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#126243 - 06/25/03 01:09 PM Snobbery
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Has any else noticed how much snobbery there is in aikido? people are always banging on about their sensei being a direct student of so and so who trained with such-a-body, and he trained with O'sensei himself. It is almost as if having a direct line to O'sensei makes them better. But isn't it possible that the sensei who trained with O'sensei wasn't all that good at teaching, and his students are therefore teaching a sub standard form of the art? Is all this "my sensei is more authentic than yours" just a load of crap in the end?

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#126244 - 06/25/03 06:03 PM Re: Snobbery
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
thats japanese nature for ya. the shinto religion is entirely based on pleasing your ancestors, and not shaming your family, that is why they want a direct line to the founder. blood ties are very important in japanese culture. besides its good publicity and a good way to attract students, if you have a "pure" lineage to the founder.

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#126245 - 07/26/03 01:21 AM Re: Snobbery
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I must have missed this before. Its not only an Aikido situation though, there are snobs all over the place. Alot of times because a Sensei claims lineage or who his Sensei was, students have been know to be a bit condescending. Funny part is I found most of the Sensei's who make claims are the very ones who have 'doctored their lineage. Those with direct descent, very rarely ever boast or act snobby, but actually are very humble. There is an Okinawan Shihan here who trained in Okinawa, and whose Sensei trained under a founder in Karate(Miyagi Sensei). You would never know how influential the little old Okinawan is until you see a Lineage chart, and is highly respected as a senior in Okinawa. But he never says a word, and you have to beg him to talk about the old days. Yet one of his senior insrtuctors, tells his students that he himself trained in Okinawa with the Masters, and trained with Shihans Sensei. Shihan told me he had never left the west coast in his entire life. This self accredidation goes on all the time. A good friend of mine, a senior in the Hawaiian arts says people tell 95% of the truth, its the 5% that distorts history, lineage etc. It is this that is causing the superior attitudes and the snobbish-ness.

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#126246 - 07/26/03 12:45 PM Re: Snobbery
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
I agree with Lou. There's the same linage snobbery in just about any MA you name.
Shotokan - Normally going back to Funakoshi
JKD - Going back to Lee
Etc. Etc. Etc.

On this basis I try and avoid anyone who claims a linage back to anyone. I've found it tends to limit their thinking.

JohnL

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#126247 - 07/28/03 08:22 AM Re: Snobbery
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
I think your probably right John, and people get misled into thinking any student of (such and such) must be good thenselves. It doesn't always follow.

Could it be a cultural thing though? Could the importance of lineage be something more than snobbery for Japanese students, for example?

Budo

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#126248 - 07/30/03 03:58 PM Re: Snobbery
immrtldragon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 1540
Loc: Just outside Philadelphia, PA
I think you guys are pretty on-target about the better teachers being more humble. I will be taking Yoshinkan Aikido soon and the instructor was a student of Shioda. I found this by looking into his web-site. It was listed under his description and was located in the paragraph...not bold-faced or anything. When I checked out the school, he was very knowledgeable and helpful, but never once mentioned his previous instructor. On the other hand, I wnet to a Ving Tsun school where the Sifu mentioned the lineage almost every class and everytime a new student came to check out the school. He would trace it back to Yip Man and then brag that Bruce Lee was one of Yip Man's students as well...he seemed very conceited. Whenever another instructor was brought up or someone asked about a style he would say "I'm not going to put that down, but..." followed by a bashing of the style and why Ving Tsun is better. Needless to say, I didn't stay there very long.

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#126249 - 07/31/03 08:00 AM Re: Snobbery
stanley neptune Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/23/03
Posts: 10
Snobbery is everywhere! How can you tell if someone is being truthful or puffing themselves up? remember the old adage----

You get more sound from a hollow drum.

Stanley Neptune

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#126250 - 07/31/03 08:19 AM Re: Snobbery
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Cato:
I think your probably right John, and people get misled into thinking any student of (such and such) must be good thenselves. It doesn't always follow.

Could it be a cultural thing though? Could the importance of lineage be something more than snobbery for Japanese students, for example?

Budo
[/QUOTE]

Interesting point, but I don't think so.

Snobbery probably exists in too many fields in too many cultures for it to be purely culturaly driven.

Some people are naturally snobs, others aren't. Just human nature. Accept it, move on.

JohnL

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#126251 - 08/10/03 10:35 PM Re: Snobbery
sactoaikiguy Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Sacramento, CA, USA
I think that part of the hang-up with lineage that so many instructors in Aikido have is due in part to fact that the style is somewhat new in the grand scheme of things. It's not so tough these days to trace the lineage of many teachers back to Osensei because it wasn't that long ago. You see the same thing in JKD, Wing Chun, Brazillian JiuJutsu, and other styles that were developed recently. I think the only reason you don't hear Taiji Quan instructors and TKD intructors going over their lineage is they'd have to go back a LONG way and most people wouldn't know the name of the founder when they got to it anyway.

That aside, I think the preoccupation with lineage is only one of the ways many of us allow our ego to slip in and hamper our progress. When I first met my Aikido teacher I hesitated for a long time because I felt that, having taken years of Kung Fu one on one from an excellent teacher, he would have nothing to show me. That was very arrogant of me. Aikido opened up a whole new world of experiences and learning opportunities to me. I have been an Aikido enthusiast ever since. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep my eyes open enough to learn from the next person who has something they can teach me.

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#126252 - 08/11/03 01:04 AM Re: Snobbery
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
i would agree to an extent, but tkd is not that old either really, contrary to what some of them will tell you.

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