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Old 07-10-2002, 06:51 AM   #51
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follow up

All yudansha affiliated with an organization have IAF registration and cards.

If Mr. Baker did not make any of the comments, I apologize. However, someone in his organization did.

First, Toyoda sensei's feet were in need of surgery and I wonder how your wife saw his feet since he wore socks the entire seminar. The comment that came back to the AAA dojo was that he looked like he was on his death bed. I personally heard Toyoda state he had to answer complaints about the examination that were apparently made by someone in Mr. Baker's organization to the IAF. Whateve the channel used it apparently made it there.

Second, someone in your organization was circulating a rumor of a flyer at the time as well contending Toyoda was giving out rank to black belts in aikido to build his organization.

Whether you were responsible or not someone in your organization was creating considerable disharmony in the Memphis aikido world at the time. Ethics of leadership would suggest the leader when aware of such actions should effect an apology to the damaged parties and correct the action of his or her followers.

Nuf said.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 07:17 AM   #52
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Re: follow up

Quote:
Originally posted by
All yudansha affiliated with an organization have IAF registration and cards.
Hmm, I lost the little card years ago, but I still have the yudansha book (I assume that's what you mean). The book is an "International Aikikai Yudansha Card" and is issued by the Aikikai Foundation (at least, that's what it says on the cover). As I understand these things the Aikikai Foundation and the IAF are two seperate but related entities. As I said before, the AAA is not (AFAIK) an IAF member, nor has it ever been, nor is there (to my knowledge) any organization that is an IAF member in the United States.


Quote:
First, Toyoda sensei's feet were in need of surgery and I wonder how your wife saw his feet since he wore socks the entire seminar. The comment that came back to the AAA dojo was that he looked like he was on his death bed. I personally heard Toyoda state he had to answer complaints about the examination that were apparently made by someone in Mr. Baker's organization to the IAF. Whateve the channel used it apparently made it there.
Sounds to me like a lot of "I heard somebody else say that they heard their friend's uncle say" kind of stuff to me.

Quote:
Nuf said.
I'll say .

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-10-2002, 08:01 AM   #53
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Re: follow up

Quote:
Originally posted by
...Nuf said.
I'm kinda hoping this'll be picked-up by FOX TV for it's fall schedule - right after Bachelorette's in Alaska....
 
Old 07-10-2002, 08:45 AM   #54
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Putting this puppy to bed:

>If Mr. Baker did not make any of the comments, I apologize. However, someone in his organization did.<
Apology accepted. I didn't have an "organization", I had a dojo; if someone wrote anything to anyone, I was never told.

>First, Toyoda sensei's feet were in need of surgery and I wonder how your wife saw his feet since he wore socks the entire seminar.<
Not when he came to greet me and my wife.

>The comment that came back to the AAA dojo was that he looked like he was on his death bed.<
He did, but I never said that publically. My wife, in fact, checked the room to find the phone, so concerned she was that he might need assistance right then.

>I personally heard Toyoda state he had to answer complaints about the examination that were apparently made by someone in Mr. Baker's organization to the IAF. Whateve the channel used it apparently made it there.<
First, now you are saying that I might NOT have contacted the IAF? Also, as others have stated, neither Toyoda Shihan nor the AAA were members of the IAF, so why would he be contacted by them. If you have this part incorrect, perhaps you would like to reconsider what you actually know rather than what you believe before you make anonymous accusations.

>Second, someone in your organization was circulating a rumor of a flyer at the time as well contending Toyoda was giving out rank to black belts in aikido to build his organization. <
"A rumor of a flyer"? What in God's name are you talking about. Is there any part of this you know first hand?

>Whether you were responsible or not someone in your organization was creating considerable disharmony in the Memphis aikido world at the time.<
And you say that you wrote an anonymous letter to my shihan, even though you don't know if I did anything?

You are aware that when I moved to Memphis, the dojo there was being run by a complete fake; fake rank, fake organization, fake certificates. The people in the dojo discovered this, not through me, and asked him to leave and purchased the dojo's contracts from him. They later joined the AAA. When I left Memphis, I encouraged several students to join that dojo and they did so with my blessing. You may ask them.

As for your never meeting me, then you must have been told of my conversation in the dressing room by the man I spoke with. Which makes your information second, if not third hand. And on the basis of this you attack my character?

>Nuf said.<
This I can agree with.

jimbaker
 
Old 07-10-2002, 08:59 AM   #55
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Hi everyone,

Please note that this Anonymous Forum is not meant to be a venue for anonymously attacking other people, whether they are present in these Forums or not.

If you feel the need to attack someone on a personal level anonymously, this is not the venue for such behavior. Prolonged activity of this kind may result in your IP address being banned from AikiWeb.

Thank you.

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Old 07-10-2002, 10:26 AM   #56
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But Jun, this is Aikido politics in action! You have 1700 views of this thread already, there's a whols bunch of witnesses to how these affairs are conducted. So far it's very instructive . Let the contenders continue, it shows the reality of Aikido practitioners.. who should realize what they are exhibiting is under scrutiny by their students and others around the world. Let's see what example is provided of Aikido in the "real world"
 
Old 07-10-2002, 10:36 AM   #57
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Just because some people here may think that certain actions by others may have been "wrong" doesn't mean they have the right to use this Anonymous forum to launch anonymous, personal attacks against people's personal character.

Discussing aikido politics is fine. Attacking people personally through the veil of anonymity is not. Remember that the first rule here is "Treat your fellow AikiWeb Forums members with respect." I hope people will extend that, of course, to those who are not on these Forums as well.

If you don't agree, please feel free to find another venue in which to express anonymous, personal attacks.

I stand by what I wrote.

-- Jun

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Old 07-10-2002, 11:49 AM   #58
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Original Topic

Back to the original topic.

In the business world, companies use what is called succession planning. They identify top candidates and embark upon a process whereby potential successors are trained and given additional responsibilities to prepare them to take over in the event of an untimely death. Perhaps the sudden death of Toyoda shihan will serve as a wake up call for aikido organizations to identify and prepare successors formally. By doing so, there will be less or little political fallout. No one can foresee such untimely events but they can prepare for the possibilities. There may still be those preferring to go their own way, however, the organization will have a clear line of succession by identifying multiple successor candidates and ranking them. That way if successor #1 can't take over, then #2 can.

We will never be devoid of politics or monetary issues. If that were true, we would all be part of the Aiki-kai Hombu dojo and not have so many spinter groups grasping for a piece of the pie. However, by taking some basic lessons from business we can perhaps minimize the power struggles likely to occur when the head of an organization meets an untimely death. The issues of stealing students should be dealt with on a case by case basis within the confines of the organization and the alleged thief. Legal remedies may be available for such actions. However, stripping someone of their rank and future affiliation seems a little severe to me. In the past, as Mr. Baker so aptly points out, it has been done for having sex with an underage student (as I understood it). The seriousness of such behavior is reprehensible and should be dealth with severely and most likely legally.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 11:58 AM   #59
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add-on

Oh, I fogot to include something that also might help.

Top yudansha and potential successors might be encouraged to sign contracts outlining what they can and cannot do if they decide to leave. Non compete clauses are frequently used in businesses when hiring some employees. I don't know how that would work in aikido organizations, but its a thought. For example, a non-compete clause might prevent someone from opening a business doing aikido within a certain radius of the dojo they were training at. I guess you'd have to check the legality of doing this in a dojo where people pay membership dues-but it is a business.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 01:07 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by
Top yudansha and potential successors might be encouraged to sign contracts outlining what they can and cannot do if they decide to leave. Non compete clauses are frequently used in businesses when hiring some employees. I don't know how that would work in aikido organizations, but its a thought. For example, a non-compete clause might prevent someone from opening a business doing aikido within a certain radius of the dojo they were training at. I guess you'd have to check the legality of doing this in a dojo where people pay membership dues-but it is a business.
I think you outlined the problem. For a contract to be enforceable, as I understand it, there needs to be an exchange of value, usually financial. In other words, if you are not paying them and in this case they are paying you, good luck enforcing a non-compete. Maybe a lawyer would have a different take?
 
Old 07-10-2002, 02:23 PM   #61
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Is it a Way or a Business?

On the subject of ‘stealing' students, look at it from the student's point of view...suppose one sees a class and admires the ways of Instructor A, in order to study with that instructor one must sign up for classes at Dojo Incorporated, which is offering his teaching services. In the event of a falling out where the services of Instructor A are no longer available at Dojo Incorporated, is the student not allowed to exercise his/her own judgment in supporting and following the teacher who they chose to study with in the first place? In entering the Gate, is not budo supposed to encourage one to grow a spine? In such case, is aikido a business or a Way?
 
Old 07-10-2002, 03:50 PM   #62
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succession planning

I'm not anonymous, but I have nothing to add to this debate, so I should fit right in (am enjoying it, by the way).

I was thinking about the same succession planning problem, and it's actually bigger than just this one incident. Many of the heads of the bigger organizations are getting pretty old,or so I'm led to believe, and in the next 10 or 20 years most of the Japanese shihan may be dead. (If there are those who aren't that old, forgive me, but the problem is still there, just further down the pike). In addition, any one or several of these top guys could die suddenly, of either natural or unnatural causes---what if the top two are on the same, wrong airline flight? If there's no succession plan, the loss of the leader will lead to maneuvering, competition, and some level of struggle for the top leadership position.

The winners will be happy; the losers may be so unhappy that they decide to leave and found new organizations. These may become affiliated with the Aikikai if the parting is more or less amicable, or they may not, as seems to be the case here. Either way, the current stratification of organized aikido is doomed to a "flattening" effect, whereby the big, intermediary organizations will get smaller, and new, smaller organizations will affiliate themselves directly with the Aikikai, or not, as it suits them or as conditions permit.

This may be a good thing, or it may be a bad thing--it all depends on what motivates whomever thinks about it. From the standpoint of the business angle of aikido, if there are collections of fees, dues, etc. by the bigger organizations, they'll be the losers. The Aikikai may actually benefit by collecting these fees more directly, so maybe they see themselves as winners. Anyway, the point is there's going to be an effect, good or bad is a highly subjective judgement.

Succession is something that takes planning, long term and short term. Whether the catastrophe of a loss at the top happens suddenly or expectedly,you need an heir apparent if you want an orderly transition to new leadership. An heir apparent needs to be recognized as being just that by the large majority of the 2nd and 3rd tier leadership, as well as the bulk of the membership. He/she gets that by being clearly ranked above all other contenders, having been so for a substantial period, and having been doing work so close to and so critical to the lost leader that it's clear what his intention was. It's also critical that it be clear to everyone that for the sake of continuity and success, this person is the best to immediately pick up the ball and run with it.

I'm not Japanese, nor do I pretend to understand Japanese cultural sensitivities. From what I think I observe, though, the promotion of aikido teachers with a view to establishing a ranking that facilitates orderly succession isn't presently in the picture. It may also be that ranking people in this way is too competitive for aikido--doing things this way would make it very competitive, make no mistake. The politics may get worse, people will bump up against ceilings in their ability to progress in rank, there are whole hosts of issues here.

If I was an "aikido leader", which I'm not and am not ever likely to be, I would spend some time thinking about what I wanted aikido to look like in 10 or 20 years. Should it be very flat, with bunches of independents, or should there be "style" groupings, or does it matter? What are the business consequences? How will the relationships be affected if we leave things as they are? How would they be affected if we started planning successions and promoting on that basis? Which is more desireable, as determined by those with very long, first hand experience with the founder, and long experience in the essence of what is, and what should be, aiki?

10 and 20 years from now, there will be aikido, there will be an aikikai, and there will be "organizations". What that all looks like can just happen, in which case we all just live with what we end up with, or leaders can shape the future. The latter may also not be "aiki", and so undesireable. Either way, what we end up with ought to be the result of a conscious choice, even if that choice is to leave the evolution to chance.

That, where I come from, is the duty leaders owe to those who follow.

a nickel on the grass . . .

Paul
 
Old 07-10-2002, 04:29 PM   #63
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Yellow Springs

Hi Paul - noticed you were from Dayton - spent some time in Yellow Springs at Antioch... nice area around there. Had no idea there was Aikido !
 
Old 07-10-2002, 05:06 PM   #64
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Hi John,

Me neither. I was here from 1997-2000, wanted to start aikido, but didn't get round to trying, even saw a bulletin board ad several times . . .

It took a year in Alabama to get me started, now I'm back, and training with the teacher who's ad I saw on the board 5 years ago.

best
Paul
 
Old 07-10-2002, 05:25 PM   #65
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Succession

Regarding whether aikido is a business or a way, I feel it is both. I doubt this issue would have come up with AAA if there had not been some monetary issues (loss of the zen group, loss of some students, etc.). I think both can co-exist. If there was no business aspect to it in the states, aikido would not survive unless people were running schools out of their garages. Seminars are definitely not free.

That being said; yes, succession planning is tricky, even when the players are Buddhists who should transcend egos (as we did not observe). Our egos make us feel we want to be the top dog or be thought of highly by our senseis. We also have different perspectives on what our leaders teach us-just look at aikido today. If their was no difference in what top instructors saw in O'Sensei's teachings then we would be all one.

So how do we handle this? To plan or not to plan that is the question. Obviously, as pointed out, an accident could take place to take out several tiers thus disrupting the best of intentions to identify successors. However, planning would seem to me to make the possibility of a smoother transition more likely. To do otherwise submits us to the vagarities of fate-what happens happens. Plans should also not be static but adapting entities adjusting to the situations as they occur.

As top shihans cross over(Buddhist truth-we all die), the future of aikido will be left in the hands of those now working their way up the ladder. How can we prevent future problems-wait and see what happens? Or, perhaps attempting to anticipate future events and groom successors. There is still the risk the successors will not be there themselves. Succession planning attempts to identify potential several layers down. Another complicating issue is do we plan for leaders with satisfactory technical skills or do we plan with the best technical skills which may or may not have leadership abilities? It gets sticky. My point is that to not plan and let happen what may could lead to the destruction of an organization in a very short time due to infighting and politics. The grooming of successors could be a starting point.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 08:01 PM   #66
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".... I doubt this issue would have come up with AAA if there had not been some monetary issues (loss of the zen group, loss of some students, etc.)."

Unfortunately that is not the case. The headquarters dojo of AAA has gained and lost a number of teachers and groups at the main office that that is not really the case. But that is over....

I have heard people complain that one of the "problems" that Mr Moore has "created" was his openning of a dojo nearby the AAA headquarters. And one solution in instances such as these, it was suggested, was to have in a contract a prohibition against openning a close dojo when you leave. I think that the idea of a non-compete or radius clause would not work at all in an environment such as this.

An instructor, I think, is rarely under contract with a organization to teach martial arts. Usually the instructor is a student that has been with the group for a long time, and has sort of graduated into teaching as a consequence of his/her promotions in rank. Usually instructors in an orginazation are teaching voluntarily - AND they are paying the organization mo dues in order to train as well.

In business you usually sign a non-compete in order to protect the company from losing business, either from the employee taking business away when he/she leaves, or to protect co trade secrets (prohibiting an employee from using co knowledge specific to the co or from using knowledge of a specific co product when gone to take business away). In many cases the non-compete contract will allow an employee to leave and take a job with a competing co, provided the competing co pays the original employer a fee for "stealing" the employee.

There are not, really, "trade secrets" in teaching a martial art that are specific to an organziation, nor does not involve a specific physical product.

In the business world, you pay an employee from monies earned while doing business, either from your products or services. The employee does not pay the employer - the employer pays the employee for helping the co. make money. In martial arts, however, the employee (the teacher) in most cases is paying the employer (the martial arts org) to study and volunteers his/her teaching services. The product provided a martial art is not a physical one - that is it is not a computer, for example. The product offered is not only physical training but mental training as well. And THAT you can get at ANY martial art training facility. To have a non-compete clause or a radius clause in a "contract" would not only be unenforceable but it would make your org a laughing stock - I hope that no serious martial art org does not do this, if at least to avoid being the subject of another "Anonymous" thread ....
 
Old 07-10-2002, 08:16 PM   #67
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noncompete clause

I'm not sure what you mean by a laughing stock. Please explain. In health care professions, for example, non-compete clauses are used to prevent doctors from opening up next door and taking a clinics patients with them. There is not physical product involved in such a case either. But a definite money issue exists. This also occurs with other skilled employees (I used to work in human resources).

I agree it may be difficult if teachers are not on the payroll and are paying dues. However, unless uchideshi a higher ranked instructor is likely donating teaching time and could cause serious financial harm to the school should he leave and pull loyal students. Students should have the right to go where they want to, however, in the role of a head instructor students could be guided to the instructor through one on one or other means (they probably have access to addresses, etc.). Taking students would be taking business although this is not something that could be trademarked or patented (aikido is aikido). Perhaps a lawyer could respond to this one.
 
Old 07-11-2002, 03:42 AM   #68
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ebb and flow

I think that in the future, there will be a larger number of aikido organizations in North America. (Flow.) Then, some of these organizations may eventually be absorbed by major groups. (Ebb.)

Whether these groups are affiliated with Aikikia is, of course, largely up to the heads of these organizations and Aikikai.

A good example of this has already occured. Ki-Akidio and a few other shihan broke away from Aikikai; Numerous other teachers broke away from Ki-Aikido. (Flow.)

Then, various shihan began gathering up the "lost sheep" while at the same time, Aikikai began re-establishing it affiliations with various groups. (Ebb.)

A lot of this is pure economics, although few will own up to this. Increasing the client base increases revenue. Adding more and more requirements (such as seminiars), and boosting testing fees raises capital flow.

Whether or not Akikai will be able to continue to pull various groups into its fold will depend on a number of factors, such as:

1. How well does it serve its constituents?
2. Will the price paid be worth the services rendered?
3. Will the organization maintain its legitimacy?
4. Will political infighting eventually lead to another major break-up?
5. Will it be able to maintain its "mystique" as the Mecca of aikido?"
 
Old 07-11-2002, 07:28 AM   #69
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Is it a Business or a Way?

In some of the previous commentary it sounds like folks are liable to get stuck in the mindset/lifestyle of feeding the machine. I imagine that many students frequently wonder if they aren't spending way too much on their ‘aikido-habit' for the value they are getting -- if the aikido school makes it too obvious that the student is just a dues paying commodity, then the student may eventually decide, "...it's far cheaper and more convenient to join a health club, plus they don't expect you to sweep the floors." For some, a time may come when they wonder if they aren't just massaging their own ego for a piece of paper and a colored belt. Everyone takes up a martial art for their own reasons, as to the survival of aikido, O Sensei didn't seem too concerned about the details of succession, or the politics. He seemed more interested in the continuation of the transmission of budo. Does it take a big dues-paying machine to accomplish that? Sure, aikido may be more accessible to the masses, like McDonalds. I am reminded of Eddie Murphy's skit of fellow students crowing that they had McDonalds hamburgers, while he brought funky homemade hamburgers with pieces of green pepper sticking out of them, and his ego felt bad. But when he grew up, he realized that his homemade hamburger, cooked with love by his caring mother, was really best.
 
Old 07-11-2002, 08:16 AM   #70
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Cool business

Based on my experience of living in Asia for nearly 15 years, everthing is business -- and Westerners are suckers if they think it isn't.

Example: When I tell people that I teach aikido at a university, the first question that they invariably ask is how much I get paid. Next is how many students. They then immediately calculate earnings per student. Then they start comparing with other dojo.

Curriculum, lineage, loyalty or philosophy never enter into the conversation.

The school where I originally trained at, freely admitted that its primary revenue earner was the beginners' class that it began every six months after an extensive advertising initiative. It was revenue from a group with an 80% drop-out rate that sustained the school.

$$$

But pie-in-the-sky people just don't seem to get it.
 
Old 07-11-2002, 08:41 AM   #71
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Hmmmm...revealing, thank you. Still, I think there are teachers out there who have more purely ascetic reasons for training and teaching. I'm very grateful that my teacher is one of them.
 
Old 07-11-2002, 04:51 PM   #72
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Re: business

Quote:
mike lee wrote:
Based on my experience of living in Asia for nearly 15 years, everthing is business -- and Westerners are suckers if they think it isn't.
"Asia" is a pretty wide generalization. The dojo that I train at in Japan are mostly non-profit, and I've never heard the kind of questions that you mention. In fact, teaching martial arts as a profession or for profit is actually fairly rare in Japan - it's probably much more common in the US.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-11-2002, 07:35 PM   #73
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Triangle

Schism in my culture, is what does grand mother with aunt and girl friends when they sit down for coffe and cookies; I wish Osensei or other Honorable Masters could do read this schism, massification, money, stealing students, Yeah, this Stinks! you know?
shame on you
write down my name
Pretorian
 
Old 07-11-2002, 08:14 PM   #74
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Quote:
Taking students would be taking business although this is not something that could be trademarked or patented (aikido is aikido). Perhaps a lawyer could respond to this one.
Yes, the students are not trademarks or trade secrets, but they may be "goodwill." Clientel acquired through the running of a business is called "goodwill" in law. This applies in torts and covenants not to compete. What happens if someone breaches their contract not to compete and takes the "goodwill" from their former employer, they might to have to pay for those profits that the former would have earned from those clients (students). But of course to recover for this there must have been a convenant not to compete to begin with.

Anne Marie "recent law grad but not an attorney yet" Giri

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
 
Old 07-12-2002, 09:36 AM   #75
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Actually clients acquired from running a business are typically called "customer lists" or "customer relationships," and there are recognized methodologies and standards for proving them and establishing values for them. Just my two cents.

Robert Cronin
 

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