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Lulu 08-25-2011 05:20 PM

Pompous Baffoons
 
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students. Not at the regular classes, but at special classes and functions. He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.He has ruined Aikido for me and I want to tell him to stop coming to our Dojo, but Sensei won't let me.
I know that this sounds like kindergarten but this bozo is and idiot and seems to be completely unaware that NOBODY likes him or wants to train with him.
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????

Janet Rosen 08-25-2011 05:33 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
I think this is for the dojocho to decide how to handle. If the dojocho feels there is value in having this person present and sees no problem w/ his on the mat behavior, then your choice is to not show up or to relax, breathe, and figure out how to accept this person as a training partner. This may sound trite ... but sometimes THAT is the training.

Michael Hackett 08-25-2011 05:36 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Let your sensei handle it, and until then make this character the very first person you train with when he's there. Seek him out and ask him to train. That's a lot like taking castor oil, get it over with and you won't have it nagging in the back of your mind.

Chicko Xerri 08-25-2011 06:15 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
I agree with Janet and Michael. It is Difficult, Hang in there its about changing yourself, he dosent understand this yet. You can if you feel mention the legal ramifications if some one gets injured. When he comes to Love Aikido he will change. Its up to your teacher to show how beautiful Aiki can be, for him to Love and change. I am sorry for your uncomfortable situation, it is an uncommon one.

Dave Gallagher 08-25-2011 06:32 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
This is an excellent situation to show the true essence of Aikido. You must blend with his energy and bring him into harmony with the universe.
If that does not work then just injure him so bad that he has to leave and never come back.
As far as the above two ideas go, Hey I'm just kidding.
Really have a one one talk with your sensei and find out the reason this guy is there. Maybe more to this than you know.

crbateman 08-25-2011 06:49 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
You have to defer to the person who's running the show. Good opportunity for you to work on your self-control... If you can resist the urge to engage in some live sword practice, then you have used this person to improve yourself. That's a positive outcome.

Lulu 08-25-2011 06:58 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Thanks everyone. I do try to breathe and let it go, this guy really got to me and I just couldn't find the balance or harmony.
I will strive to be a better person - that is the Aiki way - but he is still a pompous baffoon!

David Orange 08-25-2011 07:02 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Lisa Donner wrote: (Post 291094)
Thanks everyone. I do try to breathe and let it go, this guy really got to me and I just couldn't find the balance or harmony.

You could also just put a finger to your lips when he corrects you and say "Shhh!"

That's one kind of breath power....

Good luck.

David

dps 08-25-2011 07:22 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Lisa Donner wrote: (Post 291081)
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students. Not at the regular classes, but at special classes and functions. He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.He has ruined Aikido for me and I want to tell him to stop coming to our Dojo, but Sensei won't let me.
I know that this sounds like kindergarten but this bozo is and idiot and seems to be completely unaware that NOBODY likes him or wants to train with him.
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????

At the dojo where I used to train at we had a former student who had moved to California to study Aikido with Steven Seagal and on his visits home he would visit our dojo and do the exact same thing. Sensei said to deal with it so when he would correct me I totally ignored him and did it the way I was being taught. After a short while he would not practice with me at all.

Another previous student would show up at practice randomly and want to practice only the things he was working on himself in his basement dojo regardless what Sensei was having us practice on. Again I totally ignored him and did what Sensei said. After awhile he quit practicing with me.

Ignore him.

dps

oisin bourke 08-25-2011 07:34 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Lisa Donner wrote: (Post 291094)
I will strive to be a better person - that is the Aiki way - but he is still a pompous baffoon!

:)

I think you mean that he is a pompous bufoon. To me,"Baffoon" evokes the image of a medium sized sea bird.

Rayleen Dehmke 08-25-2011 08:52 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
So many great responses. I too agree that it is up to your sensei to handle. He is a guest, I wouldn't worry too much about it. You run into all kinds of people no matter what you're doing. As long as this person isn't harming anyone, c'est la vie. It is all a great learning experience, maybe one of the sempai will have a discreet word with him.

David Orange 08-25-2011 08:55 PM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Lisa Donner wrote: (Post 291081)
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students...
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????

I notice that your avatar is the kanji for "samurai".

Many times, people think that samurai were all-out hard-line people but, below that surface, they were mainly people who had to get along with one another, even though a lot of them were real...snots.

Samurai really means "to serve". And in day-to-day life, that meant a lot of putting up with obnoxious behavior from others for the sake of the greater group.

Of course, there was the junior/senior thing, where you could put someone down because they were below you, or you just accepted their crap because they were above you. But mostly, it meant putting up with peers who you couldn't judge because that would lead to factions in your group, which would damage the harmony of your group, which would ultimately lead to defeat in battle. (not to say there wasn't a lot of back-stabbing behind the scenes....)

But, really, it usually meant a lot of suppression of your personal feelings for the sake of the group. That was the bulk of samurai life.

Just something to think about.

Best to you.

David

Chris Covington 08-26-2011 08:46 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Lisa Donner wrote: (Post 291081)
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students. Not at the regular classes, but at special classes and functions. He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.He has ruined Aikido for me and I want to tell him to stop coming to our Dojo, but Sensei won't let me.
I know that this sounds like kindergarten but this bozo is and idiot and seems to be completely unaware that NOBODY likes him or wants to train with him.
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????

It seems like homeboy is showing up at special classes only? Maybe they are open seminar style class? Sadly you have to deal with real jerks sometimes at open seminars. If what he is "teaching" on the mat is wrong than stop his technique and counter him. It isn't fair to him to let him go on thinking his stuff works when it doesn't. That makes you dishonest and you rob him of his chance to improve.

After a kenjutsu class I was showing a few of the kenjutsu guys some aikijujutsu because a few of them had never done an unarmed martial art before (I had my kenjutsu teacher's permission). We had a visitor watch the class. Mid 20's, fit, wearing an Israeli Special Forces shirt. He said he just came back from Israel so I'm thinking the guy might actually know something. Anyway, we were doing our thing and he comes over and asks about it after seeing our techniques. He said he knew some wrist locks he'd show me (acting kind of brazen). At this point I'm thinking "uh oh what is this guy thinking?" So he tells me to grab his shirt and he tries to do the lamest kotegaeshi I've ever felt. I stood there looking at him like he had two heads. He turned red and looked very confused. Because I can be a nice guy sometimes (it's rare) I tried to change the topic a little and asked if he learned martial arts in the Israeli army, pointing at his shirt. He said he just picked up the shirt at a store while he was over there visiting family he's never been in any army. :o We never saw him again. Maybe that was my fault.

Another similar story... When I was training Daito-ryu years ago at another dojo we had a visitor from another branch of Daito-ryu (I won't say which branch) come by to check us out. He had a shodan in their branch (I think I was a shodan too). After class he started talking about how in his branch they do it a certain way that is easier, smaller movements, less energy, real aiki etc. One of my fellow students who is known for an unforgiving attitude asked if he can do it like he says. The guys said yeah. My buddy says ok do it to him, pointing to me. Same results as above. I stood there, he looked confused and turned red. Then we heard some excuses about he hasn't trained in a few months and he needed to check with some videos to see what he's doing wrong etc. We never saw the guy again even though he promised he'd check the video of his teacher and come back and show us :D I has since started my own club about 5 years later so maybe he came back and I just wasn't there? :D

Results may vary. It worked for me though. No one got hurt but some egos.

phitruong 08-26-2011 09:00 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Oisin Bourke wrote: (Post 291100)
:)

I think you mean that he is a pompous bufoon. To me,"Baffoon" evokes the image of a medium sized sea bird.

a "baffoon" is a barfing buffoon. :)

oisin bourke 08-26-2011 09:09 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 291150)
a "baffoon" is a barfing buffoon. :)

Or a wind instrument with a lisp.:)

We better stop, we're going to get banned very foo..soon.

Cliff Judge 08-26-2011 09:28 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
I try to take people like this as an opportunity to train imperturbability. This guy shouldn't get a rise out of you or ruin your practice. When he starts to get your hackles up, acknowledge it and let it go.

lbb 08-26-2011 09:31 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Lisa Donner wrote: (Post 291094)
Thanks everyone. I do try to breathe and let it go, this guy really got to me and I just couldn't find the balance or harmony.
I will strive to be a better person - that is the Aiki way - but he is still a pompous baffoon!

Eh, never mind being a "better person". Never mind the "Aiki way". Those sound to me like "supposed to" things, like you feel you're supposed to do it. Your response to the situation should be authentic and should come from your true self, not from a contrived image of what an aikidoka is supposed to be like.

Of course, being authentic doesn't mean having zero impulse control. It doesn't mean that you just let fly with anything you want to say or do. Your response to the situation should neither be shooting from the hip, nor selections from the Book of Aikido Platitudes. Think instead about why the situation annoys you. The useful truth is probably somewhere other than either "because he's a jerk (he's bad, blame him)" and "because I'm just not aiki enough (I'm bad, blame me)". Figure out the truth of the situation, then figure out the best response to it.

Marc Abrams 08-26-2011 09:42 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
When this person is trying to "correct" you, I would simply call over your teacher to get your teacher's opinion on how it should be done. This would be a simple and direct way to allow your teacher to become involved in this situation so that it must be dealt with by the person who is responsible for the dojo.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman 08-26-2011 10:18 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Yeah, what Marc said. I've done that before only to have a similar idiot (I wonder if it's the same guy? ;) ) go right back to his own ideas of what he should be doing. Eventually it becomes pointless to worry about it -- as an earlier poster suggested when we had a guy like that I'd make sure I'd pair up with him for some less than interesting practice to get it out of the way. Then I'd avoid him like the plague when it was anything I really did want to practice sincerely.

There's a lifetime left to practice. Guys like that are just bumps on the road. Let sensei deal with it. If they don't, fine, don't waste more time than you need to. And certainly don't waste your mental energy worrying about it.

crbateman 08-26-2011 11:02 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Marc Abrams wrote: (Post 291158)
When this person is trying to "correct" you, I would simply call over your teacher to get your teacher's opinion on how it should be done. This would be a simple and direct way to allow your teacher to become involved in this situation so that it must be dealt with by the person who is responsible for the dojo.

Marc, I see one small fallacy to your suggestion. You have not allowed for the possibility that the teacher has already noticed the situation, and has chosen to deal with it by not dealing with it. To bring him in to arbitrate on the mat could put the teacher in an uncomfortable position or even to have to settle the matter in a manner that was not his preferred one. I think it would be better to discuss the matter privately with the teacher first, before putting him "on the spot".

George S. Ledyard 08-26-2011 11:14 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Lisa Donner wrote: (Post 291081)
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students. Not at the regular classes, but at special classes and functions. He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.He has ruined Aikido for me and I want to tell him to stop coming to our Dojo, but Sensei won't let me.
I know that this sounds like kindergarten but this bozo is and idiot and seems to be completely unaware that NOBODY likes him or wants to train with him.
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????

Don't train with him... Don't sit down next to him, bow to the person on the other side of you if you get stuck next to him, basically act as if this person isn't there.

Ketsan 08-26-2011 11:16 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
In these situations I just say "I've been with Sensei for over eight years, I know how he wants me to do things. If there is a problem with my technique then Sensei will correct it,"

graham christian 08-26-2011 11:19 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
I view it this way. It depends what your purpose is for doing Aikido. If your purpose is to be stable and able then it's time to let yourself know this has nothing to do with him. Thus we discover the self development side.

Later when you observe it and yet are unperturbed by it yet can see it needs handling then you can take responsibility for it a bit like the examples given by Chris Covington.

Regards.G.

lbb 08-26-2011 11:21 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Clark Bateman wrote: (Post 291175)
Marc, I see one small fallacy to your suggestion. You have not allowed for the possibility that the teacher has already noticed the situation, and has chosen to deal with it by not dealing with it. To bring him in to arbitrate on the mat could put the teacher in an uncomfortable position or even to have to settle the matter in a manner that was not his preferred one.

I don't think you have to go there, if you handle it the right way. You don't have to ask sensei to arbitrate. Drop that whole elaborate and unnecessary story line -- don't make it about this guy and what you think he is and what you think his motivations are. Don't say, "He thinks it's like this but I think it's like this, who's right?" -- if for no other reason than that you're quite possibly both wrong! Just say, "Sensei, I don't think I understand what we're supposed to be doing, can you help?" And then, go with what sensei tells you, and don't expect your partner to be humbled or chastened or feel put in his place or anything, because your practice shouldn't be about him. You are there for your practice, not to improve his character. Get on with your practice and never mind the rest.

Marc Abrams 08-26-2011 11:56 AM

Re: Pompous Baffoons
 
Quote:

Clark Bateman wrote: (Post 291175)
Marc, I see one small fallacy to your suggestion. You have not allowed for the possibility that the teacher has already noticed the situation, and has chosen to deal with it by not dealing with it. To bring him in to arbitrate on the mat could put the teacher in an uncomfortable position or even to have to settle the matter in a manner that was not his preferred one. I think it would be better to discuss the matter privately with the teacher first, before putting him "on the spot".

Clark:

It sounds like the initial poster has had some private communication with the teacher already. Maybe speaking to the teacher again might spur the teacher to more directly address the situation, I don't know. I think that Mary did a better job of trying to convey what I wanted to suggest. I would not be asking the teacher to arbitrate but to demonstrate to us how a technique should be done. Then it is clear to both people what Sensei would like done.

Regards,

Marc Abrams


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