I said at the beginning of the year that my focus for 2017 was going to be teaching. For the last two months I’ve been brainstorming in my head strategies to reach more people that want to learn Japanese Calligraphy but don’t have access to a conventional teacher or class.
Of course, this is not something happens overnight. There are a lot of moving parts to coordinate and challenges to overcome.
There are four parts to this new strategy:
Teach live workshops and classes
This past February I taught a Basic Japanese Calligraphy Workshop in Worcester. We had a great time. The room was pretty much full to capacity with 12 students spending 6 hours learning and brushing calligraphy. In the past I’ve only done one of this per year, but I plan on doing more this year. A 6 hour workshop is not for everyone, though. In addition, many students who complete this course may not want to do another one. However, they do have the need to stay connected with me and receive further instruction, feedback, and corrections.
That’s why I’m developing a 6 weeks Basic Japanese Calligraphy Course. This class will meet once a week for 1 or 2 hours, probably on Saturday mornings. This class will focus on the Kaisho writing style and it will be open for students who completed the introductory class.
New Learn Shodo website
Last year I bought the domain name LearnShodo.com but didn’t know what to do with it. When I switched the studio’s focus to teaching I realized that LearnShodo.com needed to become the hub for all my classes, specifically the online courses. My websites run on WordPress, so it took me about a week or so to put together the homepage for LearnShodo.com as well as the new pages for both the basic and advanced techniques online courses. The process of installing a WordPress theme, customize it, and get the site up and running is not complicated but somewhat tedious. It’s one of the things I enjoy the least doing. LearnShodo.com will serve as the virtual classroom for Japanese Calligraphy learning through Gohitsu Shodo Studio.
Update to Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy Online Course
My first online course, Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy, was released for the first time on April 2015. After two years, it’s time for an update! Enrollment is currently closed, while the existing course will undergo through major changes. The content will be pretty much the same, focusing on the basic and fundamentals, but it will include new lectures and videos. In addition, the course will no longer be called Introduction, instead it will be Basic Japanese Calligraphy Course. Work on this update has already begun and I will have a release date soon! If you are already enrolled in Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy you will receive the update for free!
Brand New Online Course
I’ll be working on a brand new course. More information about this coming soon 🙂 – I know what a tease!
Aikido and Shodo Seminars
Aikido seminars are popular and widely available throughout the world by many experienced Aikido instructors. However, the integration of Japanese calligraphy with Aikido training, something deeply cherished by founder Ueshiba Morihei, is rarely discussed or taught in a cohesive manner. This is the main reason I began Shodo practice. I want to share, in an Aikido seminar environment, the benefits of integrating Japanese Calligraphy with Aikido training, therefore offering Aikido students a truly unique experience.
All these strategies are pretty ambitious and not easily implemented. However, I really believe this is the right path to follow in order to make Shodo practice available to more people all around the world.
I hope you are as excited as I am about this new direction and about all the new things to come. It’s been quite a journey so far and I can now see clearly where we are headed, what our intentions are, and what our potential can be.
The sky is the limit folks.