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fisher6000
04-17-2010, 03:37 PM
I was talking to one of my sempai yesterday, and he said that he definitely has "aikido boyfriends and girlfriends," or people that he strongly prefers to train with.

I do too, of course. And in my dojo most teachers don't ask you to switch partners during class, so once you're paired up you're stuck.

I've noticed, though, that my favorites tend to be a lot like me, and that we wind up training easily but not sensitively.

I've been finding that I learn more when I let go of my favorites, and that I need to find a new strategy for picking partners. Does anyone else think about this?

David Maidment
04-17-2010, 05:21 PM
I have favourites too, but a few of them are people who don't necessarily make it easy for me to train -- people, for example, who always push me and give me something to think about. Going in to train with them I know that I'm going to have difficulties, but I also know that I'll come out with something great.

Then there are also the folk who I just know I can easily flip and throw around. I find it healthy to have a good 'play' in training once in a while with those who are a lot like you.

Lyle Laizure
04-17-2010, 08:05 PM
If we only do what we have always done we will only do what we have always done.

RED
04-17-2010, 10:05 PM
You learn something different working with extremely light uke, and something very different working with heavy stiff uke. You learn something different being thrown by a competent student, and something different from taking ukemi for a beginning student.

The definition of insanity is repeating your actions and expecting different results.

Shadowfax
04-17-2010, 10:54 PM
I can't say I have any particular favorites... Although I do love when I get to train, one on one, with either sensei..

Each member of the dojo has something special and unique that helps me to learn. Nice thing is sensei rarely dictates who pairs with who and we are strongly encouraged to train at least once a class with each person present or as many different partners as possible. This pretty much keeps us from getting stuck in the habit of only training with the one most comfortable for us.

aikishihan
04-18-2010, 01:36 AM
The one in my mirror.

ninjaqutie
04-18-2010, 03:40 PM
I have people I love to train with and those I don't particularly love to train with. I train with everyone regardless though. Each has something different to offer to my training experience. We change partners constantly though.

GMaroda
04-19-2010, 07:35 AM
I can't say I have any particular favorites... Although I do love when I get to train, one on one, with either sensei..

Each member of the dojo has something special and unique that helps me to learn. Nice thing is sensei rarely dictates who pairs with who and we are strongly encouraged to train at least once a class with each person present or as many different partners as possible. This pretty much keeps us from getting stuck in the habit of only training with the one most comfortable for us.

I'd say I have favorites for specific things we're doing or I want to focus on but otherwise I agree that everyone has something to offer.

Maybe it's just our dojo. LOL.

Karo
04-19-2010, 10:11 AM
In our dojo we switch partners quite often during class, so it's not a problem. But yes, I do have one "aikido girlfriend", and two "aikido boyfriends"... and am currently chasing after a third :D

And my favorite partners are not necessarily favorite only because they're like me. Some are, and it's fun to train with someone who's matched to you in height, weight, strength, and flexibility; but I also like to choose people who will challenge me and, in doing that, help me become better.

Karo

raul rodrigo
04-19-2010, 11:00 AM
My favorite depends on what I am working on at the moment.

Amir Krause
04-21-2010, 06:09 AM
Depends on the specific practice and my own mood.

As a rather experienced practitioner, there are only few people who can pose a challenge to me (and only if we get to practice on the same day).
I dislike practicing with bad Uke of the type in which I find myself "stuck" with someone without the ability or experience to realize my reasons for deciding a certain throw was "worth-less" and he should not have taken a fall.
I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation dictated by the Kata. Yes, sometimes I feel like just training as Sensei has asked, and not playing around it.

When practicing a paired weapons Kata, I prefer to practice with someone whose knowledge of the Kata at least approximates mine, so I will not have to remind him of the next move all the time, and we could both improve and learn the Kata instead.

Amir

Shadowfax
04-21-2010, 07:36 AM
You must train alone an awful lot.

Janet Rosen
04-21-2010, 08:20 AM
You must train alone an awful lot.

LOL! Me, I like to mix it up. Working w/ newbies (in ANYthing, not just aikido) makes me slow down and consider the steps that comprise what I do and the reasons behind them. Working with peers is a chance to explore my current status, play a bit, stretch a bit. Working with people w/ significantly higher or different capabilities than mine is a challenge to learn and grow. The only partners I really don't enjoy are those who want to impose their vision of what/how I should be learning on me to the degree that I cannot learn anything. And I try not to be that partner, but I'm sure I don't always succeed.

earnest aikidoka
04-21-2010, 08:27 AM
the reason i jumped thru different dojos was to look for others to train with

ninjaqutie
04-21-2010, 02:48 PM
Depends on the specific practice and my own mood.

As a rather experienced practitioner, there are only few people who can pose a challenge to me (and only if we get to practice on the same day).
I dislike practicing with bad Uke of the type in which I find myself "stuck" with someone without the ability or experience to realize my reasons for deciding a certain throw was "worth-less" and he should not have taken a fall.
I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation dictated by the Kata. Yes, sometimes I feel like just training as Sensei has asked, and not playing around it.

When practicing a paired weapons Kata, I prefer to practice with someone whose knowledge of the Kata at least approximates mine, so I will not have to remind him of the next move all the time, and we could both improve and learn the Kata instead.

Amir

Wow.... that is all I have to say about that. Glad you aren't in my dojo. I don't think you would fit in with that attitude. Also, I don't believe that all "newbie youngsters" interfere with each technique and go outside the kata demonstrated. If they do, it could be lack of understanding instead of an attempt to challenge your "experience".

Maybe I am just reading way too much into what you wrote, but perhaps you need to check your ego and gain a bit more humility and realize that you too were once in their position. If I misinterpreted what you wrote, then I apologize for the error.

Rob Watson
04-22-2010, 12:00 AM
I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters ...

I'm selfish like this too but I also know that eventually they will 'catch up' a bit and serve my needs more fully so I do my best to help them along. Sometimes ya' gotta give some to get some.

Once, at a post exam interview, a senior (godan) mentioned that I was his favorite uke in morning class and I've been trying to figure out why that is ... maybe I'll ask him one of these days. He might have said training partner but I remember it as uke.

We always change partners after each technique session so everyone cycles through everyone.

danj
04-22-2010, 12:23 AM
Newbies, oldies and aikipals...Traditionally Uke is the teacher, sometimes you need a teacher sometimes you are the teacher and sometimes you just want to hang out with your buddies and blow out some cobwebs.

Kwizxi
04-22-2010, 02:22 AM
I must say, having only been training for a couple of weeks, I am glad that nobody has taken that attitude with me... how would I ever get anywhere?
As a dance teacher, (different I know, but the only way I can relate to the experience), I love having new students in class, it makes us all go back and pay attention to our basics, posture, formation etc. No matter how accomplished I think I am as a dancer, it is always beneficial to return to square one for an evening. Also, new students will ask new and challenging questions sometimes.

lbb
04-22-2010, 07:27 AM
I think you all are triggering off the phrase "newbie youngsters" and missing the rest of what Amir is saying -- there's a lot of text there besides those two words, so give it a fair reading. Amir has a good point about training with people who want to color outside the lines, particularly in weapons kata. Think about the implications of a newbie, holding a weapon for the very first time, who decides to try something random instead of just sticking to the kata. That's unsafe practice, it's how people get seriously hurt, and it certainly doesn't help anyone's practice.

ninjaqutie
04-22-2010, 11:56 AM
Think about the implications of a newbie, holding a weapon for the very first time, who decides to try something random instead of just sticking to the kata. That's unsafe practice, it's how people get seriously hurt, and it certainly doesn't help anyone's practice.

THAT statement, I can totally agree with Mary. However, I was not triggering off of just two words in his statement. The main thing that I was pointing out is the part where he says ".... I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation......"

I understand (or at least think I do) what he is trying to say, I just don't agree. Now, maybe I have been very lucky in my 10 or so years of martial arts experience (very little aikido though), as I haven't worked with a "newbie youngster" that has willingly and intentionally just did whatever they wanted. Maybe I have always been lucky enough to work with beginners who have eagerly and whole heartedly tried to do excatly what was shown to them.

I think it is an unfair and innacurate statement to assume that a (or every) beginner will purposefully go outside of the kata for their own enjoyment. Now, I'm sure that this does happen sometimes, but I don't think it is as common as Amir seems to make it seem and I also think that when you are learning something new, you are bound to accidently skip over a move or do the incorrect move. If this is what he is talking about, then saying "the newbie youngster is trying to interfere with the technique" isn't accurate because they are NOT trying to interfere. They are trying to do the correct one, but simply made an error. To try to do something requires intent. I don't know too many beginners who intentionally make mistakes to annoy their training partners.

Either way, to each their own. Everyone has different preferences, which is what makes training a unique experience on a daily basis. I guess some people like working with beginners and others don't. Nothing wrong with either of those I suppose. I just think that everyone needs to be reminded that they were once in that new persons shoes. We were all clumsy and lost at one point.

Rob Watson
04-22-2010, 01:01 PM
"newbie youngsters"

To the seniors I'm one and to me my juniors are also. Why we do stuff that is thought 'incorrect' ... well who knows ... unless it is explained or 'corrected' it just leads to frustration and alienation. Some would rather let others figure it out on their own while there are others that are more proactive. Personality and mood play a large part ... humans do that sort of thing.

It does take a bit of brass to ask ones senior why they are doing something that sensei clearly was not doing. I do take a bit of misplaced joy when sensei corrects my seniors.

Shadowfax
04-22-2010, 02:37 PM
Personally I wasn't triggering off of any particular words. The overall tone of the post just seemed rather arrogant. And gave the distinct feel of..

"no one is as great as I am and I only want to train with those who are my equals. I can't be bothered to work with people who don't already know the techniques"

I figure its very possible I misunderstood the intention of the post given that English is probably not the posters strongest language. But that is the impression it gave me. I hope that if I am wrong the poster will clarify for us.

lbb
04-22-2010, 03:42 PM
I think it is an unfair and innacurate statement to assume that a (or every) beginner will purposefully go outside of the kata for their own enjoyment.

It would be an unfair statement indeed...if Amir had made it.

Now, I'm sure that this does happen sometimes, but I don't think it is as common as Amir seems to make it seem

I don't think he said anything about how frequent this is.

lbb
04-22-2010, 03:52 PM
Personally I wasn't triggering off of any particular words. The overall tone of the post just seemed rather arrogant. And gave the distinct feel of..

"no one is as great as I am and I only want to train with those who are my equals. I can't be bothered to work with people who don't already know the techniques"

Ok, so that's your paraphrase of what Amir said. Now here's mine. I took a look at what Amir actually wrote -- five sentences -- and summarized those sentences into the following four points:

I'm an experienced practitioner, and not many people can push me to the point where I can improve in certain ways
I don't like practicing with ukes who "take a dive"
Sometimes I don't have the patience to work with someone who decides to ignore what Sensei has told us to do and play "yeah, but what if" in kata practice
In paired weapons kata, I prefer to practice with someone of equivalent skill so that I can make some forward progress, not someone that I have to teach the basic moves of the kata to

Obviously we're seeing quite a difference. Certainly given that this was a thread that asked about preferences, I really can't find any fault in what Amir is saying.

chillzATL
04-22-2010, 05:00 PM
It goes both ways. I really enjoy the times when I can train with more experience people who are working towards the same goals as I, or at the very least are aware of what I'm working towards and willing to give me what i want.

At the same time though, I like working with the newbs. It's nice to help someone with something and see that epiphany where they've finally, maybe for the first time, felt what they've been being told. It's also nice to potentially shape the way someone will train, maybe their entire life, if they stick around that long.

Anidan
04-22-2010, 09:52 PM
I know I have people I prefer to train with. And I was surprised when I realised that it's not just dan grade sempai in my list. For me it's similar to Janet's comment; I learn different things by training with different people.

That said, I do have a couple of people I actively attempt to avoid training with because I find them too frustrating to work with. They fall in the category of patronising and/or uncommitted to their attack or technique regardless of their level of experience. I've encountered this in both novices and shodan but it bothers me more in the senior aikidoka.

ninjaqutie
04-23-2010, 12:00 PM
It would be an unfair statement indeed...if Amir had made it.

Actually, he did state that. He said "I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation dictated by the Kata."

In order to make that statement, he is assuming a newbie youngster is purposefully going outside of the kata. Although this may happen, I think it is more likely a beginner is accidently going outside of the kata.

I don't think he said anything about how frequent this is.

You are accurate in that he didn't say "4 out of 5 newbie beginners piss me off because they don't know what they are doing" or something along those lines. However, (maybe it is just my interpretation) I got the feeling that he looks at all beginners in the same light. That all newbie youngsters will tsuki instead of attacking shomen because they "feel that is a neat thing to do next".

On another note, I don't see how behavior like that would be acceptable/tolerated in a dojo for the very reason you mentioned previously- safety. He shouldn't even have to be in a situation like that to begin with.

Russ Q
04-23-2010, 12:22 PM
I'll parrot/paraphrase what Suganuma Sensei has to say in relation to this subject: When training with a senior allow yourself to be drawn out of your comfort zone. When training with a junior draw them out of their comfort zone gently and with care/awareness (I'm paraphrasing......of course:-). I think both require an awareness and connectedness that we all strive for in daily practice. The less I pick and choose my training partners the more I get out of practice.

My two cents,

Russ

lbb
04-23-2010, 12:26 PM
Actually, he did state that. He said "I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation dictated by the Kata."

In order to make that statement, he is assuming a newbie youngster is purposefully going outside of the kata. Although this may happen, I think it is more likely a beginner is accidently going outside of the kata.

But he didn't say that. He didn't make any such assumption. He didn't say that all newbies do this, just that he doesn't always have the patience to deal with a newbie who does this.

ninjaqutie
04-23-2010, 02:14 PM
But he didn't say that. He didn't make any such assumption. He didn't say that all newbies do this, just that he doesn't always have the patience to deal with a newbie who does this.

Meh... this isn't going anywhere. I must say though Mary, I love hearing what you have to say. :D You always put a spin on things for people who aren't seeing the whole picture. I get what you are saying, I just disagree a bit. I just don't agree with his point of view and well... that happens. Again, I see nothing wrong with that either. I do appreciate you breaking things down as to how you interpret his statements though. When I read posts, I often go "Where is Mary's response?" and scan until I find it, as I often look forward to seeing your view.

Russ, I like your paraphrased quote. :)

lbb
04-23-2010, 08:47 PM
Actually, Ashley, it's probably about three posts since I should have sat back and let Amir speak for himself, if he so chose. Thanks for understanding.

Gorgeous George
04-24-2010, 03:12 PM
At the same time though, I like working with the newbs. It's nice to help someone with something and see that epiphany where they've finally, maybe for the first time, felt what they've been being told. It's also nice to potentially shape the way someone will train, maybe their entire life, if they stick around that long.

Indeed. If Morihei Ueshiba had refused to train with those 'inferior' to him, it's hard to see how we would have aikido...

ninjaqutie
04-24-2010, 11:42 PM
Actually, Ashley, it's probably about three posts since I should have sat back and let Amir speak for himself, if he so chose. Thanks for understanding.

Any time Mary... any time. :D A little friendly debate every now and then makes things more interesting. At least it was a welcomed courteous debate. I can't stand it when people get rude... no need for it.

Amir Krause
04-26-2010, 06:41 AM
Wow, did not get to the site for a few days, and already I read interpretations of my writings.

I wrote of my Preferences, not of Attitude. When I train with anyone, I try to enjoy the moment myself, and Uke. And, if Uke is a beginner, I have always done my best to help him to improve, according to his abilities (and my teaching abilities).

Further, it seems the lot of you ignored the first sentence:
Depends on the specific practice and my own mood:
My preference the last month, often differ from the month before, not to speak of 3 or 5 years ago. I too may come to the dojo wishing different things.

Some years I practiced 3-4 times a week, and in additional M.A. back then I did not have a problem to be a substitute teacher almost once a week, and to help others t a significant portion of my time. The last couple of years I find it difficult to practice more then once every 2 weeks, so obviously, I wish to make the best of the very short and limited time I have at the dojo, to at least slow the process of losing skill if not gain some.

I never wrote that all beginners intentionally try to interfere with each technique and go outside the kata demonstrated deliberately. That is your interpretation!
In the post I wrote of two typical behaviors which I have encountered often, and dislike: falling with no reason, and trying to resist by changing the basic situation (outside the Kata). Both of these behaviors make my training less productive. While given my current time limitations, I prefer to maximize the productivity of my training.
Actually, I prefer those who resist to those who fall without reason. With the former, I can still learn something (though not the intended lesson). I do not know about the dojo you are at, but here, it is common for beginners, mostly the young males, to try and "test the system" or "prove themselves" by trying to resist or disrupt a technique. Some times, I actually enjoy showing them how much they still have to learn and how their own resistance, opens many other options :D Other times, I don't. And again, time changes perspective and preferences, when I was less proficient and trained more each week, I considered it a challenge and loved it.
Ashley, your own experience may be different, but I can think of 2-3 of these in the last half year, and many more over the years. It might be because of living area and temperament; or because my Sensei belief that M.A. must be practical for fighting, getting more of a specific type of people; or it might be, that such people would not have tried resisting to you, but would try me and other Yundasha in our dojo (gender, size, belt ).

Since these days I wish to try and get some progress in the very limited time I have, I prefer to train with people with whom that will assist my own progress. This implies people who know how to follow the Kata while training it, create the very same situation repeatedly, with the same intent and power directions, and than sensitive enough to detect my own mistakes and indicate them to me (by word or implication/response). It also implies people who will know how to train in Randori (Korindo Aikido style both sides attacking, defending and countering as they will, for outsiders it may resemble sparring), knowing this Randori is a learning experience and not a fight (this mistake is often typical at the kyu 1 to shodan level, even though Sensei keeps explaining, it seems at that point, most are not open to hear the wisdom, nor was I).

As for the paired weapons Kata, in our dojo these are practiced almost only by the more advanced students (kyu 1 and above). There are levels to train in a Kata, memorizing the moves is the most basic. One can not practice the next level, while his partner struggles to remember the moves. Again, I prefer my fellow trainee to be at the level I too will progress, and not only him.

Your objections imply that as an "advanced student" one should not train in the manner in which he would benefit the most. Well, I wish my training time to be fairly proportioned as a trainee, I chose not to teach and to keep training, I think I deserve my own training as much as you do. And, Ashley don't twist this into thinking I object to training with beginners some of the time, I do not, training with beginners provides some benefits. Currently, I prefer to train with other advanced students I need it more.

Amir
P.S.
We normally change partners many times during a whole practice. 2-3 for Kata and another 1-3 for Randori, then 1 additional for weapons Kata and 1-2 additional for weapons Randori (yes, in Korindo we have this too)

Shadowfax
04-26-2010, 07:46 AM
Thank you for setting us straight. :)

ruthmc
04-26-2010, 10:32 AM
IMHO it isn't good for us to have 'favoutites', and it's equally bad for us to have people we dislike training with.

Taking your ego out of the equation and training equally happily with everybody is the ideal.

Yes, I'm still working on it myself.....:o I reckon I'm over halfway there as I don't have favourites, and I don't actively avoid anybody :D

Ruth

Gorgeous George
04-26-2010, 05:16 PM
IMHO it isn't good for us to have 'favoutites', and it's equally bad for us to have people we dislike training with.

Taking your ego out of the equation and training equally happily with everybody is the ideal.

What if somebody you train with sexually assaults you? Or just regularly hurts you through lack of consideration?
I remember a thread (in the anonymous forum, i think) where a girl was asking for advice because a man she trained with inappropriately put his hands on her, if memory serves; and one time when i was practicing, i heard somebody cry out in pain, i looked over and she hit her training partner on the back because he had hurt and upset her through inconsiderate behaviour (I then had to go and train with him while she sat it out).

I think the most fundamental aspect of aikido training is respect for the wellbeing of those you train with - it's the reason why it took me about a year to actually apply techniques with some firmness/vigour, and is (in theory, at least) a cornerstone of civilisation: respect for other people.

Regards favourites: i prefer to train with high grades, quite understandably, as i am a low grade, and they can teach me; i also have an aversion to training with women as i am very concerned about harming them - not because i think i'm so good, or so strong, or better than them because i'm a man, etc.: i guess because i have been conditioned by society to abhorr harming women even more so than men; i've done sports with men all my life, so am conditioned to training with them...i've trained with plenty of women, and some of them have had excellent aikido, plus there're a couple of women i've seen as uke at courses and they were thrown around very powerfully, and kept getting back up; so: not sexist.

Oh yeah: when grabbing them by the back of the collar on irimi-nage for example, as a lot of women have long hair, i am very worried about catching and pulling their hair - so there's another thing.

RED
04-26-2010, 07:27 PM
I have people I hate training with.. my fiance for one. Can't stand training with him. He's a heavy uke.
And there are those I favor, just because they are light uke.

We all have favorites and those we hate to train with. Might as well admit it , whether or not we consider it right or wrong.

Amir Krause
04-27-2010, 01:31 AM
i also have an aversion to training with women as i am very concerned about harming them - not because i think i'm so good, or so strong, or better than them because i'm a man, etc

In the last couple of years, I actually prefer to practice with Women, because their (typical) light weight and lack of force, normally makes them more sensitive to any sub-movement I make. So I am can learn to move better (pin-point directions of force instead of wide ones, just the right amount) given the feedback. Most man would absorb these minuscule elements un-noticed, and not give feedback, hence my learning process would be more difficult.

Amir

Janet Rosen
04-27-2010, 02:58 PM
IMHO it isn't good for us to have 'favoutites', and it's equally bad for us to have people we dislike training with.

I think it is fine for us to have favorites or people we dislike. Its whether or not/how we REACT to those internal things that makes a difference.

Gorgeous George
04-27-2010, 04:48 PM
I think it is fine for us to have favorites or people we dislike. Its whether or not/how we REACT to those internal things that makes a difference.

I agree. I remember reading in another thread how two people had to be kept apart by their sensei because they were trying to have a fight...

ninjaqutie
04-27-2010, 05:24 PM
Amir, thanks for clarifying things a bit for me. I do have a question for you though. You indicate that weapons kata aren't really done as a pair until 1st kyu or above... that is interesting. Do you not do paired work at all with weapons until then? Just curious. :) In my dojo, we do paired weapons work from 6th kyu up.

Amir Krause
04-28-2010, 06:06 AM
Off topic

Amir, thanks for clarifying things a bit for me. I do have a question for you though. You indicate that weapons kata aren't really done as a pair until 1st kyu or above... that is interesting. Do you not do paired work at all with weapons until then? Just curious. :) In my dojo, we do paired weapons work from 6th kyu up.

Hi Ashley

In this subject, as far as I have seen, each Korindo dojo acts on its own - according to the specific teacher decision. So, I can only describe the decisions my sensei has made, I should also mention over the last 20 years he did change his mind more then once, and he does consider it per student:
- Beginners normally start with the Jo after about 1 year of practice.
- For the first few months, a beginner only learns the Jo srikes and movements, mostly on their own, but also in front of another (one strikes the other counter strikes to "block" the strike).
- At some point, a more orderly form of learning counter techniques is started, hence doing a "kata" practice (pre-defined roles for each practitioner, defined actions, timing, steps and distance), but limited to the specific single\dual moves initiated by sensei for that practice.
- At about 2 years of training, Jo randori is started. In our vocabulary this means both partners may strike in any way and should also block, deflect and even counter (as they advance). Normally at the start of Randori practice limited versions are used (No Tsuki, only one side attacks, ...), and with one beginner and one advanced student - the latter should make sure this remains a safe training and does not turn into a fight (slow enough for the beginner to learn).
- After about 3-5 years of training, which is around Kyu 1, one starts learning a the first Jo Korindo, which is a paired almost symmetrical Kata (both sides do the same thing simultaneously).
- Slightly later one starts to learn the Ken, practicing Boken.
- The Bokken learning methodology and order is very similar to the Jo learning, though it normally goes somewhat faster.
- After about 5-8 years of training, which is around Shodan (for most), additional Katas for both Jo and Bokken, as well as other weapons (E.G. Rokshaku Bo, Kodachi, HammBo (~90 cm length), NiTo two swords, Iai drawing the sword. And more: I once tried learning the Naginata, I know my Sensei learned a Tanto Kata too, he started teaching me and another student these Kata) are being introduced. These are Koryu Kata from various Koryu styles the senior Korindo teachers (including the founder Minoro Hirai but not only him) have learned and decided to pass on to my teacher and his group.
These Kata are introduced to the "ynew Yundahsa" according to the Kata's the more experienced Yundasha happen to work on at that particular period of time, based on Sensei decision the student is ready to absorb more. Consequently, each of the "advanced Yundasha" knows different weapons Kata at different levels, I fully remember some Katas another Yundash hardly learnt, and vice versa.

- Weapons and weapon combinations for which Kata is being taught, are also trained in Randori (I did Jo Vs Ken Randori, a Kodachi Vs Jo Randori, a NiTo Vs Ken Randri and some other combinations). Just, do nt mistake us, the more complex oprions are only done very rarely lately - not surprising if you realize only few students reach the point they could practice such a Randori safely, and then, some only arrives once a week\less at a different day, (after a period of training more).
Also, at times, I did have very fast Jo and Bokken Randori practices (again, a matter of who practices and how often - we all wish to go home safely and practice again the next time).

As for ranking
At the Dojo I train, my Sensei currently only holds Kyu-1 and Shodan tests. Higher Dan ranks are awarded but with a "demonstration" instead of a "formal test". I know a friend of mine, who is teaching, chose (with Sensei approval) to test and grant another level of about Kyu-5 (somewhere between 5-3). So it is not holding these tests is not a matter of principles, it is a matter of the current group situation (age, state of mind).

Hope this answers you to some point.

On second thought, the above is not entirely off -topic, it may give some indication regarding my preferences. The content of the training depends of who arrives to practice, and who is my partner. If, I wish to learn the most each time, this does create preferences for me too. As to whom I will like to train with.

Amir

ninjaqutie
04-28-2010, 11:30 AM
Thanks for that Amir. You explaining how your dojo goes about training does sort of help me understand your preferences. Sounds like your dojo has an interesting way about going about weapons training. I like how you do different weapons together. As far as I know, and I know very little, we only have a kata with the bokken and the jo (Sansho 3). Other then that it is jo against jo and bokken against bokken.

Also, although I disagreed with your previous statement (partially because I didn't completely understand your whole side of the story), don't think for a second that I thought ill of you. :) To each their own... and well... I like friendly debates and learning other people's points of view.

Thanks again for your explanations. Happy training.

Basia Halliop
04-28-2010, 02:30 PM
i also have an aversion to training with women as i am very concerned about harming them - not because i think i'm so good, or so strong, or better than them because i'm a man, etc.: i guess because i have been conditioned by society to abhorr harming women even more so than men; i've done sports with men all my life, so am conditioned to training with them..

I can understand the conditioning, but if that's your mental block try thinking of it another way... by training with these women you're helping them become stronger, more confident, learn to protect themselves, be healthy, among other things. You're actually helping and even protecting them -- NOT hurting them.

Mark Gleadhill
04-28-2010, 07:50 PM
When we train, or at least when we started all the high grades stood at one side of the mats and the low grades stood at the other. After every technique the lower grades would rotate around so we would be with a different higher grade every time. As we've gotten better as a club (student club) people intermingle a lot more but we still do the rotation thing to keep new partners working in and out. We try and keep the higher grades at one side still but due to numbers we have lower grades on that side of the mat too.

When we do randori practice (I'm a shodokan Aikidoka) there is people I do much prefer to train with, because I know they are giving it as much as me. The whole iron sharpens iron thing. If people are scared going in to attack/ defend then that's throwing your practice off too.

The best partner isn't always someone you train with. I just won a Gold Medal for my Nage No Kata at the Shodokan Student Nationals with a partner I met 5 mintues beforehand, due to lack of full teams. Both without partners we were placed together, and with a couple of run through's we won the comp.

Providing both Uke and Tori give it there best, and you try and learn from every situation, then every partner is a potential good one, as far as I've found.

ruthmc
04-30-2010, 07:54 AM
What if somebody you train with sexually assaults you? Or just regularly hurts you through lack of consideration?
You immediately stop what you are doing, step away from the other person, stick your mitt in the air and shout "Sensei!" These problems cannot be dealt with alone. This goes beyond the scope of favourites and dislikes - serious problems need serious solutions!

I think the most fundamental aspect of aikido training is respect for the wellbeing of those you train with - it's the reason why it took me about a year to actually apply techniques with some firmness/vigour, and is (in theory, at least) a cornerstone of civilisation: respect for other people.
99 times out of 100 the person hurting you has absolutely no idea that they are doing it - it's due to lack of understanding and lack of control, not malicious intent! Look at how a toddler treats their toys, compared with an adult who painstakingly builds miniature models :p In my many years on the mat I've come across this a lot, and like the toddler you have to patiently teach these students to have respect and be sensitive. Many folk almost go autistic on you because they are so wrapped up in the technique they forget there is a human being on the other end of it :uch:

Again it's important not to over-react or take it personally, just keep up with the teaching and positive encouragement.

Where many instructors go wrong is that they don't keep a sufficient eye on the class, and they allow physically strong or non-mindful students to hurt people who don't have the ukemi skills to cope. My sensei shows both the technique AND the ukemi, because he believes both are equally important to practise, and I agree :)

Ruth

OwlMatt
05-01-2010, 08:40 AM
I am finding that I gravitate toward training partners who (a) know aikido better than I do, and (b) are about my size or larger. This has made it easier for me to learn techniques and apply them, since my partner knows when I need help and my partner isn't so small that I am tempted to overpower them rather than perfect my technique. As I progress in aikido, though, I am starting to discover that I am not necessarily doing myself any favors this way.