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Unregistered
06-26-2003, 12:47 PM
I have been a member, or I thought I was a member, of the USAF for over 5 years. Each year I have tested at my dojo and I have paid my testing fee to the Chief Instructor and each year filled out the appropriate papers to be submitted to the federation. Well, 5 years later and a bit peeved, I find out that I have never been registed with the USAF, the Chief Instructor has not been submitting any paperwork for the past 5 years. I do not have a USAF membership number and I plan to move to another state next month. What happens when I go to the new dojo and say that I'm a first kyu and a member of the USAF, but in reality I am not? I have brought this topic up the the chief instructor each year, and he is one, non-approachable, and then he says he'll get back and he doesn't. Other members are upset about this as well. What is the proper way to go about clearing up my membership with the federation.
Any help/suggestion would be appreciated!!!

Eric Joyce
06-26-2003, 01:03 PM
Reported the fool to the USAF and expalin your situation. Sorry to hear that happened to you.

Larry Feldman
06-26-2003, 01:39 PM
I agree with Eric.

In addition if there is some other teacher from USAF that you know or worked out with, that could 'vouch' for your time and skill level that might help.

Greg Jennings
06-26-2003, 01:50 PM
Write a factual letter to the USAF. Include copies of supporting documentation like kyu certificates, checks, e-mails, etc.

If you don't get any satisfaction, get in touch with me.

Unregistered
06-26-2003, 02:22 PM
Thanks for your replies. I do have copies of my checks, kyu certificates and also video (ha!).

Also, I attend many seminars a year (avg. 15 per year) and know the Shihan in my region. I guess this is why I haven't really made it an issue, but with my moving, I just don't want any hassles.

I completely understand Aikido is not about rank, but why pay to be a member of a federation, and the monies do not go to the federation????

rachmass
06-26-2003, 02:29 PM
First, which region of the USAF are you supposed to be part of?

Unregistered
06-26-2003, 02:48 PM
Eastern Region

rachmass
06-26-2003, 02:52 PM
Then you should contact the general secretary, Susan Wolk Sensei and ask her how to proceed. You have been paying your dues I assume?

If you want to contact me, you can do so, I don't know if I can help, but I am also a member of the ER.

best,

Rachel

rachmass@provide.net

Unregistered
06-26-2003, 02:57 PM
I tried contacting Susan Wolk about 2 years ago and she told me that I needed to contact the Chief Instructor directly. I will try again, now that it has been an additional two years since that last contact.

Yes, I am definately paid up, every year for the past 5 years. But paper work and monies were never submitted to USAF, even after I asked if I could make the check out directly to USAF instead of the dojo where I train.

It's very disturbing to have to go to this forum, but I just wanted to see if this was happening anywhere else, or common, or it's just my bad choice in dojos.

rachmass
06-26-2003, 03:10 PM
Suggest trying her again (or Laura Jacobs Pavlick sensei who is now working with her), or contact your CI and let him/her know that you are moving and would like a referral of where to train and a letter of introduction to that teacher (that might help with the situation).

Unregistered
06-26-2003, 03:13 PM
Rachel - thanks for your advice.

After discussing with others at the dojo where I train this has been going on and the CI have come to find out that the CI is currently not in good standings at all with the USAF. I don't want to open a can of worms, but I do not believe it is right to be a member of a federation for all these years and then find out that I haven't been.

Do you have Pavlick sensei's email address and/or contact information.

rachmass
06-26-2003, 03:21 PM
Well, if your CI was not really a member of the USAF, you might not be in a good position. I wish you the best on this! Where are you moving btw?

Pavlick Sensei's contact is: lhaikikai@optonline.net

I haven't met her, but I hear she's very nice!

Unregistered
06-26-2003, 06:46 PM
I agree with you, BUT will adopt Rachel's tip of contacting the "in-charge" at the federation. I would do it, though, very gently (the way of harmony, ha ;) ). It might be that your sensei is just an administrative disaster and all paper work was too much for him/her. How was training with your sensei ? after all you've stayed for some good time...

Good luck

anonymous
06-26-2003, 07:13 PM
That bites.

My teacher was in good standing, and Yamada took his money, but nothing was ever processed. After calls to Susan Wolk, nothing. Then the word came down that my sensei was not longer in good standing. It turned out to be a personal thing.

What a messed up way of conducting "professional" business.

This sort of thing embarasses people but no one bothers to name names. I would never embarass my teacher. The day after he left the aikikai his aikido was just as good as the day before.

Good riddance to that dysfunctional family. All to all of those who would defend Yamada Shihan, well, you'd better do it without question and happily 'cause this could happen to you.

rachmass
06-27-2003, 07:27 AM
Dear Anon, I don't think you are the original poster of this thread, but it sounds like you are in the same dojo. Please either say who you are, or don't make these types of statements on a public forum.

Diplomacy is always better than slander, and if you have a problem with the organization you should bring it up (nicely) to the powers that be instead of trashing them anonomyously on the web.

Remember that there are at least two sides to every story.

I for one am very happy to be a member of Yamada Sensei's organization!

Carl Simard
06-27-2003, 09:45 AM
Also, I attend many seminars a year (avg. 15 per year) and know the Shihan in my region.
Have you tried to contact this shihan about this issue ? He can certainly tell you what to do about it or put you in contact with someone who can solve the matter.

Usually, shihans are influential peoples within their organizations... If you know him, he may talk in your favor or give a push for this issue to be solved rapidly...

jimbaker
06-27-2003, 09:46 AM
Sorry, but there a couple of odd things here.

The first Anonymous says he/she has kyu certificates. All kyu certificates come from the USAF and would be proof that they are a member, since they won't issue a certificate unless the person is paid up. If the ku cert is something drawn up by the local school, then he/she might never have been a member.

As for the second Anonymous, Yamada Shihan is a very easygoing and forgiving man, with one exception; if you rip off a student, you are out.

Now I don't know if this refers to your dojos, but as an example: several years ago a teacher stopped sending in the dues given to him by students. This went on for a number of years. The USAF tends to just let this go for a while, hoping the teacher will just catch up later. Then one camp a student showed up from this school to test for blask belt. His dues had never been paid, nor were there records of his past ranks. It turned out that he had paid his teacher something like $2000 as a fee for this test, which he assumed had been sent to the USAF. At that time, the yudansha test fee was about $100 (almost all of which went to Hombu for the big certificate and passport thing). Yamada Shihan did test the poor guy, but bounced his teacher out of the USAF for ripping off a student. This had to be over five years ago. That teacher still has has on the website that they're members of the USAF, although that could just mean they haven't updated for a long time.

I won't pretend that the USAF is perfect, but I don't think the office has ever lost the paperwork for a whole dojo for several years. And if someone is told they have to speak to Yamada Shihan, it means that Yamada Shihan wants to know the facts personally so he can be assured that they are made right.

By the way, Yamada Shihan asks that the teacher of a student who is taking a dan test be there to watch the test. This way, if the student does a really rotten test, Yamada Shihan can say encouraging things to the student and then go upbraid the TEACHER for the failure.

Jim Baker

USAF-East

rachmass
06-27-2003, 10:26 AM
Good post Jim! I think you said everything that needed to be said.

Unregistered
06-27-2003, 12:05 PM
Thank all of your for your responses. I love Aikido and the dojo where I train is convenient. If I didn't like where I train, I would have moved on, but the people are good people and I am fortunate that I have met them through my years of practice. The only reason for this post is that I am moving, and know that I do not "exist" as far as paperwork/dues is concerned, although I have paid USAF dues annually since I started Aikido over 5 years ago.

I will try contacting S. Wolk again. In these posts I do not believe that I have said anything sour about Yamada sensei nor the organization he represents. The direction of the post is at the CI of the dojo and what I need to do and others at my dojo, to be recognized by the federation that we have paid to be a member of...

jimbaker
06-27-2003, 01:28 PM
Good for you!

The sour coments were from Anonymous 2.

Let us know what the USAF says, especially since you can show that you paid your annual dues. And make sure that you let Yamada Shihan know what's going on.

You should also have no trouble at your new dojo. The worse case is that you'd have to take one more test. My way of handling this has been to simply have students coming from unrecognized groups take a test where I'd call out techniques from fifth kyu on up, until they hit their limit of knowledge or ability. You also compare them against other students and see where they fit in the ranks. Since you're coming from the same background, you'll probably wind up in the right kyu anyway.

Or the USAF might just clean the slate and recognize you guys.

It always amazes me how something so good can get so screwed up on occasion!

Jim Baker

Norfolk, VA

Carl Simard
06-27-2003, 02:05 PM
I'm just wondering, is it possible for the USAF to do something to make this kind people cease using the USAF name ?

Unregistered
06-27-2003, 03:04 PM
Will keep you all posted. I will contact Wolk sensei on Monday, as I believe she is out of town.

Thanks for hearing me out and I don't mind testing, I just was upset that now, after all these years and newer students are questioning when should the be receiving their USAF number, etc., along with my moving, I just wanted to try and get this resolved.

rachmass
06-27-2003, 03:11 PM
I don't think anyone took your post in a way that you were bitter, just wanted to get it worked out. Anon 2 on the otherhand wrote:

"My teacher was in good standing, and Yamada took his money, but nothing was ever processed. After calls to Susan Wolk, nothing. Then the word came down that my sensei was not longer in good standing. It turned out to be a personal thing.

What a messed up way of conducting "professional" business.

This sort of thing embarasses people but no one bothers to name names. I would never embarass my teacher. The day after he left the aikikai his aikido was just as good as the day before.

Good riddance to that dysfunctional family. All to all of those who would defend Yamada Shihan, well, you'd better do it without question and happily 'cause this could happen to you."

this was the post I got my dander up about, and most likely the same one that Jim Baker did too.

Good luck on getting this worked out!

Are you going to another USAF dojo when you move?

Anon 2
06-27-2003, 04:13 PM
For the record, the situation given in my post has no connection with any other Chief Instructor mentioned in this thread.

There are indeed 2 sides to every story although Rachel and Jim seriously considered just the one that best fits their image of your esteemed Shihan. Good for you. I mean that literally, good for you. You defended the person to whom you owe a lot, which was expected, and happily too, no big deal to me.

Don't forget a Shihan is just human; remember those stories too, as ugly as they are, forgive and continue.

aikidoc
06-27-2003, 04:16 PM
Sometimes these things go the other way as well. Recently, we had a student start training with us claiming to be a USAF shodan supposedly off the mat for 2 years while in the military. He first told us his sho sho was packed in his belongings and he could not get to it; then it was in the mail; then it was lost; and lastly he paid the instructor and he ran with the money.

I believe the USAF test like any other aikikai affiliated dojo. There are forms to fill out and fees to pay before you step out for the testing mat in front of a test committee. So, bottom line is we were being fed a line of crap. Checked with the aikikai and no record. Thats when the instructor stole the money excuse came up. Checked with NY Aikikai and no record of the guy. He did provide a USAF 1st kyu certificate which looked legitimate but couldn't be verified with Susan Volk-fortunately, he left. We suspect he thought he could get by with elevating himself to shodan in a small town and no one would know-I verify all rank (kyu and dan).

Honesty is always the best policy.

Unregistered
06-27-2003, 09:07 PM
I agree honesty is the best policy. I have been honest and this is why I wanted feedback on what I should do. It's not about the rank, it's about being a member of a federation and then finding out I'm not. I have the cancelled checks, and copies of the forms, so I'm o.k. I was just trying to give my CI a break, which I have all these years, but since I was moving, I thought it best to clear up everything before moving on... so that in case anyone wanted to verify whatever rank I was, not that I care, the could. I just want to practice Aikido. It's something that I plan on doing for many years to come. I'm not a young chicken as it is.

Thanks again to all. I have already dropped a note to S. Wolk and will give her a call next week to follow up.

anyoldmouse
06-28-2003, 12:04 AM
gee, where are you posting from Seattle?

Unregistered
06-28-2003, 09:03 PM
nope, from the east coast. don't know what you mean by the "seattle" comment. has this happened before?

Unregistered
06-30-2003, 09:54 AM
When I came into aikido, I joined a small USAF dojo in Texas. The dojo developed a bad habit of "holding" both the regional and the federation dues because people would sign up and then quit aikido before their first test. The treasurer seeing that as a waste of money got the idea that if they used the money instead to pay the rent, the dues money wouldn't be wasted and since the rent was so hard to pay and the seniors usually had to put in extra every month to keep the dojo open. It seemd like a good idea to everyone including the sensei. Unfortunately, I and my two children didn't quit and when we came up for our first test, we were told we couldn't test because our "mother" dojo had messed up the paperwork. The dojo had a policy of sending the money in after the fact if you in fact stayed around but it usually meant that you wouldn't get to test for 5th kyu on schedule. In my case, they all thought I was going to quit even after that so they didn't send the money the second time either and that's when I blew because I had the cancelled checks. When the test came up, I was told that the shihan was saying I couldn't test and the sensei of the "mother" dojo was saying I couldn't test because I had just barely joined the federation (a year though had gone by). I told them that the shihan, the fukushidoin and my sensei had better sit down and come up with a good answer because if not, me and my kids were out of aikido. They went into that room and came out saying I could test. I don't think that the shihan or the fukushidoin ever found out why my paperwork was "late". The sensei and the fukushidoin just prevailed on the shihan to let me test and he said ok but never again. It's interesting to note that the fukushidoin never got another promotion out of that shihan and our dojo was never made an official memeber of the federation but stayed an affilate sponsored by the "mother dojo". That was all almost ten years ago. I am still in aikido but not in the USAF anymore. These things just happen because someone in the chain thinks of a "good" shortcut but the innocents become the victims.

Best wishes

Jorge
I agree with you, BUT will adopt Rachel's tip of contacting the "in-charge" at the federation. I would do it, though, very gently (the way of harmony, ha ;) ). It might be that your sensei is just an administrative disaster and all paper work was too much for him/her. How was training with your sensei ? after all you've stayed for some good time...

Good luck

Bruce Baker
07-03-2003, 11:30 PM
I am sorry that you have been ripped off, anonymous, but in the light of reality, if you have tested under the USAF tests, and passed, I don't see why going to a properly run USAF dojo with a teacher who is certified by this organization could not quickly establish you kyu rank in short order?

I am a pain about testing, because I don't want to test .... I just want to practice as I too am not a young spring chicken anymore. I don't see what the big deal is?

If you train at another dojo, other than USAF, they will evaluate your skills and make you test at what they think your skill level is anyway, won't they?

I know not all organizations recognize rank from other organizations. For instance, third of forth dans in one style will wear their black belt or uniform from their former style when they start practice, but most revert to white belt when full practice is assumed and they progress through the Kyu ranks rather quickly.

I don't see any real problem except that you will have to retest at the last test level to show you have those skills to retain that ranking in the USAF organization, but this is up to Y. Yamada shihan, as he has final say.

Where are you moving to?

It might be in your best interest to research the dojo's in your area, their teachers, and the history of that dojo's links with whatever organization it is affiliated to?

I hate to say it, but there are politics, even in the USAF, and there are certain teachers who have Yamada shihans attention more than others, but for good reasons. Reasons that support Aikido, keep abreast of what is changing by going periodically to NYC Dojo, and continually interacting with other dojos though seminars, and as a guest teacher for other than their home dojo.

Just as Rachel has stated, I would be glad to put you onto these fine gentlemen, or ladies, should you move to the New Jersey / Philadelphia area.

Carl Simard
07-04-2003, 08:39 AM
If there's one thing we should learn from this story, it's: before paying something to a dojo getting the money for a federation, be sure to check the status of the dojo with this federation...

It's relatively easy to do: many dojos will pin the certificate from the federation on a wall, somewhere in the dojo. You can also check on the federation site, most keep a directory of official dojos. Certainly a good point to start with...

Second thing may be: start to ask questions if you never receive anything from the federation. Paperworks can sometime be lenghty (in our fed it takes 6 months to a year to receive a kyu certificate), but if you have passed many tests and paid for them, there's no reason to get anything in years...

It's sad, but the aikido community isn't different from the society: there's good and honest people, and there's no so honest ones...

Unregistered
07-04-2003, 10:56 PM
And there are probably some well-meaning people who are hopelessly bad with paperwork. Not that it's really an excuse.

Peter Goldsbury
07-05-2003, 06:23 AM
I have been a member, or I thought I was a member, of the USAF for over 5 years. Each year I have tested at my dojo and I have paid my testing fee to the Chief Instructor and each year filled out the appropriate papers to be submitted to the federation. Well, 5 years later and a bit peeved, I find out that I have never been registed with the USAF, the Chief Instructor has not been submitting any paperwork for the past 5 years. I do not have a USAF membership number and I plan to move to another state next month. What happens when I go to the new dojo and say that I'm a first kyu and a member of the USAF, but in reality I am not? I have brought this topic up the the chief instructor each year, and he is one, non-approachable, and then he says he'll get back and he doesn't. Other members are upset about this as well. What is the proper way to go about clearing up my membership with the federation.

Any help/suggestion would be appreciated!!!
Your post is truly astonishing. You have been paying testing and affiliation fees for FIVE YEARS and now you find that you are not even a member! Have you thought of a lawsuit?

I am the Chairman (i.e., the place where the buck stops) of a large international aikido federation and our financial operations are audited on a regular basis. We expect the same financial rigour from member federations, even at the local dojo.

In your case the very least that should happen is that you receive some acknowledgment from your federation that the matter is being looked into, also with some indication of when it will be resolved. Can you prove that you have paid the various fees over these five years?

You are at liberty to contact me privately via the e-mail address in my profile.

Best regards,

Bruce Baker
07-07-2003, 08:26 AM
You know ..... I would like to hear how this situation resolves itself?

Having gone through a change of leadership in my former Kempo Karate practice, it is not too unbelievable for me to believe something like this happens everyday. Still, I have found that everything in this life has a reason, and maybe this event will show the lesson that is to be learned, in time.

I have met so many people who practice in different disciplines, and they must progress through the ranks to reattain the recognized ranks they wish to achieve.

In the realm of knowing what you know, and learning how to apply that knowledge, it all seems to be a empty threat of putting off someone who might attack you in seeking that piece of paper?

"Hey, look! This piece of paper says I have this rank, in this discipline! You had better watch yourself."

This is a bit over the top, but then again, it is the down earth truth that the little piece of paper is but a recognition of skills that you appear to have mastered when measured at that skill level.

Maybe because I have encountered any number of people who have had some type of martial training, and they gain a temporary advantage, but their attitude betrays that training, in time.

After thinking about this situation, I would think that Yamada sensei will opt for the student to go to a USAF dojo, and be tested for a level of proficientcy, which will be a retest of either the last rank attained, or the previous rank to establish a base.

If it were as simple as learning the terminology and challenging all the shihan to show their superiority in practice to attain a take their black belt, we would have chaos as many young practitioners would be lined up to challenge every teacher to take their rank like some wild west showdown, but that is not our present day society, is it?

It isn't the belt, the rank, or the teacher who makes the training applicable ... it is you who makes it applicable.

Think about how the application of techniques works for Aikido?

Tireless practice. Training mind and body to work together to adapt and overcome, even when we are lending ourselves to someone elses practice, we are always aware, seeking the closeness of the moment between being controled and taking control at any given moment. This is all surrounded by the happy spirit that gives polite thank you's, because practice is the learning process that lets us see the variety of depths our practice can take us.

That piece of paper .... it is something our teachers give to us to mark a level of proficientcy they see we have attained, no more, no less. It is just gonna be another frame on the wall, something to dust off, now and then.

Maybe I equate training with time well spent. I consider that I would have spent that money on something useless, so I really don't consider the concept of money for certificates important? If there is room in the budget for formal training, I pay to train, if not, then other things take priority .... that is the harmony of the universe at that time, who am I so go against the harmony of the universe?

What I do consider important is the knowledge. Steal it from whereever you can, whether you pay for it in formal training, or not.

If your last teacher, even though he was not totally honest in business, gave you that knowledge, it will carry you through to any organization you decide to join in your Aikido practice.

I don't know ... it may take time to put things into perspective.

Don't let it get you down.

Good luck in your pursuit .

Unregistered
07-07-2003, 10:16 AM
Bruce,

I am the originator of this post, not the other annon's and it's not at all about the rank. As I have said before, that is not what is important. The reason why I started this was the CI of my school took monies from me that were to go to the federation, the federation I thought I was a member of for the 5+ years since I started. Regardless if I tested or not, I would have paid the membership annually REGARDLESS! I just do not think that it is fair to me or the others at the dojo where I currently train, to be paying an annual fee to be a part of a federation that in reality they are not. That is not good business sense, that is not good AIKI sense.

It seems although you keep talking about rank as if it's nothing, your post are always about RANK.

I was just asking for opinions/help in this situation and wondered if others have encountered this in thier federations or the same. I do not think it is fair at all for a CI of a school to ask for monies from his students and say it is for annual fedeation dues and then the dues do not go to the federation. I never said the dojo was not part of the federation. My comment is that the CI of the school only pays for his annual federation dues, and then the dues of the students that he has taken monies from all the years, but does not submit them until it is time for them to test for shodan and above. I have watched and watched and kept silent, but with my moving, I feel that (not talking about rank here) the CI should send the monies to the USAF for the years that I have been paying. That is all, bottom line.

As a side note, I have attended seminars with Y. Yamada at your dojo's annual event in LBI.

I just prefer not to disclose the CI or the school where I train, if I wanted to, then I would not be posting here. Anonymous

As for the annony comment -- helplessly bad with paperwork.. aaahhh.. then the CI should have the students write the checks out to the USAF instead of to the dojo and then save them (the checks and paperwork) for the day the CI gets the paperwork together, and not have to find funds that the CI used in error!

rachmass
07-07-2003, 01:39 PM
Hello Anon #1,

How have things panned out? Have you been in touch with Wolk Sensei or the woman who is helping her?

Goldsbury Sensei also offered some excellent advice, and I hope that was useful. I am just curious to see if things have started to resolve for you and your dojo-mates yet.

best,

Rachel

Unregistered
07-07-2003, 02:32 PM
Rachel,

Hello. Unfortunately Wolk sensei is still traveling, so I was going to try and get in touch with her near the end of this week to see what needs to be done to clean up this mess. Will keep you posted and thanks for everything thus far. It seems crazy to bring this up, but I just felt this was a good forum for discussing.

DGLinden
07-07-2003, 08:33 PM
I have been receiving transfer students into my classes for twenty-five years and have never asked for documentation. If someone tells me he is ikkyu and five years ASAF, fine, I watch him and evaluate and he would have to be dreadful before I would not accept him at face value. Wherever you go you will find instuctors who will listen and accept. Keep your receipts, however.

ikkyo21b
07-14-2003, 10:11 AM
I'm fron the same dojo as the user who started this thread. I have to be! and let me just say good for you ! it's about time someone had the courage to speak out about this debacle!

This matter is truly upsetting. I too have been studying a few years and have paid USAF membership dues. However, I never received an Membership # or card.

When we were to test the CI would verbally list the fees i.e. somuch for the seminar, so much for a testing fee and $$YEARLY DUES TO THE FEDERATION. Now, when the students inquire on how to make out thier payments the CI would say.. "ah.. just put it all on one check and make it out to the dojo, I'll take care of the rest." What is even ore upsettign is that due to the nature of the relationship some of the students paid cash.

Now here is the deal, this is not about rank, this is not about proving my skill level, this is about being taken advantage of by your chief instructor, someone you call "Sensei" that is supposed to mean something, isn't it. Not simply that "absolute power corrupts absolutly"

A lot of us are moving on now that we have options but should the CI not have to answer for his abuse of his position???

Unregistered
07-14-2003, 04:47 PM
That's the trouble with the "if you don't like what's going on your dojo, you should just leave" mentality. There is always a supply of new and unsuspecting students, and the person(s) responsible for the problem(s) are never held accountable for their actions. With any long-standing problem, word will get out eventually, but not to people who are new to aikido.

rachmass
07-14-2003, 05:10 PM
It sounds like you have a very legitimate problem that needs to be addressed. I don't know if the avenue with Wolk Sensei has been exhausted (I know she was away), and maybe this is a good thing to do in person (hey, Summer Camp begins next week!).

Don't think you are going to get an answer from the wider aikiweb world on this forum, and I know that Goldsbury Sensei wrote back and offered to have you contact him privately; I hope you have taken him up on his offer.

best on this,

Rachel

Kevin Wilbanks
07-16-2003, 12:44 AM
If what y'all say is true, I don't see why you are beating around the bush. The instructor has been running a swindle at your expense. Get some other students together and sue his ass. Tell your story to the local newspapers. As another anonymous implied, the point is not getting your money back, but exposing the cockroach to the light, so everyone can see him scurry for a dark corner, and others are not swindled in the future. If we are truly talking about someone who systematically deceives the unsuspecting, abuses his authority, and takes advantage the trusting and caring intent of people who come to him for the sake of pocketing a few extra bucks, then we are truly talking about a human scab. There is no reason to continue to be 'nice' - to do so knowingly is to be complicit in his scheme.

Unregistered
07-17-2003, 01:41 PM
I think (?) I attend the same dojo as the persons posting above and this has indeed been going on since I started a few years ago.

If the originator of this post is from the same dojo as us, or if not, I would like to know if you have been successful in contacting Goldsbury and/or Wolk sensei's regarding this matter. If so, would you please post what the outcome has been, if any?

Should we follow by contacting Wolk sensei or just continue watching students be taken advantage of by collecting federation dues from them, and the money goes to the CI? I would even say it goes to the CI not the dojo, but o.k. I did say it.

At least the orginator is moving to another state, I am moving to another dojo within the same state, however, I still belive that my current CI should submit to the USAF the dues that I have paid for the past few years. Is this to petty to ask?

infoseeker
07-17-2003, 01:44 PM
Does this happen at all dojos? I mean, I visit others and it all seems on the up and up, but this one just seems to be falling apart.

I guess when you have a CI where Aikido is his living, and every student is a $$$ when they walk in the door, I guess you would forget ethics and just take advantage.

rachmass
07-17-2003, 01:48 PM
Hi Pat, and welcome to AikiWeb.

I don't think this type of thing happens very often, and actually, we don't know if this CI derives his/her entire living from running a dojo. It almost sounds like poor bookkeeping and accounting practices above all else, but those in his/her dojo are the ones in the know. In my 20-years in aikido, I've yet to meet up with this type of practice, and certainly cannot imagine that it happens with any frequency.

I would really like to hear how this situation is working out, but the original poster has not chimed in recently to let us all know.

best,

Rachel

infoseeker
07-17-2003, 02:08 PM
Well this particular CI's income is strictly from the dojo. Even gone so far as to say that the child needs to be fed. The child is 12 or so. I don't think those comments are appropriate, but I just took it for the personality, or lack of.

It could be poor bookeeping, but the CI has someone managing the office, so I can't say that is what it is.

It's just sad to watch people being taken advantage of...

This same situation is at my dojo and I am preparing to move on to a new dojo that is opening up in the area (the commute is the same distance as now) where I am sure when I am asked to pay for federation dues or whatever else, the monies will go to the appropriate persons.

Unregistered
07-18-2003, 08:05 AM
Hi, I am the originator of this post and am sorry for not getting back to all.

I have not had any luck contacting Wolk sensei, so before contacting Goldsbury sensei, I am planning on talking to Wolk sensei during summer camp the week of the 27th. I will be attending the entire camp, so hopefully I can find her ear for a few minutes.

Will let all know how it goes once I return from camp.

Thank you all for your repsonses and also to those that are from my same dojo. I will let all know the outcome.

Am looking forward to camp this year, since it will be my last camp on the east coast for a while.

rachmass
07-18-2003, 08:19 AM
Hey anon, look me up at camp will you (of course, only if you want to); I'll be there the entire week too.

anon2
07-18-2003, 11:49 AM
Hey anon, look me up at camp will you (of course, only if you want to); I'll be there the entire week too.
Rachel will be the one wearing a t-shirt with this logo:

http://www.a1agifts.com/images/29586monkeys2.jpg

Good luck Anonymous thread originator.

anon2

rachmass
07-18-2003, 12:03 PM
while I typically have a sense of humor, I find this offensive anon2.

rachmass
07-18-2003, 12:07 PM
couldn't import the pic anon 2

http://www.wizards.com/sideboard/images/ehi03/022.jpg

in response.....

Bronson
07-20-2003, 01:22 AM
...I am sure when I am asked to pay for federation dues or whatever else, the monies will go to the appropriate persons.

This may be too simple but why don't students send their checks directly to their respective organizations and bypass the chief instructors completely... that's how we work it and it seems to work just fine (not that we're having any trouble with him it's just easier this way :) ).

Bronson

Erik
07-20-2003, 07:24 PM
I have not had any luck contacting Wolk sensei, so before contacting Goldsbury sensei, I am planning on talking to Wolk sensei during summer camp the week of the 27th. I will be attending the entire camp, so hopefully I can find her ear for a few minutes.
Anonymous, with all due respect quit being a wimp. What is this crap about hopefully finding her ear for a few minutes? That's bullshit of the first order. It's not your job to prostrate yourself before the royalty within the USAF while pleading desperately for a merciful ear to your plight. It's their job to be available and to respond to these sorts of issues which I'm pretty sure they WANT to hear about.

In the first place, I'm assuming you've left detailed messages of your problem, they should have your phone ringing off the hook, or at least they would if they were worth a damn. At the very least someone else should be around to answer the damn phone or check the messages which you've surely been leaving, right, right? Secondly, contact Peter Goldsbury. I can think of no one, and I've never met him, who I would more want on my side over this issue. He's diplomatic beyond belief, at least on the net so I presume in person as well, and he's a direct line to the principle.

Quit screwing around, and passively whining out here, while hoping someone will hear your pleas and resolve the problem for you. Get it moving and dump this one into Yamada's lap where it belongs.

Unregistered
07-21-2003, 10:53 AM
I also added to this thread and in response .. I believe the originator did the best thing possible for this situation.

The people whose ethics are in question would like nothing more than silence. If they were to get disiplined by the federation things would still be kept quiet. The thing that will do the most good is talk within the population.

and to infoseeker who posted on page 2 ... WHOOO HOO ! RIGHT ON!!!

Erik
07-21-2003, 01:26 PM
I also added to this thread and in response .. I believe the originator did the best thing possible for this situation.

The people whose ethics are in question would like nothing more than silence. If they were to get disiplined by the federation things would still be kept quiet. The thing that will do the most good is talk within the population.

and to infoseeker who posted on page 2 ... WHOOO HOO ! RIGHT ON!!!
How can they be disciplined by a federation they are not a part of? How can a federation they are part of not notice the missing dues and other fees?

By the way, I have no problem with it being aired out here. I may even have been too hard on the original anon but people tend to get stupid around sensei. This is not a sensei issue but a business issue. You should be able to walk up to whomever, lay it out line by line and get a straight up answer as to what is going to happen next. Since that is not happening it seems to me that a number of folks may be at fault on this one.

Unregistered
08-08-2003, 11:01 AM
ANY UPDATES?

I SAY KICK THE FOOL OUT OF THE USAF

Fed Up
08-30-2003, 01:30 PM
Did Sensei get booted?

Will Anon get ranked? Or rankled?

Will Todd and Jessica get back together?

Will Susan do the right thing the right way?

And what about Amanda? Will she tell Troy he's not the father?

Will Rachel learn the truth about Yosh?

rachmass
08-30-2003, 03:59 PM
I love how the cynics here post anonymously and trash people, but don't have the guts to put their real names down. Makes me not believe a word they say.

And yes, I would much rather be a PolyAnna type person who only sees the good, than someone who looks for the bad. Makes life much nicer.

And to the first person who posted: please give us an update on what happened.

Rachel (Poly-Anna)

giriasis
08-31-2003, 07:12 PM
I support Rachel.

This is becoming a "bash the USAF" thread. It is one thing to ask a question about a problem you are having with a dojo, but the pages turned when Anon 2 posted the pic he/ she did. I have yet to see other people so blantantly bash the ASU, AAA, Iwama, Yoshinkan, Jiyushinkan, etc, as they are here. Rachel is providing constructive assistance here. If she wanted to the ignore the problem she wouldn't have said anything to begin with.

There is nothing polyannaish about it. It is called Professionalism.

akiy
08-31-2003, 11:09 PM
Hi folks,

I'd like to chime in here and remind people that hiding behind anonymity (or even non-anonymity) to attack others on a personal level is not welcome here. As I have stated before, prolonged activity of this kind may result in your IP address being banned from this site.

I hope everyone will read and comply with everything I have written in this announcement thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/announcement.php?s=&forumid=52).

Thank you,

-- Jun

Unregistered
09-06-2003, 04:39 PM
Hi folks,
Hi. Ban away.

So does anyone know how this turned out? It seems the nice lady in Northhampton couldn'y help out. The USAF is a dysfunctional family with all sorts of abuses.

Anon 2
09-20-2003, 01:33 PM
Does anyone know what happened to the poor person who started this thread? Did Susan Wolk make good? Did the Sensei get reprimanded? This was all supposed to happen over summer camp. Rachel, did you meet up with this person after all and what can you report back?

Unregistered
09-21-2003, 06:31 AM
The USAF, like anything else in life, isn't perfect, but it is a wonderful organization. Lots of nice folks, and above all, HIGH STANDARDS for rank - they call nikkyu what other orgs call shodan.

justinm
09-25-2003, 10:36 AM
The USAF, like anything else in life, isn't perfect, but it is a wonderful organization. Lots of nice folks, and above all, HIGH STANDARDS for rank - they call nikkyu what other orgs call shodan.
Of course. And most other organisations would claim something similar. Have you ever heard any organisation say the reverse - "You know that organisation XYZ? Their nikkyu would be shodan in our club because our standards are much lower!"

I bet your shodans would be nikkyu in my organisation, and my shodans would be nikkyu in yours.

How to get the beginners mind set - keep changing organisations and get downgraded at least 2 grades every time. Before you know it you are no-kyu again :p

Justin

brucbaker@earthlink.net
10-12-2003, 09:13 AM
ok ... so no one has resolved this.

I have nothing better to do. E-mail me the exact details and I will resolve it.

brucbaker@Aol.com

Hanna B
10-16-2003, 01:47 AM
ok ... so no one has resolved this.

I have nothing better to do. E-mail me the exact details and I will resolve it.

brucbaker@Aol.com
Forgive me, but this was very very funny.

Anon2
10-22-2003, 10:51 AM
What can anyone report about this unfortunate circumstance and it's resolution? Was Mr. Goldsbury of help? May I suggest to the USAF faithfuls out there that it is in your best interest to get this resolved (your support is apparently not enough) and report your success here. Is isn't really libel to say certain things about the USAF if they're true.

Susan Wolk can be reached at 413 586-9394

or via email @ smw7122@aol.com .

Unregistered
10-22-2003, 01:38 PM
The person that started this thread has moved out of the state and also quit Aikido. Couldn't take the BS.

From what I know from speaking with the person, the problem was not with the USAF Eastern region, it was with the dojo the person belonged to. The person paid annual USAF dues for 5 years, including this year, payed testing fees each year, but the paperwork was never submitted to the USAF.

The persons point was that the CI was taking annual memebership and testing fees from ALL his students, but never registering them with the USAF.

The problem is between the USAF and the CI of the dojo.

With the exception of a handful of students, the 2nd and 1st kyu's have changed dojos within the past couple of months. They know this dojo inparticular isn't very AIKI in his practices and do not want to go through the embarassment of appling for testing at a major USAF seminar.

How would you feel if you were filling out your dan paperwork, as they are now on the brink of becoming a serious student of aikido, to be asked for their USAF memembership number and not being able to provide one.

Not sure if that would stop them from testing, as this certain chief instructor is savy with the tougue, but why be stressed over it???

I wouldn't put it pass the chief instructor to tell the student that they had to pay back membership dues and blame it on the federation.

sad, but true.

Unregistered
10-22-2003, 01:58 PM
Reported the fool to the USAF and expalin your situation. Sorry to hear that happened to you.
Dojo do not operate outside of society. If I understand you aright (and if you don't indeed have USAF certificates as Jim Baker points out), you're talking about fraud: Your teacher has taken monies from you under false pretenses. Failing his cooperation when asked nicely, were I in your position, I'd draft a letter to the State's Attorneys office and drop it under the nose of the wayward teacher. If that doesn't wake him up, send it.

rachmass
10-22-2003, 02:08 PM
From what I know from speaking with the person, the problem was not with the USAF Eastern region, it was with the dojo the person belonged to. The person paid annual USAF dues for 5 years, including this year, payed testing fees each year, but the paperwork was never submitted to the USAF.

So, you know who it is who has been involved, why not contact Ms. Wolk yourself? She's very easy to deal with, and extremely helpful, really.

Unregistered
10-22-2003, 03:07 PM
Yes I know who the person is, but I left the school. Should I ask Ms. Wolk to look into it?

rachmass
10-22-2003, 03:26 PM
Yes I know who the person is, but I left the school. Should I ask Ms. Wolk to look into it?

if you know for a fact that someone is taking people's money for the purpose of USAF dues and not registering them with the ER, then yes, contact her. If it is just hearsay, then be careful about it, and ask for advice on a "hypothetical" situation. If she wants further information on this, give it to her. Let her lead. Again, if it is a verifiable fact, and this has been going on for years, then I would think you have an obligation to do so.

The problem with this thread has been some of the accusations that have been floating around, without details or fact (not yours, but a couple of others). How can anyone respond properly to innuendo and rumor (guess one shouldn't)?

Best wishes on this. Susan Wolk is a good person and should help direct you on this difficult situation.

Unregistered
10-22-2003, 03:47 PM
Instead of accusing, I guess I can provide her with a hypothetical on the dojo in question and she can either pursue or not.

It's not about the USAF it's about one particular dojo.

Thank you for your help and hopefully there will be some resolution.

rachmass
10-22-2003, 03:51 PM
Good luck, I really hope that this helps. Unfortunately one rotten apple can make the whole batch look bad.

Please let us know how it resolves in the end.

best, Rachel

ValiantMouse
06-27-2004, 03:19 PM
With limited experience in such things I would think it proper to have a formal letter from ones most recent Sensei that you are in good standing and your rank. It seems respectful and gives the new sensei an idea of what to expect. May I ask, does the USAF East accept USAF West rankings and vise versa, also could someone explain to me the difference as I've seen both in the west and east? My guess would be the headquarters location? If so is that all that separates the two?

John

George S. Ledyard
06-28-2004, 01:11 PM
I have been a member, or I thought I was a member, of the USAF for over 5 years. Each year I have tested at my dojo and I have paid my testing fee to the Chief Instructor and each year filled out the appropriate papers to be submitted to the federation. Well, 5 years later and a bit peeved, I find out that I have never been registed with the USAF, the Chief Instructor has not been submitting any paperwork for the past 5 years. I do not have a USAF membership number and I plan to move to another state next month. What happens when I go to the new dojo and say that I'm a first kyu and a member of the USAF, but in reality I am not? I have brought this topic up the the chief instructor each year, and he is one, non-approachable, and then he says he'll get back and he doesn't. Other members are upset about this as well. What is the proper way to go about clearing up my membership with the federation.
Any help/suggestion would be appreciated!!!

This is a not uncommon form of fraud. The Chief Instructor, usually under financial pressure starts to play the float with the student's money that should be going to the organization. At first he just pays a few bills instead of sending it in and then he makes it up later. But if he gets in over his head he can get to the point where he not only doesn't have the money to make it up later but he has waited so long that now, everyone would know what he was doing so he just digs himself in deeper.

I doubt if any organization could help you on this but it would certainly be something you could take to small claims court to get your money back. I would also inform the Better Business Bureau and the your state's consumer protection department.