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Old 05-09-2005, 12:12 AM   #1
ShugyoSystems
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Unhappy Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Hey There Melburnians

I've just recently moved here from interstate and I've been looking for a new dojo for some time now... I'm hoping that someone can give me the hot tip on where to go.

I'm having a hard time finding a dojo because I have a few specific requirements:

1) I want to be able to train 7 days a week. I work shifts, overtime and on-call and so I may or may not be available on any given day. Besides, to be honest, given the opportunity, I will train 7 days a week. I'm an Aiki-jun-ki

2) I want a dojo affiliated with a major organisation because I've moved 4 times in the last ten years and every time I move interstate I join a new school and it's back to white belt for me... It's getting a little frustrating :\ I

3) A sizable dojo. A few that I've seen have been top classes with top teachers but the dojo have been smaller than my bedroom, and as a result the class basically stand by and watch while two or sometimes four others practice. I'm used to a dojo the size of two full basketball/netball courts (Jan de Jong in Perth if anyone knows of it) and I would think that in a place like Melbourne there would be something even better? I want to throw and be thrown without worrying about hitting some poor kid's head, or my own, on the wall!

4) No separatism/elitism within the school. I'm tired of being separated from higher/lower experienced students. It's no good, and the only reason it's happening is because the dojo is simply too small to fit everyone. I want to be able to learn from those more talented than I, and I'd like those less talented to be able to learn from me... And another thing - Hakama. A quick search around here will point to many a reference to Osensei claiming that training was to be done in hakama, and not just Gi(I believe he referred to the dogi as 'underwear'?)... And yet the majority (dare I say ALL?) of dojo which claim to follow the style of Osensei will not allow anyone sub-yudansha to wear the hakama. Now me personally, I've been studying MA's for 7 years now, and much of it has been done wearing hakama.I feel uncomfortable having it removed, and I really don't see why I shouldn't wear it. I mean, it has been argued that it hides poor leg movements, but if that's really the case then they would offer to allow me to wear it after having confirmed that my footwork is all good. But I'm always confronted with "only black belts get to wear them"... If it's a matter of 'rank', well sheeet, people, what do you want, a medal? Crikey it's just a pair of pants, not a status symbol. The worst thing about those schools claiming that it is a matter of 'rank', is that they inevitably claim allegiance to the way of Osensei, and yet haven't done even basic homework about it. I don't want to go to a school to learn bad habits from those who haven't yet learned for themselves!

Help me! I'm lost! I just *know* that somewhere in this magnificent city is a huge dojo with dozens of happy friendly students who have done their homework and follow the right way, not the way everyone else does it. Please someone tell me where!

Desperate Todd, the rusty Aikidoka
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:15 AM   #2
Colbs
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Howdy Todd,

There really isn't any Dojos that I know of that are full time, most are 4-5 days in the evenings (some have weekend classes).

There are a few choices that fit your criteria to varying degrees (and in no particular order):

Joe Thambu - Yoshinkan Aikido (http://www.aikidoshudokan.com/) - bloody good from all reports although I haven't seen him teach yet (will soon, seminar coming up :P ), not sure how big his joint is.

Michael Giannone - Iwama Aikido (http://www.riaiaiki.com.au/) - My dojo of choice, Michael is an excellent teacher, but is only a Nidan (under Mic Marelli Sensei from sydney). The dojo is only a few years old, and relatively junior, but the atmosphere is very friendly and open.

Sonny Rehe - Iwama Aikido... Dojo is in fitzroy, kind of small and cramped, but has a generally more experienced level of deshi. Not sure what his contact details are unfortunately. I've been to a seminar or two with guys from here (one was at the dojo) and they're a tops bunch, not sure how open the atmosphere is during classes though (I haven't seen any), but I can't imagine it being anything other than constructive.

There are some others around like Barry Knight et. al. but I haven't seen any of their classes or heard much about them so I can't comment...

There really aren't many large dojos in melbourne, it's just too hard to pay the rent to have a small class in a large space... The biggest is Field Aikido (http://www.martial.com.au) but it won't meet your requirement for no elitism within the school, it's heavily 'ranked' and has a more closed atmosphere than most.

I have heard of your old dojo and it's definitely an exception, in part probably because of the way, way lower land values in Perth, inner city melbourne is a nightmare for rent so almost all dojos will be pushed for space.
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:18 AM   #3
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Um, here goes.

Aikido Shudokan teaches Yoshinkan Aikido.
The head instructor is Sensei Joe Thambu, 6th dan IYAF.

It has classes 6 days a week. Lunch classes at the main dojo are general, and there are "junior" (5th kyu and below but you'll usually get some yudansha) and "senior" (4th kyu and above) classes every week night and on Saturdays. Ranks starts at 9th kyu, so some of the "juniors" have still been training for a little while. The smaller satelite dojos hold classes 2-3 days a week.
At a guess, there are probably 60 or so adults regularly training at the main dojo, and another 20 or so between the satelite dojo.
The main dojo is about 9-10 tatami long by 9 wide, so a fairly large mat area.
As for hakama, students don't wear them, even yudansha. Only the instructor gets to wear one. So maybe not what you wanted, but at least an even playing field.
Not sure how many schools in general will let you dictate your own dress code though...

If you want more info, try www.aikidoshudokan.com

Cheers,
Stuart.

Last edited by stuartjvnorton : 05-09-2005 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:21 AM   #4
t_muraoka
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Aikido Shudokan (http://www.aikidoshudokan.com/) is a fantastic dojo. I used to train there until I moved overseas but will train there again when I return. The instruction is of the highest standard and people are very relaxed and friendly. The mat space is not two basketball court's worth but it's large enough and very rarely is it tight for room.

Hakama are generally only worn on special occasions. Often, even the instructor doesn't wear one, so it's not really an issue of rank :-)
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:26 AM   #5
Colbs
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

There ya go - you blink and two of Thambu Sensei's students jump in :P

Shouldn't you guys be working or something... I know I should be *cough*
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Old 05-09-2005, 04:16 AM   #6
ShugyoSystems
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Thanks for the words guys....

Anyone else have any advice?
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Old 05-09-2005, 06:29 AM   #7
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Have you tried the dojo search function on this site?

Ignatius
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:05 AM   #8
ShugyoSystems
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Fraid so... It's only after visiting either the dojo themselves, calling and asking questions, or viewing images on the websites (that speak for themselves, for eg. class photos with only yudansha in hakama), that I've decided to ask on this forum... I'm in desperation mode right now!

I should add that there are a few that I'm still getting around to visiting, but they are few, and I've done all the major schools. I sadly doubt that the minors will have the full-on facilities I'm searching for...
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:07 PM   #9
Colbs
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

It's a simple fact of life that in order to pay rent you have to have a certain number of students, you can turn that into a student per square foot calculation if you like - basically, in melbourne, due to the higher prices of rent/land value you will find a higher student per square foot ratio than you were used to in Perth.

There are only a couple dojos that have large class sizes, Joe Thambu's and Field's being probably the two most well known, I don't know how Thambu Sensei runs his classes, but from what I've heard it is much more likely to meet your requirements than Field's will (I trained at Field's for a while).

You will generally find that the smaller dojos are more likely to have the atmosphere you seem to be looking for - an open atmosphere where rank isn't important and everyone is just there to learn.

Regarding wearing a hakama, everyone knows where you're coming from, but most styles have created their own set of "rules" for wearing them. In most dojos you will find that they are only worn by yudansha, but then, just like most people don't care if they have to wear them, perhaps you should care less if you don't wear one, in the end it's just training. Don't limit yourself based on that rule, it would be silly for someone to lose out on studying with the person they find best able to teach them simply because they didn't like the uniform...

In short, you will not find exactly what you're looking for - but what is life other than a whole string of compromises?

The only advice I can give you if you're running out of options is to ignore everything else other than the instructor, choose the one who you believe you will learn the most from everything else is superficial.
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:37 PM   #10
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Yeah, what Colbs said....just put up and train. Does it matter whether you wear a damn skirt or not? Jan de Jong may have done aikido, but the core of his "style" is traditional jujitsu, and although it may be true that the people in Perth may wear a hakama in accordance with jujitsu tradition, as they do in John Bear's Meidokan dojo in Queanbeyan, as far as I know, Jan de Jong's students here in Brisbane do not wear one.

When in Rome....

Ignatius
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:17 PM   #11
ShugyoSystems
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Heh this is really depressing...

I understand the math of it all... What I don't understand is why some of these organisations don't join up for the better of the community (ha! jeez I'm funny. Yes I do...Fame and fortune )

The concept that Field has a large dojo, well, has just pummeled my hopes squarely into the mat... That was the first dojo I went to and I walked out 3/4 of the way through the class, extremely disappointed (Sorry guys, just being honest!). My original post, referring to the class sitting and watching, was talking about Field... The place was tiny! The way I (and the math) see it is this. My armspan is 2 metres. Uke's armspan is two metres. In order to get a full armspan between us with full range of motion we need a good 4 square metres each. That's 8m2 for each pair in the class... And that's if we don't move our feet. Expand to twice that space to make room for throws and yes, I'm asking too much. Such is the capitalist world in which we live

However while I'm on the gripe about being poorly instructed, the thing that eventually made me leave was watching two yudansha walking round the class instructing students on the correct grip on the sword, and describing the same thing as each other, and yet using different grips to each other while demonstrating - one following their instuctions, one not, and confusing the heck out of a group of three whitebelts. This is not how I want to be taught... It was only after I left, and hung my head in embarassment on behalf of the martial art which I had long spoken highly of, and just shown to my girlfriend and a long time close friend for the first time, that the mate asked me "Is it usually that quiet? most of the class spent most of the night sitting down watching... Was it just me or was there not enough room for everyone?, and my girlfriend said "well for an art that you claim to be all spiritual, I thought the meditation you've told me about before and after class would have been longer than like 30 seconds". That's when I realised that I should have had faith in my feelings and that I wasn't just being an elitist.

Quote:
Regarding wearing a hakama, everyone knows where you're coming from, but most styles have created their own set of "rules" for wearing them. In most dojos you will find that they are only worn by yudansha, but then, just like most people don't care if they have to wear them, perhaps you should care less if you don't wear one, in the end it's just training. Don't limit yourself based on that rule, it would be silly for someone to lose out on studying with the person they find best able to teach them simply because they didn't like the uniform...
I don't mean to be rude, but I couldn't disagree more with a bunch of things in there. Aikido is an extremely spiritual thing for me, and to claim the significance of the way that the dojo treats what I consider to be my soul as something that should be warped to suit their whim, that it's "just training", cuts a little deep. It's more than a uniform man... It's a representation of things which I hold very dear...

A few pertinent quotes and info that you probably already know:

The 7 folds in the hakama (5 in the front, 2 in the back) is said to have the following symbolic meaning:

"They symbolize the seven virtues of budo," O Sensei said. "These are jin (benevolence), gi (honor or justice), rei (courtesy and etiquette), chi (wisdom, intelligence), shin (sincerity), chu (loyalty), and koh (piety). We find these qualities in the distinguished samurai of the past. The hakama prompts us to reflect on the nature of true bushido. Wearing it symbolizes traditions that have been passed down to us from generation to generation. Aikido is born of the bushido spirit of Japan, and in our practice we must strive to polish the seven traditional virtues."

O Sensei was rather emphatic that EVERYONE wear the hakama, but he came from a time/culture not too far from wearing hakama as standard formal wear.

"Most of the students were too poor to buy a hakama but it was required to wear one. If they couldn't get one from an older relative, they would take the cover off an old futon, cut it, dye it, and give it to a seamstress to make into a hakama.

- Saito Sensei

"In postwar Japan many things were hard to get, including cloth. Because of the shortages, we trained without hakama. We tried to make hakama from air-raid blackout curtains but because the curtains had been hanging in the sun for years, theknees turned to dust as soon as we started doing suwariwaza. We were constantly patching these hakama. It was under those conditions that someone came up with a suggestion: "Why don't we just say that it's okay not to wear a hakama until you're shodan?" This idea was put forward as a temporary policy to avoid expense. The idea behind accepting the suggestion had nothing to do with the hakama being a symbol for dan ranking."

- Shigenobu Okumura Sensei, "Aikido Today Magazine" #41


If we can allow the importance of the hakama to fade, perhaps we will begin to allow things fundamental to the spirit of Aikido to slip into oblivion as well. If, on the other hand, we are faithful to O Sensei's wishes regarding our practice dress, our spirits may be more faithful to the dream to which he dedicated his life."

- Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, "The Principles Of Aikido"

Check out the full version at http://www.shindai.com/articles/hakama.htm if you haven't seen these before... There's also much more of course, but this gets it in a nutshell...


So maybe after reading this you'll see why the hakama is important to me: Respect for OSensei, the old ways, and my spirituality.

Call me an old fashioned hippy but that's me

I wonder whether a dojo who does not know about, or care about, such things is a dojo I want to learn from.

I would like to make it clear that I am not taking shots at anyone here, and I am not trying to argue with anyone, it's just that I feel maybe my reasons for wearing hakama, and finding a dojo that encourages it, are misunderstood
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:03 AM   #12
Charlie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Todd Worth wrote:
... If it's a matter of 'rank', well sheeet, people, what do you want, a medal? Crikey it's just a pair of pants, not a status symbol...
Quote:
Todd Worth wrote:
I don't mean to be rude, but I couldn't disagree more with a bunch of things in there. Aikido is an extremely spiritual thing for me, and to claim the significance of the way that the dojo treats what I consider to be my soul as something that should be warped to suit their whim, that it's "just training", cuts a little deep. It's more than a uniform man... It's a representation of things which I hold very dear...

Well which is it?

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:04 AM   #13
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Not sure how many schools anywhere would cater to all of your needs. Sounds like quite a list.
Maybe you need to split them into "deal-breakers" and "nice to haves" and re-evaluate the places you've been.
Best of luck though, and I hope you find a place you're happy with.

Cheers,
Stuart.
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:25 AM   #14
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

In Yoshinkan its pretty rare for hakama to be worn except in official functions and demos. Instructors - including hombu dojo instructors - don't always wear them. Hakama hide the teaching of body movement, which is pretty important when showing people what to do...so instead of hiking up the skirt everytime you want to show a point we don't wear 'em....

....more of a stylistic culture than a tradition...or maybe not. I don't know. But I can't stand 'em, so I guess I follow this tradition <wry grin>

FWIW,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:42 AM   #15
ShugyoSystems
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Charles Burmeister wrote:
Well which is it?
I was wondering as I typed, who would be first to take those out of context

It's both mate...

It's NOT a status symbol

It IS a spiritual symbol


Hope that clears it up for you
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:04 AM   #16
Charlie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

It never was unclear for me in the first place and I don't feel that I took it out of context. In presenting your quote, I didn't want to overburdon the next reader with a bunch of redundancy.

It is a valid question though. How can something that you deem so important to your spiritual self on the flip side be "just a pair of pants"? Seems kind of convenient for your arguement.

If the hakama is so important to your study that you can't do with out it, more power to you and good luck to you. My only advice would be to study where ever as hard as you can, progress as best as you can...and open up your own place and use what ever rules you want.

Regards,

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:18 AM   #17
ShugyoSystems
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Charles Burmeister wrote:
It never was unclear for me in the first place and I don't feel that I took it out of context. In presenting your quote, I didn't want to overburdon the next reader with a bunch of redundancy.

It is a valid question though. How can something that you deem so important to your spiritual self on the flip side be "just a pair of pants"? Seems kind of convenient for your arguement.

If the hakama is so important to your study that you can't do with out it, more power to you and good luck to you. My only advice would be to study where ever as hard as you can, progress as best as you can...and open up your own place and use what ever rules you want.

Regards,
If you didn't feel it was unclear, perhaps you clearly misunderstood

I already answered that question... As a status symbol, it is just a pair of pants. As a spiritual symbol (and mark of respect to the founder's wishes as mentioned earlier etc..), it is far more. Hopefully this will demonstrate the context to you that you removed...
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:26 AM   #18
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

I find it hard to believe that a simple hakama can carry so much spiritual symbolism. Spirituality isn't in the external "trappings", it's inside you. Would you feel less "spiritual" if you were attacked in the street, without your hakama?

The fact that you are so hung up on it, really means one thing - you're not ready for it.

Indeed, good luck!

Ignatius
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:27 AM   #19
ShugyoSystems
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Stuart Norton wrote:
Not sure how many schools anywhere would cater to all of your needs. Sounds like quite a list.
Maybe you need to split them into "deal-breakers" and "nice to haves" and re-evaluate the places you've been.
Best of luck though, and I hope you find a place you're happy with.

Cheers,
Stuart.
Thanks Stuart, I appreciate your being constructive about this... Seems I've riled a few people up here

I completely agree with you on this one... Alas, I have already done just that... You should see the length of the "nice-to-haves" list! It's a full A4 page... I'm not that optimistic! hehehehe

In all honesty though, If I could find 1 and 4 on my list then I'd probably settle for that... Geez right now I'm at a point where I'm trying to decide whether to give up entirely
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:56 AM   #20
ShugyoSystems
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
I find it hard to believe that a simple hakama can carry so much spiritual symbolism. Spirituality isn't in the external "trappings", it's inside you. Would you feel less "spiritual" if you were attacked in the street, without your hakama?

The fact that you are so hung up on it, really means one thing - you're not ready for it.

Indeed, good luck!
If only you could tell that to OSensei! I only wish that I could say that I knew him personally, but from every indication I have been able to find, I doubt that he would concur with you, and I feel that to honour him is my duty...

And this is what I'm saying... It's not just that I'm "hung up" on the hakama, I'm also hung up on the fact that noone else seems to care at all....As I said earlier, I have never been able to find any evidence that OSensei was anything but pro-hakama, in fact all evidence I have found indicates that he was strictly 'hakama or no training'. Please correct me if I have been misinformed...

This makes me wonder as to the dedication of the school I would be attending if they do not support their Master's way. I do understand that there are other concerns involved. For example if I were running my own school, I certainly would not turn away the poor child of a single mother who can barely afford to eat, simply because they could not afford a hakama. I understand that in order to improve the physical movements of the students, sometimes the hakama can be an impediment, however I cannot say that I feel the physical learning is more important than the spiritual learning...

Still, I wonder whether OSensei would say that I would be better to train alone/not at all, than to train in a manner going against his tradition. We may never know.

Regarding spirituality, I'm not talking about being attacked on the street, I'm talking about training in the dojo.... My spirituality whilst being attacked on the street can be manifested in innumerable ways, so I won't even start that list... But while in the dojo, or training alone or with friends practicing our form in the park, or meditating, etc etc, I feel that to do these things to 100%, is my duty, and to do so 100%, means not cutting corners... I wouldn't skip bowing in and out, I wouldn't skip the image of OSensei, I wouldn't skip the Kannon Sutra, and I wouldn't skip the hakama...

It's a shame that I'm being so misunderstood here and that instead of trying to help or come to an understanding, most replies are trying to shoot me down. I am a fellow aikidoka, perhaps you may even consider me a friend as I would you...Surely though, I am certainly not an enemy unless you choose for me to be, and I wonder why I'm being treated as though I am.

I dare say I'll need that luck, so thankyou

Edit: Changed "with friends doing forms " to "with friends practicing our form " to clear my words up... Didn't want to sound like I was talking about kata, lord knows I'm already misunderstod enough!

Last edited by ShugyoSystems : 05-10-2005 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:04 AM   #21
Charlie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Just seems strange that a self professed "old hippie" would be going on about an item that (according to you and maybe others) symbolizes the belief systems of a militant class!

An answer has been presented to you already. Looks like you have two main choices. One of the choices you have already ruled out do to your own observations. The second choice looks to be a nice fit according to the list that you provided. HOWEVER, you won't be wearing a hakama in Thambu sensei's dojo. So, which is more important to you? Learning aikido or doing it while wearing a hakama.

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:29 AM   #22
Nick Simpson
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Not trying to shoot you down mate, I think that in a way what your striving for/towards is admirable, but just something to perhaps consider:

"I understand that in order to improve the physical movements of the students, sometimes the hakama can be an impediment, however I cannot say that I feel the physical learning is more important than the spiritual learning..." - Todd Worth.

I think that in this case your particular views toward the hakama are currently being an impediment to your training in aikido. whats more important, actually being able to train or a piece of cloth? (I understand that you view the hakama as a 'spiritual item' Todd, so I dont intend any disrespect). If you decide not to train with the above dojo's/people because of this issue, then your missing out on some great opportunitie's...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:31 AM   #23
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Charles Burmeister wrote:
Just seems strange that a self professed "old hippie" would be going on about an item that (according to you and maybe others) symbolizes the belief systems of a militant class!

An answer has been presented to you already. Looks like you have two main choices. One of the choices you have already ruled out do to your own observations. The second choice looks to be a nice fit according to the list that you provided. HOWEVER, you won't be wearing a hakama in Thambu sensei's dojo. So, which is more important to you? Learning aikido or doing it while wearing a hakama.
Hehehe yeh I see what you mean, perhaps I chose my words badly... I actually said "old fashioned hippy", and what I meant (jokingly I might add, hence the smiley) was that I tend to not follow new fashions, instead opting for older values such as opening doors for people, saying please and thankyou and excuse me when shuffling by people on the train and not pushing and shoving in a race to the seats at the expense of others, saying "pardon me" when I pass wind in public, "Ladies first" etc - chivalry for lack of a better term; and the hippy bit is referring to the fact that I'm very spiritually inclined... Maybe it's different where you are, but around me, most people who are spiritually inclined these days get called a "hippy". I didn't take into account that the colloquial (slang) value of the term is most likely different in other circles. Apologies for the confusion.

As for your saying "So, which is more important to you? Learning aikido or doing it while wearing a hakama" Well, I must admit that I'm still hoping for another option... But you make a good point, and this is what I meant in my previous post where I stated "Still, I wonder whether OSensei would say that I would be better to train alone/not at all, than to train in a manner going against his tradition. We may never know."

Until very recently, I still held hope that I would not have to make this decision (no hakama or nothing at all), and so I think that I may have to spend some time thinking very seriously about it.

I have to be honest and say that my first inclination would be to visit Yoshinkan as they seem to very very nearly meet the mark. As has been pointed out earlier, at least there is an equality, and when the more formal occasions arise, the more formal dress code is taken up, which seems sensible to me. However I also know that I am not one to keep a secret, as I consider it lying by exclusion, and I fear that my opinion on these matters when voiced would almost certainly offend the seniority of the school, which would mean that I could be a detriment to the school, and I would hate to show disrespect to the school while training with them....

I'd really appreciate advice on this new matter ...
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:51 AM   #24
ShugyoSystems
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 56
Australia
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Thanks Nick, I do see where you're coming from... This thread originated as a 'find me the perfect dojo' thread, but I can see that it has fast become 'You're not going to find it so are you going to take 2nd best or take nothing at all'

I can only accept the reality that there are no Melbourne dojo (or perhaps anywhere) that feel the same way about aikido as I do... Now I have to make a very big decision....

Is studying aikido, minus much of the spiritual side and allegiance to OSensei, better than studying aikido, not at all? Or does the removal of these things remove too much to be accepted? Or can it be endured without disrespecting the school I choose?

It's a tough one. I'm a fairly good fighter (don't mean to have a big head, just saying), so learning self defense means little to me... But the great deal of spiritual learning I have done over the last few years where I have been too poor to pay for training and been suffering from a disabling illness, although very meaningful, seems inbalanced without the physical side...

I'm lost

But I really appreciate your post. I agree with all that you say, and I don't take any disrespect, I can see what you mean and I thank you for your sensitivity
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:24 AM   #25
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Any time Todd, I really do hope you find what your looking for. I know that the ASU (have I got that right?) let everyone wear hakama and they are also aikikai affiliated, unfortuantely they are the north american organisation, not sure if they have an austrailian branch/equivalent. if your interested in the spiritual side of aikido primarily then you could try the ki society out?

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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