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Old 10-20-2013, 01:46 AM   #1
"dontwanttousemyname"
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Grr! exiting a dojo

After a few years of a tenuous relationship with my sensei, i've decided to leave his dojo. several years of disrespect, having to ASK for promotions, while several less serious and technically knowledgeable students get put up for promotion, I decided it was time to leave. newbies allowed to disrespect senior students, with a whole lot of over talking, freezing and resisting technique. much of it happened because i am a woman. i put my foot down, of course, i look like the bad guy.

I don't believe the man every really liked me, but i ignored him for the most part, because i liked the people i trained with. without going into too many more gory details, i am wondering if i should tell him what's on my mind, or keep it moving.

I should add that the teacher is well respected in this particular circle. some have noted what i have, very quietly. a public display is not something i am going to do. but i'm seriously thinking about giving him a piece of my mind.

what do you think? No insults please.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
Location: Canberra, ACT
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I don't believe the man every really liked me, but i ignored him for the most part, because i liked the people i trained with. without going into too many more gory details, i am wondering if i should tell him what's on my mind, or keep it moving.

I should add that the teacher is well respected in this particular circle. some have noted what i have, very quietly. a public display is not something i am going to do. but i'm seriously thinking about giving him a piece of my mind.

what do you think? No insults please.
Keep it moving.

Letting go of your feelings with your teacher and the situation, while not being easy, will free you. If you can take that deep breath and let go of it, you may find yourself not actually caring that much.

Your skill defines you as a martial artist, not your rank. To be more to the point, would a rank from this teacher truly matter to you?

Your choice to leave speaks for itself. It does not matter if your teacher directly or indirectly pushed you to this point (passive aggressive behavior etc) but the point is... here you are. Where do you want to go next?

I understand that you do not wish to share the details and so I say this next part with a cautionary note: If you cannot let go and move on and strongly feel the need to tell this person about your feelings and thoughts on the situation... try your best to remove as much anger and 'things of a personal nature' out of your approach to do so. I would simply state your position with a question asking for an explanation to allow you to come to an understanding of why he allows, condones or promotes the things you describe.

Regardless of whether or not you get a response at all and if it is or is not to your satisfaction... you need to be at peace with the decision you have already made. I feel you will look back on this not so far from now with a smile and feel like a heavy weight has been lifted as you move onto another dojo, meet others and continue on your path.

You cannot change anyone else but yourself. The hardest part can be getting out of your own way.

I hope this helps. Best wishes on your continued journey.
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:23 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: exiting a dojo

If you are not happy with where you are, let it go and move on quietly and respectfully.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: exiting a dojo

I hope you find a place to train where you are more comfortable.

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Old 10-21-2013, 06:12 AM   #5
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: exiting a dojo

If you want to go, then go.

But my suggestion is to have a conversation with the Sensei first.

All you need to say is that you want to go elsewhere....and thank you for the time spent with you.

There is a lot of 'churn' running a dojo, there is a lot of competition, lots of distraction and in all honesty its a bloody tough job at times.

Not all of this is obvious to the students, most instuctors I know keep the baggage to themselves. Maybe in a conversation you maybe surprised and find out some reasons for historic behaviour....maybe not.

If you have the conversation though, you'll have done the right thing and as well as giving respect, you'll also have earned it back.

FWIW

D
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:04 AM   #6
lbb
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Re: exiting a dojo

I doubt I'd bother with the conversation. A sexist isn't going to own his sexism, so there are only a few limited situations where confronting him with it (publicly or privately) will do any good, and I don't think this is one of them. Just move on.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:41 AM   #7
Basia Halliop
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Re: exiting a dojo

Personally I would leave quietly, and tell your Sensei that you're leaving (which is curteous, especially if you've been training with him for years) but NOT go into detail about why.

It's a very normal and human urge to want to tell people what you dislike about them, and triply so when you're upset, but most of the time it serves no positive purpose. Usually it just creates or increases bad blood, and rarely has enough positives to make up for that. I can think of exceptions, but this doesn't sound like one of them.

I would be polite and vague about why you're leaving, and then find a friend who has no link to aikido or anyone involved who you can vent a bit to if you feel like there are things you need to get off your chest.

And best of luck finding a new place to train.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 10-21-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:51 AM   #8
"dontwanttousemyname"
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Re: exiting a dojo

Some very excellent suggestions and points made here. it helps me clear my head and focus on what is most important. I will move on and let it go. I'm am amazed and frustrated with myself for continuing to be so angry with this man. But admittedly, I am more frustrated with myself for putting up with it for four years.

And on the bright side, my own respect, and good manners may provide a respite for reconciliation after some extended period of time. I get along with other Senseis in my area, quite well; so I do have options.

Thank you All!
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
lbb
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Some very excellent suggestions and points made here. it helps me clear my head and focus on what is most important. I will move on and let it go. I'm am amazed and frustrated with myself for continuing to be so angry with this man. But admittedly, I am more frustrated with myself for putting up with it for four years.
I'm sure you've already done this, but it may be worth doing one last reality check. Given that comparing your progress to that of other people is always dicey, are the others who have also trained four years (and who train at the same frequency as you -- that's important) being advanced when you are not? Are they being given access to teaching that you are not?

If there's a discrepancy and it's time to move on, I think you can tactfully explain your reasons why, both to your current sensei and to your new sensei, who may well ask why you left. "I'm training regularly, but I don't seem to be making any progress" would sum it up pretty well, no? That takes ownership rather than blaming, but at the same time makes the point that you are trying and it isn't working for you at this particular dojo.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #10
allowedcloud
Location: cincinnati
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Re: exiting a dojo

Read this: http://www.24fightingchickens.com/20...a-karate-club/

It's about karate, but the advise applies equally to aikido.

I recently was in a similar situation and decided to leave the dojo I had trained at for 7 years. As I see it, what you propose will just create unnecessary drama. Just leave quietly and don't look back. That is the best thing for you, the old dojo and wherever you choose to train in the future.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:14 PM   #11
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Some very excellent suggestions and points made here. it helps me clear my head and focus on what is most important. I will move on and let it go. I'm am amazed and frustrated with myself for continuing to be so angry with this man. But admittedly, I am more frustrated with myself for putting up with it for four years.

And on the bright side, my own respect, and good manners may provide a respite for reconciliation after some extended period of time. I get along with other Senseis in my area, quite well; so I do have options.

Thank you All!
Dear Anon,
The fact that you now are frustrated by putting up with the situation for four yearsmeans that you should have either had a chinwag with the instructor or you should have voted with your feet.personally I would have chosen to exit stage right.There is a lesson for you in this .
Cheers, Joe
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:27 AM   #12
Mario Tobias
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Re: exiting a dojo

What matters is the practice. Just move on and never look back. You will practice with many senseis in your aikido career. Seeking your "true" sensei is part of the aikido journey. It is a difficlut task. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes it is accidental but oftentimes, you really need to search. There si also the chance you won't find him. This is the key take away from your experience; he is not the sensei that will help fulfill your goals, another one will. So there's no point in dicussing anything with him.

IMHO, promotions are not really important. What you need to assess is if you've trained hard enough, observed intensely, studied intently to be competent with the art and understand its principles, to continuously learn new things. It is a never ending cycle. The goal is not to get promotions, the goal is attain perfection, wisdom and enlightenment. Attaining rank will follow.

I'd gladly trade my black belt and hakama with a white belt. These ornaments are not important to me.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:23 PM   #13
"dontwanttousemyname"
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Re: exiting a dojo

thanks everyone.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:15 PM   #14
Walter Martindale
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Re: exiting a dojo

Yeah.. A bit late coming to this - I've only wanted to leave one dojo because I wasn't keen on the sensei - all the other dojo I've left have been because my employment has me shifting around a lot.

If you haven't already done this, My recommendation is that when you decide to have your last training session, let your dojo know this by not showing up the next time and cancelling payment of your fees if they're on automatic payment. You can then choose to let the sensei know that you've either decided to try a different dojo or that you've decided to give an other MA a try, or that time, money, interest, or whatever ran out (but that might not be honest).

Depending on where you are, and who your sensei is it may not be safe to announce at the start of your last class "I'm leaving after this training session".. It's USUALLY safe, in a civilized society, but some martial arts sensei have a warped sense of what loyalty should be and hurt people if they find out they're leaving for reasons other than "my job is moving 300 miles away"
HTH
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:27 AM   #15
"Don'twanttousemyname"
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Yeah.. A bit late coming to this - I've only wanted to leave one dojo because I wasn't keen on the sensei - all the other dojo I've left have been because my employment has me shifting around a lot.

If you haven't already done this, My recommendation is that when you decide to have your last training session, let your dojo know this by not showing up the next time and cancelling payment of your fees if they're on automatic payment. You can then choose to let the sensei know that you've either decided to try a different dojo or that you've decided to give an other MA a try, or that time, money, interest, or whatever ran out (but that might not be honest).

Depending on where you are, and who your sensei is it may not be safe to announce at the start of your last class "I'm leaving after this training session".. It's USUALLY safe, in a civilized society, but some martial arts sensei have a warped sense of what loyalty should be and hurt people if they find out they're leaving for reasons other than "my job is moving 300 miles away"
HTH
Walter - I left. No announcement, explanation or anything. Just took my things and left, because enough is enough. probably done with aikido, only time and chance will tell. life goes on, and maybe i will find something else or another aikido school that works for me. don't know. but i do know that i've put that b.s. to rest.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:50 AM   #16
Walter Martindale
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Re: exiting a dojo

Good. I hope you're not done with aikido but that depends I guess on where you are on the planet and what's available.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #17
danielajames
 
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Re: exiting a dojo

One of my favourite quotes is from Kenjiro Yoshigasaki
"Your aikido will only improve when your concept of aikido improves "
So if there is something helpful in biomechanics thats great, if not there are plenty of more concepts out there to help...lord knows i don't see biomechanics as 'it' just another tool in the bag.

Reflecting on the thoughts on Kano's waza, its not so surprising he has very exact waza, given his educational and sports focus, perhaps this was a reductionist approach for the essence. FWIW a few years back I was at Tskuba University in Japan and was delighted to see he was the founding father of what eventually has become probably Japan's leading University in Sport.

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:58 PM   #18
"dontwanttousemyname"
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Good. I hope you're not done with aikido but that depends I guess on where you are on the planet and what's available.
Yep. I will see what happens. Aikido is a hard act to follow.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:27 PM   #19
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: exiting a dojo

Open door, leave, close door.

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Old 11-29-2013, 08:39 PM   #20
LuvAikido
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Re: exiting a dojo

Wow Walter sounds scary, senseis hurting people?
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:18 PM   #21
crbateman
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Re: exiting a dojo

I hope that you will continue to train in Aikido. If you let this bad experience run you out of it, then it will remain a negative, and you will not really have solved anything. If, however, you let it send you to train with someone else, it could turn out to be a very positive experience. It would be a shame to let your anger and frustration deprive you of that opportunity. I think you'd agree that it's at least worth a try... Best of fortune to you...
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:10 PM   #22
lbb
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
I hope that you will continue to train in Aikido. If you let this bad experience run you out of it, then it will remain a negative, and you will not really have solved anything.
Solved? What was the problem? And why was it this person's problem to solve?
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:25 PM   #23
Walter Martindale
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Oksana De Luca wrote: View Post
Wow Walter sounds scary, senseis hurting people?
I haven't heard of it happening lately but my first judo sensei spent quite a while in Japan in the 60s - told us/our dojo of a Japanese member of a dojo in Tokyo who let his club know at the start of a training session that he would be leaving, and training at a different dojo - I don't really remember the circumstances - whether the guy was leaving because he didn't like the dojo and wanted to switch allegiance, or because he had to move to a different city, or.. orů but - the story related to us was that the other members of the dojo essentially all had a "practice" with him, each doing his best effort to give him a good bashing, and at the end of the night, it turned out to be his last practice anywhere. Whether he died in the hospital or on the dojo floor I don't know. It may be one of those urban myths, and I may be paranoid, but each dojo and each sensei is different.

When I'm going to take on a new dojo (because I've moved - and I move a lot - coaching isn't all that stable a profession) I always ask if I can watch a practice or two before I join, and I make sure to have a chat with some of the guys in the club. So far nobody's tried to hurt me but I know it's possible. Now, I'm old enough that they probably won't bother, but around the martial arts, it's always a good idea to be careful about the "tough guy" attitude that some training locations have.

IMO...
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #24
crbateman
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Solved? What was the problem? And why was it this person's problem to solve?
Mary, not knowing the specific nature of a problem does not mean there isn't one. This person not only wants to leave the dojo, she says she might stop training altogether. That sounds to me like somebody wishing and acting to solve a problem. I've simply suggested that she try not to become jaded about aikido as a whole from this single experience, regardless of the foundation for it. I still think it's a valid suggestion. Perhaps if you re-read it without inferring prejudice on my part, you will see where I was going. I think the issue here is not whom to blame, but whether aikido is worth another try somewhere else. My apologies if I gave anyone the wrong impression.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #25
lbb
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Re: exiting a dojo

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
Mary, not knowing the specific nature of a problem does not mean there isn't one. This person not only wants to leave the dojo, she says she might stop training altogether. That sounds to me like somebody wishing and acting to solve a problem. I've simply suggested that she try not to become jaded about aikido as a whole from this single experience, regardless of the foundation for it. I still think it's a valid suggestion. Perhaps if you re-read it without inferring prejudice on my part, you will see where I was going. I think the issue here is not whom to blame, but whether aikido is worth another try somewhere else. My apologies if I gave anyone the wrong impression.
Hello Clark,

I've got no beef with the course of action or with your suggestion. I just wonder if "problem" is the right way to frame it. Problem with the dojo? With this other person? With aikido? What "problem" do you perceive here, and why is it on OP to "solve" it?
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