05-07-2013, 11:50 AM
This month’s blog is intentionally short on words in order to allow the students to create their own narratives. This blog is used as a supplemental training tool at Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai, and is open for all to share in their own training. Getting in touch with your own training is the process that I would like students to focus in on this month.
One of the most important goals for learning in any endeavor, is to become your own best teacher. When you assume a deep and lasting responsibility for your own learning, you can go far in almost any endeavor. The role of the Uke is an integral part of this process. Regardless of your rank, you become responsible for teaching something to someone else. When you can conceptualize a process in your own mind, and can provide valuable feedback to your partner, you are teaching yourself how to be your own best teacher. You are learning how to create a constructive feedback loop, not only within yourself, but with your partners. The sensitivity and connectivity that you apply to yourself and your partners, are important tools in becoming your own best teacher.
I want everyone to reflect deeply upon this process this month and provide me with an assessment of where you are and what your goals are for the rest of this year of training in 2013. If spring time is a time of new growth, then let us use this season wisely in helping us to move forward with purpose and conviction. Your feedback helps me to become a more in-tuned and responsive teacher. Never forget that I am also a student and that I am learning to be my own best teacher by running this school!
Marc Abrams Sensei
(Original blog post may be found here (http://aasbk.com/blog).)
05-09-2013, 06:51 AM
I'm the first to answer to this one! Great!
There are a lot of goals, some are technical, some are not. Some are achievable, some are less achievable.
Non- technical goals
A major goal is:
Become PATIENT. With myself, with my progress, with applying techniques. There are things that require just repetition, repetition, repetition until the body endorses them and does them automatically. It took me years to understand why we need to perform techniques slowly and precisely instead of hammering through them at full blast, which is arguably much more fun but results in little learning effects.
And whenever I'm ill or on mission for work, I crave for aikido; I never take the time for recovery (had two major surgeries in the last years and always came back on the mat as soon as I as able to crawl out of my bed, broke a finger and dislocated a shoulder but didn't go to the doc out of fear he might forbid me to do aikido for a while) - and I fear that will take its toll when I grow older. So I also should learn to become more patient off the mat.
Learn to keep quiet. I have this tendency always to blab and to tell everyone why this or that doesn't work or how it could also work or that it is well done, whatever - but I'm not the teacher and should learn to keep my mouth shut. That's enormously difficult. I often feel like a music critic - never be able to compose like Beethoven, to play like Menuhin or Rubinstein, but just knowledgeable enough to wisecrack whenever an opportunity arises. It must be a professional illness - I'm a consultant and also teach at the university, so in my professional life I am paid for telling people what works and what they should/ shouldn't do, in my private life I am a mum thus also obliged to educate and teach my kids - and then, in aikido, suddenly I'm only a normal mortal who still has to learn to control his blabber.
Have an improvement in kids classes; this failed because we will have no more kids classes next term; we didn't succeed in making them sufficiently attractive during the last year...
1) Become more fluent, overcome stops and hesitations in the middle of a movement
2) Always stay centered and don't stoop - I still do, although this became better
3) Finally learn koshi nage
4) Finally learn ushiro otoshi soft backwards breakfall
5) I'm quite comfortable with all grabs and yokomen uchi but still react badly to shomen uchi and tsuki; this needs to be overcome
6) Become a better uke; react appropriately on unforeseeable techniques, stay centered and balanced while attacking, get up immediately facing tori after a throw, don't anticipate falls...the whole ABC.
7) Adapt better to small partners with feather weight and low pain threshold (abandon bulldozer movements)
8) Get some basic capacities in weapon training
Pure pleasure goals
1) Buy a new hakama with embroidery once I have the impression I merit a new one
2) Buy a new, light and sharp bokken under the same condition
3) Go to as many seminars as possible without taking too much family time...
4) Do as much tanto practice as possible
Is that enough for May 2013 or for the whole year 2013 or maybe for the whole aikido carreer?
All the best,