You no like my new website?!!!

Just another happy night at Seattle School of Aikido.  Not sure whose bokken this was…Jeremy, Chris?  But it will make for some nice kindling on a cold winter’s night.

Ignoring the destruction wrought by some of our sword guys, note the pleasant happy face after a night of training.  That’s how it goes here — solid training, and we have a lot of fun.

So come join us!

Same www.SeattleSchoolofAikido.org, but…

Yup, it’s different isn’t it?  We’ve totally redesigned the SSA website to take advantage of new technology to better serve our dojo community.  This is the main communication portal to the dojo’s activities, so we hope to encourage everyone to participate and contribute to our online community.

So what’s new?  Everything!  We’re using a platform which is easier to maintain and can access new features as they become available.  Best part?  Everyone gets to participate!  The Board and the design team helped in the development phase with their articles and comments.

Where to start?  Just start clicking.  Once we get the new website up and stabilized, all dojo members will get an email with your user name and password.  Then you can log in and check out some of the cool members only stuff like:

  • Blogs – Weblogs for your personal thoughts.  Every member gets their own blog.  I used mine to keep the Board up to date as the website was being developed.  You’ll see examples as the community grows.
  • Comments – this is not a static website.  Add your thoughts to published articles for example.
  • Author your own stories – write and post stories.  For example, we’re hoping to preserve some of the oldtimers’ adventures before we lose them.  We KNOW some of you can write because we’ve gotten some damn funny emails from you over the years.
  • Membership list, maps, weather, RSS feeds, calendars, add pictures…lots of good stuff.
  • Explore – you can’t break it.  If you do, well you just might find your name next to the Webmaster title.
  • and there’s more coming!

They just keep rockin’ and rollin’…

And you thought they only played hard on the mat…

The leadership of  SSA has been busy this year!  Some of the more visible events:

You’ve no doubt noticed the new tatami mats upon which we train?  Our old canvas mat had many up close and personal relationships with many of you, but it was time to say goodbye to its tired surface and retire it.  Now that was a work party!

Small improvements, nice touches.  It got a little cold there for a while when the ancient heater died, but hard work on the part of our facilities manager Robert Huberth got us all warm and toasty again.  Our blinds needed replacing and that got promptly handled.  A little upgrade on the lighting to brighten up the training area.  Small things that add up to improve the dojo.

And who can forget our seminar?  Different takes on the wonderful world of aikido – Yoseikan, Icho Ryu, and Nihon Goshin.  Great aikido, great training and a profitable fundraiser!

Now the development team has created a new website.  Try it, use it, make it better.  More good stuff coming in that area.  Welcome to our new online community!

Of course lots of other fun stuff is happening behind the scenes.  That’s what’s driving all of these changes – changes that will make training better and strengthen the dojo community.

It takes a lot of effort on the part of everyone to make a dojo work at an exceptional level.  We’re not there.  YET.  So if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, it’s time to step up.  That doesn’t mean setting your priorities improperly – you bring to the table what you can.  But we’d sure like your help and participation.

Glitch and To Do List

Here’s a running list of the things I’m working on…you can add to the list via the comments.

Date Issue Resolved
12/6/10 Calendar week view incorrect; Next button not working – Calendar module fix
10/23/10 Build CiviCRM membership database
10/23/10 Add membership transactions from October 2010
8/23/10 Calendar week view defaults to previous week – http://drupal.org/node/686394 – workaround 8/25/10
8/10/10 Update Privacy and Use page
8/10/10 Add dues pages with updates
8/10/10 Test live contact module, Board and Contact Us pages
8/18/10 Paypal dues and donation processing – need account info
8/18/10 Amazon click thru – need account info
8/24/10 Contact Us – email spam protection, add IR, SR

Pass or Fail

When the opportunity to be graded arises, “belt tests”, I question the idea of a pass fail system. A controversial idea. Instructors  typically believe it would be a healthy way to conduct a test. It is getting less common that a student would be asked to test and be failed. Testing is a part of martial arts and students should be prepared to accept a pass/fail grade system. Why is it so controversial then?

Is a student likely to try harder or train more to do better if they fail a test? Seems logical. Well, maybe not. When I joining my first school I watched others pass and fail tests. It was accepted. It was typically their black belt test that was a fail grade but every student kept coming back. I failed mine more than once.

Is it too late to change? Pass or fail.

Lets train

I’m not sure how students decide to schedule in their training day. For adults perhaps it’s solely based on work schedules and family events. For those of you that are able, I invite you to train with any and all sensei offering their time. I hope the excitement of training with new teachers and students brings out the best in us. Everyone certainly has something to offer so please come and contribute what you can.

See you on the mat

Matti Joensuu, 6 dan from Austria tonight!

Sensei Joensuu will be teaching at SSA tonight, Thursday September 9!  We hope to see all of you!

Class starts promptly at 6:30.  Please arrive early so that you can be on the mat and warmed up by that time.

See you there!

Dojo Clean up tonight!

We need to clean the dojo tonight for Matti’s class tomorrow night!

This is a responsibility to be shared by all members of the dojo.  We understand that this is the middle of the week, but please make the effort to show up.  The more hands, the quicker the clean-up!

Excited for Matti this thursday

i just got back from 6 days on decatur island in the san juan islands.  i’ve got 3 days of grim reality facing me at work this week before i’m able to get back on the mat and train aikido again.

i can’t wait to the experience again the simplicity and precision of matti’s movement.  he has a degree of humility not often found in 6th dan around the world, which is a nice breath of fresh air as well.  he’s finnish, trains/runs a dojo in austria, speaks fluent english (and probably 4+ languages including japanese), and we get to see him first hand here in seattle.  how cool is that?

“Connect, then take down, that’s all there is in aikido, there is nothing else” – paraphrasing Matti Joensuu, 6th dan aikido.

i simply can’t wait…