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Old 07-07-2004, 02:06 AM   #1
Williamross77
 
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Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

I suppose my question is, Which should dominate one's decision to join a Dojo? I am curious as to the impact of each one of you on your choice, locality excluded.
IE you live in large metro area, one school is founded by an independent student of O' Sensei and the other is an Aikikai (as Orthodox as it gets). Why do you chose what you do?

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 07-07-2004, 04:03 AM   #2
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Go and see all the dojo around you and watch a couple of classes. Then decide which sensei is the best for you and join that dojo. Don't care about style or affiliation, all that matters is that you find a sensei who can teach you.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:16 AM   #3
Williamross77
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

I thank you, but i think you misunderstand my question, as i am the chief instructor of my school, i am not looking for a school to join. I am curious as to the thought of those out there making decisions, like a poll, to gather more knowledge.
thanks

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:22 AM   #4
Williamross77
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?


in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:32 AM   #5
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Well, nothing really changes. That's how I joined the York Shodokan club. I went there, looked, asked questions and finally joined because of Tish (sensei) who was awesome and those teaching suited me. I don't care about styles or lineage or purity. I care about learning Aikido.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:36 PM   #6
Williamross77
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Thanks, i am curious where my post has dissapeared to, it seams to not be worth the front home page? usually they appear on the forum list up front... ? hum...

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:40 PM   #7
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Credibility can be important. One potential turnoff is a McDojo feel. Overly flashy fliers, big claims, etc. For instance, I'd actually be wary of a teacher who said he/she was a student of O-Sensei.
I'm into the traditional style. Not arrogant, but respectful. Not too business-like. And when it comes down to it, I'd say just present yourself honestly. It's up to the student to decide if he/she feels you and your dojo (people are important) would be a good match.
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Old 07-07-2004, 04:42 PM   #8
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Well, an independant student of Ueshiba Sensei I would judge on the merrits of his aikido and how well I thought I could learn in the environment he provided. Same for an aikikai affiliated student of Ueshiba.

The problems start when I see someone who has inflated their credentials. Or someone who has made up stuff, and I catch them at it (let's face it, I'm not that bright, if I catch an instructor making stuff up, there's a problem).

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:42 PM   #9
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Ron

I would never accuse you of being "not that bright". Over the years (from RMA onwards) I have respected your views. Honest! No BS!

Lets face it, the glossy and over inflated are out! Look for a good teacher who does not tout for students and pander to them. Teach Aiki and the right students stay. To do otherwise means the wrong students stay.

Osu!
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Old 07-13-2004, 01:15 PM   #10
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Thanks Si! I can say that I work at being brighter every day....


Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-13-2004, 03:32 PM   #11
kironin
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Quote:
Bill Ross wrote:
I suppose my question is, Which should dominate one's decision to join a Dojo? Why do you chose what you do?

Because I saw a newspaper article about the school opening. I had no clue from reading that article that there was more than one aikido organization or even what aikido organization was beyond the school. For about the first 6 months, I was not really aware of anything beyond the school I was learning aikido at. At the time, there really wasn't any other school in that town. Fortunately, it turned out really well.
I might have started earlier when I was living in Boston, because I was vaguely aware of aikido and that a school existed near MIT off the red line. If so I would have started at NE Aikikai !

This was all before Aikiweb existed, before websites existed. I think I was still using bitnet or maybe an early form of internet on text oriented VT220
computer terminals (really nifty compared to the VT100's!). VMS mainframes, IBM 80286's sputtering along in DOS 6, Macintosh boxes.
and some guy hadn't yet spread around a new fangled graphical fantastic way of accessing the network something called a web browser.
the days of rec.martial-arts before Aikido-L email list.

Little did I know of Babylon.


Craig
Houston Ki Society

p.s. in my book, a good school lets you be clueless about external politics as long as you want since the focus is always on learning aikido.
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:58 PM   #12
Joezer M.
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Quote:
I am curious as to the thought of those out there making decisions
Well, when I first joined aikido, I didn't know anything about lineages or affiliations... and most new aikidokas I met also knew little or nothing about both... guess I too agree with "finding a sensei who can teach you"


Regards,
Joezer
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:24 PM   #13
villrg0a
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

From my observation at our dojo, to attract students, i believe you can put them in this order:

Good Demo
Dojo enviroment and equipment (i.g. mats..)
Lineage or style being taught (most of them are looking for aikikai)
Affiliation (not important but students do really ask)

But making them stay is a different story.
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Old 07-16-2004, 03:37 AM   #14
Bronson
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

My tai chi instructor used to say something like "I don't try to get students in the door or chase them down when they leave. I do what I do and the people that want to do it will find me."

...or something like that anyway

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:40 PM   #15
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
I had no clue from reading that article that there was more than one aikido organization or even what aikido organization was beyond the school. For about the first 6 months, I was not really aware of anything beyond the school I was learning aikido at. At the time, there really wasn't any other school in that town. Fortunately, it turned out really well.
I might have started earlier when I was living in Boston, because I was vaguely aware of aikido and that a school existed near MIT off the red line. If so I would have started at NE Aikikai!
p.s. in my book, a good school lets you be clueless about external politics as long as you want since the focus is always on learning aikido.
Would there have been something wrong with starting at the NE Aikikai? From my understanding Kanai Sensei was (God, rest his soul) quite a good instructor. But, I find myself in complete agreement with what you've said. New students to Aikido generally don't know squat about the different styles of Aikido, let alone the different organizations within any particular style. I've seen and heard people refer to themselves as 1st Generation or 2nd Generation students of O Sensei in order to hype themselves up. It really doesn't amount to much. The instructor is either a good instructor or their not. Craig's postscript is right on, good schools should really only be focused on their Aikido practice.
I'm fortunate not to have any affiliation with an organization in the US. I do have close ties where I live. I can understand someone who is ranked from an organization wanting to stay within the same organization when relocating to another city. Nothing wrong with that, but it leaves you with the small dilemma of what to do if the only dojo in your new area from your organization sucks. Do you stay and hope that you can work with the instructor to make the dojo better, or do you abandon that dojo and organization to find a new instructor? Or, what happens if your organizations dojo only has a Yondan, but there is a Hachidan or Shihan from another organization in the same city? My opinion, loyalty to an organization really doesn't come into play until you are Yudansha. At that point you've vested serious time and energy into that particular dojo, and subsequently into that organization. Differing student personalities aside, you really don't know the heart of your own organization until you've spent the requisite time there.

Joe
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Old 11-20-2004, 01:25 PM   #16
tenshinaikidoka
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

This may be slightly off the subject, however I will ask anyway. If your affiliated with the Aikikai, and you visit another dojo (say on vacation/out of town) would that dojo, which is under Aikikai affiliation recognize your rank? This is assuming that you are not in the same organization as the school your visiting, just under the Aikikai umbrella.

Sorry if this sounds dumb, but when I travel to other states for vacations or whatever I wanted to start going to other schools and training, just to expand my knowledge.
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:45 PM   #17
tedehara
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Quote:
Bill Ross wrote:
I suppose my question is, Which should dominate one's decision to join a Dojo? I am curious as to the impact of each one of you on your choice, locality excluded.
IE you live in large metro area, one school is founded by an independent student of O' Sensei and the other is an Aikikai (as Orthodox as it gets). Why do you chose what you do?
There are four major Aikikai dojos in Chicago, with about two miles between themselves. However I chose a dojo because of the instructor. I didn't care about lineage or affiliation. I just chose a place I thought I could learn at. So my answer would be neither.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 11-20-2004, 06:57 PM   #18
rob_liberti
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

I think the majority of new students join a dojo primarily becuase it is close to their house. They cannot possibly care about affiliation or keito. Later they will learn that neither matters in the end because both get corrupted very easily.

If you want to attract students, be humble, teach solid fundamentals, keep your prices fair (offer good value), and keep learning yourself.

If you want to retain students, make sure the members of the dojo understand that it is their responsbility to actively preserve the peace and collaborate.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 11-20-2004 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 11-22-2004, 07:47 PM   #19
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Quote:
Brandon Needham wrote:
This may be slightly off the subject, however I will ask anyway. If you're affiliated with the Aikikai, and you visit another dojo (say on vacation/out of town) would that dojo, which is under Aikikai affiliation recognize your rank? This is assuming that you are not in the same organization as the school your visiting, just under the Aikikai umbrella. Sorry if this sounds dumb, but when I travel to other states for vacations or whatever I wanted to start going to other schools and training, just to expand my knowledge.
Not a dumb question at all. Most places you visit will take your ranking at face value. If you got your Dan ranking through the Aikikai you should have a little booklet and membership card that you can take with you to verify your Dan status at Aikikai headquarters in Japan. I've traveled back to the US on numerous occasions and as of yet, have not been challenged to prove my rank. Different places however, do things differently. So, don't be offended if they ask for verification or ask you not to wear your hakama or whatever. Just practice, take what you can, and if you don't like it, don't come back….

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I think the majority of new students join a dojo primarily because it is close to their house. They cannot possibly care about affiliation or keito. Later they will learn that neither matters in the end because both get corrupted very easily….Rob
Here's an interesting story for you. I was in Japan, spending about two weeks with Kobayashi Yasuo Sensei (8th Dan, Shihan for Kobayashi Dojos and Uchideshi for O'Sensei). We were watching him and his Uchideshi teach a children's class. One of my friends who were traveling with me, named Brian was talking to one of the mothers of one of the kids. Now, this is a Japanese woman and all the children are Japanese in the class. Brian was explaining to her that Kobayashi Sensei is one of the top ranked Aikido instructors in the world and had been instructing Aikido for over 30 years and had dojos affiliated with him all over the world. She was really surprised by this information. Apparently, the only thing that affected her decision to enroll her daughter in the class is the location. Kobayashi Sensei's dojo is only a short walk from her house. She apparently had never heard any of the other information before. Two, point to take away from this. One, proximity of access is important for most beginners and the other stuff is generally learned later and two, even Kobayashi Sensei with over 50 yrs of Aikido practice and over 30 yrs of teaching doesn't make an issue of the credentials when attracting new students. Ultimately, it is how you practice that brings in and keeps your students, not who you learned from….
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Old 11-22-2004, 09:42 PM   #20
rob_liberti
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Yep, Kobayashi in the East and Suganuma in the West - both are super successful and one of the main reasons is that their dojos are everywhere (in Japan).
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:49 PM   #21
SteveTrinkle
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Hello Rob,
This is Steve from AKI in Pennsylvania. It's been some time...
I don't know if you remember Kirisawa Sensei from Kamakura? He's been with us in PA for the last year - really fun.
I hope all is well with you! I'd like to come visit you sometime.

'Till then,
Steve
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:01 AM   #22
Williamross77
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

GREAT!
MAYBE aikiweb can offer a forum just for instructors now, would thatbe possible?
great feed back!
DOMO

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:20 PM   #23
MM
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

I remember when I was around 9 that I wanted to study Aikido. The closest Aikido dojo was 35 miles away and at 9, that is half a world away. But I always kept Aikido close to my heart and it took me many years and many trials at other martial arts to finally find the right school. I was 24 by then but it was well worth the wait.

Bill, I think the answer is that students will find a dojo for their own reasons. What you have to remember is that each student is on their own path and your dojo may not be where they want to travel. But every now and then, a student will choose your dojo as part of his/her life. But you may never know that information until after some time.

I finally picked my first Aikido dojo from the phone book. I still remember that first call but I sure don't remember my first visit. And at that point, anything within 50 miles was worth looking at. Distance wasn't a factor. The sensei, the students, and how the classes were run (was there laughing or was it all grim faces) were the main factors.

Hope that helps.
Mark
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Old 02-06-2005, 12:05 AM   #24
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I think the majority of new students join a dojo primarily becuase it is close to their house. They cannot possibly care about affiliation or keito. Later they will learn that neither matters in the end because both get corrupted very easily.

If you want to attract students, be humble, teach solid fundamentals, keep your prices fair (offer good value), and keep learning yourself.

If you want to retain students, make sure the members of the dojo understand that it is their responsbility to actively preserve the peace and collaborate.

Rob
I agree with Rob...as for the new students...you really couldn't expect them to know the difference in either because...well...they are new!...And "exerienced" students will, if taught to be open, won't really care where they study as long as they learn aikido...

Bryce
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:57 AM   #25
Anat Amitay
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Re: Lineage vs Affiliation, Which?

I'm not THAT much time in Aikido, and I do remember my first class. My teacher let's people try out a free class since he believes "seeing" is not the same as "feeling" in Aikido.
I stayed because I enjoyed the class. Even though I was the only girl there, everyone made me feel welcome and I liked the dynamics of the group.
As someone who has done a few years of Aikido, I know that I will not learn Aikido under any circumstances. I have seen Senseis with many years of experience, but with all due respect, my feet will not touch their mat.
I believe a student needs to find the right teacher for him/her. Not everyone will like the same styles, not everyone will like the same groups, but does who want to learn will find the right place for them.
Anat
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