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Old 07-06-2002, 04:17 PM   #18
Blaine Feyen
Dojo: Yushinkan Dojo/Toyoda Center/Grand Rapids,MI
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4
Excommunication of former AAA student

Originally posted by outrageous02909
does anyone know why the why the leader of shinjinkai left the AAA.
Lest anyone be confused about the recent events that have taken place at the AAA/AAI headquarters in Chicago, the AAA/AAI headquarters is continuing as usual with all of the strength, energy, and vigor that Toyoda Shihan had intended when he started the AAA. The AAA/AAI is quite competently handling the day to day business that Toyoda Shihan spent his life establishing. There is not a man or woman alive that could possibly stem the tidal wave of energy that has been created by Toyoda Shihan's life, his work, and more recently, his passing.

As many of you have pointed out, our training in Aikido is of utmost importance and the inappropriate and misguided actions of one small individual should not occupy our hearts and minds. It is unfortunate when something like the sudden and unexpected death of a mentor, leader, friend, father, husband, and teacher occurs, but it has, that is reality, and it is just another teaching from a great teacher!

The AAA/AAI, along with Aikikai Hombu Dojo, have made a statement regarding the actions and recognition of this person and the statement is: "this person is no longer recognized, nor will he ever be again, in the eyes of Hombu Dojo".

With that being said, although it is more important to just train and not concern ourselves with insignificant struggles for perceived power, it is important for the safety and welfare of the public at large to be able to make an educated choice when it comes to quality training and who to follow, since many of you have voiced appropriately that we all have a choice with whom to train.

As many of you already know, the "leader" of the shinjinkai club spent many years studying with Toyoda Shihan, it was apparent to all, based on his title and daily role at the AAA Headquarters that his loyalties were there as well. Several years prior to the passing of Toyoda Shihan, this person had a "falling out" with Mr.Toyoda and left his job as well as the organization. It is important to note that this was a most difficult time for Toyoda Shihan since he was building his lifelong dream, a world headquarters for all of Aikido. A place for people from all organizations, all states, and all countries, to come and train in Aikido. Needless to say, the "leader" of the shinjinkai club never reconciled with Toyoda Shihan prior to his passing. It was only after Toyoda Shihan's death that this person came back into the AAA as a director after much debate from the other directors.

Although the specific details are not important for everyone to know, it is important to recognize that while any organization is free to dismiss any of its members for any reason, Hombu dojo does not, just on a whim, excommunicate its members. Only after careful review of very specific situations has Hombu dojo relieved itself of just 2 of its relationships in its history. One of the two is the "leader" of the shinjinkai club. Among other very serious violations, it was brought to the attention of the other directors that this person perceived an opportunity (with the input from his Zen teacher in Hawaii and supposed friend of Toyoda Shihan)now that Toyoda Shihan was gone, to take over a crippled AAA or at least reduce its value from within by creating conflict through deception. This would allow the Zen "master" and his so called "big guns" to swoop down and buy the organization at a firesale price, especially if the Zen master was able to sit across the desk from where Toyoda Shihan use to sit, facing Toyoda Shihan's grieving wife and threaten her to sell or else... Unfortunately for all of them, they all forgot that Mrs. Toyoda was married to Toyoda Shihan for a quarter century. You could not possibly scare her into giving up what her husband has built with his life. In addition, the organization that Toyoda Shihan built is far too powerful and loyal to let that happen. When it became apparent to several groups within the AAA/AAI that something was amiss, the whistle was blown and the plan was revealed.

Whether his plan was foiled or just accelerated, nevertheless he was asked to leave. For those of you who wish to exercise your "freedom" of choice, remember, there are governing bodies that recognize quality instruction for the safety of the students. When your teacher is no longer recognized by any of these governing bodies(not by choice), you must think freely and be very, very careful!

It is unfortunate that the comments being made regarding a "watering down" of technique back at AAA/AAI headquarters are being parroted by one young and impressionable student who took a 6 week introductory course under the "leader" of the shinjinkai club and doesnt know any better yet. He is not to blame for his ignorance, he only knows what his instructor tells him to say.

An interesting point about instruction is that before the "leader" of shinjinkai was asked to leave the AAA/AAI he had a position as a director and head instructor in charge of the quality of instruction. The same head instructors that have been around for many years are the same instructors that are there today and taught this person everything he knows. If he perceived a problem with the instruction he must have perceived it in himself because the responsibility was his to maintain the level of instruction. The other interesting point is that beginning shortly after he was asked to leave the AAA until today he has attempted to regain his position within the AAA. For all of you who chose to follow this "leader", beware, you too will be left in the wake of what he believes to be a better opportunity in the future. It is quite interesting to note that all of the people that were the "dregs" of the Aikido world and could never escape his vile opinion of them when he and I were roommates are now his best friends and affiliates. Seems that it is beneficial to him now to be associated with all those who were once disregarded as quality Aikidoka, those for whom his opinion was influencial in having them dismissed from the AAA.

Of course, it is natural for there to be bickering amongst different groups. That is how we survive, it is not how we would always like things, but it is the reality of human nature, nonetheless. Whether you use someone elses Kamon or name for your marketing purposes will always be an issue for those emotionally attached. The bigger issues, however, those regarding whether or not you believe your own hype and for what reason are you truly teaching Aikido are the ones that current and future students should concern themselves with. At the beginning of the day when you look yourself in the mirror, do you have to lie to yourself to affirm your misguided aims or at a minimum, to justify what you have done to yourself, your friends, and the memory and teachings of your teacher? If the answer is "Yes", you may still have some hope of redemption. If the answer is "No", then the illness that has taken your mind and your conscience will also someday relieve you of your body.

Aikido is the study of Universal principles, relationships, communication, and whatever additional benefit you may get from your training. If your gut tells you that your "leader" is not living the principles he or she is preaching then it is time to move on. Be very, very careful with whom you choose to follow! You may never get a second chance!

Last edited by Blaine Feyen : 07-06-2002 at 04:21 PM.
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