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Old 02-17-2014, 01:35 PM   #54
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: How do you deal with.....

My opinions on a topic that is maybe not complete enough to form an opinion...

Rei is an important part of training. In the beginning, I feel it also carries a burden of establishing a safe environment and setting expectations for how you will be treated. That is respect for your juniors, respect for for seniors and respect for your instructors. It sounds like, for whatever reason, you feel that your partner is not being respectful of you.

To this extent, you have an opportunity to inquire if you do not feel you are being treated respectfully and within the culture of the dojo. To Mary's point, as part of the dojo, you consent to the authority of the dojo. If you have appealed to the partner and appealed to the dojo and you still do not have satisfaction... It sounds like you are immersed in a culture and environment that is not going to give the satisfaction you want.

There are dojos that simply do not "click" with you. Its not about right and wrong as much as it is comfort. If you are doing things right, much of your aikido training should be uncomfortable and anxious. You need to be in a safe environment so you can concentrate on the training. It sounds like you are not in the right dojo.

To David's point, there are some things that are not acceptable on or off the mat. There are some things that are acceptable on the mat and they should be so obvious the dojo could hang a sing in the window. A large part of my early training was inclusive of striking; it was also part of the dojo culture and therefore expected as part of training. You either moved or was moved and everyone received that conditioning. Some people did not like that and left, but it was never a mistake to think that your training would be different than anyone else's.

Aikido tends to attract non-confrontationalists. I do not understand how so many people adverse to confrontation would train in a martial art, but... sometimes dojos do not do a great job of standing up for your interest. Sometimes your interests cause issues dojo leaders would rather not address. To this extent, you need to understand that you are your best advocate. You can either help compromise your interests or you can take the entirety of your interests elsewhere. Most people have some compromise in their training - you just need to keep your core interests intake.

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