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View Full Version : For The Good Of The Many, Or The Good Of The One?


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cbrf4zr2
04-12-2004, 09:54 AM
I teach one of the three nights a week we have Aikido at my dojo. I've been told that I am responsible for the safety of the students during my class. We happen to have a carpeted area we train on that is about 40' x 40'. (Don't ask - it was there before I started training) A few months ago one the students (who had been training on the carpet since before I got there) decided he wanted some of the blue fold up gymnastic mats we have overlaying 1/2 the floorspace because he has asthma and claims the dust in the carpet bothers him.

The problem is that these mats are about 2" thick, and now create an uneven working area. I have had numerous students complain to me about nearly (and also) rolling an ankle, almost pulling a hamstring (mats have more grip than the floor) when transitioning between the two areas, I've hyperextended an elbow while taking ukemi over the transition area, and nearly had a ugly knee injury from taking ukemi there as well.

If this were the ONLY spot the mats could be, I would suck it up, deal with it, and tell the other students the same thing. However, there is an area where these mats can be laid out where they would be level with the rest of the main floor area. (The main floor area is raised about 2" from the rest of the dojo.) This is what we had done for 3 years or so, but for some reason lately this student keeps insisting on the having split level training area. The area where the mats would be would allow for a 8' x 40' training aea as opposed to a 20' x 40' training area for one student and his partner(s).

The Dojo Cho does accommodate the student's wishes on the nights that he teaches. however, has never explicitly directed me one way or the other even when I have metioned the dilemna to him.

What would you do?

David Edwards
04-12-2004, 10:08 AM
Get rid of the carpet and put more mats out? Or am I misreading / misunderstanding something, and thinking this is simpler than it is? You have the authority / resources to do this, yes?

cbrf4zr2
04-12-2004, 10:11 AM
Get rid of the carpet and put more mats out? Or am I misreading / misunderstanding something, and thinking this is simpler than it is? You have the authority / resources to do this, yes?
We don't have enough mats to cover the entire training area. If we get rid of the carpet we are left with bare floor. We have enough students that a 20' x 40' area is not large enough for all of us to train. We're trying to get zebra matting "soon." I am not sure what the time frame of soon currently is.

kironin
04-12-2004, 10:30 AM
This is what we had done for 3 years or so, but for some reason lately this student keeps insisting on the having split level training area. The area where the mats would be would allow for a 8' x 40' training aea as opposed to a 20' x 40' training area for one student and his partner(s).

The Dojo Cho does accommodate the student's wishes on the nights that he teaches. however, has never explicitly directed me one way or the other even when I have metioned the dilemna to him.

What would you do?
I guess I am a little disoriented by the whole situation which sounds very dysfunctional to me.

If the Dojo Cho accommodates the student, I don't see how you cannot also.

If you feel strongly that there is a big safety problem in this accomodation, I think you have to meet with your dojo-cho, communicate your concerns and describe the injuries you have seen like you did here, discuss the problem it presents in exposing him and the dojo to legal liability, and discuss possible solutions. You could ask him does he know why the student is insisting on this new arrangement, etc. teachers should feel free to talk with each other.

communication is key in dojo just like any other organization.

best,

Craig

Houston Ki Society

kironin
04-12-2004, 10:44 AM
We don't have enough mats to cover the entire training area. If we get rid of the carpet we are left with bare floor. We have enough students that a 20' x 40' area is not large enough for all of us to train. We're trying to get zebra matting "soon." I am not sure what the time frame of soon currently is.
Maybe you could get the student with asthma to volunteer to spear head a fund raising drive for the zebra mats. He has a strong reason to want to eliminate the carpet. Make it happen a faster and resolve the issue in a way that will make everyone happy in the dojo.

Even if you have to spear head the fund raising still get the asthma student heavily involved and investing time on it. Get everyone involved. Be a positive force.

best,

Craig

Houston Ki Society

L. Camejo
04-12-2004, 02:54 PM
Hi Edward,

In my opinion the safety of those practising comes first and outweighs the needs of the one. It's okay to be accomodating, but not at the risk of injury to others.

In our dojo, if one has a medical condition that can adversely affect training we try our best to accomodate, if not, tough luck. Safety first.

LC:ai::ki:

Josh Bisker
04-12-2004, 06:59 PM
vacuum.

thoroughly, and often.

make it part of regular dojo operation, every night if you want.

and why doesn't the dude just train on the mats where they are, on the level part?

also, while you are beholden to each of your students on a certain level, you are not obligated to place their comfort over others' safety. if one student wanted to train hard and fast because it was where he was more comfortable in his training, but he kept injuring his ukes, you'd tell him to go slower. if one guy keeps putting the mats a certain way because he's more comfortable that way, but it keeps injuring the other students, then tell him not to, and to deal with being slightly less comfortable or discover a new way to be comfortable (like training on the mats or vacuuming). this seems a touch absurd.

seriously though, vacuum.

kironin
04-13-2004, 03:07 AM
seriously though, vacuum.
but you need a vacuum with a microfilter system to really help.

while your at it have the carpet profeesionally cleaned (steam and shampoo and microfilter.)

:D

Craig