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BC
10-10-2001, 11:29 AM
I'm curious how other instructors deal with students in their classes that for whatever reason, purposely act difficult with their training partners? By this I mean students who consistently strongly resist, shutdown, or counter their junior training partners on the mat. I'd like to be clear I'm not referring to students who are too rough or hurt their partners.

For instance, their is a senior kyu student in our dojo who is always trying to resist, shutdown and counter students junior to him. I and others in the know usually avoid bowing in with him, but occasionally it can't be helped. In the past couple of classes where I have been paired up with him, he was up to his usual old "tricks." The instructor for both of these classes happened to be by sempai. Well, on both of these occasions, the instructor saw what was going on and basically made this student take some, fast, constant and rigorous ukemi for about five minutes straight. The end result? Took the fire right out of the guy, and he was for the most part a good practice partner for the remainder of the class.

So, how have other instructors handled these types of students?

Regards,

aikifish
10-10-2001, 12:22 PM
I am not an instructor but would just like to say that I have encountered this same exact situation. I feel as if (and have been told by other training partners) I work as hard as I can on blending with people who do this to me on the mat. However, I haven't been able to walk away feeling as if I accomplished anything or even felt very discouraged about my training because of people who get so easily frustrated and possessed by their ego when training with kohai. It makes me want to scream "Get over yourself!" :rolleyes:

MikeE
10-10-2001, 12:52 PM
When I see this, I usually remind the senior students that it is easy to resist when you know what technique is going to be applied by a junior student, and that he/she should try to provied a more realistic attack. I also will quote O'Sensei's rules on training. More to the point, that training is not competition nor for gratifying one's ego. If this still doesn't work...the brisk ukemi drill is sometimes nice too :)

I will tend to remind them of the philosophy underlying aikido...and that until they try harder to grasp it, advancing will be difficult. (A person like this often is very concerned about rank and advancement).

Just my humble opinion.

In Aiki,

L. Camejo
10-11-2001, 08:05 AM
Originally posted by MikeE
I will tend to remind them of the philosophy underlying aikido...and that until they try harder to grasp it, advancing will be difficult. (A person like this often is very concerned about rank and advancement).


I agree with this 100% the difficult ones tend to always want to know when the next grading is and if they can double grade (which never happens in our dojo :)) and stuff like that.

It's as if they see themselves in constant competition with their fellow classmates.

The ukemi drills tend to work great. Another option is to shut down their practice by simply not responding with a technique unless they attack properly.

An option for more experienced practitioners can be to become more relaxed as they become more resistant, by doing that the uke tends to actually flow the technique around the force of their resistant opponent.
This tends to work in my dojo where we do Shodokan (Tomiki) Aikido and there tends to be a lot of resistance during randori.

My 2 cents.
L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
10-11-2001, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by L. Camejo
An option for more experienced practitioners can be to become more relaxed as they become more resistant, by doing that the uke tends to actually flow the technique around the force of their resistant opponent.
This tends to work in my dojo where we do Shodokan (Tomiki) Aikido and there tends to be a lot of resistance during randori.

Expanding on this just slightly just in case someone chooses to read this wrong.

It is very easy to shut down a technique you know is coming. Static resistance during the performance of paired practice has its place but generally its use is misunderstood. It is done not to shut down the techniques but to understand body mechanics.

Randori resistance is the exact opposite. Fluid, body placement and counters. There is as Larry mentioned - flow.

Larry as a Shodokan person is in my mind a little contaminated by Aikikai philosophy however common to both styles is harmonious practice. That does not mean non-resistant dancing but training which maximizes the benefit of both participants.

Jem8472
10-11-2001, 11:20 AM
At the dojo where I train, we don't have anyone that does that but some ppl to lockdown a bit to make sure you get the move right.

I find if someone is being difficult just do another move, it works because a) they are not expecting it b) they are trying to lock down against a different move.

If this still does not work just call your Sensi over and ask him to show you again ( on your partner) how the move is done excatly. Then watch him resist that! :)

Jem

www.aikido-dynaimc.co.uk

PeterR
10-11-2001, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by Jem8472
If this still does not work just call your Sensi over and ask him to show you again ( on your partner) how the move is done excatly. Then watch him resist that! :)

Well sure - but I remember having Shihan watch me with a guy who I felt was deliberately trying to mess me up. When Shihan did the technique - uke responded near perfectly.

giriasis
10-11-2001, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
Expanding on this just slightly just in case someone chooses to read this wrong.

It is very easy to shut down a technique you know is coming. Static resistance during the performance of paired practice has its place but generally its use is misunderstood. It is done not to shut down the techniques but to understand body mechanics.

On most occasions when I have ukes lock down with their grip this is what they are trying to do -- teach me the mechanics. But there are the rare one or two ukes that lock down on me not to teach me but to show me I can't do it to them. There is only one guy I now of that has done this to me, but he seems to come to class about once every three months. He is 4th kyu and has been "ready" to test for 3rd kyu since I started aikido a year and a half ago. Now that I'm farther along I usually can overcome this display of ego. And now that I'm farther along, I use this as an opportunity to deal with a "difficult" person. Earlier, I would just not train with him.

But how do I tell the difference? It's demeanor and experience really. Most of the folks who "lock down" on me are higher ranking (high kyu/dan ranks), and I have been training with them for a while. They know me, and I know them. They know I have a good idea how to do a technique, and now that I'm 4th kyu, they sincerely help me learn the subtlties of the technique by reversing on me or locking up. I also know that they are helping me and that they have no ego out there to "prove" I can't do the technique to them. They show me I can't, but they also show me how I can. They are being excellent sempai. Those who just lock down with malice could care less about showing you how to do the technique to them. They just want to show you that you can't.

Despite all this I really believe that we are talking about the rare person here. But how do we deal with it? I'm not a teacher so I can't how to deal with a student, but I can tell you how to deal with it as training partner. First, these folks are our lessons of learning to dealing with difficult people. Just keep training, you will learn the skills necessary from other helpful people to overcome them. Second, sometimes these situations can turn bad, i.e. tempers start to rise on both sides (I have had this experience-same guy). If they do, bow out of training with the uke. Third, assert yourself. If the uke apparently won't help you by his own assertion, use your own words and ask them how to do it to them. Be careful here and make sure you use words right. Avoid being accusatory. Fourth, if it gets too bad tell a senior or the sensei. Let them deal with the guy (or gal)for you.

Anne Marie

Young-In Park
10-11-2001, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by BC
I'm curious how other instructors deal with students in their classes that for whatever reason, purposely act difficult with their training partners?

In the beginning for two years, I regularly trained with someone who was extraordinarily difficult. He would watch the instructor demonstrate the technique to know where he should resist his partner. Since he was bigger and stronger than me, I couldn't force the technique even if I wanted to.

I heard an instructor (and several times after that) say if your partner resists, do another technique. So whenever he resisted, I did a different technique. The most annoying thing was to hear my partner, after getting up off the floor, tell me that I did the "wrong technique."

Although he no longer practices Aikido, I recently saw my former training partner. I thanked him for being an asshole. I told him that I actually learned a lot from him. And I told him I thought he was one of the best training partners I've had.

I'll admit in the beginning it was frustrating as hell. There were several days in which I didn't even bother to try to throw him. Reflecting back on my experience with a difficult training partner, I realized he taught me a great deal.

But I still get annoyed whenever someone resists, I do a different technique and they complain. I actually had another partner screaming the whole way down to the ground, "You're doing the wrong technique!"

YoungIn Park

shihonage
10-11-2001, 12:24 PM
There's many positive sides to different kinds of resisting ukes.
Not everyone is out there to get you, many people are dealing with their own demons, maybe even not consciously.
Let them do their thing, and try not to be judgemental. You're not perfect either.

Just my $4099.43 .

shihonage
10-11-2001, 12:32 PM
Oh and I completely agree with YoungInPark.

There's always people who first decide to "challenge" my technique, and then whine about me doing the "wrong" technique.
I just ignore the whining and keep doing what I'm doing.

PeterR
10-11-2001, 03:45 PM
Wow - I always just grin and bear it. We change partners enough so its no big problems. I might explain to my kohei the concept of changing technique but I consider it really bad form to go off on your own tangent - sensei be dammed.

Of course flowing from technique to technique is its own training exercies. Great fun when sensei has us do it.

JMCavazos
10-11-2001, 04:41 PM
Most of the times that this has happened to me, I have been able to tell if the the person was resisting to help me learn how to properly execute a technique or if the person was just being plain difficult. Depending on the type of person that I assessed him to be, I have acted accordingly. In good Aiki, I have asked the person to help me in getting the technique correct. In the person with bad Aiki, I usually went to the other technique that flowed best. When he would say that I did the wrong technique, my reply was that if he would do a better job as an uke, then I would keep with the technique that was being taught.

As an instructor, I have had students ask me what to do with difficult ukes, and in that case I will use that person on the next technique demonstration.

I would like to add, that I probably did not know the basics and the principles of Aikido well enough to use it on an unwilling uke for the first 5-6 years of my training. At one point, I internalized the art and have found that I can pretty much do a technique, whether the uke resists of not. Resisting hurts him much more.

Of course, when it is your turn to uke - be prepared! :o

As a 4th kyu, I probably would not have been capable of making an unwilling uke flow the way I wanted him to flow. I would have just moved on to a more willing uke, then let my Sensei know about the person that I was having problems with.

Young-In Park
10-11-2001, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
I might explain to my kohei the concept of changing technique but I consider it really bad form to go off on your own tangent - sensei be dammed.

In my opinion, that is one of the major problems of some Aikido training. Some people watch the teacher demonstrate a technique. When they practice the technique, they do the technique, regardless if their partner is capable and/or wants to recieve the technique. They'll force the technique to "work" even though it may not be appropriate. And all of this is done to avoid "bad form."

And what if a teacher tells you to do something that clearly violates a principle of Aikido? Do you do what the teacher tells you to do as so not to appear disrespectful? Or do you actually think for yourself?

Is Aikido about doing things right or doing the right thing?

YoungIn "Bad Form" Park

PeterR
10-11-2001, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by Young-In Park
And what if a teacher tells you to do something that clearly violates a principle of Aikido? Do you do what the teacher tells you to do as so not to appear disrespectful? Or do you actually think for yourself?


Well that's never happened but if you know so much better why do you need a teacher.

There is a time and place for free-style. If a sensei asks the people to work on a particular technique - that is what you should do. Anything else is just simple disruption and arrogance.

guest1234
10-11-2001, 07:52 PM
Both of the 5th dans in my dojo, when I've asked them how to handle a technique when uke is not doing what he should (eg, not grabbing the shoulder in kata tori, doing more of a yokomen than a shomen, etc) tell me that "uke is being stupid" and to do another technique. When they teach and their uke is not attacking with the right energy or direction to do the technique they are trying to demo, they often will just do something else. So I know why so many are talking about free-style, but I don't like it...I would rather do the technique that we were just shown.

Depending on the ukemi level of my obnoxious partner, I will a)ignore it, tomorrow is another day.:)
b) tell them I would get more out of it if they would XYZ rather than ABC. ;)
c)give them 12 chances to behave, and then shut them down in return (usually gets their attention as I'm half their size, and their ensuing struggles often attract the instructor's attention)---make sure your ukemi is up to this before you try it.:rolleyes:
d)if they are still obnoxious, and I know their ukemi can take it (around here usually means shodan or higher) I do an alternate technique based on what they are forcing :eek:
One other thing, sometimes resistant ukes are frightened ukes, so I will ask that if a) I think that is really the reason or b) I know it is not but they are too obnoxious for words.

guest1234
10-11-2001, 08:00 PM
:o opps, make that 'both the 6th dans'...

L. Camejo
10-12-2001, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
Static resistance during the performance of paired practice has its place but generally its use is misunderstood. It is done not to shut down the techniques but to understand body mechanics.

Randori resistance is the exact opposite. Fluid, body placement and counters. There is as Larry mentioned - flow.

Larry as a Shodokan person is in my mind a little contaminated by Aikikai philosophy however common to both styles is harmonious practice. That does not mean non-resistant dancing but training which maximizes the benefit of both participants.

Great clarification of my point Peter. Thank you.

Did not realise I was "contaminated" by Aikikai philosophy though.

I have used these philosophies with great success in my Shodokan practice for both free practice and teaching.

Mind leads bodies (ours and uke's).

One other point... for all of us. If our technique does not work with resistance, doesn't that mean that we're probably doing something wrong? From my experience when I had just started Aikido, every time my technique was resisted I had ignored or missed something about the principles of "energy redirection" or balance breaking in my technique. Now those exact same techniques work against any sized opponent with focused resistance, even in hanza handachi.

We can learn movements from the first class, the technique however, takes much longer to learn.

Aikido is blending with force... even skilled and focused resistance is still a force that one can blend with or utilise in some form.

Just my $9.99
Arigato Gozaimashita
L.C.:ai::ki:

JMCavazos
10-12-2001, 08:40 AM
Larry, that is exactly right, and what I was trying to say in my previous post!

I tend to believe that it is easier to learn a technique than it is to learn the body movement of aikido and learning how to redirect energy(ki). But once you learn how to redirect energy, break your uke's one-point, etc... then it doesn't really matter how resistant the uke is.... Now most times it just go with the way the uke wants to go - and it usually ends up in another technique.

It is really important for uke to learn how to go with the technique that is being taught. And again, what I do depends on the energy that the uke is letting out - positive or negative ki.

By the way, your futbol (soccer) team really did well this past weekend against Honduras! I hope you guys don't play that well against the US team though!

In Aiki,

Young-In Park
10-12-2001, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by PeterR


Well that's never happened but if you know so much better why do you need a teacher.

There is a time and place for free-style. If a sensei asks the people to work on a particular technique - that is what you should do. Anything else is just simple disruption and arrogance.

Well, it has happened to me before. And I never said I didn't need a teacher.

"[I] should do"? Disruptive? Arrogant? I will do what the sensei asks me to do. I won't be disruptive in class. I won't be arrogant.

YoungIn Park
Aikido's Bart Simpson?

PS. During an audio interview conducted by journalist Alex Ben Block, Bruce Lee said:

Most martial arts instructors are so doggone stubborn, you know? I mean their attitude is "Well, two hundred years ago it was taught like this, therefore it should be continued to be taught like this." To maintain that type of attitude - I mean, you've had it! You will still be back in [that time capsule]. You will never grow, because learning is a discovering thing. It's a constant process of discovery. Whereas, if we follow the old method, it is simply a continuous repetition of what was being handed down several hundred years ago.

Lee even had devised a mock tombstone that sat upon his office desk and reveal to visitors his attitude toward those who blindly follow the classical traditions of the past instead of evolving with the martial advancements of the present. The inscription read:

In memory of a once fluid man crammed and distorted by the classical mess.

("The Warrior Within" by John Little)

Lee also said in 1963:

I'd like to inform the public that gung fu cannot be mastered in just "three easy lessons." Intelligent thinking and hard work are required.

("The Tao of Gung Fu" by Bruce Lee)

PeterR
10-12-2001, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by Young-In Park
I will do what the sensei asks me to do. I won't be disruptive in class. I won't be arrogant.

By the way I write to the thread taking quotations as they fit - its rare that something is specifically targeted at one person and then I will say so clearly.

It all boils down to the principle of Shu Ha Ri. Many Old and New budo put great emphasis on students finding their own way from a core set of principles often defined by a core set of kata. Pointed out by my shihan - there is no Aikido style beyond the individual. That's a paraphrase and was actually said in response to another point but it holds true. Getting stuck in kata sets is not going to do anything for your Aikido - eventually you must break out. Of course you can always do so too soon.

[Censored]
10-26-2001, 03:40 PM
Well that's never happened but if you know so much better why do you need a teacher.

There is a time and place for free-style. If a sensei asks the people to work on a particular technique - that is what you should do. Anything else is just simple disruption and arrogance.

Is your teacher flawless? Or maybe you are not very observant? Perhaps you are unable to learn from others' mistakes.

The fact is, in the history of Aikido, the same technique has never been performed twice. There is ONLY freestyle. And if you act according to an imagined ideal partner, rather than the one in front of you, you are not learning anything useful.

Erik
10-26-2001, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by ca
:o opps, make that 'both the 6th dans'...

Send them my congratulations on their recent promotions.

;)

PeterR
10-26-2001, 06:43 PM
Well first of all we are talking about doing techniques completely different from what the teacher of the moment is asking the class to do. With out a doubt there must be an adjustment based on both tori's and uke's body type but that should be within the framework of what was asked.

There is only freestyle

Well I know where you are trying to go with this (see above) but freestyle is where at least attack or defence is unpredicatable.

Is your teacher flawless? Or maybe you are not very observant? Perhaps you are unable to learn from others' mistakes.

Well considering my level of experience compared to my teacher - the answer is yes. My style of Aikido is defined by my teacher. If he looks at me and says I must adjust my technique so - I will. Anyhow, I fail to see what your above quote has to do with some yahoo deliberately doing his own thing against the wishes of the person teaching the class.


Originally posted by [Censored]
Well that's never happened but if you know so much better why do you need a teacher.

There is a time and place for free-style. If a sensei asks the people to work on a particular technique - that is what you should do. Anything else is just simple disruption and arrogance.

Is your teacher flawless? Or maybe you are not very observant? Perhaps you are unable to learn from others' mistakes.

The fact is, in the history of Aikido, the same technique has never been performed twice. There is ONLY freestyle. And if you act according to an imagined ideal partner, rather than the one in front of you, you are not learning anything useful.

guest1234
10-28-2001, 01:21 AM
Originally posted by Erik


Send them my congratulations on their recent promotions.

;)

Well, not too recent, just lack of focus (how surprising:rolleyes: ) on my part in writing.

[Censored]
10-29-2001, 04:43 PM
Well first of all we are talking about doing techniques completely different from what the teacher of the moment is asking the class to do. With out a doubt there must be an adjustment based on both tori's and uke's body type but that should be within the framework of what was asked.

Consider this scenario, which happens in nearly every class:

1. Teacher's uke attacks during demonstration
2. Teacher responds appropriately to attack
3. Your uke attacks differently

Will you tell your attacker they are doing it wrong? This is too selfish and wasteful.

Will you pretend your uke is the teacher's uke? This is fantasy, not martial art.

Will you respond to your attacker as the situation demands? If you can accompish this and nothing else, you've nothing to worry about.

Rule #1: "Get out of the way." Not "Copy the teacher."

Well I know where you are trying to go with this (see above) but freestyle is where at least attack or defence is unpredicatable.

Unless your aikido school trains time travel and psychic powers, you presume too much. :)

Is your teacher flawless? Or maybe you are not very observant? Perhaps you are unable to learn from others' mistakes.

Well considering my level of experience compared to my teacher - the answer is yes.


Fair enough. But not all of us are in the same boat, and arrogance has nothing to do with it.

Anyhow, I fail to see what your above quote has to do with some yahoo deliberately doing his own thing against the wishes of the person teaching the class.

Nobody gets it perfectly right. Whether they fail by accident, or on purpose, is none of my business. :)

L. Camejo
10-29-2001, 09:42 PM
Hi all,

I have some questions that I think stem from the original question.

1)-Is an Aikido class a practice scenario geared towards learning and understanding techniques in a controlled atmosphere, led by an instructor who has some degree of insight into what is going on? Or is it a free for all where someone attacks you with full resistance putting you in a position to execute "whatever works", hoping that it might be the technique that the guy in front of the class had just demonstrated? If the latter is true, then why are we even in class, that can be done on the street with a book on Aikido techique.

From the beginnning I was taught that training was just that... practice. Harmonious practice at that, except in cases where specifically instructed to resist to provide a bit of realism, or in the case of Randori. Whenever someone decided that Aikido was a contest of power and ego between Uke and Tori it generally ended up in a wrestling match on the ground, after which these same individuals became airborne for extended periods while helping the instructor demonstrate the next technique:)

2)-In the same way the uke benefits from partner practice by having to do proper ukemi, shouldn't he/she also benefit by learning how to attack properly, and in a controlled manner?

The people in my dojo attack as well as most that do striking arts alone (some are even sensei of striking arts). For those who have no MA experience besides Aikido, this ability has been the result of partner practice geared towards mutual benefit for both Tori and Uke. When someone attacks wrong YOU TELL THEM or show them how to do it properly.

Instructors are human, they also make mistakes, but sometimes the only way to do things correctly is by understanding the myriad ways of doing them incorrectly.

So either way the instructor guides you towards what is right, even if his execution may be wrong. I believe when one has a problem with a teacher, inform that teacher of your problem, or leave and form your own class if you know better. Aikido is the epitome of freedom of expression, and the Instructor is there to ensure the safety of everyone, especially in the execution and practice of technique.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Jon S.
10-30-2001, 04:47 AM
Just thought I'd share my thoughts.

With many techniques there is a very fine line between having an injured joint, and having nothing at all. This is a big reason for cooperative practice - avoiding injury. Unless you are confident in the amount of control you have, you shouldn't seek to reverse techniques against an uncooperative uke - except if you're specifically practicing that way.

When I've encountered such situations, sometimes I remind the uke that it's easy to resist if they know what technique is going to be used, but that 'striking for distraction' can be a very effective way for me to momentarily take their mind off the idea of resisting - during which time I can slam the technique on. They usually get the idea. If not, when he resists, I focus a strike at him - I don't even have to make contact but a kiai helps the effect, and he softens up for an instant as he anticipates being struck, during which time I complete the technique. I point out how well it works and tell him to just imagine how distracted he'd be if I really had struck him. I also explain how I could use a strike to amplify the pressure of the technique I'm attempting to execute, but in doing so control would be compromised and this would likely cause injury. They usually understand now that their resistance is meaningless.

Either that or I'll make him permanant uke and pair him up with advanced students. I explain that being uke is where you really learn to get a 'feel' for the techniques if you try, and that he should learn to be a good uke. This is good for the advanced students too because, as has been discussed, it challenges them to harmonize with uke in order to find an effective technique.

Usually, to start, I just tell them to stop resisting because it's not what we're doing right now.

Richard Harnack
10-30-2001, 11:20 AM
I have very few hard and fast rules in my dojo, however, two that I do have are:
1) No "horseplay"
2) No practicing of any other fighting styles on the mats before, during or after class.

By "horseplay" I originally meant the general goofing off behavior that the children would normally engage in. However, recently I have had to remind some of the "adults" in my dojo of the rule. Sigh...

While I do not have anything against other self-defense styles, we are an Aikido Dojo strictly, thus Tai Chi, Muay Thai, Kenpo, etc. have no place on our mats except by way of demonstration by qualified competent instructors in those arts.

Past these two rules, I remind my students to not attempt an attack for which they are not ready with the proper ukemi. Too often some students who "resist" a technique either do not know how to fall properly when the nage gets it "right", or they think they are just being "real".

In the former instance, if the student does not know the ukemi or is afraid of it, I ask and instruct them to learn to take the fall rather than trying to fight it. It becomes Nage's duty then to guide Uke into the fall safely, not take advantage of Uke and "throw".

In the latter case, I often find Uke "pulls" their attack at the last possible second in their attempt to make it "real". I then ask them if they were really going to connect. Many times I will have them attack me exactly the same way they did their partner. This gives me a feel for what they are actually doing and to provide the appropriate feed-back. On a few occasions, I have simply stood there only to have their "real" attack miss me completely. Usually they do not repeat this particular error.

As an instructor, however, it is your duty to treat all your students with respect and fairness, even the "difficult" ones.

[Censored]
10-30-2001, 05:13 PM
1)-Is an Aikido class a practice scenario geared towards learning and understanding techniques in a controlled atmosphere, led by an instructor who has some degree of insight into what is going on? Or is it a free for all where someone attacks you with full resistance putting you in a position to execute "whatever works", hoping that it might be the technique that the guy in front of the class had just demonstrated? If the latter is true, then why are we even in class, that can be done on the street with a book on Aikido techique.

This is a false dichotomy. Otherwise, one might chide you for practicing "whatever doesn't work" :)

From the beginnning I was taught that training was just that... practice. Harmonious practice at that, except in cases where specifically instructed to resist to provide a bit of realism, or in the case of Randori.

There is nothing particularly realistic about resistance. If you are providing something to be resisted, you have something to work on.

2)-In the same way the uke benefits from partner practice by having to do proper ukemi, shouldn't he/she also benefit by learning how to attack properly, and in a controlled manner?

Which is more proper, an apple or an orange? Whose technique needs your full attention, yours or your partners'? There is (probably) an ancient Japanese saying which applies here, and can be translated to "don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

The people in my dojo attack as well as most that do striking arts alone (some are even sensei of striking arts). For those who have no MA experience besides Aikido, this ability has been the result of partner practice geared towards mutual benefit for both Tori and Uke. When someone attacks wrong YOU TELL THEM or show them how to do it properly.

To say that "your specific attack precludes repetition of the demonstrated response" seems reasonable. "You attacked wrong" is a joke. Maybe I am splitting hairs.

But, with either of these responses, you refuse to accept what you were offered. I know that many Aikido people like to lecture on the evils of the ego; how does this fit in?

Instructors are human, they also make mistakes, but sometimes the only way to do things correctly is by understanding the myriad ways of doing them incorrectly.

So either way the instructor guides you towards what is right, even if his execution may be wrong.

Right! What then is the difference between the student and the teacher? The direction of the tuition payment. ;)

I believe when one has a problem with a teacher, inform that teacher of your problem, or leave and form your own class if you know better.

I don't have any problem with people who make mistakes. I do have a small problem with people who claim to be perfect but are unwilling and/or unable to demonstrate. And I have a big problem with their simple-minded advocates, who should know better than to repeat such things.

PeterR
10-30-2001, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by [Censored]
[B]And I have a big problem with their simple-minded advocates, who should know better than to repeat such things.
Well you talk the talk but do you walk the walk. I just have a vision of what this attitude would get you in a certain dojo in the back streets of Osaka. Somehow I believe that if you ever got there you would behave as a perfect gentleman.

[Censored]
10-31-2001, 06:36 PM
Well you talk the talk but do you walk the walk. I just have a vision of what this attitude would get you in a certain dojo in the back streets of Osaka. Somehow I believe that if you ever got there you would behave as a perfect gentleman.

I haven't done anything that a calm and rational person would find offensive. I've merely put some people in position to correct themselves, or appear foolish in their opposition. Does this method sound familiar?

And I promise you, I have never been mistaken for a gentleman. :)

ian
11-15-2001, 08:11 AM
I have the same problem a bit in my dojo, usually the beginners. Often they do not realise what we are trying to achieve, and throwing them around is not an option. Usually I say that practise is practise of a particular technique and that aikido forms a whole, in which you do the technique appropriate to the situation, therefore outside randori the uke needs to attack in a certain way.

I think a misunderstanding with training is that the type of attack (e.g. shomen-uchi) is the important thing which decides the technique. However really it is the 'style' of attack which is important i.e. are they pushing forwards, pulling backwards (withdrawing), turning away from you, lifting their elbow etc.

Now, I have changed instruction to indicate WHY we do this particular technique rather than another. This helps uke to understand that if they move in a completly different way, practising this technique doesn't make any sense. For example; uchi sankyo I often say that it is from a strong grab where uke is putting a lot of strength into the grabbing arm - thus the elbow tends to comes out and the arm is fixed, allowing plenty of space for nage to slip underneath into a perfect sankyo.

I think it is very important to learn APPROPRIATE technique rather than the same technique from any attack (for example, it would be very dangerous to slip under ukes arm if his arm was in close to his body as Nage would probably end up in a choke hold).

Randori to me is the culmination of this practise where APPROPRIATE technique is used (rather than as many techniques as one can think of).

Ian

ian
11-15-2001, 08:13 AM
NB when demonstrating a technique, if the attack is not appropriate to the technique I am going to demonstrate I do whatever technique is suitable at the time. After this I either ask for a different 'style' of attack, or sometimes just get a different uke. I have now got to know who leans forward, who leans backward, who tries to use strength and who will disconnect ASAP. I hope his provides a better view of what should be done in Aikido technique for my students* (it is also often quite dramatic 'cos the uke goes exactly where they least expect).

Ian


(* I also hate to say 'the attack should be different' too much, 'cos it sounds like an excuse)

Thalib
11-15-2001, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by ian
(* I also hate to say 'the attack should be different' too much, 'cos it sounds like an excuse)

I really agree with this one...

It should not matter if the attack was strong or weak, fast or slow, the technique could be done either way as long as the priciple is correct.

Heheheh... I used to use that excuse so many times... Now that I think of it, it's just a way of me covering up my weaknesses.
:triangle:
:circle:
:square:

unsound000
12-07-2001, 04:50 AM
Originally posted by PeterR


Well sure - but I remember having Shihan watch me with a guy who I felt was deliberately trying to mess me up. When Shihan did the technique - uke responded near perfectly.

This happens a lot. It is because we all trust the teacher more than other students. We're willing to go more with his technique because there is not as much fear involved.

unsound000
12-07-2001, 05:42 AM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
I have very few hard and fast rules in my dojo, however, two that I do have are:
1) No "horseplay"
2) No practicing of any other fighting styles on the mats before, during or after class.

While I do not have anything against other self-defense styles, we are an Aikido Dojo strictly, thus Tai Chi, Muay Thai, Kenpo, etc. have no place on our mats except by way of demonstration by qualified competent instructors in those arts.

We have the same horseplay rule in our dojo. (It's written on the wall, heh) However, I would encourage you to relax/change the second rule.
I studied kenpo before the soft style of Kodenkan Jujitsu I do. Practicing and mixing kenpo in with Jujitsu allowed me to learn more quickly. I could appreciate the same principles of balance, smoothness, breathing, circular movement etc. when I practiced Jujitsu. I felt this need to practice to find where the energy was different and where it was the same. I am seeing now, how one technique in one art flows to a technique in the other art. Training in Jujitsu has made my kenpo better because I learn the same principles from a different point of view. Also, other people in the dojo benefit from seeing things in a kenpo way and questioning how Jujitsu would respond to it or just feeling subtle differences at times.
People that have experience in other arts need to find a way to tie it into the new art they practice. Guiding this process can be a challenge but I think ignoring the need is a mistake. Especially, going from a very hard style to a very soft style or vice versa is difficult and if I was told not to practice my art when I saw pieces of it all around me, then it would drive me nuts. I mean, an art becomes a part of you...I can't walk down the street without checking my balance and my centering now.
I can understand your wanting to keep the mat environment controlled and safe. But why restrict students from doing it all together? I mean, as long as it is safe and not contact sparring and such?
I guess I can't expect to change your mind but if you understand why I personally needed to find a dojo that was open to other styles of martial arts then that's the important thing. All martials arts are not the same but sometimes you forget which "style" you are doing and that's a good feeling.

~Jon

Arianah
12-07-2001, 04:31 PM
PeterR:
Well sure - but I remember having Shihan watch me with a guy who I felt was deliberately trying to mess me up. When Shihan did the technique - uke responded near perfectly.

unsound000:
This happens a lot. It is because we all trust the teacher more than other students. We're willing to go more with his technique because there is not as much fear involved.

Sadly, this kind of thing happens maliciously as well. There is one person in my dojo in particular that likes to compete with me, so he often resists technique to prove to me that he is stronger and better than I (though we're pretty evenly matched). One time we were doing kokyu dosa and he continually changed his grip on my wrists to fight with me when I was trying to "throw" him. Sensei saw this and came over to stop this "wrestling match." My partner became a perfect gentleman when Sensei paired with him. I was relieved when Sensei told him, "No, I don't want you to give me any less resistance than you did her," and promptly tossed him over. He was much easier to deal with after that because he realized that Sensei knew that he was fighting me excessively to prove a point, not to challenge and help me.

Arianah

Richard Harnack
12-07-2001, 09:22 PM
Sarah -
Your story about your Kokyu Dosa partner brought back some memories for me!

When I was just a green nikkyu, I would get paired with this one gentleman in Los Angeles who would grip my wrists, sit calmly and smile. He would not do anything to counter me or "trick" me. Most of the time I felt as if I would stand a better chance with a 3'x3' brick wall!

Kobayashi, Sensei, would come over and show me what to do. He would stand and watch and coach, and slowly I began to improve. At least I began to take this man over maybe once every ten times. One day he and I paired up and as soon as he grabbed, I smiled back and took him down. At that point he smiled at me and went to someone else. My lesson was done. Of course this took roughly a year or so for that to happen. ;)

No moral here (really!), just a fond memory of early frustration with Kokyu Dosa.

Edward
12-11-2001, 10:15 PM
Since it is difficult to get the perfect partner in this world, I would rather have one who resists or tries to act difficult than one who would throw himself on the mat before I even do any technique at all. In fact, both types can be frustrating, but at least the first one is an obstacle or a challenge that you might feel motivated to overcome, by using technique or brutal force, no matter. But I can't think of any way to overcome the latter type. Sometimes I stop the technique in the middle and watch my partner take his "fake" ukemi, but these people are usually shameless and this does not discourage them from doing their thing. This is what I consider a "very difficult partner".

shihonage
12-11-2001, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by Edward
This is what I consider a "very difficult partner".

Nothing like someone becoming the unholy rubber uke or falling down right in the middle of shihonage.

Steve
12-12-2001, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by Edward
Since it is difficult to get the perfect partner in this world, I would rather have one who resists or tries to act difficult than one who would throw himself on the mat before I even do any technique at all. In fact, both types can be frustrating, but at least the first one is an obstacle or a challenge that you might feel motivated to overcome, by using technique or brutal force, no matter..

True story:

Visiting instructor. Short but very skillful. Kokyo dosa with large, very strong student who enjoys confounding underlings with his strength and mass. Big Guy latches onto sensei's wrists and sits like a mountain. Sensei can't move Big Guy with muscle or technique -- so he leans forward and kisses him on cheek. Big Guy moved.

Edward
12-12-2001, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Steve


True story:

Visiting instructor. Short but very skillful. Kokyo dosa with large, very strong student who enjoys confounding underlings with his strength and mass. Big Guy latches onto sensei's wrists and sits like a mountain. Sensei can't move Big Guy with muscle or technique -- so he leans forward and kisses him on cheek. Big Guy moved.

That was definitely a very risky technique. The big student might have liked the idea, and the instructor would have thus been in deep trouble :)