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Old 07-29-2008, 12:16 AM   #1
"what's my ip?"
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Instructors of low rank

Just wondering...
How do you respond when you outrank the person teaching a class? By a lot! What if everyone in the class outranks the person teaching? Just wondering if there's some hidden resentment or indignation, but dojo etiquette prevents you from showing it?
This happens here sometimes when an instructor is going to miss a class and asks a student to sub, and chooses a particular person that is always in class and is an avid and zealous student. But the person is very low in rank, a relative newbie. I figure the reasons that that person is chosen to teach are reliability and passion for Aikido.
Personally, I don't mind. Although I have noticed that it imparts a bit of over-confidence in his/her ability that should probably be tempered. But then I'm a big believer in humility.
My question is, how would you respond?
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:45 PM   #2
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I would shutup and train.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:20 PM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
But then I'm a big believer in humility.
Thus...your answer.

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Old 07-29-2008, 11:06 PM   #4
Dan Rubin
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
How do you respond....
To whom? To what?
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:12 PM   #5
Aiki Teacher
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Re: Instructors of low rank

In our dojo, if sensei ask me to teach and a higher ranked student shows up for class, I generally hand over the class to him.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:08 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Instructors of low rank

But if sensei specifically designates a lower ranked student, that's the decision.

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:09 AM   #7
mickeygelum
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Re: Instructors of low rank

With all due respect, are you upset or jealous of the person appointed to teach class? I believe that I already have the answer..as you have posted anonymously.

I must echo that of the previous posters...SHUT UP AND TRAIN!

Mickey
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:06 AM   #8
raul rodrigo
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Re: Instructors of low rank

If I was given by my sensei authority to teach a class, and someone senior to me shows up, I will still teach the class. It is the sensei's decision who will teach. If the senior doesn't like it, he can train somewhere else. I once chose to do otherwise, and was reprimanded for it afterward.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:41 AM   #9
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
I once chose to do otherwise, and was reprimanded for it afterward.
Paul, just to be clear, do you mean that you were asked to teach a class, but handed it over to someone senior to you, and then you were reprimanded for doing so?
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:47 AM   #10
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I think that is exactly what he means. If my instructor calls someone and asks them to teach, I don't care what rank they are. Or what rank I am. I came to train, so I train. If they choose to ask me to help, fine. If not, fine again. If they ask me to teach, I decline politely, and offer any assistence OTHER THAN taking over the class.

When the instructor appoints someone, regardless of rank, that is who is in charge. Period.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:26 AM   #11
SeiserL
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

IMHO, they are the teacher, its their class.
What's the question?
Train.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:33 AM   #12
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I've always learned something new in every class I've been to, even when the rank of the teacher was nominally lower than mine.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
With all due respect, are you upset or jealous of the person appointed to teach class? I believe that I already have the answer..as you have posted anonymously.
Mickey,
No, my anonymity does not mean that I'm jealous or upset. Just that I want to be anonymous. I am not personally bothered that a 6th or 5th Kyu is teaching. I have a great time. I do, in fact, shut up and train; and I enjoy it.
There are plenty of Dan rank around here, as well as Ichi Kyu and Ni Kyu. No one is outwardly or visibly upset, or even bothered in the least. But there are some awkward moments. That's why I thought it would be interesting to hear a discussion about it.
I did ask, "how would you respond?", but I realize now that that question is leading, as though I want someone to say they would be upset. Forgive me for that. I didn't mean that.
Secondarily, though, I wonder how it affects the 6th/5th Kyu who is teaching. Is this a good thing for them to be placed in that position?
What about the dojo's Kyu who have been training longer? Does Sensei run the risk of losing students who are struggling to learn - will they be discouraged and quit?
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:06 AM   #14
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Just wondering...
How do you respond when you outrank the person teaching a class? By a lot! What if everyone in the class outranks the person teaching? Just wondering if there's some hidden resentment or indignation, but dojo etiquette prevents you from showing it?
This happens here sometimes when an instructor is going to miss a class and asks a student to sub, and chooses a particular person that is always in class and is an avid and zealous student. But the person is very low in rank, a relative newbie. I figure the reasons that that person is chosen to teach are reliability and passion for Aikido.
Personally, I don't mind. Although I have noticed that it imparts a bit of over-confidence in his/her ability that should probably be tempered. But then I'm a big believer in humility.
My question is, how would you respond?
Hello,

Have you thought of discussing this with the instructor who is going to miss the class? The fact that "everyone outranks the person teaching" the class suggests a number of possibilities: that the instructor had a definite purpose in allowing such a low-ranked person to teach, or that he did not trust the higher-ranked students, or that he wrongly placed too much faith in the capabilities of the person he asked to teach.

In my opinion, you have not given enough information for a reasoned judgment.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:26 AM   #15
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Secondarily, though, I wonder how it affects the 6th/5th Kyu who is teaching. Is this a good thing for them to be placed in that position?
What about the dojo's Kyu who have been training longer? Does Sensei run the risk of losing students who are struggling to learn - will they be discouraged and quit?
What if...? What if...?

What if the junior student doesn't get that boost of confidence when he needs it or the reward when he deserves it?

What if the junior student doesn't take those initial steps on the path to become a teacher?

What if the junior student doesn't learn the lesson that he is already and always a teacher simply by virtue of his practice?

What if the senior student never learns the lessons regarding ego?

What if the junior student doesn't learn the true meaning of rank?

What if the senior student doesn't learn the true meaning of rank?

What if the dojo gains more students by virtue of the training method and attention to the development of junior members?

What if the senior students took this model forward someday when they have their own classes and schools?

What if ...? What if ...?

So silly, what if.

If your body is at practice, it would behoove you to have your mind there too.

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:49 AM   #16
RoyK
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Depends on what type of teaching the person does. If the young instructor follows suit with the regular sensei and doesn't do anything "outside the box" then I wouldn't mind if a 5th kyu would give the class.
If, however, the person would use the opportunity to convey his ideas and commentaries on techniques on the expense of my training time, I would be pretty pissed.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:49 AM   #17
"what's my ip?"
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Hi Professor Goldsbury,

Actually, it's just a matter of convenience. For a number of reasons, such as time constraints and inability to make contact, other instructors cannot be scheduled.
Please help me provide enough information for a reasoned judgment. What questions do you have?
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:02 AM   #18
"what's my ip?"
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
What if...? What if...?

What if the junior student doesn't get that boost of confidence when he needs it or the reward when he deserves it?

What if the junior student doesn't take those initial steps on the path to become a teacher?

What if the junior student doesn't learn the lesson that he is already and always a teacher simply by virtue of his practice?

What if the senior student never learns the lessons regarding ego?

What if the junior student doesn't learn the true meaning of rank?

What if the senior student doesn't learn the true meaning of rank?

What if the dojo gains more students by virtue of the training method and attention to the development of junior members?

What if the senior students took this model forward someday when they have their own classes and schools?

What if ...? What if ...?

So silly, what if.

If your body is at practice, it would behoove you to have your mind there too.
Great answer, Joe! Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:43 AM   #19
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Roy Klein wrote: View Post
If, however, the person would use the opportunity to convey his ideas and commentaries on techniques on the expense of my training time, I would be pretty pissed.
Spoken and heard freely here in a supportive forum where your opinion and your understanding behind it, at whatever level, are valued.

How ironic.

Last edited by Joe McParland : 07-30-2008 at 11:47 AM. Reason: grammar :-)

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Old 07-30-2008, 12:34 PM   #20
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Re: Instructors of low rank

5th kyu shouldn't teach a class, if there are other students with 1 and 2nd kyu around, that's for sure. It was clearly wrong decision of chief instructor.Such situation is not good for a dojo from pedagogical and technical point of view. Particularly it harms this poor guy, who had to teach a class.
If such mistake is repeated, it will lead to a real disaster.

Nagababa

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:15 PM   #21
raul rodrigo
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Paul, just to be clear, do you mean that you were asked to teach a class, but handed it over to someone senior to you, and then you were reprimanded for doing so?
That's exactly what happened.

R
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:02 PM   #22
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I can't imagine this happening in our dojo really. I think a better solution would be that the easy to reach lower rank is asked to be responsible for opening doors and making sure the dojo is locked up afterwards, and asked to hand the class to the highest rank that happens to show up.

That said. if my teacher did ask a lower rank to lead a class for some reason, I'd shut up and train and show a good attitude about it to support the person leading the class. It's sensei's dojo, his rules.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:07 PM   #23
DonMagee
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I've seen students I've trained in judo do better then students trained by one of my former teachers who is many ranks higher then I.

Some people have a gift when it comes to teaching (not saying I have it). Perhaps the instructor realizes this person will make a great teacher and wants to give him the experience.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:09 PM   #24
Aikibu
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Wow...In our Dojo everyone pretty much helps everyone else so what does it matter if one outranks the other? I mean I am there to make a connection with everyone right?

William Hazen
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:43 PM   #25
Walter Martindale
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Re: Instructors of low rank

When I was a gokyu in one dojo I was asked to teach some classes. Our sensei was yondan, and at gokyu I was the only person who had any kyu or anything other than sensei. It was a NEW dojo, but I also carried with me a judo shodan and several years working as a professional coach in a "performance" (as in, against the clock) sport.
I didn't feel that confident leading Aikido stuff beyond what I thought I was beginning to know, but we were working on ukemi, fundamentals, ukemi, and fundamentals. And more ukemi.
(Sensei also had sankyu in judo and nidan at the time in kendo, and only let me loose on the practice because a) he couldn't make it, and b) I could beat him in judo-style newaza...)
But - it has to be looked at case-by-case. The sensei in your situation must have had his or her reasons. One of which being - you learn so much when you try to teach... Another being - he/she may have seen something in you and it's a test... It may also have been a test of the other students in the dojo to see how they'd react - perhaps some need to pull their necks in a little?
However - the response, as long as you're not doing anything out of the ordinary, should be for the higher ranks to take in what you're working on at THEIR level - not necessarily yours. Basics is still basics - the people who are best at any skill are best at the basics.
W
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