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04-14-2005, 08:54 AM
Ok, a little background first. Well I joined my college's Aikido Club 2 months ago. And last night we had our "casual" weapons practice. I say "casual" because its in street clothes, not in our "dojo", and not much more than extra practice. Last night there was a girl there who was there with a friend, who was in the club, and I think she might be looking into joining. The thing is I got paired up with her a couple of times, not that I minded being with someone newer than me. But some things she wouldn't understand, and I was just wondering if I should've defaulted more to the senseis, or interrupted the more experienced students, to help her understand the motions. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't crossing any boundaries or if someone watching me help her would think I was acting too big for my hamaka ;) (that was a joke, I don't even have a gi).

Yann Golanski
04-14-2005, 09:14 AM
I'm _still_ having trouble explain some basic things even after doing Aikido for a number of years. So, I guess we are in the same boat.

Generally, when there is a technique that I can't get to work I try to do it a little differently and if that works then good. Otherwise, I ask sensei or just look at what [s]he does if [s]he's busy showing the technique to someone else. Seems to work for me with my various sensei.

04-18-2005, 07:41 PM
Just repeat the words that your instructor has said to you, even if you don't understand them. Admit that, and say you're trying to figure it out, but that seems to work.

Just a thought,


04-19-2005, 10:08 AM
That's what I try to do. And that sounds like a pretty good idea of what I should continue to try to do.

James Davis
04-19-2005, 10:29 AM
Just say that you're both on the path, that you haven't figured it all out yet. You should reiterate though, that you'll make every effort to help her.
Take care.

04-19-2005, 10:47 AM
Sempai are obligated to clarify and assist kohei with the instructor's demostration and teaching. Clarification is not instruction, and sometimes sempai forget that.

It sounds like you attempted to provide what helpful information you could. It's difficult to understand what is going on, sometimes it's more difficult to explain it to someone else.

My instructor always said:

"You are sempai. When you work with newer students your job is to clarify what I show. Help newer students understand what they are doing. If you do not know, find someone to explain it to both of you."

Amir Krause
04-26-2005, 08:28 AM
I suspect this depends on the dojo.

I our dojo, most veterans are expected to try and assist as much as they can, and it would not be considered stepping out of your place. However, once you feel you can not, you should call someone more experienced then you.

There are situations where this behavior would be considered in-appropriate, such as seminars with guest teachers, or a joint meeting of several clubs. In these situations the veteran students should know the standard is different and they would normally direct any question to the teacher/s.


05-02-2005, 05:26 AM
Not too sure if I have missed something here.
Have you asked what your role is?

In my dojo, I allow everyone to talk to each other and pass on their collective experiences.
Wished I didn't some of the time - but there you go.

Whats good about that is you get to hear where the person giving the help, is at, training wise.

Whats bad is that the receiver gets to hear what the 'helper' thinks they know about the technique.

Completely opposed to this, is my mates dojo, where you simply don't talk, let alone 'instruct'.
I love it, as this allows you to simply train, without being 'interrupted' plus you get an undiluted teaching stream.

Hard for me, as decades of having a good old natter, was / is hard to stop. He reminded me of course. Ooops.

When in Rome, ask a Roman - not an outsider. ;)