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Old 01-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #33
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,192
Re: What Is Your Responsibility in Training?

I'm thinking of my different teachers through the years, and their very different styles. When I was training karate, my sensei's teaching was extremely laconic, the name of a technique or "Eeeeeh, kata". Training there was very repetitive, the same thing in the same rhythm with very little variation from class to class. If you were doing something wrong, Sensei would show you once. If you didn't make the correction, he would not show you again, or say anything (although he would say something if he could see you were trying but needed some help). He would just go on and correct someone who hadn't gotten the lesson yet. He seemed to feel that if you'd been given the lesson and you weren't doing what he said, why bother to belabor the point? And although he was the most mild-mannered person imaginable, there were no congratulations at his dojo. The only thing was that sometimes he would stop to watch a student -- and if that student was doing the technique correctly, he would simply nod once. And the student, if they were doing the technique correctly, would never see it. You might see it if he nodded at someone nearby, but never if he gave you his single silent sign of approval.

I had a jo sensei who would say, "No. Again. No. Again. No. Again. No. Again," over and over. How I must have tried that man's patience! But I was trying, and he had patience with that -- and after another three hours of, "No. Again," the next week (or the next month) it might be another kata about which he said, "No. Again." I never, ever got past "No. Again," with him, not once, not for one day.

Now, in aikido, I train with a sensei who busts my chops continually, loudly and verbally. I don't know what it all means, if I've become a better student or a worse student.
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