View Full Version : Membership Charter

Andy Watson
23rd September 2002, 15:04
We are currently trying to put together a Membership Pack for our dojo (Seishinkan, London) and one of the sections which I am giving some serious thought to is a Member's charter. By this I mean a set of rules regarding treatment and behaviour of students and teachers.

Rather than have a load of stuff on etiquette (which will go in a separate section) I wanted a more up-to-date section containing such items as equal opportunities, discrimination, penalties etc, in such a way that no one could "attack" the dojo if they were dismissed claiming they were unfairly treated. This section should contain as much instruction to the teachers as it should for the students. All of our instructors have received formal coaching training but I was wondering if anyone out there had already put something like this together and if they would care to share it with me.


24th September 2002, 15:58
Hello Mr Watson,

I was talking to a guy last Saturday about the very same thing (reasons undisclosed - PM me for more). Shall I put him on to you?

Thanks for the help on Sunday - maybe I'll make the team, maybe not!

Nice to see you on here.

Best wishes,


Andy Watson
26th September 2002, 14:55
Well this thread certainly generated some interest. Anyone alive out there?


Ron Rompen
26th September 2002, 16:03
I think a few (well, more than a few) ppl have read the msg, but I don't think a lot of us have any input.

Not the type of thing to be taken lightly, thats for sure. If you have a general format that you could post, or a few ideas/rough drafts, maybe it would be a little easier for us to comment.

Steven Malanosk
26th September 2002, 17:06
You see........this is the problem, with making the dojo, a club, rather than the home of the Sensei.

I know..............my views are archaic to some, but I/we reserve the right, to kick out anyone that is not behaving or performing to the satisfaction of the powers that be = me.

I suppose, if the school is run as a commercial establishment, the customer is always right, but thats not the way it should be.

Yes, there are those, who view some policies as unfair, but

The Sensei's word is LAW, by concent of the governed . = period!

You no like? Bye Bye.....................:wave:

3rd October 2002, 23:55
I used the code of etiquette to cover most of the issues in my program. Take a peek at www.vistaprimo.com for more detail. Mind you that I teach in a church-sponsored program, so there is a spiritual influence in our code as well.


Kevin Schaller

Steven Malanosk
4th October 2002, 02:49
Sorry to jump off the subject for a second.

Kevin, Your leaving yourself open for cyber persecution on the spiritual theme of your site. So before you get the negative, let me give you the well deserved attaboy.

I would use a symbol like yours but for the fear of ostracising the non Christian. But than again, how many non daoists use a yin yang?, And not all KenShi are Kongo ZenShi.

Anyway, good work my friend.:smilejapa

Andy Watson
4th October 2002, 10:05

Many thanks for that link. I must admit when I first started reading it I was feeling sceptical as Christian teaching turns a lot of people off in the UK but further reading into the sections, especially the etiquette, really changed my mind - there are some extremely relevant sections which I had not thought of and would have had trouble putting into the written context.

With your permission, I would certainly be honoured if I could use some of the points.

Best regards


4th October 2002, 15:56

Feel free to borrow anything you like. As you may have noted, we call what I teach "Adaptive Martial Arts", largely because what I teach adapts to the circumstances or needs of the student. I assist in defensive tactics instruction for our local Sheriff's Department. I also teach a number of Downs Syndrome students. Needless to say, the needs of these examples are radically different!

A more accurate description of what I teach could be called "Larceny Martial Arts", as I've taken things from everyone I've ever trained with and use it in class...however "Larceny Martial Arts" just doesn't seem appropriate for a church setting :D

In that spirit, please feel free to take anything from our site to assist in your program. Glad you found things that would help. I know there's been a great deal of negative dialog from the Christian community towards martial arts, but it is born of ignorance. I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to use the arts as a tool for spiritual maturity and personal excellence in a secular environment. Little steps eventually lead to large distances. Someday, I hope the Christian community recognizes the overall benefits of training and cultivating a peaceful nature through the arts.


Kevin Schaller

17th October 2002, 07:51
I agree that in this litigious age it is useful to outline behavioural expectations. However, I also agree that if you are in my dojo, I have the right to ask you to leave. I do not think the two positions are incompatible.

In our dojo, we make it clear that we have an anti-discrimination policy on our registration form, and that both students and teachers are expected to abide by it. We also make it clear that we have an expectation that you pay fees, do not do drugs/alcohol in class etc; train in a manner which consistently places yourself, other students or instructors at risk of personal injury;use skills learnt outside the training hall in a manner which brings the school into disrepute; bring the school, students or instructors into disrepute in other ways. People have to agree with these policies as a condition of joining.

This way we figure we make it clear that we have certain expectations. People get the tone and some people screen themselves out, and this is fine by us.

We wrap all that up with a nicely worded 'that all said and done we will boot you out if we want - in case some people come up with some reason we have not thought of: "training is totally at the discretion of the instructors of the school and may be withdrawn at any time, regardless of fees that have been paid in advance or any other commitment undertaken between instructors and the student."

I think the above things are more fundamental than a particular school's etiquette, and, at least in modern Aust. reflect the requirements and expectations of the law, litigation climate, and social values. In a charter, one could also describe complaint procedures etc if appropriate - say in a club, association context to cover things like discrimination, harassment etc. We have not gone that far in a smallish private school, but I could see situations where it might be useful. We have had several high profile cases of sports coaches getting in trouble for 'crossing boundaries'with their students/players etc.