Aikido and Holidays

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Holidays throughout the year are a great time for reflection, gratitude, and family here in Clearwater, Florida and around the world. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to reflect, feel gratitude, and enjoy time with family, which is ironic for many who only see family a few times a year.

But what does this have to do with the dojo? To understand this, we have to journey back to when I was just 4 years old.

At 4 years old, I began my martial arts journey, not because my parents thought it was something kids "just did", but because my father was a pretty serious Judoka, starting with Sambo in the Soviet Union. In those days, generally speaking, parents simply started kids with the same habits/activities they had so that: 1) the parents could continue to enjoy those activities themselves, and (more to the point of this story) 2) parents could enjoy those activities with their children as a form of bonding.

You see, we often hear instructors and dojo owners talk about parents and their children and why they should all train together. Sometimes though, this can be perceived (unfortunately) as solely a way to generate my business for the dojo. This feeling of being "forced" or "coerced" is a sad result of many industries and their overzealous and bad approaches to helping others with their needs.

So why are we as dojo owners so emphatic about signing up family members?