Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Teaching

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-31-2005, 04:07 PM   #26
Qatana
 
Qatana's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
Offline
Re: Student ability

Lynn, I don't know about David's student but my friend wouldn't even be able to do basic tenkan over & over unless someone was telling her "put your foot here, put your foot there", or at least someone to follow.. So "going through techniques" would be out of the question.
I'm interested in this concept of how perception of time would affect learning ability- my friend has absolutly no sense of duration.It is always "now" and she cannot objectively differentiate between the passage of five minutes or five hours. She has no problem with intellectual concepts, she is a skilled goldsmith and calligrapher, among other things, she is a vast storehouse of trivia, but she simply cannot do aikido, at least the way it is taught in our dojo.Yet she has a very deep understanding of the philosophical concepts, and is pretty darn good at "verbal" aikido.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2005, 05:27 PM   #27
senshincenter
 
senshincenter's Avatar
Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,422
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

I would mean it like this: A new particular experience of self, one that would demonstrate what we would call the right kind of patience, the right kind of endurance, the right kind of humility, the right kind of faith, etc., would allow for one to experience Time in a new or different way from an experience of self where these virtues are not present.

A person who has the right kind of patience would not feel discouragement because Time has passed. Rather, they would know that training in fact presumes that time MUST pass. They understand that Time passing is the key ingredient to the maturing process. A person who has the right kind of endurance would not measure success or failure according to how much Time has passed. A person who holds the virtue of endurance knows that any real sense of training can only be based upon how much more you are willing to do, not how much you have done. Such a person does not look to Time in order to see where they have been, but rather they experience Time as a potential of what they can and will be. A person who has the right kind of humility does not allow themselves to be defined by others. Rather they understand themselves according to an ideal, only they accept that having an ideal (e.g. "mastering Aikido") means never achieving it, but working toward it nonetheless. When a person has the right kind of faith, they face the unknown (which includes the future) not with despair and doubt but with hope. Hence, Time always means more opportunity, not less.

When I hear of a student that has already left one dojo because he didn't think he was learning enough to remain, that then goes on to another dojo and is ready to do the same based upon how he thinks he is standing up against others, etc., who's only training two hours a week, and all the rest, I tend to feel that this student is in need of the right kind of patience, the right kind of endurance, the right kind of humility, and the right kind of faith -- so that he can have a different experience of self, so that they can have a different experience of Time. If one gets the most efficient pedagogy going, so that this person can learn and learn at a rate that he is most satisfied with, but that does not address this sense of self, I would think this person is not getting all that he could or should be getting out of training. This person would be much better off cultivating patience, humility, endurance, and faith, and still not being able to tenkan, than if he was able to only tenkan. With patience, humility, endurance, and faith, sooner or later he will be able to tenkan, and more importantly, he will be able to do so much more (in and outside of the art). Without these things, though he can tenkan, when it comes to irimi, or when it comes to the forward breakfall, or when it comes to spontaneous training, etc., this student will again feel "pressured" to quit as he would again be confronting his own demons unarmed. This is why I suggested that it would probably be best to keep working with or addressing his learning issues as directly as possible but also work on developing within him a new experience of self and of what learning is and/or is not.

In our dojo, we have a one woman who took over a year to learn how to do a standing forward roll. Her patience, humility, endurance, and faith, which she worked to cultivate all throughout that first year, served her well and continue to serve her well. Today, she is an inspiration to the entire dojo. As is expected, her waza is now very powerful, and these virtues are definitely the source of that power. She continues to face the trials of improvement via these virtues so her Aikido continues to become more sophisticated. Outside of the dojo, she is a single mother of two who nearly dropped out of high school when she was younger but now is going on to get her college education, about to transfer into the University of California with nearly a 4.0 gpa. When life gets hard, as you can imagine it will with being a full-time student and a single parent at the same time, you can bet she faces everything with the same patience, endurance, humility, and faith.

david

Last edited by senshincenter : 01-31-2005 at 05:31 PM.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2005, 05:37 PM   #28
David Humm
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 269
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Student ability

Hi guys,

I see my post has generated some thought process, I wanted to thank everyone again for their comments and I now feel I have a way forward, please don't think me rude if I don't interject further even though you guys may continue to discuss the aspects within the thread.

Dave
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2005, 06:09 PM   #29
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,711
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
I'm interested in this concept of how perception of time would affect learning ability.
Without going into too much detail, there is an internal conceptualization of a time line. The typical if left past, center present, and right future. Some people have it reversed. Others have it future front, present inside, and past behind. this orientation does not allow for sequencing of events. If the time times are too tight, there is only the now with the past and present collapse into it.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2005, 11:09 AM   #30
Steve Mullen
Dojo: White Rose (Sunderland)
Location: Washington
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 270
England
Offline
Re: Student ability

hi dave IM very very very HO (im only a 4th kyu) i would have to agree that it is the time issue that is the big problem. at first i thought the person you were talking of was a person i train with who lives in lincolnshire but goes to university in sunderland but trains in a local dojo whenever he is home.

i started at the same time as this student yet i have progressed 'through the ranks' quicker than him and have been able to grasp more techniques and ukemi. while i was honoured to be asked to go for each of my gradings i couldn't help but think that this must be putting pressure on him and making him wonder why he wasn't grading.

however, the time eventually came wehn our sensei saw enough to put him in for his 6th kyu with a higher sensei in our organisation. in the build up to his grading his technique, poise, balance, basicly everything he needed and lacked seemed to improve 500% to the extent that when he took his grading he impressed the sensei so much he was asked to take his 5th kyu straight away, which he also passed.

so what i guess im trying to say is that if you stress the importance of the Shidoin's visit it may make something click (in much the same way as the prospect of grading did with the person i mentioned)

well, thats my 2penneth worth
steve

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2005, 08:50 AM   #31
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 643
Israel
Offline
Re: Student ability - the Grading issue

Quote:
Rachel, Yes my student has 'improved' but if compared with others who've trained for the same period (around two years) his general standard is very below par. As you say tho if I compare what he does now compared to when I first saw him join in his original dojo, yes there's an improvement.
Dave

I believe you should also think on another issue with regard to grading - grading does not necessarily equal level. If you have a disabled student, who gives a lot of dedication, and has shown great improvement compared to himself, hen he does deserve some positive feedback, and in Aikido, this normally means grading.

At least the way I have always been told, the grading is for ones efforts and progress, not for ones level. Recently, my teacher even used to tell of a teacher who failed an advanced student his 4 Dan test. Since though the test was good and above the required standard, it was the same as the 3 Dan test...

If the reasons for this students progress are not a matter of dedication and effort, and he his doing all he can, including practicing outside the class. Then perhaps he deserves to grade even better then a supremely talented student who has achieved a much higher level with no difficulty.

Amir
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2005, 02:38 PM   #32
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 892
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

Difficult students are always a challenge. I hear lots of comments to help Dave's student improve. The other side of the problem is that Dave's dilemna is to ignore the students's learning deficiency by promoting him, or acknowledge the deficiency and risk losing the student. I hate this kind of issue. As an instructor, approaching the student may allow another angle to look at things. Sometimes students don't realize what they are doing wrong and no one wants to admit when they are inferior at anything...

On the other hand, I am uncomfortable with handing out rank just because someone shows up. Rank certification is reserved to qualify students that demonstrate proficiency in a martial art. Proficiency is usually associated with development and dedication, but I don't think development and dedication necessarily means rank. It is a fine line to walk, but there is a difference.

Encourage this student to understand that you want to reward his efforts, and that you are willing to work with him to get there. Certificates only have value if the possesor felt he/she earned it and can live up to the expectations of possessing it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2005, 05:43 AM   #33
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 860
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Student ability

There's a guy in our dojo that's like that. After nearly 2 years of training he still (apparently) bearly knows anything and really struggles. To look at him you'd think he was on his 2nd or 3rd lesson. The weird thing is that on gradings he suddenly comes to life and looks pretty damn good. We sat all through his 6th kyu in total shock because not only did he obviously know the stuff but he obviously new it well. He looked like a 4th kyu or something. The next day back in the dojo, however, it was back to usuall he couldn't even do ikkyo and so this apparent mental block carried on until his 5th kyu grading and suddenly again he put on a stellar performance.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2005, 10:52 AM   #34
aikidocapecod
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 152
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

If I might make a suggestion......I have tried this in the past and it was very enlightening to me. I run a small class on Cape Cod. I have had a couple students that also seem to just not get it.....but they come to class(every class)...they seem to enjoy class and the people with whom they train. But some of the basics....they just cannot do.

What I have tried is.......I announce that next week, each person in class will teach a technique. Each person will get up in front of the class....discuss the technique, call up Uke and demonstrate the technique. Then go around while the technique is being practiced and help each group.

When one is thrust into that position, it was amazing the focus they were able to put forth. I saw them exceed what I thought they were capable of. And they also, I think, exceeded what they thought they could do. And after that experience, they did progress.

It may be worth trying.....
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2005, 07:19 AM   #35
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 892
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

Larry,

I like that idea...
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2005, 07:51 AM   #36
G Sinclair
 
G Sinclair's Avatar
Dojo: Bushikan Aikido
Location: New England
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

OK while I am reluctant to post, I feel I have a point of view that may be important to this thread.

I guess you could call me a newbie even though I have studied Aikido in the past. Eight weeks ago I rejoined the dojo and I train everyday. While my effort and desire to succeed in Aikido is very strong it is quite a blow to hear a Sempai ask me if I have been to only a few classes. My slow advancement is, quite honestly, to be expected as I have dealt with it all my life. It does however take a toll on the spirit and enthusiasm.

I am dyslexic. I often see things in reverse order and/or upside down. This means the pictures in my head need some fixing before I can properly get my body to do what I am really trying to do.
But this is not an excuse; we all have our crosses to bear and this is mine. However, I refuse to let it hold me back. I know what I need to do to learn but it in Aikido it is very difficult. I must find someone around me that has the extreme patience and understanding required for my learning process to work. (Not to mention it is rather embarrassing explaining this to someone.)

Let me explain:
When I was young I really wanted to play football, so I signed up and made the team on simple athletic ability, but had a real problem learning the playbook. It was not the memorization; it was the fact that as a running back I ran the plays backwards. Instead of running ‘36 blast' I was headed to the wrong side of the center. It was humiliating and almost got me cut from the team. At the same time a teacher of mine was trying to figure out why I read so slowly and had real issues with certain letters (b's, d's, p's and q's in particular). She discovered I read much faster and accurate if the book was upside down. She discovered my problem and gave me a repetitious learning plan that helped me read better and see letters properly. Using her repetition formula towards football, I lined up trashcans in my back yard to represent the offensive line and placed cards on the ground labeling the holes. I ran threw them thousands and thousands of times, and found I needed to be more aware of small details, like which foot moved first and which hand needed to be higher than the other. Eventually, I did not need the signs and found myself as the starting running back when the season opened.

This formula is how I have conquered every struggle dyslexia has thrown at me. It does however; require strict repetition to teach myself. In Aikido I am struggling as we spend minutes practicing a technique instead of the hours of repetition I need.

It is embarrassing and I am sure frustrating to any Sensei as I have to repeatedly attempt the same movement to see it fall into place properly in my head regardless of his/her wise instruction. The circular movements seem to bring out the worst and find myself struggling to see it properly and put it together.

I won't give up as long as they allow me to train. Currently when I get home at night after the kids are in bed I clear room in my kitchen and remember one technique from today's class. I practice that technique with an imaginary uke for hours….

Perhaps what this deshi needs is some repetition to build on.

Sorry for the length of this post, I hope it helps him in some way.

One more thing: please do not give up on him.


Thanks for your time.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2005, 03:40 PM   #37
AaronFrancher
 
AaronFrancher's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 21
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

This is a question i've been having in regards to students who have trouble concentrating. I've been doing the one-on-one instruction when I have the time, and it seems to work for awhile. However, they will always be behind the other students in their experience level. It's normal and the students must cope with that, as well as the instructor, no matter how difficult it is. I've found that because they have trouble focusing, even with special attention, their pace changes constantly from day to day. It's just another bump in the road, but your student and you can work it out over time. Repetition is also very important, even if it doesn't work well. It does help. I'd like to say more, but time is short and there are so many posts that are much better than my own. I just wanted to put in my piece and see how it goes, hope it helps.

It is not simply a fight to the finish, it is knowing what to do once you have won.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2005, 03:45 PM   #38
tarik
 
tarik's Avatar
Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 516
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

Quote:
Greg Sinclair wrote:
This formula is how I have conquered every struggle dyslexia has thrown at me. It does however; require strict repetition to teach myself. In Aikido I am struggling as we spend minutes practicing a technique instead of the hours of repetition I need.
This is key. I often feel like we don't allow people to spend enough time really understanding technique before we RUSH them off to another technique. I prefer to study or even lead a class in studying a single technique for the entire 1-2 hours we are training.

I bet everyone would learn better, learn faster, and understand more.

Tarik

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2005, 06:27 AM   #39
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
Offline
Re: Student ability

It is entirely possible to focus on each student too much, worrying about their progress, their strengths and weaknesses, so forth and so on.Each one student is on his/her own journey. Whether they stay and continue, or go only so far and move on, shouldn't be an over concern. Our own journey should be our concern, and if we are joined by others, well, that is our practice. In gassho.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2005, 07:16 AM   #40
aikidocapecod
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 152
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

Mark,
You suggested that we should not be overly concerned with each individual student. That may be a valid point......but the student described in the original post seems to be a devoted hard working student.

I must, with respect to your opinion, disagree. In my opinion, a student that works that hard and tries is worthy of our concern.

I hope that when we judge a person, we do not look at only her/his Aikido ability. Rather, we should look at the entire person....but that is perhaps a different thread....
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2005, 08:51 AM   #41
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
Offline
Re: Student ability

A devoted, hard-working student is absolutely nothing to worry about. There's hills and valleys,and sometimes a surprising flash in the dark, like a firefly.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2006, 09:05 AM   #42
Suwariwazaman
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati
Location: Cincinnati
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 52
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

Hello just want to interject a little. I am a returning student, but when I left I had gone for my 5th kyu. I didnt receive my certificate yet. Does that mean I am not a 5th kyu, or can I recall my original application throught the USAF. I am not too concerned with the actual certificate but am concerned if I would have to repeat some stuff. Not that I mind at all, I just was curious.?

About the original thread. I remember working really hard to get ready for this big first test. I was nervous, because at the time i wasn't able to get infront of Sensei a whole lot. I was concerned for what he thought of me, and if he thought i was worth taking on the time to teach. I do believe I was learning at an even keel, but it is not for me to judge, its Sensei's! I know I would do anything that Sensei asked, with a good attitude, and focus. I was just wondering if when I go back will he look down on me, or will he welcome me back to teach again? What's your thoughts on this. Of course goign to ask him would probably where I would start?
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2006, 09:10 AM   #43
Suwariwazaman
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati
Location: Cincinnati
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 52
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

I meant welocome me back to teach me again. Didnt mean to make it sound as if I was teaching. Sorry about that!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2006, 02:14 PM   #44
pezalinski
 
pezalinski's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Harvard (IL)
Location: harvard, IL
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 159
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote:
This is key. I often feel like we don't allow people to spend enough time really understanding technique before we RUSH them off to another technique. I prefer to study or even lead a class in studying a single technique for the entire 1-2 hours we are training.

I bet everyone would learn better, learn faster, and understand more.

Tarik
In a word, 'NO.' 'Please, no.'
Not "never, no," but please not all the time.

IMHO, you cannot learn ANYTHING complex, all at one time (unless you are truly blessed). Actual learning requires multiple exposures, from multiple modalities, to learn any one thing really well. And repeatedly doing one thing over and over badly doesn't necessarily improve how well you perform it. They don't call iriminage the "20-year technique" for nothing.

Learning and performing one technique per class would frankly bore me to tears and frustrate me.


A little danger is a knowledge thing...

"Helping the planet make an impact on people, since 1985"
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2006, 03:32 PM   #45
JMichaels
Dojo: ACV, Burlington
Location: Vermont
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3
United_States
Offline
Re: Student ability

This may sound crazy, but maybe try having a private session or have a senior student do it, but have the student in question teach the technique. Have them show/explain technique in great detail. Have them explain why and where the blending, off balancing, and eventual pin or throw is executed. Granted this takes a special kind of student, but it may draw some connections in their head. If it went really well, maybe they would draw some connections from technique to technique, like nikkyo can be the same opening as ikkyo and so on. This could make future teaching easier because the student could think this is just like xyz technique, but with an extra tenkan.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 08:23 AM   #46
David Humm
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 269
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Student ability

Dear friends,

It has recently been brought to my attention that one but possibly two members of my dojo, now resigned; may have taken offence at my posting the original content of this thread.

I would like to make it publicly known that my posting the original information was not intended with malice or ill-intent but, with a genuine desire to learn from other people's experiences and opinions on the enclosed subject. I posted here as a relatively new and somewhat inexperienced dojo leader, although I may have studied aikido for now approaching 20 years, I have only been responsible for running a club and, other people's progression for just under two and a half years thus; I am still on a learning curve.

I would thank everyone for contributing to this thread and providing me with the information I was essentially looking for, I also wish to again re-state that my post was not ill-intended.

The student referred to in my original post remains a committed and loyal student and someone I continue to assist on a regular basis.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Senior student Unregistered Anonymous 21 01-23-2005 06:35 PM
One student who doesn't understand ruthmc Teaching 20 08-18-2004 05:28 PM
Natural ability w/ ki? Megan L'Hommedieu Training 20 12-01-2003 11:40 AM
the wado perspective kodia General 42 06-05-2003 03:55 PM
A New Ki for the Westen Mind! DaveO Humor 7 07-06-2002 10:54 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:59 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate