I'm not new to Aikido I'm just new to the forum. I had some questions regarding private lessons but didn't want to go on a rant here if this topic had already been discussed.
The dojo in which I train has noticibly changed it's forum in the past 6-8 months. Proably longer, but I just chose to not make note of the changes. I've noticed that it has become geared to the "newbie" and no instruction is really given to ranks of 3rd kyu or higher.
This dojo has been in existance 20+ years so it's not because of membership for this shift. It went from hardcore, to sudo hard, to where sempai always helped kohai in class and after to prepare for test or work on certain movements, to if you need help with anything that is not covered in beginners class then you have to take a private lesson with the CI or others that offer private lessons in order to advance.
In a way when I look around the dojo, it's not the community which I orginally joined. It's become a place of many new people and less sempai. A place where people come to "learn aikido" but are under the impression that in order to learn this or that, or to take ukemi like so and so you must pay extra money (on top of the monthly membership dues) to receive private instruction. On top of this, I hear during the private instruction the CI spends approximately 15-20 minutes covering what the person is PAYING the CI for instuction on and the balance of the hour is spent on warm ups, mediation or whatever else the instructor throws in because it's his routine.
Most of the senior instructional staff has moved on to other dojos where they can continue to learn and advance thier aikido and the ones that have not "moved" due to logistics are stuck watching this transition and feel for the people that are paying hundreds of dollars EXTRA per month for something they would learn in a beginners class at another dojo. It's not even the money, it's the thought of someone using Aikido to take advantage of another person for their own financial benefit.
I and others that have remained still try and work with kohai and each other to advance and learn the basics with the hopes that people will understand it's not privates, it's practice and seminars where you will learn and grow.
Sorry for the lenghtly rant, but I thought I would throw it out here on the forum to see if this happens at other dojos or am I just fortunate to train at such a place.