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Old 06-28-2006, 08:22 AM   #19
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 688
Re: Changing Dojo b/c Slow Progress, Loyalty

Recently I have been feeling that my progress in aikido is being limited to some extent by those whom I am training with as well as my instructor. So, here are numerous questions:

What if I have decided that I like a different sensei's aikido better; i.e., I want my aikido to be more like his, should I leave my dojo?

What about not liking the aikido that the other students in my dojo are doing; is that a reason to leave?

What about loyalty issues, in that we are talking about changing sensei within the same organization so we are liable to run into each other again?

I believe that a lot of my aikido is self-motivated by what I want to work on, but some things I can't learn on my own, like paired weapons.

Well, I am just a little frustrated. Sometimes I feel as if I could have progressed farther in my aikido if I was training with more talented sempai and/or sensei. Any thoughts?
I think this is a very difficult question. If it only rose recently, as you wrote, I would suggest that you stay there for a while and examine if things d change. We all reach durations in which we feel we are no longer progressing, and sometimes, we even feel our performance is diminishing for some periods. Often, the feeling is real, but the reason is the development of a new level of understanding that requires us to change everything, if only slightly, and thus the overall feeling is of very bad techniques.

Sometimes, one should change a sensei. even the best sensei worldwide does not have to be the right sensei for you. This should be understandable, each person is different.

You're paying money for a service.
Sorry if this is your feeling. But I disagree with you. Learning Budo is not simply a service, you are paying for it, but if you only consider it as a service, you will never truly learn anything beyond the physical aspects.
To be able to really learn Budo, you have to be willing to face hardship in your learning. One of those is to have loyalty and trust towards your teacher. And be willing to continue when faced with hardship. This type of relationships does not qualify as service in my book.

Would it matter if I was a 6th dan or a 6th kyu?
Yes, a 6th Dan has already faced long periods of hardship in his learning. He should know if the reasons for his problems is the limitations of his sensei (8th dan?) or his own.

As strange as this sounds. My recommendation for you is to go and talk with your sensei. A good sensei should be able to send you over to another if he feels this would help you or find a way to assist you in the same place, or sometimes just give you a good advice (wait for another 6 months might be). I know, some people would not be willing to suggest other places for egoistic reasons, and if you realize this is the case - you should leave without hesitation.

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