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Old 07-31-2013, 07:57 PM   #51
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
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Re: Aikido for all or one...

So two possibilities:

* Do like the other yudansha apparently do--go where you like, learn from whom you like, and tell your sensei nothing. In true Japanese fashion, if he doesn't have to recognize that it happened, it didn't happen.

* Or, if you feel like that's dishonest, go the Western route. The script goes like this:

- Sensei, I have something difficult to raise with you. [Puts him on warning that you want a real conversation.]

- I love training with you, your aikido is fantastic, you've given me more than I an ever repay. No one is ever going to replace that. [This is NOT just ass-kissing or feeding his ego. You are being up-front and honest with your positive feelings about him and your relationship. You are also telling him, truthfully, that he doesn't need to feel threatened or slighted in what follows.]

- I'm feeling the need to explore how things are done outside this dojo and this system. I don't expect to find something better, but I do want to know why other schools take the approach they do, and I might get better perspective on this system. [Or whatever other language accurately reflects your own motivation for wanting to go outside the system. Decide before you go in what your stance is and make sure your language reflects it--are you requesting his permission or informing him of your decision? If the latter, make sure your language tactfully reflects that.]

Throughout, remember Hugh's rule for difficult interpersonal conversations: if you don't come out of it feeling awkward, embarrassed, and over-exposed, you probably did it wrong. You're not defending a position, you're sharing a difficulty and asking him to maintain the relationship despite your actions going against his expressed preferences.

Good luck.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #52
RoisinPitman
Dojo: Phoenix (Jersey) School for Therapeutic Arts
Location: Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 18
Jersey
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Re: Aikido for all or one...

My students are welcome to train with whoever they like. I have even written letters of introduction (at the student's request) if they have a dojo in mind that they wish to visit.
Sometimes dojo-cho can have an unhealthy interest in some of their students' private lives (I have walked away from one organisation because of this). Most Sensei that I know would have no hesitation to say that the more instructors you gain experience of and from, the more rounded one's aikido. Take what suits you and offend no-one by leaving the rest.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #53
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido for all or one...

I've been cogitating on this and would love to hear from someone more immersed in Japanese culture than myself.

The question is, how would a senior Japanese teacher view this situation? I could believe that the correct, accepted behavior for a Japanese student in this situation would be to go train with whomever he wanted and not tell the teacher about it. The reason being that the teacher has made his position known; for the student to argue with the teacher about it would suggest that the student knows better or that the teacher was wrong and should make an exception; by not telling the teacher, the student acknowledges the teacher's right to make such restrictions; and that as long as no one tells anybody anything about it, everybody can go on pretending it's not happening and everyone's honor is satisfied.

Not Western morality, but consistent. Or am I making it all up?

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:39 AM   #54
allowedcloud
Location: cincinnati
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 59
United_States
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Re: Aikido for all or one...

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I've been cogitating on this and would love to hear from someone more immersed in Japanese culture than myself.

The question is, how would a senior Japanese teacher view this situation? I could believe that the correct, accepted behavior for a Japanese student in this situation would be to go train with whomever he wanted and not tell the teacher about it. The reason being that the teacher has made his position known; for the student to argue with the teacher about it would suggest that the student knows better or that the teacher was wrong and should make an exception; by not telling the teacher, the student acknowledges the teacher's right to make such restrictions; and that as long as no one tells anybody anything about it, everybody can go on pretending it's not happening and everyone's honor is satisfied.

Not Western morality, but consistent. Or am I making it all up?
I don't know about Japan, but I do know that here in the US there is one large prominent organization where members are discouraged from training outside of the organization. However, I know of several high level seniors in that organization that do in fact train with aikido teachers from outside their organization, as well as other arts. It's just not talked about inside the organization. And I'm fairly sure the head shihan is aware of what they're up to.

A pretty bizzare situation if you ask me. But I guess it's a do-able option if you want to actually grow yuor aikido while still remaining affiliated with that organization/shihan.
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