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Blue the Ox 10-20-2014 03:33 PM

Post Seminar Blues
 
A little training background: I have practiced Aikido for more than 10 years. I train at the minimum 2 days a week, and frequently 3 times a week. My sensei has informed me that I will be testing for promotion in the coming year.

This past weekend attended a seminar with an aikido Shihan. I had a great time. It was really fun practice. It was a really active, lively practice.

Yesterday and today, following the seminar, I have been feeling a little discouraged, good times not withstanding. I see comparably ranked folks, and I see I'm not there. That my level of spontaneity, and skill of execution is lagging. In fact, I think I am getting farther away from where I should be, perhaps even regressing from where I was in my practice of Aikido even 2 years ago.

I'm not "throwing in the towel" because I love practicing Aikido. I just hate not being able to see improvement, and, perhaps, losing ground.

robin_jet_alt 10-20-2014 06:19 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
Hello Blue,

I also attended a seminar with a highly ranked Shihan on the weekend. Perhaps I saw you there. Anyway, I can certainly empathise with you. I can tell you that I was thoroughly embarrassed on several occasions. Anyway, the only advice I can give you is the same advice that I have been given. Firstly, from the shihan in question - "If you stuff it up, just laugh" and from my regular teacher "just train." Don't worry about how good other people appear to be. Just focus on your own training. Just train... That's the best I can do. Sorry.

Robert Cowham 10-21-2014 03:25 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
I have experienced and seen plenty of rank given to people who didn't think they deserved it - and yet the following 6 - 12 months proved the worth of that ranking.

Grade when advised, and meanwhile just stay "on the path". If you haven't read George Leonard's "Mastery" then seek out a copy urgently. Learn to love those plateaus!

Blue the Ox 10-21-2014 09:13 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
Appreciate the feedback. I'm just struggling with what I'm seeing in my practice.

kewms 10-21-2014 10:22 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
It's very difficult to judge your own technique. In part because, as you get better, skilled partners will up their game accordingly. (And they're especially likely to push you a bit if you're preparing for a test.) In part because all of the regular members of your dojo are progressing at the same time, so your relative level may not change much. And in part because it's impossible to tell what your own technique feels like to uke.

Comparisons between dojos are even harder, since in part differences reflect different teaching approaches: you are probably not as good at some skills, but better at others, simply because your own teacher emphasizes different things. The different paths eventually converge.

Trust your teacher's judgment.

Katherine

phitruong 10-22-2014 07:27 AM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
Quote:

Anonymous User wrote: (Post 340424)
A little training background: I have practiced Aikido for more than 10 years. I train at the minimum 2 days a week, and frequently 3 times a week. My sensei has informed me that I will be testing for promotion in the coming year.

question, you do practicing outside of your time at the dojo? and what your focus when you in the dojo? don't know how you train inside and outside of the dojo, so can't really comment on whether you back sliding or not.

There are a number of discussions on mastery and the 10,000 hours thingy on this website. so 3 days a week, 2 hours each time, you are looking at around 32 years, give or take about 5 years, more give than take.

btw, time spent in the dojo isn't necessary equate to improvement. it's how you train and your mental state that are more important.

heathererandolph 11-11-2014 06:45 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
In order to improve you need to challenge yourself. Doing the same practice you did a few years ago might not be enough anymore. Frequent practice is very helpful but pushing yourself is also important. If you find same difficulties, embrace those difficulties as challenge that can improve you.

Comparing yourself to others is not very productive, they are on their path and you are on yours. This could be a case of "pre-test jitters". Everyone feels nervous, wishes they'd practiced more, etc...Every test is a reach. That's what makes it a test! I don't want to give any specific advice since the goals of every practice can vary, but, your instructor may be able to advise you on ways to challenge yourself in class.

Conrad Gus 11-14-2014 11:19 AM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
These things go in cycles. Hang in there and it will turn around. When it does, remember the process so the next time you are in a low you don't freak out about it!

Cheers,

Conrad

Derek 11-15-2014 09:47 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
Part of the process is to break down and rebuild. As you advance you will likely encounter these stages where things seem to be going backwards. This is often worst at the transition towards shodan. This is where the training is turned around. As a lower rank we learn for this or that attack we do this or that defense. As we advance we learn for a given attack maybe we can do a range of defenses. It is similar to learning a language. At first we learn the letters, then the words, then sentences, but you don't write poetry right away!

We have to learn in this way, which is of course, not the way we need to train as we become more advanced. This is why so often there is a change in perspective as we near shodan. What was clear last month now makes no sense. Even though for the last test you could do a wide range of techniques, now you are getting lost even in the basics. It is the path towards fluency and it requires a different way of thinking (or not thinking).

Don't worry, train. It is common, and a good sign that you are near where you need to be. It is precisely that you realize you are not where you need to be, that you are close!

SeiserL 11-16-2014 07:14 AM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
Quote:

Derek Duval wrote: (Post 340752)
Part of the process is to break down and rebuild. ... It is common, and a good sign that you are near where you need to be. It is precisely that you realize you are not where you need to be, that you are close!

Totally agree with Duval Sensei.
Its great to get the feedback that we are not where we want to me.
Seminars provide a placed to get another perspective on how we are doing.
Its feedback. Very useful feedback.
Seeing that there is more, is motivating and directs your training.
Train on.

Blue the Ox 11-16-2014 09:42 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
Thank you for the feedback everyone. I appreciate the advice and the encouragement.

kewms 11-19-2014 07:59 PM

Re: Post Seminar Blues
 
Quote:

Derek Duval wrote: (Post 340752)
Part of the process is to break down and rebuild. As you advance you will likely encounter these stages where things seem to be going backwards. This is often worst at the transition towards shodan. This is where the training is turned around. As a lower rank we learn for this or that attack we do this or that defense. As we advance we learn for a given attack maybe we can do a range of defenses.

And also that the individual techniques contain a lot more nuances than were discussed in the beginner classes. Ikkyo appears on every test, but ikkyo on a shodan test should not look like ikkyo on a 6th kyu test.

Katherine


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