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-   -   Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline - (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18187)

oharrismaytin 06-03-2010 11:14 AM

Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Hello everyone: Sometimes in Aikido a person can accept something by the sole explanation of tradition and discipline. And there is nothing wrong with it

The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.

I talked to him so I feel I did what I had to do. Now, I asked you how do you go about this issue.

Would love to learn your input.

Thanks.

Omar

ninjaqutie 06-03-2010 02:21 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Maybe he is trying to keept a light and fun environment for the kids? No idea.....

RED 06-03-2010 02:29 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Ummm... sounds like fun. But, I believe in the uniform. Not so much for tradition. But I understand the need for a display professionalism. Respectful dress and professionalism helps keep training in perspective. It's okie to joke around every now and then, but we are here to accomplish something.
Plus, professionalism is preferred for potential students. Maybe he has nothing investing in the success of his dojo? Frankly what school would you join: the people dressed respectfully who are training with a friendly and professional attitude; or the school with ninjas and power rangers?
If you prefer the power ranger clothing, then we now know of a dojo that would facilitate those needs. :D

dps 06-03-2010 02:48 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Maggie Schill wrote: (Post 258624)
Ummm... sounds like fun. But, I believe in the uniform. Not so much for tradition. But I understand the need for a display professionalism. Respectful dress and professionalism helps keep training in perspective. It's okie to joke around every now and then, but we are here to accomplish something.
Plus, professionalism is preferred for potential students. Maybe he has nothing investing in the success of his dojo? Frankly what school would you join: the people dressed respectfully who are training with a friendly and professional attitude; or the school with ninjas and power rangers?
If you prefer the power ranger clothing, then we now know of a dojo that would facilitate those needs. :D

A uniform does not equal professional. Any idiot can wear one.

I would chose a school with a teacher who had something I wanted to learn regardless of the costume.

David

Mark Gibbons 06-03-2010 02:48 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Maggie Schill wrote: (Post 258624)
...But I understand the need for a display professionalism. Respectful dress and professionalism helps keep training in perspective. .... :D

What do you mean by professionalism? Are you all making a living off of Aikido at your dojo and wearing fancy dogi or do you wear body armour?

Mark

dps 06-03-2010 02:50 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Omar Harris wrote: (Post 258605)
Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice.

Play is the work of children, it is how they learn best.

David

RED 06-03-2010 02:55 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Mark Gibbons wrote: (Post 258628)
What do you mean by professionalism? Are you all making a living off of Aikido at your dojo and wearing fancy dogi or do you wear body armour?

Mark

No, we wear gi and hakama... like most in the USAF.

You misunderstand me; if we don't keep attendance up, the rent comes out of Sensei's pocket, out of Sensei's personal savings. That should be motivation enough to a student to take efforts to look as put together as possible in the presence of potential students.

Beyond caring about my teacher's plight; point blank:This is the only certified instruction in North Florida/south Georgia.. if we don't make rent the place closes down...then I have to move to another city....and I don't like U-hauls.

RED 06-03-2010 03:02 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote: (Post 258627)
A uniform does not equal professional. Any idiot can wear one.

I would chose a school with a teacher who had something I wanted to learn regardless of the costume.

David

Let's be honest here. The meat of a dojo's income is children, and random novice who could of easily of joined the local McDojo down the street.
The people who honestly seek teachers are rare these days. Most are looking to pay for a service, and are more apt to go with whatever is cheaper and closer to their work or home.

I might be in the minority here, but I have a very real investment in the success of my dojo. I have a real motivation to help my instructor's dream of this dojo, and I'm dead set we'll survive this economic slump.
With that said I want potential students to see Aikikai Aikidoka training, not power rangers or ninjas. First impressions are vital to obtaining a student. Past that excellent teaching and a friendly training atmosphere is what will keep students.

sakumeikan 06-03-2010 05:03 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Omar Harris wrote: (Post 258605)
Hello everyone: Sometimes in Aikido a person can accept something by the sole explanation of tradition and discipline. And there is nothing wrong with it

The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.

I talked to him so I feel I did what I had to do. Now, I asked you how do you go about this issue.

Would love to learn your input.

Thanks.

Omar

Hi Omar,
If this instructor is teaching kids and he wants to create a funny /happy atmosphere why doesnt he take his dress code to the extreme and dress up as Batman/Spiderman or some comic book hero?I am sure this would go down a treat.
One of the major problems I have with some Martial Arts groups/guys is the fact that the go around looking like Advertising Billboards.Will not be long before some guys rent out the soles of their feet to McDonalds/Burger King .Call me old and boring but keep the outfit plain and simple.
How you resolve it when the walking fashion plate disaster is the instructor is a tough one.

dps 06-03-2010 05:47 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Omar Harris wrote: (Post 258605)

The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.

Any parent that has or has had kids will tell you that tradition and discipline does not attract kids. As a matter of fact that will drive them away.

It has to be fun to attract and keep kids.

David

Dazzler 06-04-2010 06:05 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Nothing wrong with breaking with tradition if there is some form of improvement.

Breaking with tradition just because you can is to me more about ego and spits in the face of those that have gone before.

I'll continue to dress as my instructor dresses, and I'll expect my students to follow 'suit'. (clever little pun there :) )

If someone down the road wants to dress up as a clown then that is how I'll percieve them.

In this instance - not much else you can do, Their dojo - their rules.

Regards

D

lbb 06-04-2010 06:07 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Eh. Not enough information to judge whether the practice described by OP hurts or harms this dojo or the instructor's practice. All you can do is generalize, and even that's not particularly helpful: there are plenty of examples where use of a uniform helps to keep the focus where it belongs, and plenty of examples where the uniform becomes the focus.

Anjisan 06-04-2010 08:39 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Omar Harris wrote: (Post 258605)
Hello everyone: Sometimes in Aikido a person can accept something by the sole explanation of tradition and discipline. And there is nothing wrong with it

The issue is that this person I know start teaching Aikido but sometimes he goes dressed as a Ninja; sometimes he wears dogi of such colourful designs!!! Now a good number of his young students are wearing whatever they want to practice. I talk to him trying to make my point on tradition and discipline. He took it well but still wears what he wants.

I talked to him so I feel I did what I had to do. Now, I asked you how do you go about this issue.

Would love to learn your input.

Thanks.

Omar

This reminded me of when I first begin in karate (my very first martial art) many years age. One of my peers thought that it was a bright idea to wear a full ninja uniform (complete with Black Belt-uh oh). The senior black belts physically conveyed their displeasure during sparring (American kickboxing style) and he never wore anything but a karate gi again. As a teacher I believe one leads by example and if one is in a more "traditional art" then it seems to come with the territory. I certainly cannot imagine my sensei or Saotome sensei teaching in anything but a Aikido gear myself.

Michael Hackett 06-04-2010 09:39 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
I attended an open house at a new karate school a few years ago and the Dojo Cho changed uniforms several times during the day, each time selecting a new color and fabric. His Shihan did the same thing with lots of satin, piping, reds and yellows. It didn't ring my bell at all, but they operate a very successful school, with tons of students and great tournament success.

My son runs a BJJ school and he and his students look like NASCAR drivers. Again, lots of students and success.

I still like a nice white gi!

Anjisan 06-04-2010 09:52 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Michael Hackett wrote: (Post 258670)
I attended an open house at a new karate school a few years ago and the Dojo Cho changed uniforms several times during the day, each time selecting a new color and fabric. His Shihan did the same thing with lots of satin, piping, reds and yellows. It didn't ring my bell at all, but they operate a very successful school, with tons of students and great tournament success.

My son runs a BJJ school and he and his students look like NASCAR drivers. Again, lots of students and success.

I still like a nice white gi!

Back in the day I had trained at American style as well as traditional karate dojos. Personally, I liked the American technique (kickboxing) but traditional everything else. In my experience I began (this is the same for Aikido) looking for a school where the dojo was NOT the sensei's main occupation, but rather something done part-time.

This drastically reduced the pressure for testing fees, belt fees, breathing fees, extra stripes on belts one had to test for and yes...... pay a fee for. In essence, a real commercial operation that there are advertisements in martial arts magazines for on how to optimize revenue, make the most dollar--what is each student worth actually-not my cup of tea for the warrior path I guess.

bulevardi 06-04-2010 11:11 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Talk the kid about dojo etiquette.
No etiquette, no entrance to the dojo.

bulevardi 06-04-2010 11:30 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote: (Post 258640)
Any parent that has or has had kids will tell you that tradition and discipline does not attract kids. As a matter of fact that will drive them away.

It has to be fun to attract and keep kids.

David

It doesn't matter what the parents or other family members think their kids attract.
It does matter what the kid thinks of it.

I used to do aikido as a kid between 6-11 years, and I still remember that time, I liked that discipline and culture and traditions, etiquettes, ... That was one of the reasons I went doing aikido.

Carsten Möllering 06-07-2010 07:02 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Dirk Desmet wrote: (Post 258679)
I used to do aikido as a kid between 6-11 years, and I still remember that time, I liked that discipline and culture and traditions, etiquettes, ... That was one of the reasons I went doing aikido.

Yes.
Its the same with the children and kids (from eight yearolds on) training in our dojo.
etiquette, tradition, disciplline are some of the elements which help us to get new members.

dps 06-07-2010 08:27 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Generally speaking, if it does not look like it is fun, kids are not going to be attracted to it. If it is not fun, kids will not want to stick with it.

There are exceptions but they are few.

David

Keith Larman 06-07-2010 10:18 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote: (Post 258748)
Generally speaking, if it does not look like it is fun, kids are not going to be attracted to it. If it is not fun, kids will not want to stick with it.

There are exceptions but they are few.

David

Which is why most successful kids programs in aikido work very hard to make it fun but also do it in context of teaching things like Rei and tradition. Otherwise it is just glorified day care. Besides, it's not like having fun and teaching etiquette and tradition are mutually exclusive.

And in the decade or so I've had teaching kids what I've noticed is that the ones who continue are rarely the ones who came only for games and fun. They find the Aikido fun. They become interested in the tradition. Then they start to understand the Rei and how it figures in. Heck, I've got kids who are better in terms of proper practice than some adults. Because they take it *very* seriously. Which is as it should be.

Michael Hackett 06-07-2010 11:07 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
And now we have a cadre of Little Larmanites marching around San Diego County. San Diego County could do much, much worse - and usually does.

Keith Larman 06-07-2010 02:44 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Michael Hackett wrote: (Post 258765)
And now we have a cadre of Little Larmanites marching around San Diego County. San Diego County could do much, much worse - and usually does.

Actually another instructor referred to them as my "ninja death squad" one day after a couple of the kids finally tested as adults with adults going for the same ranks. A happy day for me. :D

But unless they're migrating and reproducing, most will be in the Los Angeles area near our HQ dojo. So you're safe... For now... ;)

Michael Hackett 06-07-2010 06:42 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Hey, congrats on having your kids test with and as adults! Terrific accomplishment.

Andrew Macdonald 06-07-2010 10:44 PM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
hmmm

I really wouldn't go or send any kids to a dojo with guys that took to dressing up a ninjas and let the kids wear what ever they want

If you have to rely on dressing up to make practice fun it really is time to look at your teaching technique

dps 06-08-2010 05:03 AM

Re: Aikido Uniform: Part tradition; part discipline -
 
Quote:

Andrew Macdonald wrote: (Post 258785)
hmmm

I really wouldn't go or send any kids to a dojo with guys that took to dressing up a ninjas and let the kids wear what ever they want

If you have to rely on dressing up to make practice fun it really is time to look at your teaching technique

Then you would be or are a knowledgeable parent who knows something about martial arts training.

The majority of parents (moms) who bring their children (or just drop them off at the door) to martial arts classes are not very knowledgeable if at all.

They enroll their kids in martial arts classes:

1. As a form of babysitting.

2. A panacea for their kids' problems.

3. Because their kids think it would be fun.

Of course there are always exceptions but they are few.

David


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