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  #26  
Old 07-23-2009, 10:14 AM
Ross Robertson
Username: R.A. Robertson
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 290
 
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
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Student Intake Questionnaire

1) Why do you want to learn aikido?

2) Why have you chosen this dojo over your other options?

3) Do you have sufficient control over yourself and your life circumstances to make a commitment to training realistic? Are your job or school obligations likely to interfere?...

Last edited by akiy : 07-23-2009 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:34 PM   #25
yankeechick
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 17
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

This is lengthy, please provide respectful feedback. I disagree with formalised questionnaires like the one posted here.

This is why:
Some months ago I visited a dojo in NYC; I was training with a very informal, poorly structured Sensei. I looked for a well organized dojo with good techinical acumen, and an environment where every man in the place would not try to objectify me by sleeping with me.

The dojo I visited in manhattan had a lengthy, intrusive questionnaire; very similar to the one posted here. There is nothing wrong with getting some information on a current student, for emergency contact purposes, etc. It is good to establish a collaborative dojo environment as well, by encouraging authentic communication and commitment. Also, to have a bi-latereal discussion, so that both parties can get an idea of each's expectations and abilities.

HOWEVER:
1. One pays a market rate fee to train; a fee that is not inexpensive. So if I pay for a service, I have the right to some relative privacy and not to be questioned/interrogated about my ability meet attendance requirements. The dojo environment and one's personal comittment determine how frequently one attends class. Also, as we know - this is not fuedal japan. There are times when one has life obligations to attend to AND one should not have to justify it or explain it to anyone, unless one chooses to.

2. The dojo I visited acted like they were doing me a favor, by ALLOWING me to visit and observe the required two classes. I did have the pleasure of being there to listen to a high ranking Shihan lecture them about their lack of serious training, lateness and weak technique. He then spent the remaining two hours of the seminar taking them through the basics of kokyuho (actually can be complicated to execute effectively), atemi and other basic techniques. He chided them about Aikido being an effective "Martial Art", that it works and they should train with some sincerity, discipline. He also lectured them about being unnecessarily harsh with the Uke. He then shook his head, as he watched them practicing. Because right after his lecture, they went on to do the very things he lectured them against. These are the people who gave me a hard time about joining their dojo.

I also had the occasion to listen to this dojo talk about their need for students, because they were failing financially. Any wonder why?

My point is that dojos should spend more time on a quality training environment with solid teaching, ethics and integrity. And less time with these egocentric dojo questionnaires.

Thank you for reading my two cents.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:23 AM   #26
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 139
Belgium
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Maybe it's because I'm european, but I find dojos who let possible students do intake exames incredibly elitist and arrogant. I can safely say that the survival chances of such dojos in Belgium would be nihil, mainly because martial arts have an "open-to-everyone" status, and closed elitist dojos (and its teachers) would be looked down upon.

After two years I still can't answer some of the questions. E.g. I don't know exactly why I'm practicing aikido, it's a riddle to me.

IMO such dojos are in direct oposition of O'Sensei's idea of creating and spreading a martial art for the whole world.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:44 PM   #27
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

My dojo's intake questionnaire :

1- Do you want to learn Aikido?

2- Do you need us to provide you with a gi?

MM
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:11 AM   #28
tarik
 
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Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 516
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

There are other perspectives.

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
HOWEVER:
1. One pays a market rate fee to train; a fee that is not inexpensive. So if I pay for a service, I have the right to some relative privacy and not to be questioned/interrogated about my ability meet attendance requirements.
The training in my dojo is provided free of charge. Any payments made are to defray the costs of maintenance of the dojo. I choose who trains with me solely on my own terms. Those terms might be arbitrary, but they are growing more and more deliberate over time. If anyone has a problem with it, there's plenty of great dojo they can go train in. I'll even give them a referral.

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
2. The dojo I visited acted like they were doing me a favor, by ALLOWING me to visit and observe the required two classes.
I AM doing people a favor when I allow people to visit and observe classes. If I decide it's necessary, I'll make them observe two or three or four or more two hour classes. If they don't stay the entire class, they aren't welcome to come back, unless there's a solid reason and they discussed it with me before hand. It certainly doesn't do me or my students a favor to have guests. It's pretty simple; what I am doing is not for sale. Anyone is welcome to visit, but not everyone is suited to the training and not everyone is allowed on the mat until I decide that they are. That might be in the first 20 minutes or it might be never.

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
My point is that dojos should spend more time on a quality training environment with solid teaching, ethics and integrity. And less time with these egocentric dojo questionnaires.

Thank you for reading my two cents.
Maintaining that quality training environment is exactly why I don't allow just anyone to visit. In fact, I know plenty of great people that I'll still train with in other environments that I won't allow near my students.

I don't have a questionnaire, but I do ask people a lot of questions.. if I need to. Most of the time they leave after a single class, something that I've become profoundly grateful for over time as the ones who stick around for 3 weeks are much more a waste of time. The ones who choose to stick around longer are definitely a surprise for me.

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
Maybe it's because I'm european, but I find dojos who let possible students do intake exames incredibly elitist and arrogant.

I can safely say that the survival chances of such dojos in Belgium would be nihil, mainly because martial arts have an "open-to-everyone" status, and closed elitist dojos (and its teachers) would be looked down upon.
As for elitism, I know I'd be MUCH happier with a surgeon or similar professional who comes out of an elite and renowned university rather than some chop shop.

I find elitist organizations produce a pretty high quality of education. I can't claim to be doing that, although I do believe my students are learning a lot more than they did in their prior environments. If that's arrogance, then I can live with that, but I think I've enough accumulated enough personal knowledge and authority to trust that it isn't.

I like the path I'm on and have no intention of changing it. In fact, although I don't have a questionnaire and don't have a formal 'exam', I would say that I am getting pickier and pickier about who I will even invite or allow to come visit when I make contact with people. I can safely say that I'm happy with my survival chances.

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
IMO such dojos are in direct oposition of O'Sensei's idea of creating and spreading a martial art for the whole world.
Ironically, I spent a decade in a dojo with the attitude that not only was everyone welcome, but that everyone should try aikido and take that experience with them into the rest of their lives. I still believe that to a large extent, but frankly, aikido is NOT for everyone.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:30 AM   #29
yankeechick
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 17
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
There are other perspectives.

The training in my dojo is provided free of charge. Any payments made are to defray the costs of maintenance of the dojo. I choose who trains with me solely on my own terms. Those terms might be arbitrary, but they are growing more and more deliberate over time. If anyone has a problem with it, there's plenty of great dojo they can go train in. I'll even give them a referral.

I AM doing people a favor when I allow people to visit and observe classes. If I decide it's necessary, I'll make them observe two or three or four or more two hour classes. If they don't stay the entire class, they aren't welcome to come back, unless there's a solid reason and they discussed it with me before hand. It certainly doesn't do me or my students a favor to have guests. It's pretty simple; what I am doing is not for sale. Anyone is welcome to visit, but not everyone is suited to the training and not everyone is allowed on the mat until I decide that they are. That might be in the first 20 minutes or it might be never.

Maintaining that quality training environment is exactly why I don't allow just anyone to visit. In fact, I know plenty of great people that I'll still train with in other environments that I won't allow near my students.

I don't have a questionnaire, but I do ask people a lot of questions.. if I need to. Most of the time they leave after a single class, something that I've become profoundly grateful for over time as the ones who stick around for 3 weeks are much more a waste of time. The ones who choose to stick around longer are definitely a surprise for me.

As for elitism, I know I'd be MUCH happier with a surgeon or similar professional who comes out of an elite and renowned university rather than some chop shop.

I find elitist organizations produce a pretty high quality of education. I can't claim to be doing that, although I do believe my students are learning a lot more than they did in their prior environments. If that's arrogance, then I can live with that, but I think I've enough accumulated enough personal knowledge and authority to trust that it isn't.

I like the path I'm on and have no intention of changing it. In fact, although I don't have a questionnaire and don't have a formal 'exam', I would say that I am getting pickier and pickier about who I will even invite or allow to come visit when I make contact with people. I can safely say that I'm happy with my survival chances.

Ironically, I spent a decade in a dojo with the attitude that not only was everyone welcome, but that everyone should try aikido and take that experience with them into the rest of their lives. I still believe that to a large extent, but frankly, aikido is NOT for everyone.

Best,
Tarik,

There are other perspectives. I whole heartedly disagree with yours. I am happy that I am not the one who has to decide who Aikido, or any Martial Art is for.

I wish you the best with your training. I hope you will grow and your perspectives open up, to understand the limitations, negative impact and generally destructive results behaviours like what you, endorse promote.

Best regards.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:18 AM   #30
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 139
Belgium
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
There are other perspectives.

The training in my dojo is provided free of charge. Any payments made are to defray the costs of maintenance of the dojo. I choose who trains with me solely on my own terms. Those terms might be arbitrary, but they are growing more and more deliberate over time. If anyone has a problem with it, there's plenty of great dojo they can go train in. I'll even give them a referral.

I AM doing people a favor when I allow people to visit and observe classes. If I decide it's necessary, I'll make them observe two or three or four or more two hour classes. If they don't stay the entire class, they aren't welcome to come back, unless there's a solid reason and they discussed it with me before hand. It certainly doesn't do me or my students a favor to have guests. It's pretty simple; what I am doing is not for sale. Anyone is welcome to visit, but not everyone is suited to the training and not everyone is allowed on the mat until I decide that they are. That might be in the first 20 minutes or it might be never.

Maintaining that quality training environment is exactly why I don't allow just anyone to visit. In fact, I know plenty of great people that I'll still train with in other environments that I won't allow near my students.

I don't have a questionnaire, but I do ask people a lot of questions.. if I need to. Most of the time they leave after a single class, something that I've become profoundly grateful for over time as the ones who stick around for 3 weeks are much more a waste of time. The ones who choose to stick around longer are definitely a surprise for me.

As for elitism, I know I'd be MUCH happier with a surgeon or similar professional who comes out of an elite and renowned university rather than some chop shop.

I find elitist organizations produce a pretty high quality of education. I can't claim to be doing that, although I do believe my students are learning a lot more than they did in their prior environments. If that's arrogance, then I can live with that, but I think I've enough accumulated enough personal knowledge and authority to trust that it isn't.

I like the path I'm on and have no intention of changing it. In fact, although I don't have a questionnaire and don't have a formal 'exam', I would say that I am getting pickier and pickier about who I will even invite or allow to come visit when I make contact with people. I can safely say that I'm happy with my survival chances.

Ironically, I spent a decade in a dojo with the attitude that not only was everyone welcome, but that everyone should try aikido and take that experience with them into the rest of their lives. I still believe that to a large extent, but frankly, aikido is NOT for everyone.

Best,
So basically, you see yourself as a master in the art? It sure looks like it, seeing as how you decide who can join class and who can't. You even make them waste six hours of their life watching you guys have fun.
If I were to look for a new place to train and the instructor would say to me "why don't you watch for a couple of lessons so I can see if you meet the requirements to be my disciple" I would leave immediately. Such a person can teach me nothing since he is too stuck up with his own ego.

Yes, you are arrogant.

You and your disciples don't enjoy guests? What kind of stuck up people are you? So if someone shows interest in aikido and comes visit your dojo you guys look down on him instead of welcoming him? Way to go!

People like you are the people I loathe. Stuck up, arrogant, deluded idiots.

And no, I'm not in the least bit sorry if I insulted you. My respect for you is zero.

Last edited by Maarten De Queecker : 12-31-2009 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:06 AM   #31
piyush.kumar
Dojo: UTA aikido club
Location: arlington
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

If i may,
Knowledge is priceless. One cannot put a price on it. And it depends on the teacher whether they want to spend their time imparting those teachings to everyone or those who they deem suitable enough. The bottomline is even if we spread this to everyone, there will only be very few people who are at a certain stage in life who would be receptive to it. I have tried it . To let people know from my own limited wisdom of what they might look at. But one does not get it and i feel as if i let them down and let myself down. It takes a tremendous amount of patience to get past that point or perhaps i am getting something wrong right now.
Peace
Piyush,
P.S Like the point i just tried to make, some of you would get it, some of you would not, that is just another illustration of this
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:19 PM   #32
tarik
 
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Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 516
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
There are other perspectives. I whole heartedly disagree with yours.
And that's why they make chocolate and vanilla.

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
I am happy that I am not the one who has to decide who Aikido, or any Martial Art is for.
I think you misunderstand me. I don't decide that at all. That's their decision. I decide who I am willing to put a personal investment in. Moreover, I decide that WITH the potential student, not despite them. And some of them have decided it for me. In fact, that is more often the way it works out.

If I think it's more appropriate for what they want out of their training, I will happily recommend my old dojo to them and will probably train with them in that environment from time to time (I don't visit often any more).

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
I wish you the best with your training. I hope you will grow and your perspectives open up, to understand the limitations, negative impact and generally destructive results behaviours like what you, endorse promote.
Do you realize how condescending and presumptive your assumptions about the effects of my actions are? You don't have any idea about how negative or destructive my perspectives are, I assure you.

In any case, I am not offended or affected by your opinion, I'm just offering the perspective that while something like a questionnaire or other selective process can certainly be carried into a destructive or a negative level, they can also be valuable tools for a group of people who DO know exactly what they are trying to get out of their training.

You are not only welcome to believe and follow your path, I encourage it.

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
So basically, you see yourself as a master in the art?
Not remotely. If I wasn't clear about that, let this be the clarifying statement.

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
It sure looks like it, seeing as how you decide who can join class and who can't. You even make them waste six hours of their life watching you guys have fun.
It's my dojo. Hell, it's in my home. It's my life and my families life. It's my liability, my time, and my students time. I reserve to right to be as picky as I need to be to protect all of that. If you see that as a waste of your time, I submit that you have no respect for me already. If you can't respect that, why should I waste MY time?

FWIW, I seldom (almost never) have had to decide that someone cannot join class. The requirement is to watch pretty much self-selects people for me. People who have watched have thanked me because once they watched, they realized that they were not interested. Others, whom I was sure would not be interested, have surprised me by telling me they wanted to enroll.

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
If I were to look for a new place to train and the instructor would say to me "why don't you watch for a couple of lessons so I can see if you meet the requirements to be my disciple" I would leave immediately. Such a person can teach me nothing since he is too stuck up with his own ego.
Well, I've never said that to anyone nor did I say it above. I tell people who are interested, "Come and watch some classes and then let's discuss whether this training is for you or not". I'm willing to make the watching period as long as it needs to be. 20 minutes or 20 years is fine with me.

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
Yes, you are arrogant.

You and your disciples don't enjoy guests? What kind of stuck up people are you? So if someone shows interest in aikido and comes visit your dojo you guys look down on him instead of welcoming him? Way to go!
I don't have any disciples (your word, not mine). I have fellow students. They are my students simply because I know a bit more than they do, but we are students together.

We welcome guests whenever they choose to visit, and we don't look down upon them at all. However, when someone visits, if I don't know what their training is like, I won't let them train with my students until I have some idea of how they train. If that's offensive, well, they don't have to visit.

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
People like you are the people I loathe. Stuck up, arrogant, deluded idiots.

And no, I'm not in the least bit sorry if I insulted you. My respect for you is zero.
I'm not insulted. But I will say that you look a bit foolish and over-reactive, from my perspective. You just don't understand where I'm coming from or what I'm doing. That's ok.

Quote:
Piyush Kumar wrote: View Post
If i may,
Knowledge is priceless. One cannot put a price on it. And it depends on the teacher whether they want to spend their time imparting those teachings to everyone or those who they deem suitable enough. The bottomline is even if we spread this to everyone, there will only be very few people who are at a certain stage in life who would be receptive to it. I have tried it . To let people know from my own limited wisdom of what they might look at. But one does not get it and i feel as if i let them down and let myself down. It takes a tremendous amount of patience to get past that point or perhaps i am getting something wrong right now.
Peace
Piyush,
P.S Like the point i just tried to make, some of you would get it, some of you would not, that is just another illustration of this
I get it. I would not use the word suitable, but I agree with your comment. Some people are ready, some are capable, some are not. It's that simple. It's not a judgment about who they are as a human being, it's a judgment about their readiness or ability to join with you in the kind of training you are engaged in.

I have a LOT of aikido friends whom I don't train with any more. Not because they aren't welcome, or because I dislike them, or because I think they are not worthy. It's their choice as much as it's mine because we want different things out of our training and so we have taken different paths. We still like one another and like laying hands on one another once in a while.

We each might think that the other is right or wrong, but we each understand that the others focus is deliberately different, even if we don't always understand why. I fail to understand why some people have no respect for that, but that's not really my problem, is it?

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:30 PM   #33
Mark Gibbons
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 177
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
So basically, you see yourself as a master in the art? It sure looks like it, seeing as how you decide who can join class and who can't. You even make them waste six hours of their life watching you guys have fun.
If I were to look for a new place to train and the instructor would say to me "why don't you watch for a couple of lessons so I can see if you meet the requirements to be my disciple" I would leave immediately. Such a person can teach me nothing since he is too stuck up with his own ego.
I don't see where Tarik claimed mastery. Just that he was picky about who he trained with and taught. I doubt he has any disciples, probably some close friends though. His place, his rules.

BTW. I've met Tarik once, trained with him very briefly and exchanged emails. No other connection.

Many, many places want you to call ahead or watch classes before training. I don't think a teacher is required to waste any time on someone unwilling to spend 6 hours of their time seeing if what is taught do is right for the student.

I spent way more than 6 hours checking out dojos before I picked one. It's not a major investment of time considering you want a long term relationship.

Regards,
Mark

Last edited by Mark Gibbons : 12-31-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #34
piyush.kumar
Dojo: UTA aikido club
Location: arlington
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 58
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

@ tarik- No sir absolutely not. But an effort towards understanding another point of view endows you with something greater called patience . Which is priceless as i am realizing nowadays. And i do stand corrected on the word suitable. Perhaps that was not a suitable word to use after all . But you understood and so it served its purpose. And yes, i do agree with you on the point that everybody have their own focus of what they want to achieve as regards to their training. But, in the process, the moment one closes one's mind, their further training is effectively at a full stop for that point in time. It takes a lot of vigilance to stop oneself from doing that.
Peace
Piyush
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:29 PM   #35
yankeechick
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 17
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
And that's why they make chocolate and vanilla.

I think you misunderstand me. I don't decide that at all. That's their decision. I decide who I am willing to put a personal investment in. Moreover, I decide that WITH the potential student, not despite them. And some of them have decided it for me. In fact, that is more often the way it works out.

If I think it's more appropriate for what they want out of their training, I will happily recommend my old dojo to them and will probably train with them in that environment from time to time (I don't visit often any more).

Do you realize how condescending and presumptive your assumptions about the effects of my actions are? You don't have any idea about how negative or destructive my perspectives are, I assure you.

In any case, I am not offended or affected by your opinion, I'm just offering the perspective that while something like a questionnaire or other selective process can certainly be carried into a destructive or a negative level, they can also be valuable tools for a group of people who DO know exactly what they are trying to get out of their training.

You are not only welcome to believe and follow your path, I encourage it.
-------------
@Tarik,

I agree that theere is some misunderstanding here. I said the ideas that "you endorse"; there is a difference. An elitist place would understand this LOL...just kidding...

But seriuosly, it's good to hear that you are more open than your posting (gave the impression). And I can understand that you take your investment seriously.

I did not presume anything. You stated it in your posting. Others' picked it up as well. So let's be mindful of that.

I maintain my point that these decisions are best made as a dialogue. You supported that position, when you stated that you decide this WITH the potential student. That is my most significant point.

Last edited by akiy : 01-02-2010 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:55 AM   #36
Randy Sexton
Dojo: Aikido of Lake Keowee
Location: South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 187
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Interesting discussion. Lots of food for thought.

On the other hand, how would you create a questionnaire that the potential student could ask the instructor to complete?

Doc

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
Gandhi
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:06 AM   #37
yankeechick
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 17
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Randy Sexton wrote: View Post
Interesting discussion. Lots of food for thought.

On the other hand, how would you create a questionnaire that the potential student could ask the instructor to complete?

Doc
Indeed.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:20 AM   #38
tarik
 
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Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 516
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
I maintain my point that these decisions are best made as a dialogue. You supported that position, when you stated that you decide this WITH the potential student. That is my most significant point.
A dialogue can only begin if both parties are open to both listening and discussing. I find that requiring prospective new members to watch at least one class before allowing them to apply for membership facilitates that. For one, their willingness tells me a lot about their ability to listen and pay attention, for another, watching them watch, teaches me a lot about them, even before the questions begin.

Quote:
Randy Sexton wrote: View Post
Interesting discussion. Lots of food for thought.

On the other hand, how would you create a questionnaire that the potential student could ask the instructor to complete?
A potential student is usually far less equipped to ask all the right questions, but they can often ask very pertinent ones. When I first came back to aikido, however, I read a lot and watched several classes (even though it wasn't required), and had discussions with teh instructors (again not required in that dojo) before I made my decision.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:21 PM   #39
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 290
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Randy Sexton wrote: View Post
Interesting discussion. Lots of food for thought.

On the other hand, how would you create a questionnaire that the potential student could ask the instructor to complete?

Doc
Sensei Interview Questionnaire

1) In your dojo, who cleans the toilets?
2) Why?

Ross
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:32 PM   #40
Janet Rosen
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Ross Robertson wrote: View Post
Sensei Interview Questionnaire
1) In your dojo, who cleans the toilets?
2) Why?
Ross
Oh Ross I LOVE that.
And that I can think of a variety of answers I'd probably find acceptable in different situations makes it all the better.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #41
tarik
 
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Dojo: Iwae Dojo
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Ross Robertson wrote: View Post
Sensei Interview Questionnaire

1) In your dojo, who cleans the toilets?
I do (or my wife does).

Quote:
Ross Robertson wrote: View Post
2) Why?
Because the toilets are in our house and we don't like dirty toilets (and the kids are too young to do a good job as yet).

:-)

More than questions, I would desire to sit and watch through several classes without interrupting to observe the training. That would answer a lot of my questions and fuel more.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:42 PM   #42
yankeechick
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I do (or my wife does).

Because the toilets are in our house and we don't like dirty toilets (and the kids are too young to do a good job as yet).

:-)

More than questions, I would desire to sit and watch through several classes without interrupting to observe the training. That would answer a lot of my questions and fuel more.

Best,
I agree that watching a class is key....
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:10 AM   #43
Tim Lee
Location: Dallas Texas
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

I have been watching the comments on this posted column from its' beginning. In opinions we are all over the matte, so why shouldn't I contribute. I am really confused by some of the comments that people would be offended, or put off by a questionnaire or application to train, or interview. I liked I think it was Garth's comment that a student recently presented somewhat a list of questions to him before training. As teachers in our self defense disciplines people will roll in train for awhile roll on and some stay. For us, we stayed a long time.. Why was that, something about that dojo, it's teacher, it's location, class time, other students was a Fit for us. While never training there I visited Sosa's school in Dallas in the 70's, when you walked in the door, the school and its' teacher had an aura. It was a questionnaire in and of itself, you knew this place and its' teacher were something special. At that point in my life I was not up to that challenge. I teach in a public location and in a private location, The Divine Paradox. I am a member at large in a private location as well.... Hmmm... I find that in any one of the scenarios, I feel comfortable with the screening processes. The process in a screening process should be considered a biforcated process. Its' purpose is not just to weed out, but to help for a better fit. Ross teaches in Austin. There is a group at the University as well, maybe one or the other is a better fit. In my private group, if I am teaching from my home or from my teachers home, I have responsibilities that exceed my position on the matte to respect the other inhabitants property and safety as well. On the matte I know my responsibility to my students and their well being. If we go to Walmart and buy a bag of Apples, and you must write a check, there is an inquisition that I find offensive. Do I look like a criminal? Once finished with that process you go to the door and they frisk you again. Yes, I find that offensive. Does the store have a right to ask these questions of you? Yes they do.. You can just pay cash, but then they still look at your receipt at the door. So we have a choice go there or go somewhere else. There is another factor here that maybe some are missing... Should you contact Ross about training.. you don't get a blank impersonal stair with that eyebrow raised armed with questionnaire and large magnifying glass. You meet a warm considerate group and its' teacher, then if he ever decides to adopt the questionnaire he might ask you to look at it. So to put it in context presentation is everything, if you hold people at arms length and say here fill this out and slip it under the door. They are likely to slip it under the door and run like hell. In consideration of all this remember the human factors of introduction, etc. I am reminded of the line from Anna and the King.. "In Siam Sir it is considered polite to first ask questions of personal nature"..A lot of great responses on this thread are posted and evidence of how differently people can think and still have those things like Aikido that bring us together.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:20 AM   #44
Tim Lee
Location: Dallas Texas
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 11
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

I have been watching the comments on this posted column from its' beginning. In opinions we are all over the matte, so why shouldn't I contribute. I am really confused by some of the comments that people would be offended, or put off by a questionnaire or application to train, or interview. I liked I think it was Garth's comment that a student recently presented somewhat a list of questions to him before training. As teachers in our self defense disciplines people will roll in train for awhile roll on and some stay. For us, we stayed a long time.. Why was that, something about that dojo, it's teacher, it's location, class time, other students was a Fit for us. While never training there I visited Sosa's school in Dallas in the 70's, when you walked in the door, the school and its' teacher had an aura. It was a questionnaire in and of itself, you knew this place and its' teacher were something special. At that point in my life I was not up to that challenge. I teach in a public location and in a private location, The Divine Paradox. I am a member at large in a private location as well.... Hmmm... I find that in any one of the scenarios, I feel comfortable with the screening processes. The process in a screening process should be considered a biforcated process. Its' purpose is not just to weed out, but to help for a better fit. Ross teaches in Austin. There is a group at the University as well, maybe one or the other is a better fit. In my private group, if I am teaching from my home or from my teachers home, I have responsibilities that exceed my position on the matte to respect the other inhabitants property and safety as well. On the matte I know my responsibility to my students and their well being. If we go to Walmart and buy a bag of Apples, and you must write a check, there is an inquisition that I find offensive. Do I look like a criminal? Once finished with that process you go to the door and they frisk you again. Yes, I find that offensive. Does the store have a right to ask these questions of you? Yes they do.. You can just pay cash, but then they still look at your receipt at the door. So we have a choice go there or go somewhere else. There is another factor here that maybe some are missing... Should you contact Ross about training.. you don't get a blank impersonal stair with that eyebrow raised armed with questionnaire and large magnifying glass. You meet a warm considerate group and its' teacher, then if he ever decides to adopt the questionnaire he might ask you to look at it. So to put it in context presentation is everything, if you hold people at arms length and say here fill this out and slip it under the door. They are likely to slip it under the door and run like hell. In consideration of all this remember the human factors of introduction, etc. I am reminded of the line from Anna and the King.. "In Siam Sir it is considered polite to first ask questions of personal nature"..A lot of great responses on this thread are posted and evidence of how differently people can think and still have those things like Aikido that bring us together. I think the columnist has succeeded.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:30 AM   #45
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

I finally took a look at the posted questionnaire. I don't think that the real purpose of most of the "questions" is to get information from the student; instead, they seem to be either statements of dojo policy and the expectations that will be placed on students, or attempts to inform and caution the would-be student about the level of commitment required. I don't see anything in it that is intrusive (read the wording carefully on the physical/mental conditions question, for example). Offensive? Well, that's somewhat in the eye of the beholder. I don't think offensiveness is the real problem of this document; instead, I think that this is a document that is trying to do too many things at once, as follows.

- Clarify dojo policy as regards attendance, payment of fees, participation in dojo chores, participation in external service activities, etc. This is important stuff to be communicated, if you have such policies (not every dojo does), but I am not sure that a written document is the best way to communicate them (and I am quite sure that a "questionnaire" full of questions that really aren't questions is not).

- Get information from the student. This is the smallest, least important function of this questionnaire, and ironically, really the only function that requires asking questions. It seems that this function could be handled just fine with a simple registration form.

- Explain the effort and level of commitment that is required to train. Unfortunately, there isn't any way you can paint the full picture for someone who has never trained before. For example, you can explain that to learn and improve, it will require, on average, x number of days a week on an ongoing basis, but I think that can cut both ways. On the one hand, if someone has non-negotiable commitments that will preclude their training for that amount of time, you'd certainly think it best that they know that up front. On the other hand, even if they don't have such commitments, their evenings are most likely taken up with something that they enjoy. Forcing them to choose between aikido and American Idol, indefinitely, seems more likely to cause people to choose a current pleasure that they know over an activity that they have never experienced and whose enjoyment grows over time. It's only as people train that they learn what aikido is worth to them, and what they're willing to do to keep training (sometimes including finding creative ways to re-negotiate some of those non-negotiable schedule conflicts).

I do think it's wise to ask people to watch a class before joining, for several reasons (so that they know what actually happens in a class and get any silly movie ideas out of their heads, at the very least), but that's about it. The only truly informed decision that a not-yet-beginner can make is whether they're willing to step onto the mat for the first time.
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