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Old 07-06-2002, 10:29 PM   #1
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Schisms....

I was reading the AAA/Shinjinkai information, especially the last post, that came from the Chicago Area Dojos thread and was curious as to other peoples/orginazations experiences in similar situations, if any. Has an orginization ever kicked out, or had a member leave, and then further threatened any members that chose to follow the person who got kicked out/left? Do you think it is appropriate, in general, for an orginazation to behave in such a manner? (Threaten others that follow, I mean...). Should a dojo just let it go? Or should they do otherwise? What of students who have no dealings in the events, those that just happen to start with Shinjinkai off the street and are, in effect, penalized by their association with Shinkinkai by Humbu? Should dojos be more concerned with spreading the love and benefits of aikido to all, regardless of who may teach it (granting, of course, that people who may teach are actual instructors) or more concerned about perceived threats?

This is a question in a general sense, and not geared toward the AAA/Shinjinkai specific event(s)....
 
Old 07-07-2002, 05:55 AM   #2
Blaine Feyen
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Re: Schisms....

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
I was reading the AAA/Shinjinkai information, especially the last post, that came from the Chicago Area Dojos thread and was curious as to other peoples/orginazations experiences in similar situations, if any. Has an orginization ever kicked out, or had a member leave, and then further threatened any members that chose to follow the person who got kicked out/left? Do you think it is appropriate, in general, for an orginazation to behave in such a manner? (Threaten others that follow, I mean...). Should a dojo just let it go? Or should they do otherwise? What of students who have no dealings in the events, those that just happen to start with Shinjinkai off the street and are, in effect, penalized by their association with Shinkinkai by Humbu? Should dojos be more concerned with spreading the love and benefits of aikido to all, regardless of who may teach it (granting, of course, that people who may teach are actual instructors) or more concerned about perceived threats?

This is a question in a general sense, and not geared toward the AAA/Shinjinkai specific event(s)....
That is an excellent question and a very valid point. Since I was the last to post a response in regarding the AAA/shinjinkai situation, I feel somewhat responsible to respond. You are absolutely right! Dojo should let it go and move on. For the record; nobody who chose to leave and follow shinjinkai has been threatened. They were warned about their possible future recognition with Hombu Dojo if they were to associate with this person that has been stripped of their rank at Hombu. For those to which rank and politics does not matter, it is O.K. to leave. For those who know the deeper truth as to this instructors actions toward the students, the other instructors, members of the organization, and the organization itself, they would be crazy to follow such a person, even though he is a very good instructor! Being in a position of leadership, however, is more than just having good technique and an ability to disseminate that to the masses. Leadership is about having influence and recognizing the responsibility that comes along with that influence. To be a good instructor and leader means caring more about the students growth and development than your own personal aims and comfort. We all know this from experience we have had from our great mentors along the way.

To your question regarding the brand new student who just joins shinjinkai off the street, you have raised a very valid issue to which there is probably no adequate response for either side. However, since going through that very situation many years ago I know that as a beginner, for the most part, you take what your leader says (and sells) to be the true and right way. Therefore, if your instructor explains all of the negatives of political affiliation with a reputable organization (AAA/AAI/USAF/ASU/Hombu Dojo,etc)then that is what you believe and all is well in your world. It is not until you begin to step out into the world and travel that you start to see there might be more out there and you may start to question what you've been told all of these years. In this specific situation, it would not be good for these instructors to have their students out there in the world trying to find out the real story so they probably will not encourage travelling to other dojo. If they do, their students will be greeted with open Aikido arms wherever they decide to train. There is a small group of students that chose to take a stand for their "leader" and walk out of the dojo in protest. For that they are not guilty, they are only doing what they believe to be right for someone they believe in. The crime that has made them not so welcome back to their old dojo is the slandering, back-stabbing, and down-right underhanded and heinous actions toward other students, even children, who chose to remain with what they too believed to be the right thing. This specific group is rather small and insignificant. They were all adults and knew exactly what they were doing when they left. The toughest part for all in these situations is not the lack of affiliations for these folks but all of the friendships that were sacrificed for one misguided child and his misguided actions.

The AAA and Hombu dojo have made their statements regarding this individual for the protection of their current and future students. As Instructors we tell all potential students to do some due diligence when it comes to selecting a school. Not all students fit within a particular setting and not all schools are appropriate for that student. To those for whom affiliation within a reputable organization are important, as well as, with instructors who truly care about their students, they must use all of the senses that have been given to them to judge right and wrong. If they sense something to be not right, move away from that situation quickly!

Great question, keep training!
 
Old 07-07-2002, 09:18 AM   #3
jimbaker
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Hombu Dojo regulations say that the power to issue ranks resides in the recognized organization and not in any one person. If a person authorized to issue rank leaves that organization, they lose that authorization, that is, Hombu will not recognize the new groups ranks.

They can, however, apply for Hombu recognition on their own, so long as they meet the requirements. There's nothing to say that the Shinjinkai can't apply to Hombu in five years.

It has be stated as fact the Moore Sensei has had his rank stripped. Is this so? I know of only one instance of someone having to return his rank certificates and that was for child molestation and the request was from a group associated with Hombu, not Hombu itself. As I recall, Toyoda Sensei was not associated with Hombu for a number of years, but he seemed to have retained his rank.

The larger question to me is what will happen with the other large Aikido groups as the leadership changes from the Japanese shihans. Will what is happening with the AAA be taken as a warning to them to make some sort of arrangements for the handing down of authority?

Jim Baker
 
Old 07-07-2002, 04:35 PM   #4
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimbaker
It has be stated as fact the Moore Sensei has had his rank stripped. Is this so? I know of only one instance of someone having to return his rank certificates and that was for child molestation and the request was from a group associated with Hombu, not Hombu itself. As I recall, Toyoda Sensei was not associated with Hombu for a number of years, but he seemed to have retained his rank.
As I understand it Toyoda re-affiliated with hombu as an independent organization (along the lines of ASU) some years ago.

Quote:
The larger question to me is what will happen with the other large Aikido groups as the leadership changes from the Japanese shihans. Will what is happening with the AAA be taken as a warning to them to make some sort of arrangements for the handing down of authority?
It's already happened in places like Hawaii (although there never really was a Japanese shihan there). I think what eventually happens is that you end up with a lot of smaller groups independently affiliated. There are some benefits to a large organization if you have one high ranking individual and many low ranking ones, but what happens when you have (for example) 10 sixth dans each with their own dojo in a single group? There's very little benefit to staying in a single organization then.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-07-2002, 04:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li


As I understand it Toyoda re-affiliated with hombu as an independent organization (along the lines of ASU) some years ago.
Chris
I think what Jim meant, and Jim please correct me if I am wrong, was that before Toyoda re-affiliated, while he was split from Humbu, he had retained his rank - it wasn't stripped away.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 05:10 PM   #6
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Rank issues

That is indeed correct. Toyoda Sensei did split from Hombu dojo, but was NEVER stripped of his rank. After several years of hard work he was able to re-affiliate with Hombu dojo -- this affiliation remains strong for the AAA even though we have suffered the loss of our Founder and Teacher.

The communications that have been received by AAA members, with the full support of the Doshu and at his discretion, clearly state that Mr. Moore has been completely stripped of his rank and certification. Those communications also indicate that there is not currently nor will there ever be a chance for reconciliation/reaffiliation.

While certainly no one can ever predict the future, this is indeed the current status.

Life is a continual struggle --
 
Old 07-07-2002, 05:37 PM   #7
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hogan


I think what Jim meant, and Jim please correct me if I am wrong, was that before Toyoda re-affiliated, while he was split from Humbu, he had retained his rank - it wasn't stripped away.
Ah, OK I guess that I mis-read the original post. As I understand it, even K. Tohei didn't have his rank revoked, nor did any of the people who broke off with hombu at one time or another (such as M. Saotome), so this case seems to be a little bit different.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-07-2002, 06:01 PM   #8
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This seems kind of strange to me. Haven't other Aikido teacher done things that were contradictory to Hombu policy before (such as Tomiki introducing competition to his style, Tohei leaving causing a huge split in the Aikido world) and not had their rank stripped? Those both seem like larger indiscretions than even the worst story that had been told about the Shinjinkai leader, *trying* (yes, according to Blaine Feyen apparently he failed if that is what happened) to take control of an organization. I'm really new to aikido (3 months), so I could be wrong, but there seems to be more to the story than was told.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 06:40 PM   #9
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"For the record; nobody who chose to leave and follow shinjinkai has been threatened. They were warned about their possible future recognition with Hombu Dojo if they were to associate with this person that has been stripped of their rank at Hombu."

I am posting anonymously because I am member of AAA and for the record, we have been threatened that if we have any contact with the Shinshinkai group, we'll be kicked out of AAA.

In my own case, I've just taken a Dan test and know that if I'm under any suspicion, I'll never get my certificate.

AAA's original announcement about Moore Sensei leaving said that he resigned to pursue his life's goals and that they wished him well. Later, he opened a dojo within a few miles of AAA, and the Zen group here moved to that location. The general trend has been that as time has gone by and some students have left to train there, that statements from AAA have become stronger and accusations are becoming more common. The understanding that most of us have is just that Moore Sensei left and is doing his own thing and AAA may not like it because they are losing some people. The worst part is that every time there is an accusation by AAA or they try to clamp down on students, they are actually alienating the students more.

I would like to have the freedom to train in AAA but to train with Moore Sensei from time to time because I respect him as a teacher. I don't see how my membership in AAA should be called into question because of that.

Finally, about Moore Sensei's status with Hombu dojo or his rank, students I know who are involved with his group have told me that there has been no confirmation regarding AAA's claims from Hombu dojo. So it remains to be seen what the story is about that one. From the sounds of it, they don't seem too concerned with the issue.

I plan to stay with AAA but I sincerely hope that the focus can return to training, instead of reacting against another organization or individual.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 07:08 PM   #10
Leslie Parks
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Red face Excommunication, not schism

"There's nothing to say that the Shinjinkai can't apply to Hombu in five years."
True, they can apply all they like, however it seems fairly unlikely that they would be accepted.

"It has been stated as fact that (this individual) has had his rank stripped. Is this so?"
As I understand the context, it is to the further extent that his name has been erased, wiped out, never to be acknowledged there again. It has been obliterated.

"there seems to be more to the story than was told".
There is. Keep in mind...
"Hombu dojo does not, just on a whim, excommunicate its members". Trust in the judgement of Hombu.

"This seems kind of strange to me."
Yes, strange indeed.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 07:44 PM   #11
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
"For the record; nobody who chose to leave and follow shinjinkai has been threatened. They were warned about their possible future recognition with Hombu Dojo if they were to associate with this person that has been stripped of their rank at Hombu."

I am posting anonymously because I am member of AAA and for the record, we have been threatened that if we have any contact with the Shinshinkai group, we'll be kicked out of AAA.
I have no idea whether or not the above is true or not (or some kind of misunderstanding). However, if someone told me something like that I'd be out the door in a minute, no need to kick me out - I make my own decisions about who I can and cannot associate or train with.

Quote:
In my own case, I've just taken a Dan test and know that if I'm under any suspicion, I'll never get my certificate.
Wouldn't be worth it, for me, but that's up to you. It's just a piece of paper, after all, for all that it was officially stamped and sealed by some secretary in the hombu office.

Quote:
Finally, about Moore Sensei's status with Hombu dojo or his rank, students I know who are involved with his group have told me that there has been no confirmation regarding AAA's claims from Hombu dojo. So it remains to be seen what the story is about that one. From the sounds of it, they don't seem too concerned with the issue.
As with Jim, I only know personally of one person who's even been "stripped", and that one was for something quite serious (the same case that Jim mentioned). However, I wouldn't be all that surprised if there were others, since my hunch is that a Japanese organization would tend to be on the quiet side about that kind of thing.

Best,

Chrisx

 
Old 07-07-2002, 08:00 PM   #12
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Re: Excommunication, not schism

Quote:
Originally posted by Leslie Parks

"there seems to be more to the story than was told".
There is. Keep in mind...
"Hombu dojo does not, just on a whim, excommunicate its members". Trust in the judgement of Hombu.

"This seems kind of strange to me."
Yes, strange indeed. [/b]
Are you going to tell us the rest of the story? Is there something to hide? I know you can't be protecting their leader's reputation as you've let his moral digressions appear on the board before.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 08:28 PM   #13
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Ai symbol Re: Re: Excommunication, not schism

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered


Are you going to tell us the rest of the story? Is there something to hide? I know you can't be protecting their leader's reputation as you've let his moral digressions appear on the board before.
Well, actually Feyen Sensei gave a very concise overview of the situation, of which I was previously aware but didn't feel free to comment on to that extent, if you read the Chicago area Aikido thread, which, IMHO, is more than enough in my book. As he said, the details aren't for everyone. To enumerate his moral transgressions isn't worth my time anymore, as indicated by the icon on my last post. I think it's been made pretty clear that there is no mistaking which organization is which, which was how this discussion got started in the first place. I'm going to do my laundry so I have a clean gi for training tomorrow. And no, nothing to hide.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 08:36 PM   #14
Leslie Parks
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Above reply is me

Unless someone else replies before me, above reply is mine. I always try to post as myself.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 09:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered [/b]
"I am posting anonymously because I am member of AAA...

...I would like to have the freedom to train in AAA but to train with Moore Sensei from time to time because I respect him as a teacher. I don't see how my membership in AAA should be called into question because of that."
[/b]
I, too am a member of AAA. I'm wondering why, when Mr. Moore and the members of his organization have been so vocal in their criticism of the AAA, why anyone who is currently an AAA member would wish to train with him AND retain their membership in the AAA? Why train in an organization that has been accused of such cruel treatment as the AAA? And that you personally feel threatened by? Sounds like you yourself are unclear about your commitment. As Toyoda Sensei always said "you have to be clear". You need to think long and hard about where your loyalties are. The aikido world is based upon loyalties and it seems as though yours are split. Organizations grow because of the work of dedicated, loyal students -- how can the AAA grow with the attitude that you exhibit? With every new member that walks in the door, will you encourage them to check out the Shinjinkai club?

If your motive for staying with the AAA is in order to get that coveted dan certificate then your training is all for the wrong reason -- you simply want the affiliation and credentials that AAA can provide.

I can understand that the members of the Shinjinkai club dispute the statements from AAA alleging the stripping of rank by Hombu dojo -- who would want to believe anything as extreme as that about the "leader" that they have supported and believed. I suppose that the truth will be revealed when the first of his members tests for a Dan rank, only to find out that no valid membership from Aikikai headquarters will be issued. Yes, they are simply pieces of paper, but they give you validation. Validation which Mr. Moore is unable to provide.
 
Old 07-07-2002, 09:42 PM   #16
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
You need to think long and hard about where your loyalties are. The aikido world is based upon loyalties and it seems as though yours are split.
Personally, and this has nothing to do with the AAA, I train in Japan with three different groups, only two of them Aikikai. All of the people involved are aware of what I do and you know what? Nobody cares - I even get encouragement from the instructors involved (shihan, both Aikikai and not).

Quote:

Organizations grow because of the work of dedicated, loyal students -- how can the AAA grow with the attitude that you exhibit? With every new member that walks in the door, will you encourage them to check out the Shinjinkai club?
I'd say sure, why not? I always encourage people to check out as many dojo and organizations as they can. Some people will prefer one place, some people will prefer another.

I'm disturbed by the implication that it is the duty of the student to serve the organization rather than the other way around. Basically, my view is that organizations exist for only one reason - to make training easier for the students. The problem is that these things tend to get develop a life and a hunger of their own, and pretty soon you end up with a situation where the organization actually begins to hamper practice rather than encourage it.

How can the AAA grow? The same way any organization grows - by providing benefits to its members. Growth for its own benefit is rarely worthwhile, especially because there are actually very few benefits (and many expenses) involved with Aikido organizations. I tend to favor the minimum amount necessary to encourage practice - that's one of the reasons that I like the Aikikai, because it's so loose that you don't end up spending an inordinate amount of time jumping through arbitrary hoops.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-07-2002, 09:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered


I, too am a member of AAA. I'm wondering why, when Mr. Moore and the members of his organization have been so vocal in their criticism of the AAA, why anyone who is currently an AAA member would wish to train with him AND retain their membership in the AAA? Why train in an organization that has been accused of such cruel treatment as the AAA? And that you personally feel threatened by? Sounds like you yourself are unclear about your commitment. As Toyoda Sensei always said "you have to be clear". You need to think long and hard about where your loyalties are. The aikido world is based upon loyalties and it seems as though yours are split. Organizations grow because of the work of dedicated, loyal students -- how can the AAA grow with the attitude that you exhibit? With every new member that walks in the door, will you encourage them to check out the Shinjinkai club?

If your motive for staying with the AAA is in order to get that coveted dan certificate then your training is all for the wrong reason -- you simply want the affiliation and credentials that AAA can provide.

I can understand that the members of the Shinjinkai club dispute the statements from AAA alleging the stripping of rank by Hombu dojo -- who would want to believe anything as extreme as that about the "leader" that they have supported and believed. I suppose that the truth will be revealed when the first of his members tests for a Dan rank, only to find out that no valid membership from Aikikai headquarters will be issued. Yes, they are simply pieces of paper, but they give you validation. Validation which Mr. Moore is unable to provide.
I am the person, the original UNREGISTERED that posted the openning question. I feel this has gotton a little off the path I wished it to go. Perhaps that members of AAA should have a group meeting on which to air their differences and come to a mutually agreeable solution - I wish them luck in their endeavors. But I do wish to respond to the above post....

For me, Aikdo is where my loyalties lie. If I do not get what I need in my training at a certain location, then it is time to move on - an old dojo shouldn't hold grudges if I, or anyone, decide to leave. This is my right, as it is for all aikidoists. Aikido is much bigger than all the petty feelings and misc rumors or perceived insults. Training at other dojos that are not members of our system, or that are not affiliated with us, is encouraged where I train, and I know Toyoda sensei encouraged this as well - we are that secure in our training and organization / place in the world to not be bothered by those that wish to do so. After all, the spreading of the "gospel" that is Aikido should be, really, the goal, don't you think ? I seem to remember an interview that quoted Fumio Toyoda as saying, "What we do in Aikido is harmonize. I like that. Mutual cooperation, and training in harmony." I remember another quote that said, in response to a question of why he does what he does, I think, aikido is about spreading love. (I can find the link for those that wish me to).

And a final Toyoda sensei quote, "The worst situation is where some sensei compares his aikido to someone else's by saying, "Mine's better." Of course he can't really know that what he's doing is better, but if he's saying that publicly, he loses. I believe he loses as a person. He can teach whatever he believes, but he's not supposed to speak about any other instructor like that. As a sensei, and as a student, he destroys himself.
It's hard sometimes. When you teach, you emphasize what you believe, and you present it to your students. That's fine. But if you talk about particular people or mention names, that is something else. If you can't control your ego, you lose face and stature." This is from a published interview.

I think that is a good quote to end on.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 08:16 AM   #18
Jim ashby
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"Stripped of rank"

Be gentle with me, this is a genuine question. If a person is "Stripped of rank" surely they still have the knowledge and skills that they had before. If they then go on to start a new organisation/club/whatever they can call themselves what they like. I know this is going to get me flamed, but whatever organisation is started it has to start somewhere, with or without another person/organisation's blessing. Let us not forget that Aikido was started in the Twentieth century. I'd be very interested to know who verified/authorised the forming of the new art?
( Sits back and waits for the attacks)
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
 
Old 07-08-2002, 08:41 AM   #19
Bruce Baker
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Power struggle/ minorities

Although I am an outsider, and generally I don't care about politics, it seems the void created by the death of Toyoda sensei is beginning to show its internal cracks in the AAA?

Whether the student is aware of it or not, there is a whole drama of egos, politics, and power struggle going on behind the scenes is all of the Aikido organizations. Some deny it, some divert the subject, and some try to cut to the truth of human failings, but in the end we are all subject to the humanity we prescribe to in being human beings.

It isn't the first time an individual will break away from an organization, and it won't be the last.

I don't know the details, but as long an individual is recognized by Hombu and approved by the them within the political hierarchy, then they will continue to be within the Aikido designation of martial arts.

I have already seen some minor politics, and I don't really care for them, but then my livelihood, and life's work is not Aikido? Don't most of us consider Aikido our hobby, not our life's work?

Which brings up another thought about instructors who burn the candle at both ends, in the middle and up aroun the sides? We will leave that go for another time.

If this situation is not serious, it will work out in time with another organization recognized by Hombu. If not ... well ... let's just concentrate on practice and let the politicians bump heads. There is enough ego in regular life without bringing it into the dojo.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 09:35 AM   #20
Edward
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Re: "Stripped of rank"

Well, I agree with James that if a person is good enough to earn a certain rank, stripping him from this rank will not admonish his skills.

If it would happen to me, I would feel in my right to start a new organization, or join another rival one.

Of course, this opinion has nothing to do with the current issue, which details I don't, and I don't intend to, know.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim ashby
Be gentle with me, this is a genuine question. If a person is "Stripped of rank" surely they still have the knowledge and skills that they had before. If they then go on to start a new organisation/club/whatever they can call themselves what they like. I know this is going to get me flamed, but whatever organisation is started it has to start somewhere, with or without another person/organisation's blessing. Let us not forget that Aikido was started in the Twentieth century. I'd be very interested to know who verified/authorised the forming of the new art?
( Sits back and waits for the attacks)
Have fun.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 09:51 AM   #21
jimbaker
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered


...I can understand that the members of the Shinjinkai club dispute the statements from AAA alleging the stripping of rank by Hombu dojo -- who would want to believe anything as extreme as that about the "leader" that they have supported and believed. I suppose that the truth will be revealed when the first of his members tests for a Dan rank, only to find out that no valid membership from Aikikai headquarters will be issued. Yes, they are simply pieces of paper, but they give you validation. Validation which Mr. Moore is unable to provide.
Again, I can see how Moore Sensei loses his Hombu authorization to issue kyu ranks and recommend dan ranks; it's automatic when one leaves a Hombu affiliated organization. This is NOT the same as being stripped of rank. That is a specific act where the person has to return their certificates. Has Moore Sensei been asked to return his? If not, it is just playing fast and loose with the language to imply that he has.

As for loyalty, I've been told by my Shihan, Yamada Sensei, that it's alright with him to go to classes at dojos outside of the USAF. If an 8th Dan says it's OK, that's good enough for me.

Lastly, I'm only interested in this topic because I've been making a database of Aikido groups in the US and am keeping an eye on the happenings of various organizations. I have no direct knowledge, but I have seen indications that at least one other Sensei in the AAA is considering leaving.

jimbaker
 
Old 07-08-2002, 11:15 AM   #22
Blaine Feyen
Dojo: Yushinkan Dojo/Toyoda Center/Grand Rapids,MI
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4
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Re: Power struggle/ minorities

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Although I am an outsider, and generally I don't care about politics, it seems the void created by the death of Toyoda sensei is beginning to show its internal cracks in the AAA?

Whether the student is aware of it or not, there is a whole drama of egos, politics, and power struggle going on behind the scenes is all of the Aikido organizations. Some deny it, some divert the subject, and some try to cut to the truth of human failings, but in the end we are all subject to the humanity we prescribe to in being human beings.

It isn't the first time an individual will break away from an organization, and it won't be the last.

I don't know the details, but as long an individual is recognized by Hombu and approved by the them within the political hierarchy, then they will continue to be within the Aikido designation of martial arts.

I have already seen some minor politics, and I don't really care for them, but then my livelihood, and life's work is not Aikido? Don't most of us consider Aikido our hobby, not our life's work?

Which brings up another thought about instructors who burn the candle at both ends, in the middle and up aroun the sides? We will leave that go for another time.

If this situation is not serious, it will work out in time with another organization recognized by Hombu. If not ... well ... let's just concentrate on practice and let the politicians bump heads. There is enough ego in regular life without bringing it into the dojo.
Bruce, you have brought up very valid and important points regarding politics! Most students are unaware of the politics that occur behind the scenes in ALL organizations. They wouldnt be organizations if there was not some form of politics involved. Organizations have been formed to more efficiently disseminate the information they feel is important to the masses. No, we are not blind to the fact that it is also a business for the head of the organization but those of us who chose to follow a particular leaders teachings chose not to really care, we understand at some level that if it werent run as a successful business, we would have a hard time finding a place to train. I really value Chris Li's opinion regarding the plusses and minuses of being affiliated with an organization, however, his feelings about organizational affiliation are, and I could be wrong Chris, probably because he lives in Japan and can go train at any one of 100 dojo. In America, we are forced to be a little more discriminating in our choice of dojo because Aikido, Judo, and Kendo are not required physical education courses in our culture and there are not dojo on every street corner in every town. Nobody has to affiliate or be part of an organization, it just happens if you are lucky enough to have happened upon a great teacher like Toyoda Shihan or Sato Sensei, you would never question affiliation. In fact, Mr. Moore and his students preached the very same thing until he was no longer affiliated, now its taboo.

You are absolutely right, Bruce! It is a hobby for most people and should remain that way for the real value of O'Sensei's teachings to come through. But for those that wish to spread the teachings to more people, it is very tough to do without stepping into the business and political world. Politics is there whether you choose to see it or not. Just as we cannot see the air that we breathe, it is there and our inability to see it does not make breathing any less important! It is vital to our survival! There are many who feel that Aikido should be a grassroots movement where it is free to train anywhere you go and everyone can just go to the local park to do it, maybe they are right. But that is not the case today and the pioneers like O'Sensei, Doshu, Toyoda, Saotome, Yamada, Chiba, Kobayashi, and the dozens of others who have started their own organizations have opened doors for hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of like minded people around the world to see, hear, and feel the message that is Aikido.

You have also made a very pointed observation regarding the death of Toyoda Shihan and the apparent cracks in the organization. That is what this whole "schism" forum has been about, the necessary and immediate removal of the cause of the cracks! Unfortunately it sounds much worse to the people reading these forums because they are so far removed from the situation and completely unaware of the full details, as well, they should be. It really is unimportant to those who just wish to train. For the people who are at the epicenter of all this, it is much bigger because we have all lost a treasure with the passing of Toyoda Shihan. To many, including Mr. Moore, Toyoda Shihan was more than just their Aikido teacher, he was their friend, their mentor, a loving husband and a father. For the friends of Mr. Moore, they feel forced to make a tough choice: Leave behind most of their Aikido friends and other teachers to follow Mr. Moore or stay where they are and say goodbye to the few who chose to leave. Those who chose to leave were not, contrary to popular belief, forced out or threatened if they left. People will always be welcome to train wherever they wish, including Mr. Moore's dojo and the AAA dojo's. It is important to note, however, that those who felt they had no choice but to leave and felt threatened if they did so, felt that way because of the actions of their leader. Not because the organization made them feel that way. Anybody at anytime is supported if they wish to go "do their own thing", in fact, in Mr.Moore's case it was strongly encouraged by Toyoda Shihan and would have been financially supported. All of us who have our own dojo have been encouraged and supported to go and "do our own thing", though nobody else has tried to take over or destroy any organizations while doing so. Those for whom recognition and quality instruction is important, they will choose a recognized dojo and leaders, for those who dont care yet, I recommend you investigate wherever you decide to train to make sure the dojo and teachers are right for you. As a few have pointed out, the piece of paper and the signature on it is, in the grand scheme of things, unimportant. What is important to all of us is good instruction, good leadership, good friendships, and good training. If you can find that at an unaffiliated dojo (which I am quite sure you can since we are all human beings), feel free to do so and feel free to go and visit any and all dojo you wish to further your training. That is what Aikido training is about and should continue to be about.

And Yes, You are right again Bruce, this small blip on the screen of Aikido training will pass in time. The dojo, as much as people would like it to be different from their daily lives, is really just a microcosm of life and reality. One cannot escape reality by going to the dojo, only learn to accept life's difficulties and get back up after being knocked down time and time again. That is what the AAA has done, that is what Mr. Moore's group has done and as many of you have pointed out, let us learn from our experiences and continue training!
 
Old 07-08-2002, 12:02 PM   #23
"Unregistered"
IP Hash: 959b431c
Anonymous User
Whoa. They keep talking about how this guy is not a threat and not a big deal and that no one is following him, so what's all the fuss about?
Does this new organization have a website? What are their statements about why they exist? Where are they located? I don't see them attacking anybody on this forum.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 12:13 PM   #24
"Unregistered 3"
IP Hash: 25cd4fcc
Anonymous User
Well, it seems like the "rogue" organization in question takes the high road on public forums and attacks on the sly. Their website is full of subtle and not so subtle attacks on the AAA style of instruction and Aikido. The least of which is that it is "watered down." I think that a covert attempt to cause derision to create a situation where the leader could take over an organization by force is attack enough.

In regards to the rank question, most people don't question the leader's technical skill but do question his character and motives. Plus many have witnessed incidents where weaknesses in his character have influenced his technique, causing very unsafe situations for uke.

This is a no win situation. Perhaps we should all let it go and let our practice and actions speak for our characters. In time, people will figure it out for themselves.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 12:16 PM   #25
"Unregistered"
IP Hash: 4079b714
Anonymous User
Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Whoa. They keep talking about how this guy is not a threat and not a big deal and that no one is following him, so what's all the fuss about?
Does this new organization have a website? What are their statements about why they exist? Where are they located? I don't see them attacking anybody on this forum.

http://www.shinjinkai.org/
 

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