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-   -   Training with beginners (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1571)

Tom 02-25-2002 08:35 AM

Training with beginners
 
I have recently taken up Aikido(literally only done 10 or so hours) and have instantly fallen in love with it. I am doing a beginners course but also want to do additional training. I spoke to my instructor about this and he suggested I go along to the general Aikido classes taken by the Sensei. I followed his advice and went to the class.

The students were all Shodan rank (I think this is the case as they all wore hakama) and I found this very intimdating. I enjoyed the class thoroughly although obviously I found it extremely difficult. My fear is that I am spoiling it for the students I am training with. My ukemi is obviously of a very low standard and I couldn't help feeling I was taking away the enjoyment from my partner (or at least limiting them in their technique as they had the extra concern of having to be careful not to accidentally kill this amature :) ). The Sensei tried to assure me that it is ok for beginners to train with more experienced students, I am still not convinced though.

How do you more experienced Aikiodists feel about training with complete beginners? Does it take away from your enjoyment of the class?

Jim ashby 02-25-2002 09:05 AM

Beginners
 
Hi, it's no problem training with beginners. It gives all ranks several reminders namely ,they were beginners once, they have a duty to look after others and if you can make a technique work on a beginner without hurting them, it has to be a good thing. Remember, who would you rather teach you to drive, a beginner or an experienced driver?
Have fun.

Brian Vickery 02-25-2002 09:45 AM

Re: Training with beginners
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Tom

How do you more experienced Aikiodists feel about training with complete beginners? Does it take away from your enjoyment of the class?

Hi Tom!

...I look forward to working with newbies! It gives me the chance to see how my techniques would work on somebody outside the dojo! All uke's end up 'going' with the technique, they just can't help it! But a newby has NO idea what he's 'supposed' to do, so you must totally control him with the technique or he just stands there! You must also use control as to how hard you lock up uke's joints, again he has no idea what's happening, so you have to hold back just enough to keep from injuring him.

So don't sweat it, by being a newby you're actually helping the more advanced student learn! REALLY!!!

Regards,

Tom 02-26-2002 05:12 AM

Thanks guys, that has convinced me to carry on going to the general class. I feel I can learn so much more when training with a more experienced partner. I'll still have to put up with looking like a complete twat, but I don't mind that so long as I know I'm not spoiling it for the others.

ian 02-26-2002 05:45 AM

I understand you concerns completely and I know some students leave because they feel that they are 'no good'. Since aikido is almost always with a partner, whatever level you are at you feel you could have done it better.

There is often a turning point, when you can do ukemi and protect yourself, when it just feels more comfortable. Sometimes people comment that aikido trains you to respond to an aikido technique in a certain way (through ukemi), and that is why beginners are so valuable to the class; because they aren't conditioned.

If you love it don't give it up!

Ian

Adam Walsh 03-22-2002 06:18 AM

Hiya Tom.

It says your club is the London Aikido Club...is this Ryushinkan? I've trained there a few times after work with Kanetsuka Sensei and the people there are great.

I agree with a comment earlier that training with new people is great, I take each Uke as they come. If they're hard to work with then your technique needs to be performed well (one lesson), if your Uke is new to Aikido then you need to go slow which allows you to break down your technique in your own mind (two lessons) and if your Uke is co-operative you can work on Ma-ai (three lessons). Different people allow you to train on different aspects. Of course you're supposed to do all of these at the same time, but it doesn't always work like that. I'm a relative newbie myself, and forgive me for the dodgyness of this quote but my passion is in the path not the destination.

Erik 03-22-2002 03:26 PM

Quote:

The students were all Shodan rank (I think this is the case as they all wore hakama) and I found this very intimdating.
Maybe they were sandan's and godan's and who knows what else.

:eek:

Actually, in some places everyone wears a hakama so maybe they were something else again.

:freaky:

Quote:

My fear is that I am spoiling it for the students I am training with.
Hey, unless it's a black belt or advanced only class then spoil away. I'm kind of headstrong and I even went to those when I started out. My first teacher had no idea what to make of me, probably still doesn't, so she just shrugged her shoulder's and figured I'd go away. Hah! Fooled her!

:p

If they said it's ok to go then it's ok to go.

Edward 03-22-2002 08:42 PM

Well, I am always surprised by the benevolence of Aikidoka and I very much admire it (if it's authentic).

As a matter of fact, training with beginners sucks.

I am the kind of person who likes training at the highest pace. If at the end of the class, my tongue is not touching the floor, I feel very bad about it and that I didn't train hard enough.

I myself avoid beginners' classes because they are so boring. Maybe they are good once every few month to refresh the basics a little, but doing them regularly couldn't be more boring.

I am very much annoyed by beginners attending the regular classes. They slow the whole class down. Teachers reduce the pace and the technical level to cope with them. We have to cope with them too and this brakes the rythm.

I am not discouraging beginners to attend higher classes, but one should be logical in life. If your Ukemi is not any good and you still feel confused about basic technics, what's the point of attending more advanced classes?

Cheers,
Edward

MaylandL 03-22-2002 08:46 PM

Hello Tom

Welcome to aikido and I'm glad that you are enjoying training. I agree with all of the posts here, especially with Brian Vickery.

Training with beginners is very beneficial for the more experienced and the beginner. At the dojos that I train at we have mixed classes. Beginners are not segregated.

I personny look forward to training with beginners becasue they are preconditioned to react in a certain way and you must provide clear intent and direction. Not to mention significant control to perform the techniques correctly and safely.

Beginners are most welcome.

Happy training

guest1234 03-22-2002 09:12 PM

I like training with beginners, as has been said, it makes you focus on the technique's form, and as long as they attack sincerely it gives you a chance to work with an unsuspecting uke. Even if they aren't very sincere, it's still good to work on how to get the technique to work regardless. Anyone can look good with a good uke, it takes much more to be smooth and not hurt a beginner uke.

Even working with advanced partners for the entire class/night isn't exactly what I would call an aerobic challenge... if I'm not tired by the end I can always do extra rolls, I don't judge a class by how sweaty I am at the end of it.

I like the fun of taking ukemi for a beginner, it can be harder (how in the world did they get there from here? and how do I fall from this???), and is a chance to practice teaching via one's ukemi.

In exchange, I would expect two things: that they in turn work as happily with those junior to them later as I do now, and that they work on improving their ukemi.

nikonl 03-23-2002 10:47 AM

That's a good question you brought up. Show's that you are really learning...
Don't worry, there's always something to learn from anyone. Senseis' learn from students too :)

erikmenzel 03-23-2002 04:16 PM

Beginners suck???????????????
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
As a matter of fact, training with beginners sucks.
No, it does not. Sometimes training with those that only show up for advanced classes is really bad as they forgot to lose ego and competition.
Quote:

I am the kind of person who likes training at the highest pace. If at the end of the class, my tongue is not touching the floor, I feel very bad about it and that I didn't train hard enough.
Meaning you now train less than the people that simply show up for all classes and who take every oportunity to learn anything?

BTW, what is this touching the floor with your tongue stuff? We at our dojo just use a mop to clean the mats. :D
Quote:

I myself avoid beginners' classes because they are so boring. Maybe they are good once every few month to refresh the basics a little, but doing them regularly couldn't be more boring.
Pitty, some beginners might actualy be the partner you needed at that moment to grow in your aikido. :eek:
Quote:

I am very much annoyed by beginners attending the regular classes. They slow the whole class down. Teachers reduce the pace and the technical level to cope with them. We have to cope with them too and this brakes the rythm.
I am often annoyed by those that only show up for advanced classes and show to be incapable of training with beginners in a decent way. :grr:
Quote:

I am not discouraging beginners to attend higher classes, but one should be logical in life. If your Ukemi is not any good and you still feel confused about basic technics, what's the point of attending more advanced classes?
Well, first of all it is a good way for beginners to experience more advanced aikido. Second, it gives beginners the oportunity to watch, feel and throw advanced students. Third, beginners give advanced students the oportunity to learn how to handle beginners, how to help confussed beginners, how to help sensei by taking responsability in the class by attending to the beginners allowing sensei to focus his attention on advanced students, etc. :rolleyes:

Just my privat little rant about attitude. :freaky:

nikonl 03-24-2002 12:14 AM

Edward: looks like your tongue still has a long way to go...hehe :D

Edward 03-24-2002 03:30 AM

yeah, especially now that it seems I should you use it to sweep the mats as well.

The problem is our mats are covered with canvas so we never sweep them.

By the way, we receive regularly guests from your dojo, I guess.

Cheers,
Edward

Quote:

Originally posted by nikon
Edward: looks like your tongue still has a long way to go...hehe :D

Andy 03-26-2002 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
As a matter of fact, training with beginners sucks.

I am the kind of person who likes training at the highest pace. If at the end of the class, my tongue is not touching the floor, I feel very bad about it and that I didn't train hard enough.

I myself avoid beginners' classes because they are so boring. Maybe they are good once every few month to refresh the basics a little, but doing them regularly couldn't be more boring.

I am very much annoyed by beginners attending the regular classes. They slow the whole class down. Teachers reduce the pace and the technical level to cope with them. We have to cope with them too and this brakes the rythm.

I am not discouraging beginners to attend higher classes, but one should be logical in life. If your Ukemi is not any good and you still feel confused about basic technics, what's the point of attending more advanced classes?

One word: arrogant.

Brian Vickery 03-26-2002 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward

I am the kind of person who likes training at the highest pace. If at the end of the class, my tongue is not touching the floor, I feel very bad about it and that I didn't train hard enough.

Edward

Hello Edward,

...As you admire the benevolence of aikidoka, I admire your honesty, BUT...

With all due respect, are you confusing 'effectivity' with 'activity'?!?! Hey, if it's a workout that you are looking for, why don't you simply take an aerobics class? It would more fully meet your requirement of fast paced training!

...the pace of the class has absolutely NOTHING to do with effectiveness my friend! And as many have already stated, there's no better way to learn how to effectively execute a technique than to try it on a beginner.

...this is just my humble opinion though!

Regards,

MaylandL 03-26-2002 06:47 PM

One thing that all of the senseis that I have trained with say to me about aikido. In perfecting and training techniques and the practice of aikido, its about control and blending and not about speed of training.

I find training with beginners most beneficial becasue I can train on controlling the technique and the uke to allow them to ukemi safely because, initially, they are not conditioned to ukemi in a predetermined manner.

I can still train to execute the technique properly but I have the added difficulty to control uke and ensure he/she is still off posture and unbalanced but still guide them into the proper ukemi. This is excellent training in my opinion.

training at speed and with experienced aikidoka is easier because there's is momentum and knowledge the uke will ukemi properly, but to slow it down and focus on pure control while ensuring your uke is unbalanced, that's more difficult in my opinion.

IMHO, training with beginners is a very necessary part of improving aikido and I look for every opportunity to train with them.

Gopher Boy 03-26-2002 07:14 PM

Hi all,

This is my first post as I am the stereotypical "newbie". At my dojo we are lucky enough to have a Shihan. While many people will obviously find this desireable, I find it a little intimidating. Therefore, I am only attending the beginners class with similarly ranked (and unranked,) people.

I have been a beginner at many things in my life and a few of them I have even quit because of the attitudes of those people possesed of more skill. Thankfully, I am enjoying Aikido immensely due in no small part to the fact that EVERYONE is friendly and welcoming.

I, like Tom (or at least like Tom was :)) am worried that by training with more advanced people I am limiting their enjoyment and progression in Aikido. I have trouble remembering the techniques and am not familiar with how they should look so I end up taking ukemi in the most bizarre ways. This, I fear SERIOUSLY undermines the training of my partner.

When I read the posts fom higher grades saying that they actually enjoy and benefit from training with beginners I am thrilled. However, there is still the feeling that whereas they might be able to practice a given technique 10 times each with a similarly ranked partner, my lack of understanding drasticaly drops that to about 2 or 3 times as I will need to be corrected and shown repeatedly.

I love my Aikido training but am still worried enough to only attend beginner's classes for the moment.

Edward 03-26-2002 07:55 PM

As usual, in this forum, I have to take a radical position, which might not completely represent my real point of view, but that I consider to be a counter-balance to all the bulls**t and the hypocrisy that I read every day in the posts...

shihonage 03-26-2002 09:03 PM

Re: Training with beginners
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Tom

How do you more experienced Aikiodists feel about training with complete beginners? Does it take away from your enjoyment of the class?

No, unless you're the type of beginner that

* Doesn't realize that the technique is being done slowly on purpose.
* Starts to actively resist every step of the technique, to get "proof that it works".

Andy 03-26-2002 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
As usual, in this forum, I have to take a radical position, which might not completely represent my real point of view, but that I consider to be a counter-balance to all the bulls**t and the hypocrisy that I read every day in the posts...
You mean you can't make a point unless you're dishonest and without integrity? Sad.

guest1234 03-26-2002 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Gopher Boy
Hi all,


I, like Tom (or at least like Tom was :)) am worried that by training with more advanced people I am limiting their enjoyment and progression in Aikido. I have trouble remembering the techniques and am not familiar with how they should look so I end up taking ukemi in the most bizarre ways. This, I fear SERIOUSLY undermines the training of my partner.

When I read the posts fom higher grades saying that they actually enjoy and benefit from training with beginners I am thrilled. However, there is still the feeling that whereas they might be able to practice a given technique 10 times each with a similarly ranked partner, my lack of understanding drasticaly drops that to about 2 or 3 times as I will need to be corrected and shown repeatedly.

I love my Aikido training but am still worried enough to only attend beginner's classes for the moment.

Hi and welcome!:D

As for those more advanced students:
a. they should be able to work the mat better than you, and avoid you if they want to, and train with each other if they want to. The fact that they instead are training with beginners just means they mean what we've been saying, that it is fun to do so.

b. There is no need for them to keep stopping you, correcting you, or in any other way delay training. If they don't know how to keep moving while helping you, they are not all that advanced.:confused: They can help you with how they take ukemi, no need to stop or waste time moving only the jaw.

c. There is no magic number of times technique should be done...a few slow, precise run throughs are better than lots of ones tossed off without thinking.:rolleyes:

Edward 03-26-2002 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Andy

You mean you can't make a point unless you're dishonest and without integrity? Sad.

If you would have said the above to me face to face, you wouldn't have liked the outcome. However, I doubt very much that you would have had the guts to say it if we were face to face.

Very pathetic person indeed.... How old are you by the way?

jk 03-27-2002 02:31 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward


If you would have said the above to me face to face, you wouldn't have liked the outcome. However, I doubt very much that you would have had the guts to say it if we were face to face.

Very pathetic person indeed.... How old are you by the way?

Boy, I can smell the testosterone all the way from down here...

There are better ways of playing devil's advocate, Edward. It'll be more helpful if you point out what you consider bullsh*t and hypocrisy in a less confrontational manner. Piss off enough people, and they just might want to pay you a little visit.

I like practicing with beginners. Not because I'm 100% altruistic and only want to "help" them, but also because I want to find out if my aikido is up to snuff with an unfamiliar uke. This related to why I like practicing with big, strong individuals. Tossing around a partner you've worked with for years is great, but your aikido is sharpened in a different manner when you work with unfamiliar beginners.

Regards,

PeterR 03-27-2002 02:50 AM

Beginners are a relative term: we have first time on the mat, mudansha, and yudansha (after all Shodan means beginning level).

While I admit that working with first time on the mat beginners can be frustrating not to mention not the most exciting thing on the mat - it was done for us and should not be begrudged when asked. If people are not up to my speed I slow down and concentrate on the technical - that goes for experience, age and body type.

We rotate a lot - no one person is stuck with a beginner very long.

We have no advanced classes per se, everyone gets tossed in togeather, did I mention we rotate a lot.

Everyone but one during the class will be paired with a more senior student at least once and there is a time for working on techniques appropriate to the level of the pair.

We do have yudansha seminars and guess what - we work almost exclusively on the basics.

Let's see Edward: first you condem most of what's said here as BS and full of hypocracy and then admit that your posts do not reflect your true opinion. I'm pretty sure that Andy would not have called you on it if all you did was admit to enjoy playing devil's advocate (welcome to the club. However, for someone so quick to dish it out you seem pretty incapable of taking it.


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