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Eik
10-22-2003, 06:29 AM
When I first started Aikido ca 1 year ago, it seemed as a calm and plesant enviroment. (stil does). We are a branch(?) dojo, (not yet officialy opened, due on nov 2.) ca3 hours from our sensei. Since we are so distant, we dont hear or get involved to much in the politics of Aikido.

Now I have graded a few times, and gotten more interested in fiding out more about the art. 1; what kind of thing would be disrespectful to my sensei or others? (ex: inviting a guest instructor without asking/clearing with him/her first?, or inviting members from a different association to fill up available spaces on seminars? --Things like that.....

2; On the bigger picture (international), there seems to be other conflicts between aikidoka, that I`ve read some about on the internet.. (ex: Britain)

Can anyone please explain some of these things to me? -It just seem strange that an art dedicated to living in harmony can be so conflicted (if it is)...


I`d rather pe posting in the anonymous forum, but the chance of getting a reply here is greater..


-It is not my intention to be stepping on anyones toes here, just to get some clarity on things..

<thanks

Tim Griffiths
10-22-2003, 07:20 AM
Hi Erik,

Welcome to the wonderful world of aiki-politics. Basically, its a big mess and a pain in the butt. Too complicated and plain boring to explain here.

You don't mention what style you are. Basically, your style - good, everyone else's style - spawn of some brain-dead part-time ukedeshi who spent the whole time in class picking their nose and missed the one and only TRUTH of aikido as explained clearly by O-sensei to those who were willing to listen.

If your sensei never mentions ki, then those dojo's who do are weak and dragging unneeded mystic mumbo-jumbo into a real martial art. If your sensei talks about ki, then those dojo that don't are missing the True (tm) nature of aikido.

If your sensei does mainly static movements, then those who don't do them are missing out on the basics of aikido. If he does mainly flowing ki no nagare movements then everyone else is stuck doing basics and cannot really advance.

If everyone in you class wears hakama, then those who don't have no sense of Japanese tradition, and so can't be learning True (tm) aikido. If no-one wear one, then those dojo that do are stuck doing a nice dance, but not training for real (who wears a skirt on the street?). If, of course, only the dan-grades wear one, then its a dojo slavishly following the aikikai hombu example due to dubious WWII cloth shortages.

Get the idea?

OR: You could have a home dojo and style, but visit as many different dojo and styles as possible, go on as many courses as possible (hint: aikido-l seminar!), and take whatever works best for your physically build, aikido philosophy and temperament.

Be Warned, though! This is a lot harder and requires opening your mind and thinking a little about what every movement in every technique is really trying to achieve, and the best way to do it. You should be ready to constantly question (in a good way) how you are doing aikido, if it is what you want, and how you can really improve it. Sounds like a lot of work - better to just stick to being a defender of True (tm) aikido....

Now, some more helpful advice:

Basic rule of survival: Don't do anything like inviting another sensei, or anything that involves another sensei and the rest of your class, without talking to and getting approval from your own sensei. Its not polite, even offensive, to do otherwise. Depending how big a bug he/she has in their arse, you may want to talk to them before even going to see or train with someone else.

As to why its like this? As there's no (real) competition in aikido, we can't really tell who's aikido is better, and who's is worse. So any arguments are based around preferences and styles. Clashes of ego can't be sorted out in a boxing ring, so instead we get fragmentation and divisions.

It went on like this for a long time, but what we're seeing more and more of in the last 5 years or so is the rejoining of clubs together, under umbrella organisations (like the BAB in the UK), or some 'renegade' Japanese sensei coming (and being welcomed) back into aikikai. Even the splintering within ki society is being healed (to some small extent).

So its not all bad news. The good news is that its not the old fogies who knew O-sensei who will heal the divisions in aikido,

its us - the people who go to different teachers, learn that different is just different, not worse, and eventually become heads of our own organisations that are a lot more tolerant of each other, and help to improve everyone's aikido.

Dream on,

Tim

Paula Lydon
10-22-2003, 08:36 AM
~~Ick! It's there, yes, I choose to ignore most of it. You get 3 people in one room and you've got politics. Did I mention...Ick!?

indomaresa
10-22-2003, 08:53 AM
Tim here said everything that needs to be said. A little harsh, but I guess he had his brush with aiki-politics.

-human nature-

SeiserL
10-22-2003, 09:16 AM
IMHO, Aikido prinicples are the ideals we all work towards, but being human we often fall short.

Politics come from the personal ego problems that people are here to work out. Have compassion for those who feel so much fear and insecurity that they choose the path of politics over the path of love.

Its everywhere. But at least our discussion about it means that we are aware of it. And when the ego quiets, we all know the right thing to do. So lets not add to the ego and politics and choose to keep our own personal training open.

Eik
10-22-2003, 11:14 AM
Thank you for clearing up some of this!

-My style is: Aikikai, (like you said: "the one and only TRUTH of aikido as explained clearly by O-sensei")

-Ki is mentioned, static movements are inevitable as a beginner, but we do ofcourse train to get them flowing.

-We wear hakama from 3rd kyu. (to seperate beginers from those with some experience)

-As for inviting other sensei, I am not in a position to do so. (I have to go throug my instructor, who probably have to clear this with my sensei)

Erik
10-22-2003, 12:44 PM
-My style is: Aikikai, (like you said: "the one and only TRUTH of aikido as explained clearly by O-sensei")
Explained clearly?

BKimpel
10-22-2003, 01:45 PM
It’s funny that we use the word politics in Aikido, which in my opinion isn’t completely correct since political infers a political or power struggle agenda and I don’t honestly see most of the differences in Aikido styles and organizations as struggles for power or even to prove themselves better than others (although it is often manifested in the ways Tim described)…but just teaching style differences.

Almost every difference you see in Aikido is a difference in the way that particular teacher, style or organization chooses to teach Aikido. The fundamentals are the same, but one teacher prefers to concentrate on one aspect more than another (assumingly because they saw a lack of attention being given to that subject by other teachers), or one teacher prefers to do attacks a certain way, etc.

Truthfully the only time these “politics” even affect you are when you want that little piece of paper (a rank certificate). Then you are thrust into a world of particulars, you must conform to your teachers preferences and teaching method in order to receive rank.

Again you need to conform to your teacher’s teaching model in order to be graded by him or her…makes sense.

When I studied karate I saw the exact same thing. I originally studied Tsuroka-style karate (named after the guy who developed the teaching method – but based on chito-ryu karate), and when I later switched to shotokan karate I didn’t have to change one single thing – even the techniques were the same. But the teaching and training methods were completely different. Was one better than another…not really they each just chose to concentrate on different aspects of the same thing, one started you off in kumite (sparring) right from day one, while the other practiced kata and waza for quite a few kyu ranks before doing kumite.

The point is if you can see the principles in Aikido, you will see value in every style of Aikido and you may find one teaching style you prefer or you may find bits of each you like, etc.

So while many people say the politics are the “human side” of Aikido, that’s true in some cases but mostly its just differences of teaching styles and when you look at it like that – there is no issue. When you ask yourself why did O-sensei tolerate so many “styles” even when he was alive, he allowed them to teach the principles any way they saw fit and saw merit in approaching the same destination from different paths...or he would have kicked them out – no?

Ari Bolden
10-22-2003, 01:57 PM
Tim,

I very muched liked your response. Very well put.

cheers

Ari

The way is the way...

kironin
10-22-2003, 07:15 PM
Thank you for clearing up some of this!

-My style is: Aikikai, (like you said: "the one and only TRUTH of aikido as explained clearly by O-sensei")

-Ki is mentioned, static movements are inevitable as a beginner, but we do ofcourse train to get them flowing.

-We wear hakama from 3rd kyu. (to seperate beginers from those with some experience)

-As for inviting other sensei, I am not in a position to do so. (I have to go throug my instructor, who probably have to clear this with my sensei)
Hmmm...

sounds like you are in the Ki Society.

just replace "O-" with "Tohei" and your done.

:D

Craig

- who just moved to one level of aiki-hell lower than Jun.

Peter Goldsbury
10-22-2003, 09:46 PM
When I first started Aikido ca 1 year ago, it seemed as a calm and plesant enviroment. (stil does). We are a branch(?) dojo, (not yet officialy opened, due on nov 2.) ca3 hours from our sensei. Since we are so distant, we dont hear or get involved to much in the politics of Aikido.

Now I have graded a few times, and gotten more interested in fiding out more about the art. 1; what kind of thing would be disrespectful to my sensei or others? (ex: inviting a guest instructor without asking/clearing with him/her first?, or inviting members from a different association to fill up available spaces on seminars? --Things like that.....

2; On the bigger picture (international), there seems to be other conflicts between aikidoka, that I`ve read some about on the internet.. (ex: Britain)

Can anyone please explain some of these things to me? -It just seem strange that an art dedicated to living in harmony can be so conflicted (if it is)...

I`d rather pe posting in the anonymous forum, but the chance of getting a reply here is greater..

-It is not my intention to be stepping on anyones toes here, just to get some clarity on things..

<thanks
Hello Eirik,

I became aware of dojo politics long before I was aware of the organizational labyrinth. It was right there, on and off the mat, and centred on power: the power of the Japanese instructor and among those to whom he chose to delegate it—or not. This was not just a matter of the organization of the dojo—secretary, treasurer and such like, but also involved technical proficiency, since the ablest students were in some sense 'closest' to the instructor.

I will not say politics are unavoidable. In my very first (university) dojo there were only six students, who attended every class and we had no need of secretaries, treasurers, or grades. Everything was transparent, or as transparent as possible with a Japanese instructor with limited English. But this all changed when the instructor returned to Japan, we graduated and had to find other places to train.

In some sense the politics of the Japanese martial arts outside Japan are a reflection of the domestic version, which itself is a reflection of wider social behaviour in Japan. I mean by this that Japanese instructors who came abroad to teach simply replicated the dojo structure they had grown up in.

Why are there politics in martial arts like aikido?

Well, for one thing it is a social/cultural activity. For another, it is a DO, in the sense that everyone practising, from the most proficient shihan to the fumbling beginner, has both a past and a future. In other words, we are always on the way to something better, or worse.

Even such a seemingly obvious thing as being "dedicated to living in harmony" has a political dimension. It is not immediately obvious what it means and I have sometimes heard it brought up by powerholders as a reason why their more outrageous ideas should be accepted.

As you see, I take a wider view and do not accept the idea that politics exists only outside the confines of the local dojo.

Best regards,

Abasan
10-23-2003, 03:03 AM
If I were you, I won't even bother about involving yourself in aikido politics, such as ingratiating yourself to your sensei and etc. You want to learn aikido, so learn. From anyone. If your sensei taught you that you can learn aikido even as you practiced with beginners, he wouldn't fault you for learning from other teachers would he?

Besides, US has a whole bunch of great aikidoist... you have the chance that some of us don't, to learn from these great people. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a sensei or sempai that fits in this small band, maybe not. But even if you don't, you have the chance to visit them. If you don't and they die off, then you only have yourself to blame.

Kevin Leavitt
10-23-2003, 03:27 AM
I liked Peter's response.

I have always struggled with moving around and going to different dojos/schools/instructors etc. In one dojo they want you to hold your hand this way, in another it is important to do it another way. I always get frustrated by that (more my ego than anything else.)

While I have been studying actively for about 10 years I have failed to obtain Dan rank in any one system because of my constant moving (in the Army).

I consider myself to be proficient martially, and I am happy with my personal growth. So it has never been an issue for me. (promotion).

Anyway, as I am getting older, I recognize the importance of getting Dan rank and aligning myself to an organization for various reasons. That will mean I will have to suck it up and do things the way a particular organization wants me to do thing.

The thing I have always tried to focus on is that it is okay to make adjustments as long as it is not violating your principles. Changing a style, timing, foot step, or technique is not that big of a deal as long as it still works with in the broad guide of principle. I have found that there is a great deal of latitude in this area in aikido. Yes, it hurts the ego sometimes, but in the end you grow.

I alway said that experience was something you get from doing something wrong or making a mistake! So with this in mind, adapting yourself helps you grow!

As far as dojo politics. I try not to get involved. There are important things in a large dojo such as money, leadership, philosophy etc that need to be discussed and mediated. Therefore, their are politics to assist in that process. Unless you are a part of the dojo senior leadership, it is wise to stay out of it.

Train- ignore rumors, gossip, and opinions, and if a sensei wants you change your posture then do it, you might just learn something...even if it is that you'd never do it that way once your sensei!

johanlook
10-23-2003, 04:21 AM
Yep it sucks bad. Call it what you want but we all know what it is and it sucks.

mengsin
10-23-2003, 12:14 PM
My late master always said that 'you are the master of the art ' and the most disappointing things in life is people.

David Yap
10-27-2003, 07:39 PM
My late master always said that 'you are the master of the art ' and the most disappointing things in life is people.
Meng Sin,

Can you please elaborate/add substance to the statement(s)you made. You seem to have mis-quoted your teacher or left out some text.

"People" include your parents, your siplings, your spouse, your children, your friends, etc. All or most of them were disappointments to you??

"You are the master of the art" - meaning you do not need to learn from anyone???

I guess you can see the idiot I'm.

Regards

David

indomaresa
10-30-2003, 09:45 AM
i've heard the terms mengsin ng mentioned from a certain wushu teacher I often meet.

And I think what it means ( quoting from the teacher ) is;

you're the master of the art - your progress in learning is solely your own responsibility, not other's. It's your choice to do things or to refrain from it. ( in this case, letting politics bother you )

The most dissapointing thing in life is people - Because the human mind is fickle and hard to predict, resentment, ambition, ego, etcetera can appear and fester on any person's mind, always without him/her realizing it. This is always what keeps a person from reaching his full potential.

I've gotten some counseling from the said teacher on some problems. And the conversation is always very enlightening.

Perhaps mengsin can confirm whether what he means is similar or not?

Maresa

drunken_master
10-30-2003, 06:19 PM
I join a dojo last year Nov, soon after that I found I was not welcome at all. The last one year I only devoted to learn the following:

1) posture, mai

2) irimi, irimi tenkan

3) big circle, spiral

4) look where you go, follow the flow

5) dance, don't fight

6) smile, take ukemi

7) seiza, kiza

I really don't know what wrong with me why other hate me so much, all I know is that I drank a bit too much, I spot long hair.

Soon after a trip to a seminar in singapore, I was accused of embarrassing a 7 dan shihan while I was only a 5th kyu. Can you imagine that? But you seem to buy it too. Nobody ever mentioned how I took the ukemi to save my butt.

All I want is to learn from the best teacher, and I believe that I have found one. If you want to learn from a sensei who learn 31 kata jo suburi from a 5th kyu who can't even move, if you want to learn from a sensei whom master is 2nd kyu, I think you better go to see a doctor to check whether you have suffered brain damage from ukemi.

Last monday, while I did a kokyunage on the so-called sensei, he countered my technique to show how power he was, I was so furious I gave him a slap on his face. After more than 10 years of training in aikido he can't even escape my yokomenuchi.

That is the real reasons why I am no welcome at all. 'Cos I am the real bad guy who slap the sensei.

David Yap
10-30-2003, 09:32 PM
i've heard the terms mengsin ng mentioned from a certain wushu teacher I often meet.

And I think what it means ( quoting from the teacher ) is;

you're the master of the art - your progress in learning is solely your own responsibility, not other's. It's your choice to do things or to refrain from it. ( in this case, letting politics bother you )

The most dissapointing thing in life is people - Because the human mind is fickle and hard to predict, resentment, ambition, ego, etcetera can appear and fester on any person's mind, always without him/her realizing it. This is always what keeps a person from reaching his full potential.

I've gotten some counseling from the said teacher on some problems. And the conversation is always very enlightening.

Perhaps mengsin can confirm whether what he means is similar or not?

Maresa
Now, this is meaningful. Thanks Meresa.

Regards

David

David Yap
10-30-2003, 09:47 PM
<snipped>

I really don't know what wrong with me why other hate me so much, all I know is that I drank a bit too much, I spot long hair.
Do you go to the dojo drunk? If not, it is not your drinking. It must be your long hair then. I can imagine it is all greasy and filthy and people are slipping all over the mat due to grease you left behind or they can't stand the horrible smell of your hair and the stains on their dogi each time they do the irimi nage with you :D
<snipped>

All I want is to learn from the best teacher, and I believe that I have found one. If you want to learn from a sensei who learn 31 kata jo suburi from a 5th kyu who can't even move, if you want to learn from a sensei whom master is 2nd kyu, I think you better go to see a doctor to check whether you have suffered brain damage from ukemi.
You must be drunk at the dojo. Are you sober enough to read what you wrote? Do us a favour - tell us where you train to save us the mat fees ;)

Nick Simpson
10-31-2003, 07:23 AM
I dont really understand what you mean but if you slapped your sensei I dont think youd be welcome, look for another dojo mate.

sanosuke
11-07-2003, 01:03 AM
you're the master of the art - your progress in learning is solely your own responsibility, not other's. It's your choice to do things or to refrain from it. ( in this case, letting politics bother you )

that's very true, couldn't agree more with maresa. The result of our training is not determined by other people, but only by ourselves. this, actually, includes in your daily life too.
Last monday, while I did a kokyunage on the so-called sensei, he countered my technique to show how power he was, I was so furious I gave him a slap on his face. After more than 10 years of training in aikido he can't even escape my yokomenuchi.

I don't understand why you did this Eu Soon, in my understanding and experience if your sensei counter your technique then there must be something wrong with it, and actually you can use this opportunity to ask the sensei to correct it. We must show our sincerity to our partner during training, including when we were being countered. Oh, and if i'm not mistaken you're furious isn't it? Please don't :), being furious only make your technique sloppier, which is more vulnerable to more kaeshi-waza.
All I want is to learn from the best teacher, and I believe that I have found one. If you want to learn from a sensei who learn 31 kata jo suburi from a 5th kyu who can't even move, if you want to learn from a sensei whom master is 2nd kyu, I think you better go to see a doctor to check whether you have suffered brain damage from ukemi.

mmmm....i don't get this:confused: , maybe you could explain it more?

aikidocapecod
11-07-2003, 08:54 AM
In Saotome Sensei's book The Principles of Aikido, the first line of his introduction says,

"I worry about the conflicts that I see arise between different styles and schools of AIkido."

The first line of the second paragraph he says,

"Aikido has but one principle-the universal reality of life."

If there is a voice in Aikido that should be listened to with great respect, it is the voice of Saotome Sensei. Aikido by its very nature should be devoid of politics because one element that makes up politics on any platform is ego.

O'Sensei said that before one can begin on the path of Aiki, one must have no ego.

aikidoc
11-07-2003, 09:13 AM
Slapping your instructor for reversing your technique is inexcusable. Sorry but that's my opinion. He/She may have been trying to point out the openings in your technique or moving into instruction in kaeshi waza. You would be expelled from any school I teach in for such unprofessional and immature behavior. If you want to learn from the best you need to develop discipline and patience. Good instructors will not be willing to train someone with so little contro over their emotions.

aikidocapecod
11-07-2003, 09:54 AM
Aikido = The Path of Harmony

I have never seen slapping and harmony in the sane sentence

aikidocapecod
11-07-2003, 09:56 AM
But I don't see a connection between slapping and politics in Aikido!!!!

So I apologize for throwing my two cents in on that subject

mengsin
11-07-2003, 11:01 AM
Maresa,

Thank you for elaborating on my behalf. There is an example of what I mentioned in my earlier post. If someone can slap his sensei during training, has no place in any dojo.



Patience, Respect and Train Hard

MengSin

John Boswell
11-07-2003, 02:32 PM
Eu Soon Ong

Username: drunken_master

10-31-2003 12:19 AM

Local Time: 04:22 AM

Registered: Oct 2003

Posts: 1

Offline
For those of you concerned or worried about the post by the person who claimed to slap his sensei... look again at his name and info, plz.

Posts: 1 ???

He's a troll. Someone was trying to be funny. I'd ignore the guy. He's making crap up to get under your skin.

Have a nice day! :)

sanosuke
11-07-2003, 08:03 PM
But I don't see a connection between slapping and politics in Aikido!!!!

its not, but this is an interesting case indeed. This is the first time i heard someone slapping their own sensei and throw it into the forum.

boni tongson
11-07-2003, 10:07 PM
Sir Eu Soon,

Come try to visit us here in the Philippines and train with us. I think we don't really improve unless we fear our sensei, right? just like fear of God. :D :D :D

mj
11-08-2003, 08:06 PM
...While I have been studying actively for about 10 years I have failed to obtain Dan rank in any one system because of my constant moving (in the Army).

...
As an aside, my experience has been exactly the opposite.

The military people are usually overgraded.

aikido_fudoshin
11-09-2003, 11:54 AM
It’s funny that we use the word politics in Aikido, which in my opinion isn’t completely correct since political infers a political or power struggle agenda and I don’t honestly see most of the differences in Aikido styles and organizations as struggles for power or even to prove themselves better than others (although it is often manifested in the ways Tim described)…but just teaching style differences.
You may think differently once you've checked out the Ontario Yoshinkan scene. What a joke!

BKimpel
11-09-2003, 05:38 PM
Bryan,

Really? I have never been exposed to any Yoshinkan organizations (just individual practitioners), so I can’t comment. I suppose it can’t be any worse than the situation in UK with the division and petty rivalry after Tom Moss’s death – nor the current sillyness that will ensue now that H.Saito has left Aikikai (some might realize the mess that is going to come out of 2 styles of Aikido claiming to be Iwama-Ryu, but it will come).

A funny note about Iwama. Back when I first started Aikido I too was naďve about Aikido’s history and it’s politics. I knew who O-sensei was through various books but I knew nothing of the Kohei split, or the many other Uchi-Deshi that left Aikikai to be independent, nor even who Kisshomaru was (at the time). It didn’t affect my Aikido one bit.

I trained with two individuals that has just returned from Japan and their attitude was attrotious. They were completely stuck up and resisted everything all the time. I learned they were Iwama-style Aikido and I said to myself, “Boy I never want to train at that dojo – it produces jerks!”

I later started to get into Friendship seminars and video resources and was absolutely impressed by this one sensei named Saito. His power was fantastic, and you could really see the weapons influence in his tai-jutsu. I said to myself, “If I get to Japan he’s the first guy I am going to look up!”

When I started to read everything about Saito, and everything he published I began to really like him. Imagine my surprise when I learned that those jerk students were Iwama-Ryu?

You may think that is funny, but it tells me how “politics” come into play and spoil the fun. Yet at the same time, I believe it is still possible to seek out good teachers and train with them regardless of the politics.

David Yap
11-10-2003, 03:36 AM
Bryan,

..(snipped>

I trained with two individuals that has just returned from Japan and their attitude was attrotious. They were completely stuck up and resisted everything all the time. I learned they were Iwama-style Aikido and I said to myself, “Boy I never want to train at that dojo – it produces jerks!”

I later started to get into Friendship seminars and video resources and was absolutely impressed by this one sensei named Saito. His power was fantastic, and you could really see the weapons influence in his tai-jutsu. I said to myself, “If I get to Japan he’s the first guy I am going to look up!” ..<snipped>..
Hi Bruce.

I believe the term "Jerk" refer to the personal/individual characters and has nothing to do with their teachers. I have some experience with some of these jerks in various dojo and they don't practise or know anything about Iwama-ryu. In one of the dojo, their teacher's impression of Iwama-ryu is that it is hard and dangerous style by just visual assessment.

Resistance is norm at every dojo (more so if it happens not to be your home dojo) but the resistance offered must also be realistic. An over-board resistance will be met with an over-board response - a slap/punch in the face. If the sempai "locked up" your technique, he should be courteous enough to show you the way to unlock it short of getting a smack (atemi)in the face.

Just my 2 sen.

Regards

David

Crunch44
11-10-2003, 12:22 PM
You may think differently once you've checked out the Ontario Yoshinkan scene. What a joke!
Could you elaborate? I too practice in Ontario and would be interested in a discussion.

Would a PM be better?

Thanks

David Yap
05-04-2004, 03:37 AM
For those of you concerned or worried about the post by the person who claimed to slap his sensei... look again at his name and info, plz.

Posts: 1 ???

He's a troll. Someone was trying to be funny. I'd ignore the guy. He's making crap up to get under your skin.

Have a nice day! :)

Hi John & everyone who was on this thread,

This post from Ong Eu Soon was months ago. Guess what, I happened to meet Mr. Ong at an aikido seminar over the weekend. His post was not a troll and the person is real and they are probably members in this forum who knew him and has trained with him before .

The truth of the matter is he did not slap his teacher (he admitted); he knocked his teacher out cold with a yokomen. I believe that there was bad blood between him and this particular teacher (a mutual ego thingy) and the moment of truth arose when he partnered up with the teacher in jiyu waza; he just put too much ki into his atemi that the teacher couldn't see it coming. Correct me, Eu Soon, if you are reading this post. Apparently, ES started first as the Nage and the teacher (according to ES) was trying to prove something by fighting and resisting ES's aikido techniques. Finally, ES took the role of the uke and he merely wanted to show the teacher what it was like to be on the receiving end; and, received was what the teacher did.

This incident really augurs my belief that a good technician does not generally mean a good teacher - the requisites of being the latter go beyond technique. I am awed by some who think that getting a Shodan means earning a right to start a dojo and stop learning entirely. I am not sure about you guys but I came across this line in aikido before, "I don't need a teacher to teach me anymore as I am already a Shodan/Yudansha".

David

Nick Simpson
05-04-2004, 07:28 AM
Thats one of the things I like about our oranisation, the vast majority of dan grades dont teach, some organisations over here make it a prerequisite to start teaching once you reach shodan. Thats the difference between here and japan I spose, a blackbelt is viewed as a sign of mastery rather than a sign of commitment to the first steps of learning...

Bronson
05-04-2004, 09:31 AM
In our dojo you are...not required...but encouraged and expected to start teaching duties very early. At around nikyu or ikkyu you should be assisting other instructors in some way. At shodan it's desirable for you to be teaching a class of some sort. Now, what is required is if you want to teach you have to attend the head instructor's classes on a regular basis. Have to, no exceptions.

Bronson

David Yap
05-05-2004, 06:16 AM
In our dojo you are...not required...but encouraged and expected to start teaching duties very early. At around nikyu or ikkyu you should be assisting other instructors in some way. At shodan it's desirable for you to be teaching a class of some sort. Now, what is required is if you want to teach you have to attend the head instructor's classes on a regular basis. Have to, no exceptions.

Bronson

Assisting is one thing while actually leading or instructing a class without undergoing prior instructors training course/class is another one.

Someone posted this in the AJ forum, "Crappy instructor produces crappy students"; if I may add: "Crappy students then go on to become crappy instructors".

This cancer has to be nipped at the bud. For the love and continuity of the Art, Shihans/senior instructors/head of organisations need to step in to stop the flow of crappy instructions and instructors. One way to doing it is to limit the qualification of instructors to sandan & above or issue teaching certificates to those who have undergone a course on instructing and has been observed and proven to possess the spirit and maturity to teach.

David

Nick Simpson
05-05-2004, 07:52 AM
I beleive in our organisation only yondan and above are considered sensei, I think the only 3rd dans who teach a class are my 2 sensei (due to geographical constraints).

NagaBaba
05-10-2004, 04:46 PM
The truth of the matter is he did not slap his teacher (he admitted); he knocked his teacher out cold with a yokomen.
David
This is soooooo funny, I can't stop laughing :D Nice shot. I sincerly hope his teacher learned something form this KO.

stuartjvnorton
05-10-2004, 07:22 PM
Where I started training, seniors are expected to train with juniors before, during & after class and help them where they can.
Sensei's a big fan of Shioda Kancho's saying "master is student and student is master". :-)
No one takes a class though, except Mori sensei.
So the beginners get a 6th dan to take every class and several 3rd dans to train hands-on with them every day.
I'd prefer this to the "you're a big bad shodan now: now get out there & expand my empire".

Doka
05-10-2004, 07:41 PM
It’s funny that we use the word politics in Aikido, which in my opinion isn’t completely correct since political infers a political or power struggle agenda....

....Truthfully the only time these “politics” even affect you are when you want that little piece of paper (a rank certificate).

Actually I have heard of some disgusting examples of politics in Aikido, and other martial arts. It all stems from ego of course, and does not often have to do with little pieces of paper, although that can be used as a threat (not getting it) or insentive (getting it)!

I have heard of people kicked out for training in other dojo, people who have been banned from talking about aikido (incase it is different to the Sensei), not graded because they were not as popular as others, HURT because they said the wrong thing or questioned something..... The list goes on!

Please let me qualify this to say that I have trained in a lot of dojo and I am not giving examples of Yoshinkan dojo here!