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Old 02-04-2006, 06:51 PM   #6
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
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Re: Uncooperative participant

Quote:
Patrick Musselman wrote:
As I understand it this is a general overview of what took place. This new individual joined the existing dojo with the assumption that he would simply integrate as an instructor. During his first couple of weeks at the dojo he taught on the mat, didn't stick with technique as demonstrated by the instructor, and showed a complete lack of respect towards the existing instructor. As the existing instructor of this dojo became familiar with the intentions of the new individual he very discretely pulled him aside and explained the ground rules of the dojo. The ground rules basically stating that in this dojo there is one instructor, if you want to continue training here you need to accept the rules and follow instruction like everyone else, or train somewhere else.
If you have truly represented the straight facts as would be seen by any outsider observing the situation, then how your friend acted seems fair enough. This is a fairly typical scenario and be what one would expect to find at any traditional martial arts dojo whether found in a Park or a fancy Japanese-style dojo.

Quote:
Patrick Musselman wrote:
After having been pulled aside the new individual decided to continue with the same behavior as before, stating that where he comes from he is doing nothing wrong. The existing instructor pulled him aside once again, pointed out the new individuals continued behavior and unwillingness to change, and asked him to leave. Upon hearing this the new individual put up a fight and, long story short, ended up being escorted from the dojo by the police.
Someone should have extended a little bit of ki directly into his throat, nothing that would cause any damage mind you, just enough to put him asleep...
Quote:
Patrick Musselman wrote:
Now comes the real dilemma, since this is a dojo operating under the local parks and recreation department final say comes from the city. This new individual went to the recreation center managers and complained, basically forcing his way back into the class. It has been almost a month now and this new individual continues to show blatant disrespect and cause disruption to the whole dojo.
As others have stated, it is a wonder why anyone continues to train with him.
Quote:
Patrick Musselman wrote:
This new individual holds the rank of yondan and comes with obvious aikido experience from a different style of aikido where he taught as a chief instructor. How then does he think this is even remotely acceptable?
Rank has different meaning in different places. The yondon about which you say he has (hell, he could be one of them 14th dan guys who go by the name of "shihan") received outside of the Aikikai, while it is to be recognized for what it is it is not aikikai rank and should not be seen as it -- certainly not by any teacher inside of the Aikikai.
Quote:
Patrick Musselman wrote:
The way I see it, if my friend's dojo where held in a "traditional dojo" setting there would be no question but to toss this guy out on his rear. However, given the operation of this dojo that seems to be easier said that done.
The bottom line is that this should not be tolerated at any level. While it is considered legal to allow a convicted sex-offender to live in your neighborhood, it doesn't mean you have to like it, or tolerate it. Most importantly, you do not have to sit on your hands and bite your tongue. There are groups dedicated to making sure that the sex-offender's face and address are known throughout the community. They post flyers on telephone polls near schools and in other public places where kids and parents are known to gather. I would begin by having your friend do the following:
  • Out him - Get a picture of him, post it on every martial arts website along with his name and a true story of exactly what this guy pulls on any given night. Be specific, and if you are worried about liability, get him on video tape and post that, too
  • Find out from where he came -- Of course, this information should be part of your standard registration form. Get his former dojo's name, the name of both his direct instructor and Chief Instructor and post that information on the internet as well.
  • Contact his former school and inform them of his current activities. If I found out that one of my former student's was pulling that kind of crap, I wouldn't hesitate to contact him and put things in their proper perspective. However, I would certainly want to know about it before allowing him back into my school to train.
Quote:
Patrick Musselman wrote:
I find personal interest in this story because I too teach and operate a dojo under the local parks and recreation dept. Has anyone ever experienced a similar situation? I respect the thoughts and opinions of this forum and would like to hear what you have to say.
Just because one operates in a public venue does not mean that you have to accept every person that comes along and chooses to act inappropriately in a martial arts setting. There simply isn't enough Insurance in the world to go around allowing people to do techniques as they see fit on juniors, or worse, beginners who very well might get injured because they are not familiar with how to take ukemi from this person. Certainly if even one other student were injured, even so much as a black and blue mark, it could be seen as grounds for the removal of this person as a proactive way of preventing further injury. Dojos that allow disparate technical approaches can be seen as either a good or a bad thing. However, should I come in wearing a black belt in another style it doesn't mean I know anything about how the dojo I am entering does techniques. When I walk on someone else's mat, I do so as a white belt, even if I am wearing my black belt. While this often frustrates the dan-level practitioners that I choose as my partner at these times, because they often want to rock-n-roll on the mat, not show someone techniques from the ground up, I am merely trying to see how they do things different from how I do them. How else would I expect to learn anything? Perhaps you could seek to have your friend invite his teacher to the dojo for a seminar. Once he comes around, you can brief him with regards to this situation, and he should be able to find a way to work things out.

It is important to realize that while it is always best to try to find a work-around, or better yet, find a way to have the person realize the error of their ways and become a better person having learned as much, it is not always possible to wait that long when most everyone's instruction at the dojo is suffering. The bottom line, if you don't do something to end this now, (keep it legal, of course) like the sex-offender, this person will go somewhere else and do it again.

As a community, none of us should stand by and allow that to happen to anyone's dojo. While it isn't anyone's but Mr. Musselman's problem today (along with those at his friends dojo) if nothing is done immediately it very well might be one of the rest of us reading this here's problem tomorrow.



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