Thread: No respect
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #27
IP Hash: eeb40530
Anonymous User
Re: No respect

Hello Chaplain Chay. I am sorry that the feedback from the forum so far has come across as brusque. While the people here tend to have more or less expertise with regard to aikido (and perhaps dojo etiquette), I'm not sure that we mostly have any particular qualification when it comes to troubleshooting a challenging (non-combat) interpersonal problem. If you have a background in pastoral counseling, then you might very well be better qualified than most of us.

My threshold reaction is that the behavior of the Problem Senior Student (PSS) sounds bizarre to me, in the context of college campus culture. Why anybody would think it appropriate to walk in and try to take over a class from an instructor at a university is beyond me. This kind of behavior doesn't seem any more appropriate in an aikido club than it would in an academic classroom. To me, it suggests that the PSS may have a narcissistic personality disorder. That's just a guess, but it's an educated one.

This being said, I think that the first thing to try is to have several of the other students sit down with the teacher and talk with him about what's going on in the class, and their feelings about it. We have been given to understand that the teacher is soft-spoken and prefers to avoid conflict or harming others. He may not fully grasp that his passive response is indirectly hurting the other students, and detracting from their experience. He may also not recognize that the rest of the students are eager to mobilize themselves behind him. In essence, the aim then is to help the good teacher to reinterpret what's happening around him, so that he is energized to engage, redirect, and (if necessary) eject the problem student from the class.

In a different vein, if the class is being run under the auspices of a university club, then the officers of the club may also be in a position to intervene (regardless of whether the PSS has a higher martial arts rank). Participation in university club activities is generally a privilege, rather than a right. Rarely is it helpful to be entirely direct in telling the PSS, "look, nobody likes you or wants to train with you." But there is sometimes a role for the officers of a university club, in respectfully but firmly indicating that the club has rules and expectations, and that open disrespect for the club's teacher is unacceptable and a violation of the terms for belonging to the club.

The latter approach could get lawyerly, assuming the PSS is both dense and has an ego problem. But the idea is to gently nudge him in a positive direction (preferably towards the door), while sidestepping a stubborn or combative response as much as possible.

Hope this is helpful.

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I am astonished at the undertones of mockery. Being an interpersonal issue, I would think there would be a decorum of respectful sensitivity which would be exercised kindly in this matter. I don't train in Aikido or understand it's customs. I don't not speak the nomenclature of Aikido, or understand the Aikido way handles things. It is foreign to me. I was simply doing someone a favor whose command of English is limited.

Reading the comments and my knowledge of my friend's concern, who is kindly asking for help here, has shown to be a mighty mistake. Based on my decades of experience and training as a Chaplain, the assumptions I made here have never been more wrong. Too bad this hasn't been a good productive resource for my friend as she wished. Too bad she has made assumptions. Is this the standard for Aikiweb to have its members mock others when they seek help? I don't get treated similarly on the car forums when I ask for help.
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