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Cynrod
07-23-2008, 04:13 PM
I decided to go back to Aikido after almost 17 years of non-training. Now at my age of 48 I want to be sure that I am in the right pathway to minimize myself in making mistakes because I am not getting any younger.

A month ago I was looking for a dojo and I happened to find 3 of them. First one is 17 miles, second is 10 miles and the third one is 5 miles away from my house. So just because the latter one is only 5 miles away I ended up enrolling on that dojo, maybe because of the gas price too :( . It was my second day yesterday at the dojo and I asked my sensei about any affiliations or organizations that my dojo belongs to. I was told that we are not affiliated with any of them and that sensei don't believe in certificates or paperwork (as I noticed also that there's not even a single Aikido certificate inside the office). I will be moving to So. California in 3 years thinking on practicing Aikido there also and the thought that my dojo is not anyway affiliated with any organization just gave me a moment to think about my practice. Now, I am thinking on moving to the Las Vegas Aikido Ki Society through a PM on one of the member here as they have dojos in the Southern California area. I am looking for a longtime/lifetime practice as a way of life is one of my main goal too and not just a short time practice.

Is it important for a dojo to be affiliated with any organizations or clubs either international or national? Certificates don't mean nothing and they are only piece of paper? To belong to any affliations is only politics and does not mean anything?

Am I in the right way? Please correct me if I am not. I need your honest opinion.

TIA

Janet Rosen
07-23-2008, 04:14 PM
I strongly recommend you actually go in and train a couple of times at EACH of them. Your on the mat experience is in the long run (IMO) more important than affiliation.

jennifer paige smith
07-23-2008, 04:16 PM
Quality of instruction and a good dojo fit for you personally is what will keep you training in the long run, IMO.
Same as Janet above, also.

Sounds to me like you've go your head on straight.
Jen

Cynrod
07-23-2008, 06:42 PM
Thanks to you Janet and Jensei on the replies to my post. Yes, I will do what you've told me.

Take Care

crbateman
07-23-2008, 07:12 PM
You will most likely know right away when you find a good fit. Try them all...

Dan Richards
07-23-2008, 08:31 PM
I I am looking for a longtime/lifetime practice as a way of life is one of my main goal too and not just a short time practice.
And for that exact reason, I would agree with others here, and take a look at all the dojos you have available in your area - with no regard for affiliations, politics, or anything else - other than the quality of the teacher/s and the students, and whether or not you feel you "click" with a given dojo.

Ultimately, you are going to spend a lot of time with people were you'll train. So, it's really more about choosing the kind of people you want to have relationships with, and have their influence in your life.

And train. Just train with the best teachers and students available to you. And train, and train, and train more. Let everything else follow that.

Good luck with it, Rod.

rob_liberti
07-23-2008, 10:33 PM
Define your goals.
Then you can consider what the "right pathway to minimize myself in making mistakes" means in more concrete terms.

Are you in it for martial ability?
removing ego?
a good time?
a work out?
connection training?

I think you need to make your own list. Prioritize them. Then look for an instructor that meets your needs.

Rob

akiy
07-23-2008, 10:35 PM
Hi,

Here are two articles which may help you in searching for a dojo for yourself:

"Selecting a Dojo" (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../training/akiy7.html) - my "boilerplate" response when asked for dojo recommendations.
"Evaluating a Dojo" (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../training/witt1.html) by Bill Witt sensei - Some tips for evaluating a dojo for newcomers.

-- Jun

dalen7
07-24-2008, 12:10 AM
While a piece of paper does not necessarily mean or guarnatee anything, I will say this:

Personally I like that we have colored belts.
Many dojos dont even have this - just white and black. (They are fine with this and that is great.) But the belts come with your test/certificate.

Why I like the belts is because of this:
It gives you fast assessment of a level of any given person you are training with in your dojo and more particularly at a seminar.

Is my sensei, for example, were to go up to a beginner and apply the technique he does on a brown belt - there shoulder would be dislocated. (quite seriously...I know some dojos it wouldnt no matter what, and that is how it is.)

Its a good marker for me as well to know what to potentially expect from various people, also based on what I find at my dojo.

Again, I know many places with certificates dont even give colored belts, but that is why I personally like it. (And again it comes with ranking.)

Other thing, he doesnt have a certificate of any sort.
Not that papers are important, but again it does give you an idea at a certain level of proficiency they may have.

What does he know? What does he not know.

Also, if there is no testing, etc. - what are the goals?
I have my whole list of requirements printed out, etc. - and know where I am headed.

I never liked dojos of any sort, where I walk in, and they have ranking test, but its kind of a 'feel your way' and we will get there when its time. Just my personality type...I want the job description written in full. (not all are like this, and I respect that.)

Also, yes you can go and have fun and not even remotely do anything called Aikido...in the end, its up to you.

I would suggest to visit the other dojos. 5, 10, 15 miles isnt that much of a difference. - Used to live stateside in Atlanta where the closest things to us seemed like it was half an hour away. :-)

Let us know what you do, and how it goes.

Peace

dAlen

Shany
07-24-2008, 01:03 AM
Rod Lansangan,
how can an affiliation or paper work will make your Aikido better? Are you looking for world fame by having them?

Enrique Antonio Reyes
07-24-2008, 03:19 AM
Hi Rod,

I am a black belt with another club and now training with another club as a white belt. What's good with Aikido is that there are no differences in the lessons between belts during the sessions.

Just make sure you have your ego in-check before entering the dojo and it wouldn't really matter where you train.

One-Aiki,

Iking

Amir Krause
07-24-2008, 08:13 AM
While a piece of paper does not necessarily mean or guarnatee anything, I will say this:

Personally I like that we have colored belts.
Many dojos dont even have this - just white and black. (They are fine with this and that is great.) But the belts come with your test/certificate.

Why I like the belts is because of this:
It gives you fast assessment of a level of any given person you are training with in your dojo and more particularly at a seminar.

Is my sensei, for example, were to go up to a beginner and apply the technique he does on a brown belt - there shoulder would be dislocated. (quite seriously...I know some dojos it wouldnt no matter what, and that is how it is.)

Its a good marker for me as well to know what to potentially expect from various people, also based on what I find at my dojo.

Again, I know many places with certificates dont even give colored belts, but that is why I personally like it. (And again it comes with ranking.)

Other thing, he doesnt have a certificate of any sort.
Not that papers are important, but again it does give you an idea at a certain level of proficiency they may have.

What does he know? What does he not know.

Also, if there is no testing, etc. - what are the goals?
I have my whole list of requirements printed out, etc. - and know where I am headed.

I never liked dojos of any sort, where I walk in, and they have ranking test, but its kind of a 'feel your way' and we will get there when its time. Just my personality type...I want the job description written in full. (not all are like this, and I respect that.)

Also, yes you can go and have fun and not even remotely do anything called Aikido...in the end, its up to you.

I would suggest to visit the other dojos. 5, 10, 15 miles isnt that much of a difference. - Used to live stateside in Atlanta where the closest things to us seemed like it was half an hour away. :-)

Let us know what you do, and how it goes.

Peace

dAlen

I strongly disagree with the above as a recomenation.

One can produce lots of papers, it does not promise they are true and not counterfeit, nor do they promise ability.

A good teacher should feel his students ability without looking at the belt. A senior student might be returrning from a long time off (even years) or sick. A beginner might be young and flexible, or rigid.

I also find the concept of "chaotic teaching order" has its own advantages. Progress is not always linear.

Amir

Joe McParland
07-24-2008, 08:48 AM
I strongly disagree with the above as a recomenation. One can produce lots of papers, it does not promise they are true and not counterfeit, nor do they promise ability.

While it's true that aikido is not necessarily found in the world of organizations, rankings, and certificates, it's also true that aikido is not necessarily found in groups that shun them.

The affiliated and the unaffiliated all have their roles and can each be a suitable gateway to aikido for some student. The same can be said of styles, lineage, focus on ki, focus on martial effectiveness, and so forth.

Find what is available to you and what suits you.

Larry Cuvin
07-24-2008, 09:14 AM
Hey Rod,
I did not know that your moving to CA in three years when I PM you. I agree with the majority here. Define your goals, try the dojos available in your area and see which one best line up with your goals. Keeping in mind that your goals may change over the years.

Best of luck pare!
Larry

jennifer paige smith
07-24-2008, 09:17 AM
Whatever 'torifune's' you under the" floating bridge of heaven".

Training in a dojo is a relationship. We go in it as individuals(hopefully we keep that, too) with independent goals and then the relationship offers and develops dynamic goals that result from the combo. Have your goals, but be ready to include some other stuff that comes from the relationship.Feel the dojo you go to . It might be best to drop goal thinking on the 'first date'( unless you see some red flags waving; then answer that mid-dinner call from your tactically-positioned friend and go home right after the meal). Get my drift?
Have fun, play safe, give your keys to the sober one.

DonMagee
07-24-2008, 09:45 AM
Without any paper work, I would strongly advise asking for his lineage and do your due diligence. You are paying for a service from a professional, if i was hiring a guy to work on my house who was not from a big named local company or backed by some big union, I would want references and background information. There is no difference here.

If he trained under X, then you should be able to call X and verify it, or at the very least find out who X trained under. The first thing given to me when I joined my aikido dojo was a pamphlet that included my instructors lineage going all the way back.

Plus, this gives you a good feel for the instructor right away. Anyone angered and not actually excited that someone is asking about their past is not someone I would want to train under. I would leap at the chance to talk about my instructors if asked.

dalen7
07-24-2008, 10:01 AM
.

A good teacher should feel his students ability without looking at the belt. A senior student might be returrning from a long time off (even years) or sick. A beginner might be young and flexible, or rigid.

Amir

Im actually looking beyond teacher and to myself what I find helpful.
For me at seminars it does a world of good to know who is at what level and not swimming in a sea of possibly all beginners or all advanced and not knowing.

Again, this is perhaps because of how we train...senior students are more vigorous, and in a seminar it would eat up time asking where each partner is at. ;)

Of course, as I believe Jennifer pointed out, "what floats your boat" - it all boils down to the individual at the end and how things all fit together.

As far as papers, it would seem aikido does have a track (Hombu) of who are registered, so you at least know your instructor has a base level.

There are people out there teaching that probably would only qualify for 3rd kyu, etc. - it shouldnt have to be a guessing game for the new student. :)

But if things click, its clicks. :)

Peace

dAlen

jennifer paige smith
07-24-2008, 10:11 AM
And personally, I've been a bit disonwed by a previous teacher for political, if not personal reasons. So the affiliation is complex and not necessarily a good reference point for either one of us. During that process I also chose to forego rank for the time being.
But that doesn't have anything to do with skill, dedication, or lineage in great training. Almost the direct opposite.

Incidentally, it was an Independent dojo, so you won't find my name registered anywhere. But, I believe when I checked the mirror this morning, I still exist and can give just about anybody a good time training.

dalen7
07-24-2008, 10:32 AM
During that process I have also chosen to forego rank for the time being.
But that doesn't have anything to do with skill, dedication, or lineage in great training. Almost the direct opposite.

Totally understood.
There are people who do not test, and of course their skill is not affected due to not testing...that would be just silly to think otherwise. (I know a guy that used to be in our dojo that was about 3rd/2nd kyu level and didnt test.)

But having a certificate helps to show people that dont know you, or anything about Aikido, that you indeed have a basic grounding in the training your are trying to teach. (Again this does not at all guarantee that this person can teach or transmit the info, its up to you to tell if there is chemistry there, but you know they have the base skillset as mentioned.)

In the end, is the person forthcoming or trying to hide?

i.e., Jennifer, your were open and honest, and people can see that and watch your classes and make a choice based on this.
And in the end, I suppose thats what it boils down to...each person has to make up their own mind.

Now I have no idea who this guy is that the original poster mentioned. He may have extensive training, if so I dont see why he wouldnt talk about the lineage, etc. - maybe he will, who knows.

Still I would probably check out all 3 dojos anyway...just to see what the different chemistry is like at those places.

By the way, it would be interesting to see which dojo Cynrod ends up going to and if he actually tries out the other 2 or not and what he thought of them. :)

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
07-24-2008, 10:41 AM
Rod, one thing I would do...and this is just me - get a copy of their syllabus. They dont test...fine - but hes teaching something.

Personally, I hate not knowing what it is Im going to learn.
It could be 5 techniques or 50...and you have no idea.
No idea of time length, nothing to shoot for.

Again, this is me - ;)
Seeing how structured they are would be how I chose a dojo.

If its willy nilly your not going to get far...i.m.o. :D

Peace

dAlen

George S. Ledyard
07-24-2008, 10:54 AM
I decided to go back to Aikido after almost 17 years of non-training. Now at my age of 48 I want to be sure that I am in the right pathway to minimize myself in making mistakes because I am not getting any younger.

A month ago I was looking for a dojo and I happened to find 3 of them. First one is 17 miles, second is 10 miles and the third one is 5 miles away from my house. So just because the latter one is only 5 miles away I ended up enrolling on that dojo, maybe because of the gas price too :( . It was my second day yesterday at the dojo and I asked my sensei about any affiliations or organizations that my dojo belongs to. I was told that we are not affiliated with any of them and that sensei don't believe in certificates or paperwork (as I noticed also that there's not even a single Aikido certificate inside the office). I will be moving to So. California in 3 years thinking on practicing Aikido there also and the thought that my dojo is not anyway affiliated with any organization just gave me a moment to think about my practice. Now, I am thinking on moving to the Las Vegas Aikido Ki Society through a PM on one of the member here as they have dojos in the Southern California area. I am looking for a longtime/lifetime practice as a way of life is one of my main goal too and not just a short time practice.

Is it important for a dojo to be affiliated with any organizations or clubs either international or national? Certificates don't mean nothing and they are only piece of paper? To belong to any affliations is only politics and does not mean anything?

Am I in the right way? Please correct me if I am not. I need your honest opinion.

TIA

In Las Vegas there are two places I'd check out. One is Desert Wind Martial arts. The Sensei is Jim Sterling. He runs a very tight ship, very traditional. He's ex-military and law enforcement and the dojo reflects that so it's not everyone's cup of tea... But I teach there once a year and his students make steady progress (which is more than I can say about some places) and are very nice folks. They are in the ASU.

Stan Pranin has gotten together a group to train in the Iwama style of Saito Sensei. There are details on the Aikido Journal website. You can contact Stan to get info. I don't know if Stan has affiliated; you can ask him... But with someone who has been around so long, I wouldn't worry too much about it. He's legit and everyone knows it.

Joe McParland
07-24-2008, 01:00 PM
Personally, I hate not knowing what it is Im going to learn.
It could be 5 techniques or 50...and you have no idea.
No idea of time length, nothing to shoot for.


Which day was it again that you had your Shihan party scheduled, dAlen? I want to make sure we have it clear on the calendar ;)

Joe McParland
07-24-2008, 01:45 PM
And personally, I've been a bit disonwed by a previous teacher for political, if not personal reasons. So the affiliation is complex and not necessarily a good reference point for either one of us. During that process I also chose to forego rank for the time being.
But that doesn't have anything to do with skill, dedication, or lineage in great training. Almost the direct opposite.

Incidentally, it was an Independent dojo, so you won't find my name registered anywhere. But, I believe when I checked the mirror this morning, I still exist and can give just about anybody a good time training.

Wow... I know that feeling---well, at least a variation.

As years pass and contract, I started making an exercise of saying, "This year, I'm going to focus on _(fill in the blank)_." One year it was breathing, another relaxing (might need another year or two on that one), ... Recently I had a year of considering deeply what ranking, certification, and all the other decorations meant to the practice...

... Whoops! Did I give away the conclusion? ;)

It's reinforced a dimension of what I would like to transmit to my handful of hangers-on.

I have a homeschool group that includes my daughter. I wear a uniform, they don't---but the kids still enjoy getting a new belt or a stripe after a test. One of my proudest moments was when my daughter took her new belt back to the line, sat in seiza, and tied the belt around her head to hold her hair back. :D I use my belt to hold up my pants; she used hers to hold back her hair. She understood---and got a laugh from her friends.

I encourage them to explore with other teachers, styles, arts, and so forth, and I ask them to bring back what they learn. I remind them that the only thing that conveys as they visit or join other groups is what they have taken from our time together. It's also all that is important right now.

Since this crew started as homeschoolers---already outside institutional thinking---I'm hoping that the odds are good that the message will stick :)

dalen7
07-24-2008, 02:18 PM
Which day was it again that you had your Shihan party scheduled, dAlen? I want to make sure we have it clear on the calendar ;)

Thinking this time in 2015 would do - I know its kind of soon. ;)

Thanks for the humor... nice to lighten up a bit... :)
You make a good point for sure.

Peace

dAlen

Joe McParland
07-24-2008, 02:23 PM
Thinking this time in 2015 would do - I know its kind of soon. ;) Thanks for the humor... nice to lighten up a bit... :) You make a good point for sure.

Ha! Oh, I'm just having more fun than I'm probably supposed to, but I'll be watching for the announcement nonetheless. :)

Good posts, dAlen! You give a fresh and honest point of view.

gdandscompserv
07-24-2008, 04:42 PM
In Las Vegas there are two places I'd check out. One is Desert Wind Martial arts. The Sensei is Jim Sterling. He runs a very tight ship, very traditional. He's ex-military and law enforcement and the dojo reflects that so it's not everyone's cup of tea... But I teach there once a year and his students make steady progress (which is more than I can say about some places) and are very nice folks. They are in the ASU.
I have trained at Jim's dojo. I liked his style and presentation.

eric_lecaptain
07-26-2008, 06:36 PM
I strongly recommend you actually go in and train a couple of times at EACH of them. Your on the mat experience is in the long run (IMO) more important than affiliation.

i agree with janet. what difference does affiliation make. i'm sure there are some very good independent dojo's out there...

Amir Krause
07-27-2008, 07:28 AM
Rod, one thing I would do...and this is just me - get a copy of their syllabus. They dont test...fine - but hes teaching something.

Personally, I hate not knowing what it is Im going to learn.
It could be 5 techniques or 50...and you have no idea.
No idea of time length, nothing to shoot for.

Again, this is me - ;)
Seeing how structured they are would be how I chose a dojo.

If its willy nilly your not going to get far...i.m.o. :D

Peace

dAlen

Dalen
This is exactly the thing which disturbs me most, it gives a feeling of a market place:
- Exact syllabus
- Tests schedule
To each his own, but I prefer the teacher to have the freedom of adapting as things go along. The teacher should adapt the sylabus to the class status, in the long run, learning one technique or another does not matter, nor does it matter if you study 20 techniques with 50 variations or techniques with 100 variations.

When my teacher gave us an instructor course, he presented a syllabus, it was not divided to months, rather to technical groups, each of which better adjusted to a different development stage of a beginning student. He then opened the syllabus for discussion, so we will understand the reasons for selecting each technique in each stage.
He said this was since when we teach, we should select the techniques based on our understanding of the syllabus, and we should not stick to the letter. When one of my friends in the course started teaching, and consulted with Sensei, he did not follow the syllabus exactly himself.

Even our ranking system is dependent on the teacher, some groups only hold Q1 and Dan tests, others have a mid stage of about Q3. All belong in the same organizational branch, with a single head of branch which teaches himself, and all other teachers are his direct students. Yet, he does not enforce his way, rather let each Sensei to adjust the ranks for his own group.

Since, in real life, there can not be a single standard requirement per rank, as people test differently, at different times, and with different Uke. And there is no point to giving mathematical score. My Sensei does not try to force such a concept on his students who are teachers.

So, I prefer a teacher who is not obliged to some pre-set table.

Im actually looking beyond teacher and to myself what I find helpful.
For me at seminars it does a world of good to know who is at what level and not swimming in a sea of possibly all beginners or all advanced and not knowing.

Again, this is perhaps because of how we train...senior students are more vigorous, and in a seminar it would eat up time asking where each partner is at.
Being in a small organization - I know who is who by sight :) (especially the 4-5 people who are more veteran than me). By the time anyone gets 1st Q, I should have met him a couple of times in seminars, so he should even have a name I may remember ;)

I am against the concept of training only in your level, particularly in a seminar. One purpose of a seminar would be to let the students from other Dojo to train with me and the other Yundasha, and get a feel.
When I go to a seminar, I know I must prepare mentally and set my mind to place where I get as much fun practicing with a beginner as I do with a veteran, or I will in the wrong. You might be surprised, but I still have things to learn from beginners, even if they are stiff, less sensitive, and I must be careful not to force an unknown (to them) surprise Ukemi on them.

As far as papers, it would seem aikido does have a track (Hombu) of who are registered, so you at least know your instructor has a base level.
This is only true for some organizations, not for all. (you are invited to check how long it would take you to confirm I got Dan certificates from the Korin-Kai Aikido organization, I hope you can write and read Japanese ;) and have lots of patience ).

Obviously, to each his own.
But, had I been forced to look for another teacher, I would have gone to all relevant dojos, and taken a look, then talked with the teacher. I would have been less interested in their lineage, and more interested in their views and targets (do they conform with mine? are we looking for the same things?), with their ability and knowledge (Do they have anything to teach me as teachers? Will they know how?), and with their approach and our chemistry (will I be able to learn from them?)
Those are the important criteria for me. In this respect, you, Dalen, gave a partial description of some of the attributes you look for in the approach section.

Amir

dalen7
07-27-2008, 09:03 AM
Dalen
This is exactly the thing which disturbs me most, it gives a feeling of a market place:
- Exact syllabus
- Tests schedule
To each his own, but I prefer the teacher to have the freedom of adapting as things go along.

Amir

Your right Amir, each must do what suits them best. :)

We can both give our reasons why we do what we do - in the end it will only work what is 'natural' to us.

Personally, I typically find that when there is no structure that things develop a lot slower than if there were some basic structure and idea of where one is headed.

Im a video producer by profession, and project management is key...with artist (yes, I am one) you can have a project which is due in a week take 100 years. - Trust me, I understand the concept of letting things flow all to well. Its part of my milieu. ;)

Here is a clear example though of when 'letting it flow' is really just sloppiness.
You have a set requirement of what is to be learned for a grading level - but in the year you are there, you only cover some techniques once...or twice.

The 'do it as I feel led' does not work, or rather benefit, in a situation where someone wants to maximize their time, when that time is limited - no there is nothing wrong with spending two years learning Kotegaeshi, (as an example), if that is your intent.

So it goes down to what your goals are, as you mentioned.

Again, personally, I want to know what it is that makes the art structurally and then go for attacking it and making it real as far as implementing that knowledge in my life.

Especially in the light of trying to integrate arts - say Thai boxing into Aikido, etc. - or B.JJ. into Aikido.

For clarification, there is nothing wrong with going with the flow...but a lot of times its an excuse for sloppiness.
(Now my example with the artist doesnt work here, as an artist takes their time to refine, and refine...and I suppose that is where you are coming from...which is understood.

From an artist perspective take a look at the 3rd Harry Potter movie...I say its a piece of art if you look at the imagery throughout...the camera moves make it. The director took his time and made it better - in the same time, the problem was the time the director took to make his art work - the studio had to get someone else to direct the other movies who could push the project forward before the actors became grandparents.) ;)

Anyway -

Peace

dAlen

lifeafter2am
07-27-2008, 09:22 AM
Dalen:

Would you say that you are a little more interested in rank, as well as progresion in the art? Because, I agree more with Amir, but I am not at all interested in rank, but more increasing my skill with Aikido. Sure, rank can come with that, but actually improving my rank isn't high on my priority list at all. I could stay 5th Kyu forever for all I care, doesn't mean thats my skill level though.

I think thats why I don't really look for a concrete type of schedule. I train 5 days a week and have no clue what the next day holds. Doesn't bother me at all, but I am only interested in increasing my Aikido abilities.

Just trying to understand the differences.

:)

dalen7
07-27-2008, 09:25 AM
I am against the concept of training only in your level, particularly in a seminar. One purpose of a seminar would be to let the students from other Dojo to train with me and the other Yundasha, and get a feel.
Amir

I totally agree - this is why I mentioned colored belts are good.

We train black with white, etc.
When there is 50+ people at a seminar, and we mix like we do...and its fast paced, an advanced student will not know by looking at you that you are only 5th kyu, etc.

And when the senior students do get with each other - its hard...and less hard as it goes down the line.

A brown belt, I believe it was, took bad ukemi from another senior person at the seminar, and went to the hospital...not to come back.
They knew each others ranks and trained accordingly.

Accidents happen, and again, its good we are able to see the belt to know who is where. Thats all Im saying. (Not that some people within a rank wont be more 'fluid' than others - but this way not everyone is walking away crippled.)

As for lineage - my point is that you at least can look to access what it is you have. A kid from a garage trying to teach you from his dvd set... (might be a bit of a stretch to make a point, but you should see to where Im pointing to) - or someone that has literally truly trained.

From there, you must watch and see if there is chemistry...doesnt matter who gave the certificate if you dont like the person, etc. ;)

Anyway, not sure how this helps clear things up a bit.
But I felt that perhaps you were getting lost in the words themselves instead of seeing to where I was pointing with them. :)

Peace

dAlen

dalen7
07-27-2008, 09:44 AM
Dalen:

Would you say that you are a little more interested in rank, as well as progresion in the art? Because, I agree more with Amir, but I am not at all interested in rank, but more increasing my skill with Aikido.

I think thats why I don't really look for a concrete type of schedule. I train 5 days a week and have no clue what the next day holds. Doesn't bother me at all, but I am only interested in increasing my Aikido abilities.

Just trying to understand the differences.

:)

Thanks for trying to get clarification - sorry the post did not provide it - but I will try again.

You say you want to increase skill - I do to.

We often get lost in words and in our take on what we think is being said with the word based on our experiences and perspective with it.

The term test/rank seem to be a hanging point here where many people appear to get lost to what Im referring to. ;)

Structure:

Aikido is made up of various building blocks.
You take a look at them and break them up into digestible phases.

These phases can be given time frames as a reference guide and motivation as not to be compliant and lazy... ;)

Say within this time frame, your dojo only trains in 4 out of 8 of the techniques and even then only really study 2 out of 4, then something needs to be re-evaluated.

Do you want to slow down and only focus on 2 techniques in a set amount of time? Did you make the load to much? Or do you just go in and say, "ah, lets do kotegaishi class." - you know, not pushing it and just doing it to do it.

Now catch where Im going with this?

Rank is a milestone, for me.
Its not about the rank as for ego - as I mentioned when I got my rank...who of you truly cares as each rank is different from dojo to dojo, as are the requirements.

My excitement is about setting goals - and achieving it for myself - especially when there were obstacles to be 'overcome'. So, yes, in that sense I like rank - but its not about 'bad a**' - its more of sharing an excitement that we can all, hopefully, relate to as we all are going through and achieving milestones in various areas of our life.

Point - goal.
Again, if your goal is not to have a goal...that to is good. :)

I doubt this cleared it up any better.

I find that typically either someone gets what the other is saying the first time around, and if not, doesnt really matter how its re-worded as its hard to communicate across mental filters so to speak.

Peace

dAlen

lifeafter2am
07-27-2008, 09:48 AM
Thanks for trying to get clarification - sorry the post did not provide it - but I will try again.

You say you want to increase skill - I do to.

We often get lost in words and in our take on what we think is being said with the word based on our experiences and perspective with it.

The term test/rank seem to be a hanging point here where many people appear to get lost to what Im referring to. ;)

Structure:

Aikido is made up of various building blocks.
You take a look at them and break them up into digestible phases.

These phases can be given time frames as a reference guide and motivation as not to be compliant and lazy... ;)

Say within this time frame, your dojo only trains in 4 out of 8 of the techniques and even then only really study 2 out of 4, then something needs to be re-evaluated.

Do you want to slow down and only focus on 2 techniques in a set amount of time? Did you make the load to much? Or do you just go in and say, "ah, lets do kotegaishi class." - you know, not pushing it and just doing it to do it.

Now catch where Im going with this?

Rank is a milestone, for me.
Its not about the rank as for ego - as I mentioned when I got my rank...who of you truly cares as each rank is different from dojo to dojo, as are the requirements.

My excitement is about setting goals - and achieving it for myself - especially when there were obstacles to be 'overcome'. So, yes, in that sense I like rank - but its not about 'bad a**' - its more of sharing an excitement that we can all, hopefully, relate to as we all are going through and achieving milestones in various areas of our life.

Point - goal.
Again, if your goal is not to have a goal...that to is good. :)

I doubt this cleared it up any better.

I find that typically either someone gets what the other is saying the first time around, and if not, doesnt really matter how its re-worded as its hard to communicate across mental filters so to speak.

Peace

dAlen

That clarified it more for me. I understand what you are getting at now.

:)

dalen7
07-27-2008, 09:50 AM
That clarified it more for me. I understand what you are getting at now.

:)

Im not always the best at getting my point across...so Im glad my post helped to clarify things a bit. :)

Peace

dAlen

Amir Krause
07-28-2008, 02:37 AM
Thanks for trying to get clarification - sorry the post did not provide it - but I will try again.

You say you want to increase skill - I do to.

We often get lost in words and in our take on what we think is being said with the word based on our experiences and perspective with it.

The term test/rank seem to be a hanging point here where many people appear to get lost to what Im referring to. ;)

Structure:

Aikido is made up of various building blocks.
You take a look at them and break them up into digestible phases.

These phases can be given time frames as a reference guide and motivation as not to be compliant and lazy... ;)

Say within this time frame, your dojo only trains in 4 out of 8 of the techniques and even then only really study 2 out of 4, then something needs to be re-evaluated.

Do you want to slow down and only focus on 2 techniques in a set amount of time? Did you make the load to much? Or do you just go in and say, "ah, lets do kotegaishi class." - you know, not pushing it and just doing it to do it.

Now catch where Im going with this?

Rank is a milestone, for me.
Its not about the rank as for ego - as I mentioned when I got my rank...who of you truly cares as each rank is different from dojo to dojo, as are the requirements.

My excitement is about setting goals - and achieving it for myself - especially when there were obstacles to be 'overcome'. So, yes, in that sense I like rank - but its not about 'bad a**' - its more of sharing an excitement that we can all, hopefully, relate to as we all are going through and achieving milestones in various areas of our life.

Point - goal.
Again, if your goal is not to have a goal...that to is good. :)

I doubt this cleared it up any better.

I find that typically either someone gets what the other is saying the first time around, and if not, doesnt really matter how its re-worded as its hard to communicate across mental filters so to speak.

Peace

dAlen

Actually, I think I understood you very well.

I just think that there is a differnce between a factory, which should set goals and achieve them (in reality, often only to a certain point), and between learning an Art, and particularly a M.A.

The building blocks concept is not the right model for learning Aikido. One can learn the same technique at different levels (after many years [>15], I still have things to learn about the techniques I learned in the first lesson).
Looking at Aikido, the knowledge is not the number of techniques you know, but the level at which you can execute them. Much of that is in "between techniques", identifying the evolving opportunity, setting up the situation ...
It takes higher level to be able to do the same technique from almost any situation at adaquate level, than to execute a different technique from each of the same situations at the same level. Since each technique has some situations which are less adjusted for it.

When I tried to model Aikido learning, I modeled it as a widening up-going spiral. You return to learn the same elements, again and again, but each time, your perspective is different, as you are aware of more things.

If I were to teach my own group (a path I chose not to take for a while yet), I would have given serious consideration to learning only 3-4 techniques for the first 2 years. Yet, re-visit those techniques each time from a different prespective. And with a different focuses. At times, focusing on practical \ Self-defense like\ short execution, at other times, focus on classical\soft\long execution.

Going after milestones is one behavioral type. I live like that at work (electronics engineer ...), and at other times, when I do a project. I am not sure it is the best learning methodology for a M.A. and my own charecter development. I like the idea of opening myself to additional models- "living in the now". Aikido is not a poject, it is a "do" - way of life.

If you have a good teacher, and one you can trust. In the long run this way can should get you progressing as much as the other, you might not notice it by external milestones (number of techniques you learned), but it does not make it less true (e.g. other will find resisting your techniques is not as easy).
If you do not have a good teacher, his definition of milestones will not save you. If he is no good, his definition is even more flawed (experiance has shown me that less people know how to plan correctly and realisticly than those who can do).

If you look for a place which teaches with mielstones, and it makes you comfortble.
So be it, enjoy!
Do not assume this is any guaranttee of quality.

The same goes for certifications. A teacher must be honest of his history. It is not the certificate which proves this.


A brown belt, I believe it was, took bad ukemi from another senior person at the seminar, and went to the hospital...not to come back.
They knew each others ranks and trained accordingly.

Accidents happen, and again, its good we are able to see the belt to know who is where. Thats all Im saying. (Not that some people within a rank wont be more 'fluid' than others - but this way not everyone is walking away crippled.)

As you show in your own example, ranks and additional belts do not provide additional safety. Everyone should be aware of the momentary situation of his Uke.
This is another example of the conept that indicators are nice, but must not be double checked.

Amir

dalen7
07-28-2008, 03:42 AM
1- Actually, I think I understood you very well.

2 - The building blocks concept is not the right model for learning Aikido.

3 - If I were to teach my own group (a path I chose not to take for a while yet), I would have given serious consideration to learning only 3-4 techniques for the first 2 years.

4- If you look for a place which teaches with mielstones, and it makes you comfortble.

5 - Do not assume this is any guaranttee of quality.

Amir
Hey Amir :)

1 - From how you answer it seems you do not understand where Im coming from. Yes you do have an understanding of how and what you think Im saying, but the subtleties have been overlooked.

1a - this is quite natural at points in our evolution as we read and interpret though that which we understand and know...also, words are limiting pointing beyond themselves, yet we get weighed down in them.

It always feels comfortable to feel we know. ;)

2 - "Not the right model?" I think we can agree that ego says what is 'right and wrong' as absolutes. What is 'right' is a matter of perspective. I gave an example of what I see works in the realm of form...but Im not selling this as a 'the way'. ;)

3 - Yes, if you re-read what I said, you may indeed want to teach only 2 techniques. That fits into the system and way I described perfectly - just need to go back and re-read it. (Its about structure and goals of some sort) you have to look past the words and really feel and not go with what you 'think' Im saying. ;)

4 - Exactly, I set my own milestones, and yes it does make me comfortable. True, in a world where we live forever, I may learn to relax and just do things will nilly. ;)
Again, I am NOT saying that focusing on 2 techniques is willy nilly...

...If you keep doing the same techniques and do not add depth, this is the issue - I believe others saw what I was pointing to with this.
I did not imply that doing techniques (a few) is bad if you want to discover something in it - but there are teachers who do just go in and are not progressive the way that you and I together are talking about.

5 - When I read your post, I feel that you and I truly do agree.
I do feel that perhaps you may have me caged in your mind in how your interpreting what I say. - please remember, Im not the most eloquent and precise in how I communicate. After all communication is indeed an art, and to communicate from ones station to all the multitudes of stations (so to speak) with their different frequencies of perception and understanding isnt an easy task.

5a - Typically wherever I post I do not follow up once I make a comment. It is bound that people either get it, or they dont. Its a rare occasion where someone tries to understand from the other side where someone is coming from - and Im not saying this is you...as mentioned, communication is an art (something I am still working at.)

So this post proves that indeed, I need to continue with posting my thoughts - and forget the follow up. :)

Again, if you re-read what I wrote, I believe you will see we are saying something very similar...Im just attacking the subject from a different view than you.

Peace to you Amir...

dAlen

p.s. - it would seem my philosophy or approach on Aikido may resemble that of Minoru Mochizuki of Yoseikan Aikido. (again, this is a pointer, not a box.) ;)

dalen7
07-28-2008, 03:46 AM
As you show in your own example, ranks and additional belts do not provide additional safety. Everyone should be aware of the momentary situation of his Uke.
This is another example of the conept that indicators are nice, but must not be double checked.

Amir

Amir, accidents happen - Im sure in life you have had an accident or two. (doesnt have to be aikido.) ;)

Uke took the throw wrong...I was there and know what happened.

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
My point about ranks was made clear in the other post in this thread...its there for those who want to understand. ;)

jennifer paige smith
07-28-2008, 10:56 AM
Actually, I think I understood you very well.

I just think that there is a differnce between a factory, which should set goals and achieve them (in reality, often only to a certain point), and between learning an Art, and particularly a M.A.

The building blocks concept is not the right model for learning Aikido. One can learn the same technique at different levels (after many years [>15], I still have things to learn about the techniques I learned in the first lesson).
Looking at Aikido, the knowledge is not the number of techniques you know, but the level at which you can execute them. Much of that is in "between techniques", identifying the evolving opportunity, setting up the situation ...
It takes higher level to be able to do the same technique from almost any situation at adaquate level, than to execute a different technique from each of the same situations at the same level. Since each technique has some situations which are less adjusted for it.

When I tried to model Aikido learning, I modeled it as a widening up-going spiral. You return to learn the same elements, again and again, but each time, your perspective is different, as you are aware of more things.

If I were to teach my own group (a path I chose not to take for a while yet), I would have given serious consideration to learning only 3-4 techniques for the first 2 years. Yet, re-visit those techniques each time from a different prespective. And with a different focuses. At times, focusing on practical \ Self-defense like\ short execution, at other times, focus on classical\soft\long execution.

Going after milestones is one behavioral type. I live like that at work (electronics engineer ...), and at other times, when I do a project. I am not sure it is the best learning methodology for a M.A. and my own charecter development. I like the idea of opening myself to additional models- "living in the now". Aikido is not a poject, it is a "do" - way of life.

If you have a good teacher, and one you can trust. In the long run this way can should get you progressing as much as the other, you might not notice it by external milestones (number of techniques you learned), but it does not make it less true (e.g. other will find resisting your techniques is not as easy).
If you do not have a good teacher, his definition of milestones will not save you. If he is no good, his definition is even more flawed (experiance has shown me that less people know how to plan correctly and realisticly than those who can do).

If you look for a place which teaches with mielstones, and it makes you comfortble.
So be it, enjoy!
Do not assume this is any guaranttee of quality.

The same goes for certifications. A teacher must be honest of his history. It is not the certificate which proves this.

As you show in your own example, ranks and additional belts do not provide additional safety. Everyone should be aware of the momentary situation of his Uke.
This is another example of the conept that indicators are nice, but must not be double checked.

Amir

What a great post!

I often point out to my students that Ikkyo is on a 6th kyu exam and a 5th Dan demonstration. Irimi Nage is 'the 20yr throw' , Ikkyo takes a lifetime.

I'm also fond of rediscovering that aikido is a 360 degree education; slice into the pie and just keep turning it.:)

Best to you,
Jen

Cynrod
08-03-2008, 04:19 PM
My utmost thanks to everyone who replied to my post, I learned a lot from all of you. Now I made up my mind which Dojo am I going to spend most of my life training and learning the art of Aikido.

Again, thank you very much to each and everyone of you.

Janet Rosen
08-03-2008, 04:57 PM
Best of luck, Rod - happy training to you!

crbateman
08-04-2008, 01:35 AM
Good luck, Rod... Remember to take a little time to just enjoy the journey!

Amir Krause
08-05-2008, 02:04 AM
My utmost thanks to everyone who replied to my post, I learned a lot from all of you. Now I made up my mind which Dojo am I going to spend most of my life training and learning the art of Aikido.

Again, thank you very much to each and everyone of you.

Great to hear

Good luck and enjoy

Amir

Tony Wagstaffe
08-05-2008, 09:37 AM
Ran my dojo for 18 years without affiliation..... students come students go,,,, its only the very few that really stick it and they got good...... the rest.... well just superfluous......
Then again wasn't in it for the money...... If people phone up I say "Sure, want to set it up?...... Happy to come along and teach/join in" Just don't want to subsidise peoples training anymore!
Anyone in the Hampshire (UK) area needing an aikido sensei.... just drop me a line sometime.......
Tony