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Old 12-21-2008, 06:02 AM   #26
"justwanttotrain"
IP Hash: 78c13ef1
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I knew something was really troubling me about this whole thing and this really nails is for me. I've visited, and some yrs ago very briefly trained at, a dojo with a pretty strict no talking during practice rule. But I never felt like I was gonna be disciplined or in trouble, sheesh....
Its weird enough that the rule is invoked so that the person being spoken to is guilty for any response (talk about blaming the victim!) but I have to say that the very notion of a grown up getting "in trouble" smacks to me of a very unhealthy dojo environment. Clearly YMMV and you are choosing to train there, but this is just plain strange to me.
Boy, don't get me started. There's a lot about this dojo that's way over the top compared to other places I have trained. Our situation is that we move every one to two years because of job transfers. After about the third move, I figured out I have to quit comparing each dojo to the perfect utopian dojo I've created in my mind, that probably doesn't exist anywhere anyway. I've tried to focus on just adapting to each new situation and trying to get the most out of training there.

I don't really know what "getting in trouble" at this dojo involves. Probably just a talk with the dojocho or something. But there is significant tension around all of the rules here. And the rules seem pretty absolute. I've only been here about 6 months, so I guess I could be misinterpreting a lot. I haven't had a lot of chance to connect with any of the other students, so I haven't had a good way to ask if my interpretations are correct.

On the plus side, even if I can't find a way to resolve this situation, we'll be moving in another year or so anyway.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:30 PM   #27
"Anon"
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Re: How to Say No

Please be careful. Aikido Dojos aren't safe places for women, that's my experience. Don't trust too much in "Senseis" words.
The rule is: You have to train with everybody - which also means, everybody is allowed to touch you (Where I trained, it was even: you have to hug everybody to say Hello and on the mat after training). This creates an athmosphere of "love and harmony", which is really nice and comfortable - as long as nobody misunderstands the missing borders.
If a man is bothering you/ inviting you all the time, although you've clearly said "No", you would normally never allow him to touch you. But Aikido-practice takes away this normal and easy way of "defending" yourself through physical distance.
In a Dojo, where people have to expect "trouble" for talking on the mat, no matter why, you can be quite sure, that they care more for their facade then their (female) members.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:18 AM   #28
brunotex
 
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Re: How to Say No

There is a son, from They Might be Giants, called 'No!"

Sing this song to him.

"No" is "no",
"No" is always "no",
If they say "no"
It means "a thousand times no."

"No" plus "no"
Equals "no".
All no's lead to
"No no no."

Finger pointing, eyebrows low.
Mouth in the shape of the letter O.

Pardon me. - No!
Excuse me. - No!
May I stay? Can I go? - No, no, no!

Do this. - No!
Don't do that. - No!
Sit, stay, Roll over - No, no, no!

Finger pointing, eyebrows low.
Mouth in the shape of the letter O.
Red means "stop, do not go."
No, no, no!
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:40 AM   #29
SeiserL
 
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
SeiserL: Thanks. Tried the first two and it didn't work. Reporting it to sensei isn't going to work unless he's going to intervene, which I'm told, he won't. But thanks.
That does not speak well of Sensei. Its is their job to keep the mats safe for everyone.

Have any of you Sempai seen it? Would they be willing to intervene? I often take a very protective stance.

If you have said it all with words, and want to continue to train there, expect that he will stay who he is and will make advances. Don't take it personally. SIlently and proudly just walk away and train with someone you can trust.

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 12-22-2008, 09:38 AM   #30
Robert Jackson
Dojo: seishinkan
Location: Texas City.
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I knew something was really troubling me about this whole thing
The Dojo itself has been bothering a bit also... The whole school seems a bit off. Or as Lan says impersonal. While we're all looking for different things in our training enviroment trust should be one of those things. I get the feeling that Anon.. Can't or doesn't trust her own instructors\sempai with a problem she's having on the mat. If you can't trust your senor students to stop something as small as this then how can trust them not to harm you? Especially when you're training with higher level students who will be throwing\attacking harder and faster?

This of course is just my take on the subject.... Again I'd suggest asking his wife. That should put a brunt stop to it

I put my right foot in, I put my left foot out, I do the Aikipokey and throw you all about
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:59 PM   #31
Randy Sexton
Dojo: Aikido of Lake Keowee
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Re: How to Say No

I love the suggestion of just staring. The power of dead silence is stunning. Resist the pressure to say anything. Just stare at him expressionless and then just walk away. After a couple of times he will feel like a damn fool and stop.
If he doesn't then I would suggest you tell your Sensei. Your Sensei can talk to him and have him stop or tell him to leave. If that does not fix it then I would find another Dojo.
Aikido training is no place to allow a Romeo to play his stupid childish games. It is the Sensei's responsibility to ensure a safe and caring environment for all his students even if he has to ask one to leave for not showing compassion for another student. That is not the kind of man I want in my Dojo.
Be careful, sexual harassment is a step toward physical assault and rape.

Doc

Last edited by Randy Sexton : 12-22-2008 at 03:03 PM.

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
Gandhi
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:40 PM   #32
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: How to Say No

I don't know the legalities but they still make small tape players. Tape it and send it to his wife. You are probably not the first.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:24 PM   #33
"justwanttotrain"
IP Hash: f784d947
Anonymous User
Talking Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Bruno Teixeira wrote: View Post
There is a son, from They Might be Giants, called 'No!"

Sing this song to him.

"No" is "no",
"No" is always "no",
If they say "no"
It means "a thousand times no."

"No" plus "no"
Equals "no".
All no's lead to
"No no no."

Finger pointing, eyebrows low.
Mouth in the shape of the letter O.

Pardon me. - No!
Excuse me. - No!
May I stay? Can I go? - No, no, no!

Do this. - No!
Don't do that. - No!
Sit, stay, Roll over - No, no, no!

Finger pointing, eyebrows low.
Mouth in the shape of the letter O.
Red means "stop, do not go."
No, no, no!
Brunotex, this is perfect! There may be a rule about no talking on the mat, but no one ever said anything about singing! Next time this guy asks me out, I'm just gonna break out in song to tell him "no". I'm sure that won't ruffle any feathers around here..... ;-)
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:08 AM   #34
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Hi,

Mary: Thanks! I'm queuing this in my list of responses to have on hand.

Tony: Thanks as well. I'm queuing, but I should probably check and make sure he's not in some kind of an open marriage or something first.

Ron and others: Thanks. I don't understand why some folks are so intent on labeling this as harassment. It doesn't change my situation any at all, whatever it's called. Why is this word so important?

SeiserL: Thanks. Tried the first two and it didn't work. Reporting it to sensei isn't going to work unless he's going to intervene, which I'm told, he won't. But thanks.
Mary, You could say yes to a date after finding out whether he is in an open marriage or not (which he probably isn't and using the aiki practice as a cover) and then turn up with his wife (as chaperon) and yourself.... That would be quite interesting!!
Its the only way you will get rid of him if he is so insistant...... as it seems that nothing else is going to work short of kneeing him in the nuts which means that you will have to get close to enable that.....
I wonder if he is there for aikido or just a sex predator?

Tony
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:48 AM   #35
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,211
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
of course, this brooklyn girl wouldn't phrase it so nicely herself :-)
This reminds me of an incident at one summer gasshuku....... My wife was in a morning randori session being taken by the National Coach of the British Aikido Association....... This was relayed by the National Coach to me......
It seems that one particular individual took a fancy to my wife and kept badgering her until she turned on him and elbowed him straight in the eye!!...... He spent the rest of that summer gasshuku trying to explain how he got the black eye!!
The N.C. Also a good friend and long time aquaintance said it was a brammer!!..... Whack !! and that was the end of that!!
Needless to say he never attended any more randori sessions!!.....
I asked the N.C. What he did and he said "Nothing.... I didn't need to!"

Tony
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:50 PM   #36
"justwanttotrain"
IP Hash: bc770acb
Anonymous User
Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Please be careful. Aikido Dojos aren't safe places for women, that's my experience. Don't trust too much in "Senseis" words.
The rule is: You have to train with everybody - which also means, everybody is allowed to touch you (Where I trained, it was even: you have to hug everybody to say Hello and on the mat after training). This creates an athmosphere of "love and harmony", which is really nice and comfortable - as long as nobody misunderstands the missing borders.
If a man is bothering you/ inviting you all the time, although you've clearly said "No", you would normally never allow him to touch you. But Aikido-practice takes away this normal and easy way of "defending" yourself through physical distance.
In a Dojo, where people have to expect "trouble" for talking on the mat, no matter why, you can be quite sure, that they care more for their facade then their (female) members.
I hear you. And thank-you for your concern. In my darker moments, I mentally divide dojo men into two categories. Type 1 are all the obnoxious idiots I have to wade through just to come into the dojo and train. Type 2 are all the other men who don't fit the Type 1 catagory, but I have nonetheless irrevocably angered because I treat them as if they were Type 1, largely because I'm too exhausted from dealing with Type 1 to distinguish appropriately.

Thankfully, I'm not in one of my darker moments. I could sure go there fast if this situation takes a turn South, though. Also, this particular dojo, for all it's oddities, seems to have very few of Type 1. This individual is the only one I've met so far.

As far as dojos being "safe" for women. I think it depends on the situation and time. Certainly some dojos could be safe for given periods of time with the right people, proactive policies and vigilance. I hate to set the bar too high, but I'd sure like to see something more than just safety. Someday, I'd like to walk into a dojo and not have to give a second thought as to who might be ready to hit me up for a date, exercise their gender specific potty mouth in my direction or "cop a feel" pretending it's part of a technique. I wonder how many men have ever had to run that gauntlet just to come on the mat and train? And I wonder how many women accept these indiscretions as the price of participating in a male dominated martial art?

OK, I'm starting down that dark path again. Gotta keep focus.
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:55 PM   #37
"justwanttotrain"
IP Hash: bc770acb
Anonymous User
Re: How to Say No

OK, I've narrowed possible responses and I'm going to take them in the following order:

1. Silence
2. Reporting incidents to a higher authority (sensei, wife, etc)
3. More verbal responses
4. Physical response
5. Leave the dojo

I'll fill you in after the holidays how things are going. Thanks for all of the help.
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:17 AM   #38
"Tarjei Amadeus Hydahl"
IP Hash: e5d339bb
Anonymous User
Post Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
OK, I've narrowed possible responses and I'm going to take them in the following order:

1. Silence
2. Reporting incidents to a higher authority (sensei, wife, etc)
3. More verbal responses
4. Physical response
5. Leave the dojo

I'll fill you in after the holidays how things are going. Thanks for all of the help.
Removing the stimuli reinforcing the behavior might in this case most likely make it worse before it get better.

English: If you stop giving him attention he'll most likely get more annoying at first. After some time he'll give up and leave you alone, unless he figure other ways to bug you. That will be if your attention is the motivation for his buggyness.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:01 PM   #39
GeneC
Location: Henderson,
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Re: How to Say No

So what's the chance of changing dojos?
I'd think a married man asking a married woman out is a total creep anyway, but not as creepy as the rules in that dojo. I know I wouldn't go back to a place that was that strict and unconnnected.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:28 AM   #40
Walter Martindale
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Location: Cambridge, ON
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Re: How to Say No

I liked the elbow in the eye thing - Oh, Sorry - Are you OK?
However - I think that if you can find a way to completely shun this joker you'll be better off.

don't look at him, don't answer him, don't practice with him, don't acknowledge his presence - if it's possible - I guess it depends on the number of ppl in the dojo.

In a small dojo it's hard to avoid contact with an unsavory person. I guess if there's no other dojo in the area to which you can flee, you'll need to be patient and wait for the year to pass so that you can shift to your next posting and try another dojo.

What he's doing IS harassment. Whether you choose to call it that or not. However, the person being harassed is the one who's responsible for filing a report to whomever they get filed. If you don't initiate some kind of formal complaint, it doesn't really exist.

Quietly: "Stop asking, or I will hand Sensei the original of this letter." In the letter, you document the dates, times and frequency of the queries that you are refusing and the fact that your "no" isn't working, you're getting very tired of it, and you want the sensei to take some action to get this person to stop. If you don't do this, he'll continue. If the dojo won't do anything, offer (first the sensei, and then the offender) that you'll gladly send a copy of this letter to the man's wife if no action is taken, but really, you'd like to have all of this resolved without having to do anything drastic.
Walter
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:39 AM   #41
AnniN
Dojo: Menai Ki Society
Location: North Wales
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Finland
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post

What he's doing IS harassment. Whether you choose to call it that or not. However, the person being harassed is the one who's responsible for filing a report to whomever they get filed. If you don't initiate some kind of formal complaint, it doesn't really exist.

Quietly: "Stop asking, or I will hand Sensei the original of this letter." In the letter, you document the dates, times and frequency of the queries that you are refusing and the fact that your "no" isn't working, you're getting very tired of it, and you want the sensei to take some action to get this person to stop. If you don't do this, he'll continue. If the dojo won't do anything, offer (first the sensei, and then the offender) that you'll gladly send a copy of this letter to the man's wife if no action is taken, but really, you'd like to have all of this resolved without having to do anything drastic.
Walter
I think this is an excellent idea. It should make the bugger himself, the sensei and whoever else understand how serious a nuisance this is. Personally, I'd say there's no action too drastic for this sort of situation. If the dojo really doesn't intervene with problems like these I'd say it's either time to change dojo or sue the bastard
Other delicious alternatives would be keeping an electric cattle prod or fly swatter with you and giving him a reminder every time he tries to say anything about going out with him! Mwahhahhaaa!

No seriously, TALK TO THE SENSEI, you won't know for sure how he'll react unless you try him. Good Luck!
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:24 AM   #42
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 643
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Re: How to Say No

You are describing pure sexual harrasment?

Aren't there lwas against it?

Couldn't you turn to the Dojo-Cho saying something like:
"I would like to let you know this person is sexually harrsing female students. I think you should take care of it because some other \ future female student might file chrges against the Dojo as well as the person, and I like the Dojo too much to let such a thing happen" ???

Of course, this may or may not be true (depending on Geography). But, it might be worth a try.

Amir
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:42 AM   #43
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
It seems that one particular individual took a fancy to my wife and kept badgering her until she turned on him and elbowed him straight in the eye!!...... He spent the rest of that summer gasshuku trying to explain how he got the black eye!!
And

Quote:
Quietly: "Stop asking, or I will hand Sensei the original of this letter." In the letter, you document the dates, times and frequency of the queries that you are refusing and the fact that your "no" isn't working, you're getting very tired of it, and you want the sensei to take some action to get this person to stop. If you don't do this, he'll continue. If the dojo won't do anything, offer (first the sensei, and then the offender) that you'll gladly send a copy of this letter to the man's wife if no action is taken, but really, you'd like to have all of this resolved without having to do anything drastic.
I like these two responses the best. You get to chose the order in which you try them.

My nature would probably lead me to the 1st.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:51 PM   #44
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Quote:
It seems that one particular individual took a fancy to my wife and kept badgering her until she turned on him and elbowed him straight in the eye!!...... He spent the rest of that summer gasshuku trying to explain how he got the black eye!!

And


Quote:
Quietly: "Stop asking, or I will hand Sensei the original of this letter." In the letter, you document the dates, times and frequency of the queries that you are refusing and the fact that your "no" isn't working, you're getting very tired of it, and you want the sensei to take some action to get this person to stop. If you don't do this, he'll continue. If the dojo won't do anything, offer (first the sensei, and then the offender) that you'll gladly send a copy of this letter to the man's wife if no action is taken, but really, you'd like to have all of this resolved without having to do anything drastic.

I like these two responses the best. You get to chose the order in which you try them.

My nature would probably lead me to the 1st.

Best,
Ron
Not mine, I don't think I would want to be charged with assault and battery. I am certainly not the type of person to give that type of irresponsible advice. Hey, thats just me, law abiding and all.

The advice I would give has already been posted, and it ain't at all about hitting some. If that happened it could make matter worse in this type of situation.

Last edited by Buck : 01-01-2009 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:24 PM   #45
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
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Re: How to Say No

My advise:

1. Confront and ask to stop. If that doesn't do it. See 2.

2. Notify the Sensei. If that doesn't work or it is the Sensei see 3.

3. Find another dojo.

How to confront someone making you feel uncomfortable, if you don't know how. That requires advice from others. I recommend professionals, family, etc.

What if your too shy etc. to confront the person or the Sensei. Have someone in the dojo or outside the dojo to do it for you if they are willing. If they are not, then the best thing to do is leave the dojo. Don't stay in an uncomfortable situation.

And by all means, don't get physical unless faced with harm, self-defense is important. Keep in mind, tht you have to be sure you have the right opportunity to strike. Because more than likely, which is being overlooked by some posters giving advice to get physical, the attacker being Aikidoka is better trained and experienced than you are, especially if they come from a "hard" Aikido philosophy.

My advice is then don't let it get that far, if the first "no" doesn't work and things don't get resolved after that then things are only going to get worse.

Aikido has a real problem it ain't facing, because of the many number of these types of posts of sexual harassment is an epidemic in Aikido dojos and among male Aikido Senseis. I would seriously consider dropping Aikido all together. The sexual harassers number high with the male Senseis and also with male senior students of Aikido, according to the number of posts discussing this situation. Now hearing this news it may be in your best interest to never take Aikido as there is the chance, if you drop your current dojo for another, of running into this same situation again in the next dojo

Last edited by Buck : 01-01-2009 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:34 PM   #46
heathererandolph
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Re: How to Say No

Maybe make a joke saying "I don't date dojo members" but say it with a smile. I don't think physically assaulting him is a good idea. If he does continue I guess you'll have to read him the riot act. I'm just wondering where he asks these questions? If it is on the mat, then let him know not to discuss personal issues on the mat. If off the mat,You could try making another joke, as he walks over "hey Sam" (or whoever he is) in a loud voice "you're not going to ask me out on another date are you?" but laugh a little like it's the biggest joke. I betcha that'll shut him right up. That will get your point across to him.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:24 PM   #47
MikeLogan
 
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Re: How to Say No

While the thought of saying no via Nikyo is entertaining, it would only invite him to ask her out by precisely the same means a minute later, at which point the entertainment value does a 180.

I also think you should involve your husband. You don't have to set the stage for a no-holds-barred match, but assuming we're all adults (excluding your pariah-paramour, oh, and your dojo), he should be given the opportunity to support you.

Ditch the Dojo, this is harassment. Don't feel bad that your psychological resiliency helped to maintain your optimism. If all you're giving us is that the dojo won't intervene, and that he won't quit, then quit.

If this dojo is such hot-stuff, then you've picked up a good bit of training in 6 months or so. Take it, and make up the time lost at the gym. In a year when you've moved on to greener pastures, you'll be in the best shape of your life and recovering anything you may have lost will be a cinch.

Part of my response is fueled slightly by the anonymous nature of these threads, You never want to accuse/blame/punish someone who is honestly in a fix, so please understand my guarded concern for a stranger's well-being.

Even so, if all of this is factual, I think it still applies.

If not, then I don't have to bother with what I think of posts like these.

michael.

If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.

- Thomas Hardy
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #48
"Frances Bacon"
IP Hash: 98264f74
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Re: How to Say No

I see that a few people have talked about that they are worried how the culture of the dojo may not be very healthy. I also want to bring up my concerns about this.

The distinction between on the mat and off the mat behavior at your dojo seems very artificial. For better or worse, things that happen during life affect aikdio training, and things that happen during training affect the rest of life. Usually, hopefully, the things are for better.

You say that you are sensing tension from other people about the rules. This does not sound like a very fun place to be. I understand that you move a lot, and you do not feel comfortable shopping around for another dojo because you do not think you will be in the area for a long time.

If you think that you can get the person to stop asking you that's great, but it sounds like you have tried this and it has not worked.

But, is there another dojo where you might be more comfortable that is near where you live?

You of course must make your own decision on what is best. The dojo where I train is very small but there is a lot of trust there. Even though I have posted in the aononymous forum about not wanting to bring up an issue I have to my sensei, the reason I do not want to bring it up has to do with me, not him. I can be sensitive and nervous sometimes and I am embarrassed to bring up my situation. If I did bring it up I know it would not be a problem for him.

If I was in a place where I felt uncomfortable to even bring up a problem or question, I would not be training there anymore. There is a difference between working through problems and ignoring problems.

I hope that makes sense.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:45 AM   #49
Peter Bowyer
 
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Re: How to Say No

Harassment is defined as: to disturb persistently; bother continually; pester.

Although it may not be harassment in your eyes, by pure definition it is and the rules of the dojo (like any business) should have a clearly stated harassment policy.

I would agree with some advice previously stated: tell him to stop and that if he pushes one more time you'll immediatley inform the instructor. Tell him this firmly.

You have to look at the long term...it will eventually effect your training, his training, your sanity, possibly both marriages if the wrong message is overheard by eavesdropping ears, and potentially the training of others if you are consistantly distracted.

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Old 01-26-2009, 10:27 AM   #50
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
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Re: How to Say No

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Not mine, I don't think I would want to be charged with assault and battery. I am certainly not the type of person to give that type of irresponsible advice. Hey, thats just me, law abiding and all.

The advice I would give has already been posted, and it ain't at all about hitting some. If that happened it could make matter worse in this type of situation.
If I was continually harrassed, I'd be willing eventually to take the chance. I gave two pieces of advice, and I don't consider either irresponsible. But hey, opinions differ.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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