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Not For Us, Sensei - Review by K M | Seattle Holistic Ctr

Seattle Holistic Ctr

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Not For Us, Sensei 12/17/2006

I've had questionable experiences, both in the prenatal classes and most recently with Aikido. I never felt comfortable in either situation and am finally unraveling why. I'll try to make this succinct. I took the prenatal classes with Colette - who I found alternately comforting and patronizing. In the end, I discontinued the class as I found the general mood intolerant (esp. to those who do not favor natural birth and "breathing" over prescription drugs for post-partum depression, as one example). My husband and I also saw Colette in a counseling session where we were astonished to feel more ill-at-ease than when we came in to talk with her (I won't go into the more personal details but we slunk away feeling reprimanded like teenagers). A couple of years later we joined some friends' kids at the Aikido classes for kids. The instructor was wonderful with the kids, esp. the wiggly set; appropriately firm and clear with expectations. The "sensei", however (and don't you dare call anyone else by this title) is an arrogant megalomaniac. I've seen him move 4-year olds to tears (and outraged a mother in the process) and, when my husband and I changed our minds about our daughter continuing after a year (after some miscommunication with the instructor and just, well...time to move on as our daughter is more of a "free spirit" playing-type of 5-year old and we're OK with that), he refused to even consider refunding our tuition (we had paid just the previous day for a 5-month package and hadn't even started the classes yet!) because "That's the policy." Furthermore, he told my husband "you're just upset because you can't get what you want," among other choice statements, interrupting my husband and being basically incredibly rude. So much for being a good customer! While the instructor was capable and there were fun games and activities to keep the class exciting and fast-paced, the place felt like a scary boot camp (parents were even reprimanded for their wandering toddlers - which, again, I understand, but the way in which it was done felt uncomfortable and embarrassing - and could have been done much differently). There was not "soft touch", in other words. I'm certain some kids and their parents would love this kind of paternalistic ass-whopping, but not us. We learned the hard way. more
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