teachers in my area?
Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
I train regularly at three different dojo in three different organizations without any problems, so YMMV. I've actually found Japan to be less sticky about that kind of thing than the US.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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