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Old 10-30-2010, 11:13 AM   #123
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
George, I recall a column Katherine and I collaborated on a few yrs ago on the issue you raise of folks getting their self-worth as people inappropriately conected to their technical abilities on the mat. An easy trap to fall into if you either turn OSemsei into a spiritual demigod to follow or are in a dojo that promotes an us-vs-them, true believer mentality.
Again I tend to agree with Mary that many of us parttimers don't link grading to our contributions to the workings of the dojo; we put in those nontraning hours of effort because we are woven into the fabric of the dojo community.
Having said that...I'd encourage you to find ways to make use of some of the nontechnical talent you have among your members
One of the ways in which I get around the whole Dan rank thing is to use "Titles". People love titles. As soon as someone has a title people see them differently and the see themselves differently. This isn't always good but if used judiciously it can work really well. I have a student who is a newbie. I think she's up to 4th kyu now. This is on a mature dojo in which I have 5th Dan, and everything below that. But this person is the energize bunny... she is one of those get things done, take charge folks. So I made her "Dojo Operations Manager". Cool title, right? Well, it works perfectly. She can go up to any of the Yudansha and and ask them to do things. ask for help or time, and no one thinks anything of it. The guy who is President of the dojo is not the most senior. The title gives him parity with the senior Dan ranks. Works really well.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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