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Thread: Expel from Dojo (hamon)?

  1. #1
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    Default Expel from Dojo (hamon)?

    I was planning to attend a dojo that is ran Peter Arno.

    http://www.avalonartscenter.org/Home.htm

    After attend two classes and talking to members from other dojos, I found out that Mr. Arno was expelled (Hamon) from the Toyama Ryu/ Mugen Ryu, as well as two other dojos. I am not sure how serious is this, and how I should look at it. Do people get hamon from dojos often? or does hamon usually involve a very serious offense. Since I intent to train with my little brother, I want to make sure the sensei I train under is creditable, respected, and have good morals. If anyone can help with information regrading dojo-expulsion or what not,it would be much appreciated.
    Last edited by MuMuLi; 10th January 2007 at 00:48.
    - D. Lee

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    If he recieved hamon then he did something serious enough to warrant his dismissal from the group in question. What he did would need to be asked about, and if you thought it reasonable then you could train with him..Although his recieving hamon from more than one group would paint a picture of distrust, it may be wrong..Decide for yourself.
    Hamon is not a daily practise, but it does happen and the reasons for it should be understood.
    What I mean is that what he did may not be morally wrong, or spiritually bad, but it was certainly enough to get him dismissed from at least one group and possibly several more, the chances are good that that pattern is best avoided..But you have to decide if what he did fits with your own ideas of a good teacher.
    Regards.
    Last edited by fifthchamber; 10th January 2007 at 02:15.
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

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    Thanks for your comments, Ben. You seem to have some insights into this and I am wondering if you could say more. I am not familiar with the situation you describe but understand that there is an action that is sometimes taken where the general community just seems to "ignore" an individual as it were. Is this the same situation you describe?

    Can a person show sound behaviors physically but still be cast out for not having the "right" attitude or beliefs?

    Can a person have the right beliefs but confound these with some nasty character trait such as a hair-trigger temper or argumentative streak?

    Is this a decision that is made by a particular individual such as a teacher, the head of the style, an organization, or ????.

    As a practitioner of KMA I am always willing to learn more about how traditions are managed in the JMA. Any additional information would be appreciated.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

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    To add some of my thoughts:
    You may be a student, but you are in the USA - therefore a consumer (who pays tuition and invests time) and an American of independent thought - so act the part.

    Be aware Martial Arts divorces and organizational schisms happen all the time.

    When I was a fourteen-year old dojo rat in my first style it unnerved me to watch my first MA schism of senior students (my teachers) breaking away from their “karate master” – but now decades later it’s often par for the course to happen - over any extended period of time.

    I would recommend these steps (for all in this situation):

    1) If you continue to train at this dojo because it meets your immediate needs - in a private one-on-one you need ask the instructor about it (diplomatically). The manner of his answer is just as important as his words.

    2) Is the instructor now a member of a break away federation from the previous organization or is he completely independent? Depending on that answer may have major impact of your long-term sword study prospects.

    3) Or… ignore it all (politics) and just train for now and absorb as much as you can for your first year or two. But do independent reading/web research, maybe attend “outside seminars” to compare core techniques as your knowledge base begins its development.

    4) If the issue really still bothers you, leave.

    BTW, it is the multiple “hamon” events in your background detail that kind of bother me.

    Like after getting your third divorce, maybe marriage isn’t the proper life choice for you.
    John McPartland
    Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!  I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

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    I too would be wary. It wouls seem that getting Hamon from two dojo's would make me never to return. I would ask around.

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    Default Update

    The situation is not looking good. I spoke with a few other instructors from the area, and everyone seem to have a negative view on Peter Arno. They said they don't wantto make negative comment on the guy, but the term "McDojo" and "Bad attitude" was used a few times.
    - D. Lee

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    Since the term "Toyama Ryu" came up I suppose there is always the option of approaching someone of standing such as Powers Sensei of that tradition. Certainly I would not expect him to speak about a particular personality. However, he may be able to give you some guidance as to the nature what such an action would mean from the POV of that tradition. He also might provide you some guidance about what association with someone who has had this experience might mean to your practice down the road a couple of years.

    I completely agree with the comment that this is the US I live in and most certainly Americans are nothing if not "independent minded". However, we are apparently speaking of a traditional "ryu" even if not a Koryo tradition, and that, I would guess puts a little different spin on things from what I am led to understand. Certainly people who are more closely involved with these arts can speak better than I. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

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    An attempt at insight ...
    There are many possible reasons to hamon someone. It all goes back to the ryu system under which the Japanese sword arts have run for their entire existence. From the Japanese perspective, the ryu comes first, everything else is secondary. That is why we still have classical Japanese arts like jujutsu, kenjutsu, chado, ikebana, and Noh theater. They all run under the ryu system. Every member of the ryu is a representative of said ryu, and anything they do is a reflection of said ryu. If said member conducts themselves, or acts in a manner that is considered detrimental to the ryu, they would be reprimanded. If said member refuses to resign from the ryu, and also won't alter their conduct or actions, then the ryu will forcibly expel them ... hamon. I know nothing about this particular situation, but I've known of other situations where people were hamoned for gross disrespect of seniors, publicly embarrassing the organization, teaching the knowledge of the ryu without authorization, and lying about their credentials in order to make more money. These are the sort of things that will get somebody hamoned from an organization. It is unlikely that you will find anyone to explain exactly what happened other than the instructor in question, and his explanation is likely to paint himself in a better light.

    Something else to consider, if the instructor is no longer a part of either sword organization, I would be very hesitant to learn from him as where is he going to go to increase his knowledge and training?
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgsmith
    An attempt at insight ...
    There are many possible reasons to hamon someone. It all goes back to the ryu system under which the Japanese sword arts have run for their entire existence. From the Japanese perspective, the ryu comes first, everything else is secondary. That is why we still have classical Japanese arts like jujutsu, kenjutsu, chado, ikebana, and Noh theater. They all run under the ryu system. Every member of the ryu is a representative of said ryu, and anything they do is a reflection of said ryu. If said member conducts themselves, or acts in a manner that is considered detrimental to the ryu, they would be reprimanded. If said member refuses to resign from the ryu, and also won't alter their conduct or actions, then the ryu will forcibly expel them ... hamon. I know nothing about this particular situation, but I've known of other situations where people were hamoned for gross disrespect of seniors, publicly embarrassing the organization, teaching the knowledge of the ryu without authorization, and lying about their credentials in order to make more money. These are the sort of things that will get somebody hamoned from an organization. It is unlikely that you will find anyone to explain exactly what happened other than the instructor in question, and his explanation is likely to paint himself in a better light.

    Something else to consider, if the instructor is no longer a part of either sword organization, I would be very hesitant to learn from him as where is he going to go to increase his knowledge and training?
    Mister Smith, a good concise write up on ryu cultural parameters.

    BTW Bruce (& Li Man Kit),
    There does appear to be at least one “schism” or at least a split within the Toyama Ryu down in FLA which was some of the basis of my thoughts within my #2 bullet posted.

    I do not know the details or individuals – I just can read website text.
    John McPartland
    Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!  I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

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    Many thanks for much good information!!

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

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    Hi Bruce,
    I have no more insight than anyone else who trains in a ryuha I reckon, I've never been given hamon thank God...So can't be much good for that, I do know that it happens for a whole load of reasons, but since each school is self contained those reasons vary widely. What the ones listed against Pete Arno were I couldn't say.
    You would not be asked to leave a school for following different beliefs or ideas though, that's a personal issue and has no effect on training..Until it does, and then perhaps hamon could be given..It really does depend though, sometimes it's as little as following two schools at the same time (If little is the right word..It doesn't need to be..), at the other end it could be as big as a criminal investigation that the school wanted distance from..But the situations vary in each school..
    That said, one hamon would normally be a good reason to look at your own actions and try to straighten out what you did "wrong"..Two or three simply means that you're pushing a line with many individuals..Someone like that would be harder to take seriously as a good teacher..To me at least.
    Regards
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

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    Hamon can be given for a multitude of reasons; Not following with the spirit of the ryuha, not conforming with the group, playing at being the "big I am", instructing juniors in techniques without prior clearance, dishonesty and fraudulent activity (Look at Robert Clarke & the Hontai Yoshin-ryu hanko fiasco in the United Kingdom).

    Koryu have a very small community and most instructors either know each other very well or at least know of each other's reputation. Bad news travels fast and if you have been given hamon, you usually (Mind you not always) will be shunned by others if they are in the same clique.

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    Hello everyone ! Yesh I am back .....lol I do realized that this thread is more than 10 years old. But I didn't want to start a new thread as my question is still relevant to this category. I've been banging my head on both sides of the wall about my dojo situation. I have a very talented 9 year kid who seems to be really passionate about her art. However, Mom was not to thrilled when she was informed that I cannot issue her a black belt ( Prabationary ), right off the bat , the mother's demeanor changed. Before I said no, they were already shopping online for their kid's belt.

    They decided to train in another dojo ( Supposivelly for the purpose of training in Olympic sports karate), They did asked for my permission, I have been quite patience with this family and yet so far it has gotten worst to the point where on facebook she would tell everyone how nice and supportive everyone are....But mostly many post are covert and subtle digs at me.

    as I don't want to overwhelmed E-Budo citizens of my woe, there's just so many lines crossed by this mother. So my question is, can you Hamon a child based on the mother's attitude ?

    Note:

    They have not been showing up as they are made aware of the need for a meeting with me. Mom is absolutely making every efforts not to show up. Your thoughts ?

    Thanks Everyone !
    Prince Loeffler
    Shugyokan Dojo

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    Let her buy the belt but no certificate to prove their rank. After all, it is a piece of cloth, not a badge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Loeffler View Post
    Hello everyone ! Yesh I am back .....lol I do realized that this thread is more than 10 years old. But I didn't want to start a new thread as my question is still relevant to this category. I've been banging my head on both sides of the wall about my dojo situation. I have a very talented 9 year kid who seems to be really passionate about her art. However, Mom was not to thrilled when she was informed that I cannot issue her a black belt ( Prabationary ), right off the bat , the mother's demeanor changed. Before I said no, they were already shopping online for their kid's belt.

    They decided to train in another dojo ( Supposivelly for the purpose of training in Olympic sports karate), They did asked for my permission, I have been quite patience with this family and yet so far it has gotten worst to the point where on facebook she would tell everyone how nice and supportive everyone are....But mostly many post are covert and subtle digs at me.

    as I don't want to overwhelmed E-Budo citizens of my woe, there's just so many lines crossed by this mother. So my question is, can you Hamon a child based on the mother's attitude ?

    Note:

    They have not been showing up as they are made aware of the need for a meeting with me. Mom is absolutely making every efforts not to show up. Your thoughts ?

    Thanks Everyone !
    I reckon the reality of LalaLand means you'd best start with a thorough understanding of your contractual relationship with her.

    What's your normal time to promotion to 1 dan? And intermediate belts?
    Lance Gatling ガトリング
    Tokyo 東京

    Long as we're making up titles, call me 'The Duke of Earl'

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