Thread: abusive sensei
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:28 AM   #4
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden. the Netherlands
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 150
Re: abusive sensei

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
I've read about how Gozo would sometimes knock out his partners during demonstrations, yet again, no one calls that abuse.
I would, though probably not to his face

And not to mention O Sensei... reading back to his early days, he certainly wasn't a "nice" teacher in any way. In fact, many of the training methods would probably be illegal today, or labelling him insane (training with live swords during night time?).
I don't think we really know what the parameters were based on the anecdotal evidence. I have strong doubts whether his students were really out to kill or maim him. Not saying it ain't so, just that I'm more inclined to accept some conditions and or agreements, be they spoken aloud or product of culture and context, were in place that prevented those uchideshi to make it a "fight to the death."

That said, it certainly sounds like that teaching style isn't for you,
Such a teaching "style" (I'm referring to the OP) shouldn't be for anyone. It only endorses the kind of hierarchical relationship that is so open to abuse and accepts any kind of "offer" - benevolent or maliscious - on the part of the senior whereas the "set-up" is far from equal. If I'm offering my body to someone else amidst the construct of what is in essence a pre-arrangement, I expect to come out sound and well. Accidents happen, cool, that's part of the business but I sure ain't no crash-test-dummy at the disposal of a "Sensei." Thus, people deliberately abusing this agreement for the sake of - insert various reasons: all folly btw - is just plain stupid. It's not the kind of behaviour you'd accept out of budo context (or at least shouldn't be) so why accept it within? Is it so damn special that we are willing to abandon common sense?

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