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Old 07-09-2003, 02:49 PM   #1
"Anonymous"
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Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

Based upon the assumption that it is generally good form in Aikido for Nage to stop applying a technique once Uke has tapped the mat to express that he/she is in pain, it can then be assumed that it is extremely bad form for Nage to continue to apply a technique well beyond Uke having tapped the mat a great many times to express that he/she is in a great deal of pain.

I am also under the impression that it is just as bad form to, as Nage, perform a technique harshly on Uke with full and complete knowledge that Uke is suffering from injuries that will be aggravated by that technique.

Such actions are frowned down upon because they are plainly inconsiderate of another person: one's training partner. But it is even more disturbing when they are performed by an instructor of Aikido, as they not only go against the fundamental principles of love and harmony upon which the art is based, but also betray the trust given to that instructor by his or her students --- the same trust we all give our training partners when we step onto the mats.

Has anyone else encountered this?
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:11 PM   #2
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As an instructor, I've had certain tori's that have behavied in such manner. I try to inform these people of their behavior. It doesn't always click and retaliation was needed. Then the dojo cho was told right away. Normally these people are exspelled.
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:36 PM   #3
Qatana
 
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My Sensei just had surgery for an injury recieved After he had tapped out.

Q
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
() wrote:
As an instructor, I've had certain tori's that have behavied in such manner. I try to inform these people of their behavior. It doesn't always click and retaliation was needed. Then the dojo cho was told right away. Normally these people are exspelled.
That seems fairly typical, but what if the perpetrator of the bad behaviour happens to be the instructor? Anyone else ever had this happen?
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:45 PM   #5
aikidoc
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Tori or nage is responsible for the safety of uke. To me, there is no excuse for deliberately injuring someone. Once the person has tapped out, it is a deliberate attempt to inflict injury to continue applying the technique beyond that point. It may be ok to stop the application of more force and hold the pin at the tap out point for control purposes but to continue applying more force risks permanent or serious injury.

Such aikibullies exist. You see them at seminars and they usually injure someone. Frequently, nothing is done about it and that's unfortunate. They lack control. Yet, do it back to them and they cry foul.

I have had one permanent wrist injury from an instructor's sankyo. There was no excuse for the injury other than his ego that day.

Accidents happen but part of zanshin is awareness of the capability of your partner to take ukemi and the joint's ability to take strong locks.
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Old 07-09-2003, 04:57 PM   #6
shihonage
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Of course, there are also passive-aggressive uke's who give limp attacks with a lazy grin on their face, and resist the lock to show that they can resist it if they wanted to.

The result being is that nage can run out of options and just resort to something crude.

From the side, it will of course look like uke is well-behaved and nage is the aggressor.
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:29 PM   #7
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When instuctors are found to be abusive in our kai, this person has conference with the board and depending on the act, this person can expelled from our kai.
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
Of course, there are also passive-aggressive uke's who give limp attacks with a lazy grin on their face, and resist the lock to show that they can resist it if they wanted to.

The result being is that nage can run out of options and just resort to something crude.

From the side, it will of course look like uke is well-behaved and nage is the aggressor.
Other options might be to simply not train with that uke. Maybe it's during a demonstration? Don't call up that uke. Resorting to crudeness, regardless of uke, lowers the dignity of nage.
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:16 PM   #9
Paul Klembeck
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The other horrible thing about an instructor doing this is that others will then emulate the example and the practice will spread.

Indeed, for this reason an instructor must never do this, even for "passive-agressive" ukes.

Paul
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Old 07-10-2003, 08:08 AM   #10
MikeE
 
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Tap early, and tap often for personal safety.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 07-10-2003, 08:50 AM   #11
Larry Feldman
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There are abusive people in life.

You have to determine for yourself if this person is one. This can be hard to due based on some of the circumstances/comments brought about by others.

If in your gut it doesn't feel right - find another place to practice.

There are instructors who have wonderful technique and are decent human beings - (especially in Aikido), don't settle for anything less.
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Old 07-10-2003, 10:10 AM   #12
"dysfunction junction"
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It Goes Around

I can think of two teachers (KC & JN), one of whom taught the other, both of which share the delusion a)this isn't abuse at all, and b) they're not the coward, their uke is.

This is analagous to child abuse cycle when the abused grows up the abuser. He equates abuse with acceptance, and seeks to recreate that feeling of home.

Sound sick? It is. Get the *** out of there. Don't let the cycle continue.

Anyone, instructors too (holy as catholic priests they may be), who take the trust and arm of a willing partner and violates it is a coward, and there is no room in budo for cowards, period.

So yes I have heard about it, and it embarasses me as a teacher and student.

Get out of there and warn others.

What city are you in? I'd guess you're in the UK somewhere.
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Old 07-10-2003, 10:10 AM   #13
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It Goes Around

I can think of two teachers (KC & JN), one of whom taught the other, both of which share the delusion a)this isn't abuse at all, and b) they're not the coward, their uke is.

This is analagous to child abuse cycle when the abused grows up the abuser. He equates abuse with acceptance, and seeks to recreate that feeling of home.

Sound sick? It is. Get the *** out of there. Don't let the cycle continue.

Anyone, instructors too (holy as catholic priests they may be), who take the trust and arm of a willing partner and violates it is a coward, and there is no room in budo for cowards, period.

So yes I have heard about it, and it embarasses me as a teacher and student.

Get out of there and warn others.

What city are you in? I'd guess you're in the UK somewhere.
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:29 PM   #14
Alfonso
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Question

Are there any official positions on this situation on the different governing boards of Aikido, be it at the "school" level or national / international, or at the Aikiai itself?
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Old 07-10-2003, 04:02 PM   #15
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I know of one situation more than a decade ago with an abusive Sensei who also had a reputation of being a prodigy. It got so bad that many Senesis from surrounding dojos met with students and they kicked him out. People still talk about it. I heard an association was formed from it, but I can't tell you if that's true. The Senseis were from different sub-styles.
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Old 07-10-2003, 09:58 PM   #16
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I know of an incidence where a shodan was looking to become a nidan. (This was not my dojo.) Anyway, he was a very aggressive person and when new students showed up he liked to "show-off" and become very hard and aggressive with them. (needless to say many did not return)

Anyway, he approached his sensei and demanded to be made nidan. When the sensei refused, he actually attacked him by trying to hit him in the face. The sensei blocked the attacks and reprimanded him. He then kicked him out of the dojo.

This student was also involved with kendo and several other arts. Word spread and he was kicked out of those dojos for his behavior. Last I heard he had approached the kendo sensei and asked to be allowed to rejoin. The kendo sensei agreed but with the stipulations that he should calm himself and do several hours community service.

It was a disgrace to hear that someone had made it that far and then to actually loose control. I believe that he wasn't really into the philosophy of aikido and that is the real shame.
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:46 AM   #17
"Anon"
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Unhappy Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

I'd be interested to hear more about experiences or ideas where the overly-aggressive instructor is the only game in town, with exclusive control. Suppose the sensei, as nage, sometimes continues to apply technique (and pain) well after uke's tap-out and despite uke's verbal hints or outright objections, justifying it by stating he is "not done yet".

And what about justifying other instances of apparently excessive force by the reasoning that the further a student advances in gradings, the harder they should be prepared to train? I am talking of instances where certain student ukes are thrown repeatedly by the sensei and, because of fatigue or injury or whatever, they become unwilling to continue, or otherwise request a break, but are ordered to continue, under this reasoning. Such instances often result in uke, scraped and bruised, missing the next class or two, presumably to get some rest. Is that normal?

Some students have discussed amongst themselves that this is dangerous to them, as well as an abuse of trust, and feel that sometimes (definitely not all the time), the sensei is there more for his ego than to teach. The sensei is generally a decent and responsive person but his machismo has even gotten him in trouble outside the dojo, in physical and verbal altercations. In an isolated small town with no other aikido options, what do you do? If this behaviour is to be frowned upon by the federation, do you report it and risk the sensei packing up and closing his doors? Beyond just quitting aikido, does anyone have practical suggestions?
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:03 PM   #18
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

If Uke taps out, the pin is not let up and an injury is the result, I would think that legal action would be appropriate.
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:26 PM   #19
suren
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

Quote:
That seems fairly typical, but what if the perpetrator of the bad behaviour happens to be the instructor? Anyone else ever had this happen?
I would leave the dojo. I don't think such instructor would be able to keep students. People with self-preservation instincts would leave at once, others would be injured and would not be able to continue their practice.
In your case that's the only dojo in the area, but maybe you can join with other yudanshas who do not want to train with that person anymore and create a dojo or if it's financially impossible just train together. That's better than being injured and not being able to continue practice anywhere anymore for the rest of your life.

Last edited by suren : 10-12-2004 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 10-12-2004, 01:45 PM   #20
MaryKaye
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

There are times when it's appropriate for an instructor to ask a tired student to continue, but it has to come from a relationship of earned trust. And I would expect that if the student flatly said "No, this is unsafe for me" his/her judgement would be respected. (The last time I had to say that, I was actually praised for good judgement afterwards. It may have been a test of sorts.)

Continuing after the student has tapped, though, is an invitation to injury. If this is truly the "only game in town" I would see the viable choices as creating a new game or quitting. Allowing abuse to continue is not good for you, for the instructor (who doesn't receive the reality check he may need in order to change) or for the art in general. Even if you cultivate the ability to protect yourself, what about newer students? And what kinds of bad habits will you pick up?

At one point we had an instructor with an overly painful approach to nikyo, and to this day my teachers are wrestling with students who tense their arms and lock their wrists inappropriately when receiving nikyo because they still expect excessive pain and want to protect themselves. Those of us who missed out on this experience learn faster because we have fewer hangups to overcome.

Mary Kaye
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Old 10-12-2004, 01:53 PM   #21
suren
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

BTW, along these lines, I was once adviced to be anxious with newly "backed" black belts. They seem to be too excited with the promotion and lose parts of their normal senses.
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Old 10-12-2004, 02:32 PM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

hmmm, actually I've seen 'brown belt' syndrome in 18 to 25 year olds much more than 'black belt' syndrome in pretty much any age group...but maybe that's just where I've been...

Ron

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Old 10-12-2004, 02:53 PM   #23
suren
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

Ron,
Actually I haven't been exposed to the art enough to experience that myself (luckily), that was what I've heard from more experienced people. Anyway, I guess the time right after any promotion may have some unpleasant effects on the person

Take care.
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Old 10-12-2004, 07:14 PM   #24
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
hmmm, actually I've seen 'brown belt' syndrome in 18 to 25 year olds much more than 'black belt' syndrome in pretty much any age group...but maybe that's just where I've been...

Ron
Sounds about right: advanced enough to get a bit of technique, not advanced enough to have more control, still prone to going the white-knuckle.
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Old 10-13-2004, 04:49 PM   #25
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Re: Overly-aggressive instructor, anyone?

Right, brown belt syndrome is more about imperfect control, not the intention to do damage. I think what this guy is talking about is different.
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