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Old 10-15-2002, 02:02 PM   #31
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
anonymous coward wrote:
giancarlo: i would be deeply interested in any insight you have into the "others" perspective... other than arrogant egotism, including judging that one is qualified to push others to the point to injury, what other motives could you ascribe to this other person?
OK, let's see what we can do here. We know this person comes from another dojo, and we can assume that the practice in that dojo was more aggressive and intense than in your current dojo. I'm also assuming that this person did not leave that dojo by choice but was forced to by circumstances. So this person probably misses the old dojo, the teacher, the other students, and the type of practice there. For this person, that kind of intense practice is probably how much of the joy of Aikido is experienced. It seems reasonable that this person would truly like to raise the level of intensity of practice in your dojo and to thereby share that joy with you.

However, your dojo has for the most part been less than receptive to this person's efforts. You said that this person was at one point teaching a class but eventually nobody showed up. How do you think that made this person feel? How would it make you feel if you were teaching a class in a new dojo and nobody came? You would probably feel rejected and hurt, and that's probably how this person felt. Maybe that caused some anger or maybe it just caused this person to not care one way or other about the students in your dojo. Just as your dojo did not show much respect for this person's Aikido, this person did not show much respect your dojo's Aikido.

When neither of you respects the other's Aikido, who do you think is going to the worst of the deal? It's certainly not going to be the person who is stronger, faster, more aggressive and more technically skilled. And that's exactly why this person does not want to change. When you look at it that way, it sure seems like this person can go on like this for a lot longer than the rest of you can. Several advanced people have left their own dojo because of this person and you are thinking of doing the same. Do you think the situation looks nearly as bad from this other person's perspective? I doubt it. Based on what's taking place on the mat, it seems like this person is justified in thinking that the people in your dojo are the ones that are going to have to give in first.

Essentially, your dojo is "fighting" with this person. You have a lot of options, but I think that you are finally realizing that if you continue along with your current strategy you will ultimately lose. That is to say, the costs will be far greater to your dojo than they will be to this person. Another option for you is to just kick this person out, which may seem to be a winning strategy in the short run, but as Aikido students, we should know that a strategy based on simply defeating the other person can never be a truly winning strategy. Perhaps this is why your teacher is reluctant to take that step.

Personally, I think that your dojo as a whole and this person have a lot of learning to do about each other. That's why I mentioned the importance of communication with the teacher in my last post. Generally, the dojo tends to follow the teacher's lead. Of course, this is more true of the kohai than the sempai who have enough experience to think for themselves, but when push comes to shove even the sempai are going to side with the teacher. Also, you shouldn't underestimate the importance of your teacher's opinion to this other person. Even if neither considers it to be a teacher-student relationship, it is still a sempai-kohai relationship.

Even as a student, though, there are steps that you can take to improve the situation. You can lead an effort to communicate better with person and, by your example, demonstrate to others a respect for this person's skills. Also, you can try to make this person feel like a welcome addition to your dojo rather than like someone you would really like to see go somewhere else. If you go around thinking that this person is just a "stupid jerk" that you would like to get rid of it will do nothing to help the situation.
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