Tag Archives: Dojo

A question came up on social media recently that I answered but thought it was important enough to expand on that answer in a different forum. The question was lengthy but essentially boiled down to, ‘Why are most aikido dojo’s run poorly, what is the solution to prevent them from closing?’ This prompted an interesting discussion in many ways. Naturally I have my own opinions on this and none of the arguments made against it were, to me, convincing.  As I see the problem the reason is, actually, pretty simple.…

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Let’s consider for a moment what the standard aikido teaching looks like. It’s a fairly uniform thing and I’ve genuinely never seen anything different to this. For the record I’ve trained in at least 8 different countries, over a period exceeding 20 years. I find myself wondering if there is a better way to teach. Every aikido student learns in the same way. The instructor calls a halt to training, everybody lines up in seiza. In really big classes they may gather around in a circle. The instructor then demonstrates…

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There seems to be a strange paradox in the world of aikido. Actually there seem to be many but one in particular that will be focused on here. The specific one I’m thinking of is how long it takes you to get a black belt, and what that actually means. This is a topic that comes up with some regularity on social media. New students generally want to know how long it takes to get a black belt. They’re almost always referring to shodan (1st dan) as well. Very few people…

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A question that I get asked a lot is, ‘How do I find a new dojo?’ On the face of it that seems like a bad question to be asked. It sort of implies that my students can’t stand me and want to go somewhere else. Happily this isn’t the case (as far as I know anyway). It’s actually a natural consequence of running a dojo in a university. Every year the most senior students graduate and, in many cases, leave the country to start a life elsewhere. Inevitably this…

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