learning aikido & tai chi
I started my study of akido this January and am really enjoying the atmosphere of the dojo, the sensei and my fellow classmates. Since I am a relative newcomer, and have only attended this one dojo, a question arises regarding the teaching of waza. Prior to embarking on the "do", I spent many years learning tai chi. In my experience, tai chi is aquired in a linear fashion, taught piecemeal then placed together into the particular form you study (yang long form, sword form, forms 24, 42, etc.) There tends to be considerable repetition in the learning, taking the form apart and studying the pieces. This gives on a sense of appreciation for the entire form and enables the eventual practice of the total form without "thinking" about the component moves. Tai chi is seemingly taught in a linear context.
Aikido is more of a matrix to me. There is an given attack, to which a given counter may take many forms. I appreciate the complexity of this and find it quite appealing. It is also very daunting. I add here that my class meets twice weekly. We tend not to practice with repetition as the basis for learning. Sure, Sensei demonstrates the technique several times for the practitioners to view. However, we practice this for a few minutes before Sensei moves us on to a variation, then a variation of the variation, etc. If you miss the fundamentals then you find yourself confused, frustrated, or worst of all faking the move with speed as your cloak.
So here's the question: Is this the method for teaching aikido? Is it my Sensei, who is very accomplished and gentle in his teaching?
Is it me? (I would never approach Sensei and ask him to reformat the class structure.) I know practice would be a good solution, but that presents another problem because most of my classmates can only make the dojo twice a week at best.
Please advise.
Regards: Carry Tiger
