Originally posted by Unregistered
I was reading the AAA/Shinjinkai information, especially the last post, that came from the Chicago Area Dojos thread and was curious as to other peoples/orginazations experiences in similar situations, if any. Has an orginization ever kicked out, or had a member leave, and then further threatened any members that chose to follow the person who got kicked out/left? Do you think it is appropriate, in general, for an orginazation to behave in such a manner? (Threaten others that follow, I mean...). Should a dojo just let it go? Or should they do otherwise? What of students who have no dealings in the events, those that just happen to start with Shinjinkai off the street and are, in effect, penalized by their association with Shinkinkai by Humbu? Should dojos be more concerned with spreading the love and benefits of aikido to all, regardless of who may teach it (granting, of course, that people who may teach are actual instructors) or more concerned about perceived threats?
This is a question in a general sense, and not geared toward the AAA/Shinjinkai specific event(s)....
That is an excellent question and a very valid point. Since I was the last to post a response in regarding the AAA/shinjinkai situation, I feel somewhat responsible to respond. You are absolutely right! Dojo should let it go and move on. For the record; nobody who chose to leave and follow shinjinkai has been threatened. They were warned about their possible future recognition with Hombu Dojo if they were to associate with this person that has been stripped of their rank at Hombu. For those to which rank and politics does not matter, it is O.K. to leave. For those who know the deeper truth as to this instructors actions toward the students, the other instructors, members of the organization, and the organization itself, they would be crazy to follow such a person, even though he is a very good instructor! Being in a position of leadership, however, is more than just having good technique and an ability to disseminate that to the masses. Leadership is about having influence and recognizing the responsibility that comes along with that influence. To be a good instructor and leader means caring more about the students growth and development than your own personal aims and comfort. We all know this from experience we have had from our great mentors along the way.
To your question regarding the brand new student who just joins shinjinkai off the street, you have raised a very valid issue to which there is probably no adequate response for either side. However, since going through that very situation many years ago I know that as a beginner, for the most part, you take what your leader says (and sells) to be the true and right way. Therefore, if your instructor explains all of the negatives of political affiliation with a reputable organization (AAA/AAI/USAF/ASU/Hombu Dojo,etc)then that is what you believe and all is well in your world. It is not until you begin to step out into the world and travel that you start to see there might be more out there and you may start to question what you've been told all of these years. In this specific situation, it would not be good for these instructors to have their students out there in the world trying to find out the real story so they probably will not encourage travelling to other dojo. If they do, their students will be greeted with open Aikido arms wherever they decide to train. There is a small group of students that chose to take a stand for their "leader" and walk out of the dojo in protest. For that they are not guilty, they are only doing what they believe to be right for someone they believe in. The crime that has made them not so welcome back to their old dojo is the slandering, back-stabbing, and down-right underhanded and heinous actions toward other students, even children, who chose to remain with what they too believed to be the right thing. This specific group is rather small and insignificant. They were all adults and knew exactly what they were doing when they left. The toughest part for all in these situations is not the lack of affiliations for these folks but all of the friendships that were sacrificed for one misguided child and his misguided actions.
The AAA and Hombu dojo have made their statements regarding this individual for the protection of their current and future students. As Instructors we tell all potential students to do some due diligence when it comes to selecting a school. Not all students fit within a particular setting and not all schools are appropriate for that student. To those for whom affiliation within a reputable organization are important, as well as, with instructors who truly care about their students, they must use all of the senses that have been given to them to judge right and wrong. If they sense something to be not right, move away from that situation quickly!
Great question, keep training!