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Lounge By karateka Updated 8 Oct 2008 , 4:52pm by sweettoothmom

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karateka Posted 3 Oct 2008 , 3:26am
post #1 of 7

I am a member of the karate dojo in our town. I worked up from white belt to second degree black belt and got into teaching along the way. I even got my ACMA certification.

I was an assistant teacher for quite a while, then they opened another location and the teacher I was assisting went there to teach. I got his class. It is a small class since it was the advanced ranks. I thought I was doing well, as I heard nothing negative from anyone.

My shihan told me recently that he is dissolving the class and putting those students in the beginning class because there aren't enough students enrolled to pay 2 teachers. I told him I'd teach for free because I love it, and asked if there was any kind of problem with my teaching, personality, kid/parent problem, etc. He promised that all was fine, it was a strictly monetary decision. OK. I believed him. He has always been very good to me and seems a completely good and upright man. I've hero worshipped him for 5 years now, and his wife is a saint.

Now tonight I'm at the dojo and an old student is in helping the sensei with the class. I'm told by shihan's wife that he wasn't getting enough hours in his current job so he applied at the dojo and they hired him. She says he'll be "helping". Some after school programs (different budget).....and she didn't finish her sentence, but it seemed as though she was going to say teaching at the dojo, too, since that is what he was doing as we spoke.

Am I wrong to feel that maybe my class being dissolved had some other reason behind it? I'm feeling very slighted and unwanted and hurt. He has always spoken to teachers about any problem right up front, so I had no reason to doubt him before. But if it was a monetary decision, why can he hire another teacher?

I don't know if I should pursue this or let it be and torture myself with it. This kid is a higher rank and a national champion, so maybe he just couldn't pass up the chance to have him in a classroom? After all....I'm durn near 40 and have never competed. Pretty much a has been at twice this guys age. But I am a good teacher. At what point does it become rude and intrusive to ask about the situation further? He is my master, and the sole owner of the business. I have to show him the respect due his rank as well as the respect due the owner of his business.

This place has been my "happy place" for 5 years and I'm feeling very lost, like I've been told I shouldn't come home. icon_cry.gif

Thanks for letting me whine. If you have any insight, I'd appreciate it.

6 replies
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redpanda Posted 3 Oct 2008 , 5:51am
post #2 of 7

Could he be being paid out of the after-school program budget, with the agreement that he'd help with the other classes without additional money for it?

What did your shihan say when you said that you said you'd teach for free?

I can definitely identify with dojos with financial or other issues. My dojo pretty much closed up a year ago, due originally to lease problems, but then never reopened due to family problems on the part of the owner.

I went from making several black belt ceremony cakes a year to none, rather suddenly. Now, I am doing theater themed goodies, because that is my son's new interest, to replace the hapkido. Tonight, for example, I baked over 100 NFSC in the shape of a foot in a cast for opening day. Yes, bad pun...cast cookies for the cast...break a leg and all.

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karateka Posted 3 Oct 2008 , 10:42am
post #3 of 7

He just said that he knew I would, that we aren't there for the $$ but because we love it, and that was true of all his teachers. But he didn't offer to let me keep the class. DH sez it's because he didn't feel it would be right, and I believed him at the time.

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margaretb Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:09pm
post #4 of 7

My experience is that there is a LOT of background politics going on in martial arts organizations -- not always in a bad way, but it is there. My guess would be that as far as the class closing, the financial bit is probably true (after all, besides paying a teacher, they have to rent the facility, right?), and as far as hiring the kid, it is probably politics. If you have a good relationship with your master, why not ask for a private conversation with him and tell him that you are still concerned that you lost the class because of your teaching, and if he reassures you, given his history of being straightforward, then believe him!

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sweettoothmom Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:00pm
post #5 of 7

icon_surprised.gif Hiring someone after the disolution of your class had to hurt a great deal.

You mention you trust the owner (sorry I am not knowledgeable of the lingo in martial arts) and that you have no reason to ever doubt him. So leave it as that.

You have to trust that this young man who was hired to "help out" REALLY REALLY needed it. Either he needed it for emotional, financial and or social reasons but he may also hit on a heart string of the owner for some reason unknown to you.

I placed a marker in the graveside of a loved one and when I went back the next day someone had stolen it. So I replaced it and wrote this sign. "If you need to steal this marker, you apparently need this, I would be happy to buy one. Please call me at blah blah blah. No questions asked" The marker and sign have stood for years now. Sometimes even though it is hard to say goodbye to things we love, there might be others in much more need of it. Now I dont know what they would do with a marker but hey they obviously couldnt live without it.

Be available to the owner. Be gracious when possible and take a class or two. See if this young man has something to offer. You might just learn something icon_smile.gif

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karateka Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:14pm
post #6 of 7

I totally agree that the kid can teach me something. He's been a member of the dojo since he was 3, and he's 20 now. He's awesome in a way I can only dream of. Everyone there loves and respects him for his ridiculously high level of prowess and his down to earth, respectful, friendly demeanor. I have nothing against him at all.

Since my last post I was asked to help referee a dojo tournament and to pick up an after school program. I watched Shihan's demeanor toward me the whole day and it seemed as friendly as ever. We even had a nice conversation about our respective families.

My DH was quick to point out that I never knew exactly what was in his mind, and still don't know the whole truth, so I was upsetting myself needlessly. Which is entirely possible, knowing me.... icon_redface.gif

I guess I need to learn to take stuff more at face value instead of reading into every situation, but I admit it was very hard the other day when I heard they had hired someone else. I do appreciate everyone who chimed in. Sometimes you are too close to a situation to accurately read it.

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sweettoothmom Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 4:52pm
post #7 of 7

best of all things to you!

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