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Old 08-26-2011, 11:06 AM   #26
Chris Li
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Lisa Donner wrote: View Post
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students. Not at the regular classes, but at special classes and functions. He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.He has ruined Aikido for me and I want to tell him to stop coming to our Dojo, but Sensei won't let me.
I know that this sounds like kindergarten but this bozo is and idiot and seems to be completely unaware that NOBODY likes him or wants to train with him.
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????
Most of the responses seem to fall into either the "ignore him" or "talk to the instructor" category. Here's a radical idea - why not just talk to the guy directly and tell him what you think?

I'm not saying you can't do it in a friendly way, but if it really bothers you that much than you ought to do something about it.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-26-2011, 11:52 AM   #27
Walter Martindale
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post

Just say, "Sensei, I don't think I understand what we're supposed to be doing, can you help?" And then, go with what sensei tells you, and don't expect your partner to be humbled or chastened or feel put in his place or anything, because your practice shouldn't be about him. You are there for your practice, not to improve his character. Get on with your practice and never mind the rest.
I love this approach. Was at a seminar once - still nikyu, struggling to do what I thought (the late) Kawahara shihan had asked us to practice - working with a fellow who was a yondan. The yondan kept correcting me. I asked Sensei because I really didn't get what he was doing. So, I got the explanation in Japanese (which I really don't get very much of), and "wakaru ka".. I understood the movement he was doing (happened to be what I'd been trying to do but didn't have the right ma-ai) but I kept saying um, no (because I didn't understand the verbal part). However, he kept demonstrating on the yondan, which was alright with me, because Kawahara could REALLY cause pain, and I really didn't like this particular yondan that much.

W
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #28
Mark Gibbons
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Clark:

... Then it is clear to both people what Sensei would like done.
That's all it takes to get clarity about an aikido technique? How I wish it worked that way for me.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:18 PM   #29
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

one strike. one kill.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:33 PM   #30
jamie yugawa
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Great Post!!
One other way to think about this is there is always that "One person". Either at work, social setting or somewhere you are. This can be great training to blend with those individuals because sometimes there are no other options. Or the other options are to find another club, workplace or avoid the person completely which sometimes is not reasonable.

One little candle can light 10,000 candles- Koichi Tohei Sensei
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:34 PM   #31
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

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Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
one strike. one kill.
It's an approach!
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:05 PM   #32
dps
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

One option would to say rather loudly, "Shut the (insert favorite curse word ) up."

dps

p.s.

I thought he meant pompous baboons.

Last edited by dps : 08-26-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:48 PM   #33
valjean
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Don't train with him... Don't sit down next to him, bow to the person on the other side of you if you get stuck next to him, basically act as if this person isn't there.
This seems like practical advice to me. I'm not an aikido expert, but I am a psychologist, so I tend to appreciate practical advice.

The one thing I'd add is that while you may not have any right to control who participates in the dojo, you certainly have the right to express yourself and to vote with your feet. If you have serious concerns about this other person, and he's truly ruining your experience of aikido, then your sensei needs to know how you feel about it. I can imagine lots of reasons why sensei might not immediately act on your complaint. On the other hand, I can also imagine a lot of ways that sensei might respond to you in a way that suggests that he "hears" you, short of kicking the problem guy out. If you get no meaningful response at all and the problem continues unabated, then it's something to factor into your future assessment of the dojo.

I don't know any secrets about the essence of aiki. But adaptive coping in the rest of our lives involves both being able to tolerate occasional episodes of obnoxious behavior, but also being reasonably assertive and knowing when not to tolerate it as well.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #34
Mario Tobias
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

You will always encounter difficult people in a dojo.

The thing is the more you think of the person, the more it annoys you and the more it intrudes into your once peaceful life. When this happens, you start LOSING to the other person.

How I deal with it is to take a deep breath, forget and let it go. I would take the higher road. I will not permit myself to have my day or even a second of my day ruined by something like this. I've got more important problems to resolve.

If you have the unfortunate chance that you train with him, accept that you can learn from everybody but filter the information. You can always filter out useless information (which is the most likely situation here). Similarly, you always have the power to filter out unwanted thoughts no matter how bad or uncomfortable the situation is. You cant change others but you can change yourself.

Don't let a memory of this person take an iota of space in your brain. Take deep breaths and let go. Usually, it would turn out ok for both you and the other person....especially for you.

Sometimes, the fight is not physical ....but mental, think about it.

best of luck

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 08-26-2011 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:09 PM   #35
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

I have read a few of the responses and I have to agree it is up to the chief instructor to make the decision to let the individual attend but disagree with the idea that you just ignore the individal. He is breaking basic etiquette, IMO, and he should be called on it every time. In many situations I have personally seen in the past ignoring the individual will likely lead to his departure but in the mean time he infects others with his posionous attitude. Regardless of how big a bafoon he or she may be there is always someone willing to listen. I don't understand how the aiki way is to go along to get along. If this is the case why bother training in the first place.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #36
Lulu
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

These are great responses!!! I do avoid this jerk like the plague, and he shows up only for the special, un-advertised classes. We think that one of our friends tells him about it because the class is for our students & friends only.
At seminars - no problem - I stay away.
This last time I was very stressed and just his presence was enough to make me crazy!
I deal with idiots all day at work and need Aikido to keep me sane & happy!
Thanks to all of you for giving me suggestions and food for thought.
I do need to remember that I am training for me - don't make it about that moron!!! Thanks for reminding me
Lisa
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #37
Keith Larman
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Just to kind of sum up my own thoughts...

One issue is relative rank, etc. There have been times I've been in someone else's class where I'm working with a beginner. As a fellow instructor if there is something I'm *really* sure he's doing wrong I'll do what I can. If the student doesn't listen/get it/whatever, I try to get the instructor's attention -- it is their class therefore up to them to deal with someone who isn't working off the same page.

If the person is nearer in rank (or higher), I might ask the instructor for help to clarify what I'm doing. Otherwise I just go along with it. Again, if I'm not the one teaching I'm not going to be stepping on the instructor's toes.

I do think, however, that the instructor should know this is going on. I've seen guys totally ignore the instructions of the sensei. Then noticed that the sensei stops correcting them. That seems to me to be an insidious problem since the guy doing it wrong probably thinks they're getting tacit approval when in fact the sensei has written them off.

So... Ultimately the responsibility is with the instructor. You can call the instructor over for "advice" in a polite manner to call attention to it. Then the ball is in their court. Hopefully they do something about it before it gets ugly, but sometimes things just have to get ugly.

If you're not a fellow instructor there's not much you can do except ask for clarification from your sensei. At that point I'd go back to avoiding the person whenever possible. Sometimes there are just people you shouldn't train with. Lord knows there are a few people I feel that way about myself.

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Old 08-26-2011, 07:48 PM   #38
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

I've only run into one or two of these types. My favorite thing to do is to do exactly what they are telling me to do and just wait for sensei to come over and lecture me. Then I just stare at them accusingly and say but he told me to.....

I had the pleasure once of seeing one of them get thoroughly dressed down by sensei... who just happened to be Mary Heiny.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:19 PM   #39
Janet Rosen
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
I've only run into one or two of these types. My favorite thing to do is to do exactly what they are telling me to do and just wait for sensei to come over and lecture me. Then I just stare at them accusingly and say but he told me to.....

I had the pleasure once of seeing one of them get thoroughly dressed down by sensei... who just happened to be Mary Heiny.
Hehehe- I've done that too!
This is BTW a really good thread.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:36 PM   #40
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Lisa Donner wrote: View Post
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students. Not at the regular classes, but at special classes and functions. He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.He has ruined Aikido for me and I want to tell him to stop coming to our Dojo, but Sensei won't let me.
I know that this sounds like kindergarten but this bozo is and idiot and seems to be completely unaware that NOBODY likes him or wants to train with him.
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????
He seems like a pretty powerful guy if can ruin Aikido for you.

Have you ever spent time chatting with him after class? If I find a person to be particularly troublesome for me, I train with them anyway because that person gives me the opportunity to learn so much about myself.
I was taught that my reactions to people are all I can concern myself with.
I wish you luck with your practice.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:06 PM   #41
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Have you ever spent time chatting with him after class?
He's not a regular student at this dojo, so that opportunity may not be there.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
If I find a person to be particularly troublesome for me, I train with them anyway because that person gives me the opportunity to learn so much about myself.
I was taught that my reactions to people are all I can concern myself with.
I agree with both of these, and yet I have to wonder -- if you've learned a lesson, does it really benefit you to keep learning it over and over again? Is it really "learning" if you already know it? At what point does it become gratuitous self-torture? I think with some people, depending on who you are and who they are, there's a point where the sane response is to just say to yourself, "Right, I've done what I can with this" -- echoing your sentiment that all you control is yourself -- accept that the situation isn't going to change, and exercise your option to stay away from it.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:11 PM   #42
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

I guess it does if the same person keeps presenting the same problem to me.
I had a person that I would like to say was this or that and yet really the problem was my lack of acceptance for that person being exactly like they were.

There will always be someone to blame. I am interested in being able to deal with whoever comes into the dojo...I don't have to like someone to learn from them.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:14 AM   #43
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Most of the responses seem to fall into either the "ignore him" or "talk to the instructor" category. Here's a radical idea - why not just talk to the guy directly and tell him what you think?

I'm not saying you can't do it in a friendly way, but if it really bothers you that much than you ought to do something about it.

Best,

Chris
I'm a fan of this approach!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:16 AM   #44
lbb
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I guess it does if the same person keeps presenting the same problem to me.
I had a person that I would like to say was this or that and yet really the problem was my lack of acceptance for that person being exactly like they were.
Yes, but accepting someone being who they are doesn't mean that you approve of what they're doing or that you need to expose yourself to that person further. Just to use one example, if you have a loved one who's a substance abuser, a sane and healthy response is not to further immerse yourself in their addictive behavior in the name of some concept of acceptance. Accepting who someone is implies nothing about willingness to be around them, and that has nothing to do with blame.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:27 AM   #45
Gary David
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

All things considered here...I would think that this individual is known to your instructor and it is likely that your instructor is the source of the initiation. Your instructor's responsibility is to be aware of all things that are going on with respect to the training that is occurring while he is teaching.....so it is likely that your instructors knows what is going on and gives tacit approval to the behavior.

Over the years the seniors I have trained with that were a source of concern I just avoided. Some folks just don't get it no matter how much you sit and chat with them....some just won't see you as someone worth talking to or listening to. Those individuals who were at my general level I "talked" to them on the mat and they did their "listen" on the mat.

Just another approach.....you need a full tool kit.....
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:57 AM   #46
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

I don't have to approve of someone to be able to learn from them. For me, ( just for me...I am not saying what others should do), each opportunity of each time on the mat provides a new experience. By labeling someone as this or that I am depriving myself of the now.

People are complex. With some understanding this guy might be fun to train with. I had a student who I really couldn't stand. He was very difficult. He helped me become a good teacher by questioning me, doubting me and being noticeably different to Ron.
I don't miss him a bit and yet I am very grateful to him. Did he ruin my Aikido experience? No, he enhanced it.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:41 PM   #47
dps
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Yes, but accepting someone being who they are doesn't mean that you approve of what they're doing or that you need to expose yourself to that person further. Just to use one example, if you have a loved one who's a substance abuser, a sane and healthy response is not to further immerse yourself in their addictive behavior in the name of some concept of acceptance. Accepting who someone is implies nothing about willingness to be around them, and that has nothing to do with blame.
Acceptance is also acknowledging it is not up to you to change or
help them change thier behavior.

dps
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:23 PM   #48
tarik
 
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I agree with both of these, and yet I have to wonder -- if you've learned a lesson, does it really benefit you to keep learning it over and over again? Is it really "learning" if you already know it? At what point does it become gratuitous self-torture? I think with some people, depending on who you are and who they are, there's a point where the sane response is to just say to yourself, "Right, I've done what I can with this" -- echoing your sentiment that all you control is yourself -- accept that the situation isn't going to change, and exercise your option to stay away from it.
I agree with Mary. I got (and can get) a lot out of forcing myself to train with difficult people. Over the years, I have learned a great deal.. about myself, about them, about how we can possibly interact.

But I certainly don't have to keep doing it to make what I learned useful or applicable, and I would never allow it in my dojo unless I genuinely believed that it would improve the training. Even then, such a thing is highly situational and should be temporary.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:34 PM   #49
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Lisa Donner wrote: View Post
He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.
Is he any good? Does what he say make any sense at all or is he a newbie??

-

-It seems to be all about semantics!
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:57 PM   #50
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Pompous Baffoons

Quote:
Lisa Donner wrote: View Post
I need to vent and would like some feedback. There is a Snooty, Pompous Baffoon that keeps showing up at our Dojo. Uninvited and completely unwelcome by me and other students. Not at the regular classes, but at special classes and functions. He corrects other students when training (regardless of rank) and thinks he knows everything.He has ruined Aikido for me and I want to tell him to stop coming to our Dojo, but Sensei won't let me.
I know that this sounds like kindergarten but this bozo is and idiot and seems to be completely unaware that NOBODY likes him or wants to train with him.
I see him at seminars and avoid him - I just NEVER want to see him come to our Dojo again. What do I do?????
(Aiki-do-)beat him up. Does wonders.

Next time you do randori with him or a techinique with him, kick his ass - kotegaeshi him as if there were no tomorrow (you may enjoy a few startled looks in his eyes when you get through fully serious, because normally they are not familiar with that).

If you have to train with one technique, apply instead the one that comes spontaneous to you and make him see the mat. Irimi without mercy, atemi with a true smack (not punch) in the face, unbalance him without mercy, throw him without mercy and when he gets up and whines, say you're sorry and that you apologize and that, indeed, you need another chance because you're a student and you have not much control over your techniques so you need to learn by him.

Then, kick his ass once again.

If he kicks yours (which I doubt), stay undaunted and at the first occasion irimi him again with full intention, push, unbalance, kokyunage with intention but not too much so that as he almost falls you grab his wrist and throw him the opposite direction (and if at the end you also let him go, he may bounce around). Make him tour and sweep the mat.

Doing that twice should be enough - he will stay away from you because you're not "aiki"...

If instead he appreciates that and does not complain and does not accuse you of not being aiki and is undaunted himself, then by all accounts follow his advice.

In shorter words: test him. I have said beat him up to be iconic - indeed what you're doing is: testing.

If he wins or he loses but does not complain, he may be worth of something indeed.
But if he loses and complains, he's the bozo you said.

In itself the fact nobody likes someone, could flag both situations: stupidity, or talent. So you need to test him.
It does not matter whether he wins or loses: it matters what he does when faced with brutality.
Then you will know.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 10-23-2011 at 06:09 PM.
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