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Old 08-14-2004, 08:44 PM   #1
Robert Jackson
Dojo: seishinkan
Location: Texas City.
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 133
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Etiquette, passing a class

Hey,

My Sensei was out of town today and he left instructions "The highest ranking Deshi runs class everyone can learn at least a little. I'll try and get some friends from out of states to teach" Or something to that extent. Class was at 3:00pm and it rolled around and I was the highest ranking there so I started class. We warmed up and during the rolls two people came in one started setting up a camera and the other left. I asked the one setting up the camera if he was the shodan from out of states. His response I'm a sandan if you must know rank' I realize I should have said Yudansha but I forgot that word and couldn't remember what rank sensei said was visiting. I was ultimately just trying to figure out if the guy was press or if I needed to give him the class. Anyway I apologized and talked to him and found I needed to give the other guy the class but he was changing. So I went on with class. We worked on basic Tenkan and then on Shomenuchi Ikkyo. Then the other Sensei walked in. I clapped and everyone lined up. To my horror he lined up with them. So I knelt into seiza, looked him in the eye and bowed. He bowed to me and we got up and switched places. Then he started the class all over again

I was kind of curious what is the proper etiquette in this situation? Did I handle correctly? Should I have talked to him first? What should I have done?

Thanks
Robert.

Last edited by Robert Jackson : 08-14-2004 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 08-14-2004, 10:46 PM   #2
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 659
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Sounds like you made your best guess, showed respect, and "went with the moment."
If your actions weren't appropriate, they were sincere. Did the visitor speak with you at all when class was through? Did he give you any positive feedback? (Did you ask about the appropriateness of how it all went?)
You gave it your best.... was it fun?
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 08-15-2004, 02:43 AM   #3
batemanb
 
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Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Sounds like you did just fine under the circumstances.

If we have a guest instructor, they usually line up with everyone else at the beginning, the person who would normally take the class takes the rei and then introduces the guest as the instructor for the evening, and hands the class over to them. We are very unlikely to have a guest instructor that no one has met before though. In the that instance, I would go and introduce myself and let them introduce themselves. I would only be asking if they were the instructor we were expecting, I wouldn`t worry about using the words yudansha, or "x" dan. that should allow you to establish who`s who.

On an aside, if someone turned up out of the blue that we didn`t know, but they were a higher grade than anyone else, they don`t get to teach, the class will still be taken by the regular instructor for that night, even if he`s a 1st kyu. If it`s someone we do know, the regular instructor may offer him part or all of the class (instructors choice), or none at all. Since they have turned up out of the blue, we can assume they have come to practice, not teach. As usual with Aiki, there are exceptions to the rule depending on who it actually is.

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:12 PM   #4
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Robert:

You did just fine. Since you opened class and he was a visiting instructor and not present. It is appropriate for you to close your session by lining everyone up and officially turning the class over to him. Generally, one should just not walk on and take the class over unless that is your instructor's procedure. The person is a visitor and should have had no problem with what you did. Good ad lib.
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:32 PM   #5
p00kiethebear
 
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Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Terrible... Just terrible. O sensei is rolling over in his grave right now. And your pitiful excuse for "handling the situation" is now going to be the gossip of the aikiweb comunity for the next year.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:59 PM   #6
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Hi, Robert,
You did fine under the circumstances. Let me fill in the blanks here a bit. I knew that the instructor was coming through town and I asked him to please come a teach our class on Thursday. He was not able to make it that night. Knowing I was going to be out of town Saturday, I spoke to our ranked people (one which is a shodan and one 2nd kyu along with the lower ranked students) and asked them to take care of the Saturday class. On Saturday morning, I was in Dallas when I got a call on my cell phone that the instructor was able to make it to the Saturday class so I asked him if he would help because I was out of town. I didn't have any phone numbers where I was so I called the front desk at the YMCA and asked them to let Robert know that the instructor I had invited would be there that day.

What happened out of the ordinary was that 1) Robert apparently didn't get the message from the front desk. 2) The guests were late. 3) The sensei with the camera didn't introduce himself as he should have.

The students were expecting this guest because I had sent out an email to the entire school giving bio and the details of his visit. All in all though, Robert tried to do the best thing and I am happy that they had a good class. I have trained with this sensei before and he is very good so I am glad that we had such high quality instruction while I was gone.
Best to all,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:28 PM   #7
Lyle Laizure
 
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Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

No worries. Sounds like you did everything you should have done. Sounds like the other fella was kinda touchy.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:14 AM   #8
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Sounds like the other fella was rude.

1) They came late. They are visiting someone else's dojo, to teach, came late, didn't appologize or explain? They are lucky you are so well mannered. Your teacher taught you well.

2) Being late, they didn't bother to introduce themselves?

3) and have the nerve to chastise you about asking who and what they are?

I don't know, they may be really good technically, but I was told that aikido begins and ends with respect. Doesn't sound like they had much. I'm glad that it all worked out though, and think you handled it just fine.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:04 AM   #9
graham butt
Location: Scotland UK
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

sounds to me as if you done the best thing you could.

well done!
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:53 PM   #10
Robert Jackson
Dojo: seishinkan
Location: Texas City.
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Thanks for your replies. I was less worried about how I actually did and more worried about what I should do if the situation were to occur again for some reason.(Not that it will as Sensei pointed out there were extraordinary circumstances, but hey it has happened once... might as well be prepared for the next time!) Based on your answers I'm willing to guess I should handle it the same way.... Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:27 PM   #11
senseimike
 
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Dojo: Rising Star Aikido
Location: South Bend, Nebraska
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Seems as though your Sensei was OK with your actions, that's really all that matters.

Mike Taylor
Godan
Chief Instructor, Rising Star Aikido
South Bend, Nebraska, USA
www.risingstaraikido.com
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:44 AM   #12
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Etiquette, passing a class

Quote:
I was less worried about how I actually did and more worried about what I should do if the situation were to occur again for some reason.
You didn't mention if you spoke to the folks after the class had ended or whether or not you spoke to your sensei regarding what happened.

As Ron said,
Quote:
aikido begins and ends with respect.
This is something that needs to be addressed. If in this situation I would address it in a private manner with the offending party. We are all human beings and deserve to be treated with respect. This however may fly in the face of general dojo etiquette. The other option would be to bring it up to your sensei. This would probably be the most appropriate action to take; allow your sensei to discuss things with the visitors.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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