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Old 01-10-2011, 04:44 PM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,219
Re: What Is Your Responsibility in Training?

Hello George,

Well, I believe that Morihei Ueshiba had a point, which I believe is to an extent cultural. You show people and even explain--and you have an obligation to make sure that what you show and what you explain is right, but if they do not understand, then it is their responsibility. They need to practise until they do.

The only person of note I have discussed this with is Hiroshi Tada Shihan. He gives seminars at which he always does the same thing, without fail: long and complex ki training exercises, long and intricate footwork exercises, which develop into seemingly random tai sabaki, followed by waza, usually with two ukes at once. He commented that only committed students, with the time to give to individual training, make any progress. Those who come at weekends only, or do not have the time to do the individual training, do not. However, he saw no obligation to change this situation: you get out of training what you put in, and the ratio of individual training you do to dojo training should be 5 to 1.

As for the seminar circuit, I have experience of giving seminars and I know very well that only about 10% of the attendees actually make an effort to do what I am doing. This happens even if I go round and show people individually. With the Netherlands, I suspect that there is a sense of robust individualism and democracy somewhere in the mix, a sort of assumed contract between seminar givers and attendees: you show us something and if we like it, we will do it, but in the way we think fit. I even receive explanations why they are not actually doing what I am showing: 'He attacked me in this way, so I thought it was better to do this (= another, different) technique.'

Best wishes,


P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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