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Old 03-16-2009, 04:27 PM   #24
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: The speed of a technique

Allen Beebe wrote: View Post

Matters would have been greatly complicated if he had taken your original instruction and either used previously associated experience to create a referent or instantaneously created a new referent based on *past* experience thereby insulating himself from the experience you were trying to relate. He probably would have given you the same reaction but would have been much less able to be re-directed to experience the new sensations and therefore make a new association. Hence, "There are none so blind as those that *will* not see."
Hi Allen,
Yes, for sure about the "past experience" filtering ones ability to perceive. I think that this is why one must really strive to direct ones training. Train only with teachers that seem to be operating at the same level and seem to share a common principle base.

Traditionally, this was always the reason teachers gave for not wanting you to train with other teachers... you would get "confused". While legitimate in some circumstances, I think that this restriction was misused by mediocrities to keep theit students from seeing better teachers.

I am a big believer in training with multiple teachers. I have a certain idea about the kind of Aikido I want to do and a good idea of what things should look like when I see it in others. So I have no problem moving from Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei to Howard Popkin and Ushiro Senseis, and even Vladimir Vasiliev. The more I train with them, the more I realize that the underlying principles they are using are the same.

Having trained with a wide variety of teachers who share a common principle foundation yet have widely differing training methodology and descriptive terminology, I find that when I train with someone totally new, I have the ability to pick up new information quickly. I do not think that this would have been true had I simply trained with Saotome Sensei for the last thirty years. In fact, I understand him far better because I trained with all these others.

On the other hand, I do not think that all teachers within Aikido operate on a common principle base. There is plenty of Aikido that is pretty much devoid of "aiki". At best some is just a decent jiu jutsu and at worst it is a lot of torquing and muscling of the partner. Where one falls into these categories seems to have little or no relation to rank or experience level.

So, if you try to train across the Aikido spectrum, I think that your body and mind will get confused. There is enough of range of sophistication that I personally wouldn't consider what some teachers are doing to be even the same art as what I am doing. So I think it is best to stick with teachers that seem to be on the same page so to speak. Then the experience with one seems to compliment rather than interfere with your experience of another. That's my take and I'm sticking to it...
Hope all is well,

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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