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Old 01-24-2011, 05:04 PM   #51
kewms
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
I don't want to drift too far from the OP, but could you talk more to the distinction between offering advice and giving feedback? In my mind, the two are the same.
Feedback is non-judgmental. A bicycle or an engine can give feedback. As Janet said, it's merely a report of what happened.

Advice includes suggested changes.

I generally have no problem with feedback from junior students. But specific advice is usually not helpful because they don't know what I'm working on and are usually wrong about what specifically caused whatever they felt.

Feedback: It felt like I was planted on my back foot there.
Advice: You need to pull me forward, off my back foot.

Katherine
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:38 PM   #52
Eric in Denver
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

I guess I can see where folks are coming from, although I feel differently. If I am ever training with any of you, feel free to give me feedback, advice, or even tell me I suck, no matter what our rank differential is!

And to the original poster, I hope you were able to work your situation out. Good luck to you!
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:42 PM   #53
Janet Rosen
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

To stay on this tangent for a moment: my husband is not an artist but has a good eye from years of looking at art. He is able to give me meaningful feedback when looking at a painting I'm in the middle of, such as : "there is something funny about that tree." Since he is not a painter at all, much less the equivalent of a junior student in painting, he is not able to give me any advice about how to fix it. In fact, very often the problem is NOT solved by doing anything to the tree, but making an adjustment to the sky right next to it.
That's why "how to" from a junior is often not helpful, but feedback on noticing how it looks or feels to them IS.

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:01 PM   #54
Keith Larman
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I really like this comparison...
Me too.

My daughter recently commented that a handle I was carving looked kinda odd to her. I just laughed because I hadn't actually finished it quite yet and she was in fact quite right. She didn't know what was wrong, but she's seen enough of my work and a *lot* of Japanese swords. So she was able to say that the tsuka-shitaji was off. Being a good girl she stopped there since she didn't know why it looked funny, just that it did.

That evening I taught a class and had a student explaining why he wasn't falling when I was showing something to third student. I laughed again. Because I wasn't trying to throw him. But he went from "Hmm, I'm not falling" to "This is what you need to do". Thank you, student, I knew full well what I needed to do, I just wasn't finishing the throw. So I finished the throw and asked if that was better...

I found the contrast interesting...

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Old 01-24-2011, 06:21 PM   #55
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
To stay on this tangent for a moment: my husband is not an artist but has a good eye from years of looking at art. He is able to give me meaningful feedback when looking at a painting I'm in the middle of, such as : "there is something funny about that tree." Since he is not a painter at all, much less the equivalent of a junior student in painting, he is not able to give me any advice about how to fix it. In fact, very often the problem is NOT solved by doing anything to the tree, but making an adjustment to the sky right next to it.
That's why "how to" from a junior is often not helpful, but feedback on noticing how it looks or feels to them IS.
I really like this comparison...

I think it's useful for folks to remember Einstein and his "point of view" examples when talking about relativity. If you really want to understand something it is important to remember that the point of view you are operating from may not give you the best picture. For instance an observer of someone doing a technique might think what he saw was fake. The uke might experience what was happening as an irresistible force and quite powerful while the nage might experience his actions as effortless and quite soft.

The issue of feedback is complex. That's because there are a number if things we are simultaneously trying to teach in Aikido and much of it is non-technical. So, while it might be somewhat presumptuous for the junior to give advice, it probably isn't bad training for the senior's ego to deal with the feeling of being dissed. I feel that it is appropriate for partners to be helpful, I certainly don't get to spend much time with any individual during a given class. But within that there are certain patterns that aren't helpful, like the boys, regardless of level, feeling compelled to offer advice to every woman they train with, regardless of rank. That's one I try to put the kibosh on. I had one young man, out of the best of intentions that drove everyone so crazy with this that I told him he was FORBIDDEN to say anything to his partner if he wasn't asked. It was like watching the "Italian trying to talk with his hands tied up"... total torture for him to not speak while he was training with his partner. On another occasion I had a young ex-marine who at 5th kyu felt compelled to offer advice to a visiting female instructor. Of course he didn't actually know she was an instructor and had her own dojo, she just looked like a tiny Japanese female who could surely use his help... I turned around just in time to see his feet towards the ceiling as he went down. The she giggled and thanked him for his help.

If folks can train together with a genuine desire for nothing more than for each of them to get better, without all the bs involved with who is superior, whose rank is higher etc, feedback can be important from the partner. On the connection work it is very helpful, even crucial to get feedback from the partner, at least until one is good enough to understand what is happening and why something may be hung up. But if can't be clean, folks should just shit up and let the teacher do it.

It's interesting... Systema doesn't have any ranking, although you tend to know who the folks are who trained the longest with Vlad. But there's no formal hierarchy and I have found that pretty much everyone gives everyone else feedback, even advice. It might be great or it might be not so great. You can decide. Folks don't get their knickers in a twist much over it. Anyway, it's certainly a bit different than what we normally experience and I find that I feel about it differently in their context than in ours which is also interesting, I think.

When I did some training with Dan H, everyone was giving feedback and even advice (if they thought they could help) to each other but it was so clearly out of a genuine desire for everyone to get what Dan was doing that no one seemed to mind. I had one partner tell me something that clearly didn't jibe with what Dan has just told me earlier, but it just didn't seem impertinent and I found myself thinking about why he thought it worked that way and what the difference really was between what he told me and what Dan had said. Maybe something we could strive for in Aikido.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:10 PM   #56
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Janet - Fantastic summary and example, which is not really off topic. It addresses one of the main issues.

Keith - yours did too...

George - "dissed" is classic - smile.

Two points: First point - feedback is always welcome. You can't give technical advice on how to do something you have no expertise, or knowledge of. Thus some reason for a more "senior" a.k.a. "experienced" person to take issue with a brand new person stopping the practice to complain about something, when the brand new person is creating the problem.

Second point: Threats are not advice, some may call it feedback. But it's dangerous, not progressive and not in "harmony" with the type of cooperative training usually created in an Aikido dojo. (unless you are training with one of those instructors that break up the ukes to show how tough they are are how well their technique works in relation to "softer" instructors)
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:11 PM   #57
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

I can see plenty of situations neither advice nor feedback is really warranted. I know that in my own case, I'm often aware when I've made a mistake, and I'm working on correcting it. Call me a slow learner, but there's often quite a noticeable gap between the time when I can detect a problem and when I can correct it. When I'm in that gap, I don't really need some self-appointed quality control manager telling me about it.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:17 PM   #58
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i forgot to say you guys have started a great conversation.....

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Old 01-24-2011, 08:56 PM   #59
Eric in Denver
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post

If folks can train together with a genuine desire for nothing more than for each of them to get better, without all the bs involved with who is superior, whose rank is higher etc, feedback can be important from the partner. On the connection work it is very helpful, even crucial to get feedback from the partner, at least until one is good enough to understand what is happening and why something may be hung up. But if can't be clean, folks should just shit up and let the teacher do it.

When I did some training with Dan H, everyone was giving feedback and even advice (if they thought they could help) to each other but it was so clearly out of a genuine desire for everyone to get what Dan was doing that no one seemed to mind. I had one partner tell me something that clearly didn't jibe with what Dan has just told me earlier, but it just didn't seem impertinent and I found myself thinking about why he thought it worked that way and what the difference really was between what he told me and what Dan had said. Maybe something we could strive for in Aikido.
I think these two paragraphs sum up the experience I want when I train.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:01 AM   #60
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I can see plenty of situations neither advice nor feedback is really warranted. I know that in my own case, I'm often aware when I've made a mistake, and I'm working on correcting it. Call me a slow learner, but there's often quite a noticeable gap between the time when I can detect a problem and when I can correct it. When I'm in that gap, I don't really need some self-appointed quality control manager telling me about it.
In my case, I often find that the problem actually began well before it manifested itself in something that uke could feel. My timing was off, or an entry angle was off, and so the technique I intended was *never* going to work. But uke didn't realize it until the end, where I ran into his structure or whatever. So his advice, no matter how intended, simply isn't going to address the problem I was actually having and in fact distracts from whatever I'm trying to work through.

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:37 AM   #61
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

the first time that you offer feedback and/or advice normally provides a clear indicator of whether it is appreciated or not, if not then don't offer any more.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:17 AM   #62
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Hey guys,

I need some advice. I am a woman training and i constantly come across these lower kyu men (usually just joined) who have absolutely NO idea as to what is going on. Of course they think they do AND not only do they complain about how I do the technique (i'm a second kyu), but they don't see what the instructor demonstrates AND they constantly try to tell me how to do the technique.

Today, we were SUPPOSED to do iriminage. These really large man, who is much stronger than I, did not follow properly (naturally didn't know how, because he just joined and is still learning) and complained about getting "clothes lined" and warned me not to do it again. I told him that he needed to learn how to follow. I'm not trying to hurt him, but he had to go with the movement. I asked him his level and told him mine. To which of course he said, so what...at that point, I was just about to walk away from him, when the sensei changed the technique and we had to change partners. I really wanted to drop him, but naturally that is not the proper thing to do.

It's really working my nerves. Do you guys have any advice on how to deal with these people?
As a 6'4, 270 lb man, I can see the issue personally. I am not the best Uke for straight technique, but what generally happens is that I cause some variation and those that train with me do learn to deal with my size.

My difference is that I have no pride when I step on the mat and give myself for training 100%. If something hurt me, I talk about it to see if it was something I did or they did to compensate.

At the end of the class, we're all friends and have learned lots.

Male Ego is easily injured and you either get through it or it becomes something that stops you in life.

Give the good old soul a dandy Nikkyo - I find shorter people really put that on well and there is no explanations for clotheslines and other things. You just have to learn to accept the technique and tap.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:58 AM   #63
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I can see plenty of situations neither advice nor feedback is really warranted. I know that in my own case, I'm often aware when I've made a mistake, and I'm working on correcting it. Call me a slow learner, but there's often quite a noticeable gap between the time when I can detect a problem and when I can correct it. When I'm in that gap, I don't really need some self-appointed quality control manager telling me about it.
As a 5th kyu shihan (4th but what's the difference) to me it would seem appropriate at this point to give feedback on the feedback. As a 5th kyu I don't know what's up. Sensei told me to mention that you don't have my center. Communicate what you are doing. Most folks will shut-up if you let them know what you doing. I try.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:36 PM   #64
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

An interesting spin on this thread....When I attend seminars given by the Shihan of our organization a couple of his high ranking instructors (5th and 6th Dans) feel the need to interpret/re-teach what he is showing....versus just practicing. They talk so much during training little in the way of practicing is done.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:16 PM   #65
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
An interesting spin on this thread....When I attend seminars given by the Shihan of our organization a couple of his high ranking instructors (5th and 6th Dans) feel the need to interpret/re-teach what he is showing....versus just practicing. They talk so much during training little in the way of practicing is done.
I often find myself in that position... I can sympathize with them, although from the sound of it, some restraint should be exercised. It's just so hard to sit there and watch folks mangle what Sensei just showed. I know it seems like they are reinterpreting, but often it's that we are trying to rephrase something Sensei did that clearly no one got.

I am not saying that this is always what is happening but folks do need to be aware that often, the Japanese teachers are apt to walk around and smile, which does not mean everything's ok... Somebody needs to say something and often the "big guy" doesn't. I see no function to sitting there watching everyone do the techniques exactly the same way they knew how to do when they walked in the door, especially when that has little to do with what Sensei just did.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:25 PM   #66
kewms
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
An interesting spin on this thread....When I attend seminars given by the Shihan of our organization a couple of his high ranking instructors (5th and 6th Dans) feel the need to interpret/re-teach what he is showing....versus just practicing. They talk so much during training little in the way of practicing is done.
I see your point, but I'm not so senior that I'm going to turn down a private lesson with a 6th dan, even in the context of a shihan's class. If he's talking out of turn I figure his teacher (the shihan) will let him know.

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:49 PM   #67
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

I was trying to make a couple of subtle points.....FIrst, that the verbose nature of some folks is not limited to their rank...Secondly, after practicing for 20 plus years I would rather feel what is happening and try to pick it up rather than have it explained. I will ask if confused.

Sometimes talking too much is a passive/aggressive thing about asserting control.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:04 PM   #68
Walter Martindale
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I really like this comparison...

But if can't be clean, folks should just shit up and let the teacher do it.
um... typo?
Freudian Slip?
Cheers
W
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #69
Walter Martindale
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Feedback - "I'm not sure why but you're not taking my balance." or "Your hips are too high to throw me with koshinage."
Advice - "I think if you moved this way you'll be doing more what sensei showed us and you'll have me on my toes ready to fall." or "Lower your hips to throw me with koshinage."
Advice - "Sumimasen sensei, I'm not sure why my partner's having so much trouble throwing me." or "Sumimasen sensei, I'm finding it difficult to do this what do I need to change?"
(why not ask the sensei/shihan for help... I'm willing to bet that some of them get frustrated when they show stuff, and nobody gets it - or those who think they get it are doing something completely different from what the shihan demonstrated.)

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 01-25-2011 at 05:17 PM. Reason: I have to write this - someone on the internet is wrong!
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:29 PM   #70
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Talking Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Jason Dawe wrote: View Post
As a 6'4, 270 lb man, I can see the issue personally. I am not the best Uke for straight technique, but what generally happens is that I cause some variation and those that train with me do learn to deal with my size.

My difference is that I have no pride when I step on the mat and give myself for training 100%. If something hurt me, I talk about it to see if it was something I did or they did to compensate.

At the end of the class, we're all friends and have learned lots.

Male Ego is easily injured and you either get through it or it becomes something that stops you in life.

Give the good old soul a dandy Nikkyo - I find shorter people really put that on well and there is no explanations for clotheslines and other things. You just have to learn to accept the technique and tap.
LOL.....I would love to train with you. WE could learn something...nothing like a good ole Nikkyu to make the duo focus LOL...
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:43 PM   #71
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
um... typo?
Freudian Slip?
Cheers
W
I am, above all, a fabulous typist...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:25 PM   #72
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
I was trying to make a couple of subtle points.....FIrst, that the verbose nature of some folks is not limited to their rank...Secondly, after practicing for 20 plus years I would rather feel what is happening and try to pick it up rather than have it explained. I will ask if confused.

Sometimes talking too much is a passive/aggressive thing about asserting control.
I know that in the ASU, where there are no rank restrictions on hakamas, the explainers sometimes embarass themselves. Sometimes you can't see your training partner's belt under the hakama.

I am told one of my training partners (a 4th kyu) once went to a seminar and repeatedly, patiently talked his partner through a technique he seemed to be having trouble with. It turned out his partner was a yudansha who was slowing down to work out a particular difference between his technique and the sensei's, and was quite offended.

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Old 02-01-2011, 04:54 PM   #73
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

I think that awkward, resistive newbies give a us glimpse of what kind of response aikido techniques will generate when used on someone who is not an aikidoka. (For example, have you ever noticed how common it is for beginners to twist out of shihonage if it is not well applied?) So I tend to consider this kind of situation a valuable, if frustrating, training opportunity.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:15 PM   #74
kewms
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I think that awkward, resistive newbies give a us glimpse of what kind of response aikido techniques will generate when used on someone who is not an aikidoka. (For example, have you ever noticed how common it is for beginners to twist out of shihonage if it is not well applied?) So I tend to consider this kind of situation a valuable, if frustrating, training opportunity.
That's true to some extent. Unfortunately their attacks are usually so terrible that they don't really model a real world attacker, either.

Katherine
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:14 AM   #75
Janet Rosen
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Re: 5th kyu shihans

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
That's true to some extent. Unfortunately their attacks are usually so terrible that they don't really model a real world attacker, either.

Katherine
You mean IRL attackers don't throw a punch or grab my wrist, then stand there rooted and grounded and static waiting and waiting and waiting for me to take their balance??? I'm...shocked

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