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Old 01-13-2004, 10:36 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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1/13/2004 10:36am [from Jorge Garcia]

There is a new aikido group that will be holding on going classes at the Clay Road Family YMCA, 10655 Clay Road in Houston, Texas. Classes for both children and adults will begin on Tuesday evening, January the 20th. Everyone interested is invited to come and practice with us. Signup is at the front desk for $60 a month and dues are half price for YMCA members. Traveling guests and one time visitors may purchase a day pass at the front desk as well. For more information call 281-630-0361 or email aikifudoshin@hotmail.com
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Old 01-13-2004, 12:18 PM   #2
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Good luck.

Good luck with your new group.
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Old 01-13-2004, 12:32 PM   #3
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: Good luck.

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Good luck with your new group.
Thank you very much John. We have put a lot of time and effort into this new group and we will need all the help we can get. Lots of folks in the area have shown interest and I have been gratefully amazed at the response. Of course, having been in Aikido for almost 10 years, I know that nothing comes easy and that we have a lot of hard work ahead. Keep us in your thoughts and any advice you have is always welcomed.

Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-13-2004, 04:06 PM   #4
kironin
 
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Hi Jorge !

Congrats on your new group! Best of luck.

I hope things work out really well.

regards,

Craig
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Old 01-13-2004, 07:05 PM   #5
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Quote:
Craig Hocker (kironin) wrote:
Hi Jorge !

Congrats on your new group! Best of luck.

I hope things work out really well.

regards,

Craig
Thanks Craig,

I do appreciate it very much. I have had a lot of cooperation and help from the kind people at the YMCA. The program director there was attracted to my presentation by the description I gave her of Aikido and she said that the values of Aikido and those of the YMCA coincided so well, that she thought we would be a perfect fit. Everyone there is giving us prefered status and I have had 150% support from everyone on the management staff. They have purchased everything I have asked for, sent out advertising, given me use of their copier for flyers and brochures and they have promised me anything else that I need. I couldn't have asked for more.

I hope you and your school are doing well also. I hope to see you around soon. Thanks again.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:59 AM   #6
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Having taught at the YMCA in Austin TX previously, I always found them to be supportive of aikido and martial arts.
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:00 PM   #7
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Having taught at the YMCA in Austin TX previously, I always found them to be supportive of aikido and martial arts.
I'm glad to hear that. I would think that should be the case. This is a brand new YMCA so they have state of the art equipment including a whirlpool and sauna that many an aikidoist has longed for after a hard practice. I think for me, the hardest thing will be to get used to practicing in air conditioning. At my old dojo, we trained with the weather and in the summer, it was often over 100 degrees for months at a time.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:07 PM   #8
bill
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Re: Good luck.

Congratualations on yournew group, Jorge, from Washington state. Knowing the dedication & expertise that you bring to your classes I know your students will find their time well spent & most rewarding. Bill
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:24 PM   #9
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Re: Good luck.

Quote:
bill hale (bill) wrote:
Congratualations on yournew group, Jorge, from Washington state. Knowing the dedication & expertise that you bring to your classes I know your students will find their time well spent & most rewarding. Bill

Thank you very much Bill. As an old friend, you know how intense I can get about the things I do. I enjoy helping people in my church work and Aikido has been a way I can help them as well. While it is not the most important thing in my life, it does help support the important things like my work for God, my family, and all my dear friends among whom you are chief.

God bless you,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-21-2004, 06:24 PM   #10
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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By God's grace, we did pretty good for a start. After weeks of work and handing out packets and talking to people, I was able to sign up 41 people. These are those who paid for two months and came on the first day. The breakdown was 20 adults and 22 children. I have 3 more adults coming in this week and we will continue marketing and promotion until we reach our goal of 60 adults and 40 children. Class was hard to run with only two yudansha and all those beginners so I am thinking of how to adust the normal teaching methodology in order to help all the beginners be able to follow the techniques as shown.

Thanks for the words of support and for all of you who have privately emailed me.

Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-21-2004, 10:00 PM   #11
akiy
 
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Congratulations, Jorge! Please keep us apprised of how things with your new dojo is going. I wish you luck, success, and happiness with your new group!

-- Jun

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Old 01-21-2004, 11:20 PM   #12
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Congratulations, Jorge! Please keep us apprised of how things with your new dojo is going. I wish you luck, success, and happiness with your new group!

-- Jun
Thanks Jun,

That is very nice of you. I have always believed that there are thousands and thousands of people that would do Aikido if they knew what it was and could see it. What I did was to park myself by the front desk with a TV VCR and I played aikido tapes and handed out literature for 50 hours over a 7 day period. People would come up and watch and I would engage them in conversation and give them something to read. The amazing thing is that they keep signing up every day even though I stopped three days ago. The YMCA staff had a meeting this morning and said they were reevaluating the way to market new programs based on what I did. What I found interesting were the types of aikido activity that generated the most people. Small children and young people were attracted to the big throws and breakfalls but most of the adults that signed up came up to watch videos I played of normal people practicing. They would comment that they thought they could do that. I talked to them about what they were looking for and explained how aikido could help them. Of course, I know that once they get on the mat, the art itself will teach them all the other things this is about.

Again, much thanks. I wish there was someone better than me to help these folks but I will do what I can until then. I have been contacted by friends who have offered to come and help take ukemi for me as I show techniques and for the first three classes. Black belts from three other schools and associations have come to help me. I even had a yudansha in Ninjitsu offer to take ukemi for me. He helped me through all three classes on the first day and was very respectful of our art.

This has been a great joy and I have received the help of many kind and wonderful people. Thanks for the help of Aikiweb as well. I have gotten calls from people that have seen my announcement here.

Best to you always,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:38 PM   #13
Jerry Miller
 
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Talking

Congratulations Jorge,

You have got it going on. For a first night your hands are full. I would like to visit sometime.

Jerry Miller
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Old 01-22-2004, 01:52 AM   #14
Jorge Garcia
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Quote:
Gerard Miller (Jerry Miller) wrote:
Congratulations Jorge,

You have got it going on. For a first night your hands are full. I would like to visit sometime.
Thanks Jerry,

I have been to your dojo once some time ago and met Toyota sensei and your sensei, Michael Black. I was also friends with Tim Martin who was in the AAA and I trained with him on Fridays a few years ago. He was very good and I learned a lot from him. Zeljko Jericevic and Jim Riviera from your Association have also been my friends for years. Please feel free to drop in any time. We will be on the Aikiweb dojo finder as soon as we get our corporation papers back from the State. When you come in, just tell them at the desk that you are a volunteer coming to help me in the Aikido class and they will let you through. Because everyone is new, anyone with almost any aikido experience would qualify as a "helper"!

We meet on Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm and on Saturdays at 2pm. I look forward to meeting you someday soon.

Sincerely,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:24 PM   #15
BC
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Congradulations Jorge!

One question: What is the reason that you have to wait for your corporate papers before you can list your dojo on Aikiweb's search engine?

Robert Cronin
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Old 01-23-2004, 01:52 AM   #16
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Quote:
Robert Cronin (BC) wrote:
Congradulations Jorge!

One question: What is the reason that you have to wait for your corporate papers before you can list your dojo on Aikiweb's search engine?

Thanks Robert,

I always have good memories when I think of my Midwest Aikido days. You guys always have produced such excellent Yudansha thanks to the work of Tohei sensei and all the good instructors there. I am so glad that I got to be part of that for the first three years of my aikido journey.

As for the name, we are waiting for approval to make sure that all things are done "decently and in order".

Thanks for thinking of us,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:07 AM   #17
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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Jorge,

Your video set-up and marketing has drawn the largest response I have ever heard of. Congratulations on the overwhelming response! Terrific! Thank you for sharing that marketing strategy: I think I might try something similar; just have to find the right place and time.

best wishes on getting this off the ground. 20 new people in one class; that is going to be a tough one to work with, but it sounds like you have it under control.

All the best, Rachel
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:36 AM   #18
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Jorge,

Your video set-up and marketing has drawn the largest response I have ever heard of. Congratulations on the overwhelming response! Terrific! Thank you for sharing that marketing strategy: I think I might try something similar; just have to find the right place and time.

best wishes on getting this off the ground. 20 new people in one class; that is going to be a tough one to work with, but it sounds like you have it under control.

All the best, Rachel

Thanks Rachel,

There are some situations where it is a natural. This was one of them. It is a new YMCA. Thousands of people have been coming in through that door every day. All the people that may want what we have are there already. Our group has a dojo in Corpus Christi that is in a mall. When we went to our seminar there. I noticed that there were hundreds and hundreds of people passing by and stoping to see what we were doing. The trouble was that we were about 30 feet away and there was a wall divider there. I mentioned to the sensei that he should get three or four ukes and ask permission to be in the front room on a Saturday and have someone there doing techniques with rotating ukes while someone else passed out flyers out in the mall passage area. They have never done it so we have a school with 9 students in a place with thousands of people passing by trying to watch. That is also a situation where someone with a setup like what I did could sit out there all day long talking to people.

To me, its just a matter of will power and realizing that we may have to go out and present what we have to folks. I have no problem doing that because Aikido has blessed my life and I am glad to share it with others. I hope that they can get half the benefit that I have received from it.

By the way, in my arrangement with the YMCA, I have no financial connection with regards to the number of people that sign up. All the money goes to the YMCA. I figure that they bought the mats, they don't charge me rent, and I don't pay utilities and they are giving me access to their constituents so it is alright with me that they get the proceeds. My work is to make them glad that they let me in and for Aikido to be a blessing to them so that we will have a good testimony with them.

I get to practice Aikido and help people and I'm getting a lot of joy from doing this.

Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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