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Old 12-17-2014, 12:14 PM   #1
"Abused Dude"
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Dead Dojo Jerk

First and foremost I'd like to ask how others have dealt with this situation below and how they handled it. I really do not see many post on Aikiweb like this so I realy need your help.

Well, I've been training for quite some time now and as I come up in the ranks in my organization i see one particular person who is a complete a-hole pardon my french but this guy is just a down right jerk. When you train with him its as if the only way he can get his point across is to try to use pain as a way of communicating , and to make maters worse he is younger I'd say 30 ish on the low side of 30 I will say this he tries to abuse others in the dojo and because he is a higher rank then most of us their, he seems to just want to hurt us. I've had my run ins with this guy before and almost got thrown out because of it but as of lately the guy is on my mind more and more, I'd hate to quit were i train cause of this fella but sometimes i think it would be better since his behavior seems to be tolerated. I'm at a loss since this guy is unapproachable in a way were he seems very insecure and becomes very combative if talked too.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:41 AM   #2
"aikianonamous"
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Re: Dojo Jerk

As far as changing dojo, that's decision only you can make. Have you talked to any of the instructors about this guy? If you almost got thrown out someone with some authority must be aware of the situation, what happened then?
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:48 AM   #3
Larry Feldman
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Take the issue to the head of the Dojo. You may consider bringing others who agree with you. If he or she does nothing, then they have endorsed his behavior and your decision about leaving becomes a little clearer.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:06 AM   #4
lbb
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Re: Dojo Jerk

I agree that you should take it up with the head of the dojo. Before doing so, however, I'd recommend that you take a step back and try to look at this in a clearer way -- because the way you've expressed it above, I don't think will lead to the best possible outcome.

You know what he does. You don't know what he's trying to do. You don't know why he's trying to do it, what he thinks, or how he feels. You need to leave all those things -- the things you don't know -- out of the discussion. They're unproductive speculation and won't help resolve matters. You can talk about what you have experienced, what you think and how you feel. "It's as if the only way he can get his point across is to try to use pain as a way of communicating" - no, you need to stay away from statements like this. You aren't his therapist, so stick to YOUR problems. "When I train with him, I'm afraid of getting hurt." "When I take ukemi for him, I often experience pain, and I've been injured x times." And, as you say he "becomes very combative when talked to", well...you have to be specific about this: "I asked him if we could go a little slower, and he yelled, 'SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP!'" Or whatever. No everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, he thinks that and he feels that and he always and he never. No one responds well to that, either the person you have an issue with or the person you're bringing the problem to -- in both cases, they're gonna think, "What am I supposed to do with THIS?" Stick to specific instances of what actually happened, and what you thought and what you felt. Leave what you think other people are thinking out of it.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:41 AM   #5
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Just refuse to train with him.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I can't possibly take ukemi for you. Your technique is much to strong for my feeble skills."

Smile.

Eventually the teacher(s) will come and ask you why you won't train with him. Two words: "He's dangerous". Any decent teacher will be able to see what you're talking about if they take a minute to observe. At the very least they will have to respect your choice.

The worst part of the situation for you right now is that it is getting under your skin. Let the baby have his bottle and it won't bother you so much!
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:08 PM   #6
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Has he injured anyone?

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:56 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Just refuse to train with him.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I can't possibly take ukemi for you. Your technique is much to strong for my feeble skills."

Smile.

Eventually the teacher(s) will come and ask you why you won't train with him. Two words: "He's dangerous".
Yep. That's been my approach the few times I've shared dojos with pple like this.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:22 AM   #8
fatebass21
 
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Just refuse to train with him.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I can't possibly take ukemi for you. Your technique is much to strong for my feeble skills."

Smile.
I agree with Conrad here.

Chris Sawyer
Fountain Valley, CA
Tenshinkai Aikido Federation
Training day is every day
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:49 AM   #9
lbb
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Just refuse to train with him.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I can't possibly take ukemi for you. Your technique is much to strong for my feeble skills."

Smile.

Eventually the teacher(s) will come and ask you why you won't train with him. Two words: "He's dangerous". Any decent teacher will be able to see what you're talking about if they take a minute to observe. At the very least they will have to respect your choice.
I'm gonna differ from the (so far) prevailing opinion. I don't think this is a good approach. It strikes me as passive-aggressive and dishonest. It's not what you think, and moreover, you won't be fooling anyone, and you know it, and everyone will know that you know it. How will that reflect on you?

It is hard to be honest when you believe that your honesty will be met with hostility or condemnation, but...it IS the best policy. If you feel that you cannot or should not train with an individual, then you should resolve the issue, ideally with that individual one on one, and off the mat. Give him a way to resolve the situation gracefully and without embarrassment; if you cannot manage that, then give your sensei a way to do so (again gracefully and without embarrassment). Offering an excuse that is transparently a lie on the mat is putting both of them on the spot, and people don't react well when they feel that they've been backed into a corner. If you want a good resolution to this or any other conflict, you must offer a way out.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:27 AM   #10
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Dojo Jerk

At our dojo choosing not to train with someone would be a problem. We have a small dojo and I would notice the tension between the two individuals. Recently, I spoke with one of our students about tension I noticed between that student and another student. She acknowledged that it was there and we discussed how she could deal with the conditions at hand.

OP has not said how the situation is being handled by the teachers. I would like to hear more about that.

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Old 01-04-2015, 01:45 PM   #11
Michael Hackett
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Re: Dojo Jerk

I once had the same feelings about one of my seniors. I started chasing him down at the very first technique to get it out of the way, much like taking an unpleasant medicine. The rest of the class was enjoyable. Over the years my ukemi improved and we became good training partners and I've learned to appreciate him for his skills.

On one occasion I was doing something wrong with my technique and his attacks not only overpowered me, but hurt as well. I simply told him that I obviously was doing something incorrectly and his attacks weren't helping me learn at all. I asked him to show me what I was doing wrong and he did. That solved the problem that I was having immediately.

Now when we train together, we are not only collegial, but helpful to one another. It isn't uncommon for us to tell one another if we failed to keep our partner's balance or if a throw is particularly strong and good.

Training with everyone, even with a jerk can prove beneficial. It is another story if the individual is injuring people though. Even in those early and miserable days I never had to worry about being harmed or injured. I'm glad now that I stuck it out with him and happy to train with him today. I've learned a lot from him.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:22 AM   #12
Roland Spitzbarth
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Don't feed the trolls.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:23 AM   #13
lbb
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Quote:
Roland Spitzbarth wrote: View Post
Don't feed the trolls.
Meaning what? That OP is a troll, or that one or more of the people commenting here are? Or is this general "don't let people provoke you" advice?
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:06 AM   #14
jonreading
 
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Re: Dojo Jerk

First, as a cautionary remark, "jerk" is a subjective term and your mileage may vary.

Second, any student who is intentionally inflicting injury without permission from her partner is a problem. Sometimes training is rough, but this is an issue that should elevate to sensei.

That said, sometimes our partners just conflict with our expectations. Maybe she is too physical, maybe too soft, maybe too verbal, maybe too obscure, maybe too smelly, maybe too attractive. There is some pressure to alter your expectations with tolerance and there are a number of threads on Aikiweb regarding tolerance with training partners. It's important to introspectively consider what tolerance is (and is not) acceptable and fairly apply that to all your partners. If your partner is just too rough, it is acceptable to simply say, "I can't train with you because [name reason]. Can we find the right balance so I can train with you?" If they say, "no," then you have your answer. Personally, I would be disappointed with any student training who was unwilling to accommodate a training request.

Your training is about you. Don't lose perspective on your partner's obligation to help improve your ability. If she is not helping... find some one who will.

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Old 01-05-2015, 10:22 AM   #15
ken king
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Personally, I tell them one time to stop and that it's unnecessary/dangerous. If they don't comply, I don't practice with them. It is a gift to let someone use your body for training, if they abuse that gift they can screw off. I know too many aikido people that are suffering from permanent damage to thier bodies because of over zealous partners. I will not sacrifice my well being for another persons ego. If someone is hurting you(pain is a part of practice, I'm talking dangerous situations/injury) say something directly, if they do not listen bow out and find a new partner. Don't worry about rules of what uke you have to train with or whether or not you piss anyone off. You only have one body, protect it.

Every day, life is training, every day, budo is life
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:31 PM   #16
RED
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Re: Dojo Jerk

I'm with Kenneth. It is your body. If they don't respect your request to 'play nice' the first time, I'd refuse to train with them. Having a partner is a privileged. We are blessed to be able to practice. To disrespect your uke is to not recognize that blessing--or worse, it means they think they are entitled to your body! Beware of narcissists--the martial arts attract them like ants to a soggy pixie stick.

MM
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:51 PM   #17
RED
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
. I've had my run ins with this guy before and almost got thrown out because of it but as of lately the guy is on my mind more and more, I'd hate to quit were i train cause of this fella but sometimes i think it would be better since his behavior seems to be tolerated. I'm at a loss since this guy is unapproachable in a way were he seems very insecure and becomes very combative if talked too.
Another note: I have some experience with this--you are describing a narcissist--that combative response, unapproachable, it is how one responds to a narcissistic injury. It is a tool for preserving the delusion of grandeur, omnipotence, or otherwise importance. The fact that you said this guy is in your head is bad. Very bad. You are a source of narcissistic supply if he's in your head when you aren't even training or at the dojo. A narcissist/or abuser gets off on being a corner piece in your head space. Whether that head space is positive, or negative, it doesn't matter, all that matters is that you are making a big piece of your life, head space, and experiences "about him". My opinion, cut the guy off. Completely! Remove yourself as a supply for him. If you have to quit that dojo to get away from him, do it! From personal experience, if you don't, you'll quickly see just how deep that rabbit hole goes. These people are good at getting other people to protect them, and isolate them from their own bad behavior. They are good at getting others to help down play their abuse. If you get too caught up in this guy you might find yourself someday defending this man to other students he hurts. Like,"Oh, he hurt you? Well, he's just a weird guy, you know. <insert another line to down play the abuse to your juniors>"
You feel held hostage, don't you? You can't stand this guy, but to leave means you can't have aikido, something you love? That's what an abusive person does, they make you feel held hostage--I wouldn't wait around long enough for Stockholm syndrome to set in.
I personally, would find a way to remove myself from this person's influence, and anyone else who you might see being caught up in their influence/people who defend his actions.

Last edited by RED : 01-05-2015 at 12:55 PM.

MM
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:06 PM   #18
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
I once had the same feelings about one of my seniors. I started chasing him down at the very first technique to get it out of the way, much like taking an unpleasant medicine. The rest of the class was enjoyable. Over the years my ukemi improved and we became good training partners and I've learned to appreciate him for his skills.

On one occasion I was doing something wrong with my technique and his attacks not only overpowered me, but hurt as well. I simply told him that I obviously was doing something incorrectly and his attacks weren't helping me learn at all. I asked him to show me what I was doing wrong and he did. That solved the problem that I was having immediately.

Now when we train together, we are not only collegial, but helpful to one another. It isn't uncommon for us to tell one another if we failed to keep our partner's balance or if a throw is particularly strong and good.

Training with everyone, even with a jerk can prove beneficial. It is another story if the individual is injuring people though. Even in those early and miserable days I never had to worry about being harmed or injured. I'm glad now that I stuck it out with him and happy to train with him today. I've learned a lot from him.
Well said Michael!!

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:35 AM   #19
Roland Spitzbarth
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Cool Re: Dojo Jerk

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Meaning what? That OP is a troll?
Well yes. I get suspicious when I see someone raising a very personal question and then not responding to honest answers.
OTOH the issue has some interesting facets and has triggered a number of good answers.
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:29 AM   #20
gcsr
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Re: Dojo Jerk

I don't think the guy responds due to fact its a Anon Forum and he or she wants their identity kept secret. But to answer your question I've been in a dojo were their is someone like this, it makes it real hard to practice or get a quality workout, most people refuse to believe that this person is an abuser, my question to them is would you like to see your wife or kids begin trained by this kind of person? If the answer is "No" then you answered right. I do understand their is a certain amount of macho toughness that must be present but begin downright belligerent to people and abusing them is not the martial arts way.. nor is it very bushido, I think people get confused with training beating someone°«s head in to learn will NEVER reach anyone, everyone learns differently, we are all from different walks of life some of us come from abused homes like this guy°«s Sempia or Trainer, it sounds like he has NO business training people at all. If you want to reach someone YELLING will never reach them nor will they relax... The simple reality is some people are awesome at martial arts and should only be Practitioners and others are awesome teachers.. It takes all types but I think its time we seseparate the bad apples out of the basket. Bottom line people pay to learn and they did not pay to be abused or mistreated.. I may be blasted I don't care.. Don't think for a second that people can't walk out of a Dojo and go somewhere else they can.

Last edited by gcsr : 02-17-2015 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:09 PM   #21
kewms
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Re: Dojo Jerk

I don't think it's unreasonable at all for a martial art to teach people to deal with pain, fear, and attempts at intimidation. Isn't that what martial arts are *for?* And sometimes that learning involves subjecting the student to pain, fear, and people trying to intimidate them.

Which is exactly why being an instructor or, to a lesser extent, a senior student, is such a serious responsibility. Pushing at someone's boundaries is not, in itself, abusive, but one is by definition skirting very close to the line where abuse begins. Power and control can be very seductive: another thing that martial arts *should* teach is how to handle them responsibly.

I think the OP should attempt to have a conversation with this person off the mat. That's how adults behave when they have conflicts, right? Seek to understand the other person's point of view, see how he responds to yours, see if anything actually changes on the mat after having the conversation. And if not, then it's time to consider whether to leave or to escalate to the chief instructor.

Katherine
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:47 PM   #22
"ANON"
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Re: Dojo Jerk

What I've gathered from OP is he/she is not comfortable dealing with said person he/she is very intimidated by said individual or that said individual is very very dysfunctional. I do agree martial in martial arts should be taught and I do agree their is a hardening process but the down right bullying of aikidoka is not cool nor should it be respected, if your in power learn you only have power because others permit you to have it. Some people be it male or female can not balance said power. I've never realy seen an older person do this but usually i see younger males in their 20's to 30's do this type of thing. Instead of telling the class what the roll is he/she just takes it upon themselves to abuse others, I do understand also Pain is a much needed practice but directly hurting others is just not BUSHIDO.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:56 PM   #23
"OPs"
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Grr! Re: Dojo Jerk

I am OP and the person I speak of is a male in his 30's and is quite a bully he seems to pick someone and just down right attack them physically when their not expecting it or verbally abusing them mind you I'm in my late 40's and I do not take kindly to younger folks abusing me and acting without respect, I do understand the mat changes everything but this guy I'm speaking about seems to not have any idea of how he is behaving.. and when i say protect myself from his physical attacks he becomes enraged as if I'm supposed to allow it to happen its like he is CRAZY or something. He even went as far to tell us in the class we need to shut up and keep practicing as if we were on a job, Christ some of us see class as enjoyable and fun this guy is taking all the fun and activity out of it.. YES I know its MARTIAL but common relax dude. He goes on and on about how he's been in Aikido for 10yrs and we have only been doing it for 2 and 3 yrs and he looses he's shit when we don't do what he can do at his level. This guy needs a serious reality check were lower grades not 8 Dan players what does he expect? I'm at the verg of just giving up and finding another martial art like jujitsu. I have never been anywhere someone acts so fucking crazy.. If your acting like this to your classes keep in mind a dojo class is made up of a group and training involves 2 people not one so if everyone leaves you have NO DOJO. We've had so many people quit now I realize why. He behaves as if he is mentally disturbed.
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:05 PM   #24
kewms
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Re: Dojo Jerk

Where is the chief instructor in all this? It's his dojo, and the class environment is ultimately his responsibility. If you find the environment intolerable and he refuses to act, well, then I guess you have your answer.

Katherine
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:21 AM   #25
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Dojo Jerk

I agree with Katherine. Talk to your teacher. He should already be aware of this (he knows his students, right?). When he does not (seem) to care: leave! immediately!
No need to quit Aikido for this guy; try to solve the problem in the dojo with your teacher, or leave and find another Aikido dojo.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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