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Reg
01-12-2011, 11:16 AM
I feel, I should start with some background in order to get accurate advice. I am one of two senseis of a healthy sized dojo. Our students are mostly adults looking for a physical and mental activity that is a respite to the daily complications of their jobs and lives. We are not about ego, not to say there is no ego, we are fully aware our short comings. We don't have or allow personal issues to take center stage and distract the dojo. We are a place of learning and stress that. We are not a drama club. Important to know too is don't we think or teach that the sensei's are gods, super heros or know it alls, we are human. Our knowledge and skill is imperfect, then by default no one is put on a pedestal, no hero worship, no cultish dojo. It goes to reason, we know and teach, Aikido is not the next best thing to sliced bread. It has its strengths and weakness, like everything else. Nothing or anyone is perfect. We are not looking to put our dojo on the map. We are, to sum it up, happy to be a simple wall flower dojo. That mentality has brought the dojo respect and harmony in the community and in the dojo. That for us, is our goal and defines our success.

To get to the issue, knowing my background of my dojo, I recently went to a friend's Aikido class, not as a sensei. I went as a student. I went objectively, and in with a fraternal attitude. Wasn't there to bust the sensei's nuts. Didn't care to spent the whole time pointing out flaws of the dojo or students. The universal mistakes we all have in Aikido, like carrying our weight up in our chest instead down at our center, from which we should orientation movement. Something we learn and then forget to do overtime. It is easy to come into someone else's dojo and break them down. It is easy to point to out the minor faults in others and ignore the major faults you have in your own practice. I wasn't going there to do that. I went to expand my horizons.

Upon meeting the Sensei for the first time, it went off friendly. I was warmly greeted with a cordial welcoming onto the mat, that I graciously accepted. I was there to expand my experience and learn something. I changed and bow in. I stepped on the mat, bowing in wearing a white belt. Once we paired up, sensei Nice became sensei Adam Henry. It was on, he was busting my nuts right and left with personal insults and criticisms, right after he introduced me as I asked. I requested to be known as a student, and not a sensei from a different dojo. The moment the intro was over, he wasted no time pointing out to the class the most minor insignificant flaws in my technique and my poor understanding of Aikido; If I had perfect technique, I wouldn't need to go to the dojo to practice?

The verbal abuse graduated to physical. In his stacked deck of cards he was dealing out, he would set me up for a fall. He would tell the class to do a technique knowing full well, as I, the weakness in it. Following up in an abuse of his position as sensei, exploit that known weakness to his benefit. No matter how we stand there is always a lesser cross angle where we are less stable susceptible to a cross force. So, he had us individually do this exercise where we have to stand on line where one foot is in front of another foot behind it, inline. Same starting position when you are about to pace off steps, one foot in front of the other. Very difficult and awkward position, hard to stay balanced. The sensei told us to hold the position. In this position, we are highly susceptible to the slightest cross force coming off the bi-sectional or intersecting line. The solution is to move off that line, and avoid that position, but that wasn't the lesson.

Being this position for at least several minutes as he walked around inspecting the class, he comes to me. Which I suspected he would, and to capitalizes on my weak line with a force. He did just that. He applied force, causing me to losing my balance at that point, I shifted my weight and stepped of line into a natural balanced standing position regaining my balance. When he seen that, he instantly broadcasted that I failed his lesson by not withstanding the force he applied. Then with one last blow, he comment that he would never train at my dojo or style, as nothing of value is taught there. Keeping my emotions to myself, I didn't react to these and other insults at that point. I asked him politely and in a curiously manner if he could demonstrate how the exercise was done correctly? He bluntly ignored my request as he walked away to instruct a new technique that I suffered new insults. Needless to say, I got baited.

After class, he comes up to me all really nice and polite as if nothing he did was offensive. He asked me if I enjoyed the class and what did I learn? And did the class strengthen my techniques? He then invited us to dinner to chat it up. But, I was pissed. I had no intentions of play this game. My friend stood there as if this was par for the course. But my emotions as a result of this unpleasant experience took over.

I baited Adam Henry of a Sensei back on his mat. Having done Judo as a kid, I remember a few Shime wazas which I felt the need to brush up on. I said, humbly to Adam Henry sensei that I was having trouble knowing what to do when a person grabs my gi lapels from the front with two hands. Not being an ass, but in deference, asked for him for advice. He allowed me to grab his uniform in the manner I requested with two hands. The second that happened, I reset the paradigm to zero on him by applying a Tsukkomi jime. Yes, it was a teaching moment, and I hate crap like this when I am teaching. But, in my defense I proposed scenario, and requested advice, and he came off as a sensei to be able to handle it. I choked him out. Unintentionally, I haven't done the choke in years and I was piss off, and the adrenaline was flowing. My intent was to throw him off balance backward enough to where he would step back, exploiting the anatomy of the foot. At first I didn't realize the choke work so well on him. Neither did he. He didn't realize, he was out because I held him in place as he passed out for a few seconds. When he came to, after I loosed up on the choke, he proceeded to finish the lesson as if nothing happened. At that point, I let go completely his gi, and excused myself politely from the mat and left not honoring the dinner invitation. This episode was not in front of his other students, just my friend, his student. Granted knowing my background, my behavior was outside of what I represent as the sensei of my dojo, and the dojo's reputation. In my defense, I felt it was just.

Now am in hot water with the other sensei of my dojo, and my friend both whom didn't approve of me choking out my friend's instructor. It happened that push came to shove, that day, I shoved back. I was insulted. Adam Henry sensei humiliated he in his class to feed his ego. I am not saying this sensei had bad technique. The guy isn't bad sensei or anything to the contrary. I am saying what he did was poor behavior and bush-league. It is no way to treat a guest. A guest who came in friendship and an open mind.

Those facts of my experience aren't seen by my friend or the other sensei at my dojo. All they see is the recourse I took. Am now the bad guy in this situation. I know and understand the common protocol and etiquette it can be argued I didn't follow that. In hindsight, maybe I should of just did nothing and have quietly walked out, like they say I should have. Hindsight is 20/20. By the telling of my story, I might as well paint a bulls eye on my butt, I am asking for some feedback, was I wrong in my actions, or just? Was there another solution?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2011, 11:34 AM
I'd say well done and the "I reset the paradigm to zero on him" phrase is priceless.

john.burn
01-12-2011, 11:42 AM
I'd also say well done for being so restrained with the guy...

Hellis
01-12-2011, 12:05 PM
I'd also say well done for being so restrained with the guy...

I wouldn't worry what the ` others ` think, they will get over it.
You sound quite restrained to me.
It is important not to speak of it anymore, you have dealt with the situation in your own way, if you had done nothing, that would have bugged you for a long time.

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

Mary Eastland
01-12-2011, 12:32 PM
Yes...you could have dressed and left. His behavior does not excuse yours.
Mary

Tony Wagstaffe
01-12-2011, 01:05 PM
I understand that feeling very well........
You used restraint.....

Marc Abrams
01-12-2011, 01:22 PM
Aikidoka have a bad tendency to resort to passive-aggressive behaviors. I am a fan of making things overt. You could have talked out loud about how his friendliness degraded to the conduct that he was displaying in class. He would then have to directly comment on what his intentions were and you could make your decision to stay, leave, etc.. You simply responded in kind to what he did. You gave him a taste of his medicine (he set you up for failure and you did the same to him). I would simply describe what he did and what you did to those who want to know. In the end, you were human just like he was.

To me, the real issue is whether or not you have learned something about yourself so that this experience becomes part of future wisdom enacted.

Marc Abrams

Dan Rubin
01-12-2011, 01:24 PM
Your friend witnessed it all, so why does he think your behavior was unjustified?

As for that host teacher's rude behavior, that sort of thing is noted by most students and costs him their respect.

Basia Halliop
01-12-2011, 02:03 PM
I think you could either have walked away after class and ignored his behaviour, or asked him about the difference between his behaviour on the mat and off.

IMO, you got sucked into his immature behaviour.

So personally, to me, I'd say he acted badly and then you acted badly in response (let your adrenaline get away with you and got engaged in what sounds like one-upping the guy, and copied his weirdly passive-aggressive style where you were both pretending to be engaged in learning and teaching but weren't really...).

Flintstone
01-12-2011, 02:20 PM
Me says well done.

Reg
01-12-2011, 03:05 PM
Wow, more responses then expected. I think too, I showed restraint.

Those who see it another way-
I didn't intend to choke him out. I wanted to rock him back on his heels a bit, he'd lose balance stepping back. I did play the same game. I felt pissed I was set up and he took advantage of the situation. I wanted him to see two can play the same game. I admit it was my ego kicking in. I understand I should have just ignored the game, and left. I get the criticism being said here. It is same type my friend and my fellow sensei tell me. But, I am not Gandhi.

That day, I made myself vulnerable. I went in under presumption of, and greeted as guest, not fodder for some guy's ego. I behaved, and was polite through the whole class. After class I stepped into his fight. He wasn't a nice guy, didn't handle himself or me properly. I agree if I didn't do something it would have bugged me. If I took it and walk away would cause me problems. I really don't think protesting in middle of class would have been the right move.

Thank you, everyone, I have a better perspective on it. I hope anyone can avoid situation like mine, where you are hi-jacked by those Adam Henry sensei. now to think of it, I should have done my homework on this Adam Henry of a sensei before I stepping into his place. Instead of relying on one source, my friend.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2011, 03:12 PM
But, I am not Gandhi.

You mean the guy who said: "I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully."?

lbb
01-12-2011, 03:46 PM
Your friend witnessed it all, so why does he think your behavior was unjustified?

That's a mystery to me, as well. One possibility is that OP's friend simply didn't recognize the baiting behavior for what it was. Although it sure seems blatant to use after reading OP's version of events, even if it was that blatant, students who have only ever trained at one dojo may have drunk a lot of koolade, and bad koolade definitely affects the vision :D Soooo, if what OP's friend "saw" was just legitimate testing of OP's skills -- if OP's friend believes that his sensei's "tests" were legitimate and would be "passed" by a truly skilled practitioner -- then perhaps the friend came out with guns a-blazin' after the chokeout, and OP never had the chance to discuss matters.

As for that host teacher's rude behavior, that sort of thing is noted by most students and costs him their respect.

Yes -- this is true even if it may not seem that way at the time.

It sure sounds like an awkward situation. I mean, once you're on the mat, what do you do? It's not like walking out of a movie, it's...I don't know, almost more like you got invited to a dinner party, and then your host proceeded to insult you. In that situation, what would you do? Most of us would probably do what OP did: try to stick it out...and, probably, eventually, respond in a way that might have some negative repercussions.

It seems to me that that's what OP's concern is, primarily: how others are responding to his actions. But before you can really address that, you have to know for sure what you think the correct action was. You won't get that here, and while our opinions may be helpful, I think they'll be more helpful if we explain why we feel that way...but that's an aside. When you know what you think you should have done, and why, then you'll be ready to have the conversation with the people who are miffed at you now.

NagaBaba
01-12-2011, 04:04 PM
Wow, more responses then expected. I think too, I showed restraint.

What a nonsens.

You are simply stupid jerk. If you go to a dojo from different style, it is to be expected that you will suck in every detail. This is clearly quite normal situation, unless you have VERY high level.

I.e. if I go to for example: Yoshinkan or Tomiki dojo, Ill be complete beginner. Their pedagogical approach is very different and they will have all rights to correct every detail of my practice. In public, in front of everybody. Id expect it. Only very traditional Japanese sensei will not say anything or will do it in private.

You put on white belt, wanted to be introduced as a student, but in reality you went there with a big head of high level instructor, that REQUIRES special respect and treatment. This is typical hypocrisy of many high ranking aikidoka that wear white belt again.

But the other instructor took everything literally and treated you as any other student that makes mistakes. That is why you got pissed off and got adrenaline shock. This is first point.

The second point is that your are hopeless and nothing can be done. If such trivial thing provoked you to the point loosing complete control on yourself, your behavior in any dangerous situation will be a real disaster. We can safely say time you spent on aikido training is for nothing.

Michael Hackett
01-12-2011, 06:09 PM
Reg,

Perhaps you did over-react. If YOU think you did, learn from it and behave differently next time. Henry Ellis Sensei gave you some sound advice about not concerning yourself with the opinions of others. If your actions were wrong, those who care about you will forgive you and those who don't won't be persuaded by anything you say or do.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2011, 06:18 PM
Perhaps you did over-react.
I don't think so. Over reacting would have been going medieval on Adam Henry Sensei in the middle of the class and in front of his students.

Henry Ellis Sensei gave you some sound advice about not concerning yourself with the opinions of others. If your actions were wrong, those who care about you will forgive you and those who don't won't be persuaded by anything you say or do.
I agree with this.

Michael Hackett
01-12-2011, 06:38 PM
Demetrio,

I personally don't think he over-reacted, but my opinion is as worthless as anyone else's, except his own. I might have handled it differently, and then again, maybe not. Being corrected in class would have been no problem for me, but I would have been offended at the comments concerning how worthless my dojo was. At that point, I probably would have respectfully bowed out of class and left. I'm confident that I wouldn't have remained for a second helping of discourtesy, but I'm a hardhead in many ways......

RED
01-12-2011, 10:09 PM
I understand that feeling very well........
You used restraint.....

That's not restraint.
Restraint would be bowing out and dressing out. You can tell the Sensei, out of ear shot of his students, that his behavior was disrespectful to you, and then work it out like civil functional adults.

The loss of composure is always a failure of character, and is an obvious display of insecurity.

No one is perfect and we all get upset from time to time. But let's not lower our standards and accept the loss of composure as acceptable or even par.

Just my opinion. But disrespect should never be met with more disrespect.

One man's failure to his civil obligations does not release me from my responsibilities to civility.

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 10:51 PM
Maggie, I agree with you.
There is a difference between acting in self defense and acting out of revenge, hurt "honor", etc that to me indicate a loss of self-ccontrol.
Having said that, I'm not perfect either and I totally understand the temptation to indulge oneself in the moment. But the question being asked doesn't seem to me to be understanding but rightness and I have to come down on the side that says, Nope, not cool. Take the high road.

dps
01-13-2011, 01:51 AM
Once we paired up, sensei Nice became sensei Adam Henry. It was on, he was busting my nuts right and left with personal insults and criticisms, right after he introduced me as I asked.

Another solution.

Bow, thank Sensei, thank the class then leave.

David

Demetrio Cereijo
01-13-2011, 02:44 AM
Maggie, I agree with you.
There is a difference between acting in self defense and acting out of revenge, hurt "honor", etc that to me indicate a loss of self-control.


Where do you put righteous indignation, as self defense or as revenge?

Amir Krause
01-13-2011, 03:51 AM
Where do you put righteous indignation, as self defense or as revenge?

It is defenetly not self-defence.

It does not have to be revenge (in this case, I believe it was).

Amir

lbb
01-13-2011, 07:39 AM
Where do you put righteous indignation, as self defense or as revenge?

I'd say neither. Righteous indignation is a natural response to some situations as a brief and passing thing -- but if you fan the fire and build it up, as we so often do, it's unhealthy self-indulgence. Yes, the situation is wrong. Yes, you're justifiably upset about it. But as soon as you realize that, it's time to acknowledge it and set it aside, rather than continue to validate and build up your sense of yourself as the aggrieved party. The offense, whatever it was, doesn't become any worse if you dwell on it; all that you do is blow the whole thing out of proportion in your own mind, and diminish your own capacity to make a measured and proportionate response.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-13-2011, 08:25 AM
What would Ueshiba do?

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 10:14 AM
That is something I will never know because I am not him...I am me. Since I wasn't there I don't know exctly what I would do in the situation. I would like to think: I wouldn't have worn a white belt, that I would have checked my ego at the door and that when I noticed that things were getting hinky I would have the courage to leave.
Mary

Janet Rosen
01-13-2011, 10:33 AM
Where do you put righteous indignation, as self defense or as revenge?

Good question, Demetrio. I think righteous indignation is an internal emotional response to a feeling of being ignored, disrespected, etc (It is very rarely an emotional response to an actual danger, which triggers a very different response). It does NOT have to be acted on.

I think that, for me at least, it is the emotional response to being treated as if my actions or motives had been misunderstood, and I've learned over the years that I don't actually have the ability to always make myself understood or my actual motives clear to the other person.

If I "lash out" in other than a self-defense situation I want it to be because I have made a mindful decision that lashing out is in fact the best option to resolve a problem, not because I want to feel better or "teach a lesson." If I can think of a better option I will use it.

crbateman
01-13-2011, 11:03 AM
I'll add my currently devalued $.02 here...

IMHO, the instructor erred by lording over "Reg". While it is the style of some instructors to be arrogant or intimidating, it is bad form to direct this to a guest in the dojo.

"Reg", on the other hand, erred by inducing the instructor to return to the mat to initiate an attitude adjustment. He says that he "did not intend" to choke him out. I have my doubts of this, but it's bad either way. "Accidentally" choking someone out would indicate a complete lack of awareness and self-control. Doing it on purpose would be simply irresponsible, as it could have resulted in a severe injury.

It boils down to this: "Reg" could have ended this by leaving and not coming back. He and the instructor were both wrong, and two wrongs do not equal one right... ever.

Rant off.

Reg
01-13-2011, 11:07 AM
After reading all these responses with good advice and alternative opinions, I have thought more about. Of course that is why I came here and told my story. I will answer a few things people brought up to be fair, all at once here. I don't have time to go post by post, sorry.

In my mind, I went there open minded willing to see or learn something new. My definition of learning something new wasn't what I experienced for this guy.

Bad or good, right or wrong, we men have this pecking order among us. No matter how we try to get away from it the Alpha dog mentality is there. I was experiencing the Alpha dog mentality from Adam Henry of a sensei the second we meet. He wanted to make sure I was his bitch. I felt that way. It pissed me off when he pour it on with the exercise and the insults.

I showed restraint by not walking off the mat at that point which would've drawn more attention to the situation. Pissy as I was, I took it.

At the point of the exercise or the insults I could have gotten both verbally defensive and physically defensive in all sort of ways. I could have made a hell of a scene. But I didn't. I waited after class to show him in a very subtle way, I had skill. I wanted to communicate to him subtly I wasn't his bitch.

I didn't want to hurt the sensei. Yea, I was pissed, my ego was attacked. True, I lost a bit of control. It was unintentional. I was pissed. I held it in, but it got away from me a bit. In two ways, first by baiting him. Second, being pissed happened to unintentionally choking him out. I will consider maybe subconsciously it wasn't unintentional. What ever it was, I didn't hurt him or embarrass him in front of the class.

Hindsight is 20/20, I could have dressed down thanked him and walked out. But I am human, I have emotions and they are a tricky lot. But in terms of the Alpha dog world men live in, I wouldn't have gotten any respect. He would've of keep on me as his bitch. We know as men when that happens, it is all over for us. If I seen that sensei again or any of his students, they would give me crap and be very disrespectful. Then I would have to fight to prove myself. That is the world more often than not.

My friend's sensei I visited was knowledgable and skilled, but at the wrong things. Like being good at arrogance. Knowing how to humiliate someone through an exercise, which required knowledge and understanding of the human body, and how it works - for his benefit. Verbal attacks too. He was good a presenting, projecting, and manipulation. Does that make him a good martial artist? No. I don't think so.

The crux of it is, in my mind the sensei behaved badly. He treated me more poorly than I did him, cause his ego was threatened, he had something to prove, his arrogance, or something. When you come in peace and than your attacked you get upset. I came in peace. I didn't challenge him or disrupt his class. I showed the proper etiquette and respect. I was open minded. I was a good class guest. He on the other hand was not a good host or sensei. That isn't seen by my friend or the other dojo sensei.

I know why my friend felt as he does. It is because it made him uncomfortable, and placed him in an awkward situation. I told my friend no matter how good his goods are, you can't over look he is a Adam Henry. My fellow sensei is hearing it second hand. He wasn't there. His opinion is important, we share teaching responsibilities. We are friends and we work as partners. I know for him, as me, being true the dojo we created is important. He wasn't there. When you're not there, and see it or experience yourself, it is easy to make judgement calls.

There was advice here of not to speak of it any more, I don't. I don't bring it up to my friend or the other sensei. I was before getting that advice. I think it is sound advice. I think about it more now, I had to do something. It would have bothered me if I didn't.

I feel anybody can be a sensei. This Adam Henry of a sensei was anybody.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-13-2011, 11:24 AM
That's not restraint.
Restraint would be bowing out and dressing out. You can tell the Sensei, out of ear shot of his students, that his behavior was disrespectful to you, and then work it out like civil functional adults.

The loss of composure is always a failure of character, and is an obvious display of insecurity.

No one is perfect and we all get upset from time to time. But let's not lower our standards and accept the loss of composure as acceptable or even par.

Just my opinion. But disrespect should never be met with more disrespect.

One man's failure to his civil obligations does not release me from my responsibilities to civility.

That's known as political correctness in my book.... and look where that's got us.....!!!!

Bullies are bullies and nothing else...... Been there, done it... they don't like it one bit.... I don't get bullied anymore.....:straightf

Janet Rosen
01-13-2011, 12:01 PM
I have dealt with bullies in a number of settings over the years, from workplace (one of my very best and favorite bosses was, with other people a terrible bully) and in the world (standing up to very large people who wanted to hit me hard). Mostly they don't bother w/ me because a good bully reads people and they know who it won't work on. Now, this dojo scenario is different because the bullying doesn't start until both people are in the situation - and yeah I've seen a couple of times dojochos go over-the-top macho on some visitors and its really weird and baffling to watch, I imagine much harder to be on the receiving end.

Based on my experience, the way to deal with a bully is NOT what the OP did, which is to put up with it - which he felt as "showing restraint" but in fact his emotions were just roiling and roiling AND which the bully of course perceives as his bullying being successful - and then when its over either explode or retaliate.

The time to deal w/ a bully is the moment the bullying starts and to do so in a quiet, non-agressive but totally firm and implacable way while - assuming it is safe to do so - exiting the situation. Sometimes to avoid pointless arguement/escalation, it actually becomes necessary to stay so on message verbally that it begins to sound silly - like a mantra. I've never had this not work even when I have in fact felt I might be in actual danger.

Mary Eastland
01-13-2011, 12:09 PM
One of the first lessons I learned in aikido is that I
can't feel another person's resistance. People cannot make us act a certain way. I am responsible for every choice I make. You are blaming him for what you did. I know it is hard to look at yourself. Admitting we are wrong is very freeing. I think there is part of you that knows what you did is wrong for you. Only you know that.
Each person had their own moral code.
If you could do it over would you act differently?
Mary

Basia Halliop
01-13-2011, 01:32 PM
From your later responses you seem like you are now convinced that you did the right thing and are comfortable and confident with the decisions you made and don't think you should have taken any of the other options anyone is suggesting.

So, glad you've had a chance to talk it through and come to your conclusion. I happen to think you're completely wrong (I don't think what you did would have made you look remotely like an 'alpha dog' or leader of any kind but more like a toddler who lacked basic self-control -- I'm sorry that that's quite negative, but as I understand, you specifically wanted opinions).

But in the end you're the one who has to live with your choices so in the end how you view it is far more important than what some random stranger off the internet thinks.

It sounds like you're no longer really asking for advice, though?

Janet Rosen
01-13-2011, 01:51 PM
To the OP: please understand my posts are not a put-down of who you are or a negation of what you experienced. My own responses, in reply to both you posts and the thread in general, reflect my experience. In general I think each of us muddles through as best we can, hopefully with mindfulness and self-awareness, and if nothing else this thread has given you food for thought about options.

lbb
01-13-2011, 02:39 PM
Hindsight is 20/20, I could have dressed down thanked him and walked out. But I am human, I have emotions and they are a tricky lot. But in terms of the Alpha dog world men live in, I wouldn't have gotten any respect.

What respect did you get by choking him out? Who respects you now?

I'm staying out of any discussion of the right and wrong of your reasoning. I'm just asking you if you got what you say you wanted.

RED
01-13-2011, 03:09 PM
That's known as political correctness in my book.... and look where that's got us.....!!!!

Bullies are bullies and nothing else...... Been there, done it... they don't like it one bit.... I don't get bullied anymore.....:straightf

Shame is the day when self-respect is confused with political correct bias. To lose control of your self is to disrespect yourself, and to show your rear where it rightly shouldn't be shown.
You also should never undermine a man in his own house IMO. He was in that man's house, no matter how big of an ass that man might have been. If the master of the house tells you to keep off the furniture, you keep off the furniture. If this disrespects you, get the hell out of that man's house.
Having to out-bully the bully is such a representation of personal insecurity from my experience. If you are secure in your being, who cares what some charlatan, or idiot thinks? When we give credence to the "idiot" we are disrespecting ourselves. You can never claim to have self respect while choosing situations that disrespect yourself.

Regardless, it obviously isn't a sign of restraint to react in the way the OP did. I don't buy the boys getting into a scrapple response..it is meat headed. It is not how men behave, nor how I expect men to behave. I have no tolerance for men refusing to act as men... which admittedly is very non-politically correct. Men don't demand respect with force, they command it with their presence. My father taught me that.

Marc Abrams
01-13-2011, 03:47 PM
The OP has displayed a lot of character in sharing this event with us. His reactions to this event underscores that he has a good deal of character and integrity.

We sit here with the luxury of 20:20 post-event analysis. We are not moral judges, nor are we so perfect in action as to hold ourselves up as poster-children of correct actions.

Both people did things, that with a clear head and honest discussion, I would assume that both of them would be capable of learning lessons from and not repeating the mistakes of past.

At it's highest level, Aikido offers us that opportunity of connecting our actions with others so as to lead each person toward a more peaceful path. At lower levels, Aikido offers us a way to embarrass a person through how, when and why we choose to execute our techniques.

At the end of the day, one person started acting like an ass and the other person ended up acting like an ass, all expressed through "Aikido." The only thing that I think is of relevance at this point in time, is whether the parties can walk away and use the event as a chance to develop wisdom and act in a more caring and connected manner in the future. The ideal of budo is to create a safer world through creating a more connected and caring world. I don't expect that any of us can always act according to our ideals. The important thing is that we make the effort to try to do so through our words and deeds.

Marc Abrams

C. David Henderson
01-13-2011, 10:26 PM
Well, I was pissed off for you, so I do understand that part of it. But I guess if you were okay with the situation, we wouldn't be here, neh?

I showed restraint by not walking off the mat at that point which would've drawn more attention to the situation. Pissy as I was, I took it.

Suffice it to say I've made a determination that if I ever feel in a situation again where an instructor is being abusive [which is not a statement about my primary teacher], I'm just walking off. I honestly think this was an important mistake on your part, and from the honest tone of your post, I'd guess it was because you didn't want to lose face. It also may be at a point before you are looking to see what you might do differently.

The desire not to feel humilated is both powerful and understandable.

So is your reaction: Some people seem to try and control their world primarily by controlling others; other people default to controlling themselves. But swallowing anger has its dangers.

This is where Marc's advice might have provided an alternative.

I would want to ask myself, ego aside, whether someone who thought less of me because I spoke up rather than "took it" is someone whose opinion should be that important to me.

Ellis Sensei's advice about the opinions of other just as easily could apply, in the future, to your concerns in the moment about the opinions of others as much as to your concerns after the fact, IMO.

I waited after class to show him in a very subtle way, I had skill. I wanted to communicate to him subtly I wasn't his bitch.

I didn't want to hurt the sensei. Yea, I was pissed, my ego was attacked. True, I lost a bit of control. It was unintentional.

Respectfully, and I mean that, it seemed to me that you might consider looking one step back, given the luxury of hindsight, in thinking about when you lost control of the situation. If you intended to communicate you weren't his "bitch," I'd guess you were already primed to blow up. How much of that came from having endured insults that you felt were unendurable?

Hindsight is 20/20, I could have dressed down thanked him and walked out. But I am human, I have emotions and they are a tricky lot. But in terms of the Alpha dog world men live in, I wouldn't have gotten any respect.

I had a friend once who struggled with his need for others to show him respect. One of his insights was how it distorted both who he really was and how others saw him.

One of the themes I saw running through your thoughts was how this incident distorts your intentions as a martial artist and the dojo you have created.

It reminded me of my friend.

As to the other guy, you can take the number of people telling you you showed restraint as evidence that he sounds like a piece of work.

Regards,

Reg
01-13-2011, 11:04 PM
After all the responses and me rethinking the event over in my head, I want to say it was time well spent. I believe in my heart of hearts I didn't do wrong. I showed restraint. I don't see me as being equally wrong considering I didn't instigate the situation. If I was wrong it wasn't by much. I was far less in the wrong than the Adam Henry sensei. I was playing defense the whole time, not offense. I wanted to demonstrate to a person who unjustly disrespected he had no power over me. He had no greater knowledge or greater skill than mine. It seems with these type of people is only way to get their respect.

At first I believed choking him out was a bit much. I questioned myself, was it too much even if it was unintentional? My plan was to rock him back on his heels communicating to him that anyone can play that unimpressive game. Remember he was insulting what I did, and exploited me through an exercise where he had all the advantage. Well, he got choke out briefly instead, never the wiser. Now I think is was a classy move. He wasn't hurt. I didn't trash talk him. He wanted to play the Alpha dog game and lost. I didn't come back and make him my bitch after I choke him out. I am confident what I did was a right thing to do with this sensei. I communicated in a language he could understand, even if he wasn't aware of it right then. I am not saying it was the only right thing to do. I am saying was what I needed to do, as it wasn't the worse thing to do. I did show great restraint.

Should I be a poster boy? no. I don't think my action is suitable as a common way to handle such situations. It shouldn't be copied or adopted. I would have really hurt this sensei, but I didn't. The bigger issue I see is his behavior. He is the catalyst. Adam Henry sensei's behavior should be reprimanded and there by setting an example. Guys like him get away with being unprofessional and unsavory characters. Because they taut they have something better, and they will prove it anyway they can. They will stomp anyone who is a threat in anyway possible. It is guys like me who call them on it who are told they are wrong for doing so. I will not be an instant poster boy, giving permission to everyone to handle the situation as I did, if condoned within parameters of my situation.

I got a few reprimands, some pretty harsh. I didn't see any equal harsh ones for the Adam Henry sensei. I may have over looked it, but where there any equal harsh criticisms for his behavior? I expected that. We tend as people to give more criticism to a person in my position than those in the Adam Henry's position. This default consensus allows the more dangerous behavior shown by Adam Henry sensei to be acceptable. We want to change the world don't start with me, start with the Adam Henry senseis. My actions would have never exist if he didn't behave as he did. I was tricked and quickly placed in a very stressful, uncomfortable over all unpleasant situation. A situation triggering allot of physical and mental reactions and responses. Like the adrenaline dumps, emotions, impulses and urges. I showed restraint and control against what all was going on inside of me. And if left to my unchecked natural reactions, I would have gone combat.

I am going to tell my friend and fellow sensei without putting them on the offensive and with tact. I think I did right. He did wrong. If there is going to be change in the world or pointing fingers lets start with the instigators, the Adam Henry sensei types, let not indirectly support them by criticizing and judging not those who are unfortunate to have to react to them. That is the way, I really feel about the situation. We focus too much correction on how those who don't handle a bad situation like mine ideally. That is a wrong we all don't have to commit. Then I will let it rest.

That wraps things up from me, am glad I put my story here. I was afraid I was making a mistake. But I was wrong.

Janet Rosen
01-13-2011, 11:19 PM
This is NOT about "taking sides." This is about offering input/thoughts/replies to YOUR post about YOUR situation. If he had posted, he would have been critiqued.

Michael Hackett
01-13-2011, 11:39 PM
Reg,
I know of a similar situation that took place several years ago. One man, a relatively high-ranking aikidoka, was invited to a party at a karateka's home. Both men were teachers of their respective arts and didn't know one another well. There were a number of the karateka's dojo there and a number of rounds of beer being consumed. All was well and reportedly there was great conversation about common friends in the arts and good fellowship.

One of the karateka's senior students decided to "test" the aikidoka in front of the group and his own teacher with the old standard "show us some of that aikido stuff". The aikidoka declined several times and the karate teacher failed to rein in his student. Eventually the student threw a munetsuki to the aikidoka's face. He calmly stepped off line and grasped the man's fist, pushing his thumb back towards his wrist until he went to his knees, effectively tapping out. The aikidoka released his grip, thanked his host and left the party. He told me that he felt he was set up by the karate instructor and was angry that he didn't control his own student in the situation. I think this was a classy way to resolve the conflict and demonstrated a mature restraint.

Janet Rosen
01-14-2011, 12:17 AM
Hard for me to format via iPod but Michael's post brought this to mind--it's in the Articles section of Aikiweb, a reprint from old Aikido Journal piece, and another VERY classy response to provocation:
Home > Spiritual > The Importance of Receiving
by D. Messisco

Mark Freeman
01-14-2011, 10:40 AM
Reg,

On reading your posts, it can be seen that you feel you were right in your actions. As I wasn't there and we only have your version of events, I don't have an opinion either way.

What is fairly obvious is that two large male ego's were involved, this at least you accept.

My question is about your choice to go to this other dojo in the first place. This choice created the opportunity for this sorry tale to unfold. Have you exhausted all the teaching your own teacher has to offer? Did this other teacher have a reputation for certain skills, that you would like to aquire and pass on to your own students? Was it really just curiosity that took you there?

His behaviour wasn't the catalyst, if you hadn't gone, there would have been no situation to relate.

just my 2 penneth worth, to add to all the others.

regards,

Mark

C. David Henderson
01-14-2011, 10:54 AM
Mark's perspective reminded me of the story about O Sensei's reaction to the theft of Koichi Tohei's leather coat during practice.

Reg
01-14-2011, 12:24 PM
Allot of people have a similar and common view point of my ego that day. I know where they are coming from. I expected more of those opinions. These opinions are inline with how my Mother sees such situations. She would say to me as a kid if I got in some kind of dispute, "you didn't hold your temp (refering to ego), you didn't walk away then you are equally in the wrong!" Both me and my brother would both be punished even though my brother was picking on me. My mother's view is pretty universal. As common as that view is, it isn't always a healthy solution to see things that way.

Was I equally in the wrong. I will say that proportionally the Adam Henry sensei's was 90 % in the wrong, and the much of the blame rests on him. My mother would not agree with me. She has the popular view that ego is bad. I can't see that being very realistic. Having an ego is good too. Being completely ego-less like a Buddhist monk isn't functional 100% in the world most of us live in. Being egoless works well if you live in a Buddhist monastery where that view is cultured like a pearl. Outside of that work it doesn't work like that. Ego has a function, both positive and negative. For some reason society treats Ego as a bad thing.

In my situation, I was being insulted, and mocked, based on a sensei's arrogance and feeling he had to dominate me. My ego kicked in as it should as a safe guarding mechanism for self-protection. Without that ego doing its job, I would be nothing but a punching bag. I would have no self-esteem, or confidence without ego. I would be reduced to the status of a batter wife syndrome mentality. My self-esteem and confidence crushed, subordinate to Adam Henry sensei's abuse, i.e. his bitch. My ego needed to be in place to prevent that. I need to show him I wasn't his bitch.

Cause I don't live in a cave, I walked unsuspectingly into a bad place. A risk that has to be taking if you want to live in society. When I went there it was his ego being threatened he choose to be on the offensive showing all the classic negative signs of ego. I don't see my function of my ego was in the wrong, absolutely, or equally. For me, it is the percentage of being in the wrong. He was 90% in the wrong and demonstrated wonderfully the signs of an unhealthy ego. I am not saying, I wasn't 100% in the right. To say such a thing is an unrealistic absolute. I could have done as Mother trained me to do. But, I didn't. I allowed my ego to do it's job in a positive way, protecting myself from being mentally beat down. I protected my self-esteem and self-confidence.

Ego isn't always bad, and I don't think it is a case of two wrongs don't make a right. Because the proportions of being wrong are not equal,or closely in proportion. For that to be the case, I would have to mirror his behavior and ego. I didn't. My ego did what it should have and justly so to protect me. How can that make me equally wrong...?

I don't see another solution to the situation that would have supported my self-confidence and self-esteem.

C. David Henderson
01-14-2011, 12:44 PM
Man, if you hold onto this attitude, you are essentially saying any SOB who knows how to push your buttons can make, MAKE you do something you feel so bad about you'll go to these lengths to assure yourself you were in the right to begin with.

So how is that not being his "bitch?"

I'm a fan of Ego (just not always my own or others'). But is it a healthy ego that depends, DEPENDS on the perceptions of others for its vitality?

Dan Rubin
01-14-2011, 12:50 PM
We sit here with the luxury of 20:20 post-event analysis.

let not indirectly support them by criticizing and judging not those who are unfortunate to have to react to them.

Isn't that what we were requested to do?

I am asking for some feedback, was I wrong in my actions, or just? Was there another solution?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-14-2011, 12:57 PM
Shame is the day when self-respect is confused with political correct bias. To lose control of your self is to disrespect yourself, and to show your rear where it rightly shouldn't be shown.
You also should never undermine a man in his own house IMO. He was in that man's house, no matter how big of an ass that man might have been. If the master of the house tells you to keep off the furniture, you keep off the furniture. If this disrespects you, get the hell out of that man's house.
Having to out-bully the bully is such a representation of personal insecurity from my experience. If you are secure in your being, who cares what some charlatan, or idiot thinks? When we give credence to the "idiot" we are disrespecting ourselves. You can never claim to have self respect while choosing situations that disrespect yourself.

Regardless, it obviously isn't a sign of restraint to react in the way the OP did. I don't buy the boys getting into a scrapple response..it is meat headed. It is not how men behave, nor how I expect men to behave. I have no tolerance for men refusing to act as men... which admittedly is very non-politically correct. Men don't demand respect with force, they command it with their presence. My father taught me that.

That's why were are in Afghanistan then?..... Bullies come in all sorts of sizes and guises......:rolleyes:

Dan Rubin
01-14-2011, 01:05 PM
Granted knowing my background, my behavior was outside of what I represent as the sensei of my dojo, and the dojo's reputation.

"Reg"

Could you expand on this? Does this have anything to do with the criticism you received from your friend and from your fellow instructor?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-14-2011, 01:52 PM
Man, if you hold onto this attitude, you are essentially saying any SOB who knows how to push your buttons can make, MAKE you do something you feel so bad about you'll go to these lengths to assure yourself you were in the right to begin with.

Interesting.

Mark Gibbons
01-14-2011, 02:16 PM
A guy visits a dojo and asks to train, gets annoyed by corrections, chokes out the Sensei after class.

That makes me understand better why some places are leary of visitors. As far as I can tell the OP objected to words, and wasn't hurt beyond getting knocked down in an aikido class.

And the OP thinks they were only 10% in the wrong???? Wow.

Mark

lbb
01-14-2011, 02:28 PM
Allot of people have a similar and common view point of my ego that day. I know where they are coming from. I expected more of those opinions. These opinions are inline with how my Mother sees such situations. She would say to me as a kid if I got in some kind of dispute, "you didn't hold your temp (refering to ego), you didn't walk away then you are equally in the wrong!" Both me and my brother would both be punished even though my brother was picking on me. My mother's view is pretty universal. As common as that view is, it isn't always a healthy solution to see things that way.

I understand what you're saying. I used to struggle a lot, too, in situations where I felt the other party was "more wrong"...and when I say "struggle", I mean it was impossible for me to get past this. I still struggle with it, a lot, but a friend once told me something that helped me see my way past this. This was years ago, and I'm still learning this lesson.

She was listening to me vent about...jeez, I don't even remember what it was about, but it was one of these unfair situations where I felt the other party was "more wrong". I knew that my friend thought I was being wrong-headed about that, so I expected her to disagree with me. To my surprise, she agreed that the other person was "more wrong", with no equivocation. Then she gently pointed out that while that was true, it wasn't relevant, because it wasn't the real source of my feeling upset.

I find it very telling that today, thinking back on that moment, I can't even remember what I was upset about originally. All that I can remember is the emotional distress that I had built up in myself over being the more wronged party. It was no longer about the harm that had been done to me, and all about...what? that the two of us weren't equally harmed?

There is such a thing as blaming the victim. When a person is hurt and we blame them for crying out, that's blaming the victim. But I feel that I now have a sense of the difference between blaming the victim, and recognizing when a person who's been hurt has gotten into a pattern of intensifying their hurt rather than dealing with it or letting it rest. Looking back, I can see plenty of pity parties that I threw for myself over the years. Each one had its origin in a real hurt that was done to me...but I don't remember having any fun at those parties.

Was I equally in the wrong. I will say that proportionally the Adam Henry sensei's was 90 % in the wrong, and the much of the blame rests on him. My mother would not agree with me. She has the popular view that ego is bad. I can't see that being very realistic. Having an ego is good too. Being completely ego-less like a Buddhist monk isn't functional 100% in the world most of us live in. Being egoless works well if you live in a Buddhist monastery where that view is cultured like a pearl. Outside of that work it doesn't work like that. Ego has a function, both positive and negative. For some reason society treats Ego as a bad thing.

I have a question for you: all those times when your mother tried to tell you to let go of the need to figure out what percentage of the blame rests where, why do you think she did it? Do you think she did it because she hated you and liked your brother more? Do you think she did it because she wanted to beat you down and crush your will?

Or do you think that perhaps she was trying to help you?

The books never balance. Your mother understood that, is my guess. The books never balance, and if you get stuck on that and spend your energy trying to make them balance, all you'll get is a headache and a heartache. You've written pages in this thread arguing about how you were in the right. For all you know, the other sensei could do the same. If we heard his side of the story, it might sound equally compelling. But even if that's not the case, you have no means of extracting the sort of "justice" you are going after. I asked you before: you said you wanted respect. Do you feel that you got respect as a result of your actions? You are still not happy and at rest about the situation. You seem to want unconditional validation. Will that really help you?

In my situation, I was being insulted, and mocked, based on a sensei's arrogance and feeling he had to dominate me. My ego kicked in as it should as a safe guarding mechanism for self-protection. Without that ego doing its job, I would be nothing but a punching bag. I would have no self-esteem, or confidence without ego. I would be reduced to the status of a batter wife syndrome mentality. My self-esteem and confidence crushed, subordinate to Adam Henry sensei's abuse, i.e. his bitch. My ego needed to be in place to prevent that. I need to show him I wasn't his bitch.

No. You may not yet know how it is possible to maintain one's self-esteem and confidence without being at the mercy of your "ego kicking in" when it's poked. You may believe that there is only one possible response to a perceived attempt to dominate you. This is not so, but to see the other options, you have to be able to trust that you can let the story line go, let the drama drop, not play the game -- and still not be harmed. Right now, you don't believe that, you don't trust that. I don't blame you. I've been in a very survival-minded place where there was only one possible response to a perceived threat. The only way to find other responses is to get to a place where you know that you don't have to come out with guns a-blazin' in order to not be harmed. There are ways to move in this direction, and if you'd like, I'd be happy to point you at some things that have helped me a lot. I hope also that you will trust me when I say that it's a better place to be.

By the way -- and I regret to bring this up -- I've wanted to say this for several of your posts now, and I've sat on my hands, and I'm not going to do it any more. As a woman, I find your use of the term "bitch" insulting and offensive. I know that it's become commonplace in the culture to use this term in this way; still, it is a sexist usage that perpetuates sexist attitudes that are harmful to women. If you don't want to do this, please consider choosing another word (and if you have trouble finding one, that might be cause for reflection about the harm that has already been done in our society by the pervasive use of this term).

Janet Rosen
01-14-2011, 02:28 PM
I didn't think the idea was to apportion percentages of blame but to identify possible alternative responses or outcomes.
If scenarios and life itself is posited as/lived as a competition of defensive egos, then I suppose the OP did what he felt he had to. I think it's a pretty narrow vision of life's possibilities and of defining self-respect.

RED
01-14-2011, 02:53 PM
I don't see another solution to the situation that would have supported my self-confidence and self-esteem.

To support your sense of self, you need to make choices that show respect yourself. When we lose control of our emotions we are not showing respect for ourselves. We have to be more kind to ourselves than this. IMO

Reg
01-14-2011, 02:54 PM
Mr. Rubin,

I will be happy to do it. Putting up my story here of me being invited to a dojo where I was being manipulate, set-up and hijacked, I got many responses that reshaped my view. At the time of first posting here, I started on the fence with uncertainty and lack of understanding from where my friends where coming from. I questioned my action after the class. Did I go too far. Should I have shown more restraint, did I step outside of the background of the dojo? Over the course of this discussion, I have a greater understanding of how they see things and my actions. I am convinced I did the right thing. I have a greater understanding and appreciation of my fellow sensei and friend's view.

Reg
01-14-2011, 03:30 PM
The point where I thought I went too far is when I choked out the Adam Henry sensei after class. Did I show proper restraint, I stand that up against the great amount of restraint I showed during the class when the Adam Henry sensei was screwing me and insulting me during class. My background given reflects my professionalism and manner.

lbb
01-14-2011, 03:36 PM
The point where I thought I went too far is when I choked out the Adam Henry sensei after class. Did I show proper restraint, I stand that up against the great amount of restraint I showed during the class when the Adam Henry sensei was screwing me and insulting me during class.

Unfortunately, the two don't balance out. They don't cancel each other. You're going to be stuck unless you can think of it in terms other than "this balances that". It may take a while for you to be comfortable with that idea, but fighting to make wrongs cancel each other out never works. In the meantime, maybe it's worth taking the pragmatic view that you could have ended up in a world of trouble. You thought you could control your choke, you thought you would not choke him out, and you were wrong. That should tell you that you were also not in control of how much damage you inflicted. You're depriving a person's brain of oxygen, and that's an action with a lot of risk involved. If you don't want to be fully responsible for all the possible consequences, to him and to you, then don't take the risk.

Hellis
01-14-2011, 04:27 PM
Reg
As you expected, there are many varied opinons here, some are genuine, others are from people that would not have the courage to do anything other than hide behind their own idea of `Aikido principals `...what is important is that you did what ``you`` felt was right, you seem content with that, which I agree with, then that is all that matters...............
Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

niall
01-15-2011, 12:27 AM
1.It's a good thing to ask for advice.
2.It's pointless if you don't listen to it.
3.Having put yourself in that situation of course there was a possibility that the teacher would use it to take cheap shots. So not having expected that was already a mistake.
4.If you had reacted at the time on the mat it wouldn't have been the best way to handle it but it would have been more understandable.
5.After the training "baiting" the teacher to get your revenge was the worst mistake. It cannot be justified.
6.You could have left any time. During the training or after the training.
7.Continuing to say you were right is another mistake.
8.Think about how your own teacher(s) might have handled it.

Reg
01-15-2011, 09:38 AM
Mr. Ellis, I understand what you are saying. I have and will take your advice.

@ those people, it is understandable your point of view. It has helped. It is not like I will set a precedence for how to act in my situation. You don't have to worried about anyone and everyone coming into your dojo and choking you out (momentarily). The my situation wouldn't have happen unless you acted as the Adam Henry sensei acted. If you conduct yourself professionally when a guest enters your dojo, I don't see an issue. Remember it was his dojo, he is the leader, he is the host.

C. David Henderson
01-15-2011, 02:07 PM
Reg,

You're free to live your life the way you want to. But please don't think this situation is about you being brave, Ellis Sensei's kind words notwithstanding.

Its about having lost control because you allowed yourself to be goaded and the impact that's had on your relationships.

And you allowed yourself to be goaded because you were afraid of how you would look if you said anything.

Don't confuse a penchant for losing control when your "self esteem" is challenged with courage.

If you allow someone else to dictate your choices and your responses, you've given away your power and abdicated your freedom as a person to decide what you will do, when you will do it, and how it will be done.

That includes the possibility of choking someone out.

Now you seem to be saying we're all okay around you as long as we don't diss you.

Which seems to imply you'd do the same thing all over the same way.

You're relying on us not to act like "adam henry" in order not to worry that your behavior is some sort of precedent.

I'm not convinced that's true; but it seems to reflect that you're really not ready to accept responsibility for what happened -- for your 10 percent to be your fault, without comparing it to his 90.

FWIW

Respectfully.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-15-2011, 03:33 PM
Reg
As you expected, there are many varied opinons here, some are genuine, others are from people that would not have the courage to do anything other than hide behind their own idea of `Aikido principals `...what is important is that you did what ``you`` felt was right, you seem content with that, which I agree with, then that is all that matters...............
Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

Hear Hear!!!!!!
Reg....
I personally felt you showed too much restraint........

Graham J.
01-15-2011, 04:43 PM
Reg,

Don't confuse a penchant for losing control when your "self esteem" is challenged with courage.

If you allow someone else to dictate your choices and your responses, you've given away your power and abdicated your freedom as a person to decide what you will do, when you will do it, and how it will be done.

That includes the possibility of choking someone out.

I agree whole-heartedly.

There is a reason why murder - acting with pre-meditation - is universally seen as worse than manslaughter - acting in the heat of the moment.

Say what you like about getting revenge being good - but what kind of revenge, and for what reason...?
Why not just walk the fuck away - is the ego so weak?

Yes another solution
01-15-2011, 05:34 PM
With him carrying on as if nothing happened, you missed the opportunity to show him the folly of his ways. Better would have been to let him struggle on helplessly in your grip.

RED
01-15-2011, 06:36 PM
With him carrying on as if nothing happened, you missed the opportunity to show him the folly of his ways. Better would have been to let him struggle on helplessly in your grip.

lol
That sir is what we more commonly call "a dick move". :p

kewms
01-15-2011, 08:21 PM
The time to deal w/ a bully is the moment the bullying starts and to do so in a quiet, non-agressive but totally firm and implacable way while - assuming it is safe to do so - exiting the situation. Sometimes to avoid pointless arguement/escalation, it actually becomes necessary to stay so on message verbally that it begins to sound silly - like a mantra. I've never had this not work even when I have in fact felt I might be in actual danger.

I like this answer.

Staying and letting him beat you up is potentially dangerous for you, and makes you complicit in the lesson he is giving his students. As you observed, it's not an Alpha Dog response, no matter what you do after class.

Staying and reversing his technique (during class) might work in some situations, but is risky because it might just make him angry, and then someone (probably you) would get hurt. As long as he defines the nature of your attack, he will always have the advantage.

Handling the situation as you did still makes you complicit in the in-class lesson to his students, while also putting you on the same level: of taking unfair advantage of a rigged situation. (Judging from the response of those who were there, it didn't establish your Alpha-ness, either.)

Women don't do the Alpha Dog thing in the same way that men do, and I notice that most of the critics of your response are women. I have observed, though, that one way in which Alpha Dogs settle things between themselves is to step outside. If you really must show him "who's boss," then invite him to spar with you, as equals. Since most bullies are also cowards, the chances of him declining the invitation are good, and if he does your Alphaness is confirmed.

"I won't fight with you on your own mat. I'm leaving now."
"If you'd like to spar, we can do that, but I didn't come here to be bullied. I'm leaving now."

(Naturally, offering to spar with him is risky unless you believe yourself to be his peer, which wasn't clear from your post. If you think he's better than you, then it's best to just get out of there.)

Katherine

kewms
01-15-2011, 08:31 PM
In my situation, I was being insulted, and mocked, based on a sensei's arrogance and feeling he had to dominate me. My ego kicked in as it should as a safe guarding mechanism for self-protection. Without that ego doing its job, I would be nothing but a punching bag. I would have no self-esteem, or confidence without ego. I would be reduced to the status of a batter wife syndrome mentality. My self-esteem and confidence crushed, subordinate to Adam Henry sensei's abuse, i.e. his bitch. My ego needed to be in place to prevent that. I need to show him I wasn't his bitch.

Sorry, but your ego didn't protect you here. It kept you on the mat, taking his abuse, for the entire class. The way to avoid being a "battered wife" is to leave.

(Incidentally, a friend of mine was murdered by her husband. For you to describe being knocked down a couple of times in the same terms is extremely offensive.)

Katherine

Janet Rosen
01-15-2011, 10:35 PM
(Incidentally, a friend of mine was murdered by her husband. For you to describe being knocked down a couple of times in the same terms is extremely offensive.)

Katherine

I've been assuming he is using it as it is used in prison language for a male forced to submit to another male.

kewms
01-15-2011, 11:42 PM
I've been assuming he is using it as it is used in prison language for a male forced to submit to another male.

I'm sure he is. It's still offensive, since by no stretch of the imagination did his situation match that level of coercion.

Katherine

kewms
01-16-2011, 12:11 AM
Cause I don't live in a cave, I walked unsuspectingly into a bad place. A risk that has to be taking if you want to live in society. When I went there it was his ego being threatened he choose to be on the offensive showing all the classic negative signs of ego.

Isn't this how martial artists end up in jail? Some bozo goads you into nuking his sorry @$%? And then the prosecutor convinces the jury that because of your training you have a responsibility to have better control than that?

Just saying...

Katherine

Janet Rosen
01-16-2011, 12:31 AM
I'm sure he is. It's still offensive, since by no stretch of the imagination did his situation match that level of coercion.

Katherine

Oh, totally agreed.

Benjamin Mehner
01-16-2011, 01:28 AM
I'm sure he is. It's still offensive, since by no stretch of the imagination did his situation match that level of coercion.

Katherine

It is not only people in prison or people in abusive relationships that use that word. It is a commonly used word among American youth, It is often used in a comical way (see "I'm Rick James, bitch!), it is often used in an affectionate way between friends, and it is often used in a harmful way.

Your personal tragedy does not give you ownership of the word. It does not give you the right to dictate the way that society uses that word. People will continue to refer to their friends, enemies and victims as their bitch no matter what you or I think of it.

kewms
01-16-2011, 02:45 AM
It is not only people in prison or people in abusive relationships that use that word. It is a commonly used word among American youth, It is often used in a comical way (see "I'm Rick James, bitch!), it is often used in an affectionate way between friends, and it is often used in a harmful way.

Your personal tragedy does not give you ownership of the word. It does not give you the right to dictate the way that society uses that word. People will continue to refer to their friends, enemies and victims as their bitch no matter what you or I think of it.

Actually, I was much more offended by his comparing his situation to that of a battered wife, thereby demonstrating his total lack of understanding of what spousal abuse actually entails.

In any case, I understand that I'm unlikely to persuade him to change his use of the language, just as this thread has clearly failed to persuade him to change his approach to conflict. *shrug* The struggle is still worth the minimal effort it took to post.

Katherine

Amir Krause
01-16-2011, 08:36 AM
Reg

In the first post, you asked for opinoins on YOUR Behavior, not on the other behavior.

The person you visited did not behave as a sensei (teacher) at all. He did not repect his visitors, and he abused you.

But, this was not the subject of your own questions, you asked about your own behavior: "was there another solution".

The simple answer is yes, there are other solutions when faced with a bully. Those solutons starts at your being able to think and control your emotions, and act in coolness and not out of rightous anger. Had that been your situation, you could have done much better.
Lets make an anlalogy of your situaiton to the mat, and examine your conlict resolution:
* You were attacked multiple times
* You absorbed all of those attacks, never moving out of line, never deflecting
* At the end of the confrontation, you attacked with devestating force.
To me, this sounds like medicure boxing at best, deinitly not like Aikido:
-> You did not sense his intention to attack, even after the mpth time.
-> You did not move out of line
-> You did not create any Kuzushi

Aikido entails much more then the techniques in a static situaiton, and in my eyes, in this situation you failed to employ it. Had I been you, I would have gone back to training on the mat, and try to reflect much more on my practice, slighlty beyond the narrow confines of the mechnical practice.

I do not claim toexcel at this,on the contrary, I too need lots of practice in such conflicts. Especially when "rightous anger" is involved, those are the situaitons in which I find the emplying my training is hardest - but this is the reason I practice more, and I would not have found the result you got acceptable - In strive to get much better results out of a conflict.

Amir

Walter Martindale
01-16-2011, 10:08 AM
Hi...
Most dojo I've visited have a requirement that - unless you have already met with people in the dojo, or unless you're introduced by a member of the dojo - you watch a session before taking part in one.

I tend to do that anyway - "Hi, I'm new in town and have practiced a little Aikido - I'm looking for a dojo - may I watch a session? Oh, no, sorry, I didn't bring my gi (or some other excuse.) If they don't let me observe a session, I don't bother...

The purpose? To get a sense for how the sessions are run. To see how the sensei/sempai (or equivalent) relate to those with whom they are training.

Perhaps if you had done this you could have decided that you didn't like the way the instruction and individual correction was carried out.

Cheers
Walter

lbb
01-16-2011, 05:34 PM
It is not only people in prison or people in abusive relationships that use that word. It is a commonly used word among American youth, It is often used in a comical way (see "I'm Rick James, bitch!), it is often used in an affectionate way between friends, and it is often used in a harmful way.

Your personal tragedy does not give you ownership of the word. It does not give you the right to dictate the way that society uses that word. People will continue to refer to their friends, enemies and victims as their bitch no matter what you or I think of it.

I was the one who objected to the use of "bitch", not Katherine. As someone who comes from the half of humanity that is disparaged by this use of "bitch", I don't need someone in the other half of humanity to tell me that people will continue to use sexist language whether I like it or not, and that I don't have the "right" to "dictate the way that society uses that word". I'm well aware of my lack of both rights and power in this area. But you don't have the right to tell me that I may not call out a sexist use of language when I see it. And it doesn't matter if the person using this term in this instance didn't create all the sexism attached to the meaning of the term (when was that ever the case, with an offensive term?). It doesn't matter if it was used just because it's a handy label. It is a sexist term that perpetuates sexist attitudes. If you don't give a damn about that, certainly, you have the "right" to continue to use it. If you do give a damn about that, then choose a different word.

Reg
01-17-2011, 01:21 AM
Ms. Derbyshire,

I am sorry to hear of your friend, and the tragic way she has passed from this world. A horrible and traumatic situation deeply effecting you, as it would anyone. I don't condone such an evil act.

I am as sensitive as I can be, I don't know you. I have never known of you or your existence until you commented on my situation. It is logical than how would I ever possibly know you had a friend who was horribly murder by their spouse, along with the anger and sensitively as a result. I can tell it has deeply triggered many emotions from you when reading about my situation.

As a person like many in this world, I have had a family member, my mother, die tragically and senselessly, she was murdered. I found it takes a long time to heal from my pain and anger. The murder of a friend or loved one, makes you very sensitive. So much of what is around us becomes triggers that bring back all the emotions of anger, rage, frustration, and more rushing back. It took time for my to have these trigger become less and less sensitive. It took time and therapy not to be hyper-sensitive to the world around me. Being of a situation where my mother was murdered, I can relate to the situation of having your friend murdered, I want to express my deepest condolences and sympathies.

kewms
01-17-2011, 01:31 AM
I am as sensitive as I can be, I don't know you. I have never known of you or your existence until you commented on my situation. It is logical than how would I ever possibly know you had a friend who was horribly murder by their spouse, along with the anger and sensitively as a result.

Of course you couldn't know. While I appreciate your sympathy, that's not why I mentioned it. Rather, I brought it up because you probably *do* personally know at least one woman who has been (or is currently) an abuse victim. It is unfortunately a very common reality, and one that I hope brings perspective to your casual description of yourself as a "battered wife."

Katherine

Reg
01-17-2011, 09:13 AM
Kathrine, against my better judgement I am compelled to respond. What makes you think am a man?

akiy
01-17-2011, 10:26 AM
Hi folks,

Let's make sure to keep the discussion explicitly pertinent to aikido, please.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Dan Rubin
01-17-2011, 11:19 AM
Question:

What makes you think am a man?

Answer:

Bad or good, right or wrong, we men have this pecking order among us.... But in terms of the Alpha dog world men live in, I wouldn't have gotten any respect. He would've of keep on me as his bitch. We know as men when that happens, it is all over for us. If I seen that sensei again or any of his students, they would give me crap and be very disrespectful. Then I would have to fight to prove myself. That is the world more often than not.

Reg
01-17-2011, 11:50 AM
Because I am getting allot unfair criticism with my choice of words, and that of what some people assume of me. I am a women. Telling you this is against my better judgement spoiling the reason for telling my story. The unfair judgements, assumptions, and criticisms I was getting needs to be talked about. I am uncomfortable doing saying what I am about to. I don't think it has or should have anything to do with the story I told. But I need to response because so many things are wrong and need to be corrected.

Maybe, I tried to hard to conceal my gender of being a woman. Sounding more androgynous was what I wanted. Indicating no particular sex was a way I thought I could avoid sexism. I was wrong. I wanted to avoid being accused of sounding like "another emotionally over reacting female being emotional, because I felt unjustly victimize." Instead, I was accused by other women of being an insensitive sexist neanderthal male. My sexist fears came to be true. I did get unfairly judged with harsh insensitive sexist criticism, by those I thought wouldn't do it, but did. All based on metaphors, analogies, and colloquialisms to describe my situation and myself, I saw best.

My gender or that of the others involved in my situation should not matter. I don't have to be someone's "bitch;" I don't have to be dominated, feeling helpless, and lacking self-confidence. I don't like to refer to myself as a "victim," because of all the connotations our society has and places on female, when she is victimized. It is my choice to refer to myself "as not being someone's "bitch." A word I used in my situation to replace the phrase of being victimized. It doesn't matter if am male or female. The right of how I refer to myself in the way I wish is mine. It is not someone else's place to tell me how I should refer to myself or how I should feel regardless of their gender. I don't see how it is offensive when I was referring to no one else in anyway, but me.

I was hoping to avoid being seen in most common stereotypical view shared by both men and women of how we see women who are and portrayed as victims. I don't want to think of myself as a victim and all that it entails. To my best ability, I avoided that word using other words instead that didn't have the same negative connotations as a female victim does.

My actions now being seen under different circumstances will be re-evaluated in another light and criticized again. Mostly to relieve those who have some sense of violation after reading this. I realized the risk and vulnerability of making my story public. I never imagined it to be such a nightmare. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever dreamed I would be writing this when I was telling my story.

Sincerely,
Anonymous

Reg
01-17-2011, 12:09 PM
I wrote a post that says allot. I didn't realize, I wrote that. In that post I talk about over compensated the androgyny I was going after, not wanting to be seen as a female victim and all the negative connotations associated to my situation being a woman.

The sensei was rude and unprofessional no matter what the sex. But, being male, I wanted opinions without the association of being sex. It was a difficult thing to write.

C. David Henderson
01-17-2011, 12:15 PM
....I tried to hard to conceal my gender of being a woman. Sounding more androgynous was what I wanted. Indicating no particular sex was a way I thought I could avoid sexism.

Wow, really?

But in terms of the Alpha dog world men live in, I wouldn't have gotten any respect. He would've of keep on me as his bitch. We know as men when that happens, it is all over for us

Huh, could have sounded more androgynous, I think.

Feels like a lot of honest advice was offered to you based on a deception, and it was a deception that was once again based on an anticipated reaction by other people to your truth.

What do you suppose that's about?

Do you think we should spend more time giving you advice when we don't know what else you said, anonymously to boot, that just isn't true?

kewms
01-17-2011, 12:33 PM
Kathrine, against my better judgement I am compelled to respond. What makes you think am a man?

Because you said you were.

My advice doesn't change if you're not, however. The way to handle a bully is to walk away.

Katherine

akiy
01-17-2011, 12:51 PM
Hi folks,

I don't see any reason to continuing this discussion at this point. Thread closed.

To the anonymous poster (and others who may post in the future): whether you chose to misrepresent your gender in your posts or you are changing your story mid-stream, I will say that neither behavior is welcome here in the Anonymous forum, as I would consider both to be a breach in the trust inherently necessary in keeping the Anonymous forum an honest and genuine place. I do not wish to cultivate a culture of second-guessing anonymous posters in the Anonymous forum. In the future, I ask all anonymous posters to conduct themselves authentically while respecting and maintaining the "veil" of anonymity afforded to them in this forum. I would rather not have to close the Anonymous forum if such privileges were to be taken outside of the spirit of the Anonymous forum.

Thank you,

-- Jun