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Old 12-11-2002, 12:39 PM   #1
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Sensei's meddlesom spouse

In our dojo, our sensei's spouse can be extremely meddlesome and disruptive relative to the dojo matters and the membership. Does anyone else have any similar experiences, and if so, were you able to resolve the situation?
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Old 12-11-2002, 01:58 PM   #2
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gee, all the time! first sensei's spouse was okay, but was not very nice to her husband in the dojo. they divorced.

second sensei's spouse was amazingly hostile and disruptive and caused lots of pain. they divorced.

now dojo is very quiet and calm and peaceful.

no resolutions happened other than divorce, which is not a good resolution to the situation.

wish you well!
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Old 12-11-2002, 07:26 PM   #3
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It is best not to try to resolve the issue of another mans wife, focus on your training and the problem will not exist.

peace.
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Old 12-11-2002, 07:34 PM   #4
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also it's not a good situation when wife is the senior dan in the dojo
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Old 12-11-2002, 09:22 PM   #5
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"also it's not a good situation when wife is the senior dan in the dojo"

Really? We have this situation in my sensei's dojo and it doesn't seem to present any difficulties.

Bronson
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Old 12-11-2002, 11:53 PM   #6
Edward
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I have been to some dojos where teacher's wive was the second person in command in the dojo, and others where the wife, if she ever did aikido at all, was just an ordinary practitioner with no special privileges. I had tremendous respect for the latter and very little for the former.
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:32 AM   #7
Edward
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For some curious reason, in these dojos, the wives got their dan rankings at an astronomical speed, leaving many senior students discontent. Many organizations have been shattered this way.
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Old 12-12-2002, 01:34 AM   #8
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Is there or should there be a rule against testing one's own spouse, especially for a dan rank? Wasn't there a thread about this a while ago? My sensei's wife is very nice.
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Old 12-12-2002, 03:04 AM   #9
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I think the key issue is the "meddlesome" bit rather than the relationship with the sensei. If you approached the problems you have with the spouse with the same intent that you would with anyone else in the dojo, effectively disregarding the personal ties, then if she plays the spouse card this would give you the initiative (and provide you with a valid, demonstrable grievance). At the moment, you could still be accused of just incorrect perception over the relationships effect in the dojo - I said could, not saying you are.

Having said this, I know a lot of people find it hard to be objective about their loved ones, so I'd suggest excessive diplomacy to start with. However, if all else fails, find another dojo. Just glad I've never had to deal with this problem in my sensei, just in some "dojo couples".
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Old 12-12-2002, 08:32 AM   #10
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What exactly do you mean by "meddlesome" and "disruptive"? What exactly is she doing?
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:53 PM   #11
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She is now in a very senior position within the yudanshakai, and frequently insults and demeans other senior members of the dojo. In addition, she has actually made some of the leaders of other dojos in our organization so angry that they have dropped their affiliation with us.
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:57 PM   #12
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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Wow, that sounds quite serious. Has anyone of similar rank talked with her? Is she open to discussion? Does she realize that some dojos have dropped their affiliation with you due to her behavior? Is there a means in place (Advisory Council or the like) in which to bring this problem?
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Old 12-12-2002, 02:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Wow, that sounds quite serious. Has anyone of similar rank talked with her?
People have tried to no avail.
Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Is she open to discussion?
Evidently not.
Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Does she realize that some dojos have dropped their affiliation with you due to her behavior?
Yes, but in her mind, THEY were the ones who committed some major, unforgivable infraction.
Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Is there a means in place (Advisory Council or the like) in which to bring this problem?
Yes, but they are somewhat ineffectual, because she is now our only connection to the headquarters dojo which issues us our yudansha certificates.

Obviously, this is not a pretty situation.
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Old 12-12-2002, 02:21 PM   #14
rachmass
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I am sorry to hear that. I have no suggestions for you then, as my initial inclination was to head you in the direction of the advisory council.

When you say that she is now "our only connection to the headquarters dojo" does that mean that no one else can deal with them? Does anyone else in the dojo have a relationship within that dojo/headquaters?

Has anyone talked with the Sensei about this situation?
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Old 12-16-2002, 09:20 AM   #15
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Sensei is not available any longer.
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Old 12-16-2002, 09:25 AM   #16
rachmass
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what do you mean that "sensei is not available any longer"? Does that mean that your Sensei has moved away? refuses to talk to people? No longer Sensei?

Well, I wish I could help, even somewhat, but nothing I offer seems to be of much use. Perhaps Goldbury Sensei or one of the senior teachers who read and respond to these posts might be a good place to start to ask for advice. They are a very wise bunch of folks.

Best wishes on this.
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Old 12-16-2002, 12:08 PM   #17
Dan Hover
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I think I know exactly who and what you are talking about, and if your and definately my rank are the ones that way below what the situation is all about (which unless you outrank me by a lot) they are, my only advice to you is too keep training and not worry about politics is it should not interfere with your training, And it should not interfere with your relationship with your own instructor. I understand that these can be trying times, but what goes on behind the scenes in any Aikido organization is filler, worry about what goes on between you and your sensei on the mat, not off of it. And I know it is hard but try not to second guess everything everyone above us is trying to do. I struggle with this one as well. Also Anon if you would like to get with me offline to discuss this my email is always available.

Dan Hover

of course that's my opinion, I could be wrong
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Old 12-16-2002, 12:14 PM   #18
rachmass
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Anon, has Sensei passed away?
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Old 12-16-2002, 01:35 PM   #19
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Yes
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Old 12-16-2002, 01:40 PM   #20
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I hope Anon isn't the name for the anonymous person posting the original thread - if it is, you just named a person that wished to remain nameless.
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Old 12-16-2002, 01:41 PM   #21
rachmass
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okay, I think I know the situation, and it is very difficult. If you want to write to me privately, you are most welcome, but I don't know if I can be of any help.
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Old 12-16-2002, 03:06 PM   #22
Hagen Seibert
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Hi there,

so your sensei passed away and his widow-spouse is left with to dojo business ?

Well, I could imagine, that this might be a task a bit above her abilities, having to deal with one´s own pain and struggling to keep up the dojo as he would have done.

Try Aiki!

I could imagine that a person in that situation needs some help, but would not accept it from other yudansha because of fear they might take the staff out of her hands.

(when it comes to matters of influence, money and power, even high ranking Aikido people seem to forget they ever heard about such weird things as harmony)

So maybe this leaves three possibilities:

a) think of Aiki and help

b) ignore and concentrate on your own training

c) leave

regards

Hagen
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:14 PM   #23
JO
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My sensei's wife is the second in command. She is the second highest ranking, because she has been training for nearly as long as the chief instructor. They are both ranked fifth dan and the other members of the dojo all consider them both as their sensei. Personnally I like having two high ranked senseis that work together, when one is teaching the other takes the class (if they are both present) and we get a chance to train directly with them.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 12-16-2002, 08:11 PM   #24
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Hi Jo;

You have a relatively unique situation there. These two people are good at what they do and seem to bring a slightly different perspective to Aikido. With my limited exposure to them - they compliment each other nicely and there is no competition between them. Please give them my regards.

I think the poster is talking about what happens when the sensei dies.

God forbid that should happen in your dojo but there would be no problem with regard to who is in charge.

Sensei's wife/husband will always have a special position in the dojo no matter the skill level. To expect an even handed approach in all cases is asking to much and the law of averages being what it is - there will be a situation where position is abused.

In the situation where sensei dies (and I also think I know the place but not the details) there is a much more complicated situation.

Is the surviving spouse

a) owner of the dojo

b) qualified to be chief instructor

If not how long do you suffer the inconvinence while the person grieves.

If it is the situation I am aware of - its been quite a while and decisions have to be made by the people effected. In fact they should have been made long ago.

In Japan problems of succession and control are quite serious because there is invariably a rearrangement of students/dojos. The source of many Koryu is due to this process and of course we know what happened when Ueshiba M. died. How seriousness can range to a minimal to the complete destruction of the organization and all its splinters. It all depends on the parties involved.
Quote:
Jonathan Olson (JO) wrote:
My sensei's wife is the second in command. She is the second highest ranking, because she has been training for nearly as long as the chief instructor. They are both ranked fifth dan and the other members of the dojo all consider them both as their sensei. Personnally I like having two high ranked senseis that work together, when one is teaching the other takes the class (if they are both present) and we get a chance to train directly with them.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:34 PM   #25
JO
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Hi Peter, you're right the situation of the person who started the thread comes down to a problem of succession. Actually I think the situation with Ueshiba is a good example of how to do it well. The heirs (two of them in a row now) were chosen and given a lot of resposibility well before their fathers died, giving people a chance to get used to them and ensuring that everyone knew what was coming. Sure, there were some problems, but overall the Aikikai would not still be the largest international aikido organisation if things had been left as far up in the air as has happened in some groups.

It is exactly the same as what happens when someone dies without a will. The loving family starts aguing over how to handle the estate. In this particular case the question comes down to whether the wife is qualified and whether any of the original sensei's senior students can live with having her in charge. In the end some will probably stay, some will leave and do their own thing and some will reaffilliate with new instructors.

Personnally I don't think the fact that it is a wife really makes the situation that much different from if it was a son or a senior student. Succession is always complicated and best handled before the chief dies, in my opinion.

PS- Pierre retourne ton salut.

Jonathan Olson
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