Shinjinkai Martial Arts Society
Personally, I don't think I've ever trained in a better dojo. Granted I've only trained in four counting this one, but the fact remains that this place is my best martial arts expierences. The curriculum of the dojo is vast and comprehensive, covering a wide range of traditional and modern Japanese Martial Arts, ranging from Aikido to Battodo. Classes for all age groups and talent ranges are offered, as while as cultural study groups and free or nominal-charge Zen meditation sessions.
The atmosphere, while certainly alive, is also calm and enjoyable, with students encouraged to learn as much as they can at their own pace. Public and privately used weapons are kept on a rack in the far left, and many cultural tidbits such as ceremony bells and a small Zen shrine all add to the feel of a traditional Budo dojo. Training is extensive and intensive, with attention paid to detail and application of technique. However, there is no race for perfection and senior students and staff are always kind and willing to help newbies.
Prices, while abjectly expensive, are relatively cheap-to-average considering the amount of classes one can take on one monthly payment, with very few extra dues paid for cross-classing.
The only complaints I would have are the relative lack of space for a style such as Aikido, and the lack of a hands-on hard style class such as Karate. All in all, though, two thumbs way up. Anyone interested in the Chicago area should check this out.
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