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Old 06-15-2001, 05:23 PM   #75
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
Square Tough Choice

Originally posted by Unregistered
...We have written a letter stating our issues to Sensei. We were very careful not to be accusitory or negative toward Sensei in any way, but we will not be returning. The atmosphere in the dojo is becoming more an more difficult to deal with. The GF is an Ikkyu and has trained at the same dojo) for about three years.

What is the general feeling about Sensei testing the GF (boyfriend or spouse) ? Should they be tested outside of the dojo
by an impartial party? Do former GF's feel that their rank held the same weight when their training situation changed?
1. Unless you cannot stand it anymore, even then, you "owe" the Sensei your presence. This will be important after he receives the letter as it will take away his knee jerk excuse that your letter represented a "hit and run". Put the onus on him to take responsibility, just as you have taken yours.

2. The fact the girlfriend is an Ikkyu and is perceived to hold "higher rank" than the yudansha, will remain a problem as long as the Sensei refuses to listen to anyone else.

3. Should Senseis promote their loved ones? Yes, up to Ikkyu. For Shodan and above it is always best to have other high ranks from the organization to conduct and supervise the exams. It will become immediately apparent in such a circumstance whether the Sensei's prior promotions of the loved one were deserved. This is only fair to the loved one's long term involvement in Aikido, regardless if they remain with "Sensei" or not.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack