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Old 09-04-2005, 11:36 AM   #1
actoman
Dojo: USA Martial Arts Center
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Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

All,

Happy Labor Day by the way!

Anyway, to bring you all up to speed, I've been training with my new sensei (I've learned my lesson. no name dropping this time), on a one-on-one private basis due to my Dojo's limited schedule and my school schedule getting in the way.

Well, lately he has been MIA. I have called him repeatedly yet he has not returned my calls and since I am paying him to be my teacher, I'd at least expect him to show me a bit more respect, and at least call me and tell me what hes' doing that he is so busy.

This is the second time since I've been in WV that this has happened. I want to continue training and learning, yet every time I get ahead this shit has to happen. Opinions on what I should do?
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Old 09-04-2005, 12:39 PM   #2
senshincenter
 
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Knowing nothing about your situation but for what you relay here, and thus not at all being able to comment upon your specific case in any kind of real way, you may nevertheless be interested in my own perspective on the sensei/deshi relationship - or at least one aspect of it.

This is the aspect of faith. In my opinion, if one cannot believe in his/her teacher, if one cannot find that aspect of faith in their teacher, such that they can rely upon it during the times of ignorance (our own as deshi) and even upon the times of distress and great discomfort, then one should either seek to find another teacher that can harbor such responsibility and/or one should no longer seek to have their current teacher function as a "sensei."

On the subjective side, if we cannot muster the capacity to believe in another, to cultivate further degrees of practical faith, then we should look for a coach - letting our teacher be a coach (someone that from time to time advises us in issues of technique - little more, and, perhaps most likely, no more). If we can muster such degrees of faith, then we should only practice it with someone that can support such a spiritual burden.

In my opinion, when we go against these guidelines, we are too open for the pitfalls of giving pearls to swine, or of acting like a swine when we are receiving pearls.

dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:32 PM   #3
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

i know what you are saying, and understand it fully.
However, it is not like him to simply 'turn off' his training or his teaching, especially so suddenly.
He has not called me or emailed me to let me know his situation, so I dunno what to do.
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:51 PM   #4
senshincenter
 
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Well, if you are worried about him, then follow your heart when it comes to figuring out what to do. If you can only muster a coach-type relationship, then keep things at a mundane level and deal with the practical issues involved (e.g. ask him if he is currently not able to continue your privates and/or if there is a reason why he may not want to, etc.). If you can muster up enough faith to have a sensei (as one is understood in my own reasoning), and if this behavior of his is something that goes contrary to that faith, then move on to find another sensei that can carry the spiritual/moral burden of your commitment to training in the Way.

Maybe that is the practical advice one can pull out of what I tried to say above (but perhaps said poorly).

sorry,
d

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 09-04-2005, 09:47 PM   #5
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

You might also give him the benefit of the doubt until you've heard his story.
He may be having a family crisis.

Jeanne
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:31 AM   #6
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Well, it's been another week, and still no reply. My main p'd off thing is I still have paid up some sessions and yes, he is my sensei so I do care about his interests and would be there if he needed me.

But this is absurd, what to do? My options are very limited here in WV
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:00 AM   #7
Mark Uttech
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

my, my, my, you seem to have a long running problem with this sort of situation. I looked back over your previous posts and this particular problem seems to go back to 2003! "Now what?" seems naturally to be your chosen mantra. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:16 AM   #8
Bridge
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
my, my, my, you seem to have a long running problem with this sort of situation. I looked back over your previous posts and this particular problem seems to go back to 2003! "Now what?" seems naturally to be your chosen mantra. Good luck.
Think you may have misread the date there. The thread was started 09/04/2005.

Perhaps something has hapened to him. Has he been teaching the other classes at the dojo/club or has he disappeared completely?
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:31 AM   #9
Hanna B
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

To me, it sounds like your teacher either has some non dojo-related problems - or he doesn't want to continue teaching you on one-to-one basis, but is to coward to tell you so. You could try asking just to get your money back... if you get a quick response to have the matter settled you pretty much have the answer, don't you think?
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:33 AM   #10
Hanna B
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Bridget, the thread that Mark is referring to is probably this one
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=60223
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Old 09-13-2005, 07:13 AM   #11
j0nharris
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Where in WV are you?
If you're close enough feel free to make an occasional trip over to Blacksburg & train with us at VT.
There was a grad student from Charleston who was coming down last year, but I think he's moved on -- Mark somebody(?), had a UK sounding accent.

-jon

jon harris

Life is a journey...
Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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Old 09-13-2005, 08:10 AM   #12
Bridge
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote:
Bridget, the thread that Mark is referring to is probably this one
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=60223
Right, you are. Yep, my mistake, please ignore. Thank you!

Since 2003 is pretty bad though.
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:33 PM   #13
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
my, my, my, you seem to have a long running problem with this sort of situation. I looked back over your previous posts and this particular problem seems to go back to 2003! "Now what?" seems naturally to be your chosen mantra. Good luck.
From looking at my past posts it surely seems that way doesnt it?
I never intended for that to be the chosen mantra for me....
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:35 PM   #14
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Quote:
Jon Harris wrote:
Where in WV are you?
If you're close enough feel free to make an occasional trip over to Blacksburg & train with us at VT.
There was a grad student from Charleston who was coming down last year, but I think he's moved on -- Mark somebody(?), had a UK sounding accent.

-jon
Jon I am actually closer to Morgantown, WV, about 25 minutes away from the Southern PA border. If I am ever over that way however, I would be honored to take a class with you!
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:39 PM   #15
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote:
To me, it sounds like your teacher either has some non dojo-related problems - or he doesn't want to continue teaching you on one-to-one basis, but is to coward to tell you so. You could try asking just to get your money back... if you get a quick response to have the matter settled you pretty much have the answer, don't you think?
Well, he does have his new girlfriend..but I dont think that's it.
And I dont think him the type to simply not tell me if he were not going to be able to teach me any longer...but I could be wrong.
I am a really nice guy, but sometimes maybe due to aikido training, or underlying something-or-other, I can come off intimidating? But if he would simply tell me I'd try to make other arrangements ya know?

BTW, all, I tried yet again this week and NOTHING! I am going to try another teacher within the same federation and see what happens. This hurts pretty bad ya know, that he cant just tell me what is happening so I know....
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:07 PM   #16
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Quote:
Andy Orwig wrote:
Well, he does have his new girlfriend..but I dont think that's it.
And I dont think him the type to simply not tell me if he were not going to be able to teach me any longer...but I could be wrong.
I am a really nice guy, but sometimes maybe due to aikido training, or underlying something-or-other, I can come off intimidating? But if he would simply tell me I'd try to make other arrangements ya know?

BTW, all, I tried yet again this week and NOTHING! I am going to try another teacher within the same federation and see what happens. This hurts pretty bad ya know, that he cant just tell me what is happening so I know....



Well, well, well....he finally contacted me this weekend...but left me only a message....So at least I know he;s alive...lol. I;ll let you all know how it turns out.
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:34 PM   #17
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Hopefully everyhting is ok with him. If you are talking about your Renshi, I know being a teacher is a stressful job. We had an instructor dissapear for a while b/c he was stressed (plus has some inherited heart problems). I think maybe in our case he was possibly embarased. He still has the same problem. THey only way we get him to the dojo is to go to his house and kidnap him for the day. Instructors are people too and can get lost in their own issues. It happens. At the same time it is nice to get the courtesy of a phone call. But don't be afraid to take the initiative and call him first....make sure everything is okay. Well I hope everything turns out alright.
Osu!

PS Is anyone from the WV area going to Shihan's promotion in Quebec? I haven't heard from anybody in USAMA if they are going or not. I am. Renshi Jacobs (OH) was going to, but he can't now because work pushed some jobs back like three months and screwed everything up for him.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 10-27-2005, 04:51 AM   #18
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Well, we've finally been in contact with one another on a very limited basis. I've called and called and still nothing if not very litte contact with him, no reasons really to be concerned over as far as he tells me, just a bit busy. Too busy for acall was my question that came without answer.

I've been taking another class in the PM that I found but its not nearly as good as the one-on-one stuff. I dunno. maybe I'll be able to find something soon...I hope so. Thanks everyone for your concerns.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:35 AM   #19
Ed Shockley
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

I modestly suggest that you focus less on your sensei and more on Aikido. We are lucky for any private instruction from a gifted teacher and the modest remuneration we offer doesn't come close to paying for their time and expertise. There are probably others at your dojo who could work with your schedule to allow your study to advance as well as other dojos, tapes, websites, books. I'm sorry that I don't know your current level of expertise but I have found it very instructive to train alone as well as train with beginning students. Both inspire a freshness of thought. Of course, if you are ever in Philly you are welcome to join us at Aikikai of Philadelphia or Center City Aikido. Between the two dojos there are classes in all parts of the day seven days a week. Good luck.
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Old 11-23-2005, 07:03 PM   #20
actoman
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Ai symbol Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Quote:
Ed Shockley wrote:
I modestly suggest that you focus less on your sensei and more on Aikido. We are lucky for any private instruction from a gifted teacher and the modest remuneration we offer doesn't come close to paying for their time and expertise. There are probably others at your dojo who could work with your schedule to allow your study to advance as well as other dojos, tapes, websites, books. I'm sorry that I don't know your current level of expertise but I have found it very instructive to train alone as well as train with beginning students. Both inspire a freshness of thought. Of course, if you are ever in Philly you are welcome to join us at Aikikai of Philadelphia or Center City Aikido. Between the two dojos there are classes in all parts of the day seven days a week. Good luck.

If only practicing with air and reading on the matters of aikido than that is fine...but I want to also 'feel' aikido in practice, and it is hard to do without another body is it not? Plus, he is a very good instructor, and again...I dont know what it is about me but, I HAVE asked others to practice with me outside the dojo...noone will come. I dunno, it's simply a cut-off world here in WV it seems. Hit or miss, damned both ways...I cannot stand it sometimes.

I have a passion and desire to learn more and as deeply as possible through practice what it is that aikido is....but I cannot find anyone to practice with.....

I am not making any excuses here but the % of citizens that take aikido in WV is about .0000000005% of the total pop. Very hard to find someone...

Oh well. Back to the pavement I suppose.
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:29 PM   #21
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

You could always go become a live-in student with Blok Shihan or Renshi Bushnel. I promise you, you will have no lack of people to practice with.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:42 AM   #22
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

I would LOVE to be uchideshi with Blok Shihan or Bushnel, but ON is a bit far at the moment....lol.
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:07 AM   #23
MaryKaye
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

When you're dealing with a person who is very likely having a crisis, "How can I help?" is a more productive question, in my experience, than "When will you get back to doing stuff for me?"

It's human nature when overloaded to avoid the possibly painful or burdensome interactions and seek out the pleasant and helpful ones.

Maybe you could take him out for coffee? (Or beer, or whatever seems appropriate.)

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-30-2005, 10:03 AM   #24
Ed Shockley
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

Wish I had realized that you were in West Virginia. I just drove through there twice over the holidays and could have stopped to train at your dojo. (Instead I trained at a marvelous place in Columbus.) Patience certainly is called for. There are good days and bad days in Aikido as well as good years and better years. I suggest that you learn to enjoy this part of the journey and trust that your practice partners will appear. Since we learn Aikido by doing it we are able to have a breakthrough with anyone on the mat at any time as well as home alone doing suburi cuts in the back yard. I would suggest creating seminar time. I've usually gotten years of things to study from each one day seminar.
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Old 12-03-2005, 12:59 AM   #25
actoman
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Re: Frustrated With Sensei's Behavior

[quote=Ed Shockley]Wish I had realized that you were in West Virginia. I just drove through there twice over the holidays and could have stopped to train at your dojo. (Instead I trained at a marvelous place in Columbus.) Patience certainly is called for. There are good days and bad days in Aikido as well as good years and better years. I suggest that you learn to enjoy this part of the journey and trust that your practice partners will appear. Since we learn Aikido by doing it we are able to have a breakthrough with anyone on the mat at any time as well as home alone doing suburi cuts in the back yard. I would suggest creating seminar time. I've usually gotten years of things to study from each one day seminar.[/QUOTE


That's too bad you were not in the area, next time you'll have to stop by. Anyway, I first exhibited much patience in the watiing I did. then as I became proactive, foudn out I was being ignored. So I practiced patience, but it did nothing. So I became aggressive, and again sitilll did nothing......anyway thanks
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