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Old 01-15-2002, 11:42 AM   #37
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
Originally posted by Edward
...we need to wait for the technique to mature in our head before we are able to do it. The duty of the Sempai is to show the technique to his Junior as correctly as he can and as often as he can, sort of showing him the good example.
Isn't this primarily the teacher's job? Sempai/Kohai relationships are based on a heirarchy of ability, but that does not mean the Sempai necessarily knows what they are doing, or "showing the good example". Half the battle of doing correct things is leaving out what is incorrect. I don't think we need to wait for the technique to mature only in the head, that is one of the reasons for strigent anti-verbalization used in classical Japanese disciplines. An intellectual understanding of what we are doing is necessary, but that is not the goal of training on the mat.

Probably there are some people who like to be verbally taught by their Sempai during class, but not me. I prefer the more subtle way of mute demonstration.
I don't want to sound impolite, but I find it very hard and much more subtle to convey instruction through correct verbiage than to simply walk through the technique. Sometimes "walking the talk" is hard because we have to know how to talk correctly, and know that we can do what we are saying. Don't forget that though you may be a visual or kinesthetic learner, there are those out there who must hear things in order to grasp them completely. I live in the Southwestern United States and that is a very common trait amongst Native Americans.
Do your best to emulate your teacher's ability and articulate what you can to those who feel it important to listen. Just remember Abe Lincoln's "it is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." I sometimes think that Westerners take the "silent treatment" a bit too far and use it as an excuse to show how wise they are.

Jim Vance
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