Southbank Aikido Dojo

For a short time in the early 2000's  lived the Southbank dojo based at the Queensland College of art and it sure had a vibrant and spirited history. Started by Ward and James sensei it was the first Aikido yuishinkai dojo in Brisbane. It was located in the heart of Southbank it and based in a student art gallery. The dojo used mats built by Simon and Danny courtesy of some marine carpet, a few drums of contact adhesive and some EVA60 mats. Practice was often accompanied by art on the walls surronding the mat area. In time the mat area grew, it had to with classes growing to around 20 people on a 6x7 mat -  it was just a few too many, and so gradualy the mat area grew and took over the whole gallery and adjoining common room. 

Sometimes the area was used for other activities and so with the aid of some fridge trolleys for the mats, as we had 7 or them by then including some genuine acromats and a weapons trolleys (thanks Simon) it was a short stroll across the way to another building and up a few floors in the elevator. Occassionally we went to club 88, a penthouse space with fabulous views of the city. Once a month saw us outside for practicing weapons on the grass - sometimes we also setup the mats out there with some portable floodlights. We just did what we had to, to be able to practice. Reminds me of O'Sensei's saying

"One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace . Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train."

With the aid of 4v500w floodlights it wasn't bad and the campus was pretty quiet at nights and we got on pretty good with the security guards. Boasting airconditioning and undercover secure parking it was too good to be true, and eventually it was, a change of guard in QCA management and the artist in martial artist wasn't clear and we were eventually shown the door.

A few more pics here 

Dojo that were

Some other dojo that were, spot the baby faces in their prime ;)

Southbank Dojo

Spring Hill Dojo

South Brisbane Dojo

Logan Dojo 

The crew from the early days

Practicing outside in the early days

Practicing in an art gallery