View Single Post
Old 07-31-2008, 05:43 PM   #47
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: Instructors of low rank

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I believe that the main reason it happens in one class is because the instructor simply is unable to find anyone else, and because the 6th/5th Kyu person is passionate about Aikido and reliable - being attendant in nearly every class..... But there are awkward moments. Such as lining up before class, and the usual instructor is not present, and the Dan in attendance don't know that 6th/5th Kyu is going to be instructing...
I don't get it... the instructor can't find anyone else besides this person, but higher ranking students are turning up to the class??? You bring up the rank hierarchy, but it seems to me that if none of the senior ranking people turning up know what's going on, it suggests to me either a communication issue within the ranks of your hierarchy or that the senior ranks aren't actively involved in the dojo operations, or something else is happening within your dojo that is hierarchically, organizationally or even culturally dysfunctional.

Or during class when 6th/5th Kyu interrupts a Nage and Uke to make technical observations... It was these awkward moments that made me think of proposing this thread. The usual dojo etiquette of deference toward the higher rank is undone, and catches us momentarily off-balance. But as this discussion developed I thought of other ramifications: namely, the affect it has on the self-confidence of other Kyu; and on the ego of this person chosen to teach over them.
Let's leave the (perceived) ego issue aside for the moment... because, IF it were the case, I would consider this a management failure on the part of the instructor and the hierarchy of your dojo. I don't know what the specifics are, and why a low-rank kyu grade is allowed to take the class unsupervised. But if your senior ranks aren't stepping up to the plate and getting involved in the administrative, operational and teaching aspects of the dojo, so much so, that the instructor cannot get anyone else besides this person to take the class, then, to me, something is very wrong. And if the senior ranks aren't taking responsibility to nurture and develop the sempai/kohai relationship, I don't think it gives them any right to "pull rank". Never mind about any dojo etiquette of deference to rank being undone. From what you're saying I don't see it happening now.

I haven't spoken to the instructor involved because when I started this I didn't think it was a problem. I just wanted to know what everyone thought. My first words were, "Just wondering..." But if others here think it is a problem; and can make a case that I should bring it to the instructor's attention, then I will.
My question to you is, and you don't have to answer, where are you within the hierarchy and do YOU feel it is an issue? Do YOU feel strongly enough that it is an issue? Does your hierarchical rank or even personal relationship with the instructor carry any weight and influence? It doesn't matter what anyone here thinks... we're not there and we don't know what the full context or culture of your dojo situation is.

  Reply With Quote