Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Anonymous

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-21-2009, 12:39 PM   #1
"aikidude"
IP Hash: 3315b988
Anonymous User
Preventing a dojo coup

There are several major issues in our dojo that are unresolved, and look like they may not be resolved, leading to a breaking up of the dojo... for the second time since I started training there.

A brief history:

I can remember the dojo split which happened about a year after my training. A couple of the higher level kyus got up and left, never to come back. They felt the training had reached a point where it was not affective anymore for them to train there.

Now to present day it is happening again, there are several people discontented with the current situations. Namely the instructor rarely shows up, and today didnt bother telling 4 of us that classes were cancelled, after having taken the previous week off.

This is not the first time this has happened where he failed to inform everyone, and a couple of us are left hanging out on the street, some coming from a distance to train, etc. [once happened in winter in the snow... I actually had to walk over a mile there as the car had issues, and me and another guy hung around.]

The irony is that the instructor has talked to people in the past about the necessity of showing up in order to test, as well lamenting the loss of those who said he had nothing to offer them anymore.

Another issue is that no one is ready for the exams, which has frustrated a few people there, seeing that we never go over the exam material... even for 6th kyu you have to figure out the steps yourself.

I have helped a few of these people on the side, and the frustration mounted today as we were left out on the street realizing the dojo doors would not be opening, so the comment came up that I should start my own dojo.

Realistically, I dont mind training with people on the side, but I am not at the stage where I would open a dojo - give me another year or two and I might be... So Im trying to keep the peace, do training on the side, as they - and myself - can really benefit from the instructor... when he shows up.

Its strange to me seeing someone have ownership of something like this, but not care about their own project. But, the world is more complex than we know it, and it could be their are personal issues he is going through... so its good to walk gently, hence why Im venting in the anonymous forum. [not to anonymous for most of you... but please, dont guess and put names in here.]

I dont plan on writing anything past this one post, again, more me venting my own frustration and sharing my bewilderment at the lack of ownership and enthusiasm in ones own dojo - as well as seeing that there could easily be a split.

... thats all for now.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
David Maidment
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 149
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Perhaps your sensei is just one of those teachers who isn't very good at teaching (you mention that people have to figure out the steps for their tests on their own)? A brilliant practitioner is usually a bad teacher; I think that tends to be the rule in most fields. There are a few outstanding exceptions, but they tend not to be very common, when you think about it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 01:41 PM   #3
Steven
 
Steven's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkan Sacramento - Seikeikan Dojo
Location: Orangevale, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 602
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Could you not ask your instructor for a key to the dojo so you and others can open and close in the event he does not show up?
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 01:58 PM   #4
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

It sounds like what is happening again is the direct result of the teacher not fully assuming the responsibilities associated with running a school. To me, it sounds like your options are:
1) Put up with this if there is nothing else nearby as good and/or until you are ready to do something on your own.
2) Don't put up with it and act now to best address what you believe to be is in your best interests.

What ever you do, I would suggest talking directly to your teacher about what you have decided and why.

A student chooses the teacher.

Good Luck

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 02:16 PM   #5
"Aikidude"
IP Hash: dbb6b026
Anonymous User
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Quote:
David Maidment wrote: View Post
Perhaps your sensei is just one of those teachers who isn't very good at teaching (you mention that people have to figure out the steps for their tests on their own)? A brilliant practitioner is usually a bad teacher; I think that tends to be the rule in most fields. There are a few outstanding exceptions, but they tend not to be very common, when you think about it.
True, the irony is that his profession is a teacher at the local highschool. [but the rule you said still applies there, you can be a genius and not be able to communicate... teaching truly is a special gift which people appreciate when they find such a teacher.]

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote: View Post
Could you not ask your instructor for a key to the dojo so you and others can open and close in the event he does not show up?
The irony is that he has left the key with the higher kyus, and they dont show up either... [ironically after assuring the rest they would be there.] Dont know, as of now we practice on the side without tatami, but its not an idea situation as you have to do techniques halfway... anyhow...

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
It sounds like what is happening again is the direct result of the teacher not fully assuming the responsibilities associated with running a school. To me, it sounds like your options are:
1) Put up with this if there is nothing else nearby as good and/or until you are ready to do something on your own.
2) Don't put up with it and act now to best address what you believe to be is in your best interests.

What ever you do, I would suggest talking directly to your teacher about what you have decided and why.
Indeed, I have tried to keep communication as open as possible, and with the looks of it seem to be the only one communicating concerning these particular issues. It is a touchy situation as its easy for the ego to flare up... so step by step.

At this point, I think it is number 1, though number 2 seems thats its being thrusted on me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 02:23 PM   #6
ninjaqutie
 
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,003
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

I'm sorry to hear that. I can personally speak on this from previous experiences of my own. The frustration of feeling like I wasn't going anywhere because I wasn't being taught anything new grew and grew. I realize you learn every class, but I always thought it was sad that a lower ranker knew just as much technique & kata-wise then a belter a few rungs up on the ladder. It got to the point that the sole reason I went there wasn't even for myself. I went there because I knew I had something to offer to the lower rankers and I was especially fond of teaching the children. I did end up quitting, but that was because I moved an hour and a half north. Since then, I have moved 3,000 miles away and found a great dojo that I thoroughly enjoy training at. Not the same style, but I have fun.

Anyway, I got to rambling there! My advice to you would be listen to your heart. Steven has a good idea and it might not be a bad idea for you to ask for a key. That way if he doesn't show, you all can have a free practice and can help eachother out. I do have to agree that some people just aren't good teachers. My husband joined an aikido dojo a long time ago. The teacher thought my husband's aikido was good & gave him a syllabus to go by. The teacher never came back! Well, he came back for testing and that was it! He stated that he didn't want to make the hour drive and thought my husband could run the class just fine. Talk about walking out.....

Just try to look at the positives and if you plan on opening up your own place, then you know what not to do right?

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 02:43 PM   #7
"Aikidude"
IP Hash: dbb6b026
Anonymous User
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
My husband joined an aikido dojo a long time ago. The teacher thought my husband's aikido was good & gave him a syllabus to go by. The teacher never came back! Well, he came back for testing and that was it! He stated that he didn't want to make the hour drive and thought my husband could run the class just fine. Talk about walking out.....

Just try to look at the positives and if you plan on opening up your own place, then you know what not to do right?
Yes, your right - perhaps I need to have the key - I dont miss a lesson, and now Im even teaching on the side... ah, the joys of life! lol

I cant believe your story, that is amazing... both of them. Im surprised this type of issue is as common place as it is.

But you have a point, which the others alluded to as well - the facts are as they are, and either way I must make a choice... and whatever that choice is, it must be with a positive outlook.

Thanks everyone for the comments and for 'listening' to my little rant. Would be nice if I were able to more openly discuss this, without being misunderstood, by the person who needs to hear it. [communication is a fragile thing indeed.]
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 03:14 PM   #8
ninjaqutie
 
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,003
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

I know what is like to want... no a better word is NEED to rant and just get it out. At the old dojo I mentioned, I was the one several of the lower rankers came to for them to rant. It left me no one to rant to. You are left in a very precarious position. You have people ranting to you and you have to be there to listen and help them in the ways that you can. At the same time, you have to be careful of what you say because you still want to be respectful to your sensei (even in their all too frequent hiatus). You don't have anyone to talk to and if you are like me, you are left not sure what to do.

I personally could not talk to my sensei because I knew that it would be taken the wrong way. I learned from the mistakes of some other higher students before me. I often sat and pondered about what I would say and how I would go about saying it and it all got scrapped because it came back to the same conclusion that it would somehow be blown out of proportion.

Quite sad actually.... and because of this I feel like I can relate to you and your problems.

As for my husband, I am not sure how long he stuck around teaching at that dojo. I do believe that once my husband left the dojo shut down because the sensei was too lazy to make the drive. If you don't want to make the drive, then don't open up the dojo so far away. Some people just don't think..... I think. HAHA.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 01:27 AM   #9
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Why don't you start a committee to open a dojo and have your sensei teach on a contract basis. If and when he doesn't show up, you maintain your own class.

To supplement what would otherwise be a laidback schedule, you may consider inviting guest sensei's or yudansha's to provide regular instruction as well.

Provided you lay down that basic kihon is done a certain way, you may find that the different instructions and teachers will open up the way you train and generate a constant dynamism in the learning environment.

fwiw.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 06:10 AM   #10
Jesse Legon
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu, Osaka (Ittaikan Brighton/Central London SA)
Location: Osaka/Japan
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 24
Japan
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

A split, whilst seeming very un-aikido and petty etc., can be a good thing in the long run if it rids all parties of tension, irritation and distraction from those they have any problems with.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,709
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

An instructor not showing up?

Rather than prevent a coup, why not join one and find a place to train with consistency and ethics?

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!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #12
"Aikidude"
IP Hash: 31e1794a
Anonymous User
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
...I was the one several of the lower rankers came to for them to rant. It left me no one to rant to. You are left in a very precarious position. You have people ranting to you and you have to be there to listen and help them in the ways that you can. At the same time, you have to be careful of what you say because you still want to be respectful to your sensei (even in their all too frequent hiatus). You don't have anyone to talk to and if you are like me, you are left not sure what to do.

I personally could not talk to my sensei because I knew that it would be taken the wrong way. I learned from the mistakes of some other higher students before me. I often sat and pondered about what I would say and how I would go about saying it and it all got scrapped because it came back to the same conclusion that it would somehow be blown out of proportion.

Quite sad actually.... and because of this I feel like I can relate to you and your problems.
Great summary, and yes, I fully relate to what you described above.

The longer I live, the more I realize the ego that is at play, and realize how difficult it is to properly communicate what you want without it being incorrectly interpreted through someones ego.

There is a time for everything, and sometimes you have to be straight... but other times things are a bit murkier and its best to tread carefully as not to further stir the mud unnecessarily.

Admittedly the communication aspect has been a bit of a challenge for me, as I typically like to lay things on the line - but in this situation its not really feasible at this time.

Instead it seems that subtle hints/suggestions may work better to test the waters to see what the true underlying problem is. On the surface one thing is seen, but who knows what 'lies beneath'.
[perhaps he is going through something and needs space... dunno]

Part of me is surprised that he doesnt see whats going on - it really is giving a lot of people that he has an "I dont care attitude", and it well may be that. If that is the case, then there may be a repeat of people leaving as they did before. - though certain people are in a better position of bringing some of these issues up without him taking offense and havent. [as it seems they have similar concerns that I do, despite having been there longer.]

Anyway...

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
To supplement what would otherwise be a laidback schedule, you may consider inviting guest sensei's or yudansha's to provide regular instruction as well.
Your idea is great in theory, but we are little house on the prairie.
I consider it lucky there is even a dojo here.

Quote:
Jesse Legon wrote: View Post
A split, whilst seeming very un-aikido and petty etc., can be a good thing in the long run if it rids all parties of tension, irritation and distraction from those they have any problems with.
I do agree with this in concept as well, just due to the present set up, not sure this would benefit Aikido in our area at the time... though, time will tell what is best, as things change when what was working no longer works... and the change actually benefits all.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
An instructor not showing up?

Rather than prevent a coup, why not join one and find a place to train with consistency and ethics?
Yes, it is frustrating indeed.

I personally do not understand how someone has a dojo yet things are falling short in how things operate there. On the surface level it seems that he truly doesnt care about it, and that it may be that its just an extra source of income for him.

At the same time i have been to other places in which I have seen Aikido instructors who are quite passionate about what they are doing. [unfortunately its not close enough to go to.]

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, Im not sure that with the current set up that this village would benefit from another split. But then again, things will naturally take there course.

Thanks for all your comments, not really much more to say without blowing the whole anonymous thing...
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2009, 10:41 AM   #13
Guilty Spark
 
Guilty Spark's Avatar
Location: Flordia
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 300
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

That sounds like a very crappy training environment, I would contact the students who left a year previous find out where they went and follow them.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2009, 12:26 PM   #14
d2l
 
d2l's Avatar
Dojo: Purple Dragon School Of Self Defense
Location: Florida
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 42
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

That's too bad you're going through this. Proper etiquette in these matters (as well as any other) would be to advise you he will either be late, or not able to attend. My Sensei gives all of us a heads up on what's what if he is unable to attend. We do the same in return. There has been times where he has been unable to attend, and appoints somebody in his stead. And not always the higher ranking student(s). Sometimes it helps to learn by teaching. I understand the little Aikido Dojo on the prairie analogy, because I am in the same boat. Maybe in the end, the question that should be asked, is what are YOU willing to do to keep up with your practice? If it means driving an hour and a half to meet your satisfactions, then so be it. I drive an hour and a half not because I have to, but because I want to. There are closer schools (relatively speaking), but I found the one that suits me best, and distance be damned.

Last edited by akiy : 07-31-2009 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary bolding of post
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2009, 01:56 PM   #15
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

At our dojo there are plenty of dans and highly ranked students where there really isn't this issue. I don't know much of your situation or about ou dojo beyond what you've wrote, but entrusting a dan or highly ranked student with a key and permission to teach in his absence might help the dojo grow and stay cohesive.
I'm not one to just say jump up and leave your dojo. Schools aren't always easy to come by, especially schools with certified or competent sensei. Unless your sensei is lacking as a teacher or lacking in credentials I'd try to work it out. Aikido schools with competent instructors can die out from lack of students.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2009, 01:58 PM   #16
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

I've also heard of a lot of unqualified sensei opening schools just to rake in some cash-- black belt factories. I definitely find some where else if you think your sensie's absence is money motivated in anyway.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2009, 05:26 AM   #17
"Aikidude"
IP Hash: 6c33c92b
Anonymous User
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
That sounds like a very crappy training environment, I would contact the students who left a year previous find out where they went and follow them.
Definitely has been a challenge to be sure, I pretty much view my lessons now as an opportunity to watch my ego... so instead of Aikido Im getting a Zen lesson - not so bad.

I ran into one of the former students not long ago and it appears they have dropped Aikido altogether [perhaps they extracted the parts they deemed beneficial] but are doing a completely different art. [basically sounds like they are experimenting and its more of a close friend group vs. training in general.]

On a positive note, I have tried to plant some positive ideas for solutions to the current situation, and apparently its paying off somewhat, as a couple of the senior students have been more proactive in their role at the dojo and adjusted the training to better reflect the current needs of the students training there.

Quote:
Anthony Stebbins wrote: View Post
That's too bad you're going through this. Proper etiquette in these matters (as well as any other) would be to advise you he will either be late, or not able to attend.
Ill have to be honest with you, this is really one of my biggest pet peeves as it shows a total disinterest in the whole project and makes me wonder why hes doing it besides the money. [Again, who knows what he may be going through in his personal life, as he doesnt seem to be malevolent in intent]

The other bit is that out of the whole dojo there really is only about 3 of us who show up in time to actually get ready to start when the class is supposed to commence. [it cant be a timing issue or class could easily be moved up another half hour.]

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
At our dojo there are plenty of dans and highly ranked students where there really isn't this issue. I don't know much of your situation or about ou dojo beyond what you've wrote, but entrusting a dan or highly ranked student with a key and permission to teach in his absence might help the dojo grow and stay cohesive.

Unless your sensei is lacking as a teacher or lacking in credentials I'd try to work it out. Aikido schools with competent instructors can die out from lack of students.
Yes, we totally lack dan grades. We have one dan grade with a couple of others on the edge of it. So this greatly limits the aspect of fluidity in techniques that a higher dan would highlight.

Instead we tend to have varying opinions of what is "the" way to do something, vs. acknowledging that all aspects have merit depending on the situation. This one bit has led to more confusion amongst the beginners than anything else I have seen.

As for me Im learning to role with it, and take the various instructions as another possibility.

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I've also heard of a lot of unqualified sensei opening schools just to rake in some cash-- black belt factories. I definitely find some where else if you think your sensie's absence is money motivated in anyway.
Well I will say that it does bother a couple of the students they are paying and he doesnt show up... a bit more openness would help.
If its as I suspect it could be hes trying to juggle to many different projects and/or is burned out with the dojo, and cannot afford to loose the income he gets from the monthly fees. [who knows]

All in all, I am taking things "step by step", who knows how much longer I will/will not train there, but there has been a lot I have learned, beyond techniques, due to the situation, which has helped on a deeper spiritual level than if things were just 'smooth'.

But there is a time and place for everything, wouldnt mind some smooth Aikido from time to time. lol

Thanks for the replies.

Again, not more I can add to clarify things without blowing what anonymity there may still be in this thread.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2009, 07:41 AM   #18
Linda Eskin
 
Linda Eskin's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of San Diego, San Diego, California
Location: San Diego County, California
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 326
United_States
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Is there a group of you who could train together, and invite (for pay) a sensei from a neighboring town to come teach you every so often? (Once a week, or once a month.) Or, same idea, but you all pile into a car and go train out of town every couple of weeks. It's far from ideal, but if you are advanced enough to help each other out, it might work. Dalen Johnson (here) has some experience in training at an outpost of a larger dojo. You might drop him a note.
Good luck!
Linda

Linda Eskin - Facebook | My AikiBlog

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 04:04 AM   #19
dalen7
 
dalen7's Avatar
Dojo: Karcag Aikido Club
Location: Karcag
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 750
Hungary
Offline
Re: Preventing a dojo coup

Well, guess its safe to say that Im the one that posted this:

With whats happening at the dojo now, doubt it really matters now who reads this... might actually help.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17271

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}

Art
http://www.lightofinfinity.org

Philosophical
http://dalen7.wordpress.com
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10 Peter Goldsbury Columns 200 02-04-2009 06:45 AM
Beginners Retention Rates akiy Teaching 45 04-05-2006 11:13 PM
Need advice/new guy to area's dojo YinYaker Training 17 02-15-2005 01:57 PM
Questions on Starting a New Dojo Paul Barrett Teaching 12 08-01-2004 05:46 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:45 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate