PDA

View Full Version : Training in other schools of aikido


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Different stroke
01-27-2005, 12:13 PM
I belong to an aikikai organization and have been training for quite a while. I have also wanted to train other schools of aikido simultaneous with my present aikikai style to broad my knowledge and hopefully my skill as well. The problem is - my teacher will never permit it. I have not asked him yet but I know he will not as even the utter of Iwama-ryu brings disgust to his face. At one time, someone gave me a brochure of a Yoshinkan school that was nicely done which I then passed to him to have a look. Without a glance, he threw it into the waste-paper basket obvious to the rest of the class.

As I have invested much time and money thus far, I jeopardize my prospect of getting a shodan by being kicked out the Aikikai dojo if I am caught training in another style. Does it mean I am being disloyal to my teacher and Aikikai? I know I am not but how can I convince my teacher?

Adam Alexander
01-27-2005, 07:38 PM
that is disloyal. in an honorable exchange, he gives you his knowledge, you give him what you know he wants for that knowledge: allegiance. If you do not wish to give him allegiance, then you should not accept what he is offering for that allegance: knowledge.

dekodo
01-27-2005, 09:32 PM
that is disloyal. in an honorable exchange, he gives you his knowledge, you give him what you know he wants for that knowledge: allegiance. If you do not wish to give him allegiance, then you should not accept what he is offering for that allegance: knowledge.


I could not agree less.

First off, nobody has all the answers. I realize there are things I cannot give to my students, experiences I simply do not have. That in no way invalidates what I am doing on the mat.

The open exchange of concepts and ideas...sharing...that is what leads to knowledge. If a student (no matter how much my junior) has something to offer, regardless of where it came form, I want to explore it so I can grow and develop.

If a student of mine finds something else out there that suits them better, then I would encourage them to explore it. My Aikido is still my aikido, so the way I see, If the student leaves, what I had to offer was not for them...

D.K.

David Yap
01-27-2005, 10:16 PM
that is disloyal. in an honorable exchange, he gives you his knowledge, you give him what you know he wants for that knowledge: allegiance. If you do not wish to give him allegiance, then you should not accept what he is offering for that allegance: knowledge.

Jean,

I tend not to agree with you. In the past (> 50 years ago), I may agree with you. What if his teacher makes his living by instructing aikido or any MA for that matter? The student now pays for his lesson - it is not simply a teacher-student relationship but also vendor-client relationship. When the student first joins a dojo, he is told to fill a form (his name, address, contact, etc.) and probably a waiver. I don't think allegiance is mentioned or implied anywhere.

I speak as a former dojo-cho (karate). I don't demand allegiance from my students, I allow them to train in any MA discipline or with other style of karate. While I taught Shotokan, I train Goju-ryu and aikido. "Armed" with these knowledge, I can answer their questions appropriately. The loyalty I gain from my students (past & present) is not from a teacher-student relationship but rather from our friendship - the sharing of knowledge, the open-mindedness, the trust and honesty with one and other. I always tell my students not to accept my answers as the honest truth but to put them to test and they should share their findings, good or bad, with everyone including myself. I feel I can learn as much from my students by teaching them or looking at their movements and from their experience from other MA disciplines.

Change is inevitable, growth is optional and tradition should be preserved (Shu Ha Ri). The truth is Allegiance is not a Tradition.

Happy training

David Y

Janet Rosen
01-27-2005, 10:28 PM
The modern aikido dojo is not a feudal institution for the transmission of knowledge from one teacher to a small group of selected persons. It is a place that students from a variety of backgrounds, needs, abilities enter--with the permission of the instructor--and while sometimes a student and an instructor may develop a bond of loyalty, I'd say that just as often it does NOT happen.
Me, I learned early on that there are many styles of teaching, learning, and doing aikido, and that I could learn something from each of them. At the same time, I had instructors who felt they had the "one true way." Well, it was hard, because I'd fallen for the loyalty thing. But yknow what? You change dojos and its not the end of the world.
I would never be a member of a dojo that looked askance at me taking responsibility for my own training, including going to seminars or visiting other dojos.

maikerus
01-27-2005, 10:51 PM
I also believe that one should be able to train anywhere and learn from anyone, although you probably should have a "main" dojo for where you do your gradings.

This instructor apparantly does not allow that. Most of us disagree with that, thinking that (as Janet puts so well) "there are many styles of teaching, learning, and doing aikido, and that I could learn something from each of them."

But shouldn't that be their choice as an instructor/dojocho/whatever. If someone wants to learn from this instructor then they should abide by their rules. The old "when you are in my house you do it my way" kind of attitude. As Jean points out this is the price that is paid for the knoledge received. If we complain about this because we want "choice" then we can hardly complain when this instructor "has chosen".

My advice would be to discuss why you want to train elsewhere from him and listen to his reasons why he thinks you shouldn't. If the two of you can't agree and you still want to train elsewhere then walk away. Shodan isn't so important that it can't wait another few years at another dojo.

Oh...and pick up that Yoshinkan pamphlet out of the garbage and go see them if you do decide to leave ;)

My few yen...

--Michael

Amir Krause
01-28-2005, 04:16 AM
that is disloyal. in an honorable exchange, he gives you his knowledge, you give him what you know he wants for that knowledge: allegiance. If you do not wish to give him allegiance, then you should not accept what he is offering for that allegiance: knowledge.

The disloyal act here is going behind your teachers back and doing a thing he forbids. Learning from other teachers/ styles should be encouraged and does not mean a break of loyalty.

My advice would be to discuss why you want to train elsewhere from him and listen to his reasons why he thinks you shouldn't. If the two of you can't agree and you still want to train elsewhere then walk away. Shodan isn't so important that it can't wait another few years at another dojo.
I agree. If he merely prefers his students not to go and learn from others before the have a strong solid basis (some would say Shodan or 1st Kyu), it is very sound. If he expects his students to learn only from him, I think you should probably start thinking on quitting at some point (unless he is an exceptional teacher).
My teacher actually encourages his students to learn more M.A. (He is teaching Judo & Karate besides Korindo Aikido and progressed in all 3 M.A. to senior ranks (around 6th Dan)).
I went to train in Aikikai for a short while in another dojo and he just kept asking me for interesting new ideas. I have also trained in TKD for a period (2-3 years) and one of my reasons was my wish to see the perceptions of other teachers. Other students went to train in Kendo and other M.A.

One point to consider is that when you wish to study another style of Aikido, it does imply some lack of confidence in his teaching of THE SAME M.A. and from my experience, you mat find it more difficult to distinguish the teachings and custom in 2 similar Dojo's...

Amir

Adam Alexander
01-28-2005, 04:35 PM
You folks have me wrong. I'm not saying it's a feudal agreement. I'm not saying that an instructor should or should not demand allegiance.

What I am saying, is that our anonymous friend KNOWS the price of this instuctor's time. That price is monthly dues AND total commitment to only that style/instructor.

Sure, he has the right to go elsewhere. I'm not saying that he MUST stay. I'm only saying, pay the price or be honest that you're not willing to do so.

Janet Rosen
01-28-2005, 04:55 PM
Put that way, yes, Jean, I agree w/ you.

Pauliina Lievonen
01-28-2005, 05:10 PM
What I am saying, is that our anonymous friend KNOWS the price of this instuctor's time. That price is monthly dues AND total commitment to only that style/instructor.

Sure, he has the right to go elsewhere. I'm not saying that he MUST stay. I'm only saying, pay the price or be honest that you're not willing to do so.

I've been in this situation and I chose to leave.

In my opinion, a "loyalty" that is forced is false loyalty and not worth much. The loyalty that I feel for my current teacher comes from mutual respect and trust and is worth so much more. It doesn't stop me from visiting other schools and seminars. It keeps me coming back though. :D

kvaak
Pauliina

Chris Li
01-28-2005, 07:11 PM
I've been in this situation and I chose to leave.

In my opinion, a "loyalty" that is forced is false loyalty and not worth much. The loyalty that I feel for my current teacher comes from mutual respect and trust and is worth so much more. It doesn't stop me from visiting other schools and seminars. It keeps me coming back though. :D

kvaak
Pauliina

I would too. The fact of the matter is, you can't force people to do something that they don't want to - they end up leaving anyway and all that happens is a lot of resentment and hurt feelings is generated along the way.

Best,

Chris

MaryKaye
01-28-2005, 08:19 PM
If it was a permanent ban and not just "I'd rather you didn't until you have a better basis here," I think I'd leave. I'd certainly think very hard about leaving.

It just doesn't seem like a healthy dynamic. It could come from insecurity in the teacher's abilities, or an excessive desire for control, or a history of infighting with other dojo, but none of those sound very good to me.

But it would be good to ask before quitting, just in case the answer is either "You need a more solid grounding first" or "I know the dojo you're considering and it's bad for reasons X, Y and Z." Or just maybe "All right, if you can do it without interfering with your training here"--it's hard to know till you try.

Mary Kaye

maikerus
01-28-2005, 08:47 PM
I wouldn't call it a forced loyalty, but rather (as Jean stated) this is the price of the instructor's time. By entering into that agreement you acknowledge and accept that limitation.

An analogy I see would be choosing between, say Japanese citizenship and Canadian citizenship. My kids will have to choose at the age of 18 whether they are going to be Canadian or Japanese because the Japanese government says that if you are a Japanese citizen then you cannot hold citizenship in any other country. The government says that at the age of 18 you must decide.

The Canadian government, on the other hand, allows its citizens to also be citizens of another country and to hold multiple passports.

Should we advise all Japanese to go become another nationality because of this restriction placed on them? Its a little absurd to suggest that, but this is still the price of being Japanese.

Bronson
01-29-2005, 01:25 AM
this is the price of the instructor's time. By entering into that agreement you acknowledge and accept that limitation.

I think in order for this to apply the instructor would have to make it clear to new/prospective students that this was how he ran his school.

Bronson

maikerus
01-29-2005, 02:12 AM
Bronson...good point. I missed that in the original post. I thought it was made clear to this instructor's students, but re-reading the post I see that it looks more like its an assumption made by the student.

--Michael

Different Stroke
01-29-2005, 05:08 AM
You folks have me wrong. I'm not saying it's a feudal agreement. I'm not saying that an instructor should or should not demand allegiance.

What I am saying, is that our anonymous friend KNOWS the price of this instuctor's time. That price is monthly dues AND total commitment to only that style/instructor.

Sure, he has the right to go elsewhere. I'm not saying that he MUST stay. I'm only saying, pay the price or be honest that you're not willing to do so.

Hi Jean,

You are confusing me. I, amongst others, is not getting free lessons, we pay the monthly dues. I am not walking away from the current dojo. I am prepared to invest more money and time in aikido joining an additional dojo. At some aikikai dojo, there may be more than one teachers instructing at different time and students get to do and feel things differently. But not so at my place. If I attend another Aikikai dojo, I may offend my teacher by giving the impression that his instructions are inadequate. My intention is join a non-aikikai dojo or aikikai dojo that follows either the Iwama system or Nishio's system to broad my aikido knowledge; after all both Saito and Nishio was and is direct students of O Sensei.

For some reasons, I feel my teacher is afraid of offending anyone at Aikikai Hombu, hence, the "dislike" for Yoshinkan, Iwama-ryu and probably Nishio. So, when I said he will not permit it means he will not permit it period - no discussion.
So to my question: Disloyalty to who? My teacher or to Aikikai?

Regards

Adam Alexander
01-29-2005, 06:12 AM
Here's an analogy:

I'm selling a Ford. The price is $100, three tofu dinners and twenty hours of cleaning my house.

I'm not willing to negotiate and I'm willing to lose you as a buyer.


Your instructor is selling the car (Aikido). The price is allegiance (in his way) and dues. He will not negotiate ("So, when I said he will not permit it means he will not permit it period - no discussion.")

You say,"...I, amongst others, is not getting free lessons, we pay the monthly dues." This is like saying,"sure, I took the car, but I paid him $100." Problem is, I wanted a whole lot more than $100...so does your Sensei.

Being that it's a car, we'd say that you stole it. However, being knowledge and time, we don't say that it's stealing from your Sensei. What is it then?


And finally, you say,"So to my question: Disloyalty to who? My teacher or to Aikikai?"

I respond: When you take my car without paying the total price, are you stealing from me, or Ford?

Different Stroke
01-29-2005, 07:07 AM
Here's an analogy:...

Thanks for analogy. Comprehensive.

X amount is paid for the lessons and that is the perceived value and nothing else is demanded or implied. Some of my sempai in fact train at other Aikikai dojo, no problem. Some also train in other MA, again no problem.

The problem is training at other schools of aikido.

So, the answer I fiqured out must be loyalty to Aikikai. It must Aikikai or Hombu favored system, any other school is no no. I am a 2nd Kyu. I think I will buy time, take shodan and then decide from there. It is a small world; if I leave now, join another Aikikai dojo which permits me to train in another school, he will definitely hear about it. The reason I signed uo with him is that he is A senior instructor and every other Aikikai instructors look up to him.

Thanks for the pointer.

stuartjvnorton
01-29-2005, 07:32 AM
Maybe he's just a follower of the One True Path.

L. Camejo
01-29-2005, 12:01 PM
For some reasons, I feel my teacher is afraid of offending anyone at Aikikai Hombu, hence, the "dislike" for Yoshinkan, Iwama-ryu and probably Nishio. So, when I said he will not permit it means he will not permit it period - no discussion.

Personally I think you should find a Shodokan (aka Tomiki) Dojo. :cool:

If he dislikes Yoshinkan, Iwama and Nishio then by logic he should absolutely hate us. If you're gonna be an Aiki-Heathen, be a REAL Aiki-Heathen is what I say evileyes :crazy: .

So to my question: Disloyalty to who? My teacher or to Aikikai?

It can't be disloyalty to Aikikai since I know of many Aikikai instructors (and a couple Shihans) who are open to cross training within Aikido. Unless they are all heathens too. :confused:

If you want to be "loyal" to your teacher, great. But unless you signed an agreement to be "loyal to him alone and his one true path" when you signed up for classes, then there is no reason to stick around and limit yourself. Most non-ego intoxicated Instructors I have met are very open to their students "standing on their shoulders" and moving beyond even them. To do this one often needs a comprehensive view of Budo that allows the the more particular training in one's style to make a bit more sense when seen from an outside perspective.

From my experience Instructors who call for this sort of loyalty are either 1)Afraid that their quality of instruction is not up to the par of the group they are representing 2) Taking liberties in their own teaching methods that would be frowned upon if viewed by other teachers who know how to spot BS 3) So consumed with their own ego and belief that they are on the "one true path" that they view other training methods as being somehow "beneath" their own. :freaky:

The above is just from my experience, for all of the above I'd be heading out the door. If you are worried about disloyalty the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to learn "Aikido" and be proficient in it or if you want to align yourself politically with a particular system of teaching and become an instructor yourself etc. etc. If your answer is the former then you do whatever it takes to be proficient (in your own view) in Aikido. If the answer is the second one, then you have to decide whether you want to be Aikikai affiliated or affiliated to your instructor (which at the moment is the same thing as being Aikikai affiliated, but may be only so for the moment). Often the "I am the one true way" sorts tend to get antsy when their overseeing organisation is not going where they would like it to.

So its your call - Politics or Proficiency? Sometimes you can get both in the same place, often not.

Just my take. I reserve the right to be wrong.;)
LC:ai::ki:

Different Stroke
01-29-2005, 09:36 PM
Personally I think you should find a Shodokan (aka Tomiki) Dojo. :cool:
None where I live.

If you want to be "loyal" to your teacher, great. But unless you signed an agreement to be "loyal to him alone and his one true path" when you signed up for classes, then there is no reason to stick around and limit yourself. Most non-ego intoxicated Instructors I have met are very open to their students "standing on their shoulders" and moving beyond even them. To do this one often needs a comprehensive view of Budo that allows the the more particular training in one's style to make a bit more sense when seen from an outside perspective.Agree.

From my experience Instructors who call for this sort of loyalty are either 1)Afraid that their quality of instruction is not up to the par of the group they are representing 2) Taking liberties in their own teaching methods that would be frowned upon if viewed by other teachers who know how to spot BS 3) So consumed with their own ego and belief that they are on the "one true path" that they view other training methods as being somehow "beneath" their own. :freaky:Hmm, this starts me wondering...

So its your call - Politics or Proficiency? Sometimes you can get both in the same place, often not.Definitely not from my post.

Just my take. I reserve the right to be wrong.;)
LC:ai::ki:You read my thoughts absolutely well. Much thanks.

Hanna B
01-29-2005, 10:14 PM
Your teacher has an unfortunate attitude. IMO it would be very very difficult to train in his dojo plus another one for any kind of time. Going elsewhere might be the first step to leave.

It is up to you how you want to handle it.

Amir Krause
01-30-2005, 02:34 AM
I, amongst others, is not getting free lessons, we pay the monthly dues. I am not walking away from the current dojo. I am prepared to invest more money and time in aikido joining an additional dojo.


Learning Aikido (or any other "way of life") means you should forget about the Customer mentality. Your paying the teacher has nothing to do with the situation and doesn't give you any more rights!

he will not permit it period - no discussion.

So you must make your choice - stay with him & respect his requirement of leave. Those are your choices. Do not go behind his back - THAT IS BETRAYL!!! And the first person you would betray in such a way is you. Your studies of Aikido will forever be shrouded by the fear of his discovering, and you will no longer enjoy the practice in pure heart.

think I will buy time, take shodan and then decide from there.
This is an unfortunate yet possible decision. Just be honest with yourself to make sure it doesn't turn your training bitter.


Amir

ruthmc
01-30-2005, 04:10 AM
So, the answer I fiqured out must be loyalty to Aikikai. It must Aikikai or Hombu favored system, any other school is no no. I am a 2nd Kyu. I think I will buy time, take shodan and then decide from there.
Just a thought - your teacher may not allow you to take shodan, or may delay you taking it, if he suspects that you won't stay solely with him after getting that grade... It's not unknown for this to happen.

Ruth

Different Stroke
01-30-2005, 09:04 AM
Just a thought - your teacher may not allow you to take shodan, or may delay you taking it, if he suspects that you won't stay solely with him after getting that grade... It's not unknown for this to happen.

Ruth

There were others who graded shodan and stopped and some at first kyu who then joined other aikikai dojo.

Joining other aikikai dojo has not been a problem with my teacher, joining other schools of aikido is a BIG problem. If I join another school now, I may never get an Aikikai shodan. Even if I join a Yoshinkan or Iwama-ryu system of the Aikikai, I don't mind starting from scratch, so in my thinking I rather have all (yudansha in Aikikai, Yoshinkan, etc.) or nothing.

Do not go behind his back - THAT IS BETRAYL!!! And the first person you would betray in such a way is you. Your studies of Aikido will forever be shrouded by the fear of his discovering, and you will no longer enjoy the practice in pure heart.So you are saying that I should leave for my quest of knowledge and it should done after obtaining shodan ;).

Adam Alexander
01-30-2005, 09:31 AM
If your child (if you don't have one, suppose you did) was planning to do something you didn't approve of and he/she waited until after they got their allowance, do you think that's ok? were they doing something wrong the whole time they were planning?

Different Stroke
01-30-2005, 10:35 AM
If your child (if you don't have one, suppose you did) was planning to do something you didn't approve of and he/she waited until after they got their allowance, do you think that's ok? were they doing something wrong the whole time they were planning?

So you are saying that most teachers hold back on the shodan because the students may be planning to leave after that.

Jean, are one with the "One truth path"? Having a thought to do something my teacher disproves is also disloyalty. Is this a immoral act? Am I suppose to feel guilty or ashamed?Anyone out there who has gone through this dilemma before, please advise.

Different Stroke
01-30-2005, 10:58 AM
So you are saying that most teachers hold back on the shodan because the students may be planning to leave after that.

Jean, are one with the "One truth path"? Having a thought to do something my teacher disproves is also disloyalty. Is this a immoral act? Am I suppose to feel guilty or ashamed?Anyone out there who has gone through this dilemma before, please advise.

Jean,

I think LJ has filled in most descriptives regarding my teacher.

I had a friend. His parents wanted him to study law and to become an attorney and later a politician. My friend wanted to become academician, he loved mathematics and physics. He went to the university and managed to graduate with a double degrees, law and science. He never become an attorney; after graduation, he joined a NGO and became a science and maths teacher to children in a third world country. I guessed his parents were disappointed and felt betrayed by their only son. If they knew what he was planning to do, they would not have given him an education..

Regards

Kevin Kelly
01-30-2005, 12:46 PM
Joining other aikikai dojo has not been a problem with my teacher, joining other schools of aikido is a BIG problem. If I join another school now, I may never get an Aikikai shodan. Even if I join a Yoshinkan or Iwama-ryu system of the Aikikai, I don't mind starting from scratch, so in my thinking I rather have all (yudansha in Aikikai, Yoshinkan, etc.) or nothing.

If you love doing Aikido, do Aikido. Find the school that is right for you. I guess you could say that I train at an Iwama style dojo, since my sensei trained there for 13 years, but it is not advertised that way. I think it is described as orthodox Aikido. We are recognized by the Aikikai through our association. I don't know why your sensei would turn up his nose at different styles of Aikido, unless as someone else stated, maybe he's affraid of what other people will think of his teaching. I don't know. I'm too new to know much. I hope you figure it out. If you do decide to move to another dojo, talk to the new sensei about your experience in Aikido, and through your training while he is watching you, he will probabely grade you pretty quickly, or might even accept your current grade.

Adam Alexander
01-30-2005, 06:24 PM
So you are saying that most teachers hold back on the shodan because the students may be planning to leave after that. .

Nope. I wasn't refering to that. I was just asking if the child's actions are honorable or dishonorable.

David Yap
01-30-2005, 09:21 PM
Nope. I wasn't refering to that. I was just asking if the child's actions are honorable or dishonorable.

Jean,

In fairness, this is highly subjective and to judge a person's act without knowing all the facts is pretty harsh in my book.

Anonymous's analogy is good example - the one you omitted to comment:

I had a friend. His parents wanted him to study law and to become an attorney and later a politician. My friend wanted to become academician, he loved mathematics and physics. He went to the university and managed to graduate with a double degrees, law and science. He never become an attorney; after graduation, he joined a NGO and became a science and maths teacher to children in a third world country. I guessed his parents were disappointed and felt betrayed by their only son. If they knew what he was planning to do, they would not have given him an education..

Regards

David

Adam Alexander
02-06-2005, 01:36 PM
I had a friend. His parents wanted him to study law and to become an attorney and later a politician. My friend wanted to become academician, he loved mathematics and physics. He went to the university and managed to graduate with a double degrees, law and science. He never become an attorney; after graduation, he joined a NGO and became a science and maths teacher to children in a third world country. I guessed his parents were disappointed and felt betrayed by their only son. If they knew what he was planning to do, they would not have given him an education..

Regards

So he used deception to gain an education. That's the same that you're doing.

As far as this all being "subjective." I thought honesty was a part of the code that we're all following. Once we all agree that that's the code we follow, then all subjectivity is settled. Dishonesty is wrong. Hiding information that may cause you not to get what you want is dishonest.

So is honesty a part of your code or not?

stuartjvnorton
02-06-2005, 06:28 PM
Waiting to get your shodan before moving is not worth it if that's the only reason you're still there.
If you like the dojo for other reasons, stay there and train under his rules (after all, it's his house), or find one you prefer & start there.
Whether you move now or wait for your shodan, you might have to start from a reduced grade anyway if you're going to another style: Yoshinkan or Shodokan are different enough from Aikikai that you'd have to relearn a reasonable portion of the cirriculum.
So if you want to go that way, why wait?
The belt's only good for holding the jacket closed. Your level will speak for itself.

Amir Krause
02-07-2005, 03:42 AM
It's a matter of how specific and imminent your planning is. If you are abstractly considering the option of leaving that school and going to another, yet you find your current dojo is giving you so much, you are not willing to leave it yet; then I would say you are in the grey area.

But, if you have come to the point where you have decided you wish to leave, and you are only waiting to get a grade (shodan or whatever). Then I must ask you - why are you still training there ? How can you really learn from a teacher if you have come to the point you mistrust his judgment to this point ?

Amir

L. Camejo
02-07-2005, 10:28 AM
I think I can understand Anon's plan to stick around till Shodan under his current instructor.

He/she has invested a lot of time in training under the Aikikai, which is ultimately the organisation who grants and signs his/her grade certificate (not his sensei afaik). The fact is he/she can easily switch to another Aikikai instructor, maintain his Shodan rank once he gets it under the current guy (instead of going to another Aikikai dojo and taking a longer time), still practice Aikikai if he wants to, but be sure to choose his next Instructor (probably Aikikai) as one who is open to cross training in other styles. This way he retains rank and gets to cross train without experiencing whatever negative aspects there may be from not cross training as per his current instructor's conditions. It is possible that Anon may want to instruct one day and as such is unwilling to just discard whatever rank he currently has under Aikikai, but at the same time does not want to be limited in his/her own training options.

It's a matter of separating the Organisation from one's immediate instructor in a sense. One is given Dan grade by the organisation, but one can change teachers within that organisation and still retain organisational rank to get the benefits of training under other instructors.

Makes sense to me, as long as Anon is able to deal with his current instructor until such time that Shodan is awarded. As Stuart says, The belt's only good for holding the jacket closed. Your level will speak for itself. Or my personal fave - The Belt only covers 2 inches of your butt, the rest you gotta back up with skill.:D

Happy training all.
LC:ai::ki:

bryce_montgomery
02-07-2005, 11:54 AM
I guess the best advice I could give you would be to just ask your instructor...Explain your reasoning and see how he reacts. If he is a donkey about then you have to look at a few factors...whether you should stay, cause his teaching is the best around, or leave completely...This would be only if he reacted poorly to your direction. If he doesn't mind the idea then you have your answer...or if he gives you a good reason not to then decide then...Just ask...

I believe that a good teacher would let you do what you want if you have a reason for it...

But that's just my thought.

Bryce

MitchMZ
02-07-2005, 10:53 PM
My instructor encourages me to seek all the martial arts training I can. He LOVES to see me attend seminars, whether they are different styles or not. I think in the end, someone who has exposure to many styles of Aikido or martial arts in general will tend to be much wiser martially. I pay my dues and give my instructor my time, and he gives me his. Students are the key factor in a dojo's success.

Lyle Laizure
02-08-2005, 06:13 PM
It sounds like you are aware of your sensei's feelings regarding this matter so I don't feel trying to change his mind is in your best interest. If you do not like his/her policy then you need to make the decision of whether or not you wish to stay or leave. If you stay you should adhere to your sensei's wishes about training outside of the given style. To do otherwise would be behing disloyal and dishonest.

David mentioned the relationship between the sensei and student being different if the student is paying for instruction as it is a vendor client relationship. I don't know if I completely understand what David was saying but I don't think there is a vendo client relationship, as most would understand it.

Budo is still budo. Although students may pay a fee to their sensei or dojo it does not afford them the owners box. The student is not the employer. The customer is not always right.

That being said, I encourage students to train in whatever style they would like, with whomever they like. (Though I do have an opinion or two about a couple of the locals but that isn't for this thread.) I insist that students try class out before making a financial commitment and do not use contracts. I let them know that if they are unhappy or decide they need a break or want to go train another style or with a different teacher they are free to do so and that I am perfectly ok with whatever they decide and that if they desire to return they are welcome to do so as well.

Different Strokes
02-10-2005, 05:20 AM
He/she has invested a lot of time in training under the Aikikai, which is ultimately the organisation who grants and signs his/her grade certificate (not his sensei afaik). The fact is he/she can easily switch to another Aikikai instructor, maintain his Shodan rank once he gets it under the current guy (instead of going to another Aikikai dojo and taking a longer time), still practice Aikikai if he wants to, but be sure to choose his next Instructor (probably Aikikai) as one who is open to cross training in other styles. This way he retains rank and gets to cross train without experiencing whatever negative aspects there may be from not cross training as per his current instructor's conditions. It is possible that Anon may want to instruct one day and as such is unwilling to just discard whatever rank he currently has under Aikikai, but at the same time does not want to be limited in his/her own training options.

It's a matter of separating the Organisation from one's immediate instructor in a sense. One is given Dan grade by the organisation, but one can change teachers within that organisation and still retain organisational rank to get the benefits of training under other instructors.

Makes sense to me, as long as Anon is able to deal with his current instructor until such time that Shodan is awarded. As Stuart says, The belt's only good for holding the jacket closed. Your level will speak for itself. Or my personal fave - The Belt only covers 2 inches of your butt, the rest you gotta back up with skill.:D

Hi LC,

You read me like a book :). I agree too with Stuart, hence the need of knowledge and x-training to enhance ones skill.

Thanks for posts.

Different Strokes
02-10-2005, 05:35 AM
So he used deception to gain an education. That's the same that you're doing.

As far as this all being "subjective." I thought honesty was a part of the code that we're all following. Once we all agree that that's the code we follow, then all subjectivity is settled. Dishonesty is wrong. Hiding information that may cause you not to get what you want is dishonest.

So is honesty a part of your code or not?

Thanks Jean for all your advice. Unfortunately your advice were either black or white, shades of grey apparently are not permissible in your books. Either that or you just post for the sake of posting without reading the fine lines.

My friend did indeed obtained a degree with honors in law plus the degree in the discipline he loved. Upon graduation, he chose honesty to himself and loving something that he loved and he could be successful in.

What would you do in his place? What would you do if you were his parent? Sorry subjectivity is not in your books either.

Bridge
02-10-2005, 07:01 AM
Anon,

Without wishing to cast aspersions etc...
Doesn't it make you wonder WHY the instructor doesn't want you to have a look elsewhere?

What are they hiding?!

Also the story of the guy whose parents wanted him to be an attorney and became a teacher reminds me of a story my mum told me of an old colleague of hers years ago. This guy's parents wanted him to become a doctor (he didn't want to) but he trained as one anyway and became a doctor perhaps he thought it would be OK, who can say? Not many years later he committed suicide (in his workplace) and close friends suspected it was to do with that. If he had put his foot down at some point and made the changes sooner, perhaps he would be alive? Quite an extreme case.

Besides we start out with the best intentions, but people grow, change and learn new things.

Adam Alexander
02-11-2005, 12:55 PM
Thanks Jean for all your advice. Unfortunately your advice were either black or white, shades of grey apparently are not permissible in your books.

Seems like the only thing that makes black and white turn to grey is the consequences of one's actions. Change the reward from "getting your black belt" to "missing tonights dinner" and all of the sudden it's no longer a "shade of grey."

What you call a "shade of grey" is simply a matter of "I don't want to face the consequences of doing the right thing" in my eyes.

I'd go so far as to bet that, in your heart, you know I'm right. The only reason that you posted was that you were hoping for others to tell you that what you're talking about doing is ok.

Live by a higher standard. It's that simple.

L. Camejo
02-11-2005, 01:26 PM
Live by a higher standard. It's that simple.

I agree with this. It depends on what you are looking for in your training Anon. The question is what do you want to get out of Aikido and what is the priority?

If the standard you are currently living by does not serve your personal need or requirements then I suggest you change it.

Above all else to thine own self be true. The only person you have to live with for the rest of your life is you.:)

Hope you decide soon and happy training to all.

LC:ai::ki:

James Lavin
02-16-2005, 05:17 AM
I belong to an aikikai organization and have been training for quite a while. I have also wanted to train other schools of aikido simultaneous with my present aikikai style to broad my knowledge and hopefully my skill as well. The problem is - my teacher will never permit it. I have not asked him yet but I know he will not as even the utter of Iwama-ryu brings disgust to his face. At one time, someone gave me a brochure of a Yoshinkan school that was nicely done which I then passed to him to have a look. Without a glance, he threw it into the waste-paper basket obvious to the rest of the class.

As I have invested much time and money thus far, I jeopardize my prospect of getting a shodan by being kicked out the Aikikai dojo if I am caught training in another style. Does it mean I am being disloyal to my teacher and Aikikai? I know I am not but how can I convince my teacher?



if you are paying then you have a right to go where you want

when i was teaching i told my students to go to other dojo s and learn
but do as that sensei says and not talk about where i train and it is done that way or this way

go for it
:ai: :ki: :do:
j

Different Stroke
02-23-2005, 08:27 AM
Hi all,

So I finally took the risk of being "expelled" from Aikikai by attempting to live by a higher standard as advised by Jean; I told my teacher about my intention to train in other schools of aikido and my reasons for doing so. I was expecting the "Go and don't ever come back" response. To my pleasure, it didn't come at all.

But, I have to make him a promise not to follow the Iwama-ryu school. I can train but I cannot take grade or instruct in that style. He told me about a previous student of his doing that and it caused him to lose face with his teacher in Hombu dojo - a very senior Shihan. He has had made the promise of not training Iwama-ryu to this shihan but he didn't know that the promise should be passed down to his own students. I enquired why, why not Iwama-ryu? But he wouldn't tell me.

I did some search and found some articles relating to this shihan and to Iwama-ryu. All I can gather is that this shihan and the late Saito sensei could never see eye to eye. I always thought that in the oriental culture (being a buddhist myself) all grudges and differences with another are buried with ones demise. Perhaps, some of you may know which shihan I am refering to and why the deep grudges? Has this shihan any thing to do with Hirohito Saito sensei's split with Aikikai?

I do apologise for my "speculative" questions. Do correct me if I am wrong.

Regards

Different Stroke

L. Camejo
02-23-2005, 08:55 AM
Hi Anon,

It's interesting to hear that your sensei would single out Iwama as a school to not train in and moreso ask that you promise not to grade or become an instructor there. It seems to me like he is taking a personal issue that he has with a Shihan and extending it to apply to anyone that trains in Aikido with him as well. It's like extending a lineage legacy of divisiveness in my personal opinion.

Personally I think this is sad. I have a few instructors that I would recommend my students not train at for different reasons, but if they decide to go regardless of my promptings and they indeed learn something that I was unable to teach them, then who am I to judge? I think this way of thinking stunts one's personal development as a human being (not to mention as an Aikidoka) to be quite honest, and propagating/forcing this way of thinking upon others without too much of an explanation as to why the issue is there or even give his students a choice is even more ridiculous imho.

But that's just me.

Hope it all works out for you in the end.
LC:ai::ki:

happysod
02-23-2005, 09:21 AM
Hi Anon,

As you've effectively got what you wanted, the ability to train at other dojo's without leaving your current one, I'd personally be avoiding the politics behind the rather strange caveat like the plague. Enjoy the training.

Larry, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I read anons missive to mean that his senseis shihan was the one imposing a Iwama-grade ban?

(repeats mantra of no ego in aikido, somehow doesn't manage to keep a straight face...)

L. Camejo
02-23-2005, 09:38 AM
Larry, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I read anons missive to mean that his senseis shihan was the one imposing a Iwama-grade ban?

Hi Ian,

I'm not sure myself, maybe Anon can describe better, but this is how it sounded to me.

But, I have to make him a promise not to follow the Iwama-ryu school. I can train but I cannot take grade or instruct in that style. He told me about a previous student of his doing that and it caused him to lose face with his teacher in Hombu dojo - a very senior Shihan.

This says that Anon's Sensei had another student who wanted to train and grade in other styles like Anon does and did so in Iwama and as a result caused Anon's Sensei to lose face with his own teacher who is the Shihan at Hombu.

He (Anon's sensei) has had made the promise of not training Iwama-ryu to this shihan but he didn't know that the promise should be passed down to his own students.
This indicates that Anon's sensei had promised to this Shihan to not train and grade in Iwama style, however it appears in the second highlighted line that Anon's Sensei at the time had not known that the promise he made to the Hombu Shihan applied to all his potential future students and not just himself. In other words he maybe did not realise that when he made the promise to his Shihan he had in fact made a pact to propagate the Shihan's issues with Iwama to all of his future students as well.

(repeats mantra of no ego in aikido, somehow doesn't manage to keep a straight face...)
Lol yeah, see this is why we need an inter-style embu and shiai competition in Aikido. To keep some of those egos in check.:D

LC:ai::ki:

Anonymous
02-23-2005, 02:42 PM
Hi all,

So I finally took the risk of being "expelled" from Aikikai by attempting to live by a higher standard as advised by Jean; I told my teacher about my intention to train in other schools of aikido and my reasons for doing so. I was expecting the "Go and don't ever come back" response. To my pleasure, it didn't come at all.

But, I have to make him a promise not to follow the Iwama-ryu school. I can train but I cannot take grade or instruct in that style. He told me about a previous student of his doing that and it caused him to lose face with his teacher in Hombu dojo - a very senior Shihan. He has had made the promise of not training Iwama-ryu to this shihan but he didn't know that the promise should be passed down to his own students. I inquired why, why not Iwama-ryu? But he wouldn't tell me.

I did some search and found some articles relating to this shihan and to Iwama-ryu. All I can gather is that this shihan and the late Saito sensei could never see eye to eye. I always thought that in the oriental culture (being a Buddhist myself) all grudges and differences with another are buried with ones demise. Perhaps, some of you may know which shihan I am referring to and why the deep grudges? Has this shihan any thing to do with Hirohito Saito sensei's split with Aikikai?

I do apologize for my "speculative" questions. Do correct me if I am wrong.

Regards

Different Stroke

I was having a conversation recently with my sensei. He trained for a while under the late Saito Sensei. He said some people were kicked out of the Iwama dojo because they were AHoles if you get my meaning. These were some high ranking individuals too. Intentionally hurting people and that sort of thing. The Aholes came out of the woodwork after he died and started some backstabbing on his son. That is probably why a his son has his own dojo now. They wouldn't have dared to say anything when his father was alive.

akiy
02-23-2005, 02:52 PM
Please -- let's keep criticisms of specific organizations and instructors out of this thread -- especially from those who are remaining anonymous. Thanks.

-- Jun

Adam Alexander
02-23-2005, 07:50 PM
so what style are you going to cross-train in? and why are you selecting that one?

Different Stroke
02-24-2005, 10:05 AM
so what style are you going to cross-train in? and why are you selecting that one?

Honestly, Jean, I don't know at this moment. Before, I was looking forward to join an Iwama-ryu class. To keep to your "living to higher standard" motto, I would be cheating on the Iwama teacher. Consider this scenario before the first lesson,"Actually sensei I am here to study your techniques and principles emphasized in your school. I don't know how long it's going to take me to master but I promised my present teacher not to take grade and to instruct the Iwama-styled aikido". What would you think of his response? Should I not tell him until such time he ask me to grade? Of course not, I would be deceiving him/her to earn some knowledge. That leave me with Yoshinkan only, right?. Sorry to the Tomiki guys, there isn't any school at where I live.

LC,
You got exactly what I said. Thanks for the explanations made to Ian.

Regards

Different Stroke

Bronson
02-24-2005, 12:11 PM
Consider this scenario before the first lesson,"Actually sensei I am here to study your techniques and principles emphasized in your school. I don't know how long it's going to take me to master but I promised my present teacher not to take grade and to instruct the Iwama-styled aikido". What would you think of his response?

Well, you had imagined a particular response from your current sensei about wanting to train in other styles and the real response was quite different from what you imagined it would be. Perhaps the Iwama instructor would say "that's ok I understand and appreciate the loyalty you show to the wishes of your first sensei. You are welcome to train with us as much as is allowed." You just won't know how he'll respond until you ask, so better to ask and find out than to waste a lot of time speculating on things you can't know.

Bronson

Adam Alexander
02-24-2005, 04:09 PM
I'm with B.

In addition to that, I've never seen anyone refused because they wanted to train in the dojo I was at.

As far as Yoshinkan goes, you could do a lot of training just off the books by Shioda Sensei (Dynamic Aikido, Total Aikido, Yoshinkan Aikido). Two of those books say that that's what they're for in the intros.

I mention that, because if Yoshinkan has those types of books, you could probably get a good rooting in Iwama-ryu through some text.

I'm not familiar with Iwama-ryu, but I've seen a few people from Aikikai's who trained with us. If you're looking for something that is different from Aikikai, a Yoshinkan style might fit the bill--the Aikikai folks did it a whole lot different from us.

MaryKaye
02-24-2005, 05:53 PM
I had occasion once to go to a sensei of another style and say, "I would like to train in your school; I'll pay dues and due chores. But I can only stay for a limited time until my own dojo reopens; I don't plan to grade here. I would totally understand if you didn't think this was worthwhile."

She said, "By all means train here" and I spent a happy four weeks being confused by her style.

So, you don't know until you try. I don't see any harm in politely asking, with full disclosure.

Mary Kaye

Different Stroke
02-27-2005, 02:15 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for all the advice. I will be honest at the onset.

Surprisingly, the one and only Iwama-ryu teacher in town was my current teacher's student. He returned not too long ago from Denmark to start his school. When he first arrived in Germany, the only aikido school in the town where he worked was Iwama-ryu style. He stayed there for a couple of years before moving on to Denmark and kept training with the style.

I think in such circumstances, my teacher should have forgiven him.

Regards

Different Stroke

David Yap
02-28-2005, 01:28 AM
...snip... He stayed there for a couple of years before moving on to Denmark and kept training with the style...Regards

Different Stroke

Anon,

I tend to understand your "sempai".

In "My Iwama Teacher", Bill Witt sensei wrote, “…I began to see distinctiveness in his approach and this resonated with me. It was not only the effortness with which he would execute techniques, but it was his patience and willingness to teach us beginners. He taught us techniques that were deceptively simple to watch, and showed us why it was important to do the techniques in a specific manner time after time. At times, he would stop the class and point out why a foot had to be at a particular point because the rest of the techniques would not be successful otherwise. I was being initiated into the mysteries of a martial art…" About 7-8 years ago, for a brief period I had the opportunity to train with Steve Ng sensei, a direct student of Barry Knight of Melbourne, Australia. Knight sensei himself was a direct student of Morihiro Saito. Though Steve has not studied directly under Saito shihan, yet the influence of Saito's teaching through his immediate teacher could be felt/seen in Steve's techniques and instructions - the similar qualities described by Bill Witt sensei. Perhaps this affection for one teacher and school is a common bondage share by all Iwama-ryu stylists across the globe.

Steve sensei, if you happen to read this post, thank you and do drop us a line when you pass by here again.

Regards

David Y

dismayed by divisions
03-11-2005, 07:54 PM
I am curious about this thread since it is a very similar situation with a fairly well known "sensei" who was the subject of some controversy.

There was somewhat of a "split" that occurred between this sensei and the organization he/she worked for. The sensei quickly went on to form another organization for the dojos and students that left the original organization.

This is complete heresay and not intended to spark debate about the particular sensei but only the "hypothetical" situation. The heresay is that the sensei has said quite clearly on several occassions and to several students that they are not to attend other organizations seminars, especially dojos and seminars associated in any way to the original group.

My question is this: if this situation is real and not hypothetical, and the sensei is of fairly high rank and fairly well known, how would you feel toward this person if they were your sensei and giving you this direct order; and how would you feel if you were not a student of this sensei but heard about it going on?

awaiting your wisdom...

MaryKaye
03-11-2005, 08:48 PM
It would depend on what I knew about the reasons for the split.

Purely hypothetical situation: if I went to my sensei and said "Why?" and he said, and seemed to have evidence for, "Because the parent organization is recklessly disregarding its students' safety, and I value you too much to see you get injured," then I would be inclined to abide by the restriction. Or if he said "The parent organization is handling its money in illegal or unethical ways and I really don't want to provide them with any more money," ditto.

If it were "I'm mad at them and don't want you studying with them" or "I don't like their aikido and don't want you studying with them" I would be very balky, and might leave my current dojo. I'm really uncomfortable with this kind of attempted control over students, and also with this kind of feud-perpetuating behavior.

My current teachers have some less than entirely cordial history with other teachers, but they have made no effort to prevent us from studying where we please, as long as we scrupulously avoid importing practices they regard as unsafe into our training with them. One of my teachers winces whenever she hears about my training elsewhere, because she's afraid I will get hurt, but doesn't attempt to forbid it--occasionally gives me pointed "safety tips", that's all. This would definitely be my preferred attitude in the wake of such a split.

Mary Kaye

Anonymous
03-11-2005, 09:32 PM
In a not-hypothetical sense, I would say that I'm attending a seminar held outside my organization this weekend. I would not attend the seminars of the original group, because I trust my sensei, and the head of my organization, who have recently changed affiliations because of a split of a large aikido organization.

Different stroke
03-12-2005, 12:14 AM
Hi all,

I thought that this thread has long been concluded. The circumstances of recent posts are very much different from my teacher's dojo.

At his dojo, it is a continuing saga between Hirohito Saito shihan's aikido (the Founder's aikido) and Aikikai Hombu dojo (the Nidai Doshu's aikido). Though the late Saito shihan may be now in aiki paradise togather with O Sensei and his son, one or two senior Hombu shihan's grievances with late Saito shihan are so deep-rooted that they never go away even after his passing. IMHO, he/they too have influenced the current Doshu in someway. For example, eventhough Saito shihan's students also hold aikikai ranks the subject of Iwama ranks are taboo in non-Iwama style aikikai dojo. I will be honest to quote him, "Don't ever cause me to lose face with Hombu. As long as nobody knows that you are my student, you can train in any Iwama-styled dojo". I can train but I cannot take grade from a Iwama-styled dojo actually mean I must be discrete and low-profiled with my training in a Iwama school. Frankly, I am tired and disillusion with the Aikido philosophy of harmony and blending. It is absolutely disgraceful to the Founder - isn't Saito's Ibaragi dojo part of Aikikai. Wasn't he appointed by the Ueshiba family to be the caretaker of the Aiki Shrine? From what I read, Saito shihan's loyalty to the Ueshiba family was so strong that even before he died he requested all his senior students never to break away from Aikikai.

Jean, any advice on that?

Regards

Different Stroke

Adam Alexander
03-12-2005, 02:32 PM
...how would you feel toward this person if they were your sensei and giving you this direct order; and how would you feel if you were not a student of this sensei but heard about it going on?

There's nothing to "feel." If he says it, you follow it.

Your feelings are conjurings of the ego. You train, amongst other things, to subjugate the ego. Therefore, you must overcome any feeling.

As far as, "if you were not a student..." Same thing.

dubious
03-12-2005, 03:28 PM
Input noted, although sad to think that in this day and age there are still people out there called "Sensei" that think telling the very people who look to them for guidance that they should not experience everything; that somehow they will be better by not thinking for themselves.

Sad also to think that their are students out there that simply do what the instructor tells them to do without question. Of course, your answer presupposes that the sensei in this hypothetical situation is an upstanding citizen with nothing but the student's best interest in mind. To say that there is nothing to feel is a bit ignorant since we train, not to simply DO, but to become more aware and sensitive to everything around us, including potentially erroneous and/or misleading orders by an authority figure. Do we not?...

Adam Alexander
03-18-2005, 02:02 PM
Different Strokes,

Do what you KNOW to be the right thing. Other than that, that situation sounds like it sucks :D


Input noted, although sad to think that in this day and age there are still people out there called "Sensei" that think telling the very people who look to them for guidance that they should not experience everything; that somehow they will be better by not thinking for themselves.

You know, I'd just bet that you were one of the people who were talking about "blaming the victim" in the Pizza Parlor thread.


1)Sad also to think that their are students out there that simply do what the instructor tells them to do without question. Of course, 2)your answer presupposes that the sensei in this hypothetical situation is an upstanding citizen with nothing but the student's best interest in mind. 3)To say that there is nothing to feel is a bit ignorant since we train, not to simply DO, but to become more aware and sensitive to everything around us, including potentially erroneous and/or misleading orders by an authority figure. Do we not?...

I put the numbers in for easy response.

1)I think it's refreshing. Believing you know what's best is a demonstration of arrogance.

2)That's right. If you don't believe that's the case, then you wouldn't be following that person. Once you decide that that's the case, there's no need for further questions...just training.

3)I believe that we're training to become more sensitive by quieting the conscious mind. The issue at hand is borne of conscious thought. Therefore, no we do not.


In Hagakure, it is said that the retainer should leave all questions of good and evil to his master.

If you want to practice half-hearted, go ahead. If Aikido is just a dance to you, then play when you go to the dojo. But if Aikido and the philosophy of martial arts is who you are, then look for the wisdom in those words.

Ron Tisdale
03-18-2005, 02:27 PM
In Hagakure, it is said that the retainer should leave all questions of good and evil to his master

Cough...

Hagakure consists primarily of stories about samurai and commentaries on these stories, which Tsunetomo dictated to a fellow samurai. Hagakure was not widely known after it was written, except perhaps in Tsunetomo's own Saga domain. During the twentieth century it gained a great deal of popularity with the rise of militarism and nationalism in the 1930s. It was even said that kamikaze pilots wrote down verses from the Hagakure on a piece of cloth and tied it around their heads before their missions. The Japanese novelist Mishima Yukio was also extremely interested in Hagakure.

From http://www.columbia.edu/~hds2/chushinguranew/Bushido/Hagakure.htm

Not exactly *my* role models...

You can read what Diane Skoss thinks of it here:
http://www.koryubooks.com/store/hagakure.html

RT

Dubious
03-18-2005, 07:02 PM
Actually Jean, I was not one of the people blaming the victim in the pizza parlor attack (although he did some stupid stuff leading up to it) and It's quite interesting how easily your feathers get ruffled over a simple question.

It is apparent that you havent been studying Aikido that long and simply blabber Hagakure B.S. like Kane on Kung-Fu. Keep training my friend, it helps wear the edges off...

Adam Alexander
03-19-2005, 02:49 PM
Actually Jean, I was not one of the people blaming the victim in the pizza parlor attack (although he did some stupid stuff leading up to it) and It's quite interesting how easily your feathers get ruffled over a simple question....

As far as I can recall, I wasn't upset about any questions...I guess we see ourselves in others ;)

As far as you not being on the other thread...my mistake. The passive-aggressive attacks and appeals to attack (exampled in the following quote) threw me off.

It is apparent that you havent been studying Aikido that long and simply blabber Hagakure B.S. like Kane on Kung-Fu. Keep training my friend, it helps wear the edges off...

Yeah, I've only been training for a few yrs. Interestingly enough, the more I train the more rigid my views become. However, the more I train, the less I care about the weaknesses of others--I'm sure it seems like people become less edgy toward you the more they train :D

Ron,

For myself, I see the code being very valuable. That the book was associated with militarism by no means devalues it any more than fascism devalues patriotism--in their proper context, they're valuable.

I suppose that for many, Kamikaze pilots wouldn't be a role model. But, I would think you accept Samurai as role models. What's the difference between a soldier who's willing to give his life for his country (the pilots) and a soldier who's willing to give his life for his country (the samurai)?


Now, your positions are typical. Shioda Sensei, in Aikido Shugyo, said that people didn't really practice (something to the effect 'today, people's Aikido is just shells'). Jigoro Kano, said that the Judo that had developed "wasn't my Judo."

I don't think either were referring to the art itself, but the average practitioner.

I also like what Tohei said about people in his book "Ki in Everyday Life." He rips on the American Soldiers for "Death Marches" (he attributes it to American weakness). Then he rips into the Japanese for something.

The point: people are naturally weak--mentally, emotionally and physically. Left to their own devices they'll come up with what ever they can to take the path of least resistance.

To me, your positions are just an example of people taking the low road because it's easier to walk down than to climb up.

Ron Tisdale
03-21-2005, 08:47 AM
But, I would think you accept Samurai as role models.

Hmm, think again, you'd be wrong. I don't play one on tv, or in the dojo.

I suppose that for many, Kamikaze pilots wouldn't be a role model. But, I would think you accept Samurai as role models. What's the difference between a soldier who's willing to give his life for his country (the pilots) and a soldier who's willing to give his life for his country (the samurai)?

The two have similarities, I'm sure...and its partially the similarities that make me eshew both. The samurai as a class are not something I wish to emulate. But there are particular individuals in history, some of them samurai, that have specific characteristics I would emulate. Not because they were samurai, though...having done some reading, I can pretty well say I'd make a lousy samurai, and that that fact pleases me to no end. :)

Now, your positions are typical.

Typical of what? I actually see people elavating books like the Hagakure and others to a ridiculous degree and taking them completely out of context as being typical. In my mind, these books become 'empty shells' outside of an understanding of their proper context. :) I'm glad you can take something worth while (I'm assuming) out of the text. For our illustrious readers, I simply suggest some rather large grains of salt.

I don't think either were referring to the art itself, but the average practitioner.

Now *that* I agree with. As still your strictly average practitioner after 10 years of training, my only excuse is that I'm still trying to put cloathes on the Emporer. Or perhaps 'paint the eyes on the paper tiger' would be more apt. If I ever sucseed, I'll let you know :)

To me, your positions are just an example of people taking the low road because it's easier to walk down than to climb up.

Please, explain how so? I actually believe the high road to be one of seeing clearly, putting things in their proper context, and taking the harder path. The easy path is to not train...in anything. The harder path is to show up, get on the mat, and do the work. When it comes to books, the harder path is to read with a skeptical eye, evaluate the context, do some background research, and not base your decisions on 'appeals to authority'. The harder path is to consistantly forge your own path...not blindly follow someone else, without the ability to see any flaws.

But hey, we can take pot shots at each other for ever...some will hit the mark, and others will miss wildly. :)

Best,
Ron

Adam Alexander
03-21-2005, 01:06 PM
Hmm, think again, you'd be wrong. I don't play one on tv, or in the dojo.

Enough said. However, I don't consider adopting the philosophy (or atleast relevant portions) as playing.

Ron Tisdale
03-21-2005, 01:43 PM
Enough said. However, I don't consider adopting the philosophy (or atleast relevant portions) as playing

Kool. Now perhaps a suggestion for future reference...please note that nowhere in my initial post did I get personal...I gave my opinion and provided two sources for how I shaped that opinion. I have noticed a tendancy to get kind of personal in your posts...is there a particular reason for that?

Ron

Fred Little
03-21-2005, 04:52 PM
Enough said. However, I don't consider adopting the philosophy (or atleast relevant portions) as playing.

Sir, please take the DVD of Ghostdog out of the deck and step away from the home entertainment center with your hands up.

FL

guest
03-22-2005, 12:25 PM
I am curious about this thread since it is a very similar situation with a fairly well known "sensei" who was the subject of some controversy.

This is complete heresay and not intended to spark debate about the particular sensei but only the "hypothetical" situation. The heresay is that the sensei has said quite clearly on several occassions and to several students that they are not to attend other organizations seminars, especially dojos and seminars associated in any way to the original group.

I am aware of a situation that fits this description. It's interesting to note that the PARENT organization was accused of just this behavior the last time a big group of students split off and started another organization. I think this is a common accusation that can be used to malign someone on the "other" side. If it is going on, it may be either side's attempt to not fan the flames and give things time to simmer down. If in doubt, ask the sensei. If it's not your sensei, it's not your problem. Speculating over motives and hypotheticals on a message board is probably not that helpful (this is not directed to the original poster, but to Anonymous User IP: --.209.112.3, who I quoted). It sort of resembles gossip, more than anything.

Things are complicated, the truth can get mangled in translation. I think the best thing is to pay attention to the circumstances themselves. All accusations aside, if a lot of good people are leaving a particular organization, there might be something wrong with the organization.

In situations like this, a lot of feelings are going to be hurt because everyone is like family. People can lose perspective, and everyone is only human after all. If mean-spiritedness is kept in check, maybe somewhere down the road, friendships can be rekindled.

Adam Alexander
03-22-2005, 06:21 PM
Kool. Now perhaps a suggestion for future reference...please note that nowhere in my initial post did I get personal...I gave my opinion and provided two sources for how I shaped that opinion. I have noticed a tendancy to get kind of personal in your posts...is there a particular reason for that?

Ron


I didn't notice. Specify.

Adam Alexander
03-22-2005, 06:22 PM
Sir, please take the DVD of Ghostdog out of the deck and step away from the home entertainment center with your hands up.

FL


Yeah, that's how I was introduced to the book. However, it's just one book of many that draw me to where I'm at.

dubious
03-22-2005, 10:38 PM
I am aware of a situation that fits this description. It's interesting to note that the PARENT organization was accused of just this behavior the last time a big group of students split off and started another organization. I think this is a common accusation that can be used to malign someone on the "other" side. If it is going on, it may be either side's attempt to not fan the flames and give things time to simmer down. If in doubt, ask the sensei. If it's not your sensei, it's not your problem. Speculating over motives and hypotheticals on a message board is probably not that helpful (this is not directed to the original poster, but to Anonymous User IP: --.209.112.3, who I quoted). It sort of resembles gossip, more than anything.

Funny you should mention that without mentioning the blatant irony that the PARENT organization we are most likely both speaking about was being lead by this same sensei. Of course, your post didn't resemble gossip at all, thank goodness...

Ron Tisdale
03-23-2005, 09:10 AM
See my PM...

Best,
Ron

siwilson
03-23-2005, 03:54 PM
Wow! This Thread is nasty! (Not aimed at Ron, as I know he is a nice guy!)

siwilson
03-23-2005, 03:59 PM
I belong to an aikikai organization and have been training for quite a while. I have also wanted to train other schools of aikido simultaneous with my present aikikai style to broad my knowledge and hopefully my skill as well. The problem is - my teacher will never permit it. I have not asked him yet but I know he will not as even the utter of Iwama-ryu brings disgust to his face. At one time, someone gave me a brochure of a Yoshinkan school that was nicely done which I then passed to him to have a look. Without a glance, he threw it into the waste-paper basket obvious to the rest of the class.

As I have invested much time and money thus far, I jeopardize my prospect of getting a shodan by being kicked out the Aikikai dojo if I am caught training in another style. Does it mean I am being disloyal to my teacher and Aikikai? I know I am not but how can I convince my teacher?

Sorry, I am coming in late on this one!

Why would any Aikikai teacher object to anyone practicing Yoshinkan? The first Doshu always addressed Kancho Gozo Shioda Sensei as "Sempai", so what gives any junior Aikikai instructor (read as ALL) the right to dis' the school that the first Aikikai Doshu held in such regard?

I will say, that practicing with and grading in are extremely dificult. My teacher used to say that you can't climb 2 mountains at once! You can learn from how to climb another mountain.

siwilson
03-23-2005, 04:07 PM
Jean,

I tend not to agree with you. In the past (> 50 years ago), I may agree with you. What if his teacher makes his living by instructing aikido or any MA for that matter? The student now pays for his lesson - it is not simply a teacher-student relationship but also vendor-client relationship. When the student first joins a dojo, he is told to fill a form (his name, address, contact, etc.) and probably a waiver. I don't think allegiance is mentioned or implied anywhere.

I speak as a former dojo-cho (karate). I don't demand allegiance from my students, I allow them to train in any MA discipline or with other style of karate. While I taught Shotokan, I train Goju-ryu and aikido. "Armed" with these knowledge, I can answer their questions appropriately. The loyalty I gain from my students (past & present) is not from a teacher-student relationship but rather from our friendship - the sharing of knowledge, the open-mindedness, the trust and honesty with one and other. I always tell my students not to accept my answers as the honest truth but to put them to test and they should share their findings, good or bad, with everyone including myself. I feel I can learn as much from my students by teaching them or looking at their movements and from their experience from other MA disciplines.

Change is inevitable, growth is optional and tradition should be preserved (Shu Ha Ri). The truth is Allegiance is not a Tradition.

Happy training

David Y

David

If I found myself being in a "Vendor - Client" situation, that would be me leaving a dojo! Fortunately I don't have to worry about that at all.

One question - Dojo Cho (Ego)? Why the need to quote that title? Is Sensei not enough?

Si

Jane Woodcock
03-23-2005, 04:28 PM
I have always been encouraged to train when and where I want. This I will continue to do. i have been told by my association that the hours will not count. For me, that is fine. I am still able to train when and where I want. It expands my aikido and allows me to see how others train. I would feel stifled if I was told I could not do this or that style. The more places i go, the better my aikido. Whose right is it to not allow me that choice?
Because of the attitude of my association, (I can train wherever), I am loyal to it. What more can I ask for?

David Yap
03-27-2005, 09:44 PM
Hi all,

The purpose of ones training (especially in aikido) is to avoid conflicts and learn to be polite. Hence, I was reluctant to respond to this post. I was not sure whether the remark was made to create a conflict or it was created due to misguidance or ignorance; so I viewed the public profile of the poster and his website and it seems like the remark arose from the later.

David

If I found myself being in a "Vendor - Client" situation, that would be me leaving a dojo! Fortunately I don't have to worry about that at all.

Congrats. You are indeed one of the lucky few. The reality is we are now in the economical era where almost everything is driven by money.

One question - Dojo Cho (Ego)? Why the need to quote that title? Is Sensei not enough?

Ego? (LOL) Tell me who doesn't have one. On the contrary when I posted, I chose the term "dojo-cho" in the context of its oriental (East Asiatic) meaning. The term ‘Dojo-cho' refers to a position and/or occupation (i.e. being a doctor, a lawyer, a clerk, a dojo operator or even a housewife) as opposed to ‘sensei' which is a title of address (kind of like Mr., Ms., Mrs., Madam or Sir). In the first place, I would not address myself as a sensei (meaning "the one who come before"), it is my students' prerogative to address me as David sensei or uncle David or just sir or teacher or plain David.

From the oriental point of view, we find it many Westerners silly (I am being polite, of course) when they addressed themselves as sensei (and some even go to as far to use titles such as Shihan/Sifu and Soke) in their personal profile. I believe Peter Goldsbury sensei has recently discussed the usage of "sensei" in another thread here.

Happy researching.

David Y

Janet Rosen
03-27-2005, 10:25 PM
AFAIK, a dojocho and a chief instructor may be different people and therefore it is a matter of semantic clarity to use one or the other.

siwilson
03-28-2005, 04:13 AM
I was not sure whether the remark was made to create a conflict or it was created due to misguidance or ignorance; so I viewed the public profile of the poster and his website and it seems like the remark arose from the later.

Hi David

With over 20 years in martial arts (started as a tot:)), I hope I am not as ignorant as you think. The post was not having a go, but in martial arts now there are many throwing titles around and I must admit that you are the first person I have ever heard address themselves as "Dojo Cho", hence the question.

Anyway, regards to you, hope you enjoyed the website of my new school which I joined last year, sadly leaving one I had been in for quite some time.

Si

siwilson
03-28-2005, 04:25 AM
Congrats. You are indeed one of the lucky few. The reality is we are now in the economical era where almost everything is driven by money.

This is why I scrapped my plan to open a full-time Aikido dojo. We had it worked out, when I trained my wife up to shodana couple of years back, she was going to run it through the day until it earned enough for me to leave my job. The reality is that it changes what you do, so I practice my Aikido and earn my money else-where. It was not for me, but good luck to those who it is for - I'll stay not for profit.

;)

Si

David Yap
04-04-2005, 03:44 AM
... I hope I am not as ignorant as you think ...
Si

Hi Si,

Perhaps it is not your fault. I have come across glossaries in many martial art books that simply say sensei = teacher. When I was growing up, the neighbor kids would address my dad as "sensei" and I would address theirs as "sensei" too. I knew my dad wasn't a teacher but neither did I know what their fathers did for living.

The funny part is that Westerners (particularly in UK) prefer to use "sensei" as a prefix, example Sensei Wilson, whole in the real oriental context it is actually used as suffix, i.e. Wilson sensei.

Kind regards

David Y