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Old 08-24-2004, 12:24 PM   #21
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Re: Hungry for Aikido

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Hi Ruth,
It sounds like you are saying that you don't mind if many people aren't serious because that means that the seminars you attend won't be so full and you can get more out of them.
I understand this. That's why we do some seminars that are limited to 14 people precisely so the attendees can get the maximum out of their experience.
Hi George, that's a great idea! But who to allow to train? I guess you make sure that those who missed out last time get the first chance next time?

George S. Ledyard wrote:
It is also true that often, the seminars which are absolutely packed will be the ones by the famous Japanese instructors. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry will turn out for one of those. Then an absolutely fabulous teacher who is non-Japanese will do one and a fraction of the folks will turn out. I see this time and time again. We call it the Japanese "mystique".
Sometimes, not always. I've been at big seminars with both Japanese and British instructors where you couldn't move on the mat!

George S. Ledyard wrote:
If you take a look at a seminar taught by a 5th or 6th Dan you will normally find that the folks attending are very serious about their training. They don't care if the teacher is Japanese or not, they just want the knowledge. If you want to escape the crowds, look for seminars taught by the senior non-Japanese teachers and you will find great training and might atually have room on the mat to fall.
These days I just get a bit pushy at big seminars - sit near the front, insist I get a turn to throw if we're in large groups, talk to the instructor, ask questions. I always get a lot out of seminars now Earlier in my training I didn't have the confidence to do these things, but now I know I have every right to, as a dedicated Aikidoka. At one recent seminar with a 6th dan instructor who I'd never seen before, I got called up as his uke one time - so I guess that means my new attitude works!

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