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stelios
07-05-2006, 02:08 AM
Has it ever occured to you being annoyed by some fellow students who think they know all and everything and they keep telling you that everything you do is a mistake despite the teacher being prsent? One can accept kind critisism on technique execution but when the critisism is a) constant b) from lower kyu syudents c) false d) from newcomer who cannot comprehend the technique fully it becomes reeeealy annoying !
I have to admit I did it as a begginer but soon my sensei pointed out the err in the action. One can also support the view that it is unethical to correct your partner all the time and in every chance you have especially when sensei is around and watching you.
Telling in a very calm tone to my fellow student lead nowhere and he just keeps on doing it. Any suggestions?

justin
07-05-2006, 02:38 AM
grow a thicker skin and just ignore him let him, that might be easy for me to say as i haven't come across this often in my dojo but i would like to think that is what i would do.

Dirk Hanss
07-05-2006, 03:22 AM
Hi Stelios,
I have one, too.

You can

a) ignore him, if it is not too often.
b) show him, that your technique works well
c) tell him shortly to shut up - it is training time and not conversation

After the session, you can tell him, that - as junior - there is know way to correct a senior student.
He might be right - but he is not able to decide, if there are other issues, you have to train, regardless what he has seen from sensei's teaching.

Dirk

Mark Uttech
07-05-2006, 06:15 AM
In the past, I simply refused to pair up with a 'shadow teacher' (that is what they have been called). When a 'shadow teacher' has a hard time finding a partner, it gives them a chance to change; (or disappear forever). If called to question why you refuse to pair up with such a person, you can honestly explain why.

John Boswell
07-05-2006, 10:16 AM
One thing I do when confront with a 6th kyu "shihan," I just shut up and shrug a whole lot. Do what you do that you know to be right and wait for Sensei to correct you. Then, as Kyuhan is doing his wrong technique, make sure you give a "committed attack." If they can't move you, and they won't be able to, then they'll realize they are doing something wrong! At that point, ask Sensei to come over and show YOU BOTH the proper technique again.

Rinse and repeat.

PS: I'm guilty of this as well. I think everyone is to some degree. I just REALLLY make it a point to try and keep my mouth shut when I'm someone elses dojo.

Jorge Garcia
07-05-2006, 10:44 AM
As an instructor, I don't like the students teaching each other and I don't allow it. When I was a student, I didn't like students doing it to me. I once had to stop a guy and say to him, "Can you see our Sensei over there? He is the person I am paying to teach me."

The problem is that
1) Sometimes the students teach incorrectly and that messes up what the Sensei is teaching.
2) It is frustrating to the beginner for one person to tell you one thing and another person to tell you the same thing the last guy showed you is wrong.
3) Once someone starts teaching you, often, they tend to become a second teacher-permanently.
4) It teaches the younger students to do the same thing. Then you have ignorance instructing knowledge.
Those are a few of the reasons I feel the way I do. I believe you have to earn the right to teach someone.
Best wishes,

aikidoc
07-05-2006, 12:30 PM
There should only be one teacher on the mat. In my experience, when others start showing their partners how to do things 'correctly' they are often doing it incorrectly. The only ones I allow to assist me are my black belts. My recommendation with the shadow teachers is to either call the sensei over or just do your technique. You might indicate that you are trying to model what the instructor showed and they are confusing you with their feedback. Some have a natural tendency to instruct others and it can be difficult for them to not do so. They generally do not mean anything by it but it can get annoying. I have this tendency and have to watch myself. Generally, though a lower ranked person should not be giving instruction to those ranked above them period. If they think something is wrong then they should do the technique the way they think it should be done and let the sensei make corrections.

dps
07-05-2006, 12:33 PM
...they keep telling you that everything you do is a mistake ..."

There is a simple solution , duct tape. :)

Guilty Spark
07-05-2006, 12:46 PM
As an instructor, I don't like the students teaching each other and I don't allow it.
1) Sometimes the students teach incorrectly and that messes up what the Sensei is teaching.


Agreed and you're obviously in a MUCH better position to comment. I'm just wondering, could you also say that one of the best ways to learn is in fact to teach others?

Some of my most enjoyable moments in aikido have been helping new students understand something because I was JUST in their shoes not long ago. I know exactly what their thinking/how their frustrated.
I've found that a light clicked on for me often when I would be showing or helping a newer student.

Your sensei telling you knee forward, knee forward, shift your weight is one thing, when you're the one saying it to someone else and you actually see WHY someone needs to have their knee forward or to shift their weight I find it sinks in on a bit of a different level.
Obviously the cons of students teaching students are pretty big. It's all too easy to impart bad habits for half an hour or an hour requiring the sensei to undo everything and start over. The possibility of egos from the students (or a pecking order?) is there as well as well as resentment. I couldn't stand one student who wouldn't shut up about how this would never work or that would never work or how they did things differently in his other martial arts.

In larger classes I would imagine the sensei doesn't have that much time to devote to every student and in some cases higher belts helping younger ones would be beneficial? Say a green belt helping a white belt with the basics or break falls as concurrent activity while the sensei helps a more advance group of students work on what they need for their next test.

Lastly I'd think that if students aren't given any exposure to teaching during younger levels it will be that much more difficult when they reach shodan for example. (where they may somewhat forget what its like to try see aikido as a square vice a circle.)
I'd figure there are benefits in slowly "teaching someone how to teach or coach" which is a skill in itself. Only letting someone teach at a high level might mean they know all the techniques but they have poor teaching habits which could be just as detrimental, no?

In taekwondo those students willing to teach/coach others were under a more powerful microscope from the instructors and mistakes by the students teaching other students were delt with more firmly. I would say they were held to a higher standard which in that situation I think makes sense.

Jorge Garcia
07-05-2006, 01:14 PM
It's not the teaching that is the problem, It is the knowledge. In order to teach anything, you need in depth prerequisite knowledge and the beginner doesn't have it. You don't know what you don't know, so there's no way for a beginner to know what he knows or doesn't know until he has spent some years on the mat and by then, he should be a black belt.

Guilty Spark
07-05-2006, 01:16 PM
Fair enough Jorge. What about Kyu belts coaching? Do you think there is (can be) a difference betweem "teaching" and "coaching"?

deepsoup
07-05-2006, 01:25 PM
Agreed and you're obviously in a MUCH better position to comment. I'm just wondering, could you also say that one of the best ways to learn is in fact to teach others?

Some of my most enjoyable moments in aikido have been helping new students understand something because I was JUST in their shoes not long ago. I know exactly what their thinking/how their frustrated.
I've found that a light clicked on for me often when I would be showing or helping a newer student.

That's more in tune with the dojo culture where I train. (And, I'd say, with many other Shodokan dojos.) Its normal for people to "teach" a little bit. (Emphasis on "little" there.)

Obviously there's a balance to be struck, often you just have to shut up and let your partner practice. But a kyu grade wouldn't be expected to just let a complete newbie struggle, and a dan grade would be expected to give a kyu grade a little pointer now and then.

Sean
x

Lan Powers
07-05-2006, 02:29 PM
quote>Then, as "Kyuhan" is doing his wrong technique, make sure you give a "committed attack."
<unquote

Gotta love that term!!
Have to keep that one for later....mumbling, making scribbled notes.
Lan

Jorge Garcia
07-05-2006, 03:04 PM
Fair enough Jorge. What about Kyu belts coaching? Do you think there is (can be) a difference betweem "teaching" and "coaching"?

A little coaching is ok but then, it feels bad when the Sensei has to rein you in if you go too far. If there is a new person, I usually pair them up for the class with a black belt that can help them constructively. I know people like to help others but for lower kyu ranked people, they should be helping themselves first. It is ok to guide your partner a little but it's also good for a person to struggle a little and to figure things out for themselves. I have always like to figure things out and process things myself. People are often way too anxious to help me. They want to help me more than I want to be helped.
Best wishes,

Mike Hamer
07-07-2006, 02:49 AM
I brought my best friend to Aikido last week, his name his Jose. Being his best friend, knowing it wouldnt bother him, I was tempted to tell him he was not following the Sensei's instructions for rolling. I didnt, because I knew that I myself could be wrong. Not sure why sensei didnt say anything, maybe he wasnt doing it wrong, didnt notice, I dunno

Jose broke his collar bone the next day trying to show off his rolls....sigghhhh....



Looks like I wont get to practice outside of the dojo for a long time.....

Hucqie
07-07-2006, 10:40 AM
This thread got me thinking about how I train and what I say on the mat during training.

Do you classify telling Tori where you felt their technique breaking down as teaching? Surely this just guides them towards improving their technique, ie, still giving them the opportunity to figure things out on their own. I think that resisting the technique and remaining silent is demotivating for Tori and can make them feel that you are being intensionally difficult, while going along with a technique when it is not working is not honest.

So much depends on the culture on the mat, Often when class mates offer advice it strengthens the feeling of camaraderie on the mat, ie. we are all working together towards the same goal.

There are other times when advice offered to me is not well welcome / well received then typically I say something like "shhhht" and try to figure things out on my own, by this stage though I am pissed off and I struggle with the technique even more.

Conclusion: I think that it is up to the Sensei to determine the amount of talking that he / she allows on the mat, a mat is only so big and the Sensei should be aware of what is happening on it. If the Sensei reprimands someone for "teaching" then that person more than likely won't try it again, the other students will see this and will also fall into line. However, if the Sensei allows "discussions" on the mat then that is what there will be. In this case it is up to the individual to control the amount of "teaching" that they receive.

Eric Webber
07-07-2006, 11:16 AM
Has it ever occured to you being annoyed by some fellow students who think they know all and everything and they keep telling you that everything you do is a mistake despite the teacher being prsent? One can accept kind critisism on technique execution but when the critisism is a) constant b) from lower kyu syudents c) false d) from newcomer who cannot comprehend the technique fully it becomes reeeealy annoying !
I have to admit I did it as a begginer but soon my sensei pointed out the err in the action. One can also support the view that it is unethical to correct your partner all the time and in every chance you have especially when sensei is around and watching you.
Telling in a very calm tone to my fellow student lead nowhere and he just keeps on doing it. Any suggestions?

Can you throw him with enough gusto and speed (obviously not to really damage him) that he cannot breath and talk at the same time? Most ukes can either roll or talk, not both simultaneously. Good luck.

Jorge Garcia
07-07-2006, 11:22 AM
Do you classify telling Tori where you felt their technique breaking down as teaching? Surely this just guides them towards improving their technique.
Yes, that is teaching.


Often when class mates offer advice it strengthens the feeling of camaraderie on the mat, ie. we are all working together towards the same goal.
It is funny to me how those that teach always seem to rationalize it and how they think that the uke should really appreciate it. Whatever your reasons, they are irrelevant to the point. The Sensei is in charge of the teaching. If you want to bless the students with your wisdom, start your own dojo and then teach them.
Whatever the Sensei allows is the rule.
I personally hate it when I start getting advice I didn't ask for.

Best wishes,

Mike Hamer
07-07-2006, 07:37 PM
I welcome any type of advice from anyone in my Dojo, as they have all had more expirience than me.

Except for this one girl named Sara, Ive been to one more class than her.

Jorge Garcia
07-07-2006, 11:35 PM
That may change Mikel the day you really know what you are doing and someone who clearly doesn't tries to teach you.
Best

Pauliina Lievonen
07-08-2006, 03:19 AM
If I really know what I'm doing, and someone clearly doesn't, what's there to be annoyed about? :)

kvaak
Pauliina

giriasis
07-08-2006, 02:57 PM
If I really know what I'm doing, and someone clearly doesn't, what's there to be annoyed about? :)

kvaak
Pauliina

I agree with Pauliina, just let it go if they are more advanced than you.

I think the annoyance, though, is when someone new or junior does the correcting. The more advanced I get I've noticed that the correcting gets less but when it does happens their question is usually them reflecting on how I'm doing the technique which is difference from their perception of how they saw the technique. In other words, I think instead of asking a question such as, "why are you doing this?" They instead assume you're wrong and just correct you. I'm beginning to learn to turn the "correction" around into a question and address the point of their confusion. Of course, I'm just now figuring this out after 7 years of practice. If they do annoy you and you don't really understand yourself, just ask the sensei to come over and explain.

Also, as menitoned in some dojo cultures the senior ranked students are expected to help the "newer" students. In our basics classes, our sensei will actually request the "older" student pick a "newer" student and it's expected that the "older" student help teach. Of course, this is also under his watchful eyes and he does step in when the "older" totally confuses the "newer". Now, when he does this to me I pay close attention as how he teaches the newer student, and from there I learn how to explain a more difficult concept or technique. (Also realize "older picking newer" means a 5th kyu picking a newbie or a 5th dan picking a shodan.) But I can see how this practice can be annoying to those people who train in schools where the sensei and only the sensei teaching the class teaches.

Qatana
07-08-2006, 05:27 PM
I take correction from some of my kohai, the ones that have superior technique to me, the ones who haven't tested as often as I have, the ones who have a clue.Even the 12 year olds have something to teach me, if only noticing whether the hand grab was from the top or the bottom.
I will no longer do this outside of my own dojo, however. if someone is wearing a white belt out of "humility" I will simply mention that a white belt does not correct someone in a colored belt. This being, of course, only if I am training at a colored belt dojo.

DonMagee
07-09-2006, 01:37 AM
Are you not 'teaching' or 'coaching' simply by being uke. If I don't feel your technique is working and I simply stand there. I'm teaching you. Are the people who feel students should not teach of the opinion they should be a 'easy' uke and just go along with it until the sensei corrects them? If that is the case, are you not being insincere in your training and allowing them to build bad habits that may not ever get corrected? And if your technique is working, he should not be able to talk, he should be busy taking ukemi. I teach people all the time by just not letting them do anything. I'll stand there and stare at them until they get it 'right'.

I'm personally of the opinion students should teach. The teacher should only present concepts and guide the students. Let them ask questions, play among themselves, come up with their own ideas, and test them. The teachers job is to drill the fundamentals into their head and be there to ask and answer questions along the way.

wmreed
07-09-2006, 10:08 AM
To be philosophical about it: Open your mind and heart to receive their energy, and direct it as you will.

My recommendation is to listen to what they're saying, it's _possible_ they have an insight you missed. When they don't, nod or shrug, and demonstrate for them what you believe to be appropriate behavior. They will get it or not. You'll only be practicing for a few minutes a night with them, in most cases, I would think.

Something else to consider, which I learned after being annoyed by these kinds of students for many years, is that some people think out loud. They are analyzing what they "think" is going on, what they "think" might work better, what they "think" sensei is looking for, what they "think" you are doing wrong, and do that most naturally by saying it aloud.

I've learned to take what I want from everyone's comments, and to ignore the rest politely.

On the rare occasion that an uke insist I do something differently (not related to their safety) I tell them that I don't think that's what sensei wants, and would prefer to continue to figure it out myself.

I can think of only one situation in which an uke, even after that, insisted I do it his way. I did, knowing he was incorrect, actually got corrected by sensei, and uke never admitted he was in error. I laughed to myself, wondering if the poor guy even understood that he was wrong.

It's not worth getting frustrated or angry over, in most cases. How can that help?


Bill

Hanna B
07-11-2006, 12:50 AM
Has it ever occured to you being annoyed by some fellow students who think they know all and everything and they keep telling you that everything you do is a mistake despite the teacher being prsent?

This has been discussed a couple of times before. I personally prefer to have one teacher on the mat, but some dojos let students teach and correct each other.

Some people actually try and teach their seniors and possibly they see it as power play, but some just keep talking and say "now you should do this and that" just to keep their mouth going - when you ask them "why do you think you need to tell me that?" they might get embarrassed. I had one person explaining to me that he learned by verbalising, so he needed to talk constantly (duh!) Those who actually try to teach you are more difficult to handle, IMO. In some bad cases I have returned the favour by picking on every part of their technique, simply to show that it is not constructive.

Most of the times it works to just say you prefer to work on the things yourself without help, though. I never managed to do that until I had some strategies ready for how to handle when a simple suggestion to not talk/teach was not obliged.

If it comes to a dispute over how the technique should be performed, it is always best to ask the teacher come over.

DmG
07-11-2006, 05:47 AM
Ah....the age old question of shadow instructing :~)

Usually, when I get shadow corrected, it is because I am being 'nice'. Meaning, I'm working with someone who's energy is telling me they can't really take the ukemi for the technique (ie new, elderly, hurt...whatever). So. My usually way of handling is to First, Smile :~)....then do EXACTLY what they tell me...when they get that surprise look on their face :~O.....I smile even bigger, and ask if that was what they wanted me to do.....

Seriously, there are a number of reasons why people shadow instruct. Bill mentioned sometimes people think outloud...true...sometimes people are covering their own insecurities....true....sometime people really don't know how to take the ukemi, so they stop the attack to 'talk' about it in avoidance of taking the fall (not understanding, of course, that by doing so, they have put themselves in worse jeopardy of a choke, strike, kick or something nasty).

The best part about shadow instructors, as you raise in rank....is.....you realize you don't really care about them. It is harder to ignore at the lower levels (all you yudansha....want a fun experiment? Trade your black belt for a white belt at a seminar sometime (ok, maybe you'll have to go across country where they don't know you so well)...and watch the increase of shadow instructing!!! It is hysterical!!!)

Bottom line is....you are responsible for your learning, the sensei is responsible for teaching. Smiling helps you ignore the chatter...and if you really get someone annoying, just avoid them. Training time is short enough, as it is, to waste time arguing on the mat!

DG

aikidoc
07-11-2006, 03:03 PM
The best way in my opinion to help others work on their technique is to take good ukemi. If you are much more senior, you can use good ukemi to guide others in the performance of their technique. By good ukemi, I don't mean stopping the technique. I suppose you could call that teaching, however, it is much less interventional and more experiential. Leave the more direct coaching for the instructor. Everyone has different skills when it comes to learning technique-however, it is not the responsibility of classmates to fix their partner's modeling difficulties. It's ok to give some feedback- "that didn't feel quite right, try it again".

mriehle
07-11-2006, 05:22 PM
I'm a teacher. I own my own dojo (see my signature). I also continue to train with my teacher at his dojo.

One of the hardest things to do is not teach when I'm in one of his classes. I instinctively want to help my partner. I've even identified three distinct scenarios and appropriate approaches to them:

1) Sensei has a specific thing he's working on with us. The only time I will correct a partner in such a case is if he/she is doing something which is actually dangerous. Otherwise, I just shut up and do my thing.

2) Sensei is "in a mood". This means he's started us on an idea and has asked us to explore the idea. In this case it's good help each other out in the exploration. Even here, help should be "how about trying this?", rather than "Well, that was wrong.".

3) Working on something and my partner is just getting it wrong. Correction is required, but I'm not the instructor. The best approach, I've found, is "feedback". No specific comments. Just stuff like, "that one felt better", or "it was better on the other side". The truth is, I don't always know what's wrong anyway, I just know it's wrong. Better to let my partner work it out or call Sensei over if that isn't possible.

Helping is not the same as teaching. Senior students should help. Junior students actually can help somtimes. No student should be teaching during another instructors class.

Sort of a follow-on: think about your own ukemi. The other night I was working with a guy and the technique went badly. I realized immediately that I'd messed up the ukemi. I said as much to him. He stopped trying to "fix it" and got on with what he was supposed to be working on.

If you're going to help, be sure you consider your own role in the problem.

TracyHeld
07-12-2006, 02:33 AM
Everyone who has posted so far made good points about the benefits and disadvantages of students teaching other students. I'm personally biased towards encouraging students to teach other students, because I train in a dojo that actively encourages this kind of behavior.

Normally, when I get annoyed that a lower ranking student is "teaching" me something, it's because I'm embarassed that someone with less experience is pointing out my weaknesses. Most of the time, I skip that phase and genuinely appreciate the feedback, because Sensei isn't always around to notice when my technique is flawed. And, sometimes, only the uke (regardless of rank) is able to point out a flaw in my movements with her, because she's the only one experiencing it with her body.

Also, it's important to remember there's a difference between teaching/coaching/helping a partner and distracting a partner by overwhelming him with feedback. Some people talk a lot or critique a lot because they feel a need to show off their knowledge or to control their partner's progress. To me, dominating someone else's practice for those reasons is inappropriate and can come from anyone on the mat.

And one point that hasn't been mentioned so far in the thread is that students are sometimes better at pointing out certain kinds of technique flaws because they're actively trying to correct the same flaws. I may not be able to instinctively move into a tenkan for a particular technique, but I sure can tell when someone else is forgetting it, too. Or, I may be watching Sensei's footwork during a demonstration and may not notice the hand change that another student picked up on. I appreciate having an extra pair of eyes (and another brain) helping me work on techniques.

DmG
07-12-2006, 06:28 AM
Tracy, good point.....there is a big difference between inviting comments and receiving "shadow instructing". If I want a comment, I'll say something like "I'm working on the footwork...do you notice a difference?" And, if I really really think I need to 'instruct' someone, I'll politely ask "would you like a comment?"....but mostly, I keep my thoughts to myself, unless I am asked what I think.....

There are times, when students are brand new, that you may have to give them some basic instruction. But in those times, it is best to give them the minimum to let them move through the technique....and then slowly, if time allows, feed them additional information one bit at a time.

I used to dance. And in ballet class, often a teacher only shows the routine once or twice....and then you get a few minutes to review it in your head (or with your body). I found that I needed three distinct steps: 1) learn the general moves and direction (like, turn left, step right); 2) nail down the actual dance steps (like tendu here, releve, etc.); 3) polish (like tilt your head, point your toes, etc.). If I tried to focus on specific steps before I really understood the flow of the routine, it would take me twice as long to learn. If I worried about which way my head tilted before I knew to plie here and releve there....it took me twice as long. Step 1 before Step 2 before Step 3...works every time...and I got to where I could learn routines really fast because I realized that!

So, I try to remember that when I'm "helping" someone in aikido....if I start talking to someone about 'feeling their center', or 'extending ki' before they even know which foot goes where....I sound like Charlie Brown's teacher (WHA,WAH, WAH, WAH).....:~)

TracyHeld
07-14-2006, 11:20 AM
Hey, Donna--I'm going to start using your strategy. I usually feel lost right after a new technique is demonstrated; maybe this is the cure!