View Single Post
Old 12-31-2009, 02:11 AM   #28
tarik's Avatar
Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 567
Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

There are other perspectives.

Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
1. One pays a market rate fee to train; a fee that is not inexpensive. So if I pay for a service, I have the right to some relative privacy and not to be questioned/interrogated about my ability meet attendance requirements.
The training in my dojo is provided free of charge. Any payments made are to defray the costs of maintenance of the dojo. I choose who trains with me solely on my own terms. Those terms might be arbitrary, but they are growing more and more deliberate over time. If anyone has a problem with it, there's plenty of great dojo they can go train in. I'll even give them a referral.

Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
2. The dojo I visited acted like they were doing me a favor, by ALLOWING me to visit and observe the required two classes.
I AM doing people a favor when I allow people to visit and observe classes. If I decide it's necessary, I'll make them observe two or three or four or more two hour classes. If they don't stay the entire class, they aren't welcome to come back, unless there's a solid reason and they discussed it with me before hand. It certainly doesn't do me or my students a favor to have guests. It's pretty simple; what I am doing is not for sale. Anyone is welcome to visit, but not everyone is suited to the training and not everyone is allowed on the mat until I decide that they are. That might be in the first 20 minutes or it might be never.

Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
My point is that dojos should spend more time on a quality training environment with solid teaching, ethics and integrity. And less time with these egocentric dojo questionnaires.

Thank you for reading my two cents.
Maintaining that quality training environment is exactly why I don't allow just anyone to visit. In fact, I know plenty of great people that I'll still train with in other environments that I won't allow near my students.

I don't have a questionnaire, but I do ask people a lot of questions.. if I need to. Most of the time they leave after a single class, something that I've become profoundly grateful for over time as the ones who stick around for 3 weeks are much more a waste of time. The ones who choose to stick around longer are definitely a surprise for me.

Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
Maybe it's because I'm european, but I find dojos who let possible students do intake exames incredibly elitist and arrogant.

I can safely say that the survival chances of such dojos in Belgium would be nihil, mainly because martial arts have an "open-to-everyone" status, and closed elitist dojos (and its teachers) would be looked down upon.
As for elitism, I know I'd be MUCH happier with a surgeon or similar professional who comes out of an elite and renowned university rather than some chop shop.

I find elitist organizations produce a pretty high quality of education. I can't claim to be doing that, although I do believe my students are learning a lot more than they did in their prior environments. If that's arrogance, then I can live with that, but I think I've enough accumulated enough personal knowledge and authority to trust that it isn't.

I like the path I'm on and have no intention of changing it. In fact, although I don't have a questionnaire and don't have a formal 'exam', I would say that I am getting pickier and pickier about who I will even invite or allow to come visit when I make contact with people. I can safely say that I'm happy with my survival chances.

Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
IMO such dojos are in direct oposition of O'Sensei's idea of creating and spreading a martial art for the whole world.
Ironically, I spent a decade in a dojo with the attitude that not only was everyone welcome, but that everyone should try aikido and take that experience with them into the rest of their lives. I still believe that to a large extent, but frankly, aikido is NOT for everyone.


Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
  Reply With Quote