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#133953 - 11/11/04 02:05 PM what they show ain't always what they know
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
A few years ago I was going on vacation and found an association affliate school in the city. I e-mailed the contact number and was invited to train while there.When we arrived the Sensei was extremely nice and helpful. We shared stories and versions of what we do, and it was very positive. Even though this Sensei owned the dojo he was not the highest instructor(I found this odd)but a Shihan who would just teach. While we were training and sharing techniques the Shihan showed up, stopped class and demanded to see a Kata. while I felt this to be strange and a bit heavy handed we did what we were asked to do. He then grilled me for about 20 minutes questioning me, my Sensei and if we were really in the Organization.Upon leaving he told the Sensei/owner, to just show us basics and nothing else. The Sensei apologized and said that the Shihan wasn't great with people and was always suspicious of strangers. However the Sensei had to listen to his Shihan and all we did was basics. After class I was somewhat put out put realized I was at anothers dojo and let it go.

When we got back to town and told our Sensei he was livid and called the associations head person and made a big deal about how we were treated. Still I couldn't decide if it was disrespectful or just something that happens. I talked with a good friend and Kajukembo/Kempo Professor and he told me every time he goes out of town on business he stops by dojo's just to watch what they do. He said on many occasion, once the Sensei finds out he trained they would change what they were doing and do something else, guess what.....basics.

One of my early Sensei's would group us by rank and work different things. The brown belts would always stop and watch what we black belts were doing. Sensei got so mad at this he eventually had just a Black Belt class so no one could watch and locked the doors on that night so no one could see what he was teaching Black Belts. Really he was doing the same thing the Shihan did to us, and guarded what he was showing.

Last week the flu bug hit the dojo so I cancelled class(without flu shots, I didn't want an epidemic)and went visiting dojo's. At one dojo I went and when the Sensei came over I asked permission to watch. He said sure and started class. He came over a few minutes later and asked if I was interested in joining a Martial arts school. I explained I had my own and was just visiting. He asked who I trained with and I told him. He trained with my Sensei as well at one time, but we managed to miss each other. He went back to class and stopped it, and had them do, guess what.... baiscs. He went to the senior student and had him run the class and the Sensei disappeared. 2 more people came into watch, and when the Sensei came back he asked the other 2 if they were interested and they too trained and wanted to watch. I had my full of basics and was going to leave, and thanked the Sensei who said" please don't go, I have some things I'd like to show you and get your opinon" This was a complete turn around from how he acted before. Come to find out he called my ex Sensei and asked who I was and Sensei told him and I actually was a higher rank. Now he wanted something else.

I got to thinking about this, and realized, I don't show everything or certain things when people come to visit. As a matter of fact there is one group of things I never show except to my upper ranked students. Its something we keep just to ourselves, and don't spread. So I am essentially doing the same thing. I called another one of my Sensei and his reply was "what they show ain't always what they know" He went on to explain that alot old instructors teach what he called seminar technique, which is what they show at every seminar. Others will share what they want, not always what they know. He said many of the old Masters and Grandmasters did this. Sometimes they even would show things wrong so visitors would not pick up anything. He also said he did the same thing, not teach wrong, but not teach the "meat" of the art when visitors were there. If they wanted that information they needed to become students.

Which leads me to this, what do you do when visitors come to your dojo? Do you carry out your teaching plan for the night, or change it. What about when other schools come to train, do you share anything or something specific?

I end this with a story which makes this a little more debatable. I had a man come to the dojo and wanted to watch, which I always allow. He called the next week and wanted to watch again, and I again I agreed. He showed up a third time wanting to video my class. I didn't allow this, and he made a big deal about it in front of my students, telling them I was hiding things from them and everyone else, and if I was that good I shouldn't be worried about him videoing the class. I finally asked him to leave. 2 weeks later a new school showed up a block away and guess who the Sensei was, you guessed it, the same man, and he was doing my techniques. Now maybe this is why, everyone changes what they do, you can't steal basics

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#133954 - 11/11/04 06:58 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
kenposan Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 633
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
senseilou,

I think this is a common practice for the reasons you noted.

In my old school, we just did what normally did when there were visitors but the intensity increased a bit. More like we wanted to impress them. But I also have to admit I came from a school that focused on kickboxing techniques so there wasn't a lot to "hide", if you know what I mean.

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#133955 - 11/11/04 09:20 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
Anonymous
Unregistered


At my school, a prospecitve student must show proof of rank if they want to view or attend an advanced level class. Otherwise, I make appointments for them to view or attend the beginner level classes. I do this for the very reasons that you noted, but also because a person interested in starting in the arts needs to view a class that they will be participating in. They don't need to view the difficult or advanced techniques, as they might feel that it is too lofty and out of reach as a beginner.

There are too many dojo's that try to steal too many ideas from others. If you go back to basics, they can't steal the knowledge that is common to the art they want to teach - unless of course they don't even know the basics!

Gambatte!

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#133956 - 11/12/04 01:53 AM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
I have never seen it as "stealing" techniques, but of sharing them.

I am in touch wihth a couple of local instructors from different goups, one the same style as me and one different. We regularly visit each others dojos.

One is very much senior to me and he has generously shared a lot of knowledge with both me and my students. The other is the same grade and we have helped each other.

Maybe it is different in the UK.
Sharon

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#133957 - 11/12/04 01:58 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Maybe it is different in the UK.

I don't know, but have a hunch its different. Here there is a school on every corner, and the competition is tremendous. I like to say that opening a dojo is like opening a restuarant, everyone thinks they can do it. Look at the restuarant that failed, and a week later somone is in there trying to make a go. At one time there were over 110 school in the area, it went down to the 60's but is on the rise again. Here you will find not only Shodan opening schools but color belts as well. Sadly most learn the lesson that students would rather work with the older Okinawan Master, than the Brown belt student. I guess when there are that many schools and you have a limited experience, stealing information is prevalent. On a post about 2 years ago I asked about schools in the UK and the answer was like about 50 in London, I don't know if that is still the same. Also I don't know if the makeup of style makes a difference as well. I know of a Kempo Sensei who would send his Brown Belt to other Kempo schools dressed in a white belt and get techniques and bring them back. Then Sensei would change the name and use it as his own. So it goes on,alot here, and I know back east there are alot of schools spying on each other.

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#133958 - 11/12/04 02:30 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
Anonymous
Unregistered


The format our schools follows was first developed by Master Sung Lee http://www.sunglee-taekwondo.com/master.htm Instructors that opened their own school chain, 3 in total, one being my instructor, were given permission to do so and they still have much respect and visit their teacher. Throughout Alberta and other provinces you will now find this same format where permission given or not. It is everywhere. I guess some would take this as a form of flattery.

[This message has been edited by Dereck (edited 11-12-2004).]

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#133959 - 11/15/04 01:10 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
Anonymous
Unregistered


We can relate, We offered use of the facility for 10 bucks to hit the bag, use of treadmills, and weights. One guy would just watch class instead of work out, and guess what the wanna-B was teaching self defense classes in the park that next summer.

I will let them watch only once. I offer 1st lesson Free and would preffer them to train, this way for them to try and take knowledge it would be like drinking water from a fire-hydrant, you cant drink it all. And if it's something they want, they stay, if not then their's the door. "it swings both ways"

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#133960 - 11/15/04 01:32 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
SenseiLou, Hi and just wanted to add to your topic. When a visitor is invited to our school I always turn the heat up a little, I want the person to have a great workout plus when he returns to his dojo it is important to me that he gives his Sensei a positive report as well. I suppose it's an ego thing too, don't want anyone thinking our school is average.

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#133961 - 11/15/04 02:13 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have always made it a point to visit other schools both in my own town an when I travel. It never occured to me that I might be viewed as someone that wanted to steal technique. I may be slow but I just didn't put 2 and 2 together. I have just always enjoyed watching do what they enjoy.
Certainly looking back some were more gracious hosts than others. I guess I have something to consider when I make other visits.

oldman

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#133962 - 11/15/04 02:36 PM Re: what they show ain't always what they know
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
[QUOTE]Originally posted by oldman:
I have always made it a point to visit other schools both in my own town an when I travel. It never occured to me that I might be viewed as someone that wanted to steal technique. I may be slow but I just didn't put 2 and 2 together. I have just always enjoyed watching do what they enjoy.
Certainly looking back some were more gracious hosts than others. I guess I have something to consider when I make other visits.

oldman
[/QUOTE]

Oldman I agree, while visiting Chicago and Memphis this year both the dojo's I went to were more than happy to show me thier techniques and vis versa. I never felt compeled to hide anything or thought the other schools were hidding something from me. I can't package thier techniques and sell it?! Some people are just suspicious?

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