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Old 03-04-2009, 09:10 PM   #36
Lyle Laizure
Lyle Laizure's Avatar
Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 563
Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Wow, what a story, what a thread. I am familiar with the etiquette of offering over a class to a senior visiting instructor. I have had several visitors to my class from various parts of the country/world. I had an exchange student some time back that was going to school in the area and she called me about training with us while she was in the country. She came to class completed her paperwork etc paid dues and so on. Her rank was lower than mine so that was never an issue. But based on her attitude and training our dojo invited her mother to teach a seminar. We are going to have her mother back again this year.

If a senior instructor were to visit my dojo I know that I couldn't just offer my class over to him/her without knowing how the individual trains/behaves on the mat. As the instructor I have a responsibility for the safety of my students. As much as we would like to think that everyone in Aikido is benevolent there are those high and low ranking alike that are unsafe.

Calling in advance is proper etiquette. I recall a story in a sensei's book about how he would go to Iwama and train with O'Sensei every weekend and without fail this lowly shodan would make arrangements with O'Sensei. One weekend a high ranking individual showed up for training expecting there to be a place for him to stay etc. O'Sensei was a bit annoyed explaining that this lowly shodan made arrangements every weekend even though he was there every weekend and that this high ranking individual showed up out of the blue expecting to be given quarter of some sort. (I am paraphrasing) Showing up unannounced isn't the best way to start things. Do any of you just show up at a strangers house expecting dinner or other accomodations?

Etiquette is important. I know a lot of people say "I'm not Japanese and this isn't Japan." I don't think this is a valid arguement.

Without being there it is hard to say what was the appropriate thing to do. A good friend of mine always tells me there are three sides to a story. Mine, yours, and the truth. While I believe everyone involved is telling the truth from their perspective it sounds like a little benefit of the doubt could have saved a lot of iritation.

Lyle Laizure
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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