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Old 02-11-2005, 10:32 AM   #1
"kacy"
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Unhappy Patronising beginners

Ive been practicing Aikido for 6 months now, but I'm starting to get irritated by how patronising some of the people are. It's even more annoying that there is another beginner who has been goin for 4 months who doesn't get this treatment at all. I'm not bad at it or anything and I know more than the other beginner, sometimes I hesitate to try out new things, I'm about 5"2 and slim, and I'm also quite young.
I dont get injured often but the one or two occasions that it did happen it was treated as though it had nothing to do with the person who did the technique and was treated as though it was my fault (though not directly, more like two of the people looking at me sitting out, sighing and looking at each other with this superiour smirk). I find it patronising, and slightly cruel.
Even though it is only a few of the people that do it, there arent many people in the dojo so I have to pair up with one of them at some point during training and it ruins my enjoyment of aikido since they make me feel like I'm much younger than a collage student, and if I make one mistake they will endlessly rattle on rather than letting me know what I did and letting me practice again. I dont want to go to another dojo because most of the people who go are nice and I like the sensei's teaching.
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Old 02-13-2005, 01:00 PM   #2
MitchMZ
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Re: Patronising beginners

My opinion, tell your Sensei you are uncomfortable with the behavior of some of the other students. When people know that they are offending you will they be able to fix the behaviors that do so. Once again, I would talk to your Sensei about it. Maybe not at the dojo, but just tell Sensei you would like to talk about some private issues.

As far as the others, they don't have much room to be patronizing you if they aren't even out on the mat.
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Old 02-13-2005, 01:27 PM   #3
dan guthrie
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Re: Patronising beginners

I had a similar situation with someone - even newer than me - who had an "aikido doesn't work" attitude. He's a big guy and I can understand why he felt that way at first. After a few "ohmygod" lessons from a tiny Nage he stopped the attitude.
Just wait, keep training. Some of my problems took care of themselves. Remember, most of your sempai have seen dozens or hundreds of new people who stayed for one month and then disappeared forever.
I'd stay, in your case, from sheer stubbornness to prove the smirkers wrong. In my case, I'm lucky that I just love this stuff. Eighteen months and counting.
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Old 02-13-2005, 04:32 PM   #4
Adam Alexander
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Re: Patronising beginners

Ask one of them, in private, why they're doing it. Maybe there's a good reason for it but they don't have the guts to say it to you directly or they want you to sink or swim.

I've been harrassed and have harrassed others. In all cases, it was justified.
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Old 02-13-2005, 09:11 PM   #5
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Patronising beginners

Quote:
Ive been practicing Aikido for 6 months now
oh my, simply shut up and train hard. You came to practice Martial Art, not drinking coffee in nice and pleasant environment.

Martial Art is about to face death, and sometimes even more. And you start to complain about insignificant things right from the beginning. You are not playing gameboy here; you must be able to face hate, violence, any attack. These are serious matters. You are beginner and total ignorant; you don't even know where right hand and left foot are. So stop judging folks, pay attention on learning techniques not on the way how others are looking at you.

Indeed, simply shut up and train hard.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 02-13-2005, 09:26 PM   #6
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Patronising beginners

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
oh my, simply shut up and train hard. You came to practice Martial Art, not drinking coffee in nice and pleasant environment.

Martial Art is about to face death, and sometimes even more. And you start to complain about insignificant things right from the beginning. You are not playing gameboy here; you must be able to face hate, violence, any attack. These are serious matters. You are beginner and total ignorant; you don't even know where right hand and left foot are. So stop judging folks, pay attention on learning techniques not on the way how others are looking at you.

Indeed, simply shut up and train hard.
It's hard to refrain from sometimes smacking down a beginner who doesn't have the "pre-requisite level of backbone", especially when you don't know anything about them, ne?
Still, some people manage to do it.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:54 AM   #7
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Patronizing beginners

Quote:
Stuart Norton wrote:
It's hard to refrain from sometimes smacking down a beginner who doesn't have the "pre-requisite level of backbone", especially when you don't know anything about them, ne?
Still, some people manage to do it.
While Szczepan Janczuk's response might seem a little harsh, it is pretty much right on the money. Just train, and don't let the petty attitudes of a few numb-skulls bother you. Their attitude might be from the belief that you won't stick out the training, or maybe they just don't like you and are trying to drive you out in a rather immature fashion. I know an instructor that won't even try to learn your name until you've been training for over 3 months. If those kind of shenanigans are enough to drive you from the dojo, what happens when they really start to play mean?

Patronizing is annoying, but you can either chose to be annoyed or not. That is what is meant by "self-victory".

joe
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:41 AM   #8
Hrvoje
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Re: Patronising beginners

I've been training 4 years now, almost 17, still in high school and a nikyu. i;ve been patronised, harassed and preached to by people of all rank and age about aikido, whether they do aikido or not. Its completely beside the point. sometimes its constructive and gives you a new perspective, on what you can do, sometimes it doesn't. If you feel they arent giving you the respect you want, earn it. Every one of us has to work through that social barrier in the dojo, its not something you whine about, its something you work on by training day in and day out until they see your worth their time. yeah its harsh but its just another kind of training.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:37 AM   #9
happysod
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Re: Patronising beginners

Quote:
Martial Art is about to face death, and sometimes even more
so, what is the average mortality rate in your dojo? Or is this just using an extreme (and overly melodramatic) example to prove a point perhaps...

Anon, just stick with it, it should get better - if it doesn't have a word with the instructor.

As for the "tough love" camp, why would you feel the need to patronise a beginner? If you don't actually harass others as part of your normal practice, why are you posting in defence of this type of behaviour? Really curious about this.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:45 AM   #10
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Patronising beginners

Dear Anon:
Thanks for sharing your experience. There is a lot of patronizing in Aikido. Somehow, sometimes because people have been training longer they seem to think they are better than others. It is all crap. If you love Aikido, keep training... it will get different. And maybe when you have trained for a long time you will remember to treat new people with a friendly atitude because of this experience.
Mir
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:55 AM   #11
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Patronizing beginners

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote:
While Szczepan Janczuk's response might seem a little harsh, it is pretty much right on the money.
Agreed, but presumably anon would have missed the message amongst the bs Gunny Highway routine.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:27 AM   #12
Eric Webber
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Re: Patronising beginners

I agree with talking to your Sensei about the issue. Part of a Sensei's responsibility is to direct the sempai to help the cohai in the most appropriate manner possible. Sempai-cohai relationships are two-way streets, not one-direction sewer pipes for the dookie to flow down hill onto the cohai. ...And please make sure you can differentiate between "tough love" and abuse before accepting any and all behavior in your direction. Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:58 AM   #13
debigthump
 
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Re: Patronising beginners

strength of mind is as important as strength of body,,, without fire you cant forge the steel of your soul....like in life the aiki master is calm and empathic in serious situations...its not about others ,,,martial arts is about you.

Last edited by debigthump : 02-14-2005 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:22 PM   #14
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Patronising beginners

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
so, what is the average mortality rate in your dojo? Or is this just using an extreme (and overly melodramatic) example to prove a point perhaps.
When you practice MA one day you may be called to use your skills do defend your life, or life your family, friends, country...May be you will have to kill somebody, or not to kill him, and continue to live with consequences of your decision.

May be you will have to give your own life to protect someone....you see, it's serious matter. You practice in the dojo to forge you spirit and body. In that context, any patronizing or other form of harsh training is meaningless, it's simply out of our interest. If somebody fells that it is a big drama, he very probably should find another hobby.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:56 PM   #15
debigthump
 
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Re: Patronizing beginners

it takes time to break through the barriers that hinder an individuals training ,and some the same and some not . But in any case be it training or the real world we deal or die literally or to an ideal. take time to learn everything.some trees are weaker than others but all can grow strong.
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:17 AM   #16
happysod
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Re: Patronising beginners

Quote:
If somebody fells that it is a big drama, he very probably should find another hobby
now if the initial post indicated an unwillingness to learn or a whine about doing technique because it was too hard, I may have some agreement with your "shut up and train" response. However, what I read wasn't "hard training" [insert your own ideas on what this actually constitutes] but rather just a pathetic form of bullying which actually indicates more about the lack of confidence in the so-called seniors than any untrainable fault in the beginner.

From what I read of your posts, the ideal of aikido for you is martial - in this context I would actually suggest that respect and dojo manners should be more important to you, especially in senior students. Manners grew out of conduct used to prevent strife and, for me at least, in the dojo represent a means of maintaining the discipline needed to prevent injury while training with intent. As such, patronising anyone (beginner or senior) is a route I would not wish to follow and would certainly hope none of my students would follow.
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:01 AM   #17
Jason Tonks
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Re: Patronising beginners

Without being present at the actual dojo that anonymous is training at it is diffiicult to determine what advice to actually give. What is necessary is to get to strike a balance here. While part of budo training is the cultivation of a students spirit and character, this doesn't mean bullying. The senior students should be encouraging the junior students to apply technique correctly and strongly on them, while gently applying the technique on the beginner, and as the student progresses leading to a stronger application. If it is the case that people are bullying and taking liberties, they should be come down on like a ton of bricks and reminded of their own place in the pecking order. In the meantime anonymous, just keep on training, don't avoid these people, seek them out if anything, put it back on them a bit, show you have the resolve to keep going. Refuse to be intimidated.
All the best
Jason T
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Old 02-15-2005, 11:01 AM   #18
ruthmc
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Re: Patronising beginners

Quote:
they make me feel like I'm much younger than a collage student, and if I make one mistake they will endlessly rattle on rather than letting me know what I did and letting me practice again.
Ok, time to do some serious thinking about your self-image here! Nobody can "make" you feel anything - if you feel bad when interacting with these individuals you are choosing to allow yourself to feel this way.

Anybody who patronises you has a problem. Don't allow it to become your problem too - this really is your choice.

Do some work on increasing your self confidence, and pretty soon, if anybody starts behaving badly to you, you'll just quietly laugh at them

Bullies don't pick on confident people.

Ruth
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Old 02-15-2005, 11:08 AM   #19
Kevin Kelly
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Re: Patronising beginners

Didn't someone called..uh..O'Sensei say that learning Aikido should be a joyful experience?
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Old 02-15-2005, 11:21 AM   #20
debigthump
 
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Thumbs down Re: Patronising beginners

i agree with ian and jason, THAT is the idea i was getting at.
thanks guys!!!
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:16 PM   #21
"kacy"
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Re: Patronising beginners

thankyou for the help. I understand the whole 'tough-love' thing, and my problem is very small compared to things like actually facing death, etc; I'd just like to clarify that its not me having an unwillingness to learn, since I put time aside every day to practice in some form like tai subaki, visualisation and breathing exercises, etc. (I don't really see the problem in confiding in the anon section... I'm sorry if it looks like I'm making a big drama out of the problem). I will talk to my sensei if things get worse, but unless they do I will talk to the people about it. Thankyou for the help!
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:29 PM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Patronising beginners

Quote:
Bullies don't pick on confident people.
Well, they might once or twice, but unless they're stupid, they give up on that pretty quick...

Ron (I've run into a few stupid bullies myself...)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:29 PM   #23
"shorty"
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Re: Patronising beginners

Anon, I'd just talk to them through your training. I'm a very short woman, and when I started there was certainly some patronizing of me going on, so I just kept coming more often, and trained as hard as I could, especially with the people I felt thought I wasn't up to it. It took a year or so, but now I'm treated with a lot of respect by all the guys I train with, and they have no hesitation in throwing me hard or whatever becuase I've shown them I can take it. Be tough, don't complain, and don't give in. And most of all, do it for yourself, and not for them.

Good luck
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Old 03-11-2005, 05:58 AM   #24
Nick Simpson
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Re: Patronising beginners

I think people being patronising to you in aikido is always going to be a common occurrence. I have had both sempai and kohai do it to me. When I was a 6th kyu it happened frequently, especially from low kyu grades who sincerely believed their 5th or 4th kyu made them more capable than me. I had to show them I could hold my own if not outpace them. I have and sometimes do still have it happen from beginners, you have to rise above it, show them you mean buisness but still look after them and apply the correct level of technique to coerce them without injuring them. I have also been patronised by dan grades, unfortuantely there is little you can do about this except respectfully listen to their advice/rant and then appear to do what you feel is right. The majority of the time what they are imparting to you is done in a spirit of teaching something they themselves had to struggle for and as such you should be thankful for the attention unless its completely malicious. If so and you can do it, then show them that not all kyu grades are incapable of pushing a dan grade...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:14 PM   #25
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Patronising beginners

usually people who patronize you have issues of their own, usually related to lack of esteem or self confidence.

If you are new to the art, welcome to the pecking order of dojo hierarcy. Suck it up and train through it is the best advice I know, cause there is not much you can do about it.

Eventually you will find your niche, cliche or what not and find people that you like to train with.

Usually I just politely work with them and try and be humble. I look at it as a real test to Aikido which is learning to work with all people and all types of conflict. Training at it's best.
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