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Bedard
02-06-2006, 08:48 PM
Hi all,


I have been off the forum for awhile due to work and generally did not post much when I was active. I started practicing Aikido in Dallas TX in 1990 as a member of the Fugakukai. Around 1992 I Joined the Jiyushinkai and have been a member in good standing ever since. I have been actively practicing in the only Jiyushinkai dojo in Dallas since 1996.

The reason I am posting this today is because we have recently found out that James Smith has been practicing with us in Dallas. “James” (I am not sure it would be appropriate for me to post his real name) did practice with us for around four months using his real name. The three instructors here did not know he was posting on the web until we received an email inquiring about him. On the mat “James” was very quiet only asking questions from time to time. Once we were aware of the situation we were able to identify who James Smith really was. We have talked with “James” and explained to him that his behavior was not appropriate and disrespectful to many people. “James” was a member of our dojo but not a member of Jiyushinkai. We asked “James” to write an apology and tell everyone who he really is but he has chosen not to. Due to his refusal to take responsibility for what he has done we have asked “James” to leave our dojo at this time. I would like to make it clear that “James” does not represent our dojo or Jiyushinkai in anyway.

Sincerely,

David Bedard

Dajo251
02-06-2006, 09:22 PM
What exactly did "James" do?

Edwin Neal
02-06-2006, 09:32 PM
i am not sure james was really disrespectful so much as just in sensitive, and i find the witch hunt mentality of trying to force some sort of apology troubling... it would probably be better for this kind of person to be lead to a more reasonable attitude than being ostracized... who exactly was he disrespectful of??? his 'racial' comment was simply stupidity and still would be better dealt with by engaging him... i for one hope he will be brought back into the fold... not exiled... are we legit if we do not apply aiki principles to all situations??? james come back...

Michael O'Brien
02-06-2006, 09:39 PM
I have read several (perhaps not as many as most here) of the posts by "james" and while I found him to be brash, abbrassive, and rude in some instances that is just the nature of some people.

I agree with Edwin that I feel telling someone they can not attend classes in your dojo based on something they said online seems extreme unless they are specifically claiming to represent the views and opinions of your dojo.

Just my initial thoughts.

Huker
02-06-2006, 10:26 PM
Although I don't know James nor arm I capable of judging his character, I feel that the punishment for James was fairly harsh. The statements he has made in the past have not been offensive to anyone. Any implications made by his post regarding black aikido practitioners were blown out of propotion by the replies.

Unless his actions have affected his dojo directly, his instructor has no right to oversee his actions in his personal life, which includes time on Aikiweb. His instructor has far overstepped his bounds as a disciplinarian, if he has the right to take that title.

His instructor had the chance to do the whole "personality development" thing and impress upon James that certain things he says might reflect poorly upon him. What James recieved was the opposite of this: a type of negative reinforcement. Ultimately, James will lose out. From his expulsion, James will learn only one (semi-understood) lesson about what to say and what not to say. Also due to his expulsion, James will not be given the chance to learn the thousand lessons that aikido has to offer.

The old saying comes to mind: There are no bad students, only bad teachers. Although James did do something that was seen by some as unacceptable, it is my opinion that he should be welcomed back to your dojo.

Respectfully.

PeterR
02-06-2006, 10:56 PM
Unless his actions have affected his dojo directly, his instructor has no right to oversee his actions in his personal life, which includes time on Aikiweb. His instructor has far overstepped his bounds as a disciplinarian, if he has the right to take that title.
Perhaps the instructor felt that James' actions DID affect his dojo and reputation directly.

I think James' biggest problem was that he thought this forum was the same as some of the more juvenile ones out there. Where your "web persona" is expected to be different from your own and ''trash" talking is an art form. I think many overreacted to his statements here, especially that last one. However, he clearly embarrassed people who's names he dropped - people directly connected to his teacher. I tell you he would not have lasted in my dojo either.

I would not have asked him to apologize or give his real name - I would have asked him to refrain from the forums that could even possibly be read by the people he offended. A simple choice forums or this dojo.

By the way there is at least one other aikiweb poster that was asked to leave his dojo because of postings here. James' instructor was not exactly setting precedent.

happysod
02-07-2006, 03:05 AM
I think I'd have been more impressed if one of the more representative members of the dojo had started posting instead. Perhaps James may have got the point better that way when someone he was acting like a pratt to in cyberspeak was also his training partner in real life.

Nick Simpson
02-07-2006, 03:13 AM
Lolz.

batemanb
02-07-2006, 04:29 AM
I think I'd have been more impressed if one of the more representative members of the dojo had started posting instead. Perhaps James may have got the point better that way when someone he was acting like a pratt to in cyberspeak was also his training partner in real life.

Didn't seem to make much of a difference when he was engaged with Chuck Clark, the head of his association.

crbateman
02-07-2006, 04:52 AM
IMHO, when a person acts like a spoiled, insensitive brat in a public forum, I think he deserves swift come-uppance from whatever authority figures hold reign. Not very aiki of me, I know, but I earmark my patience and understanding for the deserving. He was not on here to make a contribution. He was on here looking for attention, and made an increasing nuisance of himself, trying to get a rise out of anyone and everyone, until finally he had to play the ultimate hate card to get the level of attention he craves. He needs help, but help cannot be forced upon him. He has to seek it out willingly. Perhaps, now that he realizes that stupid things in cyberspace can have consequences in realtime, he will seek out that help, or at least desist from future indiscretions of this nature. And don't be too hard on his organization, because they DID give him the opportunity to mend his ways before he was banished, and he made his choice. Just one man's opinion.

happysod
02-07-2006, 05:13 AM
Clark, while I can understand and agree in part with your viewpoint, I do have to take issue with this bitIMHO, when a person acts like a spoiled, insensitive brat in a public forum, I think he deserves swift come-uppance from whatever authority figures hold reign. as it begs the question, how much authority does the dojo have over your life outside the dojo.

Now, you can argue that as aikiweb is almost an adjunct to training for many people (their web dojo for want of an ability to make cool names up), dojo etiquette extends to the posts which brings in the nice sensei ses and all the rest.

Alternatively, which is my personal preference, the two are separate and James should only have been asked to leave the dojo for poor practice in the dojo or asked to leave aikiweb for breaking forum rules. They may interact on occasion, but I'm not a fan of the dojo extending beyond the limits of the practice.

Derek Gaudet
02-07-2006, 06:43 AM
Everyone here makes good points, but perhaps it would have been easier to ask "James" to leave the forum. While this is the cyberspace Dojo I'll agree that "James" was overstepping the rules, his comments were harsh, rude, unnecessary at times, but perhaps caused by ignorance (He was indeed only studying for a few months). Our replies to him contributed to his act, had we decided to remain silent and ignore, perhaps he'd of simply found pleasure in going somewhere else. For how can someone argue when no one will rebut? "It is sometimes better to remain silent and be thought a fool, then to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." For people making such comments as James it is best to ignore, because simply they are looking for attention... If we give them the attention they ask, are we not positively reinforcing their individual act's? Simply yes, in a sense we contributed to his continuation of irrational responses, yet where is James now? No longer training, and no longer posting. Perhaps now he is getting in trouble with tougher crowds then ourselves. I for one apologize for contributing to the positive reinforcement of his search for attention in the wrong ways. It is my hope that he will find someone to teach him to become a better individual, however doing that through Aikido now will be somewhat difficult...

justinmaceachern
02-07-2006, 07:57 AM
I have to say that i agree with Derek. this guy was looking for attention and we gave him the wrong kind. He wasnt a vet in this art he was just a biginner, wich means he did not nowthe proper way to act on a forum like this. A man should not be punished for his thought. Just the way he goes a bout saying his thoughts. he should have been taught this. But at this point in time he was unable to listen, and now he no longer trains or post on this website. I too appoligize for the contrabution of continuing his irrational debate.
Hope you all have a good day

crbateman
02-07-2006, 08:15 AM
...how much authority does the dojo have over your life outside the dojo.When one goes into a public forum and makes an ass of oneself, while letting the readers know where one is training, it reflects poorly on ones organization and dojo. He represents them, in most any sense of the word, so it follows that they have something at stake. This is after all an Aikido forum, populated by Aikido people from throughout the world, for the purposes of bettering themselves and others through a mutually respective exchange of ideas. Would any instructor want one of their students to don a gi with a dojo patch, go to a seminar outside the organization, punch out another attendee, perhaps because of their gender or their race, and then flip off the instructor? I don't think so. How is what happened here any less offensive? IMHO, they handled it properly by voicing their concerns to the offender, and then distancing themselves from him once it became apparent that he was unwilling to cooperate. I don't feel this was unreasonable of them, as they have the right to teach (or to refuse) whomever they wish, and good reputations can take a lifetime to build, but only a moment to destroy. Worth protecting, I think.
It is my hope that he will find someone to teach him to become a better individual, however doing that through Aikido now will be somewhat difficult...Perhaps not. Many Aikido teachers do not teach children, because they don't feel they possess the maturity to concentrate and benefit from the training. This person's childish attitude is possibly just a passing phase, and when he grows up a little, he may very well be able to objectively renew his Aikido training. I hope he does (providing somebody doesn't KILL him first...).

happysod
02-07-2006, 08:37 AM
Clark,

Firstly, I don't agree at all with your example of equating posts from what was obviously an immature individual, who by their own words had a disconnect between the "real world" and the web, to a direct physical confrontation at a seminar.

As for the poster somehow representing the dojo, I'll concede you some concern there. However, aikiweb is, as you said, a public forum where anyone can interact, it is not in any way equivocal to a structured forum where people are invited to participate as a representative of their dojo, so not really an issue.

Indeed, I'd be surprised if anyone had taken Jame's posts as that dojos mission statement. Unless someone claims otherwise, I assume all posts are from an individual, to automatically assume otherwise (as you are implying may be done) would severely curtail the type of poster we would have

With regard to reputation, a mere statement distancing themselves from the posters views would have sufficed if they felt it was necessary. I don't believe it was necessary.

Final question, if your dojo insists on certain standards outside the training hall/seminar etc., is that mentioned in your handbook? I'd be interested if anyone has such a caveat.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not defending the little darling, but I would defend his right to be an ass in public.

justinmaceachern
02-07-2006, 08:57 AM
Im going to have to agree with clark. What you do on this forum i think is directly linked to your dojo. If he is "making an ass out of him self in public" Talking about things he doesnt know about reflects on the ability of those who was teaching him. therfore i can understand why his instructor would want him out. Not saying by any means that i agree with kicking him out. But i agree that anything i say or do on this forum that has something to do with training is directly linked to my teachers. I think this young man needs more time in this art to be honest with yas. I used to be the "bad ass" to until i met some ofthe people i did.

Jorge Garcia
02-07-2006, 09:46 AM
IMHO, when a person acts like a spoiled, insensitive brat in a public forum, I think he deserves swift come-uppance from whatever authority figures hold reign. Not very aiki of me, I know, but I earmark my patience and understanding for the deserving. He was not on here to make a contribution. He was on here looking for attention, and made an increasing nuisance of himself, trying to get a rise out of anyone and everyone, until finally he had to play the ultimate hate card to get the level of attention he craves. He needs help, but help cannot be forced upon him. He has to seek it out willingly. Perhaps, now that he realizes that stupid things in cyberspace can have consequences in realtime, he will seek out that help, or at least desist from future indiscretions of this nature. And don't be too hard on his organization, because they DID give him the opportunity to mend his ways before he was banished, and he made his choice. Just one man's opinion.

I agree completely with Clark. Practicing a martial art in someones dojo isn't a right, it's a privilege. I know that in many serious groups, like the previous Federation I belonged to, you aren't allowed to post like that because you represent your dojo with everything you say and do with regards to the art. If you want a private life and private rights, you may have to do it in someone else's dojo. His Sensei did the right thing. All this means is that in the world that James lives in, staying in his dojo isn't worth the price of a sincere apology. If character counts at all, then I would say he wasn't a good candidate for martial arts. Respecting your Sensei and giving an apology is a small price to pay in exchange for learning a martial art. People who don't take their words seriously and who use these forums in a irreverent and disrespectful way degrade the forum and take it down to a level that quality people who have something meaningful to contribute won't want to be here. I think this action speaks well of the Jiyushinkai.

Jorge Garcia
02-07-2006, 09:54 AM
Clark, while I can understand and agree in part with your viewpoint, I do have to take issue with this bit as it begs the question, how much authority does the dojo have over your life outside the dojo.

Now, you can argue that as aikiweb is almost an adjunct to training for many people (their web dojo for want of an ability to make cool names up), dojo etiquette extends to the posts which brings in the nice sensei ses and all the rest.

Alternatively, which is my personal preference, the two are separate and James should only have been asked to leave the dojo for poor practice in the dojo or asked to leave aikiweb for breaking forum rules. They may interact on occasion, but I'm not a fan of the dojo extending beyond the limits of the practice.

I disagree. James can still post here. This is still a free forum. He was in a dojo and they have their standards and he was informed of those. They have a right to ask their members to hold to a standard in how they want their members to act on a martial arts forum. James has the right to go elsewhere to train if he doesn't like their standard. Both of those principles had a meeting and each party made their choice.
Best,

happysod
02-07-2006, 10:18 AM
Interesting, looks like I hold a minority view They have a right to ask their members to hold to a standard in how they want their members to act on a martial arts forum my worry - essentially you're saying the only area where a full and frank discussion about martial arts is allowed are where identities are anonymous. James may be no loss, but I can see this standard being applied to any criticism about senior instructors etc. etc.

Chuck Clark
02-07-2006, 10:37 AM
Hello Ian,

I suspect that I'm a bit "old-fashioned" compared to some these days, but I think that if we aren't willing to sign our name and take responsibility for what we say, especially in budo discussions, we shouldn't be discussing it in public, especially on the world wide web.

crbateman
02-07-2006, 11:52 AM
Sorry Ian, but like it or not, if you CHOOSE to put your dojo name out there, you have CHOSEN to be a representative of the dojo. That carries with it an inherent obligation to be respectful and respectable, whether or not you have signed a contract to that effect. I don't think his instructor sought to infringe upon his right to use an online forum, but expected him to conduct himself in a mature civilized manner while doing so, since his attitude and actions could reflect poorly on his dojo. Tell anybody who you are if you wish, but it is unfair to connect your dojo and your teachers to your misguided deeds in a public forum. Were you in his teacher's place, I can't see how you could feel differently. I guarantee you that if he tried that crap in a Japanese dojo, he would be unceremoniously tossed out the front door on his chin.

Edwin Neal
02-07-2006, 01:19 PM
i do not represent anyone other than myself... no one should unless asked or put into a position of representation... i in no way took james' comments to represent anyone other than himself... i don't remember him 'telling' what dojo or teacher he represented... contract or not a sensei or organization does not concern itself with my life outside the dojo unless we agree to share that... what if your sensei doesn't think your choice of girl/boyfriend is appropriate? or job? or type of car? or manner of dress? etc... we cannot take some moral highground, and beat others with our morality... if aikido practice is for developing ourselves as humans... then should it only be reserved for those that do not need it most? is this hypocritical? I do not think james deserved the punishment he got... more likely he will now 'represent' aikido as an elitist thin-skinned bunch who don't interact with people who do not conform to their fuzzy, haphazard scheme of behavior... and are ready to get all 'snotty' when people 'say' things that hurt their feelings... aren't aikidoka supposed to be better than that?

senshincenter
02-07-2006, 01:34 PM
I agree completely with Clark. Practicing a martial art in someones dojo isn't a right, it's a privilege. I know that in many serious groups, like the previous Federation I belonged to, you aren't allowed to post like that because you represent your dojo with everything you say and do with regards to the art. If you want a private life and private rights, you may have to do it in someone else's dojo. His Sensei did the right thing. All this means is that in the world that James lives in, staying in his dojo isn't worth the price of a sincere apology. If character counts at all, then I would say he wasn't a good candidate for martial arts. Respecting your Sensei and giving an apology is a small price to pay in exchange for learning a martial art. People who don't take their words seriously and who use these forums in a irreverent and disrespectful way degrade the forum and take it down to a level that quality people who have something meaningful to contribute won't want to be here. I think this action speaks well of the Jiyushinkai.

Ah yes, but the right to privacy and/or a personal/individual perspective - the right to say "this is of me and not of you" - is worth a gazillion apologies and (i.e. plus) 1,536,324 dojo.

aikigirl10
02-07-2006, 01:57 PM
Anyone know how old he was? I was just curious, it may explain some of his behavior.

senshincenter
02-07-2006, 02:00 PM
When one goes into a public forum and makes an ass of oneself, while letting the readers know where one is training, it reflects poorly on ones organization and dojo. He represents them, in most any sense of the word, so it follows that they have something at stake. This is after all an Aikido forum, populated by Aikido people from throughout the world, for the purposes of bettering themselves and others through a mutually respective exchange of ideas. Would any instructor want one of their students to don a gi with a dojo patch, go to a seminar outside the organization, punch out another attendee, perhaps because of their gender or their race, and then flip off the instructor? I don't think so. How is what happened here any less offensive? IMHO, they handled it properly by voicing their concerns to the offender, and then distancing themselves from him once it became apparent that he was unwilling to cooperate. I don't feel this was unreasonable of them, as they have the right to teach (or to refuse) whomever they wish, and good reputations can take a lifetime to build, but only a moment to destroy. Worth protecting, I think.
Perhaps not. Many Aikido teachers do not teach children, because they don't feel they possess the maturity to concentrate and benefit from the training. This person's childish attitude is possibly just a passing phase, and when he grows up a little, he may very well be able to objectively renew his Aikido training. I hope he does (providing somebody doesn't KILL him first...).

Perhaps this forum is a bit too real for some of us - uh? Just a general question I pose here (not aimed at Clark - Clark, your post just raised the question in my head for me).

Isn't it strange how many times Aikido, this sensei or that sensei, this dojo or that dojo, has had to be saved by this electronic community because of something that was written here? Come on, isn't that funny? How strong is a dojo if it can handle these no-nothing arrows and slings?

I tell you this, nothing anyone has ever said here has had the slightest effect on my training, my dojo, my students, etc. I've been called any number of things here, accused of any number more, even had two good things said about me, but none of it has altered one real life aspect of mine in the slightest.

As a strange set of coincidences. I now share the mat with someone that has posted on these forums for a while now. I had no idea he lived here and certainly didn't know I would be sharing the mat with him one day. We hardly agree on anything in these forums. We hardly do the same art in real life. But there we are, sharing the mat three days a week! lol We are both very nice to each other - my son loves to watch his class and he always takes the time to say hello and play with him a bit.

What about drinking and getting drunk - reflect bad on a dojo and a teacher?

I've been in some dojo where that was the norm come Friday night - still, folks line up to train there, honor those that have trained there, and/or wish they were training there.

What about the smallness of a teacher or a dojo or a federation - the smallness that is demonstrated when they show great effect from the words of some newbie? How does that reflect on a teacher?

I got a newbie going right now - rather than expecting him to represent us in an accurate light (what I like to think as a positive light), I am more prone to say that he has no idea what we are and what we do and that he cannot be expected to be anything but lame. My position has always been: New deshi are retarded. What represents the dojo then is how well it un-retards the new person.

If anyone said to me, "Well, I was talking to your newbie and he said, '...'" I'd say, "Well, he's lame and you can't believe him. And you are new too so you can't believe your lame understanding of his lameness. If you did, you'd be at least twice as lame - maybe more because lameness always has a way of increasing - just like dinosaurs found a way to give birth in Jurassic Park."

The other day, the second to newest student I have told me how he understands Aikido - he started preaching for The Dynamic Sphere Bible. I told him he certainly wouldn't find my understanding of Aikido in that Good Book - that is unless he ended every paragraph with the phrase, "...but not for Dave." I told him he should read that book like you can read a fortune cookie by ending each piece of wisdom with the words "...in bed," only end each "wisdom" with the words "not for Dave."

In the past, I have had students hate me, attack me, betray me, want to kill me, etc. I always saw it as part of the game - so I always stuck with them. These students are today always my most loyal and my most representative of the dojo.

When I started Senshin Center, I asked Chiba Sensei for some advice. He gave me two pieces of wisdom. One was on this very topic. He said, "When your students seem like they are not getting it, don't give up on them." Somehow that seems relevant here.


dmv

senshincenter
02-07-2006, 02:06 PM
I guarantee you that if he tried that crap in a Japanese dojo, he would be unceremoniously tossed out the front door on his chin.

Not in any Japanese dojo I ever trained in. At one dojo, for instance, taught by the head of the entire federation, they had a fourth dan that was on the mat, during the same time, within the same class, teaching his own stuff on the mat! The Shihan would teach something and he say to his own little group of insiders, "No, not like that, that's wrong - like this." :crazy:

No one said anything for at least five or six years! :hypno:

Even then, I think he was finally asked to leave for some other "apparent" reason.

Chuck Clark
02-07-2006, 02:08 PM
i in no way took james' comments to represent anyone other than himself... i don't remember him 'telling' what dojo or teacher he represented... contract or not a sensei or organization does not concern itself with my life outside the dojo unless we agree to share that...

Mr. Neal,

If you didn't take "James's" comments to represent anyone other than himself, why did you ask where he practiced so you could visit...?

"what dojo do you study at? does it have a web site? where is it located? who is your sensei? just interested as i will be in texas in march..."
__________________
Edwin Neal

If he had told you and you had visited, do you think you'd have been there alone, just the two of you? It seems to me that "James" was, in fact, representing lots of other people, not just himself. He just didn't follow through.

"James" did represent himself as a member of our organization. He was given the choice to alter his behavior on the web and decided not to. If he had, he might have learned many valuable lessons.

Jorge Garcia
02-07-2006, 02:19 PM
Ah yes, but the right to privacy and/or a personal/individual perspective - the right to say "this is of me and not of you" - is worth a gazillion apologies and (i.e. plus) 1,536,324 dojo.

You either missed my point or you got it right on. I'm not sure which it is. Again, I agree with what you said and by not apologizing, he exercised that right to be himself and he is welcome still to come back here. Jun hasn't banned him last time I checked but even here, he'd better be careful because you still shouldn't yell "fire in a crowded theater". Free speech and individuality is everyone's right but at some point, you may have to pay a price depending on how "free" you intend to be. Despite the fact he's out of his dojo, that was also his choice. He didn't own the dojo and they don't owe him anything. He can find a dojo that he likes or start his own and then see how many people will want a Sensei who talks like he does.

I do think you raise an interesting point as to how real all this is and who cares on how it affects anyone if it does at all. That idea though didn't help James because he was here under a fictitious name hiding his identity while he said all kinds of things but at his dojo, where there were real people around who could give him some direct feedback, he was quiet. I guess we could say that in the make believe world, he was a lion but in the real one, he was like the proverbial mouse. If all this isn't real, then he should be back here in full form soon.

Chuck Clark
02-07-2006, 02:25 PM
Hello David,

Respectfully, we obviously trained under different Japanese teachers and in different dojo. There are quite a lot of Japanese that when faced with something they don't want to deal with they have an attitude of "shigata ganai" or that can't be helped. Of course, it's a case by case basis, but not all Japanese will let you do whatever you like in their dojo.

Your statement, "In the past, I have had students hate me, attack me, betray me, want to kill me, etc. I always saw it as part of the game - so I always stuck with them. These students are today always my most loyal and my most representative of the dojo." is interesting to me. I admit, none of the things you listed would endear someone to me and allow them to stay in my dojo. The don't have to love me, agree with some things, etc. but there is a limit. Trying to knock me out, throw me on my butt every time they get their hands on me is okay. Disagree with many things, okay...but hate, betrayal, wanting to kill you...these things won't fit in my dojo. It takes all kinds, and I suspect there's a dojo somewhere out there that they'll fit in.

senshincenter
02-07-2006, 02:49 PM
Hello David,

Respectfully, we obviously trained under different Japanese teachers and in different dojo. There are quite a lot of Japanese that when faced with something they don't want to deal with they have an attitude of "shigata ganai" or that can't be helped. Of course, it's a case by case basis, but not all Japanese will let you do whatever you like in their dojo.

Your statement, "In the past, I have had students hate me, attack me, betray me, want to kill me, etc. I always saw it as part of the game - so I always stuck with them. These students are today always my most loyal and my most representative of the dojo." is interesting to me. I admit, none of the things you listed would endear someone to me and allow them to stay in my dojo. The don't have to love me, agree with some things, etc. but there is a limit. Trying to knock me out, throw me on my butt every time they get their hands on me is okay. Disagree with many things, okay...but hate, betrayal, wanting to kill you...these things won't fit in my dojo. It takes all kinds, and I suspect there's a dojo somewhere out there that they'll fit in.

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for the reply.

Well, let's be clear. I didn't say my Japanese teachers, I said my Japanese teachers in Japan (Japanese dojo). My Japanese teachers here in the States would, I think, fit in quite well with what you are describing (not assuming yours are in the States). However, from my experience, the only thing that comes close to representing what most Americans think as THE Japanese dojo are the university clubs - which take irrelevant abuse and technical ignorance to a whole other level (in my opinion). The strict dojo, where common American (mis)understandings of the warrior code of feudal Japan are alive and well, and where technical expertise is evident, is few and far between in Japan whereas Aikido is concerned (in my experience). This was my point.

Regarding your other point: Well, I fully concede it is a matter of "to each his own." A few weeks back, one student fully let me know how shocked she was when I said I would easily take back this other ex-student that had threatened me quite handily. I told her it is a mixture of Christian ethics and Machiavellian praxis. I said I must seek and learn to love my enemies - of what good does it do me to love only those that love me or to love only in philosophical settings where all things are safe and pretty? And, as I keep my friends close, it is wiser to keep any misguided self-proclaimed enemies closer. ;) However, under both of these things, for me, is an idea that someone else has already mentioned - that Budo is about the cultivation of the Self. This, for me, assumes then (as I stated earlier) we are supposed to initiate our training in a less than perfect state. How less than perfect is a matter of capacity in regards to a teacher's willingness and/or skill. That's why, for me, I'd probably have more respect if the teacher in question just said, "Hey, I don't want to teach you," rather than, "Because you did "x" and won't do "y," I will not do "z"." If it is too much work to take an ignorant person into higher states of wisdom, or if one simply does not want to bother with such labors, in my opinion, he/she as teacher should simply just say so. Well, that's how I see things anyways - especially when I tell someone, "The dojo cannot really address your needs at this time. Please try again later for membership when either the dojo can address your needs and/or when you have less of them." ;)

One should be polite regardless of being direct. :)

thanks,
david

Michael O'Brien
02-07-2006, 02:49 PM
It was brought up that "James" should have been cut some slack in his poor posting style because of him being an aiki-newbie. That is crap. It doesn't take any training whatsoever in Aikido to treat people with common courtesy and respect. He chose to be rude and confrontational for whatever reason, but it wasn't because he was a newbie Aikido student.

Also, regarding his reflecting poorly on his dojo and then having the right to kick him out for it. I can sit here and make claims to have affiliation with any dojo I choose and badmouth the dojo, the instructors, etc. and "reflect poorly on them". It takes only a slight amount of common sense in such a case to look at the source and determine if you think it is a reliable source. I never once thought a negative thought about the dojo or instructors "james" claimed to have association with. If there were 4, 5, 10 or more students all from the same dojo behaving in a boorish manner then perhaps there is an issue in that dojo; But one inexperienced student spouting off at the mouth should be viewed as what he is. One inexperienced student who could have benefited greatly from someone with more experience viewing him as a project to undertake instead of a problem to get rid of.

*drops .02 in the bucket*

senshincenter
02-07-2006, 02:56 PM
It was brought up that "James" should have been cut some slack in his poor posting style because of him being an aiki-newbie. That is crap. It doesn't take any training whatsoever in Aikido to treat people with common courtesy and respect. He chose to be rude and confrontational for whatever reason, but it wasn't because he was a newbie Aikido student.

Also, regarding his reflecting poorly on his dojo and then having the right to kick him out for it. I can sit here and make claims to have affiliation with any dojo I choose and badmouth the dojo, the instructors, etc. and "reflect poorly on them". It takes only a slight amount of common sense in such a case to look at the source and determine if you think it is a reliable source. I never once thought a negative thought about the dojo or instructors "james" claimed to have association with. If there were 4, 5, 10 or more students all from the same dojo behaving in a boorish manner then perhaps there is an issue in that dojo; But one inexperienced student spouting off at the mouth should be viewed as what he is. One inexperienced student who could have benefited greatly from someone with more experience viewing him as a project to undertake instead of a problem to get rid of.

*drops .02 in the bucket*

Good point.

Yeah - I think the state of a dojo's bathroom tells you more about a dojo than one student. A senpai of mine went to this famous Shidoin's dojo. He didn't stay to train as deshi. I asked him why - with this dojo being so close to his new home. He said, "The bathrooms were worse than a gas station's bathroom. If the bathrooms look like that, somewhere, something is wrong in the dojo."

Yet, again, many folks long to train at this dojo, dirty bathrooms and all. I imagine they'd still be pissed off at J. Smith however.

Chuck Clark
02-07-2006, 02:57 PM
One should be polite regardless of being direct. :)

I agree David, one hundred percent. I, for one, can love my enemies from a distance if necessary. Respectful behavior should be part and parcel with all behavior. If anyone disrespects their enemies, it immediately becomes a great tool for the strategist.

I, certainly, have "James" interests at heart, but at the same time, there are a lot of other people that also have interests that need looking after that have been around for a long time and, presumably, what "James" would like to learn is some of the things he sees in this group of people. Both must be willing to "fit" within reason.

senshincenter
02-07-2006, 03:16 PM
Hi Chuck,

That is the thing, isn't it? Within "reason." You are right. Thanks for pointing this out.

Yet, "reason" is so personal. One has to decide, of course, one has to have some sort of decision making process, but it remains arbirtary - purely subjective - no matter how "objective" or "reasonable" we may seem to appear, no matter how long or convulted our decision making process may be. I guess that is my point - and it can only be my point - that's the point. lol I'm sure you are getting what I am trying to say.

The following is tying in for me here...

The other day, my mom was telling me of my sister (older than I) and how she is planning on going skiing with her friend - the two families going together. My sister's friend had her son killed in an accident a couple years back - my nephew's best friend (3rd grade). Since then, her marriage broke in divorce, she had become addicted to drugs, and she's tried to commit suicide. My mom was worried, is worried, to have this friend around my sister's son - her grandson, my nephew. My mom feels this friend is getting too attached to my sister's son now that her son of the same age is gone. My mom sees her as a risk. I told my mom, a long devout Catholic, "This is your daughter's friend, with all that she has suffered, do you expect your daughter to abandon her now? Should not a friend be there when a friend is down and out and not just when they are up and in?" My mom said, "Yes, but it is dangerous." It made me think (and eventually say): "To follow Christ, to walk the Path, to practice real love and real compassion, is always dangerous. In fact, we know these Ways by the danger that marks them - so much so that we may know we have strayed by the safety and by the lower levels of risk that have returned to us."

Well, I'm just thinking out loud here - no point in listening.

You are always very kind and I am always very thankful.
d

Derek Gaudet
02-07-2006, 03:18 PM
I do think you raise an interesting point as to how real all this is and who cares on how it affects anyone if it does at all. That idea though didn't help James because he was here under a fictitious name hiding his identity while he said all kinds of things but at his dojo, where there were real people around who could give him some direct feedback, he was quiet. I guess we could say that in the make believe world, he was a lion but in the real one, he was like the proverbial mouse. If all this isn't real, then he should be back here in full form soon.

Indeed... It's funny, all this time he was talking through a made up identity. Perhaps saying the things he couldn't say as himself... But if we look at it, he was hiding his identity, and in the same instance any connection with the dojo he "claimed" to be part of. If people were incredibly offended they would have went to his dojo or contacted it (I'm sure someone must have), seen there was no James Smith and assumed it was all a load of BS, as is with many cases. But I never really seen him talk trash about his teacher or school (granted I didn't miss any of his post, but I may have.). Indeed his choice of words were distasteful, his thought process beyond what "he thought" limited, and his honesty more then lacking, but there are two situations, he enjoyed trolling and getting a rouse out of people (In which case ignore him), or he truly didn't know what he was talking about ( In this case enlighten him). The amount of control people claim to have on one's freedom of expression confuses me. We can punish, but they don't always learn a lesson, perhaps "James" will.

Reading his post over, most annoyed me, and gave me motive to write snarky comments, but what did that do? Add a little gas to the fire. Then I sit back and think, what does it matter, it's ONE PERSON'S opinion, I never felt he represented anyone, I never even knew where his Dojo was or who his teacher was... If anything I assumed he had no teacher at all and read a lot. People should not be concerned with what others say about them, because you can't make it through life without enemies or at least a few that dislike you. Some move on some try to ruin you, but in reality their attempts usually don't succeed, people eventually get bored and move on...

As Dave has said, a lot of people go by what they think the Japanese would do... This seems to be irrational thought, because by stating "If it were a Japanese dojo... then X would happen!" Really? then does this not imply that we think all Japanese think alike? When in reality I'm quite confident that their opinions vary just as much as ours... But that's my view and I see many have been written since I started mine... So my argument has seasoned ;) .

By the way I'm more of a "to each his own" type myself. So it was the instructors choice, right for him, maybe not others but that's how the cookie crumbles...

crbateman
02-07-2006, 04:07 PM
David, there is a big difference between "not getting it" and trying to make a mockery of it. This person was not on here confused, looking for constructive input. That would not put him or his organization in a bad light. He was being a jackass, in order to stir up conflict. I doubt that Chiba Sensei, in spite of his above-reproach credentials, would condone this sort of disruption and disrespect from any student flying his flag. It is up to the organization to decide if they were harmed or disrespected, and they obviously decided that they were. I cannot criticize them for that. And they DID try to reason with him first, to no avail. There are many here who might be considered irreverent, but still able to participate constructively in the discussions. But this was useless and over-the-top. And his dojo didn't have him drawn and quartered, they simply told him that they had no place for his unacceptable attitude, which is certainly within their rights.

Edwin Neal
02-07-2006, 04:10 PM
Mr. Clark the answer to that question is evident in the quote you clipped "just interested as i will be in texas in march..."

i looked at james as someone who needed some guidance and instruction... others like yourself see him as a threat... what does this say about your self image? Why are you threatened by a foolish boy? Did you not have faith that your art could be applied to this situation?

"If your heart is large enough to envelope your adversaries, you can see right through them and avoid their attacks. And once you envelope them, you will be able to guide them along the path indicated to you by heaven and earth." Osensei

MY challenge to you Mr. Clark is to bring him back and 'practice' your art...

Demetrio Cereijo
02-07-2006, 04:40 PM
Some people here is overreacting and taking things too seriously. It is only a web forum.

In any case i think James needs counselling, guidance and comprension instead of being asked to leave the dojo.

Chuck Clark
02-07-2006, 04:40 PM
Mr. Neal,

One of the things "James" was saying to his instructors in the dojo was that he was concerned that some people on aikiweb that felt he was disrespectful would come to Texas looking for him and start trouble in the dojo.

I've clipped some things that may have led to that:

"Where is James did we scare him away???
…hey i miss james, trolls are an opportunity to practice my no touch throws!!!"

"i asked him where his dojo was as i will be in texas in march and was hoping to meet him, and possibly work out... do you have some info that could help me..."

"i'm just sad he hasn't been back... i miss all of his flopping and twitching... kind of like watching a trainwreck..."

"you have to be cruel to be kind in the right measure"..

"where is james? they must have locked him in the dojo for the endless attutide adjusting randori!"

Those quotes were all clipped from your messages. Since you didn't mean what he possibly inferred from these things (since you said above that you have his best interests at heart), I wonder if your advice about practicing Ueshiba Morihei's philosophy might go both ways?

There is still ongoing discussion to see if "James" wants to do his part to fit in with others at the dojo. I, too, would like to see him hang around. I certainly wouldn't be who I am today if I'd been kicked out of the dojo when I was going through adolescence. I did have to meet certain requirements of behavior though. So does he, as do we all.

Edwin Neal
02-07-2006, 04:46 PM
I am sure some of my comments could be taken in any number of ways, but it was my sincere desire to practice and visit as many dojo's as i can when i travel... You can tell James and any others that i never felt disrespected, nor did i think James was really disrespectful to anyone... just a little ignorant (ie trainwreck)... anyone taking offense about anything said on a public forum should consider what in themselves makes them feel that way...

with respect Edwin...

chris w
02-07-2006, 06:29 PM
I certainly wouldn't be who I am today if I'd been kicked out of the dojo when I was going through adolescence. I did have to meet certain requirements of behavior though. So does he, as do we all.

so is james a teenager? if he is , i think we should all cut him a little slack. i have a teenage son myself and sometimes he will open his mouth and i end up just shaking my head because i cant believe what i just heard.

senshincenter
02-07-2006, 06:53 PM
Well I read everything I could and I just don't see the infraction. I'm sorry if what I say here departs from many folks I often tend to agree with - especially if they are prone to get upset by something said here in La-La Land - to me this is just about opinions after all.

I, like anyone else, have a right to opinion and in my mind I don't expect my opinion to insult anyone and/or to reflect upon anything beyond its own utterance - not here at least. Moreover, in this case, I really think everyone has a right to an opinion here - this isn't just a matter of "X dojo did this, so its their business alone - everyone else shut up." Everyone's opinion counts here because X dojo sought to "remedy" an in-house situation in this forum - publicly.

That said: For how they felt moved to act, and because of how they chose to act, all I see is one group of folks thinking a bit too much of themselves (there's no kind way of saying that I'm afraid), such that they felt everyone reading this stuff was going to think ill of them for what someone of obvious ignorance and ill humor was saying - when in fact no one was thinking about them at all.

A little humility, a little smaller self-image, would have gone far here concerning any imagined sense of dishonor and/or insult, etc. For me, whereas I might laugh it off if someone told me they ended up training with James Smith, I might be a bit more serious if I found out someone was thinking about training at X dojo - "Oh man, those folks like to think everyone is thinking of them - be careful man, sooner or later you are going to find yourself out in the cold or else you'll find yourself working to put someone else out in the cold."

One can say this or that about this or that infraction, and how that may fit between "traditional dojo values" and humility, but when one looks at the public statement being made here - there's no way one can say one is not dealing with a bunch of folks that think everyone is thinking about them. If you want to kick someone out, if you feel a right to kick them out, then kick them out like an institution that is not so easily threatened - with discretion and without any concern for what anyone else thinks. If you want to act all-powerful, then be all-powerful. For some reason I feel compelled here to say, "Do it like a man!" But that might start another thread and end up with me being publicly discredited (which of course I wouldn't give a damn about!) :eek:

Derek Gaudet
02-07-2006, 07:07 PM
Sometimes the best way is the most direct way. Well said Dave. In my opinion it should have never been brought to the forum that James was "Kicked out". There was nothing that required defence, and it only served to defend the organization's "name". Nothing more...but I digress...

Chuck Clark
02-07-2006, 08:24 PM
Well said David. There were messages that are no longer here that, if I had said them, I would be expected to make an apology. That is all that was asked of "James", who as he said in one of his messages, is nineteen years old. Old enough to be held responsible for what he did. I and the instructors of the dojo were not worried about what anyone thought of us or the rest of the organization. Some like us and respect us and some don't, I suspect. I treat the serious discussion sites for budo on the internet as places where we maintain a certain etiquette. Some do not. I apologize for the uproar this has caused. The behavior was here and it seemed like the thing to do to let everyone that was upset know what was happening. The community that develops around a site like this is still new to us all and we have much to learn. As I said earlier, I would like the young man to continue his training if he is willing to learn to take part responsibly. It has nothing to do with trying to be Japanese, it's about human conduct and trust. Again, I apologize for the disturbance. I won't comment about this matter here again.

Huker
02-07-2006, 08:44 PM
I agree with David Valadez. Through the good and the bad, he stuck with his students. Hats off.

Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps the reason people cry out for attention is because important figures in their lives turn their backs on them. So many are too busy or too concerned with their own lives to listen to what they have to say and to respond positively. It is so easy to just let go and forget or send them away.
The hard part is identifying and fixing the problem (not that James has one anyway).

Life is a journey. We don't all step into the dojo as perfect beings. We go there to learn. I'm sure many of you agree that training is not simply physical but also personal as well as any number of other things. Respect is something that is learned through this training.

Will Schutt
02-07-2006, 11:09 PM
I am one of the instructors in the dojo that "James Smith" attended. I am very disappointed in the outcome of this situation and I understand and agree with a lot of the sentiment that has been expressed here (all sides).

I encourage everyone to continue this very interesting discussion.However, not everyone knows the details of this particular situation and those details will not be divulged in a public forum by us. Please keep that in mind.

"James Smith" behaved in a manner that the dojo leadership found unacceptable (not just here on aikiweb). He was given ample chance to remedy the situation, but he chose not to do so. I think that is pretty simple, however, the devil is in the details.

To be clear, the decision not to fulfill those requirements was James's and the decision to no longer "continue extending the deadlines" was that of his instructors. No one was kicked out of anything.

That being said, we welcome anyone that wishes to visit our dojo --
http://www.jitakyoei.com

Charles Hill
02-07-2006, 11:21 PM
Hi,

I don`t see "James" as having been kicked out for breaking any kind of rule. It seems clear to me that his instructor asked him to do a kind of training (apologize and give a real name.) Knowing what I know from reading various Jiyushinkai members` writings, I think that at least partly if not wholly, the special training was for James` own benefit. He refused, so of course, he can not be considered a part of the dojo. we should remember that it is not for something he did, that he was asked to leave, it was ofr something he didn`t.

Charles

PeterR
02-08-2006, 12:46 AM
Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps the reason people cry out for attention is because important figures in their lives turn their backs on them. So many are too busy or too concerned with their own lives to listen to what they have to say and to respond positively. It is so easy to just let go and forget or send them away.
The hard part is identifying and fixing the problem
I think the primary responsibility of an instructor is to teach Aikido to his current students as a whole not to retain all comers. Beginners leave for a number of reasons - mostly by their own choice - its the way of things.

Most insturctors are not trained for and should not function as social workers.

Beginners that would be that shattered by not being accepted by your group are rare and should be pointed in the direction of professional help.

happysod
02-08-2006, 01:03 AM
Most instructors are not trained for and should not function as social workers. totally agree, which is why I was making the clear distinction between behavior outside the dojo and inside. If the initial post of this thread had stated that the problems were with the lad in the dojo and the aikiweb mess was just the final straw, I would have had no problem.

One question did occur to me concerning the "choice" and "my dojo so my rules" posts, do these dojos have defined criteria of behavior expected outside the dojo and written disciplinary procedures? The reason I'm asking is that (and I may be in error here) an ad-hoc dismissal of a student may leave grounds for the dojo being sued. I think European law on civil rights may impinge on what you can and can't do and how, even in a single dojo and I don't know how the US freedom of speech would act. Hopefully, I'm just starting at shadows.

For the record, I'd like to thank everyone for the discussion to date, I think we've managed a surprising level of civility.

PeterR
02-08-2006, 01:14 AM
I think there are a number of behaviors outside the dojo which if I knew about would cause me to ask the person not to train - for the group and my own piece of mind. I'll leave that to your imagination.

I'll even step out on the limb here and make a generalization. The very people who demand a teacher take all comers are often very quick to demand a higher moral standard from the instructor (in fact the demand is implicit and ironic). The harmony that we talk about is not one way.

happysod
02-08-2006, 02:00 AM
I'll leave that to your imagination mines boggling wildly here. I readily admit being thick and naive, but I can't think of a type of behavior which I'd consider a crash and burn which wouldn't be normally evident within the dojo.The very people who demand a teacher take all comers .. agree with your generalization and raise you a mote in one eye. Admittedly, it would not be a problem for such a paragon of virtue such as myself...

Just in case I've implied this, I am not saying that anyone should have to teach every student and yes I do think each dojo should be run to the instructors own criteria. I also reserve the right to think that someone else's criteria stink to high heaven in my normal harmonious manner.

PeterR
02-08-2006, 02:29 AM
mines boggling wildly here. I readily admit being thick and naive, but I can't think of a type of behavior which I'd consider a crash and burn which wouldn't be normally evident within the dojo. agree with your generalization and raise you a mote in one eye. Admittedly, it would not be a problem for such a paragon of virtue such as myself...

I thought my laweresque was clear. I was talking about outside behaviour whether its obvious in the dojo or not. Then are just some people, and I am very accomodating, that I don't even want to be near.

Everyone makes their choices.

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 08:06 AM
without getting into the specific behaviors, then all of our speculation is pointless... does a sensei/organization have the right to intrude into your personal life? what about legal consumption of alcohol or tobacco... do we exile all members of the "Aiki beer drinkers association" just because the dojo/sensei doesn't condone drinking??? can you be kicked out for doing some thing that is a personal choice... not an illegal act??? I think James did nothing on aikiweb that warrented this kind of response... what kind of actions "in the dojo" were the problem??? did they fall into the area of personal actions outside the dojo??? if someone were to ask me to apologize for something that was said on a public forum 'OR ELSE' i would see that as invasive and overly controlling... such ultimatums and dictatorial control of the individual are an invasion of personal freedom and liberty, as well as, privacy... does a sensei or organization have the right to control more than your aiki life... ie who you see or date or marry etc... Will, my question to you and the others that are directly involved is did these actions/behaviors include things that we would all generally agree were "dojo rules" such as safety ie no horseplay on the mat or were they beyond the scope of such 'common rules'... I would also like to invite James back... you do have one (at least) defender here that wants you to continue your training, and to not be intimidated into submitting to 'unreasonable' demands that fall outside the dojo's "ma ai"... i am not saying that such is the case, but hoping that it is not... i have met many students that come in with a skeptical, and confrontational attitude, but with patience these usually cure themselves when aikido is applied... not necessarily physically, but in broader more spiritual terms... again i invite you back...

roosvelt
02-08-2006, 09:34 AM
I would also like to invite James back...




You forgot that you don't own this forum. You're NOT even a paying member. Do you think you have the right to invite someone to "my" house?


Our free loaders are allowed in the forum is the courtesy of Jun, volunteers and paying members.

Being in this forum is a privilege not a right. You confused these two. You also confused about being trained in a dojo. It's also a privilege, not a right.

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 10:43 AM
don't get your panties in a hitch there Roosvelt... i never implied any of the things you tried to beat me up with... privilege does NOT give carte blanche to dictate, and require certain concessions of personal freedom and privacy... i am sure the KKK considers it a privilege, not a right to be a member of their organization... i just don't want to do the kind of things they require to be privileged... "free loaders" ??? hey lets be civil and not stoop to name calling...

roosvelt
02-08-2006, 10:51 AM
i am sure the KKK considers it a privilege, not a right to be a member of their organization.




Comparing James' dojo with KKK was a bit harsh and out of context, wasn't it?




"free loaders" ??? hey lets be civil and not stoop to name calling...



I said "US free loader", which included myself. As a freeloader myself, I'm gracious to my hosts and other members. I don't feel that I have any right to "invite" another rude guest. Of course, to spread Aikiweb to attract wider audience is a total different thing.

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 10:54 AM
HELLO... where exactly did i compare the two??? read more carefully before you start typing...

Michael Hackett
02-08-2006, 10:55 AM
I thought "James'" posts were silly and often ignorant. I thought that the action his dojo and instructors took was their business - their house to keep in order so to speak. My concern is that his dojo chose to explain their disciplinary action here. What takes place in their dojo is a private matter and should remain confidential. I wouldn't have had a big problem with them simply disavowing his comments, somthing like "James Smith does not speak for or represent our organization." Whatever disciplinary action or process they followed is their mutual business, telling us about it wasn't beneficial to anyone in my opinion.

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 10:57 AM
i do not think James was exactly rude, but more uninformed and lacking in tact... rudeness seems to me to imply the intent to be disrespectful, rather than an ignorance of social conventions...

Mark Freeman
02-08-2006, 10:58 AM
You forgot that you don't own this forum. You're NOT even a paying member. Do you think you have the right to invite someone to "my" house?

Edwin, please do try not to be so forgetful, ;)

I'm with you on this one, it seems to me that many of "James's" posts were a those of a young guy, quite happy to provoke by being brash ( and in some cases rude ), and in one post in particular he was quite explicit in saying that the web was not the place for manners and niceties ( my paraphrase ). We collectively as a contributors seemed to get our 'nickers in a twist' and rose to his childish baiting, more fool us.

As for his dojo and their actions, they are perfectly entitled to do whatever they see fit with any of their members regarding discipline. Non of us are in any position to comment other than to air an opinion for public view.

So, IMHO whenever possible I believe it is best to include rather than exclude, even if that means having to deal with unruly behaviour. If families kicked out every teenager every time they caused trouble, the streets would be awash with them.

I won't go so far as to invite 'James' back as I see ( as a non paying member ) it is not my place to do so ;) but at least if he were here we could find out if he has gained anything from all the fuss he has generated.

Cheers
Mark

p.s how do I join up to the Aiki beer drinkers association? :D

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 11:07 AM
ABDA is always accepting new students and never excludes any one in spite of our entitlement to do so... our only disciplinary action is requiring the alledged offender to buy the next round... indeed a heavy punishment in some cases but universally supported by all members... ;-))

Mark Freeman
02-08-2006, 11:22 AM
ABDA is always accepting new students and never excludes any one in spite of our entitlement to do so... our only disciplinary action is requiring the alledged offender to buy the next round... indeed a heavy punishment in some cases but universally supported by all members... ;-))

I'm in! but I imagine if i have to buy the first round it could end up being quite expensive! :D

Cheers,
Mark

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 12:34 PM
David Bedard wrote:
On the mat "James" was very quiet only asking questions from time to time. Once we were aware of the situation we were able to identify who James Smith really was. We have talked with "James" and explained to him that his behavior was not appropriate and disrespectful to many people. "James" was a member of our dojo but not a member of Jiyushinkai. We asked "James" to write an apology and tell everyone who he really is but he has chosen not to. Due to his refusal to take responsibility for what he has done we have asked "James" to leave our dojo at this time. I would like to make it clear that "James" does not represent our dojo or Jiyushinkai in anyway.

so forgive me if i am 'stoopid', but apparently James was browbeaten to provide a statement apologizing for some alledged "disrespectful of many people", and when he did not comply he was banned from his dojo... here is a list of all of James' 85 posts to aikiweb, and although he was admonished once by Jun, he was not banned (Jun please correct me if i am incorrect)... i find very little that would even remotely justify this extreme reaction... i would respectfully request that the principles involved in this situation re examine their actions... to err is human to forgive divine... for my part this reflects more poorly upon the others involved than it does on James, but i am on the outside, and my opinion is just that mine, and is in no way disrespectful of anyone else... let he who is without sin cast the first stone...
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search.php?searchid=122748&pp=25&page=1

Ron Tisdale
02-08-2006, 12:50 PM
In my not so important opinion, 'James' banned himself from the dojo. He was made aware of a standard of conduct, and chose not to meet it. The group did not find that choice acceptable. End of story. That they made this information available to us is up to them.

I read and enjoyed David's posts on this topic. But I don't expect either myself or most others to truly live up to the sentiments expressed. But the best of us might.

The one thing of note to me: There is no 'James Smith'. There is a wannabe who ain't got the stones to post under his own name. No one owes anything to an annonymous twit on the internet.

Best,
Ron

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 01:04 PM
as i understand it he broke no standard of conduct... and when confronted and issued an unfair ultimatum, was summarily dismissed for little reason other than failing to comply with this unfair ultimatum... we must all live up to these ideal sentiments or it is just hogwash and we are all posers... i admit i fail miserably sometimes, but we must sincerely try...

Bedard
02-08-2006, 01:21 PM
Being one of the instructors that made this decision and made the original post I would like to explain our position a little more and hopefully this will clarify our reasoning for the actions we took. We did not take this action lightly nor was this our first choice. We try other options to resolve this issue but “James” was not receptive.

We did try to guide “James” to the best of our abilities but at some point the student has to take some responsibility for his own training and for his actions or at least meet us half way. As Will stated in his post, “James” was asked to leave for more than just what he did on the web. “James” is always welcome back once he demonstrates that he is ready and willing to learn. As Peter pointed out, we are not professional therapist; we teach aikido because we love it and have been practicing it for many years. We do not get paid to teach, all dues go into supporting the dojo and keeping a mat under our feet

I do not want to stop “James” or anyone else from expressing their opinions and neither do any of the other instructors in our dojo. We certainly do not want to control someone’s personal life. I do not have any problem with people disagreeing with me; actually I like it because it keeps me honest. “James” may be back on this forum soon using his real identity and I welcome his input.

I posted my original message because I thought it was the right thing to do at the time, maybe it was not but it has made for an interesting thread. I probably should have made it clear that it was not just what he posted to this forum that lead to our actions and for that I apologize. We welcome anyone who wants to practice with us.

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 02:06 PM
but this is no clearer now... he supposedly disrespected many people on this forum and then disregarded what i would call in military parlance an unlawful order to apologize, when one was not really necessary... did he 'do' something else??? if so was it of a magnitude to warrent this response on your part? was he disruptive in class, did his actions endanger the safety of other students??? or was his simple refusal to submit to ultimatums the cause? I am still unconvinced... i have a gut feeling that James has become a sort of whipping boy when he really did nothing that most other posters have not done... that is be somewhat flippant in his remarks and not consider all the implications of his words... as we cannot see the contents of another person's mind and outward appearances can be deceiving... how then does one 'demonstrate' a willingness to learn? especially in the face of such "hyper" criticism??? if he did blatantly break the rules as stated by your dojo/organization in writing, then he deserves some form of punishment, but no one has yet shown that this is so... i continue to maintain innocence until proven guilty... with respect to all...

Michael Hackett
02-08-2006, 02:21 PM
And with respect to Mr. Neal, his dojo already sat in judgement of his conduct and delivered what they believed to be appropriate discipline. I don't see that they have any obligation to you or me, or anyone outside their organization, an explanation or defend their actions to us. Our courts recognize the concept of innocent until proven guilty, but they also pay great deference to those who are empowered to make decisions in organizations. I do the same. It is troublesome at best to be second-guessed by those who have only part of the facts in a controversy.

That aside, I still maintain that they should have remained silent about the situation and James could choose to speak up or keep his own counsel regarding the discipline.

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 02:31 PM
i agree Michael, but just because they 'sat in judgment' does not make their decision 'right', and an appeal is granted to even the most notorious serial killer... again no real reason for his exile has been given... just vague hints of other actions... when the original post said "On the mat "James" was very quiet only asking questions from time to time. Once we were aware of the situation we were able to identify who James Smith really was." this implies no wrong 'action' by James until confronted about the web situation... correct me if i am wrong, but what are the real 'actions' that merited this discipline... i have yet to see them explained... and so i must still speak for my fellow who has apparently been sacrificed to save face, with no clear reason given... with respect...

Fred Little
02-08-2006, 02:33 PM
but this is no clearer now... he supposedly disrespected many people on this forum and then disregarded what i would call in military parlance an unlawful order to apologize, when one was not really necessary...

Dear Edwin:

First, I note that you and I are both American citizens, and much of your writing in this case refers quite directly to individual rights, and your apparent sense that they might have been violated in this instance.

I would certainly agree with you that the protection of basic human rights is no small matter. In the specific case of the US Constitution and the First Amendment I would note that in addition to protecting individual rights of free speech, they also protect collective rights of free association.

Personally, I don't know enough about the particulars of the case to comment on the actions taken by the instructor or the association.

But I do know enough about the balance between individual and collective rights to suggest that unless practice with the group in question constitutes a "public accomodation," the group is well within its own rights to insist that those who wish to be associated with it observe such norms as may be set by the group, by whatever method it happens to use to set those norms.

Whatever one's feeling about the particulars, treating the question solely in terms of individual rights is incorrect in principle, and dangerous in application.

Best regards,

FL

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 02:41 PM
agreed Fred, but it still smells fishy to me... see my previous post... i would not advocate abridging this groups rights, however i don't like the apparent 'making an example of' the student in question... i merely think a careful review seems to suggest this seems to me to possibly be the case... with respect...

Ron Tisdale
02-08-2006, 02:41 PM
What Fred said (pardon the rhyme).

I agree Michael, but just because they 'sat in judgment' does not make their decision 'right',

And their decision, even though it was posted here in an attempt to be upfront and to inform, is none of our darn business. Or yours either. Unless you want to join their group. And once again, you cannot speak up for an annonymous twit on the internet. They are a non-entity until they sign their REAL name.

Best,
Ron

aikigirl10
02-08-2006, 02:45 PM
I agree with Edwin in that... James IMO, didn't actually break any rules. Had he broken any, I think Jun would have asked him to leave or at least given him a warning, which to my knowledge didn't happen from what i've read on this thread.

However, I do believe that James was disrespectful to a number of people, which i think does call for an apology of some sort.

I don't think it was really bad enough for him to be kicked out of his dojo though. He just seemed like an adolescent who needed to be corrected.. not severely punished.

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 02:46 PM
Ron, their posts were anything but informative, and since it was posted and is the topic under discussion and i could be one of the many people disrespected on aikiweb... i would say it is at least some of my darn business... i can and will continue to speak up whenever i see or seem to see injustice... i would do no less for you or any other human being... with respect...

Ron Tisdale
02-08-2006, 03:07 PM
Respect right back at ya...but we still disagree. Nothing wrong with that. I think their posts were very informative.

And I believe one of Jun's rules is that you post under your REAL name. If that is so, James broke that rule for starters.

I'll bow out now...nothing much more to say.

Best,
Ron

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 03:56 PM
i would submit that is exactly why he chose a psuedonym... fear of retribution...

Demetrio Cereijo
02-08-2006, 05:36 PM
Well, "James" broke this site rule about using his real name, are we sure everybody here is using his/her real name?

If the opinions (even dumb ones) posted here can be the cause of punishment from dojo-cho, sensei or organizations who are interested in their self-web-image, people is going to stop posting about sensible issues (yes, there is the "anonimous" posting option).

I would't like to see fear about posting in Aikiweb or a lot of people posting as "anonimous", and you?

senshincenter
02-08-2006, 05:51 PM
This is a great term Demetrio - "self-web-image."

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 05:52 PM
a very good point that i had not thought of Demetrio, i enjoy having you in the discussion and enjoy your 'other' posts... thanks again... with respect...

RebeccaM
02-08-2006, 06:42 PM
Here's a thought: we don't have the full story. Nor are we really entitled to the full story. Mr. Berhard has already pointed out that James's punishment wasn't just about his conduct on Aikiweb. Only the members of James's dojo and organization know what was going on off the web and that's why I won't call it fair or unfair. It just is. However, from what I've gleaned here, James was given a choice: to either learn a lesson or to leave. This is what teachers do at times - they give the option of either taking their lesson or going home. He made his choice. He can still make a new choice. It's between him, his ego, and his Sensei and really none of our business.

mikeym
02-08-2006, 06:44 PM
There are people who do not post much, not because of fear of punishment, but because they know that when they post they are representing their teachers.

- Mike

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 07:14 PM
Rebecca said, "Here's a thought: we don't have the full story."
i totally agree, but if they want to talk about it, then how about transparency, honesty, and openess as fundamental principles... what would warrant such a punishment? what wrong act in the dojo? we have no evidence that he did anything... in fact read the first post again...

David Bedard wrote:
On the mat "James" was very quiet only asking questions from time to time. Once we were aware of the situation we were able to identify who James Smith really was.

sounds like a witch hunt methinks... clearly until he was outted his behavior was "unremarkable" in a GOOD way... not the kind of thing that warrants dismissal... just interested in the whole picture, the true nature of reality... with respect...

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 07:21 PM
Mike that is a shame, because no one should be held accountable for another persons deed's... must everyone continually run a disclaimer that their views are in no way representative of so and so sensei's opinion etc... face it your sensei doesn't need you to represent him... he does that for himself... as we all must do...

vjw
02-08-2006, 08:38 PM
“James Smith” may join my dojo. He will be pushed as hard as any army recruit I’ve trained. He will know nikyo and yonkyo intimately. He will leave each class physically drained and knowing exactly how much I dislike what he has done. If he does not return it will be his choice.

His actions on aikiweb have caused some great discussions and made all of us think about how we should handle such a situation. For this I think he deserves a second chance. So “James”, come and meet me.... and my pal, Yonkyo :D .

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 09:04 PM
don't be so scary there Victor, all he did was write some less than inspired, indeed stupid posts, but nothing that should get anyone's hakama all mussed up... its funny how when some other people say its his choice they seem to mean they have made up their minds and are inflexible... insert pithy story about the oak and the willow and strong winds here... with respect...

Paul Schweer
02-08-2006, 09:33 PM
Making your stuff public includes responsibility, like it or not. It's part of the deal. Maybe the most pertinent result, in fact. When I speak there are consequences. Good consequences? I hope so. But words are funny, very inexact things, and precisely what might be taken from what I say is beyond my control.

This does not mean I am not responsible.

If it sounds as if I attribute extraordinary power to ordinary words… good. That's what I'm trying to say. Everyday ways of talking, stuff you might not necessarily notice, can be very powerful. With power comes responsibility.

If I am lucky, somebody somewhere cares enough to hold me accountable.

Paul Schweer

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 09:56 PM
words can and ultimately are empty of all power and meaning other than what we give them... sticks and stones etc... if they mean zero that means zero responsibility unless they are given meaning... if a tree says an irresponsible and powerful word in the forest and there is no one there to hear it does it make a sound?... how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go??? :cool:

vjw
02-08-2006, 10:03 PM
don't be so scary there Victor...
My bark is worse than my bite. :grr:

all he did was write some less than inspired, indeed stupid posts, but nothing that should get anyone's hakama all mussed up...

Then why all the discussion about his remarks?

its funny how when some other people say its his choice they seem to mean they have made up their minds and are inflexible... insert pithy story about the oak and the willow and strong winds here...

I make up my mind about lots of things but I'm always willing to re-consider my decisions. If I was inflexible I would not have suggested giving him another chance. However, when you take on the responsibility of running a dojo, you are called on at times to make decisions for the good and benifit of the dojo and its members. Making a decision and sticking by it does not make you inflexible.

with respect...

hmmm, in my days in the army, when a soldier said to an officer "with respect, sir", it was a said in a way to let the officer know he had no respect for him ;)

I'm flexible enough to give "James" a chance. How about we all agree to say no more about it if he logs on in his own name and apologises for his remarks?

Edwin Neal
02-08-2006, 10:20 PM
i think the point of this discussion has centered more on his expulsion from his dojo for alledged actions other than his web postings, and i did mean with respect although we did the same as what you describe in the navy, but we usually meant it more like you don't have a clue let me help you out... that is not what i am doing here... Making a decision and sticking by it does not make you inflexible, unless you are wrong and refuse to admit it, then it is... with respect in the literal sense...

RebeccaM
02-08-2006, 10:50 PM
Mike that is a shame, because no one should be held accountable for another persons deed's....
Ah but that's what being a leader is about and that's also what being a representative is about. When we post here we are acting as ambassadors for our dojos. When we go to seminars we are representing our dojos. If we screw up, people wonder what exactly goes on on our mats. This is true off the mat as well. When we grad students get up to give talks we're not just representing ourselves; we're representing our labs as well and if we screw up not only do we look really dumb, but our advisors also looks bad for either not training us properly or for letting us get away with a stupid mistake. If my labmates and I skip seminars, not only do we students look bad, but the higher ups in the department bitch at my boss about how he needs to get his lab more engaged in science (this happened last spring). Our failings become his.

I am sure this phenomenon is not limited to science labs either. In fact, I know it's not. I've met people who despise Americans because of the way we behave as tourists. I've seen similar sentiments expressed towards Germans, Swedes, Hungarians, and so on.

When I was a crew chief on the rescue squad on my college campus I was responsible for everything that happened on my scene. Didn't matter if it was one of my crew members screwed up. I was the one held accountable. This took on an extra edge on the nights when I was the only fully certified EMT on the crew. So, both for the sake of my patients and to cover my own rear, I took steps to keep my crew members in line, just as the crew chiefs I was under while I was training kept me in line. Similar story with the ambulance I volunteered on as well. You are responsible for the people you lead. This is part of why leaders even exist in the first place.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-09-2006, 04:30 AM
When we post here we are acting as ambassadors for our dojos.

Sorry, but i don't get it.

Imho, people posting here are ambassadors of themselves, not their dojo/organization unless they state otherwise.

Under your point of view, should i say: when Mr. Goldsbury posts is the IAF who posts?, when Mr. Leavitt posts is the US Army who posts?

happysod
02-09-2006, 04:39 AM
I'll add a "me too" for Demetrio. Didn't we also have some earlier ( and quite heated) threads where it was generally held that rank on the mat did not equate automatically to rank when posting ? Has aikiweb underwent a change somewhere? (I missed the memo, probably by being a freeloader)

Peter Goldsbury
02-09-2006, 06:19 AM
Sorry, but i don't get it.

Imho, people posting here are ambassadors of themselves, not their dojo/organization unless they state otherwise.

Under your point of view, should i say: when Mr. Goldsbury posts is the IAF who posts?, when Mr. Leavitt posts is the US Army who posts?

Mr Cereijio,

I agree. I believe that posts in an Internet discussion forum reflect you (or anyone) as the person you are, enriched (or otherwise) by your aikido training.

Whenever I post here or in other forums, I 'represent' myself unless I state otherwise. However, I also think the matter is not so simple.

Though I sometimes like to think that I do, I do not in fact post in a vacuum and people who read my posts might well make the connection with the IAF. So, in a real sense I am regarded as a representative or ambassador of the IAF. Even though I attempt to keep this 'public' area (Peter Goldsbury as an IAF/ Aikikai Hombu official) and my own 'private' area (Peter Goldsbury as an aikidoka) separate, I cannot guarantee that these attempts will be understood or accepted by people who read my posts . There is a certain creative tension here and I think this is felt by other posters, not just by myself.

When I talk of a creative tension here, I am thinking of how the 'public' influences the 'private' and vice versa. and I also think tha there is no clear demarcation line between the two.

Thus (1) to take two examples from this forum, I have formed a pretty clear idea of the kind of dojo that David Valadez heads and the kind of organization that Chuck Clark leads. The way they post indicates to an 'outsider' like myself the way they train and so, were I to go to their dojo as an anonymous visitor, I would expect a certain (intense) level of training and also a certain (very clear) type of dojo etiquette.

Thus (2) I think this is why someone like Moriteru Doshu would never post in an aikido discussion forum. For Doshu, the tension or balance between the 'public' and the 'private' is always weighted in favour of the 'public' and so his private thoughts are never made public. I think this is also true of all the Hombu shihan I am acquainted with: they never post unless it is in the form of interviews or responses to questons. Aikido-Online is a good example of such a forum.

I myself have often been criticized for posting on general Internet discussion forums because I am IAF Chairman, therefore I should be 'silent' and live on the aikido version of Mt. Olympus (or Mt. Fujii?). I have never accepted this argument and have always responded that, unlike Doshu, I am elected--and can always be removed from office if the electors do not like what I am doing (which includes extensive postings on Internet discussion forums). They choose.

As for the issues concerning 'James Smith' (apologies for the time it has taken to get to this point), I am somewhat concerned that he was asked to leave his dojo, but I also understand that the real issues involved are almost never revealed on Internet discussion forums. To give a more important example, the issues relating to the split between Tohei Sensei and the Aikikai have been debated many times on the Internet, but always in the absence of hard data, especially from the Aikikai. Without such data, it is impossible to arrive at a balanced view of the dispute.

Best wishes to all,

Ron Tisdale
02-09-2006, 07:18 AM
Peter sums up my thoughts nicely.

Best,
Ron

senshincenter
02-09-2006, 09:24 AM
Well, let's not forget that David B. wrote:

"We asked "James" to write an apology and tell everyone who he really is but he has chosen not to. Due to his refusal to take responsibility for what he has done we have asked "James" to leave our dojo at this time. I would like to make it clear that "James" does not represent our dojo or Jiyushinkai in anyway. "

The letter states that "James" was not problematic at his dojo - that they wouldn't even have figured out who he was - that he was there - if they hadn't received an email, etc. All he did was ask a few questions from time to time - they say - which I take to mean, HE DID NOT STAND OUT/HE WAS NOT A PROBLEM. The letter clearly says he was expelled because of what he did on the Internet and because of his refusal to feel sorry for it and to see himself as a delegate of the dojo in a field he obviously considered to be private.

This "other stuff" that supposedly explains why he really got kicked out and why the dojo in question felt they had to post everything on the Internet, only came out after the fact of this thread - which in my opinion makes it more worthy of suspicion than of trust. Moreover, I imagine this "other stuff" came about only after the dojo in question pressed their issue upon James and he pushed back. I am sure he "disrespected" some folks when they started pushing at him - but really that should be understood as James no longer respecting - not as James setting out to disrespect. There is a difference: when someone no longer respects you its because of what you did first (i.e. pushing on James by trying to tailor his private life and/or by trying to make him a delegate for the dojo - a position he probably would not want and/or should not have as a beginner); when someone disrespects you it is because you have maintained a position worthy of respect.

On this "other stuff," could you imagine that coming up in any kind of system of judgment that wanted to uphold itself as reasonable and fair? Could you imagine that the prosecution keeps coming up with additional charges once the previous ones are found to be without fault? Sure, a dojo does not have to be reasonable and fair, but then go with that - that is the way I see things. Why all this smoke and mirrors to look reasonable and fair in front of folks that have nothing to do with your dojo? Why? Because that is really what this issue was about for James' dojo - about a "self-web-image". Let's not kid ourselves that it is about anything else.

Additionally, if one wants to be reasonable and fair, there is some issue here of jurisdiction. I seriously doubt that James' dojo told him ahead of time that he is to think of himself as a representation of the dojo, even in his private life - even when that private life is carried out under a pseudonym. Wow - could you imagine how many folks you'd drive away from your dojo if you came at them with that from the beginning?! If one is so in agreement with this idea, then post it up front on your website - put it in your signature, put in your yellow page ad, etc. Let folks know that this is how your dojo understands things - be proud of it. Yet, I seriously doubt anyone would do that for fear of the actual image that would come of it - which does not come up when one gets all high and mighty so as to build some kind of contrary position to a 19 year old kid. Again, I find it extremely hard to believe that the dojo specifically told James ahead of time that he should understand the Internet as an extension of his Budo training environment - even should he use a pseudonym. Additionally, this may very well be a tenet of the Jiyushinkai BUT James was NOT a member of the Jiyushinkai. If a dojo is going to let folks join their membership but not have to join their federation, if the dojo does not have the same protocols as their federation, etc., and/or if the dojo does not make it known that it does have the same protocols, then fairness and reason demands not that James fixes the self-web-image of the dojo but that he be told to stop what he was doing, that he be informed of the dojo's expectations (for the first time and/or again), and that the dojo continue onward with its tutelage of James' body, heart, and mind. If you want to reach out across one's own set jurisdiction, then forget it all - go with complete and arbitrary power. Forget the bylaws and all that stuff - just do it all on a whim. However, if you are going to set out with federation codes and boundaries, then be ready to NOT TO ACT when someone has fallen out of your jurisdiction according to your own bylaws.

What's going on here, in my opinion, is the same thing you see when two men let their egos get in the way - violence ensues. James did what he did, the dojo pushed at him, James didn't yield, so the dojo pushed harder. Not very Aiki at all - who can't push harder when someone pushes back? All we need is a bar and some stools or some high school kids to form a circle around them and we'd have the complete scene. What do we always say when two egos battle like this - "Someone has to be the bigger man." Here, in my opinion, the dojo should always seek to be the bigger man. However, here, the dojo allowed its ego to push it into a corner, into a contest, where like with every ego-driven action, it was forced to keep pushing and could not back down without having more of their self-image threatened. If the dojo wanted to be the bigger man it would have taken responsibility for James, not pushed to have James take responsibility for the dojo. Could you imagine how we all would have responded if David B. wrote the following:

"It has come to our attention that a member of our dojo has said some things on this forum that we ourselves find to be rude, ignorant, and offensive. We would like to apologize if a member of our organization has caused any readers here grievance and/or stress of any kind. Please know that he does not represent us and/or our understanding of Aikido and/or the world in general. Please, bear with us as we continue to educate this youth in the tenets of the Way..."

Had they written that, we would have all said, "Wow! What a dojo that must be! I got to meet this David B. guy.", etc. And, we would have said, "Please, no need for you to apologize, we understand newbies, and we understand how ignorance takes time and effort to become wisdom." And, we would have said, "James is just lucky to belong to a dojo like yours." Etc.

When the ego drives us, there is always only one way to act - the way we are acting. When the ego is not driving us, wisdom opens up before us and we see the infinite amount of choices that are always ours. From there, we can find the option that satisfies all parties in a way that the ego-driven single option never can.

dmv

happysod
02-09-2006, 10:25 AM
David, while I think we're in general agreement, I wasn't reading as much intentional malice into it as you seem to be implying, rather a misunderstanding of internet forums and their place in general communication as regards their dojo and their authority.

However, having read some of the "pro" posts, perhaps they're not as far from the truth as I originally thought. I'm also wondering whether this is a result of an age difference in posters?

..Moriteru Doshu would never post in an aikido discussion forum .. Sorry Peter, but I now have this image of him logging on to bullshido under a pseudonym just to be able to vent about aikido, but your post was appreciated as ever.

Edwin Neal
02-09-2006, 10:31 AM
when you judge someone or a group based upon the actions of another individual or small section of that group there is a name for that... prejudice... it happens in life all the time as Rebecca pointed out, but when good people say nothing or admit it as the status quo they empower and embolden these trends... in essense they become accomplices... speak up! it is not disrespectful to tell the truth or seek it...

RebeccaM
02-09-2006, 10:35 AM
Sorry, but i don't get it.

Imho, people posting here are ambassadors of themselves, not their dojo/organization unless they state otherwise.

Under your point of view, should i say: when Mr. Goldsbury posts is the IAF who posts?, when Mr. Leavitt posts is the US Army who posts?

When you're on this board making statements about your dojo or organization, you are representing your dojo or organization. If you say something false or embarassing about your dojo or your organization, your sensei and shihan could feel embarassed by that and may feel the need to take action. This is what happened with James.

It has nothing to do with rank. It more to do with the people who are reading.

Edwin Neal
02-09-2006, 10:43 AM
David Valadez said, "could you imagine that coming up in any kind of system of judgment that wanted to uphold itself as reasonable and fair? Could you imagine that the prosecution keeps coming up with additional charges once the previous ones are found to be without fault?"

well we only have to look back to the clinton years don't we??? love him or hate him the special prosecutor keep fishing until he caught him... as i said before if we allow questionable principles and behaviors by authorities to continue with no review and accountability we allow our freedom to be diminished... i'm not talking about a revolution or disrespect, but fairness, transparency and honesty... no one is above the law or infallible... we should all practice sincerely, and with an "open, free mind or spirit" for the "mutual benefit" of all...

Edwin Neal
02-09-2006, 10:48 AM
Rebecca after careful review i find no mention of 'James' dojo although i did ask him directly for this information... if i am mistaken please share the post you are refering to... here is a search of all 85 of James' posts to help in your search...

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search.php?searchid=122748&pp=25&page=1

Ron Tisdale
02-09-2006, 11:17 AM
He did not mention a dojo...he mentioned the organization, and the state he is from, which led to his being 'outed'. Specifically:

Wtf? I never said I was Shodokan. Don't get me started on Karl Geis. His system to say the least is screwy. I'm with Chuck Clark's group.

So....regardless of whether or not he was a paying member of the association, he certainly *claimed* that he was part of the group.

Best,
Ron

Edwin Neal
02-09-2006, 11:28 AM
true enough Ron, but he did not say anything disrespectful about his dojo or organization, and as a poster here should not be held to represent his dojo or organization as posted earlier... still no smoking gun over the top post that warranted dismissal... good try Ron... with respect...

Ron Tisdale
02-09-2006, 11:46 AM
Not a try, I succeeded, though not of convincing you. The issue is not that he said anything disrespectfull of his dojo or org., the issue is that his rude, ignorant, obnoxious behavior reflected poorly on his dojo and organization.

The very fact that he was posting annonymously is a smoking gun.

Whether or not those actions (or others not mentioned) warrented dismissal is not up to us...it's up to the dojo/org. in question. You may question or disagree with them...but it's not up to you or me.

And I strongly disagree that my actions don't in some way reflect on my teacher, my parents, my workplace, etc. If you doubt this, go commit a crime unrelated to your work. Once done, let your job know what you did. See how quickly you end up in the unemployment line... :) I post every post knowing that if I make too big an @ss of myself, my teacher may well tell me to stop posting. Guess what? If he says stop posting, I stop posting. That is how much I value our relationship. Too bad 'James' didn't learn that lesson. He might then be posting here (under his real name) AND TRAINING. But that would mean being able to acknowledge and accept an authority outside of himself. Step one on the journey to doing just about anything in life AS AN ADULT.

I really must stop posting to this thread...there is no way you and I will agree on this topic. Our starting assumptions are just too far apart.

Best,
Ron

Edwin Neal
02-09-2006, 12:06 PM
see the earlier posts... his behaviour only reflected on himself... to judge others by his actions is a form of prejudice... which we both agree is bad... here's a clip i took from some where without permission, but i think it is germane to the discussion...

"When we are children, many times, we learn to make decisions because we are taught that unless we do what others think is "right" we will be punished. We are usually taught to ignore what our inner voices and our true intent tell us and we are told to listen to outside authority. We have all experienced many of the varied forms that this punishment takes. Fear is the result of this decision making process. If we learn to make our daily decisions based on values that come from our original nature rather than what others have taught us through fear; then we are practicing jiyushin. A life of jiyushin is one of real, true, pure intent actualized in the world by our actions without ever worrying whether the intent or the actions are right or wrong. Any decisions about relative values of "right/wrong or good/bad" will take care of themselves. What a frightening vision... not having an outside authority to guide us and tell us what to do... each of us being responsible... no one else to blame! Many have called this "the Razor's Edge". As with most fear, it is frightening because it is unknown. Therefore we suffer from a lack of self-confidence. When there is a lack of self-confidence, there are always many voices available telling us what to think and do. However, once we realize this jiyushin, we understand and have no problem "knowing". We have faith tempered with doubt. Always open for new information... we trust the "way of things"... the process. Ultimately, ideally we no longer need leaders and teachers. We have "teacherless knowledge". We can cooperate and communicate as equals and colleagues. This jiyushin is evident and defined by our self-image plus our actions and relationships filled with LOVE striving for that which is conducive to the benefit and well being of all creatures. We can understand how we take great comfort in our similarities and gain tremendous power through our differences."... hmmm how about that...

a good teacher would not care if you made an ass of yourself, because thats you not him... i too must stop posting here... we all have a stake in these kind of situations... it is the business of all aikidoka... you can't have it both ways... either it reflects on all of us and is our business ,or it does not reflect on us and is none of our business... i however believe the reality is a mixture of these two... and is not so easily put into a box labeled do not open... James got a raw deal... i would say the same for anyone put in his position... this is my last post on this thread... with respect to all please open your minds and follow your heart, learn to forgive and not to beat down...

Jorge Garcia
02-09-2006, 03:35 PM
Edwin, You wrote,
"this is my last post on this thread... with respect to all please open your minds and follow your heart, learn to forgive and not to beat down..."

Sorry friend, You are still wrong. Those who don't agree with you may indeed have open minds and be following their hearts. I don't think anyone from James' dojo beat him down either. They had the right to act as they did and I am sure James learned a valuable lesson. In fact, what happened to James probably will serve to make him a better and more responsible person in the future than any of us might imagine.

If you are reading this "James", take a hint from all that has been said and next time, act more grown up and hold yourself accountable for what you say by giving your real name. Not only will we like you better, you might actually like yourself better and you can be a contribution to the art instead of a distraction from it.
Best wishes always,

Edwin Neal
02-09-2006, 04:24 PM
okay you got me Jorge... my challenge which has yet to be taken is this... if as you state "i am wrong", then put up or shut up and produce the post that James wrote that warrents expulsion from his dojo... James only posted 85 times here and i have linked the search in this thread... so show me this so incredibly disrespectful post... i'm waiting... with respect...

Demetrio Cereijo
02-09-2006, 05:06 PM
Not a try, I succeeded, though not of convincing you. The issue is not that he said anything disrespectfull of his dojo or org., the issue is that his rude, ignorant, obnoxious behavior reflected poorly on his dojo and organization.

If everyone who is rude, ignorant or has an obnoxious behavior should be expelled from the dojo they attend, i think a good number of instructors are going to be unemployed.

And I strongly disagree that my actions don't in some way reflect on my teacher, my parents, my workplace, etc. If you doubt this, go commit a crime unrelated to your work. Once done, let your job know what you did. See how quickly you end up in the unemployment line...

Let's see, maybe "James" is dumber than a bag of bricks but he's not, afaik, a serial killer, child molester or drug dealer, i still think the dojo responsibles overreacted about the issue.

Jorge Garcia
02-09-2006, 10:22 PM
okay you got me Jorge... my challenge which has yet to be taken is this... if as you state "i am wrong", then put up or shut up and produce the post that James wrote that warrents expulsion from his dojo... James only posted 85 times here and i have linked the search in this thread... so show me this so incredibly disrespectful post... i'm waiting... with respect...

Edwin,
You wrote," put up or shut up" . This is rude and and makes your post unworthy of a response. Telling some one to "Shut up" implies you have a right to do that. I'm not sure who you think you are. I guess it takes a pretty important person to say that to someone you don't know. Maybe you have something in common with James after all.
By the way, didn't you say, "this is my last post on this thread"???
You should have quit while you were ahead.

MattRice
02-10-2006, 05:15 AM
Hey folks,
lets remember (those of use who are older) that we ALL said something (or multiple things) stupid when we were young. Perhaps for some of us the web wasn't around to document our transgressions: weren't we lucky.
matt

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 05:39 AM
Jorge you simply misunderstood my form of humor, it is a common turn of phrase... my how thin skinned some aikidoka are... the term passive aggressive comes to mind... this is EXACTLY my point in this whole affair... if someone can become insulted by something typed on a public forum by someone you don't even know, then what does that say about their practice of aikido, or self esteem... i'm not picking on anyone, but if you feel picked upon, maybe you should meditate on WHY that is... and i reserve the right to change my mind... remember anything you say can and will be distorted, twisted, remixed and used against you... just ask James... so has anyone found the a posting by James that would get anyone tossed out of their dojo... WITH RESPECT!!! for those that don't read so well...

happysod
02-10-2006, 05:53 AM
Jorge you simply misunderstood my form of humor, it is a common turn of phrase but now you're touching on a point that hasn't really been covered. Personal responsibility for yourself. We've been focusing on the dynamics between posting as an individual on a public forum and its possible repercussions. However, where I think "James" legitimately failed and could have been asked to stop posting by other forum members (not dojo) was twofold. Firstly his lack of respect to other posters by assuming everyone was an internet persona and secondly by being unclear and abrasive in his communication.

No matter what your personal "style" is (for example, pompously arrogant in my case), you do have to ask yourself that if my interactions with others always results in an argument rather than a discussion, what am I achieving? If you want to contribute to a forum that isn't just a slanging match, you do have to ensure you're communicating in a form that won't be misinterpreted. I'm still working on this one.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 06:15 AM
i have an aunt that can take offense at the word "hello" it has nothing to do with the person saying it, but more to do with HER, and the baggage she is carrying around in her head... you make some good points Ian, but NO ONE has yet given a concrete example of one of James' posts that was so offensive that he should be expelled... and any comments James did make that were possibly covered by your two criteria were "soundly" responded to by other forum members, including Jun and me... why do we assume that someone posting has any knowlegde of 'virtual waza', we don't assume a person walking in to the dojo will act all aikido... these things take time and practice and patience... if what someone says leads your mind, then your aikido is failing... with respect...

ian
02-10-2006, 06:37 AM
If I had a student that said disrespectful things about me and the dojo I would take a good long look at myself before persecuting them. James has as much right to comment on his dojo as others have to criticise James' actions. I think a much better solution would have been to engage with James, challenge his criticisms where they were considered to be unjust, and try to solve what he must have felt was a problem.

'Respect' should not be enforced. I understand David's feelings, but to say the fault lies completely with James seems very unfair and tends to suggest a degree of victimisation. Some of my students have used Aikiweb, and I would hope they would speak freely and openly - indeed I think aikiweb is a great place to give an equal view, since in the dojo it is difficult to do this.

I think, David, that you need to give a concrete example of the comments made if we to make our own judgements. I would be offended if very personal material were posted on aikiweb by a student. However 'James' was training at your dojo, and therefore was not just trying to attack you - there must have been some discontentment.

I think respect for people just because they have more power is a very bad road to follow. Speak openly, non-agressively and with compassion, and any fault then lays with the ego of the listener.

I would agree, that you only have to teach those you want to. But from the sounds of it, the atmosphere in David's dojo is not conducive to making the students happy or content (or at least that student), and yet the blame was pushed squarely on Jame's shoulders.

If 'James' is still reading, I would love to hear his view as well.

I would say, if instructors get offended by the discussion of particular people on aikiweb, well this 'dojo' of equality is not for them.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 06:48 AM
well put Ian... i too find it sad that some students feel they can't speak up for fear of offending... you do not represent your school, although some people will hold that wrong prejudiced view... a true martial artists would never be insulted by words, unless they were directly challenging or threatening violence... this forum and others like it should be free, not hampered by the image/politics of organizations... people should feel free to express "their opinion" without fear of retribution...

Jorge Garcia
02-10-2006, 07:26 AM
Jorge you simply misunderstood my form of humor, it is a common turn of phrase... my how thin skinned some aikidoka are... the term passive aggressive comes to mind... this is EXACTLY my point in this whole affair... if someone can become insulted by something typed on a public forum by someone you don't even know, then what does that say about their practice of aikido, or self esteem... i'm not picking on anyone, but if you feel picked upon, maybe you should meditate on WHY that is... and i reserve the right to change my mind... remember anything you say can and will be distorted, twisted, remixed and used against you... just ask James... so has anyone found the a posting by James that would get anyone tossed out of their dojo... WITH RESPECT!!! for those that don't read so well...

Edwin,
You are rapidly becoming the new "James". You used these phrases- "thin skinned", "feel picked on","passive aggressive", " become insulted", "those that don't read so well"....

I would comment that I never said any of those things and thankfully, I don't have to own anything you say about me. I found it amusing that you even gave me a psychological tag in "passive aggressive".

Edwin "with respect" means nothing, if in fact, you don't respect. I suggest that in the future, you don't say "Shut up" to people you "respect". They might not believe you.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 08:01 AM
still taking offense where none was intended... that is my only point... if you do not try to understand my post, but instead pull out the words and phrases that you feel slighted by, then i feel you are just trying to find some offense... if that is so feel free to feel that way... but realize that is not my intention... a true martial artist should not be threatened by words unless they are a direct challenge or a threat of physical violence... if someones words cause YOU to feel offended, when that person has clearly stated that is not the intent, meditate on what in you causes that feeling...

Jorge Garcia
02-10-2006, 08:24 AM
still taking offense where none was intended... that is my only point... if you do not try to understand my post, but instead pull out the words and phrases that you feel slighted by, then i feel you are just trying to find some offense... if that is so feel free to feel that way... but realize that is not my intention... a true martial artist should not be threatened by words unless they are a direct challenge or a threat of physical violence... if someones words cause YOU to feel offended, when that person has clearly stated that is not the intent, meditate on what in you causes that feeling...

Don't worry. You have never offended me. I am hoping you will eventually understand that words mean something. Since you don't take seriously the words you say to others, it's little wonder that you don't pay much attention to your own words like when you say you have made your final post on a thread. I find it interesting the way you are always characterizing that others are offended and insulted. Then you, counsel them to think or meditate on a feeling you claim to know they have. I believe it was you who said on this very thread,
"hey let's be civil and not stoop to name calling... ". If words mean anything at all in your world, maybe you should listen to your own advice.

David Valadez said,"One should be polite regardless of being direct."
Chuck Clark said,"Respectful behavior should be part and parcel with all behavior."
I liked the way those two gentlemen talked to each other. You should reread their posts and take a hint.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 08:28 AM
Jorge said, "I would comment that I never said any of those things and thankfully, I don't have to own anything you say about me. I found it amusing that you even gave me a psychological tag in "passive aggressive"."

i did not give you that tag... nor say anything about you other than you misunderstood my JOKE "to put up or shut up"... it is a common phrase between me and my friends, not an insult... but please feel free to think as you like... with respect...

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 08:29 AM
i have not resorted to name calling... and i will not...

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 08:56 AM
despite the sleight of hand and smoke screens no one has produced a post by James that warranted expulsion... saying it is not our business is fine, but his actions on aikiweb were given as grounds for this action, thus i feel it is my business as i participated in those discussions... please feel free to disagree and attack me, but i will stand by the original point... produce the posts that justifies this... please continue to attack me as it is amusing, but is unlikely to get a response... i have never intended to insult or disrespect anyone on this forum... i am sorry if you feel that i have, and apologize that my comments made you feel this way... my words may be unclear sometimes, but in my heart i respect everyone who posts here...

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 09:08 AM
i think this article is germane to the discussion at hand...

http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/themirror/2005_05.html

with respect...

aikidodragon
02-10-2006, 12:35 PM
In post 106 Edwin wrote "put up, or shut up". In post 108 Jorge said that that statement brought down the level of Edwin's post, and made it not worthy of a response. Jorge, might I ask then why did you respond.
I agree with Edwin, I have seen no proof that "James" was rightfully expelled. I have read his post, I agree he wasn't the most tactful or wise person, but nothing worth major afence over.
If I was kicked out of the dojos i trained and train in for everything i have said, i would have been a long time ago.
Also as a disclaimer,
I am not representing the views of my instructors or orgonizations in this post. This post is only my oppinion, and my oppinion only.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 12:50 PM
perhaps we should all include a very explicit disclaimer in our signatures and profiles... well put Sara... although i am NOT singling out anyone, this seems to reflect how too many aikidoka have a problem with questions or opinions other than their own... the article i linked touches on this, as do some of David Valadez' posts... are aikidoka thin skinned? why are some students fearful to express their opinions? why do some people judge a dojo/organization by one or a few individuals? why can't you ask your sensei a question? why would that be considered disrespectful? can't you disagree with someone even your sensei on certain issues? how much influence and control does/should the dojo/organization have in your personal 'outside the dojo' life?... these and many more question should be explored in this free and informal forum without resorting to indignation over the inferred tone or style of a posters writing... with respect... and no intent to disrespect anyone...

Michael O'Brien
02-10-2006, 02:25 PM
I made one post on this subject in the first 5-10 posts and was going to "let it go" after that. Somehow this thread seems to have become like a bad car wreck though; Everytime I drive past it I have to slow down and take another look. LOL

Edwin, with a few rare exceptions, I think the majority of us feel that expelling James from his dojo for any posts he made on here is extreme.

However, other than the original post on the thread, it has been stated many times over by more than one person from his dojo that there were other factors inside the dojo that led to eventual dismissal.

They have chosen, for their own reasons, to not divulge those factors to us and that is their right, even if we don't agree with that decision as well.

Ultimately I would like to see "james" come back as well under his real name and hopefully contribute to and learn from this forum and find a school where he can fit in and continue his training to grow as both a person and martial artist. This is by no means a slight against "james" either. At 38, having trained in martial arts for almost 20 years now I am still growing as a person and a martial artist also. I feel when we stop growing it is time to stop training.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 02:59 PM
i agree with you Michael, but the original post also made clear that James was not a trouble in the dojo... if he did something heinous... that is endanger other students, get violent, etc... then he should be expelled, but the posts seem to indicate that he was pressured to comply with what i consider unfair demands and punished because he would not comply... they haven't divulged any other 'acts' inside the dojo, because frankly i don't think there were any... refusing to submit to their ultimatum was the 'factor'... this raises issues of control and personal freedom... true enough the dojo can do anything it wants... there is a thread on this site about a male only dojo that got lots of play... so how much authority does a dojo/organization have over your personal life? this is troubling... what if your sensei says you must do exactly as he says or else? what if he doesn't like your girlfriend, or that you have a beer on friday night, or smoke cigarettes, or are a member of the ACLU, etc... what falls within the dojo's "ma ai"? thanks for your comments... with respect...

Michael O'Brien
02-10-2006, 03:12 PM
I agree with the thought process and it is indeed a fine line in the sand. It is similar to your job and how much control do they have over what you do once you leave the office. I remember a story a while back about a company that fired a married man when they found out he had an affair outside of the office.

In the different dojos I have trained in there have been different standards/codes of conduct on what is expected of you both in the dojo and outside the dojo. Personally, as a responsible, mostly mature, adult I have never had a problem with it. I always try to hold myself to a higher standard than anyone else would anyway so I don't have an issue with it.

If I enjoyed going out, getting drunk, and causing trouble would I have a different view if my dojo tried to control my social life? Perhaps so, but it is hard to objectively say because I can't even imagine myself doing that anymore.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 03:22 PM
exactly what i am interested in exploring in this discussion, Michael... what level of control, and what aspects of your life do they have authority over? what if you were given the ultimatum go out and get drunk with us or else? yeah i know not likely... i just had to show that no matter what your personal preference, what if the dojo wants the opposite? do you bend, or stand your ground? with respect...

Michael O'Brien
02-10-2006, 03:45 PM
Hmmm; I think the answer is different for each person. The amount of control the dojo has over you is going to be the amount of control you are willing to give up in order for training. If a dojo says "None of our students are allowed to drink or smoke" then if you are a drinker or smoker you can give up the habits or train elsewhere.

The same logic could be applied though inside the dojo could it not? What if your dojo decided when you walked in to train tomorrow that they feel in order for you to effectively fight you need to know what it feels like to be hit full force? So they tell all of the students form a straight line and we are going to walk down the line and punch you all in the face as hard as we can?

Again, that is their decision on how they want to run their dojo and you have to decide if you want to accept their decisions and train under those conditions or not?

Not exactly the same I know but it does still lead to the ultimate question right? How much control are you willing to give up in order to train?

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 04:06 PM
yep its a sticky problem, which is probably why people get so empassioned in their discussion of it... on the one hand i am fully for dojo's right to do their own thing, but at the same time i kind of expect them to hold high standards for their own actions, and treat people fairly... as my mother loves to say "life isn't fair" to which i always reply "life is fair, people are not"... this is why i love a site like this that allows for discussion of these issues... with respect...

Demetrio Cereijo
02-10-2006, 04:36 PM
Not exactly the same I know but it does still lead to the ultimate question right? How much control are you willing to give up in order to train?

The same amount of control i have about private lifes of Sensei and dojo mates.

I don't get into their lifes outside the dojo, they don't get into mine. We can talk about everything, be oppinionated about life, politics, religion and, of course our views about Aikido (that's what "beer-waza" time is for), and we share thougts and counsels about life, but i've never seen anybody giving up control of their life to the dojo for the "right" to train.

Of course, there has been people who quitted because they weren't "accepted" by the core group, and i've always expressed my thougts about the dojo lacking a clear policy of dealing with newbies (maybe it's because my background in HR management), because i've seen different ways to deal with them, based on aestethics, previous experience in martial arts or toughness. But iv'e never seen anyone discriminated for being an a**hole outside the dojo.

But every dojo is different, so we must accept "diversity", isn't it?

James Smithe
02-10-2006, 08:18 PM
I'm surprised so many of you could figure out the holes in Bedard's and Chuck's statements. I guess their not used to people pecking at them.
David Bedard this posts was a bad move. This post was totally unecessary I could of just left without you making a big deal out of it on the internet. First of all even if people don't say it they are going to think you are cult who tries to control every facet of your member's lives. Second you seem like people who have no concept of reality and think LaLa land is real. It's just an internet forum.
I'm glad I left, you guys think too highly of yourselves.
This entire statement was to save some type of image. You're like anorexics who look into the mirror and see fat all over their body when there really is none. No one was thinking about you. I haven't posted in a week like I told you I would so your precious image should have been safe.

About my previous behavior. I seriously didn't think there was anything wrong with the way I was typing on the forums. To me it was normal internet behavior. I should of lurked more so I could see how you guys acted. If I really thought I was acting devious. I would not have told them I was posting.


I posted my original message because I thought it was the right thing to do at the time, maybe it was not but it has made for an interesting thread. I probably should have made it clear that it was not just what he posted to this forum that lead to our actions and for that I apologize. We welcome anyone who wants to practice with us.

So this thread was to stir up %@#$ then? Lies lies lies. You were pissed off that I was typing messages in Lala land. I proabably screwed up the way your favorote forum worked with my posting style so you were mad. People picked up on your lies and you just ignored them. Other people said they were proabably right. Sorry you're wrong there is no other action that led to my dismissal. More specifically it's more of a lack of action like the apology letter.

About this apology. I did write it but they already made their decision to kick me out. There was no "we're still working with him on the situation," it was over a long time ago. Writing it was a waste of my time. If they don't want me there I'm not going whine and say why they should take me back. But I will call them on their bull.

Those of you who completely agree with them. You really need to unplug.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 08:26 PM
James, i think i'm still gonna call you that... why did you change your signature technique from irimi to ushiro-ate? and try not to poke people here too hard... some have thin skins... i think you proved your point... don't rub everyones face in it...

James Smithe
02-10-2006, 08:29 PM
I have no idea what a irimi-nage is. So I changed it to ushiro-ate. Okay I'll really try to adjust to Aikiweb.

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 08:39 PM
irimi nage is kind of a clothesline like seagal uses in his movies... i think you will have a rough time here for a while... just try to be nice... read the article i linked to in one of my previous posts and see what you think... have you found another dojo or are you still looking?

Edwin Neal
02-10-2006, 08:47 PM
and when you finish that one try this one...

http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/pschweer/2005_05.html

Nick Simpson
02-12-2006, 06:39 AM
'I have no idea what a irimi-nage is'

Till you find another dojo, if your interested in learning to recognise the basic techniques then I would recommend you get a good book. Although theres a wealth of information here on aikiweb, and to be honest, with the net at your disposal if you went and typed 'Iriminage' into google and looked at images and then descriptions, im sure you'd find out plenty.

A book I found very helpful at an early stage was (and still do): Total Aikido by Gozo Shioda. You can get it off Amazon if you want. Its Yoshinkan style, but I didnt find this to be much of a problem, the techniques are very similar, just some are named differently.

Of course, there is no substitue for the real deal!

Hope that helps.

Nick

roosvelt
02-13-2006, 07:29 AM
First of all even if people don't say it they are going to think you are cult who tries to control every facet of your member's lives. Second you seem like people who have no concept of reality and think LaLa land is real. It's just an internet forum.
I'm glad I left, you guys think too highly of yourselves.



Thanks, James for showing your true color once again.


This entire statement was to save some type of image. You're like anorexics who look into the mirror and see fat all over their body when there really is none. No one was thinking about you. I haven't posted in a week like I told you I would so your precious image should have been safe.



At least you didn't compare it to KKK, which is a cut above some poeple here who's supporting you.




About this apology. I did write it but they already made their decision to kick me out.



Are you sure your apology was sincere?

Good luck with you. I don't think Aikido is right sport for you.

Josh Reyer
02-13-2006, 08:33 AM
Good luck with you. I don't think Aikido is right sport for you.

I dunno. Sounds like he could get more out of it than most.

Edwin Neal
02-13-2006, 11:49 AM
Roosvelt said, "At least you didn't compare it to KKK, which is a cut above some poeple here who's supporting you."

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT I DID NOT COMPARE ANY DOJO/ORGANIZATION TO THE KKK!!!

here is my post that you are erroneously referring to... show me where i compared them...

"don't get your panties in a hitch there Roosvelt... i never implied any of the things you tried to beat me up with... privilege does NOT give carte blanche to dictate, and require certain concessions of personal freedom and privacy... i am sure the KKK considers it a privilege, not a right to be a member of their organization... i just don't want to do the kind of things they require to be privileged... "free loaders" ??? hey lets be civil and not stoop to name calling... "

James Smithe
02-14-2006, 07:52 AM
Freeman you read the entire forum right? Then you know other people said or suggested the same thing. I was just confirming it.

James Smithe
02-14-2006, 08:11 AM
Oops I mean thread not forums. Does edit have a time limit or something.

RebeccaM
02-14-2006, 09:32 AM
I'
About my previous behavior. I seriously didn't think there was anything wrong with the way I was typing on the forums. To me it was normal internet behavior. I should of lurked more so I could see how you guys acted. If I really thought I was acting devious. I would not have told them I was posting.
Ancient internet proverb: Lurk before you leap.

What's normal here isn't normal on other boards and vice versa. For example, no other board I've ever posted on has ever required or even encouraged the use of my real name. But that's the way things work here. When in Rome do as the Romans, etc.

Michael O'Brien
02-14-2006, 03:14 PM
When in Rome do as the Romans, etc.

WAIT A MINUTE!

NOW WE'RE GONNA HAVE ROMANS DOING AIKIDO AS WELL?

GIVE ME A BREAK!

Just kidding everybody. :)

senshincenter
02-14-2006, 03:48 PM
Ancient internet proverb: Lurk before you leap.

What's normal here isn't normal on other boards and vice versa. For example, no other board I've ever posted on has ever required or even encouraged the use of my real name. But that's the way things work here. When in Rome do as the Romans, etc.


I don't think David B. was out to set the norm for the entire board - he was only representing his dojo's understanding of such things.

I, for one, have no problem with someone not using their "real" name - since, for one thing, I have no idea who I am talking to anyways, regardless if their name is "Jon Smith" or "Master Jammer II." For me, this is a board of ideas not of personalities and certainly then this board is not a dojo in my understanding.

Additionally, I don't even know (not really) what a person means when they say, "I do Aikido" or "I train," etc. Chances are, in my book, as I understand these things myself, they don't do Aikido and they don't train. In short, in my opinion, it's crazy to opt for integrity here when there can not only be no proof but also no pudding (not under normal usage).

In my mind, it's crazy to think that one will do away with the ignorance and bring forth more accountability simply because one uses his/her real name. In my opinion, the Internet thrives because it takes places outside of personalities, beyond the person, outside of the limitations of a body (i.e. a person can only be in one space, has a limited sphere of influence, etc.). It's this nature, this that makes the Internet work, that so blurs the line between anonymity and personal identity.

In the real world, the line between anonymity and personal identity is very tangible - it makes sense then to have a name and to use it, etc. But in the cyberworld, one name is pretty much as good as any other. For example, where was accountability in the case I mentioned earlier: a person, with a real name, having a real dojo, with a real website, had no problem saying to me, "You got to train to understand X," even though his/her dojo offered training only three hours a week and the lot of the students of the dojo had bodies that looked like they trained only one or two of those hours per week! If accountability could so easily be attached to a real name in the cyberworld - like it can in the real world - that person would have never threw his/her three hours of training in my face (when we do our three hours of training by noon in one day). But it's easy to do that, and will always be easy to do that, when all you have in front of you is a computer and not a real person.

The fact is that there will always be a gap between accountability and one's name on the Internet (at least until there is some huge leap in technology). With the current technology, if you want a measure of some real accountability, why don't we ask everyone who is going to comment to post some video of their practice - now that would be more like it! Then we'd really know who's who and what's what and "Jon Smith" just won't be that man or woman with an opinion (which anyone can have) anymore.

But this is just my opinion - and it is different from Dave B.'s and others that think that way - this though I use my real name and have video of my practice available for viewing.

dmv

Michael O'Brien
02-14-2006, 03:53 PM
But this is just my opinion - and it is different from Dave B.'s and others that think that way - this though I use my real name and have video of my practice available for viewing.
dmv

Or at least video of someone you claim is you. :D

P.S. I have greatly enjoyed those videos and hope to see more.

RebeccaM
02-14-2006, 04:03 PM
I was referring to how Mario/James thought his somewhat abrasive posting style around here was normal. He could have spared himself some pain and suffering if he'd lurked a few days and gotten a feel for what this corner of the net finds acceptable. Good points though. However, from what I've seen on other boards, those that are full of it usually end up outing themselves. It may take time, but it happens.

I've always seen screen names as a way to protect myself on the net, not as a license to kill so to speak. Not so much from the people I'm posting with, but the lurkers who may think my name looks good on their credit card or something. Needless to say, I was a wee bit nervous about joining AikiWeb, and if at some point I get too sketched out by this I may even leave AikiWeb.

Edwin Neal
02-14-2006, 04:05 PM
i think i know that all of you are fake and just the governments attempts to confuse and distract me while they illegally monitor my life... but i'm on to you and them!!! it's not paranoia if they really are after you...

senshincenter
02-15-2006, 01:51 AM
Or at least video of someone you claim is you. :D

P.S. I have greatly enjoyed those videos and hope to see more.


My point exactly - now please call me Master Jammer II. :D

Nick Simpson
02-15-2006, 04:13 AM
Teh 1nt3r3t 15 4 l33t 5p3ak! @nd p53ud0nym5!

aikidodragon
02-15-2006, 08:41 AM
High nick,
could we go back to speaking standerd English? Or at least send me a cheet sheet for what ever you're speaking.

Mark Freeman
02-15-2006, 08:45 AM
Master Jammer II wrote:The fact is that there will always be a gap between accountability and one's name on the Internet (at least until there is some huge leap in technology). With the current technology, if you want a measure of some real accountability, why don't we ask everyone who is going to comment to post some video of their practice - now that would be more like it! Then we'd really know who's who and what's what and "Jon Smith" just won't be that man or woman with an opinion (which anyone can have) anymore.

That really would sort the wheat from the chaff wouldn't it?

Either there would be very few posters after having to 'put their money where their mouth is', or there would be interminable discussions on the relative merits or authenticity of the vids.

regards,
Mark

Nick Simpson
02-15-2006, 08:50 AM
Hi Sara,

Hehe, ok. l33t (leet = elite) is just a silly form of communication that younger folks (particularly online gamers) tend to use on the internet. I dont really mean, im trying to be ironic, honest...

The above stood for: the Internet is for leet speak and pseudonyms.

:)

aikidodragon
02-15-2006, 08:57 AM
Thanks Nick
the fact that i can some what keep up with all the short form words we use any more amazes me, maybe some day I'll learn the other internet languages. lol

Nick Simpson
02-15-2006, 09:25 AM
No probs :)

Stephen Kotev
02-16-2006, 11:55 AM
The Dojo is not a Democracy.

The worst dojos feel like a prison, the best feel like a family. How many of you have met Chuck Clark personally? Trained at his dojo?

It's interesting. I was reading a post on E Budo describing the differences between Gendai arts and Koryu. One of the statements (and I am paraphrasing here) was that Gendai arts did not seem to care as much as Koryu arts if their students ‘got' what was being taught. If someone was not very good they were still allowed to train and in a sense ‘wander lost.' From my outsiders perspective of Koryu; I would say that this type of training would not be so permissible. When I observed Phil Relnick Sensei teach Shinto Muso-ryu jodo he was very exacting in what he was expecting from those on the mat.

When I visited the Jiyushinkan the dojo felt more like a Koryu ‘family' than a Gendai dojo. What I mean by all of this is that some of us may be attributing their own contextual assumptions on how an Aikido dojo should be run compared to how the Jiyushinkan is ran. Mario/James is welcome to do what he wants but there were consequences for his actions. I think if we were to view his behavior in the context of koryu the actions and decisions of his seniors become more logical.

Granted there are a lot of assumptions in this statement that may not correspond to what actually occurred but I feel the comparison is valuable.


Regards,
Stephen Kotev

Stephen Kotev
02-16-2006, 12:14 PM
Hi Stephen. As I said...it is not our place to judge the matter...we are not 'inside the door'. Unless a part of that culture/family/dojo/group, it becomes very difficult to know what is right or wrong in their context. As an outsider, if I saw some exorbitant amount of physical injuries coming out of the dojo, I might be moved to criticize.

Since that is not the case, it's pretty much 'none of my business', especially since the miscreant pretty much got what he asked for. There are some places where there'd be a butt kicking in the mix, as well.

Best,
Ron (not that I'd necessarily agree with that)


Hey Ron,

No judgement on my end, just clarification.

What's done is done.

I just felt that some of the arguements were lacking the appropriate context to help understand why what happend.

You are absolutely correct that we can't judge. This does not stop others from their own conjecture.

Honestly, the whole thing is unfortunate.

All the Best,
Stephen

James Smithe
02-16-2006, 03:48 PM
The Dojo is not a Democracy.

The worst dojos feel like a prison, the best feel like a family. How many of you have met Chuck Clark personally? Trained at his dojo?

It's interesting. I was reading a post on E Budo describing the differences between Gendai arts and Koryu. One of the statements (and I am paraphrasing here) was that Gendai arts did not seem to care as much as Koryu arts if their students ‘got' what was being taught. If someone was not very good they were still allowed to train and in a sense ‘wander lost. From my outsiders perspective of Koryu; I would say that this type of training would not be so permissible. When I observed Phil Relnick Sensei teach Shinto Muso-ryu jodo he was very exacting in what he was expecting from those on the mat.

When I visited the Jiyushinkan the dojo felt more like a Koryu ‘family' than a Gendai dojo. What I mean by all of this is that some of us may be attributing their own contextual assumptions on how an Aikido dojo should be run compared to how the Jiyushinkan is ran. Mario/James is welcome to do what he wants but there were consequences for his actions. I think if we were to view his behavior in the context of koryu the actions and decisions of his seniors become more logical.

Granted there are a lot of assumptions in this statement that may not correspond to what actually occurred but I feel the comparison is valuable.


Regards,
Stephen Kotev

Chuck Clark has never met me personlly but has that changed anythingf? I guess the dojo I went to before would fall under a prison wouldn't it. That's why I'm glad I'm out of it.

The Koryu comparison isn't very good. Don't people call them Koryu snobs. So if you compare the two couldn't you call the Clark's group Jiyushinkai snobs?

Mario slash James? I still like the names James.

James Smithe
02-16-2006, 03:54 PM
Stephen Kotev maybe you should reread the thread 3 or 4 times to help you understand it better. I'm pretty sure your question is answered. Ron's comment is hypocritical he says people can't judge but he considers me a me a miscreant who gots what he deserved.

Mark Gibbons
02-16-2006, 04:56 PM
Stephen Kotev maybe you should reread the thread 3 or 4 times to help you understand it better. I'm pretty sure your question is answered. Ron's comment is hypocritical he says people can't judge but he considers me a me a miscreant who gots what he deserved.

Hi Stephen. As I said...it is not our place to judge the matter...we are not 'inside the door'. Unless a part of that culture/family/dojo/group, it becomes very difficult to know what is right or wrong in their context. As an outsider, if I saw some exorbitant amount of physical injuries coming out of the dojo, I might be moved to criticize.

Since that is not the case, it's pretty much 'none of my business', especially since the miscreant pretty much got what he asked for. There are some places where there'd be a butt kicking in the mix, as well.

Best,
Ron (not that I'd necessarily agree with that)

James,
Ron said you got what you "asked for" not what you "deserved". Any chance you consider that a fair description?
Regards,
Mark

Edwin Neal
02-16-2006, 05:12 PM
if you will refer back in this thread you will find James did not ask for anything, but was very well behaved in class... when pressured with an unfair ultimatum the "undeserved" retribution of the dojo in question seemed to lack any compassion and aiki-ness, but rather a closed rigid hierarchy that demanded absolute obedience or else... :cool:

James Smithe
02-16-2006, 06:07 PM
James,
Ron said you got what you "asked for" not what you "deserved". Any chance you consider that a fair description?
Regards,
Mark

A lot of people are saying I didn't do anything to ask for this and shouldn't have been kicked out. Anyway calling someone a miscreant is passing judgement on them therefore Ron's comment is hypocritical.

Edwin Neal
02-16-2006, 06:18 PM
might as well let it go James... some people seem to believe that they can treat people anyway and just claim its their right to run things as they choose... fairness will only matter when they are the ones being mistreated...

Ron Tisdale
02-17-2006, 07:59 AM
No, my statement is not hypocritical. I said that we can't pass judgement on the dojo, because they are a unit separate from this community. My judgement is for your behavior here. Your comments since coming back are indicative to me (at least) that the dojo made the correct decision. If you came back and said "that dojo and I disagree, and now I will train elsewhere", I couldn't really fault you. No one place is for every one. But you came back and continued to justify your bad behavior, and (relative to that dojo) to continue the bad behavior.

I myself have left dojo in the past. But no where online will you find me bad mouthing them. Or in person either.

Best,
Ron

MM
02-17-2006, 08:27 AM
might as well let it go James... some people seem to believe that they can treat people anyway and just claim its their right to run things as they choose... fairness will only matter when they are the ones being mistreated...

I guess i would call you on your statement about fairness, then.
1. Do you know the entire events at the dojo from both sides?
2. Do you personally know how the dojo operates?
3. Do you personally know how the Jiyushinkai operates?
4. Do you personally know David Bedard and Chuck Clark and James?
5. Have you been a part of the Jiyushinkai long enough to understand their system/philosophy/attitudes/training/etc?
6. Did you get a complete transaction of everything from all parties involved?

Because if you haven't done at least those things above, you're being unfair in your judgements (no matter whose side you take) because you don't have enough material to make a qualified judgement. If all you have to go by is what was posted on Aikiweb, then you're using a very, very small margin of influence rather than gathering a bigger picture. Is that fair to judge based upon 1% of knowledge of the situation? You've condemned the actions of the Jiyushinkai based upon that, or that's the way it appears. Should I therefore judge you in that way?

Thanks,
Mark

MM
02-17-2006, 08:40 AM
The Dojo is not a Democracy.

The worst dojos feel like a prison, the best feel like a family. How many of you have met Chuck Clark personally? Trained at his dojo?


It even goes beyond that, Stephen. Putting this in perspective, has anyone who doesn't know the Jiyushinkai looked them up and done research on them? To at least get a better feel for who they are? I'll give you a hint/example. Take a look at Diane Skoss's background. She has a ranking in Aikido from the Jiyushinkai. Look at what the Jiyushinkai is doing -- they're studying SMR jodo under Relnick sensei. Now, show me James's credentials and his associations. Jiyushinkai associated with great Budo people. James associated with new student. Personally, that would make me lean towards the Jiyushinkai, even if I had no idea of who they are. Doesn't mean I'd come out and say they're right, but given the "facts" that were presented, I'd lean in favor of the Jiyushinkai.


Granted there are a lot of assumptions in this statement that may not correspond to what actually occurred but I feel the comparison is valuable.
Regards,
Stephen Kotev

There were a lot of assumptions made by a lot of people here. The Jiyushinkai representatives made posts about what happened. If that wasn't enough for someone, they should have contacted those representatives and talked to them about it. It would have been the Jiyushinkai's right to say it wasn't any of their business, but maybe one might have gotten some better answers. My view, anyway.

Mark

Stephen Kotev
02-17-2006, 09:23 AM
It even goes beyond that, Stephen. Putting this in perspective, has anyone who doesn't know the Jiyushinkai looked them up and done research on them? To at least get a better feel for who they are? I'll give you a hint/example. Take a look at Diane Skoss's background. She has a ranking in Aikido from the Jiyushinkai. Look at what the Jiyushinkai is doing -- they're studying SMR jodo under Relnick sensei. Now, show me James's credentials and his associations. Jiyushinkai associated with great Budo people. James associated with new student. Personally, that would make me lean towards the Jiyushinkai, even if I had no idea of who they are. Doesn't mean I'd come out and say they're right, but given the "facts" that were presented, I'd lean in favor of the Jiyushinkai.


Mark

Mark,

I think we are saying similar things. When I had the pleasure of visiting the Jiyushinkan, if felt very different from many of the Gendai Aikido dojo I am accustomed to training in. The Jiyushinkan felt like a koryu dojo from my ‘outsider' perspective. (caveat: I do not train in koryu but I do feel that I have had enough exposure to verify my comments)

All I was attempting to do was help refocus some of the expectations and assumptions surrounding this issue. I don't speak for the Jiyushinkai nor would I deem that appropriate on my end. What I did want to do was share my own experience. If we were to accept the supposition that the Jiyushinkai functioned more like a koryu than a Gendai martial art many actions and decisions would change in light of that context. Koryu martial arts have a different set of expectations than Gendai arts about their member's behavior.

As I said before. The whole thing is unfortunate.

I personally have a great deal of respect for Chuck Clark and I find it unfortunate that he was not given that due respect. I have seen what happens to other martial arts bulletin boards when experienced practitioners are derided. They leave!

It's unfortunate what happened to Mario.

I think what has had to be said has been said. I did not see anyone bring up the point that I did related to context so I made it. . .

Personally, I think there is too much salt in the wound. I did not intend for my comments to add fuel to the fire, just to clarify.

Regards,
Stephen Kotev

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 09:24 AM
No one will EVER know the complete 'facts' of the situation even the principles involved will have various biases as we all have... it is clearly impossible to know everything about the situation... yet everyone here is expressing an opinion or making a judgement... the 'facts' presented by the 'dojo' were their own version, and this thread was started by them... so they obviously felt it necessary in some way to lay out their position... my opinion will not change them... i made no judgements of any individuals only expressed my opinion of the facts as presented here and the consistency/inconsistency of these accounts... please everyone feel free to think how you like... be the master of your own mind... as i will be of mine... i refer everyone to post #1 where James behavior "in the dojo" was good... the issue of his persona on aikiweb, and its reflection or assumed reflection on the dojo are the crux of this matter... as Ron rightly states they are a unit seperate from this community... as James is a unit seperate from the dojo... retaliations and accusations across these lines is unfair... i do not represent all americans, so i find it unfair when i am lumped in with "rude americans" although i understand and sympathize with those that hold this belief... if i were discriminated upon based upon this belief i would feel that it was unfair, but that is how the world is run... i feel like aikido is for fixing this problem... not for perpetuating it... two wrongs don't make a right...

Jorge Garcia
02-17-2006, 10:35 AM
I agree with Ron and Mark.

as Ron rightly states they are a unit seperate from this community... as James is a unit seperate from the dojo...
This is what I said before in so many words. They have a right to ask him to leave and he has a right to be here (within limits).


i find it unfair when i am lumped in with "rude americans"
No comment.

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 11:05 AM
Edwin Neal wrote:
i find it unfair when i am lumped in with "rude americans"


No comment.

__________________
Jorge


like i said i fully understand why some people feel this way about americans...

MM
02-17-2006, 12:10 PM
No one will EVER know the complete 'facts' of the situation even the principles involved will have various biases as we all have... it is clearly impossible to know everything about the situation...


Nice dodge, but you didn't answer the questions. :) In other words, did you research into the situation more than just reading Aikiweb? If so, what was it?


yet everyone here is expressing an opinion or making a judgement...


Yep, even you. and I posted my opinion. IF I had nothing else to go by other than what I could find on the Web, I would have to lean towards the Jiyushinkai (fortunately, I have more than that and I reserve my right not to post my judgement).


i made no judgements of any individuals only expressed my opinion


Let me quote you on some things and you decide if you made a judgement or not: "James got a raw deal", "refusing to submit to their ultimatum was the 'factor'", "James did not ask for anything, but was very well behaved in class", and "when pressured with an unfair ultimatum the "undeserved" retribution of the dojo in question".

Whether you intended to come across as making a judgement or not ... I don't know. But I do know that reading through your posts, you do seem to make a very definable judgement for James and against the dojo.

Thanks,
Mark

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 12:38 PM
i read the posts by the members of the dojo in question and based upon their account... as James did not give one until after the fact... i 'judged' them based upon the inconsistencies in their 'telling' of the events, and by visiting their websites... call it opinion or judgement as you like the 'facts' seem to suggest that james was well behaved in class, but a little turd here on aikiweb... we, myself included, gave him an earful here for his mouthiness... that should have been it... but somehow he became an official representative of his dojo/organization and was accused of being disrespectful of his dojo/organization... there is still no post that has been presented by YOU MARK or anyone else that shows he said anything bad about his dojo BEFORE he was issued an ultimatum to apologize (for what?) or be kicked out... now let it go... stop turning it on me... he was in my opinion treated badly by folks i would have expected more from... i expected better because i read their websites and philosophy... sounds good, but it seems they do not practice 'Free Mind' or 'Mutual Benefit"... until they began the witchhunt of james i had not given a single thought to his dojo/organization... it was an aikiweb matter... they represented themselves in a worse way than james ever supposedly did... why did it become more than just him making dumb comments on this forum and us flaming him for it? i "suggest" you read the entire thread here if you have not already... or read it again... provide evidence that james disrespected his dojo/organization or posted that he was officially representing the views of the dojo/organization... until you provide that please feel free to call me judgemental, arrogant.etc etc... as this is just what started this thread, and you are doing nothing that the principles involved in this situation haven't already done... this to my way of thinking is neither aiki nor fair... but feel free to do as you please... just remember some folks may take it to represent your dojo/organization... i however do not...

Jorge Garcia
02-17-2006, 01:17 PM
...but somehow he became an official representative of his dojo/organization and was accused of being disrespectful of his dojo/organization...provide evidence that james disrespected his dojo/organization or posted that he was officially representing the views of the dojo/organization...

You're missing the point. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks as to whether he was disrespectful to his organization or not. They decided the parameters by which James and everyone else in that dojo could be there and James didn't fit their bill. They have a right to decide who can be there. You and others may not like it but that's too bad. It's their right. As to what it makes them, the public will decide but James has a lot of work to do before he will make Chuck Clark and the Jiyushinkai look bad. It wasn't two wrongs. It was two rights. They did right by their action and James did right by leaving.

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 02:47 PM
for my part as i stated james never made them look bad... their actions and attitude with regard to the situation gave ME a bad impression of them... i will not speak ill of them, but i am somewhat skeptical... i reserve making any judgements until i would have the pleasure of meeting in person...

Jorge Garcia
02-17-2006, 03:53 PM
for my part as i stated James never made them look bad...

They obviously didn't agree with you. For whatever reasons they didn't like James' posts, it may have just been that when he showed who he really was here, they realized he wasn't going to work in their program. Maybe they read the posts and didn't want to be associated with him or his comments in any way, so they exercised their prerogative to send James packing. It was their right.They didn't owe James a spot in the dojo. The proof of that is that they are now 'James free" and James now has a garage for a dojo.
That's a good lesson for a young guy like James to learn. If you are training with people that take their art seriously, then be moderate, temperate, and respectful in public venues so that your dojo won't mind being associated with you.. If James wants to be an Internet comedian, then he needs to find a dojo that is looking to recruit someone like that. He just needs to announce himself when he arrives so they will know who they are getting and he won't have to go through this again.

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 05:15 PM
some people obviously take themselves far too seriously... humility is a virtue... pride is a sin... aikido is for all people, not for those we deem morally superior or privileged...

Jorge Garcia
02-17-2006, 05:48 PM
some people obviously take themselves far too seriously... humility is a virtue... pride is a sin... aikido is for all people, not for those we deem morally superior or privileged...

You're so pious! Good sermon. Keep preaching.

Best wishes,

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 05:52 PM
i am no better than anyone else... i make mistakes and have my baggage and issues, but i realize this and try to be compassionate to others...

Jorge Garcia
02-17-2006, 06:39 PM
By the way, where is the Ronin dojo?

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 07:05 PM
by 'ronin' i mean that i am currently not affiliated with any dojo... i moved back to my hometown in rural NC and have taken the opportunity to visit, and study at other dojo's and styles of martial arts as my work has permited... i will be in San Antonio in late March and would appreciate any info on training opportunities in that area... thanks for any help...

Jorge Garcia
02-17-2006, 07:20 PM
The best place there is Aikido of San Antonio on Bandera. Kevin Templer is a 4th dan and has been there for many years. You can get his address here on Aikiweb dojo finder. I have been there many times. I took my 5th kyu test there in 1995.

Craig Slack at Alamo City Aikido has a good reputation also but I have never been there. There is a Nishio style dojo there as well but I have never been there either so I can't speak for it. All these are Aikikai. I don't know what style you are used to but these are the ones I know about.

Best wishes,

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 07:45 PM
i have done several different styles and i am happy to 'follow suit' at any dojo i visit... i have visited ASA's website and was considering it, i appreciate your recommending it... thanks for your help Jorge...

James Smithe
02-17-2006, 08:02 PM
No, my statement is not hypocritical. I said that we can't pass judgement on the dojo, because they are a unit separate from this community. My judgement is for your behavior here. Your comments since coming back are indicative to me (at least) that the dojo made the correct decision. If you came back and said "that dojo and I disagree, and now I will train elsewhere", I couldn't really fault you. No one place is for every one. But you came back and continued to justify your bad behavior, and (relative to that dojo) to continue the bad behavior.

I myself have left dojo in the past. But no where online will you find me bad mouthing them. Or in person either.

Best,
Ron

They are a unit separate from Aikiweb. The problem is that they don't think so. They think that everyone who logs on here is thinking about their image. More precisely their web image. It doesn't sound like they think it's separate.

The dojo made the right decision. I already said what people should do who completely agree with them. Bad behavior? This is not an online dojo and it's not right to think so. It's just a web forum.

Did I not say that I'm glad I left and I'm better somewhere else. And people like this need to be talked about.

I'm curious about these dojo you left. Can it compare to this?

Edwin Neal
02-17-2006, 09:15 PM
oh just let it go james... there is nothing really to gain by continuing to beat this dead horse... it only further DIVIDES... aikido is about UNIFYING... we should all see ourselves as one family, and not perpetuate such feuds... you could have probably learned alot from them, and they could have probably learned alot from you... drop this stone and find someplace to train...

James Smithe
02-17-2006, 09:15 PM
They obviously didn't agree with you. For whatever reasons they didn't like James' posts, it may have just been that when he showed who he really was here, they realized he wasn't going to work in their program. Maybe they read the posts and didn't want to be associated with him or his comments in any way, so they exercised their prerogative to send James packing. It was their right.They didn't owe James a spot in the dojo. The proof of that is that they are now 'James free" and James now has a garage for a dojo.
That's a good lesson for a young guy like James to learn. If you are training with people that take their art seriously, then be moderate, temperate, and respectful in public venues so that your dojo won't mind being associated with you.. If James wants to be an Internet comedian, then he needs to find a dojo that is looking to recruit someone like that. He just needs to announce himself when he arrives so they will know who they are getting and he won't have to go through this again.

Didn't people already address this? Do you have anything that hasn't been said before because I'm not seeing it.