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-   -   Why/Why Not Seminars? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36)

akiy 06-15-2000 10:58 AM

Now, some of you who know me know that I go to a fair number of seminars a year for my aikido training.

I want to know -- do you attend to a lot of seminars? Why or why not?

-- Jun

Norman 06-15-2000 11:20 AM

I have never been to a seminar.
Are the shugyo (severe) training sessions ?

Just curious.
Thank you,
Norm

Chuck Clark 06-15-2000 11:36 AM

The relative level of severity in any training session is entirely dependent on the level of the participant.

We have to "pace" ourselves, but we should also be putting ourselves "on the edge" often. It's your teacher's job to adjust this in ways that the student sometimes cannot do for themselves (for obvious reasons).

Seminars are great for providing the venue for new experiences with different teachers, partners, styles of practice, etc.

I travel and teach seminars frequently. I try to have my seminars be balanced between learning new things and pushing yourself to the edge of your envelope with things you are familiar with. The seminars I do are mostly with members of Jiyushinkai, so I am also involved in an ongoing relationship with most all of the students.

I recommend going to seminars as often as possible. When you're relatively inexperienced, ask your teacher for their view about which seminars are best for you. Once you have reached the ikkyu/shodan and above range, then travelling and doing "shugyo" is very good training.


BC 06-21-2000 10:59 AM

Seminars
 
I attended my first seminar two months after starting aikido, and have thoroughly enjoyed everyone since. I try to attend at least three a year. I find them to be an excellent way to broaden my knowledge and training. I always come away from each seminar with at least one or two new insights or understandings about aikido. Plus, it is just so cool and so much fun to be with a huge group of people all practicing aikido. As far as the intensity level, I've found that you can take the practice at whatever pace suits you.

George S. Ledyard 06-22-2000 07:42 AM

Seminars
 
In our younger days there wasn't so much Aikido here in the Northwest as there is now (15 dojos in the immediate Seattle area). We were hungry for any training we could get.

We hit every seminar that was held within a ten hour drive. That would cover all the way down to Arcada, CA where Tom Read sensei was doing magical stuff, up to Vancouver, BC where Saotome Sensei, Ikeda sensei, and Mary Heiny Sensei were apt to go in those days, all the way over to Missoula Montana wher Raso Hultgen has had her dojo for many years now.

Some of us additionally flew to as many seminars with our teachers as we could afford.

Now people are jaded. In the Seattle area each dojo sponsers a certain number of events.The vast majority of students don't seem interested enough to travel across town to train. There is either an attitude of "that isn't my style so I'm not interested" or "we'll have the Sensei at our own place later in the year so I won't bother". It is truely amazing to me. We used to have to really travel to get to these vents. Now, on one weekend last year, there were five major Aikido events held simultaneously in the immediate Northwest area and three were in Seattle! We'd have died to have that kind of access in the old days but now students don't seem to care much. I often have trouble convincing students at the dojo to attend our own events and they are covered in the dues payments so they don't even have to pay anything extra. There are of course major exceptions to this. I have some students who are traveling almost every weekend to train, they are really "hungry". But it seems not to be the main practice these days. I have unfortunately been unable to train like I did in the old days due to extensive family obligations but I still get to a few and like to get back to DC Summer Camp at least every couple years. The seminars we have held have given us some fabulous training over the years (Mary Heiny, Tom Read, Frank Doran, William Gleason, Clint George, Raso Hultgren, John Messores, Saotome and Ikeda Senseis have all taught at oure school.) The people who took advantage of these seminars received invaluable lessons! It is beyond me why more students, who fancy themselves serious about what they do, don't go out of their way to get more exposure to the wide variety of fine teachers there are doing seminars around the country.

Chocolateuke 06-30-2000 09:18 AM

I have attended to 3 seminars. one at the aikido of santa barbra it was great I learned alot slept at the dojo and we had people from san fransico ( home of the 49s) and the energy was very positive great stuff. then my sensi invited the dojo that just held the one i just talked about. great we had a lot of games ( it was for the kids and teens) the games helped with falling timing tumbling and other "Stuff"

the last one was the best. my Teachers Teacher came for two days. what a great workout we had 6 hours day 1 then 5 hours day to. seminars truly help brooden and also show aikido in true form

jdsingleton 07-10-2000 10:43 AM

I've only been practicing Aikido for about eight months. In that time, I've gone to two seminars and ASU's Summer Camp in Washington D.C. I'm planning on attending at least one more this year.

Once I have more experience, I can see myself going to a half dozen or so a year. Right now, I take advantage of being outside Washington, D.C. and being close to Aikido Shobukan Dojo, which means that the annual Cherry Blossom Seminar and ASU Summer Camp are local, as well as a seminar in the Fall. The style is the same and there are enough familiar faces.

I went to my first seminar after just four days of training. It was a "Beginner's Seminar" by Saotome Sensei ("for beginners and those who train them"). There was at least one person there with even less experience than myself. While I don't know if anything I learned there made an impact on my technique, a lot fo what Saotome Sensei said struck a chord.

Jim Singleton

DJM 07-10-2000 11:38 AM

I agree totally...
Seminars are a great thing, both for improving the style you usually practice in, and for learning new ways of seeing/doing things..
As for students not attending seminars at their own dojo, Mr Ledyard, I just can't credit it!
We get very few seminars here in the UK, seldom easy to reach without a car, but I'm hoping to attend as many as I can - style is unimportant :)
Cost can be a factor, obviously, and I have seen some very pricey seminars advertised on the web (primarily for US dojo - not Ledyard Sensei's though ;))

Peace,
David

Nick 07-10-2000 10:22 PM

kinda OT, but my shihan gave me a ride home from class one night, and he said the worst 'seminar' he ever had to give was teaching Aikido as part of a high school PE class. No joke.

-Nick

Keith_S 07-11-2000 06:19 AM

Coming from a very "soft" style of Aikido, my first few seminars were quite scary. In fact they still can be. But I gained such a lot that now I travel around and visit as many dojo and as many different styles as I can. There's nothing more useful than getting some new light on something you though you knew.

At first I had doubts because I feared my own style would get "corrupted" by practicing with different styles, but now I know that isn't really an issue, as everybody gains from the exchange of views.

Orange 07-11-2000 07:31 PM

Quote:

Chuck Clark wrote:

We have to "pace" ourselves, but we should also be putting ourselves "on the edge" often.

this reminds me of an interesting situation I ran into the other day. I am trying to build up my endurance so I don't kill myself when I attend seminars so I am trying to both pace myself, and attend more classes. So I went to the first class of the day thinking I would take it nice and slow. About halfway through class I ended up partnered with someone who was seemed to have the opposite idea!

There was no recovery time between attacks. I would throw him and he would imediately be back and attacking. I actually enjoyed having to think quickly (or is that NOT think at all, just do) but would up burning myself out so I couldn't stay for the second class.

Keith_S 07-12-2000 02:06 AM

Visiting a new dojo a couple of months ago, I got to point where I was about to pass out. (Maybe I should lose some weight....) The pace was so fast and intense it nearly did me in.

Returning the next week I resolved not to let this happen to me again and tried to figure out how I would survive.

In the end I fell back on the things that my teacher is always reminding me about, which were; a soft and relaxed upper body and breathing. By wasting no energy in "fighting" my uke and keeping my ukemi as soft and flowing as I could manage when I was uke, I finished the evening feeling quite good, in stark contrast to the week before.

It took a hard lesson to force me to learn to value of the fundementals, but do we really learn any other way?

Nick 07-13-2000 11:36 PM

one of my sensei said something interesting at the end of class tonight:

"You know, I run a mile a day, bike for 45 minutes, but when I'm in the middle of a randori, I get winded. So the only way to get better at randori is randori."

-Nick

Lyle Laizure 09-30-2012 08:51 AM

Re: Why/Why Not Seminars?
 
So yeah this is an old thread but what the heck.

When I first began Aikido I would have loved to have had the opportunities I now have available to train. Now I find myself choosing to sit out certain seminars. Sadly, some is due to politics but the vast majority of not attending seminars now is due to other life obligations.

robin_jet_alt 09-30-2012 04:29 PM

Re: Why/Why Not Seminars?
 
I go to seminars when I can, but it's not as often as I would like. So far, I've been to seminars with Sandai Doshu, Fujita Masatake, Endo Seishiro, Kobayashi Yasuo, Maruyama Koretoshi, Koide Takeo, Shishiya Ichiro (although to be fair, I was training in his dojo at the time), and Suzuki Yasuyuki. When you consider the number of years I have been doing aikido, that really doesn't seem like much, but it is really hard to find the time and money to attend seminars when you live in a place like Tasmania. Most of the seminars I have attended were when I was living in Japan. In any case, I really enjoy the opportunity to train with new people as learn new perspectives on aikido.

JJF 10-01-2012 06:34 AM

Re: Why/Why Not Seminars?
 
By all means.. go dojo-hopping and go to seminars. It is what keeps us from the aiki-equivalent of inbreeding.

Adam Huss 10-01-2012 09:17 PM

Re: Why/Why Not Seminars?
 
There are four annual seminars I attend each year when able. I typically try to hit up one or two additional seminars that are not a constant annual occasion, such as guest instructors from other styles, or just extra 'small' seminars such as inviting senior instructors from our, or other, organizations. I have friends that regularly attend 5-7 seminars a year..but that is because they teach multiple martial arts. My one friend attended seven seminars last year...three of which he tested for a dan rank in (sandan aikido, nidan iaido, shodan judo)! Man, that was an expensive year for him!

Oops,
forgot the 'why' portion of the question.

I attend a Summer aikido seminar but on by my international aikido organization at their headquarters. I attend a fall seminar put on by our national organization at their headquarters (was this last weekend, actually...I am still sore from it!). I attend an aikido instructors seminar for our national organization. I attend my national organization's annual judo/jujitsu seminar. My dojo tries to bring in a guest instructor once or twice a year just for fun...this is usually a 'lighter' seminar, since it doesn't involve long travel, hotel rooms, and only last 1.5 - 2 days, vice the longer 2.5 day seminars for our annual events (which also require travel, hotels, etc). Other than the obvious reasons that its kind of good for our national and international head instructors to get eyes on us at annual and instructor seminars, I also simply love being around such great people and teachers! My first major seminar was our Fall aikido seminar...sometime around 1999 or so. This is when I made aikido a permanent part of my life and part of who I am. I don't think I knew it at the time, but looking back that's where I identify that happening. I always learn something, everyone seems to train at an elevated level, and we always emphasize 'off the mat training' (nothing like being thrown around by an 8th dan on Sunday mornings while I have a hangover!).

Eva Antonia 10-02-2012 02:14 AM

Re: Why/Why Not Seminars?
 
Hello,

in this small country we have a very high density of dojos, which compete in hosting seminars, so you have the choice between different seminars every week-end. Last week-end I went to two different ones :p . Normally I go at least once per month; in September I went to four seminars, which was a bit exaggerated, and my family didn't approve very intensely. So now I'm back to once per month. Since there are so many seminars and so many students, they are also not very expensive; you pay something between 10 - 25 € per half-day. Some are for free. And Belgium is small, and public transport is very good, so if you live in Brussels you can attend them all without major difficulties.

Some are only two hours, some one day, some 2,5 days, and once in summer we have a whole week with Christian Tissier and Dany Leclerre - which is a pity for me, because I'm always in Turkey that time. When Sugano Shihan still lived, he gave a 2,5 day seminar every August, now we have every year Osawa shihan coming (in November), Endo shihan (in June), Smibert shihan (also in June), Tissier shihan (in January/ February), and also different people who come less frequently like Yamashima sensei (in September) or Yamada shihan (in October). The two Belgian shihans and lots of 5 - 7 dan teachers fill in the rest of the year.

In Belgium, 80 hours of seminar (not counting seminars given by your own teacher) are required for 1st Dan, and then 40 more for 2nd and so forth. There are many people, myself including, who have already 100 - 200 hours of seminar before getting to 1st Dan, and for whom this requirement wouldn't be necessary because we go to seminars anyway. However, I think it's good that this condition is there because it helps very much to look over your own plate's edge, as they say in Germany.

Still, there also lots of student's who don't go, who just train their two hours of leisure and fun per week, who don't have the money - even if seminars are cheap, money still may be an issue -, or who don't have the time due to their jobs if they have to work on week-ends. I know one whose wife forbid his going to seminars because she's afraid he'd get hurt.

All the best,

Eva

Walter Martindale 10-02-2012 06:01 AM

Re: Why/Why Not Seminars?
 
Back when this was a new thread, I went to seminars whenever I could. It wasn't as often as I'd have liked because they happen on weekends, which happens to be when events in my work also happen.
Now I rarely attend seminars because I'm only rarely practicing. Partly my fault for not traveling to train but the closest Aikikai dojo I'm aware of is about 90 minutes' drive from here.

Adam Huss 10-02-2012 08:29 AM

Re: Why/Why Not Seminars?
 
Quote:

Eva Röben wrote: (Post 316496)
Hello,

in this small country we have a very high density of dojos, which compete in hosting seminars, so you have the choice between different seminars every week-end. Last week-end I went to two different ones :p . Normally I go at least once per month; in September I went to four seminars, which was a bit exaggerated, and my family didn't approve very intensely. So now I'm back to once per month. Since there are so many seminars and so many students, they are also not very expensive; you pay something between 10 - 25 € per half-day. Some are for free. And Belgium is small, and public transport is very good, so if you live in Brussels you can attend them all without major difficulties.

Some are only two hours, some one day, some 2,5 days, and once in summer we have a whole week with Christian Tissier and Dany Leclerre - which is a pity for me, because I'm always in Turkey that time. When Sugano Shihan still lived, he gave a 2,5 day seminar every August, now we have every year Osawa shihan coming (in November), Endo shihan (in June), Smibert shihan (also in June), Tissier shihan (in January/ February), and also different people who come less frequently like Yamashima sensei (in September) or Yamada shihan (in October). The two Belgian shihans and lots of 5 - 7 dan teachers fill in the rest of the year.

In Belgium, 80 hours of seminar (not counting seminars given by your own teacher) are required for 1st Dan, and then 40 more for 2nd and so forth. There are many people, myself including, who have already 100 - 200 hours of seminar before getting to 1st Dan, and for whom this requirement wouldn't be necessary because we go to seminars anyway. However, I think it's good that this condition is there because it helps very much to look over your own plate's edge, as they say in Germany.

Still, there also lots of student's who don't go, who just train their two hours of leisure and fun per week, who don't have the money - even if seminars are cheap, money still may be an issue -, or who don't have the time due to their jobs if they have to work on week-ends. I know one whose wife forbid his going to seminars because she's afraid he'd get hurt.

All the best,

Eva

Nice,

sounds like a good gig!


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