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Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-11-2009, 12:32 PM
I would like to have your opinions about a strange incident that happened recently at the dojo where I train.
We had this guy training with us, let's call him Steve. Steve was not the very best student in the school. He is obese, and he looks like he's ten months pregnant. On top of that, he is a doctor, and his attendance was very irregular. He often showed up to the early Saturday and Sunday morning classes with hi eyes red from spending the night at the hospital. For all these reasons, Sensei was very patient with him. In spite of that, he seemed to have regressed lately.
One day, we were practicing mae ukemi. Now, we have a few new students, and among them, a couple of young teenagers. Everybody's seen these kids take a martial art school by storm. They are young, fit, enthusiastic, and ukemi is as natural to them as breathing. So this one kid is particular was happily rolling around the mat after maybe two months of training, having a ball. Meanwhile, Steve seemed in danger of breaking his neck with every pathetic attempt. Desperate for a way to encourage the guy, Sensei told him to train next to the kid, and to try to imitate him. The kid is a very well behaved boy, he did not laugh at Steve and was eager to help.
Steve never came back to class after that day. We finally learned by other other students that he had felt humiliated to have been asked to learn from a student young enough to be his son and at least three years his kohai. Completely distraught, he made some research on the internet:confused: and found that in every dojo on the planet, a kohai is supposed to respect a sempai, and to learn from him, and not the other way around. I repeat that the kid was well behaved and did not make fun of his sempai. So Steve has announced that after this humiliating incident, he will not come back.
Steve's good friend, who encouraged him to enroll, told Sensei that he would try his best to make Steve come back to train. It turns out that Steve had also been a pain in class, mainly because of his lack of discipline, and Sensei told the friend not to bother, for he is confident that we can be perfectly happy without Steve.
I personally think that Steve simply needed a reason to quit an activity that he will never admit was too difficult for him. Two months ago, I told another student that he looked increasingly bored in class and that he was probably going to quit. But for the sake of equity and honesty, I would like to ask you guys: how inappropriate is it for a desperate Sensei to ask a student who has not learned much in more than three years to take example from a kohai?

Marc Abrams
02-11-2009, 12:52 PM
Marie:

Respect works both ways. Just because I may be "senior" to somebody, does not mean that this person cannot teach me something. When my students bow to me and the end of class and I bow back to them, I am thanking them for teaching me.

If our egos prevent us from learning, then we don't. Rank and years of training are not the exclusive domains from which knowledge arises.

my two cents.

Marc Abrams

Janet Rosen
02-11-2009, 01:14 PM
I have always been grateful for the feedback, pointers and examples of those who may be half my age or have half the time in the art I do, when the assist is offered sincerely.

OTOH, yes, to have a kohei formally asked to work with you, in many dojos I've been in would not be done - a sempai would be assigned.

In this case, it sounds less like ego and more like a convenient excuse to stop training.

Russ Q
02-11-2009, 03:36 PM
Hi,

After a certain point I think you learn more from kohai than sempai, generally.

That being said, you sound particularly frustrated with "Steve" yourself....why do you post if you're happy he is gone?
Mary Heiny said once to us at a seminar..."Everyone has their own suffering. We need to be compassionate with people." This was said in the context of the idea people have different abilities, motivations and capacities for dealing with (in this case) aikido training and interpersonal relationships in the dojo. There is no doubt that "Steve" needs to work through his own ego issues, but, if he does come back it has likely taken some courage and introspection to be able to do so. You should give him the room to work through his own shit just as you are working through yours....

Just my opinion,

Russ

ramenboy
02-11-2009, 03:45 PM
yeah... you know there's still those threads careening around here about 'Instructors of Low Rank' and 'Everyone's an Instructor'... seems the general consensus is everyone can learn something from anyone. maybe we can rename this thread 'Everyone's a Student'

one thing to remember about the relationship between sempai and kohai/kohai and sempai is that its like one hand washing the other. each one helps the other in some way.

Aikibu
02-11-2009, 04:40 PM
Thats a pretty stickey wicket that Ol Ego is...

Some folks will use any excuse to quit...

Some folks will use any excuse to stay...

A Sensei always hopes for the latter...

William Hazen

lbb
02-12-2009, 08:13 AM
Sounds like Steve isn't the only one with issues. His partners and the dojo in general (based on what Marie says) sound pretty exasperated with him. If you've got a program and he's not getting with it and you want to tell him to shape up or ship out, okay, your dojo your rules. If you decide to let him train there, though, you need to have compassion for what he's struggling with, because it's significant and it's real. It's all very well and good to talk about how he should feel this and he shouldn't feel that, but the typical adult isn't used to being a beginner at things and doesn't respond well or graciously when his/her deficiencies are put on display. Also, the guy is in a negative cycle: he's out of shape, which makes everything he's trying to do harder, which makes it harder for him to get in shape, and he doesn't have a lot of time to train, which means that his techniques don't improve, which makes it harder for him to train, which means that his techniques still don't improve, which means that he doesn't get in shape...you get the idea.

Steve may be the only person who can do anything about the issues that are keeping him from training -- issues physical, practical and psychological -- but he's not going to break that cycle if he can't get a glimpse of daylight. Most likely that's going to have to come from another person. He needs acknowledgment that what he's trying to do is not easy, and he also needs help understanding that it's not easy for anyone. A lot of people can only see their own difficulties looming large in front of them, and never look around the mat and see the man with a congenital hip deformity, the woman with asthma, the parent with a child who needs a lot of extra care, the person who also has a very demanding job, the person whose father just died. Maybe the "Steves" never notice those people because those people carry their problems more lightly. Maybe if someone lets Steve know that he's not alone, and that seeing his predicament makes people feel sympathy and compassion rather than contempt, he'll find what he needs to continue training.

Guilty Spark
02-12-2009, 08:43 AM
-Steve was not the very best student in the school.
-He is obese
- he looks like he's ten months pregnant.
-...with every pathetic attempt.
-Steve had also been a pain in class, mainly because of his lack of discipline.
-Sensei told the friend not to bother, for he is confident that we can be perfectly happy without Steve.

Steve never came back to class after that day.

I personally think that Steve simply needed a reason to quit an activity that he will never admit was too difficult for him.



Did you call him obese, pathetic, 10 months pregnant and an undiciplined pain in the ass to his face or only behind his back?

Cause after that description by one of his classmates I for one can't imagine why he wouldn't love being there. Sounds like a positive environment.
Seriously,what a quitter!

crbateman
02-12-2009, 09:45 AM
Mary and Grant both have made a valid point that "Steve" may be uncomfortable with how others view him. Many times, a person will become intolerably sensitive to others' view of them, because they are already embarrassed for themselves. After all, who is better able to know your limitations and faults than you are? For some, it is motivation enough to do something about it, but for others, it's just easier to wallow in self-pity and a poor self-image. "Steve" may be one of these.

On the other hand, it may be pure ego, and he, with all his education and professional success, just can't bring himself through the indignation of training with "a kid".

Aikido is supposed to foster a climate of self-improvement (masakatsu agatsu and all that) and compassion for others, but it isn't always presented that way. If people are encouraged to compare themselves with others in the class, even if for benevolent reasons, a competitive mindset can, and sometimes does, result. If "Steve" has this mindset, then he will of course be intimidated by others more capable than he, particularly if they are younger or subordinate in rank or tenure.

Moral of the story is that "Steve" will have to deal with it himself (or not) if it's an internal issue, but if others in the dojo have been insensitive or outwardly unkind, or have expectations of him that are way above his capabilities, he has every right and reason to bail. I will say that your public indictment of him in your original post does not leave me comfortable that this is entirely his problem.

Speaking hypothetically, of course, it might have been more sensible (not too mention more compassionate) for your Sensei to have discussed this, delicately and privately, with "Steve", rather than call him out unprepared in class. He could say "I notice you are having some flexibility problems, and maybe we can do some drills in class that can help with that, if you are interested. Let's see if we can push the envelope a little..." It is less likely that this approach could be taken the wrong way, and he would have learned if Steve had a fundamental problem with it, in plenty of time to prevent his departure. Wouldn't have felt better to have actually helped the guy, instead of watching his taillights disappear over the horizon?

Jane
02-12-2009, 10:09 AM
This is sad news. I know 'Steve' personnaly and even if I agree with the fact that he lacked discipline, I can't help but feel sorry for him.
He'll probably lose what he learned and this is the worst part.
I'm now living in another country and I'm sometimes amazed to see the scaredy-cat I am walking home at 10pm alone after class, or talking to complete strangers; I'm very thankful to Aikido, my Sensei and his family because I was eager to learn and grow and they helped me with all they had.
It's the occasion for me to tell you about something I've experienced recently: my Sensei always tells us about the danger of letting your mind wander. I wanted to explore the underground parking of my residence. when I went there, it was so dark!!! I could only see 5% of the scene. Instantly, all the scenes from vampire movies, all the advertisements for novels about that girl with the ax in the parking with the psycho came rushing to my mind and I felt the FEAR. It grabbed me so hard!! I felt I had to go back to the safety of the laudry room (there are lights there :) ). But I told myself I can't let fear drive me crazy and I had myself walk down the parking and check it ou. There was nothing in there. Nothing at all. Not even a mouse.

PS: I must say that even if Marie sounds harsh, she has her reasons. It would be good to mellow a bit but still, she has her reasons. And as for our Sensei, he has already talked with Steve. Many times. But Steve ALWAYS has an excuse.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-12-2009, 11:25 AM
Yes, I agree that my post seems really harsh against a challenged person. But more than three years of patience is a lot. Everybody in the dojo is exasperated with Steve mainly because of his lack of discipline. There is a minimum that must be expected from an adults, obese or not. And my experience with challenged people is that they usually are aware of their handicap, and determined to work hard to overcome them. Steve is my first experience with a challenged person who does not understand that. Usually, someone with physical limitations will understand that others will learn something faster than them. We've all been patient with Steve for years, and we talked for years. It's time for him to understand that he will not improve without a minimum of efforts.
Now, what I wanted to know is: is it really a crime for an instructor to ask a kohai who is really good at something to help out a sempai who is struggling in spite of years of patient teaching?

Ron Tisdale
02-12-2009, 11:28 AM
is it really a crime for an instructor to ask a kohai who is really good at something to help out a sempai who is struggling in spite of years of patient teaching?

A) His dojo, his rules
B) His dojo, his rules
C) His dojo...

you get the idea... :D
Best,
R

ramenboy
02-12-2009, 12:07 PM
...what I wanted to know is: is it really a crime for an instructor to ask a kohai who is really good at something to help out a sempai who is struggling in spite of years of patient teaching?

read my post (#5) above :P

and, if you take the terms 'sempai' and 'kohai' out of it, its perfectly fine to have someone who knows how to roll help someone who doesn't know how to roll.

and ron is right: Sensei's dojo, Sensei's rules.

Sy Labthavikul
02-12-2009, 12:20 PM
Our sensei doesn't like the sempai/kohai system because of how it can be distorted into an ego or power trip, or become a sort of modern day master/slave relationship.

He tells us to consider each of our training partners as a potential source of new knowledge, and to be receptive to perhaps learning something new from anyone at any time; conversely, he also tells us that at any time we could be unknowingly serving as an example or role-model for another student, and that we should act accordingly at all times.

It works pretty well for us, and when we interact with other aikidoka at seminars or when visiting other dojos, we're of course courteous and respectful of their methods, but so far they have rarely ever conflicted with ours and everyone gets along great.

Ketsan
02-12-2009, 12:38 PM
Seems like an odd way of handling things. In our dojo having someone junior assigned to help a senior would not go down well, it would be bad for the harmony of the dojo.

Although Steve might not have been able to do it as well as his junior I'd put money on him knowing better than his junior. By assigning a junior the statment is made that Steve not only cannot perform well but that he never learned it either and has less experience than his junior.

That, in my opinion, is one big slap in the face. I think you'd have to have a serious lack of self-esteem not to be bothered about that, think it would be quite natural to ask why you were bothering with Aikido.
Also, someone that can do a night shift in a hospital and then go training doesn't seem to be looking for an excuse to leave.

I wonder how many people here could work a night shift in a hospital and then go training? And what kind of statements would we make about their dedication? Add weight issues on top of that.

On the other hand he sounds like a bit of a problem student. However, he wasn't enough of a problem to be asked to leave.

Seems to me that he was set an impossible challenge combined with a good slap in the face.
I'm told that in japan if they don't like you they don't tell you, they just make things so hard for you that you can't stay.

Trish Greene
02-12-2009, 01:33 PM
He tells us to consider each of our training partners as a potential source of new knowledge, and to be receptive to perhaps learning something new from anyone at any time; conversely, he also tells us that at any time we could be unknowingly serving as an example or role-model for another student, and that we should act accordingly at all times.


Wow, this was so good I just thought it needed to be said again! It is something to think about in all aspects of our life.

jonreading
02-12-2009, 01:46 PM
I remember a particular instance when as a student, I was asked to help a new guy that was visiting class. He was awful; he could not roll, he was strong and he had difficulty with basic movements like tenkan. After class I consoled the poor fellow and told him he'd get better with practice and that martial arts were hard to learn. Then I noticed a small tatoo on his inner arm when he changed after class... Talk about eating a piece of humble pie. Kohai/sempai relationships give structure to students trying to fit into dojo culture. However, we learn from all students because we train together.

I am going to step onto a soapbox and touch on two tangents to this thread:
1. I am reminded of the phrase, "put your money where your mouth is..." Knowing how to be a good martial artist and being a good martial artist are two different things. There is a component of skill and a component of knowledge that make a good fighter. Excusing deficiency in one area for performance in another is still an excuse.
2. Sensei has discretion to use teaching aids how he best sees fit to help others learn aikido. If you don't like the teaching methods, leave. As I have witnessed from my personal experience, the best instructors usually make class harder for the students they like. In fact, my experience has been that instructors who don't llike you simply ignore you, making things neither harder nor easier than you make them.

While the poster described the student in greater detail than necessary :), the question concerns the role of sensei using different methodologies to faciliate training. Yes, sensei can use a variety of different teaching methods, even unorthodox ones.

If the poster said the kohai was a child and sensei asked the sempai to observe the youthful attitude of the kohai, or the youthful energy of the kohai, how may replies would applaud the sensei for thinking outside of the box? "Mushin! Mushin!" we'd all cry and file that teaching gem away. Instead, sensei says, "this kid rolls better than you, check out what he does and learn how to roll better..." Sometimes the truth hurts.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-12-2009, 01:47 PM
After more than fifteen years of martial arts training, I've been slapped in the face time and again, and I know what it takes to get back on your feet: a strong personality. I've done it time and again, and I am still doing it. I did say that Steve's weight and the fact that he was often exhausted was the reason why Sensei was so patient with him for so long. But does being exhausted give you an excuse to lack discipline? I do not think so. I think that his atitude shows that he only thinks that the class is a way to have fun and meet people. I coul rant on and on on his lack of respect for the classe's discipline, and I would not be alone. What can you expect to learn with such a behavior?

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-12-2009, 01:51 PM
Instead, sensei says, "this kid rolls better than you, check out what he does and learn how to roll better..." Sometimes the truth hurts.

Sensei said: "Try to imitate the kid".
And the kid showed respect for his sempai.

Young-In Park
02-12-2009, 02:34 PM
I went to a seminar where the instructor taught how to counter a particular technique. When I got back to my home dojo, I successfully executed the reversal on several unsuspecting nages.

My next victim was a shy and meek teenage girl. When she first came to the dojo, I could count the number of words she spoke on one hand. When I started to reverse her technique, she countered with a different technique! I tried to reverse her technique a couple of more times, only to have her counter whatever I was trying to do.

After dumping me on my rear several times, she made a sarcastic comment that made me really angry. A junior student should never show up a senior student. So I punched her as fast and as hard as I could.

Instead of taking a shot to the gut, this punk teenage girl got off the line and proceeded to execute kotegaeshi. Now enraged, I got up and tried to punch her several more times, only to have her throw me onto the ground. When I looked up at her in disbelief, she made another sarcastic comment.

After class, I had to give her a stern lecture. In addition to looking after the physical welfare of her training partner, I told her the male ego requires careful handling, especially mine. She told me that she was pretty sure my ego could handle whatever she had to dish out.

Another time, I was sparring with her. To throw her off, I'd ask her questions about this and that. When I asked if she liked to listen the Britney Spears, she exasperatedly answered, "No!" Then I'd hit her when her guard was down. Whenever I did it repeatedly, I'd apologize by saying, "Oops! I did it again."

Afterwards we were sparring. I asked her a question about Britney Spears. She smirked but didn't let her guard down. Then she asked me about if I heard about Christina Aguilar's cosmetic surgery on her breasts.

When I was momentarily distracted with lust in my eyes, my sparring partner took advantage of me and hit me in the head.

nursing a badly damaged ego after all these years,
YoungIn Park

Ron Tisdale
02-12-2009, 03:22 PM
That was refreshing!
B,
R

crbateman
02-13-2009, 02:13 AM
He tells us to consider each of our training partners as a potential source of new knowledge, and to be receptive to perhaps learning something new from anyone at any time; conversely, he also tells us that at any time we could be unknowingly serving as an example or role-model for another student, and that we should act accordingly at all times.This is very sensible. I like to think that whenever any two people meet, regardless of their differences, there is something that each can learn from the other. Opportunities to learn or to teach are limitless.

C. David Henderson
02-13-2009, 11:17 AM
My son, 15, has been practicing since he was around 6. He's currently 4th kyu, but moves with a certain naturalness on the mat that I've seen before in people who grew up doing this.

My son frequently encounters adults who are his kohai who don't know -- though it is obvious from the way he moves and take ukemi from Sensei -- that he has a lot more experience, knowledge, and skill than they currently do. They assume he's the kid, and treat him like a Junior.

Natural reaction in a way, since outside the Dojo adults treat kids as juniors. And so, I guess, that kind of role reversal may be easier for him to shrug and not let it bother him too much than for most adults in the reverse situation, like "Steve."

But when I'm having an ego attack, I think I should "try to imitate the kid."

Lyle Laizure
02-13-2009, 02:59 PM
[QUOTE=Marie Noelle Fequiere;224893 how inappropriate is it for a desperate Sensei to ask a student who has not learned much in more than three years to take example from a kohai?[/QUOTE]

What some seem to forget is that the dojo is not a democracy. The sempai/kohai system is a means of structure. But no matter what the situation the sensei has a responsibility to help students progress and if he/she felt working with kohai was the way to go then that is what should be done.

Young-In Park
02-13-2009, 06:10 PM
What some seem to forget is that the dojo is not a democracy. The sempai/kohai system is a means of structure.

I beg to differ; students can always vote... with their feet.

YoungIn Park

C. David Henderson
02-13-2009, 06:28 PM
And many do.

That is not a reason, in itself for a teacher to change his or her approach. Would you agree?

Shannon Frye
02-13-2009, 07:11 PM
Funny how anytime there is an 'ego problem" involving the kohai/sempai relationship, it's usually the sempai with the issue. More so is the sempai is yudansha.

God forbid a kyu with prior judo training try to show a yudansha (who's has no judo) a tip or two about koshi nage (when yudansha is stuggling with the techinque)!

Mat time is for learning - from sensei, from each other, or from ourselves.

Guilty Spark
02-13-2009, 10:22 PM
Yes, I agree that my post seems really harsh against a challenged person. But more than three years of patience is a lot. Everybody in the dojo is exasperated with Steve mainly because of his lack of discipline. There is a minimum that must be expected from an adults, obese or not.

In this case I the onus would be on the instructor to choose wether it is acceptable that the student shows up and doesn't respect the spirit of training OR approaches the student sets a standard to achieve and failing that has him not attend class until he gets serious.

If the head instructor allowed the student to get away with these actions then there is not much anyone can do.

I remember training (and being taught by) 13 year old black belts. I think it's bound to happen that adults might be put off by being instructed by them.

All in all I think you're sensei crapped the bed over the issue

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-16-2009, 10:48 AM
All in all I think you're sensei crapped the bed over the issue

English is not my mother language, but I am sure that there is a more appropriate way to express what your are trying to say.

Now, for your information, every time the guy is told that this or that in not permitted in class, he will find another annoying behavior that will need to be corrected, and after a couple of years, is becomes exhausting. The guy just has no discipline, and he has no respect for Aikido, and he thinks that this is just a fun hobby. You spend a serious amount of time trying to help somebody who is challenged, but when it becomes obvious that this person is not cooperating, you just let them go.

lbb
02-16-2009, 11:01 AM
English is not my mother language, but I am sure that there is a more appropriate way to express what your are trying to say.

It means that he erred in handling the situation and is inheriting some messy consequences as a result.

Now, for your information, every time the guy is told that this or that in not permitted in class, he will find another annoying behavior that will need to be corrected, and after a couple of years, is becomes exhausting.

Hmm. And there's nothing that these behaviors have in common that could be taught to him as a general principle?

The guy just has no discipline, and he has no respect for Aikido, and he thinks that this is just a fun hobby. You spend a serious amount of time trying to help somebody who is challenged, but when it becomes obvious that this person is not cooperating, you just let them go.

Sure. OTOH, I don't agree with hatin' on someone who views aikido as "just a fun hobby". If all you will allow is O-Sensei cultists, then all you'll have is a cult.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-16-2009, 11:18 AM
It means that he erred in handling the situation and is inheriting some messy consequences as a result.

Hmm. And there's nothing that these behaviors have in common that could be taught to him as a general principle?

Sure. OTOH, I don't agree with hatin' on someone who views aikido as "just a fun hobby". If all you will allow is O-Sensei cultists, then all you'll have is a cult.

Thank you Mary for expressing a legitimate opinion in civilized terms. And precisely, when somebody cannot get a general principle from a simple set of rules, no one can help him. As to being O-Sensei cultists, we do not think that we need to go to these extremes to obtain respect for just simple rules that are exigible in any class, whatever the subject that is taught there.

Guilty Spark
02-16-2009, 12:13 PM
Well like I said. He shit the bed. You can try and make it sound prettier if you want but to what end?

Your sensei has (apparently) put up with years of this guy goofing around in class.
How much of your training has been negitively affected by this students uncorrected behavior.
How much of your peers training has been negitively affcted by this guys lack of discipline.

How many training hours have been spent on this guy that could have been used on someone else?
Have other students quit because your senei continuted to put up with this guy because he's a doctor?

You really seem to have an issue with this fellow. Don't get me wrong, I would too!
Heres my question. What have *you* done try and fix the situation?

Have you went up to him as a peer and told him how you feel about his behavior in class? Either tried to help him or shame him (You know you're disrespecting the rest of us in class and acting like a jerk)
Have you had a face to face discussion with your sensei?
You're all paying for instruction right or is it free lessons?

Discipline wise there is something coined as 90/10 students.
90 percent of an instructors time and effort is spent on 10 percent of the students.
If you feel that strongly about this doctor in our class you should see whoelse in your class feels the same way and confront your sensei.
If the doctor is THAT much of an issue in class and your sensei says it's my dojo I'll do what I want (so to speak) then thats fine, find another dojo and give the doctor lots of 1 on 1 training with the boss man.

Abasan
02-17-2009, 12:51 AM
Age or background isn't a barrier to knowledge or experience. Have you watched Slumdog's millionaire?

Going back to aikido though... there will be somebody out there who's going to come to his first class and perform flawless aikido. Whilst you may have a dan grade with 10 years down and still struggling with the concept of blending. If you can learn from the new guy and he can teach you something, that is more wonderful and practical than debating whether or not the new guy has a right to teach you anything since he is junior.

As for 'Steve', I think your sensei tried his best, but Aikido is not taught. It is learned. If the student doesn't want to learn, Osensei himself will not be able to teach him. (Actually Osensei will probably the worst teach for him in the first place :P but you know what I mean).

earnest aikidoka
02-17-2009, 03:29 AM
age does not matter in aikido, the old can teach the young and vice versa. it is unfair and hurtful to refuse to accept advice from an aikidoka cause of age. it also isn't a smart thing to do, it narrows your own scope on aikido and hampers progress.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-17-2009, 09:09 AM
Well like I said. He shit the bed. You can try and make it sound prettier if you want but to what end?

Your sensei has (apparently) put up with years of this guy goofing around in class.
How much of your training has been negitively affected by this students uncorrected behavior.
How much of your peers training has been negitively affcted by this guys lack of discipline.

How many training hours have been spent on this guy that could have been used on someone else?
Have other students quit because your senei continuted to put up with this guy because he's a doctor?

You really seem to have an issue with this fellow. Don't get me wrong, I would too!
Heres my question. What have *you* done try and fix the situation?

Have you went up to him as a peer and told him how you feel about his behavior in class? Either tried to help him or shame him (You know you're disrespecting the rest of us in class and acting like a jerk)
Have you had a face to face discussion with your sensei?
You're all paying for instruction right or is it free lessons?

Discipline wise there is something coined as 90/10 students.
90 percent of an instructors time and effort is spent on 10 percent of the students.
If you feel that strongly about this doctor in our class you should see whoelse in your class feels the same way and confront your sensei.
If the doctor is THAT much of an issue in class and your sensei says it's my dojo I'll do what I want (so to speak) then thats fine, find another dojo and give the doctor lots of 1 on 1 training with the boss man.

Ok, what I can see is that there is definitely a huge difference of culture between you and me, Grant, and I do not envy you.

Now, I can assure you that I am not the only member of the dojo to complain about Steve. Sensei is not blind, either, and Steve was definitely not allowed to goof around in class, although this was his intention. What have I done? The guy was my sempai. I had to ignore him when he tried to chat about silly things during the class. At one point, I event have to make sure never to be sited next to him. One day, we were paired up. He is a lot bigger than me, and Sensei likes to pair un small people with big ones because in Aikido, you only master a technique when you can make it work on a bigger person. Of course, after a while, a change in partners is needed, so the the bigger person gets a chance to train with somebody matching his size. So we started taking turn practicing our apo roundo on each other, and of course, he did not have to make his technique perfect because he could easily overpower me. In fact, it became clear that he was goofing on purpose, trying to have fun. So I signaled Sensei that it was time for Steve to train with a bigger partner, wich was not my job to decide, but Sensei got the message and forced Steve to work with him for the rest of the class. He was often asked to change this or that behavior, sometimes privately. So no, he did not get the chance to disturb the class, but how long can you harass an adult about behaving like one before you get tired? I am sorry to disappoint you, Grant, but my Sensei does not let anyone goof around in class.

Now, I would like to know why it seems impossible for you to express an opinion without using foul language? The other members of the forum seem to be able to do this very well. Maybe you could learn from a few of us.

Guilty Spark
02-17-2009, 06:41 PM
Very right Marie, a huge difference in culture to be sure. No reason for envy either way, different strokes for different folks right?

To address your last comment-foul language. In the greater scheme of things I figured the language I was using was rather light weight. I find sometimes that well placed 'foul word' can really sum up an argument or point very well.
Again I am sure it is simply a difference betwene our cultures. Personally I find refering to a fellow classmate as "obese, pathetic & looking 10 months pregnant" is very rude, ignorant and unprofessional. Much more an insult than the language I used but i's that culture thing I suppose.

Now I reread all your posts on this thread just to make sure I wasn't missing anything and perhaps blaming your sesei where it should be placed elsewhere.

I still stand by my opinion.
You painted this fellow Steve as a problem student for 3 years. Your post asked if it was inappropriate for a *desperate* sensei to ask a young student to tutor an older one.
I don't know much about teaching but if your sensei is desperate and after 3 years his fix is to pair the problem student up with a younger one is some kinda last hope well to me that seems like perhaps he was TOO patient. 3 years seems like a long time to be dealing with a fellow such as this.

I have to wonder, was your question more about your sense's actions OR was it perhaps about you looking for some kind of justification for you to dislike him or want him out of class? I'm not trying to be rude Marie and remember it's just my opinion but reading your posts it felt like you really didn't like this steve guy (I wouldn't like him either) and you were looking for people to take your side and make you feel good about not liking him.

he did not have to make his technique perfect because he could easily overpower me. In fact, it became clear that he was goofing on purpose, trying to have fun. So I signaled Sensei that it was time for Steve to train with a bigger partner, wich was not my job to decide, but Sensei got the message and forced Steve to work with him for the rest of the class. He was often asked to change this or that behavior, sometimes privately. So no, he did not get the chance to disturb the class, but how long can you harass an adult about behaving like one before you get tired? I am sorry to disappoint you, Grant, but my Sensei does not let anyone goof around in class.

My daughter does this to me. It's called testing someone. Perhaps your sensei did not permit anyone to 'goof around in class' but it does sound like he let Steve get away with *trying* to goof around in class and trying to see what he could get away with.
You said he was often asked to change his behavior- IMO he should have been told twice.
I wouldn'y need to harass an adult. If I'm in charge then it is a strictly I talk you listen- I give direction you follow environment.

If I was your sensei and this Steve fellow refused to behave I would make him sit each and every class on the side of the mat watching the rest of the class until he got the idea or quit. Maybe you can suggest that to your sensei if this happens again in the future?

mathewjgano
02-18-2009, 07:45 AM
I'd like to reiforce the Mary Heiny remark that we each have our own stuff and that compassion is probably the best response...regardless of the amount of time dealing with the various issues. That said it's up to the sensei to accept or deny students and while it may have been difficult to deal with Steve, one could view that as a form of training all on its own...I would say that's actually a pretty big part of it in fact, those interpersonal exchanges which don't go according to plan.
All in all it sounds like a non-issue now, so hopefully folks have learned something usefull from it, because given a long enough timeline you'll all certainly experience more.:)
Cheers e'erybody!
Matt

jennifer paige smith
02-18-2009, 10:49 AM
I would like to ask you guys: how inappropriate is it for a desperate Sensei to ask a student who has not learned much in more than three years to take example from a kohai?

In the account you've provided I didn't hear any desperation on the parr of the sensei. To my ear, the instruction was given by the sensei and not by the kohai. The example of the sempai was poor in that he could not accept instruction from his sensei; which was to emulate another persons training for a short period during training.

tarik
02-24-2009, 12:42 PM
I would like to have your opinions about a strange incident that happened recently at the dojo where I train.

Steve's good friend, who encouraged him to enroll, told Sensei that he would try his best to make Steve come back to train. It turns out that Steve had also been a pain in class, mainly because of his lack of discipline, and Sensei told the friend not to bother, for he is confident that we can be perfectly happy without Steve.

He's right (Sensei, that is).

I personally think that Steve simply needed a reason to quit an activity that he will never admit was too difficult for him. Two months ago, I told another student that he looked increasingly bored in class and that he was probably going to quit. But for the sake of equity and honesty, I would like to ask you guys: how inappropriate is it for a desperate Sensei to ask a student who has not learned much in more than three years to take example from a kohai?

Not inappropriate at all.

Regards,

Esaemann
02-25-2009, 08:20 AM
Title caught my eye.

At my daoguan (Tai Chi school), the head instructor told me that we are all equal (brothers) - even the instructor. That was when I had asked if I could broom the floor when I saw him doing it. Deep down, probably, I can't let go of the fact that he and I are not equal in the daoguan. Guess I'll never run out of things to work on.

Eric

BWells
02-25-2009, 02:30 PM
I'm going to leave the age and respect thing aside. What I do think is that it was a mistake to have someone who was a natural at ukemi try to teach Steve. I think it would have been better to assign someone who had to struggle to learn and then finally got it. That person would have much easier time appreciating how hard it is for Steve to learn this. People who are naturals often don't appreciate how hard this can be for us morals (a reason why so few great athletes make good coaches):hypno:

Thanks
Bruce

danielab1924
02-26-2009, 12:03 AM
sounds like this guy was possibly too tired to fully enjoy aikido. Some days I've come to the dojo when I was really tired and probably shouldn't have because all I could think about was getting rest and not having much interest in what everyone else was doing. Maybe he felt that since he's been there for several years that it seemed akward for him to tell your sensei he quits without much of a reason. It seems that he used that incident as an excuse to quit but he probably was a little insulted that a kid was getting something he wasn't. It seems unlikely that anyone would have prevented him from quitting eventually but none-the-less it might not have been the best idea to partner him up with someone so much younger than him.

-Daniela:cool:
:ai: :ki: :do:

Amir Krause
02-26-2009, 05:57 AM
Marie

I found several very separate points on which to comment, partially because it seems to me you only described a very partial picture, from a very specific point of view. And I am not even sure you know all the details (and I for one surely do not). Further, I think in this type of situations, insinuations and details are very important.


how inappropriate is it for a desperate Sensei to ask a student who has not learned much in more than three years to take example from a kohai?
Unless you live in feudal Japan, in some specific very formal era and sub-group of the society. I honestly do not think this is inappropriate at all. It is another example of taking some rules of a different culture, without understanding it.
Even in my short visit to Japan, I found the Sensei and Sempai I studied with to be very informal, true, I had the advantage of practicing in a very small system with tiny groups. But the moral of this issue is the Japanese themselves consider the substance of the Reigi and not to formalities.

Is such behavior on Sensei side appropriate?
Here, we have had lessons in which Sensei had asked one student to teach, even though some of that students Sempai were on the mat. Sensei had reasons for these cases, and they could vary. For example that student being an expert in another M.A., or Sensei may have wished that student to accumulate some teaching experience (either so he could teach, or to help him improve his aikido or just to boost that student self confidence).
In some cases some of the Sempai of said student knew in advance of Sensei intentions, but not always and not necessarily all. [B]However, it was clear to all that Sensei has had his goals and it was not related to humiliating them. And sesnei did explain his reasons from time to time.

Should a person like 'Steve' had stayed?
Different people find their place in different places. It is possible that 'Steve' place was not among you for a long time, and this incident was just the last straw.
I have seen some abusive disruptive students whom Sensei asked never to return and gave them their money back (I recall one incident in which some present claimed the student almost attacked Sensei afterwards, a very stupid act).
I have seen over-active \ impatient students who did not find their place with us.
I have also seen few extremely untalented people, who, despite our best efforts, were simply incapable of training with us (physically and mentally -- the two are linked). And we are very tolerant and have in the last two decades or so collected many students who far from "naturally talented" (self included), to the point one may suspect Sensei of setting himself with the task of teaching M.A. up to high levels to such people.
When asked by someone which M.A. he should train, I normally concentrate on the matching of student, Sensei and group, even more then the so called style.

Should 'Steve' have stayed ?
I would not discount his dedication to Aikido so simply. It is not fair to compare dedication just based on appearance; one should take into consideration the objective and subjective loads. To me, coming to train immediately after a night shift sounds like a very difficult thing, And so does insisting on training even when you are far from fit.
Obviously, ones level of awareness and concentration at such times is lacking, and one may need some additional stimuli to keep it up (talking or working on a challenge). Here again comes the issue of matching the personal situation and the "group spirit", his needs did not fit with yours.
I can also understand how frustrated and disappointed he feels. As an adult, who has a relatively high social status -- M.D, whom struggles to find some time to come and train in his very busy schedule, and fights against his abilities to succeed, and then Sensei tells him to go and learn from a youth. This is not the case of the really advanced student who should take a lesson of ego.

Should Sensei have acted that way?
Seems to me your Sensei could have been more sensitive and mature.
One can tell a person he does not fit in with the group. On the other hand, from yor descriptions, I understand your Sensei did talk with him about it more then once.
An experianced Sensei can also understand the feelings of such a student, and find ways to cope with it.
But Your Sensei has a group to care for, and he may have realized 'Steve' does not fit in, yet is not going to leave, and did not fdo anything which merits his being thrown...



So, these are my points for thought. Some go towards one point, and others go the other. I tried to write more on the things you (Marie ) would probably dislike, and less on the points going your way. Again, at the end, I was not there and so can only write general pointers, which may not relate to this particular case.

Amir

Keith Larman
02-26-2009, 09:35 AM
Well, I'll take on the position of the mean guy. The only humilitation here is that the guy realized that after a lot of years the sensei still had to suggest he watch relative beginners take ukemi in order to improve his. Ukemi should not be an issue this many years in. His only humiliation was the realization that after all that time he still hadn't made any progress. And it sounds like the reasons for that are all his own.

So he gets embarrassed or humiliated. Why? Because after all these years he still has to be told to watch beginners who are doing it well. And heck, I've suggested to adult yudansha that they watch some kids in my advanced kids classes that train before the adult class. They'll watch these kids do amazing things. Talent, grace, and balance are not the sole domain of the high level yudansha. Sometimes its the 13 year old who's been doing ballet since she was 4...

I have some good friends (and customers) who train in koryu arts. One expression I've always thought would be well served if at least considered a small bit in Aikido is "the ryu doesn't exist for the student, the student exists to help move the ryu forward". The point is important for classical ryuha as the idea is one of proper transmission. Aikido tends to be structured much differently but I think there is still something to learn there. I think there is a larger lesson here in that ultimately Aikido *cannot* be all things to all people without losing our soul in the process. And there are limits to how far "we bend over backwards" with individual students who aren't willing to "pay" with effort, focus, and seriousness on the mat. If you don't listen you don't improve. And if you don't improve because you don't listen, well, proceed to back room and slap yourself around...

Some come to Aikido more or less to spend pleasant hours training. Cool, I have no problem with that. It has an important social aspect for the human, social animal. But they have no one to be angry with other than themselves if they end up in a position having to learn from a kohai 20 years younger because they haven't put in enough effort to master even a basic aspect of training?

And how many long termers here know of other ranked yudansha whose rank is more about the sheer number of years spent training rather than the quality of their abilities? More persistance and longevity than skill. Or to put it another way, they've been training at exactly the same level for over a decade. That makes them sempai to a lot of people including some who have likely long past them by in terms of skill. Thinking in those terms maybe it is better that some of these people find the door sooner... :confused:

But back to Anne Marie's OP, it becomes a safety issue if someone can't take the ukemi. They'll never progress because you simply can't trust them to take care of themselves.

On a side note, I remember once working with a student (not mine) who privately asked me why sensei pretty much ignored him in class. Well, every time sensei asked him to adjust something, move here, do that, the guy would argue, explain, or just make excuses why. He did it with me as well and I was an instructor as well who was simply sitting in on class for fun. Not my class to be teaching but I still would make a few suggestions to him here and there but all he'd do is promptly explain away or ignore. I very quickly stopped making any suggestions at all (after all, not my class anyway so I really should just train). I used to wonder why the guy bothered coming to class if he was incapable of listening to his sempai or sensei. At first I wrote it off to a lack of confidence and a fear of being "wrong" (typical over achiever finding something more difficult thant hey expected). Simple defense mechanism. But in the end that's just an *explanation* for the behavior and if it doesn't change it just becomes a waste of everyone's time. Just because you know why they aren't listening doesn't change the fact that they aren't. And you can't force someone to listen. Or try harder. You try to motivate them, but if they clearly aren't going to try, well, why bother? There is little point in speaking to someone who isn't listening to you in the first place, neh?

Anyway, I told the guy that his role was to listen and learn to corrections and not to argue about it. In general the correct "answer" when sensei says something is not to argue but simply to listen then say "Hai, sensei". He got annoyed with me and wouldn't pair up with me again that day after that. Shrug.

The problem was between his ears, no where else.

And the door to the dojo allows people to walk in two directions. Ideally in for those who are willing and ready to learn. And out for those who aren't. And in the larger view individual students who aren't willing to learn almost always walk out sooner or later and are quickly replaced by someone else who hopefully will try a bit harder to learn what's being taught.

jennifer paige smith
02-26-2009, 11:14 AM
Well, I'll take on the position of the mean guy. The only humilitation here is that the guy realized that after a lot of years the sensei still had to suggest he watch relative beginners take ukemi in order to improve his. Ukemi should not be an issue this many years in. His only humiliation was the realization that after all that time he still hadn't made any progress. And it sounds like the reasons for that are all his own.

So he gets embarrassed or humiliated. Why? Because after all these years he still has to be told to watch beginners who are doing it well. And heck, I've suggested to adult yudansha that they watch some kids in my advanced kids classes that train before the adult class. They'll watch these kids do amazing things. Talent, grace, and balance are not the sole domain of the high level yudansha. Sometimes its the 13 year old who's been doing ballet since she was 4...

I have some good friends (and customers) who train in koryu arts. One expression I've always thought would be well served if at least considered a small bit in Aikido is "the ryu doesn't exist for the student, the student exists to help move the ryu forward". The point is important for classical ryuha as the idea is one of proper transmission. Aikido tends to be structured much differently but I think there is still something to learn there. I think there is a larger lesson here in that ultimately Aikido *cannot* be all things to all people without losing our soul in the process. And there are limits to how far "we bend over backwards" with individual students who aren't willing to "pay" with effort, focus, and seriousness on the mat. If you don't listen you don't improve. And if you don't improve because you don't listen, well, proceed to back room and slap yourself around...

Some come to Aikido more or less to spend pleasant hours training. Cool, I have no problem with that. It has an important social aspect for the human, social animal. But they have no one to be angry with other than themselves if they end up in a position having to learn from a kohai 20 years younger because they haven't put in enough effort to master even a basic aspect of training?

And how many long termers here know of other ranked yudansha whose rank is more about the sheer number of years spent training rather than the quality of their abilities? More persistance and longevity than skill. Or to put it another way, they've been training at exactly the same level for over a decade. That makes them sempai to a lot of people including some who have likely long past them by in terms of skill. Thinking in those terms maybe it is better that some of these people find the door sooner... :confused:

But back to Anne Marie's OP, it becomes a safety issue if someone can't take the ukemi. They'll never progress because you simply can't trust them to take care of themselves.

On a side note, I remember once working with a student (not mine) who privately asked me why sensei pretty much ignored him in class. Well, every time sensei asked him to adjust something, move here, do that, the guy would argue, explain, or just make excuses why. He did it with me as well and I was an instructor as well who was simply sitting in on class for fun. Not my class to be teaching but I still would make a few suggestions to him here and there but all he'd do is promptly explain away or ignore. I very quickly stopped making any suggestions at all (after all, not my class anyway so I really should just train). I used to wonder why the guy bothered coming to class if he was incapable of listening to his sempai or sensei. At first I wrote it off to a lack of confidence and a fear of being "wrong" (typical over achiever finding something more difficult thant hey expected). Simple defense mechanism. But in the end that's just an *explanation* for the behavior and if it doesn't change it just becomes a waste of everyone's time. Just because you know why they aren't listening doesn't change the fact that they aren't. And you can't force someone to listen. Or try harder. You try to motivate them, but if they clearly aren't going to try, well, why bother? There is little point in speaking to someone who isn't listening to you in the first place, neh?

Anyway, I told the guy that his role was to listen and learn to corrections and not to argue about it. In general the correct "answer" when sensei says something is not to argue but simply to listen then say "Hai, sensei". He got annoyed with me and wouldn't pair up with me again that day after that. Shrug.

The problem was between his ears, no where else.

And the door to the dojo allows people to walk in two directions. Ideally in for those who are willing and ready to learn. And out for those who aren't. And in the larger view individual students who aren't willing to learn almost always walk out sooner or later and are quickly replaced by someone else who hopefully will try a bit harder to learn what's being taught.

Nice & timely post, Keith. Thanks.

js

aikidoc
02-26-2009, 06:51 PM
Perhaps Steve was looking for an out. It sounds like he was out of his comfort zone anyway. Doctors sometimes have trouble taking input from someone they consider "beneath" them. Nurses run in to such obstacles all the time.

Guilty Spark
02-27-2009, 12:15 PM
Jason I think you will find that attitude true in all professionals and persons with high education.

lbb
02-27-2009, 02:59 PM
Who's Jason?

Guilty Spark
02-27-2009, 10:52 PM
Either someone has you on ignore Mary or I meant John ;)

Buck
02-28-2009, 12:04 AM
Doctors sometimes have trouble taking input from someone they consider "beneath" them. Nurses run in to such obstacles all the time.

True, I was at the doctor's office in the room waiting for the doctor. When the doctor came in, she must have felt comfortable with me enough to complain about the nurses. The doctor had a Satori right after complaining about the nurses. She complained about the nurses being inferior and going against her by saying, "...if they felt that way should have become doctors themselves." Once she said that, she said humbly in the mist of her Satori, "...maybe that is why the don't [become doctors], because they don't want that responsibility." Meaning they didn't want the responsibility, or where unable to have that responsibility- due to family etc. things and responsibilities the doctor didn't have to become a doctor. That any of those nurses, she complained about could have been doctors, if they didn't have other responsibilities that prevented them from being doctors.

But, I have run into some nurses that really amaze me at their level of intelligence, well the lack of intelligence and character. I ran into one nurse who looked like and acted like a veteran greasy spoon truck stop waitress. She was screwing up right and left, and really unprofessional. I finally had to tell her I was really uncomfortable with her attending to me. I think ego does lead to an attitude of superiority in skill and stuff as seen in the medical field with doctors. If you think your the best you have to prove it. You have to live up to it. There are greater expectations and risks, and responsibilities.

Mark Peckett
02-28-2009, 03:11 PM
Steve has red eyes and attends classes irregularly because he works (long hours by implication) as a doctor at a hospital. He may not be much at ukemi, but I sure as hell want him around when I'm sick.
Hope he doesn't get some young kid to diagnose me, though.

Keith Larman
02-28-2009, 05:16 PM
Geez, how did we get from a student acting like someone stepped on their twinkie to generalizations about doctors, nurses and god-complexes? My wife works in the medical field and we have a lot of good friends who are doctors, nurses, techs, etc. A good group of dedicated people with the normal spectrum of the weirdness we all are guilty of exhibiting from time to time. Nurses and doctors included. People no matter their profession have the odd habit of being... well... people.

If the dude is tired, well, he's tired. Comes with the territory for some in the medical world unfortunately. But I work very long hours myself (starving artist kinda deal) and I sometimes get to hear about how horrible I look when I walk into the dojo. But I find getting on the mat to be a healing, invigorating thing (well, most of the time anyway). Too tired? Don't come. Can't take ukemi? Learn to watch others and work on it.

So if he's going to get huffy and quit over being asked to watch other students who do something better than him, well, that's *mighty* thin-skinned. You need to check the ego at the door to the dojo. I don't know about the rest of you, but I go to learn. And even if I'm the one teaching I find myself learning something each and every time. There's a 10-year-old who just started a few months in our dojo who is able to perform marvelous rolls. Beautiful. I saw one thing I wanted to correct in how she was hitting the mat with her fists, but, I also saw something else that I realized maybe would improve my own rolls (moderately injured fella that I am)... So there ya go. Good stuff is everywhere.

Honestly I just don't believe in chasing down someone whose ego is so fragile it gets bruised on such little things. If it wasn't that event it would be another one soon after. Shrug and move on. In 2 years there will be someone else who'll get their undies in a bunch over something else relatively trivial to worry about anyway. Hang around long enough and you start to forget a lot of the people who have quit. Not that you want people to quit, but, hey, not everyone is going to stay.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-04-2009, 11:57 AM
Ok guys, I've been away for a few days, and I can see that this discussion has heated considerably. Some of you still think that we lacked compassion for an exhausted individual needing to train. Seriously, nobody objected about his red eyes or his habit of snoring during meditation. We could understand that. Not to mention the kids, who loved it. Being a doctor, Steve was allowed to have his cell phone not far from the mat, and to ask permission to leave the mat when it rang. Sometimes, after talking in his phone, he would just grab his bag and leave in a hurry. We could understand that. But when one day, he asked permission to leave the mat, went to crack a few jokes with a someone who was watching the class, and came back, nobody understood. He was asked not to do that. He did not do it anymore - he did other things - but just having to explain something like this to an adult can be trying for one's patience. He started training at least a year before me, and he admitted one day that he could no longer execute some techniques that he used to do before. That's why I think that he lost interest, and with it, his concentration in class. The only way for me to explain this attitude from someone who was able to study to be a doctor is that he has respect for his profession, but not for Aikido. In fact, I have reasons to think that he has no respect for the martial arts in general. In this case, he was free to leave, instead of trying to have fun in class. By the way, I haven't yet noticed the benefits of having someone purposefully execute a technique on me in a ridiculously wrong way for the fun of it.
As for the cultural aspect of this discussion, my describing Steve as obese was just a description. The last time I looked, obese was a medical term. I was not aware that it qualified as foul language. But, as I already said, english is not my mother language. Also, I appreciate that someone who has a problem with me to take it on me, not on somebody who isn't there.
Thank you all for your ideas, both those that I agree with and those that I do not. This world would be such a boring place if we all thought and acted the same. And that's what cultural exchange is about: learning about others.

Joseph Madden
03-14-2009, 06:49 PM
I have yet to enter ANY dojo where there haven't been inflated egos, and that goes for the instructors as well. In fact, the ratio of super sized egos to truly humble practitioners of the art was 5 to 1. In fact, the entire discussion is ego based. Everyone, including myself, trying to point out THEIR opinion. This whole ego and the martial arts discussion? Its all about ego. It always has been.

tarik
03-14-2009, 07:28 PM
I have yet to enter ANY dojo where there haven't been inflated egos, and that goes for the instructors as well. In fact, the ratio of super sized egos to truly humble practitioners of the art was 5 to 1. In fact, the entire discussion is ego based.

As are all discussions, for the most part, right?

Everyone, including myself, trying to point out THEIR opinion.

Offering anyone else's opinion would be pointless, wouldn't it?

This whole ego and the martial arts discussion? Its all about ego. It always has been.

An appropriately managed ego is an important thing to offer to our training partners. Discussion is one approach to it understanding what that might be.

Regards,

Buck
03-14-2009, 11:19 PM
As for the cultural aspect of this discussion, my describing Steve as obese was just a description. The last time I looked, obese was a medical term. I was not aware that it qualified as foul language. But, as I already said, english is not my mother language. Also, I appreciate that someone who has a problem with me to take it on me, not on somebody who isn't there.

Good post in its completeness not seen here.

OT (just for a moment) Obese being obscene isn't the half of it. Language usage has really has gotten hyper-sensitive. It was stuff that use to be reserved for the elite few busy-body holier than thou old ladies. It really has gotten crazy.

The other day I was talking to a friend and we talked about the drug violence problem in Mexico if going down to Mexico during spring break. I talked about what I heard in the news, "a Mexican was caught with a very sophisticated high power automatic assult rife." Another person hear that and got offended because I said "Mexican." I turned and said, since when did the word "Mexican" become an offensive word, should I have used Canadian instead, would that have offend you any less... Eh hoser? :crazy:

lbb
03-15-2009, 06:11 PM
OT (just for a moment) Obese being obscene isn't the half of it.

Whoa up on the language police rant -- just who said that "obese" was an obscenity?

Buck
03-15-2009, 10:40 PM
Whoa up on the language police rant -- just who said that "obese" was an obscenity?

Right here, Mary.

The last time I looked, obese was a medical term. I was not aware that it qualified as foul language.

Didn't mean for this to go into too much of a drift. Just wanted to comment, and then move on. Unless Mary you want to start a new thread....he he he evileyes closest thing to being a little devilish.

ninjaqutie
04-29-2009, 05:55 PM
Gah... this stuff always makes my sword hand angry! :grr: Ranks, time spent in training and all that stuff always causes problems for some people. I believe that you can learn some of your best lessons from a beginner. If I have a lousy technique, I am going to watch and want help from someone who knows what they are doing... regardless of rank. We have a person in our dojo who has been there for about a year and a half. I have been there for 2 months. They are unable to take ukemi. They can't do a back fall, face fall and their rolls aren't too good either. My falls and rolls are pretty good for a beginner of aikido... but I also studied aikijitsu for 8 years and have done my fair share of being thrown and rolling.

This person is kind and tells me that they like my ukemi. I say "thank you". She is an example of a person that is simply there to learn and doesn't always compare herself to others. Martial arts is meant to be done at your own pace. If "Steve" would have stuck around longer and trained more often then I am sure he would have gotten better. I am also sure, based upon what you said that the newer guy would surpass the other guy..... thus eliminating the "He's lower then I am" syndrome.... :p

I can say from my 8 years of training previously that I have seen students like "Steve" come and go. Even though I was newer then some students, I went up the ranks faster then they did. It did cause jealousy among a few students, but eventually they left. Eventually, as you climb the ranks and teach, you can tell within the first few classes whether someone will stick it out or not. Martial arts is all about doing things at your own pace, being humble and learning. Rank.... belts..... time..... in the end, it doesn't really matter!

Sorry for the rant! It struck a nerve. HAHA.

erikmenzel
05-23-2009, 07:12 AM
I cannt even imagine being mad about being asked to train with somebody.
Every person is worth training with, every person has something that can teach you, if only in being a mirror for your own actions.

I get mad at people that refuse to train with someone because of some silly excuse: I cannt train with him cause he only started yesterday, I cannt train with her cause she is spastic, I can train with him cause he frustrates me.

Reflecting on why someone else should train with you might get some people back on the right path (although I do realize not all)