What Makes a Great Dojo?

Here's a link to a (long) blog post about what makes a great dojo.

And here's a quote.
In a great dojo though, the teacher is more like a head student than a teacher standing above everyone at the head of the classroom dispensing the lesson.  These teachers are every bit as much students of the art they are teaching as the newest beginner.  They find a joy in polishing their own skills, and discovering new things about their art that is as strong and fierce as that of any student.
This is just one of the reasons we have a great dojo, but it's an important one.

Everyday Life

From another school in the UK, an article about Aikido in everyday life.
Here's a quote:
It got me thinking about the how way we move our head affects our aikido. Balancing on top of the spine and held in place by a complex system of muscles and ligaments, the head has a centre of gravity all its own. When attempting to break uke’s balance (kuzushi) ultimately we are trying to pull the spine out of alignment by destroying the head’s centre of gravity. And at the same time we are trying to maintain the stability of our own head and upright structure.
It reminded me once again that there are two people in any technique, and my first thought should be about my own stability, before I start trying to interfere with anyone else’s.
--Mark Peckett


Shihan, "Attack me".
Student, "No".
Shihan, "I'll be ok".
Student, "It's not you I'm worried about".

*Found on the Book of Face*

Relax Completely

I might have some trouble relaxing if I was doing the taiso standing on the back of an alligator.