Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Anonymous

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-10-2004, 05:31 AM   #1
"anonymous"
IP Hash: e3141401
Anonymous User
depressed about new dojo / my aikido

I have recently moved and joined a new dojo but I have started to feel depressed about my Aikido because of the Sensei's comments to me when I practiced.

The teachers keep asking me things like "Do you have a medical problem" and they seem surprised when I say "no" or seem very critical of my technique and posture etc.

I'm sure that my posture and technique can't be that bad because I have been training for about 18 months and passed my 3rd kyu test at Hombu Dojo, Tokyo this year.

I have trained at another dojo in London and they haven't said anything to me along these lines.....

I'm really doubting my Aikido and wondering if the sensei's at Hombu and London noticed my problems and were just trying to be nice to me.

As far as I can tell my technique is ok and I have been using Doshu's books to try and improve my technique.

Any advice or comments much appreciated
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2004, 06:59 PM   #2
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

IMO making such a remark is inappropriate even if a person has any physical problems. In that case a good teacher would adjust his training appropriately. Or if that's not possible, he/she should tell that you can't practice in that dojo because he/she does not know how to adjust the training methods to your needs.

I would speak to sensei and ask what makes him believe you have a physical problem. After his/her explanation I would ask what is the right way.
Maybe some techniques of that particular dojo are slightly different and your way of doing them seems weird to them? See how they do it and try to learn. Are you sure your previous experience does not affect your learning in your new dojo?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2004, 07:18 PM   #3
"Un-reggg"
IP Hash: 198a63a9
Anonymous User
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

I think it depends on whether they asked about having a medical condition in private, or on the mat. On the mat = not nice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2004, 09:38 PM   #4
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Japan
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Is it possible that you are reading too much into a chance comment? I realize that its not nice to be asked if you have a medical condition and I also believe that it is probably inappropriate on the mat (unless there was a safety concern), but hopefully these instructors of yours aren't malicious in their asking of questions.

When you watch the techniques of other students in the dojo, does anything appear slightly or even quite different to you? What about the instructors - anything weird in their techniques to your eyes? Is this dojo the same style that is taught at Aikikai Hombu (I'm assuming that's the hombu you were referring to in Tokyo)?

I'd say that if you aren't comfortable training there, then leave. But I hope you don't end up leaving over a simple communication problem or because of a chance remark by someone one night when they were tired and grumpy.

Of course the "keep asking me things like..." is worrying. Once might be a mistake; more often might be a habit. Again...you have to ask yourself if you are comfortable training there.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 02:25 AM   #5
"anonymous"
IP Hash: 7c2b92b1
Anonymous User
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Yeah the dojo is Hombu affiliated and the head instructor is 6th dan....

The techniques are slightly different but there are many different ways to do certain techniques.

The first time they asked was during the warm-up exercises on my 1st time there. I wasn't used to doing some of the exercises and couldn't keep mmy balance squating down with my hands above my head.

The sensei asked loudly in front of everyone which offended me.... I don't think I would have said yes even if I did have a medical problem....

The next time was on the mat again.... we were using a jo which I have never used before and I wasn't sure how to hold it let alone do techniques like kokyu nage with it.

When I said "no" the second time the sensei said that my Aikido should be better than that if that was the case.

I don't think he knows that I have 3rd kyu so why should my Aikido be that good after only a few lessons anyway

I've found another dojo but I'll only be able to train once a week there and once a week in London, my current/ new dojo has lessons everyday like hombu.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 02:39 AM   #6
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 899
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Sounds like you've hit the famous "you're not from round here are you boy?" problem - no way round this one. You have two options, accept whipping boy status for a while and continue to train there or find a better dojo.

Personally, I'd say stuff them, they really don't sound worth the effort. The sensei (and I use this term loosely here) obviously has insecurity issues if they feel they have the right to demean a new student so publicly (passive aggressive behaviour in aikido, how novel).

You could probably find a good judo or jujitsu dojo nearby to supplement your aikido training which wouldn't be a bad thing either.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 04:30 AM   #7
"anonymous"
IP Hash: 4a7c192e
Anonymous User
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

In my experience, the transition to a new dojo for many reasons (different techniques, new sensei emphasizes different things, other students not always accepting you right away, your own self-doubts, etc.)

My suggestion is to hang in there. Talk to other students and see if they understood what sensei meant by that comment. And take it as a compliment--you said yourself that sensei doesn't know that you are 3rd kyu --perhaps he thinks you're better than that.

I say let it go because you sound like you're in a place I've been many times. When we move into a new dojo, the familiarity is all gone and all of our doubts return! The slight difference that the new teacher puts into a technique suddenly becomes unmanageable! You feel so much like a beginner again! I've been there--twice! And it takes a bit of time to settle into a new dojo. Let yourself make mistakes and let yourself be laughed at--but laugh with them!

If, on the other hand, sensei continues to be abusive, then get out. But in my opinion, just take a look at the advanced students. If you want to be like they are, then continue to train there. If they are not caring and nuturing and helpful as well, then that would reflect back upon sensei and you should leave.

Just my thoughts from having been there....more or less.

a lurker
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 07:29 AM   #8
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Quote:
The teachers keep asking me things like "Do you have a medical problem" and they seem surprised when I say "no" or seem very critical of my technique and posture etc.
Looks like you found a dojo with bad teachers! Being highly critical of a new person (or even someone who has trained at the dojo for a long time) is totally unproductive. They don't want you to learn - they are just exercising their egos.

Quote:
I'm sure that my posture and technique can't be that bad because I have been training for about 18 months
I'm sure they are not that bad either but this is besides the point. Poor teaching is poor teaching, whether you are a raw beginner or a 10th dan.

Quote:
I'm really doubting my Aikido
Don't! Their 'teaching' style is no reflection on you.

Quote:
Any advice or comments much appreciated
Go and find a dojo where the instructors are willing to help you to learn, encouraging and positive. Good teaching = good Aikido.

Ruth
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 08:43 AM   #9
Taliesin
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 82
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Going against the consensus here for a change. As someone who suffered a great deal of unnecessary pain because I DIDN'T MENTION an injury/condition I had I don't necessarily see things the way everyone else here does. It may be a simple precaution before applying a technique that could aggravate your injuries. After all while you have a duty to inform your training partner of any injuries/conditions, he, and particularly your Sensei has a duty not to injure you. He could simply be confirming this, as - if you are a new boy - he may be aware that you are reluctant to mention injuries for fear of sounding like a wimp (the mistake I made), he may not be aware of your injuries as he would for his 'regular' students. Alternatively he may feel it appropriate to check in order to raise awareness about possible injuries for training partners to his students.

I don't say that any of these possibilities necessarily apply in this case. But it is worth thinking about them before, automatically assuming it a disparagement on you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 08:58 AM   #10
Qatana
 
Qatana's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Didn't anyone ask you for your previous martial art/aikido experience before you joined? Every dojo i've visited for a single class had me fill out a form with my experience and injuries before taking my money.

But it sounds as if the instructor would possibly use this information as further ammunition to belittle you. I say find a new dojo. I would even go so far as contacting the organization that the dojo is affiliated with.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 10:20 AM   #11
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
United_States
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

In America, HIPAA privacy laws would make that illegal for the most part-medical information privacy. If the instructor knows your are 3rd kyu from hombu, he should know they do not do weapons very often. He also may be on an ego trip. I would approach the instructor and find out if he has some concern about you in he keeps asking the question. I would let him tactfully know you consider medical information private and that you will make him aware of any problems-which should have been done when you signed up.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 10:43 AM   #12
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Sounds like they are trying to make a point that 'there' aikido is better than 'your' aikido. Having trained at many many dojos I've had similar experiences where they tell you 'you are doing it wrong' even though you feel that your own method is far more effective. Best thing to do is to remember your aikido is YOUR personal responsibility. As an experienced aikidoka you can't turn around and blame your sensei if your aikido is crap, you should have changed instructors.

My advice is try to learn what you can from this new dojo and incorporate what you think is useful into your own aikido. Understand that many people you train with will not have experienced other forms of aikido and therefore will be quite narrow minded.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 11:14 AM   #13
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,943
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

I agree with Ian and Ruth. There is a difference between the pretty common "ours is better than theirs" and looking at a new member and publicly asking "do you have a medical condition?" when the new student doesn't do something the same way as everybody else. It is not a question to which one expects an answer, but a public belittling to which there is no appropriate civil meaningful reply, and to me it speaks volumes about the person "asking" (hah) the question. If there are other instructors available, why hang about with one who has such an attitude?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 11:24 AM   #14
"anonymous"
IP Hash: 7c2b92b1
Anonymous User
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

I think what I'm going to do is go 1/2 and 1/2 with each of the dojos and decide which one I like the best.

I did fill in one of those forms that was mentioned by Qatana but I don't think that it was looked at by the instructors, only by the person working in the office.

I'm considering going back to Hombu for a year around next May / June. Hombu is the place where I have learnt 90% of what I know about Aikido.

Thanks for all of the replies they have made me feel a lot better.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 04:28 PM   #15
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Japan
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

After reading your follow-up about initially being asked in the warm-ups, my initial reaction was to say to get out of there and not go back. It sounds like the people running the class have very little in the way of compassion or sense.

Upon reflection, the 1/2 and 1/2 approach you are going to try is probably the more mature approach. The only concern here I would have would be you falling into the "My Aikido is better than Thine" trap since you've already have (and rightly so) a bit of a problem with their teaching ... um ... method.

My advice is to remember that you are there to learn and practice and in order to do that look for things that are the *same* within what you know and what they pass on. Anything different and new you still have to do their way while in their dojo, but remember that it also is valuable and will give you something compare with at the other dojo and when you get back to Tokyo.

Of course...that all being said maturely and such...if they continue to be idiots get out of there and don't go back.

Good luck!

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004, 09:25 PM   #16
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Quote:
The first time they asked was during the warm-up exercises on my 1st time there. I wasn't used to doing some of the exercises and couldn't keep mmy balance squating down with my hands above my head.

The sensei asked loudly in front of everyone which offended me.... I don't think I would have said yes even if I did have a medical problem....

The next time was on the mat again.... we were using a jo which I have never used before and I wasn't sure how to hold it let alone do techniques like kokyu nage with it.

When I said "no" the second time the sensei said that my Aikido should be better than that if that was the case.

I don't think he knows that I have 3rd kyu so why should my Aikido be that good after only a few lessons anyway
From someone who has done what you mentioned. I did it out of concern because the person's toes did not bend naturally so they could not keep their balance. They said no. Shikko and again the balance problem showed up. I asked again. Again they said no injuries. Next week, the person again having problems. I asked again and said not to worry about telling me what their problem was. I learned that the person's toe bones were fused after an auto crash crushed their feet. They didn't want to look like a sissy and even thought their problem was unnatural so he kept trying to bend his toes right through the pain. Had to tell him not to do something that was going to create more problems for him but to start more slowly and work on slow improvement. Then I had to ask him again if he had any more medical problems. Only then he told me all his old injuries.

Another case I had to ask several times and the person kept saying no problems. After examining his wrist, I had to tell him to go to a doctor and get an x-ray. Confirmed my suspicions that the person had a fractured wrist that they didn't know about.

Another one didn't know he was overdosing on Ibuprofin and was retaining fluids. I could see it but the individual didn't notice it themselves. They were taking Ibuprofin in conjunction with a BP med that had contraindications for Ibuprofin. The person didn't know it. And didn't think they had a medical problem. After making them go to the doctor, they found out they were destroying their liver, spleen and kidneys.

By the time a person gets Rokudan, they can usually spot a medical problem by watching a person's movement or looking at their body or just feeling their Ki. Maybe you should ask your Sensei why he thinks you might have a medical problem. You might have one that you don't know about.

On the other hand, the Sensei may just be an ass. I'm not there so I can't tell. However, there could be another side to the story.

Rock
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004, 04:38 AM   #17
"anonymous"
IP Hash: 7c2b92b1
Anonymous User
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

The only thing which doesn't really affect my Aikido is that both my little fingers only have one joint and are a bit shorter than normal.

I feel a bit shakey when I balance on only my toes and found it difficult to do it while doing the kote-gaeshi and ni-kyo warm-ups. I think that might be cos I also do weight training and it might be a bit hard on my legs.

The only reason I have been given is that my posture wasn't good at the particular time he said it.... I'll see if he mentions it again....

I'm also thinking of asking my teachers in London if they noticed anything and I'll see how it goes it the new dojo tonight.

Actually I was warned by my London teachers that the sensei was a bit weird...
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004, 06:56 AM   #18
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Quote:
The only thing which doesn't really affect my Aikido is that both my little fingers only have one joint and are a bit shorter than normal.

I feel a bit shakey when I balance on only my toes and found it difficult to do it while doing the kote-gaeshi and ni-kyo warm-ups. I think that might be cos I also do weight training and it might be a bit hard on my legs.

The only reason I have been given is that my posture wasn't good at the particular time he said it.... I'll see if he mentions it again....

I'm also thinking of asking my teachers in London if they noticed anything and I'll see how it goes it the new dojo tonight.

Actually I was warned by my London teachers that the sensei was a bit weird...
The situation with your little finger will affect your aikido a lot. when closing a hand into a fist or when holding sword or jo, the little finger needs to be the tightest to develop power. When grabbing someone, the little finger needs to be the tightest.

It may be that you are hard on your knees from squats in weight training. Be vewy vewy careful with those. Knees are extremely important in doing good aikido and if you are damaging them so that you no longer have a good range of motion with them, then it will affect your aikido. If you find it difficult to sit in seiza, then you need to work on knee flexibiliity. I have a few people in my dojo that no longer have good knee flexibility and they have a difficult time getting the smoothness of technique they should. Poor knee flexibility will also affect posture and ability to retain balance during movement (try skiing moguls without flexible knees).

Rock
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004, 05:36 PM   #19
"anonymous"
IP Hash: 7c2b92b1
Anonymous User
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

I don't have any problems sitting in seiza but I have a problem sitting in a full squat stance on my toes for a long time. I get pain in my upper legs from that.

I don't have any knee problems and am comfortable with shikko and suwari-waza.

Rocky: I understand what you are saying about my little finger and I have noticed that my grip strengh is a bit lacking.

I can only do my best with the body I have...

Tried a new dojo today and enjoyed the lesson so I'mm gonna go back next Tuesday.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004, 07:34 PM   #20
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 659
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Good luck with the "new" dojo. It sounds kind of odd about the warning about the"bit weird" reputation of the sensei.
As many differant versions of teaching methods as there are teachers. Lats of variations in quality, so go with the "better fitting" one.
*wish I could train in Hombu for a while...
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004, 08:41 PM   #21
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Quote:
I don't have any problems sitting in seiza but I have a problem sitting in a full squat stance on my toes for a long time. I get pain in my upper legs from that.

I don't have any knee problems and am comfortable with shikko and suwari-waza.

Rocky: I understand what you are saying about my little finger and I have noticed that my grip strengh is a bit lacking.

I can only do my best with the body I have...

Tried a new dojo today and enjoyed the lesson so I'mm gonna go back next Tuesday.
Each to his or her own body, its strengths and limitations.

More important than the rank or quality of the teacher is your ability to understand the teacher, your ability to work with the teacher and your ability to trust the teacher. You won't learn much from someone you can't trust so I am happy you found another dojo. Wish we had that many dojos that people had a choice of teachers!

Rock
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004, 09:50 PM   #22
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,000
Japan
Offline
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Quote:
I have recently moved and joined a new dojo but I have started to feel depressed about my Aikido because of the Sensei's comments to me when I practiced.

The teachers keep asking me things like "Do you have a medical problem" and they seem surprised when I say "no" or seem very critical of my technique and posture etc.

I'm sure that my posture and technique can't be that bad because I have been training for about 18 months and passed my 3rd kyu test at Hombu Dojo, Tokyo this year.

I have trained at another dojo in London and they haven't said anything to me along these lines.....

I'm really doubting my Aikido and wondering if the sensei's at Hombu and London noticed my problems and were just trying to be nice to me.

As far as I can tell my technique is ok and I have been using Doshu's books to try and improve my technique.

Any advice or comments much appreciated
Hello,

I take it that you started at the new dojo because it was more convenient for you after the move. I also take it that the Hombu you are referring to is the Aikikai Hombu in Wakamatsu-cho. Is this correct?

By the time I had trained for two years or so, I was also doing half and half at two different dojos in London. I did not continue for very long because of the teachers. One was English and the other was Japanese\and both had trained at the Hombu. I stayed with the Japanese teacher because of his superior technical ability, but this also had a drawback. For him it was all or nothing and I had to rebuild my aikido in his own image. This rebuilding process happened again twice, once in the US and again when I returned to the UK and went to another Japanese teacher.

I was much the better for these experiences, but wonder whether you started training at the new dojo because it was more convenient, or because of the chief instructor there.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2004, 08:17 AM   #23
"anonymous"
IP Hash: 7c2b92b1
Anonymous User
Re: depressed about new dojo / my aikido

Hi Peter. Yeah the hombu I went to was the Aikikai headquarters in wakumatsu-cho.

The reason I changed dojos was that I moved from London to Liverpool and thus it was imposible to use the London dojo except at weekends.

I had a choice of 3 dojos near to liverpool so I went for the nearest one, the head instructor was 6th dan and they also offered Iaido at the dojo which I was interested in.

I've since tried the next nearest dojo which I found to be similar to my dojo in London. The problem is since I have commitments in London at the weekend I am currently able to attend a Tuesday evening lesson at this dojo and the sunday lesson at my London dojo.

When I was training at Hombu I was there 5-6 days a week and sometimes more than 1 lesson a day.

I've found that I need to train at least 3 times a week to maintain and improve my level of Aikido.

So, I think I'll do 1 lesson a week at each dojo unless the one that upset me continues to do so.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What exactly is an independent dojo? David Yap General 64 11-14-2011 02:05 PM
Dilution of aikido eugene_lo General 40 02-07-2006 11:22 AM
Does Budo require a sense of shame? senshincenter General 72 09-12-2005 02:06 PM
Dojo loyalty or personal gain? Anonymous Anonymous 28 12-16-2004 04:26 PM
Way of the Warrior on Discovery timcraig General 58 09-13-2003 12:18 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:22 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate