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Old 03-27-2009, 04:23 AM   #1
Gokcen
Join Date: Dec 2007
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The teacher as a person

If aikido is so much about extending ki, about 'relaxing', not only in terms of muscles and body but also entails your mind and subconscious and attitude and anything and everything about you as a human being.. if it is about ''positioning yourself to another human being'' as Mary Heiny Sensei putsit in a video of hers at youtube.. is it then possible to be the student of a teacher whom you intuitively do not feel close to?

Is it ok to overcome your emotions by rational argumentation such as 'the dojo is close to my home, his technique is good, my son is at the same dojo, he's a good person, he just has other preferences than me, is different than me bla bla..', could this striving to remain on that mat be seen as part of the whole journey of not focusing on 'the other', even if it is the teacher himself, but focusing on yourself and positioning yourself? Or should you respect your intuition and feelings and look for another teacher whom you feel closer to?
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:59 AM   #2
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: The teacher as a person

Quote:
Gokcen CankayaSen wrote: View Post
If aikido is so much about extending ki, about 'relaxing', not only in terms of muscles and body but also entails your mind and subconscious and attitude and anything and everything about you as a human being.. if it is about ''positioning yourself to another human being'' as Mary Heiny Sensei putsit in a video of hers at youtube.. is it then possible to be the student of a teacher whom you intuitively do not feel close to?

Is it ok to overcome your emotions by rational argumentation such as 'the dojo is close to my home, his technique is good, my son is at the same dojo, he's a good person, he just has other preferences than me, is different than me bla bla..', could this striving to remain on that mat be seen as part of the whole journey of not focusing on 'the other', even if it is the teacher himself, but focusing on yourself and positioning yourself? Or should you respect your intuition and feelings and look for another teacher whom you feel closer to?
Gokcen:

Look at this situation as an unusual opportunity. If somebody were to try an assault you in the street, would you want to "connect" with that person? Yet, it is the very capacity to connect with that person that enables one's Aikido to truly be effective (at least in my own opinion). If there are other dojos around, try classes there. It certainly helps to like your teacher, but that is not the beginning and end of the decision-making as who one seeks to train with.

I personally, have sought to work with sempai with whom there were "issues" with so as to force me to address those issues and more importantly, to learn to connect with them so that my techniques worked with them.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
Joe McParland
 
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Re: The teacher as a person

When you are training there, train there.
When you are not training there, don't train there.

That should take remove the dilemma right away

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Old 03-27-2009, 10:18 AM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: The teacher as a person

I have had very different emotional responses to and relationships with the instructors I've trained with over the years. The two questions I've asked myself are 1. Can I learn from this person? and 2. Can I trust this person? If both are positive, I stay; if something happens to make either of those a "no," I leave.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
heathererandolph
Dojo: Kokikai Aikido Boston
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Re: The teacher as a person

If you're rationalizing why to stay because your son goes there or its close by, then well maybe there is something wrong. I'd certainly like to hear from a student who feels that way. Different people could have wildly different expectations of what they want the teaching experience to be like. One person may want a friend, the other a drill seargant. I don't know what "vibes" you are getting, but it sounds as if you might be perceiving that he might be treating you differently than the other students. If that is the case then it may or may not be something that can be changed. So often it's easy to blow off something subtle, when it can be having a constant negative impact on you. If you don't know the instructor that well, maybe invite him over for dinner with your family if you have one, or get together with him at the dojo or after the dojo with other students, and try to get to know him better, Sometimes when people know each other better, they find similarities they didn't know that had. If things don't improve, then why not look for someplace else? Then you can compare it to find out if you want to stay here with the advantages you listed or it's worth it to you to be in a more supportive environment that is farther away, etc...
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:12 AM   #6
professoreaa
Dojo: J.R. Borja, Cogon, Cagayan de Oro City
Location: Cagayan de Oro City
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Thumbs up Re: The teacher as a person

You guys really opens my mind to see other instructor who could do something different, different from my sensie. It has been months that my group here in Cagayan de Oro City - Philippines Are not able to be with our sensie (He is on a job away from the City) and it really hampers our development hence, we are still in the process of acquiring aikido arts. I even suggested to my sparring partners to go to another DOJO, but it seems that we are opted due to the fact that, there were only two dojo here. And we might receive a bias teaching by a new instructor, hence they knew we came from the other dojo.

Wew! maybe its time to try... thanks buddies!
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
Phil Van Treese
Dojo: Tampa Judo and Aikido Dojo, Tampa, Fl
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Re: The teacher as a person

The best teacher is a matter of opinion but the kind of teacher you want is one who helps you no matter how much it takes. Hideo Ohba Shihan, one of my instructors, said once that "the best instructors/teachers are the ones that will help someone no matter what. No Instructor/teacher stands as tall as when he/she bends over to help the lower ranks in their journey." God Bless my instructors!!!!
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:37 AM   #8
Gokcen
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Re: The teacher as a person

Thank you so much for all your feedback; I quit the dojo yesterday. There have been two unpleasant events lately: last week, at a dinner, as part of a seminar, someone asked me 'oh, are you really married, you look so young' and the sensei said 'I don't understand what sort of marriage this is anyway, either she hangs out with us or with her friends.'' Even though I leave the mat exactly at eight, before the official ending at half past eight, to spare at least some time to be together with my family in the evenings; he himself is divorced and has an alliance with a girl from the dojo, which has serious effects on internal dojo dynamics; and my hubbie even came to watch my kyu exam the week before because I had asked him to be there, as his presence makes me feel so much more confident.

Yesterday the sensei showed some technique which I was trying hard to make, he approached and said 'it will never work like that' and I said 'you're right, I'm trying hard but it doesn't work', upon which he began yelling at me 'what sort of discipline is this' etc. etc., probably meaning that I should not have replied him but stepped aside and said 'haii sensei' or something.. and then he added 'you should read books on philiosophy' (?) Well, I do speak German and French and did read major philosophers in original but could not see the context, maybe he meant that I had not grasped the underlying idea or what? I also had the feeling of being unfairly treated after the exam, even though I passed, because his girlfriend became the 5th kyu rank without demonstrating anything, I don't mean that she did the techniques the wrong way, she did not know what to do at all, just stood there and did not know how to enter, where to grab, what to do but became the rank as a source of 'motivation' for her; but if motivation is a relevant argument, why do I keep receiving demotivating feedback only, I wonder..

I deduct from all his beahaviour that he doesn't want me to be in the dojo. I came to the conclusion that there is some insurmountable discordance, personal discrepancy between the sensei and me and I'm tired and fed up with trying to cope with that and yesterday I bowed out after the yelling and late in the evening, formally asked him to leave the dojo and join another dojo... it is a pity, I wished it didn't come this way but 'que sera, sera..'

Be well..
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:41 AM   #9
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: The teacher as a person

I wish you more luck in your next aikido endeavor.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:58 AM   #10
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: The teacher as a person

I believe the "vibe" between teacher and student is the most important factor in choosing a M.A. Thus, I would strongly recomend against continous stdy with a teacher you dislike, or which you feel dislikes you.

Any rule has exceptions, one such notable exception is an experianced person who elects to learn with such a teacher since he wishes to learn something (techniques, Ki, ...) . That is a different story from the beginer who comes for unlimited time.

Amir
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:32 PM   #11
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
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Re: The teacher as a person

All "philosophy" aside, some people are just jerks and martial arts, aikido included, are full of them. Like any other endeavor, it's important to find people you respect and get along with. You don't have to positively love everyone in the dojo, but aikido is also supposed to be fun. If you're not having fun, there's no reason to be there.

Good luck with your next dojo,
Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:22 AM   #12
dalen7
 
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Re: The teacher as a person

Quote:
Gokcen CankayaSen wrote: View Post
upon which he began yelling at me 'what sort of discipline is this' etc. etc., .
from my take on this one sentence, total ego and a lack of [at least what I believe to be] the spirit of Aikido.

One thing to have a different approach on teaching, another to get bent out of shape. [i.e. I can imagine doing a Tai Chi style class for the ladies and a MMA style for the guys who want to rough around...but that is neither here nor there - yelling on the other hand reallly wont advance the person doing it, and is boring to the person being yelled at as they realize the immaturity of the other person.

Anyway, hope you find somewhere else you like to practice.

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}

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http://www.lightofinfinity.org

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