Thread: Scared Sempai
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:37 PM   #25
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 32
Re: Scared Sempai

Whenever someone gave their reason for starting aikido as to become stronger (or something similar), my teacher would invariably ask, what does it mean to be strong? In my mind, this also invoked the question, what does it mean to be weak? I think it is crucial to periodically revisit one's conceptions.

I admit I have not thoroughly read all the posts here, but I saw "100%" several times. Have most people considered that a person described in the original post might be giving 100% already? or that what distresses him would be nothing to you? Do we consider our standards when we encounter a person who doesn't measure up to our standards e.g. of normalcy? And what do we do, how do we handle it, when it is glaringly apparent that we are facing such a person? Leave them alone more? Feel an urge to fix them? Wish someone else would fix them? Feel impatient at ourselves for our lack of acceptance? Formulate a strategy for achieving comfort for ourselves?

I wonder what kind of communication has been made in the given situation? Do you know whether that man perceives your discomfort? Does it matter to you whether he perceives it? Does the teacher, presumably at the least the one person in the dojo who should be expected to take some responsibility for having some degree of relationship with his students, "do" anything about this man's behavior? Although it may feel normal and mature to simply take the situation as it is and deal with it yourself, would it be so foreign or unpalatable to share your (likely commonly held) experiences of this man with him? And in case it is not obvious, I don't mean to say you should simply start scowling and pouting, but behave according to your own ideals which are hopefully at least mature, reflective, patient, etc. - all those things people say aikido practice is about. Specifically, I don't think you will be able to resolve the situation as you see it if you try to do it in a self-contained way, where each person respects other people's autonomy so much that you think it's a no-no to influence others at all.
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