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Old 12-23-2004, 03:39 PM   #1
Elrond
Location: İstanbul
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Problem with my sensei

Hello, I am a fourth kyu aikido student. I am having problem with my sensei (at the age of 50,3rd dan). I have started to think that he is not a good instructor. First of all, he always speaks. He shows a technique, lets us practise twice or three times, then keeps speaking and speaking. Secondly, he always criticizes other dojos and senseis, tells that as for him "most of them are bad and our dojo is good....." And finally, he demands money unnecessarily, tries to sell things (bokken.....) much more expensive.
All of these behaviours of him have made me think that he is not a good teacher. And day by day, I have started to lose my trust of him. What should I do?. Should I change my dojo? (that I don't want to ) or be patient and wait? ... or what else?
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Old 12-23-2004, 03:59 PM   #2
Diarmuid66
Dojo: Shodokan London
Location: London
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Re: Problem with my sensei

the relationship that you should have with your sensai should be very special..yours clearly is not. It is also hard to be a good student!! god luck with your training and your decision
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Old 12-23-2004, 04:00 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Quote:
Arif Hikmet wrote:
or be patient and wait?
um....wait for WHAT? for you to decide you are happy there? for him to change?
Since neither is likely to happen, the question is: is there another dojo you can visit to see if you would prefer training there? if so, go visit it. If it looks like a good alternative, change dojos.
if not, you either stop training or you learn to live with the instructor you've got.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-23-2004, 04:10 PM   #4
Amendes
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Quote:
Arif Hikmet wrote:
Hello, I am a fourth kyu aikido student. I am having problem with my sensei (at the age of 50,3rd dan). I have started to think that he is not a good instructor. First of all, he always speaks. He shows a technique, lets us practise twice or three times, then keeps speaking and speaking. Secondly, he always criticizes other dojos and senseis, tells that as for him "most of them are bad and our dojo is good....." And finally, he demands money unnecessarily, tries to sell things (bokken.....) much more expensive.
All of these behaviours of him have made me think that he is not a good teacher. And day by day, I have started to lose my trust of him. What should I do?. Should I change my dojo? (that I don't want to ) or be patient and wait? ... or what else?
Train elsewhere.
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Old 12-23-2004, 04:10 PM   #5
DevinHammer
 
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Be patient and wait for what? At this point, I don't think he's going to change. I think you should visit the other dojos in the area and see if there's something that suits you better. If your current sensei has a problem with that, then I think you should leave his dojo immediately.
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:49 PM   #6
beanchild
Dojo: Aikido Academy, Columbia, SC
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Re: Problem with my sensei

yeah you may want to visit other places. because you won't be learning much if you don't trust your sensai. and your technique and reciprocal safety will probably suffer <-- secondary results.
best of luck
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:49 PM   #7
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Quote:
Arif Hikmet wrote:
What should I do?.
Run

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Old 12-23-2004, 06:31 PM   #8
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Problem with my sensei

I'd probably start looking for another dojo since you did not post anonymously he might read this.
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Old 12-23-2004, 06:37 PM   #9
PeterR
 
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Re: Problem with my sensei

I've never understood the idea that I must by loyal to my teacher till death an/or senility do us part. It is understood that your current teacher may not be your eventual final choice.

If for some reason you and your teacher are incompatible - then find another teacher. At 4th Kyu its not as if your entire life has been dedicated to one man.

I've said this before on a number of occasions. Picture a 15 year old boy walking into a dojo because of something he saw. This could be peace love and harmony or a Seagal movie. He gets older, develops his own mind and realizes where he wants to go is not the same as his teacher. This is a natural progression. Its also quite common for the teachers themselves to go off in directions dictated by their increased maturity. Worse case scenario is he has spent several years in a McDojo and finds out there is much better stuff out there. Either way - leaving is a natural thing to do.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-23-2004, 08:07 PM   #10
Steven
 
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
I'd probably start looking for another dojo since you did not post anonymously he might read this.
I was thinking the same thing John. It amazes me as to how many people come onto these forums and flame their instructors and fellow students with no thought to the fact they just might be reading it or be made aware of it.
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Old 12-24-2004, 03:03 AM   #11
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Quote:
Arif Hikmet wrote:
Hello, I am a fourth kyu aikido student. I am having problem with my sensei (at the age of 50,3rd dan). I have started to think that he is not a good instructor. First of all, he always speaks. He shows a technique, lets us practise twice or three times, then keeps speaking and speaking. Secondly, he always criticizes other dojos and senseis, tells that as for him "most of them are bad and our dojo is good....." And finally, he demands money unnecessarily, tries to sell things (bokken.....) much more expensive.
All of these behaviours of him have made me think that he is not a good teacher. And day by day, I have started to lose my trust of him. What should I do?. Should I change my dojo? (that I don't want to ) or be patient and wait? ... or what else?
Maybe he's short of cash. a lot of instructors make some big sacrifices for the sake of their art usually dedicating a lot of time...what do people say? Time equals money....

He talks to much? So do I sometimes....The point is..does his talking help - is it relevant? sometimes the right words can help so much to lift understanding. Would you want an instructor so unenthusiastic about his art that he had nothing to say about it? Aikido practice is not a purely physical activity after all.

Critisizes other...hmm. Well look at some of the posts on this forum. We've all done it. Doesn't make it right but we are only human.

My own instructor can be egotistical, always right and bloody minded. If he wasn't he probably wouldn't have achieved the things he's achieved in life.

I say look at the guys strengths...do they outweigh his weaknesses? By all means look at others but be careful not to burn your bridges.

Of course he could be a money grabbing, fraud who is full of himself.!!

Only those that know him can say for sure....

Choose carefully.

Cheers

D
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Old 12-24-2004, 04:42 PM   #12
beanchild
Dojo: Aikido Academy, Columbia, SC
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote:
I was thinking the same thing John. It amazes me as to how many people come onto these forums and flame their instructors and fellow students with no thought to the fact they just might be reading it or be made aware of it.
that's kind of weird. i guess i never think of my sensai visiting and reading the posts here.
does the network really work that well? i mean as far as instructors finding out things that their students have posted and vice versa?
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Old 12-24-2004, 10:32 PM   #13
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: Problem with my sensei

(I was told this story by someone who swears it's true.)

The wargame Diplomacy can be played via the Internet. One new but enthusiastic player went off to a meeting in a city far from his own, and was so excited by his position--he was about to commit a spectacular treachery on the player playing France--that he felt impelled to show his plans to the guy sitting next to him at the meeting.

That night he found a message in his conference mailbox: "Nice plans. By the way, I'm the person playing France."

There's only one Net, and you never know who's listening. The best policy is not to say anything you'd be ashamed of, but not to worry too much about the petty embarrasments.

Mary Kaye
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Old 12-25-2004, 03:15 AM   #14
kocakb
Dojo: Burhan Felek Sport Center-Istanbul
Location: Istanbul
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Re: Problem with my sensei

if you are living close to Zeynep Kamil, visit us at Burhan Felek Sport Center, we have trainings on mon. - wed. and friday from 20.15 - 22.00; the monthly fee is 10 YTL; and our instructor is a nice guy. You can start to train with us,
PS: these days I can not attend to the classes because of overwork, I will be there from the first week of January and on...but you can visit also by yourself. The instructor is Besim Aslan...
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Old 12-25-2004, 10:06 AM   #15
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: Problem with my sensei

"does the network really work that well? i mean as far as instructors finding out things that their students have posted and vice versa?"

As one of the more used aikido forum sites, I'd have to say yes. My students post all the time. I run across most as they do mine. Fortunately, they've always been nice to me. Otherwise we have to practice yonkyo for a week .
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Old 12-25-2004, 10:46 AM   #16
Jerry Miller
 
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
" As one of the more used aikido forum sites, I'd have to say yes. My students post all the time. I run across most as they do mine. Fortunately, they've always been nice to me. Otherwise we have to practice yonkyo for a week .
Chuckle, does yonkyo work on every one there? Yes you should assume folks that your Sensi will read your post. I know that mine has and at least one sempai as well. (I am watching you watch me )

Jerry Miller
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Old 12-25-2004, 10:54 AM   #17
aikidoc
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Re: Problem with my sensei

"does yonkyo work on every one there?" Absolutely .
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Old 12-25-2004, 11:11 AM   #18
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Problem with my sensei

John, you've let the cat out of the bag. Most of us thought that yonkyo was a "real" aikido technique and never imagined that sensei use it to keep us in line. Now I understand why my wrists are always bruised after one of my quips.

Happy holidays.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-25-2004, 11:19 AM   #19
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Mike: My students sometimes try to get me to practice yonkyo on fellow classmates being smart asses. They know I'm real good at hitting that radial nerve consistently. It's all in good fun with their classmates.
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:21 PM   #20
AmyGilgan
Dojo: Suginami Aikikai
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Re: Problem with my sensei

An instructor from my previous dojo in Illinois composed this yonkyo haiku:

Kohai's Lament

Oh foolish kohai
Cracking wise about sempai
Gets yonkyo next
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Old 12-25-2004, 02:53 PM   #21
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Problem with my sensei

I'll have to pass that on to my students Amy. They'll enjoy it.
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Old 12-25-2004, 03:40 PM   #22
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Problem with my sensei

John and Amy,

Last testing cycle, I was working with a partner for several weeks preparing for his 4th kyu test, which requires yonkyo. He is really pretty good with it and I would only agree to submit to five on each side each session. As I said, we did that for several weeks and I was constantly bruised up. Come test night Sensei didn't call for him to demonstrate yonkyo. Sensei always gets the last laugh.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-26-2004, 06:57 PM   #23
oudbruin
Dojo: Independent
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Arif says: " First of all, he always speaks. He shows a technique, lets us practise twice or three times, then keeps speaking and speaking. Secondly, he always criticizes other dojos and senseis, tells that as for him "most of them are bad and our dojo is good....." And finally, he demands money unnecessarily, tries to sell things (bokken.....) much more expensive.
All of these behaviours of him have made me think that he is not a good teacher. And day by day, I have started to lose my trust of him. What should I do?. Should I change my dojo?

Arif- Mon Ami-
Run don't walk to the nearest exit- you are seeing signs of a persona that is unsrable. Next thing you might get nailed with a Bokken for doing a technique incorrectly or forced to perform some other punnishment-
I once had a Sensai try to force me to do 50 finger pushups because I farted on the mat and was disrespectfull- Hell, I fart all day long.
didn't last at that dojo long-
The best sensai is someone who wants to teach a technique with out a lot of external politics or jibber-jabber-
The yudansha who told me I was being rude for making eye contact with another black belt is overdue for a stong attitude adjustment.
Bottom Line- go where you feel happy and not pressured to buy into some sort of system or philosophy- (or worse buy a bunch of junk you don't need)
Best of luck with your choices.
Bruce
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Old 12-27-2004, 02:26 AM   #24
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
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Re: Problem with my sensei

I think if you're posting here you probably already know the answer.
Of course, no-one here can really judge properly, and tell you to get out. But on the other hand, based on what you've said - get out.

But, I'm not saying this because he sounds terrible. A lot of good teachers talk a huge amount, and some people need this to learn. Others find it really frustrating, and I guess you're one of these. As for criticizing, most people here (including me) would consider it bad form, but there are a lot of sucky dojos and a lot of sucky aikido out there. I don't rant against it, especially to my students and dojomates, because there's not much I can acheive by it. Others may feel they have to impress on their students something about the state of aikido.
Selling stuff slightly more expensively can be a way to raise money for the dojo, not just to line their pockets. Are you sure he's selling the same stuff as the shops? I know I used to get pick up a few good bokkens on my travels for my dojo, but they were more expensive than the Taiwanese oak ones in the local MA store.

All this is speculation. Maybe the guy is just an asshole. None of us know. But what's clear is that you're not happy, and that's going to mess with your training. At the very least, look around for options.

Train well,

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 12-27-2004, 02:29 AM   #25
PeterR
 
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Re: Problem with my sensei

Should cross-post the above to Aikido Frauds.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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