Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I found out that my dojo really did kick me out when I talked with Sensei today.

Why are they so mad at me? I didn’t mean to offend and harm anyone. Don’t they realize that? It seems like I’ve been a problem child in the dojo. I’m keeping getting into trouble. It seems like it one thing to the next. It seems like they don’t understand me or I understand them.

I started one thread when I haven’t even trained for a month and wasn’t even part of the dojo. I started the other when I was just starting to look in the dojo and been training for three months. How was I supposed to know that I couldn’t ask about him? I couldn’t have. I felt bad about that thread and deleted it. Isn’t that enough?

When I was having problems with the dojo, I would write it in my blog. I didn’t know what to do about all of these problems. The reason why I didn’t come up and ask my Sempai or Sensei is because I’m intimated by them. It feels like it’s “Do what you are told and don’t ask any questions.” When I say what I think about something or feeling I get into trouble. That is why I asked people on the internet because I felt that they were more approachable than my Sempai.

My Sempai say that they aren’t supposed to be my friends. How can I trust a person if he or she isn’t my friend? We should be friends to everyone inside and outside the dojo. My Sempai has said that the dojo is like a family and that my Sempai is like older siblings. In a family, older siblings are supposed to be friends with their younger siblings. They are not supposed to discipline them because that’s the parent’s job. If a sibling criticizes, puts them down, or belittles them, the parents will discipline him or her. Wouldn’t apologizing to Sensei be enough because he’s the parent and the one who runs the dojo?

If my Sempai are my brothers and sisters, wouldn’t we be equal to each other? Of course, they have been in karate a lot longer than me; however, we should be still equals. From what I’m seeing is that we are not equals in the dojo. For example, my Sempai can speak any time at Sensei’s house and I can’t.

In addition, parents are supposed to be friends with their children. However when they mess up, they need to discipline and love them at the same time. This is what President Faust said on the website.

“One of the most difficult parental challenges is to appropriately discipline children. Child rearing is so individualistic. Every child is different and unique. What works with one may not work with another. I do not know who is wise enough to say what discipline is too harsh or what is too lenient except the parents of the children themselves, who love them most. It is a matter of prayerful discernment for the parents. Certainly the overarching and undergirding principle is that the discipline of children must be motivated more by love than by punishment. Brigham Young (1801–77) counseled, “If you are ever called upon to chasten a person, never chasten beyond the balm you have within you to bind up.”

Discipline with severity, discipline with cruelty, inevitably leads not to correction, but rather to resentment and bitterness. It cures nothing. It only aggravates the problem. It is self-defeating.

Teach your children to love you rather than to fear you.”

I’m getting the vibe that Sensei wants us to fear him. I even heard from other Sempai that Sensei would hit people with a stick if they made a mistake. My Sempai has said that they are just to tear the lower students down, what’s the point in that? Wouldn’t it be easier to keep on building students up and up? When they break a rule, a parent can tear them down by disciplining them and then build them up again with love, not fear.

This is what Layne E. and Jana Squires Flake said the website,

“In order for any organization to run effectively, it must establish a set of bylaws. A family also needs bylaws to prescribe boundaries for behavior. If parents do not have a specific, deliberate plan for discipline, they are likely to rely simply on instinct and react emotionally to each situation.

At our weekly family council, we mutually agree upon rules which all must abide by. We also establish consequences for disobedience. In this way, everyone is aware of the rules and the consequences; there are no surprises. And the consequences are predictable and consistent.

An orderly home depends upon well-defined and well-understood rules.”


Becky said...

LIzzie I don't have time to read all this right now or I'll be late for work. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say not to give up on karate. There are other dojos in your area. Look into joining one of them. For what it's worth, I feel the sempai are supposed to be your freinds, mentors, and brother/sister figures. I'll comment more this afternoon.

supergroup7 said...

Lizzie? I was under the impression that you are taking karate as part of your University courses. Is this correct?

If that is so, then how can Sensei kick you out of the dojo? You've already paid for the course, haven't you? He is under legal obligation to teach you for the rest of this year. OR am I misunderstanding everything?

I guess that he could cancel the University course due to lack of participants.

What I can read in your words is the inner turmoil that this whole event is creating within you. My question is "Did Sensei TELL you that you were kicked out of the dojo, or is this your inner fear expressing itself?"

It's o.k. to be afraid, we all get afraid, but remember that your fear is usually based on your imagination rather than on reality. Find out the facts first before you panic.. o.k.?

lizzie said...

Supergroup, yes and no. I just started going to the dojo here in school. However, there are so many beginners and two returning white belts. I'm the highest belt because I'm a 6th kyu. All along, I've been going to my Sensei's dojo that is completely separate from the school.

He hasn't kicked me out of the school one; however, I think he and my Sempai kicked me out the real dojo because that's what he said the first time he talked to me. Right now, I know that I'm not welcome there. I think that after I apologize in the dojo, my Sempai will hold a meeting to see if they want me back in. This is what I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Sensei Chinen doesn't care what the Sempai have to say.

lizzie said...

Note: I was freaking out when I wrote this post. I don't feel this way anymore because all of my questions have been answered.

lizzie said...

You are making me wonder who you are anonymous. I hope you're from the dojo.

Sensei Michael said...

I'm trying very hard to word this in a way that doesn't sound disrespectful to a fellow sensei.

Being "voted back" by your Sempai is a load of bull. He is the sensei, he is the one who has to make this decision. Putting it in the hands of his senior students is nothing more than a vote of popularity and an excuse on his part.

This is not an example of what I would call a respectful, professional environment; rather, it seems he's more worried about his own personal reputation and the reputation of the dojo, that he's willing to run it like a military school and completely disregard the very precepts karate was founded upon.

I urge you to pick up the writings of Gichin Funakoshi, founder of modern-day Shotokan karate and a practitioner of many of the Okinawan and Japanese arts. He is the author of the 13 Precepts of Karate-Do as well as an autobiography entitled "My Life". It will give you some insight about Honor, Respect, and Integrity, as well as your Sensei (and as a result, his Sempai's) obligation to adhere to.

This has obviously touched a nerve, if you can't tell.

supergroup7 said...

It's o.k. Lizzie... We all go through the circles of doubt, fear, anger, bargaining, and then acceptance when we are hit with moments of grief. It's normal, and just part of being human.

ZenHG said...

Does it matter if they are from the Dojo Lizzie? Just continue your training and trust Sensei. If he has forgiven you, that should be enough.

lizzie said...

Sensei Michael, I was only guessing. Now, I think that my Sensei will let me back in no matter what my Sempai think.

Sempai David, no, it dosn't matter. You're right that I have to trust Sensei and not worry what my Sempai think.

blackbeltmama said...

Lizzie, it may be a blessing in disguise. Think of it as an opportunity to branch out and find something new that has an supportive environment.

As far an anonymous goes, I don't allow anonymous comments on my blog and maybe you shouldn't either.

Anonymous said...

Think of it as an opportunity to branch out and find something new that has an supportive environment.

I totally agree with this statement. There are dojos out there that will support and encourage you, rather than abuse and manipulate you. I strongly encourage you to find one.

lizzie said...

BBM and Becky, I found a Sempai from the dojo that has supported me through this.

Supergroup, do you think that I was really grieving because what was happening to me?

supergroup7 said...

I agree with Black Belt Mamma that anonymous comments should not be allowed on a weblog. If they are willing to say something, it would be best said with a name attached.

Lizzie.. there is a circle of emotions that accompany any loss in our lives: Denial, Anger, Fear, Bargaining, and finally Acceptance. We do this sort of circle in various ways, and sometimes we get stuck in one level of the emotions. We do it for even little things like losing our keys. Right? What's the first thing we do when we can't find our keys? "Oh no! It can't be!!!" (Denial), "*Aargh! How am I going to get to work on time!" (Fear) "Not today.. any other day but today!" (Bargaining) "I CAN'T believe that I lost my keys.. I'm SO STUPID!!!" ( Anger) "Oh well.. I'll just go to school, and phone my friend and see what we can do..." ( Acceptance)