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MichaelK78
10-08-2002, 03:45 PM
Last monday we had to train with the sticks (the sword substitute-I don't know the Japanese word). At a certain moment we had to do an exercise in which the attacker had the stick and the defender had to grasp the end of it. However, the remainder of the exercise was a bit of a blur to both my partner and me. This was only our third class. The teacher noticed this, came up to us and took the stick from her. He wanted to do the exercise with me. So I grasped the stick and froze because I didn't know what to do. Then suddenly the teacher slapped me in my face with his free hand, "Ouch..." I said. He looked at me furiously and hissed "You will cooperate!!!" while he yanked the stick to force my wrist to fold over. I was shocked. I still am. And to be honest I don't really know what to do about it! Should I file a complaint at the dojo I train? at the national aikido organization?

mj
10-08-2002, 04:25 PM
You should have your teacher post here, so an informed judgement could be made.

Greg Jennings
10-08-2002, 04:35 PM
The wooden training sword is "bokken" or "bokuto".

I won't want to seem like I'm trying to sweep things under a rug but...

The situation you describe is sensitive. You should handle it with utmost discretion. For your sake, the instructor(s)', and your dojo mates'.

It's especially tough because it's only your third class.

W/o knowing more, there is not much that I'd feel comfortable venturing online.

Some things that would seem normal to many of us would shock the pants off the uninitiated. E.g., I get hit in the face, with a fist, regularly. It's my bad, not my partner's.

Here are some questions:

o Was the person that slapped you the head instructor of the dojo? Was he a black belt? Was he a young person running a class in the absence of an instructor?

o Is your dojo a college club depending off of a main dojo?

o Is your dojo part of a national organization? E.g., USAF, ASU, etc.

I'm the secretary and senior student in my dojo. My phone number is on the Contact Us page of our dojo web page listed in my signature below. I'd be happy to talk with you and try to talk you through it.

Hope That Helps,

Don_Modesto
10-08-2002, 04:45 PM
1) ...suddenly the teacher slapped me in my face with his free hand, "Ouch..." I said. He looked at me furiously and hissed "You will cooperate!!!"

2) Should I file a complaint at the dojo I train?

3) at the national aikido organization?
_________________

1) Not to be melodramatic, but it sounds like battery to me. The context of assumed increased risk appertaining to the practice of a martial art does not yet countenance abusive violence. There are legal precedents for this.

On the other hand, I was slapped in the face just the other day and took no offense. I was invited to take UKEMI by a visiting teacher and when began to come around to her front on TENKAN, she popped me lightly and snapped, "Get back there!" Not assault, cultural clash--in my dojos we've always flowed around to NAGE's front when doing TAI NO HENKO, in hers you don't with implied reason being that it creates an opening in my defenses.

That said, martial arts do suffer the presence of no little bathwater. Moreover, there are the complications of translation of one cultural expression to another and changing times (John Wayne might o' did it, too.) A well publicized legal case might clean up a lot of technically criminal sensei snits to the benefit of all.

2) Sounds kind of technical to me. Can you "discuss" it?

3) I'd take one step at a time.

Good luck. Let us know what develops. I like mark johnston's idea about having the culprit post here. That might be a wake up call to others.

JMWS
10-08-2002, 04:58 PM
I would say that given that it is only your third class, that was not on, and certainly seems most un-aikido to me. So far all the students and teachers at our dojo have been most patient with my inexperience. I have been warned that if I behave like a complete idiot I will be trundled off into a corner for some push-ups though... :)

Having said that, this is a martial art and a certain amount of grief is something I expected, despite the fact that it hasn't happened yet. I have a couple of friends doing wing chun in London and they get the living daylights beaten out of them in class...

I would certainly look into reporting it to someone more senior at your dojo. But ask around, find a friendly face and talk to them about it quietly first - they may know the scene and be able to give you the advice you need, as in who to speak with and so on. I wouldn't report it to the aikido organisation yet, as you might bring a good club into bad repute because of one idiot, which would be unfair to the other students ultimately.

Unfortunately, if you do talk to somebody you may then get labelled as someone who "tells" regardless of whether you were right, wrong or in between. People can be unredeemably childish about things like this.

If it is a dojo known for "tough" teaching methods and that sort of thing is acceptable to other students maybe you are in the wrong place. Seems unlikely to me though, this is the art of peace after all.

As unhelpful as it may seem, I think my advice would be to carry on as you would have if it had never happened. Bullies always go away if they don't get a reaction. If it happens again then report it immediately.

John

Peter Goldsbury
10-08-2002, 06:11 PM
Mr Knecht,

Were you doing an exercise, or some sort of technique? Was the weapon a straight stick (called a jo) or a curved wooden sword (bokken)? I find it hard to imagine the value of any exercise or technique where uke has to gpasp the end of a wooden sword, but there are many such exercises/techniques where uke grasps the end of a jo and is thrown. Finally, is the dojo part of an organisation affiliated to the Aikikai?

Forgive the questions but I have difficulty in understanding what you were doing to invite the teacher's wrath. A large group of beginners entered my own dojo in April. It is now October and they will soon take their first kyu examination (for 5th kyu), but I have still not let them handle any weapons. It is still too early.

If you wish to contact me by e-mail, please do so, via the address given in my profile.

Best regards,

Deb Fisher
10-08-2002, 06:12 PM
Fundamentally it doesn't matter whether or not it was 'normal martial behavior' or battery or a bad day on your teacher's part. Whatever nasty thing anyone does to you, ultimately you control yourself and your actions. Is this dojo a scary place in general? Is this teacher generally scary? Was this a freak occurance, or does it not quite surprise you? Do you feel uncomfortable learning something new there? Is there an aikido alternative in your home town?

I'm sorry you got hit in a way that doesn't sound right... IMHO, you should take care of yourself (if you need to) and worry about the ethics and stuff later.

Deb

paw
10-08-2002, 07:22 PM
I strongly encourage you to take Peter up on his generous offer and contact him with more specific information.

Regards,

Paul

NagaBaba
10-08-2002, 07:45 PM
MichaelK78,

Aikido in not social club, danse, or other democratic institution. You practice Real Budo. In a dojo instructor is the highest authority, and there is not such thing as "complaining to national organisation". Don't be mollusc or sneak. Be a man! One must learn discipline trough hard and painfull practice. Work on your ego, so you will be a better human being!

Or quit and go practice Tae bo or tai chi.

Ja'E
10-08-2002, 08:00 PM
sounds like the teacher is nasty to you. anyway maybe it's just a scary dojo or maybe it's only a scary teacher, but if you feel uncomfortable in training and there is an alternative aikido dojo in your town maybe you can considering in changing dojo.

Kevin Wilbanks
10-08-2002, 08:12 PM
Naga Baba,

I agree completely. Anyone who is worthless and weak enough to whine about being abused and humiliated in their first week of Aikido is dragging the art down. In my old dojo we took such people, threw a sheet over them and beat them with bokken until they stopped moving, then we through their limp carcass in a nearby dumpster. Good riddance to bad rubbish! Their blood will pave the way to the future! All hail O'Sensei!

Kevin Leavitt
10-08-2002, 08:30 PM
I don't know enough about the situation to render a judgement, but I will say this... it is never appropriate to abuse a student whether mentally or physically. Period.

If you do not feel comfortable with the situation, and do not feel that you can put your trust in the sensei, then you should simply quit. there is no recourse with any formal organization.

If it were an organization like ASU (which I know since I am a member)...you could file a complaint by writing a letter, If this has been a cronic problem it would probably help, but if it were an isolated incident then nothing will probably be done to be honest.

Is it possible that you were simply caught up in the moment and mistook his slap? Sometimes I will do this to show people their openings...but if it was truely done out of anger or frustration, the instructor has no responsbility teaching.

For those of you with the cavalier macho attitude about the weak and whining...If you truely feel this way, I would consider myself fortunate to never study with you.

There is a difference between training hard and serious and abusing students.

(ask me how I know sometime, I have lots of experience in very hard martial training...never once did it involve slapping a student)

I am a hard guy to piss of, but crap like this has no place in any respectable dojo.

Erik
10-08-2002, 09:55 PM
A few thoughts. One is that you should probably post these anonymously. Google archives and well, the cat's out of the bag at this point.

Second, I get hit a fair amount. No big deal. I invite it as both nage and uke. The only time I've been seriously plowed, with intent, it wasn't even done with a strike. However, assuming this at face value (slap and "you will cooperate") it implies a tonality that I would probably walk away from and not look back. I don't need it. But, maybe it was a terrible day, maybe a look was given, maybe it was barely a touch, maybe, well, who knows. Didn't see it, nor feel it.

Third, I second Paul's suggestion. Take Peter Goldsbury up on his offer.

G DiPierro
10-09-2002, 12:27 AM
Last monday we had to train with the sticks (the sword substitute-I don't know the Japanese word). At a certain moment we had to do an exercise in which the attacker had the stick and the defender had to grasp the end of it.This sounds like jo-nage, done with a weapon called a jo. The sword substitute you are thinking of is a bokken, which, as Peter Goldsbury pointed out, one would never grab the end of.This was only our third class.Also as Peter mentioned, that's a little early for jo nage.So I grasped the stick and froze because I didn't know what to do. Then suddenly the teacher slapped me in my face with his free hand, "Ouch..." I said. He looked at me furiously and hissed "You will cooperate!!!" while he yanked the stick to force my wrist to fold over.From what you have described here, it sounds like the instructor may have taken your "freezing up" as an attempt to resist the technique rather than as simple confusion.I was shocked. I still am. And to be honest I don't really know what to do about it!I would be too, and from you have said here, I think I would find another dojo if this had happened to me. This is mainly because I don't think slapping a confused beginner completely outside of the context of a technique has much teaching value. I know that some teachers disagree with me, but that's my own personal opinion. And just so you know where I am coming from, I have been punched in the face several times by teachers and senior students, usually more or less on purpose but always in the context of a technique, and I never judged it to be completely unacceptable. The first few times I didn't really like it (particularly the first time), but I never felt that it was wholly inappropriate. By way of constrast, I was once in a dojo where the instructor threatened to punch a beginner in the face if he continued making the same mistake. While there was no physical contact, I still felt that this was completely inappropriate and I ended up leaving the dojo soon after. Each situation has to be evaluated in its own context on and on its own merits, and in both this last case and your case the fact that the student involved was a complete beginner weighs heavily in my mind.Should I file a complaint at the dojo I train? at the national aikido organization?No, as others have mentioned there is nobody you can complain to. Aikido is a martial art. If you don't like your treatment at this dojo then I recommend finding another. You may, however, wish to accpet the invitations of Greg Jennings and/or Peter Goldsbury to contact them for more detailed advice. I will also put my email address in my profile and extend to you the same offer.

Detective Dobbs
10-09-2002, 12:55 AM
If that is exactly what happened the teacher is wrong for slapping a third class student.

On the other hand when your in the dojo it is go time and one should be ready for anything.Keep practicing and when the next person tries to slap/strike you, teacher or not throw them on their ass,politely of course.

Chris Li
10-09-2002, 01:45 AM
Last monday we had to train with the sticks (the sword substitute-I don't know the Japanese word). At a certain moment we had to do an exercise in which the attacker had the stick and the defender had to grasp the end of it. However, the remainder of the exercise was a bit of a blur to both my partner and me. This was only our third class. The teacher noticed this, came up to us and took the stick from her. He wanted to do the exercise with me. So I grasped the stick and froze because I didn't know what to do. Then suddenly the teacher slapped me in my face with his free hand, "Ouch..." I said. He looked at me furiously and hissed "You will cooperate!!!" while he yanked the stick to force my wrist to fold over. I was shocked. I still am. And to be honest I don't really know what to do about it! Should I file a complaint at the dojo I train? at the national aikido organization?
If things occurred exactly as presented here then I would say that it's abusive behavior at the least. Of course, I've only heard one side and misunderstandings and misinterpretations are certainly common with this kind of thing. I would:

1) Talk to the instructor directly.

2) If that didn't solve the problem I would leave.

3) If I felt strongly enough about it (depending upon the circumstances) I would make a complaint either to their instructor or the organization of which they're a member.

My experience with problems in the dojo is that step 1 (talk to the person involved directly) is almost always the best answer in the long run. Certainly that I would want a student (or anybody else for that matter) to talk to me directly if they had any kind of a problem with something I had done.

Best,

Chris

bob_stra
10-09-2002, 01:50 AM
="Michael Knecht "Ouch..." I said. He looked at me furiously and hissed "You will cooperate!!!" while he yanked the stick to force my wrist to fold over

I've gotta tell you that this one rubbed a raw nerve with me.

Nothing puts you on my shit list faster than abusing someone. So you can imagine, my first instict was to post something... less than charitable towards your instructor. (hell, had I been in your shoes I would have done something less than *charitable* to your instructor. Kinda why I need aikido - hot head and all)

Strong personal feelings aside, here my 2 cents. Remember I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. (Caveat emptor)

Legally, it cuts both ways. The dojo has a duty of care towards you. If you can prove damages then its likely that any slick lawyer can sue for negligence.

On the flip side is the concept of "volenti non-fit injura" - meaning, you waive your rights when step on the mat (freely accept any injuries). The two kinda cancel each other out, AFAIK.

As for morally and ethically...if it actually happened the way you said it did...I don't think there's any possible excuse for that kind of behaviour. At all. Ever. Especially with newbies.

Personally, I'd take a few days to cool off, than approach the head instructor and explain what happened. Perhaps you've mis-read the situation?

Frankly, whether or not *we* think it was excessive, doesn't matter. If it's excessive for *you* then that's all the motivation you need to speak to the instructor.

PS: Like the others, I've been slapped, kicked, bitten (!!), nipples tweaked (!!!), arm popped etc (yeah, they never put *any* of that on the posters for BJJ huh;-)

But there's a difference when it's done in "fun" / under training conditions Vs outright bullying. Only you can decide which is which.

Creature_of_the_id
10-09-2002, 02:02 AM
It would surprise me if this instructor had actually been an instructor for any great deal of time.

What you did was normal for someone who is in his 3rd week of training. What your instructor did was not normal (as far as I am aware) to do to a begginer.

I would suggest, contacting the people that have offered their help. and to remember that your instructor is human, talk to that person and ask why he slapped you.

If you do not feel you can talk to your instructor about it, then I would personally suggest finding a different dojo in your area.

erikmenzel
10-09-2002, 02:42 AM
Hello Micheal,

I read your account with great interest. I realize that this is of course only a onesided description of what happend. It is therefor very difficult to say whether it realy was appropriate or not.

The main problem however stays: You feel it wasnt appropriate, you feel kind of abused and your sense of safety on the mat and with that teacher is damaged. You should try to get the feeling of safety and respect back, either by talking to the teacher or somebody else senior at the club and resolving the matter normaly or by looking for another place to train.

Now to a little bit of all the other truths that have been uttered in this thread:

[list=1]

The weapon you trained with is most likely a jo (resembles a broomstick), however there are dojo (both aikikia and non-aikikai) were they do exercises with hanbo (half a broomstick) or where they in lack of the hanbo use the bokken (wooden sword) as hanbo-substitute. There are also dojo around where they make a distinction between undo (exercise) and waza (technique) with respect to grabbing the tip of bokken.

Not all bokken or bokuto are curved, some are straight!!!

In lots of different dojo (again both aikikai and non-aikikai) beginners are invited to train with weapons from day one. In our dojo beginners can start with weapons from day one. By coincedence they always pair up with one of the sempai or in solo exercises one of the sempai is always very very near.

[/list=1]

MichaelK78
10-09-2002, 03:02 AM
Firstly, I want to thank (nearly) all of you for your replies. I will try to answer your questions.

>You should have your teacher post here, so >an informed judgement could be made.

I doubt he ever surfs the web.

>Was the person that slapped you the head >instructor of the dojo? Was he a black >belt? Was he a young person running a class >in the absence of an instructor?

I think he is the senior teacher of the dojo. I recall he was 3rd or 4th dan.

>Is your dojo a college club depending off >of a main dojo?

Good question. I think so. Not sure.

>Is your dojo part of a national >organization? E.g., USAF, ASU, etc.

I live in The Netherlands and I think all dojo's here are supposed to be part of the national organization. But not sure here either.

>I'm the secretary and senior student in my >dojo. My phone number is on the Contact Us >page of our dojo web page listed in my >signature below. I'd be happy to talk with >you and try to talk you through it

Thanks! But unfortunately I live all the way across the globe.

>1) Not to be melodramatic, but it sounds >like battery to me. The context of assumed >increased risk appertaining to the practice >of a martial art does not yet countenance >abusive violence. There are legal >precedents for this

Yeah, it's indeed battery. His slap was in no way related to the exercise or an accident etc.

>2) Sounds kind of technical to me. Can >you "discuss" it?

I could speak with the manager of the sportsclub to try to clear things up.

>Were you doing an exercise, or some sort of >technique? Was the weapon a straight stick

>(called a jo) or a curved wooden sword

> (bokken)? I find it hard to imagine the >value of any exercise or technique where >uke has to gpasp the end of a wooden sword, >but there are many such >exercises/techniques where uke grasps the >end of a jo and is thrown. Finally, is the >dojo part of an organisation affiliated to >the Aikikai?

Mmm... I think it was a jo. And that's what i thought; it's a bit strange to grasp the end of a sword.

I dont know whether the dojo is related to any organization but probably the national (Dutch) one.

>Fundamentally it doesn't matter whether or >not it was 'normal martial behavior' or >battery or a bad day on your teacher's >part. Whatever nasty thing anyone does to >you, ultimately you control yourself and >your actions. Is this dojo a scary place in >general? Is this teacher generally scary? >Was this a freak occurance, or does it not >quite surprise you? Do you feel >uncomfortable learning something new there?

Actually I was really surprised by it. Before the incident the teacher seemed quite gentle, kind and patient (like most other people there). But the teacher just turned psycho from one moment to another. You should have seen the fury in his eyes. It's as if he thought i wasn't cooperating on purpose (as Mr DiPierro suggests). In addition, it's not as if he was slapping everyone that made a mistake.

>My experience with problems in the dojo is >that step 1 (talk to the person involved >directly) is almost always the best answer >in the long run.

Yeah. At first I was too shocked to even consider talking to him. Afterwards I thought I should have approached him about it.

But the problem is I think that he probably didn't even think about it later on. He didn't seem worried about the whole incident at all. So I wonder whether a conversation will be constructive at all.

On top of everything, I think he crossed a certain line. If he had pushed me or screamed at me or something like that, I could have accepted his apology (if he would offer it). But this is just unforgivable.

But maybe I think I should talk to him anyway. Just to air my thoughts.

Edward
10-09-2002, 04:10 AM
Unfortunately, we spend most of our time in MA learning how to hit people that it becomes almost an instinct. Sometimes, for a fraction of a second, you loose control of yourself, and this is what happens.

I think you should give this teacher a second chance, since as you say, he doesn't walk around slapping people. If it's an isolated incident, just ignore it. But if it happens often, then it's time to look for another dojo...

xaj
10-09-2002, 04:32 AM
Naga Baba,

I agree completely. Anyone who is worthless and weak enough to whine about being abused and humiliated in their first week of Aikido is dragging the art down. In my old dojo we took such people, threw a sheet over them and beat them with bokken until they stopped moving, then we through their limp carcass in a nearby dumpster. Good riddance to bad rubbish! Their blood will pave the way to the future! All hail O'Sensei!
um.are you sure you practise the same art i/we do? I dont think O'Sensei would think highly of unwanted violence. What you mentioned above isnt exactly what i imagine Aikido teaches us.

(unless of course, you were being very sarcastic and i couldnt see it)

erikmenzel
10-09-2002, 05:43 AM
I live in The Netherlands and I think all dojo's here are supposed to be part of the national organization. But not sure here either.

I dont know whether the dojo is related to any organization but probably the national (Dutch) one.
You are in the Netherlands!! Well with respect to misbehaving teachers and students you are pretty screwed. I have seen ziljons of those around with bad habbits and personalities that dont allow any changes and criticism.

With respect to organisations the aikido landscape in the Netherlands is far from easy and uniform. Sometimes it seems that there are more official organisations than there are dojo. Of course every organisation claims to be the one and only. Every one is the keeper of the one true aikido and everyone of course knows the other organisations are completely wrong, are completely disrespectfull to the legacy of o'sensei and everybody from an other organisation does all the techniques completely wrong. If you are not with them then you are against them.

There are however also a number of independent dojo, like our dojo, that dont want any part in the aikipolitics strugle in the Netherlands.

So I guess the dojo you train at is a member of the one and only organisation.

Could you maybe in a private message sent me the name of the club and the teacher?

peteswann
10-09-2002, 05:44 AM
um.are you sure you practise the same art i/we do? I dont think O'Sensei would think highly of unwanted violence. What you mentioned above isnt exactly what i imagine Aikido teaches us.

(unless of course, you were being very sarcastic and i couldnt see it)
I have to admit I re-read this post and came to the conclusion that it was indeed sarcasm!! I can't believe there is even the remotest chance of them covering a whiner and beating them with bokuto til they stopped moving!!:p

And I think NagaBaba's comments were unjustified considering the topic! It's not about training and being a man, it is about a supposedly trusted instructor 'losing it' for a second and lashing out in anger in a place where there is no call for it!! After all, it is the 21st century not the 16th/17th where Macho b/s was necessary in order to survive!!:D

MattRice
10-09-2002, 07:42 AM
I can't think of a good reason for an instructor to slap a student who is that new to training, regardless of what he/she preceived about uke's response.

I would talk to the instructor about what happened, if doesn't get you anywhere, talk to someone more senior than he. If there is no one, or you don't get satisfactory results I would consider leaving or at least not attending that instructor's class.

Comments about being a man and taking pain are misplaced and ill informed...this is Aikido, we're supposed to be taking care of each other as well as training hard

DGLinden
10-09-2002, 08:57 AM
There are often good reasons for a slap, however I can't see hitting anyone who has yet to even understand what ukime might be.

Michael, is it possible that this instructor did not know that you were a beginner? Is your dojo so large that he might not know all the students and assumed you were an experienced visitor? Were you wearing a borrowed gi that was torn and tattered and might lead someone to assume you had been training for years? Are you otherwise athletic and strong, smooth and centered?

A slap can often protect an experienced student from continued bad habits if administered wisely and fairly. I do it often for those who otherwise won't protect themselves. In fact it is a joke in the dojo that a student hasn't really been accepted untill they get popped. But that's the point. For some it might take many years untill I would even consider tapping them. For others it happens the second or third time I need to remind them to protect themselves.

A performer from the Cirque De Sole might only be asked a couple times to put their hand up and cover their face. A karate black belt might only be asked once. However, a stone cold beginer would wait years and if he otherwise listens and protects himself would never be touched in that way. It is really about compassion.

And any other reason is completely unacceptable.

Kat.C
10-09-2002, 09:10 AM
Some people use physical correction some don't and some people will accept it and others won't, I think whether it's wrong or not depends on the circumstances. When I was at a karate camp, I was hit with a bo on the leg a couple of times because I kept stepping wrong. It didn't bother me, but then it didn't very hurt much either, and it worked!:D I got the footwork right pretty quickly after that. Keep in mind though that this sensei was not being vicious, or striking in anger.

You said that you think he crossed a certain line and that what he did was unforgivable, if you really think that you should just leave the dojo. Otherwise I think that you should heed the advice of those who suggested that you should talk to the person who hit you. Obviously you can't say that you don't ever want to be hit, but you can explain that you are uncomfortable with being hit as a punishment or correction. You can also explain that you were just very confused and that you weren't being uncooperative. This should be done privately though. If the person who hit you apologises and agrees not to do so again that's great, if not you should probably find somewhere else to train. You might want to do so anyway if such things are accepted at that dojo. You mentioned that the sensei who did this didn't seem worried about the incident so it may be that this is acceptable there. Now if you talk to him and he does that to you again, then I would say he has crossed the line, right now though he doesn't know where you have drawn it. Anyways just my thoughts, I hope it all works out.

Kat.C
10-09-2002, 09:37 AM
I had meant to add that one of my friends in karate got slapped on the back of the head by her sensei and told to "smarten up", she told the sensei off right then and there, quite loudly too, he apologised and to my knowledge never did that again. Personally though I think you should speak privately to a person you're having a problem with, not on the mat as it can make others feel uncomfortable.

aikigreg
10-09-2002, 09:45 AM
Giving someone a light tap to correct someone on their form, or demonstrating atemi is one thing.

This is abuse, plain and simple.

I've had plenty of hits to the body to stop me from making a stupid mistake in my karate and kung fu training, but they were done to ingrain muscle memory. A slap to the face accompaied by yelling is just designed to be humiliating.

Get out of the dojo.

gasman
10-09-2002, 04:34 PM
was it a slap or a punch? a slap is hardly abuse.

it could be that he was trying to get you to react naturally. like, DODGE.

Although I have to admit it is a bit harsh for a teacher to do this on your 3rd session, I think you should go back and keep practicing. This will show that you have endurance.

I have heard of this before, and our own sensei has been know to dish out a few slaps, usually when someone is either not paying attention OR if someone starts resisting purpousely when practicing, like "haha this doesnt work because...etc".

I've been slapped myself. It is humiliating but it is a learning experience.

How did it make you feel? Your senses, what happened? Your heartbeat? Your vision? Your concentration? Sharper?

Zen students frequently get slapped by their teachers. It's a wake up call.

KATZ!

Peace and good luck,

Sig.

Diablo
10-09-2002, 08:36 PM
(snipped) Then suddenly the teacher slapped me in my face with his free hand, "Ouch..." I said. He looked at me furiously and hissed "You will cooperate!!!" while he yanked the stick to force my wrist to fold over. I was shocked. I still am. And to be honest I don't really know what to do about it! Should I file a complaint at the dojo I train? at the national aikido organization?
First of all I'm a little surprised that you were doing weapons work at such an early stage, but I guess every dojo is different. It seems your sensei acted in a highly inappropriate and unprofesional manner. For him to lash out at you in such a negative tone is very demeaning and unreasonable. If I was to get slapped, it would be with a fellow akikidoka playing around, and we both were aware that we were playing. But getting slapped and scorned is something different altogether, and I'm surprised that some of the fellow posters here are defending the sensei.

Of course you were not raped, but I believe you were violated, and the reason I bring up the "r" word is that many people tend to blame the victim for being violated. He should have took you aside after class or something and said "Hey, I over-stepped my boundaries earlier, and I just want to say I'm sorry."

If you were in a "hard" style of martial arts, such as mui tai kickboxing, maybe I could understand his actions, but Aikido is supposed to be "The Way of Harmony."

If you feel you are owed an apology, speak up. If you feel too uncomfortable there, find another dojo that will take your money.

It's all about connection.

Diablo

NagaBaba
10-09-2002, 09:25 PM
And I think NagaBaba's comments were unjustified considering the topic! It's not about training and being a man, it is about a supposedly trusted instructor 'losing it' for a second and lashing out in anger in a place where there is no call for it!! After all, it is the 21st century not the 16th/17th where Macho b/s was necessary in order to survive!!:D
no kidding :eek: you practice Budo or what? In Budo trusted instructor simply doesn't existe. We are doing techniques on the eadge life/death, as it is last technique in our life...and you are talking about a trust? What is it one light slap in the face in comparison to a hook or kick to the head? If somebody attack you on the street and break your arm or leg, what will you do? Will you crying about abuse?Complain where?

Martial art must prepare for a worst situation in your life.

One must be ready to face a live sword - we have plenty techniques to disarm attacker with a sword.....you think it is a joke? One small mistake and your arm or HEAD is cut off ;)

Still want complain about it to National Council of Security :D ROTFL

Michel, go to mammy and daddy, they will protect you against all those devil aikido instructors :p

When one practice Budo, one must develop Budo spirit. Thats all.

Chris Li
10-09-2002, 09:44 PM
One must be ready to face a live sword - we have plenty techniques to disarm attacker with a sword.....you think it is a joke? One small mistake and your arm or HEAD is cut off ;)

Still want complain about it to National Council of Security :D ROTFL
I know plenty of koryu sword instructors who would never think of slapping their students in the face. They're pretty good at the sword stuff, though :).
Michel, go to mammy and daddy, they will protect you against all those devil aikido instructors :p

When one practice Budo, one must develop Budo spirit. Thats all.
Sure, violence is a part of budo training. Controlled violence, that is, that's why it's called "training". OTOH, if you ask me gratuitous violence doesn't have any place in the dojo.

Best,

Chris

Kevin Wilbanks
10-09-2002, 11:03 PM
Nagababa,

Speaking of mommy and daddy, how much did they pay for that computer you're using? Do they know you're staying up so late?

Erik
10-10-2002, 01:21 AM
If somebody attack you on the street and break your arm or leg, what will you do? Will you crying about abuse?Complain where?
I don't know about you but I'd find a law enforcement type and start there. They do have those in "the wild North" don't they, or, is that why it's "the wild North"?

peteswann
10-10-2002, 02:28 AM
no kidding :eek: you practice Budo or what? In Budo trusted instructor simply doesn't existe. We are doing techniques on the eadge life/death, as it is last technique in our life...and you are talking about a trust? What is it one light slap in the face in comparison to a hook or kick to the head? If somebody attack you on the street and break your arm or leg, what will you do? Will you crying about abuse?Complain where?
Hmmm, if you don't trust your instructor who do you trust in your dojo? DO YOU even do Aikido? Or are you training in another MA? Every single high ranking Aikido instructor I have met (4th-9th dan) on and off the mat has espoused the 'philosophy' of looking after your training partner so that you actually have a partner to train with the next time!!
Martial art must prepare for a worst situation in your life.
True, but not by duplicating it totally on tha mat. Abuse of the nature stated at the start of this thread has no place in a dojo today, most especially against someone who is just testing the waters - remember it was 3 days into his training? Time for you to live in the 21st century I think!! :eek:
One must be ready to face a live sword - we have plenty techniques to disarm attacker with a sword.....you think it is a joke? One small mistake and your arm or HEAD is cut off ;)

Yes I agree that you must be prepared for all things as much as you can be but that doesn't mean that during 'training', 'practice', or whatever you want to call it that you should have your arms or head actually cut off now does it? That would end your pursuit of perfection in your art real quick wouldn't it?
Still want complain about it to National Council of Security :D ROTFL

No, like someone else said, a Law Enforcement Agency is a much better place to start!!

If I am ever attacked in the street (god forbid) I would hope the least I could do is avoid serious injury and be able to go to the authorities over it. I am not interested in totally anihalating an attacker as in most countries especially the West that is one way of getting yourself into prison!
Michel, go to mammy and daddy, they will protect you against all those devil aikido instructors :p

Well now it seems that to keep your own inflated sense of masculinity you have to resort to insulting someone who has asked for advice in a situation they felt uncomfortable with!! I think that shows a lot about your own character doesn't it? What a great way of showing compassion to another human being who just wanted a bit of advice from people they thought should now at least some of the answers to the questions they had!! Hope you feel proud of your achievements in that respect!! :D
When one practice Budo, one must develop Budo spirit. Thats all.

Don't seem to recall on any of the forums I am a part of that anyone ever mentioned 'The Budo Spirit' including accepting obvious abuse and bullying just 3 days into your first foray? That attitude is quite antiquated even in Japan as far as I am aware? (Maybe Mr Goldsbury can help on that point seeing as he lives and teaches out that way!) Ah well, I know my words have fallen on deaf ears with NagaBaba in this respect but there you go!! Some people are set in their ways and no amount of reason is going to change them!!

My advice to the originator of this thread (apologies for not remembering your name!) is to find another dojo and test the waters again until you find one that you fit right into!!

Pete

justinm
10-10-2002, 06:25 AM
Someone (Sig?) suggested a slap is not abuse.

I feel a slap is more humiliating than a punch, in the dojo setting. It implies dominance, particularly when delivered by a male (a slap from a female, at least in the uk, has different overtones than from a male).

As for trust - this should be the number one priority in any aikido dojo. At least, I can't think of anything that should be more important....

Justin

Don_Modesto
10-10-2002, 09:46 AM
Then suddenly the teacher slapped me in my face....I was shocked. I still am. And to be honest I don't really know what to do about it!
What DID you do about it?

bob_stra
10-10-2002, 10:24 AM
and you are talking about a trust? What is it one light slap in the face in comparison to a hook or kick to the head? If somebody attack you on the street and break your arm or leg, what will you do? Will you crying about abuse?Complain where?
Tell you what, this being 17th

century feudal europe and all, let's take that logic to its natural conclusion.

Teacher slaps. Student gets pissed off, takes teacher down, mounts and pounds the snot of of him, then chokes him unconcious.

Hey, what's a little punch here and there and a small strangulation amongst friends? Why, you'd positively be doing the teacher a *favour* - god knows what could happen during real combat (tm).

Budo is great and all, but isn't inherent respect for all individuals a part of aikido?

(PS: Yeah, you were probably being sarcastic. I get it. This topic kind winds me up is all)

MichaelK78
10-10-2002, 10:57 AM
There are often good reasons for a slap, however I can't see hitting anyone who has yet to even understand what ukime might be.

Michael, is it possible that this instructor did not know that you were a beginner? Is your dojo so large that he might not know all the students and assumed you were an experienced visitor? Were you wearing a borrowed gi that was torn and tattered and might lead someone to assume you had been training for years? Are you otherwise athletic and strong, smooth and centered?

A slap can often protect an experienced student from continued bad habits if administered wisely and fairly. I do it often for those who otherwise won't protect themselves. In fact it is a joke in the dojo that a student hasn't really been accepted untill they get popped. But that's the point. For some it might take many years untill I would even consider tapping them. For others it happens the second or third time I need to remind them to protect themselves.
Yes, it's possible that the teacher thought i was more experienced; I practiced judo and jiu-jitsu for years, I have been working out at the gym for years -so I look a bit athletic-, i have been wearing my old judo suit and brown belt and the class is moderately big (about 30-35 students). In fact, this is what I think went wrong. He probably thought I was challenging him or something.

However, he could have seen i am a beginner. I even struggle with some of the simplest exercises and techniques. I can't even sit on my heels for more than 30 seconds. Besides, I wouldn't mind if he had given me an 'educational' slap (to bring up my guard or something-as you describe). But he was furious! He just lost control. And that I find unacceptable.

Edward
10-10-2002, 11:12 AM
i have been wearing my old judo suit and brown belt and the class is moderately big (about 30-35 students). In fact, this is what I think went wrong. He probably thought I was challenging him or something.

However, he could have seen i am a beginner. I even struggle with some of the simplest exercises and techniques. I can't even sit on my heels for more than 30 seconds.
Things are finally starting to make sense. Honestly if a teacher sees a brown belt with a well used gi acting like a beginner and trying to resist his technique while he was just trying to demonstrate it to a clueless beginner. That would be infuriating. I am not trying to excuse the slap but it seems to me justifiable under the particular circumstances.

Edward
10-10-2002, 11:21 AM
I would like to bring up something which I believe nobody has mentioned on this thread. Michael's age versus teacher's age. If the 78 in Michael's login name refers to his birth year, this means he's only 24. I imagine that if the teacher was anything above 40, a fatherly correction slap seems quite justifiable.

Rev_Sully
10-10-2002, 11:25 AM
Unfortunately, we spend most of our time in MA learning how to hit people that it becomes almost an instinct. Sometimes, for a fraction of a second, you loose control of yourself, and this is what happens.
I do not think we spend most of our time learning to hit people. We depend on the Uke/Nage relationship to train. One must strike, the other must defend. And the one who strikes must learn to fall and fall correctly which is just as important as any throw, grab or other technique.

Spending time in Kenpo, there we learned how to strike. Aikido is different. I've never experienced a Martial Art so rooted in defense.

Was not one of O-Sensei's goals was the futility of victory over another?

Was this sempai looking for "victory" over Michael? Hmmm...interesting. I think that ideas such as a slap in a dojo shouldn't be rationalized as in a Western-centric 21st century model. Sometimes the One does need motivation to pull head from tuckus. That motivation cames in many colors.

Stay with it Michael. And avoid that sempai if they make you uncomfortable. But part of achieving or being on the road to the true victory of self-mastery is getting over fear. Fear of being struck is a understandable fear but eventually it will become an obstacle on the road to MASAKATSU AGATSU.

DanielR
10-10-2002, 11:30 AM
he's only 24. I imagine that if the teacher was anything above 40, a fatherly correction slap seems quite justifiable.
... if the person being slapped considers this justifiable too. I don't think one can assume that, especially in a highly diverse society.

MattRice
10-10-2002, 11:31 AM
Yeah, I'd say the fact that you had a brown belt on changes things: I was under the impression this was your 3rd MA class ever. Slapping a student under the circumstances you describe still doesn't sound right to me, but given that you were displaying a certain rank I am more apt to understand the teacher's actions. Still, I think the teacher's intent is important to consider. You have to be honest with yourself: was he showing you an opening or trying to humiliate you? Again, you have to talk with him. OR blow it off and keep training...

bob_stra
10-10-2002, 11:37 AM
i have been wearing my old judo suit and brown belt
Why did you wear a brown belt to class?

G DiPierro
10-10-2002, 11:41 AM
i have been wearing my old judo suit and brown beltIf you are a beginner, then why are you wearing a brown belt? This is a bad idea. You could a make an argument that he should have known by your actions that your belt is from another art, but it's not so clear cut, especially if this dojo wears colored belts for mudansha.But he was furious! He just lost control. And that I find unacceptable.If he thought you were brown belt level and just resisting him, then I can't fault him too much for getting upset. The fact that you were wearing a brown belt really changes things.Teacher slaps. Student gets pissed off, takes teacher down, mounts and pounds the snot of of him, then chokes him unconcious.If the teacher is worth his salt, he should be able to defend himself against his own student. If not, then it was his mistake to have slapped the wrong guy.Budo is great and all, but isn't inherent respect for all individuals a part of aikido?Judging by the contents of this thread, it seems that respect in Aikido is reserved only for those with whom one agrees.

Choku Tsuki
10-10-2002, 11:50 AM
...i have been wearing my old judo suit and brown belt and...he probably thought I was challenging him or something.
DUH! What were you thinking?

Yet. Being kyuless is no excuse for what your teacher did.

Go back, try to fit in a little better and give it another go.

--Chuck

bob_stra
10-10-2002, 12:00 PM
[QUOTE}="Judging by the contents of this thread, it seems that respect in Aikido is reserved only for those with whom one agrees.[/QUOTE]


We all bitch and moan, but at the end of the day, I think we all understand that "well, you know, it's an empty boat. People aren't their behavior". Sometimes, on particualr topics, we all have difficulty seperating the person from the action.

Still, to respect means hold with regard. How can anyone have regard for something that goes against one's moral fibre - ie: picking on the "little guy"?

It's not so much abt disrespecting the sensei, but rather the action.

MichaelK78
10-10-2002, 12:07 PM
Sorry... I meant to say orange belt.

Anyway, I should have mentioned that the custom in that dojo is not to wear any color until 1st dan. So from the fact I was wearing a colored belt alone he could have inferred I was a beginner. (On top of this, every other beginner there -about 2- wears a colored belt)

The reason for this is that I simply don't have any other belt. It was my 3rd lesson and didn't have the time to buy one yet. I also wasn't sure whether I would like aikido, so it would be a waste to buy one and then quit.

MichaelK78
10-10-2002, 12:14 PM
By the way... I was also training in the beginner sub-group.

And the fact I was wearing a colored doesn't change anything in any case. Isn't the essence of Aikido not to fall to rage and fury?? not to attack? And what is the guy thinking?? That I would challenge him?? an 'orange' belt against a 6th dan master?? What motive could I possibly have for that???

paw
10-10-2002, 12:22 PM
Michael,

I agree with you. The color of your belt and the condition of your gi shouldn't have made any difference in how you were treated. To my way of thinking, if it was a big deal to the instructor (or a "challenge" of some type), your instructor certainly could have said something before class formally began.

I encourage you again to contact Peter Goldsbury via private email. Peter can help you out a great deal.

Regards,

Paul

opherdonchin
10-10-2002, 12:45 PM
I always wear my white belt to a new dojo. I don't think of it as false humility. I think of it as real humility. When I'm new to a dojo, I have no idea what sorts of assumptions people may have about my knowledge or what sorts of unshared assumptions may lead them to misunderstand my behavior. My own (honest?) assessment of my own skills says that I'll be safer if I let them treat me with kid gloves. Maybe I get stuff explained to me a little more than I need to sometimes by people whom I seriously outrank, but that's definitely not the end of the world. Sometimes it's even thought provoking.

I've even noticed that some people (perhaps including me) see a random new person with colored belts on the mat as something of a challenge or an affront.

Of course, none of that justifies your teachers behavior, Mike. It sounds to me, like it has to others, that if the teacher 'crossed a line' for you then it seems to me there is little to be gained by going back.

NagaBaba
10-10-2002, 01:31 PM
Nagababa,

Speaking of mommy and daddy, how much did they pay for that computer you're using? Do they know you're staying up so late?
Hi Kevin,

I had 17 when I started working. Last 15 years I'm helping my family economicaly. I send them money and I built their house. :D

How about you and your family?

No, they don't know I'm staying up so late.:p

NagaBaba
10-10-2002, 01:41 PM
I don't know about you but I'd find a law enforcement type and start there. They do have those in "the wild North" don't they, or, is that why it's "the wild North"?
noh, they come always much too late. One must take care about himself.Cops are always bad choice, particularly when they learn you practice MA. Better disapear BEFORE they come.

opherdonchin
10-10-2002, 01:44 PM
Isn't the essence of Aikido not to fall to rage and fury?? not to attack? And what is the guy thinking?? That I would challenge him?? an 'orange' belt against a 6th dan master?? What motive could I possibly have for that???One of O'Sensei's gaijin students (name, anyone?) is quoted as saying that our spiritual (and physical) progress in AiKiDo should be judged not against an absolute standard but against the standard of what you would have been if you had not started AiKiDo. About himself, he said, he suspected that without AiKiDo he would probably have never achieved normal social behavior and would have been well on the way to being a psychopath. It's notoriously difficult to know whether someone 'deserves' their rank, especially when it comes to the social or spiritual aspects of the art. All you can really decide is whether you want to train with them.

NagaBaba
10-10-2002, 01:48 PM
I know plenty of koryu sword instructors who would never think of slapping their students in the face. They're pretty good at the sword stuff, though :).
heh every instructor has his own teaching system. Who knows which one in more efficient?

May be this was kind of selection, a test? may he doesn't need mentaly weak students?

I read on this forum there are instructors that not accept womens in his dojo. This is other kind of selection, isn't it?


Sure, violence is a part of budo training. Controlled violence, that is, that's why it's called "training". OTOH, if you ask me gratuitous violence doesn't have any place in the dojo.

Best,

Chris
Chris! little slap in the face - YOU consider it a VIOLENCE? :eek: :eek: :eek:

I'm shocked :freaky:

NagaBaba
10-10-2002, 02:01 PM
Yes, it's possible that the teacher thought i was more experienced; I practiced judo and jiu-jitsu for years, I have been working out at the gym for years -so I look a bit athletic-, i have been wearing my old judo suit and brown belt and the class is moderately big (about 30-35 students).
ohhh you practiced judo and jiu-jitsu for years and you want to complain ROTFL

Why didn't you choke him immediately?

Well...I felt from beginning that this instructor was right. He had to have a good reason to do that. And I think it was a challenge - yes it was challenge for sure.You wanted to test him - to check out efficiency of his technique, Be honest Michael?

It is nothing wrong, on contrary, I'd do the same if I was you. And for instructor it is very important to be able handle challenges with efficient aikido techniques.So instructor learns also.

Of course, a challenger must accept consequences - that states a Law of Martial Artists :cool:

NagaBaba
10-10-2002, 02:08 PM
By the way... I was also training in the beginner sub-group.

And the fact I was wearing a colored doesn't change anything in any case. Isn't the essence of Aikido not to fall to rage and fury?? not to attack? And what is the guy thinking?? That I would challenge him?? an 'orange' belt against a 6th dan master?? What motive could I possibly have for that???
heheh you though about small friendly challenge, as they have it daily in judo dojo, but aikido........oooooooooo!!!!!!!!! aikido dojo has NOT the same rules :D

In aikido you HELP instructor to do a technique, otherwise he can do nothing at all! ;) and he get nervous :)

Andy
10-10-2002, 02:08 PM
Well...I felt from beginning that this instructor was right.
You think an aikido instructor slapping his student in the face, hissing at him to "cooperate", and forcing the technique is right behavior? Sure sounds like the instructor was unable to handle the situation to me. Does your teacher slap you in the face, hiss at you to cooperate, and force the technique when you resist, Szczepan? Do you do that when people resist you?

And, if you think a slap in the face isn't violent, try slapping a small child in the face while her mother is watching. Better yet, do that to a cop.

Bronson
10-10-2002, 02:43 PM
And, if you think a slap in the face isn't violent,

In my previous martial life we used to break boards with slaps...it's a lot easier than you might think.

Also, NagaBaba might I ask where you train? I sometimes make it up into Canada and would be interested in knowing where you're located.

Thanks,

Bronson

Erik
10-10-2002, 03:08 PM
And, if you think a slap in the face isn't violent, try slapping a small child in the face while her mother is watching. Better yet, do that to a cop.
Andy, I've got a better idea. I'm gonna go to an Aikido dojo, put on a white belt and after about 3 classes I'm gonna slap the teacher, order him/her to cooperate and force them into a technique, assuming I can of course. I suppose since I'm a Californian and we are wussies, according to the fearsome one from the North, I should live to tell everyone about it. Besides, a teacher should have budo spirit and a little thing like a slap shouldn't even faze them.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

erikmenzel
10-10-2002, 04:09 PM
Hello,

Michael sent me a private message with the name of the teacher involved. Knowing who it was I have absolutely no reason to doubt Michael's story. I have met this teacher on several accounts and none of them had anything resembling the nice and pleasant ways we normally associate with aikido. During his lessons he tries to play a power game. I have seen him abuse, threathen and hurt people. He justifies this all as being within reigi. BTW my personal opinion of this teacher is that he is a major $%$#@%^% who has a bad influence on people. I found his aikido unimpressive. I visited seminars (at clubs from one of his federations)were everything was ok until he entered and the seminar turned ugly, agressive and abusive.

This teacher is one of the founding fathers of political aikido struggle in the Netherlands and also the founder of several federations (which all split up, died out or they threw him out). He has been involved in powerstruggles for so long that he cannot imagine anything else. If you are not with him you are against him and if you are not with him then you are of course absolutely wrong.

Peter Malecek
10-10-2002, 05:27 PM
Picture this...

Grand master Slap the well known Aikido sensei is walking in the park carrying his trusty jo (as you do). Out of the trees jumps an evil doer whose preferred targets are men in skirts who walk in parks carrying sticks. Before Slap can react the bad guy has him by the jo. Our hero decides then and there to do killer aikido jo technique number 67 (I'm sure you're all familiar with that one). But what's this .. it can't be ..,. try as he might Slap can't seem to get old 67 to work.

Later in the hospital, afer udergoing surgery to remove the jo, Slap (who is face down on the bed because the doctor says that sitting would just loosen the stitches) goes over the encounter (or the bits that he can remember).

After careful analysis our hero bottoms out the problem. To the untrained observer it would have appeared that our hero lost the fight because his techique sucked but our hero (being a great master an all) has identified the real problem, the bad guy just wasn't cooperating.

Just a thought.

Michael, if the facts are as you have presented them then you should find another teacher. If your present instructor dosen't have the technique to move you, a beginner (even if at the time you were wearing the dreaded orange belt of martial mastery), he has nothing to teach you. Afterall, Aikido techniques were not designed to 'work' only on people who cooperate.

Nice self control by the way !!!

Erik
10-10-2002, 05:42 PM
Picture this...
Dude, you got me to laugh.

NagaBaba
10-10-2002, 08:31 PM
You think an aikido instructor slapping his student in the face, hissing at him to "cooperate", and forcing the technique is right behavior?
Hi Andy,

For today we now only one part of history, and still new detailes come, so it is very difficult to make right jugement.

However, in this situation slapping could have signification of atemi, that's mean, a teacher wanted to show an opening in a position of uke, and by used teaching tool(slapping face) instead of other teaching tool(atemi or kick or head butt). So we may suppose that instructor was quite gently and uke was very lucky ;)

Mike Collins
10-10-2002, 09:43 PM
Szczepan,

You are a bad bad man. Even up there in the cold, ugly, rugged, lumberjack flannel shirt wearing north (insert song from Monty Python "Oh, I am a lumberjack and it's okay" here), they don't start smacking the new guys around during the third lesson.

But you do love to troll, don't ya?

Edward
10-10-2002, 10:14 PM
During his lessons he tries to play a power game. I have seen him abuse, threathen and hurt people. If you are not with him you are against him and if you are not with him then you are of course absolutely wrong.
Hehehe.... Sounds amazingly similar to one of our infamous instructors :)

Andy
10-10-2002, 10:33 PM
For today we now only one part of history, and still new detailes come, so it is very difficult to make right jugement.
Then in the same way, stop casting the same kind of judgement onto Michael.

peteswann
10-11-2002, 01:32 AM
Yes, it's possible that the teacher thought i was more experienced; I practiced judo and jiu-jitsu for years, I have been working out at the gym for years -so I look a bit athletic-, i have been wearing my old judo suit and brown belt and the class is moderately big (about 30-35 students). In fact, this is what I think went wrong. He probably thought I was challenging him or something.

However, he could have seen i am a beginner. I even struggle with some of the simplest exercises and techniques. I can't even sit on my heels for more than 30 seconds. Besides, I wouldn't mind if he had given me an 'educational' slap (to bring up my guard or something-as you describe). But he was furious! He just lost control. And that I find unacceptable.
Yes unnacceptable, but the fact that you turned up to his class wearing a gi and BROWN BELT for your third lesson might well have been a significant factor! As I have said before his behaviour was well out of order, however, don't you think it quite 'rude' to not go in a white belt? I kinda thought that was the accepted practice if you were visiting a different dojo? After all, your grades tend not to stand from art to art and association to association?:p

Pete

Dangus
10-11-2002, 02:39 AM
Perhaps he could not find his white belt. Perhpas he did not have it anymore. Perhaps he could not afford one. Perhaps he thought that it was not abnormal behavior. Berrating him for his choice of belts is petty. This teacher was extremely out of line, and I probably would have struck him for such an attack, but I suppose that's cause my kung-fu is much better than my Aikido LOL, both philisophically and physically. I've pretty much tamed any real temper, but it's still pretty hard to not strike when struck. It's just animal instinct.

MichaelK78
10-11-2002, 02:40 AM
Pete...

Read my last messages.

peteswann
10-11-2002, 02:43 AM
Michael, I responded there before I had read through all the other post that came after yours!! Apologies if it came across as judgmental!!

I still believe the instructor was way out of line!! My advice is to find another dojo!!

Pete

MichaelK78
10-11-2002, 02:59 AM
During his lessons he tries to play a power game. I have seen him abuse, threathen and hurt people. He justifies this all as being within reigi. BTW my personal opinion of this teacher is that he is a major $%$#@%^% who has a bad influence on people. I found his aikido unimpressive. I visited seminars (at clubs from one of his federations)were everything was ok until he entered and the seminar turned ugly, agressive and abusive.

...

He has been involved in powerstruggles for so long that he cannot imagine anything else. If you are not with him you are against him and if you are not with him then you are of course absolutely wrong.
Yeah... it's all starting to make sense to me now.

Actually, after the incident I noticed he was really paying attention to me. It's like he was searching for a reason to enter a power struggle again. For instance, if wasn't the first person to get up after he demonstrated a technique he would stare at me with psycho eyes. I thought it was just my imagination but I may have been right there.

MichaelK78
10-11-2002, 02:59 AM
Don't worry Pete. Apology accepted.

Ali B
10-11-2002, 03:29 AM
Hi ya,

Hard luck for getting slapped in the face. I would give the teacher another chance. If only for the fact that we are all human. Perhaps you made the mistake of turning up to the class in Gi and cloured belt, which as has been explined can be considered very bad form. He also made a mistake of losing his temper with a beginner.

Talk to him if you can. It will open up communication and help understanding between you both.

I was hit in the face with the end of a Jo by a 7th dan last summer. - Obviously my fault. - I should have moved faster and got out of the way. Some would say he should have had more control as, although I have been practing for 6 years I am ungraded and wear a white belt. Actually, I didn´t even feel it at the time but the round purple bruise on my lips was quite obvious later that evening. I learned a lot about my aikido that day...

Love and light

Ali

Edward
10-11-2002, 04:18 AM
Actually, after the incident I noticed he was really paying attention to me. It's like he was searching for a reason to enter a power struggle again. For instance, if wasn't the first person to get up after he demonstrated a technique he would stare at me with psycho eyes.
Having read Erik Knoops commentary and yours about this teacher, it seems to me that this type of neurotic personnality is quite a common product of aikido. We have one like that at our dojo and She is uncontrollable.

I myself have been suffering from exactly the same situation as yours for 2 years now. My advice is to look for a better dojo because your situation can only get worse. Unfortunately, I cannot afford this luxury myself because our head instructor is the highest ranking teacher in SE Asia, and I am willing to take the other instructor's s**t just to be able to practice there.

gasman
10-11-2002, 05:42 AM
often there are people in beginners class who have practiced other styles to varying levels. myself included. i was carrying the stiffness of taekwon do, fortunately i also carried the softness of tai chi. but i carried a pride, i thought i knew something. i wanted to show it too.

i quickly caught on to the softness and cooperation in performing techniques. our teacher made a good job in explaining and stressing these points. but not everybody understood.

hard stylists often made the mistake of using brute force in the techniques, thereby causing severe pain and even injury to the joints of other beginners. in such cases, my sensei would make a "hit". not necessarily a physical reaction, but he would sit us all down and yell at us (him/her) for several minutes.

this is done for the safety of others. this is done so that the hard stylists dont scare the other beginners to quit.

i want you to think about this. did you enter the dojo with pride? did you try and use judo principles?

what else could it be that you have done to make this instructor angry?

if you arrive at the tea house with a full cup, how can you drink from THEIR tea?

And NEVER EVER arrive at a new dojo with a grade belt from a different style. empty your cup.

(of course, I dont know this instructor and he could be a complete psycho for all i know.)

aiki_what
10-11-2002, 06:59 AM
The only issue should be the intent of the slap. IF it was a training scenario and the understanding was that anything goes...then the instructor is only guilty of failing to communicate properly....If the instructor slapped a student because he was frustrated...particularly a new student. Then he should be hung by the balls....After all isn't one of the basic tenets "Mastery of one's self".

opherdonchin
10-11-2002, 08:06 AM
The only issue should be the intent of the slap.I don't agree with this. A number of people in this thread feel that the central issue revolves around whether the teacher was behaving 'properly' and whether Michael was behaving 'properly.' I agree that those are interesting questions, but I think that they are not at the heart of the issue for Michael. If I put myself in his shoes (how big are your feet, Michael?) it seems to me that I would mostly be focused on whether I'm comfortable training somewhere. Even if the sensei's actions can justified from certain perspectives, and even if my own behavior can also be judged, judging is not necessarily the most important thing to do. Am I likely to feel comfortable in that dojo? Am I likely to find ways to forgive and respect the instructor? Would my time and energy be better spent elsewhere? The answers to these questions seem clear from Michael's posts.

MattRice
10-11-2002, 09:05 AM
In aikido you HELP instructor to do a technique, otherwise he can do nothing at all! ;) and he get nervous :)
I take issue with this statement;Do you mean to imply that if you aren't cooperative with the instructor that he can't do anything about it? Sorry but that's laughable. With the yudansha in my dojo, I can resist like a maniac and it gets me crushed, not slapped, not humiliated, I just get thrown harder or in a different manner than I expected. I have yet freeze out one of my teachers and have them "do nothing at all"

aiki_what
10-11-2002, 10:04 AM
"I don't agree with this. A number of people in this thread feel that the central issue revolves around whether the teacher was behaving 'properly' and whether Michael was behaving 'properly.'"

Actually Opher I think we do agree. The intent of that slap is probably a good indicator of that instructor (and i.e. that dojo).

Was the instructor having a bad day and it culminated in slapping a student out of frustration?...direct reflection on the instructor and dojo

Is the instructor naturally inclined towards brutish behavior and he slapped a student...direct reflection on the instructor and dojo

Is this sort of behavior tolerated by the dojo and head instructor as a form of"real budo training"....direct reflection on the instructor and dojo.

There is also the chance that this was indeed a truly random event. In which case it needs to be discussed by those involved to make sure this "random" event dos not happen again.

I will put the caveat on my opinions that we are only getting one side of the story.

aiki_what
10-11-2002, 10:10 AM
Mat says:

"With the yudansha in my dojo, I can resist like a maniac and it gets me crushed, not slapped, not humiliated, I just get thrown harder or in a different manner than I expected."

That's expected as part of the give and take of ukemi in aikido. But what if one of your instructors made you stand at attention and slapped you because you performed the technique poorly.

Or even more subtly.....forcing someone to take breakfalls their first day of class just to establish who is the instructor and who is the student? maybe not quite so overt but wrong nonetheless.

Jim23
10-11-2002, 10:19 AM
I assume that you're paying this nice person to teach you aikido.

You can analyse it to death, but personally I would have returned the favour immediately and given him a taste of his own medicine.

He sounds like a case of "wooden shoes, wooden head, wooden listen" to anyone anyway.

Jim23

Peter Goldsbury
10-11-2002, 05:13 PM
Yeah... it's all starting to make sense to me now.

Actually, after the incident I noticed he was really paying attention to me. It's like he was searching for a reason to enter a power struggle again. For instance, if wasn't the first person to get up after he demonstrated a technique he would stare at me with psycho eyes. I thought it was just my imagination but I may have been right there.
Hello Michael,

I see that you sent me a private message, but for some mysterious reason (to do with my web browser) I cannot send you a reply of adequate length. If you send me your e-mail address privately (my addresses are: pag@mocha.ocn.ne.jp; pagolds@hiroshima-u.ac.jp), I will be happy to correspond further.

By the way, I have been involved with aikido in Holland for many years and, like Erik Knoops, I know the situation quite well. Like he says, there is too much unwelcome 'politics', and also too much intolerance of different ways of thinking. Since I am not Dutch, I see aikido in the Netherlands as an involved 'outsider', so my view might be a little different from Erik's.

Best regards,

Peter A Goldsbury

juderegan
10-11-2002, 06:43 PM
Hi All,

First thing I MUST say is that I know

nothing about Aikido. I'm going to my first

class in 4 days. The reason I'm writting

is that I read all the comments and I'm

very impressed with the number of replies

in such a short time and most of them were

what I wanted to hear. I didn't like the

really argo comments from some people.

Having been a very bad boxer for a number

of years I'm very used of getting a few

black eyes, but NEVER have I got one with

a bad attitutde. I don't mind physical

beating but I will NEVER tolirate (I can't

spell) mental abuse. I think Michael was

very brave stating his situation, and by

the way you all replied, you agree.

I'm looking forward to my first Aikido

class on Tuedsay and I expect a few slaps,

but if I get verbal/mental abuse it will

be my first and last course, boxing is

better, and I already know that that can't

be true. So if I was in Michael's shoes

I would look the trainer in the eye and

ask why it happened and if I was happy

with the answer I would stay otherwise

I would leave. I read answers from

experienced users who said that you must

expect a few slaps, which is exactly what I

do. It's all about how they make you feel.

If they make you feel like your learning

etc... put up or shut up, but if it makes

you feel like our being unfairly treated

get out of there. AGAIN I know nothing

about Aikido. It's just the way I feel.

Either way, the way you all replied makes

me feel like I can get something special

out of Aikido, which is the real reason

I'm going to start it.

A note to all the really argo people who

posted, why are you doing Aikido?

Kevin Wilbanks
10-11-2002, 07:18 PM
Main Entry: Ar·go

Pronunciation: 'är-(")gO

Function: noun

Etymology: Latin (genitive Argus), from Greek ArgO

: a large constellation in the southern hemisphere lying principally between Canis Major and the Southern Cross



I think I trained with a fellow from a planet orbiting a star we call Hentari 361, in the Argo constellation once. He said he liked Aikido because on his world, the grabbing of each other's wrists was how they had sex...

akiy
10-11-2002, 10:23 PM
Heh -- reminds me of the "Barbarella" method of teaching shihonage.

By the way, there's no need to add a carriage return at the end of every single line, folks. It's much, much easier to read it you just keep typing. Most modern browsers will handle the text areas and add "virtual" carriage returns as you type so the text area won't scroll horizontally. For example, I'm about to end this paragraph with two hard carriage returns without having added such for the rest of this paragraph...

-- Jun

Bruce Baker
10-14-2002, 12:34 PM
Now, now ... don't mess with the fantasy of Barberella. If you get me started thinking about that I be in trouble with my wife for sure for having a stupid grin.

As for the slap, well indeed it would appear to be a wake up call to stop thinking so much and loosen up! I have seen people quit for having words with the teacher, and think they were being picked on, but to have a stumbling clod being dragged around in techniques posing as higher belt than beginner, well...

Some people are really high strung, maybe you both have simular trigger points, but as the stumbling practitioner you missed the point of the exercise? Then again, maybe not.

In either case, aren't you supposed to always protect yourself? Didn't you forget that in allowingt a slap to happen?

Silly me.

Strike me once shame on you.

Strike me twice shame on me.

Funny thing about choice ... you have to make them for yourself sometimes.

Decide you want to go somewhere else, stay, or quit. If you stay, take a look at yourself and see where you need to change to be a better student ... and protect yourself too?

Rev_Sully
10-14-2002, 12:53 PM
Is the underlying theme going on here that martial punishment/correction is culturally unacceptable even in a martial art and learning a martial art?

Or is this kind of action one should expect and assume upon entering dojo and learning from a stern sensei/sempai?

How would I react if the sensei/sempai were to strike me? Hmnmm...I must say it would depend on the circumstances. His/her mood & level of tolerance of beginners or could I have been out of line in some regards bordering on disrespect and unaware of it?

If he was put off by the coloured belt then he had no right to smack you in anger. But he had every right to inform you of the proper dogi for the individual dojo in an appropriate place/time.

If he truly was trying to be corrective, it's hard to rationalize pro/con of any circumstance in this nature. It seems of a recent phenomenom (sp) of distain for martial punishment.

I'm not for martial punishment in everyday life but I do know those are the risks in certain areas of life...especially education. Where and when is martial punishment condoned? Only really in an formal educational arrangement and role. I wouldn't accept a current definition to include employer/employee role or spousal. But I know that is a risk I take coming into dojo. But I am aware of this and my awareness can only guide my choice.

I hate being hit but I assume it will and can happen on any level. Whether it's sempai correcting me or if I misread my uke and get clobbered. Anyone ever see that happen, huh?

Even I have grabbed my beloved cat by the scruff of his neck and rubbed his nose in matter he should not have left in the incorrect place. And I felt awful at the time and still a little now too but he hasn't done it since either. Does that justify my action still?

Rev_Sully
10-14-2002, 12:56 PM
I assume that you're paying this nice person to teach you aikido.

You can analyse it to death, but personally I would have returned the favour immediately and given him a taste of his own medicine.
INDEED!!!

But also in that you probably would find out just how good your ukemi is.

;)

aikigreg
10-15-2002, 10:36 AM
My sensei punched me in the mouth during randori the other night. I just smiled through the fat lip and kept going.

If my sensei had slapped me outside of paired practice and yelled "you will cooperate" I'd have had a decidedly un-aiki response to him, his car, and his HOUSE if necessary.

I think you missed that point, Bruce. Not to mention that a beginner wouldn't know enough about aiki to protect himself at all times.

Bruce Baker
10-20-2002, 09:28 AM
I don't think so, Mr. Greg Gross.

The first thing you learn in sparring ... protect yourself at all times.

Not all teachers stress this belittled fact in aikido, but like many hints, it is said and demonstrated in nearly every type of martial art, and applies to all training in all martial arts.

Obviously, the poor victim wore a colored belt, and although my style does not have this, some styles expect a certain level of competency in students who display this type of ranking.

Did the teacher do the right thing in waking up this student, maybe not legally, or morally, but in the wide world of my experience, that student needed something to shake his world?

There are other means of stricker training than we use in the western world, and maybe this teacher had not the temperment, the experience, and the age to become the gentle mellow teachers we are used to.

Well, welcome to your worst nightmare. Being the brunt of a teachers rage.

How would you have handled someone like this, and what should you think this insane teacher was trying to do?

I never said the teacher was right, did I?

On the other hand, if I had been in the room, aware of the circumstances, myself and others would have stepped in and diffused the situation, or at least moderated the tension between teacher and student.

By the way, where were the other educated people who profess to doing the right thing?

Were they all cowering from the wrath?

Not very aiki. But then not everyone will do what they say they will do when they write here in the forums, or complain.

Sorry the guy got the insanity treatment, but maybe he needs to awaken, protect himself, and realize we start anew ... even if we keep what we have learned in our back pocket.

Ron Tisdale
10-22-2002, 11:47 AM
Hi all,

Eric asked if it is ever correct to use "martial punishment". I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that term, but here goes my two cents:

When I was training in Kenya in Shotokan karate, I made the mistake of allowing my attention to wander while training with the second highest instructor there. Got me a swift (and very powerfull) chudan tsuki. I considered dropping to my knees, but decided that probably wouldn't be a good idea. I'd already messed up once, and I knew it. :)

It never occured to me that what happened was abuse, and I never considered leaving the dojo because if it. I figured he did me a favor...he could have broke a rib if he'd wanted.

The story described at the beginning of this thread though, sounds completely different to me. I don't think I would train under a teacher who loses his temper in that way while instructing...especially not with beginners.

Ron (belt smelt, a *good* instructor knows your background almost the moment you walk in the door) Tisdale

pointy
10-22-2002, 10:49 PM
a *good* instructor knows your background almost the moment you walk in the door
exactly. i can tell (more or less) how long a person's been at it about 2 seconds after they touch my wrists, strike, etc. maybe it's a little trickier with a jo but i wouldnt have slapped a guy for being clueless! everyone is clueless at some point.

maybe the slap was more of an "offering" of a slap that he never thought would connect?

DrGazebo
11-06-2002, 07:05 AM
During my third class in karate, I was knocked down by Sensai, because I was standing very high and he wanted to show I had no balance. I had also shown up intermittantly over the first month or so, wearing a cool Japanese headband with my gi sleeves rolled up. I thought I was something else.

In one microsecond, my attitude was kicked out of me. It also showed me that if I was going to train, it would be on Sensai's terms and not mine.

I have a charismatic personality, I make friends and bullshit easily. Here was one place where my bullshit would do nothing for me, it was going to be about training and nothing else.

The same instructor recently (15 years later) got very tough on an aikido student (he is now an Aikido teacher only), and sent him home with a split lip and lots of bruises (this was a senior student from another club). The student went to his Sensai to complain about the harsh treatment. I looked at that student and thought "you woose". Go play table tennis if you don't want the real thing.

You gotta weigh the slap against the talent. If you can really learn at this dojo, just take it like a man. If the instruction is crappy and they whack you around, time to go.

Good luck.

peteswann
11-06-2002, 07:20 AM
The same instructor recently (15 years later) got very tough on an aikido student (he is now an Aikido teacher only), and sent him home with a split lip and lots of bruises (this was a senior student from another club). The student went to his Sensai to complain about the harsh treatment. I looked at that student and thought "you woose". Go play table tennis if you don't want the real thing.
If the chap from the other club was being an arse then fair enough (I'm guessing the split lip was not totally unnecessary!!), he should have been more respectful in your teachers dojo!!

Pete

Ta Kung
11-06-2002, 07:25 AM
I'd leave right away, not even waiting for the class to finish. Nothing gives a teacher the right to slap someone for "not cooperating", especially when the guy's a nwebie and didn't know what he did wrong. If he'd screwed around on purpose, the sensei could raise his voice, but not strike him. Anyone who have different thoughts hopefully never have kids.

/Patrik

Cyrijl
11-06-2002, 09:39 AM
I've read the original post and quite a few after it. This is the very reason why i quit aikido. Everytime i had a question or problem everyone wanted to finagle the situation so that it was my fault.

This is not a real budo...I am sorry, but it is not. that is not to say that it does not work, or to degrade the art. Aikido i loved, the faux culture i did not.

I say this as someone who had great teachers and sensei, but as someone who realized pretty quickly that aikido fosters and elitest attitude somewhat hostile to outsiders...For someone's third class a slap is not appropriate. Had this person hit somone forcefully, had locked or damaged someone's arm intentionally, a strike is appropriate, but for not understanding...????It is hard to make the case...This was my problem. If i did not understand, people had no patience and never explained (on or off the mat). And when i came here, everyone tried to tell me it was my fault...sorry, don't think so...

jzf

Fiona D
11-06-2002, 10:12 AM
2 things occur to me on this subject, after reading the initial post and the wide variety of replies. First, surely an experienced instructor should be able to tell the difference between someone stiffening up because they are unsure of what they're supposed to be doing and someone stiffening up because they're being an awkward b*****d and want to show up the instructor? There's a pretty significant difference in the body language there. Doesn't matter what grade the person concerned is - everyone can have times where they're unsure, whether they're raw beginners or someone who's been training for years.

In the former case (i.e. the unsure person), the slap and telling-off is completely inappropriate. In the latter case, it's also completely counter-productive. If someone is being deliberately awkward, they're probably playing some kind of power game and will feel that they've won if all the instructor can do is slap them and tell them off (rather than, for example, putting them down decisively in a clean throw/lock).

Kensai
11-06-2002, 02:30 PM
Cyrijl, I am sadded and sicked by the treatment that you and some other people here have resieved. This is not budo this is cowardess. Dont give up on Aikido, find yourself a good dojo. I know that my Sensei would never strike me, she would kill me if she did. But aside from that she is a great teacher. These "Sensei" and I use that term losely need to try beating students where I study, I am confident that my Sensei would Shiho-Nage them to Australia. Sickening.

Take Care.

Jeffrey A. Fong
11-06-2002, 05:26 PM
Such posturing in Aikido - or any other endeavor, for that matter - is shameful. While conflicts of ego are inevitable, it is unnecessary to allow training to become so unharmonious. After all, the goal of Aikido is not to "teach one a lesson" or cement one's moral, educational or martial superiority. A martial way is not to be confused with martial conflict between people who are so desperate for attention.

PeterR
11-06-2002, 05:53 PM
I am a little bit amazed at the level of response. Sometimes the instructor has an attitude, sometimes it is necessary.

I've never had to use violence in the dojo to take care of an attitude but I can forsee the need arising.

I remember one young student of Shihan who got well and truely out of line as only a 20 year old can. He had been a member of the dojo for about 12 years and got in a word a little abusive not to mention very drunk. The morning after Shihan sat down called out the deshi and the offender as uke and for 15 minutes put the guy (hungover) through hell. There was a split lip and bruises and he went through ukemi that I would never manage.

Is this abuse or is the character training. We teach Budo - we don't coddle.

mike lee
11-07-2002, 03:07 AM
In one microsecond, my attitude was kicked out of me. It also showed me that if I was going to train, it would be on Sensai's terms and not mine.

Right on!

:do:

peteswann
11-07-2002, 03:13 AM
Ah, but Pete R, if you reread the first post

and subsequent posts by the originator it wasn't anything to do with an out of line student!! It was a 2nd or 3rd class for a beginner, getting slapped because the Sensei couldn't make some jo stuff work on him IIRC!!

Slightly different kettle of pickles methinks!! ;o)

Kat.C
11-07-2002, 07:20 AM
The problem is that we only heard his side of it which may not be completely accurate. As our experiences are colured by past experiences and by our indivdual perceptions it is entirely possible that he is mistaken about what the sensei said and did. Yes he was probably hit on the face, but how hard, was it just a tap, was the sensei doing it to get his attention?

Bruce Baker
11-07-2002, 07:45 AM
One last point of view to address.

Eventually, you must see the teacher as a human being with flaws, and you must learn to stand upon your own, or at least in terms of humanity, as your equal.

Once this happens, then your appreciation for their devotion to teach you Aikido will vastly improve as you will appreciate my comment "to always protect yourself."

Do you see teachers differently than your peers in class that help you with a technique, or is your vision one of human equality ... of a human being who is teaching you, out of the kindness of their heart, the lessons they have learned?

Eventually, you must measure the width and breadth of a person, and be prepared to do what you must to protect yourself, without dipping into the emotional well of turmoil, conscious or subconscious retaliation.

Part of growing up.

Part of learning the game of life.

Part of learning to protect yourself in learning a martial art.

PeterR
11-07-2002, 06:55 PM
Hi Pete S.

Yeah I reallized that but ended up responding to the general feel of subsequent responses that seemed to have also gone past the point of the post to a more general observation about Aikido dojos. Even in Japan many Budo dojos see themselves as a throwback to another time. That is part of the attraction and part of the price.

In direct response to the first post I would have got up and left - no question. Depending on the situation I might have even laced the guy.
Ah, but Pete R, if you reread the first post

and subsequent posts by the originator it wasn't anything to do with an out of line student!! It was a 2nd or 3rd class for a beginner, getting slapped because the Sensei couldn't make some jo stuff work on him IIRC!!

Slightly different kettle of pickles methinks!! ;o)

Seth Jackson
05-27-2003, 01:18 AM
Shameful.. not from an "aikido" pov but just from a humanity aspect. It is unfortuante that humans are humans and in any extensive grouping of humans you will find this type of character. One would hope that someone that far advanced would somehow aquire a little compassion. Seriously, for the people who are rationalizing this behaivor, would you smack around a newbie? Personally it sounds like hes got ego issues and you were making him look bad lol. Maybe daddy beat him with a rake as a child..who knows. Guess you know where that little kid that liked to throw frogs into the ant piles wound up. I would walk away with a big grin on my face laughing all the way to the next dojo in the yellow pages. Its a good lesson you learned in human behaivor tho. Now you are armed with a greater understanding of what you *dont* want in an instructor. Watch for this interaction. Every day life teaches you something, even if you dont notice it right away ;)

--peace& kindness

deepsoup
05-27-2003, 06:23 AM
It is unfortuante that humans are humans and in any extensive grouping of humans you will find this type of character.
Yep, sometimes you have to remember we're basically just monkeys who got lucky! :D

Sean

x

Grappler
05-27-2003, 09:04 AM
Next time he humiliates you, jab him in the jaw, charge forward, grab his legs, lift him up and slam the shit out of him. Then gain side control and choke him until he begs you to stop. If you are proficient in judo as you say you are, you should have no problem with the above. And dont be intimidated if he is bigger, the fatter they are the harder they fall :D And dont be intimidated by his belt color, the belt only covers 2 inches of his ass, the rest is up to you :)

Of course you could just walk away and find another dojo, but then the asshole will keep behaving like an asshole with other newbies and thats not a good thing :grr:

Seriously, that humiliation shit just shouldnt be tolerated. Roughing up a newbie in sparring to show him what fighting is about, thats one thing. Public humiliation for no reason is a completely different story. Zero tolerance for that crap. Treat training partners with respect or leave in an ambulance :grr:

Jesse Lee
05-27-2003, 11:13 AM
I know a very senior aikidoka that trained as a yudansha with Chiba. He told a story of one occasion where Chiba thought this person's attack was too noncommittal. Chiba slapped this person once really hard across the face and screamed at him/her to come at him with everything.

This person tried hard to hospitalize Chiba with the next strike. Chiba absorbed it, and the whole thing flowed so effortlessly and beautifully, to hear this person tell it.

The reason I remember that story is, this person said that Chiba, while probably crazy, definitely saved him/her ten years of training. The flow of the next technique, after that brutal slap, revealed the next plateau on the path to mastery.

So here we have one example where the student did not get all wrapped up in his/her bruised ego and in cross-cultural pedagogical philosophies. S/he did not respond by trying to beat his ass. S/he did not bother gathering consensus that the action was wrong, and s/he did not submit complaints or file a lawsuit. Instead s/he took the outrageous act as a gift and somehow leaped way ahead in aikido proficiency.

I'm not saying this is what I would do or what you should do -- I am just saying there is a wide spectrum of responses, and on one extreme end of that spectrum, you could choose to just let it go and learn from the experience to improve your own game.

Don_Modesto
05-27-2003, 11:57 AM
Chiba. He told a story of one occasion where Chiba thought this person's attack was too noncommittal. Chiba slapped this person once really hard across the face and screamed at him/her to come at him with everything....The reason I remember that story is, this person said that Chiba, while probably crazy, definitely saved him/her ten years of training.
What did Chiba accomplish with the slap that he couldn't have by simply demanding a better attack verbally?

I don't get it.

Jesse Lee
05-27-2003, 12:21 PM
Maybe it completely emptied this student's cup, so it could be completely filled again. The student put everything into that next attack, and so got everything the teacher could offer out of the waza.

But now I am speaking for someone else, and I am starting to defend Chiba, so I'll step off. Just sharing an interesting story for you to grok or discard, as you like :)

My point has nothing to do with whether this is a valid teaching method -- only that the student has a choice in how to deal with it, and that there might be something valuable to learn from the situation.

Jim Sorrentino
05-27-2003, 12:31 PM
I know a very senior aikidoka that trained as a yudansha with Chiba. He told a story of one occasion where Chiba thought this person's attack was too noncommittal. Chiba slapped this person once really hard across the face and screamed at him/her to come at him with everything.

This person tried hard to hospitalize Chiba with the next strike. Chiba absorbed it, and the whole thing flowed so effortlessly and beautifully, to hear this person tell it.

The reason I remember that story is, this person said that Chiba, while probably crazy, definitely saved him/her ten years of training. The flow of the next technique, after that brutal slap, revealed the next plateau on the path to mastery.
Well, that's one way to rationalize an act of humiliation by your instructor.

The proper responses for an instructor to a tentative attack by a student are either: 1) choose a new uke; or 2) show the student how to attack well. I prefer the second, since it fits well with the aikido approach of learning through demonstration, imitation, and repetition

I've never met Mr. Chiba, let alone taken a class from him, but I know two people whom he purposefully injured. Both are experienced yudansha, and neither of them "deserved it". An instructor who humiliates and purposely injures his or her students and visitors to his or her dojo is a menace and a disgrace to aikido and the martial arts.

I have trained in aikido as a student of Saotome-sensei since 1984, and I have never seen him either humiliate or intentionally injure another aikidoka, whether that person was a student of his or not. On the contrary, Saotome-sensei has suspended people from teaching or training (or both) when those people have injured or "merely" intimidated junior students.

Based on my observations, this is true for other martial arts as well. I also studied Uechi-ryu karatedo in a dojo setting from 1977 to 1989. I spent three months in Okinawa in 1981 studying at Kanei Uechi-sensei's dojo and a smaller dojo run by one of his senior students, Mr. Nakamatsu. The training was hard in every sense of the word. But the only time I ever saw an intentional injury occur, it involved an arrogant American visitor who let it be known that he had come to Uechi-sensei's dojo to test for ni-dan, and to find out how tough the Okinawans were.

He found out. As part of his ni-dan test, this person had to spar with a much-lower-ranking Okinawan student who just happened to be a gymnast and a boxer. The testing board awarded the American his ni-dan after the Okinawan student beat the crap out of him. All of us in the dojo felt sorry for him, but we agreed that he "earned" it.

Strangely enough, I met him back in the US several years later, and he was just as arrogant as ever.

Humiliation and brutality are notoriously unreliable teaching tools, especially in an arena as full of insecurities as a dojo.

opherdonchin
05-27-2003, 12:37 PM
My reading of Jesse's post is different. I did not think she was trying to rationalize or excuse Chiba's action. Rather, it was the uke's choice -- given Chiba's action -- that interested her. As she said, there are a lot of possible choices, each with positive and negative consequences. She was just noticing that this particular choice is possible and that someone felt it had positive consequences for them.

Sorry if I'm putting words in someone's mouth.

paw
05-27-2003, 01:03 PM
Opher,

What did Chiba accomplish with the slap that he couldn't have by simply demanding a better attack verbally?

Don's question still stands. There were a number of ways to get the point across. The fact that uke interpreted it differently means little to me. From studies, many abused spouses feel that they are abused for their own shortcomings, and later rationalize how being abused is beneficial to them.

I'm not suggesting that was the case in this story about Chiba. But I do think Don's question should not be quickly dismissed.

Regards,

Paul

opherdonchin
05-27-2003, 01:12 PM
I think it's an excellent question and one that deserves to be answered. I do not mean to dismiss it at all.

On the other hand, in the way that it was presented, it dismissed the point of Jesse's post (as I read it): what did the uke accomplish by their choice? I felt that this point, also, should not be dismissed quickly. As you suggest, accepting abuse is often very unhealthy. The story suggests, but doesn't insist, that it could occasionally be healthy. I think that the important thing is that we have a choice.

In fact, there is another important thing. Chiba had a choice and uke had a choice. The second important thing is that uke can't make Chiba's choice. For uke, the question of 'should Chiba have slapped me' is only of theoretical or philosophical interest.

I am both a teacher and a student. As a teacher, the question, 'should I slap and humiliate my students' is an easy question. The question, 'how should I respond when I feel my teacher has humiliated me' is much harder. I found Jesse's story interesting in that light.

I'd like to point out, by the way, that the uke in Jesse's story did not intend to submit to the abuse. Instead, they intended to 'hospitalize' Chiba. The learning came after.

Ron Tisdale
05-27-2003, 02:12 PM
I'd like to point out, by the way, that the uke in Jesse's story did not intend to submit to the abuse. Instead, they intended to 'hospitalize' Chiba. The learning came after.
Good point Opher...

Don, I have a post earlier in the thread about an experience in a shotokan karate dojo. Scan back and read it if you can...Do you think that instructor was abusive? I didn't then, and I don't now. I can't speak to the situation with Chiba...wasn't there. But man, have I heard stories...

Ron

Alan Drysdale
05-27-2003, 02:34 PM
Don asked: "What did Chiba accomplish with the slap that he couldn't have by simply demanding a better attack verbally?"

Hi Don: Not something I could see myself doing, but maybe Chiba wanted a visceral response instead of a mental one.

Alan

Alfonso
05-27-2003, 02:53 PM
Was the person who got slapped a novice , in their third class?

I think there's a difference.

Darren Raleigh
05-27-2003, 03:23 PM
...In a dojo instructor is the highest authority, and there is not such thing as "complaining to national organisation"...Not actually true. In Iowa, for example, the laws of the State of Iowa do not cease at the door of the dojo - your instructor does not acquire rights to commit battery upon you that other citizens do not have. You would find that the Attorney General for the State of Iowa would agree with this, as would any Aikido Federation that you care to ask.

You might ask your local legal authorites for the Province of Quebec and see if they are okay with the idea that battery is OK in the dojo.

We train for the real world, and in the real world the 21st century is in the dojo as well as outside. To insist upon "old budo" standards is to wander into fantasy - and fantasy is dangerous!

Any instructor who cannot train as well without committing battery upon his or her students needs additional training.

An instructor can tell me "I can't train students without slapping them around" but I'll only hear the first four words.

Alan Drysdale
05-28-2003, 07:14 AM
Darren said:

"In Iowa, for example, the laws of the State of Iowa do not cease at the door of the dojo - your instructor does not acquire rights to commit battery upon you that other citizens do not have."

In the context of slapping a student, you might be correct. In the more general context, I would think (any lawyers out there?) that there are some differences. I could see that walking up to somebody in the street and grabbing or punching at them could get you in a lot of legal trouble, yet we do it all the time in the dojo.

Alan

Don_Modesto
05-28-2003, 01:54 PM
Not something I could see myself doing, but maybe Chiba wanted a visceral response instead of a mental one.
Ikeda and the guy he trained with in Japan, Kuwamori, used to beat the expletives out of me. But they never once acted in anger or spoke in a demeaning manner. I see your point, but I just smell to much guru rationalization on this one.

Don_Modesto
05-28-2003, 01:57 PM
Don, I have a post earlier in the thread about an experience in a shotokan karate dojo. Scan back and read it if you can...Do you think that instructor was abusive? I didn't then, and I don't now.
You gave a pretty bare-bones rendering of the incident. Absent anger or intention to humiliate (read: tone of voice), I agree, it was training, not abuse.

Ron Tisdale
05-28-2003, 02:08 PM
:) It was a pretty bare bones kind of event...my attention wandered, he smacked the crap out of me. I'll say this, I no longer let my attention wander when he was on the floor. I watched him like a hawk!

RT

Don_Modesto
05-28-2003, 02:24 PM
:) It was a pretty bare bones kind of event...my attention wandered, he smacked the crap out of me.
Just between you and me and all these discrete folks here online, I do that with one of my students who tends to wander, too. I've never put him on all fours, though, perhaps explaining why I've needed to do it more than once?

Ron Tisdale
05-28-2003, 02:40 PM
Oh, I **wanted** to go to all fours...but I didn't dare. I'd already screwed up once, and I knew it. I was afraid he'd stomp the crap back into me if I went down...

RT

Don_Modesto
05-28-2003, 02:59 PM
I was afraid he'd stomp the crap back into me
!!!

Chuck Clark
05-28-2003, 06:39 PM
Hi Don,

I was sitting in a classroom once in Marine Corps boot camp. It was raining outside, cold, and we were exhausted...inside it was warm, music was playing softly and the lecture was dull. I fell asleep. The next thing I knew I was laying in the aisle where I had landed after one of the D.I.s had knocked me out of my chair. I never fell asleep again. I sat on sharp rocks in Nam when on an ambush and had to stay awake, etc.

It was a good lesson. I got a dislocated elbow in 1966 at the Keisicho (Police dojo) in Tokyo from a friend because I kept doing something that could be countered easily with a juji gatame and didn't seem to think it could happen. The guy is still my friend.

I have left "memory knots" on Marines and also budo students that needed them. When judiciously done without anger, malicious intent, or "for kicks" a good thump can be just the right effect.

Best regards,

PeterR
05-28-2003, 09:02 PM
You know Chuck - you really should write a book.
Hi Don,

I was sitting in a classroom once in Marine Corps boot camp. It was raining outside, cold, and we were exhausted...inside it was warm, music was playing softly and the lecture was dull. I fell asleep. The next thing I knew I was laying in the aisle where I had landed after one of the D.I.s had knocked me out of my chair. I never fell asleep again. I sat on sharp rocks in Nam when on an ambush and had to stay awake, etc.

It was a good lesson. I got a dislocated elbow in 1966 at the Keisicho (Police dojo) in Tokyo from a friend because I kept doing something that could be countered easily with a juji gatame and didn't seem to think it could happen. The guy is still my friend.

I have left "memory knots" on Marines and also budo students that needed them. When judiciously done without anger, malicious intent, or "for kicks" a good thump can be just the right effect.

Best regards,

Don_Modesto
05-29-2003, 05:12 PM
When judiciously done without anger, malicious intent, or "for kicks" a good thump can be just the right effect.
Yup. I don't think it's germaine to the Chiba incident, but I agree.

Chuck Clark
05-30-2003, 09:20 AM
Don,

As Peter mentioned above, I was responding not only to the Chiba incident but to the general responses of many posts on this subject.

I don't care for Chiba's behavior in many ways. I think he is capable of letting an "energy storm" erupt and affect a student in ways that can be positive. However, he also goes around the bend at times and can be destructive, in my opinion.

I got whacked by a Zen teacher many years ago and it really touched emotional triggers but did not even cause me to see stars, etc. It was exactly the right thing for me to experience at the time. The use of this sort of teaching tool for positive effects is a difficult and touchy thing to be sure.

Dennis Hooker
05-30-2003, 10:34 AM
This slapping is a queer (strange) thing in my experience. I have endured punches and kicks with much less emotion than a slap has aroused. I don't know weather it is principally emotional, or if it is a physical reaction born out of negative stimulation of the bodies largest organ. I know it has in me caused a quick reactionary response one unplanned and wholly spontaneous. Several years ago I had to undergo a spinal tap. The first needle broke and the second stuck in bone. By the third I was white and nearly out. The neurologist seeing my face quickly slapped me. Rather hard as I remember. The next thing I know people were pulling at my arm as my hand was closed around his windpipe and he was pined to the table turning blue. I was horrified when I came around. It was like looking at another person's hand. I have never been slapped again and would rather be punched. I know as a child I would much rather have an adult use their fist and feet rather than an open hand. The hard slap seemed to hurt much worse and last longer. I would never slap a student. I have hit them and kicked them in the course of training and they had done the same to me, But we do not slap.

Ron Tisdale
05-30-2003, 11:11 AM
I agree Hooker Sensei. My reaction would have been totally different if my shotokan instructor had slapped me. I still would have gotten my butt kicked, but I would have had a different reaction. There is something somehow demeaning in a slap. As if you weren't worthy of a serious attack.

Ron Tisdale

Chuck Clark
05-30-2003, 12:44 PM
Now that you mention it, none of the stuff I'm reminded of in my own history has been a slap "slap". An open hand strike with the palm (shotei) is not a "slap" in my mind.

I suspect that I wouldn't respond well to a slap either, Dennis.

Ron Tisdale
05-30-2003, 01:54 PM
I suspect that I wouldn't respond well to a slap either, Dennis.
Ok, is it just me, or is that definately up for "Understatement of the Year" award???

RT (just kidding guys, please don't take it out on me at the expo....) :)

Usagi Yojimbo
05-30-2003, 08:20 PM
Most reactions to something like this are largely situational. Although it was wrong on your teachers part in some ways, it should not be considered a major offence in my mind. It was only a slap, and unless this happens on an incredibly regular basis or worse occures, you might want to simply let it slide this time. If you make a big deal out of something like this, you could end up destroying the league by other people misconstruing actions and thoughts. Ticks me off when things like that happen. Kepp your eyes open, and not just in a negative sense.

otto
05-30-2003, 08:59 PM
Could it be that the hardest lessons to learn , are the ones about humility..?

Plus KI!

Usagi Yojimbo
05-30-2003, 09:33 PM
Hmm, upon further review of this thread, I am both envious and and gratefull. I know I have it extra good, my sensei is a very skilled Aikidoist (sp?) whom I greatly respect, as well as an understanding and patient person. His assistant, and our class's senior student is also an incredibly skilled Aikidoist (is the spelling right? is that even a word?) whom I also respect, but teaches with the same ability, in a completely different style. He's patient as well, but his techniques are more forcefull and quicker, forcing a reaction out of you. I like to think my sensei emphasizes technique, while the assistant emphasizes speed and reaction, both of which I highly prize. Kudos to both of you Sensei Joel Molina and Assistant Instructor John Garcia. I am proud to be your student.

opherdonchin
05-30-2003, 09:43 PM
Aikidoist (is the spelling right? is that even a word?)People often use 'Aikidoka.'

PeterR
05-31-2003, 03:47 AM
People often use 'Aikidoka.'
I consider Aikidoist more correct than Aikidoka - we've been down this road before. :D

opherdonchin
05-31-2003, 08:37 AM
I missed that discussion. Can you remember where it was or briefly recap?

deepsoup
05-31-2003, 11:14 AM
I missed that discussion. Can you remember where it was or briefly recap?
Theres a thread here (www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=280) that pretty much sums it up.

HTH

Sean

x

Shelley
06-01-2003, 04:42 AM
I know I'm kinda new for giving out advises, but in the dojo I train in they MAKE SURE beginners don't end up training with other newbies. Especially for weapons where serious damages could be inflicted onto one from another.

Of course accidents happens. But as far as I know there are no Slapping Attacks (although a few kinda looks like it ^_^) in Aikido so I highly doubt if it's accidental.

Personally I think a senior CAN tell a 3-classes person from someone more experienced, and he shouldn't have slapped you, but could it be simply a misunderstood rubbed in wrong way? From what I've seen off other Netherlander's posts, this instructor centainly isn't the, um, safest to train with and I'll assume that's the case.

If there are other gyms, LEAVE. In fact, leave anyway. Don't risk yourself on putting up with someone like that, especially considering he has so much more power over you.

After all, aikido SHOULD be about respecting each other. It's not ballet where they tell you to become anorexic or you are not good enough. They should be TEACHING you to make you better, not humiliate and abuse you.