Thread: Sempai/Kohai
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Old 08-06-2000, 09:18 AM   #1
Orange
"Orange"
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Join Date: Jun 2000
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I just got back from East Coast Summer Camp 2000 and with the exception of one day, I had a great time working with all the wonderful people there. The one bad day was something of a nightmare.

For Doshu's class the mat was incredibly crowded. I have heard of "phone booth ukemi" but never really had to practice it until then. What ended up happening throughout the class was I got pushed out of the space I was working in or told to go elsewhere by sempai repeatedly. If there was a lot of room elsewhere on the mat I wouldn't have thought twice about this but since the entire mat was crowded, there was nowhere to go! This kinda got me a little peeved.

Then there are a few people who seem very disapointed when they get stuck working with kohai. They don't look at you when the apply a technique ("Hey! Look at me when you apply Nikkyo!") instead their eyes wander around the room like they are trying to find something. This pushed me a little bit closer to the edge.

Finally when class had ended and it was time to stretch our backs, I turned to someone (I was standing directly in front of him) bowed and said "stretch your back?" and he turned around and walked away! If not for the fact that we made eye contact I would have thought he didn't see me. By this point I was ripped.

If the whole week had gone like this I would give up Aikido alltogether. I think what pissed me off most about these idiots was the fact that they all had on Hakama so they were obviously my sempai. I am curious if I would have been treated the same if I was wearing a hakama? I didn't run into any jerks not wearing hakama. Kinda makes me think that the whole Sempai/Kohai thing goes to thier head.

I understand that in traditional Japan Kohai are essentially slaves to Sempai and must do whatever they want, but at the same time Sempai have a responsibility to help Kohai learn. It appears as though some Aikidoists only understand half of that relationship.

Sorry for rambling, but I really needed to vent! The rest of the week was great!
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