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Old 04-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #51
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

Quote:
Brian Beach wrote: View Post
Like playing music. Jamming is awesome but if you have a regular group, you start to know the same songs and the opportunity to get deeper in to the music and take it interesting places opens up. The waza are the songs we all know, playing around within the structure of the waza is the fun part imo. You don't graduate from art. You learn the techniques and then you play with them. It carries into the other parts of your life and you see the world through that lens.
Brian, that's interesting you mention music. I took lessons on multiple instruments, and participated bands. I also took a recording classes, and interned at a recording studio. I haven't been a student in any formal class setting involving music or recording since the mid 80's - which overall had me taking about 10 years of various kinds of instruction prior to that -with, in most cases, highly-qualified instructors. And even in those ten years, I often freely got together with other musicians outside of any structured class setting - and it's probably during those times that I actually deepened my understanding most of the craft and art of music.

I agree that we don't graduate from art. But we do go through levels of understanding and abilities within the craft of whatever artform we're expressing ourselves. Learning the craft is like the shu stage of learning - under others more advanced. Writing, aikido, music, etc. all have a craft within the art. And before the art can truly be expressed, the craft needs to be mastered to a degree. A commonly accepted time frame for mastery is 10,000 hours. I tend to think that's about right.

In aikido, shodan gets people to the basic level of understanding of techniques. Nidan focuses more on pulling all that together in application. Sandan marks what is really the end of learning the "craft" aspect of aikido. Yondan is the beginning of the expression of the artform - and entering the ha stage. Godan more so - with hints of the ri stage beginning to come into the picture. Rokudan and up is all ri. Of course there is shu within ha, and shu within ri, and ha within shu, and ri within shu...

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Dan, are you speaking from an extensive background in skateboarding, skiing, tennis and et cetera? How do you know that people in these activities are "left to their own devices"? For that matter, how do you know that they don't have ranking systems?
I can speak from an extensive background in numerous fields.

And while there are not "ranks" per se, I would agree that there are levels. Just as there are levels within martial arts, regardless of whether one is ranked.

If all the endeavors and passions of mine required that I entered a classroom with an instructor - in perpetuity - in order to participate, progress, and enjoy the activities - I would have dropped them long ago.

In most endeavors, studies, and activities the "structure" does not come from a self-imposed outer hierarchy. The structure, learning, progress, and enjoyment - and sometimes toil and sweat - is contained within the activity itself.

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"Budo must always reflect its surroundings. If it isn't newer and stronger, it isn't valid." - Shoji Nishio
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #52
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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A commonly accepted time frame for mastery is 10,000 hours. I tend to think that's about right.
I'm not sure what you are arguing for or against. 10,000 hours is 10,000 hours. You have to put in your time regardless if it's class, play or solo.

What ever the waza is for the structured class I still get to work on the principle that is my pet project at the time. To extend the music analogy, just because I'm choosing to practice a piece that someone else has chosen doesn't mean I still can't work on tone or color etc. It's Aikido much easier to practice with others. I can go home and do sword cuts and Funekogi Undo, just like I can go home and practice scales.

You seem to see the hierarchy as a yoke that you are forced to labor under, my experience has been people offering a hand up. I guess we both must realize that our experience isn't universal.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #53
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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I'm not sure what you are arguing for or against. 10,000 hours is 10,000 hours. You have to put in your time regardless if it's class, play or solo.
I'm agreeing with the 10,000 hours. What I question is when that 10,000 hours has to occur within a structured class setting. I'm not saying it does, but since we're in a topic about ranking in aikido - which does require so many days between "ranking" - and does not, if rarely accept, time spent outside of the formal structure as training that goes towards ranking - there again, is why I'm playing with the educational model in post-war aikido.

In pre-war aikido, and even early post-war, students with prior martial arts experience was taken into account. And most all of the top students continued learning and progressing outside of what was offered in the aikido dojo. And what they learned was, in many cases, applied within aikido, and ranks were awarded with that in consideration as well.

What about now? We've been through this. There are numbers all over this, and other threads. You go to class, put in your time, pay your dues, take your tests... You stay in perpetual school. How long would you expect people to train like this and have it be constructive for them and even the art of aikido?

I do agree that it, ultimately, is not about rank. But we're in a topic about ranking, and within that scope, it can be important.

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You seem to see the hierarchy as a yoke that you are forced to labor under, my experience has been people offering a hand up. I guess we both must realize that our experience isn't universal.
I don't have a problem with the hierarchy at all. The hierarchy has become a yoke on its own shoulders, not mine. I was in it while it was useful, and I've been outside it for years. I was probably inside it for 10,000 hours. I think it's absolutely useful - until students get a handle on the craft. From there, it will depend on their individual situation and journey as to where their training leads them.

And I agree that everyone's experience is not universal by any means. And there are a growing number of people as they reach 20+ years of training aikido who are finding that the structure that may have once served them and the art itself, isn't doing that anymore. Training and teaching methods need to be examined and revised. Grading and ranking need to be reconsidered. How classes are conducted and scheduled - and if that's necessary at all or in part - needs to be tweaked. How people can continue to play, learn, discover, experiment, innovate, and make contributions to aikido - of which there are many more possibilities than there were even 20 years ago.

Aikido's overhaul and evolution is already underway.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 04-10-2013 at 03:06 PM.

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Old 04-10-2013, 03:39 PM   #54
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

I still don't agree with your critique.

If mastery is the "goal" wherever you spend the 10,000 hours is time well spent. If you never take a test in your life you can achieve skill and depth.

If rank is the goal, then time in the system is the only time that matters because the rank is reflective of time spent in the system.

To use your education model. You can gain the knowledge without gaining the degree. You can't get the degree without following the protocol.

Skill is worked for and rank is given. The skill is yours, the rank belongs the organization.

Reading between the lines it sounds as if you are frustrated between a disconnect between your idea of your skill level and your official rank.

Again, not universal but my experience is (not a commercial Dojo) the money I pay is so I have place to practice with has lights, heat, bathrooms etc. More of a co-op fee than a perpetual tuition, imo. I was in class Sat. with three 5th dans as fellow students as well as first month newbies. They all were having fun, working on stuff and contributing to the same bills that I am. We all need someone to practice with and a place to do it.

Last edited by Brian Beach : 04-10-2013 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:24 PM   #55
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

Hey Brian, I didn't say mastery had to be a goal, I was just noting an amount of time spent on a pursuit until a level of mastery is reached.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebr...it-of-mastery/

I'm not any more frustrated by any ranking I may have been given in the past, than I am by the fact that I didn't continue on in college to receive a degree in music. I've been playing, and writing, and recording music for years, and I've never showed up anywhere, or released any music, and had people ask me about my degree or rank in music or recording or music production.

In fact, my being unconcerned with rank, and hierarchy in recent years has afforded me a huge amount of freedom to discover and explore aikido, to question and refine teaching and training methods, and to be open to contributions I can make to the evolution of the art. I've found ways of training and teaching outside of structured classes and schedules. It works for me and the people I train with. And at present, we look at it as more of a "lab" than anything else - with the overview that what we're discovering can be shared with a wider audience. To me it's actually more of an "old school" purist approach. Something along the lines of how people like Takeda and Ueshiba often trained.

I've also, consistently, welcomed people into aikido, in the real-world and online, and offered that the most important thing - when it's all said and done - it to just train. That philosophy - and reminder - has gotten me through 25 years of training and teaching in different countries, states, and within and outside of various organizations.

I'm glad you have a good situation to train that works for you. And so do I. So, here we are - two people in this boat called aikido - with, at present, very different approaches that still work respectively for us. Look, I commend anyone who continues on with their passions, whether it be aikido, music, cooking... whatever. It's part of what makes life grand.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 04-10-2013 at 04:27 PM.

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Old 04-10-2013, 04:35 PM   #56
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

I still don't know what the point is, in this thread, you are trying to make.

Glad you are enjoying your journey. It's all you can ask for.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:52 AM   #57
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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Dan Richards wrote: View Post
A commonly accepted time frame for mastery is 10,000 hours
What context do you refer to as "commonly"?
As far as I know the amount of 10,000 hours in old Japanese and Chinese texts means: The whole life - plus one hour more. Wich noone can accomplish ...

Quote:
In aikido, shodan gets people to the basic level of understanding of techniques. Nidan focuses more on pulling all that together in application. Sandan marks what is really the end of learning the "craft" aspect of aikido. Yondan is the beginning of the expression of the artform - and entering the ha stage.
Thank you very much: This simply is what I was asking for.
I don't really want to start this debate anew. Just let me say that this "requirements" or "standards" are clearly different in some points from what we have in our aikikai federation in Germany and also different from the criteria, Endo sensei sets.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:02 AM   #58
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
As far as I know the amount of 10,000 hours in old Japanese and Chinese texts means: The whole life - plus one hour more. Wich noone can accomplish ...
.
of course you can. the chinese and japanese believed in reincarnation. the extra hour just goes toward the next life. didn't you know that i am the reintarnation of Ip Man? you can call me Jp Dude!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:57 AM   #59
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

Actually, the references to 10,000 hours I've seen have been from western research into how long it really takes to master a skill, including such things as playing a musical instrument.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #60
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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Actually, the references to 10,000 hours I've seen have been from western research into how long it really takes to master a skill, including such things as playing a musical instrument.
Well assuming 1 hour a day practice that comes to 27.4 years - hardly a lifetime.

1 hour a day is a good weekly average for those of us who do it for pleasure.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:24 AM   #61
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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Well assuming 1 hour a day practice that comes to 27.4 years - hardly a lifetime.
Not many people start training from infancy or childhood and stay with it for 27.4 years.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:50 AM   #62
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

I think you are taking the 10000 hours thing a little too literally. It comes from Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" book, but it is hardly a scientific fact.

It takes as long as it takes, depending on many, many factors. Practice is important, but there is no magic formula to calculate the number of hours required.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2012...hour-rule-myth

Last edited by Conrad Gus : 04-11-2013 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:09 AM   #63
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

Conrad, it's just something to play around with. Scientific "facts" change with the wind as science changes. We're just using this as a point of discussion. And I agree, don't take it too literally.

And as someone who cooks, plays music, records music, writes, trains aikido... I think it's about right. I've put in 10,000 hours into cooking and food shopping and wine tasting, and putting meals together. Finding just the right dishes, wooded spoons, wine glasses. In the initial stages I spent hours every day cooking, experimenting, shopping, etc. An average of 20 hours per week spent practicing on an activity would get us to 10,000 in about 10 years.

I started taking a hardcore interest in cooking in '91, and I think when I look back, sometime around '01 I could say I'd gotten enough of a good basis that I would have entered the mastery stages of cooking around then. Of course, I'm still in it, and it just grows more and more fascinating and deepens as I continue.

Something that was interesting about my learning to cook, is that after the initial months of really diving into it, what I learned from cooking - about balance, and the bottom, middle, and top in flavors, also changed my approach and increased my ability to work and mix music in a recording studio. It also changed my perception of aikido.

And the idea that Gladwell puts across is that mastery is earned - not rewarded. And it's also a continuous pursuit, not a goal. Just like many have commented on the idea that shodan should not be a goal to one's training. Merely a signpost along the way.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 04-11-2013 at 11:18 AM.

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Old 04-11-2013, 11:23 AM   #64
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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And the idea that Gladwell puts across is that mastery is earned - not rewarded. And it's also a continuous pursuit, not a goal. Just like many have commented on the idea that shodan should not be a goal to one's training. Merely a signpost along the way.
I agree with that completely.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:31 PM   #65
Walter Martindale
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

The 10,000 hour thing is also a bit of an average. Someone who's really talented can "master" something in a shorter time, and some people never "master" something no matter how hard they work, for how long.

I know people who have won Olympic Gold in 7 years, the first 3 of which were in part-time training, the last four years were full-time training - three sessions a day 5 days a week, 2 sessions on the sixth, and one day off. As a coach, a person like that may come along once or twice in a coaching career. It just happened that three of them started training at different locations all in the same year (1985) and won two olympic golds each in 1992. Two of THEM switched disciplines in 1994 and won another gold in 1996 (and a Bronze). I had the honour of coaching one of these people for the first year and a half of her career, helping her learn effective skills early on. (Some believe, as I do, that the skills you learn earliest are the hardest to extinguish, and the more times you practice it the better you get at doing it - whether it's a "good" skill or a "bad" skill - you get very good at doing it..)

The (average) 10,000 hours of practice has to be "deliberate" practice, in which the person practicing has to be fully engaged in what he or she is doing. There has to be a purpose to the practice, rather than (say) putting in bulk mileage. If you're slogging away at something, it's not deliberate practice. If you're paying attention to what you're doing, what your training partner(s) is/are doing, and stay switched on, mentally, the 10,000 hours may be 9,000, or 8,000, or in rare occasions 6,000.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:01 AM   #66
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

My impression when I read Gladwell talking about his observation of 10,000 hours to what he called mastery was that it was far more an order-of-magnitude estimate than an actual precise number of hours.

I.e., the point was he found it tended to be around 10,000 or 5,000, not 100s of hours and not 100,000 hours (closer to a lifetime full time).

Part of the context was in debunking the idea of the prodigy who effortlessly learns, by pointing out (using famous musicians, athletes, and chess players as examples) that most people who are unusually skilled at a young age put in a large number of hours of careful practice at a young age, and that the early work of eventual masters is amateurish.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:33 PM   #67
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

I know you guys were talking in a "different direction," so to speak, but I am very impressed with the imagery of the following gstatement, taken by itself.

"You seem to see the hierarchy as a yoke that you are forced to labor under, my experience has been people offering a hand up."

I jus tlike that. Apologies for dragging the thread sideways on a philisophical tangent.

On a more numerical bent, let's take a good, close, analytical look at the whole 10,000 hours thing and put it in perspective. I've heard very good doctorate-level physical education teachers say that it takes 10,000 repetitions of a movement to make that muscle movement the most automatic, most relaxed, most efficient that it can be, as it is the 10,000 repititions that moves the physical movement from the conscious control to the unconscious.

OK, so average class is 2 hours (nice place to play). You, because you are hard-core, go 5 times a week (to make the math easier, and because you are hard-core). That = 10 hours a week.

10,000 hours / 10 hours/week = 1,000 weeks

Ouch. 1,000 weeks?! So, there's 52 weeks/year, so that's 19.23 years, at 5 days a week!

OK, so let's say we are a "real world" dedicated aikido practitioner, who goes to the dojo for practice an average of 2.5 times/week, including the occasional seminar when there's a big bump in hours,... then the period is nigh-on 40 years.

Do-able? Yes. Perhaps a philisophical "in the next lifetime" by medieval Japan standards, also perhaps?

Let's just say, nobody we know "masters" this stuff, but we do know people personally who get really, really dang good at it, eh?

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:49 AM   #68
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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Ouch. 1,000 weeks?! So, there's 52 weeks/year, so that's 19.23 years, at 5 days a week!

OK, so let's say we are a "real world" dedicated aikido practitioner, who goes to the dojo for practice an average of 2.5 times/week, including the occasional seminar when there's a big bump in hours,... then the period is nigh-on 40 years.

Do-able? Yes. Perhaps a philisophical "in the next lifetime" by medieval Japan standards, also perhaps?

Let's just say, nobody we know "masters" this stuff, but we do know people personally who get really, really dang good at it, eh?
Well, let's just say that mastery is not common, and you probably can't do it, for a generic value of "you". That's what sticks in most people's craws. They really don't like that truth. This feeling seems to arise out of a bizarre paradoxical belief in a meritocracy in which the standards of merit are unfair, somehow, when they're just too hard. It's illogical, it's no different than the infatuation over the black belt, but there you have it. That's what mastery means, and most of us will never get there -- circumstances dictate that, if character failings don't. And if you need to believe that mastery will happen if you train for a really long time (like, I don't know, three years), feel free, but you're humpty-dumptying with what "mastery" means when you do so. Better to ask the question about why you need the title of "master" (or the black belt), though. Ultimately, lasting happiness can't be based on illusion.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:40 AM   #69
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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... so that's 19.23 years ...
Well, that made me sit up:

I'm practicing for 19 years, 12 weeks and 5 days now to the day.

I had 7 years with 5-6 days in the dōjō. One day was 2,5 hours. I count 5 times/week.
=> 4550 h

12 years with 3 days, 2-2,5 hours. I count 2 hours.
=> 3744 hours

I'm attending seminars about once a month. Mostly Friday-Sunday, one class 2-2,5 hours plus about two times a year a five day long seminar. I did not attend a seminar during my first year.
I count 17 years,10 seminars each year, 8 hours of practice each seminar. (I think this gives a minimum value.)
=> 1360 hours

I do not count the solo practice (bodywork and qi things) of about 1,5 hours each day.

This sums up to 9654 hours of practice.

Only 346 hours to go until I reach mastery!
Even if I don't attend any seminar with my teacher or our shihan anymore I will reach mastery in about 1.11 years!
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:45 PM   #70
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Despite only ranking for yellow belt in Aikido recently, I have however been thrashing the stupid BBCs PCs gameboys playstation 2s and xbox360s pretty much since they first came out. This has given me, an average of just about 10-000 gaming hours over my lifetime in my opinion. Or a lot by any means. That isn't to say that I am any good at any one particular game (even though I still cite beating final fantasy 7 with both hidden elder dragons, and clocking final fantasy nine including completing the skipping game in it with 100% score) as definitely something of a pinnacle of my gaming career. These kind of achievements take what over 1000 hours at the game in and as of themselves, which if not proving for a very blooded and single minded endeavor I don't know what is. Now a days I alternate between elder scrolls 4, tekken tag 2 and just dance 3 to get my kicks. Which if anyone on here knows the foggiest about games, will probably tell you a lot about the kind of person I am! Oh well. I don't suppose that helps much? John.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:47 PM   #71
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

Ms. Mary, that was very well stated. Carsten, I agree totally with you.

I put in a LOT of early time in on kick-punch arts, and it is relatively easy (that in itself) is a "relative" statement) to reach a level of physical mastery on skillsets such as the boxing jab, front snap-kick, hook, uppercut, and even skills such as a spinning hook kick, etc., primarily because they are "uni-body," meaning, I can go "over there" and practice them by myself.

I can get in front of a heavy bag, and if I am conscious of my technique, work the jab-cross-hook combination into the bag over-and-over-and-over-andover ad nauseum until my shoulders ache with it, and maybe get a 1,000 reps in really quickly, in the grand scheme of things. Do that ten times, and wallah! Mastery of the jab-croos-hook combination, delivered from a particular stance to a particularly "still" opponent (I've yet to meet that guy by the way...).

Compare that with any standard aikido waza. Opponents approach, technique is exchanged, someone falls/is locked or is otherwise dealt with. Then reset. Time? 15 seconds?

In that same 15 seconds, I might have, if I'm awesome enough, practiced the combination punch 15 times.

The time ratio is skewed.

And oh by the way, Tekken 2 was the best overall Tekken game ever. Just sayin'.

LOL Loves me some Tekken, all of 'em!

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #72
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

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John Robinson wrote: View Post
Despite only ranking for yellow belt in Aikido recently, I have however been thrashing the stupid BBCs PCs gameboys playstation 2s and xbox360s pretty much since they first came out. This has given me, an average of just about 10-000 gaming hours over my lifetime in my opinion. Or a lot by any means. That isn't to say that I am any good at any one particular game (even though I still cite beating final fantasy 7 with both hidden elder dragons, and clocking final fantasy nine including completing the skipping game in it with 100% score) as definitely something of a pinnacle of my gaming career. These kind of achievements take what over 1000 hours at the game in and as of themselves, which if not proving for a very blooded and single minded endeavor I don't know what is. Now a days I alternate between elder scrolls 4, tekken tag 2 and just dance 3 to get my kicks. Which if anyone on here knows the foggiest about games, will probably tell you a lot about the kind of person I am! Oh well. I don't suppose that helps much? John.
Elder Scrolls 4? Why on earth aren't you playing Skyrim!??!?!? Silly monkey, clearly you are no master!

--Ashley
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:50 AM   #73
john2054
Location: Derby
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

Hi Ashley, yeah i meant 5 skyrim. I couldn't get on with number 4 at all truth be told. That was a typo.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #74
Malicat
Dojo: Sei-Ryo, Flat Rock, NC
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

Quote:
John Robinson wrote: View Post
Hi Ashley, yeah i meant 5 skyrim. I couldn't get on with number 4 at all truth be told. That was a typo.
Good job then John. I was worried about you for a second. Although, I will say that we lost 2 of our Aikido students after Skyrim came out. It became a running joke in our dojo.

--Ashley
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:26 PM   #75
danielajames
 
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Dojo: Brisbane Aikido Republic
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Re: Ranking systems in different countries

The interesting thing about 10,000 hrs is that what you spend that 10,000 on is what you end up mastering. And while repetition might seem the fastest way to racking up the hours repetion or 'blocked learning' is useful only to a point, beyond that it actually inhibits learning by giving false confidence and learning can go backward. Fortunately in the traditional arts there are all the ingredients to avoid this through variety, stress testing, as well as blocked learning drills.
One of my favourites teachers, David Brown said most of the time in the dojo is wasted which he then wen on to say with bowing in, exercises you don't need, talking, wasting time with an uke that doesn't get it , wasting time with a teacher that doesn't get it, paining up etc... adn when you cut class time back the parts where you are learning can be pretty small.

best

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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