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SMJodo
2nd February 2004, 15:05
I have a simmering dilema that I was hoping to get some on from more experienced budo practitioners. I currently practice Jodo (classes are only once a week) under a very esteemed Sensei that I have great respect for. I do not want to damage our relationship, but I have been toying with the idea of practicing another art in addition to Jodo (Akido). The problem is that my Sensei does not offer the art I'm interested in (only Karate). Would you approach him and seek permission to study another art?

Blackwood
2nd February 2004, 15:13
Tough one! I've seen it work both ways. I know that a couple of students left my current sensei to study other styles and while it wasn't openly hostile, it wasn't warm and friendly either. But they really went all out on the other style and only showed up a couple times a month.

Then there is another man who is about to test for Shodan in a style who is a green belt in ours. It is 'okay' and hasn't been too much of an issue, because he shows up twice a week.

I even go so far as to ask before visiting another dojo, even within our own style. My Sensei will give me tips on what to watch out for and what they do wrong in his opinion. Or give his approval "He good teacher."

SMJodo
2nd February 2004, 15:25
I'm probably not going to pursue it anytime soon. I just have always had this interest in Aikido (which also uses the jo). It just seems to fit together nicely. It's not that one is better than the other, I just think I would fit me better. If my Sensei taught Aikido it wouldn't be an issue. I really don't want to stir the pot so to speak - especially when I should be testing for Shodan later in the year. He's a great person - just very traditional. I definitley don't want to upset the applecart because I think even asking for permission might insult him.

Blackwood
2nd February 2004, 17:03
I would wait until after the Shodan test, then ask around and see if any of the other Dans have studies aikido. We have a Godan that studied for a couple of years and shows how the techniques of our style are just slight variations of what they are teaching.

SMJodo
2nd February 2004, 18:48
I didn't really think of it that way...... I suppose I would be in a better position if I had my black belt. I wasn't in a rush anyway, but it was eating at me. Thanks.

MarkF
3rd February 2004, 04:29
What if the situation were the other way around? You do aikido and take up a separate weapon art...oh, let's say the jo. I don't really see the problem but that's me.

I teach judo and have had students who also do weapons arts which actually works out pretty well in self-defense scenarios I teach. I know others who only did koryu most of their lives and then took up judo. I also know of certain koryu teachers who insist a prospective student take up something more mainstream for a year or two before they are accepted as a student.

Basics are pretty much the same so I don't see it interfering, but that's something you have to work out. Is sensei right in not approving?

I don't know the answer I'm just proposing the question.


I hope it works out for you.


Mark

David T Anderson
3rd February 2004, 11:17
If it were me, I'd ask my Sensei if he thought it would be a good idea if I investigated another art. I would hope that as long as I gave no indication that my dedication to my current art would drop off, he'd be okay with it.

SMJodo
3rd February 2004, 12:47
I'm not sure there would be a problem on the surface - he probably would let me do it. But I get the feeling that it would probably strain our relationship. Afterall, this is how he makes his living and I'm going to "break rank" so to speak and go outside for training. I know he places a high value on tradition and loyalty - It's a big topic.


Thanks for your input - it's nice to be able to get some objective opinions.


:)

JujitsuFreak
7th February 2004, 00:40
Why is there the necessity to inform your teacher about you taking another art??

I mean, its curteous, but if your teacher gets angry about you training elsewhere.. uhh.. who he is to say what you do with your money? I train with over a handful of students who train in other arts. In fact it would only seem to help them or you in your primary art. This one guy is a black belt in Kenpo who trains with us and he says training jujitsu helps him with his kenpo. Now what's wrong with that?

I guess I don't see the big deal. If your goal is to be more well rounded in MA or even if you're just interested in another art.. what is the big deal with belonging to 2 different schools at once??

That's almost like saying to your teacher I belong to a gym... is that gonna be a problem?? The gym to me is to help keep me in shape while I hone my technique in class..try and relate that among schools.

All this loyality hogwash talk about how you belong to that one and only school is beyond me.. seems like he's worried about losing you to another school and there goes his lunch for the month. guess what? oh well, that's comes with the trade.

But if you're goal is to train at these 2 schools and interchange them, ie - one helps the other or the other helps the one, or it's just plain curiousity that sends you to that school, then shoot for it.

SMJodo
7th February 2004, 04:17
JJF - I've bounced around with that thought, but it comes down to this: Given his traditional values (and mine to a degree), I think it would matter to him. So, out of respect I think I should tell him.

Logically, I see your point - but it just FEELS wrong. Actually, I think it would be good to cross train little, especially given the art that I train in now (SM Jodo). I thought it would be a great fit for a bunch of reasons:

#1 Aikido uses the Jo - so it would not be completely foreign to me. I might also be able to offer a little in the way of technique to the Aikido people.

#2 I am drawn to Aikido more than the other unarmed arts - I think the "formless" and "circular/fluid" movements fit me better than a "kata-oriented" style that focused on punching and kicking.

#3 I'm ashamed to say - but it's less expensive and I can afford to do it.

#4 I have a bad knee and there are not as many leg sweeps and low kicks to worry about.

#5 and lastly, I think the Aikido training might help my Jo by learning new techniques and improving my balance and movement. Plus the exercise would get me off my butt.

I'm still in the "research" mode for Aikido - just trying to gather as much information as I can so I can make the best decision. I appreciate you thoughts - it helps.

Tabacula
8th February 2004, 21:05
Have you considered telling your jodo teacher the reasons you want to switch before actually asking if it's ok? For example, if you tell him your knees are compromised and hurt, maybe he can adjust your training to avoid further damaging your knees. If you tell him your budget is tight, he may reduce the rate.
I've found that my interest in another martial art is often a symptom of difficulty in karate. Maybe you should investigate your own boredom for the source before pursuing anything else.

Tabacula
8th February 2004, 21:10
My last post, I implied that were "bored". That wasn't accurate at all. Sorry! Your own curiousity in Aikido may simply indicate that your jo training is now in need of another dynamic to remedy a weakness. Your instructor may have a solution up his sleeve already.

SMJodo
9th February 2004, 15:17
Tabacula-

I might have given you the wrong impression - I never intended to give up Jodo. Sorry about the confusion. The issue is this:

I think at some point that I would like to add Aikido to my training - but my Sensei teaches Karate-do. I'm afraid that if I approach him about studying Aikido at another Dojo (at some point in the future) he will be offended that I did not show an interest in his Karate-do. So the issues was never really Aikido vs. Jodo - it was Aikido vs. Karate-do.

Ron Tisdale
9th February 2004, 16:19
Well, I don't think aikido jo work is going to help your SM jodo...not if your jodo teacher is really good. If you find an aikido instructor who has trained in formal jodo, then maybe. Its simply more likely that the jodo will help your aiki jo, but then, be prepared to scare the stuff out of your aiki jo partners...the distance, timing, angles will most likely not be something they enjoy at first.

But overall, I think your aikido will be better for the jo work.

Ron (just my opinion, no slight to those who have a different experience)

SMJodo
9th February 2004, 17:00
Ron,

Maybe so. I don't claim to know a lot about Aikido, but it seems like a closer/better fit than Karate-do. Nothing against Karate, but I was looking for something a little different and Aikido is kind of appealing. Heck, if my Jodo helped improve my standing in Aikido - I'd take it.

ulvulv
10th February 2004, 13:29
Originally posted by SMJodo
JJF

#4 I have a bad knee and there are not as many leg sweeps and low kicks to worry about.

I'm still in the "research" mode for Aikido - just trying to gather as much information as I can so I can make the best decision. I appreciate you thoughts - it helps.

There is a lot of groundwork in aikido, and doing shikko(tatami-knee-walk) puts some strain on the knees, as you pivot on the kneeshell, so be careful.
Otherwise, I think aikido is a wonderful art to combine with jo, did some myself ten years ago, but chose to focus only on weapon arts.

SMJodo
10th February 2004, 14:29
Roar,

Thanks for the tip about the "knee walking". I'll definitley have to find out more about that when the time draws closer. I don't mind ground work, but knee walking might be a different story.

I noticed you're from Norway. I'm of Norweigen decent - well, half anyway. Don't know much at all about the culture, but those Norweigen Cruises look great. Maybe one day. It's got to be cold beyond comprehension there, huh?

ulvulv
14th February 2004, 15:10
Originally posted by SMJodo
Roar,

Thanks for the tip about the "knee walking". I'll definitley have to find out more about that when the time draws closer. I don't mind ground work, but knee walking might be a different story.

I noticed you're from Norway. I'm of Norweigen decent - well, half anyway. Don't know much at all about the culture, but those Norweigen Cruises look great. Maybe one day. It's got to be cold beyond comprehension there, huh?

More wet than cold where I live. couple of "white weeks" every year. Never been much of a skier anyways.:)
the cruises are great, but mucho expensivo
Whats the last name of your polar ancestors?

chizikunbo
14th February 2004, 20:59
Originally posted by SMJodo
I have a simmering dilema that I was hoping to get some on from more experienced budo practitioners. I currently practice Jodo (classes are only once a week) under a very esteemed Sensei that I have great respect for. I do not want to damage our relationship, but I have been toying with the idea of practicing another art in addition to Jodo (Akido). The problem is that my Sensei does not offer the art I'm interested in (only Karate). Would you approach him and seek permission to study another art?
Touchy Subject, but I think it would be proper to talk to him and ask him for permission, I beleive that most sensais would approve of, or encourage a student brofening out their knowledge of the Martial Arts, being that there is no Ultimite art, but I think you would have to be carefull not to loose intrest or vigor in your Jodo training with your current Sensai, for he may take this to offense. Overall I think the appropriate way to approach this matter would be to humbaly seek the blessing of your sensai.

SMJodo
16th February 2004, 13:07
Roar - The family name was Nilsen - I don't know if it got "altered" at some point. That side of my family is kind of an enigma, so the only thing I know is that the family arrived here 2 generations ago (grandfather's parents) from Oslo.

Josh - I had an intersting conversation with my Sensei last week. It made me realize that there is a lot more learning that I can do in my current school, and that there is still quite a bit I can gain from him without "venturing out" and practicing soemwhere else. So, eventually I'll probably bring it up when I'm ready to make a move. But for the immediate future, I'm going to absorb as much as I can where I am. I think your suggestion is probably the way I'm going to go when/if the time comes. Thanks

gmlc123
18th February 2004, 05:37
Hi Greg

I'll jump in here only cause you mentioned that you do Jodo, and we've already spoken. I don't know what your exact concept of a Sensei is, and like everything we all have different concepts.

In my case, I wouldn't so much see it as "permission" but rather "guidance". In the end who can truly tell someone else what to do, rather a good Sensei or what Nishioka Sensei calls a "master teacher" in his Shu-Ha-Rei: Uchidachi & Shidachi article will always lead by example and others will follow if they're worthy or if others desire.

IMHO it's a bit like your Father (you should try to only have just one for that particular art, or style.. armed or unarmed), in this way it's not a democracy in his house.. but at the same time it's the nuturing guidance we all seek and admire, in an effort to improve ourselves both technically and spiritually.

Others can see it as a Military system, rather than a family one. Again, each to his own.

And most teachers I know would not have a problem, letting you do an unarmed art some even suggest it, the same for external Seminars.

Cheers
Greg

SMJodo
18th February 2004, 13:09
I agree with your sentiments, but it becomes complicated when my current Sensei also teaches an unarmed art - I don't think he sees it as a division of sorts. I think he views it in it's entirety - he teaches Jodo, Iaido, and Karate-do. So actually, I'm only getting a small piece of what I think he perceives as an entire pie. That was the jist of our conversation earlier this week. He illuded to the fact that there is a lot more to learn Budo-wise than just what I'm able to get from Jodo alone. I think he has a point there, but I've always been more partial to unarmed arts such as Aikido and Jujutsu - thus my dilema. I do appreciate the input though. Fortunately, I have a lot of time before I was thinking of really making a move, but I do have a lot to consider in the mean time. Thanks.

gmlc123
19th February 2004, 00:24
Greg

I feel for your situation and understand probably more than you think.

My only suggestion, and it's just that, is to try to attend a Pan-American Jo Federation organised Seminar. Even if you have to travel some distance to get there.

If you'd like me to try to find out more about such, ie. where and when such a seminar will take place on the east coast just drop me a PM anytime.

Greg

PS. I made another mistake, should have been Shu-Ha-Ri not Rei. :D

SMJodo
19th February 2004, 13:12
Greg,

Thanks for the tip. I'd like to check out one of those seminars sometime, but I'm a little limited with travel in the immediate future. I do have a business trip planned in early April to New Jersey. I am trying to arrange my schedule to meet Diane Skoss while I'm there. It's going to be difficult though.

Jodo has a relatively small following compared to some of the more popular arts, but it's good to see that there are a bunch of people out there that do practice it. For a while, I thought my school was the only one in the US (until I started branching out a little). It's kind of cool that it seems to be a relatively close-knit group. I'd really like to see what others are learning to improve my own knowledge. Thanks again.