Re: Student Intake Questionnaire
I have been watching the comments on this posted column from its' beginning. In opinions we are all over the matte, so why shouldn't I contribute. I am really confused by some of the comments that people would be offended, or put off by a questionnaire or application to train, or interview. I liked I think it was Garth's comment that a student recently presented somewhat a list of questions to him before training. As teachers in our self defense disciplines people will roll in train for awhile roll on and some stay. For us, we stayed a long time.. Why was that, something about that dojo, it's teacher, it's location, class time, other students was a Fit for us. While never training there I visited Sosa's school in Dallas in the 70's, when you walked in the door, the school and its' teacher had an aura. It was a questionnaire in and of itself, you knew this place and its' teacher were something special. At that point in my life I was not up to that challenge. I teach in a public location and in a private location, The Divine Paradox. I am a member at large in a private location as well.... Hmmm... I find that in any one of the scenarios, I feel comfortable with the screening processes. The process in a screening process should be considered a biforcated process. Its' purpose is not just to weed out, but to help for a better fit. Ross teaches in Austin. There is a group at the University as well, maybe one or the other is a better fit. In my private group, if I am teaching from my home or from my teachers home, I have responsibilities that exceed my position on the matte to respect the other inhabitants property and safety as well. On the matte I know my responsibility to my students and their well being. If we go to Walmart and buy a bag of Apples, and you must write a check, there is an inquisition that I find offensive. Do I look like a criminal? Once finished with that process you go to the door and they frisk you again. Yes, I find that offensive. Does the store have a right to ask these questions of you? Yes they do.. You can just pay cash, but then they still look at your receipt at the door. So we have a choice go there or go somewhere else. There is another factor here that maybe some are missing... Should you contact Ross about training.. you don't get a blank impersonal stair with that eyebrow raised armed with questionnaire and large magnifying glass. You meet a warm considerate group and its' teacher, then if he ever decides to adopt the questionnaire he might ask you to look at it. So to put it in context presentation is everything, if you hold people at arms length and say here fill this out and slip it under the door. They are likely to slip it under the door and run like hell. In consideration of all this remember the human factors of introduction, etc. I am reminded of the line from Anna and the King.. "In Siam Sir it is considered polite to first ask questions of personal nature"..A lot of great responses on this thread are posted and evidence of how differently people can think and still have those things like Aikido that bring us together. I think the columnist has succeeded.