My Dojo Is Becoming Infected

Daniel Sullivan

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My example was from Nazi Germany...but the atrocities they committed is not the point.
For a man who referrences political correctness below, you sure are selective about it. It is very politically incorrect to compare things to Nazi Germany. If the comparison were valid, that would be one thing, but it isn't. Not even close.

The only reason that anyone compares people or practices to Nazi Germany is to create ill will towards them, marginalize them, or sidetrack a debate. That's why politicians do it; their opponent now has to waste his or her time explaining why they're not a Nazi and the one who first made the remark no longer has to win the debate by making a better case.

I believe that Martial Arts classes should remain secular...not because I'm not Christian, because I am...but its from a Politically correct, business stand point.

For example...

What if a Jew, Muslim, Hindu, etc. does join your school...and its aginst their beliefs to wear a cross. IMO to avoid singling any one person out Religion should be kept separate from Martial Arts classes.
Your arguement falls flat. Suppose it is agains someone's beliefs to have eastern spiritual symbols on their uniform? School patch has a yin/yang. Person of an Abrahamic faith says, 'I am not wearing that.' Sensei says, 'this is our organization's patch and all students' uniforms have it. Its just a patch.'

People are too hypersensitive. Is that same person going to not use the first aid kit because it has a big honkin red cross on it? Or turn away the red cross in a disaster? Or if they're in a Muslim country, tell the doctor 'no thanks' because he has a crescent moon on his jacket? I seriously doubt it.

Political correctness is not really a valid reason to say that all MA classes should be secular. The vast majority of them are anyway, so I don't know why people whine about the few that are. That is your preference. If you prefer a secular class, the world is awash in schools that offer them.

Now please don't misunderstand me. If you run your class out of a church or have a church funded class, I completely respect that, and if your running a class and making a living doing it, more power to ya. but from a business owners stand point, I wouldn't want to turn away a good student, or potentially lose one due to my religious convictions.
Obviously, you don't respect it: you just stated above that you "believe that Martial Arts classes should remain secular" and compared Christian themed MA schools to the Nazis. That is not a demonstration of respect.

As for the business standpoint, some businesses do very well by becoming highly specialized. Porsche doesn't make family cars, economy cars, pickup trucks, or station wagons. They make performance cars period. Even their one sedan looks like a 911 with an extra set of doors wedged in, costs a ton, and drives like a race car. Porsche has effectively shut out 90% of the market. Ferrari has shut out even more. Their cars are more expensive, they don't even have a sedan or SUV, their cars get even lousier mileage, and you need to do gymnastics to get in and out of them.

Part of good business is knowing who your customer is and taking the necesary steps to reach that customer, bring them in, and keep them coming in. That is essentially what a religiouly themed MA school is doing, whether they know it or not. Some do it well, others do it poorly.

Daniel
 

Aiki Lee

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Yes, Balrog, you don't seem to understand the meaning of that passage. It's about hypocritical people appearing to be righteous to make themselves look good in the eyes of others. Believers are encouraged and in fact commanded to incorportate their beliefs into everything they do and speak openly about their beliefs.

Payne, I agree having a religious theme in a dojo could be a poor business model, but I think the majority of religious MA groups are more like private clubs and couldn't care less about the business aspect.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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What I find to be rather insidious about this situation is that the instructor -- the person of power -- was bringing students along in a particular way, but then changed the rules midstream....knowing that the students were in for the long haul. People change, I understand that...but this person apparently did it with little warning and no transition plan.
I agree with you, though in this situation only tentatively, mainly because I suspect that we are not getting the entire picture, either from the OP or Lionsroar.
If an instructor wants to change direction, at least have the loyalty to one's students, not to mention the respect and courtesy, to work a succession plan so the students that don't want to go in that direction can continue on with their investment.
I agree. Also, I'd like to add that if the school changes direction, the school should waive any contracts (if any) to allow those that do not like the new direction to leave and find another school. If a school owner decides to make his school Christian and then tells those that don't like the direction that they have to fulfill their two year contract that still has a year to go, well, that aint exactly in line with those new found Christian values.

Daniel
 

Lionsroar

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I agree with you, though in this situation only tentatively, mainly because I suspect that we are not getting the entire picture, either from the OP or Lionsroar.

I agree. Also, I'd like to add that if the school changes direction, the school should waive any contracts (if any) to allow those that do not like the new direction to leave and find another school. If a school owner decides to make his school Christian and then tells those that don't like the direction that they have to fulfill their two year contract that still has a year to go, well, that aint exactly in line with those new found Christian values.

Daniel

I have given you guys the entire picture as to what occured in this situation 2 or 3 times now on this thread. The problem is the OP never gave the entire picture. He came on here and tried to express his frustration with the situation. The truth is like I have said multiple times now, is that when the OP was accepted into training and began classes Sensei had already began making the changes. The transition period was over a course of probably a good year or so. The OP never had any real exposure to the Bujinkan system. And lets be honest here, anyone that trains in the Bujinkan system should know that at a 10 or 9th kyu what real exposure to the system have you had other than basic postures and sanshin no kata....

He like all students that come in to seek training are made well aware of the differences between our dojo and other "bujinkan" schools. Infact we even have it pointed out on our Dojo websites. Another point that he failed to make was that while training with us he was constantly seeking out training in other arts and schools. This may not be an issue to some but to us and members of the Bujinkan it is looked down on. Infact before he left he had already spent several months training in a "mixed martial arts" school here in town.

This shouldn't be a Chrisitan issue. Yes the instructors at our dojo are Christian as are a good portion of our students, but not all are, and non of those that aren't seem to have any issues. What this really boils down to is the fact that the OP was a nice kid but in the long run wasn't really fully committed to learning budo taijutsu but wanted to dable in multiple styles. It was obvious to the instructors the last few months he was with us his heart really wasn't in it especially since he was constantly missing classes and when he was training talked a lot about other arts he wanted to pursue.

He left by sending us an email stating like I've said before that he had financial issues and couldn't pay for training any longer and also that his new class schedule (high school classes) would prohibit him from making most classes for the next few semesters. He never once expressed any of his concerns about "patches" or "christian" themes to any student or teacher. Had he have, we certainly would have tried to come to an agreement.

We wished him the best, but in truth we knew that he had already been training at a local kagukenbo (spell?) school for sometime before leaving us.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I have given you guys the entire picture as to what occured in this situation 2 or 3 times now on this thread. The problem is the OP never gave the entire picture. He came on here and tried to express his frustration with the situation. The truth is like I have said multiple times now, is that when the OP was accepted into training and began classes Sensei had already began making the changes. The transition period was over a course of probably a good year or so.
With due respect, rarely is the full story ever really conveyed on a forum. Not due to intentional obscurement, but because it is the nature of things. You post your perspective, he posted his, and the sensei involved is not a part of this discussion. But that is neither here nor there. No real judgement can be made on an internet forum because it is an internet forum. None of us train with you, so everything from either you or he is second hand knowledge at best.

The rest of my post was meant in generalities, as this discussion has long since moved away from being about the OP's particular situation. Most of this thread has been about the place of religion in dojos and how it should be handled in general , as the OP ceased posting some time ago.

The OP never had any real exposure to the Bujinkan system. And lets be honest here, anyone that trains in the Bujinkan system should know that at a 10 or 9th kyu what real exposure to the system have you had other than basic postures and sanshin no kata....

He like all students that come in to seek training are made well aware of the differences between our dojo and other "bujinkan" schools. Infact we even have it pointed out on our Dojo websites.
Given his relatively low rank (green belt, if I recall), I would take that as a given.

Another point that he failed to make was that while training with us he was constantly seeking out training in other arts and schools. This may not be an issue to some but to us and members of the Bujinkan it is looked down on. Infact before he left he had already spent several months training in a "mixed martial arts" school here in town.
In my opinion, unless one is already established in an art and is looking to simply crosstrain, they should stick with one place and one system, so I can see why you might look down on it.

This shouldn't be a Chrisitan issue. Yes the instructors at our dojo are Christian as are a good portion of our students, but not all are, and non of those that aren't seem to have any issues. What this really boils down to is the fact that the OP was a nice kid but in the long run wasn't really fully committed to learning budo taijutsu but wanted to dable in multiple styles. It was obvious to the instructors the last few months he was with us his heart really wasn't in it especially since he was constantly missing classes and when he was training talked a lot about other arts he wanted to pursue.

He left by sending us an email stating like I've said before that he had financial issues and couldn't pay for training any longer and also that his new class schedule (high school classes) would prohibit him from making most classes for the next few semesters. He never once expressed any of his concerns about "patches" or "christian" themes to any student or teacher. Had he have, we certainly would have tried to come to an agreement.

We wished him the best, but in truth we knew that he had already been training at a local kagukenbo (spell?) school for sometime before leaving us.
I'd gathered that from your previous posts. Its all academic at this point: he's left your dojo and he's long since bowed out of this thread, so the majority of the discussion here has become one regarding the role (if any) of religion in a dojo. Feel free to jump in.:)

Daniel
 

Chris Parker

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Hi Lionsroar,

Out of interest, do you have a responce to my points in post 207, page 14 of this thread? I'm asking mainly as you seem to have come back to argue a point that we aren't and hoped that you may take the time to clear a few things up. Thanks.

Oh, and it's Kajukembo/Kajukenbo, by the way.
 

FriedRice

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I'll agree, Christian values can be good, and that in theory, a martial art should drive you to become a better person, but this should be the martial art itself, the discipline you get as you rise through your ranks, not by being told stories out of an old book.

What's the difference between this and some White guy with a huge Asian fetish implementing Asian influences in philosophy, mannerism, etc. within his MA class? I personally don't care to learn various Asian terms for an armbar, when it can just be called an armbar.

If your sensei gave you a patch with some Chinese characters right out of a Chinese restaurant menu or Buddhist prayer books, I bet you'd have no problems with it....but a cross, oh my, the world is going to end. This is just his style. If you don't like it, then you should leave. Just like if you don't like to fight in pajamas, leave also. What about if there are Buddhist statues, goddess statues, etc in the dojo? What if he tells you to wear a Yin & Yang patch?

How about bowing? Kung-Fu has a whole routine. Muay Thai has the prayer hands thingy. TKD is a continuous "Sir Yes Sir" for the whole class. Again, it's just his style to implement Biblical teachings into his class. Just like Kobrai Kai dojo where it's about killed or be killed. If you don't like it, stop paying them money and leave.
 
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