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Old 09-06-2001, 12:37 PM   #3
Dojo: Spokane Budo Circle (Various Parks)
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 8
Re: Talking on the mat

Originally posted by ca
From the poll, it looks like over 2/3 of us so far come from places where there's a fair amount of talking going on while on the mat. My first dojo the only person who talked on the mat was the sensei. My current one is quite the chatty place. One difference I've noticed, is in my first place I missed the chance to occasionally ask if my attack was OK for my partner when I was uke, but otherwise there wasn't much to say, anyway.

In my current dojo, nearly everyone, from those with 2 weeks under their new white belt to the yudansha, feels the need to 'elaborate on the instruction we received'. Wouldn't be too bad, all the talking, if only 20% of the 'correction' was correct Unfortunately, all that extra instruction is usually wrong.

I was recently at a seminar where many of the students were of styles different than the sensei teaching; some of them, in mid-'correction' to me, would be stopped by the instructor and told they were incorrect. Once he moved on, back they went to telling me 'how it was done'. I wonder how much of all this talking going on is about the weather, and how much is the curious phenomena of students feeling that the instructor was unable to get the point across, but that they will now do so?
I do think talking on the mats is okay, as long as it is concerning the training at hand, or if one has a question for Sensei.

Socializing, while it is not a bad thing, should be saved for after training.

I often find that each Sensei, also, has their own understanding.
While the Sensei gave these people his instruction, they were at his seminar, and should have atleast given it some thought, see how it worked, and what not... I mean, if they were of different styles, and went to this person's seminar, they should have been open to the instruction in the first place, common courtesy between practitioners of the way.

I remember once, being shown how to do a sword cut by one of the junior instructors in my Dojo, and then Sensei came along, said, nono, that is all wrong.
He showed me a way to sword cut that was similar to - with a few differences - than his student's instruction.

Both were right, but the junior instructor's depended more on strength, my teacher showed me how to let the blade cut when it wanted to...


D. C. Chapman,
The Spokane Budo Circle.
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