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Old 07-23-2004, 02:11 PM   #7
Robert Rumpf
Dojo: Academy of Zen and the Ways
Location: Kailua, HI
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 164
United_States
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Active learning

I personally find it useful to pick one aspect of training and ignore the others (within reason) for a time. I don't recommend this approach for beginners or people with bad ukemi, though. Until you can do a rough version of a technique, detailed training on a particular aspect is not that useful.

If I get called out by an uke on ignoring an aspect that I am not interested in at the moment, I either ignore them or tell them straight out (for example) "I don't care about X right now, I'm working on Y instead, so tell me if my Y is any good." Of course if its the instructor who calls me out, or the point is particularly valid, I have to try to comply.

Since the uke is being chatty and giving you advice, you can always use that too. For example, if I'm trying to be soft with a chatty uke, I'll sometimes ask them how it felt or if it hurt, and compare their answer to what my body felt through them so that I can build sensitivity that way.

I tend to view Aikido partner practice as the training of specific "muscles" (are knees muscles?) and building skills (awareness or relaxation) and leave my general, practical applications of techniques to jizu waza outside of class or randori. Because of this, I generally don't care if my techniques work or not against a given uke.. that frees me up to train myself instead of forcing technique to happen.

There's this great Yagyu Munenori quote that is part of my motivation this approach, but I don't have it in front of me at the moment.

There is a drawback with this style of learning. Sempai may not like you telling them that, at the moment, you don't care about a particular aspect of the technique they are interested in. This can cause trouble.

For me though, I find that I have to make an effort to choose things to focus on if I'm going to see noticeable progress. On good days that aligns with what the instructor is working on.

Or... you could just pick your partners and teachers so that you get what you're looking to find. Great in the short run, but bad in the long run.

Hopefully that helps,
Rob
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