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-   -   Training with beginners (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183)

Nick 08-13-2000 06:26 AM

not to raise more controversy about the polls, but I was wondering how some people responded to this week's.

I personally responded "no." Why, do you ask, would I dislike working with beginners? Well, in my opinion, I 'like' working with them, however, being very much a beginner myself, I feel that there is simply not much information I can impart to them without it sounding hypocritical. For instance, I do have enough experience to know what a correct ikkyo looks like and how it is done, but I do not have enough experience to pull off a correct ikkyo 7 times out of 10, therefore causing me to be bound with explaining them.

Don't get me wrong, I love training with beginners, because not too long ago I was where they were (in fact, not long ago at all). I just feel that perhaps they'd get better teaching and better time utilization from a sensei than from myself.

Any thoughts?

Kanpai,

-Nick

DJM 08-13-2000 02:31 PM

Nick,
I'm something of a beginner in Aikido myself (4 1/2 months and counting!) and I disagree whole-heartedly with you.. :D
I've found working with people who started at around the same time as me, or who've been practicing not a lot longer, to be a great way of seeing what I'm doing wrong..!!
Not to say that the people are doing things sloppily or anything, but that if I see them doing something wrong I normally find out that I'm also doing the same thing wrongly, and so I find it invaluable from a self-analysis point of view to work with others of around my level of experience. Obviously it's nice to work with one of the more experienced Aikidoka at my dojo, who can pick out problems for me, but I can't expect them to do all the work for me..!

Just a thought..
Peace,
David

guest1234 08-13-2000 06:53 PM

perhaps it is a matter of how each of us sees training---i'm relatively junior, and could have it all wrong. When i'm uke, i do not see myself in the role of an instructor, but a partner, whose job is to attack sincerely with a speed that matches my partner's skill level, make and maintain connection (and balance as long as possible). When i'm nage, i try my best to do the technique as well as i can. This is no matter what the rank of the partner i have. the only difference i would make is if my partner were still learning to fall, i'd ask before throwing if they knew the ukemi required, and if a joint lock were required that they know to tap. No where in there do i see the need for much talking/instructing, and frankly, one of the reasons i like training with (fellow) beginners is i get a chance to explore the technique for myself, without immediate corrections from a 'mat instructor'. Don't get me wrong, i'm as grateful as the next kohai for helpful hints, but prefer to try a few times to see if i can feel what is wrong with how i am doing it. Then i beg for help :). Funny you should mention ikkyo...a joke i have with one of my friends from my first dojo (now on #3) is that one can never know enough ways to do ikkyo---between all the instructors i've had, now up to 12 basic ways (not counting from different attacks), and i'd be willing to bet there are hundreds more...and i like exploring them all, sometimes easier with someone who doesn't know 'the' way to do it.

Nick P. 08-13-2000 09:17 PM

Well said, everyone;

Having practiced for only 3 years now, I try to always remember that I always will be a beginner, no matter who I practice with. My less experienced partner has placed a great deal of trust in my abilities to teach, as I have placed in him/her to teach me (and if you let them, they can teach you a hell of a lot!). And when a senior student (read Sensei or sempei) is practicing with me, I try and learn, but if asked, will try and impart my impressions (always followed with "Or I could be wrong").
Just remember; when asked, just repeat exactly what you were told, and show exactly what you were shown.

Thanks,
your student.

Chuck Clark 08-13-2000 11:13 PM

Quote:

Nick wrote:
... I do have enough experience to know what a correct ikkyo looks like and how it is done, but I do not have enough experience to pull off a correct ikkyo 7 times out of 10, therefore causing me to be bound with explaining them. -Nick
Hi Nick,

After reading your posts for some time, I have the feeling that you're a very sincere young man and student of aikido.

I think, however, that you are falling into a common custom of western budo practice. You say that you "KNOW how a correct ikkyo is done" and yet can't actualize what you know. The fact that you think you know is possibly what keeps you from being able to do it well consistently.

I remember my teacher in Japan saying to me, "your head thinks you "know", but until your body "knows" and can demonstrate with authority, you do not know."

Eight months of practice should leave you with, "I hear what my teacher says about how to do ikkyo and understand the words and the concept but I don't know how ikkyo is done yet."

Keep up the practice and gambatte!

Regards,


Simone 08-14-2000 01:57 AM

Hello everyone!

I just read these statements with great interest because I thought: do I like training with beginners or don't I? I did not vote up to now.

Maybe I don't like training with beginners because after four years of Aikido practice I start to believe that my technics may work sometimes. But with beginners (it's so frustrating) they never do. I always discover the weak points of my Aikido with them. It's true, you can learn very much from beginners.

I like training with Aikidokas of my own grade because you can do very fast spectacular technics with breakfalls and all this stuff and the harmony between uke and tori grows, but if you really want to learn more about the weak points of your Aikido, train with beginners. I think I'll never figure out how a "correct" ikkyo will be made. So I maybe should vote with "yes" this week.

Enjoy training with beginners,

Simone

JJF 08-14-2000 02:40 AM

I like to practice with beginners because I like to practice Aikido.

All the best



Orange 08-14-2000 08:54 AM

Quote:

Simone wrote:


Maybe I don't like training with beginners because after four years of Aikido practice I start to believe that my technics may work sometimes. But with beginners (it's so frustrating) they never do. I always discover the weak points of my Aikido with them. It's true, you can learn very much from beginners.

This is definitely true. Trying to apply a technique on a beginner is actually a more realistic situation. If you were attacked on the street, chances are your attacker won't know how to take the ukemi from whatever technique you do.

Yo-Jimbo 08-14-2000 11:25 AM

the best policy
 
I was one of the few that voted no. It was a hard choice; I love training period. There is no good reason for my opinion, even after nine years it is always more fun for me to "dance" with an experienced partner. Hey, I'm weak, but honest. Perhaps in another 20 years, I'll be jaded enough to convince myself that I prefer working with "Bambi" to sensei. Ok, maybe 90...

"Today is my first day practicing aikido, as was yesterday and tomorrow."

Chuck Clark 08-14-2000 12:32 PM

At some point training is training...

There may be a difference in intent, we can train with the intent to give something --

or we may be training with the intent to get something.

We can always be successful in giving but we may not always get what we want in return.

chrisinbrasil 08-14-2000 04:06 PM

Hi Everybody,
I voted yes... I did so because beginners are part of Aikido as is Jyo, Bokken, mats, irimi, ushiro kubishime, etc. Itīs all one in the same. Sometimes slowing a technique to near pause helps execution when applied on beginners. Beginners need our help and trust me... we need theirs. You never know enough... :)
At your service,
Christopher

Nick 08-14-2000 04:59 PM

Quote:

Chuck Clark wrote:


Eight months of practice should leave you with, "I hear what my teacher says about how to do ikkyo and understand the words and the concept but I don't know how ikkyo is done yet."

Keep up the practice and gambatte!

Regards,


Domo Arigato- those were more the words I was going for... thank you.

Kanpai,

-Nick

Erik 08-14-2000 06:52 PM

Like most I voted yes.

However, I'll add that it isn't always the case. I'm not perfect and sometimes I come in wanting to really go and it sucks to get a beginner. In my own case, I didn't have a lot of senior people around for my first few years on the mat (none outside of sensei would be more accurate). There were many times I wished my fellow artists would go to the Magic Aikido Farm and get Black Belts so they could help me for a change.

None of this means that I don't work with them or that I don't like doing it. It just means that life doesn't always give me what I want and I'm still working on not being disappointed in that case.

PS: Anyone who avoids beginners is massively short changing themselves.

Nick 08-14-2000 07:06 PM

ha, dunno bout that with beginners like me lurking around ;).

Kanpai,

-Nick

Suru 08-14-2000 08:22 PM

I enjoy training with beginners because they remind me of the progress I've attained, and there's always something fun to me when I get the chance to play the role of sensei for small amounts of time. This enjoyment in working with beginners reminds me that I should keep practicing aikido for the long haul, and hopefully become a sensei somewhere down the road.
--Drew

AikiTom 08-14-2000 10:15 PM

Experienced people let me see if the fine points of my technique work.
Beginners let me see if it works at all - that is if I've got the basic, most fundamental part of the technique.

BC 08-15-2000 11:52 AM

I tend to agree with you AikiTom. I think very often practicing with a partner with less experience than me helps me to figure out on my own why a technique is or isn't working. In my dojo, more often than not my sempai will give me a point or a hint quicker than if I figured out an error in my techinique. Plus, I figure that I like to give my sempais the opportunity to practice with advanced students once in a while as well. That and mainly I like to practice with as many different partners at different experience levels and well as physical types. Lastly, what better way is there to meet and welcome the newcomers to the dojo than to bow in and practice with them?

Dan Hover 08-28-2000 03:49 PM

I love working with beginners because at my dojo that's all I have to teach to! But their enthusiasm and energy are constant reminders of why we train. I can remember my teacher calling Ikkyo the twenty year technique and as he reached over twenty years training, it slowly became the thirty year technique!

Nick 08-28-2000 04:24 PM

I'd say not just ikkyo, but Budo and all life is like the 20 year discipline- most of us, after being in our art, tradee for 20 years, realize that it's more like a 70 year plan... assuming we don't live longer...

-Nick

[Edited by Nick on August 28, 2000 at 05:08pm]

Cas Long 08-28-2000 07:49 PM

Re Beginners....
 
Dan Hover,

I would like to know where you teach &
if you have a Web-site or not.


Many thanks in advance....

Dan Hover 08-29-2000 09:05 AM

Re: Re Beginners....
 
Quote:

Cas Long wrote:
Dan Hover,

I would like to know where you teach &
if you have a Web-site or not.


Many thanks in advance....

Savannah, GA, Savannah Aikikai, the deep south, although I have found it anything but deep, no webiste as of yet, I have one of my students working on it, why do you ask??


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