Dojo Participation Meetings

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Aikido of Columbus is a community of Aikido practitioners, and we share the tasks involved in creating and maintaining the dojo. There are a number of committees which focus on various areas of dojo life. These include committees on PR, lending library, seminars, parties, and sales. You are welcome to join committees and your participation would be very much appreciated by all.

We hold periodic dojo meetings to discuss the workings of the various committees. In addition to discussing various things that are part of running the dojo, we also allot time in the meetings for discussion of thoughts and feelings about problems that arise in practice. At Aikido of Columbus we are attempting to extend the practice of Aikido into our lives and use Aikido as a way of resolving conflicts and creating harmony. The dojo meetings are opportunities to improve communication and resolve misunderstandings.

Problems that affect the whole dojo should be raised at a dojo meeting. Such problems might include safety issues or difficulties you experience in attitudes toward practice. If you are having a problem with a specific person and have not been able to resolve it by meeting with them privately, you could bring the difficulty up for discussion at the dojo meeting.

It is important to use appropriate non-attacking verbal approaches during any problem discussion. There are five guidelines for discussions at dojo meetings.

  1. Everyone can speak, about both feelings and practical content.
  2. Only one person at a time will talk. No interruptions.
  3. Communication mirroring can be requested. If a person feels that their message has not been understood by the individual they are addressing, they could ask for that individual to restate the message in their own words. When the person feels their message has been heard and restated correctly, the discussion will proceed.
  4. At any point in the discussion of issues, if it seems that people are being overwhelmed by feelings of conflict, a moment of breathing and centering could be called for.
  5. File folder: Anything important that may come up but which is not appropriate for the current meeting's agenda would be put in a "folder" for the next meeting.

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