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Old 10-23-2005, 09:04 AM   #14
Jay Vigilla
Location: California
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
Re: The Role of Sempai

Dirk, good points and questions made. THe difficulty of discipline with our dojo is that we are a no credit PE course at a university. Here in California we are having sufficient budget cuts to our education system and PE classes and other no credit classes are the first to lose funding. We do not want to lose students and show a decline in interest by the enrollment going down or the program may be dropped. Booting the two from the class or making them feel unwanted is not an option I think we should approach. The reason I believe Aikido is a wonderfully philosophical art is that our techniques promote forgiveness.

We have not needed to discourage others from wanting to train with them as the other juniors have chosen to do so areleady. It does, however, seem to have encouraged the two of them to train together and encourage them to practice the techniques as described by Sensei in a manner that is not safe for the level they are at.

Although I do like your idea of a separate training time where they can "test" their strength against technique. It would give the two of them extra mat time and closer attention.

Yes, it is difficult to start a discussion with the two of them in relation to this. One of them has, I have noticed, softened up and is not trying so hard to force everything. I am proud to see him make this sort of progress. He seems more comfortable and his techniques is getting smoother the less he tries too hard.. those that have trained understand what that means.

In regards to your comment:
"Aikido attracks people with poor physical constitution an as I understand with those "senior" students the danger of damage increases dramatically. As I understand US law, these damages could be very expensive for the university or the state."

The two students in question are my juniors. THey are not, nor is anyone in the dojo, really of a weaker constitution. This is, in part, because of our location on a university campus. We are all approximately twney years old. The students, too, are currently mostly male and are seemingly more interested in jujitsu. That, to me, is fine. And in that case, I feel they should look to train in jujitsu if that is their will. But the situation does not get expensive for the university in the case of an injury (from the legal stand point) as the university requires people to sign a waiver for each class the PE or recreation department. But yes, the more liklihood of harm deos imply a greater necesity to speak with students about safety.

THe issue in question is currently being resolved. I hope that the two will learn from the experience and be able to diffuse a similar situation in the future.
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