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#415177 - 01/29/09 11:34 AM Opinion Validation
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
So my wife and I are thinking of taking Aikido classes. Her background is some Tai-bo and of course some of what I have taught her. My background is, well to keep it simple I am proficient in Ninjitsu and Western Boxing and have some experience in several other martial arts. Been training on and off for about 20 years.

Anyway been researching a bit about Aikido, and I think the principles of balance, harmony, and peaceful conflict resolution resonate well with where I am in life now and what would benefit my wife and I. I also like the idea of being able to start something in essence that is new from the beginning together with her.

If anyone here is from the Raleigh NC area we have found that the White Tiger Dojo offers Aikido classes and a preschool program (non-descript art) that allows us to make the dojo experience a family thing. They seem to be the only place in the area that offers such a combination as most Aikido schools list the youngest starting age in the 7-8 year range. It seems a bit McDojo for me but for now it would at least make a suitable starting point.

Anyway our goals for it are some exercise and a good stress release activity to share. As well of course with the general benefits most martial arts practice entails.

So to sum if anyone thinks I am on the right page and of the right mindset approaching this it would be good to know and of course if anyone local has experience with this dojo and/or the instructors that would be good as well.

Thanks,
Ken

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#415178 - 01/29/09 12:34 PM Re: Opinion Validation [Re: TheKen]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
I'm not an expert, but I think your mindset for entering into Aikido is excellent. The key thing is not to let your expectations become too great, because if you do it is likely they will be unmet. Usually those who stick with Aikido are those that have little expectation beyond the basics of the art (harmony, balance, conflict resolution). So, yes, I think your mindset is great.

I don't live in Raleigh, but if this is the place, run out of White Tiger, that you are thinking of attending:

http://raleighaikido.com/

Then it seems legitimate. The only thing that kind of bothers me is the one year contract thing, but other than that their rates are reasonable.

However, the one thing I'd like to point out is Aikido can be taught in very different ways. I would strongly suggest you visit all the dojos in your area before deciding on one in particular.

This one here looks particularly interesting, as they also teach the arts of Iaido and Jodo, both of which are beneficial to Aikido:

http://www.choshinkan.com/

The students of Toyoda Sensei are known to have pretty effective Aikido in general, so I wouldn't pass that dojo over if it is close by enough to get to.

Not saying the first dojo isn't good. Just that I would check out them both and see how well they fit you and your wife.

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/29/09 12:59 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#415179 - 01/29/09 01:43 PM Re: Opinion Validation [Re: Ames]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
I think the only expectations we have are that we would be able to make this an enjoyable family activity that will improve our overall mindset, physical fitness, and general balance, physical and otherwise.

The first school you mention is the one I am referring to. The bonus of that location is a childrens program, albeit not in Aikido, but still involves tumbling and such things to make it "one stop shopping".

The former school you mention is a bit too far though in our present location. Although we work in downtown Raleigh we live SE of the city in Johnston County and to travel to Durham which is NW of Raleigh would be over an hour each way without traffic.

Thank you for the information. I consider the school in question now a starting place mainly due to our kids ages to keep it a family function. In the years to come I expect us to move on to a different dojo. A lot depends on how our kids grow in the martial arts and if they feel Aikido is right for them.

Ken

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#415180 - 01/29/09 04:26 PM Re: Opinion Validation [Re: TheKen]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Well location is a big concern. Especially when it comes to getting the kids there on time. Go and check it out and let us know how it goes.

And there might be no need to switch dojo's in the future, as the one close by could be great. I was just suggesting to look around before signing a contract. But if there really only in one option, give it a shot.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#415181 - 01/29/09 04:46 PM Re: Opinion Validation [Re: Ames]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
We intend to observe a class first. I believe they have a free trial setup as well. They are not persay the closest, but they are among the closer and the only that offers the family combination of classes we are looking for. When the kids get older there will of course be more options. I will provide feedback when I have some for it. Right now we are waiting to hear back on some questions we asked of the school. Thanks for the input.

Despite my past dojo experience a new one is exciting. The nice thing is that my wife and I can start at square one and have the journey together. One might assume that my past experience may help me excel a little bit better, but in the nature of what I have been reading on Aikido that should all be moot, especially considering our goals.

One thing I do notice coming from Ninjitsu is the similarity particularly with the Wind attitude ok Ninjitsu with much of Aikido's circular motions. Also many of the joint lock basics are similar. Just an observation at this point.

Ken

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#415182 - 01/29/09 05:06 PM Re: Opinion Validation [Re: TheKen]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
There will, of course, be many differences, but I think it is safe to say your past training in the locking methods of ninjutsu will help. The footwork will be fairly different though, among other things.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#415183 - 01/29/09 05:19 PM Re: Opinion Validation [Re: Ames]
TheKen Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 45
No doubt, again why I look forward to not just the additions to the proverbial "tool box" but also just immersing myself back in the dojo environment learning something new.

Incidentally doing some research online it is amazing the amount of uneducated opinions there are on martial arts in general. The Aikido critiques I see and the amazing volume of them that seem to come from guys who watch way too much UFC. I would wager you ask any UFC fighter and they would tell you as many martial arts masters would that anything you add to your "tool box" can only benefit you.

The uneducated opinions I am referring to are not sourced from this site. Yahoo Answers has been particularly amusing though.

Ken

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