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Old 01-06-2008, 01:20 AM   #9
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,202
Re: Sempai kohai differences

Well to answer my own post now that I have a bit more time...

Like most folks, I like both for different reasons and overall don't have a preference most of the time. I tend to think a bit like Clark in that for me it's usually a case by case basis. Different personalities seem to be more beneficial than different proficiencies...AND I've found different people excel at different movements. I can't say as I've trained with any bad yudansha, but I'm not really very widely experienced. I've had some great pointers given by sempai and kohai alike, though I almost always learn more from my sempai...that is to say, my techniques get stronger training with them because they'll counter my movements more often, forcing me to keep my centerline and structure more alive and powerful. On the other hand, training with kohai gives me more opportunity to teach, which as was mentioned, can really help in considering what's happening. It wasn't until I began teaching a kids' class at our dojo that I feel my training really began to take off, for example. Newer students also have forced me to "catch" my partners' center more (not that I'm very consistant) and to take out the slack such as when shihonage turns into a ballroom dancer's double turn (I think that's what it's called). There have been a couple guys who took me too literally when I told them to try and hit me with their free hand, one in particular who kept trying to count coup on me and I gotta say it really gave me a good chance to practice my timing. His strikes weren't powerful, but they were fairly quick and sincere.

Does anyone have any good stories to relate of learning from kohai?

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-06-2008 at 01:22 AM.

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