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dapidmini
08-19-2011, 09:22 AM
I've been reading some threads in aikiweb and it seems that people here expect early kyus not only to be able to perform the techniques accurately, but also to be able to keep their center well. isn't that a little high standard for an early kyu such as 4th kyu? in my dojo, early kyus are allowed to have not-so-good ukemi and just perform roughly-correct technique.. is it just my dojo that is too loose in quality?

what do you (as examiners and/or sensei) usually expect of early kyus? (4th-2nd kyu)

chillzATL
08-19-2011, 10:29 AM
Just my opinion, but by 3rd kyu ukemi should be an afterthought, they should have a good grasp of the techniques for that level and be able to perform them against some resistance. Basically well beyond the going through the motions point. We only test once per year though, so the time to kyu ratio could be different than what some are used to.

Phil Van Treese
08-19-2011, 01:32 PM
At 4th kyu, your ukemi should be almost perfect. How can you take a fall and land with "not so good" ukemi??? That's the best way to get hurt---broken arm, broken/cracked rib etc, etc. When you are a beginner, or even advanced aikidoka, your emphasis should be on proper ukemi. This "not so good ukemi" garbage will get you a medical bill you don't want to see.
Perform "roughly correct techniques"???? You should be doing all shown techniques correctly. The last thing you need is to develop bad habits and try to "correct" them later on. Sounds to me like you are being taught to "slide by" with minimum standards and performance. You need to separate yourself from that garbage. Learn everything like your life depended on it. My students don't get away with anything like that. Sub-performance will get someone chewed out in a heartbeat!!!!

Basia Halliop
08-19-2011, 02:04 PM
What do you consider 'correct', though? Presumably there are things a 4th kyu does (whether it's footwork, posture, timing, balance, position, and so on) that a shodan wouldn't be allowed to do, or things that a 4th kyu is allowed to not do that are necessary for a shodan. Let alone a higher dan. How correct is correct in either situation?

lbb
08-19-2011, 02:16 PM
Well, there's no such thing as perfect ukemi, or perfect anything else. I think what Phil was trying to say is more like "correctly executed". In that case, maybe we can say that the difference between what is expected of a a 4th kyu and of a much higher rank is:

- Intensity and speed of the attack is less
- Intensity and speed of the technique is less
- Simpler variations are acceptable
- Atemi is a bit mellower

IOW, as a 4th kyu, you'd be expected to do whatever you're expected to do correctly within the context of the test. You're not expected to do advanced techniques, nor to deal with an all-out high-speed attack (or an all-out high-speed response to your attack).

robin_jet_alt
08-19-2011, 07:02 PM
At 4th kyu, your ukemi should be almost perfect. How can you take a fall and land with "not so good" ukemi??? That's the best way to get hurt---broken arm, broken/cracked rib etc, etc. When you are a beginner, or even advanced aikidoka, your emphasis should be on proper ukemi.

Perfect ukemi by 4kyu? You're crazy.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't have good ukemi. I think the ability to perform most types of ukemi from most techniques done at a reasonable pace is a good aim. What you have said about getting hurt is absolutely correct.

My problem is with the term perfect ukemi. I am currently shodan, but my ukemi is far from perfect. I have trained with many people whose ukemi is much better than mine. I hope to improve in the future. When I was 4kyu, I would say my ukemi was what I described above. It is now much better than that.

I guess my point is that if you limit yourself to what is achievable at 4kyu, then you are doing yourself a disservice. You should be able to keep improving your ukemi until your body starts to deteriorate due to age.

Sorry to be picky. I recently had another rant on the topic of ukemi in another thread, so I guess this is a topic that is important to me.

dapidmini
08-20-2011, 05:08 AM
by "not-so-good ukemi" I mean that even though some 4th kyu in my dojo don't make fatal mistakes like landing on his hand or something, they still roll on their side rather than on their shoulder.. and by "roughly correct technique" I mean they still can't apply all the little details such as hands and feet positions and posture some of the times.. although, my dojo holds a kyu examination every 6 months so I guess our standards ARE supposed to be lower than you guys...

robin_jet_alt
08-20-2011, 05:18 AM
Well, if people can't do a forward roll correctly, I would be worried.

As far as techniques go, if people can't do it at a high speed, and with a high degree of effectiveness, I would say that is normal for 4kyu. If they are mixing up their hands and feet for the techniques they are supposed to be doing for their grading, I would be worried.

Mario Tobias
08-20-2011, 06:22 AM
The ukemi intensity depends on dojo. We can do top ukemi/high breakfall by 6th kyu in my previous dojo. My current dojo, even 2nd-3rd kyus still have difficulty doing these.

Dave de Vos
08-20-2011, 05:59 PM
I'm just a 5kyu (recently), but as far as I can see, there is a clear distiction from beginners (4th kyu and below) and 3rd kyu and up:

From my viewpoint, 3rd kyu and up more or less know what they're doing most of the time.

Belt_Up
08-20-2011, 06:58 PM
My experience is similar. 3rd kyus are generally a big step above 4th and below. They know a much wider range of techniques, their ukemi is of a higher standard, etc. The difference between 4th and 5th (speaking as a recenth 5th myself) is minor.

I 'know' the techniques I am supposed to, I just don't get all of the details right when I perform them. My ukemi is merely bad, but it was awful.

I know of one 3rd kyu who cannot roll for toffee, yet their techniques are very good.

Phil Van Treese
08-25-2011, 03:56 PM
Crazy about a 4th kyu having ALMOST (if you would have read it correctly) perfect ukemi?? If you are a shodan and your ukemi isn't good, why are you wearing a black belt?? By dan rank your ukemi should be ALMOST perfect and that carries over from the kyu grades. No one will be perfect in ukemi but it is a goal to strive for. You have to continue to try to get to being perfect since you have to teach the beginners their ukemi. Tomiki Shihan was a bear on ukemi so by the time his students made their shodan, it was darn near perfect as it should be. Maybe you should take some judo lessons and then your ukemi would be perfect, ALMOST.

Dave de Vos
08-25-2011, 04:27 PM
Which type of ukemi would be almost perfectly performed by 4 kyu?

I think in our dojo, most 5/4 kyu have little trouble doing this type:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkdgm2HONBQ

But I think this level of ukemi is more like 3/2 kyu and up in our dojo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW7sL2xc7qQ

And I think this level is more like 2/1 kyu an up in our dojo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWhg3OGRWWo

robin_jet_alt
08-26-2011, 02:03 AM
Crazy about a 4th kyu having ALMOST (if you would have read it correctly) perfect ukemi?? If you are a shodan and your ukemi isn't good, why are you wearing a black belt?? By dan rank your ukemi should be ALMOST perfect and that carries over from the kyu grades. No one will be perfect in ukemi but it is a goal to strive for. You have to continue to try to get to being perfect since you have to teach the beginners their ukemi. Tomiki Shihan was a bear on ukemi so by the time his students made their shodan, it was darn near perfect as it should be. Maybe you should take some judo lessons and then your ukemi would be perfect, ALMOST.

Sorry I missed the 'almost' there.

My ukemi is good. I would even go so far as to say that it is very good. I think it is better than average for people of my rank. However, I have seen better. Now, if I have been doing this for 10 years, and I have above average ukemi for a shodan, and yet it is far from perfect, then how can I expect someone at 4kyu to have almost perfect ukemi?

chillzATL
08-26-2011, 08:20 AM
good ukemi = no matter what happens, you're going to not end up getting hurt because you can't take the fall.

Baring some sort of physical limitation, people should have good ukemi at or around 3rd kyu or after 1.5-2 years of consistent practice. There are obvious exceptions though.

People should feel obligated to have good ukemi and should be willing to invest personal time in getting it. Someone in average condition who takes the training seriously should have good ukemi after 6-9 months at most.

YMMV.

lbb
08-26-2011, 09:44 AM
good ukemi = no matter what happens, you're going to not end up getting hurt because you can't take the fall.

"No matter what happens" is a pretty wide range. Even if they throw you into a wall, or into another person?

chillzATL
08-26-2011, 09:53 AM
"No matter what happens" is a pretty wide range. Even if they throw you into a wall, or into another person?

C'mon, Mary, do you really think that's what I meant? I can spell it all out if needed, but I figured most everyone would get the gist of it.

Dave de Vos
08-26-2011, 11:11 AM
good ukemi = no matter what happens, you're going to not end up getting hurt because you can't take the fall. [...] Someone in average condition who takes the training seriously should have good ukemi after 6-9 months at most.

YMMV.

With my (limited) experience, I'd be very impressed if someone could handle this level of ukemi without getting hurt after 6-9 months: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3NmaYu2Kvc

lbb
08-26-2011, 11:28 AM
C'mon, Mary, do you really think that's what I meant? I can spell it all out if needed, but I figured most everyone would get the gist of it.

I don't think that's what you mean, but I do think that you could define your "whatever happens" so that people will know what you do mean. Does it mean "no matter how fast the attack is"? Does it mean "no matter how strong the attack is"? Does it mean "no matter the size of the attacker"? Does it mean "even if the attacker changes the attack"?

I'm not saying I disagree with any of these, but again, we're talking about the expectations for ukemi at a certain kyu level. We're never going to come up with a universal consensus answer even within aikiweb (and as soon as you actually get on the mat, where a different answer may be the rule, whatever we say here is so much hot electrons anyway). But, for the purposes of the discussion, it would help to know what is encompassed in your "whatever happens".

chillzATL
08-26-2011, 12:22 PM
I don't think that's what you mean, but I do think that you could define your "whatever happens" so that people will know what you do mean. Does it mean "no matter how fast the attack is"? Does it mean "no matter how strong the attack is"? Does it mean "no matter the size of the attacker"? Does it mean "even if the attacker changes the attack"?

I'm not saying I disagree with any of these, but again, we're talking about the expectations for ukemi at a certain kyu level. We're never going to come up with a universal consensus answer even within aikiweb (and as soon as you actually get on the mat, where a different answer may be the rule, whatever we say here is so much hot electrons anyway). But, for the purposes of the discussion, it would help to know what is encompassed in your "whatever happens".

fair enough.

To your examples I would say yes, yes, yes and yes. Pretty much anything that happens in the course of practice, you should be able to safely fall out of. Whether it's you coming in really hard and getting thrown out really fast or someone breaking your balance suddenly and then very quickly following through on that into a koshi where you don't have an opportunity to recover. Your body should simply be comfortable reacting to whatever happens.

Phil Van Treese
08-26-2011, 03:42 PM
Ukemi needs to be practised every class---right and left side falls, rollouts right and left side and backfalls. The only way your ukemi will improve is with constant practise, practise, practise. There is no escape from that. If you want a diamond to shine, it has to be polished. Your ukemi is your diamond and you need to polish it over and over and over. I don't care what rank anyone has---I am a shichidan (7th dan) and I do rollouts and all falls with the class. They watch me and they try to imitate me. You have to do the same. Your students will copy you and imitate you. I was not being sarcastic when I said that you needed to take some judo lessons to learn how to fall. The judo class falls with Tomiki Shihan carried over into aikido and I thank him to this day that he was a bear on ukemi. Ukemi is the only technique, according to Tomiki Shihan, that you must master or strive to get there. We cannot expect to teach our students proper ukemi if we are sub-standard. Yes, I am a bear on Ukemi----ask my class!!!!! Growl.

robin_jet_alt
08-26-2011, 07:01 PM
This is something that I absolutely agree with, Phil. It illustrates my point exactly. Your ukemi can keep improving well beyond the early kyu grades, and it should if you keep practicing.

dapidmini
08-27-2011, 08:52 AM
ok, I think I get the color of the answers regarding the ukemi.. but what about the techniques? sometimes I get the urge to point out every little details that the beginners missed but after saying a couple of points I feel that they won't be able to remember everything I said.. or even worse, they might get bored and think that aikido is too hard to learn for them... so usually, I'll just point out 1 or 2 mistakes and let the other mistakes get away as "beginner standards".. what do you guys think?

Shadowfax
08-27-2011, 09:50 AM
ok, I think I get the color of the answers regarding the ukemi.. but what about the techniques? sometimes I get the urge to point out every little details that the beginners missed but after saying a couple of points I feel that they won't be able to remember everything I said.. or even worse, they might get bored and think that aikido is too hard to learn for them... so usually, I'll just point out 1 or 2 mistakes and let the other mistakes get away as "beginner standards".. what do you guys think?

I realize you asked for the input of instructors but though I would give you some perspective form a student's point of view. Hope you don't mind. :)

I think you need to be careful of overwhelming a beginner with too many details. This is something I have observed quite a bit with a couple of people I train with. They try to teach them everything all at once in detail and the poor student becomes hopelessly confused and frustrated. You don't teach a first grader to read by handing them a copy of Moby Dick.

Aikido is very hard to learn. No sense in hiding that fact from a student. But overwhelming them with too many details before they are ready is a good way to get them frustrated and make them want to give up. If they can get just a couple of things going well they will gain confidence and be more willing to keep working on the things they have trouble with.

As I understand it kyu rank students have not even qualified to be considered beginners yet anyway. They (we :) ) are learning how to learn aikido. My teachers really emphasize our learning to understand the principles and basic shapes of techniques and ukemi and not so much the perfecting of them. That comes after shodan.

Basia Halliop
08-27-2011, 11:20 AM
I don't know but I don't think you need to think of it (or explain it to them) as letting things slide because they're beginners. To me it seems like more a matter of prioritizing and giving people a workable short-term project -- e.g., what do you think are some good next things to think about in their practice? As a student I often find that helpful... So you could concentrate on a few mistakes they are making and get them to practice doing those things right until they begin to understand them and begin to make them a habit, then move on to the next few things....

I think you can do that without either giving them the mistaken impression that everything else they're doing is perfect, nor that they are doing unusally badly either.

lbb
08-27-2011, 06:23 PM
ok, I think I get the color of the answers regarding the ukemi.. but what about the techniques? sometimes I get the urge to point out every little details that the beginners missed but after saying a couple of points I feel that they won't be able to remember everything I said.. or even worse, they might get bored and think that aikido is too hard to learn for them... so usually, I'll just point out 1 or 2 mistakes and let the other mistakes get away as "beginner standards".. what do you guys think?

If you're finding many things to correct, it may be a sign that the technique is too complicated, and that you need to teach it using a progression instead of trying to do the entire technique to start with.

Linda Eskin
08-28-2011, 10:42 PM
I'll second what Cherie said, and add a note about the kind of feedback I've received and found helpful. As a student I really appreciate what my teacher does. I'm sure there are always technical points that will need to be addressed, but those will be done over time, in class. The feedback I have heard immediately after each exam focuses primarily on some quality I need to work on.

For instance, following my 5th kyu test the feedback was that I was "being cautious" in my technique. Indeed, I felt like I was sort of "going through the motions." After my 4th kyu exam Sensei asked if I was nervous. I hadn't been aware of it, but given the opportunity to look at that, yes, I was.

Each time that kind of feedback gave me something clear and memorable I could work on between then and my next exam (and onward). It was simple enough that I could easily remember it, and rang true in a way that burned itself into my daily awareness in training. Focusing on being more certain and committed in my application of technique, and more relaxed and confident in my aikido, have I'm sure made a bigger difference in both my technical skill and in "how I show up" than any post-exam technical corrections or pointers could have.

Phil Van Treese
08-29-2011, 01:05 PM
As far as making mistakes in class and pointing them out---as a rule I never single out people who are making mistakes and then talk about them. I don't want to make someone feel like they're "not so good" while others are good. As an instr, I would suggest to let them practise and YOU make mental notes. When it's time to go to the next technique, take what ever needed time and talk about the mistakes and demonstrate the correct without naming names. They will know who you are talking about without feeling like they are being picked on. Now, if you're showing mai otoshi and someone is doing shiho nage, then you have to say something, obviously. But if a foot isn't properly placed etc, just make a mental note and go over it later. I always reserve, after a 1 1/2 hour class, an extra 1/2 hour for anyone who might want to ask a question and needs extra help in understanding, one on one. That works out really well and they do appreciate it. It shows that, as an instr, you care and the students welcome that attitude from an instr.

Commander13CnC3
09-16-2011, 09:12 AM
Being 6th Kyu, I have developed good ukemi after 4-5 months, in the fact that when I fall my immediate reaction is to slap my hands down or roll. I witnessed the yearly test a couple months after I had joined. What I noticed is that 5th kyu-down/up( however you look at it) seems to do ukemi fine, but more refined (smoother, more spherical, rolls in straight line, etc.) Also, the attacks for the early kyu's seem to be slower, until about 3rd, where the attacks speed up. To me, although I'm a beginner, it seems you start out perfecting to slow techniques or simple techniques, then build speed and more complex techniques from there.

gwells
02-21-2012, 09:38 PM
gwells,

PRACTICE AIKIDO SINCE 12-11-11,GOING TO CLASS AT LEAST THREE DAYS WEEK I HAVE A BLACK BELT IN TAE-KON-DO.

kewms
02-21-2012, 11:31 PM
by "not-so-good ukemi" I mean that even though some 4th kyu in my dojo don't make fatal mistakes like landing on his hand or something, they still roll on their side rather than on their shoulder.. and by "roughly correct technique" I mean they still can't apply all the little details such as hands and feet positions and posture some of the times.. although, my dojo holds a kyu examination every 6 months so I guess our standards ARE supposed to be lower than you guys...

Both of those are serious flaws by 4th kyu.

By 4th kyu, IMO:
* free rolls -- without a partner -- should be good enough for brand new beginners to emulate.
* rolls from throws should be equally good, provided speed is moderate.
* at moderate speeds, student should be beginning to improvise ukemi from non-standard situations
* stances and basic footwork should be good enough for brand new beginners to emulate
* techniques within test requirements should be technically correct at moderate speeds, including footwork and hand positions
* student should be able to at least approximate new techniques as they are presented in class
* student should not completely fall apart under stress. If faced with a new or unexpectedly strong attack, they should have a better answer than "deer in headlights."

In our system, 4th kyu is the third test, and represents 9-12 months of consistent training. If you don't have people rolling correctly in a year I would be concerned about your teaching methodology.

Full disclosure: I teach beginners, but I do not personally supervise kyu tests or award rank. These are the criteria I look at when someone asks if they are ready.

Katherine

Hanna B
02-22-2012, 12:37 AM
what do you (as examiners and/or sensei) usually expect of early kyus? (4th-2nd kyu)

2nd kyu early? In my world a second kyu has been doing aikido for at least two years. (Well not in all cases but most.)

At what kyu does your scale start? Here most dojos start at 6th, some at 5th.

Eva Antonia
02-22-2012, 03:09 AM
Hello,

maybe here in Belgium we are learning very slowly....I am 2nd kyu with over 5 years of aikido under my belt, and we also have other 2nd kyus with 8 years of training. I never knew anyone who got 2nd kyu after 2 years, but two or three people who got 3rd kyu after 2 years, which was already considered an achievement. This applies for people training 2 - 4 times per week.

I know one single person who made it to 1st dan in 5 years, but that guy is very, very talented and goes to training every day of the week and to seminars every week-end.

But concerning ukemi - there is no standard as such, but normally people start doing acceptable "normal" mae/ushiro ukemi before their 5th kyu test (after 6 - 12 months of training) and do all sorts of ukemi on all sorts of techniques when coming to 5th or 4th kyu. This includes breakfalls and the soft Tissier style ukemi, although we have no one in our dojo being able to perform or teach us ushiro otoshi (the backwards breakfall).

All the best,

Eva

Shadowfax
02-22-2012, 01:47 PM
Hello,

maybe here in Belgium we are learning very slowly....I am 2nd kyu with over 5 years of aikido under my belt, and we also have other 2nd kyus with 8 years of training. I never knew anyone who got 2nd kyu after 2 years, but two or three people who got 3rd kyu after 2 years, which was already considered an achievement. This applies for people training 2 - 4 times per week.



I have been training for going on 3 years 3 days/6 hours a week. Will be testing 2nd kyu this spring. I guess a lot has to do with the affiliation and style as well as who your teachers are as to what time period is expected for testing.

dalen7
02-23-2012, 04:46 PM
what do you (as examiners and/or sensei) usually expect of early kyus? (4th-2nd kyu)

It really all depends. [Which you have seen.] :)

For us:
At 3rd Kyu you already are required to do Koshinage.
[while second nature to some Uke Monkeys flying over peoples backs, to others it can be less comfortable, unless they 'roll' around.] :)

Also at this stage, if not sooner, most people are trying the high flying ukemi for Kotegaishi.

At 2nd Kyu it seems there is a ton of Koshinage. [So you better love Ukemi]
To throw in there Sumi Otoshi [corner drop], with the high flying Ukemi, and Kubi Nagi [Neck Throw... something you definitely want to be careful with.]

Personally I like to keep my feet on the ground as much as possible.
I feel more comfortable with BJJ than I would with Judo. :)

At the end of the day, even within a dojo, people are going to vary within a belt range.
Unless you take Yoshinkan Aikido. [not to generalize]

We have 6 kyus, and for them its pretty much ok to be more relaxed and basically know the name of the movement and how it looks.

At 3rd Kyu I started to try to figure out what worked and didnt and why it did or didnt.
What was for 'show' and what is practical. [Did this by doing some live training and finding things out the hardway - like getting my lights punched out in Thai Boxing, and pulling off kotegaeshi in the grappling portion... but definitely not the way you would train with it in class.] :)

Still havent resolved all of this, but Im more convinced that BJJ, Aikido, Judo would benefit [me at least] as one whole art due to the fact that they deal with various ranges/distances. ;)

Enough of my theories though. [Took about a two year break and just started back the beginning of this year so Ill test for 2nd kyu, hopefully, this summer... if I can learn to love flipping over peoples backs more.] :D

At the end of the day, have fun...

Peace

Dalen

dalen7
02-23-2012, 04:59 PM
Hello,

maybe here in Belgium we are learning very slowly....I am 2nd kyu with over 5 years of aikido under my belt, and we also have other 2nd kyus with 8 years of training. I never knew anyone who got 2nd kyu after 2 years, but two or three people who got 3rd kyu after 2 years, which was already considered an achievement. This applies for people training 2 - 4 times per week.

All the best,

Eva

Was like that here as well Eva.
Before I came people took their time to test, so it seemed.
One of our guys who is 1st Kyu has taken his own time, and was 2nd kyu when I started about 5 years ago. [Had a two year break so only 3 years of actual training for me]
however he is smooth as butter.

It could be that your situation is like ours where we start flipping over peoples backs at 3rd Kyu doing koshinage, etc. That slows me down from wanting to test. [I just prefer my feet to be on the ground as mentioned above] :)

At the end of the day, the belts really are about your own progress and goals - at least for me anyway.
As each dojo is, or can be, completely different. What counts is what is the individual taking away from their training and more so... are they having fun? :)

Peace

Dalen

caveat: post written after midnight - so they may be totally incoherent. ;)

Mario Tobias
02-24-2012, 01:55 PM
ok, I think I get the color of the answers regarding the ukemi.. but what about the techniques? sometimes I get the urge to point out every little details that the beginners missed but after saying a couple of points I feel that they won't be able to remember everything I said.. or even worse, they might get bored and think that aikido is too hard to learn for them... so usually, I'll just point out 1 or 2 mistakes and let the other mistakes get away as "beginner standards".. what do you guys think?

Aikido takes many years even decades to START understanding. With a 4th kyu which typically takes 1.5 to 3 years at most, with this amount of time I can say they would have learned NOTHING of aikido but the forms.

The tricky but interesting thing with aikido is that I think it comes to you naturally, without warning. It doesn't come from somebody else telling you that you are starting to get it. Not even the grading will tell you that somebody has "it".

I can't explain it but this is my personal observation. Some of the things that were impossible for me to do back then I can make them work now but the understanding didn't come gradually, it came like a switch being turned on and I still don't know where it came from and how it came about. That is probably why at shodan level which takes 5 years minimum or even decades to attain is STILL a beginner. Aikido is not a memory game of details but of understanding underlying principles imo, otherwise there are just too many details to memorize.

I think being meticulous for a FIRST kyu would be appropriate or second kyu but 3rd kyu below we need to offer some slack....and yes, aikido is too difficult to learn that is why you need to keep them interested to keep them going. But thats just my opinion

hughrbeyer
02-24-2012, 09:34 PM
Aikido takes many years even decades to START understanding. With a 4th kyu which typically takes 1.5 to 3 years at most, with this amount of time I can say they would have learned NOTHING of aikido but the forms.

Pooh. Nonsense.

This is something of a hobbyhorse with me lately, but I think we do ourselves a disservice when we make our art more difficult and esoteric than it is. Yes, we also do a disservice when we promise easy answers, but I see a lot of people overcorrecting in the other direction.

Within 6 months to a year--let's be generous--on the mat, I expect to see a new aikidoka start to move in a completely different way. I expect them to drop the (first level of) stick-man rigidity or limp-noodle nebulosity, depending on where they started from. I expect that to reveal itself, incidentally, in decent roll and back falls, but more importantly in connected attacks and reasonably connected movement as nage.

That's not nothing.

Mario Tobias
02-24-2012, 11:12 PM
Within 6 months to a year--let's be generous--on the mat, I expect to see a new aikidoka start to move in a completely different way. I expect them to drop the (first level of) stick-man rigidity or limp-noodle nebulosity, depending on where they started from. I expect that to reveal itself, incidentally, in decent roll and back falls, but more importantly in connected attacks and reasonably connected movement as nage.

That's not nothing.

Fair enough. What I was really trying to say is we shouldn't expect too much from 4th kyu. Forms are sufficient. 1st kyu or 2nd is understandable...but I see a lot of starting blackbelts still who are just still starting to understand true and proper connection at their level which imo is one of the most important aspects of aikido before you start understanding the art, if that is the case, how can you expect 4th kyus to do the same? If you ask a 4th kyu if they understand connection and how to connect, most likely they'll say they have no clue.

kewms
02-25-2012, 12:04 AM
If you ask a 4th kyu if they understand connection and how to connect, most likely they'll say they have no clue.

Actually, they'll say they do, but they'll be wrong.

We shouldn't expect too much at 4th kyu, but I think it does them a disservice to expect too little as well. If students aren't progressing at a steady rate, what does that say about the instruction?

Katherine

chillzATL
02-25-2012, 11:22 AM
If you explain connection to someone, both in you and to them, then let them feel it first outside of a technique and then inside a technique, they should be able to understand it and be attempting to replicate that feeling in short order, a few classes or so.

poor instructions = poor learning, low expectations = low results.

kewms
02-25-2012, 08:24 PM
If you explain connection to someone, both in you and to them, then let them feel it first outside of a technique and then inside a technique, they should be able to understand it and be attempting to replicate that feeling in short order, a few classes or so.

poor instructions = poor learning, low expectations = low results.

Attempting to replicate it, sure. Actually doing so in a reasonably competent way by 4th kyu? Not in my experience.

Katherine

dalen7
02-27-2012, 11:00 AM
Aikido takes many years even decades to START understanding. With a 4th kyu which typically takes 1.5 to 3 years at most, with this amount of time I can say they would have learned NOTHING of aikido but the forms.

Can't learn to swim if you dont get wet... [Bruce Lee???]

A triangle:
Judo, Aikido, BJJ [throw in Thai Boxing in the middle of that triangle logo] ;)

It all connects, so its no wonder it takes many years to 'master'.

I know that my whole game changed when I took Aikido into Thai Boxing and grappling.
Perhaps many fear what they may find out. After all when a person works forever on something it would be easy to have the ego feel threatened that its all a waste... but which is better, hiding from it or finding out if there is more of an adventure waiting?

Many may be surprised to realize that taking BJJ or at least trying your Aikido out with grappling, etc. can really make sense of all the stuff people struggle with for years.

The guys who were at the 'founding of Aikido' were Judoka, etc.
They had it going on... however many start Aikido with no previous martial art experience - which is fine, but you will indeed take a life time to figure it out. Why not give yourself the edge.

Likewise to those in BJJ I would say it would not hurt to try out Aikido instead of instantly saying its bogus. Nice to keep an open mind, after all its more about range.

A nice triangle:
- Aikido distance
- Judo [up close... some techniques tend to resemble that of Aikido with Koshinage, etc.]
- BJJ [the ground, your going there and most people dont have the control through their Aikido technique so if its not a tight game they will roll out and put you in their guard.]

A person does not necessarily have to be a sporty person, etc. to try this out.
And in the same token if a person is willing to drop any perceptions of what they expect out of their art without trying it, and just enjoy it for what it is they are doing... that is fine.

The key danger would be advertising Aikido as self-defense.
Especially with the mindset that it takes years to master... by that time your yoda and if you got through life so far you will be fine.

Of course the main benefit to me at the beginning was indeed this introspection of my own internal attitude in which a 'fight' can be avoided as typically its two stirred up egos that get the fight going on.

Peace

Dalen

LinTal
03-01-2012, 06:23 AM
If you ask a 4th kyu if they understand connection and how to connect, most likely they'll say they have no clue.

As a 4th kyu-er, I don't really have a clue, as expected, but I am starting to notice and think about things that I haven't before. I'm pretty sure this is affecting my practice. The amount learned may be negligible in comparison to someone who's been around long enough to progress more, but there are still tiny little gems of insight gained at every turn, it's still a journey that's miles from where I started. Recognising them in newer beginners seems easier than recognising them in myself. Imo.