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Old 04-15-2011, 12:26 AM   #30
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,266
United Kingdom
Re: One more time. Ho do you tell your sensei they need help

Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Ooh, ouch. You, anonymous, will have to decide if you're really seeing what you're seeing or if you should take some of the advice in previous posts to heart. But if you decide to talk to your sensei, you need Hugh's Helpful Hints for managing Really Difficult Conversations:
  1. Fix your mindset first: Start the conversation assuming you're wrong. Not: "Sensei, your technique sucks." But: "Sensei, I don't understand what you're showing in your Aikido these days." Most of the time, in my experience, you will find out you were wrong, or at least that your understanding was incomplete. But even if you weren't wrong, starting with this attitude makes the conversation less confrontational. You can't pretend, though. You have to really know that it's quite likely reality isn't what you think, and start from that point of view.
  2. Flag the conversation before you start: "Sensei, can I talk to you? I have something kind of awkward to bring up." That way Sensei's not blindsided and is warned to pay attention.
  3. Be specific. Some people say not to get into details, but I think you have to. "When you were showing shihonage today, it looked to me like your stance wasn't really stable. What were you doing with that?" From specifics you can go on to generalities if you need to.
  4. Be prepared to be vulnerable. You are, worst case, going in there with a can opener prying into a bunch of your Sensei's problems and issues that aren't really your business. You'd better be prepared to be a real participant in that conversation. Where are you in this story? What are your insecurities? What are the weaknesses in your aikido? You can't start this conversation and then get all defensive. Well, you can, but it won't be pretty.

Good luck with your training.
Dear Hugh,
In a situation like this one you have to be sensitive.Nowadays I find a lack of this in young people.It seems to me that the young are goal oriented and while they may develop skills they do not always develop wisdom, compassion and understanding of the human condition.Your advice is very good.Liked your logic.
Cheers, Joe,
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