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Old 03-04-2005, 12:26 PM   #16
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: multiple teachers in one dojo

Uh, not to call anyone out but like my Dad says, "Critize all you want, but back it up with a better solution."

First, to address the developing comments:

I think that multiple instructors are necessary for a dojo to appeal to different tastes and training styles. A dojo cho is typically in charge of coordinating those instructors to keep the dojo running smoothly. A democratic platform is a great idea for guiding leadership, but most management and coordination really should be limited to fewer individuals that have the "final say." If you look at many companies and corporations, you'll find that stockholders may have input for the company, but an executive committee makes the final decision. I would argue that most dojo (especially large dojo) could benefit from adopting similar structure.

On that note, I do feel that a dojo cho or head instructor is obligated to respect the concerns and ideas of junior instructors and students. My instructor calls it a "benevolent tyranny." A dojo cho has a severe responsibility to uphold the interests of the dojo, not necessarily the students. This is a key difference in management. Most of the time the two are parallel, but sometimes they are not. For example: If a dojo had financial obligations to moneylenders, the dojo cho has an obligation to protect the financial interest of the dojo. What happens if students petition for free uniforms and weapons? Not such a simple concept anymore to compare...

Now, back to the original issue:

Teachers disagree all the time. Good teachers disagree in private and settle their differences so the dojo may move forward. Bad teachers squabble in front of students, refuse to cooperate to resolve their differences. Which one sounds like aikido to you? A dojo cho is integral in refereeing these arguments and maintaining coordination and a clear training message. Again, not easy stuff.

Last edited by jonreading : 03-04-2005 at 12:27 PM. Reason: spellin'
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