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Old 03-04-2009, 10:06 AM   #26
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Wow...there is a lot of information here to digest. Once again, I would like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts. In particular, I would like to thank Amir and Jorge for their in-depth replies.
Thanks, not sure you will continue to feel this way.

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Overall, in terms of resolving the issue it seems pretty obvious that I have to voice my opinion the next time I feel that a sempai has crossed the line from teacher to master.
No, the proper ettique is to discuss the general issue with your Sensei now. Without the existence of concrete pressing issues, and while nobody is emotional about it.

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
If he/she takes offense to my 'defiance', and if after consulting sensei no positive resolution has been achieved, I will have to search for a new dojo.
Again, you should know the position of your Sensei, and his motivations beforehand. No point in confronting your senior (in the dojo), your Sensei should do that instead.

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
- It seems some people are trying walk this very thin tightrope between submission and respect. To me, the conclusion almost seems to be: yes, you should be submissive, but because of the constraints posed by the Western, modern world, we have to slightly modify the definition of what submissiveness is.
In Aikido most places follow an ettique foriegn to them - Japanese.
This does creates difficulties, but it also has very good reasons. You can see another thread about this issue here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15827

Some places try to be more rightous then the Pope. Others are more lenient.
Bit, all in all, one does expect you to show respect towards the more vetran student and behave accordingly. This is essential during practice since then it is a safety issue.

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I don't want to get into a debate about semantics - all I know is I should never feel intimidated by my instructor.
Wrong !
How can another know your feelings? that is not realistic. And being over carefull for you will hamper your studies.
Besides some good teachers may use intimidation as a tool at some advanced points of studies. When the student's ego and reactions are interfering with his Aikido. Of course, such things should be done wisely and only to advanced students.

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
- I don't appreciate the idea of not being able to change the dojo,
To change requires the willingness to stay for a long time. True behavioral changes are not drastic, rather very slow. Are you willing to wait that long?

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
- I don't appreciate the idea of not being able to change the dojo,particularly when the issue revolves around a sole person who is not the sensei. Everyone is fallible, even instructors. The idea that they are above reproach, that their egos are too large to concede that there is room for improvement, seems highly ironic. Moreover, this seems like a very corrosive lesson when applied to other facets of life outside of the dojo.
Every one makes mistakes. But, most people will be more attentive to comments from people who earned their own respect. You are still far from that point for the members of that dojo.

Amir
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:59 AM   #27
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

There is only one place the master/slave relationship works for me and that is as healthy roleplay in the bedroom with the mutual consent of both lovers. he he he

Other than that...It has no place in the civilized world under any circumstance.

Politely beat the instructor to a pulp or find a new Dojo...

William Hazen
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:38 AM   #28
C. David Henderson
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

sad_robert,

It seems like you are mad at this guy, and want to hear other people support you.

When you hear those who appear to accept your perceptions at face value and suggest "leave," or "confront the guy," you are prepared to listen.

When you hear other messages, like "don't try to change/control other people," or "be prepared to be uncomfortable, its part of the process," you "double down" with a general swipe; questioning a view that instructors, plural, are "above reproach, that their egos are too large to concede that there is room for improvement."

Thing is, nobody actually said that that I can tell.

I also don't really know what behavior lies behind the labels "condescending" or "ridiculing," how often people at this otherwise nice dojo "bark" at you, or the context as those people might report it.

I do suspect that if you really want to learn a martial art or another difficult skill that involves social interaction, like a lot of other people, you'll have to deal with some unpleasant feelings the experience will bring up for you. Not all of those are necessarily part of a constructive process -- some are just life, in the raw, as you find it.
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:02 PM   #29
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
- I don't appreciate the idea of not being able to change the dojo.
Am I reading well? You - fresh beginner, that know nothing at all about aikido and nothing about how to lead a dojo - you want to actually CHANGE a behavior ppl in the dojo??? You have an ego very well developped

Did you come to this dojo to learn aikido or to impose your idea what the dojo should look like?

For the moment you have nothing to offer, not only to sensei or instructors, but also to other beginners like you. You have to work very hard on your own ego, it is a real reason for all this situation. I'm sure that this particular instructor saw it and is trying to teach you something. But seems to me that his effort will not bring any good....

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #30
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Am I reading well? You - fresh beginner, that know nothing at all about aikido and nothing about how to lead a dojo - you want to actually CHANGE a behavior ppl in the dojo??? You have an ego very well developped

Did you come to this dojo to learn aikido or to impose your idea what the dojo should look like?

For the moment you have nothing to offer, not only to sensei or instructors, but also to other beginners like you. You have to work very hard on your own ego, it is a real reason for all this situation. I'm sure that this particular instructor saw it and is trying to teach you something. But seems to me that his effort will not bring any good....
Always soo tactful!
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:07 PM   #31
Voitokas
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Good advice throughout, Amir!

Hey, who wants to chip in for a forum version of Gmail's "mail goggles" for Szczepan?

I am not an expert
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:30 PM   #32
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Quote:
Always soo tactful!
Yeah, but so often, right!

R

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:15 PM   #33
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post

- I don't appreciate the idea of not being able to change the dojo,
You just started there. You don't have the right to "change the dojo". You have the right to pick your teacher, you have the right to pick your dojo. If you do not like what is happening there you have the right to leave, in fact you have the responsibility to leave. No teacher wants to have people there who are not happy being there.

Quote:
Moreover, this seems like a very corrosive lesson when applied to other facets of life outside of the dojo.
I don't know how you think the world out there works but this is a perfect lesson for life outside the dojo. You will have bosses you don't like, you will have customers you don't like, you will have jobs you don't like. You can suck it up or you can leave. You think anyone in your corporation is going to give a rats ass if you don't like the management style of your boss? You want to change the company, then stay long enough and work hard enough to get promoted to the level at which you have a say so. It's pretty much the same with a dojo.

You want to tell the sempai you don't like the way he orders you about? Go ahead... he might even tell you he's sorry and he'll be nicer... maybe. Or maybe he'll tell you "tough luck". You don't have any say so here. If the teacher wanted things to be different, he would do something. He may actually be doing something about a senior who has let his ego get in the way of his training or the good of the dojo. But if you don't see the teacher doing anything about it, then he's probably ok with it. Then you get to decide to stay or not.

If there are issues of inappropriate levels of violence and injury in a dojo, you should leave. If a teacher is manipulating the students for his own benefit, you should leave. If there is sexual exploitation occurring you should leave. But having your feelings hurt because a senior was brusque with you, didn't ask you politely enough when he told you to do something... well, it seems to me that's his problem and you should suck it up and get on with your training. This is Budo and having your feelings hurt because a senior treated you as if you were of little consequence isn't a cause for much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Maybe the guy is a jerk... that is his problem and you should get over it. It is certainly not your job to reform him. That's the teacher's job. On the other hand if you just wanted a fun place to pursue an enjoyable pastime, you should leave immediately because it sounds like this place is going to push your buttons.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:54 PM   #34
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Kinda reminds me of class last week. The kids were getting a bit out-of-hand so I had everyone sit down for a little talk. I said, "Anybody that is bored, please raise your hand." One little girl who had been particularly out-of-hand raised her hand. I said, "You are excused. You may go home." It just about broke her heart. Everyone got the point. And no, I didn't send her home. I'm a softy!
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:28 AM   #35
Michael Douglas
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Szczepan would you have sent Ricky's little girl home?
Imagine the sobbing, the tearful big eyes ... surely not ...
(I'm not serious, really)
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:31 AM   #36
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

I wouldn't train in a place that.
Mary
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:51 AM   #37
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
Szczepan would you have sent Ricky's little girl home?
Imagine the sobbing, the tearful big eyes ... surely not ...
(I'm not serious, really)
I don't deal with alligator size tear drops very well at all.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:16 AM   #38
kironin
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
There is only one place the master/slave relationship works for me and that is as healthy roleplay in the bedroom with the mutual consent of both lovers. he he he

Other than that...It has no place in the civilized world under any circumstance.

Politely beat the instructor to a pulp or find a new Dojo...

William Hazen
ROTFL!!! yes, yes, yes.....

actually, my sentiments exactly!!!!

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:56 PM   #39
Buck
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

My young anonymous padawan...such is a classic that does not die this questions does?

Its either age or stupidity that is the cause of your issue. I am betting it is puberty resulting from stupidity. Not the kind of stupidity that makes you dumb, just the stuff that results from lack of experience and an itchy ego. Maybe it isn't the best time to learn Aikido.

Here look at this. There is no doubt that any leadership position can and does often lead to corruption and abuse by the leader. No doubt such a thing is really true when there is a high level of power and responsibility involved. BUT.....often what is over-looked big time is the power of the group over their leader.

Aikido really is effected by that kind of stuff because Aikido is an cooperative instructional thing. People take it to enrich their lives and stuff. In that case that means there is a contract of sorts between the students and the instructor. In this case the individual has less power then the group unless it is in agreement with the unison of group. If the instructor imposes his or her will upon the class and it is rejected by the class, students will leave. The instructor has no power to keep them there, to keep them from leaving. You know, like a parents keeping their kid from doing what they want or anything else the kid wants to do and is restricted from. The kid has to be obedient and follow the parents orders. Well the should.

I see this whole thing being more of student's ego firing off a rebellious attitude against authority; the parental type. A power struggle.

Master /slave relationship....hmmmmm....I think hard drives.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:33 PM   #40
"Anon"
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

I stayed at a dojo for two years, leaving when I finally couldn't stand the "do as I say, not as I do" attitude of sensei. Clearly, the problem was mine and I had no illusions about changing anything other than my participation. When I could no longer summon any respect and had absolutely no trust, it was time to go. I have since (4 years later) found a much better fit and am preparing for shodan.

Bad dojos and bad senseis do exist.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:50 PM   #41
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Glad you found a good fit.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:37 PM   #42
Buck
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

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Bad dojos and bad senseis do exist.
And so too, bad students.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:04 AM   #43
"Joey Wynn"
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Mr. Burgess,

I find your responses refreshing and enlightening. I say that because I have read many of your posts and threads. What I like is you cut right to the real issue without any nonsense. You have a well thought out perspective and insight. Too bad that it's lost on a majority of people.

I think-no-I know you are right with this guy and his problem. I see it too. When some one makes a complaint like this one, we automatically make the assumption the complainer is being victimized. Yes, we do have to look at the whole problem and not just one side of it. The side of it that manipulates our emotions to pursuade us to blame the other guy, and not look at what is really going on.

Thanks Mr. Burgess for not drinknig the kool aid.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:58 AM   #44
Keithjohngates
Dojo: Perth Traditional Aikido
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

Dear Mr Sad,

Kohai help the sempai with cleaning, Sempai help kohai with training - cleaning is training a symbiotic relationship.

You are silly to think about it in terms of "my fair share", from the moment you enter that Dojo, you should be ready and willing to accept the training. Whatever form it manifests as.

There is no such thing as "my fair share", the cleaning duties are misogi - purification not only of the environment but of the self. You should be grateful and clean harder.

You are not learning subservience you are entering into what sounds like fairly austere training. If sempai is jumping on you and not other people in the Dojo then perhaps you are not fully engaged in what you are doing.

Be grateful for the opportunity to purify yourself. Perhaps you will never succeed to be a great Martial artist - but could become a cleaning God among men.

Change your attitude and your heart will begin to melt. The only thing you are a slave to is your own emotions.

Dont find another Dojo that one is just fine, you are already learning and you have (had) only been there a month !!!!!

To forge steel into a sharp cutting weapon - you have to use a big hammer and coals as hot as the sun.

Love and peace - good luck
Keith
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:35 AM   #45
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

There have been many times myself that I have dusted, taken out and beat the rugs, swept the entrance way and upon finishing, I happily grab a wet rag and do runs up and down the dojo mat. It isn't like you have one chore and then you are done. You all do what you can to get the dojo clean and looking nice. If you are quicker, then so be it. Yes, some of the senior students do less. Sometimes they do nothing at all. Part of this is a priveledge that has been earned over the years. Believe me, they have probably done their fair share of work over their many years of training. OR, they may just have someplace to go. My husband and I have to skip out on chores sometimes in order to get home for him to go to work on time.

Take it has part of your training. You are learning several things: respect, responsibility, comradery, humility, pride and if you are running rags over the mat... that is also one hell of a work out.

Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:17 PM   #46
erikmenzel
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Re: Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego

You went to that dojo to train. It is not like the dojocho or some sempai obducted you from the street and forced you to train there.

If you dont like it there, then leave. Go find a place where you do like it.

As for cleaning and fair shares etc.
Sometimes I am the most senior student at our dojo before classes start. My fair share is the burden of getting everything ready in time so our teacher can start the class in time. This means I have to delegate tasks cause I cannt do it all alone. The tasks of getting the dojo ready are only done when they are done, not when someone thinks he has done enough. Most students know this and just do the things till it all is ready. Unfortunatly once in a while someone enters our dojo who thinks they pay and are hence entitled to training time but cleaning etc they will only do under great protest (usualy the fair share argument is used). These persons are an absolute pain, I have to check if they have done what they are asked to do, I have to check if any chores were missed etc. cause they dont participate in getting the dojo ready, they only do their fair share, hence not seeing and learning whether the dojo is ready or not.
Anything forgotten I have to do, anything forgotten I will be held accountable for.
You dont do what you are asked to do, well that sucks cause by doing so you make the job of others worse.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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