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Old 07-21-2010, 04:45 AM   #1
"just-want-to-train"
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aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

i'm moving interstate within Australia very soon, and plan to continue with my aikido training. unfortunately, the place where i'll be going will not have any dojos under my current umbrella organisation. i have no qualms training in another good dojo, but i've heard that some dojos/organisations are very political and will forbid their students to train anywhere else.

having a strong attachment to my previous dojo, i would obviously love to drop by once in a while, and attend the occasional national seminars/gasshukus when possible.

the biggest issue seems to be that this is not unique to the occasional, parochial dojos; but apparently the biggest/main aikido organisation in the country is in fact the biggest stickler about that policy.

i must admit that this is just hearsay at the moment for me as i haven't approached any of these dojos yet, but i've met at least about a dozen aikidoka who have trained under that organisation who have told me the same, and i'm quite concerned about that.

does anyone have specific experience/insight about the matter and would be happy to provide for some advice?

thanks in advance.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:09 PM   #2
RED
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

I have never trained in Australia. But I find that sort of thing weird. I've willingly visited dojo in and out of my federation, attended their seminars with no consequence. We've invited other federations to our seminars.

I was always told to watch out for dojo that suppress the student's desire to visit other teachers. I was told the number one reason for it is so their students won't learn anything from any one else...maybe they are afraid their students will come back thinking their schools do things wrong ??

MM
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
danielajames
 
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

I think with our proximity to Japan Australia has been blessed with having many Shihan visit or even stay and establish organisations. Old organisations tend to have a hierarchy and membership base to protect and need to have more 'boundary control' than younger organisations that open their doors to all. Of course young organisations get old eventually and might succumb to the former strategy.
With a little care its possible to practice with the greater majority of dojo and there are some fabulous teachers and seminars out there

There was a somewhat emotive discussion on the Aikido Australia email list last december (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Aikido_Australia/ ) whilst maybe not so helpful at least you know you are not in the trenches alone. Here is a list of the major organisations in Australia. http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-australia

best,
Dan

PS where you off to Ronin?

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:16 PM   #4
Aikiscott
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Yep Aikikai Australia are pretty bad for that sort of thing and other unpleasantries.

I can remember going to watch Sugano sensei (I think it was his first visit to Aus after loosing his foot) at their old Leichhardt dojo and seeing an instructor that we knew and had trained with and who had visited our dojo on many occations, look at us and whisper "Pretend you don't know me" to protect himself from undue attention for his extracuricular activities.

If your moving to NSW or QLD send me a PM and I will try to point you to some dojo's that are friendly to people from other organisations.

But if your a current Aikikai Australia student trying to maintain good relations with your former dojo/Organisation whilst training with another organisation, then you may find things a little tricky.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Hello,

I have just returned from Australia, where I was guest instructor at the Aikikai Australia Winter School. From my experience of training with Japanese shihan, I believe that the readiness or otherwise of some organizations to welcome 'fellow travellers', for want of a better term, depends pretty much on the attitude of the shihan. With Sugano Shihan, I believe it is a fundamental matter of commitment to him, as a direct disciple of the Founder. Some other shihans I have known do not appear to insist on such commitment (but, since it is so much a part of traditional Japanese martial culture, I suspect this is simply tatemae). Of course, I do not think this is simply a bad or unpleasant attitude. There is a lot more to it than this.

Best wishes,

PAG

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
i'm moving interstate within Australia very soon, and plan to continue with my aikido training. unfortunately, the place where i'll be going will not have any dojos under my current umbrella organisation. i have no qualms training in another good dojo, but i've heard that some dojos/organisations are very political and will forbid their students to train anywhere else.

having a strong attachment to my previous dojo, i would obviously love to drop by once in a while, and attend the occasional national seminars/gasshukus when possible.

the biggest issue seems to be that this is not unique to the occasional, parochial dojos; but apparently the biggest/main aikido organisation in the country is in fact the biggest stickler about that policy.

i must admit that this is just hearsay at the moment for me as i haven't approached any of these dojos yet, but i've met at least about a dozen aikidoka who have trained under that organisation who have told me the same, and i'm quite concerned about that.

does anyone have specific experience/insight about the matter and would be happy to provide for some advice?

thanks in advance.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:27 AM   #6
john.burn
 
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Politics in Aikido is sadly a very real problem and to me anyway - quite ridiculous. I was at a course at the weekend and a couple in front of me realised they'd handed over the 'wrong' passbook for signing - they were visitors from another (Aikikai linked I might add) association and so they swapped the books for their personal ones.

It's not just linked to Aikikai related organisations however - my previous club who were independent have a blanket ban on anyone training at my club (well, with me really) - they can come, but they will be asked to make a choice upon their return! Last time I checked this was a hobby for most people and we're all adults, right? I get visitors from time to time from my old club, we make them sign in with an x and call them 'the others' all in good fun, but it's not good fun for them when they go back if anyone has seen them or checked our website and spots them in a photo. It's nice to know they're so paranoid and scared in some ways. All my students are free to go and train anywhere and with anyone - including my old club - however when they do go to them they don't usually say they're with me as I doubt they would be allowed to train.

Having said all of that I think that it can be worse in Japan from some of Peter's previous comments and postings on this sort of thing.

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:09 AM   #7
jss
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
i have no qualms training in another good dojo, but i've heard that some dojos/organisations are very political and will forbid their students to train anywhere else.

having a strong attachment to my previous dojo, i would obviously love to drop by once in a while, and attend the occasional national seminars/gasshukus when possible.
In my opinion, there's a difference between exploring other aikido styles through seminars or the occasional visit to a differnt dojo on the one hand and actually training in another dojo on the other. I have little understanding for dojos forbidding the former, but I do have some sympathy for dojos forbidding the latter. When you join a dojo, you're expected to conform to their style. (In due time, of course, you can't just flip a switch to switch styles.) Training in another dojo with a different style or regularly returning to your previous dojo, is not the best way to confirm your membership of the new dojo.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:14 AM   #8
danielajames
 
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Its an interesting problem, and in Australia anyway it exists in more than a few organisations. Perhaps an (un)intended result is that the harder the fist is squeezed the more aikidoka run out through the fingers, and often its the talented rather than the mediocre doing so.

Stanley Pranin recently published an article on the Aikido Journal touching on this topic (and a few raw nerves judging by at least one comment). Were it not from probably Aikido's most well known historian it might be labelled reactionary. Here are some quotes I hope not to out of context.
Quote:
I think I can safely say that few of today's leaders are focused on the philosophy and technique of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Their main concern is the solidification/expansion of the organization and its smooth operation
.
Quote:
My closing thought is this. Don't look to Japan or any organization for leadership in aikido or any other field of endeavor.
Still chewing on that one,
Dan

PS Peter, having enjoyed your writings online I was sorry not to have the opportunity to hear you speak and teach whilst you were recently downunder

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:57 AM   #9
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Hello Daniel,

Yes, in the recent winter school I saw at least one example of the consequences of the tight squeezing of the fist. However, as I stated earlier, I think there is a lot more to it than that.

I think that the problem with Stan's generalizations is that they are generalizations. He states:

QUOTE: "I think I can safely say that few of today’s leaders are focused on the philosophy and technique of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Their main concern is the solidification/expansion of the organization and its smooth operation."

The problem here is that Stan does not qualify the 'few' by giving any examples, so all today's leaders are tarred with the same brush. I should add that in prewar Japan, two of the most important 'leaders who were concerned with the solidification/expansion of their organizations and their smooth operations' were Morihei Ueshiba (the Kobukan) and his spiritual mentor Onisaburo Deguchi (the Omoto religion), but it is considered 'politically incorrect' to state this.

QUOTE: "My closing thought is this. Don't look to Japan or any organization for leadership in aikido or any other field of endeavor."

Again this is pretty absolute, so absolute that it is difficult to know how to take it--and it does not at all match with my own experience. The problem is that some sort of distinction needs to be made between the organization itself and those who operate through it. Otherwise we come to absurd conclusions. For example, who would attack Tamura Sensei and his aikido, because he chose to organize aikido in Europe in a certain way? Similarly with Sugano in Australia, Takeda, also in Australia, Chiba in the UK and Yamada in the US?

In any case, the issue that led to Stan's post and his recent (excellent) DVD on Koichi Tohei, does not concern organizations as such, so much as the individuals who led them. Which, in this case, centers on the personality clash, and consequences, between Koichi Tohei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Tohei, also, seemingly nullified his leadership credentials by forming an organization.

Finally, I remember my early encounters with Chiba Shihan in the UK. He was extraordinary (but was also largely responsible for many of the splits within the Aikikai in the UK) and I know that my own experiences precisely match those of the early students in Australia with Sugano Shihan. I myself had the benefit of long discussions / arguments with Chiba Sensei about how aikido could be furthered by organizations and I suspect that the policies of the Aikikai Australia precisely reflect the thoughts of Sugano Shihan about a correct teaching/learning relationship, as applied to organizations.

FWIW,

PAG

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
Its an interesting problem, and in Australia anyway it exists in more than a few organisations. Perhaps an (un)intended result is that the harder the fist is squeezed the more aikidoka run out through the fingers, and often its the talented rather than the mediocre doing so.

Stanley Pranin recently published an article on the Aikido Journal touching on this topic (and a few raw nerves judging by at least one comment). Were it not from probably Aikido's most well known historian it might be labelled reactionary. Here are some quotes I hope not to out of context.

Still chewing on that one,
Dan

PS Peter, having enjoyed your writings online I was sorry not to have the opportunity to hear you speak and teach whilst you were recently downunder

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-22-2010 at 07:59 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:17 PM   #10
danielajames
 
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Hi Peter,
Thanks for sharing so frankly. Although my experiences have been with various Ryuhu in Australia and abroad rather than Hombu it resonates well.

Hi All,
Perhaps OT and for another day or article (a few columns have touched on this), dialing forward a few years and well and truly into aikido's third and forth generation its possible to imagine a Pranin esq' aikido universe where there is a proliferation of aikido organisations (and groups/federations within organisations) that don't necessarily communicate. Here restrictive access to quality high level teaching outside ones school ensures that aiki suffers the eventual dilution and quality control of some of the other modern budo. Any thoughts?

best,
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:43 AM   #11
David Yap
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
...I suspect that the policies of the Aikikai Australia precisely reflect the thoughts of Sugano Shihan about a correct teaching/learning relationship, as applied to organizations.
Hello Prof Goldsbury,

I think you are spot on. This is mirrored in the Malaysia Aikido Association which Sugano shihan also heads. It was a common knowledge in the aikido community here that a very senior founding member of the association left the organization due to teaching methodology that is inconsistent with that set by Sugano shihan.

I hope luck will be with him this 3rd time, now that he has allied himself with another Japanese shihan who is very strict with protocol and loyalty issues, perhaps even more stricter than Sugano shihan.

Regards

David Y
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:31 AM   #12
Marc Abrams
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Stanley Pranin wrote a very good article addressing this topic

http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/20...tanley-pranin/

Marc Abrams
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:28 AM   #13
Buck
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Politics and Japanese martial arts seems to be synonymous. I have no special insight to Aikido's organizational politics. I didn't come up that route in my training. I have not been that fortunate to be a close to any organizational Aikido leader to be a political.

But what I have learn about the Japanese culture and the things I have read from organizational leaders and Stanely Pranin and others it seems to me as the saying, you can take the girl out of the country (a country girl), but you can't take the country out of the girl. It seems true for the Japanese.

It seems the samurai culture fueled by personal power resulting in conflict and warring states still exists. It is as times have changed but people haven't. It seems that Japanese leadership and the structure of organization is never without political aspirations among the ranks. There is always in the ranks plots and schemes to take over the leadership in someway, to create rivalries, to brake off and compete and establish dominance. Watermarks of the past feudal culture.

That might be because those who are attracted to martial arts subscribe to that feudal thinking. That is it is part and parcel for Japanese martial arts to be political, because those interested in martial arts have a feudal mentality. It is like people who like to fight become fighters. The fighting is no longer on a physical level, but a political level.

I often wonder that sometimes some Japanese martial arts leaders subscribe to the samurai format of how they run their organizations. They may say, the past is old fashion and out of date, yet they mirror it very well. It seems such people look upon their students as samurai and act as Daimyos or a Shogun. They compete with other organizations for wealth and recognition equaling power. All of which where the two things the Daimyo sought after through conflict and politics.

It seems to me that the modern leadership that came after O'Sensei had no other model that what came before them in running organizations. Such people attracted to martial arts and all that it means from a Japanese perspective are predisposition to be political, to imbibe in the same spirit that fueled feudal Japan.

What carries that political culture on in places like Australia and other parts of the world, generally speaking we accept playing samurai. We absorb and subscribe to the politics as part of the art of Aikido. It is part of the whole exotic experience of a Japanese martial art. Those of us who don't accept this are either jaded from it, or just focus only on technique, not paying attention to much else.

Also the whole structure of Aikido because it is a martial art has the political feudal structure or platform, O'Sensei keep that in Aikido. He didn't eradicate the inherent political stuff of budo, he altered the perspective of the inherent violent out comes resulting from the politics. Rank for example is a political statement, so is all the other terms and duties for offices in a dojo or organization.

So, it is my opinion base on what I observe Japanese Aikido politics and martial arts are infused and can't be separated. The Japanese in rank and file, a leadership position model the leaders of feudal Japan. They aspire as martial artist, or budoka subscribe to what that means. The Japanese leadership in martial arts because they are interested in martial arts follow the models of feudal Japan.

Yet we expect them to act differently outside of what they know, who they are and where they came from. To act like us. We fail to see it is in their genetic cultural code to be political, to act as Lords over their fiefdoms to secede and form their own organization for their own interests and agendas. Look at Emperor Hirohito, and why it took him so long despite the result of the first bomb to surrender, and all the dynamics involved. For example, he didn't want to lose face, he wanted to stay in power and be seen as a god, even it modern times. That shows the importance and how politics are so deeply infused in Japanese culture and leadership.

Yes, not everyone is like this, not everyone's sensei is like this, and this is all in general terms. It is my opinion. I don't want people to think am attacking anyone or anything. I can see how they might. But the truth is this is my observations and a result I have no problem with Japanese Aikido politics and leadership. For me it is a matter of you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. I am not involved in the politics where it is a concern. I have come across political situations and accept them for what they are as well as the outcome and stuff. I recognize it for what it is. I am not an insider. I am merely making my observations from the doorway.

My purpose of this post was to provide by view point in order to help the original poster possibly Japanese martial arts politics as I see them. In this way, it might provide an added navigational instrument around the politics.

Last edited by Buck : 07-23-2010 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:35 AM   #14
Keith Larman
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I have no special insight to Aikido's organizational politics.
Something my father used to tell me is that if you start a conversation with "I don't know anything about this topic..." you should probably stop talking at that point rather than prove the truth of your statement.

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Old 07-23-2010, 11:46 AM   #15
Buck
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Something my father used to tell me is that if you start a conversation with "I don't know anything about this topic..." you should probably stop talking at that point rather than prove the truth of your statement.
I am sure your father was very wise, and it is good advise. Allow me to clarify as my statement was not in enough detail. I guess that is what happens when I take short cuts. Sorry, Keith for any confusion on what I said, having no special insight.

In more detail, what I was saying is I am like so many Aikidoka and like the originator of the post, that we experience politics, it touches out lives, it effects our Aikido, our dojos, our training. We are not the policy makers, we are not the polticians, and not everyone can be a Stanley Pranin who got really close. The Japanese use the word gaijin to indicate the exclusive attitude Japanese have. They had their country's door closed for centuries. They didn't modernize until the Mejin period. I have read from many here how difficult it is as a gaijin to be accept. And I have read the threads concerning the difficulty for gaijin to be shihan in some organization. There is only one Stanely Pranin, and it sure ain't me. And unlike some other people here, I am not fortunate to get close to more liberal top Japanese sensei that are less conservative in this matter. Individuals who are able to have them be comfortable enough to provide political insights. That is what I mean by that.

I don't think the original post has those connections either, and offering a view point from the same position I hope offers him some general background information to the situation he is facing. That I provided in my post is what helped me when I was faced with such a situation. I want to share information I learned in the Japanese culture classes I took. That really helped me understand the Japanese. After all, Aikido is Japanese. It would make sense to have a primer on Japanese history and culture.

Keith, as you can see what I said was "no special insight." That is true. But, I have had similar political uncomfortable situations as a result of organizational politics and leadership, as many of us rank and file have. I don't have a high or influential position or rank in any Aikido organizations, obviously, that is what I mean by I "no special insight" into the operational political workings of any major Aikido organization.

Keith, it is my hope that I was able to provide some general insight to his problem based on my observations, having a similar experience, and what I have read and learned in relation to Aikido organizational politics. The bottom line thing I learned was there is always going to be politics in Aikido and martial arts. Although, it isn't the politics we may be familiar with, or accustom to knowing that helps in our expectations and understanding of Aikido politics. Most of us will never have that special in sight into the political workings. But I feel, once we have a better general understanding of those politics are, and where they come from and how they are different and similar from our own politics. Such an overview, may give us better navigational points, and ease the frustration we may feel as a result from political implications.

Last edited by Buck : 07-23-2010 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:50 PM   #16
Michael Hackett
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

I'm a cynic by nature and suggest that we consider Deep Throat's advice to Woodward and Bernstein, "Follow the money."

Michael
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:49 AM   #17
"just-want-to-train"
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

thank you everyone for your responses. a lot of what you've shared have shed some light on this issue for me now. i was a little unsure about whether it was appropriate to name up, but it appears that it is of more common knowledge than i expected.

yes, i was worried about the Australian Aikikai's policy under Sugano Shihan re: this matter in particular. I'm moving to Melbourne, and it would appear that most of the dojos near where i'll be are mostly Aikikai, and i would really like to train there, but as i've alluded to before, i'm not quite sure if i'm ready to swear off my right to train with others, especially at the occasional seminars.

this feels like a very big commitment. much bigger than i feel ready to make especially not having build any strong ties with them in the first place.

although i appreciate now that this is more than just simple politics at play, it still does not make my decision any easier.

jeez - i really just want to train. i will eventually have to make up my own mind i'm sure, but just in case i get any gems of wisdom here, do people have any advice on what i can/should do?
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:35 AM   #18
NagaBaba
 
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
thank you everyone for your responses. a lot of what you've shared have shed some light on this issue for me now. i was a little unsure about whether it was appropriate to name up, but it appears that it is of more common knowledge than i expected.

yes, i was worried about the Australian Aikikai's policy under Sugano Shihan re: this matter in particular. I'm moving to Melbourne, and it would appear that most of the dojos near where i'll be are mostly Aikikai, and i would really like to train there, but as i've alluded to before, i'm not quite sure if i'm ready to swear off my right to train with others, especially at the occasional seminars.

this feels like a very big commitment. much bigger than i feel ready to make especially not having build any strong ties with them in the first place.

although i appreciate now that this is more than just simple politics at play, it still does not make my decision any easier.

jeez - i really just want to train. i will eventually have to make up my own mind i'm sure, but just in case i get any gems of wisdom here, do people have any advice on what i can/should do?
Go to speak directly to Sugano sensei. He is a very approachable nice man.Talk to him sincerely about your problems. I'm sure he will find a good solution.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:19 PM   #19
Aikiscott
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

If I was moving to Melbourne then I would probably go train with the Yoshinkan.
In the long run people from Aikikai Australia still train outside of the organisation but not as much as they once did.

Good luck in finding a new place to train.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:52 AM   #20
David Yap
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
jeez - i really just want to train. i will eventually have to make up my own mind i'm sure, but just in case i get any gems of wisdom here, do people have any advice on what i can/should do?
Google "Joe Thambu shihan". Lots of training opportunities and perhaps minimal politics.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:09 PM   #21
Keith Burnikell
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Let's see if I understand this correctly. You're moving to a place that does not have an affiliated dojo....correct?

Do you mean to tell me that you belong to an organization that would rather you not train at all than train with another association, given no other choice????

I agree with asking your Shihan.
I'd be shocked if his answer left you without an option to train at all.
I imagine him to be wise, and therefore, reasonable.

If staying in their good graces is that important to you, then take a sabbatical and delve into another martial art, until you can go back to an 'approved' dojo.
Do Iaido or Kenjutsu....related but no conflict. Find a BJJ school. Learn an external martial art so you truly understand atemi. There are ways to do this if you have to.

If you absolutely must practice Aikido, be prepared for some backlash.

I can feel the OPs frustration. You just want to do Aikido. ME TOO! There are a ton of us out there who know exactly how you feel. The number who wants the miserable aspects of politics out of Aikido grows steadily.

If Samurai = one who serves
and "The greatest among you is your servant".
then I contend that this very quality in an Aikido instructor 'magically' draws from his students an unwaivering loyalty that is oft demanded by lesser men.

There is great value in asking for commitment; almost none in compulsion. Make sure that you've discerned what your parent organization has truly asked from you. There may be a miscommunication.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:15 AM   #22
"Same issue"
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Anonymous User
Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Can you let me know how this worked out? I will also be moving to Australia soon, and while I have trained in this city before, my old dojo is no longer around. I've been training with Aikikai in Japan, and Aikikai Australia seems like it would suit my needs just fine except for the politics you just mentioned.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #23
"Grady Lane"
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Ai symbol Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Sugano Shihan passed away last year on August 29 2010
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:57 PM   #24
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
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Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Checking the posting dates, this thread was active mostly in the month before Sugano Sensei passed away last year, and then someone posted in January of this year, and then today. I only joined Aiki Web in November of 2010 but I have a suggestion that may be helpful. From Sugano Sensei's website last year it seems that a long time student of his, Tony Smibert, might be the one you might want to talk with. I don't know if I read an article he wrote, it would have been months ago, but I think you will get some good advice from him and a chance to discuss how you feel about your training and your continuing contact with your original dojo.

I guess this is for the original poster, although we don't seem to have heard from him since (Hope he will post and let us know) but also for the aikidoka who posted today. Good luck, I hope everything works out okay.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:33 PM   #25
"Same issue"
IP Hash: f6879bd3
Anonymous User
Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

@Grady. Yes, I was very sad to hear about Sugano-shihan. Although I have heard that Aikikai Australia can be sticklers for their rules, I have only ever heard good things about Sugano-shihan himself.

@Diane. Thanks for the advice. I will actually not be too far away from Tony, so it shouldn't be too hard to have a chat with him. I will also check out all the dojos in my area and see which one seems to meet my needs the best. Of all of the senseis in the area, the only one that I haven't met is the Aikikai Australia one, so that dojo is a bit of an unknown quantity to me.
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