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Conrad Gus
11-20-2007, 07:02 PM
We seem to all agree that rank is somewhat artificial and fairly relative. Given that limitation of rank as a comparison, I'm interested in people's response to the following question:

At what rank (or time put in) do you think people generally start to achieve a level of proficiency in aikido where they can just do techniques without struggling to make them work or remember the details. I'm thinking of those folks who just seem to move naturally and comfortably without leaving a lot of openings and with a decent level of internal power (without necessarily being expert or master level).

It's probably different for everybody, but I've heard from one shihan that real effectiveness starts creeping in around sandan. That's roughly in line with my experience as well.

What do you think?

SeiserL
11-20-2007, 07:04 PM
I am still waiting.
But I think you start looking forward to it after shodan.

crbateman
11-20-2007, 07:21 PM
Everybody's different... Don't measure yourself through others' accomplishments. I have started to "get it", but I fully expect that I will never truly "make the trip". That, however, will not keep me from trying...

Conrad Gus
11-20-2007, 07:27 PM
Everybody's different... Don't measure yourself through others' accomplishments. I have started to "get it", but I fully expect that I will never truly "make the trip". That, however, will not keep me from trying...

Okay. I suspect you might have already "got it", based on my definition. You are very humble!

I'm not really talking about O-Sensei levels here -- just a good solid aikido foundation where you can start exploring higher levels. I'm thinking about the top 1-5% at a major seminar that just feel really fluid and natural.

My gut feel is that it is sometime after shodan for most of us. Until then we're too busy thinking about techniques!

Aikibu
11-20-2007, 09:02 PM
Perhaps I am a slow learner but if you're talking about Aiki I am up for Sandan this year I am just now getting the Aiki Equation...The techniques were easy for me...using the techniques with Aiki under duress took about 12 years to really get good....Seminars are a not good measurement for me I prefer to see Aiki work in "sync" with other Martial Arts...

William Hazen

Rupert Atkinson
11-20-2007, 09:46 PM
It's not a 'rank' question. Rank has nothing to do with it. Basically, some learn faster than others but 'to get it' they have to train seriously and think hard for a long period of time. And then, there is no gurantee they will ever get it. Simply, the journey has to be enjoyable - then, it doesn't really matter. The problem is, just what is that "it"??? Go ask a few seniors - I bet they can't tell you.

David Yap
11-20-2007, 09:58 PM
We seem to all agree that rank is somewhat artificial and fairly relative. Given that limitation of rank as a comparison, I'm interested in people's response to the following question:

At what rank (or time put in) do you think people generally start to achieve a level of proficiency in aikido where they can just do techniques without struggling to make them work or remember the details. I'm thinking of those folks who just seem to move naturally and comfortably without leaving a lot of openings and with a decent level of internal power (without necessarily being expert or master level).

It's probably different for everybody, but I've heard from one shihan that real effectiveness starts creeping in around sandan. That's roughly in line with my experience as well.

What do you think?

Hi Conrad,

I will get a lot flacks from the local community for this post. Based on your criteria (underlined above), I don't have certainty that real effectiveness do start creeping in at about sandan. When one gets it, then the effectiveness remains there period (right?). Observing the various instructors (4~5th dan) in training and in public demo over the years, I am not too sure. Some do improve overtime but some just don't and in fact they decline. The pitfall, IMHO, is that they are not training enough and they start to believe in their own instructions.

"Getting it" and "getting it precisely" are separate motivations.

Just my two sens.

Regards

David Y

David Yap
11-20-2007, 10:55 PM
...The problem is, just what is that "it"??? Go ask a few seniors - I bet they can't tell you.

Generally I can say "It" is "Respect". "It" is always the ego that goes with the rank and seniority. "It" is not giving the opportunity/allowing ones students or juniors to stand on ones shoulders. The objective of being skillful/precision is seldom part of the "It".

For example. While training at a dojo I visited, the instructor came over to correct my form despite my "effortless" motions. Later after class ended, an friend of mine who is a regular at that dojo requested me to help him in suwariwaza kokyu-ho. Instructor came over to us and remarked "Aikido is formless". His definitions of "form" and "formless" is of his whim and fancy. I "got" the message of course but his student got something else.

I do agree with Rupert on the "It" of "Getting It" - a lot of seniors just can't tell you what is it. The sad part of it is that it rubs off on the students.

David Y

eyrie
11-21-2007, 04:02 AM
Like Rupert said, it's not a rank or time question. You either get it or you don't. I don't think there is such a thing as "starting to get it". And then there are different levels or layers of understanding. As you as you think you "got it", another layer reveals itself and what you think you "got", isn't "it"... ;)

roadster
11-21-2007, 06:01 AM
I will never get it. But I sometimes understand it. Most of the time I pretend to get it. And ultimately end up just doing it.

I comes in waves. Like dropping into a wave and you're in the zone. Then the ride is over and it's back to square one. (at least with me)

Peter Seth
11-21-2007, 07:06 AM
"Getting it" and "getting it precisely" are separate motivations.

Hi david. Precision/precisely - 'MMMM'? Not sure that word belongs in aikido - more of an organic, everchanging art where feel, flow and spirit are the essence. You try for precision and 'you'll be lucky'! Its an art not a science. Science, mechanics and maths can describe it I suppose, but the 'art' is intrinsic and that is never precise by definition. Pete.

Marc Abrams
11-21-2007, 08:16 AM
I do not view this as an all or none process, but akin to polishing the stone. How smooth can it ever be? My experience has been on toiling up-hill in my training. I then face a portal and struggle mightily to get through. On day, the portal has opened and my Aikido has suddenly transformed itself. I am amazed at the minor enlightenment that I have experienced. I have to relearn everything that I have done up to that point. I then find myself moving up hill again until I confront the next portal........

Good luck on your path!

Marc Abrams

gdandscompserv
11-21-2007, 08:24 AM
We seem to all agree
Since when?:p

Dirk Hanss
11-21-2007, 10:05 AM
As you asked "start toget it",...
Well to "get it" is a gift and anyone can get it at any time. And yes I have seen people below, even well below shodan, who could move me so easily without even thinking of doing a perfect technique. So a kind of bad technique but perfectly done.

But there is good reason for sandan. Most people do those easy-looking techniques, which make uke feel like dream, when they stop thinking about how to perform a technique. And they stop thinking about all these technical details, when they are not always bothered with comments like "no, don't do this", "don't you remember, how to do xyz", etc. And as nobody really performs a perfect technique, this happens, when the shihan expects them to go beyond form and do the technique or and technique in any way it comes. And this is often the sandan level.

And the same arguments hold for why most of those gifted people stopo doing their wonderfully performed wrong techniques after a while. They can do it but they are not allowed to.

Just a few observations from a little nikyu.

Dirk

Ron Tisdale
11-21-2007, 10:18 AM
People actually get it? :confused: Hmmm...I'm just thick headed I think. :D

Sometimes I'll have a very easy time of "it" in the morning, and yet when I try again in the afternoon, nothing is there. Can't even break the balance of the brown belts. :eek:

Longer I train, less of a clue. :crazy: I remember (and can go back and read posts) when I thought I had some understanding. :yuck:

Now I try to focus on doing the best I can in this moment. Sometimes it clicks, sometimes not. :grr: Trying to find ways to make it more consistent. No more testing until the consistency is there...

Best,
Ron :blush:

David Yap
11-21-2007, 10:45 AM
"Getting it" and "getting it precisely" are separate motivations.

Hi david. Precision/precisely - 'MMMM'? Not sure that word belongs in aikido - more of an organic, everchanging art where feel, flow and spirit are the essence. You try for precision and 'you'll be lucky'! Its an art not a science. Science, mechanics and maths can describe it I suppose, but the 'art' is intrinsic and that is never precise by definition. Pete.

Hi Peter,

Tell that to the Yoshinkan boys. For an uke, falling 5 degree off angle can cause one to be expelled from the dojo:D

David Y

It is better to read a book a hundred times than reading a hundred books at one time

George S. Ledyard
11-21-2007, 10:56 AM
It's not a 'rank' question. Rank has nothing to do with it. Basically, some learn faster than others but 'to get it' they have to train seriously and think hard for a long period of time. And then, there is no guarantee they will ever get it. Simply, the journey has to be enjoyable - then, it doesn't really matter. The problem is, just what is that "it"??? Go ask a few seniors - I bet they can't tell you.

Rupert's right. There is no "when" you get "it". There's a virtually infinite range punctuated with plateaus where you make breakthroughs. Each time I have made a major breakthrough, I have looked back and said to myself "My God, I didn't have a clue before..." And then, as I continue to seek more knowledge and meet and train with folks who are truly amazing I realize that I barely have a clue now.

The more I train, the more I realize there is to know. I look back and remember when I thought that what was "out there" was bounded, that there were actually folks who had gotten "it". I know better now.

Most folks get to a certain point and they simply stop getting better. That might be San Dan or Yondan for some, Rokudan for others, Shihan for still others, but at some point they stop trying.

But when you run into folks who are at what we see as the highest levels and they are still training and progressing... well, it's humbling. The higher the level of skill, the bigger the trap. There are fewer and fewer people who know what you know, still fewer who know what you don't know... it's so easy to simply start dispensing ones knowledge and cease seeking for oneself.

Often, when the top people cease progressing, their limitations become the ceiling beyond which their students will not be allowed to progress. One can see this organizationally.... the top guy's Aikido hasn't changed one iota in thirty years... so the members of that organization are told not to train outside so they won't see what is really out there. The limitations of the top guy become institutionalized. It becomes impossible for anyone to become better than his teacher. Even aspiring to be better than ones teacher is considered sort of heretical.

If you get out and see what is out there... train with folks like Ryabko and Vasiliev in the Systema, play with people like Akuzawa and Mike Sigman, put your hands on teachers like Kuroda and Angier... you realize that there is a virtually infinite vista before you of physical, mental, and technical development. If you look around you can see that in almost any area you could name, there is someone who has taken his skills to a level that seems almost incomprehensible. No one ever masters it all, ever.

So get used to the feeling that you have no clue... become friends with that feeling. Being willing to accept that fact as you get more and more knowledge is what will allow you to keep developing until you pass out of this life.

Conrad Gus
11-21-2007, 11:08 AM
It's not a 'rank' question. Rank has nothing to do with it. Basically, some learn faster than others but 'to get it' they have to train seriously and think hard for a long period of time. And then, there is no gurantee they will ever get it. Simply, the journey has to be enjoyable - then, it doesn't really matter. The problem is, just what is that "it"??? Go ask a few seniors - I bet they can't tell you.

Rupert,

I think this is very insightful. I agree completely that it is not a rank question -- I was just thinking of rank as one way that we can kind of point to how long a person has been training.

Just an observation -- it seems like people are being awfully hard on themselves. Don't you have days when aikido feels natural, powerful, and just "on". I see people around the various clubs where I train that seem to achieve this state regularly and with relative ease.

I recently read a book by Kancho Sunadomari where he quotes O Sensei saying "I can teach you this aikido in three months". Of course Sunadomari Sensei doesn't take this literally, but I think that O Sensei was saying that learning aikido is not a nearly impossible feat like turning invisible or astral travel or something.

I'm wondering if a negative state of mind or a condition of false humility might actually inhibit this power from coming through in movement. I'm not accusing anyone of anything -- just following an idea around.

If we strongly believe that actual realization of aikido in our own body/mind/spirit is only a distant, ephemeral possibility, do we not push it away from us in some small manner?

charyuop
11-21-2007, 11:12 AM
I already "got it"...I got that I suck hee hee (and here a bunch of people thinking how humble...till the day they have a chance to see me on the mat LOL).

Anyway I agree with whoever says that there are layers of getting it and that comes out clear when you are a beginner. You straggle to understand what the mean "keep your arm in front of you" and when you finally realize what it means keeping with your center it goes to the next level. Now move with your center keeping the arm in fron of you. And from here on...
I asked once in another forum what is the difference between a 5th Dan and a 8th Dan, if promotions are political or technical. Most of the answers were that by that time everyone has developed his own Aikido and that nobody can actually judge it so it is most political. I could not believe that answer was correct, because I cannot accept that my Sensei is at the same level of his Sensei (Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei). If it was so, why trying to improve, you reached "it".
I am sure not even O Sensei actually "got it", but was still on the way of discovering the next layer, which to my eyes can have no difference from his previous layer, but to his eyes must have been a huge difference.

Ron Tisdale
11-21-2007, 11:38 AM
Just an observation -- it seems like people are being awfully hard on themselves. Don't you have days when aikido feels natural, powerful, and just "on". I see people around the various clubs where I train that seem to achieve this state regularly and with relative ease.

Hi, well, I'm not being humble, just trying to be honest with myself. Aikido (most forms of it anyway) has no competition to keep us honest, so we have to try hard to foster that ourselves.

Sure, there are times, as I said, when things work; the flow is there, the structure is there, the mind is there...it all fits. For me, consistency is the issue. I'm not satified with one throw in a month where everything clicks. I'm not satisfied with 10. I'll only be satisfied when every throw is clicking...regardless of who I'm training with, the amount of resistance, the time of the month, etc. ;)

If we strongly believe that actual realization of aikido in our own body/mind/spirit is only a distant, ephemeral possibility, do we not push it away from us in some small manner?

It's quite possible that you are correct. But on the other hand, perhaps thinking that we have already arrived is just as bad a problem. I'm sure there is a middle way somewhere...I'll let you know when I find it...

Best,
Ron

mathewjgano
11-21-2007, 11:41 AM
I'm wondering if a negative state of mind or a condition of false humility might actually inhibit this power from coming through in movement. I'm not accusing anyone of anything -- just following an idea around.

If we strongly believe that actual realization of aikido in our own body/mind/spirit is only a distant, ephemeral possibility, do we not push it away from us in some small manner?

When it comes to learning of any kind, I do think this is a huge element often overlooked. I was fairly young when I saw a difference in my own ability to learn based solely on my self image and attitude and its validity has only been reinforced over time. The phrase I've personally adopted to describe the "proper" attitude is humble audacity and to my mind it essentially describes a level of sincerity which recognizes both one's own shortcomings along with the genius we all have within us.
Not that this mental paradigm has given me any huge advantage in learning things over other people...it's just an idea after all. Internalizing and manifesting the attitude are quite different from coming up with a nicely packaged concept and most people do it automatically without the need of some convoluted concept, but as a self-teaching (ie-learning) device and reminder it's served me pretty well.

Conrad Gus
11-21-2007, 11:49 AM
Rupert's right. There is no "when" you get "it". There's a virtually infinite range punctuated with plateaus where you make breakthroughs.

If you look around you can see that in almost any area you could name, there is someone who has taken his skills to a level that seems almost incomprehensible. No one ever masters it all, ever.

So get used to the feeling that you have no clue... become friends with that feeling. Being willing to accept that fact as you get more and more knowledge is what will allow you to keep developing until you pass out of this life.

OK, that makes a lot of sense too. It's exciting to think that there will always be fresh discoveries no longer how long you keep training. Personally, I really love the process and the experience of training and would be sad if it stopped at a certain point.

I also agree that if you think you've "got it" you might be inclined to rest on your laurels. I tell my beginners "In six months you won't feel completely awkward". By "get it", I was sort of pointing toward the next level of not feeling completely awkward. :D

A shihan once told me that shodan is like graduating from high school, sandan is like getting an undergrad degree at university, and rokudan is like having a PhD. You don't stop learning or discovering -- ever.

Conrad Gus
11-21-2007, 11:52 AM
When it comes to learning of any kind, I do think this is a huge element often overlooked. I was fairly young when I saw a difference in my own ability to learn based solely on my self image and attitude and its validity has only been reinforced over time. The phrase I've personally adopted to describe the "proper" attitude is humble audacity and to my mind it essentially describes a level of sincerity which recognizes both one's own shortcomings along with the genius we all have within us.
Not that this mental paradigm has given me any huge advantage in learning things over other people...it's just an idea after all. Internalizing and manifesting the attitude are quite different from coming up with a nicely packaged concept and most people do it automatically without the need of some convoluted concept, but as a self-teaching (ie-learning) device and reminder it's served me pretty well.

Matthew,

I always had the impression that your teacher in particular would encourage us to keep a positive, hopeful mindset in training, but I haven't done enough classes with him to hear him say anything like that. Am I wrong?

Conrad

mathewjgano
11-21-2007, 03:27 PM
Matthew,

I always had the impression that your teacher in particular would encourage us to keep a positive, hopeful mindset in training, but I haven't done enough classes with him to hear him say anything like that. Am I wrong?

Conrad

Hi Conrad,
I was speaking purely for myself. You seem to be implying you disagree with some aspect of what I said...or that I may have come across differently than I intended...or I'm reading too much into it. I meant simply that in my experience, believing in yourself is perhaps the most important aspect of learning anything, be it Aikido or otherwise. I hope I didn't come across as pompous.
But, no, I've never heard Sensei Barrish say anything quite like what I posted. He tends to speak more simply...which i suppose leaves less room for interpretation...and yeah, it's generally to the effect of maintaining constant positivity. What are your thoughts regarding what I said?
Sincerely,
Matthew

Conrad Gus
11-21-2007, 04:42 PM
Hi Conrad,
I was speaking purely for myself. You seem to be implying you disagree with some aspect of what I said...or that I may have come across differently than I intended...or I'm reading too much into it. I meant simply that in my experience, believing in yourself is perhaps the most important aspect of learning anything, be it Aikido or otherwise. I hope I didn't come across as pompous.
But, no, I've never heard Sensei Barrish say anything quite like what I posted. He tends to speak more simply...which i suppose leaves less room for interpretation...and yeah, it's generally to the effect of maintaining constant positivity. What are your thoughts regarding what I said?
Sincerely,
Matthew

Matthew,

Sorry I wasn't clear. I actually agreed with what you said (as far as I understood it). I like "humble audacity".

My question about Barrish Sensei was kind of tangential to your post. He seems like he would be very encouraging.

Conrad

gregg block
11-21-2007, 05:49 PM
I don't get it. I just know I love it. So I do it, every chance I get.. so in that sense maybe I do get it....a little.

mathewjgano
11-21-2007, 06:06 PM
Matthew,

Sorry I wasn't clear. I actually agreed with what you said (as far as I understood it). I like "humble audacity".

My question about Barrish Sensei was kind of tangential to your post. He seems like he would be very encouraging.

Conrad

Heheheh...sorry, I guess I'm a little insecure about my online communications:D .
I assume he would basically agree with the idea, but I've also been given the impression that he feels words often get in the way, or that they don't suffice when trying to articulate or understand Aikido. For some reason I can picture him smiling and shrugging as if to say, "sure, why not."
My interpretation of his teachings is that absolute dedication to the task at hand, whatever it may be, is central to Aiki training and that the "do" portion of Aikido implies this be extended to the rest of one's life as well. If I were to try and tie that into this thread a bit, I would say "getting it" falls in line with this kind of thing: pushing yourself to the brink of your understanding and ability so that new frontiers can be made.
Take care,
Matt

David Yap
11-21-2007, 08:06 PM
... believing in yourself is perhaps the most important aspect of learning anything, be it Aikido or otherwise...

Be cautious though!! If one repeats a lie over and over again, one may believe that it is a truth. Same with instructions. Believe it or not, there are some McDojos with better sensible instructions than some legitimate dojos out there.

I strongly agree with Ron:
Aikido (most forms of it anyway) has no competition to keep us honest, so we have to try hard to foster that ourselves.

Regards

David Y

mathewjgano
11-21-2007, 08:43 PM
Be cautious though!! If one repeats a lie over and over again, one may believe that it is a truth. Same with instructions...

Well said.

Kevin Leavitt
11-21-2007, 08:54 PM
I like what George Ledyard had to say about it. I think getting it is realitive.

Realitive to the person or persons you are working with. I get more than some, less than many more.

Also, there are those that have a better grasp of various concepts and aspects than I do, and then somethings that I feel I have a better grasp on than others.

If I got it, or any one for that matter 100% or even more oft than not...(51%), then it would probably be a waste of my time going to the dojo and would make for a boring way to spend my life!

Peter Seth
11-22-2007, 06:58 AM
Hi David. Hope u are well and regards to all at your end.
Yes ive trained in that environment - then started to look at a 360 degree horizon instead of the 'path to perfection'. Didnt want to become a great technician - rather to absorb the 'art'. Saying that its a great way to learn the basics if there is an element of flexibility involved. (still do train in that environment sometimes to compare and contrast) :)
Pete

dps
11-22-2007, 09:20 AM
At what rank (or time put in) do you think people generally start to achieve a level of proficiency in aikido where they can just do techniques without struggling to make them work or remember the details. I'm thinking of those folks who just seem to move naturally and comfortably without leaving a lot of openings and with a decent level of internal power (without necessarily being expert or master level).


Never. I don't think there will be a time I can just do techniques without struggling to make them work or remember the details.
At the least it is not a goal of mine. If there is no struggle there is no learning, no learning then I become bored with it.

David

Aikibu
11-22-2007, 12:50 PM
Wow I love all the comments. :) Great Thread.

Knowing how to paint is one thing...For Example...Creating Art is relative.... In trying to emulate most artists I see they reach a point where they develop a style of expression and then spend a life time painting. Their expressions of the creative muse morph... change... and grow over time...Acheiving Technical Mastery is easy...Learning to express the Art of Aikido (for me anyway) is based on the person and there are no limits to "getting it"

When Shoji Nishio said "We are Artist's... Using the tools of destruction to develop a peaceful way to express love and harmony within ourselves and others." I knew I found my path. :)

I get it now. :)

William Hazen

Conrad Gus
11-22-2007, 04:07 PM
For some reason I can picture him smiling and shrugging as if to say, "sure, why not."

I can almost see the look on his face . . .

Dan Richards
11-24-2007, 12:11 AM
At what rank (or time put in) do you think people generally start to achieve a level of proficiency in aikido where they can just do techniques without struggling to make them work or remember the details. I'm thinking of those folks who just seem to move naturally and comfortably without leaving a lot of openings and with a decent level of internal power (without necessarily being expert or master level).
It's been my experience that people can "start" to get into it after about three years of solid training. And by "solid" I mean two-hour training sessions 5+ times per week with at least a serious seminar once or twice a year. You specifically said, without necessarily being expert or master level, and I think that's fair enough. And you also said, "start." That's the level where Lynn commented you should see around shodan. A shodan is where entry into the "school" of a martial art "starts".

But it's like getting over the first big mountain. - let's call it Mt. Shodan. From there you get a much larger view. And what you see from this once-seemingly higher vista are of a lot of other very large mountains. : )

And in all the climbing and navigating are an endless pulsating series of "getting it" and "not getting it." Get it and forget it. Rinse and repeat.

Allan Watts commented on describing the universe: "The universe is fundamentally a system which creeps up on itself and then says BOO! and then it laughs at itself for jumping and you see everytime it does it it forgets that it did it before so it never becomes a bore."

SeiserL
11-25-2007, 08:06 AM
I thought I had it once,
but the more I thought about it
I realized I didn't.

Whether I have it or not,
will ever get it or not,
its just the training for the training's sake.

There is no get it,
just the cyclic process of getting it,
losing it,
and finding it again.

xuzen
11-25-2007, 08:48 AM
People "get it" when in Randori (free sparring), they can effortlessly throw their sparring partner despite being resisted.

Based on my own definition... I have not "get it" yet most of the time.

Boon.

kironin
11-25-2007, 10:28 AM
Rupert's right. There is no "when" you get "it".

Basically I agree with what George said, but on a personal note, I know I get "it", but I am just never satisfied with what I get. I think it should be easily doable to START to get it around nikkyu or around two years of dedicated training. I think if after two years of dedicated training that you are not STARTING to get it then you need to look seriously at how you are training but this may be tough to evaluate since it's a process in which steps of progress are often hard to discern at the time and maybe only much later with hindsight do you realize what you were or were not getting. To quote an old book I just picked up because I discovered it in a friends library (Karate teacher).
To return to our analogy of the gymnasium, we do not expect to work and work at weights with no changes in our body until all at once our muscles pop up, our stomach flattens, and we look like Tarzan or Raquel Welch. We expect a rather long, slow, generally imperceptible change in the direction we wish.

A comment on the how, IMO too many students spend too much time training too fast. In a zone in which their are not able to actually learn anything new, just reinforcing what they have already learned and is already fixed in their cerebellum. Just using momentum or force as a band-aid on what is incorrect.

Dyryke
11-26-2007, 05:10 PM
We seem to all agree that rank is somewhat artificial and fairly relative. Given that limitation of rank as a comparison, I'm interested in people's response to the following question:

At what rank (or time put in) do you think people generally start to achieve a level of proficiency in aikido where they can just do techniques without struggling to make them work or remember the details. I'm thinking of those folks who just seem to move naturally and comfortably without leaving a lot of openings and with a decent level of internal power (without necessarily being expert or master level).

It's probably different for everybody, but I've heard from one shihan that real effectiveness starts creeping in around sandan. That's roughly in line with my experience as well.

What do you think?

I think people "get it", from their very first class. I just think the "it" changes.

In my first class, it was easy to see how controlling an elbow can take someone down. I "get it".

After a few kyu ranks, it was easy to see how having that same elbow facing just the right way can could change my technique from a ikkajo, to an irimi nage, to a hijiate, depending on how the elbow is placed, uke's movement, etc. I "get it"

At 3rd kyu, it's easy for me to see how the rotation of that elbow as I'm receiving it from uke changes the technique, and what I'll do with uke based on this. I "get it".

I can only image what I'll "get" as I progress.

My point is, I think every time one does a technique, they are learning something new, or should be striving to. Yes, every time. It's hard to practice that, and I certainly don't live up to it myself, but hey, it's a goal. I just think that what passes as "proficiency" to different people is vastly different things. A sandan doing an ikkajo certainly has all the grace and perfection a 9th kyu could ever hope to attain. But in that Sandan's mind, he's probably trying to sort out a number of details to himself, and thinking he's just as big a clutz as ever. Those details, to the 9th kyu, would be incomprehensible.

Derek

Pierre Kewcharoen
11-26-2007, 06:48 PM
You will get it when it starts to become easy and without thought

Ron Tisdale
11-27-2007, 08:04 AM
Hi Derek, excellent post. Do you train with Kushida Sensei?

Best,
Ron

Aikibu
11-27-2007, 11:01 AM
Hmmmmm....All semantics aside for the moment...I have higher goals...There is a saying in AA.... It's easy to stay sober at an AA meeting... However meetings are there to teach you how deal with life sober outside of meetings and when you come to realize this... You start to get "get it"

The same anology works for me in Aikido. "Getting it" in a Dojo is very important to be sure and the levels of achievement are endless... However, for me the challenge and litmus test I use and the only one that matters in my old age LOL... Is outside of the Dojo... Among the peeps...It's easy to be an Aikidoka among other Aikidoka at the Dojo.... But it's out there in traffic, at work, in the mall, at the restaurant, ballgame, and school where you find out if you walk the walk, and not just talk the talk....

What I have experianced so far leads me to believe...So Far...So Good. LOL :)

Bowing down to all of you....:)

William Hazen

Dyryke
11-27-2007, 11:34 AM
Hi Derek, excellent post. Do you train with Kushida Sensei?

Best,
Ron

Thank you for the compliment.

I do not train with Kushida sensei. I'll PM you with my details.

Derek

Dunken Francis
11-27-2007, 01:39 PM
good question. If only there was such a thing as an "Aikido-o-meter" that one could stick in ones ear and get a mark out of 10!!

I spend a lot of time with beginners, and I think that the first time when people generally start to "understand" is at around the 6 month mark - at this level I think the most profound changes happen and the greatest accelleration of learning occurs. Sure, at sandan muscle memory and the benefit (usually) of teaching others all help make movement second nature but I don't think at any stage in ones Aiki path do we ever shift so much in such a short time.

One of my ambitions is to get Aikido onto the primary school syllabus here in NZ as I believe that within a school year you could make a huge difference to how kids view themselves and each other...

phitruong
11-27-2007, 03:21 PM
some years ago a group of folks at my dojo went to a seminar (in Ohio) taught by Ikeda sensei of the famed Bujin. Sensei would go around the room and had folks grab his hand (katate dori). Sensei asked "I got it?" what he meant was "did I get your balance/center?" whatever your answer were, he would drop you. of course he got it on everyone. after a day and a half of "I got it?", it was getting tiresome. when one of my sempai turn to grab Sensei, he got the "I got it?" question. There was a pregnant pause and my sempai gave the most sensible answer: MAAAYYYYBBBEEE. Sensei laugh out loud and proceed to drop my sempai.

my answer: maybe