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09-11-2003, 10:52 AM
for those who teach on a regular basis...

If a visitor at your dojo was a significanlty more senior grade to you eg 5th Dan vs 1st Dan, from the same organisation but different dojo, would you

...invite them to run the class?
...invite them to teach part of the class?
...treat them as a student?


09-11-2003, 11:04 AM
I offer them the choice - in the order that you have listed (their organization isn't an important issue to me).

Conversely, when I'm visiting and end up in this situation, I prefer to opt for the 3rd choice 1st, and 1st choice last.

Ari Bolden
09-11-2003, 11:07 AM
Hey Justin,

My experience is this:

Conduct the class as you normally would. This helps both the new visitor and your class get a good feeling for one another. I am sure the students will be more than happy to train with some new blood and a high ranking aikidoka.

Students often whisper "I can't wait to train with that 5th dan!"

You as the sensei smile of course. It's almost like movie star status sometimes.

However, ask the godan if they would be confortable on teaching some techniques of their own. As a instructor and student, I am always eagar to learn from those around me.

When I was a few years into my aikido, I invited a visiting japanese student to our class. My sensei was 3rd dan at the time (but with several more years experience).

The class was lead by her until near the end where he taught some techniques. His Japanese style was SO much harder then what we were use to (both aikikai) but a great experience nonetheless!



09-11-2003, 11:51 AM
I'd ask them to teach part of the class, regardless of organisation (come on, how often do you get to throw an "uknown" 5th dan in front of your students, you've got to make them be uke at least once)

An exception to this is if I deemed the high grade was either disruptive or dangerous to my students, I'd just ask them to leave, again no matter what the organisation. I count my students' and dojo's welfare above rank.

09-11-2003, 07:58 PM
In my opinion it is not appropriate for a visitor to teach class. If someone were to train for a while at our dojo and I got a feel for their aikido and felt it was complementary to ours then maybe I would ask them to teach a class, maybe. A visitor who happens to be my sempai may not be interested in the way we study, may be a danger to my students (hammer time) and may in fact not be my sempai at all.

I have visited many dojos around the country and world and when I visit I expect and am happy to take class even if the teacher is a sixth kyu. I would feel uncomfortable teaching a class of people I never met or trained with before.

I have had sempai, that I know, come for class before and they expect to take class, I will usually offer them the class (to teach). They will then accept or decline.

09-11-2003, 08:35 PM
When I visited an Aikikai dojo in Athens they asked me to teach a bit of the Shodokan style. I of course visit other dojos to get a taste of other things so we compromised (half/half) but I see no problem in letting an outsider teach.

I really think it depends on the persons involved - consider it a private seminar.

Automatic handing over of your class because of rank (from inside or outside your own organization) is another matter entirely and not on.

09-11-2003, 11:36 PM
I agree on the same organization issue. And if another organization in the aikikai i agree on that as well-with caution. Saw some pretty ugly behavior by a supposed aikikai 6th dan visiting (from Japan). He started trashing students (we wore hakamas-Saotome organization as mudansha)the 3rd dan owner of the dojo admonished him to stop and this guy acted unbelievably immature. so the instructor made him go sit seiza. At the end of class he started doing this weird stuff in front of the shomen with some book he had and carrying on. He was told in so many words through an interpreter not to return and that he was not welcome. Claimed to have taken classes with doshu. it was pretty bizarre.

09-12-2003, 12:21 AM
Politics poisons everything.

If you think your organization has all the answers....you need a reality check.

To have someone come in, that is high ranking, regardless of affiliation, should be treated with the utmost respect. Try to get them to teach something. They will want to show something good, so your students will benefit.

I regularly invite instructors from different organizations to teach a class for me when I'm gone. I don't have all the answers, and it helps my students to see other styles and philosophies.

BTW, In my dojos this doesn't just pertain to aikido.