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Old 11-18-2001, 02:10 PM   #1
Jacques
Dojo: Masagatsu Aikido Dojo Springs
Location: Springs (South Africa)
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12
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Unhappy Dissapointment

I am writing this to find out if any of you guys out there had the same experience.

I will not mention any styles or instructors because what happened to me is a disgrace to the art of aikido.

I started aikido training four years ago. Coming from a Karate background I learned very quickly. My grade promotions came very fast and I did several double gradings. My last grading was for Sandan (I know this sound unbelievable, but it is true).

The instructor that graded me is the All Africa Chief instructor of the Specific aikido style. He has an eigth dan in aikido.

After doing some self studying, reading and research on aikido, myself and another instructor who is part of our style, we came to realise that this eight dan instructor do not no anything about aikido.

A third instructor inquired from the Styles Head office in Japan if there is any clubs in South Africa registered with them and if the chief instructor really has the degree he claims to have. The reply came that there is not even one club in the whole of Africa registered with them and they have never heard of this instructor.

We three instructors have broke away from the so called eigth dan instructor and have affiliated under the Style that we were suppose to do.

This all came as a big shock to us because our grades are not recognised internationally at the moment.

I would like to hear your comments on this and I will be thankful if you do not debate about which style I am talking about as this case my have serious repercussions in the future.

Masakatsu Agatsu
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Old 11-18-2001, 02:40 PM   #2
ze'ev erlich
 
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Dojo: Masatake Dojo (Israeli Aikido Organization)
Location: Rehovot - Israel
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masakatsu !!!

Hi,
Sorry to read your story, there are many fake styles and senseis in the world. I think you did a wise thing - leaving the fake sensei.

You should write Masakatsu and not Masagatsu.
good luck,
Yours
Ze'ev

Ze'ev from Masatake Dojo Rehovot
www.aikikai.org.il
Israeli Aikido Organiziation (Aikikai)

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Old 11-18-2001, 03:45 PM   #3
Greg Jennings
Dojo: None at the moment.
Location: Springboro, OH
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Re: Dissapointment

Quote:
Originally posted by Jacques
I am writing this to find out if any of you guys out there had the same experience.
Similar. We had a former student disappear then show up in a small city 120 miles away having set himself up as the "sensei" of an aikido club.
I understand that he's gotten himself a video tape/e-mail shodan. He's so out of it that he actually forwarded the e-mail arround. Sheesh.

He had in a local fake aikijujutsu dojo for about a year and with us a total of five classes.

Quote:

We three instructors have broke away from the so called eigth dan instructor and have affiliated under the Style that we were suppose to do.
You now owe it to yourselves and your students to get some help from a legitimate shihan and to be totally honest about the situation with your students. That will be tough.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 11-18-2001, 06:07 PM   #4
jimbaker
Dojo: Aikido of Norfolk/ Aikido Society of Memphis
Location: Norfolk, VA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 150
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Sorry you had to go through all that.

You are not alone. In the city where I used to live there was a man who had an Aikido dojo and he told all his students that he was connected to a big sensei and an international organization. He had promoted students up to third degree black belt. His had about 60 students.

He had made it all up. He had only studied Aikido from books and told his students that they must not go to other dojos because they would learn bad habits. Well, one of them went to a real Aikido dojo and found that he had been lied to.

The senior students purchased the school from him and asked him to leave. The spent about a year looking for some Aikido group to take their dojo as a member. Now they are members of a legitimate group, although they had to re-test for their ranks, which were much lower.

Jim Baker
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Old 11-18-2001, 09:48 PM   #5
Chocolateuke
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
Join Date: Jun 2000
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that sux

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 11-18-2001, 10:03 PM   #6
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
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Bad Budo

This reminds me of a similar incident that occured in the Southwest USA. The Chinese instructor's name wasn't Lee, but Garcia and he didn't formally study the Chinese martial arts at all.

Because the Japanese martial arts are fairly centralized, its easier to spot a fake teacher than in some other martial arts like Chinese or Philippino, where the teaching is decentralized or even secret.

Like Greg mentioned, you can invite other teachers for a seminar-type class, or you might want to associate yourselves closer to a local/regional organization.

It's unfortunate that your former teacher was so deceitful. Yet you're doing the right thing. Now you have an opportunity to change that deceit into something beneficial for your community! Just keep a positive attitude and remember why you started Aikido in the first place!

Last edited by tedehara : 11-20-2001 at 12:45 PM.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
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Old 11-19-2001, 02:45 AM   #7
Jacques
Dojo: Masagatsu Aikido Dojo Springs
Location: Springs (South Africa)
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12
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Re: Re: Dissapointment

Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings


You now owe it to yourselves and your students to get some help from a legitimate shihan and to be totally honest about the situation with your students. That will be tough.

Best Regards,
Thanks Greg. We did discuss it with our students and some of the parents were furious. They all understand what is going on and the changes that will be coming.

Masakatsu Agatsu
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Old 11-19-2001, 02:47 AM   #8
Jacques
Dojo: Masagatsu Aikido Dojo Springs
Location: Springs (South Africa)
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12
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Re: masakatsu !!!

Quote:
Originally posted by ze'ev erlich
Hi,

You should write Masakatsu and not Masagatsu.
good luck,
Yours
Ze'ev
Thanks for correcting my mistake and thanks for your reply.

Masakatsu Agatsu
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Old 11-19-2001, 03:43 AM   #9
David Kerr
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido/ Kilmarnock
Location: Scotland
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 15
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How often did you grade in karate?
Because surely you could have used that
as some sort of gauge. What I mean is that on the surface of things it looks as if you were quite happy to receive these promotions. A promotion to any grade is a two way street, no one can force you to sit them if you don't want to. You also say that you have been training for four years and you reached San dan, I myself have been training for four years and will grade shortly for shodan, I also came to Aikido from a striking art and for me personally I had to unlearn everything that had gone before. I am also curious why no one thought to get this instructors credentials checked out until it was too late.

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Old 11-19-2001, 12:35 PM   #10
Jacques
Dojo: Masagatsu Aikido Dojo Springs
Location: Springs (South Africa)
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Kerr
How often did you grade in karate?
Because surely you could have used that
as some sort of gauge. What I mean is that on the surface of things it looks as if you were quite happy to receive these promotions. A promotion to any grade is a two way street, no one can force you to sit them if you don't want to. You also say that you have been training for four years and you reached San dan, I myself have been training for four years and will grade shortly for shodan, I also came to Aikido from a striking art and for me personally I had to unlearn everything that had gone before. I am also curious why no one thought to get this instructors credentials checked out until it was too late.
I did not even thought about comparing the karate gradings with my Aikido gradings. The problem was that I did not know enough about Aikido to judge what is right and what is not.

I really thought that this was the way it was done. Aikido is not very big in South Africa and I do not know any other clubs in my region to go there to find out how things are really done.

I only started wondering about the whole thing after I started to read the forums on this website and different books by different instructors.

I feel cheated by this instructor because I believed what he told me and today I realise that my grading is not accepted by the Style HQ, but I am willing to learn the correct way even if it means to start at the very beginning. I will do this because I love aikido to such an extent that it is more than just another sport or martial art to me.

It was easy for me to unlearn what I have learned in karate because the techniques and applications of aikido makes a lot more sense to me than that of karate. To me karate will only be a sport like any other sport.

Regards
Jacques

Masakatsu Agatsu
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Old 11-20-2001, 09:51 AM   #11
ranZ
 
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appart from whether he cheated u / not; did your ex-sensei teach u anything? anything good? so where did he get his degree? or does he actually have a degree at all?

i mean because u said u love aikido, your must've learned some real aikido stuff or am i wrong?
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Old 11-20-2001, 01:17 PM   #12
Jacques
Dojo: Masagatsu Aikido Dojo Springs
Location: Springs (South Africa)
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by ranZ
appart from whether he cheated u / not; did your ex-sensei teach u anything? anything good? so where did he get his degree? or does he actually have a degree at all?

i mean because u said u love aikido, your must've learned some real aikido stuff or am i wrong?
He claims to have an eight dan in Aikido. Who gave this to him I do not know.

He did teach the mere basics of aikido, but it was more like jujitsu. What I know now was from research me and the other instructor done by reading books and watching instructional videos by some of the top overseas instructors.

I know that one cannot learn an art this way, but I think we have done a good job so far, but we lack personal tutorage to discover the true way of aikido

regards
Jacques

Masakatsu Agatsu
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Old 11-21-2001, 03:56 AM   #13
ranZ
 
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wow... he cheated u good..

well good luck Jacques, you've made a right choice even if you have ta start over again.
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Old 11-21-2001, 04:07 AM   #14
David Kerr
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido/ Kilmarnock
Location: Scotland
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A lot of people would have given up if they were in the situation that you found yourself in.
You didn't.


Keep The Faith My Friend........

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Old 11-21-2001, 05:25 AM   #15
ian
 
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Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
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I have the same sentiment as Wulan.

In the past martial arts were taught within the Clan or the family, and there was no such things as 8th Dans. Why did it matter about his grade? Why did you like his training until you found out he wasn't a real 8th Dan? Surely his training wasn't any different once you found out. There are many people who officially have high grades in Aikido whom I would not be keen to train with because I don't feel that they offer me what I want out of Aikido. Surely if you continued to train with him he was offering you what you wanted?

I have had a similar experience, where someone 'claimed' to be teaching aikido. However I was lucky enough to have done aikido before (and therefore realised), and so I never attended more than one session. However I have also done this with crap proper aikido clubs.

Ian
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Old 11-21-2001, 01:50 PM   #16
[Censored]
 
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In the past martial arts were taught within the Clan or the family, and there was no such things as 8th Dans. Why did it matter about his grade? Why did you like his training until you found out he wasn't a real 8th Dan? Surely his training wasn't any different once you found out. There are many people who officially have high grades in Aikido whom I would not be keen to train with because I don't feel that they offer me what I want out of Aikido. Surely if you continued to train with him he was offering you what you wanted?

Yes. Please remember that there are some real experts out there with mail-order black belts. There are also ranked instructors with "mail-order expertise".

Unfortunately, while you can easily package and send a belt through the mail, you can't do the same with skill.
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Old 11-21-2001, 09:43 PM   #17
akiy
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by [Censored]
Unfortunately, while you can easily package and send a belt through the mail, you can't do the same with skill.
As George Simcox sensei used to say when someone asked him how long it took to get a black belt at his dojo, "It'll take you 15 minutes to get a black belt; just drive down to the martial arts store down the road and pick one up for $10. If your'e asking about how long it takes to learn aikido, then that's a different story..."

I miss him.

-- Jun

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Old 11-22-2001, 03:36 AM   #18
Jacques
Dojo: Masagatsu Aikido Dojo Springs
Location: Springs (South Africa)
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12
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Quote:
Originally posted by ian
I have the same sentiment as Wulan.

In the past martial arts were taught within the Clan or the family, and there was no such things as 8th Dans. Why did it matter about his grade? Why did you like his training until you found out he wasn't a real 8th Dan?

I have had a similar experience, where someone 'claimed' to be teaching aikido. However I was lucky enough to have done aikido before (and therefore realised), and so I never attended more than one session. However I have also done this with crap proper aikido clubs.

Ian
Hi Ian,

I totally agree with you. If someone can teach you and have the necessary skill and knowledge to do so, no matter what his grade is, then I will follow his tutorage.

You see this instructor claimed that he could read and write Japanese. Myself and one of the other instructors tried to instill some uniformity in our style by doing all Aikido classes by using the Japanese terms. There was no formal grading syllabus, so we did some research and created a syllabus. We used Japanese terms in the syllabus and when we handed it over to him, he told us that we must translate it into english. This showed us that he did not know the Japanese terms or even how to do it.

Also when we approach him with questions on techniques like yonkyo, gokyo, etc. he could not show it to us. This also made us realise that we know more than what an Eight dan knows and that the 8th dan could not teach us anything. Another fact is that some of his sons has a 5th dan in Aikido, but they do not even know the basic move let alone any advance ones. What the other instructor and I know today, is what we thaugt ourselves by doing research and practising on our own.

We probably would have stayed with the instructor if he could have provided us with the correct way of doing aikido which he failed to do. I think if you have an 8th dan in Aikido, there is not a lot you do not know about the art. Or so it is suppose to be.

When we found out that our grades or even our style is not registered at the Style HQ, we decided that we will leave him even if it means that we will most probably have to start over.

regards
Jacques

Masakatsu Agatsu
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Old 12-02-2001, 12:29 PM   #19
Edward
Location: Bangkok
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Unfortunately we will never know the number of students who unsuspectingly enroll at schools run by charlatants, thinking that they are learning Aikido. Ironically, a few internationally recognized syles started this way (without naming them);-)
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