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Old 04-25-2006, 08:14 AM   #13
Jim Sorrentino
Jim Sorrentino's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia, Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Washington, DC
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 249
Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Dear Dan,

That was a nice tenkan, although a disappointing response.

I also have a family and a career outside the dojo, so I am quite aware of what it means to have a busy schedule. Let's pick a date from mid-May to mid-November, except for holiday weekends. Here are the dates that I am NOT available: May 26 - 28 (Memorial Day); June 5 - 9; June 16 - 18; July 1 - 7; July 27 - 30; September 1 - 3 (Labor Day); September 22 - 24; September 29 - October 1; October 6 - 8 (Columbus Day); November 10 - 12 (Armistice Day). You may notice that August is wide-open. I would like enough lead time to publicize the seminar, so that interested aikidoka (and others) may attend.

Washington is a very family-friendly town. Depending on the number and age of your children, as well as the inclination of your other half, it might be enjoyable for them to accompany you.

I really don't care how many seminars you've turned down.

If you want to limit the size to less than 80, we can discuss it. My dojo needs to be able to cover the cost of your food, lodging and transportation --- assuming that you deliver on what you say you can do and teach. If you want to waive an honorarium, that is your decision.

I appreciate your invitation to meet you at your dojo, but I think the burden is on you to step up to the plate first. After all, you're the one who has posted so prolifically over the years.

In post #100, you said, "But come here, we can have fun, I will willingly show certain things to get people started on body skills including the jo trick-you do realize it is not a fighting skill -yes? just a use of ground and body." Yes, I realize that, and I'd like to learn it anyway. By the way, I hope you realize that's a condescending question. You indicated that you were interested in changing your tone, but you missed an opportunity to do so here.

You also said in that post, "You used the term "derision" for various observations I have regarding Aikido- or Aikidoka. I think Observation is more accurate." No, it's not. If you were making an observation, you would use neutral language, and you would be specific about what you observed, where, when, and with whom.

You assume correctly that my invitation was, and is, friendly. You have stated that you have developed certain abilities and skills, and that you are able to teach them. I'd like to learn them, and I will provide the venue. But I don't know why you (indirectly) asked this question --- more condescension, perhaps? In my experience, truly unfriendly "challengers" don't give advance public notice of their intentions. There is a vast difference between a duel and an ambush.

As for your request in post #101 to include people trained in Chinese martial arts (CMA), I'd be willing to include them if they can vouch for their ability to take ukemi. After all, if one of the aikidoka at the seminar IS able to make a technique work against resistance, I would like to have some confidence that the resisting person, no matter what his or her martial arts background, will be able to handle the results.

I would like to clear up something you said in post # 103: "In fact when I looked up Jim Sorrentino in my correspondence I just realized that Ellis Amdur had asked me to go there with him this winter...behind the scenes, and I didn't go then either. Same guy, same invite, no thanks, nothing personal, just not me." That's NOT accurate. My dojo, along with the Itten Dojo of Harrisburg, PA, and the Toman Dojo of Olney, MD, organized a seminar in January 2006 to be taught by Ellis Amdur. I told Ellis to let you know that if you wanted to attend, you would be welcome --- as a participant, not an instructor. I took this step because the Toman Dojo is run by students of Frederick Lovret, whom you have criticized both vigorously and publically. As the seminar organizer, I wanted to ensure that all participants would work together in a friendly manner, which (in your case) would have been more likely if you came as Ellis' guest. So it is not accurate to say, "Same guy, same invite."

You asked in post #103, "What I don't understand is that if this stuff were in AIkido in any appreciable way- as they say- what do they want with me?" Well, you claim to be able to do "this stuff", you clearly want to let people in the aikido world know that, and you do so in a fairly articulate way. So you should not be surprised when someone calls on you to deliver. Finally, you said in that post, "You have to train this solo at home and continually throughout the day and the drills are painful. Few walk the walk." Come on down, and I will present you with a reasonable number of people who are quite willing to walk the walk --- if you can in fact do and teach what you say. It is time to put up.