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stern9631
11-17-2004, 10:02 AM
:rolleyes: Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required. :p

jonreading
11-17-2004, 10:37 AM
I once helped orient a new student to aikido class. The student was having difficulty with simple moves and I dedicated a whole class to helping them. When we were in the locker room later, I found out he had served and taught in the special forces. I can only imagine what he could have done to me in "freestyle" training.

That said, I feel that when training in aikido, senior students should usually have the upper hand in freestyle training, but expect to see a exceptional aikidoka occassionally though that will be overqualified for their belt. As with all physical contests, there will always be athletes that are superior. You can't forget about the wisdom of experience and the spirit of the student though. I have seen aikidoka with physical disabilities that prevent them from fighting effectively, but their spirit and wisdom are superior.

I don't think it necessarily prudent to judge skill based on one encounter, nor do I think it should relate to the validity of their rank. But I see where you are going and I do think that sempai(especially dan rank) should be capable of taking care of themselves in most cases when working with kohei, both physically and spiritually.

SeiserL
11-17-2004, 11:37 AM
IMHO, any senior student is good within the box they have studied. Step outside that box and it becomes a very different story. Training does not always generalize outside the box. That's why I encourage cross-training. Dominance will alwasy go to the better trained and determined person at that range or within that specific box.

aikidoc
11-17-2004, 11:46 AM
There are other issues as well: age, injuries and the nature of the encounter.

Chuck.Gordon
11-17-2004, 12:05 PM
Umm, and why would a junior be TRYING to dominate a senior? Is said junior trying to learn somethign or trying to compare, um, anatomical appendages ...

Seriously, why is it important. Doing budo ain't about combat effectiveness.

No, really.

Budo is about living. You wanna learn combat effective stuff? Come visit and I'll introduce you to the folks I work with ... infantry grunts, cannon cockers, armor dogs, SpecOps guys ... you know, The folks who go looking for bullets for a living.

We had a memorial service for four of them here today.

Kevin, you out there? Kevin Leavitt's got some very good ideas about how aikido fits into the combative specturm.

Combat effective. What a joke.

Get a life, son. No, really. And go do something useful with it.

Chuck

stern9631
11-17-2004, 12:29 PM
Kevin Leavitt's got some very good ideas about how aikido fits into the combative specturm.

Combat effective. What a joke.

Get a life, son. No, really. And go do something useful with it.

Chuck

??

Janet Rosen
11-17-2004, 12:59 PM
:rolleyes: Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid?
Huh?
So you think ranking in aikido is not by each separate individual meeting a chief instructor's standard, but by who can "outperform" who, so that ranking should change day by day?

stern9631
11-17-2004, 01:12 PM
Huh?
So you think ranking in aikido is not by each separate individual meeting a chief instructor's standard, but by who can "outperform" who, so that ranking should change day by day?

No, not really. I was just kinda wondering if anyone thought that there should be an expectation that a brown belt or a black belt should be able to outperform a beginning or intermediate student in a freestyle practice.

I understand that there is a continuum of skill among people of the same rank and between ranks and that people have good days and bad days. As long as the expectations are the same for everyone then that's cool.

kironin
11-17-2004, 02:25 PM
Exactly. bears repeating many times.


Umm, and why would a junior be TRYING to dominate a senior? Is said junior trying to learn somethign or trying to compare, um, anatomical appendages ...

Seriously, why is it important. Doing budo ain't about combat effectiveness.

No, really.

Budo is about living. You wanna learn combat effective stuff? Come visit and I'll introduce you to the folks I work with ... infantry grunts, cannon cockers, armor dogs, SpecOps guys ... you know, The folks who go looking for bullets for a living.

We had a memorial service for four of them here today.

Kevin, you out there? Kevin Leavitt's got some very good ideas about how aikido fits into the combative specturm.

Combat effective. What a joke.

Get a life, son. No, really. And go do something useful with it.

Chuck

stern9631
11-17-2004, 04:53 PM
Um, I guess I'm not talking about Budo. I must be talking about something else, so any response dealing with that "something else" are great and everything else ---just ignore this thread.

L. Camejo
11-17-2004, 07:12 PM
Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice?

You should not be able to - all things being equal. But since things are not always equal it can depend on a lot of elements regarding the beginner's instinctive skills that can be applied to Aikido freestyle practice, as well as how much the senior student is also holding back since it is practice after all. However all involved must remember that freestyle is still practice and not a free for all. In the case of the latter, both people involved can use whatever means is necessary to win/survive. Of course at this point you have left Aikido or Budo training and entered the realm of plain fighting.

And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required. :p

Performance in freeplay in no way invalidates rank. After throwing my instructor I often remember him indicating to me that he in fact allowed me execute some techniques when we do full resistance randori to build my confidence in randori. As a result I was later able to feel on the very very rare occasion when I may have actually got a couple off without his relaxing his skill level to allow me to get off the technique. These were highly rare occasions though and one could feel the difference.

Regardless of how well you perform one day in freeplay it does not negate the years of training and ability that your partner possesses. Personally any time one of my students get cocky because I let him throw me a couple of times during freeplay, I tend to remind him very painfully if he tries to go throwing his weight around on others in the class (I've had one or two of those). There are even those that I just don't respond to, since the response would probably land em in the hospital. I merely smile and walk away. For those who know me from experience, they know what that smile means. evileyes

Training is not competition. Competition is about better understanding oneself, not about seeing who is better and as Chuck said "comparing anatomical appendages". Not a good idea to confuse the dojo with the hard truths that lie outside the rules and protection of the mat.

LC:ai::ki:

Nick P.
11-17-2004, 07:36 PM
:rolleyes: Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice?

Yes: Only then will the true mysteries of the universe reveal themselves to you as you tower of their crushed body.
No: They obviously have mastered said mysteries, and you are less than dirt.

And if you can is their rank valid?

Yes: They likely rendered your fists bloody with their face, showing their true oneness with the universe.
No: You surely are The Chosen One, The Taker of Rank, The Prince of De-ranking, The...

I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required. :p

Ohhh, Ai-Ki-Combat: down the hall, 2nd left.
I train to satisfy my expectations: who's are you pursuing, exactly?

Chad Sloman
11-17-2004, 07:53 PM
Aikido is Budo

Chad Sloman
11-17-2004, 07:56 PM
BTW my limited understanding leads me to believe that ranking is just an indicator as to basic understanding and mastery of certain techniques in the curriculum. IOW most of us don't train to compete or best others, but to just get better at Aikido in of itself.

stern9631
11-17-2004, 08:38 PM
You should not be able to - all things being equal. But since things are not always equal it can depend on a lot of elements regarding the beginner's instinctive skills that can be applied to Aikido freestyle practice, as well as how much the senior student is also holding back since it is practice after all. However all involved must remember that freestyle is still practice and not a free for all. In the case of the latter, both people involved can use whatever means is necessary to win/survive. Of course at this point you have left Aikido or Budo training and entered the realm of plain fighting.



Performance in freeplay in no way invalidates rank. After throwing my instructor I often remember him indicating to me that he in fact allowed me execute some techniques when we do full resistance randori to build my confidence in randori. As a result I was later able to feel on the very very rare occasion when I may have actually got a couple off without his relaxing his skill level to allow me to get off the technique. These were highly rare occasions though and one could feel the difference.

Regardless of how well you perform one day in freeplay it does not negate the years of training and ability that your partner possesses. Personally any time one of my students get cocky because I let him throw me a couple of times during freeplay, I tend to remind him very painfully if he tries to go throwing his weight around on others in the class (I've had one or two of those). There are even those that I just don't respond to, since the response would probably land em in the hospital. I merely smile and walk away. For those who know me from experience, they know what that smile means. evileyes

Training is not competition. Competition is about better understanding oneself, not about seeing who is better and as Chuck said "comparing anatomical appendages". Not a good idea to confuse the dojo with the hard truths that lie outside the rules and protection of the mat.

LC:ai::ki:

Very enlightening... Thank you.

stern9631
11-17-2004, 08:42 PM
Yes: Only then will the true mysteries of the universe reveal themselves to you as you tower of their crushed body.
No: They obviously have mastered said mysteries, and you are less than dirt.



Yes: They likely rendered your fists bloody with their face, showing their true oneness with the universe.
No: You surely are The Chosen One, The Taker of Rank, The Prince of De-ranking, The...



Ohhh, Ai-Ki-Combat: down the hall, 2nd left.
I train to satisfy my expectations: who's are you pursuing, exactly?


NICE! :) :)

Lyle Laizure
11-17-2004, 09:03 PM
Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required.
I would say that there is not enough information given here. What kind of rules are you putting into the scenario. Any rules limiting the ability of the defender to defend will make the results insignificant.

Jonathan Punt
11-18-2004, 06:38 AM
:rolleyes: And if you can is their rank valid? :p


You worry about your rank, and let them worry about theirs.

What do you think they are learning when you 'dominate' them? Only that you arent a lot of fun to practice with.

Try ying and yang, a bit of give and take, you both might learn something.....

happysod
11-18-2004, 06:55 AM
Just to go against the flow slightly, I would expect a person to get better at being able to defend themselves as they progress in rank. However, I would be comparing this person against themselves at a previous level rather than against their sparring partner.

If someone progresses in rank but still retained all the ineptitude they showed as a beginner, I'd seriously question what I was teaching and what we were measuring.

Charles Hill
11-18-2004, 06:15 PM
However, I would be comparing this person against themselves at a previous level rather than against their sparring partner.

Hi Ian,

So do you think that rank should be indicative of subjective personal growth as opposed to a dojo-wide or federation wide standard?

Charles Hill

bob_stra
11-19-2004, 10:28 AM
You're making some assumptions abt what a black belt means. Here's a fun article. (Note: in BJJ, blue belt is the equivalent "holy grail")

*******************

Her's the link www.royharris.com

Belt ranks within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Within the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community, many students look at the color of a person's belt and immediately expect a certain skill level. While this person may be at the skill level, you may find, at times, that people will not always be at the level of their belt. Let me tell you why.

For starters, let's say a person wears a blue belt. What exactly does that mean? Do you know? Do your fellow classmates know? Can you or your training partners take a guess? And, if you take a guess, will you all say the same things?

If you are like most people, you know that there are no standards within our community. Sometimes, there isn't even a standard with some instructors because they base their promotions on how they "feel." And, since there are no standards, who can really pin down what a blue belt represents?

Next, there's the issue of experience. When a person wears a blue belt, it shows nothing of their experience. All it shows is that they passed a belt examination at one time or another. Let me give you some examples to illustrate a point:

1. Joe wears a blue belt. You grapple with him and he smokes you like a Cuban cigar. You ask him about his training and you find out the following: A) He has been training in BJJ for six years. B) Before he came to BJJ, he had a seven year wrestling background. C) He works out seven days a week. He runs three miles, swims a half mile in open water, trains with weights and performs calisthenics for two hours each and every day.

2. Rick wears a blue belt. You grapple with him and are able to hold your own. You ask him about his training and he tells you that he began his training six years ago. However, because of a car accident, he is just making his way back to BJJ. He feels out of shape and tells you his timing is gone. He has a wife and two kids, and is only able to train twice a week. He works as a computer programmer, 50+ hours per week and only works out when he comes to BJJ class.

3. John wears a blue belt. He was recently promoted to blue belt. He is not able to make you tap. He moves so fast and explosive that it is difficult for you to control him. Plus, you have difficulty submitting him. You ask him about his training and he tells you he has been training for about nine months. He has a wrestling background, works out twice a week and trains BJJ four times a week.

4. Alex wears a blue belt. You grapple with him and are able to repeatedly submit him. You ask him about his experience and he tells you that he has been training BJJ for about three years. He says he struggles with the idea of getting hurt again. You see, he got his arm broke by Joe about a year ago. Since that time, he has been very leary of hard grappling. He always grapples light and when he sense he is in danger, he taps very quickly. You tell him to go harder, but he can not pull himself to do it. He is gun shy!

5. Sheila wears a blue belt. You grapple with her and she taps you twice for every time your tap her.You ask her about her training and she tells you that she has been grappling on and off for six years. She trains pretty muchevery day of the week, sometimes even twice a day. He training partners are all men and outweigh her by 40 to 90 pounds. You can get her in a submission once every class, but you have to use so much strength and speed to get the tap (even though you outweigh her by 60 pounds) that you have to rest after your match with her.

All five of these people wear a blue belt, yet each one of them has a different experience. Also, your experience with each of them was different.
Remember this when you see, meet and grapple with someone who wears a certain belt color. The color of the belt means little. The level of experience and the current level of fitness mean so much more!

Remember this!
Good training to you,
Roy Harris
www.royharris.com
****************************

happysod
11-19-2004, 11:00 AM
Charles, I'd expect ability at aikido to be federation wide, but on the subject of sparring I'd look at the individual. I'd hope the two went hand in hand, but - as ahs been stated previously - many are in aikido for aikido, not fighting.

(As an aiki-fruitie, we often get students who have no aggressive bone in their body, they can effortlessly gain confidence in their technique, but as soon as you attack them like a loon they lose it.)

rachel
11-19-2004, 11:29 AM
In Aikido training, your responsibility is to learn, not to compare yourself with others. Many times, even though you might not know it, your senpai might be trying to teach you something, and sometimes, you might feel that you are better than them. In that case, you might not have understood what it is that they were showing you. If you do not think too deeply into it, and just enjoy the training, something might occur to you. I began Aikido as a very young child. As a child, I was competitive, and I wanted to be better than all of the other kids. Rank meant everything. Now I am an adult, and I understand more deeply that your rank isn't what's important, who you are and what you've learned is.

Kevin Leavitt
11-19-2004, 11:52 AM
Lots of others have said many things already that I cannot expand on for sure!

Aikido seems to bring issues to the surface about competition and effectiveness. I too have had the same questions over the years. I think it is natural to ask these questions and aikido by its nature makes them come to the surface.

I can tell you that aikido has made me a better person in many ways. It has also made me a very effective martial artist. That said, I have done many other things as well to make myself a good martial artist and person. Read Book of Five Rings....you have to do many things in order to be good at what you do.

I will tell you while I consider myself to be a pretty darn good fighter, I am a novice in many respects when it comes to aikido. I would never waste my time with an instructor that I do not respect and feel I have something to learn from...but that does not mean that I cannot kick the crap out of him. But why would I?

There is a respect in the dojo that must be maintained between students and instructors for the learning dynamic to work.

On rank, I just ordered a japanese kimono obi with a nice pattern on it, in a color that does not even look like anything resembling rank. Why? One I like the looks of it. Two, it is philosophical, I do not wish to be labeled a beginner or a "black belt". It does not matter...it is simply something to keep your gi closed.

jester
11-19-2004, 12:01 PM
When I was younger, I was an M1-tanker in the ARMY.

I was only a Specialist at the time, and I was on the Platoon Sargent's Tank. We had a 3 man crew (a normal crew is 4 men). Anyway, we used to get all of the new Lieutenants on our tank to let them get some training in.

All but one Lieutenant, that we had on our tank, was a total numb skull. They had a tremendous amount of book smarts, but limited hands on training, so they performed really bad. They got confused, and couldn't make pressure judgments.

I, being a Specialist, was way more qualified on every aspect of that tank at a crew and platoon level, but the Lieutenant out ranked everyone in our platoon.

Given a little time though, they all went on to become really competent and because of their previous studies, became great strategists as well.

So what are you really comparing? Their overall knowledge or their technical prowess? People focus on different things at different times. You just have to trust the instructor to make the correct promotion choices.

Chuck.Gordon
11-20-2004, 01:17 PM
All but one Lieutenant, that we had on our tank, was a total numb skull.

What? You mean there are lieutenants who AREN'T idiots???

That's illegal ain't it?

(Waves at Kevin)

Lieutenents are a lot like shodans ...

In SO many ways.

Chuck

rachel
11-23-2004, 04:00 AM
Lieutenents are a lot like shodans ...

In SO many ways.

What on earth does that mean?

Chuck.Gordon
11-23-2004, 04:56 AM
What on earth does that mean?

Both tend to have inflated ideas of their own knowledge and importance ...

Chuck

rachel
11-23-2004, 09:21 AM
Both tend to have inflated ideas of their own knowledge and importance ...

Chuck
I'm glad you said 'tend to.' I'm am shodan and I, for one, I know that there is a lot that I still need to learn. :)

Chuck.Gordon
11-23-2004, 09:23 AM
I'm glad you said 'tend to.' I'm am shodan and I, for one, I know that there is a lot that I still need to learn. :)

Congratulations (now get back to training)!

Seriously, there are some good LTs in the world, too ... just too damn few of them.

:D

Chuck

rachel
11-23-2004, 09:30 AM
... just too damn few of them.

:D

Chuck

I hear that!

flashdragoon
10-15-2005, 08:11 PM
just to add another perspective and jsut so I dont get slammed by the senior students myself lemme make this very clear I jsut started Aikido 3 weeks ago, but I think if you can dominate a senior student that does not neccissarily mean your better, O Sensei taught that there is no opponent, we are only fighting ourselves, so in essence you could possibly be very intune with this principle?

mathewjgano
10-15-2005, 10:36 PM
:rolleyes: Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required. :p
Depends on a number of factors I think. My shortest response is, "no." However, I think it depends on what the senior student is trying to do. I know in the past I have purposefully limited my available responses and I have operated on a "half-intention" mode where i was slowing down my reaction time to give uke/nage a sense of how to apply a technique or to give more opportunity to think about how to counter mine.
In one situation we had a "new" student ask about how to respond to a grab from behind around the waist. The instructor invited the student to help him demonstrate it. It took a bit of time for the instructor to figure it out, and in this sense the student dominated him. However, the instructor was thinking while this happened. After a second or two I saw him shut off his mind and feel his way through the situation and quickly the student was pinned to the ground where he could have been struck several times in a number of places.
I think everyone has some aspect of their training which needs improvement and sometimes, even though one person may be vastly superior in general ability, the generally weaker student might be equal, or slightly better in the specific area one moment may pertain to. Then again, we all have brain-farts!
However, generally speaking, if someone is able to dominate another on a regular basis, they by definition have higher ability, generally speaking. Rank, in and of itself, means very little. I would go on to say that the difference between, say, a 5th kyu and a 4th kyu is relatively small and may at times be meaningless, but that the difference between 1st dan and 5th kyu, for example, should be quite pronounced and always meaningfull. If a sandan karateka trains in aikido and is the kohai of a nikyu aikidoka, this is a valid relationship in that the sempai will (likely) understand how to articulate aikido better. When the two students interact outisde the aikido sphere, the sempai-kohai relationship changes accordingly.
Sorry for my lack of concise rhetoric. Hope my two cents made sense.
Take care,
Matt

mathewjgano
10-15-2005, 11:21 PM
Seriously, why is it important. Doing budo ain't about combat effectiveness.No, really. Budo is about living.

Does living sometimes include combat? I'd say, using your definition of Budo, that Budo would have to include combat effectiveness of some sort, but that's not the issue at hand...is it? Isn't the question about rank and general ability within the scope of Aikido?

You wanna learn combat effective stuff? Come visit and I'll introduce you to the folks I work with ... infantry grunts, cannon cockers, armor dogs, SpecOps guys ... you know, The folks who go looking for bullets for a living.

I'd love to train with specialists such as these (except for the cannon cockers and armor dogs since I doubt I'll ever use devices of that variety in any way shape or form). I was able to train briefly with an Army Ranger and it was illuminating. I can only imagine if it had been for a longer period of time I would have learned much more.

Combat effective. What a joke.

Seems to me this guy was asking about an on-the-mat situation pertaining to rank, not about "combat effectiveness," so how does your remark relate to the actual situation described?

Get a life, son. No, really. And go do something useful with it.
Good advice for all of us. Maybe to you this question seems trite, and i commend you for your apparently superior grasp of this, but some of us find this question usefull to think about and still have to figure that out.
Take care, pops,
Matt

Lorien Lowe
10-15-2005, 11:43 PM
There's an old guy that I train with fairly often - former judoka, not a single good joint left in his body. He's stiff as a board, and has terrible balance; I work on flow when I take ukemi for him, rather than trying to resist, and when he throws me I fling myself as far as I can go because I don't want him to fall on me (it has happened before, to me and to several other people). Furthermore, I often don't complete my techniques, or fully take his balance and stretch him out, because I'm afraid of hurting him. He often throws in extra punches to show me that I'm open. He also 'helps' me by telling me how to do technique sometimes. He's a 6th kyu, I'm a full-of-my-new-rank shodan.

Now, between the openings that I show, and the easy, dramatic ukemi I take, who's dominating whom?

Mark Uttech
10-16-2005, 04:37 AM
Always studying, never fighting. Study as though everything is a reflection of yourself. In gassho

gstevens
10-16-2005, 10:04 AM
We have had some new students in our dojo that would probably say that they are more effective and can take most of their sempies. I find it a kind of ironic situation.....For instance:

I worked with one of these students, (usually they are adolescent males).

This one in particular was always trying to point out my "openings" as he saw them. Never once did he concentrate on his Ukemi. This got kind of humorous. His techniques involved no feet movement when he was nage, and very little when Uke. I would work patiently on getting to the point just before I took his balance. Had I continued, I know he would have landed on his head, face, or some other sensitive part.

Every time that I would allow him the time he needed to collect himself and get ready to fall without injury, he would make an ineffective punch. (How good are you at punching through your outstretched underarm in Ikkyo)? This went on for a while eventually he commented that I needed to close up my openings, that he felt my technique was leaving me in danger.

I stifled three reactions which simultaneously arose in me. One was to belly laugh till I fell over. Another was to flow him completely to the mat on the next round without stopping so he could collect himself. The third was to show him what an opening really looked like next time he was Nage.

Pre aikido days I would have probably done all three. Instead I just smiled, and kept training. When he would throw out a punch, I would take his balance just enough so he thought about the mat instead of me. This was a really really hard exercise for me, getting the balance just right FOR HIM. However it was wonderful, I worked on connection, on knowing from his muscle tension how comfortable he felt.

At the end of the day I am sure that he felt he "HAD ME" that he could "Take Me", and that I was not as big and mean a dog as I looked.

How was my Aikido that day on the mat. Probably some of the best that I have done so far.

Guy
:-)

Ron Tisdale
10-17-2005, 07:42 AM
Excellent post Guy. Sometimes it's *really* hard to do good aikido... ;)

Best,
Ron

djalley
10-17-2005, 10:44 AM
:rolleyes: Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required. :p

I suspect that somewhere out there is an Uke getting an affirming nod from his instructor for taking some sloppy, aggressive, abrupt techniques and flowing with them enough not to get hurt and not hurting you.

You may think you dominated. In time you may think differently. Should you continue on your path in Aikido you may one day give some poor new Shite the same feeling of empowerment. Then you too will get the affirming nod from your instructor for taking such technique safely to yourself and others.

And when you see that nod, you'll have come full circle.

:ai: D

ChrisHein
10-17-2005, 11:08 AM
Dominate?
I don't think any of us should be thinking about dominating while doing Aikido of all things. Does the senior student have better technique then you? How do you know this? Do you have good enough technique to know what good technique is? Aikido free practice is not a fight. In fights people who have never done Aikido often times beat up people who do practice Aikido. Some times if fights people who know nothing also beat up, boxers, wrestlers, judoka, kendoka, etc. etc. etc.....Fights are different then the practice of a martial art.

Aikido free practice (I assume you are talking about a Jiyu waza of some sort) is not so free...GASP...it's actually a structured practice, where people try and practice their Aikido techniques with more spontaneity. It's also a cooperative practice (not a fight) in a cooperative practice both sides have to do their part of the practice for the practice to work (thus cooperative). If you do something weird on your part, then he cannot perform on his.

If you got in a fight with the senior student you also might beat him at that. That doesn't mean he's not good at Aikido. Winning a fight only means you are a better fighter (or more athletic, or felt better that day, or had a weapon, or....). The study of a martial art will not insure that you never lose a fight again.

So if you mean you are dominating a cooperative practice, I don't think you understand the practice of Aikido (or cooperation). If you mean you are dominating a fight, we don't fight in Aikido. In Aikido we work together to learn technique, and other good stuff.

-Chris Hein

Pauliina Lievonen
10-17-2005, 05:48 PM
I do think there's something between cooperative practice and fighting where it's possible to talk about dominating. It doesn't mean that one party "looses" and the other "wins" but there are a few dojomates who when we work more freely, clearly have the upper hand. They have their balance more often than I have mine, and they have mine more often than I have theirs, and basically they have more chances of determining what is going on than I have. I would be happy to call that "dominating". Some of these dojomates are junior to me in rank. :)

kvaak
Pauliina

ChrisHein
10-17-2005, 11:55 PM
Who dominates when you dance?'
The male usually takes the role of nage, and the female the role of uke, but no one dominates.

"basically they have more chances of determining what is going on than I have"
If you are playing the role of uke, then your job is predetermined, you fall down when thrown.
If you are playing the role of nage, then your predetermined job is to try and throw.

-Chris Hein

Pauliina Lievonen
10-18-2005, 04:54 AM
I was talking about training situations where we haven't pre-determined who is going to be uke and who is going to be nage. I understood that to be the original posters idea as well.

As to dancing... we seem to use "dominate" slightly differently. I would have been happy to say that the male in your example "dominates" the situation, as well.

kvaak
Pauliina

gstevens
10-18-2005, 07:58 AM
Really Ginger Rogers never used that word in any interviews that I have seen. If you watch her on the screen, I don't think it would be on my top list of words to pick from. As a matter of fact, I am not sure that she even followed Fred Aistair.......

Guy
:-)

Nick P.
10-18-2005, 01:21 PM
I have begun to think that if a junior student can dominate me, then I have done my job well.

Joshua Livingston
10-27-2005, 08:04 AM
... All five of these people wear a blue belt, yet each one of them has a different experience. Also, your experience with each of them was different.
Remember this when you see, meet and grapple with someone who wears a certain belt color. The color of the belt means little. The level of experience and the current level of fitness mean so much more!

Remember this!
Good training to you,
Roy Harris
www.royharris.com
****************************

Excellent post. Even if quoted from someone else.

James Davis
10-27-2005, 10:36 AM
I have begun to think that if a junior student can dominate me, then I have done my job well.

I agree. I teach class once a week for my sensei. Some of my students are getting pretty good, and I'm gonna have to find some new tricks! :D

jonreading
10-27-2005, 12:52 PM
Gaaaa! Another post where aikidoka concede defeat before they even begin to fight! (sorry Chris, pet peeve). I've been spurred into action...

First off, let me soapbox for a moment. As a martial art, aikido is as good as most (if not all) martial arts. If I am resolved to use aikido to defend myself, that I am in a struggle to protect my life or well-being. If my opponent is better than I am, he/she will defeat me; if not, I will defeat him/her. I must rely on my own skill and determination to survive.

back to the thread...
Guy wrote a great post here. He has some great comments on personal aikido and training and I can't say anything better.

As instructors, we should be judged by the skill and development of our students as a review of our abilities as teachers. Lots of pressure? Damn right. I am responsible for teaching and if my students aren't learning than I need to change. Should a student dominate me? Maybe. If they do technique correctly, then yes; if they do technique incorrectly, no. Do I stop situation where there is confusion over who is in control. Yep. Most injuries I see happen when partners do not realize their roles and who is in control.

Part of learning aikido is learning the ever-changing role between uke and nage and who controls technique. But that is sometimes more advanced than beginning students are comfortable with...

Aikido is a fantastic martial art and I have never seen a shihan or quality high-ranking instructor ever create an opening in performing technique.

MaryKaye
10-27-2005, 03:15 PM
Within fairly close ranks, people are not necessarily overall better or overall worse than each other; skills are piecemeal, and everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I know my sempai quite well, and there are a few places here and there where I can give them a great deal of trouble by playing to my strengths and their weaknesses. The places where they could reciprocate are of course too numerous to mention.... So it is quite possible I could "beat" one of them in a training situation, where they were not entirely free to choose the terms of engagement. It doesn't change the fact that they are much better than I am.

I have never forgotten the time when I found and exploited a weakness in my ikkyu partner's shihonage tanto-takeaway (I think I was gokyu at the time). I was quite triumphant, until he took the knife anyway and demonstrated all of the nice soft spots within reach. In a fight I would have had that little moment of triumph--I didn't fall when expected--and then I'd have been dead. I suspect that a lot of my "victories" are like that. I'm egotistical enough that it doesn't stop me from noticing and savoring them, but I try not to get cocky.

Mary Kaye

Ron Tisdale
10-27-2005, 03:24 PM
Really nice post Mary Kaye, and a timely reminder.

Thanks!
Ron :)