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Old 09-25-2012, 03:38 AM   #1
Andrew Macdonald
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abusive sensei

i have read many posts here and experienced once sensei that really push the limits of what could be considered as training. I don;t think it is very common i certainly hope it isn't but how do people deal with it.

There seems to be a faction of people that think it is a good thing i.e. sensei locked me so hard that coudn;t train for a week, what a poweful guy.

now i believe in hard training but when you are giving your joints to someone there should be an element of trust and it seems to me there are instuctors out there that abuse that trust and have set up what amounts to abusive relationships with most of his students.the sensei that threw a small young beginner female, who cleary wanted to gain confidence and fitness by doing a softer marital art, so hard that she bounced and took pleasure in making poeple scream i watched in disgust and will never train with agian

sorry for the rant,
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:42 AM   #2
TokyoZeplin
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Re: abusive sensei

This may not be the reply your looking for, but:

I don't necessarily see anything bad in a teacher like that. It certainly isn't for everyone, but there are indeed people who thrive and do their best under such circumstances. If you greatly dislike it, perhaps it's more the wrong place for you to be (nothing wrong with that), than that there is something wrong with that teacher?

You see this in other Martial Arts all the time, and such teachers would merely be called "tough" or "strict", not "abusive". In fact, it seems to remind me of stories I've heard of the old Yoshinkan days, say around the 60's or 70's, of how training was done. I've read about how Gozo would sometimes knock out his partners during demonstrations, yet again, no one calls that abuse.
And not to mention O Sensei... reading back to his early days, he certainly wasn't a "nice" teacher in any way. In fact, many of the training methods would probably be illegal today, or labelling him insane (training with live swords during night time?).

That said, it certainly sounds like that teaching style isn't for you, so why not try and find another dojo you can train at instead? Or is that not a possibility?
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:07 AM   #3
Mark Freeman
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post

There seems to be a faction of people that think it is a good thing i.e. sensei locked me so hard that coudn;t train for a week, what a poweful guy.
Hi Andrew,

powerful? I think not... what did you learn in that encounter? you were in a vunerable position, we give our minds and bodies in practice, we trust our teacher, he went too far, when he didn't need to. In my eyes, that is just wrong. It is possible to pin someone without damage, so why damage?

Quote:
now i believe in hard training but when you are giving your joints to someone there should be an element of trust and it seems to me there are instuctors out there that abuse that trust and have set up what amounts to abusive relationships with most of his students.the sensei that threw a small young beginner female, who cleary wanted to gain confidence and fitness by doing a softer marital art, so hard that she bounced and took pleasure in making poeple scream i watched in disgust and will never train with agian

sorry for the rant,
he may well have damaged the confidence of the young beginner, what sort of teacher is that?
Teachers are there to build confidence, strength and skill. He sounds to me like an ego bound bully (from what you have said). Find someone better...there are many out there.

On my recent trip around the west coast of the USA, there were a couple of names that kept cropping up, that had a reputation for the type of behaviour that you describe. I just avoided them and found other good teachers to visit.

good luck in your search and your training.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:28 AM   #4
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
I've read about how Gozo would sometimes knock out his partners during demonstrations, yet again, no one calls that abuse.
I would, though probably not to his face

Quote:
And not to mention O Sensei... reading back to his early days, he certainly wasn't a "nice" teacher in any way. In fact, many of the training methods would probably be illegal today, or labelling him insane (training with live swords during night time?).
I don't think we really know what the parameters were based on the anecdotal evidence. I have strong doubts whether his students were really out to kill or maim him. Not saying it ain't so, just that I'm more inclined to accept some conditions and or agreements, be they spoken aloud or product of culture and context, were in place that prevented those uchideshi to make it a "fight to the death."

Quote:
That said, it certainly sounds like that teaching style isn't for you,
Such a teaching "style" (I'm referring to the OP) shouldn't be for anyone. It only endorses the kind of hierarchical relationship that is so open to abuse and accepts any kind of "offer" - benevolent or maliscious - on the part of the senior whereas the "set-up" is far from equal. If I'm offering my body to someone else amidst the construct of what is in essence a pre-arrangement, I expect to come out sound and well. Accidents happen, cool, that's part of the business but I sure ain't no crash-test-dummy at the disposal of a "Sensei." Thus, people deliberately abusing this agreement for the sake of - insert various reasons: all folly btw - is just plain stupid. It's not the kind of behaviour you'd accept out of budo context (or at least shouldn't be) so why accept it within? Is it so damn special that we are willing to abandon common sense?

Ernesto
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:58 AM   #5
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Re: abusive sensei

This is the sort of topic that has enormous potential for people talking past each other, using the same words to mean different things, and in general not proceeding from the same frame of reference. Nevertheless, it has the potential to be a worthwhile topic -- but only if people first take the time to set aside the labels and talk about what they mean by them.

Take "abusive", for example. It's not a field I work in, but I believe there are some useful guidelines that explain typical behaviors and agendas of an abuser -- and, moreover, that explain why they're abusive in context. I believe that labeling a person or behavior as "abusive" needs to be accompanied with such explanations if it's to be part of a useful discussion, and not just name-calling.

I also don't think that discussing whether persons long ago and far away are/were "abusive" is generally productive. And, you know, the same goes for "tough". It's just another label. You might like the connotation of the one and dislike the other, but it's just another label that devolves into a "yes it is" "no it isn't" pointless spat unless you define your terms.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
Chris Li
 
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Re: abusive sensei

Here's a good article about abuses in Zen Buddhism - but it could have been written about Aikido:

http://enlightenmentward.wordpress.c...has-no-morals/

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-25-2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: abusive sensei

Thin ice here because like Mary said "abuse" is a loose definition and is further complicated by persons who may also have an emotional response to the topic...

First, I think of abuse as containing a key component of deliberate misuse of either or both authority and action. Second, victims of abuse are typically under a power of authority or action that curbs their response behavior. Not always, but you see these factors in most abuse scenarios.

In martial arts training, I acknowledge "abuse" when you have the deliberate misuse of training on behalf of the abuser and a limited response from the abused. The scenario described in the thread appears severe but may be a better illustration of poor instruction and/or a poor dojo environment than abuse. While [it seems] odd, students within the dojo may prefer severe training and accept the risks associated with that training. The fact that you do not prefer that type of training indicates that dojo is a poor choice for you.

Negligence is a serious issue and I think we should keep in perspective when there is "abuse".
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
There seems to be a faction of people that think it is a good thing i.e. sensei locked me so hard that coudn;t train for a week, what a poweful guy.
I think any time there is an injury there is an example of a problem/mistake. Accidents do happen, as they say, but we should be working hard to eliminate accidents. I agree with your sentiment about people who delight in giving out pain or assume that everyone wants to train in a somewhat rough and tumble way. Individual purposes will vary and people can train how they deem fit, in my opinion, but I like the fact that in the two dojos I've spent any time in I not only was never injured, but I tended to come away with my pre-existing injuries feeling better.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
Adam Huss
 
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Re: abusive sensei

This is a very subjective topic. I like training in a way that most would find a bit rough. My favorite aikido is Yoshinkan, which can be rather robust. With that, I've rarely felt serious pain during a technique. My teacher's focus is on controlling uke with technique, not pain. Even with techniques like hijishime, if done correctly, can be applied very robustly without causing trauma to the joint. While sometimes people may think my preferred training is a bit rough, from outside observation, I can tell you that I really don't appreciate when someone is utilizing pain compliance. For example, nikyo has no reason to be painful...I hate nikkyo that is focused on uke's wrist...bringing uke forward, vice actually making uke's hips pop out from their shoulders and sending them to the rear. Another pet peeve are people who execute pins like they are throwing reverse punches. You are, in effect, training in an compliant martial art and are giving your body to your partner as a practice tool. While I don't mind getting whapped on the mat (or grass, concrete) in a very hard, yet controlled manner, I do hate careless sloppy technique that causes injury because nage is trying to throw/pin someone before gaining control of them...or is going faster than he or she can handle. Man do I not like those snap-like pins...its just pure ego, trying to show delicate control...and totally away from the point of osae waza.

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:01 PM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
And not to mention O Sensei... reading back to his early days, he certainly wasn't a "nice" teacher in any way. In fact, many of the training methods would probably be illegal today, or labelling him insane (training with live swords during night time?).
OSensei's early days students were experienced martial artists who had to gain admittence to the dojo.
A far cry from his later desire, carried out by his son, to explicitly bring aikido to the masses.
The OP wrote: "the sensei that threw a small young beginner female, who cleary wanted to gain confidence and fitness by doing a softer marital art, so hard that she bounced and took pleasure in making poeple scream."
That is not an environment in which people actually learn productively. They learn tension and fear.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:44 PM   #11
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
This may not be the reply your looking for, but:

I don't necessarily see anything bad in a teacher like that. It certainly isn't for everyone, but there are indeed people who thrive and do their best under such circumstances. If you greatly dislike it, perhaps it's more the wrong place for you to be (nothing wrong with that), than that there is something wrong with that teacher?
Just my opinion, but yes, there is something wrong with that teacher. Personally, I wouldn't train with him. And I'd tell anyone who'd listen, not to as well. You think it takes any skill to hurt folks who have just given themselves to you in a prearranged form? First of all, it's simply not healthy to abuse your body that way. One gets beat up enough doing this art without having someone purposely subject your body to abuse. Second, what's the underlying point? The "teacher" will tell you it's to toughen you up or make your spirit stronger. But it's really about maintaining his superior place relative to the students. Martially speaking, anything which is imprinting fear and tension is bad martial arts. Teachers like this use fear and tension to ensure that their technique works. But it's maintaining his superior position at the student's expense. The student isn't actually learning what he or she should be learning and their bodies are paying the price.

Quote:
You see this in other Martial Arts all the time, and such teachers would merely be called "tough" or "strict", not "abusive". In fact, it seems to remind me of stories I've heard of the old Yoshinkan days, say around the 60's or 70's, of how training was done. I've read about how Gozo would sometimes knock out his partners during demonstrations, yet again, no one calls that abuse.
And not to mention O Sensei... reading back to his early days, he certainly wasn't a "nice" teacher in any way. In fact, many of the training methods would probably be illegal today, or labeling him insane (training with live swords during night time?).
Actually there are many of us who consider the way Shioda Sensei treated his ukes to be abusive. There was and is a whole segment of Aikido culture in Japan that is dysfunctional. Ellis Amdur Sensei and Peter Goldsbury Sensei have written about this at length. Just because some famous Japanese teacher with a big Dan rank after his name did it doesn't mean it's all right. Many of these guys were / are not very nice people and certainly not the types of human beings we should be emulating. Yes, Takeda had his finger nails burned when he didn't learn fast enough...that's our lineage. I think we'd all generally agree that was abuse pure and simple. But where's the line? When does it just become hard training?

If there is intention to hurt or injure, it's abuse. It's one human being imposing his will on another. That's not training. Otake Sensei, the head of Katori Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu, told Ellis Amdur that he had never been injured during training. Yet he is one of the finest martial artists in Japan. I have heard that from any number of koryu teachers. The underlying culture of violence in some segments of the Aikido community and its acceptance by some practitioners is one of the least admirable things about Aikido. It's wrong. Period. You want to get tough, push the limits, etc, go play with the Systema folks for a bit. They'll take you there and make your body stronger and healthier while they do it. And you'll end up relaxed and calm, not fearful. This was never the samurai way... Injure a student and he can't fight. These folks were professionals. The abuse came into the martial arts with the demise of the professional warrior class and the development of an abusive, hazing oriented military culture in the Army in Japan. Many martial artists took those same attitudes from their military service into their dojos. It is interesting to note that this abusive culture was not prevalent in the Navy during the same period. Anyway, the fact that certain aspects of Japanese culture are not very admirable should make us, as foreigners learning these arts, doubly careful to take on what is positive and not be indiscriminant about what we look for in our models.

Quote:
That said, it certainly sounds like that teaching style isn't for you, so why not try and find another dojo you can train at instead? Or is that not a possibility?
I think that folks who believe that this is the proper way to train need to examine where that's coming from? Some pain and certainly occasional injury can be a part of hard training. But in all the years I have done Aikido, I have never seen any of my teachers intentionally hurt someone or use pain as some sort of device for attitude adjustment or to let us know who is boss.

At the third Aiki Expo one of the Japanese teachers was at dinner literally talking about how he intentionally injures students as "part of their training." This man is a very prominent Aikido personage. My feeling at the time upon hearing this bs was "that's why we have firearms in America." What skill does it take to injure someone’s wrist when he just gave it to you, or dislocate an elbow on a strike, which you just told the student to do. At this point in my life, I've crossed a line and I won't put up with that kind of stuff, towards me or my students. As Ellis did back in the day, someone thinks that's what they should be doing, we can go outside and he can see if he can do it when I'm not cooperating. And I don't care if he's American or Japanese or what the Dan rank is he's got. All that goes away when it's a fight and pain and injury is about fighting.

As far as I am concerned, students who train with teachers who are like this are absolutely no different than women who stay with abusive males. I strongly suspect that many of the same issues are present.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 09-25-2012 at 05:47 PM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #12
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: abusive sensei

Hi

first of all on my choosing the word abusive, to me the situation i saw fitted that a perosn of authority purposely inflicting pain to those beneath him, with the underlying promise that if they take the pain then he'll teach them more. this is just me idea not a dictionary defininition and i apologise if anyone is sensetive to that particular word

Adam the training you descride doesn't sound rough, and you made a couple of references to the lack of pain you feel during techniques, that is my point. hard trianing is ok but not intentional hurting people when you have them at your mercy there is no real learning or teaching going on at that point.

to refer to these people as tough or strict teachers i also feel is incorrect. being tough or strict implies that you have a set of rules and stict rigidly to them, or you have high exacting standard of your students. how does locking people till they scream acomplish this? and in the story i stated above, a smaller you beginner girl what mistke could she have purposely done to bring out this strctness.

i have had another teacher who once you got to a certain level would throw you progressively harder as you went up the grades to continuely test your ukemi and i think that is more correct. however this teacher took no pleasure in locking people up hard.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:07 PM   #13
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
i have read many posts here and experienced once sensei that really push the limits of what could be considered as training. I don;t think it is very common i certainly hope it isn't but how do people deal with it.

There seems to be a faction of people that think it is a good thing i.e. sensei locked me so hard that coudn;t train for a week, what a poweful guy.
,
So, I would think it would depend. If uke is giving himself/herself as a training aid to the nage and the nage is taking advantage of the openings purposefully left there by uke to aid in the training then it is definately wrong and in the wrong spirit of training.

The "old days" of training are just that, old. Times have changed. Training has changed. That being said I don't think that the old ways of training are bad but I do believe it has to be approached differently. I feel that in the old days those training trained for different reasons. Nowadays the reasons people train are far more diversified.

So, if the student knows the training format of the dojo and it is that of the "old ways" and still steps on the mat then shame on the student. If the student doesn't understand and is treated harshly then shame on the sensei.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:44 PM   #14
Adam Huss
 
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
Hi

first of all on my choosing the word abusive, to me the situation i saw fitted that a perosn of authority purposely inflicting pain to those beneath him, with the underlying promise that if they take the pain then he'll teach them more. this is just me idea not a dictionary defininition and i apologise if anyone is sensetive to that particular word

Adam the training you descride doesn't sound rough, and you made a couple of references to the lack of pain you feel during techniques, that is my point. hard trianing is ok but not intentional hurting people when you have them at your mercy there is no real learning or teaching going on at that point.

to refer to these people as tough or strict teachers i also feel is incorrect. being tough or strict implies that you have a set of rules and stict rigidly to them, or you have high exacting standard of your students. how does locking people till they scream acomplish this? and in the story i stated above, a smaller you beginner girl what mistke could she have purposely done to bring out this strctness.

i have had another teacher who once you got to a certain level would throw you progressively harder as you went up the grades to continuely test your ukemi and i think that is more correct. however this teacher took no pleasure in locking people up hard.
Yeah, nothing bothers me more than injuring a subdued person.

While I frequently train in non-afiliated dojo as a guest...I have many friends that simply will not train with people they don't know, or haven't been vetted, for the simple reasons of the apathetic, ignorant, and incompetent martial artists out there.

I certainly don't shirk away from a group of people training simply because there is the occasional injury during training...as long as that injury isn't due to carelessness, sadism, or unsafe practices. For one to grow, I believe there has to be at least some element of risk present...but lets mitigate that as best we can, from the viewpoint that we are doing a martial art.

My Yoshinkan teacher frequently preaches that pain compliance is the lowest form of technique in aikido. I like training with people who train towards this as it allows for a strong, fast, and robust training environment. I like training with people that, when they apply nikkyo to me, I briefly loose vision in a burst of white light and don't know how I got to the ground...but there is no real pain in my wrist. Another good litmus test I use to evaluate my training partner is if they can execute a very strong hijishime without hurting my elbow. But teachers that injure students to satisfy ego bother me...if your uke can't handle a certain level of technique...its proper to be sensitive to that. Perhaps push them a little more than they are used to, in order to help them grow, but certainly be able to evaluate what 'too much' is. Perhaps some teachers have that intent but simply are not proficient enough to do it (again, my issue with young dojo cho).

While we are on pet peeves, I also have an issue with uke that grunt and cry and make all sorts or spectacular noises and motions to make their teacher look powerful when being thrown. I find it disrespectful, silly, and distracting in that it is non-conducive to teaching the actual technique....taking focus from the teacher and placing it on the noisy uke.

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Old 09-26-2012, 06:59 AM   #15
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Re: abusive sensei

I do not tolerate any form of abuse. When it comes to a senior level belt working with a white or yellow belt, some form understanding needs to be in place. Especially when it pertains to their ability and skill they are developing which in my opinion comes with time and training. I speak from my own experience with an instructor who felt it was time to test my ability at my new ranks I achieved. My ukemi saved me on every occasion, mentally I was mortified. After many months went by and a couple of times could smell beer on his breath, I knew I was in for an interesting evenings and needed to be on guard. One instance I had enough and took matters into my own hands and while working with him in an exercise that we were not to throw, I threw him sailing across the mat. He got up and showed me what irimi nage feels like. I was out for what felt like 5 minutes. My sensei had his back turned when I threw but, saw this instructor do irimi nage and me bounce off the mat. My sensei laid into him about that even though I felt responsible. Being the only student under black belt, it made it hard for me to express my concerns to my sensei for fear of being unappreciative of training and breaking the hierarchy. Little did I know that since I mentioned this to my sensei after the fact my I was informed that I should have come directly to him. This particular instructor was not ranked in our style (Tomiki) but worked out with us from time to time on basics. A couple other students who have joined us felt the wrath too. It makes no sense. I believe in a hard work out when you ready and capable but not starting out.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:02 AM   #16
lbb
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
first of all on my choosing the word abusive, to me the situation i saw fitted that a perosn of authority purposely inflicting pain to those beneath him, with the underlying promise that if they take the pain then he'll teach them more. this is just me idea not a dictionary defininition and i apologise if anyone is sensetive to that particular word
Hi Andrew,

I don't think there's any problem with your definition; my point was just that, in the interest of having a useful discussion, we need to know what that definition is. We need to know what you mean when you use the term "abusive" (and now we do).

As I said before, I'm not a practitioner in the field, but I believe one element of abuse is that it seeks out victims who lack the tools to escape it. An experienced martial artist would look at an abusive sensei, say "that's abusive", and vote with their feet. A newbie with the right kind of life clues would do the same. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't fit into either of those categories. I think that the surest cure for abuse is to interrupt the supply of potential victims, but I'm not sure how you can do that in this case.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #17
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
It's wrong. Period. You want to get tough, push the limits, etc, go play with the Systema folks for a bit. They'll take you there and make your body stronger and healthier while they do it. And you'll end up relaxed and calm, not fearful.
Can't this happen with aikido too?

Regards

Carl
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:31 AM   #18
cloudshapes
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Re: abusive sensei

I am sorry to hear about your experience. A sensei has a responsibility to honor the well being, both mind and body that is entrusted in their hands. A one time accidental incident may be forgivable but if such behaviour is the sensei's philosophical style then finding a different dojo may be ideal. Furthermore, if that style is taught/accepted in that dojo then there may be more such incidences among fellow practicioners which may result in someone truly getting hurt. Hopefully you can find a better suited dojo/sensei. Leaving Aikido entirely would be a sad consequence. Peace and Light, Marium
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:49 AM   #19
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Can't this happen with aikido too?

Regards

Carl
Sure, I believe it CAN happen in Aikido. But I think one would have to restructure the training a bit. Aikido doesn't come from a tradition in which I think this was done so you'd have to get a bit creative about how you train. Systema, on the other hand, is structured specifically to do this. They consider their system to be a mental and physical health system (martial abilities being a byproduct of proper training). They can get you exhausted and crying like a baby, feeling like every button you had was pushed and do it without damage to your body and without the damage to the psyche that comes with being abused.

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Old 09-28-2012, 11:49 AM   #20
Basia Halliop
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Re: abusive sensei

I think people sometimes make the mistake of thinking you can describe 'abusive' training on a line of training intensity, that as training gets more intense (or physically demanding) it inevitably gets closer to abusive and it's just a matter of where you draw the line.

But IMO, it's not at all. Tough or physical or intense have NOTHING to do with abusive, nothing at all. It's not simply a matter of 'this intense is hard training, go a bit farther and it's abusive, depends on the individual how far they want to go'. That's one of the mistakes that leads people to accept abuse, because they convince themselves (or someone else convinces them) that it's what happens when you want 'really really hard training'. E.g., that injuring a trapped uke or terrorizing people junior to you somehow makes it 'hard training'.

You can train extremely physically hard, even 'aggressively', and have absolutely nothing abusive about it, and train much less physically 'intensely' and have it be abusive.

It's the relationships between the people, the psychology used, the way power differentials are used, the way consent is ignored or coerced... this can be done without much (or sometimes any) physical violence at all, similarly physically very difficult training can be based around psychologically healthy relationships and attitudes.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #21
lbb
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Re: abusive sensei

What Basia said.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:17 PM   #22
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: abusive sensei

of course

but another way of looking at this is asking what purpose does this serve? if you are just getting thrown around becasue of someones ego or temper then that is bad training. osme people may come out by saying that they learn alot from such encounters and maybe as a once off it is true but in the long term i doubt that is is a effective learning environment

one the other hand if some one is being tough on you in order to push your limits and help you reach high goals then this is an excellant method of training
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:00 PM   #23
lbb
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Re: abusive sensei

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
if you are just getting thrown around becasue of someones ego or temper then that is bad training. osme people may come out by saying that they learn alot from such encounters and maybe as a once off it is true but in the long term i doubt that is is a effective learning environment
As someone who has done a lot of teaching, I think it's important to distinguish between a good learning environment, and an environment in which something (good) can be learned. People can learn a lot, including some good things, from being in a bad situation. It doesn't logically follow, however, that if you put someone in a bad situation, they'll learn a lot, or that even if they do, it's a net positive. Put simply, a bad situation is costly to the person who is in it. If you find some money, that's a good thing, but if you found it because you crashed your car and five years worth of loose pocket change came rolling out of the wreckage, I don't think you'd say, "Aha! Most excellent! Everybody, go crash your car, you'll get money!"

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
one the other hand if some one is being tough on you in order to push your limits and help you reach high goals then this is an excellant method of training
I disagree. You might say that the teacher's motivations are good in that situation, but are their methods? That rather depends on their judgment, and on a sensible definition of the buzzphrase "push your limits". There are ways not to push and limits to leave alone.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #24
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
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Re: abusive sensei

I think a lot depends on whether the teacher's goals are aligned with the student's goals. I'll forgive my teacher a lot if he's trying to make me a better swordsman; much less if he's trying to show what a great swordsman he is.

I'll also forgive my teacher for being human. If he thwacks me occasionally in the process of teaching me to move, or not to be open, because I'm not as fast as he thinks I can be or simply because he miscalculates, that's just part of the deal.

But all that should be the exception. If he's misjudging by a lot, one would have to wonder why.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:10 AM   #25
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: abusive sensei

oh i am so out of style i didn;t real push your limits was a buss word

anyway,i think people should be pushed and be bumping up against a challenging situation not everyday but sometime training should test you not just in a grading. otherwise how can you find out what you are capable of.

some teachers are not capable of this, others try to do it the wrong way and a few actually really really good at helping people develop. i think in my life itme i have met 2 such teachers.

Challenge is not always about pain however, in fact i wuld argue that it is seldom about pain if ever. for a overweight shy kick a challenge could be getting on the mat, a good teacher should be able to identify that, some thefirst time they are called up as uke in front of the clas for others maybe it would take an extended period of randori to challenge them.

i guess it is the amount that the teacher gets personally invested in their students. as a younger teacher of another art all i would see was faceless gi, and go through the motions f what i thought the class sould be doing. as an older an hopefully wiser person, when i get the oppurtunity to teach i hope that i have more sensitivity to the challeneges of each of the students
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