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Old 01-06-2008, 05:36 PM   #16
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,371
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Re: Sempai kohai differences

Good question Larry!

Not hard for me to answer as Kevin refers to himself in the third person, and I can look at myself objectively and say I am a rather fun and enjoyable person to train with! Can't everyone do this?

Seriously,

I do wonder sometimes. Matt brings up the same issues that I have. I know I can be a pain in the ass for people sometimes! I hate bad aikido, bad ukemi, and bad attacks...life is too short to train poorly!

However, the catch is this...as Matt puts it...How do you walk that fine light between being a horses ass, and given a honest attack/response?

I try and be sensitive to this when working with people to give them what they "need". However sometimes what they need, and what they want, and what I want and need...don't line up! Then what do you do? Do you tank it? Do you continue to feed them the fluff? Do you push their buttons? What is honest? Right?

Sometimes I think it is difficult to tell.

Jim Mockus came up to me at the end of class the other night and said " I hope you don't think I am being a "...." . I said absolutely NOT! He was concerned because I was not being very successful, and he was working hard to ensure that I was not! Sure it is frustrating, but that is my issue, his stuff was spot on, and challenging...life is too short for bad training!

Not sure if "fun" and "enjoyable" are always the right things to be concerned with. After all, I don't think I have seen that these are the goals of aikido or budo. Fun and enjoyable don't always equate to happiness! (I am trying to explain this to my 8 year old!).

That said, I think we do need to be sensitive as sempai to the kohai in our organizations to ensure that they are being mentored and brought up properly, and not left out there hanging helplessly in a pool of self doubt and frustration. A little encouragement, and attention go along way to making the overall process "fun" and "enjoyable"..however, I think that this is not the goal.

Anyway...enough rambling on about this.

Good counter question Larry! See you this week sometime!

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