This is the "boilerplate" response I usually provide when people
ask me for a recommendation of a dojo in their area. -- Jun
I can't give you a recommendation for any dojo in your area, but here
are some suggestions to help you choose a dojo.
Basically, a good yardstick to use if to think if the dojo itself is
some place you want to be practicing for the next five years, probably
at least two to three times a week.
- Go visit all of the dojo in your area within a reasonable driving
distance and observe a few classes at each of them. As aikido is
not just something to be taken up and tossed away like some brief
hobby, I think it's worth the time to do this -- especially if
you're thinking about enrolling your child in a class, for instance.
Never go by the "reputation" of a dojo alone.
- Watch how the teacher interacts with his/her students. Watch how
the students interact with their teacher. Watch how the students
interact with each other. See if you feel comfortable with the way
all of these interactions play out. It's often said that you can
tell the quality of any kind of school by its students...
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask about the school's history
and affiliation. Ask about the teacher's aikido history. Ask about
the teacher's philosophy in doing aikido. See if any of their
answers feels "different" than what you see being practiced and
- Do some research on aikido. Some good sites on the Internet
include the Aikido FAQ http://www.aikidofaq.com and AikiWeb
In any case, you may want to try using the AikiWeb Dojo Search Engine
to look for a dojo in your area:
Hope this helps.