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Old 10-14-2002, 01:49 AM   #15
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Giancarlo: would escalation not be a pretty high risk of your strategy? do i not also risk turning into this person trying to emulate them? when the abused, try to "look like" the abuser they assume abusive properties (in fact people who perpetuate domestic violence were often victims of it before). sure i might wish to be so strong and powerful, but lose control and empathy at the same time. i have no wish for my aikido to look like his. agree that you cannot be a person of peace unless you know how to gracefully handle violence without losing control, the lamb cannot choose peace in the presence of the lion. have been pondering this -- person has over ten years experience more than me, outmasses me by a factor of 50% can't take him at my skill level in aikido. could end problem tomorrow with any number of violent options. not the point. is building a political faction to boycott training with him, and/or tell sensei explicitly that we reject training with him, aiki? Politics may succeed where blood spilled does not.

but what would my relationship with sensei be after such a confrontation, which challenges his authority to run things as he sees fit?

the point is not to blame other person, or anybody at all. the point is to change the system so that this stops happening, or change me so that it's not my problem anymore. what can i do? i can listen to others, and see if i'm the only one who feels this way -- then it would be appropriate to change my perspective if i was the freak. but others affected see the same problem i do. they simply left. have tried tenkan to see person's point of view, have stubbornly tried to adapt, can't find a viable compromise over *years* of trying. in fact, at first i was not aware that this person was the problem -- others who left shared their perspective which i grew to agree with with more evidence. the real question is whether it's my job to try to save the dojo, protect my kohai, engage in the politics of exclusion, or not. do we just let the jerks destroy a lovely system (dojo is like an ecosystem) while we choose to make our lives easier by letting them? do we engage in violent solutions when we finally have nowhere else to go? isn't it too late then?

four fundamental ways of dealing with conflict i've found:

change, leave, grow or die.

change the system

leave the system

grow to fit the system

let the system kill you

some combination of the above tactics always works, eventually, to bring the system back to stasis. i've tried to change the system, i've tried changing my perspective. could decide to narrow my focus to explicit self-preservation, not care that people around me are getting hurt, say nothing, refuse to train with this person, and keep on training. what kind of environment would the dojo be if everyone took that attitude?

sorry, trying to not sound accusatory. I'm just grappling with where my responsibility to myself begins/ends, my responsibility to others begins/ends. i've fulfilled my responsibility of trying to communicate to sensei and to this person, and it failed. what would you choose next? i would appreciate hearing more stories like Kevin's about analogous situations of conflict in the dojo and how they ultimately resolved.
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