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dalen7
06-19-2007, 12:23 AM
Hello,
As mentioned in my introduction I will have my 10th lesson today.
We train twice a week. Im an American living in Hungarian, for all intents and purposes you might as well say I dont know the language.

Just wanted to share my point of frustration with how I train and what I think would help. Again, this wont change anything, maybe more airing how I feel and perhaps seeing if this is how others felt when they began. (minus not understanding a word the instructors say due to language - and forget following, I forget what was shown me a second after I see it. ;)

For the first 6 lessons I had a black belt help me.
On the 7th and on I have mixed with the class...

The latter I wish did not happen. I understand completely the jist of switching partners, but until I get each movement 'mastered' - or at least 'feel' that what Im doing is correct and works, I would like to have a senior level person continue to train with me.

The second issue is this.
Each lesson I learn something else without repeating what I learned the lesson before. I wish I had a system to follow.
i.e. step 1 - next lesson step 1 and learn step 2, etc. etc.

The way things are now, I get to train with everyone, feel that they dont know what they are doing, so I dont know what Im doing, and then the next time move on to something else.

Dont get me wrong, the instructor does try to help...and it just seems from what I have read that this is common in aikido.

Anyway, I was quite frustrated last time...and I will try to go into this lesson with an open 'teachable' attitude lest it be tainted by negativity.

I enjoy Aikido, the concepts are great - Im interested in the ki part also that I have found on the web recently.

My little city has Wing-chun, Thai boxing, 2 different forums of karate (cant remember the spellings), wrestling, and Aikido (amazing in America in a small city you would be lucky to have Taekwando. 22k people and we have a variety. (of course all in Hungarian.) - I know someone will say learn the language...not that straight forward though. ;)

Peace

Dalen

tarik
06-19-2007, 12:29 AM
Dont get me wrong, the instructor does try to help...and it just seems from what I have read that this is common in aikido.

It's a common methodology, yes. It accounts for the a number of interesting and unfortunate issues, including how long it takes to achieve shodan.

It's quite 'traditional', and honestly rather the opposite of what you might expect if you wanted to become an expert at something. I don't know if I'd do it that way again, but I certainly did it that way once. I certainly would not do it that way with anyone I taught.

I don't really have any suggestions except to say that you should talk to the teachers in the dojo and also consider that there are some valuable lessons to be learned in that mode... assuming you cannot find a better one to engage in.

Regards,

dalen7
06-19-2007, 12:50 AM
It's a common methodology, yes. It accounts for the a number of interesting and unfortunate issues, including how long it takes to achieve shodan.

I could see the benefit of rotating if it was a group of shodans trying to get used to using the techniques they have with different people.

But it is as it is...I will try to make the best of it while I take lessons.
And perhaps I will talk to the teacher about it (my wife helps with the translation, she comes and watches me) At the same time I dont want to stick out as the American coming in trying to change the way someone does something.

While it would help me due to the language barrier to have a higher rank belt train with me consistently, etc. anything that could be perceived as 'special' privilege would not help the moral of the class - green monkey sets in fast where everyone else would ask 'where is my shodan'. But again, I would be happy to train consistently with even the blue belts in the class. Its the orange and below that Im not comfortable training with - but I do try to give it what I got when I do train with them. (we have 6kyu, of course 6 is white, and I dont even have that yet.)

Peace

ChrisHein
06-19-2007, 01:47 AM
As for training with only a dan ranked person.
It's not all it's cracked up to be. Sure you feel good that there is someone there to correct every little problem. But you really wont "get it" tell you come to the discoveries on your own. You are more likely to discover things on your own when you are with a less then perfect uke. All training offers benefits, just because you don't "think" you are making progress, doesn't mean your not.

As for your not repeating things over and over.
Look, you're only 10 classes in, that's the smallest drop in the bucket. Trust me you'll see the same things again and again, give it a year or so and you'll see what I'm talking about. Also, I personally believe that the systematic method you are speaking of (lesson 1 then 2 then 3 etc.) is a bad way to learn Aikido, or anything physical. If you only did the lessons in order, you wouldn't repeat, and you would only get a limited understanding of each technique. There is a lot to study, if you did it in the manner you are seeming to want, you could easily be a year in and have never seen several core techniques in Aikido.

Your own frustration is yours and yours alone to conquer. Only you can make yourself frustrated, no teacher or school can do that for you. Same as only you can make yourself interested.

dalen7
06-19-2007, 02:00 AM
As for training with only a dan ranked person.
It's not all it's cracked up to be. Sure you feel good that there is someone there to correct every little problem. But you really wont "get it" tell you come to the discoveries on your own. You are more likely to discover things on your own when you are with a less then perfect uke. All training offers benefits, just because you don't "think" you are making progress, doesn't mean your not.

If you only did the lessons in order, you wouldn't repeat, and you would only get a limited understanding of each technique. There is a lot to study, if you did it in the manner you are seeming to want, you could easily be a year in and have never seen several core techniques in Aikido.

Your own frustration is yours and yours alone to conquer. Only you can make yourself frustrated, no teacher or school can do that for you. Same as only you can make yourself interested.

Thanks for the reply. Just a few comments, i will bullet point them to help make the 'flow'.

- I dont understand a word the teacher says when he is demonstrating and expressing quite a bit of stuff. (again, different language.)
...so i rely on the 'uke' to show me what to do - to find out they dont even know! (unless blue belt 2nd kyu and above)
For me Im dependent on this, or I really dont learn anything.

- As for doing things in order, maybe I was not clear.
For me it would help to do things in order (requirements for each level) and as I progress continue to incorporate what was learned before to build up a foundation.

- Yes, you are right.
The class is what I make it.
While I am there I can take from it what I will. And as long as I choose to do Aikido, it would be advantageous - as you suggested - to find in the present moment the joy that is there. (otherwise, why be there.)

Again, thanks for the response

Peace

Dalen

dps
06-19-2007, 02:00 AM
The second issue is this.
Each lesson I learn something else without repeating what I learned the lesson before. I wish I had a system to follow.
i.e. step 1 - next lesson step 1 and learn step 2, etc. etc.

This too was one of the major frustrations I had when I first practiced Aikido. I can't pick up a technique quickly. I need a lot of repetition to remember a technique. The structured system of Shodokan Aidido is much better way for me to learn.

Your time in the dojo is for receiving instruction and corrections of techniques, practicing to actually learn the technique is on your own time outside the dojo.

David

dalen7
06-19-2007, 02:07 AM
This too was one of the major frustrations I had when I first practiced Aikido. I can't pick up a technique quickly. I need a lot of repetition to remember a technique. The structured system of Shodokan Aidido is much better way for me to learn.

Your time in the dojo is for receiving instruction and corrections of techniques, practicing to actually learn the technique is on your own time outside the dojo.

David

Totally agree - typically I have found right when I am about to catch on we move on to something else before I can click in that new neuron-path (its like learning a language, but you stop on the incorrect pronunciation and that sticks in your mind not the the correct way.)

Your second comment about receiving corrections of techniques is why I wish that lower belts train with someone that at least knows the technique. It is quite awkward to fumble around with someone who is 4th kyu and below because they are trying to figure out whats happening.

But Im sure I will catch the swing of things.

I have bought aikido 3D to supplement my training, as well as watching some a video of a guy that just got his 3rd dan black belt.
(Hes actually part of these forums, saw the video link under testing) His form is closer than the aikido 3d to what we do.
(but then again aikido 3d is not showing real people) I find the 2 together along with my list of terms are helping me along. Otherwise I would truly be lost.

Peace

Dalen

dps
06-19-2007, 02:13 AM
www.youtube.com and similiar websites have a ton of Aikido videos, some that you can download.

David

Aristeia
06-19-2007, 02:15 AM
hmmm.....
So in general class how do you partner up with people? Are they allocated or do you grab who you can. We had the latter and the onus was always on the junior grades to grab a senior before anyone else does. So if you can, do that.

Aikido doesn't have that many techniques. At the moment you're seeing alot of stuff for the first time but very soon things will start to look familiar. Before too long each technique will become like an old friend. You've just got to get through the first rotation or two when it's all "new". It was always one of the things I enjoyed about Aikido that you didn't really have set techniques per grade, you were working on all the key techs from day 1.

And as someone else said - don't worry about explanations so much, repetition is king. Your body will sort it out by itself in the long run -some types of instruction actually get in the way. Go get a copy of "the inner game of tennis".....

dalen7
06-19-2007, 02:22 AM
Your body will sort it out by itself in the long run -some types of instruction actually get in the way.

True...my mind gets in the way - (over thinking techniques)
Part of it is that a lot looked similar until I started watching some videos and aikido 3d. (shomenuchi ikkyo and nikkyo - im looking off my list, dont know it by head - is a good example. At first they look the same.)

I gave myself initially 1 month to see how things worked out.
I cant say I havent learned anything, and if anything the principles of Aikido I have had to practice (patience and relaxation)...so then I figured I would give myself 3 months full to see how all this sorts its way out. (Just awkward with the language situation...that was my biggest hurdle was joining...cant tell you how 'intimidating' it was for me the language issue. But I worked through it.)

Thanks for the comments...

Peace

Dalen

- oh, i forgot to answer your question. As for how people are chosen for practice.
It appears that there is a line from highest grade to lowest and that they rotate throughout...although I cannot be sure of this, as it seems sometimes the higher grades stay with each other?

I think I got spoiled with having a shodan for my first 6 lessons or so. (but again, I am impressed with the blue belts. We have 6th kyu, 4th kyu, 2nd kyu, and I think the 1kyu just got shodan, and we have 3 shodans (well 1 doesnt show up, the other one does, and the 3rd just 'graded')

The biggest issue for the teacher it seems is that most of the people dont come on a regular basis.
Which is rough, we only train twice a week...I feel I need 3 times minimum. We had a Sunday seminar with a 4thdan and the extra day in the schedule, plus the extra hour warm up on the mat was good...

I get to practice at home with the kids...a bit different with a 3, 5, 7, & 9 year old though. - albeit they are tough. ;)

Peace

Hanna B
06-19-2007, 02:46 AM
- oh, i forgot to answer your question. As for how people are chosen for practice.
It appears that there is a line from highest grade to lowest and that they rotate throughout...although I cannot be sure of this, as it seems sometimes the higher grades stay with each other?

Then maybe the teacher told advanced people to train with each other, for this technique?

I think I got spoiled with having a shodan for my first 6 lessons or so.

So it sounds.

Hanna B
06-19-2007, 03:04 AM
It seems you have adapted to how things are. From your older posts, I just want to point out one thing.

I understand completely the jist of switching partners, but until I get each movement 'mastered' - or at least 'feel' that what Im doing is correct and works, I would like to have a senior level person continue to train with me.


For me it would help to do things in order (requirements for each level) and as I progress continue to incorporate what was learned before to build up a foundation.

Do you see now how these two wishes contradict? In a group of beginners, you would be doing only beginner stuff. You'd have smaller amount of material pass by until the same things come back again. But then you'd absolutely never train with a little bit more advanced people, and have a chance to get a feel for "how it should feel"...

dalen7
06-19-2007, 05:16 AM
I
Do you see now how these two wishes contradict? In a group of beginners, you would be doing only beginner stuff. You'd have smaller amount of material pass by until the same things come back again. But then you'd absolutely never train with a little bit more advanced people, and have a chance to get a feel for "how it should feel"...
Dont actually see the contradiction - though I can see how it may be perceived that way.

In theory it would seem that at shodan you would do a couple of things.

- rotate and train on 'advanced' days with people on your level to get the feel of different 'force' / energy.
- on 'lower class days' all shodans and high belts assigned to lower guys/gals to help ensure they not only execute the move correctly, but know what it is they are to do.

i have been with white and orange (6th and 4th kyu) and they werent even sure what to do after listening and watching (and they heard instruction in their native language.)

So this waste time and I have a lesson go by where I learn nothing.

Perhaps that clarifies a bit where I was coming from.

Peace

Dalen

Dieter Haffner
06-19-2007, 06:38 AM
i have been with white and orange (6th and 4th kyu) and they werent even sure what to do after listening and watching (and they heard instruction in their native language.)

So this waste time and I have a lesson go by where I learn nothing.You are a guest in their dojo and country. Yet you want to get the best of everything and all at once.

I suggest you try to be a bit more humble and appreciate the fact that these people (from 6th kyu to 1st dan) even want to train with you. Because for each of those persons (from 6th kyu to 1st dan) training with you (someone that does not understand the language and is a beginner himself) it is: 'So this waste time and I have a lesson go by where I learn nothing'.

You talk about practising patience and relaxation, I dont read anything of this in your posts (in these thread and in others).

You say: 'I understand completely the jist of switching partners, but until I get each movement 'mastered' - or at least 'feel' that what Im doing is correct and works, I would like to have a senior level person continue to train with me.'
Believe me when I say this: when you reach shodan you are finally trying to learn how a technique should feel (you should only know the choreography of the movements by then). Do you want a private uke for all these years?

I know it is not easy to learn something in a foreign language. But even then you should not go and look for added training from a computer program or a video of some dan tests. It will only confuse you more, because your teacher will do certain things differently then what you see on the pc.

Concluding: perhaps it is time to reflect on yourself and see what you can do to aid in your training (not only your aikido training) and not demand to get everything from others.

I am sorry if this is a bit harsh, but this is what I feel from the post I have seen. No hard feelings.

dalen7
06-19-2007, 06:50 AM
You are a guest in their dojo and country. Yet you want to get the best of everything and all at once.

I suggest you try to be a bit more humble and appreciate the fact that these people (from 6th kyu to 1st dan) even want to train with you. Because for each of those persons (from 6th kyu to 1st dan) training with you (someone that does not understand the language and is a beginner himself) it is: 'So this waste time and I have a lesson go by where I learn nothing'.

You talk about practising patience and relaxation, I dont read anything of this in your posts (in these thread and in others).

But even then you should not go and look for added training from a computer program or a video of some dan tests.

...not demand to get everything from others.

I am sorry if this is a bit harsh,

- only a bit harsh as you have not 'walked in my shoes grasshopper' ;)

- not demanding anything, but observing how I 'learn better' regardless of language. :)

- added training helps...I now understand what was being showed and told to me in a language I dont understand...otherwise I would not have a clue about shomenuchi ikkyo (I believe my instructor actually would be pleased we are making progress.

- yes I talk of practicing patience...notice the word 'practicing.'
Again, Im 'conscious of the need and practicing the application.
One cannot judge, especially in a forum where someone is.
Language is confusing even if a dialouge happens between two intellectuals from Harvard. (Im an Eckhart Tolle fan...he could explain this point better.) But again...it goes back to walking a mile in the other persons shoes. We all have a full life behind us which has shaped our present... ;)

- and again, I said I need to learn relaxation. ;)
(therefore practice)

- as for humble...I believe I am humble.
Again, I am stating how as an individual I could learn better.

- as for guest in the country: well, I have had blogs about this topic.
Im totally anti-'patriotism'. Im a guest of the world as we all are. The world is mine as well as yours...erase borders. :)

...know that I treat those in the dojo with respect, and again, I have not the slightest impression they are feeling looked down upon.

You know...for me as an individual, it took a lot for me to have the confidence and nerve to study in a language I dont know.
To say I cant would have been easier.

Thanks for the comments

Peace

Dalen

- as for a waste please read again.
When I train with someone that truly does not know what they are doing...they are looking around and as confused as me...its not training. The only training is my patience and being their to 'support' someone else who has chosen to be with me. - If i didnt clarify the first time, I doubt this will. Communication is tricky. And Im not good at it despite the fact I have been in communications basically my whole life. :)

- actually its funny.
As mentioned, Im taking Aikido for its spiritual aspect.
And my comment and response reminded me that Im still 'acting' out as most people would.
Trying to defend myself 'identity' against attack. ;)

Reality, as Eckhart Tolle pointed out from a Zen master would be a responce of:
Is that so?
Or "every person has the right to their thought and opinion - even about you - does it really matter? There is no-thing to protect"

So its good when one is able to wake up and start realizing this type of thing in their own actions...kind of like what I just did. So the whole post is really irrelevant. It should say "Is that so?" or nothing at all. ;)

tarik
06-19-2007, 07:42 AM
- not demanding anything, but observing how I 'learn better' regardless of language. :)


It's also useful to practice the other modes of learning and improve them. I consider myself a kinesthetic learner, but have spent a lot of time developing the visual and auditory modes as well. It's vital.


We all have a full life behind us which has shaped our present... ;)


Hopefully full, anyway. ;)

- as for a waste please read again.
When I train with someone that truly does not know what they are doing...they are looking around and as confused as me...its not training. The only training is my patience and being their to 'support' someone else who has chosen to be with me.

It is somewhere between copying the moves out of a video with a friend and actually being taught. One difference is that you hopefully DO have the supervision of an instructor. I still think people learn faster at this stage by working with someone more experienced.

- actually its funny.
As mentioned, Im taking Aikido for its spiritual aspect.
And my comment and response reminded me that Im still 'acting' out as most people would.
Trying to defend myself 'identity' against attack. ;)


Good observation. To expand on it, many people are doing the same thing by 'attacking' when aikido is criticized in it's method, effectiveness, or approach, as if the whole thing is that method or approach.

Anytime someone feels the need to explicitly accuse another of lacking humility or having an attitude, one should double check their own instincts and reasons. Perhaps the pot is absolutely correct and calling the kettle black, but perhaps they're only looking the mirror. It's a good self-test for me to pay attention to. :rolleyes:

Regards,

Dirk Hanss
06-19-2007, 08:33 AM
i have been with white and orange (6th and 4th kyu) and they werent even sure what to do after listening and watching (and they heard instruction in their native language.)
Hi Dalen,
yes that is bad. And in seminars, I have even seen high graded black belts, who did not know, what to do. They rarely look around helplessly. If they detect "something like ikkyo", they do the ikkyo, they always did, regardsless, what the teacher showed.

And I have to admit, that sometimes it happen to me. too. Even when I was uke for sensei, sometimes I had to tell my partner "I felt something, but I could not see, what exactly he did".

So try to concentrate:
- what exactly is the attack?
- what is the technique?
- which part did the teacheer show slowly to point out special details?
- which are the donts? (That is very difficult, if you do not understand a word)

Usually you would not need very much explanation, if you can concentrate on what you see - so try hard. But after a while you should be able to identify the japanese names of the attacks and the techniques. And you should find out, when he talks about the donts.

If you like to have a good partner for a whole lesson, I guess the only way is to pay for private lessons, if someone offers this. Only one a week and in addition to normal lessons. Probably someone, who knows at last some English.

To understand the basics of aikido sometimes takes longer than expected. And certainly you need longer, when you do not understand the explanations.

So be patient and try hard.

best regards Dirk

dalen7
06-19-2007, 09:32 AM
Usually you would not need very much explanation, if you can concentrate on what you see - so try hard. But after a while you should be able to identify the japanese names of the attacks and the techniques. And you should find out, when he talks about the donts.

So be patient and try hard.

best regards Dirk

Thanks for the encouragement...most definitely will do as suggested - infact Im headed to my lesson now.

Peace

Dalen

Qatana
06-19-2007, 10:14 AM
"The only training is my patience and being their to 'support' someone else who has chosen to be with me."

And this might be the most important thing about training, particularly training for spiritual , rather than martial, reasons.

As has ben mentioned before, this method of training is the most common in aikido, and all of us were beginners and every bit as confused as you are now.

A mointh is not long enough to make a decision. Give yourself a year, and if you haven't learned anything by then, maybe it will be time tomove on.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
06-19-2007, 10:57 AM
I have a small idea of what your are going throught. I too studied Karate before switching to A´kido, and the classes are structured differently:freaky: . On top of that, I have really poor coordination:uch: . But you are having it even worst than me, because of the language barrier:hypno: .
Have you tried aikiweb.com? It really helped me a lot. They even have animated demonstrations of some techniques (they say they are still working on the site).
Take heart, training like that is tough, but it really forces you to develop your observation skill.
Good luck, and enjoy the experience.

dalen7
06-19-2007, 12:21 PM
Just got back from my lesson - and reading the comments posted between my last post and this one.

Excellent comments from both of you, and I fully agree.

Infact, today I showed up and everyone was standing outside waiting.
Turns out that the instructor could not make it. (This is NOT a problem, but I am leading up to something with this.)

A lot of people left and a few of us stayed.
An orange belt, white belt, two blue belts and another 'white' belt.

This white belt was pretty good...very good.
Turns out he has trained for 7 years with the guy who is a blue belt (2nd kyu) and he just refused to take test.

It turns out that these two guys are into 'ki' aikido which I have been making inquiries into, and we did a bit of ki aikido today outside in the fresh air.

The instructor came by to let us know he would not be able to be there and even give us keys to practice. - but as mentioned they took this opportunity to be outside.

And I guess thats the point of this post here...I am learning the point of accepting the opportunities that in front of me. If I dont and Im sour about something it will reflect or 'rub' off on those around me. Thats why it was like a 'sutra' for me to make the best of working with the orange belt etc. (now again, as you all have read, it does not mean I would not like to seek how to make more efficient my training times - but as one of the posters pointed out, my being there is like the spiritual aspect.) Let me clarify this...it makes it sound like Im talking down toward the orange belt i practiced with - words...let me put it another way.
When I did not focus on the fact he was not yet 'perfect' in his ways, I could then glean from him what was there to glean and even help him as 'uke' by flowing with the energy of the moment and not just acting as a sloppy uke who didnt care. That would not be fair to him.

Im sure I muddled up those words, but the gist or spirit of what I wanted to say Im sure shows through.

Peace

Dalen

dalen7
06-19-2007, 12:34 PM
A mointh is not long enough to make a decision. Give yourself a year, and if you haven't learned anything by then, maybe it will be time tomove on.

Yes, Aikido has been a spiritual lesson for me.
I have had to face my ego.
The hardest was getting past the 'dont do it' from fear of the language and communication.

Then the 'perfectionism' which is actually my fear that Im moving to slow for them. Ahhh, now the truth comes out. Well, in reality my experiences and how I feel in my lessons give me a lot to contemplate on concerning myself and why I act/react the way I do.

if I had met aikido even a year ago I probably would not have gone for it. And this is after about 7 years of me listening to eckhart and 'softening'. Some nuts are harder to crack, but they do crack.

Again, for me aikido is not an end until itself...its like a pointer...one of the many roads pointing to something higher than itself. Kind of like my studies for over 5 years with kabbalah. There is not a set system...not once you get the point. Its about knowing yourself and then you can know the world.

Anyway

Peace

Dalen

dalen7
06-19-2007, 12:38 PM
I have a small idea of what your are going throught. I too studied Karate before switching to A´kido, and the classes are structured differently:freaky: . On top of that, I have really poor coordination:uch: .
Good luck, and enjoy the experience.

It must have felt strange going from 'hard' to learning to do all of your movements from a 'relaxed' state - and for me here is the 'kicker' moving the foot, hip and arm all in sync. (shouldnt be that complicated, but when the mind kicks and and tries to think about it while executing a move...it does something to your performance for sure.)

Well, thanks for the encouragement...I actually had a good class today from what you have read. My wife was there (she has been there for almost every class), it was a relaxed atmosphere and she helped with translating. (She actually enjoyed the time there, as she enjoys the concepts behind aikido and the 'ki' aspect of it.)

Peace

Dalen

- one thing Im learning is spontaneity...never was good at it, and this class is 'keeping me on my toes' in that aspect. Rather, I must learn to adapt to the moment and find the good that is there, or I can be one sour ball for not having things go in the structured way my 'mind' would like it to go. But as I have stated, natures flow is better - from what Im experiencing - then what the mind can plan. (Im sure the gist can be caught with those words...not saying planning is wrong, but to go with the flow 'seals' the deal so to speak.)

Basia Halliop
06-19-2007, 04:56 PM
sorry

Basia Halliop
06-19-2007, 05:00 PM
The first dojo I trained at, although on the whole pretty great, was very large and the beginner classes had a relatively high fraction of people who where really really really just beginning (like less than a few months experience). I do know the experience of standing with another person who also totally didn't catch even the most basic footwork of the demo... I agree that you learn better and faster when you're not in that situation, and that you can learn so much from training with the most skilled people in the room. But if that's what the proportions are like sometimes it can't be helped (esp if the advanced practice together too), and in time it comes anyway, at least if the instructor is good. Also if there are different level classes you do eventually find yourself going to classes that have a higher percentage of people who are somewhat more with it (even if you also keep going to the beginners classes to keep getting more basic curriculum)... and if, like in my case, it's simply due to it's being a big dojo, the other side was that there was a pretty big variety of dan ranked students that from time to time I got to practice with.

You can use some of the time to really practice _watching_ the demos, and breaking down what the instructor's doing. Like if they do it several times, try first to concentrate on the footwork, for example. Maybe imagine youself doing it and try to imagine what it feels like you're doing (I actually sometimes see some people moving their arms or bodies a little when watching :) ). It's a really useful skill to try to improve the ability to see someone else doing something and copy it in your own body.

You can also look around for a pair that looks like they have a clue and try to shadow them... of course the one risk is if they don't actually have a clue but are just doing it it wrong confidently, but usually you can learn at least something that way, and at least get enough there that there's something concrete for the instructor to comment on when they come along.

Janet Rosen
06-19-2007, 07:19 PM
Hang in there, Dalen. Sounds like you're doing fine just showing up and being willing to try.

One of the best learning experiences I ever had was being asked, at a dojo I visit from time to time, to partner with a developmentally disabled adult who had been training there for quite some time. On an "objective" or technical level, it could be said that his aikido sucked; OTOH I had seen where he was at 2 yrs earlier and even if he couldn't recall most techniques, he was way more present in his body and with integrated movement than before. So I decided my training for the evening was simply to to be the best partner I could be for him: be present with him, guiding him a bit when it seemed indicated, keeping upbeat, keeping connected even when he couldn't....It was not the class I was looking for or expecting and I sure didn't "improve my technique" that night....but I had a ball with him, and felt that I really got to practice aikido. Lesson: our attitudes inform our actions and in the end that's all we have to offer....

Mark Uttech
06-19-2007, 09:23 PM
wow. Janet. that was aikido in action; as simple as can be.

In gassho,
Mark

dalen7
06-19-2007, 11:47 PM
You can use some of the time to really practice _watching_ the demos, and breaking down what the instructor's doing.

very true, and very challenging for me (which is good.)
I watch something and forget it the second after I see it.
Its because Im not 'putting' myself there or imagining myself doing the moves.

I just noticed/tried that recently (to feel the move as if I were doing it as the instructor did it) and I was able to retain more.

Its definitely down to repetition now and creating new neuron paths in the brain. ;)

Peace

Dalen

dalen7
06-19-2007, 11:52 PM
So I decided my training for the evening was simply to to be the best partner I could be for him: be present with him, ....

Great point indeed. For me this is the 'next' step Im taking, so to speak (spiritually), this concept wouldnt even had been in my 'mind' before. (The mind is to concerned with technique and improving its 'image'/ego) My view on life is changing, and Im thankful for that. ;)

Thanks for sharing your experience

Peace

Dalen

Hanna B
06-20-2007, 12:16 AM
Its definitely down to repetition now and creating new neuron paths in the brain. ;)

Whatever neuron paths you create now, you will abandon later. If you continue to do aikido, you will refine and change your way of doing technique over and over. This is one of the reasons why the most common teaching method, as opposed to separate groups for each rank who all concentrate on the technique on the next step in the grading syllabus, actually makes sense.

tarik
06-20-2007, 12:38 AM
Whatever neuron paths you create now, you will abandon later.

Now that's just insane to me. Not that I haven't done it, nor that we don't refine what we learn, but if I have to retrain new neuron paths again, I'm clearly doing something pretty fundamentally wrong and I might as well not train until I can train with someone who can minimize such a waste of time and such an establishment of poor habits.

Regards,