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Old 07-22-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
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What do we do?

I find myself feeling bulldoggish and strange. I'm looking up local schools, and I see a school that wasn't there a while back. I have the head instructor's name, which shows up in absolutely no other aikido information I can find. Same with the guy and his iaido background.

I think he's scamming folks in aikido's name, and that bugs me a bit. Makes me want to go do some yaburi, but that ins't aiki of me, now is it? Besides, my decade off the mat and recent scheduling problems leave me unable to back up my wishes.

Why does this sort of thing bug me so much, why do I care if other folks are getting sold a bill of goods, and what can I actually do about it if I decide I really want to go down that road?

I'm considering inviting his folks to a seminar we have coming up in a couple months. Just so they can get a look at something different, and so can I....
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
Diana Frese
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Re: What do we do?

I was just posting about Kanai Sensei in reply to another post about him on another thread (one of the columns, actually) and I remember something he said mischievously about some sightseeing plans with some other people I knew....

And I can almost hear him saying, with my mind's ear, again

"Why not?"

As an old person from the days the original Twilight Zone was on TV, I guess I'd better stop now with the voices from the beyond.

But still, he might say that if he were here among us.

So let us know all about the seminar you are going to invite the people to!!! Not that I am an exemplar of Aiki in daily life, I have many "uncool" moments, but this sounds like a very "aiki" way of dealing with the situation. I hope you all decide to follow your initial idea you just wrote us.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:01 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: What do we do?

Take care of your own stuff: figure out where you want to train and get back on the mat, girl!

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: What do we do?

Not too many aikido people here in Southern Oregon... small world where we live.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
Michael Hackett
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Re: What do we do?

You've been off the mat for ten years and don't recognize the chief instructor's name? How strange. Visit his dojo and inquire about his lineage and bona fides. He could be entirely legitimate and he could be a fraud. That you didn't find anything published about him means simply that you didn't find anything published about him.

Inviting him and his students to your upcoming seminar would be a good way to meet a new instructor and make new friends. He will accept and perhaps you'll find a kindred spirit. He won't accept and you will have done all you can do to build a bridge.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:09 AM   #6
Krystal Locke
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
You've been off the mat for ten years and don't recognize the chief instructor's name? How strange. Visit his dojo and inquire about his lineage and bona fides. He could be entirely legitimate and he could be a fraud. That you didn't find anything published about him means simply that you didn't find anything published about him.

Inviting him and his students to your upcoming seminar would be a good way to meet a new instructor and make new friends. He will accept and perhaps you'll find a kindred spirit. He won't accept and you will have done all you can do to build a bridge.
While I haven't been training, I have kept in touch fairly well with the very limited aikido "scene" in the area. The guy has a social networking page for his school, but absolutely no info on his rank or lineage in either aikido or iaido. Pics show a handful of students of various underbelt ranks. His dojo is apparently his house, and there is certainly no schedule listed for classes. He also states that his dojo is full and he is not taking new students. I wonder if he'd answer a direct email just asking about his lineage. Just smells a little funny.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:11 AM   #7
Krystal Locke
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Take care of your own stuff: figure out where you want to train and get back on the mat, girl!
Oh, I'm happy with the old dojo, just cant find a lot of time off from 3 jobs to get there. Other than that, yes Ma'am, right away Ma'am!
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:46 AM   #8
Michael Hackett
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Re: What do we do?

I know of several really talented martial arts instructors who teach out of their garages, admittedly most are BJJ folks, but that isn't necessarily evidence of fraud or poor quality. (Teaching in a garage, not doing BJJ) Sometimes it is a matter of not having enough money to open a brick and mortar dojo and not being able to find an opening with a rec center or something.

You may be right and one way to find out is to contact them on their social network site and invite them to your upcoming seminar. If he's a fraud, you won't hear anything back, or some lame excuse for declining. If he's legitimate, your invitation could open some doors and make some new friendships. What's the worst that could happen? Your concerns will be borne out and his reputation in a small area will take him out of the equation.

You could also go to Bullshido and run it past those folks. They are pretty good at unmasking fraudulent claims and teachers.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:07 AM   #9
Krystal Locke
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Not too many aikido people here in Southern Oregon... small world where we live.
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. We've got the three, Darrell, Michael and John. Steve Ivey is apparently out of the picture. I get rumors that he had some bad health stuff go down, which is a real shame, his aikido was great.

But, it is a small world and we do actually notice when someone new comes around. And this guy just doesn't smell right to me. Why not list lineage and background? And his real job has gotten him some poor reviews, which reinforces the shady hit I'm getting.

Hey, I am sorry I came off as a creeper and/or a spammer on my msg in your blog. I really would just like to help any way I can. I know how it is, and I find myself in a unique position, that is, I'm not used to being able to help folks.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:08 AM   #10
Lee Salzman
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. We've got the three, Darrell, Michael and John. Steve Ivey is apparently out of the picture. I get rumors that he had some bad health stuff go down, which is a real shame, his aikido was great.

But, it is a small world and we do actually notice when someone new comes around. And this guy just doesn't smell right to me. Why not list lineage and background? And his real job has gotten him some poor reviews, which reinforces the shady hit I'm getting.

Hey, I am sorry I came off as a creeper and/or a spammer on my msg in your blog. I really would just like to help any way I can. I know how it is, and I find myself in a unique position, that is, I'm not used to being able to help folks.
In the end things like lineage and background are less important than the ultimate question: how is his aikido, and his students' aikido? Visit him and respectfully ask to watch a class as a prospective student. No harm in observing. If he declines to let you observe, then there is probably something very fishy. If he does, and it all looks good, then you know you're paranoid. I've seen some crazy bad aikido this way, though, but as noted by Michael Hackett above, sometimes you find gems in strange places.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:23 AM   #11
Krystal Locke
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Re: What do we do?

How does a person learn good aikido without a good lineage? I doubt the dude is O-sensei and can make the stuff up. Possible, but not likely.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:19 AM   #12
Lee Salzman
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
How does a person learn good aikido without a good lineage? I doubt the dude is O-sensei and can make the stuff up. Possible, but not likely.
In the end you can't be lazy about being a student and say that good aikido is defined by good lineage. The teachers I trained with the longest and admired most, I never knew and never asked who their teachers were. It simply did not matter. They were awesome, and their abilities spoke for themselves. I have also seen bad aikido under the banner of verifiable and impressive lineages. Evaluate what it is you want out of aikido and then go see if this teacher has it.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 07-24-2011 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:00 PM   #13
Michael Hackett
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Re: What do we do?

Krystal,
I've gone back and reread all of your posts. So far a new school has opened up. The school is run by someone you've never heard of. He hasn't posted his lineage anywhere you've seen. His classes may be conducted in his garage. You've become concerned that he might be a fraud and even joked about doing a dojo raid. You are convinced that he isn't O Sensei. To recap, you haven't any solid information to determine this individual's martial integrity or quality. By now you have aikido people in your corner of the world buzzing I suspect. Find out or give it a rest, otherwise this starts to become as negative as McCarthyism. If he's a fraud by more evidence than innuendo and suspicion, out him. If he's legitimate, let everyone know that too in a spirit of fairness.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:06 PM   #14
Dan Rubin
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Re: What do we do?

Krystal

It's too bad you started this thread as you did. You could have started with the question: "Does anyone know of XXX? He recently opened a dojo in my area, and I'm curious about him."

Those questions get posted fairly frequently.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
Shadowfax
 
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Re: What do we do?

What we do is, we mind our own business. Get our buts on the mat and worry about our own training and if we are really curious maybe ask our sensei if he knows anything about the new guy in town and let him handle the seminar invitations if he likes.

How can we expect other people to live up to our standards if we don't live up to them ourselves?
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:16 AM   #16
lbb
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Re: What do we do?

A couple of data points:

Vu Ha doesn't have a website, just a rather skimpy social networking page for Boston Aikikai that doesn't discuss his lineage at all. Boston Aikikai's home is the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center -- it doesn't have its own building.

Phil Traunstein's Long Mountain Aikido is based out of his home in Granby MA.

That's two examples of instructors who meet at least two of your "suspicious" criteria -- and two examples of why one should curb any impulses to try and show up such, um, obvious frauds.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:13 AM   #17
DH
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
How does a person learn good aikido without a good lineage? I doubt the dude is O-sensei and can make the stuff up. Possible, but not likely.
Make it up? Hardly
Once again
Ueshiba studied 23 years under his one and only long term teacher, Takeda Sokaku of Daito ryu (that's the guy who really was the genius who made all this stuff up).
When Ueshiba decided to teach and open his first dojo he taught...Daito ryu for the next 15 years.
All of your first generation of prewar aikido greats, were actually students of Daito ryu.
Ueshiba changed the waza a bit (all Aikido waza are easily recognized as Daito ryu)
Changed the ukemi
and a committee invented a term for what he was doing "Aiki..do," the way of aiki.
He liked it, he kept the name
Dan
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:38 AM   #18
DH
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Re: What do we do?

Don Angier taught out of his garage
So does John Clodig
I believe Chris Hein as well.
Why does location, or being "known" matter at all.

Musashi -who held no rank- (therefore no lineage) was a nobody and wrecked everybody.
Takeda Sokaku -who held no known rank (therefore no lineage) showed up and wrecked everybody...and was a major influence for the founding of your art.

For that matter, for those of you who are on about lineage:
Chiba's generation of students had about six tears of training and were sent out to the world as 6th dans. You...the same people, on about lineage, would laugh in their face at that "lineage" (barely equal to our modern shodan).

The fact that most people in the modern martial arts actually suck, is the reason they look to lineage for validation. It's the only real test they've ever received. Most people in the arts couldn't remain standing in a room against people who can actually fight and egads...worse yet...fight and actually have a depth of knowledge they can use. And those gentle people who infiltrated legitimate martial arts instead of just doing Yoga, would be saying "What do we do...now..?" were they to get out of their bubble and meet some of them.
Just say'n
Dan
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:09 AM   #19
Krystal Locke
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Make it up? Hardly
Once again
Ueshiba studied 23 years under his one and only long term teacher, Takeda Sokaku of Daito ryu (that's the guy who really was the genius who made all this stuff up).
When Ueshiba decided to teach and open his first dojo he taught...Daito ryu for the next 15 years.
All of your first generation of prewar aikido greats, were actually students of Daito ryu.
Ueshiba changed the waza a bit (all Aikido waza are easily recognized as Daito ryu)
Changed the ukemi
and a committee invented a term for what he was doing "Aiki..do," the way of aiki.
He liked it, he kept the name
Dan
So you are saying that Ueshiba had the legitimacy of a recognised style and instructor behind him, and that background helped him be recognised as a competent and reliable martial arts instructor himself?

I may have been wrong in implying that O-sensei made up aikido, but my point still stands. Someone who claims, in public, to teach aikido may want to have a verifiable tie to the art if they want to be recognised as an aikido instructor.

In order to teach aikido, one should have learned aikido at some point, somewhere. In order to learn aikido, one should most likely be taught aikido. In order to learn aikido well, it is better to have a skilled aikido instructor. It is far more likely one could find a skilled instructor in an established and recognised aikido lineage.

As badly as I may have started this quest off, I am actually just trying to make sure that the quality of aikido instruction in my area stays as high as it is. As thuggish as I seem to be comin off, I do not like seeing people scammed. I clearly do not know what I can do to prevent the injustice, thus the clumsy effort on my part.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:42 AM   #20
lbb
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Someone who claims, in public, to teach aikido may want to have a verifiable tie to the art if they want to be recognised as an aikido instructor.
There's a difference between "verifiable" and "verified". You have not yet verified this individual's credentials; that doesn't mean that they're not verifiable. Your suspicions of bogosity may well be proven out -- but they may not, so until you know more, you may not want to go in with guns a-blazin' (or publicly making accusations either).
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:50 AM   #21
Gorgeous George
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Don Angier taught out of his garage
So does John Clodig
I believe Chris Hein as well.
Why does location, or being "known" matter at all.

Musashi -who held no rank- (therefore no lineage) was a nobody and wrecked everybody.
Takeda Sokaku -who held no known rank (therefore no lineage) showed up and wrecked everybody...and was a major influence for the founding of your art.

For that matter, for those of you who are on about lineage:
Chiba's generation of students had about six tears of training and were sent out to the world as 6th dans. You...the same people, on about lineage, would laugh in their face at that "lineage" (barely equal to our modern shodan).

The fact that most people in the modern martial arts actually suck, is the reason they look to lineage for validation. It's the only real test they've ever received. Most people in the arts couldn't remain standing in a room against people who can actually fight and egads...worse yet...fight and actually have a depth of knowledge they can use. And those gentle people who infiltrated legitimate martial arts instead of just doing Yoga, would be saying "What do we do...now..?" were they to get out of their bubble and meet some of them.
Just say'n
Dan
I know people who've spent about a year in Japan and achieved shodan (from third or fourth kyu).
And wouldn't the people of Chiba's generation have trained a lot more - something like six-eight hours a day - than people do nowadays?

For what it's worth: I learn from a shodan - who has trained for some thirty-odd years. He's amazing, and people with higher grades concur, and train under him.
I've also heard many stories about entire groups being failed in shodan gradings - by one shihan; then having the decision over-ruled by another.
So it seems to me there is a subjective element, a personal one, and that politics frequently enter into matters.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:58 PM   #22
DH
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
So you are saying that Ueshiba had the legitimacy of a recognised style and instructor behind him, and that background helped him be recognised as a competent and reliable martial arts instructor himself?

I may have been wrong in implying that O-sensei made up aikido, but my point still stands. Someone who claims, in public, to teach aikido may want to have a verifiable tie to the art if they want to be recognised as an aikido instructor.

In order to teach aikido, one should have learned aikido at some point, somewhere. In order to learn aikido, one should most likely be taught aikido. In order to learn aikido well, it is better to have a skilled aikido instructor. It is far more likely one could find a skilled instructor in an established and recognised aikido lineage.

As badly as I may have started this quest off, I am actually just trying to make sure that the quality of aikido instruction in my area stays as high as it is. As thuggish as I seem to be comin off, I do not like seeing people scammed. I clearly do not know what I can do to prevent the injustice, thus the clumsy effort on my part.
Hi Krystal
You're not being thuggish.
The answer you are looking for is a combination of all of the above. Of course they would need to learn aikido or any art, to teach the art, but there are so many practitioners (of every art) who really aren't that good, that you need a vetting process outside of rank to find the good ones. I mean, we are all learning right? Some of us, no matter how long we have been in the arts did not learn our lessons very well!
Does that make more sense.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:55 PM   #23
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. We've got the three, Darrell, Michael and John. Steve Ivey is apparently out of the picture. I get rumors that he had some bad health stuff go down, which is a real shame, his aikido was great.

But, it is a small world and we do actually notice when someone new comes around. And this guy just doesn't smell right to me. Why not list lineage and background? And his real job has gotten him some poor reviews, which reinforces the shady hit I'm getting.

Hey, I am sorry I came off as a creeper and/or a spammer on my msg in your blog. I really would just like to help any way I can. I know how it is, and I find myself in a unique position, that is, I'm not used to being able to help folks.
I believe Ivey hurt his neck and had surgery. He has popped into our dojo a couple times over the past few years, but that is about it. None of the three have classes that you can attend?

Oh, I also had a question about that guy you speak of. I haven't come across his page. I did come across an iaido study group where all of the people in the photos were wearing red, blue, black or white gi's and belts. Thought that was interesting....

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:22 PM   #24
Basia Halliop
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Re: What do we do?

There's kind of two issues there... one is about what the guy's lineage and credentials, etc, are, and the second is what about him is posted on the internet.

Even today, not everyone is good about putting up lots of info on the net.... some people just aren't as much into the internet as others, or haven't got around to it, or got all their training in another country that won't come up in your searches, etc.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:18 AM   #25
ryback
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Re: What do we do?

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
What we do is, we mind our own business. Get our buts on the mat and worry about our own training and if we are really curious maybe ask our sensei if he knows anything about the new guy in town and let him handle the seminar invitations if he likes.

How can we expect other people to live up to our standards if we don't live up to them ourselves?
Very nice.Well said and right to the point!Aikido training is something one should do for self development and self awarness,not making small talk about a teacher just because his ranking and background ain't all over the place.In our dojo we have no neon light signs,no ranking certificates on the walls and no...visitors are allowed,nevertheless we have a very high level of training.Since when lack of showing off should raise suspicions for lack of skill?And why bother anyway?Practice!Nice post.
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