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actoman
12-21-2003, 09:51 AM
Hey all,

Let me explain the problem, and I need your honest opinions:

I have been consistently training hard for the past 3 months privately due to school constraints, and really enjoy learning with the Sensei with which I am under.

Here is the problem: I try to contact him at least twice weekly, all unsuccessful, to confirm appointments for that week because it is a long drive to the dojo, and I don't want to get stood up and be out of gas. He NEVER returns my calls and now we have'nt even trained in 3 weeks! I am so frustrated with him I could scream. He teaches 2 times a week which I cannot attend due to school, and he only has 1 other private client. I am considering dropping him altogether, and continue to search for another dojo, however, there are not many in West Virginia, so as you can see I am at a loss.

Suggestions?
I have even left a message at his home and at the dojo, both expressing my frustrations.

John Boswell
12-21-2003, 10:13 AM
With an instructor or any other individual, if you have a standing appointment with that person... it is up to them to keep that appointment or lose your business. Especially when you offer private lessons... they ask extra for giving extra attention. NO attention is outrageous.

To be stood up three times or three weeks is inexcuseable unless there was in fact some emergency in his life. Otherwise, he's just being rude. If that is the case, I don't care what his technique looks like... there IS someone better to train with.

Keep searching for a new sensei is my advice. I live in west Texas (middle of nowhere) and know what you mean about it being difficult to find one to train with... but I'd rather not train with someone like that... than to be treated the way you are.

That's my 2 cents. Best of luck to you.

Esteban Martinez
12-21-2003, 10:15 AM
Go and find a dojo where you can take regular classes. In my opinion private lessons are not the best.

There are two AAA dojos in west virginia that I'd recommend.

1. Aikido of Morgantown

2. West Virginia Aikido

You can find the address and website at http://www.aaa-aikido.com/national.htm#westvirginia

or in the dojo search engine of Aikiweb.

Good Luck

aikidoc
12-21-2003, 08:27 PM
Andy, from what you said, you had a standing private class. You attempted to confirm your standing private class and did not get a response. Perhaps, your instructor never received the message. The responsibility of communicatin lies with the sender. Perhaps, your instructor is frustrated with you for not showing up at a scheduled private class.

Before jumpimg to conclusions, I would attempt to visit the instructor and find out who is at fault. If it's you bite the bullet and get back to training. If it is the instructor, perhaps some of the other advice would be worth considering.

actoman
12-22-2003, 06:02 AM
How could he not have gotten my messages, it's his HOME phone and cell phone?

Cliff Geysels
12-22-2003, 09:58 AM
Just dump the guy! Go look for another.

Michael Young
12-22-2003, 10:09 AM
Ditto..

Good Luck!

Mike

Larry Feldman
12-22-2003, 01:34 PM
The dojo search engine had 5 hits in West Va.

Use the opportunity to fully investigate all your other alternatives.

lt-rentaroo
12-22-2003, 02:18 PM
Guys,

Andy does not live in an area that has easy access to a multitude of Aikido dojo. I know, because I used to live in WV myself. Even if 5 dojo are listed in the search feature, that doesn't mean they're near where he lives. Due to the nice curvy mountain roads that are prevalent in WV it may take darn near an hour or more to travel 30 miles! Not conducive to traveling long distances for Aikido class, especially if time constraints are a major factor (which it seems they are).

Andy -

I understand your frustration. I've had the good fortune to meet and train with your instructors, I'm certain there may be circumstances you're unaware of. Don't give up yet.

henry brown
12-22-2003, 02:36 PM
If you aren't too far from the interstate, you might also think about driving out of state, either to Penn, Maryland, or Va.

aikidoc
12-22-2003, 03:04 PM
Andy:

Perhaps the answering machine was not working properly; someone else could have picked up the messages and not relayed them to him; he may have had personal issues and has not checked his messages. There are possibilities-I'm just saying you should try to get together with him before making any judgments. There could be a mulititude of reasons he did not get the messages or was not able to return the calls.

Peter Goldsbury
12-22-2003, 04:35 PM
Hey all,

Let me explain the problem, and I need your honest opinions:

I have been consistently training hard for the past 3 months privately due to school constraints, and really enjoy learning with the Sensei with which I am under.

Here is the problem: I try to contact him at least twice weekly, all unsuccessful, to confirm appointments for that week because it is a long drive to the dojo, and I don't want to get stood up and be out of gas. He NEVER returns my calls and now we have'nt even trained in 3 weeks! I am so frustrated with him I could scream. He teaches 2 times a week which I cannot attend due to school, and he only has 1 other private client. I am considering dropping him altogether, and continue to search for another dojo, however, there are not many in West Virginia, so as you can see I am at a loss.

Suggestions?

I have even left a message at his home and at the dojo, both expressing my frustrations.
I think my advice might be a little different from what you have received so far. In my opinion, what you should do depends on what you want from this particular instructor.

If you are living in an area where there is a large measure of choice, and the instructors are much the same in level and quality of training and teaching, then you can afford to look around. If the instructor is special and has what you are seeking, then it is you who will have yo make the extra effort to obtain it.

I was in a similar situation some years ago, when I had to find a new instructor. I chose to make a 2 - 3 hour commute twice a week, rather then go to a local dojo. The reason was simple.

From your post, the relationship between you and the private teacher seems to be fairly simple: you pay the fee and receive instruction. In Japan things are rarely that simple. I am not saying the simple approach is necessarily wrong, of course. However, there might be a number of reasons why he is so difficult to get hold of.

Best regards for Christmas and the New Year.

actoman
12-23-2003, 05:11 AM
Louis,

Whom did you train with? Was it master Garrett, or King Sensei? Or another? I am currently training with King sensei and am frustrated at his lack of communication. I do not mean to degrade but it is a long drive, and I honestly cannot afford anymore gas than is necessary to travel.

lt-rentaroo
12-23-2003, 09:08 AM
Andy,

I have trained with Jarrett Sensei, King Sensei (mainly during seminars), and others. The last time I met/trained with either was over four years ago during a Harmony in the Hills seminar in Jackson's Mill with Shihan Blok. I believe that Sensei King is a special education teacher, he may have a really tight schedule this time of year.

Don't give up, I'm certain Sensei King will contact you.

Vic Robinson
12-23-2003, 12:29 PM
Andy,

I'm glad to hear that you've been training for the past few months, Bill King Sensei is a good and respected teacher. I'm sorry to hear that you still have school conflicts, but as I told you in the summer, we have classes on Monday and Wednesday evening and just down I-79, James Osborne Sensei has classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. So between our two dojos that is four evenings of class available per week, within 25 miles of interstate.

Esteban - thanks for the mention of our dojo. I believe that I saw you at the Eastern Region Camp this past September, didn't I? Or maybe it was the Eastern Region Instructors Seminar.

PRapoza
12-23-2003, 06:31 PM
I agree with Peter. It's been my experience that if I wanted what the teacher had then I had to do whatever was required to get it. I don't know you or your personal situation but the above is the very short version of the "Japanese way" All of my teachers have been fairly available to me. My first teacher, I trained with for seven years, was an hour and a half drive away. He didn't make any special arrangements to accomodate me and I did not expect him too.

One of the disadvantages of private lessons is you don't have any sempai (senior students) around to talk with. They can be very helpful in clueing new folks in. They are the link between beginners and the Sensei.

I'll ask you to forgive my straight forwardness in advance. I don't mean to offend just inform. Three months of training is nothing, in the grand scheme of things. About eight years ago I went to Hombu dojo in Japan to train with the teacher of my teachers. I was formally introduced to him before class and was very excited at the prospect of taking ukemi for him in class. Well, he totally ignored me the entire class, not once did he throw me let alone even touch me. I don't even think he looked at me. I was furious. The whole trip back to my apartment I was fuming. Thinking " That guy is a total jerk!" I came all the way from Kamakura to Tokyo to train with him and he didn't even give me the time of day." That's the last time I'm going to do that!, I thought. I talked with my sempai about it the next day. They assured me he was not a jerk but an old school teacher. They went on to tell me if I wanted to take ukemi for him I would have to make several trips to see him and then he still may not. I thought, "I only have four more weeks here. I'm not wasteing my time going up there so that maybe he will throw me when I can go right around the corner here and be thrown by a Shihan all I want!" I should mention at that time I was a nidan with good ukemi and had been practicing for several years.

It's only recently I realized who the jerk really is.

__________

Paul

P.S. In the future I wouldn't mention your teachers name when speaking negatively about them on a public forum. Good luck with your training.

actoman
12-24-2003, 07:09 AM
Good Point, My sincere apologies to Sensei King for any undue negativity put his way. But when you make an investment in training you expect he/she to make the best of it. I may also be the jerk in the situation, but I have at least attempted contact, he has not.

I will just keep trying as I really enjoy training with him and he has great qualities as well as patience. He is worth more than my hour in many respects. I hope to continue with him soon, and will keep you updated.

By the way, Hey Vic, How are you? I am considering taking some soon, but my school schedule is in the evenings only, between 5-9pm Mon-Fri, so you can see where my hard spot lies. Tough decisions.