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.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

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!

Thread Tools
Old 07-16-2011, 09:53 AM   #1
Gorgeous George
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 464
United Kingdom
Effective Training Methodologies

I have trained in several different styles of aikido, and in various dojos, and under various teachers within the Aikikai organisation.
I have also - obviously - trained with various dan grades who, though not the teacher, imparted advice.

The two extremes I have encountered are

- a hands-off approach: the technique is demonstrated, and you are largely left alone to practice it, as you understand it, and to thereby learn - by yourself - how to effect the technique. I have heard this referred to as having to 'steal the technique' - viz., the student must gain insight through their own efforts.
You are offered an occasional comment from the sensei such as "Tenkan more; enter further." etc. - mere technical, external direction.

- the other extreme is very hands-on. The teacher speaks of the internal a lot, and the essence of technique - what goes on with your body to make the external effective.
Senior grades, when you train with them, are very hands-on, stopping you, whatever your level of ability, and offering instruction.
This prevents you from going through a technique repeatedly, without break, and so gaining practice time, and practical understanding.

I trained the first way for a long time, and progressed little. As did nearly all those I trained alongside.
I have trained the second way for a while now, and I have actually achieved a level of understanding of the nuances and principles that underlie aikido techniques.
However, now that I have that insight, I wish to get more just, straightforward practice in, so that I can come to understand what I have learned.

I will always want and need the insightful instruction, however, so I believe that a balance must be struck: 'Virtue untested is no virtue at all.' - it's one thing knowing the right thing to do, and another doing it.

Thoughts, criticisms, insights, etc.?
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Effective Training Methodologies

No criticisms. Two great observations. For me it shows something.

It shows there is a time for one way and a time for the other. In fact one of the skills of teaching, which I prefer to look at more as supervising, is knowing those times when one is needed and when the other is. Both as important as each other.

Also knowing it in ourselves. Sometimes we need a technical observation from the outside when we are stuck and if we just carry on we remain stuck for longer.

On the other hand we can keep trying to change things and find that missing thing from 'over there' or bigger muscles or new technique when the answer is to carry on like it's a drill until we get through our own barrier and finally get it.

Two ways that compliment each other.

  Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2011, 11:49 AM   #3
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
Re: Effective Training Methodologies

Yes, good points. But you're in control. Train with your seniors when you're stuck and to get insight. Train with your juniors to see how people who don't know how to move will respond. Train with people at your level so you can just go at each other and see what works.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 917
Re: Effective Training Methodologies

Everything in balance....

Why not do both. Where I train it is very hands on, very detail oriented, much like you described as the second "way" however we, more experienced students, are also encouraged to sometimes just go at one another and just move for a while. As long as both partners are in agreement this is a fine thing. Sometimes I might be in a class that is really focused in on some smaller details but will get with a really energetic partner and just slam one another around for a bit before we go back to the mental stuff. Both are useful, no need to stick to only one way.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2011, 09:27 PM   #5
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 256
Re: Effective Training Methodologies

i observe i learn most when there is balance between the hands on and hand off approach.

as you have said, you can view the hands on/ hands off approach as the extremes of a spectra. both have pros and cons.

on one end (hands off), you are left to learn for yourself without the help of others. the pros are that your powers of observation and awareness are enhanced. the con for me is that for aikido, the power is in the minutest of details, in senseis, ukes and your movement. you wont be able to figure these out if somebody doesnt point it to you. another pro for me is that when you are at a level to experiment, your uke doesnt really care what you do and wont stop you to offer instruction.

on the other end, the too hands on approach theres a lot, if not too much, of instructions being offered. if the one offering advice is very experienced, that would be very advantageous but there are a lot out there who are know-it-alls and some seniors also think that their way is the only way (even if they're wrong) which will make you feel like you're not doing anything right. I learnt how to deal with this by not arguing and just filtering out the information i think is important . you can learn from everybody, but not everyone can offer sound advice. another con is that this type of training is not good for experimentation as you will get told off a lot.

you need to be able to handle both cases so that you can get the most out of your training. a dojo in both extremes is not good, imho.

an ideal atmosphere for me should be of openness, both to instruction and experimentation. if one is missing, you are assured your learning will be inhibited and slow.

also i think the adage "practice, practice, practice" should be complemented with "experiment, experiment, experiment".

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 07-16-2011 at 09:35 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
Dojo: Aikido Terrey Hills
Location: Sydney
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 120
Re: Effective Training Methodologies

Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I will always want and need the insightful instruction, however, so I believe that a balance must be struck: 'Virtue untested is no virtue at all.' - it's one thing knowing the right thing to do, and another doing it.
Not a criticism, just a thought. What about both at the same time? What I find really helpful, in a way that greatly accelerates my learning, is to discuss focus points with my sensei and seniors at the end of class. These might be aspects of a specific technique, common parts of several (such a general footwork) or broader concepts (such as extension, center or the balance point). Then, I have purpose when I visualise a range of techniques between classes; my head-space learning time becomes more effective. I will carry those focus points in to the next class, or perhaps adapt them as needed, and that inner specific focus will often highlight more for me when I watch and feel than straight speech by the person demonstrating.

The world changes when you do.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


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
Aikido - Martial Arts - Fighting George S. Ledyard External Aikido Blog Posts 54 09-18-2009 06:23 AM
Culture of Martial Mediocrity? L. Camejo Training 160 02-03-2006 01:25 AM
Article: Clarity and Self-Delusion in One's Training by George S. Ledyard AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 65 12-24-2005 07:34 AM
Aikido and pregnancy Anat Amitay General 5 03-17-2002 11:49 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:27 PM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2016 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2016 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