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AikiWeb System 08-31-2003 12:01 AM

AikiWeb Poll for the week of August 31, 2003:

Of the following three, which is currently the most important learning "mode" for you in learning aikido?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Auditory (hearing)
  • Visual (seeing)
  • Kinesthetic (feeling)
Here are the current results.

Clayton Kale 08-31-2003 11:20 AM

Good question!

As a relative beginner (Go-Kyu), I find it easier to see the technique and then try it. As I'm doing it, I get a sebse of what needs work. As I progress, I imagine I'll place a greater ephasis on feeling a technique out.

What do you upper level students think? Have you found that when you were a beginner that sight was more important and later learned by feeling a technique work?

Chuck Clark 08-31-2003 04:02 PM

At this point in my training, I think that I learn in ways that are balanced in all three learning modes.

joan 08-31-2003 05:04 PM

I have a difficult time processing information when it comes verbally, especially so when at the same time as visual or kinesthetic input. It makes study difficult in that many instructors talk a lot. In my optimal learning environment I watch a technique, then practice until I feel it working. When I first started I liked more verbal cues. This started to fade after shodan.

JJF 09-01-2003 01:45 AM

I'm usually a very 'verbal kind of guy' so for a long time I preferred discussing the techniques and listening to my sensei. For a while though I had a very good sensei, who knew how to teach me by showing me what it should feel like. Very inspiring.

I've changed to a different instructor a while back. He can show me the right 'feel' as well, but he emphazises proper movements/technical details a lot, so right now I voted 'visual'. In the end it comes down to where you are in your aiki-development and what your teacher is like.

Fiona D 09-01-2003 08:41 AM

Very nice question!

I would tend to say 'all three' based on what I've done so far. The visual part is extremely important, but it's tricky to rely on that alone, because it's very easy to miss subtle details which turn out to be vital to the technique. So some verbal input in a demonstration of the technique is necessary, in order to highlight the important parts. This was really brought home to me when I was living in Denmark for a year (with very little Danish) and training there - lacking the vocabulary I tried to rely on sight alone, but would invariably miss something important, and would have to ask my training partner or the sensei to explain further.

I'm told that I talk a little too much when I'm teaching techniques (in the jiu jitsu club here in Ottawa), so I guess there's an optimum balance to strike between the visual and the verbal.

The 'feel' of the technique comes into play as soon as one starts practising it with a partner. Two sides to that, I think - firstly, getting the basic movements in the right place at the right time, which is tricky unless you've got someone to try it on, and secondly, to adapt the details of the technique to the particular uke you're working with (especially in cases where there's a significant size difference).

(Actually, the same thing applies to ballroom dancing, which I've been doing for a while - the same combination of visual, verbal and 'feel' is necessary to learn a pattern, and the way it fits into the dance, properly.)

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