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Old 06-27-2003, 09:07 PM   #26
"Unregistered"
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Anonymous User
I agree honesty is the best policy. I have been honest and this is why I wanted feedback on what I should do. It's not about the rank, it's about being a member of a federation and then finding out I'm not. I have the cancelled checks, and copies of the forms, so I'm o.k. I was just trying to give my CI a break, which I have all these years, but since I was moving, I thought it best to clear up everything before moving on... so that in case anyone wanted to verify whatever rank I was, not that I care, the could. I just want to practice Aikido. It's something that I plan on doing for many years to come. I'm not a young chicken as it is.

Thanks again to all. I have already dropped a note to S. Wolk and will give her a call next week to follow up.
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Old 06-28-2003, 12:04 AM   #27
"anyoldmouse"
IP Hash: 62a53690
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Wink

gee, where are you posting from Seattle?
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Old 06-28-2003, 09:03 PM   #28
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nope, from the east coast. don't know what you mean by the "seattle" comment. has this happened before?
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Old 06-30-2003, 09:54 AM   #29
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"Lost" dues

When I came into aikido, I joined a small USAF dojo in Texas. The dojo developed a bad habit of "holding" both the regional and the federation dues because people would sign up and then quit aikido before their first test. The treasurer seeing that as a waste of money got the idea that if they used the money instead to pay the rent, the dues money wouldn't be wasted and since the rent was so hard to pay and the seniors usually had to put in extra every month to keep the dojo open. It seemd like a good idea to everyone including the sensei. Unfortunately, I and my two children didn't quit and when we came up for our first test, we were told we couldn't test because our "mother" dojo had messed up the paperwork. The dojo had a policy of sending the money in after the fact if you in fact stayed around but it usually meant that you wouldn't get to test for 5th kyu on schedule. In my case, they all thought I was going to quit even after that so they didn't send the money the second time either and that's when I blew because I had the cancelled checks. When the test came up, I was told that the shihan was saying I couldn't test and the sensei of the "mother" dojo was saying I couldn't test because I had just barely joined the federation (a year though had gone by). I told them that the shihan, the fukushidoin and my sensei had better sit down and come up with a good answer because if not, me and my kids were out of aikido. They went into that room and came out saying I could test. I don't think that the shihan or the fukushidoin ever found out why my paperwork was "late". The sensei and the fukushidoin just prevailed on the shihan to let me test and he said ok but never again. It's interesting to note that the fukushidoin never got another promotion out of that shihan and our dojo was never made an official memeber of the federation but stayed an affilate sponsored by the "mother dojo". That was all almost ten years ago. I am still in aikido but not in the USAF anymore. These things just happen because someone in the chain thinks of a "good" shortcut but the innocents become the victims.

Best wishes

Jorge
Quote:
() wrote:
I agree with you, BUT will adopt Rachel's tip of contacting the "in-charge" at the federation. I would do it, though, very gently (the way of harmony, ha ). It might be that your sensei is just an administrative disaster and all paper work was too much for him/her. How was training with your sensei ? after all you've stayed for some good time...

Good luck
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Old 07-03-2003, 11:30 PM   #30
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
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I am sorry that you have been ripped off, anonymous, but in the light of reality, if you have tested under the USAF tests, and passed, I don't see why going to a properly run USAF dojo with a teacher who is certified by this organization could not quickly establish you kyu rank in short order?

I am a pain about testing, because I don't want to test .... I just want to practice as I too am not a young spring chicken anymore. I don't see what the big deal is?

If you train at another dojo, other than USAF, they will evaluate your skills and make you test at what they think your skill level is anyway, won't they?

I know not all organizations recognize rank from other organizations. For instance, third of forth dans in one style will wear their black belt or uniform from their former style when they start practice, but most revert to white belt when full practice is assumed and they progress through the Kyu ranks rather quickly.

I don't see any real problem except that you will have to retest at the last test level to show you have those skills to retain that ranking in the USAF organization, but this is up to Y. Yamada shihan, as he has final say.

Where are you moving to?

It might be in your best interest to research the dojo's in your area, their teachers, and the history of that dojo's links with whatever organization it is affiliated to?

I hate to say it, but there are politics, even in the USAF, and there are certain teachers who have Yamada shihans attention more than others, but for good reasons. Reasons that support Aikido, keep abreast of what is changing by going periodically to NYC Dojo, and continually interacting with other dojos though seminars, and as a guest teacher for other than their home dojo.

Just as Rachel has stated, I would be glad to put you onto these fine gentlemen, or ladies, should you move to the New Jersey / Philadelphia area.
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Old 07-04-2003, 08:39 AM   #31
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
Join Date: Jan 2002
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If there's one thing we should learn from this story, it's: before paying something to a dojo getting the money for a federation, be sure to check the status of the dojo with this federation...

It's relatively easy to do: many dojos will pin the certificate from the federation on a wall, somewhere in the dojo. You can also check on the federation site, most keep a directory of official dojos. Certainly a good point to start with...

Second thing may be: start to ask questions if you never receive anything from the federation. Paperworks can sometime be lenghty (in our fed it takes 6 months to a year to receive a kyu certificate), but if you have passed many tests and paid for them, there's no reason to get anything in years...

It's sad, but the aikido community isn't different from the society: there's good and honest people, and there's no so honest ones...
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:56 PM   #32
"Unregistered"
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And there are probably some well-meaning people who are hopelessly bad with paperwork. Not that it's really an excuse.
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Old 07-05-2003, 06:23 AM   #33
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: Member of USAF or not?

Quote:
() wrote:
I have been a member, or I thought I was a member, of the USAF for over 5 years. Each year I have tested at my dojo and I have paid my testing fee to the Chief Instructor and each year filled out the appropriate papers to be submitted to the federation. Well, 5 years later and a bit peeved, I find out that I have never been registed with the USAF, the Chief Instructor has not been submitting any paperwork for the past 5 years. I do not have a USAF membership number and I plan to move to another state next month. What happens when I go to the new dojo and say that I'm a first kyu and a member of the USAF, but in reality I am not? I have brought this topic up the the chief instructor each year, and he is one, non-approachable, and then he says he'll get back and he doesn't. Other members are upset about this as well. What is the proper way to go about clearing up my membership with the federation.

Any help/suggestion would be appreciated!!!
Your post is truly astonishing. You have been paying testing and affiliation fees for FIVE YEARS and now you find that you are not even a member! Have you thought of a lawsuit?

I am the Chairman (i.e., the place where the buck stops) of a large international aikido federation and our financial operations are audited on a regular basis. We expect the same financial rigour from member federations, even at the local dojo.

In your case the very least that should happen is that you receive some acknowledgment from your federation that the matter is being looked into, also with some indication of when it will be resolved. Can you prove that you have paid the various fees over these five years?

You are at liberty to contact me privately via the e-mail address in my profile.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 07-07-2003, 08:26 AM   #34
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
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You know ..... I would like to hear how this situation resolves itself?

Having gone through a change of leadership in my former Kempo Karate practice, it is not too unbelievable for me to believe something like this happens everyday. Still, I have found that everything in this life has a reason, and maybe this event will show the lesson that is to be learned, in time.

I have met so many people who practice in different disciplines, and they must progress through the ranks to reattain the recognized ranks they wish to achieve.

In the realm of knowing what you know, and learning how to apply that knowledge, it all seems to be a empty threat of putting off someone who might attack you in seeking that piece of paper?

"Hey, look! This piece of paper says I have this rank, in this discipline! You had better watch yourself."

This is a bit over the top, but then again, it is the down earth truth that the little piece of paper is but a recognition of skills that you appear to have mastered when measured at that skill level.

Maybe because I have encountered any number of people who have had some type of martial training, and they gain a temporary advantage, but their attitude betrays that training, in time.

After thinking about this situation, I would think that Yamada sensei will opt for the student to go to a USAF dojo, and be tested for a level of proficientcy, which will be a retest of either the last rank attained, or the previous rank to establish a base.

If it were as simple as learning the terminology and challenging all the shihan to show their superiority in practice to attain a take their black belt, we would have chaos as many young practitioners would be lined up to challenge every teacher to take their rank like some wild west showdown, but that is not our present day society, is it?

It isn't the belt, the rank, or the teacher who makes the training applicable ... it is you who makes it applicable.

Think about how the application of techniques works for Aikido?

Tireless practice. Training mind and body to work together to adapt and overcome, even when we are lending ourselves to someone elses practice, we are always aware, seeking the closeness of the moment between being controled and taking control at any given moment. This is all surrounded by the happy spirit that gives polite thank you's, because practice is the learning process that lets us see the variety of depths our practice can take us.

That piece of paper .... it is something our teachers give to us to mark a level of proficientcy they see we have attained, no more, no less. It is just gonna be another frame on the wall, something to dust off, now and then.

Maybe I equate training with time well spent. I consider that I would have spent that money on something useless, so I really don't consider the concept of money for certificates important? If there is room in the budget for formal training, I pay to train, if not, then other things take priority .... that is the harmony of the universe at that time, who am I so go against the harmony of the universe?

What I do consider important is the knowledge. Steal it from whereever you can, whether you pay for it in formal training, or not.

If your last teacher, even though he was not totally honest in business, gave you that knowledge, it will carry you through to any organization you decide to join in your Aikido practice.

I don't know ... it may take time to put things into perspective.

Don't let it get you down.

Good luck in your pursuit .
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Old 07-07-2003, 10:16 AM   #35
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Bruce,

I am the originator of this post, not the other annon's and it's not at all about the rank. As I have said before, that is not what is important. The reason why I started this was the CI of my school took monies from me that were to go to the federation, the federation I thought I was a member of for the 5+ years since I started. Regardless if I tested or not, I would have paid the membership annually REGARDLESS! I just do not think that it is fair to me or the others at the dojo where I currently train, to be paying an annual fee to be a part of a federation that in reality they are not. That is not good business sense, that is not good AIKI sense.

It seems although you keep talking about rank as if it's nothing, your post are always about RANK.

I was just asking for opinions/help in this situation and wondered if others have encountered this in thier federations or the same. I do not think it is fair at all for a CI of a school to ask for monies from his students and say it is for annual fedeation dues and then the dues do not go to the federation. I never said the dojo was not part of the federation. My comment is that the CI of the school only pays for his annual federation dues, and then the dues of the students that he has taken monies from all the years, but does not submit them until it is time for them to test for shodan and above. I have watched and watched and kept silent, but with my moving, I feel that (not talking about rank here) the CI should send the monies to the USAF for the years that I have been paying. That is all, bottom line.

As a side note, I have attended seminars with Y. Yamada at your dojo's annual event in LBI.

I just prefer not to disclose the CI or the school where I train, if I wanted to, then I would not be posting here. Anonymous

As for the annony comment -- helplessly bad with paperwork.. aaahhh.. then the CI should have the students write the checks out to the USAF instead of to the dojo and then save them (the checks and paperwork) for the day the CI gets the paperwork together, and not have to find funds that the CI used in error!
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Old 07-07-2003, 01:39 PM   #36
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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Hello Anon #1,

How have things panned out? Have you been in touch with Wolk Sensei or the woman who is helping her?

Goldsbury Sensei also offered some excellent advice, and I hope that was useful. I am just curious to see if things have started to resolve for you and your dojo-mates yet.

best,

Rachel
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Old 07-07-2003, 02:32 PM   #37
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Rachel,

Hello. Unfortunately Wolk sensei is still traveling, so I was going to try and get in touch with her near the end of this week to see what needs to be done to clean up this mess. Will keep you posted and thanks for everything thus far. It seems crazy to bring this up, but I just felt this was a good forum for discussing.
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Old 07-07-2003, 08:33 PM   #38
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
Location: Orlando
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 159
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I have been receiving transfer students into my classes for twenty-five years and have never asked for documentation. If someone tells me he is ikkyu and five years ASAF, fine, I watch him and evaluate and he would have to be dreadful before I would not accept him at face value. Wherever you go you will find instuctors who will listen and accept. Keep your receipts, however.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:11 AM   #39
"ikkyo21b"
IP Hash: 30cb57f7
Anonymous User
everybody knows

I'm fron the same dojo as the user who started this thread. I have to be! and let me just say good for you ! it's about time someone had the courage to speak out about this debacle!

This matter is truly upsetting. I too have been studying a few years and have paid USAF membership dues. However, I never received an Membership # or card.

When we were to test the CI would verbally list the fees i.e. somuch for the seminar, so much for a testing fee and $$YEARLY DUES TO THE FEDERATION. Now, when the students inquire on how to make out thier payments the CI would say.. "ah.. just put it all on one check and make it out to the dojo, I'll take care of the rest." What is even ore upsettign is that due to the nature of the relationship some of the students paid cash.

Now here is the deal, this is not about rank, this is not about proving my skill level, this is about being taken advantage of by your chief instructor, someone you call "Sensei" that is supposed to mean something, isn't it. Not simply that "absolute power corrupts absolutly"

A lot of us are moving on now that we have options but should the CI not have to answer for his abuse of his position???
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Old 07-14-2003, 04:47 PM   #40
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That's the trouble with the "if you don't like what's going on your dojo, you should just leave" mentality. There is always a supply of new and unsuspecting students, and the person(s) responsible for the problem(s) are never held accountable for their actions. With any long-standing problem, word will get out eventually, but not to people who are new to aikido.
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Old 07-14-2003, 05:10 PM   #41
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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It sounds like you have a very legitimate problem that needs to be addressed. I don't know if the avenue with Wolk Sensei has been exhausted (I know she was away), and maybe this is a good thing to do in person (hey, Summer Camp begins next week!).

Don't think you are going to get an answer from the wider aikiweb world on this forum, and I know that Goldsbury Sensei wrote back and offered to have you contact him privately; I hope you have taken him up on his offer.

best on this,

Rachel
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:44 AM   #42
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
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If what y'all say is true, I don't see why you are beating around the bush. The instructor has been running a swindle at your expense. Get some other students together and sue his ass. Tell your story to the local newspapers. As another anonymous implied, the point is not getting your money back, but exposing the cockroach to the light, so everyone can see him scurry for a dark corner, and others are not swindled in the future. If we are truly talking about someone who systematically deceives the unsuspecting, abuses his authority, and takes advantage the trusting and caring intent of people who come to him for the sake of pocketing a few extra bucks, then we are truly talking about a human scab. There is no reason to continue to be 'nice' - to do so knowingly is to be complicit in his scheme.
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:41 PM   #43
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I think (?) I attend the same dojo as the persons posting above and this has indeed been going on since I started a few years ago.

If the originator of this post is from the same dojo as us, or if not, I would like to know if you have been successful in contacting Goldsbury and/or Wolk sensei's regarding this matter. If so, would you please post what the outcome has been, if any?

Should we follow by contacting Wolk sensei or just continue watching students be taken advantage of by collecting federation dues from them, and the money goes to the CI? I would even say it goes to the CI not the dojo, but o.k. I did say it.

At least the orginator is moving to another state, I am moving to another dojo within the same state, however, I still belive that my current CI should submit to the USAF the dues that I have paid for the past few years. Is this to petty to ask?
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:44 PM   #44
infoseeker
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Does this happen at all dojos? I mean, I visit others and it all seems on the up and up, but this one just seems to be falling apart.

I guess when you have a CI where Aikido is his living, and every student is a $$$ when they walk in the door, I guess you would forget ethics and just take advantage.
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:48 PM   #45
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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Hi Pat, and welcome to AikiWeb.

I don't think this type of thing happens very often, and actually, we don't know if this CI derives his/her entire living from running a dojo. It almost sounds like poor bookkeeping and accounting practices above all else, but those in his/her dojo are the ones in the know. In my 20-years in aikido, I've yet to meet up with this type of practice, and certainly cannot imagine that it happens with any frequency.

I would really like to hear how this situation is working out, but the original poster has not chimed in recently to let us all know.

best,

Rachel
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:08 PM   #46
infoseeker
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Well this particular CI's income is strictly from the dojo. Even gone so far as to say that the child needs to be fed. The child is 12 or so. I don't think those comments are appropriate, but I just took it for the personality, or lack of.

It could be poor bookeeping, but the CI has someone managing the office, so I can't say that is what it is.

It's just sad to watch people being taken advantage of...

This same situation is at my dojo and I am preparing to move on to a new dojo that is opening up in the area (the commute is the same distance as now) where I am sure when I am asked to pay for federation dues or whatever else, the monies will go to the appropriate persons.
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:05 AM   #47
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Anonymous User
Hi, I am the originator of this post and am sorry for not getting back to all.

I have not had any luck contacting Wolk sensei, so before contacting Goldsbury sensei, I am planning on talking to Wolk sensei during summer camp the week of the 27th. I will be attending the entire camp, so hopefully I can find her ear for a few minutes.

Will let all know how it goes once I return from camp.

Thank you all for your repsonses and also to those that are from my same dojo. I will let all know the outcome.

Am looking forward to camp this year, since it will be my last camp on the east coast for a while.
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:19 AM   #48
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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Hey anon, look me up at camp will you (of course, only if you want to); I'll be there the entire week too.
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:49 AM   #49
"anon2"
IP Hash: 57cffe7c
Anonymous User
Good Luck

Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Hey anon, look me up at camp will you (of course, only if you want to); I'll be there the entire week too.
Rachel will be the one wearing a t-shirt with this logo:

http://www.a1agifts.com/images/29586monkeys2.jpg

Good luck Anonymous thread originator.

anon2
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Old 07-18-2003, 12:03 PM   #50
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
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while I typically have a sense of humor, I find this offensive anon2.
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