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Old 08-05-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
John McBride
Dojo: NA
Location: Wheat Ridge
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 13
United_States
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A question for the experienced.

Good day,

Brand new member here.

I have a question that may seem to have an obvious answer if I were to ask outright, but there are some factors that need to be considered prior to the formulation of an answer. Because of that, I submit a brief synopsis of my situation, and the question is to follow.

Some 20+ years ago, I had trained and progressed through the ranks at a local dojo to a 1st kyu.
Life became more demanding and I ended up having to leave the mat. initially, leaving the mat was NOT by choice. A demanding first wife who viewed the spirituality of the practice of Budo/Aikido as paganism and antithetical to her "Christian" values, a "sin" if you will. Suffice to say I bowed to the pressure and began a very long sabbatical from my beloved Aikido. Not because I, in any way shared her beliefs, more that I just could not stand the proselytizing and brow beating....it was a very dark 14 year marriage.

Flash forward to present day, I am several years into a fabulously wonderful new marriage. life is still demanding and middle age is well upon me.
I have been recovering from a broken back suffered while skiing a couple of years ago. I am medically cleared to begin exercising and have shed nearly 50 pounds of recovery weight since last December. Body weight workout routines and mountain biking along with radically revised, plant based diet have helped there.

I finally feel as though I am ready to come back to the mat and begin training again. Cleared from my Doctor to even get tossed around by other students.

My question is this. I have found a small and traditionally run Dojo right near my house. I like the feel of the school, and want to train here.

I wonder, is it bad form not to relate my previous training? My thought is, back then I actually cared about rank and the climbing through the Kyu's with the Sandon always representing one of the brass rings.
Now, I much rather go to class, exhale the day, focus on my movement and more or less "enjoy the ride."

Is there disrespect in NOT revealing that I have trained before? I am not hiding anything. I would answer truthfully were I to be asked. But I wonder if there is a breech of protocol by not discussing my previous training upon beginning training at this new dojo.

Any guidance here would be most appreciated. i go to visit the school tonight to observe a class.

Domo
John
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:43 PM   #2
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,332
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Re: A question for the experienced.

Jo John:

If someone was coming into our dojo I would appreciate hearing that they had trained before. We would also honor the rank.

Best wishes in your endeavor.

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Old 08-05-2016, 05:14 PM   #3
John McBride
Dojo: NA
Location: Wheat Ridge
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 13
United_States
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Re: A question for the experienced.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Jo John:

If someone was coming into our dojo I would appreciate hearing that they had trained before. We would also honor the rank.

Best wishes in your endeavor.
Domo Mary,

I thought as much. Ultimately that was my gut feeling.

I guess I was just really wanting to sort of "blend in" and start from scratch. Add to that the politics of rank etc. and I just thought maybe it were better not to mention any previous training.

That said, I absolutely concur that it is best to be up front upon initial enrollment into the Dojo. I can see that this may be a better approach rather than not saying anything at all.

I suppose i knew that all along. Perhaps a bit jittery about getting back on the mat after all this time.

anyhow, thanks for your response.

John
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:55 PM   #4
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
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Re: A question for the experienced.

I can always tell anyway. People that have trained before moved in a different way than others. Hope you have fun.

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Old 08-05-2016, 09:27 PM   #5
John McBride
Dojo: NA
Location: Wheat Ridge
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 13
United_States
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Re: A question for the experienced.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I can always tell anyway. People that have trained before moved in a different way than others. Hope you have fun.
Im going to. It was a great little dojo. It is just getting started, so I will actually be one of the first students. First as in, one of a dozen maybe? Its better than I hoped for. I am super excited.
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:30 AM   #6
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 339
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Re: A question for the experienced.

Enough time has elapsed that you qualify in many ways as a beginner. There is nothing wrong in approaching things afresh, and representing yourself (self-identifying) as a beginner.

At the same time, nothing is served by hiding relevant details from your past, and I can't imagine any offense committed by disclosure. Hopefully the admissions process will allow a two-way interview, formal or otherwise. That would be a good time to tell your story.

Rank is its own issue, and that is for the dojo community to assess. I've long viewed rank as a kind of currency -- tokens inherently worthless yet representative of perceived value. Exchange rates among aikido groups are often ad hoc.

It's fine if they value your rank at parity; it's fine if they determine your currency to hold no meaning in their system; it's fine if it's recognized, but depreciated.

It's up to you to see to it that, over time, your investment accrues appreciation.

Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:54 PM   #7
John McBride
Dojo: NA
Location: Wheat Ridge
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 13
United_States
Offline
Re: A question for the experienced.

Quote:
Ross Robertson wrote: View Post

It's fine if they value your rank at parity; it's fine if they determine your currency to hold no meaning in their system; it's fine if it's recognized, but depreciated.

It's up to you to see to it that, over time, your investment accrues appreciation.

Good luck!
Ross,
I agree, but as it happens, the very first question out of sensi's mouth was "So, you have studied Aikido before?"
Being of honorable spirit, I knew the jig was up, and disclosed that yes, I had indeed studied before many, many years ago. Since no further discussion about where I left off regarding rank was forth coming, I relaxed and enjoyed observing my first class in over 20 years as a beginner.

I realize that this may seem trivial, but I am a very different person from who I was lo those many years ago. Starting over from the beginning is what I was after, and I am excited beyond measure (and more than a little apprehensive) to get back on the mat.

I truly appreciate your response. It means a lot.

Domo,

John
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