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oharrismaytin
06-03-2010, 12:14 PM
Hello everyone: Sometimes in Aikido a person can accept something by the sole explanation of tradition and discipline. And there is nothing wrong with it

The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.

I talked to him so I feel I did what I had to do. Now, I asked you how do you go about this issue.

Would love to learn your input.

Thanks.

Omar

ninjaqutie
06-03-2010, 03:21 PM
Maybe he is trying to keept a light and fun environment for the kids? No idea.....

RED
06-03-2010, 03:29 PM
Ummm... sounds like fun. But, I believe in the uniform. Not so much for tradition. But I understand the need for a display professionalism. Respectful dress and professionalism helps keep training in perspective. It's okie to joke around every now and then, but we are here to accomplish something.
Plus, professionalism is preferred for potential students. Maybe he has nothing investing in the success of his dojo? Frankly what school would you join: the people dressed respectfully who are training with a friendly and professional attitude; or the school with ninjas and power rangers?
If you prefer the power ranger clothing, then we now know of a dojo that would facilitate those needs. :D

dps
06-03-2010, 03:48 PM
Ummm... sounds like fun. But, I believe in the uniform. Not so much for tradition. But I understand the need for a display professionalism. Respectful dress and professionalism helps keep training in perspective. It's okie to joke around every now and then, but we are here to accomplish something.
Plus, professionalism is preferred for potential students. Maybe he has nothing investing in the success of his dojo? Frankly what school would you join: the people dressed respectfully who are training with a friendly and professional attitude; or the school with ninjas and power rangers?
If you prefer the power ranger clothing, then we now know of a dojo that would facilitate those needs. :D

A uniform does not equal professional. Any idiot can wear one.

I would chose a school with a teacher who had something I wanted to learn regardless of the costume.

David

Mark Gibbons
06-03-2010, 03:48 PM
...But I understand the need for a display professionalism. Respectful dress and professionalism helps keep training in perspective. .... :D

What do you mean by professionalism? Are you all making a living off of Aikido at your dojo and wearing fancy dogi or do you wear body armour?

Mark

dps
06-03-2010, 03:50 PM
Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice.

Play is the work of children, it is how they learn best.

David

RED
06-03-2010, 03:55 PM
What do you mean by professionalism? Are you all making a living off of Aikido at your dojo and wearing fancy dogi or do you wear body armour?

Mark

No, we wear gi and hakama... like most in the USAF.

You misunderstand me; if we don't keep attendance up, the rent comes out of Sensei's pocket, out of Sensei's personal savings. That should be motivation enough to a student to take efforts to look as put together as possible in the presence of potential students.

Beyond caring about my teacher's plight; point blank:This is the only certified instruction in North Florida/south Georgia.. if we don't make rent the place closes down...then I have to move to another city....and I don't like U-hauls.

RED
06-03-2010, 04:02 PM
A uniform does not equal professional. Any idiot can wear one.

I would chose a school with a teacher who had something I wanted to learn regardless of the costume.

David

Let's be honest here. The meat of a dojo's income is children, and random novice who could of easily of joined the local McDojo down the street.
The people who honestly seek teachers are rare these days. Most are looking to pay for a service, and are more apt to go with whatever is cheaper and closer to their work or home.

I might be in the minority here, but I have a very real investment in the success of my dojo. I have a real motivation to help my instructor's dream of this dojo, and I'm dead set we'll survive this economic slump.
With that said I want potential students to see Aikikai Aikidoka training, not power rangers or ninjas. First impressions are vital to obtaining a student. Past that excellent teaching and a friendly training atmosphere is what will keep students.

sakumeikan
06-03-2010, 06:03 PM
Hello everyone: Sometimes in Aikido a person can accept something by the sole explanation of tradition and discipline. And there is nothing wrong with it

The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.

I talked to him so I feel I did what I had to do. Now, I asked you how do you go about this issue.

Would love to learn your input.

Thanks.

Omar
Hi Omar,
If this instructor is teaching kids and he wants to create a funny /happy atmosphere why doesnt he take his dress code to the extreme and dress up as Batman/Spiderman or some comic book hero?I am sure this would go down a treat.
One of the major problems I have with some Martial Arts groups/guys is the fact that the go around looking like Advertising Billboards.Will not be long before some guys rent out the soles of their feet to McDonalds/Burger King .Call me old and boring but keep the outfit plain and simple.
How you resolve it when the walking fashion plate disaster is the instructor is a tough one.

dps
06-03-2010, 06:47 PM
The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.


Any parent that has or has had kids will tell you that tradition and discipline does not attract kids. As a matter of fact that will drive them away.

It has to be fun to attract and keep kids.

David

Dazzler
06-04-2010, 07:05 AM
Nothing wrong with breaking with tradition if there is some form of improvement.

Breaking with tradition just because you can is to me more about ego and spits in the face of those that have gone before.

I'll continue to dress as my instructor dresses, and I'll expect my students to follow 'suit'. (clever little pun there :) )

If someone down the road wants to dress up as a clown then that is how I'll percieve them.

In this instance - not much else you can do, Their dojo - their rules.

Regards

D

lbb
06-04-2010, 07:07 AM
Eh. Not enough information to judge whether the practice described by OP hurts or harms this dojo or the instructor's practice. All you can do is generalize, and even that's not particularly helpful: there are plenty of examples where use of a uniform helps to keep the focus where it belongs, and plenty of examples where the uniform becomes the focus.

Anjisan
06-04-2010, 09:39 AM
Hello everyone: Sometimes in Aikido a person can accept something by the sole explanation of tradition and discipline. And there is nothing wrong with it

The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.

I talked to him so I feel I did what I had to do. Now, I asked you how do you go about this issue.

Would love to learn your input.

Thanks.

Omar

This reminded me of when I first begin in karate (my very first martial art) many years age. One of my peers thought that it was a bright idea to wear a full ninja uniform (complete with Black Belt-uh oh). The senior black belts physically conveyed their displeasure during sparring (American kickboxing style) and he never wore anything but a karate gi again. As a teacher I believe one leads by example and if one is in a more "traditional art" then it seems to come with the territory. I certainly cannot imagine my sensei or Saotome sensei teaching in anything but a Aikido gear myself.

Michael Hackett
06-04-2010, 10:39 AM
I attended an open house at a new karate school a few years ago and the Dojo Cho changed uniforms several times during the day, each time selecting a new color and fabric. His Shihan did the same thing with lots of satin, piping, reds and yellows. It didn't ring my bell at all, but they operate a very successful school, with tons of students and great tournament success.

My son runs a BJJ school and he and his students look like NASCAR drivers. Again, lots of students and success.

I still like a nice white gi!

Anjisan
06-04-2010, 10:52 AM
I attended an open house at a new karate school a few years ago and the Dojo Cho changed uniforms several times during the day, each time selecting a new color and fabric. His Shihan did the same thing with lots of satin, piping, reds and yellows. It didn't ring my bell at all, but they operate a very successful school, with tons of students and great tournament success.

My son runs a BJJ school and he and his students look like NASCAR drivers. Again, lots of students and success.

I still like a nice white gi!

Back in the day I had trained at American style as well as traditional karate dojos. Personally, I liked the American technique (kickboxing) but traditional everything else. In my experience I began (this is the same for Aikido) looking for a school where the dojo was NOT the sensei's main occupation, but rather something done part-time.

This drastically reduced the pressure for testing fees, belt fees, breathing fees, extra stripes on belts one had to test for and yes...... pay a fee for. In essence, a real commercial operation that there are advertisements in martial arts magazines for on how to optimize revenue, make the most dollar--what is each student worth actually-not my cup of tea for the warrior path I guess.

bulevardi
06-04-2010, 12:11 PM
Talk the kid about dojo etiquette.
No etiquette, no entrance to the dojo.

bulevardi
06-04-2010, 12:30 PM
Any parent that has or has had kids will tell you that tradition and discipline does not attract kids. As a matter of fact that will drive them away.

It has to be fun to attract and keep kids.

David
It doesn't matter what the parents or other family members think their kids attract.
It does matter what the kid thinks of it.

I used to do aikido as a kid between 6-11 years, and I still remember that time, I liked that discipline and culture and traditions, etiquettes, ... That was one of the reasons I went doing aikido.

Carsten Möllering
06-07-2010, 08:02 AM
I used to do aikido as a kid between 6-11 years, and I still remember that time, I liked that discipline and culture and traditions, etiquettes, ... That was one of the reasons I went doing aikido.
Yes.
Its the same with the children and kids (from eight yearolds on) training in our dojo.
etiquette, tradition, disciplline are some of the elements which help us to get new members.

dps
06-07-2010, 09:27 AM
Generally speaking, if it does not look like it is fun, kids are not going to be attracted to it. If it is not fun, kids will not want to stick with it.

There are exceptions but they are few.

David

Keith Larman
06-07-2010, 11:18 AM
Generally speaking, if it does not look like it is fun, kids are not going to be attracted to it. If it is not fun, kids will not want to stick with it.

There are exceptions but they are few.

David

Which is why most successful kids programs in aikido work very hard to make it fun but also do it in context of teaching things like Rei and tradition. Otherwise it is just glorified day care. Besides, it's not like having fun and teaching etiquette and tradition are mutually exclusive.

And in the decade or so I've had teaching kids what I've noticed is that the ones who continue are rarely the ones who came only for games and fun. They find the Aikido fun. They become interested in the tradition. Then they start to understand the Rei and how it figures in. Heck, I've got kids who are better in terms of proper practice than some adults. Because they take it *very* seriously. Which is as it should be.

Michael Hackett
06-07-2010, 12:07 PM
And now we have a cadre of Little Larmanites marching around San Diego County. San Diego County could do much, much worse - and usually does.

Keith Larman
06-07-2010, 03:44 PM
And now we have a cadre of Little Larmanites marching around San Diego County. San Diego County could do much, much worse - and usually does.

Actually another instructor referred to them as my "ninja death squad" one day after a couple of the kids finally tested as adults with adults going for the same ranks. A happy day for me. :D

But unless they're migrating and reproducing, most will be in the Los Angeles area near our HQ dojo. So you're safe... For now... ;)

Michael Hackett
06-07-2010, 07:42 PM
Hey, congrats on having your kids test with and as adults! Terrific accomplishment.

Andrew Macdonald
06-07-2010, 11:44 PM
hmmm

I really wouldn't go or send any kids to a dojo with guys that took to dressing up a ninjas and let the kids wear what ever they want

If you have to rely on dressing up to make practice fun it really is time to look at your teaching technique

dps
06-08-2010, 06:03 AM
hmmm

I really wouldn't go or send any kids to a dojo with guys that took to dressing up a ninjas and let the kids wear what ever they want

If you have to rely on dressing up to make practice fun it really is time to look at your teaching technique

Then you would be or are a knowledgeable parent who knows something about martial arts training.

The majority of parents (moms) who bring their children (or just drop them off at the door) to martial arts classes are not very knowledgeable if at all.

They enroll their kids in martial arts classes:

1. As a form of babysitting.

2. A panacea for their kids' problems.

3. Because their kids think it would be fun.

Of course there are always exceptions but they are few.

David

Buck
06-08-2010, 05:14 PM
It sounds like that what appeals to the masses, thus attracting a large number of students being the yard stick for success, is it. I am sure having women of 20-35 years of age train in string bikini's would attract allot of men to a dojo. Possibly having the men train in a Tux - "as every girl goes crazy for a sharp dressed man"- would attract women. Or have a nudist dojo, yea, train in the buff. That would track allot of nudists to the dojo (doesn't one already exit?). All of which would fill the dojo floor space. Why stick with a traditional uniform?

Tradition is so stuff, why not dress like a Ninja, Geisha, or Lady Gaga. Hey or even the rock band KISS! Heck, professional basketball teams have to traditionally wear uniforms and it doesn't do them any good.

Why stick with the name Aikido that is too traditional too. Why not call it Feininthrough, Ninjitsu, or what it really is Mixed Martial Arts. And why do all those "traditional" exercises with that stick and wooden sword, or that rowing exercise or that stepping exercise. Why not change those traditional stick and foot work exercises to current dance moves that will get more students. And start playing Pink or hip hop in the dojo. That too gets more students.

:rolleyes:

I feel if a pro baseball player came on the field wearing a Speedo instead of the uniform it would get a lot of attention. People would fill the stands just to see that. But, what about the effect on other players, he is making a statement he isn't a team player and isn't taking the game seriously. He would be turning the game in to a circus, and that would affect the tradition of the game, and it would upset many serious fans and alike, who love and appreciate the tradition of the game. Tradition is the soul of baseball. Why wouldn't that be the same for Aikido?

dps
06-08-2010, 05:59 PM
I feel if a pro baseball player came on the field wearing a Speedo instead of the uniform it would get a lot of attention. People would fill the stands just to see that. But, what about the effect on other players, he is making a statement he isn't a team player and isn't taking the game seriously. He would be turning the game in to a circus, and that would affect the tradition of the game, and it would upset many serious fans and alike, who love and appreciate the tradition of the game. Tradition is the soul of baseball. Why wouldn't that be the same for Aikido?

I don't know about Speedos but can you spell S T E R O I D S.

David :)

Buck
06-09-2010, 12:19 PM
I don't know about Speedos but can you spell S T E R O I D S.

David :)

Good one, I didn't think of that. You can't spell baseball now without steroids. Or for that matter, lots of sports.

Keith Larman
06-09-2010, 12:36 PM
You know, I'm all for traditions. I'm all for proper etiquette. But I also worry that people far too often mistake the traditions for the art itself. So much focus on going through the motions with little understanding of why you're doing it in the first place.

If someone is giving a good class with happy students who are learning... Great. As was already pointed out, there isn't a lot of other info here to indicate whether there is additional training, more traditional coverage, etc. Just kids class with wild uniforms.

Heck, one day I had the kids trying to keep balloons between each other. One finger only with each kid. They had a blast. And to some watching it probably looked odd. And I'm sure some would argue that if O Sensei never used balloons, we certainly shouldn't. But the idea was to teach them to connect with the lightest touch possible. To learn to feel connection, balance and flow with it. And even if nothing else was learned, they had a good time. That's okay in the larger scheme of things as long as overall we're progressing.

So I shrug and move on. Whatever floats your boat.

dps
06-09-2010, 02:41 PM
Looking at the title of this thread (the discipline part) if the gi had longer sleeves it could be used as a straight jacket. :)

David

Buck
06-09-2010, 09:11 PM
Something I didn't bring up that I was aware of the Aikido of Kenji Tomiki sensei who believed that Aikido should be done in street clothes and that is more realistic to apply Aikido since no one runs around in a dogi in daily in the streets. That included wearing shoes on the mat. This is based on my memory of an article I read some years ago in an old magazine.

The point isn't about the accuracy of the story. Rather the types of, imo, rational and reasonable changes to tradition. Tomiki Sensei didn't come dressed in leotards and spandex, or a football jersey. He made changes that still encompassed the tradition of disciple. I think is important.

I have an on going wager with a friend that MMA's next step will be what we see in Pro Wrestling with all the cartoon trash talk and outrageous costumes. We already have many Karate dojos turning into karate dance / entertainment studios.

There will be those who want attention and will push the envelope, but there are also those who appreciated and keep tradition. I think of baseball as an example. Baseball has changed over the years and it's tradition has changed, despite that there is a core tradition or traditional believe that holds it all together. Aikido is the same.

Buck
06-10-2010, 10:31 AM
Rather the types of, imo, rational and reasonable changes to tradition. ...Tomiki Sensei He made changes that still encompassed the tradition of disciple.

... those who appreciated and keep tradition. I think of baseball as an example. Baseball has changed over the years and it's tradition has changed, despite that there is a core tradition or traditional believe that holds it all together. Aikido is the same.

Rational and reasonable changes to tradition are important to Aikido. Aikido tradition isn't always going to remain the same. That is unrealistic to think so considering the dynamic of Aikido, where it came from, where it has spread, and where it is going. Yes, tradition of yesterday may not be the tradition of today. The kicker is how that tradition is changed existing today. I feel a dogi is very important to learning Aikido techniques as a training tool, as a uniform that brings a group recognition, identification, and coherence- like a team uniform does. Then again, wearing street clothes makes sense, as later generations trained in their "street" clothes. Wearing street clothes to train in makes sense and really isn't outside of tradition at all, but rather alines with tradition.

When an uniform is worn in Aikido class that isn't of Aikido, I think sends the wrong message. If I walked on to a baseball field and saw the players wearing ballet outfits, tuxs, a costume, I would know what was going on and it would lose credibility with me. This is because my archetype of baseball is cemented in baseball tradition that has been held for so long. Where icons and stuff have been born and fostered to represent baseball. Wearing a Tu-tu or baseball uniform doesn't reflect skill but it does effect credibility in many areas, and misrepresents baseball. This is the same for Aikido.

As Mark Twain said, "The clothes make the man."

lbb
06-10-2010, 02:19 PM
You're talking to yourself again, Buck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGGTfuM1RGM

Buck
06-10-2010, 10:02 PM
Yep, at least I don't argue with myself.:D I felt I needed to expand further on those ideas. Clarify them, so the reader could better understand my point of view. Give a better perspective of what I was saying offers the reader more stuff to weight against other perspectives. Isn't that what we are here offer thoughts to others in hopes of providing a benefit to their Aikido questions, thoughts, and stuff?

Linda Eskin
06-11-2010, 12:18 AM
I did judo for a summer in 3rd grade. I asked my mom recently about what gave her the idea to enroll me in judo at the Y, and she said it way my idea. She didn't know where I'd heard about it, but I insisted. :)

Regardless, I remember it as a demanding class where we were treated with respect, and the sensei had high expectations of us, which I appreciated. I was a pretty serious kid, and it was a nice change to be in a dignified environment. I would not have had any interest in ninja costumes or theatrics.

Adam Huss
06-11-2010, 01:25 PM
I started karate when I was around 7 or so. They didn't have kids classes, but sometimes beginners were taken into a separate room to work on basics. We were treated no differently than the adults, we had to sit in proper seiza on a wooden floor while not currently involved in some aspect of training (ie waiting our turn to participate in something, or listening to instruction). I didn't know to compare it to anything else, but I enjoyed it, and to this day I think that kind of tradition and discipline helped me become a successful adult. Anyway, I think tradition such as uniforms are a manifestation of that kind of personal growth.

OwlMatt
06-11-2010, 10:44 PM
I am a pretty firm believer in the idea that the uniform ought not be an expression of individualism. A uniform that glorifies the self and differentiates oneself from others is an obstacle to the ultimate goal of losing oneself in the art. The uniform ought to be a declaration that the art is more important than the artist.