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    "Kickstarting" a dojo

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    JakubMB

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    "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:44 am

    So I was contemplating the idea of posting this here for a while. I used to follow the original judoforum for many years and learned a lot during that time. Now I can see some wise men from there move here. So I want to ask for your educated opinion and maybe some advice.

    I moved back to my home town almost 3 years ago and since that time had little exposition to judo (namely one training session with Paweł Nastula for the TV Very Happy), as the local club got closed. It was due to alcohol problems of the only instructor. I started doing some rugby to kill time and really enjoyed it, but some time ago I realised judo is what I really want and need. I started looking for a club. It turned out the closest 3 clubs are 50 km away. I contacted one of those clubs. The sensei there (5 dan, and a very nice guy) started to encourage me to come. Unfortunately driving 2-3 times a week to train would ruin my budget. I work as a librarian, so I don't earn too much... The instructor started encouraging me to organise a group to train in my town. It would be organised like that : the most active group of people would go to the club each week to learn there and we would organise two or three more sessions where we live and drill what we have learned and maybe teach those who, for some reason, couldn't go with us to the other town. Every now and then we would go for a 2-3 days 'camp' to train more intensively and get the chance for more randori with better students from the sensei's club.

    The question is... Is that a good idea? I mean during the classes in my town I would have to supervise the classes as I'm the only one with any judo experience. And I'm by no means an athlete... I actually don't feel skilled enough to do it and it's a great responsibility, but otherwise there will probably be no judo until someone with proper training decides to move here. Which is highly unlikely as the unemployment here is rising and there's no tradition of judo here. All the who were judoka who were training in the 80's switched to 'modern jujitsu' and other shady "martial arts". Their schools all seem to be McDojos. I went there to see how they roll. I even trained with them as I wanted to see how It'd turn out... And they almost smashed my shoulder, because the instructor was teaching very inexperienced guys haraigoshi from a VERY modified grip... Namely form a frigging neckcrank! Oh and he called it taiotoshi... And ashigatame was in his opinion a jujigatame. I'm no teacher, but after a few years of training under a 6dan I see when things are going the wrong way.

    Tomorrow I'm going to a meeting with our local Krav Maga instructor to speak about lending us the mat for training. I really want to train. I really feel I can cope with this from the organisation side. But I'm also full doubt. My knowledge is so limited, and I wasted so much time when I could have studied judo more diligently. Is that even a good idea? I feel I could teach, in the sense I get along well with people and can pass along knowledge... But that's not being a coach! Simply put I'm scared a bit.
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    genetic judoka

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by genetic judoka on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:44 pm

    couple of questions:
    how long had you been doing judo before you had to stop?

    what rank did you reach?

    have you gone to visit the dojo of the 5th dan you talked to? if not, why not?
    to be honest, 50km is not that far. many on this forum travel much further than that. at least go for a visit, maybe go once a week for a few weeks to refresh your memory

    also, how long ago did the club where you live close? have you tried to find any of the old students of the judo club that used to be there? they could be useful to have around when you're starting up.


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    Stacey

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Stacey on Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:05 pm

    I'm assuming you're not a US judoka. As such, your gas prices are probably double to triple what we pay per gallon (er, liter). Anyway, here's what I'd say. Call up a few of the people who trained with the former instructor, the one who went away because of alcoholism. See if they're interested in starting a club. Then, all of you go to the 5d club and work out with that club. Have a nice chat with the sensei after you've been there, your judo evaluated by that sensei. Once you've done that, you can decide if it's a good idea for you to teach or not.

    Your other alternative would be to have higher ranks from the 5d club come over to your spot 2 times a week to teach (that way they get a bit of practice solo leading a class, and they could rotate leadership while keeping to a syllabus). Then, you and the highest ranks of your peers can work to the point where you're leading classes. Consider it sort of an annex of the 5d club. A lot of times upper ranks in a club need to stretch as instructors. If your classes don't interfere with their schedule, you'll have a better chance of getting them interested in coming to your neighborhood.

    FWIW, instructors still have to learn. We do it by going to other clubs and clinics and getting our learning in there. So, what you're proposing is essentially what instructors do on a regular basis.
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    Taiobroshi

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Taiobroshi on Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:13 pm

    Adults are adverse to carpooling for some reason, but it could be your best bet for developing your tentative group of practitioners. Not to be pejorative by explaining the concept of carpooling, but assign people certain days to drive well ahead of time. This makes the person feel responsible for the judo of the group and will probably be more likely to get you off your butt than if you had to make the trek yourself 2-3 times a week. The problem with depending on a small group to practice is that if one person doesn't show up it means someone doesn't have an uchikomi partner. It may end up costing you more if you have to toss Krav Ma-guy some money if you guys don't consistently make the most out of the space. A dojo and confident teacher are important for progressing... a bunch of kyu grades farting around on the tatami only results in injuries.

    How many people are looking to practice judo in your town? You could make a Google group and have a ride-share going where people have to sign up to get a ride to judo ahead of time, with the understanding that they too will have to give a ride sometime. Be the first one to chauffeur. I'm sure people, in this economy, will totally vibe with you wanting to save a buck and have fun doing it.

    JakubMB

    Posts : 52
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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:06 pm

    So a bit of background. I had been training for more than 5 years. I only got 4kyu, but only because I was lazy when I had enough fights won to get 3kyu. I did all my training as a young adult (19-25 years old) and actually know much more techniques then necessary to get to 2kyu maybe. That's because I had an awesome sensei (6dan and and a great educator) and great training partners with lost of knowledge (three or four of whom are tutors now too). So as you see I'm in no place to be a real coach by any means, as my judo insight is quite limited to say the least. Now I want to get back in, train and maybe attend some masters tournaments, to get more experience and EARN my right to teach, if talent and health let me.

    I'm from Poland, so driving to train would be really expensive. I have a group of 4-5 people willing to take the ride and train in the other town once a week. More would be troublesome as we all work in different hours and gas prices (at least form some of us) are quite prohibitive. Trains and coaches were considered, but are a bit too expensive too. Speaking of carpooling I'll check out the carpooling portals to see whether there are any people willing to go with us for whatever other reason! Haven't thought of that to be frank Smile

    The dojo in my home town closed in 2009. There only were kids classes as there were hardly any adults who would like to train, as they were lured by the local jujitsu schools (not bjj mind you) and a very good Muay Thai/MMA place. I came back in 2011. I even managed to contact the guy who used to run the place, but when we arranged a meeting I ended up waiting for over an hour with my friend, trying to call him, and since that time he had stopped answering my phones Sad. I had hoped he would help us with judo, and we would maybe somehow help him quit drinking, but it seems I was overenthusiastic. I know one person who's kid used to train there. We play rugby together and that’s what he’s committed to at the moment. He doesn’t have any contacts with the people who trained there. I also know a guy from one of the jujitsu places was supposed to help the coach out, but instead kept trying to prove his jujitsu is better than judo all the time. From what I know the club closed leaving a pretty bad smell behind :/. I know the guy who taught here was collaborating with the 6dan form the other town, too.

    As for senior students of the 5dan's school. It’s a great idea and I’ll have to ask if that's possible. I know there are two instructors there, so maybe one of them might be willing to come down here and teach once a week. Until now I spoke with the 5dan and he really wants us to come to train and talk about how to organise stuff over here. He even told me his son was planning to come to my town as there is a prison guard training centre where he wanted to study, but he failed some of the exams. Now he’s somewhere else training to become a policeman. There is a small chance that he would end up serving here, but that's pretty far fetched to be frank.

    I also started a community page on facebook to get in touch with people who care about judo. Some people replied. But not every one is willing to invest money into a road trip to train. To be honest I don't have much to offer them as I'm no coach myself.
    I’m planning a visit to the 5dan’s Dojo next week. Want to get the guys together, train a bit and talk. I think the 5dan contacted my former coach, but I’m not sure. Hopefully stuff will clear up a bit once we start. One thing I know for sure, both my former sensei and the gentlemen I want to visit want me to organise something and are willing to help.

    If you have any other ideas or suggestions on how I could get people more interested in going I’m here to listen. I really want to learn new stuff and share it with people.
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    JudoMum

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JudoMum on Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:36 pm

    What is the health status of your previous instructor these days? Might he be willing to come and teach even if he is not willing or able to run a club anymore?

    JakubMB

    Posts : 52
    Join date : 2013-02-11
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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:38 pm

    Last time I tried to call him he wouldn't answer. I'm thinking of having another go though.

    JakubMB

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:04 am

    So I spoke to the Krav Maga guy. His mat is so so, and he spoke with great respect about judo. That's always nice. It's not too expensive, but first I want to check if driving two times a week with a car full of people wouldn't be cheaper or at least comparable to training two times here at the Krav Maga gym. It would also benefit our skills, as we would train with guys who fight in tournament on a regular basis. They're juniors, but hey! They'll probably would throw me using one hand at the moment Smile.

    Want to go there this Wednesday but don't know if people would be willing to go just before Easter... I also had a chance to speak with one the guys from my former club. Heard some nice words of encouragement. hope to get on the mat quick. Rugby is cool, but it's not even 30% as awesome as judo.
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    Stacey

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Stacey on Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:22 pm

    good luck. I hope going up a couple times a week pans out or that you're able to make something work. Sometimes judo resilience is a bit more than just getting up after a hard throw or difficult loss.

    JakubMB

    Posts : 52
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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:51 pm

    If I got back after a separated shoulder... 50 km are ont going to stop me Wink. Real think I can do it!

    There's always plan B:

    1. Win the lottery.
    2. Build a dojo
    3. Hire a quality coach
    4. ?
    5. Profit!

    On a more serious note I was checking out some places to maybe rent some day. There are some nice room which with little work could be adapted to be dojos. Wish the sensei here would at at least try and stop drinking! I really believe judo could help him as he would have something to keep himself occupied and motivated. Last time we spoke on the phone he was quite willing to cooperate but then he stopped answering my calls and I lost my hope. Non the less, I will call him this week. I'm not a church going man, but maybe the Easter spirit will help me out a bit... Keep your fingers crossed. If I'd succeed with that, Jigoro Kano would be proud, I think.
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    Stacey

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Stacey on Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:56 am

    what happened to the mats of the drinking coach? Mats are usually one of the biggest expenses for opening a dojo, but they are a pain in the ass to store if you're not using them. Finding a source for adequate mats at a price you can afford....................

    JakubMB

    Posts : 52
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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:15 am

    I think he said they were worn down a lot. If I manage to contact him I will ask for sure. The 5dam offered some held. He wanted to lend us his old mats. I don't know the condition they're in. I also contacted a local manufacturer, who got good reviews. Not too bad, but still above what I can invest on my own (at least for now). If we had a coach with proper credentials we could apply for donations from the city, voivodeship, the ministry or the European Union, but now we're just a bit flat-footed. The surface of the Krav Maga mats isn't all that bad, but that's no tatami.

    The only place that has real tatami is the prison guard training centre, and they're really into jujitsu. Their sensei has 10dan and created his own combat style. They're marketing like a real McDojo. Lots of tacky photoshopping, flames, tigers. And pictures of sloppy technique on their website. He used to have a shopping list of dan grades form all sorts of combat arts styles. I know he has at least 1kyu in judo, but don't know if he ever progressed any further. Even though I'm quite sure I don't want to roll with that guy. Trained jujitsu under him when I was a kid. Had to lear breakfalls from the beginning when I landed in my judo dojo...
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    Stacey

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Stacey on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:25 am

    JakubMB wrote:I think he said they were worn down a lot. If I manage to contact him I will ask for sure. The 5dam offered some held. He wanted to lend us his old mats. I don't know the condition they're in. I also contacted a local manufacturer, who got good reviews. Not too bad, but still above what I can invest on my own (at least for now). If we had a coach with proper credentials we could apply for donations from the city, voivodeship, the ministry or the European Union, but now we're just a bit flat-footed. The surface of the Krav Maga mats isn't all that bad, but that's no tatami.

    The only place that has real tatami is the prison guard training centre, and they're really into jujitsu. Their sensei has 10dan and created his own combat style. They're marketing like a real McDojo. Lots of tacky photoshopping, flames, tigers. And pictures of sloppy technique on their website. He used to have a shopping list of dan grades form all sorts of combat arts styles. I know he has at least 1kyu in judo, but don't know if he ever progressed any further. Even though I'm quite sure I don't want to roll with that guy. Trained jujitsu under him when I was a kid. Had to lear breakfalls from the beginning when I landed in my judo dojo...

    Yeah, he sounds like somebody to stay away from. See what the 5dan has. See what's what. Feel everything out, and progress in a way that you won't break your bank account, or your body.

    It's do-able. Someday, you'll have the space you want for the club you want. Nice to have that as a goal. Even better when you have people who share the goal and can help directly or indirectly.

    JakubMB

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:58 am

    I really don't know why people get lured to such stuff. There is another guy who carries a 2dan in judo. But when he inherited the club form his father he switched towards an invention called Yawara-jutsu. And now he's running a Kendo club. He's still involved with those shady guys. There is this clique here in Poland. They form a collegiate body to award an grades. I read there were similar things in other countries, too.

    It's just...unfair to see my sensei work all his life as a refereee and a teacher to earn his 6dan, or know that the 5dan form the other town has ran his club for two and a half decades to get 5 dan and then see a guy in his early 50's sporting a red belt on his black gi. Man Paweł Nastula who's a frigging Olmympic Champion and legend of the sport and martial art is "only" 6dan! And a stupid jujitsu school here produces more dan grades a year than the who voivodeshaft does in 5 years or so.

    Thi is why I need to stay focused train and learn to maybe break this little circle of charlatans, at least to some extent.
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    Stacey

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Stacey on Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:15 am

    Hey, I get it. It's frustrating to see little 6 year old tae kwo do students running around with black belts when it takes 6 years or so to get a dan grade in judo, and only for adults. There are a lot of McDojo around, and their belts are worth exactly what a Big Mac is worth (without the fries - the fries is the cost of the extra embroidery on your gi and belt so everybody knows you could kick Bruce Lee's ass if you paid him enough).

    Here's the thing - those who practice BS know only BS and can apply only BS in BS situations. Those who work to learn something real know something real and can apply something real in real situations.

    Don't let the clowns get you down or detract you from your goal. If there was a decent club there before, there can be a decent club there again, and the people who participate will know the difference between what you do and what the McSensei do. The McSensei and the McStudents will never bother you. They may come and study under you, but they will never bother you.

    I've never known what it is about people to want to hang unearned accolades around their necks, but there are always people who are braggarts, and people who feel so small that they have to puff themselves up with false credentials. At least these people are getting out every once in a while and moving. It may be all LARPing, but at least they aren't sitting in front of the TV all night or worse.

    Still, be thankful you want something real and are willing to pay the price to get it. That's one of the things that makes judo what it is - the only people who are there are the ones who really want to be there. In that sense, you can walk into any judodojo and find kindred spirits.

    JakubMB

    Posts : 52
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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:07 pm

    I wanted to give a little update about my "quest'. On Thursday we're driving to the 6dan's dojo to train and talk. We also started looking for a cheap place to train additionally without travelling. It turns out that one boxing club is willing to help us for a very small fee. If the 6dan would lend us some mats we would be good to go for a while. He said he has some old mats he wants to get rid off. They may be in a bad state, but that's better than nothing.

    I'm going to call the coach who used to run classes here too. Who knows? Maybe he got better and might be willing to speak once more. If he wanted to participate in our actions he'd help us lots.

    That's it for now. Will post you on the development of things on Thursday or Friday.

    JakubMB

    Posts : 52
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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:12 pm

    So I finally managed to go to the 6dan's dojo. I must say it felt fantastic, step on a tatami once more. We came a bit late, because I made a mistake when checking the address... We joined a training session and it was awesome. One of my friends was a complete novice, so the rotated while teachaing him. I did some randori as it was a randori night. The head-coach wasn't there as he had to go to a very important meeting, but there was a junior instructor to take care of the class. A really nice guy, a professional soldier.

    First we rolled a bit on the ground. I must admit it, my newaza was never great (although I liked doing it), but I seem to have forgotten almost every move of my game. I managed to pull off only some osaekomis. My guard is full of holes, and I managed to pull only one juji-gatame form the back... When the partner hinted it to me, that I could do it. Embarassed

    Tachiwaza randori was a bit better. It was a great occasion to remember them frigging ukemi Wink. But I also managed to do some throwing. To my surprise I did an excellent uchimata, which due to my body build was never my go to technique. A decent osoto gari and a few uranages, which were a great move against one of the guys who had a very dominant grip (his hand was behind my neck almost all the time, and he prevented my favourite seoi nage with that. Will have learn to cope with his gripping style as I will probably be doing more and more randori with the guys.

    Anyway, it was a great evening. We had a great time. Mu novice friend also liked it and is pumped with enthusiasm. Our hosts proved to be very hospitable, patient and very willing to fight us. I can see us cooperating in the future. Right now, we're planning another visit, next week and we'll see where it can get us. Keep you fingers crossed for us, as I think we've just entered the right path.

    --- EDIT ---

    Next time I will take a camera with me to shoot some photos. We want to start promoting our idea in the local media, to get more people into judo and pics will probably help (the show don't tell principle might be applicable here). I will maybe post something here too Smile. The more judoka the merrier Smile. A friend already contacted one journalist and I have some contacts to others. Free advertisement is cool. The one we already spoke with wants to write an article about us and then maybe an interview. Probably with me and maybe the 6dan. The guy's really into sports and he likes promoting 'fresh' ideas. Anyway, we're off to a good start I think. We started training, we have the support of the media, we're full of enthusiasm, and everybody is trying to hook up some new guys. Not bad, eh? Smile

    JakubMB

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:30 am

    Ok. So, we started. We had 5 training sessions already. There's a group of 10-15 enthusiasts each week. Some are really willing to commit and train, others are still checking out what's it all about. Hope I can keep them in and train. We did mostly newaza, namely osaekomi waza, as I figured it was the safest way to start and I showed them the 4 first throws from the gokyo, as this was the way I was introduced to throwing and I find it a good way, though deashibarai is indeed very tricky. In the up comming weeks we're going to visit the 6dan dojo, as they are starting training after summer break. Keep your fingers crossed...

    Thanks to this I'm spending LOTS of time reading about and watching judo. Very refreshing after a long break. Sometimes I find myself doing hitori uchikomi when I'm alone. It's really nice to be back. And now I see how hard the work of an instructor can be. And how much effort it takes to prepare and introduce new material to the group. I like it! It's a really exiting journey and I'm only starting, or rather staring anew! It's going to be hard, but I know it's worth it. Smile
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    NittyRanks

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by NittyRanks on Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:57 am

    Let me ask you one thing. Are you prepared to sacrifice a lot of hours, you have to be there a lot? Also are you prepared, if the Dojo grows to deal with student drama, not paying members and policing the place. Not trying to be negative but I have been in the Martial Arts since 1979 and see many a Dojang or Dojo fail just because someone did not know how to follow up. In my experience a lot of the best martial artists are not really good instructors and the ones that are come few and far between.

    If you can get in and piggy back on an existing club that is the way to go or use a local gym. Working out the business arrangement is important. What you want to do is think of or addressing as many unknowns as possible.


    JakubMB

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:18 pm

    We're training at a krav-maga place, as they have a decent mat, that we can quite safely use, and they don't charge us too much. After the will have settled a bit I want to take measures to formalise it as a club. Don't think I can make a business out of it, and that's actually not my goal here. I just wanted to create space for people to come and grow in judo. It's my home town and there hasn't been a judo club here since I was too little to remember. I want to change that and am ready to commit a lot of work to that cause.
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    NittyRanks

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by NittyRanks on Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:00 am

    Ok fair enough I see.

    JakubMB

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:08 pm

    I did some networking. I e-mailed pretty much every club within 50 km radius around my home town. I asked for help and future cooperation and got some positive responses. Namely invitations to train with them. I asked some of the instructors to come by and help me out with proper insight. It will be beneficial as I can learn much from them. We're planning to intensify training in October as my plan is to get back into competition by march and try to talk my training buddies into that to. already found some tournaments for me and my friends, but first we need to focus on their technique. October will also be the month we'll star visiting the 6dan's dojo. My sensei, the 7dan form my University also gave me the heads up for my grading in the end of October or the beginning of November. I'm really happy I have so many judo friends!

    I'm pretty sure we will be able to afford a separate training place next year. Now I need to find someone to help finance buying a tatatmi. I have two option puzzlemats, which are cheaper or very good tatami from a local manufacturer. They're top notch quality and the price isn't too high for a tatami, but still more expensive than the puzzle mats. My problem is I wanted my future dojo, to be as traditional as possible in the local context, without scaring off potential trainees.

    BTW, does anyone have a portrait of Kano in high resolution, so I could print it out to hang on the dojo's wall?
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    Tai-Jutsu

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Tai-Jutsu on Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:01 am

    JakubMB,

    Great to hear that you got a group started, a place to train and a network of Sensei and Judoka to leanr from.

    I bet in a few years time, your's will be a dojo with a great reputation iin your area and maybe wider and you will be a Sensei.

    I think working out of a Krav Maga school will help you and you very well might find your Dojo considered an important part of the larger operation.

    There is a lot of Krav folks into Judo and visa versa. This is a good thing for both arts in more ways than I care to list. (and it makes me happy to see, as they kind of reconstruct Ju Jutsu when they do that. Smile  )

    Our JuJutsu/Combatives group has trained in health clubs, American Legion post, a basement, a deck and now we are on the 2nd floor of a Zumba studio and building up our student base.

    Running a Dojo can be a lot of work, I share it with a partner and 2 Yudansha.

    I see you as a kindred spirt and wish you and your students much success and joy.

    Raj Venugopal

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    Join date : 2013-01-21

    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by Raj Venugopal on Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:13 pm

    I just read this thread from start to finish. What an encouraging story and "plotline" (if I can call it that). Sometimes the best leaders are the reluctant ones. Judo is such a labour of love- many of my seniors and instructors devote so much to our club.  I hope you keep posting detals on your progress. The last poster on this thread predicts your group will become a good club. I hope this happens too. It is hard to teach anything without questioning whether you should be the student. In my work as a university professor I often wish I could go back and be a student again because the responsibility to be a teacher is a heavy load. When people depend on you to teach them properly, you must perform outside your own self for their success. If you can forever remain a student while teaching your own clubmembers, I'm sure things will go very well for you. Good luck! I liked this thread very much.

    JakubMB

    Posts : 52
    Join date : 2013-02-11
    Age : 31
    Location : Poland

    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

    Post by JakubMB on Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:07 am

    Hello! It's time for a little update. We've changed the venue. The new one is a local boxing club. The conditions, apart from the heating are comparable, but the price is much better. At the moment we're training two times a week (once tachiwaza, once newaza). The guys are enthusiastic. Thanks to that some of the boxers had grown interested in what we do and want to try and train with us. I see that as an opportunity to develop the 'club' even further. I'm in touch with the rokudan's dojo, and I will be grading soon too at my original club (getting ready for the exam ATM).

    Started to acquire judo books. I'm reading "Mind over Muscle". Nothing that I haven't heard or read anywhere else, but it's a nice reader to meditate on. Trying to keep focused on the task at hand.

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    Re: "Kickstarting" a dojo

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