Quote form post # 14
"So, what I can do, living and practicing here, is to give up on the dojo, in a way, and just focus on my own practice COOL! - forget about teaching, forget about trying to bring people into the dojo, forget about trying to motivate everyone to go to seminars (well, except from a self-interested point of view in terms of carpooling), and, in short, be a lot more selfish about my practice OUCH
and stop feeling bad about my refusal to practice with the (sometimes) angry guy, who the sensei clearly prefers over me." AWESOME!
When I read this part of your posting I had a quick cringe
Mostly, because down this road I see the potential, a maybe
-road, towards the unhealthy practices that seem to be affecting your dojo. I see the possibility that this is the culture of which you speak and seem to want to avoid. Again this is a MAYBE. I am much more hopeful as I read your other replies especially your philosophy in post 17...
Quote from post #17
"One thing I find really valuable in my training is getting the opportunity to work with anger, frustration, confusion, etc. (as well as joy, satisfaction, and all those warm fuzzy feelings). I see training as a way to work with anger. By this I mean feeling it without acting it out, but also without repressing or ignoring it."
I, too, am unsure of and sometimes afraid of the aggression I see and have felt on the mat. "Women are generally not trained to deal with anger (their own or other people's) as it is considered to be an un-feminine emotion" as Ruth so eloquently pointed out.
In fact her reply, recalled to me the class where I learned to thow a tsuki. I can remember feeling numb, dumb and choked up as I wrestled with the idea of such an overtly aggressive move. Luckily, I was in a mostly female class (4+: 2-> with sensei) and I was able to figure it out. Eventually, I learned what you have posted here, to use practice to learn how to deal with anger /aggression /hostility.
All in all, I think you are on the right path and I'm glad to hear that you have some sensitive dojo-mates and teachers to help you maintain balance. And I love that you are open to starting out on your own.
Good luck with burly-man and I hope you practice well!