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Old 04-11-2006, 10:30 AM   #1
Takuan
Dojo: Circulo de Aikido
Location: rio de janeiro
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
Brazil
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Any instructors here ever challenged?

My Sensei left me as well as two other senior students in charge of our dojo since he went to visit his family in Japan. A great honor for me since I've only been a Shodan for 6 months. One instruction he gave us which left me a little intrigued is to not accept new students during his leave that were not referred by existing students in our dojo. He also warned us to never accept any challenge made by anyone. "Call the Police if you must, but NEVER accept a challenge", he said.

I thought how incredibly rude someone simply walking in the dojo and calling on the instructor for a challenge would be. I know that O Sensei in the old days had that happen to him many times and was wondering if any of the instructors here had any such experience happen to them and how they dealt with it.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:53 AM   #2
Meggy Gurova
Dojo: Chowa
Location: Sofia
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Isnīt that something that only happens in the movies? Like karate kid? Ok in Rio maybe itīs normal.
My sensei was kind off challenged in a way once. There was a big guy (like 2 meters tall) that came and wanted to try aikido, said he had 3 dan in judo, put on his black belt and started to challenge most off the the people that have been training the longest time in our dojo. He didnīt respect at all the advices off our sensei and try to do some kick boxing things in response to the techniques. My sensei try to help him through the techniques and said to him that his behavior was not acceptable . The 4 time my sensei went to him and with red face, pointed to him then to the door screamed when he talked (sounded like a huge kiai ) and throed him away. My sensei is like 1.70 meters short. The big guy got scared and left without any comment. But thats the way my sensei is. With the confidence that he has he can scare the biggest guys, he is almost 60 years old and maybe thats why he gets so much respect.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:11 PM   #3
Dennis Good
Location: Baltimore Maryland
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Since you asked. OK this did not happen to me but one of my instructors (who shall remain nameless) many years ago. At the end of a Saturday morning class, this instructor who is probably the fastest man I have ever seen was chatting with some students on the mat. On to the mat walks this guy that had been watching the class, complete with shoes and Tae Kwon Do jacket with disciples looking on. My instructor asks him to take off his shoes. This guy asks my instructor what he would do against a spinning roundhouse kick. My instructor in his usual non-chalant manner responds with "I don't know, I'll have to see it" Without missing a beat, Tae Kwon Do guy does a spinning roundhouse. My instructor enters in behind him, grabs him at the collar and belt, spins and drives him face first into the mat. He get up and just as non- chalantly says "I guess I would do that." Tae Kwon Do guy hobbles out without saying a word. It was beautiful.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:34 PM   #4
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

People walking into the dojo right onto the tatami with dirty boots on and challenging anyone and everyone used to happen in the early and mid 60's. It happened to me on a few occasions in the early 70's but hasn't really happened since. There was a period after that, though, where a few people came in and were a bit aggressive just short of challenging but that dropped off also by the mid 80's or so.

In truth, I sort of enjoyed it in the early days. That may very possibly be why it happened in some cases. That sort of stuff hasn't happened in many years now. I don't miss it.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:42 PM   #5
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I've been told a story by several people who were there, so I believe it to be true. An aikido teacher was invited to a BBQ being held by a karate instuctror. The two men didn't know each other very well and the aikido instructor attended in order to get to know the karateka. The aikidoka was asked several times to "show us some of your aikido" by other guests and politely refused. Eventually, one of the karate students walked up to him and threw a strong munetsuki towards his face. The aikidoka got off line and took the fist in his hand and submitted the karateka by squeezing his thumb tighter into his own fist. When it was over, he thanked the host for the invitation and left the party.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:07 PM   #6
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

obviously outright challenges with the bad intentions is wrong! That said, I have challenged every instructor I have ever worked with! I have done it with sincerity and honesty. I have never taken anything at face value...I must know that they can practice what they preach.

If they are full of crap, then I usually politely don't bother coming back!

I also think we owe it to our instructors to challenge them every class and every minute, we as students must hold them accountable and keep them honest! In return they will teach us properly.

Accepting a sensei or instructor based on his/her stature, trappings, and such at face value is not smart in my book.

There is a right way to challenge them, and a wrong way. I'd never challenge someone outright or do it in a dishonest way, or deceive them, embarrass, humiliate them in anyway!
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:40 PM   #7
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

The very basis of any system of education and practice should be to challenge and encourage each other with continuing problems we have to solve. The dojo is a "dilemma rich environment." It should all be done with "Best Use of Energy and Mutual Welfare."

I'm with you Kevin.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:05 PM   #8
Perry Bell
Dojo: Deshi-do
Location: Melbourne / Australia
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
obviously outright challenges with the bad intentions is wrong! That said, I have challenged every instructor I have ever worked with! I have done it with sincerity and honesty. I have never taken anything at face value...I must know that they can practice what they preach.

If they are full of crap, then I usually politely don't bother coming back!

I also think we owe it to our instructors to challenge them every class and every minute, we as students must hold them accountable and keep them honest! In return they will teach us properly.

Accepting a sensei or instructor based on his/her stature, trappings, and such at face value is not smart in my book.

There is a right way to challenge them, and a wrong way. I'd never challenge someone outright or do it in a dishonest way, or deceive them, embarrass, humiliate them in anyway!
Hi Kevin,

I am a karate instructor in Australia, and I have competed as a contact Karate fighter in my younger days in both Australia an Asia with a fair amount of sucsess, I have had quite a few challenges from out siders coming into my dojo, when this happens I just ask them to leave, if they don't I call the police, simply because if we fight one of us will get hurt badly and I don't want to be having to explain things in a court of law, but more so this goes against what I teach and my belief in what Karate is all about, I guess its practicing what you preach.

On the point of challenges by my students, I encourage them to fight with me in a controlled way so they can see the techniques they are learning work, and sometime they get me and sometimes they don't, when they do I congratulate them and go off to figure out how they got me where was my guard down that allowed the success of the attack, if they don't I will work with them then send them off to practice so they can be more confident of getting the punch or kick in.

So in essence I agree with what you say, by letting our students challenge us in a respectful way we indeed challenge ourselves, to see the our techniques are still as sharp as they used to be or think they are.

Take care, train hard

Perry

Deshido
The quest for excellence
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:12 PM   #9
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
Location: Rhode Island
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I dont know if this fits in but I feel like sharing. I was doing a technique with my sensei once and he asked me to totally commit to an attack, full out try and get him, now I am taller the my sensei by about a foot and out weight him by at least 60 lbs, and well I went at him at full speek, and he missed the technique, and ended up throwing me by my head....after I got up he stopped me from attacking again and told me, "that was the best challenge Ive had in years"

Dan Hulley
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:14 PM   #10
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

We challenge our teachers at our own risk of course. One of my sempai was testing our Japanese shihan by trying not to go down during a katate dori sokumen iriminage. The shihan smiled and converted the technique into an elbow drop: he made it into a sacrifice throw where he fell on my sempai with his elbow in the center of his chest. We all thought: better him than me.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:21 PM   #11
Perry Bell
Dojo: Deshi-do
Location: Melbourne / Australia
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
We challenge our teachers at our own risk of course. One of my sempai was testing our Japanese shihan by trying not to go down during a katate dori sokumen iriminage. The shihan smiled and converted the technique into an elbow drop: he made it into a sacrifice throw where he fell on my sempai with his elbow in the center of his chest. We all thought: better him than me.

Hi Raul,

Thank you for your post, you made me smile, I remember my teacher doing the similar thing during one of my classes and the feeling was the same, better him than me, I sometimes find myself doing something similar things when students try to put one over me, it is so easy to get someone off balance if they totally commit them selves by trying not to go down.

Good post

Thank you

Perry

Deshido
The quest for excellence
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:06 PM   #12
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Happened to me about a dozen times in the early to mid-nineties. I was teaching in a Judo dojo on a major route. The owner pasted a huge sign on the building saying "Jujutsu, the art of the nineties, as seen in the UFC" on the side of the building. Who was the jujutsu Instructor? Me! Needless to say I wasn't happy about it. But, not my Dojo.
Guys came in wanting to test it.
I enjoyed it for a few years and showed people just what jujutsu can do, but got sick of it. So to the question at hand. One night, unannounced I left. Told my guys I was leaving, and we dropped off the map. We have been in my converted barn, in the middle of the country ever since. Cannot be found unless you know one of us and have been reccomended.
Peace and quiet.

Today I would still accept a challenge and still go out to play with various styles.
As a teacher it is best to remain a student and never lose the openess and willingness to research.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-11-2006 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:07 PM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I never had anyone "challenge" me... But two of my Aikido friendsfrom Montana, who are also long time law enforcement trainers, brought an officer friend who had been doing karate for some years. His karate teacher had told him not to bother with that "Aikido stuff" because it didn't work.

Fortunately this boy was quite buff and pretty indestructible so for two hours I disabused him of this misinfomation he had been given and when he left he was hoping he could find a place to train where he lived.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:11 PM   #14
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
"The shihan smiled"
Oh yeah, THAT smile. That's the one that you see and say to yourself "Oh s***! Why did I just do that?)

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:35 AM   #15
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Yes, in over 45 years of teaching and training I have been challenged twice.


When I lived in Pensacola Florida there was this top notch Tang Su Do instructor. He was in his school late one night when a man came in with a knife and tried to rob him. The next day the Pensacola News Journal did an interview with Jack and ask him what he thought when the man came in. He said "thank you god". Oh, he took the guy apart.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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Old 04-14-2006, 08:35 AM   #16
Jory Boling
 
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Location: Yokosuka, Japan
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
...He was in his school late one night when a man came in with a knife and tried to rob him...
Of all the places to choose for a robbery- If the man had been killed, he'd definitely be a nominee for a Darwin Award.

And are you going to leave us hanging for any details (even small ones?) concerning your challengers? You brought it up!

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Old 04-14-2006, 08:40 AM   #17
Michael Neal
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

There are people that come by our Judo dojo every once in a while with the intention of testing us, when we introduce them to Judo randori they quickly become a little more humble.
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Old 04-14-2006, 09:33 AM   #18
DarkShodan
Dojo: Shuurin Dojo - Omaha, Nebarska
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I get challenged about once a month. Let me clarify this...I don't consider them real challenges. We work out at a Recreation Center and I teach the early kids class so I am there to set up. There are a lot of kids running around after school, probably 12 - 18 years old. At least once a month one will walk in as I am setting up and test me. I can usually laugh and blow them off, call them crazy, tell them they need to rethink what they are about to do. Most of them will laugh it off with me. They don't really want to confront me, just talk I guess. Some of them will help me set up and say "Hi" to me when I walk in. I did have one kid a few weeks ago ask me to "Show me what you've got". I just laughed and walked away. He pushed me from behind, so I dropped my gear bag and turned towards him. The look was more like, "Oh Sh!t". Suddenly he didn't want to play any more. I smiled and invited him into class. We did some boxing, just messed around. It was cool. He's a nice kid. He just wanted some attention.

Victims, aren't we all.
-- Eric Draven
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Old 04-14-2006, 09:49 AM   #19
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Challenges are to be expected when you have a dojo. maybe you will get a couple of drunks, a middling martial art student, or an outright challenge. It is a challenge for you, there is no other way to talk about it. Your art should be your home, and you should be prepared to protect your home. If you do not protect your home, you have no home.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:41 AM   #20
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
Challenges are to be expected when you have a dojo. maybe you will get a couple of drunks, a middling martial art student, or an outright challenge. It is a challenge for you, there is no other way to talk about it. Your art should be your home, and you should be prepared to protect your home. If you do not protect your home, you have no home.

Our shihan in Japan once had a serious if rather rude challenger. The details he was willing to give are sketchy, but we had a definite impression the challenger did not leave that dojo in the best of health. The shihan is very closed mouthed about the whole thing. All he says is: "I have to protect my dojo.'
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:14 AM   #21
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I know a shihan that nearly killed a man over a challenge and another that severally injured a fellow that falsely represented himself as a guest student and when ask to be uke he changed the attack and knocked the shihan down. A real bad mistake on his part.

As for my two one ended with a punch and the other with a laugh.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:58 PM   #22
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

A friend of mine has a BJJ dojo here in the southwest, near the border town of Mexicali. He is also a cop and Koga instructor, as well as a Gracie Graple instructor. He's 6-1, 185 and about ten percent body fat, always with a big smile and quick laugh. He was closing down the dojo one evening and a character came off the street; pretty muscular with lots of tattoos. The "visitor" asked him if he was the Sifu and was told that he was the Chief Instructor. The next question was "Are you any good?". Eric replied that he didn't know, but guessed that they could roll and figure it out. The visitor chose to leave without rolling. I asked him what his reaction would have been if the visitor pulled a knife or something and his reply was "I don't know, I guess we'd have found out."

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:33 PM   #23
Michael Douglas
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

This is not a criticism, just an observation, maybe even a compliment.
Of the stories above, when the Aikido instructor is challenged, the response has never been a typical Aikido syllabus technique.
Anyone got any real info as to why ??

( Dennis Good ;
"Tae Kwon Do guy does a spinning roundhouse. My instructor enters in behind him, grabs him at the collar and belt, spins and drives him face first into the mat. "

Michael Hackett ;
" one of the karate students walked up to him and threw a strong munetsuki towards his face. The aikidoka got off line and took the fist in his hand and submitted the karateka by squeezing his thumb tighter into his own fist. "

Daniel Hulley ;
" and well I went at him at full speek, and he missed the technique, and ended up throwing me by my head...."

Raul Rodrigo ;
"One of my sempai was testing our Japanese shihan by trying not to go down during a katate dori sokumen iriminage. The shihan smiled and converted the technique into an elbow drop: he made it into a sacrifice throw where he fell on my sempai with his elbow in the center of his chest. " )

And from memory of stories here, when O-Sensei was challenged the results were similar.
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:06 PM   #24
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote:
This is not a criticism, just an observation, maybe even a compliment.
Of the stories above, when the Aikido instructor is challenged, the response has never been a typical Aikido syllabus technique.
Anyone got any real info as to why ??
Because the "syllabus" is primarily made up of kihon designed to teach principles, but challenge responses are necessarily oyo-waza, or "applied techniques."

Mind you, that's just a guess.

FL
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:16 PM   #25
Qatana
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I think one of my sempai is about to be challenged. I was walking through the parking lot at the dojo last night and there were these big bikers on big Harleys and they were talking about where my sempai works...maybe I am imagining things, maybe they want to pay him the money they;ve owed him since 10th grade, maybe they wanna see what he is made of., maybe they want to join the dojo....but he didn't show up for class and eventually they left

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
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