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Dalaran1991
11-22-2013, 06:05 PM
At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work. Practically I never get to do a technique with her because she would stop me at any "error" she detects, and make me restart from the beginning.

I appreciate her trying to help me learn, but frankly she is not the best person in the class in a position to give instructions, especially when they are not solicited. And how do I improve without doing the techniques (and failing), all the same time getting my ears tortured?

Generally I have just been avoiding training with her but recently it has gotten really awkward since she can tell that. We hang out as a group off the tatami too, and this creates unnecessary tension.

How do I deal with this kind of situation?

mathewjgano
11-22-2013, 07:05 PM
At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work. Practically I never get to do a technique with her because she would stop me at any "error" she detects, and make me restart from the beginning.

I appreciate her trying to help me learn, but frankly she is not the best person in the class in a position to give instructions, especially when they are not solicited. And how do I improve without doing the techniques (and failing), all the same time getting my ears tortured?

Generally I have just been avoiding training with her but recently it has gotten really awkward since she can tell that. We hang out as a group off the tatami too, and this creates unnecessary tension.

How do I deal with this kind of situation?

Talking to your sensei or another sempai about what is expected can be a good place to start. Asking her opinion on your dilemma regarding missing out on technique would be another great way to directly diffuse that tension, although you'll have to accept that she probably will have an answer that suits her and might not suit you. One thought though, techniques can be useful, but so can your stance. I'm not sure how long you've been training but the first thing I tend to "correct" (try to the best of my ability) is that basic starting posture/stance.

Good luck!

sakumeikan
11-22-2013, 07:30 PM
At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work. Practically I never get to do a technique with her because she would stop me at any "error" she detects, and make me restart from the beginning.

I appreciate her trying to help me learn, but frankly she is not the best person in the class in a position to give instructions, especially when they are not solicited. And how do I improve without doing the techniques (and failing), all the same time getting my ears tortured?

Generally I have just been avoiding training with her but recently it has gotten really awkward since she can tell that. We hang out as a group off the tatami too, and this creates unnecessary tension.

How do I deal with this kind of situation?
Hi, Long,
Be polite , but be direct .Tell her that you do not welcome her criticism however well meant.
Tell her if you want to have feedback , you will ask her for the feedback.Your partner may not be fully aware of her nuisance value.If all else fails be blunt.Cheers, Joe

Demetrio Cereijo
11-23-2013, 06:32 AM
At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work
Tell her to STFU until she gets shodan at least.

Mary Eastland
11-23-2013, 07:32 AM
When someone is too chatty I say. "Let's just train, if I need correction the teacher will see it and correct me."

Bill Danosky
11-23-2013, 09:36 AM
Start questioning everything she does.

SeiserL
11-23-2013, 10:05 AM
Is she usually correct?

Pauliina Lievonen
11-23-2013, 11:53 AM
Hi, Long,
Be polite , but be direct .Tell her that you do not welcome her criticism however well meant.
Tell her if you want to have feedback , you will ask her for the feedback.Your partner may not be fully aware of her nuisance value.If all else fails be blunt.Cheers, JoeThis. The first thing I would advice you try is to tell her. You can be nice and polite about it, but just tell her that you would prefer to practice in quiet, and get your corrections from sensei.

Pauliina

Dalaran1991
11-23-2013, 01:10 PM
Thanks everyone. I think I'm really going for the route people suggested: "your criticism is appreciated but not asked for. If I need something I'll ask Sensei" This really does 2 things: I speak my mind while being polite, and remind her of her place while not directly burning her ego.

Is she usually correct?

No. A lot of the time she was telling me to do X Y Z, then Sensei came to the rescue and told me to do A B C. I thought that should remind her that she should not be giving me instructions, but as soon as Sensei leaves my ears get harassed again. It's amusing and frustrating at the same time.

Usually I try to stay as far away from her as possible. But one day she was sitting next to me and was about to salute, I had to shut off my peripheral vision and go directly in the opposite direction to look for another partner. This is horrible etiquette but I had no choice. So I wanna put an end to this.

I'm a 3rd kyu and in our dojo, men wear a hakama at 2nd kyu and women at 3rd kyu. So evidently I'm really hesistant to "talk back" in respect to the "fancy dress".

Frankly I think Aikido is a lifelong lesson and everyone makes mistake from 7th kyu to 4th dan. Our goals should be to help each other train, make mistake and improve together, not to harass.

Now I just wonder, have you encountered something like this personally? :)

Dalaran1991
11-23-2013, 01:12 PM
Start questioning everything she does.

Clearly you didn't learn never to argue with a woman, much less a chatty one with a law degree :D At least she taught me this invaluable lesson. Might save my life one day :D

Walter Martindale
11-23-2013, 01:21 PM
How about "But sensei JUST FINISHED telling me to do ABC and I think you're telling me to do XYZ - I don't understand… I'm trying to do what sensei just showed me - is that not what I'm doing?" or something along those lines…

I've never met an athlete/aikido person who wanted to do badly…

hughrbeyer
11-23-2013, 05:54 PM
In fairness, it's a difficult balance. I generally don't offer much verbal feedback unless my partner is either very junior and in difficulties or clearly indicates that feedback would be welcome. But I recently got a "shut up and let me train" message from a partner... so maybe I'm not as careful about it as I thought. :rolleyes: The world will not end if you give her the same message.

Dalaran1991
11-24-2013, 12:28 PM
uhhhhhh, are we back to the Sengoku Jidai period, guys?

I was pretty sure Phi Truong and Bill were half joking with their comments and I actually kinda laughed a bit. If they actually meant what they said, I'll just pretend I heard a good joke.

And this has nothing to do with her being a girl or a guy. Hell, in my dojo the Sensei is a woman. She is nicer than your typical sweet grandma but oh my god try not to faint when she throws you... Over half of the yudanshans are women. Among the youth, the only shodan is a girl together with this girl 1st kyu. The highest ranking young guy is my buddy who is 2nd kyu. So I won't enter in the debate on anything regarding sex/gender in Aikido.

I had a similar problem with another dude. He is a newbie but he comes in the dojo pretending it is his home. He doesn't bow to the sempai and gives me shoulder slaps to the shoulder when I don't even know his name. I make a point of not talking or training with him and I have no problem with that.

The only reason I wanna fix thing with this girl is, like I said, we're friends out of the dojo. Due to her family issues she draws the only validation in her life from the dojo and Aikido training, so I'm reluctant to say anything negative about her training. I've learned that some harmless words even though spoken respectfully can still rain hell fire on people's ego.

@ Carsten: Sorry, I've just not reached that level of budoshin yet to have enough patient :D Not while my hearing sense is being overloaded while a 1st kyu is crushing my wrist. (girl is always too damn stressful)

Carsten Möllering
11-24-2013, 03:05 PM
@ Carsten: Sorry, I've just not reached that level of budoshin yet to have enough patient :D
"Much to learn still you have, young Padawan."
ahem, ahem, ... me either ... ahem ... :rolleyes:

Peter Goldsbury
11-24-2013, 08:50 PM
Thanks everyone. I think I'm really going for the route people suggested: "your criticism is appreciated but not asked for. If I need something I'll ask Sensei" This really does 2 things: I speak my mind while being polite, and remind her of her place while not directly burning her ego.

A lot of the time she was telling me to do X Y Z, then Sensei came to the rescue and told me to do A B C. I thought that should remind her that she should not be giving me instructions, but as soon as Sensei leaves my ears get harassed again. It's amusing and frustrating at the same time.

Usually I try to stay as far away from her as possible. But one day she was sitting next to me and was about to salute, I had to shut off my peripheral vision and go directly in the opposite direction to look for another partner. This is horrible etiquette but I had no choice. So I wanna put an end to this.

I'm a 3rd kyu and in our dojo, men wear a hakama at 2nd kyu and women at 3rd kyu. So evidently I'm really hesistant to "talk back" in respect to the "fancy dress".

Frankly I think Aikido is a lifelong lesson and everyone makes mistake from 7th kyu to 4th dan. Our goals should be to help each other train, make mistake and improve together, not to harass.

Now I just wonder, have you encountered something like this personally? :)

The sex/gender issue is a red herring, in my opinion. Precisely the same issue can arise if all the parties are male. My question concerns the instructor. In my own dojo I can immediately see how individual students do the waza and also how they generally interact with the other students in the dojo. In addition, the instructors actually practise with all the students, including ukemi. There is some discussion, but if I want to stop people talking too much, I tell them straight (you can do this very politely in Japanese). Does your instructor do this?

In addition, there is an assumption here about the value of verbally correcting mistakes. The assumption is that if someone sees another person practising the waza incorrectly, there is an obligation to point this out -- immediately and on the spot. This is clearly the case with the person with whom you are having trouble, but is it the case generally in the dojo? In Japan, such immediate verbal correction is less likely and it is quite possible for someone to be practicing the waza wrongly, but without any correction. As the chief instructor in my dojo, I often see people practising waza incorrectly, but it is quite another matter whether I should tell them so, or leave them to make corrections in their own time and in their own way.

I give seminars occasionally and am constantly surprised at the number of people, including 4th dan and above, who do not practice the waza in the way I have shown. Do they do this because they cannot perceive what I am doing, since their mental map of the waza does not allow for another way of doing it, or because they have already made a mental judgment that their way is better?

Since your aikido practice will be a lifelong activity, I am sure you will be faced with issues like this when you come to instruct classes.

Best wishes,

Eva Antonia
11-25-2013, 03:54 AM
Dear original poster,

in my dojo and also when going to seminars and visiting other dojos, I observe pretty much the same, and it occurs again and again. Although I'm normally not at all a patient person and if the same happened in my area of work, would explose or say something with a cutting edge, in aikido I work on keeping calm and learn something from what happens. Why that? In my line of work, I'm an expert, I do it since 20 something years and generally don't make 25 blunders in 90 minutes. In aikido, though training since 7 years, I'm far from being an expert, and it may occur that I do every single action wrong in 90 minutes.

There are guys of different levels who have it as a principle to block my technique and provide not-asked-for advice. It's mostly, but not exclusively, guys, and of all levels. Motives are different. They vary from ignorance that what works for a guy of 80 kg doesn't always work for a woman of 60, to pissing contest or the observation that I'm just getting the technique unwittingly completely wrong.

So what? If they manage to block my technique, what does it mean?
=> my capacity is not good enough to do the technique intended by the teacher
=> I try to find out why or
=> I apply henka waza
If it still doesn't work, obviously the other person is not collaborating, but if my aikido was good, that wouldn't be a problem. So if I get angry, and I do, it's not at the would-be sensei but' more at the fact that after 7 years, my technique still sucks.

As to the advice, there are different options:
=> I try what the guy said, and it works => he was right
=> I try what the guy said and it doesn't work => a) he was wrong b) I didn't get it
=> he can launch another round of advice
=> go to 1

It may also happen that I differ and remain convinced that what the guy said is wrong or that he didn't get what the teacher said. Then we can try to find out what's the matter and why.

Or we can simply shut up and train.

In a nutshell, I don't see this sort of situation as annoying, I rather see it as a useful part of the training.

All the best,

Eva

Dalaran1991
11-25-2013, 08:09 AM
Dear original poster,

in my dojo and also when going to seminars and visiting other dojos, I observe pretty much the same, and it occurs again and again. Although I'm normally not at all a patient person and if the same happened in my area of work, would explose or say something with a cutting edge, in aikido I work on keeping calm and learn something from what happens. Why that? In my line of work, I'm an expert, I do it since 20 something years and generally don't make 25 blunders in 90 minutes. In aikido, though training since 7 years, I'm far from being an expert, and it may occur that I do every single action wrong in 90 minutes.

There are guys of different levels who have it as a principle to block my technique and provide not-asked-for advice. It's mostly, but not exclusively, guys, and of all levels. Motives are different. They vary from ignorance that what works for a guy of 80 kg doesn't always work for a woman of 60, to pissing contest or the observation that I'm just getting the technique unwittingly completely wrong.

So what? If they manage to block my technique, what does it mean?
=> my capacity is not good enough to do the technique intended by the teacher
=> I try to find out why or
=> I apply henka waza
If it still doesn't work, obviously the other person is not collaborating, but if my aikido was good, that wouldn't be a problem. So if I get angry, and I do, it's not at the would-be sensei but' more at the fact that after 7 years, my technique still sucks.

As to the advice, there are different options:
=> I try what the guy said, and it works => he was right
=> I try what the guy said and it doesn't work => a) he was wrong b) I didn't get it
=> he can launch another round of advice
=> go to 1

It may also happen that I differ and remain convinced that what the guy said is wrong or that he didn't get what the teacher said. Then we can try to find out what's the matter and why.

Or we can simply shut up and train.

In a nutshell, I don't see this sort of situation as annoying, I rather see it as a useful part of the training.

All the best,

Eva

Agree with almost everything you said, except maybe the patient one. The thing is, if you do what he/she says and it works, it does NOT mean that is the correct way. I've realized something really insidious about aikido training: sometimes people do a technique the wrong way, and they tell other people to do the same thing. To prove that they are right, they intentionally fall when I do it "their way", and apply a lot of blocking/resistance if I'm doing differently. Happens all the time with this girl and lotta other people. I wouldn't know if Sensei didn't point out to me.

And plus, just like you said, Aikido is about body synchronization. What works for this girl might not works for me.

There's no reason to train with some1 who doesn't help you learn in a productive way. Except for the personal reason I mentioned.

The sex/gender issue is a red herring, in my opinion. Precisely the same issue can arise if all the parties are male. My question concerns the instructor. In my own dojo I can immediately see how individual students do the waza and also how they generally interact with the other students in the dojo. In addition, the instructors actually practise with all the students, including ukemi. There is some discussion, but if I want to stop people talking too much, I tell them straight (you can do this very politely in Japanese). Does your instructor do this?

Mine is a little bit too nice and too soft to be honest, since we're an university club. Plus normally this shouldn't be a problem, since the dojo has plenty of other students to train with.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-25-2013, 08:24 AM
I've realized something really insidious about aikido training: sometimes people do a technique the wrong way, and they tell other people to do the same thing. To prove that they are right, they intentionally fall when I do it "their way", and apply a lot of blocking/resistance if I'm doing differently.

Don't do things differently, do them right. You know the old saying: "If do right, no can defense".

And grow a handlebar moustache :D

PaulF
11-25-2013, 09:25 AM
There's no reason to train with some1 who doesn't help you learn in a productive way. Except for the personal reason I mentioned.

Everyone I ever got on a mat with I could learn from, just often it wasn't what they were trying to teach me. :)

Pauliina Lievonen
11-25-2013, 09:29 AM
Long Trinh, you asked about others experiences, here's mine:

I often ask people simply to please not block my technique.

In my experience, most people who do aikido are basically nice ordinary people, not strange psychopaths or something. :D So most of the time when someone blocks my technique or gives advice, they are trying to help, just maybe not in the best way. And if I approach the situation from that perspective, I can then say "I appreciate that you're trying to help, but could you just go with it for now, I'd like to try and figure this out by myself?", and usually people are then happy to comply.

At other times, I might choose not to say anything. When a training partner first blocks your technique, then gives advice, then falls for you when you follow the advice - what they are doing in fact is teach you how they like to be thrown. That might not teach you universal truths about aikido but it can teach you something interesting.

Now sometimes people who block you are trying to play a weird manipulative power game. Then they can enjoy "winning" when your technique doesn't work and they get to explain things to you. I try not play that game with them, of course I could also start to block their technique (aikido techniques are usually easy to stop in practice since you know what is coming), but that just means there are then two jerks playing a passive agressive game, and I try not to be a jerk.* So i just practice as well as i can, and then avoid such a person in the future. But I think the people who do this consciously are in a minority, most people really are nice and if you ask them will stop blocking. So my basic rule is, talk with people. Only if that really doesn't help, maybe consider not training with that person, at least not very often.

* Except when I fail and get annoyed and start to play that game. I'm not perfect either. :o

Hope that helps. :)

Pauliina

Larry Feldman
11-25-2013, 10:59 AM
Nice job avoiding her.

Next time you are cornered you might try - "Let's check with Sensei", raise your hand and get an opinion from the teacher.

Susan Dalton
11-25-2013, 11:48 AM
We cannot control other people. We can only control ourselves. Human relations are the most important, and the most difficult, part of aikido. Some people are easy to train with. Probably, really, they don't need aikido. But most of us do. We need to work with other people so we can figure out how to be decent human beings. Blaming uke is always easier than taking a clear-eyed look at our own shortcomings. Work with the people you find most difficult until you get your "stuff" worked out. It's hard, I know.

akiy
11-25-2013, 12:13 PM
I've done what I can to clean up this thread to keep things on-topic.

Thanks, everyone, for your continued attention in keeping things civil here on AikiWeb.

-- Jun

sakumeikan
11-25-2013, 05:01 PM
The sex/gender issue is a red herring, in my opinion. Precisely the same issue can arise if all the parties are male. My question concerns the instructor. In my own dojo I can immediately see how individual students do the waza and also how they generally interact with the other students in the dojo. In addition, the instructors actually practise with all the students, including ukemi. There is some discussion, but if I want to stop people talking too much, I tell them straight (you can do this very politely in Japanese). Does your instructor do this?

In addition, there is an assumption here about the value of verbally correcting mistakes. The assumption is that if someone sees another person practising the waza incorrectly, there is an obligation to point this out -- immediately and on the spot. This is clearly the case with the person with whom you are having trouble, but is it the case generally in the dojo? In Japan, such immediate verbal correction is less likely and it is quite possible for someone to be practicing the waza wrongly, but without any correction. As the chief instructor in my dojo, I often see people practising waza incorrectly, but it is quite another matter whether I should tell them so, or leave them to make corrections in their own time and in their own way.

I give seminars occasionally and am constantly surprised at the number of people, including 4th dan and above, who do not practice the waza in the way I have shown. Do they do this because they cannot perceive what I am doing, since their mental map of the waza does not allow for another way of doing it, or because they have already made a mental judgment that their way is better?

Since your aikido practice will be a lifelong activity, I am sure you will be faced with issues like this when you come to instruct classes.

Best wishes,
Hi Peter,
Surely if someone is doing a waza incorrectly the person will be embodying the wrong method of doing the waza? This in time would become habit forming and in my mind in a negative way.The guy having conditioned himself to doing incorrect waza then has to re programme himself over again.
Not only that surely you as the visiting instructor at a seminar have a duty to see /check that the students are doing what you show them rather than what they believe your demonstrating?What would be the point of inviting you to teach them if they carry on doing what they normally do?Seems a waste of valuable time money and human resources ie you.Hope you are well> Cheers, Joe.

NagaBaba
11-25-2013, 06:02 PM
As the chief instructor in my dojo, I often see people practising waza incorrectly, but it is quite another matter whether I should tell them so, or leave them to make corrections in their own time and in their own way.
Hello Peter,
Recently I was asking myself similar questions...
Could you explain please why don't you make corrections right away to avoid creation wrong automatism and also to avoid creation wrong waza example to other dojo members?


I give seminars occasionally and am constantly surprised at the number of people, including 4th dan and above, who do not practice the waza in the way I have shown. Do they do this because they cannot perceive what I am doing, since their mental map of the waza does not allow for another way of doing it, or because they have already made a mental judgment that their way is better?
Best wishes,
I personally have a lot of difficulties to change the automatic movements, I need minimum 1 some times 2 hours of practice to do a switch.
Also, if an instructor is from different style, often, most what he is doing has not much sens to me, because I don't understand the assumptions of his teaching system. This is very frustrating and not helping to easy absorb his teaching. On the other hand he has no time to explain it. So I'm not sure is it a good idea to follow such seminars...however it has as a consequence to close myself in my own style only...not good....

Peter Goldsbury
11-25-2013, 11:22 PM
Hi Peter,
Surely if someone is doing a waza incorrectly the person will be embodying the wrong method of doing the waza? This in time would become habit forming and in my mind in a negative way.The guy having conditioned himself to doing incorrect waza then has to re programme himself over again.
Not only that surely you as the visiting instructor at a seminar have a duty to see /check that the students are doing what you show them rather than what they believe your demonstrating?What would be the point of inviting you to teach them if they carry on doing what they normally do?Seems a waste of valuable time money and human resources ie you.Hope you are well> Cheers, Joe.

Hello Joe,

I practised once with two Japanese shihans (both 8th dan) on two different occasions for about one hour each time and there was hardly any verbal exchange at all. On many occasions the waza did not work, but I had to figure out for myself what was wrong. Both work-outs took place some years ago and I still remember them in some detail -- and incorporate some finer details in my own training.

Hope you are well.

Peter Goldsbury
11-25-2013, 11:44 PM
Hello Peter,
Recently I was asking myself similar questions...
Could you explain please why don't you make corrections right away to avoid creation wrong automatism and also to avoid creation wrong waza example to other dojo members?

Hello Szczepan,

Well, there is a context that I did not explain in detail: to have done so would have caused too much thread drift. The students are my own students, in the sense that they began their aikido in the dojo and have not trained anywhere else. However, I share the teaching with two colleagues, both of whom have had a different training history to mine. I know their teachers in the Aikikai Hombu and so I know exactly how they like to train. So there is a real sense in which we practice the waza correctly, but differently. Last Sunday I taught the class, but my two colleagues were also training. The pace was quite fast and I gave very little verbal explanation. The were twelve students present and every student practiced with everyone else, with all the instructors joining in. So each student had the challenge of coming as close as possible to the model shown, by me as instructor and by the other two instructors as partners, at any one time. So it would be pointless to stop the class and give a general explanation, since there was a wide level of approximation to the model. I should add that after showing a waza, I split the class occasionally and have the beginners practice together, slowly, and have the yudansha practice the waza at their level. The mistakes in this case are more subtle.

Best wishes,

PAG

Peter Goldsbury
11-26-2013, 12:15 AM
I personally have a lot of difficulties to change the automatic movements, I need minimum 1 some times 2 hours of practice to do a switch.
Also, if an instructor is from different style, often, most what he is doing has not much sens to me, because I don't understand the assumptions of his teaching system. This is very frustrating and not helping to easy absorb his teaching. On the other hand he has no time to explain it. So I'm not sure is it a good idea to follow such seminars...however it has as a consequence to close myself in my own style only...not good....

Hello Szczepan, again,

I do not give many seminars, partly because as I get older, I have more reluctance to travel long distances by air. However, I have taught in Europe for many years and know most of the yudansha who attend, but they see me only twice a year. I do not like Youtube or Facebook, and discourage students from relying on this medium at the expense of hands-on training. Some of the yudansha know me well enough to tell me. 'Peter, I did not see what you were doing just then...' It is usually a matter of smaller things that are harder to notice: how the hips are aligned, the position of the feet at any one point, how the hands move, where the elbows are. Yudansha should have an eye for such details, but beginners need more body education before they are in a position to recognize these details. I am fortunate to have / have had teachers like Yanaguchi, Arikawa, Tada, as well as my own resident teacher here, but it means I have had to be at least bilingual when it comes to communication by waza.

Best,

NagaBaba
11-26-2013, 10:53 PM
Hi Peter,
Thanks for explanations! I understand that practice with Japanese shihans is quite different that with occidental students. I'm also aware about different expectations to beginners and to more advanced students. I'm not sure Japanese teaching model provides good results in the West. I.e. S.Sugano sensei after many years of such teaching in Belgium switched to the teaching with a lot of explanations, not only technical but also spiritual(in Japanese sens), because he didn't see expected progress.

Going back to the topic - may be lack of explanations and too much freedom given to the students creates a greater opportunity to develop such pathological situation as is described in the beginning of the topic, where 1 kyu student doesn't have correct basics, and his advices are not welcomed by lower ranking students?

Mary Eastland
11-30-2013, 08:22 AM
I do wonder what the teacher of this class is doing while all these corrections are being made. I encourage students to stop talking and train. Nothing is gained by chatter...often it is way to avoid exercise.

Dalaran1991
11-30-2013, 12:24 PM
I wouldn't blame my own Sensei. Like I said she often comes and make corrections herself. And on many occasions she tells us straight up that it's better to shut up and train, and let the body corrects itself. But it's a large dojo full of young people, and even then some people seriously can't shut up when they see an opportunity to demonstrate their superiority. I see that in seminars too and not just my dojo.

Susan Dalton
12-01-2013, 03:36 PM
I am enjoying this discussion. Naga Baba, you raise an excellent point. Sometimes we are trying to do what is demonstrated, but something close and not quite it is in our body memory, and that's what we're doing. I remember a student in our dojo had come from the Yoshinkan tradition. Someone thought he was being disrespectful by not doing exactly what was being taught. But when I visit a different style, I have the same problem. I have to keep trying, which is why I like practicing sometimes with different styles. Doing so reminds me that aikido is about perseverance and overcoming my own frustration, even more than doing a perfect technique.

LuvAikido
12-01-2013, 10:18 PM
Omg lol.... I can relate to partner issue. I just started not even 6 ryu yet, but we have a noodle arms, where the kid just flops around and you don't even know if ur performing right. Then there is this guy every time I partner up with him he litterely beats me and I always have to start the technique with pleading that he does not actually punch me (dude this is not boxing!)..... Then we have a chatter box, he starts of every exercise with I am so tired I don't even care to do this so there (but what about me I care! I want to do this!)... Oh almost forgot there is a girl who has been there for 1 year and still does not know what proper hanmi is (or maybe she's pretending not to know, hmmm), and of course the guy who tells me to litterely punch him and abuse him in every possible way.... Lol

We do have many wonderful classmates though and sensei is always there to correct me and help me :)

PS - I think I must be known as the woman that can't roll ( but I do it anyway! I land on my shoulders, get up with a smile, get the "oksana make a circle" instruction from sencei, and keep going!)

Ok, back to the icepak on my shoulders...

Sojourner
12-10-2013, 08:54 PM
Long Trinh,

I am not trying to be rude or disrespectful here my friend, but how sure are you that she is not looking for a date? Often if someone feels attraction to someone else they will seek to engage them in conversation even if its negative simply to engage with that person. It can be a common thread in the begining of relationships.

hughrbeyer
12-10-2013, 10:11 PM
OMG. Please, someone tell me this is a troll.

lbb
12-11-2013, 10:17 AM
OMG. Please, someone tell me this is a troll.

This thread sure is bringing 'em out.

(edit: forum n00b)

sakumeikan
12-11-2013, 05:23 PM
This thread sure is bringing 'em out.

(edit: forum n00b)

Dear Mary,
If I read any more of this blog I think I will get Dog the Bounty Hunter to bring them in !! Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to one and all,

Cheers, Joe.

Rupert Atkinson
12-13-2013, 09:12 PM
I give seminars occasionally and am constantly surprised at the number of people, including 4th dan and above, who do not practice the waza in the way I have shown. Do they do this because they cannot perceive what I am doing, since their mental map of the waza does not allow for another way of doing it, or because they have already made a mental judgment that their way is better?

I remember a course with Chiba Sensei, about 1990 or so in Wales, in the UK. He showed a technique (it was a shiho-nage variant) and after awhile stopped everyone. He then asked a few seniors to demonstrate it and they all did something different. He went nuts and screamed at them. Then he showed the technique again and deja vu. I really enjoyed seeing senior teachers get a rollocking but I do not know why they could not copy what he was doing. He even said, while ridiculing them, that the white belts were trying to do what he had shown, and he had a pair demo it. He was mad as hell. Bizarre.

Lorien Lowe
12-24-2013, 08:56 PM
If she's busy 'instructing' someone else, she's neglecting her own training.

jadee
01-30-2014, 09:19 PM
Is it just me, am I too old fashioned, or is this not a breach of etiquette? When I started training (mid 90s - now recently back after 15 years of foolishly "focusing on career"...pbblt) it was made very clear that there is no place for debate on the mat, that each person's responsibility was to perform the waza as demonstrated as honestly as they were able... if someone disagrees with what the instructor is showing so strongly that they refuse to even try it, what are they doing in that instructor's class?

I've noticed the problem at seminars, too. Isn't the whole point of attending a seminar to get a glimpse at how someone else, highly regarded (why else would they be attracting people to a seminar?), performs? It seems as though there are a number of folks who look at a seminar as just a good excuse to get a concentrated block of mat time... given the number of high-level folks who are approaching the end of their teaching careers (at least to the extent of traveling to give seminars), what a lost opportunity...

In the spirit of "there is always something to learn", I usually try to respond to similar situations with my completely imperfect sense of etiquette, depending on duration of blab:

1. Short corrective comment: smile, bow, then continue training (hoping the silence rubs off)
2. Constantly breaking connection during technique to lecture: each time, work on driving the connection a little better such that uke cannot break connection to blab (assuming uke actually engendered a martial situation to start with, it is always something nage did or didn't do that allows the break - always something to work on).
3. Full-on soliloquy: re-establish ma-ai and practice projecting your intention as far out as you can, practice readiness (does not exclude also listening)...

Walter Martindale
02-04-2014, 05:19 AM
I remember a course with Chiba Sensei, about 1990 or so in Wales, in the UK. He showed a technique (it was a shiho-nage variant) and after awhile stopped everyone. He then asked a few seniors to demonstrate it and they all did something different. He went nuts and screamed at them. Then he showed the technique again and deja vu. I really enjoyed seeing senior teachers get a rollocking but I do not know why they could not copy what he was doing. He even said, while ridiculing them, that the white belts were trying to do what he had shown, and he had a pair demo it. He was mad as hell. Bizarre.

I saw the same from Kawahara sensei in more than one seminar in Canada. I used to watch very carefully to see what he was doing so I could at least attempt to do what he was doing, and remember on more than one occasion being "corrected" by others only to have the others rained upon from on high by Kawahara because the "corrections" were wrong..

john2054
02-12-2014, 10:23 AM
To the op, you could get them banned. That's what they did to me!

Dalaran1991
02-13-2014, 03:51 AM
After a few more incidents I'm starting to think people here got a point. There's something seriously wrong at our dojo.

I was training with a 6th kyu girl and had her locked in shihonage. She was really trying to get out of the lock and swung around to slap me. I put my other hand up to block her, but she swung back so hard she slammed into my hand and it turned into a huge slap. She broke down crying and her boyfriend came over to hit me.

A 5th kyu girl was working with a nidan girl. Every time the 5th kyu got the nidan in a shihonage the nidan just turned around in kaeshiwaza and strangled the 5th kyu in kubishime. 4 times in a row. It really frustrated and humiliated the 5th kyu.

I think that's masochistic. Like people said anyone can prevent an aikido technique if they know what to expect, much less a nidan against a 5th kyu. There's no training or teaching there. It's a power play.

And this nidan girl is also the Sensei's favorite. And she does nothing to prevent all this from happening.

An old friend of mine who used to be a regular in this dojo left because he found the ambiance too hypocritical and pervert. I didn't believe him at first when I was a noob, but now I'm starting to look for another dojo.

lbb
02-13-2014, 08:55 AM
Out of curiosity, how old are these people you're talking about? Are these all children or adolescents, possibly with some to-be-expected childish/adolescent behaviors? I ask because you refer to them all as "girls".

Mary Eastland
02-13-2014, 09:02 AM
I was going to ask the same question but then I said to myself "why bother"?

lbb
02-13-2014, 09:47 AM
I was going to ask the same question but then I said to myself "why bother"?

Either way, I think the answer might be illuminating/helpful. If OP is actually dealing with a pack of children or adolescents, that points to a different set of issues and solutions than if OP is dealing with adult female human beings.

Janet Rosen
02-13-2014, 10:41 AM
If things are as you describe, this is a dojo totally out of control, with no clear etiquette/behavioral expectations that provide the guideposts for safe, productive and respectful learning and training.

Mary Eastland
02-13-2014, 11:03 AM
From past posts I think it is women...and in response to Janet's post I would love to hear the "rest of the story".

PeterR
02-13-2014, 11:19 AM
Duct tape and ....

Oh wait that's kids.

Yes there is always more to the story.

Dalaran1991
02-13-2014, 11:45 AM
The youngest of us is 18 and the vast majority are within 23-40. The people involved and myself, we are all grad students. I don't have time for a full detailed answer right now, and I'm not even sure if "the rest" is of any importance. But I'll just say that things like this are not uncommon in the dojo. It simply took me a while to see that something is really wrong here.

lbb
02-13-2014, 11:55 AM
The youngest of us is 18 and the vast majority are within 23-40. The people involved and myself, we are all grad students. I don't have time for a full detailed answer right now, and I'm not even sure if "the rest" is of any importance. But I'll just say that things like this are not uncommon in the dojo. It simply took me a while to see that something is really wrong here.
That sounds like it's pretty messed up, then. I'd be moving on.

This is probably completely unrelated...but at your new dojo (assuming you move on to a new place), before referring to an adult female human being as a "girl", you might ask yourself if it would feel appropriate to call an adult male human being of the same age a "boy". Context is everything, of course, but calling a woman "girl" can come across as dismissive or disparaging even if that's not your intent.

Dalaran1991
02-13-2014, 05:14 PM
That sounds like it's pretty messed up, then. I'd be moving on.

This is probably completely unrelated...but at your new dojo (assuming you move on to a new place), before referring to an adult female human being as a "girl", you might ask yourself if it would feel appropriate to call an adult male human being of the same age a "boy". Context is everything, of course, but calling a woman "girl" can come across as dismissive or disparaging even if that's not your intent.

Yeah I'm moving on, before these bad behaviors start getting into me. Not just that but people were sleeping with each other left and right, and the drama which ensued is too distracting for training. Hopefully being at a new dojo where I know no one will help me to reachieve my balance with the art.

Funny, here in Paris people call each other girls and boys even up to their 40s :) Though even back in US I refer to women in their 20s as girls all the time, and they either call us boys or guys. I've never heard anyone referred to me or my buddies "this man" @@

Riai Maori
02-13-2014, 06:25 PM
Mate your not alone...First Kyu Shihan…7+years…

We have a female student (6 foot) who has been a first Kyu for the past 7 years and more. I have sat beside her on the mat and listened to her criticize and run down whoever is doing Randori. Training with her is a lecture on technique and NO it’s not done like that. At the moment I bite my bottom lip, out of due respect and her seniority within the club. I avoid her like the plague on the mat, but unfortunately sometimes this is not possible. I want to tell her…maybe you should focus more on yourself because that’s why you are stuck on first Kyu…shut up and train…how about reporting early for training to help set up the dojo mats cause you live the closest and I drive 45 minutes to the dojo, then set up the mats…The list goes on.

I don’t want to approach Sensei as he’s probably had the same story from someone else.

Edgecrusher
03-07-2014, 12:01 PM
Sometimes I find it hard to make the determination of what I need to do while working with someone who is considered "Irritating". Do I approach them privately and request that they take a break or do I resort to teaching the hard way? Case in point, a student who sometimes frequents our school while he is in town on business, drives me insane. Repeats everything that our Shihan says and really annoys me. I do my best to avoid him but, when I am squared off I do my best to work with and help with the techniques. One of the moves my Shihan taught was somewhat new and when he asked us to partner up, he mentioned take it slow, no speed. Since I am higher ranked I chose to go the slow speed route and do it correctly. This cat chose to damn near take my arm off and inflicted a lot of pain. After asking him several times to slow it down and not break my arm, he chose to continue at the speed he was not used to going. Well, when it was my turn I quickly took my advantage and he then learned how I achieved ikkyu. I got him in an arm-bar and kicked my feet out and down to the mat we went. since he was a couple of ranks below me I knew where he was with his ukemi and knew he could handle the fall. Everyone in the dojo saw it happen and when he tapped out, I saw many jaws on the floor when I released it and stood up. My Shihan said nothing and we discussed it after class. This is not something I normally condone however, in some instances it may be the right way. That judgement should be relied on by the other persons ability. If this man could not have handled the take down, it never would have happened as I would have walked off the mat.

Dalaran1991
03-20-2014, 06:53 AM
Actually I'm starting to think this is a problem with ego and immaturity.

There was this beginner girl (20 y o) who has only done Aiki in 3 months, though she did taekwondo before. My friend 1st kyu trained with her, and he forgot his hakama. The girl started lecturing him on how his stance is bad and how she could have kicked him with her taekwondo stuff. He just rolled his eyes, smirking. I couldn't resist "Bro, where's your hakama?" The girl's frozen on the spot.

lbb
03-20-2014, 07:50 AM
Maybe you should be looking at what's the common element in all these stories. Let me know what conclusions you come to.

Phil Van Treese
03-20-2014, 03:34 PM
The easiest way is to tell the irritating person that you don't appreciate his/her comments, keep them to his/herself and if they don't like that, explain that the doors work both ways, coming in and going out. Doesn't matter what rank they are---wrong is wrong. 1 person shouldn't disrupt the class but if there is one,or more, that do disrupt the class, then the sensei should have enough **** to ask them to either cool their jets or hit the road. I've had this problem a few times and I think they're still smarting from our "discussion". If you want, talk to the sensei by himself/herself and explain the situation and that should be the end of it.

mboogie
03-24-2014, 05:00 PM
I also have challenging ukes. Very long, very short, inflexible, stiff, grumpy, semi aggresive... and also the overly verbal one's. :)

I don't evade them because I think they can help me overcome my own limitations.

I have had a seriously irritating and scary uke one time. A new guy with ADHD (he said) and piercing eyes constantly telling everybody scary stuff about him training special forces in the military and doing very whacky things... (why?) I actualy think he has another mental problem. After a couple of weeks I noticed I didn't feel happy going to aikido practice because of him. And I also learned I wasn't alone. Then, I trained with him one time and he took of again with one of his penetrating speeches... and I had it... Calmly I said I wasn't interrested in his stories, didn't like it and just want to train the techniques. Then I asked him (rather nicely) if we can we do that? still willingly to train with him.

He backed down and seemed rather stressed about my remark. He didn't want to train with me anymore, which was ok with me. That was the last time I trained with him because the next week or so he didn't show up anymore. I don't know the reason why he stopped but I can't imagine that it was because of my remark.

I think giving him assertive feedback on his behaviour was the best thing I could do.

bogglefreak20
11-08-2014, 05:11 PM
The sex/gender issue is a red herring, in my opinion. Precisely the same issue can arise if all the parties are male.

Indeed! I have the same issue after recently recommencing my training after a couple of years off. When I first started training about 10 years ago the dojo etiquette with regard to no-talking-on-tatami policy was much more observed. A couple of words from senior aikidoka to beginners here and there were OK, but other than that everybody focused on practice, rather than talking and correcting colleagues. Explanations and corrections were reserved for sensei.

Personally I held my comments until either someone asked me my opinion or if someone was making a potentially harmful mistake with his technique (e.g. risking some joint injuries or something like that). And even when someone asked for my opinion, I preferred to just encourage them to train with patience and figure it out unless they insisted.

However, during these couple of years of my absence the climate seems to have changed. I see a lot of people discussing their movement rather than practising the techniques. And one guy in particular seems very keen on dispensing his knowledge or lack thereof on others, mostly the people he considers his junior by experience. He's extremely confident about his knowledge and even skips his role as nage saying he "already knows this one". I don't know how long he's been training or what grade he holds. To me it doesn't matter, it never did. I haven't seen this kind of attitude from anyone else so far, even from senior aikidoka who really do know their stuff (you know, the ones you kind of enjoy being thrown all over the place by, because the movement is so flowing and unpretentious). :)

Anyway, I'll try and speak my mind politely to him. I'd like him to know I prefer to learn by practice rather than by explanation. I need to feel in order to learn. Words are not enough.

Mark Mueller
11-09-2014, 07:24 AM
I think giving him assertive feedback on his behaviour was the best thing I could do.

Excellent Verbal Irimi-nage...

tlk52
11-13-2014, 11:00 AM
"Now I just wonder, have you encountered something like this personally?"

oh, many many times.

but it's a complex issue as to when it's appropriate for the instructor to step into dojo conflicts. a large strong person beating up a weak person, or someone really physically endangering others regularly, is obvious but just being annoying....is a different thing.

I read that when 2nd Doshu K. Ueshiba was asked why he let some of the conflicts on the mat go on without stepping in he replied something to the effect that some people need enemies.

the mat is a microcosm of the rest of life

kewms
11-16-2014, 11:06 PM
but it's a complex issue as to when it's appropriate for the instructor to step into dojo conflicts. a large strong person beating up a weak person, or someone really physically endangering others regularly, is obvious but just being annoying....is a different thing.

This is true. These are adult students, not children, and adults are supposed to be able to handle interpersonal conflict. Or if they can't, martial arts are supposed to help them learn.

There are also ways in which an instructor can intervene without seeming to do so. Simply asking the entire class to change partners, for instance. Or having the offending partner attempt the technique with the instructor, thereby demonstrating that no, his technique isn't actually as good as he thinks it is. Or partnering the offender with one of the senior students for an extended period, with the same result. In my experience it would be fairly rare for an instructor to overtly "lay down the law" unless there were a safety issue.

Katherine

lifestylemanoz
11-21-2014, 09:46 PM
I think everyone is in agreement that this is poor form and not tolerated in most dojos. And what a great opportunity to learn about one's own patience. Moreover, what a great challenge to turn around the situation. If I draw on Sales training, you would use reflective listening. In other words, repeat back verbatim, what she/he has just said. This will at least validate them. Perhaps take this one step further and ask for more detail to test whether they are confident in their assessment. This may kill the problem quickly.

It is entirely possible that you are paying the price for some other baggage they are carrying around or perhaps they see you as a threat. That thought begs the question, is it only you or does this happen to other people?

And, just to reassure you, this HAS happened to me on a number of occasions and quite often the person is WAAAAY off the mark in terms of what we were doing.

Hope your situation improves...

fatebass21
12-09-2014, 06:41 PM
We cannot control other people. We can only control ourselves. Human relations are the most important, and the most difficult, part of aikido. Some people are easy to train with. Probably, really, they don't need aikido. But most of us do. We need to work with other people so we can figure out how to be decent human beings. Blaming uke is always easier than taking a clear-eyed look at our own shortcomings. Work with the people you find most difficult until you get your "stuff" worked out. It's hard, I know.

I second what Susan said here.

Also, kill her with kindness and she will eventually move on to the next victim.

john2054
06-24-2015, 02:52 PM
It's a good job we are all winners in here then huh? and a good job we all have our self respect. even if not all of us have a clear martial/medical/criminal record. For those of us who are in the clear, and have never had to deal with one of these 'problem students' carry on. But for the rest of us, perhaps the minority, who have had to deal with people like this either in our own or our families lives, i have this word of advice... One of Aikido's founding fathers used to travel the land, challenging people to fights, and defeating whom so ever he may. This is the vein which i like to think myself in.

And yesterday i told my wife . 'I want to save the world'. Her reply was 'how can you do that, if you cannot save yourself?' Which is a good point, is mute. Because i worry about others first. My dojo is the world, and my style, well that is confidential. Let's just call it Budo. If any of these words offend you, feel happy to shoot yourself in the head, okay? thanks John. PS or if you don't live in the US, then feel free to walk in front of a fast moving vehicle. This should do the same thing. Thanks again.

nikyu62
06-26-2015, 03:17 PM
I can see now why you have been banned in so many places.

Riai Maori
07-08-2015, 07:05 PM
....

Tim Ruijs
07-09-2015, 06:40 AM
Long Trinh,

The way we practise is to learn global shape/flow first. At this stage, aite should not block the movement. Only when both aite and tori get a basic understanding of this, you put your attention to details and investigate the boundaries of the technique.
When your partner does not do this, she is not helping you (or herself for that matter).
Try to get across: the way we try to practise together like this does not work (yet).
As always ask your teacher to help out...

We tend to allow our friends to make more mistakes than others on the tatami, which is of course wrong. When the other party proves stubborn, stop practising with that person, even if it is a friend....