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Old 10-25-2005, 12:46 PM   #1
Avery Jenkins
 
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Dojo Storming

You know how it is. You see the term mentioned off and on. Never too seriously.But has dojo storming actually taken place in the recent history of Aikido? I want to hear about the Real Deal. I did a quick search of this site, nothing popped up.

Here's your chance--If you've ever taken part in this practice, here's the thread to confess your sins in public. Good for the soul. Even better if it's a good story.

Avery
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:07 PM   #2
NixNa
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Re: Dojo Storming

Whats that ? Dojo hopping to issue challenges? If thats what it means, ive yet to hear abt it frm aikido. Got a few stories abt "ninja" students doing that though, its kinda hilarious thinking bt it.
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:51 PM   #3
AikiSean!
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

I do not know if it is true and this is not meant to start a rumor, but did'nt Jason DeLucia go to Segal's dojo to challenge him, initially?
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:11 PM   #4
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

I think that's called Dojo Yaburi (I believe I read about it in Aikido Shugyo by Shoida Sensei). Anyways, I'm pretty sure it used to happen, but I've haven't seen it. Maybe thats one of the reasons the Friendship Seminars started happening....to improve relations of different organizations.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:32 PM   #5
j0nharris
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Re: Dojo Storming

Quote:
Nixon Na wrote:
Got a few stories abt "ninja" students doing....
We had some ninja students do that to us once, I think.... They were at the door, then we heard some weird whooshing noises, and they were gone!
Maybe they were just practicing?

jon harris

Life is a journey...
Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:38 PM   #6
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

I have never done it or do I condone such irresponsible actions.

I do however, and have, gone to all my new dojos and "tested" the sensei or head instructors to make damn sure that is the person that can teach me.

It is not quite the same thing as storming, but I don't want to waste my time studying with someone who cannot practice what he/she preaches.

Did it with Saotome sensei (who flattened my face kindly against the wall in Shobukan Dojo). Bob Galeone Sensei, who has a grip and forearms that is out of this world, and even Jimmy Sorrentino Hi Jimmy

It is not in a "toxic" matter, but in a matter of genuine sincerity and honesty in training realistic, hard, and properly.

Today, as I know more about aikido, it doesn't require someone such as having a Shihan cream me into the whole. Frankly i'd be embarrassed at my level of experience to have this happen today, but back then, I suppose the Shihan new what "personalized Lesson" i needed to learn to have faith and confidence.

Most recently I have gotten involved in mixed martial arts and more "realistic NHB" stuff with the Army. I resisted training with a guy 15 years my younger cause it was hard to admit he knew much more than me. That was until I finally went all out with him and he beat me, not once, not twice, okay...more times than I can count. AND it was not by "his rules" but mine!

So, now I study with him (or did), and his instructors/method.

My point is this. I don't think it a good idea to Dojo bust, but certainly if you are being honest with yourself and are serious about your instruction, then you should insist that your sensei or instructor be the real deal and not some guy hiding behind a hakama, and lots of eastern ettitquette.

It is not always easy to tell and the less experienced you are, the harder it is to really tell. A good teacher should be able to read you, your skill level, and emotional context, and adapt his skills/training to direct you to the best place to study. It may also be that he must say, "this is not the place for you". (I have had that said to me more than once!). That is being honest with not only your students, but yourself.

Frankly a "McDojo" or a Fake is not worth fooling with. Why would you waste your time trying to dojo bust someone like this? what is their to gain by exposing them as a fraud? They will have some excuse for losing, and their students will still continue to see them as a "god" and you as the "bad guy". Sometimes people like to get together simply to blow smoke up each other and to feel good about themselves. That feeling is more important to them than learning martial arts for real, and that is something that dojo busting can never change! They intuitively know that they suck, and frankly like sucking...as long as they feel good about it.
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:13 PM   #7
markwalsh
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Re: Dojo Storming

Q: Would an organized campaign of dojo storming help to eliminate the frauds?

To my ears Kevin makes quite a good argument for no, but I'm not all there yet. Any takers on kamis advocate?
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:13 AM   #8
happysod
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Re: Dojo Storming

Q: Would an organized campaign of dojo storming help to eliminate the frauds?

A. No! Leaving aside the legal aspects of being done for incitement to violence etc. Who are you going to nominate to do the said dojo storming?

Do we on aikiweb garner a crack team of shodo-thugs and orcs to act as the initial strike force to test martial mettle with a command group of aikikai to test for structure and aikido purity leaving the final harmonizing and purification of the dojo for the ki folk?

Sorry, I think it's a really bad idea - making a dojo pass your own personal tests I think is healthy. As Kevin rightly points out, your tests and viewpoint on what is "correct" will change over time so it's not a black or white issue.

Frankly, the thought of jack-booted hakama johnnies tramping round the dojos of today ensuring things meet their standard just fills me with a need for dark alley and a 4x2 to harmoniously discuss my philosophical displeasure. There's enough little hitlers in ma without this sort of nonsense.

If you do think it's a good idea, imagine that it's your dojo next and someone turns up (probably unannounced) to boldly test you against their standards. Add in to this mix some sort of "seal of authority" from either an organization that you've never heard of/been a part of or even worse something issued by the Barnett Local council's public sports services (and drains) committee and tell me how you'd think you would react?

sorry - rant over, in my defense, the UK is already trying to erode every other freedom I have "for my own good" so the thought of someone impinging on my dojo freedom is rather annoying to say the least.
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:25 AM   #9
PeterR
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

Well I was stormed once. Lectured on what was and was not Aikido by someone clutching "The Art of Peace". You know the little red one. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:42 AM   #10
happysod
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Re: Dojo Storming

Quote:
Well I was stormed once. Lectured on what was and was not Aikido by someone clutching "The Art of Peace".
Peter, that's not a storm, that's a light shower of ...
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:19 AM   #11
batemanb
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Q: Would an organized campaign of dojo storming help to eliminate the frauds?

A. No! Leaving aside the legal aspects of being done for incitement to violence etc. Who are you going to nominate to do the said dojo storming?

Do we on aikiweb garner a crack team of shodo-thugs and orcs to act as the initial strike force to test martial mettle with a command group of aikikai to test for structure and aikido purity leaving the final harmonizing and purification of the dojo for the ki folk?

Sorry, I think it's a really bad idea - making a dojo pass your own personal tests I think is healthy. As Kevin rightly points out, your tests and viewpoint on what is "correct" will change over time so it's not a black or white issue.

Frankly, the thought of jack-booted hakama johnnies tramping round the dojos of today ensuring things meet their standard just fills me with a need for dark alley and a 4x2 to harmoniously discuss my philosophical displeasure. There's enough little hitlers in ma without this sort of nonsense.

If you do think it's a good idea, imagine that it's your dojo next and someone turns up (probably unannounced) to boldly test you against their standards. Add in to this mix some sort of "seal of authority" from either an organization that you've never heard of/been a part of or even worse something issued by the Barnett Local council's public sports services (and drains) committee and tell me how you'd think you would react?

sorry - rant over, in my defense, the UK is already trying to erode every other freedom I have "for my own good" so the thought of someone impinging on my dojo freedom is rather annoying to say the least.

Hi Ian,

I'm not so sure that dojo yaburi was about Aikido people going around to see if the Aikido was any good at other places. I think it was more people from other arts coming round to prove that Aikido was no good and their art was better, although I may be very wrong on that.

There are a couple of examples documented in Roy Suenaka's book after he set up a club down in Okinawa (if I remember correctly).

rgds

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 10-26-2005, 07:18 AM   #12
happysod
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Re: Dojo Storming

Hi Bryan,

You're probably correct here. However, I thought Mark was referring to the possibility of organized dojo storming with regard to it being almost a seal of approval for a dojo, hence my rant. (sorry if I misread you Mark)

Now the question of testing a dojo or even a martial art for it's effectiveness is an even more thorny problem and includes wider issues such as "why are you training and what do you expect out of it". Some hardy souls can happily claim their learning x purely for self-defense, everything else is just hippie crap piled on top. Me I'm not convinced by this and find their yardstick often quite exclusionary and essentially unachievable so even here I don't find the dojo storming argument a useful measure.
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:00 AM   #13
wendyrowe
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Re: Dojo Storming

Quote:
Sean Constable wrote:
I do not know if it is true and this is not meant to start a rumor, but did'nt Jason DeLucia go to Segal's dojo to challenge him, initially?
He went to Steven Seagal's dojo to respond to a challenge. This is what he said during his interview on the Combat Aikido DVDs:
Quote:
Originally before I fought Royce Gracie in his dojo, I moved to Los Angeles to answer a challenge that Steven Seagal made in Black Belt magazine. He said that anybody who wanted to fight him could go to his dojo and challenge him and be prepared to fight to the death. So I went with a challenge, and I went every day, morning and night, even through the Los Angeles riots, and I waited and he never came. But you know, that's the kind of crazy thing you do when you're a kid.
To me, answering a challenge is very different than dojo storming.
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Old 10-26-2005, 10:47 AM   #14
markwalsh
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Re: Dojo Storming

Ian, thanks for the response.

I wasn't seriously suggesting it, I guess it's just an appealing fantasy on a juvenile level I take on board the, "who's to say what's right and wrong" element too, and combat effectiveness/ hombu ryu purity clearly shouldn't be the only criteria. However I wonder if there isn't a healthier, more aiki version of dojo storming?

....

It's my experience that with exposure to different styles, people will gravitate to:

a) Schools more appropriate to them as individuals.
b) Better schools. While accepting that there are many traditions and values here, some places are still just pants.

Re freedoms I couldn't agree more, I guess the crux is informed choice rather than dictation.

Mark
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Old 10-26-2005, 11:20 AM   #15
AikiSean!
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

Absolutely Wendy, it is. Thanks for clearing it up.
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Old 10-26-2005, 01:30 PM   #16
Keith R Lee
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Re: Dojo Storming

I haven't heard about it in an Aikido dojo in a long time. Although, the next time I see Adam I think I might just go up and tackle him as a means of saying "hi nice to see you." (osu! adam)

That being said, I know for a fact it goes on in the BJJ/Sambo/Grappling/MMA world for sure. As in: I know, and am friends with, people who have done it. However, I think that's because there is such an emphasis on competition. And none of these people tend to go to Aikido dojos because they are, generally speaking, held in very low regard.

I don't think it's(dojo yuburi) very much in the spirit of Aikido so I see it as no big loss that it doesn't happen. Actually I think most people would be pleased that it doesn't occur much any more in the Aikido world.

Keith Lee
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Old 10-26-2005, 02:54 PM   #17
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Dojo Storming

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Peter, that's not a storm, that's a light shower of ...
LOL, in the middle of a crowded computer lab...

-LK
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Old 10-26-2005, 05:06 PM   #18
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

People think of this as some sort of game of "testing" but in the old days in Japan this was serious business. If someone came into the dojo and beat up the teacher, the students would leave since no one wanted to study with someone who couldn't handle himself.

In other words, ones livlihood and the welfare of his family might ride on the outcome of such an event. So it was serious business and could result in serious injury. For that reason, if someone came into my dojo with this in mind I would ask him to leave and if he didn't would summon law enforcement to compel him. It's not worth the risk of injury and possibly even a law suit just to convince some bozo I know what I am doing.

On the other hand, I don't mind the sincere skeptic... My friends once brought in a karate student (also law enforcement) whose teacher had said "don't mess with that Aikido stuff; it doesn't work". He came in with a healthy "show me" attitude and left wanting to know where he could train. He simply wanted to check out Aikido, not challenge me personally.

The problem with Aikido, as a martial art, is that there are hundreds of dojos out there whose teachers couldn't stand even the most polite challenge. I am not talking about someone coming into fight but rather someone "playing by the rules". Someone who grabbed strongly, someone who really tried to strike. Aikido is in danger of becoming an art of nice people doing lovely movement and having no connection whatever with budo.

The purposeful selective interpretation of the Aikido Founder's teachings coupled with the fact that Aikido seems to attract a group of folks who wouldn't be doing any martial arts if they weren't doing Aikido has led to "dumbing down" of the art. O-sensei is used as a sort of mythical Founder figure but there seems to be little attempt to actually understand or immitate his example. This was a man who had a series of challenges over the course of his early career. He didn't care who came through the door, swordsman, sumo practitioner, judo man, he could hold his own. The "it's not about fighting" crowd ignores the fact that it wasn't "about fighting" for the Founder either but he never stopped maintaining that Aikido was budo and he never de-emphasized the martial aspect of training with his own students.

George S. Ledyard
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Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 10-26-2005, 05:49 PM   #19
MaryKaye
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Re: Dojo Storming

A very senior regional head instructor, after a couple of drinks, told us about his teacher practicing dojo-storming in Japan--actually to get hold of the other dojo's space for themselves. Since then it's been a standing joke with us--"so, who has a nice mat? Anyone up for it?"

As a fantasy there is something oddly appealing about it. I guess I very seldom encounter problems which can be solved by fighting, and sometimes it seems much simpler than the realistic solutions. All those hours to rebuild our dojo in a new location, when we could just have kicked some ass and taken over someone else's!

It looks a lot less appealing as soon as one imagines the tables being turned--some aggressive young men showing up at a random class, say a junior instructor and some junior students, and shoving us around. This wouldn't prove much, and would tend to discourage participation by the cautious, the non-violent, and the less physically capable, which would be a major loss. And, having sweat and bled to build that dojo floor, I would really hate to lose it.

Now I'm wishing there were some way to do this as a game, rather than an attack. But probably that will just lead to re-inventing tournaments, with all the associated plusses and minuses.

Mary Kaye
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:26 PM   #20
wendyrowe
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Re: Dojo Storming

Quote:
Mary Kuhner wrote:
...Now I'm wishing there were some way to do this as a game, rather than an attack...

Mary Kaye
I can't help it, I keep picturing those scenes in The Pink Panther movies where Kato ambushes his boss Detective Clouseau.

I can imagine a game sort of "dojo storming" among dojos where some of the people have gotten to know each other so it could be fun; but I can't imagine anything good coming out of classic Japanese style dojo storming by people wanting to best the stormees. Of course, to get to know each other people should visit each other's dojos in good faith; it's been very nice to see how open people are in the aikido world to mutual dojo visits.
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:32 PM   #21
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Dojo Storming

These last two posts combined with the 'fortunate incident (?)' thread made me wonder if we could get together with other local martial arts schools - karate people, jujitsu people, arnis people - say once a year or something, for an exchange of ideas. Sort of like PAWMA except local, and open to both men and women.

-LK
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:45 PM   #22
Ryan Bigelow
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Re: Dojo Storming

Mr. Ledyard-

Just wanted to say that you continue to impress me with the quality of your posts. You wouldnt happen to run practices on the weekends?
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:18 PM   #23
James Davis
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

Quote:
Nixon Na wrote:
Whats that ? Dojo hopping to issue challenges? If thats what it means, ive yet to hear abt it frm aikido. Got a few stories abt "ninja" students doing that though, its kinda hilarious thinking bt it.
When I was a white belt, brand new to aikido, we had a young man who claimed to hold a nidan in ninjutsu come into our dojo to "train". He set about "correcting" our attacks and techniques and eventually said to the guy teaching that night "I think your aikido sucks.", just loud enough for everyone to hear. Don, the sempai running class that evening was wearing a white belt, but held black belt rankings in other arts; I wasn't worried about whether he could take this kid. The guy that I was paired off with for practice stopped training and said, "What's goin' on?", to which I replied, "Forget that guy. Keep training." This seemed to tick off our "ninja" a little, and he looked again at Sempai Don and said again: "I think you're aikido sucks!" Don said in reply: "Well, you've only been an aikidoka for about twenty minutes, so I don't think you know what you're taking about. It's okay if you leave, and it's also okay if you stay." The "ninja" stormed out red-faced and was never seen again. Our sensei called the phone number that the genius had written on his waiver of liabilty. The "ninja" apologized profusely for what he'd said, and refused Sensei's offer of another lesson.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:27 PM   #24
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

Kind of a reverse approach, but, when I used to do Judo I would often go to other clubs for extra training. As a low grade I got no hassle but as I got better they saw me as a threat/challenge, even though I wasn't particularly good - and everyone would try their best to best me, which they usually did. I just took it as good training whereas they saw it as an opportunity to test their stuff out on an outsider.

I am pretty sure that if today I were to go into a Judo club wearing my blackbelt they would mostly do their best to trounce me - and so they should, in my opinion, even though I haven't trianed in Judo properly for six years.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 10-27-2005 at 08:34 PM.

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Old 10-27-2005, 08:33 PM   #25
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Dojo Storming

Here in Korea someone told me how when he was younger he learned Taekwondo and, full of youthful vigor as he was, went around other dojos beating up the students and instructors. He said he would walk in, kick the apparatus or TKD sign, and generally cause trouble until the physical stuff started. He did this until he enetered a Thai Boxing gym and got his come-uppance. He is now a Thai Boxing teacher. And that first Thai Boxing gym he entered was then being run by our present Korean Aikido president, Yun Ick-ahm (previously a Korean kickboxing champion but now an Aikido teacher).

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