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Old 02-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
Re: Help! Blackbelts vs Sensei!

Sticky fix - we have all been there - especially us beginners.

You could:

As suggested - ask Sensei
or after class ask a friendly senior about the problem in general terms.

Personally I would do whatever the senior student I am practicing tells me to do to the best of my ability.

EVEN if I think or KNOW that it is incorrect or different from the way Sensei instructed me.
Inevitably at some point Sensei will come over and tell me what I am doing is wrong. At which point I just say "Hai Sensei" and do it the new way I am shown. This has taught me humility, patience and good dojo manners. Which I think are key components to being a good Budoka !!! Helps us to keep a beginners mind which in turn keeps us grounded, so we never stop learning, arrogance is the worst enemy for development.

An explanation as to why they tell you one way and do it another could be found in the traditional learning process of Shu Ha Ri.

As a beginner, you like me, are in the Shu phase, this involves mimicking exactly. Some yudansha may have moved onto a different phase but there is a strict path to follow and they know this, or on the other hand maybe they are just complacent and/or inconsistent. Only you can work that out. If you really don't like the inconsistency then consider finding a more consistent place of practice. If you haven't shopped around you may want to as you may do this for years and years and invest a lot of time and effort. Consistent places do exist, and generally the more consistent the students the 'better' the training es likely to be, IMHO. Or at least it will be less frustrating (Could of course be consistently bad).

Above my pay dirt but technically:
You can have your front knee over your toes and more weight on the back foot but it requires you to suck in your tummy and rotate your hips, trying to put your anus to the sky (don't practice this in public showers, in some places this may give off the wrong signal). It is not a natural stance, and a little uncomfortable at first. Not taught in all styles.

Also watch how open your hips are by looking to see which way your knees are pointing when you turn out your feet. With incorrect alignment especially when turning pivoting you can apply torsion to your knee joint, especially if the mat is kind of sticky. To stop this the upper and lower legs should be nice a straight, not pointing in different directions. Ballet dancers practice for hours and hours and hours to get good ‘turn out', Aikidoka don't but somehow they are expected to just do it.

Good luck

Last edited by gates : 02-08-2012 at 10:29 PM.

Enjoy the journey
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