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Old 02-12-2012, 12:17 PM   #26
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
Principles behind waza are rarely or not taught in my observation. It is for the student to discover themselves. Even if you teach it this way, the students will not understand if they are not ready to receive. It may also be that the teacher doesn't know how to teach it properly for the students to understand.

Also, the teacher maybe teaching the principles in class, but the student is focusing on something else. It is for the student to discern what the teacher is ACTUALLY teaching. There's always this type of "miscommunication" happening during classes that the gist of the lesson is entirely missed. So you always have to ask yourself "What is he actually teaching?" It's easy to get distracted trying to mimic the technique or criticizing it, like I do myself.
Mario:

Myself and a number of other teachers have been teaching in that manner for a number of years now. We openly say that the foundation of our teaching is based around the teaching of principles and we explore the end point of the expression of those principles as waza. This experiment in progress has been very positive and beginning students to advanced students all understand this process and benefit from it. My experience has been that it is a more efficient and effective teaching paradigm.

Marc Abrams
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:53 PM   #27
Mario Tobias
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Philippines
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Sorry marc, maybe I spoke too soon. It's not a generalization for all the teachers but just my observations having been a member of a dozen dojos in my career. Some only teach waza. Some of them do teach principles but there's something lacking that the message is not conveyed properly and the students dont get it. Teachers maybe great in aikido but something lacking in the teaching methods. Its difficult for the student since they dont know what they're searching for in a teacher. Even if they find one, its discerning what lessons to be taken away from the teacher. my apologies.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 02-12-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:48 PM   #28
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Yes agreed.

People and principles work.

The technique is only their expression.
Agree. But they (the techniques) being an expression have a uniform shape and that's the form seen and recognised with the eyes.

Regards.G.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:31 PM   #29
SeiserL
 
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Agree. But they (the techniques) being an expression have a uniform shape and that's the form seen and recognised with the eyes.
That's one of the things I love about Aikido, it is not what it appears to be.

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!
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #30
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
That's one of the things I love about Aikido, it is not what it appears to be.
100%. Well put.

Regards.G.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:56 PM   #31
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
Sorry marc, maybe I spoke too soon. It's not a generalization for all the teachers but just my observations having been a member of a dozen dojos in my career. Some only teach waza. Some of them do teach principles but there's something lacking that the message is not conveyed properly and the students dont get it. Teachers maybe great in aikido but something lacking in the teaching methods. Its difficult for the student since they dont know what they're searching for in a teacher. Even if they find one, its discerning what lessons to be taken away from the teacher. my apologies.
Mario:

No apologies are needed. Your generalization is accurate in my estimation as well. A number of us Aikidoka have been discussing this situation for quite some time now. Our concerns about the teaching paradigms have lead us to pursue a number of approaches in hopes of finding a better formula for teaching in a more effective and efficient manner. I always apologize to my students who are exposed to my experimenting with them as I learn more and learn how to become a more effective and efficient teacher. I sincerely believe that the path of focusing on the execution of principles is proving to be a better approach than the ones that I have been used on me as a student. At the end of the day, I recognize that I may be wrong, but like my teachers, we all are trying the best we can with what we have, can do and know to pass on this art.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:53 AM   #32
puma
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

As a beginner of Aikido I have a question concerning your discussion. I have attended two introductory courses on Aikido with different teachers. The first one held the opinion that only the perfection of the technique can make you practice it well and appreciate the value altogether. Of course as a beginner you believe that initially. My second course made me understand that it is the art which should be put into the foreground. I can in some way understand both ways, yet I have noticed that the second teacher does not pay much attention to technique at all and I feel I forget things and do not learn them properly. but I think that's important too - especially as a starter. Can anyone give some advice? Thanks!!!!
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:16 AM   #33
Chris Knight
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

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As a beginner of Aikido I have a question concerning your discussion. I have attended two introductory courses on Aikido with different teachers. The first one held the opinion that only the perfection of the technique can make you practice it well and appreciate the value altogether. Of course as a beginner you believe that initially. My second course made me understand that it is the art which should be put into the foreground. I can in some way understand both ways, yet I have noticed that the second teacher does not pay much attention to technique at all and I feel I forget things and do not learn them properly. but I think that's important too - especially as a starter. Can anyone give some advice? Thanks!!!
Coming from another newbie ( 2 1/2 years into aikido), I would suggest the following advice

Research aikido, reserch Daito Ryu, look at O Sensei's training history, what/how he was taught by Takeda, how these martial artistes were predominantly untouchable, why this has hardly ever been replicated, ask yourself why, and then research again - technique has very little to do with it. Dont fall into the possible trap of following the traditional japanese teaching system, only to become stuck in an empty art with no body skills

my 3 pence worth
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:48 AM   #34
puma
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

thank you very much for your advice, I will do some research on that!
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:11 AM   #35
lbb
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

My advice would be the opposite of Chris's -- not that I think it's bad advice, but it's not the only way to understand this dilemma, and I think it might be counterproductive for you. With the caveat that different people learn things different ways, I question whether reading about aikido can produce understanding unless you've got a fair bit of practice behind you to provide a framework for the theory. As a beginner, your goal should be to practice, not to seek to understand the art. Training with two different teachers who take two very different approaches is difficult, and probably counterproductive for a beginner, so choose one -- not necessarily the one whose approach seems to make sense to you now (chances are good that whatever you think you understand now, is at least partly wrong) -- and stick with him/her for a while. Set aside your need to get it, to figure out what aikido is, to find the answers. Just train. If you don't like the training, then don't do it. But I think that ultimately, the harmony in your aikido (for lack of a better way of saying it) comes from your training, your practice -- not from some abstracted ideal that you like the sound of. The sense of it comes within your practice, if it comes at all.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #36
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
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Belgium
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
My advice would be the opposite of Chris's -- not that I think it's bad advice, but it's not the only way to understand this dilemma, and I think it might be counterproductive for you. With the caveat that different people learn things different ways, I question whether reading about aikido can produce understanding unless you've got a fair bit of practice behind you to provide a framework for the theory. As a beginner, your goal should be to practice, not to seek to understand the art. Training with two different teachers who take two very different approaches is difficult, and probably counterproductive for a beginner, so choose one -- not necessarily the one whose approach seems to make sense to you now (chances are good that whatever you think you understand now, is at least partly wrong) -- and stick with him/her for a while. Set aside your need to get it, to figure out what aikido is, to find the answers. Just train. If you don't like the training, then don't do it. But I think that ultimately, the harmony in your aikido (for lack of a better way of saying it) comes from your training, your practice -- not from some abstracted ideal that you like the sound of. The sense of it comes within your practice, if it comes at all.
I have been taking the "two different teachers" approach since I started training five years ago, and it took me quite a while to fuse their teachings into something coherent. It wasn't counterproductive though. Having two different teachers basically forced me to keep an open mind, both in terms of different aikido styles as well as other martial arts (I followed a single lesson of Wing Tsun but I was taught a very valuable lesson there: keep your elbows low at all times). I find that a lot of aikidoka that strictly follow one teacher get the annoying mentality of "this is the only correct way to do it" and disregard all other possible ways of doing stuff (and the possibilities in aikido are endless and incredibly dependent on your own body and who you're training with).
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:56 AM   #37
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Sounds like you are onto something. Took me half an age too.

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Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. It looked so trivial and obvious when the thought came up but I guess it depends greatly on the person how fast or slow his grasp is on the art (which then means I am a slow learner ). Aikido is such a challenging and daunting art.

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