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Old 06-19-2007, 05:34 PM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,221
Re: dojo head bans students from training with another teacher (ex student)

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Just wondered what peoples thoughts are on this subject as it's currently happening in my dojo - let me explain.

A student has decided (for good reason) to start his own club and has chosen nights to teach that don't conflict with other lessons in the old club. The head of the old dojo came onto the mat and announced that this was happening and wished the student success and that they understood that his friends would want to support him. At no point was it made obvious that the students were not actually allowed to train or support their friend in his new venture. In fact, the student is welcome to train back at our dojo when he wants.

Some of the students have asked permission to train at the new club (as etiquette here states you must) and all have been told that, no, they cannot and if they do they will not be welcome back to the club. Those who have asked why have simply been told that it's personal with no further explanation forthcoming.

Many of the students are understandably upset by this as we want to support someone who is both a good friend and fellow aikido practitioner. An anonymous email was sent to the head of the dojo explaining how many of the students feel but the response was simply that no answer would be given in a public forum and that the student should make themselves known.

Well, how would you feel and how would you react to this? Is it fair to be told you cannot support a friend?

This often happens in Japan, so I wonder where you are and how closely connected is your Dojo Head to Japan.

In Japan, this is one interpretation of the vertical Master-Student relationship. If you have chosen a Master, it makes no sense to go somewhere else, unless that is part of the Master's way of teaching. So this is a consequence of the original choice. My own teacher does not like students going to break-away dojos and so I have never done so.

However, as I stated, this is one interpretation of the Master-Student relationship as it is understood here. Friends and friendships do not really affect core issue. I know very well that some foreigners find this particularly hard to accept.

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,