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Old 12-28-2005, 07:19 AM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: High level power abuse

I think the crux of the matter is that a dojo to many is more than just a place to practice aikido. By it's nature, most aikido dojo's are heavily based on the philosophy of aikido, which along with that comes a set of values and norms.

The problem arises when we see behavior that is contrary to the shared norms/values of the dojo. While people are free to behave and act as the want to, when it crosses into the dojo and becomes "uncomfortable" for even one member of the dojo, then the community as a whole has a conflict that must be resolved somehow.

I think most of us would like to think that the problem was not from the leadership of the dojo. When this happens, well, you can have severe problems in morale! It can divide a dojo and cause people to leave or to split into various "camps".

So this, IMHO, becomes "un-aiki".

This is why I favor dojo environments where there is a governing body or board and not a single "figurehead" or "owner". The board can serve to "vote" the person off the island or to admonish them if necessary.

I have no advice for the individual as each situation is unique. THere are many Courses of actions.

1. Leave dojo, start or find a new one.
2. Stay and accept behavior of the "owner"/sensei. (suck it up and drive on hope that time fixes things the right way).
3. Approach him/her and discuss and attempt to mediate to resolve the issue.
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