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Old 01-20-2005, 06:39 PM   #5
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Re: Need advice/new guy to area's dojo

Chuck Brokhoff wrote:
I had practiced in a dojo in the Central New York area for awhile and found that dojo a magnificent place to practice.
Emtpy your cup. You can't go home.
...the head guy who was teaching there was an over weight heavy smoker.
This describes one or two SHIHAN, formerly UCHIDESHI to the founder...
He had some other guy take over who would ridicule some of the students if they didn't get something right.
I agree with you here--that's ugly.
....having some difficulty with feeling welcomed.
You're new, right? And you want to be an insider today? Did that happen at your first happy dojo or is that what you felt leaving, after time invested there?
When I first signed up I asked the Sensei there what affiliation he was with. He mentioned that he once recognized by the U.S. Aikido Federation but they had some sort of disagreement and is no longer associated with them.
Maybe he didn't have a disagreement with the Federation, but it's local rep. This does not necessarily speak against him.
She moved briskly through this demonstration while some of the newer students just stood not knowing what to think. The more experienced students followed along but as I stood there, thought to my self, "what about the other students who haven't seen this before?"
Sounds like a seminar. It's not the way I teach, but plenty of good teachers do. Business guru Peter Drucker criticizes US education admonishing that we ought to teach to the brightest thus motivating those below to catch up. Caveat emptor.
Other things I have noticed is that they don't break things down into smaller steps or groups to help out some of the beginners like nikkyo and basic moves such as this.
The Jpn call this "stealing technique"; it means you have to pay more attention than you do with US teachng/spoon feeding.
The dojo in Central NY not only broke things down into simple steps but also had some training books to help better understand these techniques.
...and they refered to these while teaching?!
I have not confronted the Sensei as of yet

Are you hoping for a "confession"?
I have come to the realization that the last dojo in Central NY is probably a very difficult act to follow and perhaps I have my expectations too high, but shouldn't there be some sort of basics set fourth to help better understand the fundamentals of this magnificent art?
Sounds like Iwama or Yoshinkan. Other schools take a looser approach.
I have also noticed that several people on this forum will state that they need help with this technique or that form. Isn't that what class is for?
Perspective is nice. My teachers have been magnificent. But I still learn from others here. ...quite frequently, actually. (Thanks, guys/gals!)
I'm not trying to sarcastic, just trying to get better perspective on the quality of instruction that goes on in some dojos. I know at times I feel that my techniques could be much better while in class, yet the Sensei observes in a nonchalant manner without advising differently.
There's often gross OVER-teaching in any class, and lots in aikido. It takes far longer for students to digest one point than most "teachers" give them. But they blather on anyway taking time from training and you get a lot of info, but little opportunity to incorporate.
I feel empty after practice as to when I practiced in Central NY I felt rejuvenated...
Three personal pronouns in the first person singular. "I've found the enemy, and he is..."?

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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