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Old 11-12-2002, 02:17 PM   #26
mle
Dojo: The Dojo (www.the-dojo.com
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Quote:
Justin McCarthy (justinm) wrote:
I have a gut reaction against this whole Bill of Rights stuff. Not sure why, but I think I just don't get it. Maybe it is an American thing? If I HAD to come up with something, it would be along these lines:

1. The Sensei has the right to run the dojo anyway they damn well please.

2. Everyone has the right to leave if they don't like it.

I struggle with anything else.

Justin
Did this sensei have the right to do anything he damn well pleased?

http://ejmas.com/proceedings/GSJSA02burdick.htm

I don't suppose there's a kind of protective guide one can come up with for the perennially misguided (*ahem*) but I did try to scribble down thoughts about what definitely WASN'T acceptable to me in a dojo.

And what I sought.

To be perfectly honest, it was an intellectual exercise to begin with. The name "Bill of Rights" is going over like the Chevy Nova in Mexica ("no va" means "it doesn't go" great for selling a car eh?)

The whole concept has brought to the surface how independent and, I suppose, necessarily Darwinistic budo is (or yoga for that matter! interesting page).

Seems to boil down to, you have the right to seek, the right to try, and the right to try something else.

I'm thinking of renaming the list "mle's List of Things that Bug Her".

Maybe just call it "Reasonable Expectations".

Not quite Dickens, is it!

mle

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Old 11-12-2002, 02:38 PM   #27
mle
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Re: Re: Re: judgment call

Quote:
Richard Elliott wrote:
Hi mle!
Hi Richard! nice to see you out here.
Quote:
Richard Elliott wrote:
Interesting project! It really is too bad written guidelines seem necessary.
The popular opinion seems to be that they are not. I was just sort of toying with the idea and put it out there. It was WAY soundly rejected as anything resembling rights... still pondering that.
Quote:
Richard Elliott wrote:
Especially for raw beginners (I started at 38 yrs old), it seems to me, it would give a better introduction if these "guidelines" were worded in a more friendly and personal way?
So "rights" seems confrontational?

Wierd.

We all take for granted certain rights, so much so that we forget to think about them.

Not that we should be chanting them all the time, but that we should not forget.

I live in a country right now where I don't have the rights I had in the USA. Some of it is law and some of it is common sense.

(F'rinstance: do not, during time of possible war, wander about foreign countries wearing USA & flags and making loud comments about why America is Better)

Perhaps this is why I am thinking about rights.

I could get really political here but I'm gonna bite my tongue. Ow.

Small price to see the world, and learn why we value what we value, and why we are the way we are. Travel isn't always easy and it's mostly worth it (with the possible exception of spending my past week in downtown London- winning lottery ticket for the bills please!!)
Quote:
Richard Elliott wrote:
Student responsibilities, I feel, might be stressed; this, for the sake of all those good teachers and adminers of good and open will.
Student responsibilities are usually pretty well spelled out by the dojo. Bylaws, culture and whatnot.

But not much about the rights of the fodder that walks in the door. Deciding who you teach is your right, as is HOW you teach. Natural events will cause enough evolution of that process.

Tools, guidelines, whatever you want to call it, just trying to thread a snake into a spool of thread...

mle

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Old 11-12-2002, 03:09 PM   #28
Richard Elliott
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Re: Re: Re: Re: judgment call


Yer post is very interesting to me, mle.

I've only been outta the country a few times: Mexico and Oklahoma, and Boston, too. Have you considered traveling around, interviewing some MA teachers and students to get feedback on how they view their rights and priveleges concerning training? Maybe you could write an essay about the different politics in MA schools in Europe, compare and contrast type stuff. Tell 'em your not from the USA; you're from the Republic of Texas! Charm 'em into saying how things "really are." Just don't name names, for god's sake!

I suggested "freedom" because "rights" seems a little legalistic in this context, but my dojo experience is very limited.

"fodder" ??? that's a little wierd too.

trying to thread a snake into a spool of thread...

I am still trying to get myself thru the eye of a needle.

Last edited by Richard Elliott : 11-12-2002 at 03:17 PM.

Respectfully, Richard
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Old 11-13-2002, 01:25 AM   #29
MaylandL
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Hello mle

Having read the Maxston Case and read some of the posts on Aikiweb (eg about the student getting slapped in the face and being demanded to cooperate) I wholeheartedly support your endeavours.

Given the philosophical tenets of Aikido and other martial arts, I am both surprised and saddened that we need to ennuciate these principles/rights. I would have thought them to be self evident. Evidently, they may not be that obvious to some.

I must be really naive or been brought up in very sheltered dojos but, I have always trained at Dojos where there was a mutual respect between students and their sensei and among students with absolute no hint or stain of impropriety or abuse. We have never been forced to do anything that we were not competely comfortable with or punished for not doing it. There have been rare occassions where some students were spoken to by Sensei for their behaviour during class but never punished in the ways noted on this thread. That being said, Sensei is always looking for ways to challenge students whilst not putting them at excessive risks. Yes, unfortunately, injuries do occur but it has never been the intent to injure or abuse students.

The training that I have received in all of the dojos that I've been at has been vigourous, intense, demanding but always joyful. I guess that's been the main reason for me saying in MA for over 12 years, its fun to do and I've enjoyed the company of those I've trained with and been taught by.

I agree with Mr Chuck Gordon's comments about Sensei not being a DI and that the student should be attending class ready to learn. At one of the Dojos that I train at, the Sensei trains with the students becasue he needs to feel the techniques that he is asking students to do so he can determine if they are doing the technnique correctly. He can do this because he has less than 6 students at any one class. We get a lot of personalised and feedback from Sensei, which I find very useful.

Anyway, enough of my rant. Please keep at it. I would be most interested in the results of your endeavours.

All the best for training

Last edited by MaylandL : 11-13-2002 at 01:29 AM.

Mayland
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Old 11-13-2002, 05:52 AM   #30
Bronson
 
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Rules for training and instructing--Koichi Tohei

1. Aikido reveals to us the path to oneness with the universal. To coordinate body and spirit and become one with nature itself is the chief purpose of aikido training

2. As nature loves and protects all creation and help all things to grow and develop, so we must teach every student with sincerity and without discrimination or partiality.

3. There is no discord in the absolute truth of the universal, but there is discord in the realm of relative truth. To compete with others and win brings only relative victory. Not to compete and yet win brings absolute victory. To gain only a relative victory sooner or later leads to inevitable defeat. While you are practicing to become strong, learn how you can avoid fighting. By learning to throw your opponent and enjoy it and to be thrown and enjoy that too and by helping one another in learning the correct techniques you will progress very rapidly.

4. Do not criticize any other martial arts. The mountain does not laugh at the river because it is lowly, nor does the river speak ill of the mountain because it cannot move about. Everyone has his own characteristics and gains his own position in life. Speak ill of others, and it will surely come back to you.

5. The martial arts begin and end with courtesy, not in form alone, but in heart and mind as well. Respect the teacher who taught you and do not cease to be grateful especially to the founder of aikido who showed the way. He who neglects this should not be surprised if his students make light of him.

6. Be warned against conceit. Conceit not only halts your progress, it causes you to regress. Nature is boundless; its principles are profound. What brings conceit? It is brought on by shallow thinking and a cheaply-bought compromise with your ideals.

7. Cultivate the calm mind that comes from making the universal a part of the body by concentrating your thoughts on the single spot in the lower abdomen. You must know that it is a shame to be narrow minded. Do not dispute with others merely to defend your own views. Right is right. Error is error. Judge calmly what is right and what is wrong. If you are convinced that you are wrong, manfully make amends. If you meet one who is superior, joyfully accept his teaching. If any man is in error, quietly explain to him the truth, and strive to make him understand.

8. Even a one inch worm has a half inch spirit. Every man respects his own ego. Do not, therefore, slight anyone, nor hurt his self respect. treat a man with respect, and he will respect you. make light of him, and he will make light of you. respect his personality and listen to his views, and he will gladly follow you.

9. Do not become angry. If you become angry it shows that your mind has wandered from the single spot in the lower abdomen. Anger is something to be ashamed of in aikido. Do not become angry on your own account. be angry only when the rights of nature or of your country are endangered. Concentrate on the single spot, and become angry all over. Know that he who is easily angered loses courage at important moments.

10. Spare no effort when you teach. You advance as your students advance. Do not be impatient when you teach. No one can learn everything well at one time. perseverance is important in teaching, are patience, kindness and the ability to put yourself in your students' place.

11. Do not be a haughty instructor. The students grow in knowledge as they obey their teacher. It is the special characteristic of training in ki that the teacher also advances by teaching his students. training requires an atmosphere of mutual respect between teacher and students. If you see a haughty man, you see a shallow thinker.

12. In practicing do not show your strength without some good purpose lest you awaken resistance in the minds of those watching you. Do not argue about strength, but teach the right way. Words alone cannot explain. Sometimes by being the one thrown, you can teach more effectively. Do not halt your student's throw at midpoint or stop his ki before he can complete a movement, or you will give him bad habits. Strive always by word and act to instill in him the correct ki and the art of aikido.

13. Do whatever you do with conviction. We study thoroughly the principle of the universal and practice it, and the universal protects us. We have nothing to be doubtful or to fear. real conviction comes from the belief that we are one with the universal. We must have the courage to say with Confucius: If I have an easy conscience, I dare to face an enemy of ten thousand men.

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-13-2002, 07:58 AM   #31
Bruce Baker
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Well Mr. Knoops, you have grasp part of the humor of my physical situation, but indeed only the surface of it.

Next time you are ill, with the flu, having the ceiling and walls move when you do not, or can not walk down the hall without feeling nauseous, go do Aikido class. If you could, then herein lies the laughter of the Jest.

Of course on good days, I have many hours of somewhat normal condition, although guarded, and it makes getting about easier, but until you have tried to do Aikido practice in this quasi state of health, the only jest is in the smugness of your own security.

If I am a jester, it is because I choose to hide amongst the pretenders who have become complacent with good health and continued practice as their representation of knowledge.

Anyone can practice Aikido when they are healthy, but try it sometime when doctors tell you, " ...you really shouldn't be doing that."

Sorry to rant, apologys if I seem slightly miffed, but indeed I am. One should have a great appreciation of how clowns work their craft, and not use them as foils for description.
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Old 11-13-2002, 08:09 AM   #32
Bruce Baker
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My sincere apology if anyone percieves that I am trying to be King or jester. Remember, how you percieve others is based upon your own insecuritys.

Maybe it is time to look inside ourselves, and see the weakness in ourseles that allows us to mock others without seeing the weakness of character we most dislike as being the same within ourselves.

Last edited by Bruce Baker : 11-13-2002 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 11-18-2002, 02:39 PM   #33
mle
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Quote:
Bronson Diffin (Bronson) wrote:
Rules for training and instructing--Koichi Tohei
Near the end of my time as a mudansha I spent quite a bit of time digging through K. Tohei's writings. Fascinating and articulate.

I am not attempting to enact legislation.

I don't want lawyers to get any more money.

What I am into is basic human rights.

And it shocks me that in order to train, people would simply toss their basic rights by the wayside.

Yes, when you commit to a dojo, it owns you.

HOWEVER, does that mean it can assault your emotional state? Banish your free thinking? Scar you emotionally, mentally? become poisonously sexual? violate your personal integrity?

By harm, I mean crippling harm inflicted with knowledge and intention. I can tell you a good handful of stories, several I heard from noted teachers and shihan.

I don't mean a bump or bruise, I mean, duh! this *is* a martial art here.

Isn't it?

It's all about balance, as my teacher says.

I got a separated shoulder and a torn deltoid ligament in a very soft style of aikido. I sued no one. I learned from it and healed. Still healing. No malice, just accidents.

I owe a lot of my growth to some very dedicated teachers, and was thankfully thick-skinned enough not to be damaged by others.
Quote:
3. There is no discord in the absolute truth of the universal, but there is discord in the realm of relative truth.
Seems to me that guidelines are relative truth, and basic rights are universal truth.

If you don't agree with what I've written as basic rights for a martial arts student, then state here what you want them to be.

THEN talk to me about what you want to see, what you want to be part of.
Quote:
4. Do not criticize any other martial arts.
Also seen in Shotokan Karate and Araki Ryu. A very good rule.
Quote:
6. Be warned against conceit.
Is asking hard questions conceited?

Will a strong thing be damaged by questioning?

I think not.

If you fear to question, you fear to grow.
Quote:
13. Do whatever you do with conviction.
Very wonderfully true.

I ask my questions with a clear conscience.

I also fear that my fellow aikidoka do not educate themselves deeply enough, and begin to think that aikido sprang full-grown from Ueshiba's forehead. It was the result of thousands of years of development and wisdom on that little island and on the adjacent mainland. Much of what is found in aikido writings is also found in other books on martial strategy, such as the Sword and the Mind and books from "other styles".

What works, works. Only you can decide what works for YOU.

mle

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Old 11-18-2002, 10:53 PM   #34
jk
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The bill of rights does sound like a fine thing to have; seems that the wording's a bit difficult to pin down.

How about the dojo managment and instructors making very explicit to prospective members all the expectations and demands they have of students, with the addition that the students have a right to refuse demands not made explicit before they joined? The expectations and demands made by each dojo should be written in terms as black-and-white as possible, so any prospective students have a clear idea of what is or isn't acceptable behavior on the part of the instructors/managment.

So the management will have to put in stuff like, "all members 2nd kyu and above, and below the age of 30, shall run the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds and bench press not less than 350 lbs...leap over 20-storey buildings...etc." It should be detailed stuff, and not general, wishy-washy, subjective language. This sounds like a good way to let instructors run the dojo any damn way they please while at the same time giving prospective students fair warning.

Of course, this should be quite unwieldy in application, but I just wanted to throw this little thought out there...

Regards,
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Old 11-19-2002, 03:30 AM   #35
mike lee
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someone has an axe to grind

Quote:
Yes, when you commit to a dojo, it owns you.
If there's ever been any abuse, it would spring from such an attitude.

Any rules or regulations should be handed down from the heads of individual martial arts associations. "Demands" do not flow up from the students. Any student who comes into my dojo and starts placing demands on me is finished.

Once again if there have ever been any gross legal violations in a dojo, it should be taken up with local law-enforcement authorities.

And let there be no doubt in anyone's mind, O'Sensei created aikido.

Quote:
What works, works. Only you can decide what works for YOU.
Then why expend so much effort telling everyone else how it should work?

Last edited by mike lee : 11-19-2002 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 11-19-2002, 04:55 AM   #36
erikmenzel
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Re: someone has an axe to grind

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
"Demands" do not flow up from the students. Any student who comes into my dojo and starts placing demands on me is finished.
Hear hear!

Bill of Rights, what a nonsense! Studying a martial art or running a dojo is not a democracy!

Sensei has the right to decide whom to teach and whom not!

Students have the duty to do what needs to be done! And if they dont like it they have the right/duty to leave.

If this nonsense continues the next thing will be the ellection of the Founder of Aikido?

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 11-19-2002, 07:33 AM   #37
mle
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Re: Re: someone has an axe to grind

Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
Hear hear!

Bill of Rights, what a nonsense! Studying a martial art or running a dojo is not a democracy!

Sensei has the right to decide whom to teach and whom not!

Students have the duty to do what needs to be done! And if they dont like it they have the right/duty to leave.
Here's the _really_ freaky thing.

Mostly I do agree with you.

The whole benevolent dictatorship works well when the dictator is actually benevolent.

I train in such a dojo.

Though I was affianced to the teacher of the dojo I now train at, I still had to be approved to train there. Heck, I didn't even know if I'd like it! but I did, and have been accepted as a student.

What I can't seem to get across to some (others have had interesting feedback, and that's what I'm really interested in) is that I'm actually not capable of putting any laws into effect about aikido so you can quit worrying about that.

I'm not even thinking that this has to be graven in stone and placed upon the mountaintop.

I'm not talking about healthy dojo.

I'm addressing folks who are having problems and trying to give them tools to understand what their options are and that they do in fact HAVE options.

Imagine the loyalty you have to your sensei.

Think how hard and confusing if would be if they hurt you, or created an unhealthy situation around you.

Could you really simply leave?

What would it take?

The basic question is, when does this voluntary abrogation of rights in the dojo in the name of learning become more damaging than helpful?

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. "

- Ben Franklin

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves. "

- Bertrand de Jouvenel

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear "

- George Orwell

mle

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Old 11-19-2002, 08:06 AM   #38
mike lee
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lost is cyberspace

Quote:
I'm addressing folks who are having problems and trying to give them tools to understand what their options are and that they do in fact HAVE options.
Then go address those folks.
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:41 AM   #39
erikmenzel
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Re: Re: Re: someone has an axe to grind

Quote:
Emily Dolan Gordon (mle) wrote:
I'm addressing folks who are having problems and trying to give them tools to understand what their options are and that they do in fact HAVE options.
Ever considered that you might be barking up the wrong tree? And why being so involved with other dojo?

Ever considered that the whole exercise you are doing might actually be harmful for the good dojo??
Quote:
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. "

- Ben Franklin

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves. "

- Bertrand de Jouvenel

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear "

- George Orwell
Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

-Ambrose Bierce

A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.

-Lord Peter Wimsey

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.

-W. Somerset Maugham

A witty saying proves nothing.

-Voltaire

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:48 AM   #40
Wormwood
 
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Re: Re: Re: Re: someone has an axe to grind

Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

-Ambrose Bierce

A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.

-Lord Peter Wimsey

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.

-W. Somerset Maugham

A witty saying proves nothing.

-Voltaire
The funniest circular logic I have seen in a while.

- Nathan Trail
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Old 11-19-2002, 11:24 AM   #41
Bruce Baker
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ALL sensei's should remember ... it is the goal of the student to surpass the teacher.

With type of thinking, and the future being within the treatment of how teachers treat students, you would want a student to treat you as you have treated your student, wouldn't you?

That should suffice the explantion of mistreatment, or explain the balance of things in the timeline of life, at least.
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:24 AM   #42
mle
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Re: Re: Re: Re: someone has an axe to grind

Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
Ever considered that you might be barking up the wrong tree? And why being so involved with other dojo?
Because I have friends who suffer from the mismanagement and abuse there. I'm in the safest place I've ever been, myself. Heck, I don't even DO aikido any more, except with friends who give seminars and invite my teacher (who teaches jujutsu) to teach.

So from my safe vantage point, I look out and I say, hey, that s*cks. I wonder if I can raise consciousness by discussing it in the online aikido community (which I have been a member of since 1998). The subject was initially rejected on aikido-L but has turned into a great discussion of what is and is not acceptable in dojo. That's okay. That's what I wanted.

Perhaps you are one of those seniors who believes that sense must be beaten into your juniors? that it is your right to break arms if you feel like it or intimidate women? Then naturally you want nothing to do with the rights I am talking about.

Yes, I get it. You don't agree.

It's very easy to be a disagreable b*stard on email lists. We live very close and may well meet someday. I would like to have a beer and discuss it in person. Please converse with me so that I may look forward to it.

Consider please also that if you have never had problems, then perhaps you are not really qualified to discuss the subject and leave it at that.

Perhaps we could talk about what is unacceptable in dojo and what

we would rather see?

mle

Homework: read _Duelling with Osensei_ by Ellis Amdur

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Old 11-20-2002, 06:39 AM   #43
erikmenzel
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: someone has an axe to grind

Quote:
Emily Dolan Gordon (mle) wrote:
Because I have friends who suffer from the mismanagement and abuse there. I'm in the safest place I've ever been, myself. Heck, I don't even DO aikido any more, except with friends who give seminars and invite my teacher (who teaches jujutsu) to teach.
Sorry to hear that. Hope you still have a good time training anyway.
Quote:
So from my safe vantage point, I look out and I say, hey, that s*cks. I wonder if I can raise consciousness by discussing it in the online aikido community (which I have been a member of since 1998). The subject was initially rejected on aikido-L but has turned into a great discussion of what is and is not acceptable in dojo. That's okay. That's what I wanted.
Yet, at the risk of sounding like a broken record: Did you ever consider that the format you chose might give people wrong ideas and thus be harmful for a good dojo??

I think the idea of discussing what is good and normal within a dojo is good. I do however strongly oppose the idea of "rights" for the following reasons:

1) It feels to me a very "america-centric" way of thinking. Something that doesnot score a lot of points in Europe anyway.

2) I have seen how the misconception of student rights can change a dojo for the worst. As I said earlier a dojo is just by nature not a democratic place.
Quote:
Perhaps you are one of those seniors who believes that sense must be beaten into your juniors? that it is your right to break arms if you feel like it or intimidate women? Then naturally you want nothing to do with the rights I am talking about.
Are we already on the level of name calling and insults? Why so soon, we havent discussed anything yet.
Quote:
Yes, I get it. You don't agree.
I guess, if you say so. Seems like we even disagree on what we disagree about.
Quote:
It's very easy to be a disagreable b*stard on email lists. We live very close and may well meet someday. I would like to have a beer and discuss it in person. Please converse with me so that I may look forward to it.
I agree that direct contact is better and that training with each other and having a drink together is often more insightful than disagreeing on some list. I truely do hope to meet you one day and to train together. I am open to all new experiences and like to make friends and contact everywhere.
Quote:
Consider please also that if you have never had problems, then perhaps you are not really qualified to discuss the subject and leave it at that.
Pot kettle black.
Quote:
Perhaps we could talk about what is unacceptable in dojo and what we would rather see?
Sounds ok.
Quote:
Homework: read _Duelling with Osensei_ by Ellis Amdur
homework : use dictionary and look up the word patronize

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 11-20-2002, 10:50 AM   #44
MattRice
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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I join the dojo, I expect there to be rules. I expect to follow those rules, or have problems. Those rules cover training conduct and general conduct in the dojo. Virtually anything that I can think of that is not covered by those rules, is covered by the law of the land. That's pretty much it. If I were to be systematically abused at the dojo, I would notice. If I was being abused by Sensei, I would leave. If it was someone else, I'd tell Sensei. If it was abuse that was breaking a law, I'd tell the cops. I realize that all this is sometimes easier said than done, and I'm not callous to the suffering that some may have edured at the hands of an abusive instructor or whatever,but seriously, we must be responsible for OURSELVES.

I think this rule covers about everyting (ASU dojo):

Respect the Founder and his teachings as succeeded and handed down by Saotome Sensei. Respect the dojo, respect your training tools and respect each other.

If we're respecting each other, I think that's a pretty good start...more rules won't do jack if we can't get that part right.
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Old 11-20-2002, 11:22 AM   #45
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, a bill of wants and wishes can help you make a better selection. I just don't think its your "right" to demand other people do it your way. Especially because its their school.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-20-2002, 03:02 PM   #46
beknapp
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it seems to me the concept of rights is for protecting those with less power from those with more. Its a statement about the acceptable use of power, not necessarily limited to democracy. The dojo is not a democracy, and that doesnt change anyone's rights, whatever they may be. In point of fact, the dojo and the teacher have very little real power, and personally I would like to save the concept for real life. In training, it might be more to the point to define what is acceptable to be dishing out; since others can always leave, but we have to live with what we do.
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Old 11-21-2002, 10:50 AM   #47
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
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I've been enjoying the reactions to this thread to date and would like to thank mle for this idea, as it was a feature that would never occurred to me. Having said that, I prefer the idea of a comparative document detailing different dojos/associations expectations of the pupil/student relationship, which you mentioned in your first paragraph, rather than an "Aikido Bill of rights" for two reasons.

1. Those who abuse their students are unlikely to make the bill of rights an issue in their dojos. In fact, I would assume they are more likely to use it as a "stick" for the hapless student who tries to get it introduced (unless of course you're envisaging some sort of legal/social enforcement to these rights -- which could get really out of hand).

2. Any codification of rights always brings out the barracks-room lawyers who normally mistake respect from authority as a potential weakness to be exploited for their own perceived advancement in the hierarchy. I can see this could damage a new dojo with an inexperienced sensei quite badly.

So, I must disagree with the bill of rights, mainly because I feel it is unworkable and unenforceable, but appreciate the sentiments behind it.
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Old 11-21-2002, 11:18 AM   #48
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
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take warning

It appears to me that mle is the one that has been abused and that although she claims that she now practices another martial art, she continues to harbor resentment against her former instructor and aikido as a whole.

In response, it is her desire to find a way to exact revenge against her former instructor by getting the aikido community to impose a "bill of rights" on him.

She is either very young, very imature, or both.

Nevertheless, her methods seem to quickly be leading her down the road to mental illness.

It may be time for her fully face her personal tragedy and begin to take an new approach to her life before worse disaster strikes.

Last edited by mike lee : 11-21-2002 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 11-21-2002, 11:33 AM   #49
akiy
 
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Hi folks,

As usual, please compose your posts here with respect of the other person first and foremost in mind. As I have asked before, if you are unable to continue a discussion without personal attacks, please find a different discussion forum in which to post.

Thank you.

-- Jun

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Old 11-21-2002, 02:46 PM   #50
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Thanks, Jun, I was also starting to feel that it was time for that.
Quote:
If I was being abused by Sensei, I would leave. If it was someone else, I'd tell Sensei. If it was abuse that was breaking a law, I'd tell the cops. I realize that all this is sometimes easier said than done, and I'm not callous to the suffering that some may have edured at the hands of an abusive instructor or whatever,but seriously, we must be responsible for OURSELVES.
Matt, I think that it's great that you have the self-respect and the understanding of abuse to feel confident that you can recognize it when you see it. On the other hand, I know for myself that my ideas about what is and isn't acceptable in a dojo grew and changed over time. For instance, the idea that I would learn more if I didn't question my teachers came slowly, and, if it was imposed on me too early would have led me to feel abused and, quite possibly, to leave. I can easily imagine situations which are confusing or borderline, where it might be useful to me to have made my own sense of the rules explicit. That doesn't mean that I have to be hide-bound by those explicit rules, just like I'm still free to question my teachers any time I want and still sometimes do so. It just means that it's nice to have the guidelines clear both for myself and, especially, for newer people who are still working to internalize them.

Many dojos I've been to have a fairly explicit list of their expectations of the students. I wonder how this interacts with the students gaining an understanding of what their expectations should be.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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