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Creating our Next Chapter

posted Jul 14, 2020, 12:36 PM by Minnesota Ki Society   [ updated Jul 14, 2020, 1:18 PM ]
July 14, 2020, marks the 14th Anniversary of The Center for Mind-Body Oneness--our "Golden Birthday." Since we opened our doors in 2006, hundreds of people have taken classes with us, dozens have trained for many years and earned rank in Ki-Aikido, and several have earned black belts and begun leading their own classes and programs. In addition to the roughly 10,000 hours of classes we have had over the past 14 years, our studio has been host to birthday celebrations, game nights, movie screenings, dinner parties, and even sleep overs. It has been a good home to us as we have grown and developed together.

We often refer to the space we practice in as the dojo. But it has always been the community that makes the dojo, not the space. Since we suspended our use of the studio in mid-March, we have continued to connect and practice Ki Principles together as a community even as we make dramatic adjustments to many aspects of our daily lives.

This summer, we are practicing taiso and weapons in the park, offering daily guided meditation, and running online classes to apply our training to addressing structural inequity in our broader communities. I am grateful to be part of such a resilient community dedicated to enhancing our own and others wellbeing.

Meanwhile, it is unclear when we will be able to resume indoor, in-person classes again. We expect that it will still be some months, and perhaps as much as a year before normal contact indoor Aikido practice is wise. Meanwhile, the new owners of 550 Vandalia St. have been taking advantage of reduced traffic in the building to move ahead with significant renovations and updates. While we have gotten no official word, it appears likely that rent will increase significantly in the near future—which would be a burden to us even under normal circumstances.

Given all this, the core community of the dojo has decided to start creating the next chapter for Minnesota Ki-Aikido. Over the past 27 years, the school has had three different long-term homes—with just over half of that time in our current studio. It's been a good run.

During the last two weeks of June, our community came together at the studio for a final time to carefully disassemble the dojo and place it in storage. The mats, sprung sub-floor, dressing room shelves, Nafudakake (name board), and shomen were packed to await their next home.

This summer, we will begin the conversation about what we wish to create for the future. This is an opportunity to explore not only what kind of physical space we want for our dojo, but also what kind of business structure and governance we feel best reflects and supports our training and our community. I look forward to making this journey together with you.

To all of you who offer financial support to the dojo, thank you. Your donations are what kept our doors open for the past 14 years and enabled us to reach so many people. The dojo not only has been able to cover operating expenses, but has also built up some savings. All the donations that we receive in this time that we are not paying rent will go to building that savings—and creating the next home for Minnesota Ki-Aikido.

warm regards,