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Old 12-01-2004, 02:22 PM   #1
Alicia
Location: MA
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Recommend a teacher?

Hello all, I am a newbie on Aikiweb, and a relative newbie to Aikido. I practiced fairly regularly up until recently. I just moved to South Hadley, MA and have no teacher. Can anyone recommend a good teacher in the area? I have emailed some local dojos but am unable to get to their classes because I have no car. If anyone knows of a group "in the closet" who wouldn't mind practicing with a beginner, please pass it on!

Cheers,
Alicia

p.s. as a side note, what are everyone's favorite characteristics of a teacher anyway? ie. what makes a teacher "good"
Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2004, 02:48 PM   #2
sunny liberti
 
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Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

Hi Alicia,

You're pretty near me... The scene around here is great. I'll ask my husband who the guy is in Belchertown. He taught a seminar there and liked them. They are about 10 minutes from you. It will be hard for you to travel without a car, but worth it if you can get to seminars and such. I think everyone is willing to train with beginners. If not, don't bother with them!

May I ask where you trained before?

As for teacher characteristic... I want to know that they are still learning. That covers most issues for me, like arrogance, illegitimate promotions, and delusions of grandeur. There are other things too regarding my personal learning style, but that's the biggie for me.

PM me if you'd like more detail, or help connecting with a dojo!

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 12-01-2004, 02:52 PM   #3
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

Hi Alicia. Have you already tried the "dojo search" link on the left side of this page? It gave me 3 dojos in your area.
As for recommendations of a good teacher, soon you will get a lot of answers telling you "go and visit them, they should be right for you". That pissed me off at first, but now I think that is the only correct answer.
I'm not sure about "favorite characteristics of a teacher". I just felt that mine is right for me...
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:42 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

Quote:
Alicia Murchie wrote:
p.s. as a side note, what are everyone's favorite characteristics of a teacher anyway? ie. what makes a teacher "good"
Thanks!
http://www.aikiweb.com/training/witt1.html might help you plus looking at previous threads

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-02-2004, 09:09 AM   #5
Alicia
Location: MA
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Post Re: Recommend a teacher?

Quote:
Suren Baghdasaryan wrote:
Hi Alicia. Have you already tried the "dojo search" link on the left side of this page? It gave me 3 dojos in your area.
As for recommendations of a good teacher, soon you will get a lot of answers telling you "go and visit them, they should be right for you". That pissed me off at first, but now I think that is the only correct answer.
I'm not sure about "favorite characteristics of a teacher". I just felt that mine is right for me...

Yes, finding a dojo in the area was a prerequisite for where I was going to school. However, I didn't realize that it would be so difficult to get around, or how much of my time would be used for school. I also thought that an Aikido club was already on campus since the other 4 schools in the area have one, and it was just unlisted.
I think ultimately what I'm looking for is a person who would be willing to travel to campus (Mt. Holyoke) and teach a class a couple times a week. I already have gathered a group of people interested in learning Aikido, I just need the instructor.
If that is impossible, I'd be happy with a teacher in the neighborhood who would just train with me. It's been too long, I'm having serious withdrawl.

Cheers,
Alicia
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Old 12-02-2004, 09:24 AM   #6
akiy
 
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

If you have a group of people in your area who is interested in aikido, I would imagine you could find at least one of them or more who is/are willing to share driving responsibilities to get to a dojo.

As far as what makes a good teacher, here's a thread I started a while back on a subject close to what you are asking:

Instructor Qualities/Characteristics

-- Jun

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Old 12-02-2004, 10:50 AM   #7
aikidocapecod
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

I as in South Hadley recently to play golf at the Orchids. A nice golf course and a beautiful area.
I am not quite sure how far you are from the Connecticut area. But there is a Shobu Aikido Dojo in Storrs Ct. Sensei Rob Liberti is a wonderful teacher. The members of his dojo are all quality people.
His teaching style is one of helping the student succeed rather than trying to put himself on display.
It may be too far for you to travel on a regular basis, but a visit now and then will be a delight I am sure.

Good Luck
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:45 AM   #8
spin13
Location: Taito-ku, Toyko
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

Beyond doing a dojo search, keep in mind that Lorraine DiAnne Shihan instructs at a dojo in West Springfield. Based on driving times to both Hadley and West Springfield (from Hartford, CT) I'd guess its only about a 20 minute drive. Considering the skill and the general respect implied with the title of Shihan, she seems worth visiting even if you cannot enroll. I hope to do the same my next chance through Springfield. Enjoy.

-Eric
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Old 12-07-2004, 03:07 PM   #9
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

I'm not certain if the dojo in Belchertown is still open. They weren't an aikido dojo. I met the teacher at a friendship seminar. That teacher does shoshiryu karate - an excellent art form and I highly recommend it. As to aikido in your area, all I can say is the standard please check out the dojos near you and see for yourself what feels right. - Rob
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:39 PM   #10
GaiaM
Dojo: Bend Aiki Martial Arts
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

Alicia,
I am one of the people you emailed on your dojo search. I just remember that we have a member who lives in S. Hadley and comes to the dojo fairly regularly. I can ask him if he would be interested in carpooling/giving you a ride if you wanted to come check us out. I also liked Jun's suggestion that you might find someone from your group who would be willing to drive. Email me at gaia@aikidoofnorthampton.org if you want to talk about it more. There is a lot of talent in the area - I'm sure you can reach it but it will take some time. If you can go by car it's not that far to come.
Good luck and hope to see you soon,
Gaia

___________
Gaia Marrs
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:23 AM   #11
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

I forgot to mention what I think makes a teacher good.

The first thing I used to look for was to see if their are any good students in the dojo. (Sometimes they move off to start their own dojo, so you need to investigate that as well.)

Then I look at the technique itself. If they are consistently directly pushing, pulling, lifting, cranking, yanking, paining, or threatening their partners I say run as fast as you can from that dojo.

Then I look at the collaboration - specifically the ukemi. If it looks artificial to me - like the uke goes there because the uke is supposed to do that and there isn't an honest dialogue between the partners, that concerns me greatly too. Uke should be learning to make judgments about when to continue to attack and when to abandon the attack and roll or whatever. Nage should be learning to make judgments about getting into the place of safety and do throws that are not at the expense of the uke.

Also, the teacher should be able to tell you the name of their teacher and that teacher's teacher back to O-sensei.

Lastly, please ask your teacher if their seminars are open to aikido people from all organizations. (Every once in a while I've been told that I may not attend a seminar because my teacher's current teacher had a big fight with their teacher's teacher like 25+ years ago and so I am not welcome because I teach in that system. Give me a break! The majority of people join dojos because the dojo is close to their house not because they agree with a particular side of a long forgotten argument.) I hope if enough new people ask teachers, maybe it will raise awareness to the idea that "the times they are a changing..." Regardless, a good teacher should not support such rules.

Rob
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:02 PM   #12
psychtech69
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Re: Recommend a teacher?

Hi Alicia,

I have been looking for a reputable school to train at. I think if you do some research on martial arts websites you will probably find a school that meets your needs.
You will also want to look at the instructors background to see if he has extensive training in Aidiko. I think knowing how many years he been in business, the type of person he is; and how his/her students feel about their instructor; I believe is all important when choosing a school.
I think the reason I am having a hard time myself is that I am indecisive when it comes to making decisions!

Vinny
P.S.
let me know if you need help; I really good at research!
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