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Old 11-21-2007, 08:08 PM   #26
Nikopol
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 96
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Reading these posts I must say it has also been my own philosophy that no matter how much you are ragged on, only you can decide to quit. You don't give away that power.

An anectote however. There was an Aikidoka who was being a compliant uke for a mate who was asking one of the instructors to check his technique. Unsatisfied with the sankyo as demonstrated, the instructor himself applied a sankyo on this compliant uke, taking him down at an extremely painful angle. He then offered to show it again, and this time ukes shoulder was nearly dislocated as it crashed to the mat.

Uke, cheek scrunched against the mat, noticed kancho sensei across the room slowly rise, and come over and offer to demonstrate same technique, with the instructor as uke. Kancho Sensei made the point that once you apply the lock you do not release it until the pin. Instructor was slapping his thigh frantically, and soon was on the mat, still slapping for his life.

Kancho then offered to show how this worked in the case of a nikyo, and the pain seemed to be more extreme than in the sankyo. A long time on the mat, instructors hand flapping like a beached fish.

By way of demon-stration, Kancho then performed an ikkyo on instructor with the same efficiency, seldom does one see an ikkyo that is so painful even before the pin is made. Instructor 's feet were off the ground.

Then Kancho asked the two original students, 'Understand?' and they nodded and Kancho walked away and they went back to practice.

The moral is that if such a Kancho sees the abuse, he might deal with it without letting on. This is the kind of dojo you want.
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:24 PM   #27
David Yap
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Hi Vince,

Good anectote. I wonder whether the instructor got the message.

Best regards

David Y
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:01 PM   #28
"AnonymusGuy"
IP Hash: f328728d
Anonymous User
Re: Problems in a dojo

Our dojo is affiliated with a certain organization (the one headed by a certain chief instructor who split with the organization's headquarters a few years ago). But for some reasons, our head instructors refuse to have any contact with other schools of Aikido, and in a way act like the chief instructor is some sort of a guru. Of course, probably because of my interests to learn some other things beside official chief instructor's teachings, (and to have a sort of eclectic aikido approach), they don't like me... (for example, when I volunteer to be in a demo team or to lead the class, they often tell me that I'm "not yet ready".)

I also must say that I've been to several seminars of other styles and on a few occasions my training partners were people that hold the rank 4th or 5th dan, and I found them to be more polite and friendly (not to mention willing to explain all the mistakes and how to correct them), than some people in my dojo that hold 1st or 2nd dan and pretend they know everything (and in most cases their only explanation is "Ah, that's wrong, you'll learn it someday." or "You should now what your mistakes are.").

To be honest, I've been seriously thinking about leaving that dojo and joining another one (there's only one other dojo of our style in my area), at least to see if things will change to better. I even considered the possibility to start my own dojo, but I feel like I don't have enough knowledge and experience for that, (not to mention money to rent a place and buy mats)....

So much for now...

AnonymusGuy

Last edited by akiy : 11-26-2007 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Identifying organization and people names removed.
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:16 PM   #29
"AnonymusGuy"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
...
A few years ago, we had one girl, a former karate student, that joined our beginners group. After a few classes she insisted that she want's to practice with advanced group (the group I'm in), and one of the instructors allowed it.

During one of the advanced classes she was in, she began acting like she already knows everything better than the rest of us do (after maybe 2 months of practice). On one occasion during one technique I resisted her technique on purpose, and of course her technique didn't work. Then I did a kaeshi waza and pinned her to the ground with sankyo, not twisting or yanking her hand, but just holding it so she can't move; she was frantically trying to get herself free (she even tried to hit me with her legs). After that "lesson" she didn't want to speak with me for the rest of that class, and in fact i think she never came to class again...
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:17 PM   #30
Esaemann
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Vincent,
That story is hilarious. I love it.

Anon,
"A few times I visited other Aikido clubs in my area (different styles). Later, when my dojo cho heard about that, he told me it was bad thing to do, that ill get egotistic, and asked me if I think that I'm better than the rest of the people in dojo, etc."

Personally, I don't think I would have been in a dojo like that long enough to hear that. I've only trained in one dojo since starting, but have never encountered, nor seen anybody else encounter or act like you described in your first post. I don't believe seeking out another dojo that suits your tastes better is a negative thing. Not sure how "running from your problems", if that's what this is called, ever got to have such negative connotations. Life is too short.
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:32 PM   #31
roadster
 
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Re: Problems in a dojo

If what you say is accurate, it is the first time I have heard of such a thing happening in an Aikido dojo to this extent I have heard of. (No offense to other martial art forms but I have heard of this happening quite a bit in the more martial forms)

Frankly, it doesn't look like it will be an easy fix. Unless you are planning a mission, I would suggest finding another dojo to train in. I wouldn't personally recommend that because of head butting but it seems like there is more to it than that.

Good luck to you. I think you have been patient enough so far.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:47 AM   #32
"jeep"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Sounds like a golden opportunity to practise aikido in its most difficult form, i.e. verbal aikido I recommend Terry Dobson's book aikido in everyday living for ideas.

If you are having trouble putting a technique on, ask the person for feed back, what did it feel like or what you are doing wrong ? It doesn't matter what grade you ask, as even a novice might be able to give you an insight into what the problem is.

All I'll say about the Sensei thing is that any sensei worth his salt would do the opposite, and encourage their students to learn from different instructors.

Re the "lesson" with the girl, I interpreted that paragraph as that you deliberately did the pin to teach the girl a lesson. Even though you did the techniques without malice it indicates perhaps some level of arrogance. Of course it maybe just the way you have written it as English is not your native language. Something maybe (or maybe not) to think about.
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Old 11-24-2007, 03:35 PM   #33
"AnonymusGuy"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Sounds like a golden opportunity to practise aikido in its most difficult form, i.e. verbal aikido I recommend Terry Dobson's book aikido in everyday living for ideas.
Thanks for advice .... I'll try to get that book.

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
If you are having trouble putting a technique on, ask the person for feed back, what did it feel like or what you are doing wrong ? It doesn't matter what grade you ask, as even a novice might be able to give you an insight into what the problem is.
I found that when I was practicing with it was much easier to find out where my mistakes are since they don't expect thechnique...

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
All I'll say about the Sensei thing is that any sensei worth his salt would do the opposite, and encourage their students to learn from different instructors.
I heard that every instructor has something special he can teach his students, and following only one teaching would be some sort of a limitation... wouldn't it?

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Re the "lesson" with the girl, I interpreted that paragraph as that you deliberately did the pin to teach the girl a lesson. Even though you did the techniques without malice it indicates perhaps some level of arrogance. Of course it maybe just the way you have written it as English is not your native language. Something maybe (or maybe not) to think about.
Maybe I put it a bit wrong in my previous post about that girl. She was former karate student (black belt) and she was the one that was a bit arrogant; Every time when someone tried to explain her some technique she was always reacting in a "leave me alone I already know this" manner... and at the end every class she would intentionally get in a way and disturb us while we were folding our hakamas (for example she would intentionally step on it or pull those cords used to tie hakama and disturb our work), and when we asked her not to do it she wouldn't listen, or even threaten us with her karate skill.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:58 AM   #34
"Jeep"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
I heard that every instructor has something special he can teach his students,
No i don't agree, they may have a preference or be good in one particular area but I don't think they would keep something special just for students

Quote:
and following only one teaching would be some sort of a limitation... wouldn't it?
It would be like eating exactly the same food week in, week out. As they say variety is the spice of life.

Quote:
Maybe I put it a bit wrong in my previous post about that girl. She was former karate student (black belt) and she was the one that was a bit arrogant; Every time when someone tried to explain her some technique she was always reacting in a "leave me alone I already know this" manner... and at the end every class she would intentionally get in a way and disturb us while we were folding our hakamas (for example she would intentionally step on it or pull those cords used to tie hakama and disturb our work), and when we asked her not to do it she wouldn't listen, or even threaten us with her karate skill.
Very bizarre !

Happy Training
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:00 AM   #35
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
I heard that every instructor has something special he can teach his students
Yep, every teacher has something sepcial for every student. For each person, there are some teachers whose lesson is "you can't learn from everybody". Different students will find this lesson to apply to different teachers (it is a matter of match up and as much as of quality),

Quote:
following only one teaching would be some sort of a limitation
Only if you are never oen to learning from others. On the other hand, I found the best teacher for me on the first try, in a fluke of chance, and have stayed with him since (for over 17 yrs now). I did venture around (he even enourages it at times), and I have gone and studied for short times with other teachers (other styles and other M.A.). My outside experiance only strengthened my opinion above.

Amir
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:25 AM   #36
Angela Dunn
Dojo: Hartlepool/Peterlee/Billingham
Location: Hartlepool,UK
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Re: Problems in a dojo

If this situation has been dragging on for two years, (which I get the impression from your posts it has) then your really in a bad place. Has any other students have a problem with him and if so can you not band together to have polite word with your dojo cho (I am assuming you mean Sensei their) and explaining that this student is a problem and is creating a bad atmosphere in the dojo.

By the sounds of it though maybe your Cho needs a lesson in people skills himself! If he knows that students are having a problem and it is not getting resolved thats the point he surely should be stepping in and giving a demonstartion in co-operation. After all isn't that at least part of what Aikido is about?

If I was you I would try again with the other student. Take him out for a drink, or even whilst your training and try and talk it out. If that does not work, and you feel like you are being excluded from things that others of your rank are doing I would be heading to a dojo elsewhere and tell the Cho exactly why you are going. He may not like it but if he wants to progress his dojo and improve then he should take it on board.

As an aside I was wondering what sort of dojo you are attending when you mentioned about not knowing about certain dojo etiquate. If you and others did not know then something is not right there IMHO!
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:35 AM   #37
Shany
 
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Re: Problems in a dojo

I would leave this dojo to find another place, with positive energies. that man, with his behavior, does not do Aikido or act by it's philosophy.
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:19 PM   #38
"AnonymusGuy"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Angela Dunn wrote: View Post
If this situation has been dragging on for two years, (which I get the impression from your posts it has) then your really in a bad place.
Actually this situation with this guy that's harrasing me has been going on for about 2 years, but this situation about others excludimg me from major dojo activities (demonstrations etc.) lasts longer... ever since I joined the dojo about 8 years ago...

At the beginning I really thought that they never let me be in the demo team becasue my bad technique (im a bit clumsy) do I did my best to improve it (even risking some injuries), but later, after a few years, I noticed that every people of my rank had been in the demo team on several occassions, and sometimes they even let some beginners with a few months of experience and seroius coordination problems to demonstrate techniques.

They also never let me assist the instructor or lead the beginner classes myself when instructor is absent (I hold the rank of 1st kyu). Of course once I had to lead the entire class because no on else of higher rank was present, and although many people that were in class later said it was OK and they liked it, I had to listen the usual "You' re not yet ready" story from dojo cho and other senior instructors.

Quote:
Angela Dunn wrote: View Post
Has any other students have a problem with him and if so can you not band together to have polite word with your dojo cho (I am assuming you mean Sensei their) and explaining that this student is a problem and is creating a bad atmosphere in the dojo.
Many other students that had bad experiences with that guy always find excuse for him(!). For example, one guy told me that he applied some very painful techniques on him (even after he was tapping), but his conclusion was "Oh, but he has a very godd techniqe". IMO This guy maybe has a good technique, but on the other hand he's a really lousy teacher with very bad attitude and lack of respect towards the rest of the people in the dojo; always with a smile with people who outrank him or his good friends, but often harrasing people of lower ranks in a way I already described.

Quote:
Angela Dunn wrote: View Post
If I was you I would try again with the other student. Take him out for a drink, or even whilst your training and try and talk it out.
I've tried that several times, but every time it was unsucessfull. Every time I tried to talk to that guy he always had something more something important to do, he would just ignore me, or sometimes even insult me.

Quote:
Angela Dunn wrote: View Post
If that does not work, and you feel like you are being excluded from things that others of your rank are doing I would be heading to a dojo elsewhere and tell the Cho exactly why you are going. He may not like it but if he wants to progress his dojo and improve then he should take it on board.
I think that's just what I'll do if I decide to leave the dojo.... (you must understand that I'm having second thoughts about about leaving the dojo because I have some good friends there)...
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Old 11-26-2007, 02:36 PM   #39
"JorgeGarcia"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Actually this situation with this guy that's harrasing me has been going on for about 2 years, but this situation about others excludimg me from major dojo activities (demonstrations etc.) lasts longer... ever since I joined the dojo about 8 years ago...

At the beginning I really thought that they never let me be in the demo team becasue my bad technique (im a bit clumsy) do I did my best to improve it (even risking some injuries), but later, after a few years, I noticed that every people of my rank had been in the demo team on several occassions, and sometimes they even let some beginners with a few months of experience and seroius coordination problems to demonstrate techniques.

They also never let me assist the instructor or lead the beginner classes myself when instructor is absent (I hold the rank of 1st kyu). Of course once I had to lead the entire class because no on else of higher rank was present, and although many people that were in class later said it was OK and they liked it, I had to listen the usual "You' re not yet ready" story from dojo cho and other senior instructors.

Many other students that had bad experiences with that guy always find excuse for him(!). For example, one guy told me that he applied some very painful techniques on him (even after he was tapping), but his conclusion was "Oh, but he has a very godd techniqe". IMO This guy maybe has a good technique, but on the other hand he's a really lousy teacher with very bad attitude and lack of respect towards the rest of the people in the dojo; always with a smile with people who outrank him or his good friends, but often harrasing people of lower ranks in a way I already described.

I've tried that several times, but every time it was unsucessfull. Every time I tried to talk to that guy he always had something more something important to do, he would just ignore me, or sometimes even insult me.

I think that's just what I'll do if I decide to leave the dojo.... (you must understand that I'm having second thoughts about about leaving the dojo because I have some good friends there)...
Just go. He doesn't like you and he won't care about your reason for leaving. Just wherever you go, be great and do great and that will take care of the past.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:13 PM   #40
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2000
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Actually this situation with this guy that's harrasing me has been going on for about 2 years, but this situation about others excludimg me from major dojo activities (demonstrations etc.) lasts longer... ever since I joined the dojo about 8 years ago...

.... (you must understand that I'm having second thoughts about about leaving the dojo because I have some good friends there)...
...Wow! ...so this has been going on quite awhile then!

...There must be something positive/good that keeps you coming back that outweighs the negative/bad, you've been putting up with it for 8 years now!

...What is it that keeps you coming back?

...And you mentioned the good friends that you have there, which is something that you want to keep. The social aspect of the dojo is really important to me, almost as much as the training, so I can see where that would be hard to give up!

...I'm sticking by my original opinion, stick with it!!! You deserve to be there as much as anybody else! Don't let the A-holes force you out, don't let them win!!!

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:49 PM   #41
James Davis
 
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
They also never let me assist the instructor or lead the beginner classes myself when instructor is absent (I hold the rank of 1st kyu). Of course once I had to lead the entire class because no on else of higher rank was present, and although many people that were in class later said it was OK and they liked it, I had to listen the usual "You' re not yet ready" story from dojo cho and other senior instructors.
Your instructor no-showed, you covered for his ass, and you got grief?!

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I've tried that several times, but every time it was unsucessfull. Every time I tried to talk to that guy he always had something more something important to do, he would just ignore me, or sometimes even insult me.
If trying to talk to him alone won't work, then talk to him when the rest of the herd is present. If he's a jerk in front of everyone else, you won't need to tell everyone why you're leaving.

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I think that's just what I'll do if I decide to leave the dojo.... (you must understand that I'm having second thoughts about about leaving the dojo because I have some good friends there)...
Keep in contact with the reasonable people. If you go to another dojo and find a safe and respectfull environment, maybe your friends will follow. They may be scared to leave by themselves, but with a leader maybe they could be stronger?...

There are some mean, stupid people on this planet that are unable to behave like an adult and treat people with any respect. Kicking their asses and throwing them in the dumpster every day for a month wouldn't teach them anything. Be the change you want to see in the world. Stop wasting weeks and months of your life and move! You just might teach someone something.

What would you tell someone that you love if they were in this situation?

Best of luck to you.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:49 PM   #42
"AnonymusGuy"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
Your instructor no-showed, you covered for his ass, and you got grief?!
Yes.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
If trying to talk to him alone won't work, then talk to him when the rest of the herd is present. If he's a jerk in front of everyone else, you won't need to tell everyone why you're leaving.
After so many attempts, I believe that would be pointless, because dojo cho believes him, and not me... He thinks I'm overreacting and exaggerating things. I even asked dojo cho and one another senior instructor to be present there but of course they said something like "We can't waste our time taking care of adult people", so basically they don't give a sh.. about what's happening in the dojo.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
If you go to another dojo and find a safe and respectfull environment, maybe your friends will follow. They may be scared to leave by themselves, but with a leader maybe they could be stronger?...
Maybe....
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:47 PM   #43
Pierre Kewcharoen
 
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Re: Problems in a dojo

I'm curious to see what this jerk looks like
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:29 PM   #44
akiy
 
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Hi folks,

Let's please keep the tone of our discussion respectful. Calling the person in question names and such degrades the quality of this discussion.

Also, AnonymousGuy, please refrain from posting specifics about your situation which may identify your teacher; I have taken the liberty of editing one of your posts which gave too much information in my eyes. I encourage people not to use the anonymous feature to specifically identify their situation so as to protect both the anonymous person as well as others involved. This thread outlines the basic, underlying purpose of the Anonymous Forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun

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Old 11-27-2007, 12:29 AM   #45
Walter Martindale
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Sounds to me like departure is probably the best solution. Have you discussed the situation with your friend(s) in the dojo?

I suspect that the people who are giving you so much grief are insecure in their abilities/knowledge, but...
If you decide that it's worth staying, the suggestions that you invite the unfriendly person for a beer, are good ones...
My way of doing it would be to order the drinks, do the "cheers" think in whatever language - (slaintiea (sp?), cheers, kampai, prosit) have a bit of a drink, and let the person know that you're quite confused, and would like to know what it is that you've done to cause such tension.

IMO, asking "who are you to talk to me that way" (paraphrased from your original post) was phrased in such a way that the other fellow didn't have much choice but to get a little more aggressive - publicly put on the spot (I know - he did the same). Sort of like "What's Your Problem, BUDDY!!" (precursor to a dust-up).

I think that, on that same day, if you'd gone to him privately and apologised for your mistake, asked what it was or where it was you should have done/been, he might have explained.

I think in some circles we say "Praise publicly, criticise privately" i.e., if you catch someone doing something "right" - jump up and down and say how great it is, but if you catch someone doing something wrong, wait til it's finished (unless there's danger involved) and let the person know quietly the nature of the mistake and the way to correct it.

(I think that's from "One Minute Manager")

anyway - if this sort of thing has been tried and failed, it may be time to cut your losses and try another dojo. Another has posted that if you find the same problems there, it could be you - if you find that the problem stays behind, it could be the people you've left.

Hope you get a good resolution.

W
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:30 AM   #46
Angela Dunn
Dojo: Hartlepool/Peterlee/Billingham
Location: Hartlepool,UK
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Re: Problems in a dojo

So you have a individual there who is refusing to stop putting pins on even though people are tapping out, and this guy is also an instructor! your being excluded from dojo life and you have a person who is supposed to be in charge that is not taking charge, at least with regards to the adult classes.

I am sorry to say this but that sounds like a pretty dangerous situation to be in and someone is going to get seriously injured one day. The first thing I got taught is if someones tapping out then you stop no matter what rank you or they are.

You say your reluctant to leave because you have friends there. Thats great as the social side is important, but if your serious about progressing in your own learning, If I was you I would be looking elsewhere. Seriously as at least some of the people in your dojo do not seem to care about helping people progress to the best of their ability. thats not the type of situation, well I get the impression its not, where your getting the best out of training and its seems like you have done all you can to resolve the situation with the bully in question.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:09 AM   #47
"AnonymusGuy"
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Also, AnonymousGuy, please refrain from posting specifics about your situation which may identify your teacher; I have taken the liberty of editing one of your posts which gave too much information in my eyes.
OK. I apologize for that....
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:26 PM   #48
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Just a random thought.....perhaps this is viewed as part of AG's training by the Dojo Cho. Perhaps the Dojo Cho sees no danger to his students and wants AG to find his own path to harmony, rather than stepping in. I have seen two sensei who have taken this approach to dojo conflict; causing the complaining party to become introspective and examine his own motives, emotions, strengths and weaknesses. I don't necessarily subscribe to this method of leadership, but then again I don't have their breadth of experience either. Then again, perhaps the Dojo Cho in question has no personal strength of character. I dunno.....

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:13 PM   #49
Steven
 
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Personally -- I think 50% of the problem is the original poster. But that's just me. Seems to me that the answer is right before him. From what I read, there is no solution to the problem in his eyes.

I can't help but wonder what the "other" side of the story would say about this.

But that's just me ... what do I know.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:25 PM   #50
"AnonymusGuy"
IP Hash: 47375ae7
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Re: Problems in a dojo

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote: View Post
Personally -- I think 50% of the problem is the original poster. But that's just me. Seems to me that the answer is right before him. From what I read, there is no solution to the problem in his eyes.

I can't help but wonder what the "other" side of the story would say about this.

But that's just me ... what do I know.
I always try to solve a problem if there is one, but in this particular case why should I waste my time trying to fix a problem, when the other side is not interested...?
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