05 Authority in the dojo

posted 26 Jun 2010, 03:57 by Unknown user

Something not often talked about openly but happens all the time are the challenges to an instructors authority. her are some of the manifestations and mechanisms

Working with your peers and other instructors

Never criticize another instructor in front of students...or at all

The teaching instructor is holds authority during that class.

Visiting instructors are to be treated with courtesy and invited to teach something where appropriate.

As the teaching instructor you may ask anyone to leave the mat, anyone seeking to join the mat does so only with your permission (usually by waiting at the side of the mat to be bowed on)


Indirect challenges

Sometimes your authority on the mat can be challenged. It is important not to engage. Challenges direct and indirect


-       Students testing your technique e.g. they are older, clumsy, clash of personalities, very strong

-       Talking too much saying it doesn’t work

Its important to remind students we are teaching Kata – set techniques where uke and nage undergo set movement. Maruyama sensei has asked us to practice aikido this way


Direct challenges (unlikely)

Violence and verbal assault is not acceptable in any shape in the dojo

Please call security or police if required

In a physical challenge there are two likely outcomes, neither of which are desirable

- You get hurt (best outcome)

- They get hurt and off to court you go

You are not covered if you participate in this kind of activity


Dojo conflict

Sometimes conflicts arise between students on the mat, usually between students of a similar level, or bullying of a junior. Its is important to head off dojo conflicts on the mat

As soon as you are aware of them and refer bigger issues up the chain. Your class is your responsibility; please stop any inappropriate behavior (trust your feeling here and go with them - this is your 6th sense warning you of impending trouble). Solutions are to restrict students to training only with certain other or asking people to leave the mat. As a last resort please stop the class until offenders leave.