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Old 02-06-2006, 10:26 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 63
Re: Regarding James Smith

Although I don't know James nor arm I capable of judging his character, I feel that the punishment for James was fairly harsh. The statements he has made in the past have not been offensive to anyone. Any implications made by his post regarding black aikido practitioners were blown out of propotion by the replies.

Unless his actions have affected his dojo directly, his instructor has no right to oversee his actions in his personal life, which includes time on Aikiweb. His instructor has far overstepped his bounds as a disciplinarian, if he has the right to take that title.

His instructor had the chance to do the whole "personality development" thing and impress upon James that certain things he says might reflect poorly upon him. What James recieved was the opposite of this: a type of negative reinforcement. Ultimately, James will lose out. From his expulsion, James will learn only one (semi-understood) lesson about what to say and what not to say. Also due to his expulsion, James will not be given the chance to learn the thousand lessons that aikido has to offer.

The old saying comes to mind: There are no bad students, only bad teachers. Although James did do something that was seen by some as unacceptable, it is my opinion that he should be welcomed back to your dojo.

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