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Old 10-28-2013, 03:35 AM   #26
Eva Antonia
Dojo: CERIA
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 209
Belgium
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Re: Dead end?

Hello,

I'm doing aikido since seven years, and quite intensively, still there are many things in which I recognise myself from your description.

First, this issue of teachers discouraging students from taking "big, flying ukemi". I still don't get it. I CAN understand the reason behind, but sometimes I just have the urge to have fun and get myself thrown hard, and do everything very dynamically even if the style sucks. Teacher says this is not the objective. The objective is for uke to feel what tori is up to and to follow the lead. So if you throw yourself into a breathtaking, magnificent neko ukemi whereas tori intended to let you down at his feet and apply a lock, it's simply bad aikido. I recognise that I'm still not at that level where I can recognise tori's intention, and I'm still too much occupied to push through my own movements. That's fine if you want to apply countertechniques, which I always want - but then it's completely counterproductive for your learning process. So I need to overcome my own instincts and attitude, which sounds easier than it is. As I said, rationally it is completely clear - but then why does tori in so many cases want to let uke down gently when there is also the option to throw him hard? VERY disappointing! A long way still to walk.

Another issue is that with the very widespread curriculum. We have that, too, and as a result, we advance enourmously slowly. Shodan takes 10 years in average, maybe? I don't have statistics. But when comparing with more "belt-centered" dojos, I find that they concentrate very much on the programme for the next belt, but do not teach all the varieties, applications, kaeshi & henka waza that make aikido so very fascinating. It looks to me like teaching a language to a student making him learn by heart all pre-formulated answers to pre-formulated questions. But once there comes a different question, the student is lost. I prefer to learn my aikido language slowly, but with a broader focus than only the techniques for my next belt.

I wish you much fun continuing aikido, and don't worry about the belts. If you walk along a fascinating scenic road, who cares about the frequency of traffic lights on your way?

All the best,

Eva
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:58 AM   #27
Walter Martindale
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 658
Canada
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Re: Dead end?

They say "practice makes perfect" but others say "practice makes permanent".

If you practice "good" form/basics/movement priniciples/suburi/etc., you will build a good foundation on which to base a long healthy aikido "career".

If you shut your mind off and stop paying attention to what you're doing in your repeated practice, you may be practicing "bad" movement patterns which will stay with you through your "career".

Better to be "mindful" - in some circles this is called "deliberate practice" rather than anything mystical - and pay attention to what you're doing while you learn things.

In the sport I coach, some of the conventional wisdom is that you spend the first year learning the basic motions and how to be in control, after which you can start working on being fast. As another has mentioned, if you want fitness, go running (or swimming) and throw some steel around. The thing about starting slowly with aikido is that unless you've come to aikido with a very solid fitness background, all of the movements are novel to you and to your "core" - strength and stability - the little muscles surrounding your spine which provide support for all your movements. Your brain needs to learn to control all the muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons so that you can be strong and stable without being stiff and tight. I THINK this is the base learning that some of the "IS/IT" folks talk about, but whether or not, these learning processes take time, repetition, and (again) deliberate practice.

Sounds like your basic practice is what's going to form a good base. It's good that you enjoy the training - keep at it.

Patience... (early in the movie - "The Challenge" with Scott Glenn, 1982 IIRC - Glenn asks his little friend what he learns from having seven brothers - Patience - you learn patience...)
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:02 PM   #28
"Original poster"
IP Hash: 00ffc225
Anonymous User
Re: Dead end?

Hello Aikiweb,I'm back from a session at a different dojo/different style/different teacher.

I never felt this alienated and wrong in my entire life.Usually I'm confident with what I do because I udnerstand the mentality and the way things should be.This time I couldn't agree with jsut a single thing that was said and done.

I kept thinking "Gosh if sensei saw that,he would be furious (and so am I)" or "I wish I could be at my home dojo right now".I realized how much I miss my sensei and how awesome he really is.
This was a much needed change to see,that I need no change.

Everything I was doubting before felt like the ultimate way to aikido...I am ashmed right now and wish to apologize for being so rushing.

Thanks again to everyone here!
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:47 PM   #29
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 252
Philippines
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Re: Dead end?

Quote:
Eva Röben wrote: View Post
Hello,

First, this issue of teachers discouraging students from taking "big, flying ukemi". I still don't get it. I CAN understand the reason behind, but sometimes I just have the urge to have fun and get myself thrown hard, and do everything very dynamically even if the style sucks. Teacher says this is not the objective. The objective is for uke to feel what tori is up to and to follow the lead. So if you throw yourself into a breathtaking, magnificent neko ukemi whereas tori intended to let you down at his feet and apply a lock, it's simply bad aikido. I recognise that I'm still not at that level where I can recognise tori's intention, and I'm still too much occupied to push through my own movements.

Eva
I remember Saito-sensei saying somewhere that real Aikido doesn't give a chance for uke to do ukemi. Second is my opinion that uke should always be attacking where he has the opportunity, even when nage is trying to pin him down.

Doing big, flying ukemis either says that uke jumps for safety reasons (nage jerks the technique) which in this case is understandable and justifiable or he has totally submitted without even trying to regain composure and attack again. The 2nd to me is bad aikido. It's just for pure show.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #30
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,940
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Re: Dead end?

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Hello Aikiweb,I'm back from a session at a different dojo/different style/different teacher.

I never felt this alienated and wrong in my entire life.Usually I'm confident with what I do because I udnerstand the mentality and the way things should be.This time I couldn't agree with jsut a single thing that was said and done.

I kept thinking "Gosh if sensei saw that,he would be furious (and so am I)" or "I wish I could be at my home dojo right now".I realized how much I miss my sensei and how awesome he really is.
This was a much needed change to see,that I need no change.

Everything I was doubting before felt like the ultimate way to aikido...I am ashmed right now and wish to apologize for being so rushing.

Thanks again to everyone here!
COOL!!!!!!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:45 AM   #31
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 312
United Kingdom
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Re: Dead end?

just back from vacation and reading this thread with interest.

Ukeme should be effective i.e. a response to the technique coupled with an aattempt to regain correct positioning in relation to tori; ultimately leading to kaeshi-waza.

Big flying ukeme don't acheive this so ineither use or teach them.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #32
"original poster"
IP Hash: 954c4f88
Anonymous User
Re: Dead end?

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
just back from vacation and reading this thread with interest.

Ukeme should be effective i.e. a response to the technique coupled with an aattempt to regain correct positioning in relation to tori; ultimately leading to kaeshi-waza.

Big flying ukeme don't acheive this so ineither use or teach them.
When you know how to run,it's a natural thing to want to practise how to run
You don't run through your entire life but at one run you have to learn it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:25 AM   #33
crbateman
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Posts: 1,447
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Re: Dead end?

Before you can learn aikido, you must learn how to learn. Rome wasn't built in a day, and your aikido training will not be complete after "3/4 of a year". It sounds like your teacher understands the value of mastering the fundamental principles on which aikido is built. Most of those teachers I have been most impressed with are sticklers for the basics, and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. Be patient, Grasshopper...
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