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Old 03-03-2009, 02:59 PM   #26
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Dear Wayne,

Might this not be better handled in person? I can almost guarantee that the members of the dojo in question would have appreciated that. I know I would have.

Best,
Ron (I have seen this same situation work extremely well...so I know it is possible. A little advance notice goes a long way)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:06 PM   #27
John Furgerson III
 
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Smile Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Etiquette is the first form of conflict resolution. That's why people consider these things to be important.
Excellent point. I never looked at it that way before.

Muchas Gracias!

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Old 03-03-2009, 10:17 PM   #28
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

On the other hand, consider the conflict that was born from this concern for etiquette. There was no issue until we believed there was.

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Old 03-03-2009, 11:21 PM   #29
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
On the other hand, consider the conflict that was born from this concern for etiquette. There was no issue until we believed there was.
Hi Joe,
Sure, on the highest level you are right. But we are talking about human beings here. They have desires, egos, insecurities, etc. If everyone were enlightened there would not need to be formal etiquette... everything would simply happen naturally. But given the rarity of discovering even moderately together people, much less really enlightened folks, standards of behavior are a good idea.

It does not sound to me like the guest himself was offended, or if he was, he was far too polite to make an issue out of it. I think it is his hosts who felt the imagined slight so strongly and that would be normal as well. I will put up with all sorts of stuff when I am the target but I get very upset when I think those I care about are mistreated.

I am not saying that this is what happened, just pointing out that a level of upset would be normal if some disrespect were perceived towards an honored guest.

This is precisely why there are formalities observed for this type of thing. It is very important to avoid this type of misunderstanding. It can sour long time relationships, come between friends, create enemies... all because of misunderstanding.

I once provided an introduction for a Judo instructor to a friend who runs a school in nearby Portland. This friend is an 8th Dan in Hapkido but had 40 years of Judo under his belt, having trained since he was 12. Anyway, this person went to visit my friend at his dojo and proceeded to act very disrespectfully. It embarrassed me greatly as I was the one who got him the invitation. Fortunately I had made it clear that i didn't know the guy all that well so my friend was very kind about it. But it was still my mistake for not being sure of the fellow's character before providing the intro.

I will never have anything to do with the Judo instructor who embarrassed me that way. Under no circumstances would I ever introduce him to any of my martial arts friends.

"Rei", or etiquette, ties on with all sorts of other issues. It reflects on ones character, it is a way to exhibit "makoto", or sincerity. It requires that you set aside what you might do if left to your own devices in favor of behaving "properly". In that sense it is another form of "misogi" or purification.

Anyway, until we all get to the point at which we naturally neither give nor take offense, rules of behavior are a great idea.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:08 AM   #30
Simone
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

What I still wonder is the proper etiquette in this situation. What should the Nidan have done? I've never been in this situation and have not learned any way at least we (of my style) would consider appropriate. And in addition what is considered "proper etiquette" varies from style to style and even from dojo to dojo. It's probably not a big variation but nevertheless it is there.

I would appreciate any suggestions on what is appropriate etiquette for this situation and mostly from Mr. Gorsky himself (just in case I find myself in a similar situation).

Simone
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:51 AM   #31
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

A) Don't bring a senior guest on a visit without checking with the head instructor in advance. That way everyone knows the score, and even someone who is teaching in the instructor's absence won't be caught off guard and unprepared.

B) If you do bring an unannounced guest of that stature...don't take offense. You have already broken reigi. So don't be surprised with any outcome.

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 03-04-2009, 07:33 AM   #32
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

George-

I am in fact happy that most people have the same understanding of the rules as I do when I hop in my car for a trip to the grocery store. At dinner, though, given the choice, I'll sit at the kids' table

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Old 03-04-2009, 08:45 AM   #33
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Simone Koerner wrote: View Post
What I still wonder is the proper etiquette in this situation. What should the Nidan have done? I've never been in this situation and have not learned any way at least we (of my style) would consider appropriate. And in addition what is considered "proper etiquette" varies from style to style and even from dojo to dojo. It's probably not a big variation but nevertheless it is there.

I would appreciate any suggestions on what is appropriate etiquette for this situation and mostly from Mr. Gorsky himself (just in case I find myself in a similar situation).

Simone
In terms of the story as presented, aside from perceived attitude issues, about which there is some debate, the Nidan really was in between a rock and a hard place. If he had known Wayne and knew the dojo had a relationship with him, he might have taken his introduction of the guest at face value and offered to let the guest teach. I suspect that the guest would have refused in that circumstance, anyway. But if the Nidan didn't really know Wayne, his intro wouldn't have trumped his responsibility to take class as instructed by his teacher. I see the Nidan as the least responsible person based on what little we know about the whole thing.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:07 AM   #34
Michael Douglas
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Dee Metrick wrote: View Post
Dear Wayne,
How easy it is to walk into a dojo and be critical... Perhaps next time you want to insure your guest gets your interpretation of proper respect, you can put years of sweat, money, and time into creating the perfect dojo.
As a student who was also in class on Wednesday, I felt our substitute instructor handled things very well. I did not see him roll his eyes while taking ukemi from your friend, even though I was watching quite intently. I did, however, witness you answering your cell phone and having a loud conversation during class. If that's not an issue of etiquette, I don't know what is.
Good luck.
Sincerely,
Dee Metrick
Thanks for posting that Dee,
mobile phones!
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:22 PM   #35
kironin
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
A) Don't bring a senior guest on a visit without checking with the head instructor in advance. That way everyone knows the score, and even someone who is teaching in the instructor's absence won't be caught off guard and unprepared.

B) If you do bring an unannounced guest of that stature...don't take offense. You have already broken reigi. So don't be surprised with any outcome.

Best,
Ron
and of course now anyone reading this thread has been educated and will NEVER ever have the lack of awareness to do B). It's not an option.

As far as I can tell the Nidan did the right thing. As has been said, he was given responsibility for the students in the dojo-cho's absence. The responsibility was not only moral but also carries real legal liabilities if he was to hand over the class to a stranger and a student was injured during that class. If I was his teacher I would be angry with him if I learned later that he let a visitor simply take over the class without my permission.

If I was bringing a shihan to another school other than my own, I would definitely not show him the lack of respect of not making arrangements ahead of time with that school even if it was just to practice. I would show him the appropriate respect by having the awareness to set it up so the head of that school could have the chance to pay respect by apologizing that he could not be there that night and asking him to teach then if he didn't wish to teach he could gracefully decline, and the shihan would know the situation before he came. Even before that, I would be talking to the head of the dojo first to make sure that he was open to the shihan teaching there if he wanted to.

that's just exactly what being good otomo is. awareness training. Knowing what needs to be done before the Shihan is at the door.

That the nidan was placed in this situation clearly shows IMO where the fault lies.

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Old 03-04-2009, 08:10 PM   #36
Lyle Laizure
 
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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
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:37 PM   #37
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

A few years ago I used to meet regularly with an 8th shihan, who now resides in the US. We met usually either at his home, or in Nagoya, but once I suggested he visited Hiroshima. He replied that he could not possibly do that. He would be intruding on the 'territory' of the shihan resident here.

Now I am independent and am the Dojo-cho of my own dojo here. When I am not teaching myself, I know exactly who is teaching in my place and, of course, no one else does so, even yudansha who are senior in rank and experience to the person I have appointed to teach. In addition, I would never allow anyone to teach a class who was not personally known to me and/or who had not informed me beforehand of a visit and, additionally, whom I judged would have something beneficial to teach to my students. Not everyone qualifies by a long shot.

Similarly, when students of mine go visiting, I usually call the resident shihan beforehand and ask if he/she will kindly allow my students to participate in the class. I have always found that the students are well looked after and have a good training experience.

Best wishes to all,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:43 PM   #38
roninroshi
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

The Dojo-cho was informed that morning,knew the guest's status and stated it was "OK" to bring the guest.The original plan was surprise the Dojo-cho since he and the guest had met a few years ago but a call was made by a Yudansha in the Dojo to attend to "rei".
.

Last edited by roninroshi : 03-04-2009 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:49 AM   #39
kironin
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Wayne Gorski wrote: View Post
The Dojo-cho was informed that morning,knew the guest's status and stated it was "OK" to bring the guest.The original plan was surprise the Dojo-cho since he and the guest had met a few years ago but a call was made by a Yudansha in the Dojo to attend to "rei".
.
....um...That was a rather critical bit of information to leave out of your original post.

Clearly the idea of making it a surprise was not the best idea.

Calling the same day of the intended visit of the senior person really isn't much better.

If there is possibility for offense, and clearly you indicate that this possibility existed by your original post, then it seems you still bear some of the blame for what happened.

I am inclined to think that Nidan is the least to blame for what occurred or was perceived to occur.

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Old 03-05-2009, 04:22 PM   #40
Dan Rubin
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The problem here is that the guest was Japanese. What we think is appropriate, friendly, and kind can appear to be overly familiar, too informal, and disrespectful. It can very much depend on how "old school" the guest is and how used to the eccentric ways of Americans he is.
With all due respect (to everyone), when an American in America behaves in an American way, how is that behavior "eccentric?" Would it not be permissible to consider eccentric the reaction of someone who behaves as if he or she is in Japan, instead of Montana? When an American teaching a course in English or boxing or jazz in Japan behaves in an American way, do the Japanese excuse the American for not being "used to the eccentric ways of Japanese?"

Dan
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:36 PM   #41
Keith Larman
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
...I am inclined to think that Nidan is the least to blame for what occurred or was perceived to occur.
Man, do I ever feel for the nidan in this case. He probably doesn't have the authority to turn over a class anyway and I know for a fact I'd be horribly conflicted. I remember getting a call one day and being *told* to cover an advanced class for my sensei in case he wasn't back from an event in time to do it himself. I told him I was nervous because I knew that there were people who'd attend who would greatly outrank me. Much like Mr. Goldsbury has written he simply told me he wanted me to cover the class and to let them know that he had told me to do so if it came up. He wanted to know who would be teaching and he made the decision in advance. The problem for me is that I didn't have any say in the matter and I knew some might feel slighted that someone so low in the larger scheme of things was teaching.

Luckily for me he made it in time. I still remember how nervous I was and I didn't even have to cover the bloody class. So I feel sorry for the guy in this thread. Coincidentally I was a nidan at the time.

Now if he behaved poorly, that's another issue. But it seems to me people tend to read a lot into things and often find insult where none is intended. Shrug.

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Old 03-05-2009, 04:53 PM   #42
roninroshi
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

I certainly have been enlightened by my post...much information and
many different views on the way I percieved and acted in this situation.To those offended "gomenasi"...to those who gave me much needed wisdom "arigato" and to all the rest I appreciated the input...
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:39 AM   #43
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

I wonder if the people reading this thread give this kind of "respect" to anyone other than those heralded aikido "masters". Do we give this same kind of respect to our children's teachers, policemen, doctors, etc.? How about our parents, elders, everyone we meet?

-John Matsushima

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http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:15 AM   #44
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

It certainly doesn't sound like someone with that much experience. If the person was of such calibre and experience, the visitor would likely not have made such a mistake.

Rock
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:30 PM   #45
Greg Olson
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Dear Forum Members ~ Although I know many of you, please indulge me and let me introduce myself. My name is Greg Olson and I am the founder, the President and the Dojo-cho of Big Sky Aikido, located in Bozeman, Montana. I have been training continually in budo for forty-four years and hold yudansha rank in both judo and aikido. As a student, I trained extensively in Korea as a student of Yudo (Judo) under OH, Seung-Lip and Chung Lee Su in Seoul, Korea. Several years later, I trained in Japan at Hombu Dojo under the direction of S. Okumura Sensei and K. Ueshiba Sensei. Additionally, I am, and have been, a professor of Health and Human Development at Montana State University for over thirty years.

Big Sky Aikido has many fine members of whom I am most proud. Mr. Bradley Kaser (Nidan) is one of those fine dependable young instructors, who can be counted on to be responsible to me and to the dojo. Those traits, coupled with a humble personally, certainly make for a exemplary individual.

At this point, I believe it falls on my shoulders to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves in relationship to Mr. Gorski's actions and perceptions.

Forum members -- for the record, you should know of these items:

• Mr. Gorski is not a dues paying member of Big Sky Aikido nor has he been for approximately fifteen years.
• Mr. Gorski is not presently a member of neither my national aikido association nor any national aikido association of which I am aware.
• Mr. Gorski has not had a relationship with Big Sky Aikido nor with me for approximately fifteen years.
• I do not have a relationship with Mr. Gorski's friend. (Although I did meet him once, several years ago.)
• The particular evening in question I was attending a family medical emergency and I was never told Mr. Gorski and his friends were to be in my dojo that particular evening.
• As with all guests, whether their rank is Rokyu or Rokudan, persons are welcome to train, as guests, and under the aegis of the instructor at Big Sky Aikido.
• The type of behavior displayed by Mr. Gorski in this incident has regrettably happened previously with other "mis-perceived events."
• My student, Mr. Bradley Kaser, knew of my unfolding medical circumstance, and phoned me the morning of the dojo incident -- he offered to teach in my stead. (A true student and friend.)

In closing I wish to invite the membership of this forum to train with Big Sky Aikido members any time you are in the Montana Rockies: You would find yourself among friends while training in a safe and healthy environment.

My best to you,

Gregory Olson
Dojo-cho
Big Sky Aikido
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #46
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Greg Olson wrote: View Post
Dear Forum Members ~ Although I know many of you, please indulge me and let me introduce myself. My name is Greg Olson and I am the founder, the President and the Dojo-cho of Big Sky Aikido, located in Bozeman, Montana. I have been training continually in budo for forty-four years and hold yudansha rank in both judo and aikido. As a student, I trained extensively in Korea as a student of Yudo (Judo) under OH, Seung-Lip and Chung Lee Su in Seoul, Korea. Several years later, I trained in Japan at Hombu Dojo under the direction of S. Okumura Sensei and K. Ueshiba Sensei. Additionally, I am, and have been, a professor of Health and Human Development at Montana State University for over thirty years.

Big Sky Aikido has many fine members of whom I am most proud. Mr. Bradley Kaser (Nidan) is one of those fine dependable young instructors, who can be counted on to be responsible to me and to the dojo. Those traits, coupled with a humble personally, certainly make for a exemplary individual.

At this point, I believe it falls on my shoulders to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves in relationship to Mr. Gorski's actions and perceptions.

Forum members -- for the record, you should know of these items:

• Mr. Gorski is not a dues paying member of Big Sky Aikido nor has he been for approximately fifteen years.
• Mr. Gorski is not presently a member of neither my national aikido association nor any national aikido association of which I am aware.
• Mr. Gorski has not had a relationship with Big Sky Aikido nor with me for approximately fifteen years.
• I do not have a relationship with Mr. Gorski's friend. (Although I did meet him once, several years ago.)
• The particular evening in question I was attending a family medical emergency and I was never told Mr. Gorski and his friends were to be in my dojo that particular evening.
• As with all guests, whether their rank is Rokyu or Rokudan, persons are welcome to train, as guests, and under the aegis of the instructor at Big Sky Aikido.
• The type of behavior displayed by Mr. Gorski in this incident has regrettably happened previously with other "mis-perceived events."
• My student, Mr. Bradley Kaser, knew of my unfolding medical circumstance, and phoned me the morning of the dojo incident -- he offered to teach in my stead. (A true student and friend.)

In closing I wish to invite the membership of this forum to train with Big Sky Aikido members any time you are in the Montana Rockies: You would find yourself among friends while training in a safe and healthy environment.

My best to you,

Gregory Olson
Dojo-cho
Big Sky Aikido
Hi Greg,
I hope your medical emergency was positively resolved... It's unfortunate when stuff like this happens and especially when it gets onto the internet. Not the best way for things to get resolved, for sure.

Since it did make to the net, I thought we might was well take advantage of it to discuss the issue of etiquette in general. I realized I wasn't totally sure how my own students would handle an unexpected situation like the one described. We've had some discussion about it and I think they are more clear now about how I'd like things to be done under those circumstances, so perhaps some good has come out of it all.

Anyway, let me say that I know Greg Sensei personally and have taught at his dojo and it is one of the nicest group of people one might find. Everyone exhibits a love of training and no place ever made me feel more welcome when I was there. So I would recommend anyone passing through Bozeman to stop in and see my friends there... you'll certainly have a good experience.

And Greg, Hi to Paxton!
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:35 PM   #47
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Greg Olson wrote: View Post

In closing I wish to invite the membership of this forum to train with Big Sky Aikido members any time you are in the Montana Rockies: You would find yourself among friends while training in a safe and healthy environment.

My best to you,

Gregory Olson
Dojo-cho
Big Sky Aikido
Absolutely. It would be an honor to train with you and yours under the Big Sky of Montana.

Regards,

Jen Smith

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 03-08-2009 at 10:37 PM.

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Old 03-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #48
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Quote:
Greg Olson wrote: View Post
Dear Forum Members ~ Although I know many of you, please indulge me and let me introduce myself. My name is Greg Olson and I am the founder, the President and the Dojo-cho of Big Sky Aikido, located in Bozeman, Montana. I have been training continually in budo for forty-four years and hold yudansha rank in both judo and aikido. As a student, I trained extensively in Korea as a student of Yudo (Judo) under OH, Seung-Lip and Chung Lee Su in Seoul, Korea. Several years later, I trained in Japan at Hombu Dojo under the direction of S. Okumura Sensei and K. Ueshiba Sensei. Additionally, I am, and have been, a professor of Health and Human Development at Montana State University for over thirty years.

Big Sky Aikido has many fine members of whom I am most proud. Mr. Bradley Kaser (Nidan) is one of those fine dependable young instructors, who can be counted on to be responsible to me and to the dojo. Those traits, coupled with a humble personally, certainly make for a exemplary individual.

At this point, I believe it falls on my shoulders to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves in relationship to Mr. Gorski's actions and perceptions.

Forum members -- for the record, you should know of these items:

• Mr. Gorski is not a dues paying member of Big Sky Aikido nor has he been for approximately fifteen years.
• Mr. Gorski is not presently a member of neither my national aikido association nor any national aikido association of which I am aware.
• Mr. Gorski has not had a relationship with Big Sky Aikido nor with me for approximately fifteen years.
• I do not have a relationship with Mr. Gorski's friend. (Although I did meet him once, several years ago.)
• The particular evening in question I was attending a family medical emergency and I was never told Mr. Gorski and his friends were to be in my dojo that particular evening.
• As with all guests, whether their rank is Rokyu or Rokudan, persons are welcome to train, as guests, and under the aegis of the instructor at Big Sky Aikido.
• The type of behavior displayed by Mr. Gorski in this incident has regrettably happened previously with other "mis-perceived events."
• My student, Mr. Bradley Kaser, knew of my unfolding medical circumstance, and phoned me the morning of the dojo incident -- he offered to teach in my stead. (A true student and friend.)

In closing I wish to invite the membership of this forum to train with Big Sky Aikido members any time you are in the Montana Rockies: You would find yourself among friends while training in a safe and healthy environment.

My best to you,

Gregory Olson
Dojo-cho
Big Sky Aikido
I have seen similar things happen. It is nice to have all the information. And thanks for the invitation for training. If I am ever in the area I will be sure to make arrangements and visit.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:09 PM   #49
Pierre Musy
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
Offline
Re: Respect/Lack there of.

Wayne,

I'd have posted this sooner if not for 1) the manual registration process for the forum, 2) the fact that my pager won't stop going off. Before the thread burns itself out entirely, though…

I'm quite familiar with the event in question and the circumstances leading up to it and feel obliged to comment, mainly to be on the record in defense of the instructor that night. I think most here would, and have, agreed with your premise that overtly disrespectful behavior toward any visitor, let alone one as senior as your guest, is simply unacceptable. However, I did not witness any such behavior. Furthermore, although we all have moments when our egos get the better of our higher selves, I would have been astonished to have seen the Nidan in question act disrespectfully, as I know him to be of the highest character (although apparently also of ambiguous facial expressions!).

Aside from this apparent difference of opinion, I'm not sure there's much here, and certainly nothing that merits the involvement of the Shihan under whom our dojo functions, which I think is what you were talking about doing in your original post. I think that this would have been handled better person-to-person, but I guess that's your choice. It also seems prudent to announce visitors, especially high-ranking ones, to the dojo-cho well in advance in the future to avoid the possibility of an awkward situation. In an ideal world maybe that wouldn't be necessary, but…

In other news, there is continued fighting between the Palestinians and the Israelis, Republicans and Democrats, etc. I guess egos and past conflicts are taking their toll outside the dojo, as well. We should all really try to evolve.
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