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-   -   one year per technique? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4776)

justinm 12-17-2003 11:04 AM

one year per technique?
 
There are not many techniques in aikido. Ok, so you could argue there are an infinite number, or one, or whatever, but for us normal people there are probably about 15 or so, depending upon how you count them. Let's say, for the sake of this idea, that there are 10.

So, looking 10 years ahead, you have two choices. You could study all 10 techniques over the ten years, mixed up, which is pretty much what we all do, or you could dedicate the first year to technique number 1 only, eg ikkyo, second year on number 2 and so on. One technique per year. Dedicated, focused training on that one single technique, day in day out. Think of the level of insight on each technique you could achieve doing that.

So do you think you would be a more capable aikidoka at the end of year 10 if you trained that way?

Justin

indomaresa 12-17-2003 12:11 PM

we'd probably forgot technique #1 by the time we got to #10

kensparrow 12-17-2003 12:13 PM

I think you would miss a lot by only training one technique at a time. I have often found something in one technique that actually had more impact on a different technique. It's that whole spiral staircase theory of learning. The other obvious drawback is that after finishing technique (and year) 10, how much would you remember from year 1?

happysod 12-17-2003 12:21 PM

Think of the boredom you would encounter...

rachmass 12-17-2003 12:51 PM

How would anyone new ever join in? (that is assuming you start year one of training at ikkyo, year two at nikkyo and so on)

Ted Marr 12-17-2003 01:16 PM

Actually, that's basically how we worked it at a dojo I used to train at. Now, it wasn't Aikido, it was sort of a composite, and the fact that it was university affiliated made the semester/year breakdown very natural, so I don't know exactly how well this would work elsewhere...

Anyways, for one semester, we would work all sorts of variations on arm bars (Ikkyo, roughly speaking). Usually only one, possibly two techniques on any given day. The next semester was nikkyo and kotegaeshi variations, and the third would be sankyo and shihonage variations. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Generally, we had a training regimen that was 2 days a week of the throwing stuff, then one of striking or ground-fighting (alternating semesters). One for free-practice (almost always throwing), and one on occasional weekends for bo. I really liked this way of organizing things... it appeals to my regimented way of thinking.

But more importantly, (again, this can only be applied in university settings), it was understood that if you couldn't come to practice regularly, you shouldn't come at all, since that would retard the group's progress as a whole. So, if halfway though the semester, you missed a few classes, you were really expected to drop it and come back the next semester. It kept the training really very intense.

And don't even get me started on the testing regimen....

Bronson 12-18-2003 12:09 AM

I have a theory, based soley on my gut feeling and nothing that could be considered even remotely scientific, that if I practiced nothing but kotegaeshi for a year my ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, etc would all get better (assuming of course I already have some level of base profiency in the technique).

I base this on my understanding that most of what makes the technique work is proper timing, distance, positioning and what-have-you. All things that are learned and practiced in every technique albeit with slight variations.

Mostly I'm blabbering and fully expect to roasted by the more logical types here :D

Bronson

ian 12-18-2003 06:07 AM

I've tried for about 2 years to set up a training program that would maximise a students ability over 3 years (since most of our aikido students are from the university). However I think this approach destroys the student-teacher relationship where the teacher is sensetive to the needs and development abilities and rate of the students. The best way to teach is to keep an eye on the students and use their development as a feedback to your training method.

Ian

ian 12-18-2003 06:09 AM

P.S. although ikkyo and irimi-nage could be taught exclusively at the start, I think it is a big mistake to think that techniques are seperate, and thus could be taught seperately. Until a student knows ALL the core techniques they cannot really start doing aikido (i.e. being truly responsive to uke).

Ian

justinm 12-18-2003 06:29 AM

That is interesting Ian, and I should think it is similar to universities in Japan that have a specific 3 year curriculum. Did you find any of it worked, or have you binned the idea?

I follow a Yoshinkan grading syllabus in theory, but find little of what I teach day to day matches this, in fact I think the first 2 grades in our syllabus, if followed correctly, would result in all my beginners leaving. The only exception would be the rare beginner that has decided to pursue aikido as a long term commitment, rather than most, who just want 'to learn a martial art, and liked what they read about aikido'.

So I try to put heavy emphasis on having fun - more than I would in an environment where getting to an end goal is more important than the journey.

Has anyone found a particular way to teach that maxinmises the speed of learning, even if it is less 'fun' to do for the student?

Justin

paw 12-18-2003 06:40 AM

Bronson,
Quote:

I have a theory, based soley on my gut feeling and nothing that could be considered even remotely scientific, that if I practiced nothing but kotegaeshi for a year my ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, etc would all get better (assuming of course I already have some level of base profiency in the technique).
With all due respect, I don't think so. While techniques do have many common principles, they are different and those differences would take some adjustment. It's a bit like supposing that shooting three point shots will improve your lay-ups, or you'll never have to practice with a pitching wedge to get out of a sand trap in golf because, a golf swing is a golf swing --- in principle. So just hitting drives and putting will take care of it.

You can think of hundred of examples if you try...hitting a baseball vs bunting, hitting a forehand vs hitting a backhand in tennis and so on....

Ultimately, I suspect if one trained in one technique and only one technique for an entire year, their aikido would be terrible. It would be "dead". The aikidoist would forever be attempting to force a pattern onto the situation instead of blending with what is.

Regards,

Paul

Nick Simpson 12-18-2003 07:25 PM

Aikido should be fun, what you outline doesnt sound like fun to me.

indomaresa 12-18-2003 08:07 PM

training one technique for a year might not help your other techniques, but think of how effective it would be. Maybe the person can spend that one year to tackle every manner of attack with an ikkyo.

We know there's like a hundred variations of ikkyo, depending on the situations. So it may not be as useless as it sounds. I imagine that the person doing it can consider himself a researcher.

It's not exactly aikido, and it's not fun. But maybe it'll be useful. Justin, If you do this, do write an essay.

PeterR 12-18-2003 08:22 PM

Generally speaking Aikido is not about techniques but the principles behind them and more specifically there is no one technique that teaches all principles to full advantage.

Far better is to choose a select subset of techniques and practice them ad nauseum and of course for interest toss in variations.

I sure don't go to Aikido to be bored to death.

Noel 12-18-2003 08:30 PM

I have my doubts about one technique per year. What happens when uke isn't right, or you miss a grab, or something similar. Knowing how ikkyo can be turned to nikyo or sankyo, for example, can be the difference between completing the technique successfully and looking like the klutz I normally am.

I think once you are reasonably competent and familiar with all the techniques, polishing one technique per year might be beneficial. For beginners, I think the ones who didn't die of boredom would have some awfully stiff technique.

tedehara 12-18-2003 09:38 PM

Quote:

Justin McCarthy (justinm) wrote:
...You could study all 10 techniques over the ten years, mixed up, which is pretty much what we all do, or you could dedicate the first year to technique number 1 only, eg ikkyo, second year on number 2 and so on. One technique per year. Dedicated, focused training on that one single technique, day in day out. Think of the level of insight on each technique you could achieve doing that.

So do you think you would be a more capable aikidoka at the end of year 10 if you trained that way?

Justin

This reminds me of a chief instructor on the West Coast. One day he walks into the dojo and announces "Now, we'll look closely at Ikkyo." From the young aikidoists who liked trying a variety of throws, there came a collective groan.

One month later, they were still doing Ikkyo. Day in and day out, the only technique that was practiced was Ikkyo. People were saying, "We've got to get rid of this crazy, old guy."

While cooler heads tried to prevail, the teacher was reassigned to another area. I can't say how everyone felt about this incident. But before he died, this instructor was heard to remark,
Quote:

I think I've finally gotten the hang of Ikkyo.
I guess that's what really counts.

:)

Taliesin 12-30-2003 07:03 AM

The problem with the one technique scenario that nobody seems to have mentioned is the development of form, balance, control, movement and harmony.

The idea of learning only one technique might make you good at that technique but there would be no, or at least minimal development of these things. Nor would a student have any possibility to learn for themselves interlinking techniques as you would for the first year have nothing to link to.

Personally I like approach of x techniques for a grade and developing and adding to them as you go along( a comprimise between learning everything and learning only one technique).

Any way no matter what the techniques every increase in grade should demonstrate a clear (but not necessarily huge) improvement in form, balance posture etc, something that i don't think could be done on a one technique a year basis.

Just my pennyworth.

SeiserL 12-30-2003 09:46 AM

IMHO, all techniques illustrate the underlying principles (enter and blend, taking balance, etc.), if you just focused on the technical proficiency of one technique you might miss the principles (common denominators) that make all techniques work and limit your growth potential.

IMHO, first learn the technqiues, then become concept/principle oriented, then just relax, breath, and have a really good time. The first two are "make" stages, the last is a "let".

actoman 12-30-2003 10:28 AM

Maybe like 1 month per technique, but again that would also get boring, but at the same time it may also keep you interested cause you would always be looking forward to the next thing, but to test you would have to do all you have learned so you would have to incorporate it into your practice somehow.

Lyle Bogin 01-09-2004 12:39 PM

I like as many doors into the same room as possible.

ryujin 01-16-2004 12:32 PM

Why even bother with techniques. You could spend a lifetime on basic principles like kuzushi, tsukuri and kake. The breaking of balance and fitting to uke's recovery. Timing, targeting and distance. Good posture and body movement. You could spend ten years on technique and miss this kind of stuff without a good understanding of these things. These things will let you make up all the techniques you will ever need.

indomaresa 01-17-2004 04:56 AM

good idea carl!

although, beginners can't learn all that without techniques. maybe it's plausible for an advanced class.

ryujin 01-17-2004 09:37 AM

Quote:

Maresa Sumardi wrote:
although, beginners can't learn all that without techniques. maybe it's plausible for an advanced class.

Really? Perhaps your not giving beginners enough credit. I think you'd be quite surprised.

:)


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