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Unregistered
12-11-2002, 01:39 PM
In our dojo, our sensei's spouse can be extremely meddlesome and disruptive relative to the dojo matters and the membership. Does anyone else have any similar experiences, and if so, were you able to resolve the situation?

Unregistered
12-11-2002, 02:58 PM
gee, all the time! first sensei's spouse was okay, but was not very nice to her husband in the dojo. they divorced.

second sensei's spouse was amazingly hostile and disruptive and caused lots of pain. they divorced.

now dojo is very quiet and calm and peaceful.

no resolutions happened other than divorce, which is not a good resolution to the situation.

wish you well!

Greg King
12-11-2002, 08:26 PM
It is best not to try to resolve the issue of another mans wife, focus on your training and the problem will not exist.

peace.

Unregistered
12-11-2002, 08:34 PM
also it's not a good situation when wife is the senior dan in the dojo

Unregistered
12-11-2002, 10:22 PM
"also it's not a good situation when wife is the senior dan in the dojo"

Really? We have this situation in my sensei's dojo and it doesn't seem to present any difficulties.

Bronson

Edward
12-12-2002, 12:53 AM
I have been to some dojos where teacher's wive was the second person in command in the dojo, and others where the wife, if she ever did aikido at all, was just an ordinary practitioner with no special privileges. I had tremendous respect for the latter and very little for the former.

Edward
12-12-2002, 01:32 AM
For some curious reason, in these dojos, the wives got their dan rankings at an astronomical speed, leaving many senior students discontent. Many organizations have been shattered this way.

Unregistered
12-12-2002, 02:34 AM
Is there or should there be a rule against testing one's own spouse, especially for a dan rank? Wasn't there a thread about this a while ago? My sensei's wife is very nice.

Unregistered
12-12-2002, 04:04 AM
I think the key issue is the "meddlesome" bit rather than the relationship with the sensei. If you approached the problems you have with the spouse with the same intent that you would with anyone else in the dojo, effectively disregarding the personal ties, then if she plays the spouse card this would give you the initiative (and provide you with a valid, demonstrable grievance). At the moment, you could still be accused of just incorrect perception over the relationships effect in the dojo - I said could, not saying you are.

Having said this, I know a lot of people find it hard to be objective about their loved ones, so I'd suggest excessive diplomacy to start with. However, if all else fails, find another dojo. Just glad I've never had to deal with this problem in my sensei, just in some "dojo couples".

Unregistered
12-12-2002, 09:32 AM
What exactly do you mean by "meddlesome" and "disruptive"? What exactly is she doing?

Unregistered
12-12-2002, 01:53 PM
She is now in a very senior position within the yudanshakai, and frequently insults and demeans other senior members of the dojo. In addition, she has actually made some of the leaders of other dojos in our organization so angry that they have dropped their affiliation with us.

rachmass
12-12-2002, 01:57 PM
Wow, that sounds quite serious. Has anyone of similar rank talked with her? Is she open to discussion? Does she realize that some dojos have dropped their affiliation with you due to her behavior? Is there a means in place (Advisory Council or the like) in which to bring this problem?

Unregistered
12-12-2002, 03:17 PM
Wow, that sounds quite serious. Has anyone of similar rank talked with her?
People have tried to no avail.
Is she open to discussion?
Evidently not.
Does she realize that some dojos have dropped their affiliation with you due to her behavior?
Yes, but in her mind, THEY were the ones who committed some major, unforgivable infraction.
Is there a means in place (Advisory Council or the like) in which to bring this problem?
Yes, but they are somewhat ineffectual, because she is now our only connection to the headquarters dojo which issues us our yudansha certificates.

Obviously, this is not a pretty situation.

rachmass
12-12-2002, 03:21 PM
I am sorry to hear that. I have no suggestions for you then, as my initial inclination was to head you in the direction of the advisory council.

When you say that she is now "our only connection to the headquarters dojo" does that mean that no one else can deal with them? Does anyone else in the dojo have a relationship within that dojo/headquaters?

Has anyone talked with the Sensei about this situation?

Unregistered
12-16-2002, 10:20 AM
Sensei is not available any longer.

rachmass
12-16-2002, 10:25 AM
what do you mean that "sensei is not available any longer"? Does that mean that your Sensei has moved away? refuses to talk to people? No longer Sensei?

Well, I wish I could help, even somewhat, but nothing I offer seems to be of much use. Perhaps Goldbury Sensei or one of the senior teachers who read and respond to these posts might be a good place to start to ask for advice. They are a very wise bunch of folks.

Best wishes on this.

Dan Hover
12-16-2002, 01:08 PM
I think I know exactly who and what you are talking about, and if your and definately my rank are the ones that way below what the situation is all about (which unless you outrank me by a lot) they are, my only advice to you is too keep training and not worry about politics is it should not interfere with your training, And it should not interfere with your relationship with your own instructor. I understand that these can be trying times, but what goes on behind the scenes in any Aikido organization is filler, worry about what goes on between you and your sensei on the mat, not off of it. And I know it is hard but try not to second guess everything everyone above us is trying to do. I struggle with this one as well. Also Anon if you would like to get with me offline to discuss this my email is always available.

rachmass
12-16-2002, 01:14 PM
Anon, has Sensei passed away?

Unregistered
12-16-2002, 02:35 PM
Yes

Unregistered
12-16-2002, 02:40 PM
I hope Anon isn't the name for the anonymous person posting the original thread - if it is, you just named a person that wished to remain nameless.

rachmass
12-16-2002, 02:41 PM
okay, I think I know the situation, and it is very difficult. If you want to write to me privately, you are most welcome, but I don't know if I can be of any help.

Hagen Seibert
12-16-2002, 04:06 PM
Hi there,

so your sensei passed away and his widow-spouse is left with to dojo business ?

Well, I could imagine, that this might be a task a bit above her abilities, having to deal with one´s own pain and struggling to keep up the dojo as he would have done.

Try Aiki!

I could imagine that a person in that situation needs some help, but would not accept it from other yudansha because of fear they might take the staff out of her hands.

(when it comes to matters of influence, money and power, even high ranking Aikido people seem to forget they ever heard about such weird things as harmony)

So maybe this leaves three possibilities:

a) think of Aiki and help

b) ignore and concentrate on your own training

c) leave

regards

Hagen

JO
12-16-2002, 08:14 PM
My sensei's wife is the second in command. She is the second highest ranking, because she has been training for nearly as long as the chief instructor. They are both ranked fifth dan and the other members of the dojo all consider them both as their sensei. Personnally I like having two high ranked senseis that work together, when one is teaching the other takes the class (if they are both present) and we get a chance to train directly with them.

PeterR
12-16-2002, 09:11 PM
Hi Jo;

You have a relatively unique situation there. These two people are good at what they do and seem to bring a slightly different perspective to Aikido. With my limited exposure to them - they compliment each other nicely and there is no competition between them. Please give them my regards.

I think the poster is talking about what happens when the sensei dies.

God forbid that should happen in your dojo but there would be no problem with regard to who is in charge.

Sensei's wife/husband will always have a special position in the dojo no matter the skill level. To expect an even handed approach in all cases is asking to much and the law of averages being what it is - there will be a situation where position is abused.

In the situation where sensei dies (and I also think I know the place but not the details) there is a much more complicated situation.

Is the surviving spouse

a) owner of the dojo

b) qualified to be chief instructor

If not how long do you suffer the inconvinence while the person grieves.

If it is the situation I am aware of - its been quite a while and decisions have to be made by the people effected. In fact they should have been made long ago.

In Japan problems of succession and control are quite serious because there is invariably a rearrangement of students/dojos. The source of many Koryu is due to this process and of course we know what happened when Ueshiba M. died. How seriousness can range to a minimal to the complete destruction of the organization and all its splinters. It all depends on the parties involved.
My sensei's wife is the second in command. She is the second highest ranking, because she has been training for nearly as long as the chief instructor. They are both ranked fifth dan and the other members of the dojo all consider them both as their sensei. Personnally I like having two high ranked senseis that work together, when one is teaching the other takes the class (if they are both present) and we get a chance to train directly with them.

JO
12-18-2002, 08:34 PM
Hi Peter, you're right the situation of the person who started the thread comes down to a problem of succession. Actually I think the situation with Ueshiba is a good example of how to do it well. The heirs (two of them in a row now) were chosen and given a lot of resposibility well before their fathers died, giving people a chance to get used to them and ensuring that everyone knew what was coming. Sure, there were some problems, but overall the Aikikai would not still be the largest international aikido organisation if things had been left as far up in the air as has happened in some groups.

It is exactly the same as what happens when someone dies without a will. The loving family starts aguing over how to handle the estate. In this particular case the question comes down to whether the wife is qualified and whether any of the original sensei's senior students can live with having her in charge. In the end some will probably stay, some will leave and do their own thing and some will reaffilliate with new instructors.

Personnally I don't think the fact that it is a wife really makes the situation that much different from if it was a son or a senior student. Succession is always complicated and best handled before the chief dies, in my opinion.

PS- Pierre retourne ton salut.

Anonymous
08-21-2003, 05:22 PM
<bump>

This issue is now at a boiling point, with the potential to split the dojo and possibly the association apart. Never thought it would come to this.

rachmass
08-22-2003, 05:05 AM
sorry to hear that. thought the lack of recent updates was only good news, not bad. hope that it works out, and doesn't get to the point of splitting your dojo or association apart. have you sought the advice of the senior members of this forum (namely Peter Goldsbury)? anyway, best wishes towards a speedy and sucessful resolution.

Unregistered
08-22-2003, 10:24 AM
hey noodles, is this you? who says its on the verge of splitting?

minasan wa oshaberi desu

Anonymous
08-22-2003, 12:30 PM
Who is noodles?

DGLinden
08-22-2003, 12:59 PM
In most martial arts a person has the ability to show his prowess by winning a trophy, a fight, an Olympic Medal, something. In Aikido we only seem to able to aspire to be a teacher or Dojocho to demonstrate power. Wonderful, more work.

Lord knows there can't be enough money in the entire Aikido world to make it worth all this turmoil.

Give this woman her due, her husbans is dead and I'm sure she is still mourning. If you can't, there are at least five or six organizations that respect and honor Hombu ranking - I'm sure they would welcome your affiliation. Of course, their Senseis are probably married as well.

My own lovely wife thinks of herself as the dojo 'Mother' and her only function is to make sure that all members are happy. Just don't get on her wrong side.

Janet Rosen
08-22-2003, 01:46 PM
I can think offhand of four or five dojos run by life partners, all of which are incredibly enriched by the dynamic/dojo culture created by them and by the way their teaching complements each other.

Janet Rosen
08-22-2003, 01:47 PM
I should temper the above post by noting that I've only visited these places, never been an ongoing member, so maybe its not all sweetness and light! :-) but they do seem quite functional and positive.

Unregistered
08-22-2003, 05:04 PM
I think no one doubts the possibility of life partners/spouses/etc. enriching a dojo atmosphere and maybe being extremely helpful in dojo operation. The problem to my mind is when that person feels that their personal relationship with the chief instructor, alive or deceased, alone entitles them to a position of dojo leadership or respect (rather than the training history, skill, teaching ability and charisma, and general leadership qualities which put his/her spouse in that position).

Adding to this confusion is the fact that, in the case of a deceased teacher, the spouse may very well have complete ownership of the dojo and its financial affairs...it is a business, after all. This may not be the case if the dojo is a not-for-profit entity, of course.

In our organization, our teacher was gone. The spouse never did Aikido, but took control of things. This was correct to a point, since it was a for-profit business, and I assume therefore owned by the family...so they are responsible for the finances and such, unless they appoint someone else to do it.

But then it seemed that the spouse began to like the position of authority, and confused control of the business affairs with instructional/political leadership of the organization. Some misguided students, meaning well, of course, even began calling this person Sensei (which I still don't understand). Next thing you know, the spouse is making ranking, instructional, and political decisions. People are bowing to the spouse on the mat as this person strolls out (wearing blue jeans) to give speeches. Remember, this person never did Aikido.

The senior teaching staff for the most part deserted. A big mess, and it's all headed for the toilet.

So, I can empathize.

All I can say is don't stick around longer than you should out of loyalty to your deceased teacher. He/she's gone. Aikido is what is important, and you should do whatever you sincerely think is best for your training. If that's to leave, wish them the best, treasure the memories, and say sayonara.

Better yet, maybe band together with some others and start your own place. At some point the responsibility falls on us, which is what I guess our teachers are trying to prepare us for.

Janet Rosen
08-22-2003, 05:24 PM
All I can say is don't stick around longer than you should out of loyalty to your deceased teacher. He/she's gone. Aikido is what is important, and you should do whatever you sincerely think is best for your training. If that's to leave, wish them the best, treasure the memories, and say sayonara.
Yep. Its a great big Aiki world out there with many interesting teachers and sempai and kohai to play with!

aikilouis
08-24-2003, 07:37 AM
My sensei's wife, though not a practiotioner, makes a decisive contribution to the dojo's dynamics. She allows her husband to attend a many seminars as he can, and of course spend evenings and sunday mornings with us. Thanks a lot.

Lurker1
08-24-2003, 12:22 PM
It's easy for an observer to suggest you walk away from a aggravating situation. But it's not easy leaving relationships that you've built over months or years. With the death of the founding instructor, comes changes in those relationships.

If you decide to stay or leave, that is up to you. This is fortunate, since you're the world-class expert in yourself. While there are experts who can advise you on your financial situation or relationships, you're the only person in the world who can truly know how you feel.

This is not an easy situation and you should not expect an easy answer. Perhaps there is no answer at all, just an experience you'll have to live thorough.

opherdonchin
08-24-2003, 06:08 PM
In our dojo, our sensei's spouse can be extremely meddlesome and disruptive relative to the dojo matters and the membership. Does anyone else have any similar experiences, and if so, were you able to resolve the situation?To the original anonymous: has the thread given you the sort of answers you were looking for? If so, can you tell me what sorts of things that people said helped? If not, can you say what's still missing for you?

Corey
08-25-2003, 05:48 PM
Are there any meddlesome husbands or only wives? Just curious.

Unregistered
08-26-2003, 12:14 PM
Meddlesome Husband? Isn't that redundant?

~Bud

Bronson
08-26-2003, 01:06 PM
Meddlesome Husband? Isn't that redundant?

Like nagging wife?

:D

Bronson (please notice the smilie)

kung fu hamster
08-26-2003, 01:50 PM
I feel sure that there must be a good market out there for flame-retardant hakama's...

:)

Unregistered
08-26-2003, 03:43 PM
Bronson is right, but my wife has some darn good Jo-Waza with a mop handle. Needless to say I'm a well trained meddlesome husband ;)

~Bud