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Old 02-10-2011, 06:22 AM   #26
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,182
Re: Training With Others

Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
The traditional approach of 'monkey see, monkey do' might be fine in another culture, but it is just not that interesting as a student. It is the difference between memorization vs. understanding.
I disagree with this as a blanket statement. When used by an instructor who does not understand the technique himself/herself, "monkey see, monkey do" isn't the most effective teaching technique -- that's where it fails. But look at the typical Western model of "learning", where the student insists that the instructor prove the worth/truth of what he/she is saying before the student will give it a try. It all sounds very bold and independent and un-sheep-like, doesn't it? The only problem is that if the new student gets the explanation demanded, he/she lacks the experience and knowledge to understand it. The student has thus set an insurmountable barrier to learning that only serves to confirm his/her comfortable prejudices.

Sometimes -- a great deal of the time, in fact, where physical skills are involved -- you just have to get some miles under the tires before you can understand the theory behind what you're doing. It may not be "interesting", but that's just the drill if you want to learn rather than be entertained.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:26 PM   #27
delliott's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Marshall
Location: Baraboo, WI
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Re: Training With Others

Thank you everyone for the comments on my post. Very good conversation!

"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead. "

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Old 02-11-2011, 05:45 AM   #28
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 296
Re: Training With Others

Our approach is totally anarchic: we are 4 persons (3 with boxing background) and we routinely train in aikido without any sensei (and without any hope, or interest actually, for a belt).

Now, I know this would spell anathema to nearly 99.99% of aikidokas (for good reasons, and also for less noble reasons).
Yet, in such setting, everybody can teach everybody - injuries don't occur (I have seen them occur in a dojo instead - broken tendons of a uke's bicep put into Ikkyo by a 2nd dan - right under my eyes).

Certainly it is not something most would feel comfortable with (it is an approach that only persons with a boxing background may understand, I think, because they are more aware that in a fight you can't be picky).

The outcome is unusual - you aren't styilish in the least, yet you are quite effective at times. Accomplished aikidokas consider you rough (they say that), and yet find you quite interesting because you have a way of fighting that they normally can't experience in overcontrolled envrionments (and they say that too) - as a Sensei said "you don't succed with him because he is not schooled into the bad habit of accommodating you".

Basically, training with others always teaches you something - by the mere act of training.
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