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Old 07-24-2012, 06:41 AM   #2
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
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Re: Senpai You Can't Respect

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
We have all seen them, whether they are in our dojo or another's. They are Aikidoka who seem to be oddly below their tested grade. To me, the ones who are my kohai are easy enough to deal with. I am responsible to them, to help them in any way I can.

But then there are senpai. Depending on their actions, it can be anywhere from awkward to insanely annoying to deal with them. Alas, our dojo goes often by social promotions (ie put in the calendar time, although not always the mat hours and you get rank) although we test so slowly that even what I might consider to be an inept Sankyu would be more than up to snuff for our style of Aikido.

Technically, in that sense, we aren't dishonoring our style. We just produce a lot of low kyu ranks that confused the hell out of people. But there is a huge range of skill for one belt.

So I have people that are supposed to be senpai that I often had to explain technique to or help. A few actually have just started letting me go first and don't seem to recognize in the least they have a higher rank that I.

Then there are a few that irritate the dog shit out of me. They go first, and try and try and try sometimes with a technique. And boy, it fails- hard and I can see why and I really want to just say, "You are out of your range of effectiveness," or whatever the fix would be. Then a few of these people look at me and go, "You aren't really attacking me."

Which is funny as hell to me, because I have the rep of being a rather vicious attacker. Last practice I literally had a Sandan compliment about my 'sincere' attacks and then five minutes later (no joke) this clown accuses me of not giving a good punch. So I know that is bs. Hell, I work with our Shihan a lot. And while he has corrected me on many a things that is not something he has ever said to me.

Sorry about the mini rant there. It's a bit of a sore spot.

So my question in general is: how do you deal with senpai who don't equal you in technique? I understand Aikido is a personal journey. And yes, these senpai I am talking about do teach me things but way more often than not I have to teach then.

This all started by the way with a pair of fresh twenty-somethings coming to the dojo and asking me about what our color belt system was. They pointed at the guy I was talking about before and asked if he was better than me. I barely managed to get out something about that his rank is higher than mine.
Kohei In Need of Personal Reflection:

It is refreshing to hear from a Kohei that is the perfect judge of those who are inferior to him/her . If the Aikido world is reflection of how you view the world in general, you must be carrying around a lot of resentment at the great inequities that you perceive in the world around you.

For what it's worth, I make it a point to learn something from EVERYONE I practice with, or teach, regardless of rank or style. This is a practice in humility and openness which you appear to be sorely in need of.

Marc Abrams
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