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Old 07-20-2004, 05:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 26
Advice for changing styles early on?

Hello everyone,

I've been reading these Forums, but this is my first post. I'd appreciate some feedback on changing dojos/styles, even though I've only been practicing Aikido for about a month.

Right now, I'm practicing a more spiritual/pacifist form of Aikido, the sensei is real cool, and the other students are cool too. The only problem is that the classes are at difficult times for me and the dojo is pretty far.

I have looked up other Aikido dojos in my area, and there are two that look good that are close-by--one is Yoshinkan Aikido and the other is Tomiki/Shodokan, both of which I gather are less spiritual/pacifistic than the form I'm currently learning, but that may give more practical self-defense skills. (I am interested in both practiced self-defense skills AND spiritual growth.)

Any feedback you have on this question would be much appreciated. I can think of 2 questions: (1) How much does Aikido transfer from style to style and dojo to dojo? and (2) Should I stay where I'm at, regardless of the time/distance issues, simply because it's most important that the students likes the sensei & dojo?

Thanks for your time,

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Old 07-20-2004, 05:47 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,342
Re: Advice for changing styles early on?

I recommend you visit all the dojos, let them know you are curious about maybe joining, watch a couple of classes at each and get on the mat for a class at each one if they let you (and if they don't, I'd wonder). Rank doesn't necessarily transfer easily, but rank really isn't the most important thing. A good fit for YOU is the most important thing, and only you can judge the how important convenience is vs. the feel of the dojo.

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-20-2004, 05:59 PM   #3
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
Re: Advice for changing styles early on?

Hi Peter,

I figured out that class schedule was more important for me than distance. And that was smth that I did not consider in the beginning, so take it also into consideration.
If you apply all the time and distance restrictions and you still have a choice, do what all the others advice - go see them.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:17 PM   #4
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Re: Advice for changing styles early on?

Hi Peter,

My responses:

1. I think that the fact that two styles are similar makes it harder to learn the new one. If you change, I recommend you really try to keep a fresh perspective. My father in law is a shakuhachi (bamboo flute) shihan, and says that the hardest students to teach are those who have started with another teacher and then come to him while still kind of new in the art.

2. I believe that the relationships between teacher/student and student/student constitute one of the most important factors in the success of any person in the martial arts.

I hope it helps!
Charles Hill
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Old 07-21-2004, 08:33 AM   #5
Lyle Laizure
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Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 563
Re: Advice for changing styles early on?

If you are going to change dojos it would be appropriate to talk to your sensei first. If the dojo schedule does not fit into your personal schedule then obviously you have to find someplace to practice. If that means leaving your current style or dojo then so be it. Like Janet mentioned, visit the other dojos first. Any rank obtained should be left behind and you will begin new as well. It is important to go with an empty cup.

Lyle Laizure
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:37 AM   #6
Yann Golanski
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Dojo: York Shodokan Aikido
Location: York, United Kingdom.
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 406
United Kingdom
Re: Advice for changing styles early on?

I'm going to repeat myself but I would go and try both Shodokan and Yoshinkan for a few weeks. Then decide which one is the best for you which include the current one and the two new ones. It's all very personal.

If you tell me where you are in the world, I maybe able to tell you more about the Shodokan guy. Then again, I hardly know them all and if you're outside of the UK forget it!

One thing I would be wary of, is to train at both dojo. Maybe once you have good grounding in one then you can cross-train. Of course, it all depends.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:30 AM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 26
Re: Advice for changing styles early on?

Thanks for all of your advice. I still have some time to make this decision, so I'm going to check out the other dojos. Right now, I'm thinking that I'm going to stay with my current dojo/sensei until I become much more practiced in aikido.
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Old 07-21-2004, 11:44 AM   #8
Gareth Hinds
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Watertown, MA
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 28
Re: Advice for changing styles early on?

If you've only been practicing a month, don't sweat these issues. You haven't learned anything in an ingrained way yet, and I don't think anybody expects a student to be committed to the school that early in their training.
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