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Old 09-19-2011, 03:37 AM   #26
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 597
England
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

[quote=Anonymous User;292870]Wow, there's so many replies already... Thank you, all!

Quote:
went to Police Explorers Academy where TAC officers yelled us at from 7am to 10pm for 5 days straight. For some odd reason, it did not hurt nearly as much as Sensei's remarks. I've also read about verbal abuse and 95% of the typically abusive phrases I have heard from Sensei and more than once.
The reason the abuse did not hurt so much was because it was not personal.
When you are a member of the armed forces and get abuse you have to ride it because there is nowhere else to go. In your case you found your way into this dojo so you should have no problem finding the exit one last time.

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:26 AM   #27
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Malaysia
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Well that line I said shouldn't have been taken too literally, but it's good you did a self analysis like that.

Surely after evaluating all that you've done, you've already come to a conclusion on what's going on. Did you come here seeking validification? From peers or are you looking for father figures or big sisters to 'support' your decision?

If it's that, then I think you need to buck up and listen to yourself more. Trust your instincts (and develop them) more.

So many have warned you about the danger of secrecy that your Sensei is proposing. Especially now its clear that you are of opposite sex and that you are younger to him. Again I don't want to jump the gun. But since you've basically have all the puzzles in place, you should know better what's happening.

All i can tell you is that being scolded by your teacher makes you embarrassed but equally motivated to do better. If it doesn't and instead makes you feel bad going to worst, then something is wrong somewhere.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:56 AM   #28
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Wow, very nice. Never thought of it that way. Thank you!

Ah, that's right. I remember coming to that conclusion right after getting out of Academy. And Sensei doesn't seem to talk to anyone else the way he does to me.

And yes, I am a girl

It's a bit difficult to start respecting myself again after a good 4 years of Sensei's rants. But, as you said, I think with the right people I can pull myself together again. You're right on every point, thank you.

So do any of you think it's possible to talk to him (or write a careful letter) and set a boundary between acceptable and unacceptable mode of conversation? Or is running away the only option? I mean, he is respectful with other students. He is like this only with those that are closest to him.

I am also afraid that if I don't learn to stand up for myself here, another situation will present itself elsewhere and I will be forced to run from other dojos, jobs, relationships, etc...
1) My apologies for wrong gender identification!

2) If you did not still respect yourself, you would not have felt compelled to post. You should recognize that even four years of verbal abuse did not extinguish your positive esteem for yourself. The right people for rebuilding begins and ends with yourself. Other people cannot replace your own regard for yourself. They can serve to reflect back to you who you are. Appreciate and cherish how strong you really are for putting up with the B.S. for four years and still having the personal integrity and self-respect to be able to walk away with your head held high!

3) The time for conversation ended a long time ago when the teacher abused the student-teacher relationship and turned it into an ongoing abuse of power. YOU ARE NOT RUNNING AWAY!!!! You are moving beyond the type of relationship that is thwarting your positive personal growth. A positive sign of that is you walking away AFTER communicating to that person in a positive manner that it is time for you to move onto better things. You are demonstrating to him that you do not have to stoop to his level, even when walking away.

4) The way that a person treats those that are closest to them is the most telling in regards to that person's true nature. If they treat those closest to them like feces, then it is a pretty clear indication that this person really feels like feces. Hang around feces long enough you not only begin to smell like it, but you don't even recognize the smell as being disturbing any more.

5) You have already demonstrated that you can stand up for yourself by posting here. Do not mistake the positive change of choosing a healthier training environment for running away. Acting like a pinata, proves little beyond letting others know that you are willing to stay there and take a beating from them. That is a pursuit in masochism, not a sign of fortitude. This is not a situation of fight or flight. This is a situation of making a conscious choice in training in an environment that is physically and psychologically rewarding. You have toughed it out for four years! If that is not a sign of how tough you really are, then I don't know what else will be. Think of it like walking into a wall. How many times do you need to walk into that wall before you make a conscious choice to change directions?

Good Luck,

Marc Abrams
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:26 AM   #29
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Australia
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
So do any of you think it's possible to talk to him (or write a careful letter) and set a boundary between acceptable and unacceptable mode of conversation? Or is running away the only option? I mean, he is respectful with other students. He is like this only with those that are closest to him.

I am also afraid that if I don't learn to stand up for myself here, another situation will present itself elsewhere and I will be forced to run from other dojos, jobs, relationships, etc...
I don't think writing a letter would do any good at this stage. I'm not intimately familiar with the situation, but from what you have said, it sounds like you are in an abusive relationship. Writing a letter might improve things for a while, but only long enough for him to convince you that things aren't all that bad and maybe you should stay. After that, the cycle will most likely repeat itself.

In what way is leaving not standing up for yourself? To me, deciding to leave a situation that is making you unhappy and destroying your self confidence is a good way to stand up for yourself. If it makes you feel better, write your sensei a letter to tell him why you are leaving (but whatever you do, don't give him a chance to respond). Staying in the situation is not standing up for yourself, it is merely punishing yourself. Leaving is not running away, it is merely choosing a better option.

There are many good aikido teachers out there, and they do not treat their students like crap. You mentioned uchi-deshi being treated like crap in the old days. Well, I'm pretty sure that being treated like crap didn't make them better at aikido. It was merely the way things were done back then, particularly in Japan. We are talking about the period of time around WW2 when young men were expected to crash their planes into the enemy for the good of the country, and doctors were expected to perform vivisections on POWs. At that point in time, a lot of people were treated like crap with no good reason.

Your teacher may expect you to train hard, even to the point of exhaustion. He may expect you to make sacrifices in terms of your free time. He may challenge you to face your fears. What he may not do is yell at you, insult you, and take away your self-esteem. That is abuse, and there is no excuse for it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:33 AM   #30
"aikidokaanonymno"
IP Hash: 407ac2cf
Anonymous User
Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Surely after evaluating all that you've done, you've already come to a conclusion on what's going on. Did you come here seeking validification? From peers or are you looking for father figures or big sisters to 'support' your decision?
I came here mainly to find out if verbal abuse was part of the normal training for uchideshi or something like that.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Hang around feces long enough you not only begin to smell like it, but you don't even recognize the smell as being disturbing any more.
Yes, that's the number 1 pushing factor to leave for me.

Alright, well, thank you everyone, I got my answers. Thanks for your help and support!
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #31
"aikidokaanonymno"
IP Hash: 407ac2cf
Anonymous User
Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
...Leaving is not running away, it is merely choosing a better option.

There are many good aikido teachers out there, and they do not treat their students like crap. You mentioned uchi-deshi being treated like crap in the old days. Well, I'm pretty sure that being treated like crap didn't make them better at aikido. It was merely the way things were done back then, particularly in Japan. We are talking about the period of time around WW2 when young men were expected to crash their planes into the enemy for the good of the country, and doctors were expected to perform vivisections on POWs. At that point in time, a lot of people were treated like crap with no good reason.

Your teacher may expect you to train hard, even to the point of exhaustion. He may expect you to make sacrifices in terms of your free time. He may challenge you to face your fears. What he may not do is yell at you, insult you, and take away your self-esteem. That is abuse, and there is no excuse for it.
Didn't see your reply until after I posted my own. Very good points, that haven't crossed my mind before. Thank you!
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #32
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Have you asked yourself what you are getting out of the situation?
Have you asked yourself why you are reluctant to leave?

Maybe you need to get honest with yourself about the situation. Aikido training is not about giving your power away to an authority figure. Training is about developing your own power.

Your teacher can not take away your self esteem. You have to hand it to him. You have choices and more power than you can see right now. If you walk away, even for a short time you will be able to see your situation more clearly.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:56 AM   #33
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Sorry, but the alarm bells are going off in my head here. This isn't simply abusive behavior and it isn't about some form of aikido teaching. This is grooming behavior and this guy is acting in a classic predatory manner.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:07 AM   #34
Keith Larman
Location: California
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Ya know, honestly my advice is really simple. Leave. Right now. There is no excuse in this day and age for that kind of crap. You don't need to be part of some idiot's "We're Cobra Kai" inadequacy compensation power wet-dream. There is no shortage of good instructors out there. You are not an indentured servant, you're not a slave, you're not a whipping post. You owe no explanation, no letter, no goodbye.

Do yourself a favor. Stand up, walk out, and walk away. Find something better for yourself because *no one * deserves that. Not today. Not ever.

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Old 09-19-2011, 04:11 PM   #35
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
It's a bit difficult to start respecting myself again after a good 4 years of Sensei's rants. But, as you said, I think with the right people I can pull myself together again. You're right on every point, thank you.

So do any of you think it's possible to talk to him (or write a careful letter) and set a boundary between acceptable and unacceptable mode of conversation? Or is running away the only option?
Well, here's the thing: all your life, you've probably been told all kind of things by adults about persistence and working through problems and sticking with it and all that good stuff. And it is true that you're not going to accomplish much in life that is really meaningful if you don't learn to push through the rough spots. But it's just as important to recognize when you're in a situation where all that pushing isn't going to take you anywhere that you want to go. There are many such situations in life, and it takes some practice before you can tell the difference between those kind of rough spots and the other kind, the ones that have something good waiting at the end of them. Unfortunately, there's no magic formula that you can use to tell the two apart. As we say in the backcountry, "Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment." Most of us who can look at a situation and say, "Uh-uh, don't need that," and walk away, got that skill the hard way. I do think, though, that there are some common-sense criteria that you can use to tell if you should walk away from a situation. Abusiveness is one big red flag: there's a laundry list of behaviors that characterize abusiveness, if you have any doubts. How being in the situation makes you feel about yourself is another. Where it's taking you -- not where you might hope it would take you, but where it is taking you -- is another. Finally, whether you can see yourself still fitting in this place in five years is another -- if the answer comes back "no", you may already have outgrown it.

So, as you look at the situation, you'll typically end up with some things in the "stay" column and some in the "go" column. Base your decision off that, but don't, DON'T, decide to stay because you believe or hope that you can make the situation better. Simple misunderstandings can be worked out. Entrenched patterns of behavior really can't. It's quite possible you could draw up a list of "this is okay, that's not", and your sensei would nod and agree. The chances that he would actually change his behavior in a lasting way are virtually nil. Don't decide to stay because you're hoping for this outcome. And if you do leave...just go. Don't discuss, don't explain, don't return calls, don't make or respond to contact. Go and stay away.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:15 PM   #36
"aikidokaanonymno"
IP Hash: 407ac2cf
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Have you asked yourself what you are getting out of the situation?
Have you asked yourself why you are reluctant to leave?
Well, I've looked at other dojos in the area and they don't offer what Sensei offers. At my current dojo, he has classes every day and he teaches them himself. I like that technical consistency. Other dojos have different instructors teaching and don't have practice every day.

Hmmm, I have lots to chew on. Thank you again, everyone.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:55 PM   #37
Keith Larman
Location: California
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Honestly I don't think there's much at all to chew on. If you are relating the behavior of this sensei accurately you should be running out that door as fast as you can. Find somewhere else to train. Anywhere.

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Old 09-19-2011, 08:33 PM   #38
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Looks to me like Michael Hackett nailed it, twice. Sometimes the mature response is to end a dysfunctional relationship.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:40 AM   #39
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Sorry Anonymous, but I've heard all the excuses over the years. "He really loves me, but he's just under so much stress since he lost his job." "I know he doesn't like pea soup and I forgot and served it tonight for dinner and he just lost his temper." And I've almost thrown up in my own mouth interrogating a child molester when I've said things like "Yeah, I understand - some six year olds will come on to you." to build rapport and gain a confession.

I certainly could be wrong, but this is classic grooming behavior and it looks like you ain't being groomed for godan. Talk to your parents, talk to that receptive teacher you mentioned. Talk to anyone who absolutely has your best interests at heart and ask their advice. What is the worst that can happen? If I, and others here, are wrong, you can be confident in training every day with this teacher. If I'm right, you can remove yourself from a potentially dangerous situation. In any event, it is bigger than an internet forum can solve. Best wishes to you, your decision and your future.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:14 AM   #40
robin_jet_alt
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Please let us know how this goes. I'm sure we are all very worried about you.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:30 AM   #41
Walter Martindale
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

I agree with the rest of the folks here - get out.

The "other" dojo that has a variety of instructors is a good thing. They're allowed (asked?) by the chief instructor to teach, so the technique must be consistent enough to be recognizable within the dojo. Learning from a variety of sensei is a good thing - there's more than one 'way' to twist a wrist.

If, after seeing all the responses of those above, you haven't gotten out yet, get out, now. Go to the other dojo - or stay away from Aikido for a month or so and then go to the other dojo. Make no announcements, just stop showing up. If called "Sorry, I'm not going to the dojo any more."
you aren't obliged to say why, to justify your departure, or anything, just get the (&%*&$ out of there.
If phoned and the abusive language starts - say "Stop phoning, good bye." and hang up. Persistent calling? Restraining order. Still persists? Others may have a better handle on what to do...
but
get
out
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:47 AM   #42
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Well, I've looked at other dojos in the area and they don't offer what Sensei offers.
That sounds like a big point in their favor.

Right now you're trying to get us to tell you that it'll be okay if you stay at your current dojo. I don't think it will, and I'm saying so, unequivocally. Walk away now and don't look back.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:54 AM   #43
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Michael Hackett approaches his assessment from a law enforcement perspective. I am a psychologist who works in the forensics field (legal arena). I WHOLEHEARTEDLY concur with his assessment. Your latest response fits very neatly within this type of situation that he has described. Michael, Mary, myself and a host of other people here are advising you to LEAVE THAT DOJO. Odds are, you will thank us at some later date for following this advice. Even if he is not grooming you, the atmosphere that you are describing is psychologically noxious for you and regardless of the "quality" of his instruction, you lose more than you gain by remaining in that place.

Good Luck,

Marc Abrams
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:04 AM   #44
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Yes, out now.

Where are your parents through all this? They are there to help you.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:04 AM   #45
"aikidokaanonymno"
IP Hash: 407ac2cf
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Sorry Anonymous, but I've heard all the excuses over the years. "He really loves me, but he's just under so much stress since he lost his job." "I know he doesn't like pea soup and I forgot and served it tonight for dinner and he just lost his temper."..

...I certainly could be wrong, but this is classic grooming behavior and it looks like you ain't being groomed for godan. Talk to your parents, talk to that receptive teacher you mentioned.
Hahaha, yes, those stupid kinds of excuses keep popping in my head.

The receptive teacher tells me to leave but also to try telling him, "I will not be spoken to like this" and walking away when he gets nasty.

I can't leave just yet. I'm waiting for my Dan certificate. Otherwise it's $400 down the drain, and I'm a college student, it's a lot for me. I don't think he'll give it to me if I leave. I think I can hold out for a bit of time that's left. We can just ignore each other for now, like we did for about a year some time ago, when I spent more time working (for money) for my receptive teacher as opposed to "helping out the dojo" and acted like I didn't care about him.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:06 AM   #46
"aikidokaanonymno"
IP Hash: 407ac2cf
Anonymous User
Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Yes, out now.

Where are your parents through all this? They are there to help you.
My father is on the other side of the globe (that's why Sensei became a father-figure for some time). My mother tells me to just not care about his opinion, not let him get to me.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:21 AM   #47
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I can't leave just yet. I'm waiting for my Dan certificate.
Rank means nothing.

Run away from that place.

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Old 09-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #48
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I can't leave just yet. I'm waiting for my Dan certificate. Otherwise it's $400 down the drain, and I'm a college student, it's a lot for me. I don't think he'll give it to me if I leave.
I'm not so sure he'll give it to you if you stay....

In any case, certificates are replaceable, and the rank itself is recorded with the headquarters dojo whether you have the physical piece of paper or not. Don't waste any more of your time with this person.

Katherine
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:58 AM   #49
Keith Larman
Location: California
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Please, stop with the rationalizations. Leave. If you're part of a larger org contact them and tell them the certificate was lost and ask if they can issue a new one. Or just don't worry about it. I lost a handful of certificates when we moved to our current house over 10 years ago. They don't matter, they're just pieces of paper. If the organization is legit what matters is that they have records of your rank. If it's only this guy who has the record, who's to say he won't be a complete ass-hat and pretend you didn't exist after you left anyway?

Leave. If you earned the rank, you earned the rank. Heck, you're young. If you start over at a new place they might just start you at ikkyu or even recognize your rank based on your performance. Just be honest and let them know what was going on.

But please stop with the rationalizations. People have been quite clear and it seems to me to be quite unanimous. Leave. You've had advice from experienced psychologists as well as experienced law enforcement people. Leave.

Or you can insist on remaining a victim and stay giving all the reasons why you can't leave. While in the next breath you acknowledge that you should leave.

Stop for a second. Look in the mirror. Be honest with yourself and tell yourself what you would tell your best friend if she were in the same position as you.

Leave.

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Old 09-20-2011, 11:11 AM   #50
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: verbal abuse from a teacher

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Well, I've looked at other dojos in the area and they don't offer what Sensei offers. At my current dojo, he has classes every day and he teaches them himself. I like that technical consistency. Other dojos have different instructors teaching and don't have practice every day.

Hmmm, I have lots to chew on. Thank you again, everyone.
I suggest you read Marys post again.
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