PDA

View Full Version : Aikido for all or one...


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


torn
07-08-2013, 01:55 PM
I have been practicing Aikido for about 15 years and enjoy it very much but, something has been bothering me for a while. I practice with a group we will call X. My Sensei is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoy practicing there. The problem is that he frowns heavily on practicing with other Aikido organizations and cross-training in other arts. I am very open to learning new things and different perspectives and am troubled by this attitude, Whenever I mention another art or shihan Z from organization Z the subject is changed or ignored. When I travel, I am constantly reminded to practice with only organization X. I understand that in Japanese culture you follow your sensei no matter what and jump when they say jump (I think.)
I am honor bound and owe my sensei a lot but where do I draw the line? I feel that my path is more open and would like to pursue other interests but at what cost? I feel that cross training in other arts or Aikido organizations would greatly benefit my Aikido not to mention broaden my horizons towards budo. This is a tough crossroads I am at now....any advice?

phitruong
07-09-2013, 11:37 AM
can't tell you what you should do, but if it was me, and my sensei said that sort of things, i would walk out. luckily, my sensei and the higher up in our org didn't have issue with cross training or training with other organizations. actually, they encouraged us to go and train. blending of one isn't really blending, right? isn't that the core principle of aikido, i.e. blend with everyone and everything?

Gerardo Torres
07-09-2013, 12:54 PM
I'm with Phi, I would walk out. I was blessed with a main aikido teacher who encourage us to try as many different teachers as possible, even different arts. One reason a teacher or organization might have to limit outside training or cross-training is to protect a certain organizational or dojo standard... but IME the main motivator is usually just political. It's good to have and protect a minimum technical standard; however by limiting exposure you will most likely end up with close-minded students with too limited a skillset unable to operate outside their paradigm, and this is particularly dangerous in an art without universal standards like aikido. The founder and most of his direct students cross-trained to some degree, it seems disingenuous and egotistical to limit the student and art growth by imposing limitations in this regard.

Marc Abrams
07-09-2013, 12:55 PM
The "Japanese Culture" is not so clear cut. Many people in Japan study in other arts and dojos as an "open secret"- Done, but not talked about.

After 15 years of practicing, you are more than ready and capable of experiencing other styles and arts so as to integrate them into your own unique expression of budo. There is no good reason for your teacher to be so locked in to one way only for the students.

My own personal training began to make quantum leaps after I attended the Aiki Expo. Not only did I begin some really serious growth as a martial artist, but more importantly, I was able to begin to better grasp what my Aikido teacher was doing so that I could be a better student of his.

I run my own dojo now and I still train weekly with my original teacher (Imaizumi Sensei). I also train in and teach a style of Karate- Shindoryu (training in Japan several times a year directly under Ushiro Sensei), and train with Dan Harden as often as I can. I still look to experience other styles and teachers. I expose my students to my teachers, talk about what influences me and allow them to develop their own paths.

Life is short, so why allow other people to box you in?

Marc Abrams

Terry B.
07-09-2013, 01:10 PM
I haven't trained for 15 years, but I have trained long enough to know the tough spot you are in. Be with the same sensei for that amount of time is monumental and admirable. But, would I be wrong in saying a relationship lasting for so long isn't going to have a few bumps in the road along the way. But now you are at an important cross roads, asking what is the right decision.

I have heard of the type of the inflexible Aikido sensei who is very controlling not allowing students to cross train, visit other dojos or go to seminars. Many sensei's are insecure feeling they are the only one. Whether it is insecurity, or another reason you have to ask yourself after 15 years is this a healthy and productive relationship to be in? A relationship that doesn't let you grow and develop is stagnating.

You put allot of emphasis on your sensei, but what about you, don't you deserve to expand your horizons. Are you suppose to stuck in one place like the Bronte sisters never experiencing anything beyond the walls of your room, the dojo? A relationship is a two way street where both have needs and it is fair when one person in the relationship stifles the other.

The cross road you face is if you leave, you could burn the bridge of a 15 years relationship you value. By leaving, it means you violate a long held verbal contract between you and your sensei. By waiting until now to train elsewhere, your sensei may personally feel violated and hurt. Usually, the result isn't pretty and more risky when there is a long history, emotions run high, and feelings are hurt all the way around. After all, you are both human. If you stay you keep the relationship intact, but sacrifice your freedom, personal development and independence something you strongly seem to desire, I mean even crave. What is the direction to take isn't a easy decision for sure, or something taken lightly.

Is there a possibility to have a one on one talk outside the dojo between you and the sensei in private to make a compromise, a new contract? There is a chance no compromise will happen. The silver lining in that cloud is your perspective of your sensei changes. Change can be good, leading you to seeing the sensei in a different light. The benefit is the illumination of a new path to move forward on. It is not unreasonable to think the relationship has run it's course, and time to move on. Cutting ties is always difficult emotionally. I would be wrong, but as it stands now you are asking others if you should take an important risk associated with great value and merit. By the nature of reaching out to others maybe it is time for change of some kind.

sakumeikan
07-09-2013, 01:46 PM
I have been practicing Aikido for about 15 years and enjoy it very much but, something has been bothering me for a while. I practice with a group we will call X. My Sensei is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoy practicing there. The problem is that he frowns heavily on practicing with other Aikido organizations and cross-training in other arts. I am very open to learning new things and different perspectives and am troubled by this attitude, Whenever I mention another art or shihan Z from organization Z the subject is changed or ignored. When I travel, I am constantly reminded to practice with only organization X. I understand that in Japanese culture you follow your sensei no matter what and jump when they say jump (I think.)
I am honor bound and owe my sensei a lot but where do I draw the line? I feel that my path is more open and would like to pursue other interests but at what cost? I feel that cross training in other arts or Aikido organizations would greatly benefit my Aikido not to mention broaden my horizons towards budo. This is a tough crossroads I am at now....any advice?
dear anon user,
Speak to your sensei, explain your position.Ask for leave of absence,Train elsewhere and if possible remain in a cordial relationship with your teacher.If a talk with him/her is not a productive one, you can then decide your next course of action.Cheers, Joe.

Just a thought
07-09-2013, 01:47 PM
My solution would not to make a hasty decision of walking away. I hear you saying ideally you would like your sensei to give you the ok to train elsewhere. At the same time allow you to continue training with him or her. I agree you need to first talk to your sensei and work something out first before bolting out the front door.

Before you talk to your sensei put yourself in his or her shoes. I don't think your sensei is a control freak. Let's consider there is a very good reason why he or she disapproves training outside the dojo. Here is one of many concerns I would think your sensei has, when going else where learn something different in a different way than what is taught in the class consider the impact it on his or her teaching credibility. Undermining a teacher purposely or not, when bring in different information, approaches, theories, or techniques needs to be considered by you. Put yourself in your sensei's shoes, understanding his position.

If you work something out where you don't effect your sensei's teaching and knowledge credibility in his class, maybe you don't have to leave. Give it time, don't expect it to happen in one meeting. You may have to meet several times over a period of time. Be patient, understanding, and willing to work something out.

PeterR
07-09-2013, 01:53 PM
The "Japanese Culture" is not so clear cut. Many people in Japan study in other arts and dojos as an "open secret"- Done, but not talked about.
In Japan I was encouraged to cross-train. The dojo I trained at was full of people from other styles and many members did various things.

I really am not so sure where this impression comes from - not the first time I heard it.

Krystal Locke
07-09-2013, 02:25 PM
Is your sensei Japanese?

I have been practicing Aikido for about 15 years and enjoy it very much but, something has been bothering me for a while. I practice with a group we will call X. My Sensei is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoy practicing there. The problem is that he frowns heavily on practicing with other Aikido organizations and cross-training in other arts. I am very open to learning new things and different perspectives and am troubled by this attitude, Whenever I mention another art or shihan Z from organization Z the subject is changed or ignored. When I travel, I am constantly reminded to practice with only organization X. I understand that in Japanese culture you follow your sensei no matter what and jump when they say jump (I think.)
I am honor bound and owe my sensei a lot but where do I draw the line? I feel that my path is more open and would like to pursue other interests but at what cost? I feel that cross training in other arts or Aikido organizations would greatly benefit my Aikido not to mention broaden my horizons towards budo. This is a tough crossroads I am at now....any advice?

Torn
07-09-2013, 02:29 PM
Thank you for all your advice. Interesting enough my Sensei brings in many different Shihan for seminars with many different takes on our style of Aikido. Many of them are vastly different in their waza and outlook. So he encourages us to learn from these teachers but of course they are from our organization. So I think there is a form of control for the students to follow our "leader" of the organization and others who follow him as well. I find it interesting that my Sensei encourages to learn different ways of doing things yet other martial arts and organizations are taboo. I have been practicing for a while now and can see the weaknesses of only practicing our style.
Another conundrum is one of the groups I would like to practice with requires you to become a member of their organization, So in turn I would be a member of two "rival" groups. I am not sure if anyone has done that before. To many it may seem like a bad idea but in my quest for knowledge I am really wanting to try this. I am sure my Sensei would not like this very much.
I think talking to him is a good idea but I know it would be strongly discouraged to train in anything else. He is clear this "this" is the best style so why train in anything else. If I was told no then what? I keep deeply thinking about this and am really troubled by this situation.

Just a thought
07-09-2013, 03:02 PM
Torn by giving information on this situation, it seems to me the best thing to do is reconsider your perspective. You are a veteran, your sensei is accommodating, and it sounds you sensei has a strong conviction. Don't you think than this is a matter of differing opinions? Your sensei has been at Aikido longer than you and has seen more of Aikido. He or she may have a good point, a point you haven't come to see.

As for your other problem, don't play with fire if you don't expect to be burned. A hugely important lesson, I learned when I was dating. Any good frat or like group do expect a level of loyalty and respect, and you been with your group for 15 years. Do you think it is unreasonable your group would, including the sensei would be upset that you trained with a rival group? In the work place that is a cause for losing your job. In at a higher level of organization like the government and military that is treason. Would it be bad to suggest some personal reflection and personal inventory to assess what you really want?

Broaden your scope, take a more dynamic attitude, it may help you make the right decision. A decision which could lead you to harmony and happiness. Good luck!

Keith Larman
07-09-2013, 03:25 PM
Well, I'll toss in my 2 cents and say I've trained with sensei who didn't want you going anywhere else. That's fine depending on what you're doing. I find it odd in the context of Aikido, however, as it is such a big, wide, fluttering tent of things. And I can only think of a handful of people out there where I'd even want to do such a thing in that world.

In the world of koryu arts, well, that's a different issue with different factors.

I will also say the ones I've met who were adamant about "go no where else" were the ones who were most, um, how to say it, haunted by self-doubt themselves. I enjoy cross training. I enjoy getting out and learning new things. I do, however, recognize that if you're a teacher as well you need to be able to tread softly on issues of style specific methods and approaches, if for no other reason for the sake of the students.

But all that said I'm still somewhat baffled when I hear of people doing that. If you feel the need to go outside, well, it is your life and your training. If your concern with your sensei's position on the topic overrides that, well, that's a decision for you to make and not random strangers on the internet. ;) So I'm not sure how anyone else is going to help you on this one.

Best of luck.

Keith Larman
07-09-2013, 03:27 PM
I should add that a rank beginner should probably decide to devote some time and focus to their primary teacher. But after 15 years, well, you really should be in a position to deal with a little broadening of your perspective...

Malicat
07-09-2013, 05:09 PM
I have been practicing Aikido for about 15 years and enjoy it very much but, something has been bothering me for a while. I practice with a group we will call X. My Sensei is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoy practicing there. The problem is that he frowns heavily on practicing with other Aikido organizations and cross-training in other arts. I am very open to learning new things and different perspectives and am troubled by this attitude, Whenever I mention another art or shihan Z from organization Z the subject is changed or ignored. When I travel, I am constantly reminded to practice with only organization X. I understand that in Japanese culture you follow your sensei no matter what and jump when they say jump (I think.)
I am honor bound and owe my sensei a lot but where do I draw the line? I feel that my path is more open and would like to pursue other interests but at what cost? I feel that cross training in other arts or Aikido organizations would greatly benefit my Aikido not to mention broaden my horizons towards budo. This is a tough crossroads I am at now....any advice?

It is the 15 years that throws me off, to be honest. Many of the dojo chos in our organization train two styles, Arnis and Tae Kwon Do to start with, and the head of our organization trained with Hohan Soken, so there are also several schools that train Hakutsuru. New students are forced to choose which style they want to start in, either Aikido, or the other one offered at the dojo, but after a certain level of training is reached, multiple training is allowed, and even encouraged. I was invited to join a Hakutsuru class at our Hombu dojo when I was visiting after about a year and a half of training in Aikido. The invitation, more so than any rank, is a compliment, and acknowledgement that you are beginning to get a good grasp on the basics. I've also studied with a teacher from a different style of Aikido due to the travel distance to my original dojo when I had to move, and my dojo cho encouraged it.

If, after 15 years, you aren't good enough to learn from another organization, or study another art, I would be concerned about the level of teaching going on in your dojo. Since this is most likely not the case due to your dedication to your Sensei, I would worry about his (or her) reasons behind discouraging any other study. Unfortunately, I am probably too blunt, but my only advice would be to force a confrontation. Explain to your Sensei that you are frustrated, and you need an answer from him about the issue with other Aikido organizations and other martial arts, or you are going to have to look elsewhere for instruction, and set up a time in a few days for a personal discussion. Maybe he has a perfectly good reason that we aren't thinking of, or maybe he just hasn't fully thought it out either and those few days will give him time to reflect on his policy.

Hopefully this helps!

--Ashley

odudog
07-10-2013, 04:22 AM
You should talk to your sensei to find out exactly why he only wants his students to stay within the org. I can think of the problems arising from using different verbiage to the sensei having troubles keeping everyone on the same page during practice. It is also possible that he wants to keep his style of aikido pure to its origins ala Saito sensei.

I train in another art as well as self study in other aikido styles from videos and youtube. It can slip into your practice while on the mat.

Dan Rubin
07-10-2013, 03:39 PM
Does your teacher object to your studying a different style of aikido, or to your studying with anyone from a different organization? For example, a teacher of Nihon Goshin aikido or Korindo aikido might be concerned about protecting that style from being corrupted by the influence of Ueshiba aikido, which is quite different, especially if you are a teacher in his style.

On the other hand, after 15 years of practice you should be able to understand how to use any newfound knowledge.

Torn
07-14-2013, 12:10 PM
Torn by giving information on this situation, it seems to me the best thing to do is reconsider your perspective. You are a veteran, your sensei is accommodating, and it sounds you sensei has a strong conviction. Don't you think than this is a matter of differing opinions? Your sensei has been at Aikido longer than you and has seen more of Aikido. He or she may have a good point, a point you haven't come to see.

As for your other problem, don't play with fire if you don't expect to be burned. A hugely important lesson, I learned when I was dating. Any good frat or like group do expect a level of loyalty and respect, and you been with your group for 15 years. Do you think it is unreasonable your group would, including the sensei would be upset that you trained with a rival group? In the work place that is a cause for losing your job. In at a higher level of organization like the government and military that is treason. Would it be bad to suggest some personal reflection and personal inventory to assess what you really want?

Broaden your scope, take a more dynamic attitude, it may help you make the right decision. A decision which could lead you to harmony and happiness. Good luck!

Thank you for your opinion. I definitely understand your perspective and views. I in my own view I do not see this other group as a "rival". I try not to view any other groups as rivals but as other ways up the mountain. I think what I would like is a broader perspective and true harmonious view of Aikido rather than us against them. I am loyal to my Sensei and our group but I think my path and views are diverging in attitude and training. I am really bothered by this internally.

Torn
07-14-2013, 12:15 PM
Well, I'll toss in my 2 cents and say I've trained with sensei who didn't want you going anywhere else. That's fine depending on what you're doing. I find it odd in the context of Aikido, however, as it is such a big, wide, fluttering tent of things. And I can only think of a handful of people out there where I'd even want to do such a thing in that world.

In the world of koryu arts, well, that's a different issue with different factors.

I will also say the ones I've met who were adamant about "go no where else" were the ones who were most, um, how to say it, haunted by self-doubt themselves. I enjoy cross training. I enjoy getting out and learning new things. I do, however, recognize that if you're a teacher as well you need to be able to tread softly on issues of style specific methods and approaches, if for no other reason for the sake of the students.

But all that said I'm still somewhat baffled when I hear of people doing that. If you feel the need to go outside, well, it is your life and your training. If your concern with your sensei's position on the topic overrides that, well, that's a decision for you to make and not random strangers on the internet. ;) So I'm not sure how anyone else is going to help you on this one.

Best of luck.

Thank you very much for your advice. I am happy to see others that have a open attitude towards "others" outside of your group. I do feel that my path is one of a ronin sometimes as I am the only one in the dojo with this attitude. Loyalty vs your own path....

Janet Rosen
07-14-2013, 12:20 PM
Thank you very much for your advice. I am happy to see others that have a open attitude towards "others" outside of your group. I do feel that my path is one of a ronin sometimes as I am the only one in the dojo with this attitude. Loyalty vs your own path....

Some folks end up that route for a while until they find a new compatible "home"

Torn
07-14-2013, 12:23 PM
You should talk to your sensei to find out exactly why he only wants his students to stay within the org. I can think of the problems arising from using different verbiage to the sensei having troubles keeping everyone on the same page during practice. It is also possible that he wants to keep his style of aikido pure to its origins ala Saito sensei.

I train in another art as well as self study in other aikido styles from videos and youtube. It can slip into your practice while on the mat.

I dont see that talk going very well. lol. I do see my Sensei wanting to transmit his teaching of his teacher purely to his students. But there is so much out there, isnt there much more to learn than this senior Shihan's style? Its not as if I am refusing to learn his style but I would like to learn more from others as much as possible.

Torn
07-14-2013, 12:31 PM
Does your teacher object to your studying a different style of aikido, or to your studying with anyone from a different organization? For example, a teacher of Nihon Goshin aikido or Korindo aikido might be concerned about protecting that style from being corrupted by the influence of Ueshiba aikido, which is quite different, especially if you are a teacher in his style.

On the other hand, after 15 years of practice you should be able to understand how to use any newfound knowledge.

I would say that my Sensei is loyal to organization X and only X. Other organizations are not talked about or referenced. I understand the need to follow your teacher for a while especially when you are a beginner as it may be confusing to learn at that stage.

Torn
07-14-2013, 12:40 PM
I think some of my problem is trying to decipher my own intentions. Is this an ego thing? Is it a valid subject? Am I ready? Maybe it is all of these above. All I know is that Aikido supposedly is the art of harmony, right? Where is the harmony? Are we harmonious as long as we stay in our group? It seems to me that real harmony or love does not discriminate against anyone or organization. Do I really have this progressive attitude or am I a clown with high hopes of a tarnished dream?
I wonder if Aikido is really what I am looking for sometimes...

Cady Goldfield
07-14-2013, 03:27 PM
After 15 years, a person has enough experiential wisdom to determine whether a particular art or discipline is right for him/her, and also to train in other arts without any problems. A sensei who frowns on this, seems like a controlling or jealous person who doesn't want his or her students to mature and pursue further development for their own benefit. Either that, or it's a money thing...

Torn
07-14-2013, 04:41 PM
After 15 years, a person has enough experiential wisdom to determine whether a particular art or discipline is right for him/her, and also to train in other arts without any problems. A sensei who frowns on this, seems like a controlling or jealous person who doesn't want his or her students to mature and pursue further development for their own benefit. Either that, or it's a money thing...

I dont think its a money thing at all. I think perhaps it is more of a "property" thing. I think sometimes students are seen as a commodity in the dojo and the Sensei is the owner. Or another perspective is a Father or Mother to children. I do feel there is a sense of ownership there but at what cost? Is the child supposed to become your clone? Are you to shield this child from other perspectives and views? Being a parent also I see some of the reasons why this may be happening but what is different is I am an adult. I will always be grateful for my time and training with my sensei but, the world is bigger than this organization or dojo.

odudog
07-14-2013, 06:06 PM
I dont see that talk going very well. lol. I do see my Sensei wanting to transmit his teaching of his teacher purely to his students. But there is so much out there, isnt there much more to learn than this senior Shihan's style? Its not as if I am refusing to learn his style but I would like to learn more from others as much as possible.

Don't talk. Listen. Ask his reasons why for not going outside the org then just listen for a clear definitive reasons. The "talk" won't go well if you turn it into a discussion.

jonreading
07-15-2013, 11:22 AM
Things that help me keep perspective:
1. My training is #1. My obligation is to learn aikido to the best of my ability.
2. My Sensei is the guide I have chosen to lead me when I cannot see where I am going.
3. My dojo is the location that will provide me a safe and constructive environment in which to learn aikido.

I have met great instructors without a dojo; great dojos with terrible instructors; great students with no guidance. You get the picture...

It sounds like you have a trust issue - you do not trust your instructor is acting in your best interest by discouraging training outside your organization. In the kohai/sempai relationship, there is some mutual respect and trust required. In the deshi/sensei relationship there is some mutual respect and trust required. If your instructor has violated that trust, then you have a problem that may not be reconcilable. If you are insecure in your trust, then your instructor may be able to reassure you by providing some clarity about his decision-making.

There may be a point of introspection on your part in contributing to your solution. It is not uncommon in educational systems to experience insecurity as part of the learning process. The question is whether your insecurity is justifyible or not.

For example, it is not uncommon for first responders like medics, police, and firefighters to habitualize mundane tasks. While it appears to be unnecessary or even punitive, the task is actually intended to internalize actions that often are integral if not vital to successful response in an emergency. On the other hand, it is also common in martial arts to exclude training that may jeopardize the quality status of the instructor or organization when compared.

Torn
07-15-2013, 01:12 PM
Don't talk. Listen. Ask his reasons why for not going outside the org then just listen for a clear definitive reasons. The "talk" won't go well if you turn it into a discussion.

Good point. The only problem is that if it becomes a lecture on why I need to only practice this style of Aikido, then what? I will have a definitive opinion from my sensei but, no feedback from my side. I honestly think I know what will be said to me and don't think it will change my opinion about the subject.

Torn
07-15-2013, 01:32 PM
Things that help me keep perspective:
1. My training is #1. My obligation is to learn aikido to the best of my ability.
2. My Sensei is the guide I have chosen to lead me when I cannot see where I am going.
3. My dojo is the location that will provide me a safe and constructive environment in which to learn aikido.

I have met great instructors without a dojo; great dojos with terrible instructors; great students with no guidance. You get the picture...

It sounds like you have a trust issue - you do not trust your instructor is acting in your best interest by discouraging training outside your organization. In the kohai/sempai relationship, there is some mutual respect and trust required. In the deshi/sensei relationship there is some mutual respect and trust required. If your instructor has violated that trust, then you have a problem that may not be reconcilable. If you are insecure in your trust, then your instructor may be able to reassure you by providing some clarity about his decision-making.

There may be a point of introspection on your part in contributing to your solution. It is not uncommon in educational systems to experience insecurity as part of the learning process. The question is whether your insecurity is justifyible or not.

For example, it is not uncommon for first responders like medics, police, and firefighters to habitualize mundane tasks. While it appears to be unnecessary or even punitive, the task is actually intended to internalize actions that often are integral if not vital to successful response in an emergency. On the other hand, it is also common in martial arts to exclude training that may jeopardize the quality status of the instructor or organization when compared.

Thank you for your great perspective. I do honestly trust my sensei. I am grateful to him from leading me on this path and wonderful training. I just feel that he may be stuck in the old style way of thinking. The "Us" vs "Them" mentality. This seems to be a theme with the older generation of Sensei. He has practiced long enough to remember the "The Great Schism" in the early 70's. Should I engage in this mentality also? Stick within this group and only this group? This is the way and only way? My issue I think is not one of trust it is one of perspective. I have practiced with many from our organization and others outside of our group and find them all to be great people. I believe in my heart that there is great Aikido to learn from all groups out there. If I ever open my own dojo I would encourage cross training and training with other groups.

I think maybe another big factor that dojos would prohibit cross training would be the loss of a student or students to other organizations which I can see a problem. This I see as insecurity on the Sensei's part though.

lbb
07-15-2013, 02:03 PM
Good point. The only problem is that if it becomes a lecture on why I need to only practice this style of Aikido, then what?

Well, then your head explodes and the world ends.

I don't mean to make light of your concerns, but I've been thinking for a while that you seem to be borrowing trouble in this thread. What if he thinks this, what if he says this, what if he does this, what if he's doing it because of X or Y or Z. This is leading you nowhere good. There's a real danger in writing a big story (and this one is starting to sound like a 600-page novel) without checking your facts. Once the story is written, if you start to check the facts then and find that reality contradicts the story, you don't like to mess up your nice neat story, and you may be tempted to deny reality and follow your own story line. People do this ALL THE TIME.

I don't think you were necessarily wrong bringing your question here, but I do think that this community (made of people who don't know you or your situation) has long since exhausted any useful educated guessing about your situation. If you want to know the answer, ask the question -- not of us, of the only person who has the answers -- and then listen. If you don't get the answer you like, then either decide to live with it/make your peace with it, or go elsewhere. I don't see any other choice.

Torn
07-15-2013, 03:05 PM
Well, then your head explodes and the world ends.

I don't mean to make light of your concerns, but I've been thinking for a while that you seem to be borrowing trouble in this thread. What if he thinks this, what if he says this, what if he does this, what if he's doing it because of X or Y or Z. This is leading you nowhere good. There's a real danger in writing a big story (and this one is starting to sound like a 600-page novel) without checking your facts. Once the story is written, if you start to check the facts then and find that reality contradicts the story, you don't like to mess up your nice neat story, and you may be tempted to deny reality and follow your own story line. People do this ALL THE TIME.

I don't think you were necessarily wrong bringing your question here, but I do think that this community (made of people who don't know you or your situation) has long since exhausted any useful educated guessing about your situation. If you want to know the answer, ask the question -- not of us, of the only person who has the answers -- and then listen. If you don't get the answer you like, then either decide to live with it/make your peace with it, or go elsewhere. I don't see any other choice.
Thank you for your excellent point. The talk or confrontation will be inevitable and I unfortunately know what my fate will be. Thank you everyone for your contributions and ideas. I will find my way up the mountain be it on my own path or another mountain altogether. Thank you again.

lbb
07-15-2013, 07:13 PM
Thank you for your excellent point. The talk or confrontation will be inevitable and I unfortunately know what my fate will be.

If you're following the plot of the novel that you've already written, then yes, you know what your fate will be. You could let reality be what it is and possibly provide you with alternatives, but...that's a choice. If you've already decided on the outcome of a conversation, you might as well not have it. Only have it if you're willing to set aside your story line and listen.

NagaBaba
07-15-2013, 10:24 PM
Longer I practice, less I'm enthousiastic to advice practice aikido in different styles/federations. You see, each of them has his own ' system' where the way you practice, exercises, all small elements have a sense. Once you take it out of such contex, they became almost useless.
I.e. for Iwama folk going to Yamaguchi style ( vice versa) is a quite nonsense.

For practice other martial arts - this is other story. Take a 1year brake from aikido. Dont tell anybody and go practice where you like. After, take decision what next.

phitruong
07-16-2013, 09:18 AM
Longer I practice, less I'm enthousiastic to advice practice aikido in different styles/federations. You see, each of them has his own ' system' where the way you practice, exercises, all small elements have a sense. Once you take it out of such contex, they became almost useless.
I.e. for Iwama folk going to Yamaguchi style ( vice versa) is a quite nonsense.


i have the opposite problem. the longer i practiced the more i wanted to practice with other styles. to me, each style originated from one of the deshi. each deshi had a picture/view of what O Sensei's aikido was. so essentially, each deshi had a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. the more styles i practice with, the more pieces that i have to be able to see a larger picture of O Sensei's aikido. for me, i don't like to just own one piece. i want to see the picture. of course, that's just me. other folks might view thing differently.

Another thing i looked at is that when i practiced with other styles, and if i can do what they do, then i know i have good mind-body control. if i can't, because i am stuck in my "style", then it means to me that i don't have good mind-body control. i got to be able to look at someone doing the technique and able to do it close to what they do. that is good mind-body control.

hughrbeyer
07-16-2013, 10:28 PM
Sounds like you know what you want to do and you know it's best for your training. You're just dreading the confrontation with your sensei. So stop worrying and just do it, it's never going to get any easier.

There's actually a traditional Japanese term, which I forget, for when a student in a dojo leaves that dojo and wanders around to different places for a while learning different arts and different approaches. Sounds like that's what you want to do. Anybody remember what the term is? It probably won't help, but it would at least allow you to present what you want to do in a traditional context.

lbb
07-17-2013, 08:49 AM
There's actually a traditional Japanese term, which I forget, for when a student in a dojo leaves that dojo and wanders around to different places for a while learning different arts and different approaches. Sounds like that's what you want to do. Anybody remember what the term is? It probably won't help, but it would at least allow you to present what you want to do in a traditional context.

Perhaps you're thinking of musa shugyo?

phitruong
07-17-2013, 01:02 PM
Perhaps you're thinking of musa shugyo?

i thought it was ronin.

NagaBaba
07-17-2013, 06:27 PM
i have the opposite problem. the longer i practiced the more i wanted to practice with other styles. to me, each style originated from one of the deshi. each deshi had a picture/view of what O Sensei's aikido was. so essentially, each deshi had a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. the more styles i practice with, the more pieces that i have to be able to see a larger picture of O Sensei's aikido. for me, i don't like to just own one piece. i want to see the picture. of course, that's just me. other folks might view thing differently.

Another thing i looked at is that when i practiced with other styles, and if i can do what they do, then i know i have good mind-body control. if i can't, because i am stuck in my "style", then it means to me that i don't have good mind-body control. i got to be able to look at someone doing the technique and able to do it close to what they do. that is good mind-body control.

I'll give you an example: for Sugano sensei all what happens before contact it is aikido, after it is merly jj. For Saito sensei or Chiba sensei - they require very strong and constant contact. You mix both approaches and not only beginners are completly confused and lost, but in long term you develop strange mix without any clear path.

phitruong
07-17-2013, 07:31 PM
I'll give you an example: for Sugano sensei all what happens before contact it is aikido, after it is merly jj. For Saito sensei or Chiba sensei - they require very strong and constant contact. You mix both approaches and not only beginners are completly confused and lost, but in long term you develop strange mix without any clear path.

the OP has 15 years of aikido under his belt. i wouldn't call that beginer, unless he's a very sloooow leaner. in my org, ASU, under Saotome sensei, his direct students, none of their aikido looked like him. he wouldn't want them to. as long as their aikido exhibit the principles that he and Ikeda sensei taught, then that's just fine. and they insisted that aikido has no styles. to me, "clear path" doesn't mean much. it's only "my path" matter.

Asiatic Budoka
07-18-2013, 11:22 AM
...The talk or confrontation will be inevitable and I unfortunately know what my fate will be.

How do you KNOW? Have you asked why he/she does not want you to "crosstrain"?

Torn
07-18-2013, 12:06 PM
I would like to thank everyone for all of their opinions on this subject. The input and opinions are really helping me through this process. I don't really have anyone to talk to about this and having different perspectives is great,

Longer I practice, less I'm enthousiastic to advice practice aikido in different styles/federations. You see, each of them has his own ' system' where the way you practice, exercises, all small elements have a sense. Once you take it out of such contex, they became almost useless.
I.e. for Iwama folk going to Yamaguchi style ( vice versa) is a quite nonsense.

For practice other martial arts - this is other story. Take a 1year brake from aikido. Dont tell anybody and go practice where you like. After, take decision what next.

This is good advice. I understand where you are coming from. the advice about quitting for a year sounds like sound advice. I can get a different perspective without training Aikido for a while.

i have the opposite problem. the longer i practiced the more i wanted to practice with other styles. to me, each style originated from one of the deshi. each deshi had a picture/view of what O Sensei's aikido was. so essentially, each deshi had a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. the more styles i practice with, the more pieces that i have to be able to see a larger picture of O Sensei's aikido. for me, i don't like to just own one piece. i want to see the picture. of course, that's just me. other folks might view thing differently.

Another thing i looked at is that when i practiced with other styles, and if i can do what they do, then i know i have good mind-body control. if i can't, because i am stuck in my "style", then it means to me that i don't have good mind-body control. i got to be able to look at someone doing the technique and able to do it close to what they do. that is good mind-body control.

I think I can associate with Phi on this subject. I want to practice different arts and different styles of Aikido to get the "small pieces" to understand the whole picture, Even training from a different perspective can enlighten your training in your main art. Sometimes an "Aha" moment can result much faster training the same waza with a different teacher or training methodology. I don't want to be stuck in my "style" or attitude that my "style" is the best. I would like to train with everyone and anyone without having being felt like a traitor at my dojo. I admire Ikeda Sensei at Boulder Aikikai for doing seminars with different styles and organizations without prejudice. That would never happen at our dojo.

How do you KNOW? Have you asked why he/she does not want you to "crosstrain"?

Once a while back my Sensei explained to me as soon as a students name plaque was put on another dojos wall, their name would be taken off the dojo wall. He has never practiced anything but our style of Aikido. Also many of the senior students have told me that he looks down upon cross training and try to discourage it. There have been many other times where he has passively stated that this Aikido style is the only style and our "leader" is the true "leader" of Aikido. It is very clear in my eyes that he wants his students to do Aikido X and only Aikido X.

Krystal Locke
07-18-2013, 11:24 PM
Pulling your name off the nafudakake isn't an explanation, it is a threat. And an empty one. Certainly not all dojos have them. Come cross train at my dojo. We love crosstraining, and we have no nafudakake.

Krystal Locke
07-19-2013, 03:00 AM
Run.


Once a while back my Sensei explained to me as soon as a students name plaque was put on another dojos wall, their name would be taken off the dojo wall. He has never practiced anything but our style of Aikido. Also many of the senior students have told me that he looks down upon cross training and try to discourage it. There have been many other times where he has passively stated that this Aikido style is the only style and our "leader" is the true "leader" of Aikido. It is very clear in my eyes that he wants his students to do Aikido X and only Aikido X.

Malicat
07-19-2013, 05:34 AM
Run.

I am going to have to second Krystal on this one. We have had students come through and then leave entirely, either for other dojos, or just out of martial arts entirely. I can firmly say that if any of them decided to come back, we would be thrilled to see them again, regardless of what they were doing. And we would never even think to ask if a student's name was on a board at any other dojo. That's just ridiculous.

Dan Rubin
07-19-2013, 08:42 AM
My first martial arts teacher had a saying that he repeated often: "I owe my teacher everything, my teacher owes me nothing." A pretty good saying, don't you think? FOR HIM!

You've already decided what you're going to do. In fact, you no longer have a choice. Tell your teacher that you're leaving, or just leave without telling him. But you can't stay there any longer.

Krystal Locke
07-19-2013, 10:23 AM
Dang, this brings up a lot of questions.

Why is this an issue after 15 years? Why not sooner?

You say the dojo's senior students say he tries to discourage stepping out of not only your style, but specifically, your organization. Two wtfs. At least. After 15 years of experience, you are not one of the senior students? Sure, there may be some 20-30 year students, but I would hope that 15 years would be enough to move you into the senior student group both socially and skills-wise. After 15 years, what rank are you? What rank is your sensei? Also, the sempai say he "tries" to discourage getting out of the house. Does he fail? Do other senior students go visit other schools? What happens then? Does he pout and stamp his foot, then teach them nikkyo wrong?

To what end does this sensei put these restrictions on his students? I can almost but not quite see suggesting that a beginner, actual noob, think carefully about jumping into a summer camp, a retreat, or seriously try an actually different style. The basis for comparison is slim, as is the experience to call bullshit, either way. The ability of a clear belt to protect his or herself in an unfamiliar training scenario may be undeveloped. But mostly, even all those reasons for staying home are bullshit.

A story. So, the other day my sensei was talking about his experience at the recent San Rafael camp. He was asked to do a demo, and he chose to not work one up ahead of time and to pick ukes from the general aikidoka pool present. One of the ukes was apparently someone with very little experience and training. She was a fine and excellent uke, she helped him show his stuff clearly and responsively, and she was profoundly encouraged that OMG a 6th degree black belt chose me! Being hauled out for a demo put on by someone she had never met and who had several decades more experience was a real gift for her. And for sensei. He couldn't stop talking about how well his demo went and how much fun it was. Noobs, everyone should get out of the house and go play with all the kids on the block. Basic aikido socialization.

Here's a question for you, Torn. Does your dojo do contracts?

allowedcloud
07-22-2013, 09:02 AM
I know a few people that will train in multiple aikido dojos, sometimes on a weekly basis. However, all of them have a "home" dojo where they pay full membership dues and where their rank testing is done. When they go to the other dojo it is understood that they are guests...they get instruction and pay the daily mat fee but aren't considered members of that dojo and aren't expected to test for rank there. I know one dojo that is closed on a certain day of the week. On that day many of their students go to train at the dojo across town which is not even part of their organization.

So you may want to talk to your sensei and make him understand that though you might be training at the other place, that you have no intention of leaving his school and want to continue testing for rank with him (or the organizational shihan). He might be OK with it then.

If not, and if you really want to train at the other place - the advice given here might be useful (I've been down this road recently)- http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2007/09/03/how-to-quit-a-karate-club/

However it works out - I wish you the best with your taining.

john2054
07-27-2013, 09:46 AM
I will make another suggestion, one that apparently none of the sophisticated budoka on the site had the guts to call before, despite whatever they may have felt. This 'Torn' is infact a 'Troll', with no real experience in training in any sort of dojo for fifteen minutes, much less fifteen years. Through a careful ear for what has been going on on this site, they have been effectively able to imitate a martial artist, whereas in fact a good grasp over the English language, for use of deception, does not a good martial artist make. And never will be. Please Torn prove me wrong, provide us with the location and details of your classes/sensei (who at one point you weren't even sure if it was a 'he' or 'she')! lol. Yes provide us with the meat, otherwise your 'storytelling lessons' are soon to come to an end!

I have a red belt in judo and karate and a yellow belt in aikido. i choose where and when to pay my fees.

akiy
07-27-2013, 12:38 PM
I will make another suggestion, one that apparently none of the sophisticated budoka on the site had the guts to call before, despite whatever they may have felt. This 'Torn' is infact a 'Troll', with no real experience in training in any sort of dojo for fifteen minutes, much less fifteen years. Through a careful ear for what has been going on on this site, they have been effectively able to imitate a martial artist, whereas in fact a good grasp over the English language, for use of deception, does not a good martial artist make. And never will be. Please Torn prove me wrong, provide us with the location and details of your classes/sensei (who at one point you weren't even sure if it was a 'he' or 'she')! lol. Yes provide us with the meat, otherwise your 'storytelling lessons' are soon to come to an end!
On the contrary, John -- I would ask all anonymous posters to refrain from making their posts identifiable, as we're trying to maintain anonymity here in the "Anonymous" forum. We're trying to resolve issues that are sensitive to someone's identity, after all.

Likewise, I would ask people to keep an open mind (along with, as always in an Internet discussion forum, take a grain of salt) for the supposed veracity of what people post here in the "Anonymous" forum. For the most part, simply calling someone you do not believe to be a "troll" doesn't advance the discussion much. Let's try to keep to discussing the topic rather than the person behind the topic, please.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Torn
07-27-2013, 01:09 PM
My first martial arts teacher had a saying that he repeated often: "I owe my teacher everything, my teacher owes me nothing." A pretty good saying, don't you think? FOR HIM!

You've already decided what you're going to do. In fact, you no longer have a choice. Tell your teacher that you're leaving, or just leave without telling him. But you can't stay there any longer.

This is not as easy as it sounds. I do owe my Sensei everything for my current path in martial arts. He is a great person and has helped me with things outside the dojo as well. I do feel a debt that cannot be re payed. I feel my path in Aikido and budo is diverging from my Sensei's vision.

Dang, this brings up a lot of questions.

Why is this an issue after 15 years? Why not sooner?

You say the dojo's senior students say he tries to discourage stepping out of not only your style, but specifically, your organization. Two wtfs. At least. After 15 years of experience, you are not one of the senior students? Sure, there may be some 20-30 year students, but I would hope that 15 years would be enough to move you into the senior student group both socially and skills-wise. After 15 years, what rank are you? What rank is your sensei? Also, the sempai say he "tries" to discourage getting out of the house. Does he fail? Do other senior students go visit other schools? What happens then? Does he pout and stamp his foot, then teach them nikkyo wrong?

To what end does this sensei put these restrictions on his students? I can almost but not quite see suggesting that a beginner, actual noob, think carefully about jumping into a summer camp, a retreat, or seriously try an actually different style. The basis for comparison is slim, as is the experience to call bullshit, either way. The ability of a clear belt to protect his or herself in an unfamiliar training scenario may be undeveloped. But mostly, even all those reasons for staying home are bullshit.

A story. So, the other day my sensei was talking about his experience at the recent San Rafael camp. He was asked to do a demo, and he chose to not work one up ahead of time and to pick ukes from the general aikidoka pool present. One of the ukes was apparently someone with very little experience and training. She was a fine and excellent uke, she helped him show his stuff clearly and responsively, and she was profoundly encouraged that OMG a 6th degree black belt chose me! Being hauled out for a demo put on by someone she had never met and who had several decades more experience was a real gift for her. And for sensei. He couldn't stop talking about how well his demo went and how much fun it was. Noobs, everyone should get out of the house and go play with all the kids on the block. Basic aikido socialization.

Here's a question for you, Torn. Does your dojo do contracts?

No contracts at our dojo. We have a small pool of Yudansha at our dojo also. I think that our Sensei wants to keep our style specific towards his teachers waza and our "leader's" vision of Aikido. I am a Sandan. At least two of our Yudansha practice with another independent Aikido group once and a while but do not openly discuss this in the dojo or with our Sensei. This "side" training is not talked about with others in the dojo. I am not sure if our Sensei knows but he would not say anything about it in public. Its not so much practicing with other Organization X Aikido dojo's. Its with practicing with Organization Z or Y that is looked down upon.

I know a few people that will train in multiple aikido dojos, sometimes on a weekly basis. However, all of them have a "home" dojo where they pay full membership dues and where their rank testing is done. When they go to the other dojo it is understood that they are guests...they get instruction and pay the daily mat fee but aren't considered members of that dojo and aren't expected to test for rank there. I know one dojo that is closed on a certain day of the week. On that day many of their students go to train at the dojo across town which is not even part of their organization.

So you may want to talk to your sensei and make him understand that though you might be training at the other place, that you have no intention of leaving his school and want to continue testing for rank with him (or the organizational shihan). He might be OK with it then.

If not, and if you really want to train at the other place - the advice given here might be useful (I've been down this road recently)- http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2007/09/03/how-to-quit-a-karate-club/

This is the idea I was thinking about in training in other dojos or arts. In watching the actions of the other yudansha in our dojo, I am not sure if our Sensei will openly endorse crosstraining. I think another reason could be the fear of losing students to other groups or arts. Also influencing the mudansha is another fear. A possible mass exodus of students from the dojo I think is a fear on my Sensei's mind.

[QUOTE=John Robinson;328408]I will make another suggestion, one that apparently none of the sophisticated budoka on the site had the guts to call before, despite whatever they may have felt. This 'Torn' is infact a 'Troll', with no real experience in training in any sort of dojo for fifteen minutes, much less fifteen years. Through a careful ear for what has been going on on this site, they have been effectively able to imitate a martial artist, whereas in fact a good grasp over the English language, for use of deception, does not a good martial artist make. And never will be. Please Torn prove me wrong, provide us with the location and details of your classes/sensei (who at one point you weren't even sure if it was a 'he' or 'she')! lol. Yes provide us with the meat, otherwise your 'storytelling lessons' are soon to come to an end!

I have a red belt in judo and karate and a yellow belt in aikido. i choose where and when to pay my fees.
I understand where you are coming from and why you possibly wrote this in response. I am not a "Troll". I have a valid issue with my training and wanted to use this forum to get advice from the many experienced martial artists who frequent here. The use of a anonymous forum is to insure I can discuss my issue openly and honestly without being "Flagged". By providing my information, it would negate the use of the anonymous forum. It looks like you are a beginner in martial arts (I apologize I may be wrong). When you practice for an extended period of time (Specifically over a decade) with a dojo or Sensei you are in a relationship. Issues are not just black and white anymore. We as students may diverge from our original vision or our Sensei's ideas. This is a true and valid dilemma that many experienced martial artists may go through on the path to budo. I hope through my response you have a better understanding of where I am coming from.

Shadowfax
07-29-2013, 11:08 AM
I will make another suggestion, one that apparently none of the sophisticated budoka on the site had the guts to call before, despite whatever they may have felt. This 'Torn' is infact a 'Troll', with no real experience in training in any sort of dojo for fifteen minutes, much less fifteen years. Through a careful ear for what has been going on on this site, they have been effectively able to imitate a martial artist, whereas in fact a good grasp over the English language, for use of deception, does not a good martial artist make. And never will be. Please Torn prove me wrong, provide us with the location and details of your classes/sensei (who at one point you weren't even sure if it was a 'he' or 'she')! lol. Yes provide us with the meat, otherwise your 'storytelling lessons' are soon to come to an end!

I have a red belt in judo and karate and a yellow belt in aikido. i choose where and when to pay my fees.

Perhaps after you have spent many years with one teacher you will understand the dilemma the OP is having and that it can be a real problem for some. The relationship with one's teacher is far more than just a business transaction.

Reading this thread makes me really appreciative of my senseis who have always encourage their students to broaden out and visit other dojo, even outside of our organization. But even after only four years with my teachers I can see how it would be very difficult to be in a situation where one wold like to meet other instructors and taste other styles but be held back by a sense of loyalty to a teacher who does not approve of that.

As much as I love and respect my teachers I think I would have a very hard time doing something that would threaten that relationship. In fact I really don't think that I could do it. But fortunately they are unlikely to put me in such a position.

OP it is not an easy decision you face. You have two options and each has a price. You have to decide which price you are willing to pay. It is unfair that you are in this situation. But much of life is unfair. I would ask you if you feel that the style you practice does or does not offer you enough opportunities for growth and exploration to last another 15 years or more to keep you satisfied.

If it does not. Then the choice is made. All that is left to do is to act on that choice and accept its price.

hughrbeyer
07-31-2013, 07:57 PM
So two possibilities:

* Do like the other yudansha apparently do--go where you like, learn from whom you like, and tell your sensei nothing. In true Japanese fashion, if he doesn't have to recognize that it happened, it didn't happen.

* Or, if you feel like that's dishonest, go the Western route. The script goes like this:

- Sensei, I have something difficult to raise with you. [Puts him on warning that you want a real conversation.]

- I love training with you, your aikido is fantastic, you've given me more than I an ever repay. No one is ever going to replace that. [This is NOT just ass-kissing or feeding his ego. You are being up-front and honest with your positive feelings about him and your relationship. You are also telling him, truthfully, that he doesn't need to feel threatened or slighted in what follows.]

- I'm feeling the need to explore how things are done outside this dojo and this system. I don't expect to find something better, but I do want to know why other schools take the approach they do, and I might get better perspective on this system. [Or whatever other language accurately reflects your own motivation for wanting to go outside the system. Decide before you go in what your stance is and make sure your language reflects it--are you requesting his permission or informing him of your decision? If the latter, make sure your language tactfully reflects that.]

Throughout, remember Hugh's rule for difficult interpersonal conversations: if you don't come out of it feeling awkward, embarrassed, and over-exposed, you probably did it wrong. You're not defending a position, you're sharing a difficulty and asking him to maintain the relationship despite your actions going against his expressed preferences.

Good luck.

RoisinPitman
08-09-2013, 07:44 AM
My students are welcome to train with whoever they like. I have even written letters of introduction (at the student's request) if they have a dojo in mind that they wish to visit.
Sometimes dojo-cho can have an unhealthy interest in some of their students' private lives (I have walked away from one organisation because of this). Most Sensei that I know would have no hesitation to say that the more instructors you gain experience of and from, the more rounded one's aikido. Take what suits you and offend no-one by leaving the rest.

hughrbeyer
08-10-2013, 07:11 PM
I've been cogitating on this and would love to hear from someone more immersed in Japanese culture than myself.

The question is, how would a senior Japanese teacher view this situation? I could believe that the correct, accepted behavior for a Japanese student in this situation would be to go train with whomever he wanted and not tell the teacher about it. The reason being that the teacher has made his position known; for the student to argue with the teacher about it would suggest that the student knows better or that the teacher was wrong and should make an exception; by not telling the teacher, the student acknowledges the teacher's right to make such restrictions; and that as long as no one tells anybody anything about it, everybody can go on pretending it's not happening and everyone's honor is satisfied.

Not Western morality, but consistent. Or am I making it all up?

allowedcloud
08-12-2013, 06:39 AM
I've been cogitating on this and would love to hear from someone more immersed in Japanese culture than myself.

The question is, how would a senior Japanese teacher view this situation? I could believe that the correct, accepted behavior for a Japanese student in this situation would be to go train with whomever he wanted and not tell the teacher about it. The reason being that the teacher has made his position known; for the student to argue with the teacher about it would suggest that the student knows better or that the teacher was wrong and should make an exception; by not telling the teacher, the student acknowledges the teacher's right to make such restrictions; and that as long as no one tells anybody anything about it, everybody can go on pretending it's not happening and everyone's honor is satisfied.

Not Western morality, but consistent. Or am I making it all up?

I don't know about Japan, but I do know that here in the US there is one large prominent organization where members are discouraged from training outside of the organization. However, I know of several high level seniors in that organization that do in fact train with aikido teachers from outside their organization, as well as other arts. It's just not talked about inside the organization. And I'm fairly sure the head shihan is aware of what they're up to.

A pretty bizzare situation if you ask me. But I guess it's a do-able option if you want to actually grow yuor aikido while still remaining affiliated with that organization/shihan.