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Old 03-08-2005, 05:40 PM   #1
Stuart Plymesser
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Central New York
Location: Liverpool, NY
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When leaving the mat...

An etiquette question:
I know when you leave the mat you wait for acknowledgement from whoever is leading the class and then wait agian to be allowed back on. Today, my Sensei walked onto the mat and asked me to follow him into his office for a business matter. I bowed to the kamiza and then stepped off the mat. I then walked back onto the mat with Sensei after bowing again. After class, I realized that I never waited for the instructor's permission to exit or enter onto the mat. Did I goof? I realize the best answer to this question is to ask my Sensei, (which I will do) but I was wondering what other people on the boards thought. Thanks for any responses.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:07 PM   #2
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
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Re: When leaving the mat...

Quote:
Stuart Plymesser wrote:
An etiquette question:
I know when you leave the mat you wait for acknowledgement from whoever is leading the class and then wait agian to be allowed back on. Today, my Sensei walked onto the mat and asked me to follow him into his office for a business matter. I bowed to the kamiza and then stepped off the mat. I then walked back onto the mat with Sensei after bowing again. After class, I realized that I never waited for the instructor's permission to exit or enter onto the mat. Did I goof? I realize the best answer to this question is to ask my Sensei, (which I will do) but I was wondering what other people on the boards thought. Thanks for any responses.
'wouldn't think so if you were right with him.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:12 PM   #3
p00kiethebear
 
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Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
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Re: When leaving the mat...

In our dojo we can step on and off the mat whenever we please as long as we bow.

is this not how it's done in other dojos?

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 03-09-2005, 04:28 AM   #4
estel
Dojo: Rockhampton Yuishinkai
Location: Qld
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9
Australia
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Re: When leaving the mat...

pookie- we're the same as you.. we just bow, and then step on/off.

The fact that we have an exceedingly small class means that the instructor can keep her eye on us most of the time anyways, so would know if we've left.
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Old 03-09-2005, 04:47 AM   #5
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Re: When leaving the mat...

Nathan, no, we ask that people tell at least one of the dan grades before leaving the mat - but more for safety reasons than etiquette.

Stuart, bit puzzled, I'm assuming the instructor that class wasn't your sensei? My personal take would be some acknowledgment of the instructor was probably in order, but I doubt you'll have to sacrifice yourself to redeem dojo honour...
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:08 AM   #6
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: When leaving the mat...

Each Dojo has its own etiquette, particularly when you are in such specific contexts.

The way I understand the context: your Sensei took charge of the class as he returned to the mat, then obviously, he has acknowledge your joining the group. Hence, you were right in joining without asking (he knew you were joining with him).

Note that proper etiquette should not interrupt the flow of the class too much, and should not be over formal.


Amir
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Old 03-09-2005, 08:17 AM   #7
Jim Simons
Dojo: Aikido in the Fan
Location: Richmond, VA
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Re: When leaving the mat...

In our dojo it's presented as a matter of safety as well as ettiquette to inform the instructor before leaving the mat: otherwise, are you alright? Are you washing dust out of your contact lens or are you passing out in the changing room from a knock on the head?

Of course, the situation presented here is a little less straightforward, but where I train I'd still make sure whoever is teaching knows where I've gone.

Last edited by Jim Simons : 03-09-2005 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 03-09-2005, 10:51 AM   #8
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Israel
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Re: When leaving the mat...

Quote:
Jim Simons wrote:
In our dojo it's presented as a matter of safety as well as ettiquette to inform the instructor before leaving the mat: otherwise, are you alright? Are you washing dust out of your contact lens or are you passing out in the changing room from a knock on the head?

Of course, the situation presented here is a little less straightforward, but where I train I'd still make sure whoever is teaching knows where I've gone.
It's the common practice in our dojo as well; one shouldn't just leave the mat without telling anyone. Further more, if one is injured and is running to clean up his face or something, it is his partner responsibility to inform Sensei and then follow him and make sure he is OK.

Then again, every rule has exceptions: For Example, Yundasha are assumed to be responsible enough, so we can go off the mat without telling Sensei (normally, we will make sure he knows about it and the reasons by giving some minor signal). The above case seems to belong in the exceptions section.


Amir
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:42 PM   #9
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Dojo: Puget Sound Aikikai
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Re: When leaving the mat...

If I'm getting off because I'm sick or injured, I tell Sensei, but not if I'm just for a few seconds to blow my nose....

Jeanne
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:35 PM   #10
syraikidoka
Dojo: Aikido Of CNY
Location: Central New York
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Re: When leaving the mat...

First of all Stu, please do your best to refrain from clogging up the message boards with ridiculous questions. JuSt KiDdInG!

Ya know, looking at the situation as you described it, it may not have been a bad idea to let the instructor know that you are leaving the mat.

However, if Sensei had asked me to leave the mat to talk or help him with something, I would not have given it a thought either. So if it is found by this jury that this is "a goof", then I guess I would have goofed too.

See ya on the mat.

Mike
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:59 PM   #11
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
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Japan
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Re: When leaving the mat...

I think that if you are rushing off the matt because you are about to throw up then its best to rush and not wait for the instructor's acknowledment. Otherwise...ask permission.

BUT...in this case you can see why that wouldn't have been done. It's tough to be caught between two points of etiquette...1. To go with the instructor who asked you to immediately, 2. To go bow to the instructor leading the class.

In my opinion, in this case, the problem was with the instructor who asked you to go off the mat with them. They should have confirmed with the instructor leading the class either by walking over to them or some sort of eye contact that they were taking you away. I don't think anyone could have held this against you.

However, when you got back on the mat I would have bowed and then quickly gone up to the instructor leading the class and bowed to them. Or somehow gotten their acknowledgement.

My thoughts...only mine.

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:33 AM   #12
Stuart Plymesser
 
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Re: When leaving the mat...

Thanks for your support, Mike R. For what it is worth, I asked Sensei about whether or not I had messed up the other day. He said that as long as I was with him, I was fine and his explainiation was pretty much what Amir wrote. Thanks for the discussion, guys. I'm always interested to read about the different traditions at other dojos.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:58 PM   #13
YinYaker
Location: Florida
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Re: When leaving the mat...

I know Sensei Mehter as he is a very understanding man. You are lucky to have such a good dojo like this in your area. I'm sure that he didn't think twice about it. Knowing this Sensei, if there were any issues regarding your leaving the matt than either the Sensei or another senior student would have mentioned it to you in all confidentiality.
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