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Old 06-05-2006, 02:49 PM   #1
RoyK
Dojo: Nishin Kan
Location: Herzliya
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Israel
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Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Hi, I've searched the forums for a similar topic and haven't found, so bear with me if this question already arose and I missed it.

I've been training for about a year and a half now in my dojo, under an instructor who's not the head of the Dojo. I had an opportunity to train with every other instructor in our dojo, including the chief instructor.
Today my instructor told me that he might not be able to continue instructing in a few months, due to his wife giving birth.
Further, this weekend I saw in a seminar 7 people testing for black belts (students of other instructors from our dojo) and I wasn't impressed at all with most of them; Including my own experience with the other instructors, I'm not sure I want to train under them.
What should I do when my instructor leaves, leave the dojo and find a new instructor I'm confident with, or stick with my dojo so I won't have to back track everything I've learned during this year and a half?
I'm also wondering perhaps I'm just used to the style of teaching of my instructor, who's quite different from everyone else.

Thoughts, similar experiences, anything at all, will be most welcome. Sorry for the length of the question. I felt the question would be void without some background info.
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:37 PM   #2
odudog
Dojo: Dale City Aikikai
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

If you are confident that all the instructors know what they are talking about then I would stay at the dojo. Having instructors at the same dojo stressing different emphasis on the same technique is a good thing. This is the current situation at my dojo. I think that overall, you can be come a very well rounded Aikidoka because of this. Your mind won't be stuck on just one way of doing things. The people testing for the black belts could have had off days for various reasons that you are not priveledge to. So maybe they didn't impress you, I can understand that, but on a different day or month, those same individuals could have wowed you to no end.
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Old 06-05-2006, 04:06 PM   #3
kironin
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Maybe you should talk to your instructor about how you feel. Perhaps his view would help your deicsion. He must have his reasons for be associated with instructors and a school that you obviously have no respect for.

The setup just sounds a little strange to me. Is this school just so big and has so many classes a week that you can get sufficient training time just by only ever going to one instructors classes ?

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Old 06-05-2006, 05:36 PM   #4
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

To me it sounds like leaving at this stage would be a premature leave - at least give it a chance and see what it is like. I also agree with Craig about talking to your instructor about it.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:49 PM   #5
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Roy Klein wrote:
I've been training for about a year and a half now in my dojo, under an instructor who's not the head of the Dojo. I had an opportunity to train with every other instructor in our dojo, including the chief instructor.
Today my instructor told me that he might not be able to continue instructing in a few months, due to his wife giving birth.
Further, this weekend I saw in a seminar 7 people testing for black belts (students of other instructors from our dojo) and I wasn't impressed at all with most of them; Including my own experience with the other instructors, I'm not sure I want to train under them.
Have you trained elsewere or in another art previous to the year and a half at this dojo? Granted, training at different places can mean progressing at different levels, but that seems like a rather short period of time to really dig what's going on.
Still, i understand it's hard for me to know much simply from an online message. I'd ask your teacher what he thinks and let him know you're worried about having the same level of training you're used to. One thing I've definately learned is that different approaches often teach you more about whatever it is you're studying. I've spend a little bit of time training under two fairly different styles of training and teaching and while at first I was a bit nervous about "changing" now I see they have complimented each other quite nicely. Who knows, maybe a change in perspective on that which you study could turn out to give you a whole new insight. You can always find another teacher later on anyway. Never hurts to taste different flavors of Aikido.
Gambatte!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:06 PM   #6
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Roy,
You should learn aikido from a Master, not from shodan level instructor.
Find a Master that will give you motivation for all life training. Otherwise it is simply waste of your preciouse time.

Last edited by NagaBaba : 06-05-2006 at 10:08 PM.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:25 AM   #7
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Roy,
You should learn aikido from a Master, not from shodan level instructor.
Find a Master that will give you motivation for all life training. Otherwise it is simply waste of your preciouse time.
The shodans were students of instructors.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:59 AM   #8
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Roy

The choice is up to you. From my own experience I found I have learned a lot from the lessons in which senior students replaced my Sensei. While he is great, each of them has evolved with some difference from the others, and placed his own emphasis on slightly different things. Being taught by others has helped me get a wider view of the things I did learn. I would consider that as a positive thing.

Are you sure your teacher is leaving for a long duration ? He might return in a few months, and while currently it seems long, the overall effect might not be that significant.

Of course. You can consider this as an opportunity to examine your own wishes and progress. Trust and confidence in your teacher is most important. And if you feel these are missing for you in the current dojo, you should find another teacher and move elsewhere (There are plenty of different teachers withing driving distance).

Quote:
stick with my dojo so I won't have to back track everything I've learned during this year and a half?
Knowledge you have gained never goes to waste. Even if you go to a very different style (like the one I am learning) you would have found the things you have ingrained allow you to progress much faster.

Base your decision on your real feelings and wishes. Do not put weight to habit or position (in the group). The latter are much less important.

Good luck and 'Behazlaha'
Amir
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:19 AM   #9
Nick P.
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Roy,
You should learn aikido from a Master, not from shodan level instructor.
Find a Master that will give you motivation for all life training. Otherwise it is simply waste of your preciouse time.
Wrong.

Some of the best teachers out there are not Masters, and some of the worst teachers are "Masters".

Stay with, or find, a teacher who inspires you, to hell with what rank or title they have.

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Old 06-06-2006, 07:53 AM   #10
arjandevries
Dojo: Ima Juku
Location: Amersfoort
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Netherlands
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Hi,

You should consult Eli Lerman about this. Discuss your concerns with him.When you do send him my greetings.

Arjan de Vries
Netherlands
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:54 AM   #11
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Wrong.

Some of the best teachers out there are not Masters, and some of the worst teachers are "Masters".

Stay with, or find, a teacher who inspires you, to hell with what rank or title they have.
I guess, that is the -subjective- definition of "master". But even th ranks and titles are subject to personal decretion, not yours, but the "testers' "

Dirk
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:01 AM   #12
Michael Meister
Dojo: South Hetton
Join Date: Aug 2004
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United Kingdom
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Roy Klein wrote:
Hi, I've searched the forums for a similar topic and haven't found, so bear with me if this question already arose and I missed it.

I've been training for about a year and a half now in my dojo, under an instructor who's not the head of the Dojo. I had an opportunity to train with every other instructor in our dojo, including the chief instructor.
Today my instructor told me that he might not be able to continue instructing in a few months, due to his wife giving birth.
Further, this weekend I saw in a seminar 7 people testing for black belts (students of other instructors from our dojo) and I wasn't impressed at all with most of them; Including my own experience with the other instructors, I'm not sure I want to train under them.
What should I do when my instructor leaves, leave the dojo and find a new instructor I'm confident with, or stick with my dojo so I won't have to back track everything I've learned during this year and a half?
I'm also wondering perhaps I'm just used to the style of teaching of my instructor, who's quite different from everyone else.

Thoughts, similar experiences, anything at all, will be most welcome. Sorry for the length of the question. I felt the question would be void without some background info.
For the time being, I would stick with the dojo. In my personal experience the people and instructors I liked to train with/under has always been changing from time to time. People who were hell as uke turned out to become my favorite ukes, instructors I really liked to train under became unbearable, and vice versa. This is due to the way my Aikido evolved, as well as theirs. Anyway, in the end it always payed out to stick there, train with them anyway.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:16 PM   #13
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
The shodans were students of instructors.
Shodans are beginners. What they can teach? They hardly know how to walk without put his legs in hakama

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:23 PM   #14
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Wrong.

Some of the best teachers out there are not Masters, and some of the worst teachers are "Masters".

Stay with, or find, a teacher who inspires you, to hell with what rank or title they have.
Don't make mistake, aikido is not a sport, where coach can develop a high level athlete. And event that, not every coach

Let's take a judo -- there are plenty of judo coaches, but those athlets from Canada Team move from all provinces to practice in Nakamura sensei dojo Ever wondered why? I'll give you a tip --- Nakamura sensei is a Master.

Aikido is based on transmission, from Master to student. Shodan has nothing to transmit; they are doing mistakes all time. So at best, they can transmit mistakes? ...........hmhm.........what a wonderful inspiration for long years of practice,

That is a sure way to water down aikido.

Last edited by NagaBaba : 06-06-2006 at 10:31 PM.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:24 PM   #15
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Some shodan are not beginners, some are.
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:14 AM   #16
batemanb
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Szczepan,

You crack me up sometimes. Perhaps in a perfect world we would all be studying under masters, but it's not perfect, and we all can't. Besides, I've seen very good masters make mistakes when teaching too, there's nothing wrong with that, it's how we all learn. Anyways, how did those masters become masters? Were they all masters when they began teaching? You have to start teaching somewhere, and hopefully we develop our ability as we teach, whether we become masters or not, time will only tell. Maybe some shodan teachers are not as good as others, and the good ones are not as good as some 4th dans or 5th dans, and likely vice versa. But to say that a shodan has nothing to teach is about as blind as you can get.

And yes, before you ask, I am only a lowly shodan making many mistakes with nothing to teach .


rgds
Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:24 AM   #17
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Szczepan, I do not think the shodans mentioned were mentioned as instructors but as a measure of their instructors. I.e. less impressive performace on shodan tests => their instructor /teacher is maybe not so impressive as a teacher.
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:57 AM   #18
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Shodans are beginners. What they can teach? They hardly know how to walk without put his legs in hakama
Heheheh...I know shodan means "first step", but what I was saying is that the other instructors weren't shodans. The fellow was saying that the shodans which those instructors produced weren't impressive. I don't think he said what their rank was.
...and, even I can teach...I just "pitty da foo!" who lets me. Sorry, I channeled Mr.T there for a minute...too much A-Team as a child!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:11 AM   #19
Raptus
Dojo: Dinamicna sfera (Realni aikido)
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

If you were transmitted a mistake, and you know it, be thankful, for you have been granted a possibility to sharpen your knowledge of how to avoid a mistake. If you were transmitted a mistake, and you don't know it, be thankful, for you will be able to learn to recognize a mistake, and advance your technique by using your own wits. You might even develop your own 'mistake', which you will transmit on to others And, voila! A step forward, not backward!
I have started training under a 1. kyu, and I still consider him a better teacher and master than quite a few other masters I've had a chance to train with.
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:43 AM   #20
Nick P.
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Don't make mistake, aikido is not a sport, where coach can develop a high level athlete. And event that, not every coach
Agreed.
Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Let's take a judo -- there are plenty of judo coaches, but those athlets from Canada Team move from all provinces to practice in Nakamura sensei dojo Ever wondered why? I'll give you a tip --- Nakamura sensei is a Master.
Agreed, and he is a very nice gentleman.
But that must mean there are no other masters in Canada, and that must mean no-one other than him has anything worth teaching....and above all any Judoka NOT learning under Nakamura Sensei is wasting their precious time.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Aikido is based on transmission, from Master to student. Shodan has nothing to transmit; they are doing mistakes all time. So at best, they can transmit mistakes? ...........hmhm.........what a wonderful inspiration for long years of practice,
I agree shodan is by no means mastery. I could not disagree more with your statement that they, or any student at any level, have nothing to transmit. If I come to your dojo, surely I will learn something from everyone I train with, including you. No?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
That is a sure way to water down aikido.
Almost every aikido is watered down the further in time we get from O-Sensei's passing, by your definition.
But please, keep your "tips" coming; I think we all enjoy them.

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Old 06-07-2006, 07:54 AM   #21
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Almost every aikido is watered down the further in time we get from O-Sensei's passing, by your definition.
This statement is a bit problematic in and of itself. True no-one has 'the complete' aikido of the founder. But if we think that over time aikido gets further and further watered down, then what will we have in the future? All the students who practiced with the founder themselves have done their best to promote aikido as they learnt it. If their students diligently practice and develope their own aikido, then the watering down process is diminished, and may in some cases be reversed.

Aikido is a 'living' art with many aspects which are given more prominence with some than others.

We are all responsible for the 'quality' of future aikido. It is up to us the present generation of students/teachers to keep the art vibrant and relevant to the modern world.

regards,

Mark.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:45 AM   #22
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Agreed.
I agree shodan is by no means mastery. I could not disagree more with your statement that they, or any student at any level, have nothing to transmit. If I come to your dojo, surely I will learn something from everyone I train with, including you. No?
You mix up two differents things, we are talking here about Teacher position. Of course one can learn from anybody during a class, but a Teacher can't be at shodan level. From teacher you learn a WAY, from students you learn some technical tricks, so we have here two different levels. Technical tricks have nothing to do with Transmission.

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Almost every aikido is watered down the further in time we get from O-Sensei's passing, by your definition.
But please, keep your "tips" coming; I think we all enjoy them.
I'll give you small exemple: In France every fresh shodan opens immediately his own dojo. So now, we have there a milion of small dojo, headed by shodans, with few beginners. Even if those shodans go to seminars, they still teach others, instead of learning form Master. That happens cos they got teacher position far too early, before reach right level. They may be nice guys, but they are lost forever. I know personaly many other exemples of such behaviour. It is very sad thing.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:49 PM   #23
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Replacing Dojo/Instructor

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
Szczepan,
You crack me up sometimes. Perhaps in a perfect world we would all be studying under masters, but it's not perfect, and we all can't.
rgds
Bryan
Hi Bryan,
I hope you didnt crack completly down?
If you set up your priorities right, you will have no problem at all to study under a Master. It is question of choice.
And a search of a Master is very important part of DO. If my memory is still allright, Chiba sensei said one day, it is better not study at all if you can't find a Master. more I practice, more I agree with him.......kind of strange, no?

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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