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dontwanttousemyname
10-20-2013, 02:46 AM
After a few years of a tenuous relationship with my sensei, i've decided to leave his dojo. several years of disrespect, having to ASK for promotions, while several less serious and technically knowledgeable students get put up for promotion, I decided it was time to leave. newbies allowed to disrespect senior students, with a whole lot of over talking, freezing and resisting technique. much of it happened because i am a woman. i put my foot down, of course, i look like the bad guy.

I don't believe the man every really liked me, but i ignored him for the most part, because i liked the people i trained with. without going into too many more gory details, i am wondering if i should tell him what's on my mind, or keep it moving.

I should add that the teacher is well respected in this particular circle. some have noted what i have, very quietly. a public display is not something i am going to do. but i'm seriously thinking about giving him a piece of my mind.

what do you think? No insults please.

Stephen Nichol
10-20-2013, 10:11 PM
I don't believe the man every really liked me, but i ignored him for the most part, because i liked the people i trained with. without going into too many more gory details, i am wondering if i should tell him what's on my mind, or keep it moving.

I should add that the teacher is well respected in this particular circle. some have noted what i have, very quietly. a public display is not something i am going to do. but i'm seriously thinking about giving him a piece of my mind.

what do you think? No insults please.

Keep it moving.

Letting go of your feelings with your teacher and the situation, while not being easy, will free you. If you can take that deep breath and let go of it, you may find yourself not actually caring that much.

Your skill defines you as a martial artist, not your rank. To be more to the point, would a rank from this teacher truly matter to you?

Your choice to leave speaks for itself. It does not matter if your teacher directly or indirectly pushed you to this point (passive aggressive behavior etc) but the point is... here you are. Where do you want to go next?

I understand that you do not wish to share the details and so I say this next part with a cautionary note: If you cannot let go and move on and strongly feel the need to tell this person about your feelings and thoughts on the situation... try your best to remove as much anger and 'things of a personal nature' out of your approach to do so. I would simply state your position with a question asking for an explanation to allow you to come to an understanding of why he allows, condones or promotes the things you describe.

Regardless of whether or not you get a response at all and if it is or is not to your satisfaction... you need to be at peace with the decision you have already made. I feel you will look back on this not so far from now with a smile and feel like a heavy weight has been lifted as you move onto another dojo, meet others and continue on your path.

You cannot change anyone else but yourself. The hardest part can be getting out of your own way.

I hope this helps. Best wishes on your continued journey.

SeiserL
10-21-2013, 06:23 AM
If you are not happy with where you are, let it go and move on quietly and respectfully.

Mary Eastland
10-21-2013, 07:09 AM
I hope you find a place to train where you are more comfortable.

Dazzler
10-21-2013, 07:12 AM
If you want to go, then go.

But my suggestion is to have a conversation with the Sensei first.

All you need to say is that you want to go elsewhere....and thank you for the time spent with you.

There is a lot of 'churn' running a dojo, there is a lot of competition, lots of distraction and in all honesty its a bloody tough job at times.

Not all of this is obvious to the students, most instuctors I know keep the baggage to themselves. Maybe in a conversation you maybe surprised and find out some reasons for historic behaviour....maybe not.

If you have the conversation though, you'll have done the right thing and as well as giving respect, you'll also have earned it back.

FWIW

D

lbb
10-21-2013, 08:04 AM
I doubt I'd bother with the conversation. A sexist isn't going to own his sexism, so there are only a few limited situations where confronting him with it (publicly or privately) will do any good, and I don't think this is one of them. Just move on.

Basia Halliop
10-21-2013, 10:41 AM
Personally I would leave quietly, and tell your Sensei that you're leaving (which is curteous, especially if you've been training with him for years) but NOT go into detail about why.

It's a very normal and human urge to want to tell people what you dislike about them, and triply so when you're upset, but most of the time it serves no positive purpose. Usually it just creates or increases bad blood, and rarely has enough positives to make up for that. I can think of exceptions, but this doesn't sound like one of them.

I would be polite and vague about why you're leaving, and then find a friend who has no link to aikido or anyone involved who you can vent a bit to if you feel like there are things you need to get off your chest.

And best of luck finding a new place to train.

dontwanttousemyname
10-21-2013, 11:51 AM
Some very excellent suggestions and points made here. it helps me clear my head and focus on what is most important. I will move on and let it go. I'm am amazed and frustrated with myself for continuing to be so angry with this man. But admittedly, I am more frustrated with myself for putting up with it for four years.

And on the bright side, my own respect, and good manners may provide a respite for reconciliation after some extended period of time. I get along with other Senseis in my area, quite well; so I do have options.

Thank you All!

lbb
10-21-2013, 12:19 PM
Some very excellent suggestions and points made here. it helps me clear my head and focus on what is most important. I will move on and let it go. I'm am amazed and frustrated with myself for continuing to be so angry with this man. But admittedly, I am more frustrated with myself for putting up with it for four years.

I'm sure you've already done this, but it may be worth doing one last reality check. Given that comparing your progress to that of other people is always dicey, are the others who have also trained four years (and who train at the same frequency as you -- that's important) being advanced when you are not? Are they being given access to teaching that you are not?

If there's a discrepancy and it's time to move on, I think you can tactfully explain your reasons why, both to your current sensei and to your new sensei, who may well ask why you left. "I'm training regularly, but I don't seem to be making any progress" would sum it up pretty well, no? That takes ownership rather than blaming, but at the same time makes the point that you are trying and it isn't working for you at this particular dojo.

allowedcloud
10-21-2013, 01:56 PM
Read this: http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2007/09/03/how-to-quit-a-karate-club/

It's about karate, but the advise applies equally to aikido.

I recently was in a similar situation and decided to leave the dojo I had trained at for 7 years. As I see it, what you propose will just create unnecessary drama. Just leave quietly and don't look back. That is the best thing for you, the old dojo and wherever you choose to train in the future.

sakumeikan
10-21-2013, 05:14 PM
Some very excellent suggestions and points made here. it helps me clear my head and focus on what is most important. I will move on and let it go. I'm am amazed and frustrated with myself for continuing to be so angry with this man. But admittedly, I am more frustrated with myself for putting up with it for four years.

And on the bright side, my own respect, and good manners may provide a respite for reconciliation after some extended period of time. I get along with other Senseis in my area, quite well; so I do have options.

Thank you All!

Dear Anon,
The fact that you now are frustrated by putting up with the situation for four yearsmeans that you should have either had a chinwag with the instructor or you should have voted with your feet.personally I would have chosen to exit stage right.There is a lesson for you in this .
Cheers, Joe

Mario Tobias
10-23-2013, 06:27 AM
What matters is the practice. Just move on and never look back. You will practice with many senseis in your aikido career. Seeking your "true" sensei is part of the aikido journey. It is a difficlut task. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes it is accidental but oftentimes, you really need to search. There si also the chance you won't find him. This is the key take away from your experience; he is not the sensei that will help fulfill your goals, another one will. So there's no point in dicussing anything with him.

IMHO, promotions are not really important. What you need to assess is if you've trained hard enough, observed intensely, studied intently to be competent with the art and understand its principles, to continuously learn new things. It is a never ending cycle. The goal is not to get promotions, the goal is attain perfection, wisdom and enlightenment. Attaining rank will follow.

I'd gladly trade my black belt and hakama with a white belt. These ornaments are not important to me.

dontwanttousemyname
10-26-2013, 12:23 AM
thanks everyone.

Walter Martindale
10-31-2013, 09:15 PM
Yeah.. A bit late coming to this - I've only wanted to leave one dojo because I wasn't keen on the sensei - all the other dojo I've left have been because my employment has me shifting around a lot.

If you haven't already done this, My recommendation is that when you decide to have your last training session, let your dojo know this by not showing up the next time and cancelling payment of your fees if they're on automatic payment. You can then choose to let the sensei know that you've either decided to try a different dojo or that you've decided to give an other MA a try, or that time, money, interest, or whatever ran out (but that might not be honest).

Depending on where you are, and who your sensei is it may not be safe to announce at the start of your last class "I'm leaving after this training session".. It's USUALLY safe, in a civilized society, but some martial arts sensei have a warped sense of what loyalty should be and hurt people if they find out they're leaving for reasons other than "my job is moving 300 miles away"
HTH

Don'twanttousemyname
11-18-2013, 02:27 AM
Yeah.. A bit late coming to this - I've only wanted to leave one dojo because I wasn't keen on the sensei - all the other dojo I've left have been because my employment has me shifting around a lot.

If you haven't already done this, My recommendation is that when you decide to have your last training session, let your dojo know this by not showing up the next time and cancelling payment of your fees if they're on automatic payment. You can then choose to let the sensei know that you've either decided to try a different dojo or that you've decided to give an other MA a try, or that time, money, interest, or whatever ran out (but that might not be honest).

Depending on where you are, and who your sensei is it may not be safe to announce at the start of your last class "I'm leaving after this training session".. It's USUALLY safe, in a civilized society, but some martial arts sensei have a warped sense of what loyalty should be and hurt people if they find out they're leaving for reasons other than "my job is moving 300 miles away"
HTH

Walter - I left. No announcement, explanation or anything. Just took my things and left, because enough is enough. probably done with aikido, only time and chance will tell. life goes on, and maybe i will find something else or another aikido school that works for me. don't know. but i do know that i've put that b.s. to rest.

Walter Martindale
11-18-2013, 10:50 AM
Good. I hope you're not done with aikido but that depends I guess on where you are on the planet and what's available.

danj
11-18-2013, 08:23 PM
One of my favourite quotes is from Kenjiro Yoshigasaki
"Your aikido will only improve when your concept of aikido improves "
So if there is something helpful in biomechanics thats great, if not there are plenty of more concepts out there to help...lord knows i don't see biomechanics as 'it' just another tool in the bag.

Reflecting on the thoughts on Kano's waza, its not so surprising he has very exact waza, given his educational and sports focus, perhaps this was a reductionist approach for the essence. FWIW a few years back I was at Tskuba University in Japan and was delighted to see he was the founding father of what eventually has become probably Japan's leading University in Sport.

dontwanttousemyname
11-22-2013, 10:58 PM
Good. I hope you're not done with aikido but that depends I guess on where you are on the planet and what's available.

Yep. I will see what happens. Aikido is a hard act to follow.

Rupert Atkinson
11-28-2013, 05:27 PM
Open door, leave, close door.

LuvAikido
11-29-2013, 09:39 PM
Wow Walter sounds scary, senseis hurting people?

crbateman
11-29-2013, 10:18 PM
I hope that you will continue to train in Aikido. If you let this bad experience run you out of it, then it will remain a negative, and you will not really have solved anything. If, however, you let it send you to train with someone else, it could turn out to be a very positive experience. It would be a shame to let your anger and frustration deprive you of that opportunity. I think you'd agree that it's at least worth a try... Best of fortune to you...

lbb
11-30-2013, 06:10 PM
I hope that you will continue to train in Aikido. If you let this bad experience run you out of it, then it will remain a negative, and you will not really have solved anything.

Solved? What was the problem? And why was it this person's problem to solve?

Walter Martindale
11-30-2013, 08:25 PM
Wow Walter sounds scary, senseis hurting people?

I haven't heard of it happening lately but my first judo sensei spent quite a while in Japan in the 60s - told us/our dojo of a Japanese member of a dojo in Tokyo who let his club know at the start of a training session that he would be leaving, and training at a different dojo - I don't really remember the circumstances - whether the guy was leaving because he didn't like the dojo and wanted to switch allegiance, or because he had to move to a different city, or.. orů but - the story related to us was that the other members of the dojo essentially all had a "practice" with him, each doing his best effort to give him a good bashing, and at the end of the night, it turned out to be his last practice anywhere. Whether he died in the hospital or on the dojo floor I don't know. It may be one of those urban myths, and I may be paranoid, but each dojo and each sensei is different.

When I'm going to take on a new dojo (because I've moved - and I move a lot - coaching isn't all that stable a profession) I always ask if I can watch a practice or two before I join, and I make sure to have a chat with some of the guys in the club. So far nobody's tried to hurt me but I know it's possible. Now, I'm old enough that they probably won't bother, but around the martial arts, it's always a good idea to be careful about the "tough guy" attitude that some training locations have.

IMO...

crbateman
12-01-2013, 03:00 PM
Solved? What was the problem? And why was it this person's problem to solve?Mary, not knowing the specific nature of a problem does not mean there isn't one. This person not only wants to leave the dojo, she says she might stop training altogether. That sounds to me like somebody wishing and acting to solve a problem. I've simply suggested that she try not to become jaded about aikido as a whole from this single experience, regardless of the foundation for it. I still think it's a valid suggestion. Perhaps if you re-read it without inferring prejudice on my part, you will see where I was going. I think the issue here is not whom to blame, but whether aikido is worth another try somewhere else. My apologies if I gave anyone the wrong impression.

lbb
12-01-2013, 06:05 PM
Mary, not knowing the specific nature of a problem does not mean there isn't one. This person not only wants to leave the dojo, she says she might stop training altogether. That sounds to me like somebody wishing and acting to solve a problem. I've simply suggested that she try not to become jaded about aikido as a whole from this single experience, regardless of the foundation for it. I still think it's a valid suggestion. Perhaps if you re-read it without inferring prejudice on my part, you will see where I was going. I think the issue here is not whom to blame, but whether aikido is worth another try somewhere else. My apologies if I gave anyone the wrong impression.

Hello Clark,

I've got no beef with the course of action or with your suggestion. I just wonder if "problem" is the right way to frame it. Problem with the dojo? With this other person? With aikido? What "problem" do you perceive here, and why is it on OP to "solve" it?

LuvAikido
12-01-2013, 10:31 PM
I haven't heard of it happening lately but my first judo sensei spent quite a while in Japan in the 60s - told us/our dojo of a Japanese member of a dojo in Tokyo who let his club know at the start of a training session that he would be leaving, and training at a different dojo - I don't really remember the circumstances - whether the guy was leaving because he didn't like the dojo and wanted to switch allegiance, or because he had to move to a different city, or.. orů but - the story related to us was that the other members of the dojo essentially all had a "practice" with him, each doing his best effort to give him a good bashing, and at the end of the night, it turned out to be his last practice anywhere. Whether he died in the hospital or on the dojo floor I don't know. It may be one of those urban myths, and I may be paranoid, but each dojo and each sensei is different.

When I'm going to take on a new dojo (because I've moved - and I move a lot - coaching isn't all that stable a profession) I always ask if I can watch a practice or two before I join, and I make sure to have a chat with some of the guys in the club. So far nobody's tried to hurt me but I know it's possible. Now, I'm old enough that they probably won't bother, but around the martial arts, it's always a good idea to be careful about the "tough guy" attitude that some training locations have.

IMO...

Hmm... This happened in Japan, I doubt such activity is legal here in Canada or USA, besides, if ur really getting hurt u can always walk out... And if anyone is paranoid you can always say you would like to stop training for a while and not say "I don't like you, so I'm going else where".... That's not nessasarily a right thing to say at any point, and in any country.... Just rude!

Just because one person had issues and does not like their sensei I doesn't mean that the sensei is a bad sensei, because there are many others who enjoy training with that same sensei...that's just my 2 cents :)

crbateman
12-02-2013, 10:37 AM
Hello Clark,

I've got no beef with the course of action or with your suggestion. I just wonder if "problem" is the right way to frame it. Problem with the dojo? With this other person? With aikido? What "problem" do you perceive here, and why is it on OP to "solve" it?Mary, I assume there must be a problem, or the OP would not be talking of quitting the dojo she has trained in for 4 years, and possibly quitting aikido altogether (complete with Mr. :grr: displayed in her post). My suggestion that she give it another shot someplace else to me seems reasonable, given her statements. I can't speculate as to the exact nature of her situation beyond what I read above. I have not suggested that she is responsible for resolving the situation; she already seems determined to deal with it. I only hope, and I am only suggesting, that she does not indict the whole body of aikido because of a bad experience with one instructor or dojo.

lbb
12-02-2013, 12:01 PM
I have not suggested that she is responsible for resolving the situation; .

You said "you will not really have solved anything", which led me to think otherwise. I stand corrected.

I only hope, and I am only suggesting, that she does not indict the whole body of aikido because of a bad experience with one instructor or dojo.

I didn't see any indication that she was inclined to do that.

crbateman
12-02-2013, 03:30 PM
I didn't see any indication that she was inclined to do that.

Her post #15 says in part "...enough is enough. probably done with aikido..."

That's when I decided to try to bring her back from the brink. ;)

lbb
12-02-2013, 04:00 PM
Her post #15 says in part "...enough is enough. probably done with aikido..."

That's when I decided to try to bring her back from the brink. ;)

Good catch! Well, to be honest, it sounded like the kind of experience that would really sour you on the practice. But forever is a long time. A cooling-off period won't hurt a bit, I'm thinking, and it's good that you and others encouraged her to keep the door open.

Walter Martindale
12-03-2013, 07:23 AM
Hmm... This happened in Japan, I doubt such activity is legal here in Canada or USA, besides, if ur really getting hurt u can always walk out... And if anyone is paranoid you can always say you would like to stop training for a while and not say "I don't like you, so I'm going else where".... That's not nessasarily a right thing to say at any point, and in any country.... Just rude!

Just because one person had issues and does not like their sensei I doesn't mean that the sensei is a bad sensei, because there are many others who enjoy training with that same sensei...that's just my 2 cents :)

Legal? Who ever suggested it was legal? Not me. In the sometimes warped male "martial arts" world it happens. Legal? Not likely in Japan, either. Homicide/manslaughter/murder aren't legal. Anywhere. Doesn't stop it from happening.

"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean nobody's out to get you." :D I probably wouldn't practice in a dojo where such attitudes were prevalent - not even when I was young and stupid... Now I'm just not young..

Like I said, I was told about it a long time ago (in the 70s) and it was supposed to have happened in the 60s. I HOPE people have progressed since then.

lbb
12-03-2013, 08:00 AM
Yeah, this may be an urban legend. I've heard several times and IIRC WRT different styles (all Japanese,though). It's possible that it had its genesis in a real incident -- not at all unlikely, in fact, when you consider the foolishness that human beings get up to. On the other hand, it's not something I'd consider a likely outcome, in Japan or elsewhere, if you were to announce that you're leaving a dojo "...but AFTER this training session!" That, however, would not encourage me to do something that strikes me as stupid and tactless even in the absence of the mildest retaliation. If you're going to go, go. Don't make a drama-club production out of it.

dontwanttousemyname
01-08-2014, 01:08 AM
Follow up:

I did not leave Aikido, but I did find another dojo and for the time being, I am freakin ecstatic. Clark Bateman was on point with his critique. And no, i wasn't insulted. Was I on the brink? absolutely.

part of the problem was how to do what i knew i needed to do politely and with as little damage as possible. but we know the martial arts community is a small one and Aikido is fraught with politics, like anything else.

the other part of the problem in actuality is that the sensei had/has a personal dislike for me, because i don't fit his paradigm of how a woman should train, at the very least. this much was obvious. was/is there more? maybe. does it matter? No. I had procrastinated and vacillated, because i didnt trust my own judgement anymore. and i was angry, because there wasn't any valid reason for the disrespect and rudeness i'd endured; while others came into the dojo and trashed it's lack of quality and trashed the sensei. but these people received preferential treatment. so yes, i was pissed.

the solution was to move on, without making a stink and chalking it up to one experience of many more to come. I decided the old adage, avoid fights you can't win was a good one. even though i was in the right, it wouldn't have mattered because of the politics.

thanks all again for the good insights.

Janet Rosen
01-08-2014, 10:04 AM
Thank you for the update and kudos to you for taking good action!

Larry Feldman
01-08-2014, 03:42 PM
Congrats on the move.

Don't beat yourself up about where you started. Without that training it would have been hard for you to make the 'new' right choice.

It is somewhat amazing to me that whatever dojo we happen to wander into as uniformed beginners that we somehow think it will be perfect for life....

lbb
01-08-2014, 03:52 PM
the solution was to move on, without making a stink and chalking it up to one experience of many more to come. I decided the old adage, avoid fights you can't win was a good one. even though i was in the right, it wouldn't have mattered because of the politics.

You can't win any fight if your opponent doesn't have to play by your rules. That can be depressing, but on the upside, that's how aikido works too! Better luck and happier training at your new dojo.