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Old 06-09-2004, 07:18 AM   #1
Jeff Haynes
Location: Central Florida
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4
United_States
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Question The Dojo Seed-The big question.

I'll try to keep this as short as possible. My work and my family situation pose a problem as far as getting to the nearest dojo for practice. They are all more than 25 miles away; I have researched this many times hoping to find one that I missed each time I look.
I want to devote a decent amount of time to Aikido, but it becomes difficult when it's mostly travel time. In the past I would not have minded so much. But now I have 5 children and being a paramedic (my wife also) mt schedule is...odd.
Some time ago a 2nd dan suggested something to me that I only recently remembered, and I wanted to get the input of others on the forum to help me figure out whether to move forward or not.
She suggested that, even though I was of no significant rank, that I could establish a dojo and have a teacher come and teach when ever they could. If this is plausible it would help me follow my dream of Aikido.
So...lay it on me. What do you think? I am looking forward to your replies. Thank you.

Last edited by Jeff Haynes : 06-09-2004 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 06-09-2004, 07:23 AM   #2
Kevin Masters
Dojo: Woodstock Aikido
Location: Mount Tremper, NY
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 85
United_States
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Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Interesting idea actually. Didn't O'Sensei do something like that by building a dojo on his property and sponsoring his sensei?

By the way, what part of Central Florida are you in? I used to live in Leesburg.

Best luck to you.

Kev.
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Old 06-09-2004, 07:38 AM   #3
fullerfury
Dojo: Aikido Suimei
Location: Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 72
United_States
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Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Hi Jeff... I was in a similiar situation as yourself... the wife and 5 kids with the dojo being 40 minutes away - having to balance training and family commitments, etc... I opted to build my own dojo with the theory of "if you build it they will come". I have been very lucky and have established a small yet tight nit group of serious aikidoka. I recognize that not everyone can afford to build their own school. I have found that it has brought balance back to my life... I am not spending too much time away from the family to commute to and from and train in Aikido, plus how many kids get to grow up with a dojo attached to their home? I now get to train 6 days a week and see my family too!

Good luck...

-Garrett
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:19 AM   #4
AsimHanif
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 482
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Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Hi Jeff. That's exactly what I did. I was in the same situation. I wanted to spend more time on enjoying life and attaining balance. That meant family, close friends, and training.
My Shihan is 3 hours away. The nearest affiliate dojo is 2 hours away. Mulitply that by two (round trip) and average 3-4 times a week and you can see time and travel was getting very costly- but I felt I needed to make that effort to show my Shihan how committed I was. I had in the back of my head that I would start a club much like they did (and do) in Japan with the University clubs. The opportunity came faster than I expected and now I start my club July 2. I set up the schedule so I would have enough time for family and training with Shihan. Actually the club schedule really is a working persons schedule with early morning and late evening classes. Now I commit to training with Shihan at least once a month but in actuality I will see him or go to the other dojo 2-3 times a month.
The major factor for me to accomplish this was to have support from Shihan. He is confident in my commitment and my competence to transmit his teachings.
I can also say that before aikido I had a karate dojo in NYC. I feel I made my most significant strides at that time because I could spend more time in the dojo addressing my own needs as well as the needs of others. My wife and children became part of the dojo as well as my whole extended family and friends.
Best.
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:47 AM   #5
Tom Walsh
Dojo: Aikido of Volusia
Location: Edgewater, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 9
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Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Hi Jeff,I run a small dojo in New Smyrna Beach under Robert Kubo Shihan (Aikido of Hawaii International), I think I may be able to help with your request. Email me at twaikido@hotmail.com
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Old 06-11-2004, 10:34 PM   #6
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Jeff,

Some people put together what they call research groups, as opposed to starting a dojo. That is, there is no hierarchy. If you could find some like minded friends, I`d recommend doing that. That way you wouldn`t have to worry about getting students, paying rent, insurance, etc.

Charles Hill
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Old 06-12-2004, 01:15 AM   #7
tedehara
 
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
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Question Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Jeff,

Some people put together what they call research groups, as opposed to starting a dojo. That is, there is no hierarchy. If you could find some like minded friends, I`d recommend doing that. That way you wouldn`t have to worry about getting students, paying rent, insurance, etc.

Charles Hill
Could you elaborate on that? Is this more like a private group training together? Why wouldn't you need to worry about students, rent, insurance, etc.?

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
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Old 06-13-2004, 03:41 AM   #8
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
Could you elaborate on that? Is this more like a private group training together?
Yes, I think it is exactly like a private group training together. To me, starting a dojo is a big deal with the potential instructor deciding to take a big responsibility. If an individual`s rank or years of experience is low, I think that starting a dojo could really interfer with their own progress. If Jeff had some like-minded friends, they could all visit a dojo on a regular (monthly) basis. They then could get together a few times a week at a park, in a backyard, in someone`s basement to work on the things that were shown.

I think there is a lot of danger in the idea of actively looking for students. I remember years ago in an article in ATM, Chicago Aikikai`s Kevin Choate said something like becoming a sensei is something that one should reluctantly do. I thought that that was kind of strange, that it would be cool to have one`s own dojo. I realize now that such an attitude is exactly that to be avoided. By not calling it a dojo and by not opening it up to others, I think that Jeff could avoid a lot of trouble.

Charles Hill
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Old 06-13-2004, 07:00 AM   #9
arachnoJill
Dojo: Mushin dojo
Location: DeLand Florida
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 12
United_States
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Re: The Dojo Seed-The big question.

Where in Central Florida do you live??
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