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Old 07-23-2006, 07:20 AM   #15
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
Re: Financial Obligations and Sensei

David Skaggs wrote:
If the students are keeping the dojo alive, maybe they need to find a new sensei for their dojo.
In the light of this statement, I need some help from some of the senior members of Aikiweb,. I have heard it said that in martial arts, it is the students job to take care of the Sensei. In everything I have read so far on this thread, the students are viewing the Sensei as just another Joe who had better take care of himself. This of course may well be old world versus new world ideas working here. What are the ancient traditions on this and how has this changed in the light of modern circumstances? Sokaku Takeda would just show up, teach and charge Morihei Ueshiba and O Sensei seemed to show him every courtesy even though he didn't seem to like the imposition. It seemed he even moved himself and gave Takeda Sensei his house just to get away from him on one occasion.
What are the modern applications of this tradition or is this idea completely irrelevant in the light of modern times and the commercialization of martial arts?
On the New York Aikikai 30th anniversary tape, Harvey Konigsberg says that when he was starting, he didn't understand that he was supposed to take care of his Sensei but the in those days, his Sensei would take care of him. It seemed that this idea may only apply to a Master but can we dump the local sensei since it is so easy to go across the street to get another one?

I know that in my own relationship with Hiroshi Kato Shihan, he is a treasury of knowledge . I take care of him from the time he gets here to when he leaves. He eats anywhere he wants, I take care of his accommodations, entertainments, etc. I see to his every comfort. That is my duty as his student and in return, he shares his knowledge (sometimes) with me. He is my Sensei but not my local Sensei. It is assumed that he is coming to visit at certain times and the only way that would change is if I were to declare him not to be my sensei any more. He says, "It is the student that selects the Sensei and not the reverse." The implication I have gathered is that means that I picked him, so I assumed the responsibilities of the student when I made that choice. I can also opt out when I don't like it anymore but it is my responsibility.

Having said that, (on the flip side) in all the time I have known him (since 1998), never has he nor anyone associated with him, ever mentioned anything about money to me nor have I ever heard money mentioned or talked about at all. I have never been told to give him an honorarium, what amount to give or to give more or less. I have seen him go to small dojos and I have no idea what they gave him but I know it couldn't have been much and I know he never says anything at all. In my seminars, we have 100 or more people and he never says anything at all about money either.
Still, I have always understood that I have a responsibility because I picked him. It's not my role to judge him, it's my role to take care of him. How does this apply to the situation being mentioned here.

I was wondering if a senior member in Aikido could give us what you have been taught and some help as to how we make these applications in the modern era.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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