I have been practicing Aikido for about 15 years and enjoy it very much but, something has been bothering me for a while. I practice with a group we will call X. My Sensei is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoy practicing there. The problem is that he frowns heavily on practicing with other Aikido organizations and cross-training in other arts. I am very open to learning new things and different perspectives and am troubled by this attitude, Whenever I mention another art or shihan Z from organization Z the subject is changed or ignored. When I travel, I am constantly reminded to practice with only organization X. I understand that in Japanese culture you follow your sensei no matter what and jump when they say jump (I think.)
I am honor bound and owe my sensei a lot but where do I draw the line? I feel that my path is more open and would like to pursue other interests but at what cost? I feel that cross training in other arts or Aikido organizations would greatly benefit my Aikido not to mention broaden my horizons towards budo. This is a tough crossroads I am at now....any advice?
dear anon user,
Speak to your sensei, explain your position.Ask for leave of absence,Train elsewhere and if possible remain in a cordial relationship with your teacher.If a talk with him/her is not a productive one, you can then decide your next course of action.Cheers, Joe.