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Old 06-03-2006, 08:24 AM   #47
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
I've been on both sides of this fence recently (I'm a 3rd kyu), and its been a frustrating issue with me.

#1: I am the beginner with delusions
I was at a seminar recently, and I was lucky enough to work with several dans. One of the first was an older gentleman, and it was a technique that started with a same-side wrist grab. So, he did it 4 times, and then it was my turn. I try it... and he resists. Hard. As in will NOT move at all. I blink, try to relax, check my position, and try again. More resistance. I'm starting to get a bit urked. I dont know him, and while its obvious I outweight him and am probably stronger, there's no way in hell I'd be dumb enough to intentionally muscle a dan at a seminar. So, this continues, maybe 4 ot 5 tries all together. Me trying to do the technique, him clamping down hard to stop it. Meanwhile, he's just calmly looking at me.

So finally I smile, shrug and ask what I'm doing wrong. "The problem with young people is they always think they need to use strength." Ah, ok... I was using strength. I can believe that... its happened before that I was using strength and not aware of it. So, he shows me where he wants me to move, I move, and he takes ukemi. For the rest of the time I worked with him, he shut me down more often than not, and offered minimal feedback on what was happening.

I didn't react well. I kept my reaction inside, but it was very frustrating. He wouldn't tell me what he didn't like, or how to fix it, and he wouldn't let me try to 'feel' the technique. I think the thing that really got me was the way it began: he tanked, and continued to tank, and then finally told me I was being too strong. I realized later I used more and more strength every time... and while I know I shouldn't do that, its an understandable mistake: if I dont know what I'm doing wrong, and no one is telling me, chances are I will, even if its unintentional, resort to "do the same thing, only harder." It was humbling, but not particularly educational. I dont know what I was supposed to do

#2: a beginner in my dojo.
I'm training right now for my next kyu test, and last night I was training with 3 other people (a 5th kyu, 2nd kyu, & 1st kyu). It was a small class (half what it usually is, w/ at least 1 dan there), so the class became "Helping me train for the test." ok, fine.

The 5th kyu would attack harder, faster, and resist all technique. And resist in ways that dont help me learn techniques. I mean, sure, he can block my ushiro shihonage pretty well since a) I need a lot of work on it, b) he knows its coming, and c) I'm not gonna switch to a sankkyo or something. But thats not helping me train for my test, and I dont see how its helping him learn ukemi. I also outweigh him by at least 50 pounds, and I resisted the urge to just squash him with my mass, because, again... that doesn't help me train.

In retrospect, I think I should have said something. I didn't at the time, b/c I know him, and he would take it more or less as me admitting I couldn't handle him. So, I trained to go at same speeds, etc... a fact he's quite oblivious to.

I dunno... just needed to rant. He got under my skin yesterday, and I dont really know how to react.

So... act better than me
Where is the Sensei in all of this Nicholas? Surely he/she is the logical step to a resolution.



Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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