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Old 09-30-2001, 04:12 AM   #1
nikonl
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Ai symbol Changing of Partners

What do you people think of the changing of partners during one training session?

Basically, my dojo doesn't practice the changing of partners during one practice. The reason behind this is my sensei believes that changing partners too many times is "not good". As he explains it, we haven't even conquered one mountain and we are pulling back to try another one.(get the idea?) hehe. For example, if we encountered a very difficult partner who "makes our life difficult", we shouldn't think of changing partners but to try to overcome this "difficultness". Sorry for the long paragraph...hehe... So what are your thoughts bout this?
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Old 09-30-2001, 06:28 AM   #2
Duarh
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Hehe

Actually, my sensei insists on changing partners. Usually, we change after every technique. Last time, I did something like 3 in a row with a friend, and sensei came up and seperated us. Can't say I don't like this, though. You can learn a lot if you have different people providing their insights, I think.

Toms
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Old 09-30-2001, 07:12 AM   #3
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
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At the dojo I train at, like most Shodokan dojos, we dont actually choose our training partners. We line up on either side of the dojo, and when its time to change partner (usually after each technique) the line moves around, and our new partner is the next person in line.

It would probably seem strange to someone visiting from an Aikikai dojo, maybe even a bit regimented.

What I like about it, though, is that everyone trains with everyone. It isn't possible for anyone to stick with their favourite partner or to avoid their least favourite.

Sean
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Old 09-30-2001, 12:12 PM   #4
nikonl
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Ai symbol

Quote:
You can learn a lot if you have different people providing their insights, I think.
Yes,i agree with that,but you have to bear in mind the reason for 'providing insights'. Isn't it so that you could feel the different types of people AND try to blend/get-accustomed with them? personally, i don't think you could do that within a short period of time.
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Old 09-30-2001, 04:47 PM   #5
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Quote:
Originally posted by nikon

Isn't it so that you could feel the different types of people AND try to blend/get-accustomed with them? personally, i don't think you could do that within a short period of time.
Most people train at the same dojo for a long time though, so even if you change partners very regularly, you still get to know individuals well, as the weeks and months (and years) roll by.

Do you find that people tend to pair off with the same person often, Leslie? If you change partners very infrequently, whats to prevent people from (deliberately or unconsciously) training with the same person a great deal of the time?

Sean
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Old 09-30-2001, 07:38 PM   #6
TheProdigy
Dojo: Aikido Kokikai Delaware
Location: Delaware, USA
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I think the whole idea of changing partners after every technique is exactly to avoid getting accustomed to their style. A person on the street won't feel anything like the people you train with in the dojo, and 2 seperate attackers on the street will each have a very unique feel to them. I think switching frequently helps to teach us to learn how to adapt to whatever style/feel the attacker may have. It seems designed such that we will master ourselves rather than learning how to exploit the flaws within each individual (as you won't have a chance to learn in the split second an attack comes in real self defense situation).

In both cases you are given the opportunity to grow and master yourself. In the constant switching of partners I believe it becomes emphasized moreso. In addition you learn to adjust and adapt from various attackers of all shapes and sizes on typically similar techniques.

-Jase

Jason Hobbs
"As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life."
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Old 09-30-2001, 10:11 PM   #7
Chocolateuke
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
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I aggree Jase. I change partners reqular now I am able to throw a lot of people out side the dojo ( mind you I have done it.) once a friend of mine wanted to experience aikido ukemi so I did a shionage ont he grass but didnt throw him because I wasnt sure if I could control his fall and he was thankful anyhow! but I think control and throwing compitently are different things at different times.

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 09-30-2001, 11:15 PM   #8
Irony
Dojo: Aikido Center of Atlanta
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For my dojo, we do it as a matter of fun. Being a school with no one over Ikkyu the vast majority of those we practice with are at a lower level. It's wonderful to be able to let loose with a higher ranking aikidoka; both in the technique and in the ukemi. Then you get to go to a lower level person and try to figure out how to make this heavy, stubborn individual move. It really puts things in perspective and you get a chance to let go once and a while and really enjoy training to the fullest.

Chris Pasley
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Old 10-01-2001, 03:47 AM   #9
nikonl
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Ai symbol

Quote:
Do you find that people tend to pair off with the same person often
well, there is a possibility. But in my dojo,it doesn't realli happen,because my sensei wants us to find a partner with the nearest person around you(at the start, and its quite difficult because if you wanted to be with your favourite partner, you would have to walk around searching for him/her and you will surely be spotted by sensei. And my dojo has lots of members, so the odds of 'meeting' the same person again is very low.

Quote:
I think switching frequently helps to teach us to learn how to adapt to whatever style/feel the attacker may have.
yar, the dojo is where we must practice these things. We need time to adapt to different attackers, if changing is frequent, everyone would seem new. By changing less often, we get used to that kind of attacker and it will seem 'nothing new'. By applying that in the streets, chances are any attacker would not be new to you.

Btw, to my knowledge, the doshu doesn't practice the frequent changing of partners too...
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Old 10-01-2001, 06:42 AM   #10
ian
 
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Although staying with a 'difficult' partner can help you overcome a problem - I've actually found it better if you swap around a lot and, through training with others, find why it was different with this other partner. You can then go back to your original partner and retrain with them. The only danger is if people actively avoid each other - but that is why at times I specifically suggest two people train together.

In weapon work we always used to stay with the same partner so we could blend effectively with them when it came to more complicated stuff. I think this is useful, but in my classes I've found that, because there are a lot of low grades, swapping speeds the progression up enormously because they can learn alot from each other, and the more knowledgeable people spread their knowledge around as well.

Ian
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Old 10-01-2001, 01:36 PM   #11
michaelkvance
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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A senior student at the dojo was telling me recently about a trip she had made to a New England dojo (Aikikai, I think), where not only did they not switch partners *during* class, but apparently they used the same partner every class! The worst part is that they seemed somewhat put-out that they had to practice with her and not their regular partner. How bizarre!

m.
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Old 10-02-2001, 03:52 AM   #12
JJF
 
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As far as I know, dancing is best done with the same partner every night and martial arts are best practiced with alternating partners. If you want it to look good - stay with one partner - if you want to learn to adapt to other peoples movements - change partner. The frequency of change can be discussed though.
Just my humble opinion.....

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 10-02-2001, 11:07 AM   #13
BC
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In the dojo where I practice (Aikikai), we change partners only once during regular classes. However during seminars, we change after every technique. Our late Sensei was very adamant that the most senior students practice with the beginners, and we continue that tradition. On the other hand, sometimes some students will practice with each other more frequently than others. For example, my sempai and I will often try to seek each other out to practice with each other. This isn't so much considered preferential treatment as much as trying to foster and nourish the sempai/kohai traditions in our art and dojo. I hope that someday when the time comes, I will also be able to act as sempai for another student.

Regards,

Robert Cronin
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Old 10-03-2001, 02:20 AM   #14
nikonl
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Ai symbol

Michael:hmm..thats wierd...its ok to change about to 2 times a lesson,but not at all? never heard of it,hehe.

Anyone's dojo practices not changing of partners at all? hope to hear from you.
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Old 10-03-2001, 09:45 AM   #15
charron
Dojo: Jiyushinkai
Location: The Colony, TX
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training with differnet partners

Personnally, I believe that you learn the most when working with new people. That's when you see how well your stuff is working. If you limit your practices to just a few people, then you get into the trap of both people adjusting to each other, so that they can practice well together. But again the real test is when you first try your techniques against newbies, who have no idea how they are suppose to react. We can try to learn to be the perfect uke, giving the perfect attack, but if really attacked, do you really believe that the attacker will give you a perfect attack?
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Old 10-03-2001, 05:54 PM   #16
michaelkvance
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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Quote:
As far as I know, dancing is best done with the same partner
Actually, in every dance class I've ever attended the exact opposite is true, you're never allowed to stick with the same partner.



m.
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Old 10-09-2001, 04:54 AM   #17
JJF
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by michaelkvance


Actually, in every dance class I've ever attended the exact opposite is true, you're never allowed to stick with the same partner.



m.
Okay.... I guess I stand corrected .... Anyway I rarely dance (except when I'm home alone listening to Tom Jones and jumping around the house stark nak.. hmmm better change the subject now.....

Anyway my intended point was that when you want to become REALLY good at doing something that is 'coreographed' you stick to one partner after you have learned the basis so that the two of you can learn to follow each other and read each others signals. I guess it is that kind of Aikido you will get from practicing with just one partner. It can probably look amazing, but it will likely be little more than just dancing.

Rambling - have to get back to work......

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 10-09-2001, 07:41 AM   #18
ian
 
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I think you've hit the nail on the head Jorgen:

I was asking a senior instructor what you do if someone jumps out of your hand or reacts in a completely bizzare way to your technique (such as running at you stupidly, dropping to the floor without you doing anything or letting go and just standing there). He told me that I have to respond to what uke is doing NOW not what uke should be doing.

This same instructor used to talk about living in the present and not the past or the future - I used to think it was some hippy zen bullsh*t, but now I realise what he meant.

Just going through the motions of aikido techniques is OK for beginners, but at the end of the day we have to get to the stage where we can react to what a person is actually doing - and therefore every throw is different 'cos we are not 'doing a technque' on someone - we are blending with them such that a technique appears.

Ian
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Old 10-09-2001, 07:47 AM   #19
ian
 
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P.S.

what I do now alot when I am teaching 'set' techniques is to define what uke should be doing (pushing, pulling, stationary, running, lifting their elbow - e.g. when trying to resist etc). Therefore nage gets used to the feel of what is weak about ukes attack, and can exploit this weakness with an appropriate attack. Therefore, when it comes to randori it is not a question of nage thinking 'now I will do ikkyo', but of their body realising where uke is weak (due to ukes movement or response) and exploiting that to carry out a throw/technique. To me this is the big difference between Aikido and ju-jitsu i.e. aikido is purely in response to uke, and is not forcing a particular technique on.

Ian
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Old 10-09-2001, 03:58 PM   #20
Sarah
Dojo: Aikido Shinryukan Canterbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by JJF


Okay.... I guess I stand corrected .... Anyway I rarely dance (except when I'm home alone listening to Tom Jones and jumping around the house stark nak.. hmmm better change the subject now.....

Anyway my intended point was that when you want to become REALLY good at doing something that is 'coreographed' you stick to one partner after you have learned the basis so that the two of you can learn to follow each other and read each others signals. I guess it is that kind of Aikido you will get from practicing with just one partner. It can probably look amazing, but it will likely be little more than just dancing.

Rambling - have to get back to work......
Good social dancing is surprisingly like good aikido, and a good lead is actually more like a lead-then-follow. What I mean by that is that the leader will ask for a move, the follower will produce something which may or may not be related to the lead just given. A good leader then adjusts his position to make it look like that is what he intended all the time! Dancing's all a game of bluff and attitude.

Aikido is kind of the same (not the bluff and attitude bit though). If uke does something weird then nage needs to react appropriately. Appropriate may be changing the technique, or it may be letting go and getting out of the way so uke's arm doesn't end up wrenched.

Cheers
Sarah

Last edited by Sarah : 10-09-2001 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-09-2001, 04:34 PM   #21
Sarah
Dojo: Aikido Shinryukan Canterbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by ian
I think you've hit the nail on the head Jorgen:

I was asking a senior instructor what you do if someone jumps out of your hand or reacts in a completely bizzare way to your technique (such as running at you stupidly,
dropping to the floor without you doing anything or letting go and just standing there). He told me that I have to respond to what uke is doing NOW not what uke should be doing.

This same instructor used to talk about living in the present and not the past or the future - I used to think it was some hippy zen bullsh*t, but now I realise what he meant.

Just going through the motions of aikido techniques is OK for beginners, but at the end of the day we have to get to the stage where we can react to what a person is actually doing - and therefore every throw is different 'cos we are not 'doing a technque' on someone - we are blending with them such that a technique appears.

Ian
Yep. Not only responding to what uke is doing but to what they are too. I'm short. The second shortest person in my club. Sometimes people forget that they have to work with that and an attempt at iriminage comes whistling in *over* my head. Sometimes they overcompensate and end up in some strange off balance contortion half way through shionage.

This pretty much takes us back on topic as the same principles of aikido still work - off balance points, maintaining posture and all the good stuff we're supposed to be practicing is the same no matter who the uke is but different ukes highlight different weaknesses.

Then again I might just be saying that because that is what my dojo does .

Cheers
Sarah
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Old 10-17-2001, 02:29 PM   #22
JPT
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I have always been told that the changing of partners is a good thing. Firstly each person that we pratice with will attack slightly different, they will have different size limbs, different pain thresh holds, different body reactions & therefore we need to learn how to make the minor adjustments to each techinque, when we apply them, so they will work properly. Secondly training with people from different levels is a good because, those of a higher grade can teach you from their experience. Those from a lower grade teach you because you have to think about what you are explaining to them & they sometimes react unexpectedly. While you learn from those of the same level, because it's a kind of experimental workshop where you help each other. Plus when you train with people from other styles, they often have a different view on how a technique should be done.
Personnel I like to learn by feeling the technique, in the uk I have two sensei's, when both do shironage one sensei feels like he is about to ripe my arm out of my socket then suddenly I am looking up from the mat. The other one feels very smooth, like nothing is happening, then suddenly again I am looking up from the mat. Recently I've been studying with another sensei and again shironage is completely different with much more emphasis on the wrist lock. All three are valid ways to perform the same technique & all three finish the with uke look up from the mat. As the saying goes "There is more than one way to skin a cat"
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