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Old 07-31-2013, 07:57 PM   #51
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
Re: Aikido for all or one...

So two possibilities:

* Do like the other yudansha apparently do--go where you like, learn from whom you like, and tell your sensei nothing. In true Japanese fashion, if he doesn't have to recognize that it happened, it didn't happen.

* Or, if you feel like that's dishonest, go the Western route. The script goes like this:

- Sensei, I have something difficult to raise with you. [Puts him on warning that you want a real conversation.]

- I love training with you, your aikido is fantastic, you've given me more than I an ever repay. No one is ever going to replace that. [This is NOT just ass-kissing or feeding his ego. You are being up-front and honest with your positive feelings about him and your relationship. You are also telling him, truthfully, that he doesn't need to feel threatened or slighted in what follows.]

- I'm feeling the need to explore how things are done outside this dojo and this system. I don't expect to find something better, but I do want to know why other schools take the approach they do, and I might get better perspective on this system. [Or whatever other language accurately reflects your own motivation for wanting to go outside the system. Decide before you go in what your stance is and make sure your language reflects it--are you requesting his permission or informing him of your decision? If the latter, make sure your language tactfully reflects that.]

Throughout, remember Hugh's rule for difficult interpersonal conversations: if you don't come out of it feeling awkward, embarrassed, and over-exposed, you probably did it wrong. You're not defending a position, you're sharing a difficulty and asking him to maintain the relationship despite your actions going against his expressed preferences.

Good luck.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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