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Old 07-08-2000, 06:03 PM   #1
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
I am really sorry that this is so long. But, it has been resting on my mind since my class on Friday, and I will not be able to talk to any one about it until Monday. Any advice you could give me as to how to most appropriately deal with the following situation would be most appreciated.

Well, here it goes...

Just the other night in class, I had one of those very challenging experiences.

I am new to aikido. I have one year of training and half of which in an Aikikai dojo. So I am still pretty new to the dojo. Also I am just getting ready for my 5th kyu test.

The other night I was in class and we were practicing Shomenuchi iriminage which is one of my test requirements. Since it was a Friday night, the class was small, and we were divided into two groups -- one group of four and another group of three. I was in the group of three with the sempai in question and another newbie.

Now, 99% of the time I can handle when I am being corrected. In this case, I got really angry and frustrated with the more experienced student. He is still a kyu rank but I don't know which rank. I am assuming 3rd or 2nd kyu.

I usually appreciate it when a more experienced student resists a little to show me where I am doing the technique wrong. This time was some how different. It was that he just kept on stopping me and the other student in the middle of the technique and showing me what to do. I learn by getting the feel of the technique which means I like to do the technique constantly rather than being stopped each time.

More happened, he started saying to me -- "listen to me", "don't have such an attitude," "don't get angry." The thing was I was listening, however I was getting upset with him. My mind was saying just let me do the technique. I seemed to take this method of "advice" rather personally. I don't know why and the reason still plagues me.

It got to the point when it was my turn to be nage and his turn to be uke that he attacked while I was not even ready to defend my self. I was still turning myself around to get into position when I saw his hand coming towards me. When he realized I was not ready, he stopped and said in a cruel manner, "next time I will hit you." I did not say a word because I really think he was looking for an argument. I then put my self in proper hanmi, and he then attacked. I was in the middle of the technique and he then said, "you don't have to be so angry." Now even though I was upset with his attitude with me, but I know for fact that I performed the technique like I would with anyone else. Also I really felt that I had put my frustration aside for the moment.

After that, I decided to sit out and watch. At that point the sensei leading the class (not our head sensei), came over to see what was going on. (He had been working with some other students who needed more help to just learn the technique.) He then asked us to do the technique. And he said, "they both look fine to me."

Well, after that, I resumed working with them. You know, give him a second chance since the sensei's words helped to ease some tension -- at least mine. But then when it was my turn to uke for this senior student, he threw me pretty hard to the ground. My guts said he did it intentionally. Since it was the end of class and I was not in the mood to provoke or address the situation at the moment, I just sat out and watched the other group work.

I am mostly upset because I got upset and considering some of the content of what he was saying WAS useful information, it is just some how the situation got out of hand. Also, I am usually very open to criticism so I don't know why I got so upset.

As far as what to do, if you were in my situtation what would you say? Would you talk to the head instructor or just to the student himself? Should I just avoid working with this guy -- that is easy in a big class but you can't when this class was so small. I don't want to avoid the situation, but I am willing to learn how to deal with it more assertively than what I did.

Also those of you who are instructors how would you want a student to approach you about the situtation?

Anne Marie Giri
Aikikai Aikido
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