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senorqueso
01-10-2011, 06:27 PM
There seems to be somewhat of a political rift in my hometown. I've practiced at several dojos throughout my aikido training, but primarily I practice at the "southern dojo". (I'll stay vague here, just in case I cause more problems).

The southern dojo is full of great people, and I've been to many seminars there, but the practice is a little subdued at times. As much as I enjoy discussing the art, I also love the physicality of it, and want to have some modicum of practicality in my training. I thought I was getting plenty of that at the southern dojo, until I visited the northern dojo.

At the northern dojo, there was a much larger and more diverse crowd. But most importantly, the training was much more regimented than the southern dojo. After one two hour class, I was absolutely winded, and I loved it. But one thing that concerned me was the skill level. I'm only 5th kyu, and practicing with the 5th kyus at the northern I noticed that I was a little outclassed. The northern dojo is much further away than the southern, so I can't attend regularly, but I would like to go a few times a month to get a nice workout and a different viewpoint on my techniques.

In comes the politics. I've talked with several of my friends who used to go to the southern dojo, who have told me that the people from the southern dojo have taken great offense to anyone practicing at another dojo. In fact, after practicing at the northern dojo periodically to get more training in for his shodan test, one of my friends invited a few people to simply come and watch his belt test at a very crowded seminar. Their mere presence created an uproar, and things have been tense all around. I don't dare mention that I've been the northern dojo, especially since I plan on going back occasionally, but I feel this isn't right.

I want to learn aikido, and I want to learn as many different styles and approaches as possible. I want to stay at the southern dojo, but if I'm treated differently simply because I've had practice with another school, I'm not so sure how I'd feel about practicing there regularly. I learn much from both schools, and I can't say that one is better than the other, because I get different things out of each school. I also don't like the idea of sneaking around. The northern dojo knows full well that my primary school is the southern dojo, and has no qualms with it. In fact, because the southern school is smaller, I've actually been encouraged by northern sensei to continue practicing at the southern dojo, because they "need people".

The senseis at the two schools practiced under different teachers, and are part of two different aikido organizations. I'm not naive enough to miss the fact that this may be a big cause of it.

Has anyone else encountered this? How can this end well? I don't wish to make any enemies out of my friends simply because I crave variety in my practice.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 06:49 PM
There seems to be somewhat of a political rift in my hometown. I've practiced at several dojos throughout my aikido training, but primarily I practice at the "southern dojo". (I'll stay vague here, just in case I cause more problems).

The southern dojo is full of great people, and I've been to many seminars there, but the practice is a little subdued at times. As much as I enjoy discussing the art, I also love the physicality of it, and want to have some modicum of practicality in my training. I thought I was getting plenty of that at the southern dojo, until I visited the northern dojo.

At the northern dojo, there was a much larger and more diverse crowd. But most importantly, the training was much more regimented than the southern dojo. After one two hour class, I was absolutely winded, and I loved it. But one thing that concerned me was the skill level. I'm only 5th kyu, and practicing with the 5th kyus at the northern I noticed that I was a little outclassed. The northern dojo is much further away than the southern, so I can't attend regularly, but I would like to go a few times a month to get a nice workout and a different viewpoint on my techniques.

In comes the politics. I've talked with several of my friends who used to go to the southern dojo, who have told me that the people from the southern dojo have taken great offense to anyone practicing at another dojo. In fact, after practicing at the northern dojo periodically to get more training in for his shodan test, one of my friends invited a few people to simply come and watch his belt test at a very crowded seminar. Their mere presence created an uproar, and things have been tense all around. I don't dare mention that I've been the northern dojo, especially since I plan on going back occasionally, but I feel this isn't right.

I want to learn aikido, and I want to learn as many different styles and approaches as possible. I want to stay at the southern dojo, but if I'm treated differently simply because I've had practice with another school, I'm not so sure how I'd feel about practicing there regularly. I learn much from both schools, and I can't say that one is better than the other, because I get different things out of each school. I also don't like the idea of sneaking around. The northern dojo knows full well that my primary school is the southern dojo, and has no qualms with it. In fact, because the southern school is smaller, I've actually been encouraged by northern sensei to continue practicing at the southern dojo, because they "need people".

The senseis at the two schools practiced under different teachers, and are part of two different aikido organizations. I'm not naive enough to miss the fact that this may be a big cause of it.

Has anyone else encountered this? How can this end well? I don't wish to make any enemies out of my friends simply because I crave variety in my practice.

I would say the northern dojo sensei is probably more mature in his/her outlook and is not worried whether or whatever dojo you choose to practice at.... I personally encourage my students to practice at other dojo regardless of their affiliation....
I personally feel you are doing what is your right, and that is to practice wherever you like and ignore the stupid politics.....;) :cool:

Lari Hammarberg
01-10-2011, 08:06 PM
Hello Jeremy, well from my point of view do what ever makes your Aikido better for you. I don't have much experience but this is how i would do...

Try to talk with the Southern Dojo sensei & sempais about that if you dare. Finding the reasons behind this controversy they seem to have would be probably good course of action. Maybe you could find some kind of compromise with this.

Talk to them, it might help if you could get your friends to understand your situation and needs about your training. :)

Lyle Laizure
01-10-2011, 08:33 PM
You have a decision to make. I think you need to define who your sensei is first. If it is the sensei at the southern dojo you need to respect his/her wishes regarding where you can or cannot train. This may not be the popular belief but if you truly respect your sensei you should abide by his/her wishes. So, you have a choice to make.

Shadowfax
01-10-2011, 08:51 PM
You have a decision to make. I think you need to define who your sensei is first. If it is the sensei at the southern dojo you need to respect his/her wishes regarding where you can or cannot train. This may not be the popular belief but if you truly respect your sensei you should abide by his/her wishes. So, you have a choice to make.

I kinda have to agree with this. While I am fortunate to have a sensei who encourages us to visit other dojo and feels no particular threat if his students do so, I also respect him enough to ask his thoughts on the matter before I do. I would not feel right at all sneaking behind my sensei's back to go to a dojo that he did not approve of or feel was appropriate for my training level.

Janet Rosen
01-10-2011, 11:26 PM
Sneaking is never the right thing. You will need to make a decision. Knowing that the *need* for the decision is being made by somebody else sorta sucks, but that's the hand you are being dealt and ultimately it is still up to you to make it.

crbateman
01-11-2011, 12:20 AM
There are a couple of reasons your "southern" sensei might seek to discourage your attendance at other schools... One reason is a good one, but the other is not.

I respect a teacher who discourages noobs from training around until they have grasped the basics in the manner that their primary instructor is teaching before they venture out. This insures that the fundamentals of one system are learned before any possibly confusing variations being taught at another school are encountered. A noob often will not have the tools necessary to sort through these differences.

On the other hand, there are teachers who discourage forays to other groups for purely selfish reasons (retaining enrollment, personal or professional insecurity, etc.). This is where I can't agree. A student's desire to broaden his/her perspective should not be discouraged, provided he/she is ready to process that new insight.

My recommendation is that you train wherever you feel it's the most right for you, and save the "wandering" for a later time. This journey has a loooong way to go.

Walter Martindale
01-11-2011, 01:58 AM
Well, I hate to say but you might have blown your cover by not using the anonymous forum.
I'd agree with those who say it's your training, your dues, you choose. YOU pay the freight at a dojo - your portion of it - YOU deserve the respect and training from the organisation to which you're paying - whether or not the sensei is taking a fee...
On the other hand - if these dojo are run by old-style-traditional-Japanese, it's probably safer to pack up and go to the North without consulting your South buddies. If they're run by non-Japanese who are trying to be more Japanese than Musahi, then you're also in trouble.
That could be the spanish red wine speaking, though.
Cheers,
Walter

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 04:05 AM
Honestly, does it make any bloody difference what he does? Its his right to choose where he goes..... it's called democracy in my book....;)

I would visit dojo's where I could, the ones who were most welcoming had good solid aikido and those who didn't, I watched and found out why!!! I was not allowed to enter the tatami, as I might not be able to handle it!!!! I would just walk out lauging :D
One ki phooey dojo, I was told I was not welcome after I was informed that I am not sensitive to their ki after I put the dojo instructor on his backside..... he is now a 7th Dan:D :hypno:

john.burn
01-11-2011, 05:31 AM
Politics and aikido sadly seems to crop up way too often, and sadly would appear to be a world-wide problem.

Having been in the midst of it a few times now, and to an extent, am still in the midst of it all I can say is I would absolutely not stay in any dojo whereby the instructor told me who I could or could not train with - sure, I may take their advice about xyz sensei being good for 'my' aikido but I absolutely would not be happy to be told I couldn't train with those people across town for whatever reason with the exception of what Clark said.

None of my old dojo friends are openly allowed to train with me... That's not to say they don't but the ones who do usually sign in with an x and we refer to them as the others :D

lbb
01-11-2011, 07:57 AM
I kinda have to agree with this. While I am fortunate to have a sensei who encourages us to visit other dojo and feels no particular threat if his students do so, I also respect him enough to ask his thoughts on the matter before I do. I would not feel right at all sneaking behind my sensei's back to go to a dojo that he did not approve of or feel was appropriate for my training level.

It may not be about a "threat", either. If your sensei sincerely feels that the other dojo is teaching rubbish, of course he's not going to be happy about your training there. Furthermore, as a beginner, you might not understand the basis for some perfectly legitimate objections. It's very difficult, because what you describe could be simply a matter of "politics" as you term it, of individuals butting heads about things that don't really have anything to do with aikido, or it could be about something real. It could also be the case that both dojos are teaching aikido but taking very different approaches to do so, and that you're not going to be able to mix and match the approaches as a beginning student. I think that if you plan to train at both, you need to let both senseis know and listen to their objections at the very least.

Amir Krause
01-11-2011, 08:57 AM
Honestly, does it make any bloody difference what he does? Its his right to choose where he goes..... it's called democracy in my book....;)
I

I disagree.

The sensei also has the right to choose whom is he willing to teach.He is not bound to teach everyone!

As for the rest of your post :D :D :D

And to the initial poster - I believe it is better to make a choice in your case. You should not train if the teacher is not interested. And I am not so sure that variety is such a great thing - there is also a lot of value if you choose in-depth learning of a single option.

Amir

AsimHanif
01-11-2011, 09:08 AM
Do what you feel is best for YOUR development and just be up front about it.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 09:44 AM
My suggestion is get the best from any good sensei you can. Affiliation, politics are just that ............ bolitics!!

Do what you know is best for you feller and don't listen to all the
claptap;)

Marc Abrams
01-11-2011, 10:14 AM
Jeremy:

You should always be primarily responsible for your training. Whom you choose to train with and why should be a educated decision on your part. Some styles of Aikido are so dissimilar that practicing both at once would be counter-productive. If that is not the case, then training at both places should not be viewed in a negative manner. It is helpful to explore issues from a variety of perspectives. I find that this is an important aspect of my own training. If one school/teacher/students has a problem with "allegiance" issues, then you should recognize that for what it is-> insecurity/ego problem. My teacher, Imaizumi Sensei has always supported and encouraged my budo training in other areas. He has simply asked that I keep them separate so as to be appropriately respectful to each teacher (eg.- don't teach karate in an Aikido dojo with an Aikido teacher present). My teacher has strongly emphasized that budo is a large pie and that being too reliant on one small slice of that pie is not a good thing.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 10:24 AM
I disagree.

The sensei also has the right to choose whom is he willing to teach.He is not bound to teach everyone!

As for the rest of your post :D :D :D

And to the initial poster - I believe it is better to make a choice in your case. You should not train if the teacher is not interested. And I am not so sure that variety is such a great thing - there is also a lot of value if you choose in-depth learning of a single option.

Amir
Amir,
I disagree with you also
I open my door to anyone who has a genuine approach.....and commitment........:straightf
I also encourage them to go to other dojo's too, I think that is important if they want to become a well rounded "aikidoka" of which it seems, is becoming a rare commodity these days......:( :rolleyes:

Amir Krause
01-11-2011, 11:07 AM
Amir,
I disagree with you also
I open my door to anyone who has a genuine approach.....and commitment........:straightf
I also encourage them to go to other dojo's too, I think that is important if they want to become a well rounded "aikidoka" of which it seems, is becoming a rare commodity these days......:( :rolleyes:

This your approach, and the approach I favor.

But, each and every teacher has a right to his own approach. It is his basic right. Trying to claim "democracy" does not make it, since the dojo is not an equal place by definition - some have knowledge and others are paying for it.

I do not teach - so I could not write about my own choices.

My teacher would expect me to consult with him prior to going to learn with others, and may prohibit it (even to the point of presenting ultimatum) if he believes I am making a very dumb decision. The fact is in the past, he did not interfere when I chose to learn other styles of Aikido or other M.A..
He himself is very experienced in Korindo Aikido, Judo and Karate and normally recommends students who wish to consider themselves as martial artists to learn multiple arts.
I do know he interrupted some other senior students from going to learn at specific places, in cases in which it was evident the other teacher is actually below the level of that student (who made a choice for convenience instead of quality).

I am also aware that learning at multiple places, does place a burden on the teacher, who has to reconcile the differences emanating from the differing variations.
And in some cases and stages of progress, this type of learning may disrupt the student progress to such an extent, that forbidding his learning from another place, is actually part of good teaching - helping him to progress.

All in all, In my own opinion, things are not that simple.

Amir

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 02:11 PM
This your approach, and the approach I favor.

But, each and every teacher has a right to his own approach. It is his basic right. Trying to claim "democracy" does not make it, since the dojo is not an equal place by definition - some have knowledge and others are paying for it.

I do not teach - so I could not write about my own choices.

My teacher would expect me to consult with him prior to going to learn with others, and may prohibit it (even to the point of presenting ultimatum) if he believes I am making a very dumb decision. The fact is in the past, he did not interfere when I chose to learn other styles of Aikido or other M.A..
He himself is very experienced in Korindo Aikido, Judo and Karate and normally recommends students who wish to consider themselves as martial artists to learn multiple arts.
I do know he interrupted some other senior students from going to learn at specific places, in cases in which it was evident the other teacher is actually below the level of that student (who made a choice for convenience instead of quality).

I am also aware that learning at multiple places, does place a burden on the teacher, who has to reconcile the differences emanating from the differing variations.
And in some cases and stages of progress, this type of learning may disrupt the student progress to such an extent, that forbidding his learning from another place, is actually part of good teaching - helping him to progress.

All in all, In my own opinion, things are not that simple.

Amir

Only if you make it "not that simple" ;)

Steven
01-11-2011, 02:22 PM
Like I always say, "There are no politics in aikido. Only political people who practice aikido" :D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 02:47 PM
Like I always say, "There are no politics in aikido. Only political people who practice aikido" :D

Ha ha....:D

Amassus
01-11-2011, 03:12 PM
I know a woman who trained with us that had a similar problem to the OP.
She came from a different organization to ours (in fact we are independent) and after training with us and her original style she decided she liked both and trained with both groups. News got back to the original group and she was told to ditch us or leave the organization. She left the organization. Says something for us, I suppose. Now this woman was not a beginner, she was (at the time), a shodan.

If you train in aikido, expect politics.
...and for once, I agree with Tony, follow your own training and try and put the politics to one side.

Dean.

danj
01-11-2011, 09:14 PM
Practice where you are welcome to practice and where you enjoy the practice with the responsibility that it brings. Sometimes the juice is worth the squeeze sometimes it isn't.

Then there is no need to worry about anything but the art itself and the rest just sorts itself out in the wash. Its served me well for many years through various rifts, manipulative efforts to hinder development, power struggles, inter and intra organisational politics and I've had some great adventures with new and old friends, excellent instructors, seminars and experiences with many groups along the way.

Wishing you wel on your journey

dan

Randall Lim
01-14-2011, 06:41 PM
There seems to be somewhat of a political rift in my hometown. I've practiced at several dojos throughout my aikido training, but primarily I practice at the "southern dojo". (I'll stay vague here, just in case I cause more problems).

The southern dojo is full of great people, and I've been to many seminars there, but the practice is a little subdued at times. As much as I enjoy discussing the art, I also love the physicality of it, and want to have some modicum of practicality in my training. I thought I was getting plenty of that at the southern dojo, until I visited the northern dojo.

At the northern dojo, there was a much larger and more diverse crowd. But most importantly, the training was much more regimented than the southern dojo. After one two hour class, I was absolutely winded, and I loved it. But one thing that concerned me was the skill level. I'm only 5th kyu, and practicing with the 5th kyus at the northern I noticed that I was a little outclassed. The northern dojo is much further away than the southern, so I can't attend regularly, but I would like to go a few times a month to get a nice workout and a different viewpoint on my techniques.

In comes the politics. I've talked with several of my friends who used to go to the southern dojo, who have told me that the people from the southern dojo have taken great offense to anyone practicing at another dojo. In fact, after practicing at the northern dojo periodically to get more training in for his shodan test, one of my friends invited a few people to simply come and watch his belt test at a very crowded seminar. Their mere presence created an uproar, and things have been tense all around. I don't dare mention that I've been the northern dojo, especially since I plan on going back occasionally, but I feel this isn't right.

I want to learn aikido, and I want to learn as many different styles and approaches as possible. I want to stay at the southern dojo, but if I'm treated differently simply because I've had practice with another school, I'm not so sure how I'd feel about practicing there regularly. I learn much from both schools, and I can't say that one is better than the other, because I get different things out of each school. I also don't like the idea of sneaking around. The northern dojo knows full well that my primary school is the southern dojo, and has no qualms with it. In fact, because the southern school is smaller, I've actually been encouraged by northern sensei to continue practicing at the southern dojo, because they "need people".

The senseis at the two schools practiced under different teachers, and are part of two different aikido organizations. I'm not naive enough to miss the fact that this may be a big cause of it.

Has anyone else encountered this? How can this end well? I don't wish to make any enemies out of my friends simply because I crave variety in my practice.

Just like to share someone else's experience with you.

Person X has been with Ryu A for over 12 years. Ryu A has 2 dojo locations (A1 & A2). Each dojo location holds classes once a week. X trains regularly at A1, but not a A2 because of 2 reasons: inconvenient schedule & long distance from his home.

Ryu A is a small & closely-knit club. Training standards are high with the emphasis on Aikido's essence & principles (like Leading, Blending, Connection, Ki extension & Centreness) while placing precision mechanical steps at a lower priority. The variety of techniques emphasised is very small (just 4 main techniques) & the training atmosphere is very casual.

This Person X then discovered Ryu B which has many dojo locations around to country, including one (B1) very near his home.The training schedule of B1 was ideal for Person X. The variety of techniques practised there was also much wider.

Person X wanted to remain loyal to Ryu A because he had been with it for over 12 years. However, he also was attracted to the training at B1.

Initially X was afraid that his Ryu A sensei would not allow him, & Ryu B sensei would not accept him. But after speaking the Ryu B sensei, X was pleasantly surprised by the openness & receptiveness of the Ryu B sensei. However, the Ryu B sensei told X that X had to seek permission from Ryu A sensei. X did & was again pleasantly surprised that Ryu A sensei gave X his blessings.

X is now happily training at A1 & B1 with the understanding that he remains a member of Ryu A while having become a friend of Ryu B
(X will never be graded by Ryu B).

Sometimes, speaking to the highest authorities on both sides first can avoid unpleasant situations later.

Keith Burnikell
01-16-2011, 10:21 PM
LONG POST
Hi Jeremy,
NOTE: over use of hyphens, poor spelling and bad grammar imminent. The following are my opinions which come from a flawed human being. They should be treated accordingly. You have been warned.

I believe you to be a sincere 'searcher' of Aikido. Your question is a good one and not new to Aikido. Look at the past rifts, large and small between the various organizations. Some were inevitable due to the egos involved. Bear that in mind!

The North and South schools of which you speak practice almost identical Aikido as they both came from the same organization with the same Shihan in the US. Their techniques are the same and their association with Japan is through the same Shihan there!!!! Both sensei have a lot of knowledge. Their teaching styles are quite different. Cooperation between these schools could provide truly mutual benefit but the 'water under this particular bridge' could fill the Amazon.

So, to your question.
For the sake of your conscience you could tell both instructors your intentions. They might both be okay with it. From your post, I gather one of them already is....so far, so good. How about giving the other instructor the same benefit? The fact that you haven't yet discussed this with him tells me a lot.

Is the reason for your hesitation that if it doesn't go well you'll have to choose one over the other? If you don't want to have to choose, don't make it an issue. But that means you'll have to sneak around and it'll end up a 'don't ask/don't tell situation'. I already know of at least two people doing this. Kind of silly if you ask me. Play the situation out in your mind. If you're given an ultimatum of having to choose, better for it to be of your choosing. I'd entertain 'quiet' practice at both places to make sure you really know which you'd prefer.

BTW, this is a REALLY small community. You will end up meeting all the parties concerned in the future; especially considering we have two high level Shihan visiting in the coming year. Be ready to deal with that too. It can be really awkward for you if you've burned bridges. Which brings me to my next point.

I've seen several Aikidoka at the one dojo handle your same situation different ways. Some have just left the dojo. They never explained their intent; never said what bothered them; were never confrontational; never said they were leaving; they just left...plain and simple. The upside for them is in their minds they never 'burned their bridge' and continue to play nice in larger social settings. They still attend seminars but when 'everyone's' there it feels very strange.

Others have purposely avoided confrontation by providing misleading information..injuries, work, etc, etc. They're not bad people, they just really want the option of staying in good terms while having their cake and eat it too. Some call it lying, some say it's about being polite.

In other cases, after many years of frustration over this issue I've seen people walk in, tell the sensei they were done and walk out. This was much more final but left a huge question mark as to what the problem was and allows massive conjecture (mainly wrong) on the part of the parties left behind. I think situations such as these can be handled more forthrightly but then again, who needs the aggravation.

Ask yourself this:
Where do you like training?
How's the 'atmosphere' in both dojos?
Is the training 'challenging' you in a good way?
More doesn't mean better! What's the focus of the instructor? Is it about them or about the students? Watch closely and it will become apparent after a while.

During my travels, I've had the good fortune to train in several great dojos; some large/some tiny. The better dojos/instructors usually had a great 'vibe/energy' to them. You know it when you feel it.

I have also trained in places where there was a tacit rejection of augmenting your training 'outside'. Craziness!!!!! If I had 'bowed' to such pressure I would have never have experienced wonderful instruction from the likes of Senseis Saotome, Imaizumi, Kobayashi, Heiny, Gleason, Ledyard to name a few. Heavens above!!!!!!

Above all, be true to yourself. Question what it is you're truly looking for in your training. When you find it; latch on and train as purely as you're able. If you're in the 'right' dojo you'll be able to give of yourself and still be energized. If you're in the 'wrong' dojo you'll give of yourself and feel drained/used. Get educated about Aikido. Read, read, read so you get an accurate barometer of what 'goodness' is.
Eventually, you'll come to understand where you need to train.

Don't get hung up in the politics. Don't drink the sensei Cool-Aid. Try to get past chasing rank as soon as possible and all the drivel that comes with it.

You're going to meet some great folks in Aikido. Some of them are in the very dojos you train at. Enjoy each and every one of them for who they are and what they offer you. Give back to them as you are able.
I apologize for getting off topic but it's really all related.
See you on the mat!
Keith B.

Walter Martindale
01-17-2011, 12:10 AM
Like I always say, "There are no politics in aikido. Only political people who practice aikido" :D

Wherever you have an organisation and/or people, you'll have politics at some level...
W

Keith Burnikell
01-17-2011, 09:36 PM
Jeremy,
forgetting dojo politics for a moment...you mentioned feeling 'outclassed' by your 5th kyu peers at the Northern dojo. Is this just your perception or are the students demonstrably better up North? Let's cut to the chase - In your mind, do you think Northern dojo produces more skilled Aikidoka than the South?

If so, then training at the South would seemingly be a good place to do the basics while the North offers the lure of a regular two hour intensive.
But, you've realized that you can't train up North regularly so you're having to 'settle' for South training from a practical standpoint and get back up North whenever possible

Summarizing:
North - Exciting/Rigorous
South - Convenient/Steady

My attempt at a humorous analogy:
South = Steady Sue
North = Lovely Lucy

Obviously the lure of Lucy was there all along; why else did you go to the North dojo in the first place?!!!!! ;)

One thing that's almost always true: Sue IS gonna find out. Sue's also going to be pretty darned mad. You'll probably end up with no Sue and see very little of Lucy. Work out whether you can be happy with Sue before getting too infatuated with Lucy. I don't think Sue's going to let you be with her and have Lucy too.

In addition, the disciples at Dojo Sue are going to be miffed too. For those that could attend either dojo (and there are some), your wanting to train up North implies they've committed themselves to plain ole Sue. Even worse for you if they've been disparaging about Lucy (which they have).

Staying with Sue might be easier in the long run. Sure, Sue's not nearly as sexy as Lucy. Things'll progress a lot slower with Sue. You're, for sure, going to hear all about the fun you're missing with Lucy and probably have some regrets. Messing around with Lucy has a lot of risks. You might even learn to appreciate life with Sue if boredom doesn't get to you first. The danger for you is that now you've seen Lucy in all her glory you're going to become critical of Sue and eventually be very dissatisfied.

Jeremy, life is really short!
If you were to get married, would you marry Steady Sue or take the risk with Lucy? :D

gates
01-18-2011, 06:13 PM
It is better to wait 10 years to train with the right instructor than it is to train 10 years with the wrong instructor.

How serious are you about your Aikido?

I'd move house to be with Lucy !!

OwlMatt
01-19-2011, 09:50 AM
My outlook is different from a lot of people's on this, I think. I train at an ASU dojo, that was formerly a USAF dojo, that was founded by a sensei whose style predated both. I have approximately a half-dozen different instructors, all with different styles, different aikido backgrounds, and different ideas about aikido and aikido training. I come to the dojo for each class and do my best to learn whatever the sensei that day is teaching, sometimes openly (but respectfully) contrasting his/her style with those of our other instructors and sometimes diplomatically keeping my mouth shut.

I've never known aikido any other way, so I don't understand why you can't just train in both places, learn from both places, and do things according to the methods of whichever sensei you have at the time.

Obvously, each sensei has the final word on what you bring into his dojo from other styles and other teachers, and you should respect that, but IMHO, there's no reason not to keep on learning what you can from both places.

gates
01-19-2011, 04:38 PM
, so I don't understand why you can't just train in both places, learn from both places, and do things according to the methods of whichever sensei you have at the time......
....
there's no reason not to keep on learning what you can from both places.

I believe the problem is that in order to continue to train at both places he may need to:
a. lie (eventually get caught out)
b. upset the southern dojo sensei and deshi

Although perhaps Matthew is right. Be honest, train at both places and the southern dojo people will have to learn to get over it. (or boot you out)

Be a bridge builder !!!

Randall Lim
01-19-2011, 10:53 PM
Jeremy,
forgetting dojo politics for a moment...you mentioned feeling 'outclassed' by your 5th kyu peers at the Northern dojo. Is this just your perception or are the students demonstrably better up North? Let's cut to the chase - In your mind, do you think Northern dojo produces more skilled Aikidoka than the South?

If so, then training at the South would seemingly be a good place to do the basics while the North offers the lure of a regular two hour intensive.
But, you've realized that you can't train up North regularly so you're having to 'settle' for South training from a practical standpoint and get back up North whenever possible

Summarizing:
North - Exciting/Rigorous
South - Convenient/Steady

My attempt at a humorous analogy:
South = Steady Sue
North = Lovely Lucy

Obviously the lure of Lucy was there all along; why else did you go to the North dojo in the first place?!!!!! ;)

One thing that's almost always true: Sue IS gonna find out. Sue's also going to be pretty darned mad. You'll probably end up with no Sue and see very little of Lucy. Work out whether you can be happy with Sue before getting too infatuated with Lucy. I don't think Sue's going to let you be with her and have Lucy too.

In addition, the disciples at Dojo Sue are going to be miffed too. For those that could attend either dojo (and there are some), your wanting to train up North implies they've committed themselves to plain ole Sue. Even worse for you if they've been disparaging about Lucy (which they have).

Staying with Sue might be easier in the long run. Sure, Sue's not nearly as sexy as Lucy. Things'll progress a lot slower with Sue. You're, for sure, going to hear all about the fun you're missing with Lucy and probably have some regrets. Messing around with Lucy has a lot of risks. You might even learn to appreciate life with Sue if boredom doesn't get to you first. The danger for you is that now you've seen Lucy in all her glory you're going to become critical of Sue and eventually be very dissatisfied.

Jeremy, life is really short!
If you were to get married, would you marry Steady Sue or take the risk with Lucy? :D

Interesting analogy!! Just like: BIG FISH in small pond, or small fish in BIG OCEAN..... The hardest decision to make. But is a decision really needed??

lbb
01-20-2011, 09:00 AM
Interesting analogy!! Just like: BIG FISH in small pond, or small fish in BIG OCEAN..... The hardest decision to make. But is a decision really needed??

If one dojo doesn't want you practicing at the other dojo, yeah, I'd say a decision is needed.

It does strike me that OP's knowledge of the conflict is second-hand knowledge (anecdotes told by friends). Not to say that they're not true, but it may be worth carefully gathering some first-hand information. People do change and they do move on, and it may be that the people whose attitudes were responsible for the conflict are no longer a problem. It may be worth asking at the southern school what the view is of training elsewhere. Also, if you do get a negative opinion, who is it coming from? Sometimes seniors can be extra-zealous about something that's really no big deal to sensei.

OwlMatt
01-20-2011, 01:54 PM
I believe the problem is that in order to continue to train at both places he may need to:
a. lie (eventually get caught out)
b. upset the southern dojo sensei and deshi

Although perhaps Matthew is right. Be honest, train at both places and the southern dojo people will have to learn to get over it. (or boot you out)

Be a bridge builder !!!

The way I see it, as long as he is treating the southern dojo with due respect and honoring the southern sensei's authority over what goes on in his dojo, he shouldn't have to lie about anything.

Of course, we've all met the douchebag student who likes to interrupt class and say, "My other sensei does it this way." If you become that guy, then your honesty is infringing on a sensei's authority in his own dojo. But as long as your honesty is tempered with restraint, humility, and proper respect, no one should have anything to complain about.