View Full Version : Dojo Hypnotism

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07-08-2003, 11:37 AM
I spend a lot of time visiting and training at different schools. I have noticed from time to time that some schools exhibit a kind of "dojo hypnotism".

This is where the instructors and other students can perform the techniques on each other easily, but, have a hard time with people from other schools.

My questions are:

1) Have you seen this? If so, do you think it is soley an issue with uke not giving proper energy...or is it ineffectiveness by nage.

2) How do you defend against such a thing happening in your school? What mindset do you instill in your students. And how do you as an instructor keep from falling into this trap.

I have been aware of this issue for some years now and think I have it licked in our schools. I would just like to know how others have dealt with this issue.

Janet Rosen
07-08-2003, 12:34 PM
I think its a natural outgrowth of any dojo, regardless of "style" or affiliation, that relies on totally kata-like training methods in which there is only one right way to do a given technique and one right way to do the ukemi for a given technique.

Jesse Lee
07-08-2003, 12:42 PM
Really interesting question!

A few days ago, I was training with a friend who started at the dojo where I train, then he moved and went looking for another dojo. He went to a few that saw his waza and said, "Stop, you are doing it wrong. Do it this way."

He went to one (within ASU) where they all said, "Wow, you trained with so-and-so, show us how you folks do it. BTW, this is how we do it." He appreciated their open-mindedness and their desire to see what other flavors are out there, and he stayed.

Maybe a good guage for our dojos is the degree to which we welcome different flavors of the same waza. Maybe teachers can preserve the spirit Michael is looking for by drawing out what is new and different, r/t shutting it down only *because* it is new and different.

07-08-2003, 11:35 PM
I stress alot of shinden fudo ryu "school of natural movement" in our aikido. Make it work for everyone on an individual basis. Sure, the principles remain the same. But, how we get to understand them is an uniquely personal thing.

If a technique isn't working for someone, I like for them to think about it in a succession of 4 different ways (components of mind/body unification--from Koichi Tohei Sensei)until it works. This seems to help them work through their individual barriers. If you have one, you automatically have them all.

I believe that as long as you adhere to the principles of Aikido, it will work.

Hopefully we'll here more from other individuals.

07-09-2003, 03:41 AM
Michael, you just have to ask the toughies don't you...

1. Not only seen it happen, but unfortunately was a victim of it recently. Not the fault of the uke, just me being a klutz and falling into the "assumptions trap" - worked it on through with the person to find out where I was failing, but it was a useful wake-up call.

2. Hopefully instill a better mind-set than the one I was showing that day. Main things we do is to introduce levels of resistance into kata and randori and allow any outre attack the uke wants to use. If someone from another style trains with us, we try to teach them how we do it, but always leave time for them to show us what comes naturally for them and definitely don't say that "they're wrong". Finally, the only real crash and burn (even in grading)with us is to stop in the middle of a technique because its "not working" - if that one isn't find one that does.

On other thing many of our dan grades do is actively seek out seminars run by other associations (and other ma) or even go on a little wander round nearby dojos (and yes, I think part of my problem is I've stopped doing this for a few years)

Any other tips happily invited.

07-09-2003, 05:26 AM
2) How do you defend against such a thing happening in your school? What mindset do you instill in your students. And how do you as an instructor keep from falling into this trap.

I strongly feel that this will happen to any school if there is "one and only one" way to perform a given technique, or if there are a myriad of variations allowed if kata training is the only method used. In contrast, I have never seen "dojo hypnotism" in any school where there was some form of dynamic training.



Alec Corper
07-23-2003, 11:34 AM
Dead right! it happens all the time, and, IMHO, in every dojo to some extent.

1. The problem is usually both, so its a great experience to work with. Trying to muscle the technique is the wrong response, as is telling uke to "attack" properly.

2.Send your students to other dojos, seminars, etc. Do the same yourself.

07-24-2003, 04:48 AM
My understanding is that the closer you come to shodan the more seminars you start attending, more chasing senseis around the place, more mixing with different Aikido people.