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Tony Hudspith
08-19-2007, 01:00 PM
Hi everyone
Has anyone out there ever been subjected to poaching of their students by other classes or group? Especially of the new/younger students who don't really know better.
If so, how did you deal with it and what did you do (If anything).
I have had some students poached from me by a local class and have chosen not to do anything as these people are weak and cannot build their own classes up on their own merits.
Any advice on this subject would be appreciated.
Thanks

Tony

p.s Please remember all we want to do is benefit the students by teaching them Aikido and the ethics involved.

dalen7
08-19-2007, 01:10 PM
Not sure if Im reading you clearly, but let me take a 'stab' at it.

Here is an example.
Our instructor is 1kyu (which is good here in Hungary, he has been in Aikido 10 years...so hes not a 'noob')
And there is another 1kyu (7 years I believe) they are both good, and you can tell the difference between the two of them - however, as I said they both are good.

Point is, if the 1kyu who is not the instructor were to offer classes, I would probably take it - in supplement to what Im taking now.
We train twice a weak.

So its not necessarily a 'bad' thing if some people train at two different places. And again, different teachers work for different people. Its not a bad reflection on the teacher, its just a fact in 'communication.'

An example would be that I seem to get what the 1kyu (who is not the instructor) is trying to relay faster than the one with more experience. - however the guy with more experience is still great to train with, because that experience comes through.

What is the difference? Perhaps 'confidence' or rather lack of 'confidence' in the instructor to try to communicate with me. (To clarify, Im training in a language that I dont really understand, and they dont really understand english. Some people are less confident to try to 'communicate' in such situations. Our 4th dan, on the other hand, is extremely confident, and despite any 'imperfections' in the language - we can communicate.)
The other is that I learn by doing. And the 1st kyu instructor wants to 'show', even after he sees that Im not getting it.
Sometimes I need him to show me, by doing the technique with me instead of me watching him do the technique with someone else. - the other 1st kyu kind of gets that...again, just different 'personalities'

So, different people approach teaching 'differently' and students make their choices accordingly.

so I wouldnt feel bad.
Yes if they are trying to build up there base by going to your dojo - and they didnt have any connection what so ever, that could be a bummer.

But stick to it. Do you enjoy what your doing?

Funny, every martial artist I met here in my city always told me that 'on Friday' more people come - as I am to be impressed with numbers. I would rather have a smaller practice area and a chance to practice with the top belts.

Sure, financial wise, you want more.
And it may be a boost to the 'ego' to say how many students you have.

but take what you have, and do what you can with them, and more will come. What you give out will come back.

And the peson trying to 'leach' off of your students cant do it forever, and they may eventually dry up.

Not sure this helps, but there you go. :-)

Peace

dAlen

SeiserL
08-19-2007, 03:57 PM
Poach, meaning to trespass and take without permission?

Is this a freedom of choice issue? For what reasons did your students leave?

While I would agree that I personally and professionally would consider "poaching" unethical, I do believe that even young student have a right to their own informed consent.

Perhaps we need to educate students earlier regarding quality. Perhaps we need to show them quality early enough that they learn loyalty.

I am always sure there are two (at least) sides/perspective to every situation. I think this one leaves us a lot to think about and learn from.

Adam Alexander
08-19-2007, 04:53 PM
The customer who's right product you're selling will stay.

It's math. You can't beat math.

Guilty Spark
08-19-2007, 05:39 PM
People have freedom to pick and choose whatever they want but I think in terms of poaching used here means for someone to go out of their way to try and take (or lure) someone from one class to their own which I think is unethical.

Joe blow off the street who doesn't know one martial art from the other will probably buy into someone spewing a well rehearsed sales pitch.

I'd call them on it. I would go so far as to say you owe it to new students.

Roman Kremianski
08-19-2007, 10:13 PM
The student will ultimately come to you I think. You can't stay a beginner for too long before you start looking around and seeing what's out there.

tarik
08-20-2007, 12:40 AM
Poaching?

Is hunting students illegal?

On the king's land?

Anyone who shoots a student should be shot. :crazy:

Basia Halliop
08-20-2007, 08:08 AM
Poaching?

Is hunting students illegal?

On the king's land?

Anyone who shoots a student should be shot.

:D

I'm not sure what you mean by 'poaching' -- the students are the ones who choose, no? Nobody snuck into the change room and started stuffing them into burlap bags, I hope? :eek:

Seriously, though, I would say keep offering what you believe to be high quality teaching and training and let that speak for itself.

justin
08-20-2007, 08:46 AM
hard one to answer this "poaching" what methord did they use free gi ? more exciting techniques early on when other clubs are teaching basics run before you can walk kind of thing.

David Humm
08-20-2007, 09:17 AM
Students are "members" of a dojo and not the "propery" thereof hence, if they choose to attend/join another club/dojo, even if that has been through what Seiser Sensei rightly (IMHO) described as "unethical" methods, so be it.

jennifer paige smith
08-20-2007, 09:31 AM
Hi everyone
Has anyone out there ever been subjected to poaching of their students by other classes or group? Especially of the new/younger students who don't really know better.
If so, how did you deal with it and what did you do (If anything).
I have had some students poached from me by a local class and have chosen not to do anything as these people are weak and cannot build their own classes up on their own merits.
Any advice on this subject would be appreciated.
Thanks

Tony

p.s Please remember all we want to do is benefit the students by teaching them Aikido and the ethics involved.

Osu!
This advice might sound weird, but I am using my own advice at the moment in a town with different aikido dojo who are not affiliated.Be the model of ethics and principles that you hold to be true. Extend yourself to the new group and ask them if they could use some help setting up their classes. Offer them the benefit of your insight and experiences and maybe even offer to help them teach a class here or there. It is your job as a leader to demonstrate the values you wish students to learn. That might mean suspending ideas of competiton to get your schools into alignment with aikido principles of conduct rather than regular business. It may also mean swallowing some pride (maybe even enough for both of you) and taking a higher ground. Eliminate scarcity thinking by offering generously to be of help. Anyone who sees this will likely be impressed by the depth of your security and the underlying baseline skills that are required to have such confidence. They will certainly notice it as an alternative method ( like aikido itself).Natural Law will certainly recognize this gesture and reward you with new generation. Maybe the new group are not as sure of themselves as you are and can't accept your help. That is ok. Your continuous extension and generosity will be the legacy of that moment and will mark the ground for the growth of your own aikido school and your larger local aikido community.
I know you can do it. You have the best attitude, if your post speaks honestly, and I believe it does. Be an example and don't sweat it.

My club was one of the first to open beyond the very large dojo that had been the sole private dojo for many years. I was previously a senior member of that dojo and as a result of a peronal vision I had, I chose to open my own and teach aikido in the manner that my spirit requests. Now that i'm done with the backdrop I'll tell you that it feeds the aikido community ( and the public community) to have good schools. In any way I can support students in supplementing their training,skills, and their path I do. It doesn't matter if they are from 'my school' or not. If I have the wisdom, then I'm the teacher in the situation, just like you. That is the grace of the art. Keep up the good work and stay focused on your powerful, integrous path. And thanks for taking on the really big job of sharing aikido.

Gambatte!
Jen Smith Sensei

-BTW, on a lighter note, I personally like students 'over easy' and at times 'scrambled'. Generally poaching just takes too long:p .

Tony Hudspith
08-20-2007, 03:15 PM
hard one to answer this "poaching" what methord did they use free gi ? more exciting techniques early on when other clubs are teaching basics run before you can walk kind of thing.

Hi everyone
Thanks for the replies which are varied which is always good to see. I think I have not made myself clear as I too believe that freedom of choice etc are great and after all just as long as people are training in Aikido that's what counts.
As asked by Justin what method did they use well here is an example.
A student had been training with me and was due to take a grading for 4th kyu when he was approached by "another" who offered him a 2nd kyu if he joined his group without a grading. This also happened to a 1st Dan who was offered 3rd Dan to join. The 1st Dan dismissed the offer but this is what I mean by poaching.
Maybe this was the incorrect term to use.
Hope this clears things up a bit and please remember training ANYWHERE counts and not who with really doesn't it.
Kind regards
Tony

Tony Hudspith
08-20-2007, 03:25 PM
Osu!
Extend yourself to the new group and ask them if they could use some help setting up their classes. Offer them the benefit of your insight and experiences and maybe even offer to help them teach a class here or there.
-BTW, on a lighter note, I personally like students 'over easy' and at times 'scrambled'. Generally poaching just takes too long:p .

Hi Jennifer
Many thanks for your kind support and guidance.
I think it was my openness to all Aikido groups that got me into the mess. I heard of the other class and offered them to visit us and for us to visit them. I then offered for the instructor to share the teaching in my class a a sign of friendship
I like to think that we are all in Aikido together so tried to forge links with both clubs. More the merrier I say.
It was from this introduction and offer of friendship that my hand was bitten. I have the loyalty of my true students and that is what counts in my heart.

On a lighter note I like my students splattered on the tatami RAW!!! :D

Many thanks
Tony

Joe Bowen
08-20-2007, 03:56 PM
Didn't something like this happen in the US sometime in the Mid-Seventies?

crbateman
08-20-2007, 04:25 PM
This kind of thing happens everywhere. You can't keep people from exercising free will. Just do the best job you can to offer a good product, and let the chips fall where they may.

That said, if the "rival" instructor (for want of a better word) is attending classes at your dojo, and using class time (or any time on your premises) to induce your students to move to his school, I think any sane person would say you were within your rights to intervene, and ask the offender to take it up the road. And if you both belong to the same organization, you could ask that organization to intervene on your behalf.

tarik
08-20-2007, 05:16 PM
Hi everyone
A student had been training with me and was due to take a grading for 4th kyu when he was approached by "another" who offered him a 2nd kyu if he joined his group without a grading. This also happened to a 1st Dan who was offered 3rd Dan to join. The 1st Dan dismissed the offer but this is what I mean by poaching.

Aha. Well, the only counter I can think of is to escalate the battle. Offer your students one rank higher than he offers! :yuck:

Or else, don't worry about it because anyone who would accept such an offer might not be training for the same reasons you are. Let them get what they want while you remain focused on what you and those who train with you seek.

I confess that I used to enjoy an occasional visit to places that had such a practice.

Maybe this was the incorrect term to use.

Dunno, it's probably close enough. Personally, I'd call it fraud to sell rank that way, but only in the context of the organization one is a member of... these things have only the value a group of people places in them. You and your students now know the value of his ranks (to you) and can decide accordingly what to do.

Maybe you should see if he'll promote you? ;) j/k, of course.

Hope this clears things up a bit and please remember training ANYWHERE counts and not who with really doesn't it.


If I really believed that, there's a lot of places I'd train where I don't.

-BTW, on a lighter note, I personally like students 'over easy' and at times 'scrambled'. Generally poaching just takes too long .

On a lighter note I like my students splattered on the tatami RAW!!!

Sunny side up, or poached for me!

Regards,

dalen7
08-21-2007, 01:05 AM
A student had been training with me and was due to take a grading for 4th kyu when he was approached by "another" who offered him a 2nd kyu if he joined his group without a grading. This also happened to a 1st Dan who was offered 3rd Dan to join. The 1st Dan dismissed the offer but this is what I mean by poaching.
Maybe this was the incorrect term to use.
Hope this clears things up a bit and please remember training ANYWHERE counts and not who with really doesn't it.
Kind regards
Tony

1st that is amazing that a 1st dan was offered a 3rd dan by what appears to be a 'student' stealer.

2ndly it is amazing that someone who must be quite higher than 3rd dan (to be able to make that offer) is having problems starting his own dojo...and even more, the guys I know 4thdan and above - oversee many dojos as they have trained many people throughout their stay in Aikido and make money through seminars.

3rdly, its no wonder that people think that a black belt in Aikdio can do nothing. I bet I could beat his 3rd kyus with no problem and I havent even ranked 6th kyu yet. :D

Point is my sempai who is 1st kyu has been at it around 10 years, another 1st kyu around 7 years...as well as many 2 kyus at 7years or so. (and our 4 kyus at 3-4 years, etc)

No one is handing anything out here...I bet my sempai could woop up on this dude...even more our 4th dan could with one hand tied behind his back - :D

anyway...who knows...maybe I should join, I could skip 6th kyu altogether (he probably doesnt have it, and move to 3rd.) :D

Is he part of a legit Aikido association? Just curious. I might start my own dojo soon. Thaikido! lol

Peace

dAlen

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-21-2007, 01:57 AM
WOOT! Sweet Jesus, the thread is funny, Tariq, you rule!!!

In Japan, many dojos absolutely do not care if a student trains elsewhere as well, since, well, they don't really care about the students. However, when students get to a level where they have any kind of responsibility, for instance, taking part in the committee for the club or circle, then it becomes very much frowned upon to start doing things outside one's own little circle. In particular, it is considered extremely rude towards the main teacher of the style or dojo to go and learn from other teachers.

No, this does not apply to all aikido dojos by a long way, many welcome visitors and are happy to train with people who only spend a part of their time at one dojo.

However, it does mean that the more traditional the style is, or how old-fashioned (sometimes equivalent to just plain "old") the main teacher is, it can be very difficult to train elsewhere without having to give up the original place (or resigning oneself to no longer being "taught", for what it was worth). It also means that only fairly brave students will have the guts to go out and find what they aren't being shown...

As far as trying to steal students: running a dojo costs money, and most people in Japan that do this have to be independently wealthy in any case. So they don't care too much about the individual student leaving or arriving. I appreciate many Western dojos absolutely scrape by every month, and that this is therefore more of an issue. My take is that if one has to worry about that more than the art, then it is time to get together with other clubs, or train in a cheaper setting, or have a closer look at one's own motives.

justin
08-21-2007, 01:58 AM
Hi everyone
Thanks for the replies which are varied which is always good to see. I think I have not made myself clear as I too believe that freedom of choice etc are great and after all just as long as people are training in Aikido that's what counts.
As asked by Justin what method did they use well here is an example.
A student had been training with me and was due to take a grading for 4th kyu when he was approached by "another" who offered him a 2nd kyu if he joined his group without a grading. This also happened to a 1st Dan who was offered 3rd Dan to join. The 1st Dan dismissed the offer but this is what I mean by poaching.
Maybe this was the incorrect term to use.
Hope this clears things up a bit and please remember training ANYWHERE counts and not who with really doesn't it.
Kind regards
Tony

that does clear things up, firstly i did like the suggestion of opening up your dojo to the new dojo to all train to one goal idea but after reading your description of how the other dojo likes to poach your students i can not see this happening.

I also can not see him being able to sustain this level of crafty marketing for long at some point his dojo would attend some seminar just think of the shame for someone holding a rank of 1st kyu that couldnt even muster the bare basics students will soon release there grades dont count for anything and seek out a more honest methord of training, of course you will always have the my belt is blacker than your belt students but is that a real loss to the dojo.

good luck with however you treat this one.

dalen7
08-21-2007, 04:27 AM
I also can not see him being able to sustain this level of crafty marketing for long at some point his dojo would attend some seminar just think of the shame for someone holding a rank of 1st kyu that couldnt even muster the bare basics students will soon release there grades dont count for anything and seek out a more honest methord of training, of course you will always have the my belt is blacker than your belt students but is that a real loss to the dojo.

good luck with however you treat this one.

I say its competition time when someone starts saying 'my belt is blacker' than yours.

Set up a 'seminar'/'demonstration' with many dojos - and the one dojo will be put to shame as a white belt beats up on a shodan. lol

Peace

dAlen

Angela Dunn
08-21-2007, 05:10 AM
"I would say keep offering what you believe to be high quality teaching and training and let that speak for itself."

Well obviously I can not speak for the rest of the class but believe me on this IMHO it is high quality and it really does speak for itself. At least for myself anyways, ( why yes I would be one of his students! ;) )

Freedom of choice issues aside (and nope we did not know this was going on or who has took the offer up but hum maybe its worth mentioning that there is a dojo out there using these tatics *shrugs*) , If people are getting lurred by the offer of promotion without grading then surely they are not doing themselves justice or getting the most out of their training. If they are looking for the easy way to get to black belt etc quicker then are they the type of people who you want in class should they wish to return.

If people choose to take them up on the offer than they are foolish but theres not a lot you can do about it

"and the one dojo will be put to shame as a white belt beats up on a shodan. lol"

Never mind the white belts, them red belts are fierce once they get going! Lol.

jennifer paige smith
08-21-2007, 08:15 AM
Hi Jennifer
Many thanks for your kind support and guidance.
I think it was my openness to all Aikido groups that got me into the mess. I heard of the other class and offered them to visit us and for us to visit them. I then offered for the instructor to share the teaching in my class a a sign of friendship
I like to think that we are all in Aikido together so tried to forge links with both clubs. More the merrier I say.
It was from this introduction and offer of friendship that my hand was bitten. I have the loyalty of my true students and that is what counts in my heart.

On a lighter note I like my students splattered on the tatami RAW!!! :D

Many thanks
Tony

MMMMM, sumi o tsushi.

I'm happy (? odd choice of words on my part, but) to hear that you were the one who initiated extension to another group. And like I said, just because they can't accept doesn't make it a bad thng. hold your head up high and continue to walk your walk of truth.To me this points to the need of more good aikido models in the world. Just because small minds expand at slow rates doesn't mean you didn't make some positive dent or make a powerful impression on some who may not even be known at the moment. So don't give up on extending to others.
You're totally right; You can't make peple be 'good'. But since aikido is self victory you can continue to refine your aiki spirit. Just don't lose belief in the power of principles and keep your spirit straight. I don't mean to be preachy. i just know that a hit to the spirit can be a hard atemi and I would hate for you to lose your happiness or steam in training. You sound good to me, so I don't know why I'm worried.
Thanks for the good thread and I wish you well. If you'd ever like a friend to come and support your classes, you can count on me ( that is if touchy, feely, ass-kickers are still welcome in other aiki dojo;) ).

Gambatte some more!

Elaine Adams
09-09-2007, 03:37 PM
Tony, you are such an inspirational caring and precise instructor I'd never get poached... except for our amazing instructors within the organisation... but my Thursdays nights are yours.....erm.. until Chester le Street is open to non-beginners..your aikido family love ya!