Aikido of Vancouver
Aikido of Vancouver is affiliated with Shugenkai, a larger community, which supports its members in the pursuit of a life-long study and practice in the fundamental truths of Aikido. We use the analogy of the basic natural elements - earth, water, fire, and air - as a framework to assist us in our continuous studying, learning, and training.
Aikido of Vancouver has some very strong views on the purpose of an Aikido dojo. The Shugenkai non-profit constitution says we exist to provide martial arts and wellness training to further the development of the mind, body and spirit of each student. It does not say "and to make lots of money for someone". While this philosophy is probably found in many other dojo, it is not true of many schools (in various other martial arts) which seem to have the major purpose of extracting money from the students and giving it to the school's owners. This is not our way.
Shugenkai is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, but we also have a philosophy that says that no one takes any money out of the dojo. No one is paid for any work they do for the dojo, including administration and teaching. All of the funds go back into maintaining and improving our facilities.
This is a fairly unusual set up but we like it and think it works. It does mean that we ask for more from our members than just monthly fees - since everyone including the teachers pays them - but we think it makes for a better feeling over all. It means we get a certain kind of people...but we like it that way.