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Old 03-10-2016, 12:42 PM   #26
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: 6th kyu forever

The teacher told you exactly what you needed to do. I guess you did not like that answer. It sounds profound to me.

When I don't like what my teacher suggests I stay and I do what is suggested so I can change and grow.

For my students, if they respond to my suggestions I give them more ...if they ignore them I leave the students be.

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Old 03-10-2016, 01:49 PM   #27
Clare Din
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Re: 6th kyu forever

I'm still sticking it out, although I will say that once I pass, I will think and reflect upon my entire experience. Maybe it will be a positive one. Maybe it will be a growth/maturity experience. Who knows? If I feel like it, I know there are other options in my city. I live in a big city and there are many options available here. I mean, who wouldn't want to learn from someone like Yamada's uke? I visited his dojo last night and was awestruck by one of his students teaching the basics class. The students in that class could roll and fall rather well and the teacher moves like he's got wings.

Now, if I keep getting frustrated again and again and keep moving to different dojos, then I know that Aikido really isn't for me.

Here is what I love though... when I see Christian Tissier, Yoko Okamoto, and Ryuji Shirakawak move, I am awestruck. They flow so well. See, I can accept knowing how to flow at their level, but at my level, every 5th kyu test I've seen, I've never ever seen flow. I've seen some crazy strange versions of what the techniques are supposed to be... and that's fine because it's a 5th kyu test and not 3rd kyu where you're supposed to flow better.

Yoga gal training in Aikido
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:27 PM   #28
rugwithlegs
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Re: 6th kyu forever

http://youtu.be/NPEYFCVhgHU

Just to contrast with the pic of the Yoga partner practice. Tomoe Nage is as close as I could imagine a paired martial practice coming to that exact posture. One person on their back, picking up the hips of the other with the soles of their feet while holding the arms.

Aesthetically beautiful in both cases, but there is a difference.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:55 PM   #29
robin_jet_alt
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
Clare Din wrote: View Post
I did visit another dojo last night. The teacher was a lot more dynamic, moving from student to student, pairing up beginners with more experienced students. No one was left behind or left to feel like they're in a sea of befuddlement. The teacher is a student of one of the greats in Aikido (you've all seen him before) and that alone should be reason enough to switch to a new dojo. I swear the experience just made me cry just watching how good this guy was. When he demonstrated his falls and rolls, he was soft as a feather. It was like he was on a cloud of air all the time.
I didn't like your reasoning before, but you've just given a very good reason why you should change dojos. Go with your gut.
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:40 PM   #30
Janet Rosen
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I didn't like your reasoning before, but you've just given a very good reason why you should change dojos. Go with your gut.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:48 PM   #31
kewms
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
Clare Din wrote: View Post
Here is what I love though... when I see Christian Tissier, Yoko Okamoto, and Ryuji Shirakawak move, I am awestruck. They flow so well. See, I can accept knowing how to flow at their level, but at my level, every 5th kyu test I've seen, I've never ever seen flow. I've seen some crazy strange versions of what the techniques are supposed to be... and that's fine because it's a 5th kyu test and not 3rd kyu where you're supposed to flow better.
I don't know your teacher, so I have no idea what he is looking for in a 5th kyu test.

Here, we like to see the 5th kyu techniques performed from a moving attack. All the 6th kyu techniques are done from a static grab. So, relative to 6th kyu, 5th kyu demonstrates "flow."

Relative to a shodan, much less to the likes of Tissier Sensei? Not so much.

Also, something to remember about aikido in general. I believe I have demonstrated shomenuchi ikkyo on every single test that I've done. But I suspect (and hope!) that there was a vast difference between the version on my most recent test and the version way back on my 6th kyu test. This is why people laughed at the suggestion that you should have eliminated basic mistakes after 77 classes. Even in the most basic techniques, there are endless layers, endless possible refinements. There will be many steps forward, but also many steps backward and many long, frustrating plateaus.

Certainly some teachers are more encouraging, more able to help you see your own mistakes and recognize even incremental improvements. But the art is inherently difficult.

Katherine
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:27 AM   #32
Dan Rubin
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
Clare Din wrote: View Post
I did visit another dojo last night. The teacher was a lot more dynamic, moving from student to student, pairing up beginners with more experienced students. No one was left behind or left to feel like they're in a sea of befuddlement.
That is great news. I think you should move to that dojo. After you're there for a while, during casual conversation with a friendly senior student, you might ask how long it takes to reach shodan (1st degree black belt) in that organization. The answer will probably be something like 6-8 years, and that a shodan student is considered merely a serious beginner on the aikido journey.

In other words, I hope you join and do well at that new dojo, and I also hope that you are able to accept and benefit from the fact that aikido is a journey, and a long one, and that someone starting her journey at 48 years of age will never be as good as Donovan Waite or Christian Tissier.

I wish you well on the journey.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:16 AM   #33
Cynrod
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Hello Clare,

Having a very good relationships with your instructor helps a lot in so many ways. Without that you'll be having a lot of obstacles in your path to Aikido. Masakatsu Agatsu is what you have to remember also. Patience is a virtue is one thing that you have to practice and it will help you in your million miles journey.

You said that you went to another dojo and how you enjoyed the instructor and the training there. Dynamic and technical is what you're looking for? Maybe that's one contribution that you've been missing after your 6th kyu. Some instructors like it mellow and slow and some like it more dynamic and technical. You have all the rights in the world to do whatever you want and nobody can stop you from doing the choice that you're looking for in your training.

I am not advicing you in any ways as I've made a lot of mistakes in my early years also. Just quit your old dojo and move to the new one. You said that you enjoyed the class there. Start your training on a clean slate but it has t be in a right way. It will be easier for you this way but don't bring your old ego to the new dojo. You can ask the instructor of the new dojo if he will accept your KYU rank to his school and if not, then nothing to lose. Start in the right way the most important thing in building your base/foundation in Aikido.

Goodluck in your journey.

"For The Secret That The Warrior Seeks: You Must Know That The Basic Principles Lie In The Study Of The Spirit." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:30 AM   #34
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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I'm still sticking it out, although I will say that once I pass, I will think and reflect upon my entire experience.
The "once I pass" rings a small alarm bell for me. There's a phenomenon I call "testing tunnel vision", where someone postpones needed thought/decisions/actions until they pass a rank test. Stop. Think about it. Why does it make sense to wait until after you pass the test to think about your training experience and whether it's worth it to continue, at your current dojo or anywhere? If you wait until after the test, and the outcome of your reflection is that you decide that you need to go elsewhere, what will you have gained by waiting? You shouldn't assume that you'll go into a new dojo as a fifth kyu -- you probably won't. A more likely scenario is that you'll train there for a while without any rank, and then the sensei may award you a rank if he/she thinks your aikido is at the level that they want to see at that rank.

So, staying at your current dojo just to get the 5th kyu isn't a good reason; it's possibly just throwing good training time after bad -- ok, that's a crap analogy, but I hope you get my point. If moving on is the right thing to do, it doesn't make any sense to wait another day. And if staying where you are is the right thing, you won't know that if you don't pause to reflect. What doesn't make sense is to continue doing the same thing that's got you in a state of discontent and frustration. So, don't wait until you test -- stop and take time to reflect now.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:14 AM   #35
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: 6th kyu forever

I have a feeling the same issue will come up for you wherever you are training. But another dojo might be a better fit for you. I like to have open communication between instructor and student. If someone asks me a question about their training I answer the best I can and encourage them to ask more if they do not understand.

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Old 03-14-2016, 05:44 PM   #36
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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Clare Din wrote: View Post
I'm still sticking it out, although I will say that once I pass, I will think and reflect upon my entire experience.
If you are thinking about moving, then you might want to check with the other dojo about whether they would recognise your old rank. If not, there is not a lot of point grading in a style that you are about to leave anyway. You might as well just leave now.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:25 AM   #37
Clare Din
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
If you are thinking about moving, then you might want to check with the other dojo about whether they would recognise your old rank. If not, there is not a lot of point grading in a style that you are about to leave anyway. You might as well just leave now.
At this point, I'm not worried about whether or not they'll recognize my old rank. I'm willing to start again the right way.

The reason why I'm staying for the moment is to finish up the month (or two) depending on this contract. Apparently, I have to give 30 days notice to cancel my membership at this dojo. I still have a favorite teacher I'd like to learn from at this dojo. It's a shame he only teaches on one night. In his class, I do very well. He knows I can do all the 5th kyu techniques, but his techniques are not the way Sensei teaches them. For example, in Shomenuchi Ikkyo Ura, you normally spiral uke around and end up kneeling next to uke. Sensei wants us to finish standing up with both feet against uke and extending our arms down to pin uke's arm (so we're kind of bent and standing over uke's arm). This is a new "feature" Sensei just asked me to do after months of getting me to spiral uke down to the ground.

Remember I said "once I pass" in my statement. I didn't say I was going to pass. You would assume that given 30 days more time, I should, but there are never any guarantees. I should've said "if I pass."

I have this one friend in class who is unranked at the moment. I see a lot of me in the very beginning in him so I do see that I have progressed a bit. He was having trouble with the techniques so I broke down the technique we were practicing into a step-by-step recipe and we talked through each step. That made the experience a lot more fun. We did it again yesterday. Sensei was watching us and he wasn't making any corrections, so we knew we were onto something.

Yoga gal training in Aikido
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:18 PM   #38
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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Clare Din wrote: View Post
At this point, I'm not worried about whether or not they'll recognize my old rank. I'm willing to start again the right way.
Fair enough then.

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Clare Din wrote: View Post
The reason why I'm staying for the moment is to finish up the month (or two) depending on this contract. Apparently, I have to give 30 days notice to cancel my membership at this dojo.
That sounds like a racket to me.

Quote:
Clare Din wrote: View Post
He knows I can do all the 5th kyu techniques, but his techniques are not the way Sensei teaches them. For example, in Shomenuchi Ikkyo Ura, you normally spiral uke around and end up kneeling next to uke. Sensei wants us to finish standing up with both feet against uke and extending our arms down to pin uke's arm (so we're kind of bent and standing over uke's arm). This is a new "feature" Sensei just asked me to do after months of getting me to spiral uke down to the ground.
Don't stress about different people teaching different variations. I can do a whole bunch of different shomenucni ikkyo uras, some end up standing, some end up kneeling, some take subtly different directions, some begin with different entries. Yes, the syllabus only includes one, but that doesn't mean the others are wrong.

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Clare Din wrote: View Post
Remember I said "once I pass" in my statement. I didn't say I was going to pass. You would assume that given 30 days more time, I should, but there are never any guarantees. I should've said "if I pass."
Oh, if you stay long enough, you WILL pass. I had assumed you were going to stay there until you did.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:47 PM   #39
rugwithlegs
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Re: 6th kyu forever

I am glad you are moving forward and happy with your options.

Only one thing to add. The first time I ever posted on this site, I can come across a letter from a guy who left another dojo to join ours, had some questions about the differences between associations, left our dojo, started some other myriad things, started to dojo bash on social media, then came back to our dojo. Multiple times. Each time acting like he expected none of the rest of us knew what the Internet was. His comments got much worse on other social media, but he would say he wanted to teach Aikido some day. Eventually, after enormous tolerance by several instructors, he quietly left.

It's okay to make a choice to leave, or to stay. I am now training at my fourth Aikido dojo, and I've had six different Taiji teachers and a couple of Karate teachers too, and one Baguazhang teacher. And, I've found myself in towns with no Aikido and trained in Judo or TaeKwonDo or Krav Maga. Work used to move me around a lot.

For me, It's just worthwhile to leave on good terms and to have friends in schools that I don't train in every day anymore. I feel there's a lot to see by the friends and enemies I have, and I prefer to have enemies I can be proud of.

I guess, I like it when a student doesn't feel the need to burn bridges or force an ultimatum or have a showdown. Leave or stay, it's worth it to do this respectfully to all your teachers.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:06 PM   #40
rugwithlegs
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Too late to edit: really, respectful to yourself and all parties involved, if possible.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:35 PM   #41
lbb
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
That sounds like a racket to me.
Not necessarily. Some dojos use online payment systems -- among other things, it's a good way to get paid on the first of the month, and not have to nag students who keep forgetting their checkbook (remember, the dojo's bills come due on the first too). Also remember that dojos are run by volunteer labor, and if you withdraw, someone has to process that -- and it ain't that person's day job. Requiring 30 days' notice means you don't have people showing up on the last day of the month wanting this change and that change, and dumping it all on some person who's now going to have to work late to deal with it. This lets people know it's on them to cancel in a civilized fashion and not simply vanish into the night.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:59 PM   #42
Clare Din
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
I am glad you are moving forward and happy with your options.

Only one thing to add. The first time I ever posted on this site, I can come across a letter from a guy who left another dojo to join ours, had some questions about the differences between associations, left our dojo, started some other myriad things, started to dojo bash on social media, then came back to our dojo. Multiple times. Each time acting like he expected none of the rest of us knew what the Internet was. His comments got much worse on other social media, but he would say he wanted to teach Aikido some day. Eventually, after enormous tolerance by several instructors, he quietly left.

It's okay to make a choice to leave, or to stay. I am now training at my fourth Aikido dojo, and I've had six different Taiji teachers and a couple of Karate teachers too, and one Baguazhang teacher. And, I've found myself in towns with no Aikido and trained in Judo or TaeKwonDo or Krav Maga. Work used to move me around a lot.

For me, It's just worthwhile to leave on good terms and to have friends in schools that I don't train in every day anymore. I feel there's a lot to see by the friends and enemies I have, and I prefer to have enemies I can be proud of.

I guess, I like it when a student doesn't feel the need to burn bridges or force an ultimatum or have a showdown. Leave or stay, it's worth it to do this respectfully to all your teachers.
You are right and that's why I chose not to mention which dojo I'm at. I know a few people in my dojo who also train in other dojos around town by just paying for the day's mat fees. (I know this because I looked at the sign-in book at the other dojo and recognized a bunch of names from my dojo). I think that would work well for me. I like this one teacher here so I'd be glad to pay for just his class. Also, I will proceed slowly in the new dojo by just taking classes with the teacher I saw first to get acclimated to the new school.

Yoga gal training in Aikido
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:34 AM   #43
lbb
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
Clare Din wrote: View Post
You are right and that's why I chose not to mention which dojo I'm at. I know a few people in my dojo who also train in other dojos around town by just paying for the day's mat fees. (I know this because I looked at the sign-in book at the other dojo and recognized a bunch of names from my dojo). I think that would work well for me. I like this one teacher here so I'd be glad to pay for just his class. Also, I will proceed slowly in the new dojo by just taking classes with the teacher I saw first to get acclimated to the new school.
Two points: first, as John pointed out, you haven't been commenting anonymously. With a couple clicks, anyone can see exactly what dojo and what senseis you've been training with.

Second, about paying mat fees and hopping from teacher to teacher and dojo to dojo, this is acceptable if you're looking for a dojo. Longer term, I think most dojo are going to have a problem with it. If you're going to an exercise studio, it's normal and expected behavior: you take a class here, a class there, and if you're a "member" it has a very different meaning. What you contribute is your money, period. You walk in, do your thing, and leave. Even if you're in a class, you're all by yourself -- you don't depend on the presence of others to practice. If you don't show up? So much the better, more profit for them and you won't be missed. The economics of exercise studios depend on a large number of people paying fees and a smaller number of people actually using the services. Dojos, on the other hand, depend on member participation to survive. Economically, most dojos just get by: they can't afford a paid staff for cleaning and maintenance, so it has to be done by students and senseis (students cleaning the mats isn't just some quaint custom, it's a practical necessity). And in terms of the practice, a dojo needs members to support each other's training. How would you have fared in your first weeks if there were no other, more experienced students for you to train with?

Hopping from dojo to dojo really is a path to remaining "6th kyu forever". It may work as a temporary necessity, but it's not the way forward.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:01 AM   #44
Clare Din
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Two points: first, as John pointed out, you haven't been commenting anonymously. With a couple clicks, anyone can see exactly what dojo and what senseis you've been training with.

Second, about paying mat fees and hopping from teacher to teacher and dojo to dojo, this is acceptable if you're looking for a dojo. Longer term, I think most dojo are going to have a problem with it. If you're going to an exercise studio, it's normal and expected behavior: you take a class here, a class there, and if you're a "member" it has a very different meaning. What you contribute is your money, period. You walk in, do your thing, and leave. Even if you're in a class, you're all by yourself -- you don't depend on the presence of others to practice. If you don't show up? So much the better, more profit for them and you won't be missed. The economics of exercise studios depend on a large number of people paying fees and a smaller number of people actually using the services. Dojos, on the other hand, depend on member participation to survive. Economically, most dojos just get by: they can't afford a paid staff for cleaning and maintenance, so it has to be done by students and senseis (students cleaning the mats isn't just some quaint custom, it's a practical necessity). And in terms of the practice, a dojo needs members to support each other's training. How would you have fared in your first weeks if there were no other, more experienced students for you to train with?

Hopping from dojo to dojo really is a path to remaining "6th kyu forever". It may work as a temporary necessity, but it's not the way forward.
No, I disagree. I didn't publish my web site link here; John did. I could've said to John that he had no right to publish my web site link here, but I didn't because some will argue that the Internet is all about free speech. Of course, someone who had the wherewithal to use Google search would look for my name and web page and find it, but like I said, most people don't do that because they don't care.

I get the economics of dojos. I get that memberships are what keeps dojos running, but if I truly want to find the right dojo for me, it's better if I take a few classes first to see if a dojo is really right for me and then join. At this point, I'm really concerned about just jumping in head first and joining another dojo again because of what happened the first time. I'm upset and frustrated. I'm sure you'll understand this. I'm familiar with the Wednesday teacher at the other dojo. I'll take his classes first and when I feel right about everything, I'll take other classes with other teachers and then I'll join if it feels right. If you've read the chain of events in this entire thread, it's about "well, I cared about advancing beyond 6th kyu at first, but now I don't care about it. It's about finding the right path."

Yoga gal training in Aikido
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:22 AM   #45
Janet Rosen
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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Clare Din wrote: View Post
No, I disagree. I didn't publish my web site link here; John did. I could've said to John that he had no right to publish my web site link here, but I didn't because some will argue that the Internet is all about free speech.
There IS an anon. feature on aikiweb that many people in your situation opt to use when discussing issues that they would prefer to keep private in terms of dojos and teachers involved.

Of course we all have a right to google each other and share public information. That is not the issue: The point being made is that you could have very easily chosen to keep the issue truly anonymous/private, and that by using your real name you made a decision not to.

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:56 AM   #46
Clare Din
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Re: 6th kyu forever

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
There IS an anon. feature on aikiweb that many people in your situation opt to use when discussing issues that they would prefer to keep private in terms of dojos and teachers involved.

Of course we all have a right to google each other and share public information. That is not the issue: The point being made is that you could have very easily chosen to keep the issue truly anonymous/private, and that by using your real name you made a decision not to.
I had no idea that I could post anonymously here. Oh, well.

Yoga gal training in Aikido
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:42 PM   #47
robin_jet_alt
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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I had no idea that I could post anonymously here. Oh, well.
Neither did I when I first joined, and it took me quite a while to work out how to use it. While I understand that looking up Claire's info and posting it on here was merely to make a point, it is also quite counterproductive in that it's effectively disseminating information that you are advising Claire to keep private. Might I suggest that a PM would have been a better idea?
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:29 PM   #48
rugwithlegs
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Re: 6th kyu forever

I do whole heartedly apologize. I have asked the moderator to remove the link to your own web page. Of course, they are under no obligation to do so - like everyone here, what I post to the public has it's own version of immortality.

Actually Robyn, I did not advocate keeping her thoughts private, or lying to her dojo colleagues.

I was angry to come across a student of mine making far worse comments about my dojo online, and then acting like he thought I had never gone online in my life and read everything he wrote.

Clare, In several years, someone could find your comments to read out to you before your black belt test and how will you feel? Another decade past that, and maybe you'll come across someone you've invested time and effort in describing how frustrating you are to deal with and that they want to break ties with you, and how will you feel?

This is an art that has at it's core a belief in reconciliation, honesty, and openness. Being forthright can be scary and can have unpleasant consequences. Your desires for yourself, your frustrations, and probably yes, your postings - I would be surprised if your teachers don't already know.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:52 PM   #49
Clare Din
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Re: 6th kyu forever

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John Hillson wrote: View Post
I do whole heartedly apologize. I have asked the moderator to remove the link to your own web page. Of course, they are under no obligation to do so - like everyone here, what I post to the public has it's own version of immortality.

Actually Robyn, I did not advocate keeping her thoughts private, or lying to her dojo colleagues.

I was angry to come across a student of mine making far worse comments about my dojo online, and then acting like he thought I had never gone online in my life and read everything he wrote.

Clare, In several years, someone could find your comments to read out to you before your black belt test and how will you feel? Another decade past that, and maybe you'll come across someone you've invested time and effort in describing how frustrating you are to deal with and that they want to break ties with you, and how will you feel?

This is an art that has at it's core a belief in reconciliation, honesty, and openness. Being forthright can be scary and can have unpleasant consequences. Your desires for yourself, your frustrations, and probably yes, your postings - I would be surprised if your teachers don't already know.
Oh, I am sure they already know. Several of my colleagues at my dojo read my blog almost daily. They know how frustrated I am. They have asked me if I'm going to quit and I have said "no, I'm too stubborn to quit" and they were glad I didn't quit. The thing is I'm not quitting.

After reading your comments about your student a couple of times, I understand your disappointment in him and maybe this whole ordeal will cost me something in the end and maybe someday a student of mine will think I'm an a$$, but this is *my* learning process. Perhaps the best thing that's happened to me in this whole ordeal is I get to learn from the collective wisdom of people who know more than I do... that is, all of you. I'm actually quite grateful for that because when I first posted my frustrating rant, I didn't think anyone would respond because all of the messages here were from almost 3 months ago.

I'm pretty sure my Sensei knows of my frustrations. He sees it in my face all the time. I'm pretty sure he reads my blog, too. Just so you know, I've helped his dojo quite a bit by redoing his dojo's web site and posting nice reviews of the dojo and, consequently, that's attracted quite a few new members, which he has praised me for. The new member fees have helped improve the dojo quite a bit over the past few months. Anyways, if any of you would like to talk offline about more of this, then private message me. Maybe that's what I should've asked for in the first place.

Anyways, there's an ancillary piece to the puzzle.... my kids love my dojo because they love their teacher so it'll be weird to go to a different Aikido school than they do.

Yoga gal training in Aikido
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:42 PM   #50
Rennis Buchner
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 62
Japan
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Re: 6th kyu forever

This is one of those situations where it is difficult to make any sort of meaningful comments specifically addressing the OP's situation without seeing them interacting with their teacher in person. Of course that isn't stopping me for commenting regardless!

While I no longer practice aikido, I do teach iai and kenjutsu as well as practice yoga (Ashtanga). I also teach iai to an advanced yoga practitioner and we often compare teaching points and explore the differences in approach between the two arts. Yoga (like Aikido) is so varied that it is hard to make generalizations about it, but John Hillson made a number of excellent points regarding yoga in regards to aikido and martial arts in general that ring very true in my experience. While many aspects of posture to carry over well, much of the movement doesn't and this was a huge issue wth my student when they joined (it still is to some degree). It took about a year of daily practice to start seeing real progress in striping the inappropriate aspects of yoga out of their movement. While some things could be explained easily enough, the bulk of the work was simply doing it over and over, make a recommendation and then repeat. I'm lucky in that my student makes an effort to practice daily (one of the good carry-overs from Ashtanga's tradition of practicing six days a week) so this progress has been made much faster that if they only practiced when they came to class.

Now I have no idea with this has anything to do with the OP's instructor's issues or not, but it is not hard for me to imagine that it MIGHT problem area.

As an aside, one person asked just how much yoga someone knew after x number of months, and again it is a very hard question to answer due to all the flavors of yoga out there, but many traditions follow a tradition of daily practice (in our about 90 minutes to 2 hours a day), so it terms of hours "on the mat" a serious yoga student with one year's experience could very easily have as much time in as a general four or five year martial arts practitioner. Of course there are numerous other factors that could be involved (the the previously mentioned one of money), but this is one reason why "teaching authorization" in yoga can seem to come much quicker than the Japanese martial art world, where we tend to measure things in decades.

Random thoughts for what they are worth,
Rennis Buchner
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