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Old 12-31-2009, 10:18 AM   #30
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 139
Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
There are other perspectives.

The training in my dojo is provided free of charge. Any payments made are to defray the costs of maintenance of the dojo. I choose who trains with me solely on my own terms. Those terms might be arbitrary, but they are growing more and more deliberate over time. If anyone has a problem with it, there's plenty of great dojo they can go train in. I'll even give them a referral.

I AM doing people a favor when I allow people to visit and observe classes. If I decide it's necessary, I'll make them observe two or three or four or more two hour classes. If they don't stay the entire class, they aren't welcome to come back, unless there's a solid reason and they discussed it with me before hand. It certainly doesn't do me or my students a favor to have guests. It's pretty simple; what I am doing is not for sale. Anyone is welcome to visit, but not everyone is suited to the training and not everyone is allowed on the mat until I decide that they are. That might be in the first 20 minutes or it might be never.

Maintaining that quality training environment is exactly why I don't allow just anyone to visit. In fact, I know plenty of great people that I'll still train with in other environments that I won't allow near my students.

I don't have a questionnaire, but I do ask people a lot of questions.. if I need to. Most of the time they leave after a single class, something that I've become profoundly grateful for over time as the ones who stick around for 3 weeks are much more a waste of time. The ones who choose to stick around longer are definitely a surprise for me.

As for elitism, I know I'd be MUCH happier with a surgeon or similar professional who comes out of an elite and renowned university rather than some chop shop.

I find elitist organizations produce a pretty high quality of education. I can't claim to be doing that, although I do believe my students are learning a lot more than they did in their prior environments. If that's arrogance, then I can live with that, but I think I've enough accumulated enough personal knowledge and authority to trust that it isn't.

I like the path I'm on and have no intention of changing it. In fact, although I don't have a questionnaire and don't have a formal 'exam', I would say that I am getting pickier and pickier about who I will even invite or allow to come visit when I make contact with people. I can safely say that I'm happy with my survival chances.

Ironically, I spent a decade in a dojo with the attitude that not only was everyone welcome, but that everyone should try aikido and take that experience with them into the rest of their lives. I still believe that to a large extent, but frankly, aikido is NOT for everyone.

So basically, you see yourself as a master in the art? It sure looks like it, seeing as how you decide who can join class and who can't. You even make them waste six hours of their life watching you guys have fun.
If I were to look for a new place to train and the instructor would say to me "why don't you watch for a couple of lessons so I can see if you meet the requirements to be my disciple" I would leave immediately. Such a person can teach me nothing since he is too stuck up with his own ego.

Yes, you are arrogant.

You and your disciples don't enjoy guests? What kind of stuck up people are you? So if someone shows interest in aikido and comes visit your dojo you guys look down on him instead of welcoming him? Way to go!

People like you are the people I loathe. Stuck up, arrogant, deluded idiots.

And no, I'm not in the least bit sorry if I insulted you. My respect for you is zero.

Last edited by Maarten De Queecker : 12-31-2009 at 10:20 AM.
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