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Old 05-04-2004, 10:38 AM   #26
PeaceHeather
Dojo: hopefully Purdue Aikido Club
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Last post in this thread... just to keep the continuity a bit before I switch to a journal.

1. Can't see chiropractor till Thursday, and dojo for me is Mon/Wed.

2. Soke is evil. I got clotheslined last night... mitigated by our dojo having the softest mats in town (they're at least two, three inches thick), but I still don't know how to backfall. I made a nice thudding sound. Also mitigated by the fact that ten seconds later he showed me how to not get clotheslined, and I succeeded in not going thud.

3. Apparently the Force is strong within me. We did lots of ki exercises last night, and I rocked... er, that is to say, I was showing my partner a thing or two, and he outranks me. Ki is my Friend.

Heather
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:57 PM   #27
Bronson
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Hey Heather,

I'm going to be honest and forthright here and say that I've got a couple of Red Flags going up.

The first is that in your previous post you said that you got "clotheslined" by your sensei, without receiving instruction on proper ukemi beforehand. This to me is a HUGE no-no. Not to mention that he did it full well knowing that you are very new and still recovering from an injury DING DING DING FLAG FLAG.

The second point that grabs my attention is the whole "soke" thing mentioned by John and Ron in this thread.

I hope you take this in the spirit in which it was intended. Please be careful out there. I've been sucked in by an instructor in the past claiming titles he didn't have. It turned out badly for everyone involved and I really would prefer others not have to go through what his students went through.

Best,

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:26 PM   #28
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Bronson,

I also have gotten sucked in by a pompous goofball before, and I did as much homework as I could before taking preliminary free lessons at this dojo. Apparently, this is a branch of aikido which he founded; there are a few dojos across the country that affiliate with him, refer to our dojo as the "hombu", and refer to him as "soke" insofar as it meaning "head of family".

Even so, I do plan to ask him what his motives were, the next time I see him.

Heather
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:05 PM   #29
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Well, I asked. And now I've been more or less told that aikido isn't the art for me and that I should go elsewhere if I can't handle it.

Heather
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:20 PM   #30
PhiGammaDawg
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

im just curious...what is the name of the aikido you are doing, heather??
im just curious...Bronson was right...I agree with him. New peeps should be properly taught ukemi before being introduced *improperly* to the mat....
I almost injured myself doing this.

"Saki yakitachi o nukeba, masu masu masurao no kokoro wo togu bekari keri."
--"Before you draw the tempered blade, first temper and purify your own soul."--
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:01 PM   #31
Chris Li
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Quote:
PeaceHeather wrote:
Well, I asked. And now I've been more or less told that aikido isn't the art for me and that I should go elsewhere if I can't handle it.

Heather
May be too late, but I assume that these are the folks you were talking about http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/show...threadid=19321

If you're in Indianapolis you might try http://indianapolisaikikai.org/ , which is a legitimate ASU Aikido school, or Guy Haskell in Bloomington http://www.indiana.edu/~aikido/ . also a legitimate ASU dojo, and an old friend of mine.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-04-2004, 09:00 PM   #32
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

I'm an hour north of Indy, and about two and a half from Bloomington.

I'm currently still regrouping mentally and trying to decide what to do next... but I have to say, I'm touched and grateful that you'd look out for me like this. *snif* Also, amused that a guy from Honolulu knows more about the dojos in my area than I do.

Heather
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:07 PM   #33
Chris Li
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Quote:
PeaceHeather wrote:
I'm an hour north of Indy, and about two and a half from Bloomington.

I'm currently still regrouping mentally and trying to decide what to do next... but I have to say, I'm touched and grateful that you'd look out for me like this. *snif* Also, amused that a guy from Honolulu knows more about the dojos in my area than I do.

Heather
No problem. I wasn't always from Honolulu, we moved here after Japan - but I went to college in Ohio, which is where I know those guys from.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-04-2004, 11:43 PM   #34
Robert Jackson
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Quote:
I'm an hour north of Indy, and about two and a half from Bloomington.

I'm currently still regrouping mentally and trying to decide what to do next... but I have to say, I'm touched and grateful that you'd look out for me like this. *snif* Also, amused that a guy from Honolulu knows more about the dojos in my area than I do.

Heather
Well If the time slot is no problem I'd encourage you to keep it up but under a differnt dojo... Personally if I was asked to leave for asking a few questions, then I wouldn't hestitate to tell them where to stuff it
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Old 05-05-2004, 02:42 AM   #35
Bronson
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Hi Heather...check your pm's

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:27 AM   #36
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Hi Bronson,
Did.

Heather
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:28 AM   #37
Nick Simpson
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Hey Heather, sorry to hear about your experiance but these people dont sound like good people to train with, Im sure you will find a better dojo with better instructors who care for their students needs properly
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:33 AM   #38
DanielR
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Hi Heather,

There's an Aikido club at Purdue University, in case this is any closer to where you are.

Best of luck.

Daniel
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:34 AM   #39
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Hey Nick.

I still don't think that they're on a money-trip... I hadn't yet paid my starting dues for membership... but I can't help but feel that there's a little of a "cult trip" going on. I don't want that to sound like they're into brainwashing or anything... but, you know, as rotten as I feel right now I can't let go of the notion that I have a right to ask questions, and a right to come to sensei with those questions.

Maybe I went about it the wrong way; maybe there was some mental test here that I'm just not able to pass; maybe I have ego issues. But I still can't accept "you have to learn to deal with it" as an acceptable answer here.

Heather
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:37 AM   #40
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Daniel.. and everybody...

STOP, already!

You're the third person to take the time to help find me another dojo. Alla youse guys are about to make me cry, you're being so helpful, and I'm really, really touched. I truly am. I'm also posting from work and don't want to be all sniffly at my desk, so quit it.

Also, I'm employed at Purdue, so, uh, yeah... that one's plenty close to where I am. I've sent them an email, BUT... they're a student group, and it's currently finals week, so I don't yet know if they're meeting at all, or whether they will continue to meet over the summer. If those answers are "yes", then I'm going to check them out. If not, then I can wait till next semester if I have to.

Thanks again, everyone. You're all wonderful.
Heather
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:46 AM   #41
Nick Simpson
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Forget about the money issue Heather, what alarms me is the mistreatment of a student with a week or two of training experiance and this instructors credentials. Basically, his true rank isnt accredited anywhere, this guy could be a tomiki first dan (worse he could be a complete sham or a kyu grade) and then set himself up as a soke with approvement from the council, been instantly promoted to tenth dan and all before the age of 62. There have only been a couple of tenth dans in aikido, most of them are awarded posthumously and were O'Sensei's direct students. This mans credentials are extremely suspect and his attitude is defiantely attrocious.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:00 AM   #42
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

He says he held me on the way down to the mat so I wouldn't land hard. It's possible... I don't remember it, but I'm willing to say that it's definitely possible. But, well.

I feel bad, because I liked and trusted both his yudansha senseis, the visiting yudansha who studied there, and all the students on down to white belt. They seem like nice people who really "get it" as far as teaching and the non-competitive spirit. I want it to be extremely clear that I have no problem with any of them, and I won't accept anyone saying anything about the whole dojo. I've considered still training there, just on the one night of the week that he doesn't teach... I'm not all that concerned about ranking, after all.

Still. *shrug*
Heather
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:22 AM   #43
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Learned a few things.

It's definitely the sensei, not his students. The whole friend-of-a-friend thing; when one of my friends learned that I was taking aikido there, he remembered words he'd had from one of his friends, that, in essence, this guy has an unpredictable mood, and over the years has seemed to deliberately try to drive specific individuals out of his dojo. No reason given, and some of these students had been there for years.

In any case, I've checked out the Purdue Aikido Club, and while I feel that these folks will do right by me, I still have misgivings. They have a lot harder mats, for one thing. But I explained my situation to the acting-sensei and a couple of senior students who asked, and they seemed very receptive and welcoming. So, we'll see.

It's interesting how much I'd gotten accustomed to what I was seeing in the other dojo, and how easy it is for me to make comparisons to this new one and say, "well, we didn't do it that way over here..." Everything from their bow-in ritual, belt system (everyone wears white), teaching style, it's all different! I hope it will be a good fit.

Cheers,
Heather
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:01 PM   #44
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Hopefully this new club works out for you Heather: it sounds like you've had a bit of a rough intro to aikido.
When you find the right place to train, you'll know it. It will just feel like home. :-)
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:13 PM   #45
PeterR
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

It takes a bit of time to find a good personal fit. I don't think anyone can be so lucky to find exactly what suits them first time off.

So Heather - explore a bit.

Personally I'm not too bothered with the clothesline. You weren't hurt, you learned something.
I'm not too bothered about the impatience with beginners questions either or more to the point I have been more bothered by one or two instances were a complete beginner began criticizing the way I instruct. I wasn't there, I don't know the dynamic of your conversation, but on one occasion I indicated the presence of the door (the infamous ardent beginner with a book story).

I am more than a little perturbed by the biography - soke and all. Ohba H. was first rate - legendary for attacking Ueshiba M. for real during a demo in Manchuria. However, as far as I know he didn't travel to the West and Burdine doesn't mention any trips to Japan much less any time training there. One would think that he'd be much more clear about that particular aspect if it was significant.

It really depends on what you want. If you want to exercise, learn a few things, hang out with like minded people, lineage is no big thing. However, do you really know where you will be going with this - is it possible that rank and recognition of that may become important - in that case lineage is a big thing.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:09 PM   #46
PeterR
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Whoops - I got threads confused - the e-budo one talks about his connections to Tomiki and Ohba. I think Tomiki only went to the US once as part of a tour of Japanese martial artists (mainly Judo).

Both the above were teachers of my teacher and were past directors of Shodokan Honbu where I train. A bit sensitive to their names being dropped.

Last edited by PeterR : 05-06-2004 at 09:12 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:20 AM   #47
PeaceHeather
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

You know, I do want to ask those questions. I've asked him who some of his teachers were, and he rattled of four Japanese names, but I've never heard or seen anything that details how long he trained with whomever, what ranks he attained, and so forth.

Of course, I can't ask him now; it's a little obvious. But his contact information is on the web in case anyone else wanted to investigate.

*shrug*
Heather
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:54 AM   #48
PeaceHeather
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Talking Screaming white belt newbie, TAKE 2!!

I'm back!

So, a little time off, a little mental re-grouping, a little realization that I was making aikido into my obsession du jour... a little time to let me back recover and for my butt muscles to decide to forgive for what I was putting them through...

So: actual introduction. I believe I left that part out last time I was here.... I'm 32, married, I live in my head, I look like I'm 20, I alternate between acting my apparent age and acting like an old soul, I speak Spanish and enjoy medieval reenactment, with a specialty in manuscript-style calligraphy and illumination.

http://www.the-sanctum.com/Scriptorium/Arrantxa.html

I have been a Hoosier my entire life except for a year as an exchange student, I live in a city of about 100,000 people but I'm still a small-town girl inside. I'm a semi-practicing pagan with Wiccan, Unitarian, and Buddhist flavors dominating. My challenges right now are mindfulness in my everyday life, and compassion towards myself.

I don't believe in merely working for a paycheck, which might explain why most of the jobs I've held have been lots of fun for minimal pay or benefits. Right now, I work for Purdue Convocations, a performing-arts presenter that is now entering its 102nd season; some people in my department are responsible for booking the acts, some are responsible for advertising and marketing them, some look for corporate sponsorships and individual donations. I make the performers happy, booking hotels, arranging catering backstage, picking them up at the airport, and whatever else they need. In other words, I schmooze with the famous, semi-famous, and infamous.

http://www.convocations.org

I had my first lesson at the Purdue Aikido Club last night. Immediate impressions:

My butt muscles have begun to fear that I don't actually like them. This isn't true, but they don't believe me right now, and have decided to return the favor my demonstrating that they don't like me, either. I walk OLD.

I can't roll for sh!t, but my tenkan sure feels pretty good. Dance steps.

The mats only LOOK like concrete blocks, they're actually much softer. Thank goodness.

Must get less bony wrists soon. ALL we were doing, aside from learning to roll, were tenkan and irimi exercises, and I have bruises working their way to the surface on my scrawny little arms.

Bigger circles, bigger circles, bigger circles! My timid little brain creates timid little moves and weeny circles that collapse, and rolls that don't roll... among other things.

The better the uke, the more I learn. It's summer on campus right now, so class is ikkyu-sensei, Alex the Insane Russian, and three people who have never done aikido before. One of those is me. I feel almost knowledgeable in comparison, having had a whole two lessons before this. It's really encouraging, since I get to exercise my teacher muscles with each partner while still working my butt off to be a good uke in the way that they each require.

I'm hoping to keep my computer usage under control, so I don't know if I will post here as frequently as I did when I first joined, but it feels good to be back all the same.

Peace!
Heather

Last edited by PeaceHeather : 05-18-2004 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 05-18-2004, 01:08 PM   #49
giriasis
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Heather,

It's good to hear that your enjoying your new dojo. Keep at it and you'll learn to be less "bumpy". I promise it gets better.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 05-18-2004, 01:16 PM   #50
Bronson
 
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Re: Screaming white belt newbie

Glad to see you came back to the fold

Good luck and train safe.

Bronson

p.s. niiiiiice scroll work

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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