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Old 03-31-2014, 01:03 PM   #32
Location: Northern of 60
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 29
Re: The Validity of an Instructor

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
So, here's the flip side of the question I asked Rupert: if you're a beginner (or relatively new), how do you know that a movement is "over exaggerated" (emphasis mine)? How do you know that something is "nonsense", why do you want something that is "brutal", and how do you know it when you see it?
I have a bit of background in other martial arts so I have an idea what works for me and how I like to train. Like Rupert I was thrown into MA at a young age fallowed by boxing later in life, I was fortunate that both my instructor where very skilled and that was reflected in my sparing. Later when my Karate teacher moved back to Japan and my boxing coach moved back to Quebec I was left looking for something new to fill in the gaps instead of going back to what I already knew. During my search I tried Bagua and xingy quan, a very compliant form of aikido, Japanese Jujitsu where the instructor was teaching out of a book, and last but not least Karate again. The Karate was just not the same and felt sloppy and I just did not love it.

So now I'll try and answer your questions.
if you're a beginner (or relatively new), how do you know that a movement is "over exaggerated" (emphasis mine)?
Had I not tried 3 different aikido instructors I probably would not know that the moves were over exaggerated, I would have assumed that this is just the way it's done in Aikido and never returned because it didn't work for me. What do I mean by that? Well I tend to challenge my instructor, I don't do this out of malicious intent, I do it in order to learn better. So I want my instructor to be able to perform techniques on me while I resist to some degree, if he can't I think there maybe a problem with the way he is performing the move. In general you will be able to generate more strength closer to your body rather then further a way, this is one fundamental difference that I've seen in the different aikido schools iv visited. The schools that tend to lead the uke a lot or have an abundance of compliance tend do perform techniques further away from their body. This is just an observation I made and isn't true for everyone nor dose it apply to every teachnique. So how does a beginner know if something is exaggerated, they probably wont unless A, they have tried multiple schools and has taken the time to make observations or B, Is willing to take what he has learned and test it to see how it works best for him with a non compliant partner.

How do you know that something is "nonsense"
This one is a bit personal and other people will define nonsense differently. If I can't make something work for me while performing it correctly then it is nonsense. If It doesn't have the desired results then it is nonsense. This isn't isolated to martial arts. For example if im taking yoga to become more flexible but am not achieving my goals, then I may find that class to be nonsense. That dose not make the class bad, if I felt relaxed and calmer and this is what I was looking for from the yoga class, then it would have been a success. It really depends on your goals.

why do you want something that is "brutal", and how do you know it when you see it?
Brutal might not have been the right word to use. I prefer something more Martial rather then Art, so should it hurt during practice, yes to an extent, I think it should. I want to get thrown hard, I want my wrist to get torqued, and I wont make it easy. I'm not sadistic, I don't believe that pain equals injury, I hate getting injured and I hate seeing people get injured but I believe a bit of pain is good for the soul, it also allow you to undertand your own pain threshold as well as how far you can take something before seriously injuring someone. These are both good lessons that need to be learned in order to prevent injury. If ever the time comes and you find your self in a situation that you need to use your aikido, you will have better self control and have a better idea of your capabilities. This is less about seeing and more about experiencing.

Something that isn't made clear about traditional Martial arts that I think needs to be clarified is the difference between how you train a martial art and how you use it. I think that is where a lot a beginner make mistakes, get confused and drop out.

Last edited by JoelLM : 03-31-2014 at 01:13 PM.
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