Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities
I could go on about the problems I saw in Australia and how I'm glad I am practicing in Japan now with good people, but what I have observed is that in any "style" there will be good, OK and bad teachers. I've seen a 6th dan who is brilliant and went to great lengths to develop his abilities to a high level. And I've seen a 6th Dan who is so hopeless that he is an embarrassment to his organisation, his teacher and his country. There are great teachers who are kind, generous and go a long way to help their students develop both as people and as Aikidoka. Then there are teachers who are brilliant but only accept people who worship them and the dojo environment is like a cult (often Western teachers who think because they are practicing a Japanese martial art that they should be treated like Japanese people treat their teachers).
My advice is: Go with the teacher (or teachers) that you feel is or are the ones you'll get the most from. However, if their Aikido techniques are quite different, if they don't know you're training with another teacher, it will show up sooner or later in your style and may cause different issues. The thing is, when you mentioned the other dojo, you have no way of knowing if your teacher's negative reaction is just because of pride, or because there have been issues in the past (ie: There was an organisational split). Maybe it because students who have gone between styles in the past have made it harder for the teacher to maintain whatever technical standard they desire in their dojo, or maybe a student learning independently is a threat to them. You'll have to feel out which of these things it is, or just ask hard questions of your teacher, at the risk of souring your relationship with them. I reckon a good teacher will accept serious questions posed to them though and answer them honestly.
Last edited by Currawong : 01-24-2015 at 12:03 AM.