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Old 01-10-2011, 01:07 PM   #26
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido Weapons

4-D if we consider time.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:10 PM   #27
graham christian
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Actually Graham, if you do Nikkyo like a sword cut. anyone with strong wrists will stop it dead. Nikkyo actually has more in common with the staff. The late Koriwa Yoshio used short sticks to demonstrate this action.

Sure, I can do an ikkyo that utilizes certain principles as the thrust or the cut, In either case, it is not specific to a weapon but to an action with one of several possible weapons. I could perform the action referred to with either a sword or a staff.

I am not saying that you can't do various techniques using the various principles described. You can. I am saying that each of these principles can be found in the various weapons mentioned. You started with overly simplified statements about particular weapons embodying certain of the principles and and ignored the fact that all of these weapons are used variously depending on the situation. One can cut with a sword and one can cut with a jo. One can thrust with a staff and thrust with a sword. Your original oversimplification was incorrectly stated and made it appear that you had little familiarity with the weapons being described.

No disagreement here at all. This isn't what I questioned. I simply said that your categorization of the various weapons was imprecise and misleading and due to that fact the analogies you used were unclear and not very helpful.

Yes, I can in fact do what I have been discussing. I bothered "to put it down" because what you had stated was misleading for those here on the forum who do not have the background I have. You throw material out, as if you are sharing your experience and knowledge but don't expect that if what you are saying directly conflicts with the experience and knowledge of someone else that they will say something about it. There are people who post here who really know something about weapons work. I have trained with a number of them. If you want to post and not have critical responses regarding your posts, then you need to sound like one of them because oft times you do not. You may know, I have never met you. But your posts do not indicate that you do and on the forums, barring personal experience with someone who is posting, the verbal expression of your experience is all anyone has to go on. You have kindly added video clips but I have to say that the clips you have chosen have not made it more clear to me than your posts. Tony is less polite... perhaps unnecessarily blunt at times. I am open to having my mind changed but I would have to read or see something I haven't yet.
Thanks for the response. I like your style even if I do disagree with certain points.

First I must say that a strong wrist has no chance against nikkyo done like a sword cut using tegatana correctly, and ki of course. If you extend ki and cut through the person at the same time as cutting through the wrist with tegatana and you are aligned with cutting down their center line then it cannot fail no matter how strong the wrist. If you do not agree with this then fine we shall just have it as my opinion.

Secondly, if it conflicts with with anothers experience I welcome their response as I have clearly stated but mere put down shows only a lack of integrity and indeed worth in my eyes. My posts have also had good responses by people who do not know me therefore they must see something there and understand what I say. That's the point isn't it? Those who don't understand are free to ask for clarification.

Pointing out there are people who post who really know something I find strange as it implies I don't believe there is. There are many Aikidoka I admire and respect from many organizations past and present, from O'Sensei to Tohei, Sugano to Kanetska, most all of them plus people on this forum. So let me point that out before a wrong picture is painted.

The one purpose I have in posting anything here is very simple and very clear, it is to help. Simple. If it helps one person, good. I do not make destructive comments, I do not undermine and belittle what others say, the most I can do is disagree and explain why so I fail to see how anyone could be upset unless it is within theirself to be so.

Finally, if someone criticises me and I challenge that criticism is that not reasonable? For I get the feeling by what you have told me that you think I am offended. Rest assured I am not offended.

Once again, good talking to you. G.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:12 PM   #28
graham christian
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
This classification of weapons is familiar, clear and normal to anyone who uses weapons analytically.

Spear thrust along a line - one dimension.

Sword cut along a plane - two dimensions.

Jo used as for both of those plus rotating similar to a sphere - three dimensions.

It's the differentiation used in hoplology - the analytical study of combat systems.
Thank you Niall.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #29
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Finally, if someone criticises me and I challenge that criticism is that not reasonable? For I get the feeling by what you have told me that you think I am offended. Rest assured I am not offended.

Once again, good talking to you. G.
Graham, you are unflappable... a very admirable trait.
- George

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Old 01-10-2011, 03:45 PM   #30
graham christian
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Hi everyone. I see this thread created some interesting debate so that's all good.

What I gave I said were some basics to look at and as with all teaching or imparting information you cannot account for the whole of the audience getting what you are referring to. But as I've said they can ask for clarification if they are interested.

Marc, I see what you mean by oversimplification from your point of view but for me what one person needs in order to understand is different to what another may need so I choose to give a little rather than write a book so to speak rightly or wrongly. It's not much different to teaching in the dojo, if you give too much data then some students get lost, if you give too little then some get confused, so you choose and then observe and thus judge if more is needed or if it needs simplifying. I'm not quite as extreme as a zen master though.

Mary, you wonder how this fits with reality? O.k. I'll try to explain.

If you understand the straight line, the cut and the turning from center it can help you when observing someone cutting with tegatana and getting stuck for example. You may notice they are chopping rather than cutting for example. If someone is doing tsuki improperly you may notice they are not striking through in a straight line and if you see someone stuck trying to throw someone when receiving the jo you may notice they are turning it around one end rather than it's center or that they are not seeing the right turn needed. This is one example of reality in teaching and indeed learning.

Now if you also see that they can all then be used in like each other then that is the next stap rather than the first step I would say.

Finally if you then study them from the viewpoint of energy motion and practice with them from this viewpoint you will then be able to recognise and automatically do in life in real situations. For example; The thrust of the jo is merely energy or force coming at you in a straight line as is tsuki as is a left jab as is a thrust with a knife or broken bottle as is some bullet head running straight at you. These things happen in reality but in truth they are directed forces.
The right hook or a swinging bottle is force coming at you but is circular and so due to training with the sword and jo used in those ways you learn to either keep outside of that circle or to turn into the center of it etc. etc. This harmonizing with the attacking force as learned in Aikido helps you in reality with other similar motions of force. This is my explanation anyway.

George, your explanation of the scene as far as Aikiken is concerned I find interesting as I assumed wrongly that most had a fixed view on how it should be done and must be done. Plus I'm pleasantly surprised to find we have at least one view in common, thank you for that. May I add purely as something to share that I teach that there is no blocking in Aikido or in swordwork and thus for me it gets my students relying more on correct aiki movements and the resultant cuts etc. Having said that I also hold to thae principle of no blocking and insist that the student learns how to meet rather than block which from the outside may look like blocking but when one knows the difference is a world apart.

Niall, your explanations are clear as usual.

Regards all and any I didn't respond to. G.
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:00 PM   #31
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Having said that I also hold to thae principle of no blocking and insist that the student learns how to meet rather than block which from the outside may look like blocking but when one knows the difference is a world apart.

Niall, your explanations are clear as usual.

Regards all and any I didn't respond to. G.
We have movements in Saotome Sensei's kumitachi that in the basic form would be considered "blocks" although if done well they really establish a stickiness to the blades and receive the energy of the cut rather than oppose it. But since very few folks understand it that way, I'll call them "blocks". At the heart of it though, I was taught that there are no blocks, in weapons or empty hand and that what looks like a block is really a cut or strike.

So, for instance, the aforementioned "watershed" block isn't a block or deflection at all but is really a cut. Rather than move off the line and do the move, one enters and the blade is actually under the attacker's arms rather than under his sword. This causes him to break his posture and momentum allowing him to be cut.

Even movements that look like deflections eventually change as ones sense of timing changes and blades that used to touch no longer due so. Deflections morph in to "slipping" movements which are far harder to counter.

Essentially, in the end, anything that puts your attention on the other guys blade is wrong. If you are blocking or even deflecting, you aren't cutting him. The movements only become blocks if you were late in your cut.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:07 PM   #32
graham christian
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
We have movements in Saotome Sensei's kumitachi that in the basic form would be considered "blocks" although if done well they really establish a stickiness to the blades and receive the energy of the cut rather than oppose it. But since very few folks understand it that way, I'll call them "blocks". At the heart of it though, I was taught that there are no blocks, in weapons or empty hand and that what looks like a block is really a cut or strike.

So, for instance, the aforementioned "watershed" block isn't a block or deflection at all but is really a cut. Rather than move off the line and do the move, one enters and the blade is actually under the attacker's arms rather than under his sword. This causes him to break his posture and momentum allowing him to be cut.

Even movements that look like deflections eventually change as ones sense of timing changes and blades that used to touch no longer due so. Deflections morph in to "slipping" movements which are far harder to counter.

Essentially, in the end, anything that puts your attention on the other guys blade is wrong. If you are blocking or even deflecting, you aren't cutting him. The movements only become blocks if you were late in your cut.
Agreed. Thank you . G.
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:25 PM   #33
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Re: Aikido Weapons

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I think it has to do with the movement and the function of the movement. I've heard more than once an instructor that calls it "watershed" describing it as an actual watershed; like a slanted roof shielding your head from rain. The slant in the parry/watershed/whatever deflects a downward attack off and away from your center as you enter to strike. The energy from the attack deflecting off the watershed is also redirected into your own cut to power your counter attack.
You know, the term "watershed" rings a bell. Not sure where I heard it..

From what you are describing, it sounds like a derivative of Kashima Shinto Ryu nagashi, or "flow".

The youtube video you posted actually looks like a rising cut to the wrist, but that's not neccessarily a different movement.
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:32 PM   #34
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Re: Aikido Weapons

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
This is some views on the three weapons used in Aikido, namely the Spear, the Sword and the Jo.
Graham, what if like...

the spear is actually the TRIANGLE.

the sword is actually the SQUARE.

and the JO is actually the CIRCLE?

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Old 01-10-2011, 06:10 PM   #35
graham christian
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Graham, what if like...

the spear is actually the TRIANGLE.

the sword is actually the SQUARE.

and the JO is actually the CIRCLE?

Hi Cliff. Not sure exactly how you personally relate them or if indeed anyone else does or has. However I have already related the jo to the circle. I can relate them to Aiki motion and techniques. However I'm sure there is a lot of data on them somewhere in this forum as I believe they originate as symbolic representations from shinto, maybe you start your own thread on that topic.

Regards, G.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:38 PM   #36
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Hmmm, some interesting points here. My two cents...

I am not familiar with the use of Yari in aikido. I am familiar with the use of jo, ken, and tanto. Of which, I have heard many analogies of these weapons to their application in aikido. This is a new one to me.

Like others, the over-simplification of the weapons seem to demean their role in our training. Yari is for thrusting? Sure, amongst other things. I think we need to respect our weapons and the complexity of their role in combat. I have been taught primarily that good combat education is about the competency to use these weapons interchangeably (indeed with empty-hand too). From my experience the range of these weapons seems to be the most different application using each. I am not sure if I would buy or disseminate anything that would oversimplify or understate the role of weapons in training.

I can hear my dying thoughts now... "ohh good, a spear. That's thrusting, right? Wait, no. I needed striking... Dang..."
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #37
Basia Halliop
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Re: Aikido Weapons

I'm not finding the idea of thinking of each weapon as working in a certain dimension helpful, but... I do think it makes some sense to think of particular attacks/strikes/movements that way, and to analyze the shapes described by the weapon during the attack... just not entire weapons. As I said, my experience is limited, but since we're talking about what's helpful to beginners I might as well say what I as a beginner find helpful. For me, if people give me an analogy or rule like that I tend to get more confused if everywhere I look I see so many exceptions.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:43 AM   #38
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Graham, what if like...

the spear is actually the TRIANGLE.

the sword is actually the SQUARE.

and the JO is actually the CIRCLE?

And all three together plus "the cross of aiki" make the ultimate weapon: the playstation controller.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:07 AM   #39
C. David Henderson
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Re: Aikido Weapons

What about the wii nunchuck -- much more mobile and flexible...

David Henderson
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:29 AM   #40
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I'm not finding the idea of thinking of each weapon as working in a certain dimension helpful, but... I do think it makes some sense to think of particular attacks/strikes/movements that way, and to analyze the shapes described by the weapon during the attack... just not entire weapons. As I said, my experience is limited, but since we're talking about what's helpful to beginners I might as well say what I as a beginner find helpful. For me, if people give me an analogy or rule like that I tend to get more confused if everywhere I look I see so many exceptions.
Hi Basia,
My feeling is one should teach people properly from the start. Dumbing stuff down and over-simplifying to make something comprehensible for beginners that is actually far more complex doesn't do anyone any favors. Beginners are generally quite capable of understanding more than they are apt to be given.

It's rather like the time I was at the Zoo with my young kids and we were looking at the Great Apes, and the Orangutans in particular. My kids could have named them all properly plus any number of the monkeys in the complex next door. A couple was next to us at the same time and they told their child to "look at the monkey"... That child was perfectly able at that age to recognize and remember the differences but they didn't bother (I am being charitable by assuming they actually knew the differences themselves).

It's the same with Aikido. If you make things too simple or make things too easy, the beginners like it because they aren't confused and they aren't intimidated. The problem is that later on, when you try to bring them into the reality zone they quit because now it's not what they thought. Everything's harder and more confusing.

We created a VERY user friendly beginner program at my dojo in order to try to raise the retention rate. It has worked marvelously. As recommended by Ikeda and Saotome Senseis, I don't even teach the beginners. It is so basic and "nice" that I find it fairly mind numbing. Not even in the same dimension with how I trained with Saotome Sensei back in the 70's (which was te intention).

However, the problem is that I have been unable to get the beginners to leave the beginner program and start training with the upper levels. They find it intimidating and confusing. So they stay in the beginner classes and have a gay old time. It's like a separate dojo inside my dojo. It accomplished the job of helping support the dojo overall, which from my standpoint is important. But I have never liked the idea of a sort of "class system" in Aikido, which in my opinion we have, where the folks on the bottom of the pyramid are there simply to support those of us who are at the top of the pyramid. But because we made it so safe and so nice up front, we attracted people who want safe, simple and nice. They don't want to change that. Did we do them any favors by doing that? I think maybe not...

That's why I think it is important on the forums to keep the discussions straight. There are any number of folks who read these threads, far more than actually ever post, and they read things that seem authoritative, written by someone who is running a dojo somewhere, and if it seems to be on something they don't know much about, they'll believe it and internalize it and even pass it on to others. So, it's important to try to make the information as complete and factual as possible. If that makes it a bit more confusing to a beginner, that's fine. It's complex stuff. Over-simplification on a subject like weapons use ends up just like calling every ape in the zoo a monkey...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:14 PM   #41
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Maybe what we should be striving for is to get beginners to understand that it's okay to be confused, rather than trying to make them comfortable by "knowing" something that turns out to just not be so. I'd say it's one of the greatest gifts you can give a beginner: to teach them that, yes, there are things that are beyond you right now, beyond your ability to do and beyond your ability to understand. So don't try to understand them, and be okay with that. Just do what you can. The understanding will emerge when you've got the framework of experience to hang it on, and really not before that.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:26 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido Weapons

I have only been training for little over a year, so I do not feel qualified to critique the content of this thread, but two things are very obvious to me from the outset: (1) that this thread is posted in the wrong forum, and (2) that this thread was intended as an exhibition of knowledge rather than a conversation starter, which means a discussion board really isn't the place for it.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:47 PM   #43
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
What about the wii nunchuck -- much more mobile and flexible...
But lacks the esoteric symbolism.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #44
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I have only been training for little over a year, so I do not feel qualified to critique the content of this thread, but two things are very obvious to me from the outset: (1) that this thread is posted in the wrong forum, and (2) that this thread was intended as an exhibition of knowledge rather than a conversation starter, which means a discussion board really isn't the place for it.
Go Matthew!

MM
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:03 PM   #45
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
But lacks the esoteric symbolism.
I am such a nonspiritual person.

But my sharpie [http://sharpieuncapped.com/default.a...cVe7AodrkpJpg] makes wonderful, colorful esoteric symbols on just about anything.

David Henderson
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:25 PM   #46
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Maybe what we should be striving for is to get beginners to understand that it's okay to be confused, rather than trying to make them comfortable by "knowing" something that turns out to just not be so. I'd say it's one of the greatest gifts you can give a beginner: to teach them that, yes, there are things that are beyond you right now, beyond your ability to do and beyond your ability to understand. So don't try to understand them, and be okay with that. Just do what you can. The understanding will emerge when you've got the framework of experience to hang it on, and really not before that.
Yes. There is a line in Ushiro Kenji's latest book that I have quoted before, "What you know is the enemy of learning."

I have found that the folks who stay in the art for any length of time are generally the folks who can be comfortable with being confused, with not being able to be perfect all the time.

On the other hand, it needs to be in a delicate balance between being ok with not understanding everything and the drive for mastery. It's ok to be fine about not getting it right this instant. At the same time, it's not fine to feel ok about not getting it. What you don't understand should gnaw at you, it should be like that itch you can't quite scratch.

Many people have simply developed the habit of not getting it. Especially with teachers operating on a very high level like Saotome Sensei or Ikeda Sensei. Folks go to seminar after seminar, come in Friday night and leave om Sunday night, none the wiser. This happens constantly and is more the norm than the exception. It's as if the Sensei's have become an interesting form of entertainment. You go see some amazing Aikido but you don't actually expect or believe that you can do amazing Aikido.

Every time you tell yourself its ok that you didn't get it, you are surrendering on some level. The folks who are good at this art NEVER told themselves that. Yet, every one of them sat with the discomfort of not getting it for years until they did get it. The type-A, perfectionists tend to quit because they can't master everything instantly. The need to understand everything, all the time is a killer too.

Usually, folks who stay in the art can maintain this tenuous balance for a decade or two. But one sees few who do it when they get very senior. Many of the 6th Dans haven't changed anything in years. It takes more effort to move up another level the higher ranked you are. Additionally, the balance between being expected to act like you know what you are doing, which you have to do as a teacher, and holding the understanding of how little we actually know, which you have to have to keep progressing, is a very hard thing to maintain over the whole of ones life. Usually the desire to get comfortable wins out.

Marian Mountain, in her book The Zen Environment, which is one of my favorite books, calls this "your old home town". It's that place in which you feel secure and comfortable, in which everything's just fine. As human beings we have a drive to make everything we do into "our old home town." Zen training is about not letting anything become your "old home town", instead, being a person of no permanent residence so to speak. For most folks, they will reach a point at which they make Aikido into "their old hometown" and progress stops.

It takes someone special like an Ikeda Sensei to completely retool what hey are doing at 7th Dan. Very rare, I think.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:45 PM   #47
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Marian Mountain, in her book The Zen Environment, which is one of my favorite books, calls this "your old home town". It's that place in which you feel secure and comfortable, in which everything's just fine. As human beings we have a drive to make everything we do into "our old home town." Zen training is about not letting anything become your "old home town", instead, being a person of no permanent residence so to speak. For most folks, they will reach a point at which they make Aikido into "their old hometown" and progress stops.
I haven't thought about that book in years. I remember passing it to friends in High School. A great message to hear at that time. I'm going to have to take a look at it again after all these years. Thanks.

-Doug Walker
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:20 PM   #48
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Re: Aikido Weapons

Quote:
So, it's important to try to make the information as complete and factual as possible. If that makes it a bit more confusing to a beginner, that's fine. It's complex stuff. Over-simplification on a subject like weapons use ends up just like calling every ape in the zoo a monkey...
Yeah, this fits with my experience as a beginner and helping people more beginner... teach beginners much less at a time, more slowly, etc... but what you do teach them, try to teach them right... try not to teach them things that aren't true or that they will have to unlearn.

Quote:
I have found that the folks who stay in the art for any length of time are generally the folks who can be comfortable with being confused, with not being able to be perfect all the time.
Yeah, I've already noticed this too...

I also like the idea of helping new students understand that it's normal to feel confused and doesn't reflect poorly on them. And that as you train what you're confused about does become more clear, while at the same time your further training enables you to see further and be confused about something new that you weren't even aware of enough to be confused about before...
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