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Loss at the top
Old 03-08-2007, 09:52 AM   #1
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Loss at the top

Two days ago, my Aikido teacher passed away. He was sitting on the side of the mats after class laughing with a couple of students and keeled over dead, massive heart attack, in mid-chuckle. Not a bad way to go except he was only 58. The shock and stunned feeling is just wearing off. We had a very emotional memorial service (in the Soto Zen tradition) last night for him at the dojo with just the students. Talking with others before and after, I can see the beginnings of the effect of a power vaccum setting in. Right now, we just need to get by, get through the funeral, and keep the dojo running. But ultimately, and soon, we need a method of decision making, as there are some serious issues facing us as a group. We have 4 lawyers in our class, and yet Sensei seemed to have no will. The vultures are already circling. There is no plan for succession and I can clearly see the one with domination tendencies (I call him the dojo nazi) assuming control. It's too soon, still in the midst of emotion, grief, etc, to press the others into some kind of consensus, but at some point we will be going through some serious changes. I am very concerned. Political bullshit aside, I lost my teacher and I wasn't done learning from him. How selfish of me.
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Re: Loss at the top
Old 03-08-2007, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Loss at the top


Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin
Two days ago, my Aikido teacher passed away. He was sitting on the side of the mats after class laughing with a couple of students and keeled over dead, massive heart attack, in mid-chuckle. Not a bad way to go except he was only 58. The shock and stunned feeling is just wearing off. We had a very emotional memorial service (in the Soto Zen tradition) last night for him at the dojo with just the students. Talking with others before and after, I can see the beginnings of the effect of a power vaccum setting in. Right now, we just need to get by, get through the funeral, and keep the dojo running. But ultimately, and soon, we need a method of decision making, as there are some serious issues facing us as a group. We have 4 lawyers in our class, and yet Sensei seemed to have no will. The vultures are already circling. There is no plan for succession and I can clearly see the one with domination tendencies (I call him the dojo nazi) assuming control. It's too soon, still in the midst of emotion, grief, etc, to press the others into some kind of consensus, but at some point we will be going through some serious changes. I am very concerned. Political bull**** aside, I lost my teacher and I wasn't done learning from him. How selfish of me.
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sorry about the loss of your sensei.

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Re: Loss at the top
Old 03-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: Loss at the top

ronin. May I ask you a question (I know it is bad timing I am sorry).

my son is practicing aikido as well.
we are also thinking of ,moving but I want ot make sure he can keep up with this.
do you have any insight of areas of the country where aikido is practiced? is there an internet location with a of the dojos

I am guessing I would need to relocate to a major metro area but I am not sure. Of course it is not the most important consideration. Still it ios one on my list to consider. If aikido is not possible maybe judo is anotehr possibility since the philosophy is not that far (except for the competition aspect)
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Re: Loss at the top
Old 03-08-2007, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: Loss at the top

Perinova, thank you. This site (http://www.aikiweb.com/) has a dojo directory on the left side of the page under databases. It is not necessarily totally comprehensive or up to date but should have the major cities covered and has long standing dojo listings. If you have a specific area in mind, I might be able to tell you more. I have practiced all over the country (world actually). Most big cities have Aikido. Many university towns do as well.
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Re: Loss at the top
Old 03-09-2007, 08:15 AM   #5
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Re: Loss at the top

Condolences.

I don't know that it will help much, but change is an unstopable force of nature. All dojo's and ryu seem to face it sooner or later. Sometimes it is easier to deal with it by expecting it.

Too bad your sensei left no succession instructions, but at 58 he probably thought them unnecessary.

A few observations: if your sensei taught informally, then succession is simply who will carry on the training and who will follow. This is where groups tend to break up unless there is strong consensus. Sounds like this will be awkward for you guys, given the dojo nazi.

If it was a business (dues, rent, insurance, equipment), that will be sticky. I doubt the students have any standing whatever as heirs.

Good luck
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Re: Loss at the top
Old 03-09-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: Loss at the top

Sorry about your sensei, Rono.

You're not selfish-- you're honoring the martial art. Your sensei would rather have you all needing him than turning to another.

And maybe things can be kept stable while honoring his memory with the theme of "What would sensei have done in this situation?"
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Re: Loss at the top
Old 03-09-2007, 09:47 AM   #7
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Re: Loss at the top

Thanks guys (and/or gals?). We will try to maintain a regular training schedule for the moment. It is a traditional, not for profit, business. There are major complications with a new lease, then bldg. having been sold, developer trying to evict us. I don't know how the lease was titled. We may be screwed. My view is to help out however I can as things play out. Personally, I am second seniormost student. People will probably be willing to train with me and the other seniors. I have my own dojo. I have no idea what I will do about having a teacher now. I have almost 20 yrs experience, so maybe it's time to shift my view, but I still would like to train under a great teacher (who wouldn't?). I guess one will come when it is right. Or not.
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