View Full Version : Quiet please!

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06-01-2006, 07:02 AM
This is kind of related to the previous thread, but from another angle!

I would like some advice on how to say politely "Thanks, but no thanks" for advice/corrections given to me by those of more senior rank when I am in the role of Tori.

I have realised that the best method for me to learn the finer points of a technique I am already fairly familiar with is to just observe quietly the technique, or part I am interested in, and let it 'soak' into my head for a few seconds. I get frustrated sometimes when immediately after the 'mistake' happens my more senior ranked uke starts verbally instructing. To me this is like an interruption of a thought process. I also like to try slightly different directions (experiment) and work things out for myself. This is done at an appropriate pace, of course.

Usually I let it go, I can see it as a chance for uke to practice their instruction, although I guess that should include their learning how not to instruct as well. I also don't want to seem ungrateful.

It's not a problem that occurs often, but just as I like to attend to the 'minor' details in techniques so I would like an effective way of dealing with this occassional but irritating problem. Eventually I would be able to work this out for myself too, but I am worried I will do a big dummy spit before I have found my own solution!

I know the immediate instructions are not because the senior uke is worried that I might cause an injury, as I am the 'too soft' dojo chicken and don't scare anyone!


Michael Meister
06-16-2006, 08:31 AM
Personally, I would expect you to just tell me. Maybe not along the lines "Hey you f... bastard....", a "Thank you, but..." aproach probably would be better.

Ron Tisdale
06-16-2006, 08:42 AM
I think a 'thank you, but may I try to work through it on my own a bit' would be perfectly appropriate. There are times when I'm in the same place you described, and even with people I want instruction from, I ask politely for them to let me work through the issues on my own. I try to balance that with asking for specific suggestions sometimes, so that I don't always give the impression that I need to do it for myself.

One thing that I have noticed is that if I pay particular attention to my senior partner's movements when I take ukemi from them, they feel that connection, and then give me a lot of latitude as I try to emulate them. Most often, when I make that effort, they feel no need to verbally instruct me when I am shite. If they feel there is a point where I need to improve, they focus on that movement, and because of the connection, I feel it. And then focus on that in my waza. That seems to really build trust and cooperation between myself and my partner, and lead to a better keiko overall.