11/07/2006 3:21pm, #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Edwardsburg, MI - MICHIANA AIKIDO CENTER
Michiana Aikido Center
70937 M 62 Edwardsburg, MI
I should first state that I trained at the Michiana Aikido Center for slightly over 1 year. The dojo is a building next to the instructors home on his property. I has a very well kept mat and clean changing area. He also has a large assortment of very nice weapons (bo, jo, tanto, etc) for use in class. I have stated the price as 120.00 a month. However, this is not exactly true. There are no contracts or monthly fees for training at the dojo. You are simply charged a mat fee of 10.00 (at the time of my last attendance) for the class. Because classes are held 3 times a week, if you attended 3 classes a week for a month, you would play 120.00.
Classes are held 3 times a week and typically last much longer than the hour and a half that is listed on the website. I would frequently not find myself going home until around 10pm. On Saturdays after class the instructor and students all go out for breakfast at a local diner. The instruction is very personal with everyone training with everyone, including the instructor. The instruction is also hands on, everyone will get a chance to try and work every technique demonstrated with everyone else in class. You are also encouraged to help your fellow student with any problems he or she may have in learning the technique. The main instructor of the dojo is a Godan in aikido and also holds Japanese juijitsu rank and the secondary instructor is a Shodan in aikido.
The atmosphere of the dojo is very friendly. There are many different types of people who train there and they have great backgrounds. There are Japanese juijitsu people, karate people, TKD people, wrestlers, etc who train at the dojo. Some students are even open to free sparing or grappling after the official class has ended. The students and instructors like to meet outside of class as well for personal outings (such as watching UFC events, or celebrating a holiday).
Class in ran in a loose manner. It is up to you to decide how deep into the art you want to go. You are not expected to fold a sensei's hakama, or clean the mats, however many students do this as a sign of respect. However you are not forced to do anything beyond bowing in, being friendly, listening, and training your hardest.
Of course being an aikido dojo, you are not going to find full contact sparing, physical fitness workouts (pushups, situps, etc), or competitions being trained in the dojo. The instructor believes in teaching ki exercises and attempting to move as a coordinated mind and body. There is a good deal of time spent when you begin learning and practicing ki tests and exercises. However some alive sparing and grappling does happen with some students in the class and is there if you want it (in an unoffical context). Because of this I rate aliveness at a 4.
The dojo is fully equipped with everything you could need to practice aikido, and all equipment is well kept, so I rated that a 10. The size of the dojo is large enough for 10 or 12 people to comfortably train, I gave this a 7. There are 2 instructors and all students help in the teaching, so I gave Instructor/student ratio a 10.
Weapon instruction as done as kata's only. You learn weapons as a form of ki extension more than as actual weapon use (although the movements are explained as blocks and attacks in the kata). Because of bullshido's belief in sparing, I had to rate weapons training at a 8.
Overall, I think this is a great school to train at if you want serious personal aikido instruction. If you are looking to get into the MMA scene or competition this is not the club for you. However no outrageous claims are made by the instructors, and they are a good group of people who are serious about what they do and very skilled at it. This is a great place to learn aikido.
Last edited by FictionPimp; 11/07/2006 3:31pm at . Reason: No city, state
11/07/2006 3:21pm, #2
11/07/2006 3:31pm, #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
I put the city/state in the address field, but I guess tha tdoesn't show up. I edited the top of the article to include the address.
12/06/2006 9:46pm, #4
Christ, I'm reading through these reviews and every damn one (well except that Eastside Shorin-Ryu) makes me want to move there and work out. And I don't even care about Aikido! Friendly people, good skills? I'm there."Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez