I have been lucky to be able to spend three months as a dojosei in Melbourne Dojo. October 2005, February 2007 and April 2008.
I met Sensei Joe Thambu for the first time in 2002. Very quickly I realized that if I wanted to learn aikido he was the man to learn from. After all, how many aikido instructors worldwide pressure tested their art on nightclub doors? So, Joe Sensei’s deep knowledge and amazing ability in the art of aikido drew me like a magnet to his dojo from the other side of the globe.
Though going to Australia to train full time was financially, geographically and physically extremely challenging, I knew that to be any good in aikido I had to get the best tuition available independently of the cost.
As a dojosei you are spending 3 to 4 hours a day training with amazing people under instruction of some of the best teachers on this planet, there is no better way of learning something. You marinate in aikido to the point where it’s awkward to wear something different than a dogi, it’s hard not to get good.
I can’t say that it’s nice and easy while you are there, because it is not, but as they say, if there is no adversity there is no advance and I can assure everyone that there is plenty of both in the dojosei program.
It would also be a lie to say that hard training is all a dojosei is getting because there is a lot of fun associated with it and the friendships you make are for life.
It’s a live changing experience and a “must do” for anyone that treats their budo seriously.
- Michal Pabiasz (Aikido Shudokan, Poland)