Re: May I come visit your dojo?
Of course, in any given situation it is always easier looking at the other guy for what is wrong. Please don't take this the wrong way, but personally I think there was a critical error in the way that you went about it. Being from NY, it reminds me of the herds of mid-westerners who come into Manhattan walking around looking up at everything like it is the first time they ever saw a building, or standing on a street corner just looking around and around like they are completely lost, or something... Of course, they could simply be from Jersey, but... You see it doesn't matter if it is the first time you have seen a tall building, or if you are lost, or if you are from New Jersey... because it is always about perception and not reality. In the cases I mentioned these innocent people are just walking advertisements that scream, "Please rob me, I'm not from these here parts..." What I am saying is, it has to be all martial arts, all the time, even especially on the initial way upon which you approach things (deashi mixed with shizen-ni).
Sure you were trying to be polite (commendable) by giving them notice. From a martial arts perspective though, you showed them your opening, you telegraphed your intended attack plan and they simply shut you down like the way a BJJ expert puts someone in a triangle choke and squeezes the dickens out of em - mercilessly.
Now I am not saying that you were wrong. What I am saying is that it is better to examine your own approach and figure out how to reach your goal rather than having someone else control the situation from the get go. Training is a circle whereby you first look at what your opponent did, but you then must look at what you did, or did not do when faced with that situation. Improvement comes when you can develop alternate routes or paths which you can take when confronted with what has formerly shut you down. For all I know what you did say may have set off some pretty loud bells due to the fact that the last guy who visited his dojo from your school broke the wrist of one of his students, or worse, broke his own wrist. Maybe the dojo-cho's wife used to date your sensei and there is still some bad blood. He could simply hate your teacher, your style, or your shihan for any number of reasons and is just trying to be polite by brushing you off with some excuse about outsiders... You just can't know, and thus you should never put the details out there upon which you may unfortunately find yourself hanging.
For example, you could have called them anonymously and said you would like to know if it is possible to watch class. Having the information, you could have gone down there and said that a former student of theirs, someone whose name you can't quite remember said if you are ever in town to make sure you go there and train with them. Realizing that you came all that way based upon a referral of one of their former students, even if he had been mistaken might make it difficult for them to say no to you, especially while you are standing there with a twenty dollar bill out to cover the training fees. You could have also said that you may be moving into town next month and that you wanted to find a dojo at which you could immediately start training when and if you settled in. In that situation, a potential student, even one with some different experiences is a much more attractive prospect upon which to direct their energies. I am not advocating lying, mind you, but if your goal is to train and pick up some new experiences, there certainly is a way of achieving it if you are creative.
There is little to be gained by coming to the board, sniveling and looking for sympathy. Maybe that is just what 4th kyu students with 1.5 years of aikido do at your dojo. Of course, maybe that is what these guys were afraid of happening, only after the fact. Who knows? Not I. What I do know is investing your energies into avenues that move you forward towards achieving your personal training goals is always a better option. Having just said that, I am quick to admit that, for you, coming here maybe a first step in doing just that. So on the hope that your journey of a thousand miles has already begun, I wish you all the best in you future pursuits.
Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 04-12-2005 at 10:58 PM.