Re: The Role of Sempai
When new people are in the dojo we always try to keep an eye out for situations like this. First of all we try to explain to people that they should train with everybody. Second, if we notice someone being to rough or mean we start training with that person and we usualy dont fail to mention that it might be a wise idea to be gentle with your partner cause your partner's turn is next.
Usualy this already changes the way people train. Rough beginners get confronted with gentle yet firm sempai. Nearly always this works inspiring enough on the beginners.
Unfortunatly it sometimes isnt only beginners that act like brutes. Guests to our dojo will find that the first couple of partners they will get will be some of our sempai.This is just to check if this person is "safe" for our less experienced fellow aikidoka.
At seminars in our dojo it of course is nearly impossible to check everone out in advance but protecting beginners against brutes/idiots still takes place. Unfortunatly it does happen that sempai have to descide that someone isnt allowed near any beginners. Punnishment is not our task so we dont do that.