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Old 06-21-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
"Trying to be polite"
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What do you do when a student is acting rudely in your class.


I have a bit of a sensitive issue.
There is a student of no rank(7th kyu) in my school. They had previously trained for about three years off and on over seas with several unaffiliated/independent Aikido schools before coming to our school. One of the unaffiliated schools he says gave him a Dan ranking. His Aikido, according to my Sensei, myself and the rest of the instructors at our dojo is sub-par according to our standards for what a Dan rank should be... in fact it is sub-par to what we consider a 5th kyu.He claims he is just from Teacher XYZ's linage and we are a different style that's why it is different. But we have many students in our school who were formally from Teacher XYZ (even directly Teacher XYZ's students) they look nothing like him. But we have welcomed him to come and test and train with us :-D... when he first joined I and a few of the senior students put forth a lot of effort to understand and learn his approach to Aikido.

Now here's my issue: His attitude has gradually became sour. He arrives late because he hates the way we stretch in the beginning of class, gets on and off the mat without telling anyone where he's going.(A big no-no in our school.) This is a minor annoyance however.

The biggest issue is how he's effecting our junior students. He refused to train with the senior students, or instructor's of the dojo. He will only take people he "thinks" are of low rank as training partners in class. When my Sensei is holding a class this student will often ignore the exercise or technique we've been instructed to practice, grab a junior student as a partner and proceed to instruct our junior student in whatever the heck he seems to feel that student needs to learn in his opinion. When the teacher claps for everyone to line back up, often they have to clap more than once to get his attention. He'll just keep on trying to tutor the junior student while the instructor is trying to change techniques. If there is only one beginner on the mat, they poor thing is basically stalked by him for every technique. I have a few younger female students in the school, they have come to me privately and asked me to sit next to them during class so they can bow to train with me immediately. They are creeped out with how he wants to train ONLY with them. (I don't think he's a perv, but they do unfortunately )

We are also starting to have issues with new students. I'm designated to prepare junior students for their kyu tests.(6th through 1st) Often time I'll tell a junior student "Sensei wants to see this done this particular way for your test." Then the junior student will often reply "But blank told me to do it this way." And 99% of the time the way in which this guy is telling junior students to do test techniques would result in failure. He just doesn't understand our standards or our system.

He refuses to take ukemi. I mean sometimes he falls down awkwardly.. maybe 5-10 times per class. But the average Aikidoka takes a good 70-100 ukemi during a typical class. He even goes so far as to just walk forward without striking, or grabbing and expect the student to do the technique when we demand that he takes ukemi for his partner. But it has no energy, it isn't an attack actually. Just a lazy toad like movement forward, then he stands still refusing to fall down. Which is frustrating because he only trains with 7th and 6th kyu who are trying to learn form.

But the hardest issue is when I'm teaching my classes. He at least twice per-class will interrupt my demonstration to point out how what I'm doing is flawed. (which I always reply, let's discuss it after class or at open which we never end up doing because he won't train with anyone of dan ranking!) He does his typical ignore the exercise at hand, teach his junior partner whatever he wants to teach them crap. So I saw him teaching the junior student and went up and said to myself, "Well if he is instructing them, they obviously need help, i'm the teacher I'll go instruct them." I interjected and called the junior student to attack me. This guy told the junior student to come back to him... :-/ I said "I'm going to help them with the technique." He said "we aren't doing that technique" I ignored him and proceeded to instruct the junior student which is my job! This made him angry for some reason. To which he just said I made the junior student look worse, right in front of the junior student. Which sucks for the poor kids self esteem!

I got angry, I wanted to tell him to sit out. I wanted to tell him to get the hell off my mat. But I didn't. I clapped and told everyone to line up for lined ukemi drills. He sat out of course. But what got me more upset was the fact he was telling under-classmen they didn't have to participate if they didn't want to. That what I was teaching would only injure them. (I was teaching standard forward, backwards, and barrel-rolls. Not even break-falls!)

So this is my issue. I'm not the Sensei or head instructor. Just a senior instructor. I've relayed my issues to my Sensei, my Sensei has the same complaints. He does the same crap to my Sensei in class apparently. My Sensei is at a loss, and is just trying to not create awkwardness or a disruption. We want to be welcoming, and we don't want junior students to see any negativity between the seniors and this student. e sort of just been trying to be polite, isolate our junior students and hope he falls in line or quits. We have asked him to not do many of these above described behaviors. If a senior instructor asks him, he argues with them. If the Sensei asks him he nods, then just ignores the request. I'm not sure how this will end up.
If I was running the school I would told him he is not welcome to classes or suspend him. But I respect my Sensei's desire to try and ride it out.

Last edited by akiy : 06-21-2012 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Removed style/affiliation identification
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