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Old 11-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #1
Dalaran1991
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How to deal with irritating partner?

At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work. Practically I never get to do a technique with her because she would stop me at any "error" she detects, and make me restart from the beginning.

I appreciate her trying to help me learn, but frankly she is not the best person in the class in a position to give instructions, especially when they are not solicited. And how do I improve without doing the techniques (and failing), all the same time getting my ears tortured?

Generally I have just been avoiding training with her but recently it has gotten really awkward since she can tell that. We hang out as a group off the tatami too, and this creates unnecessary tension.

How do I deal with this kind of situation?
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:05 PM   #2
mathewjgano
 
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work. Practically I never get to do a technique with her because she would stop me at any "error" she detects, and make me restart from the beginning.

I appreciate her trying to help me learn, but frankly she is not the best person in the class in a position to give instructions, especially when they are not solicited. And how do I improve without doing the techniques (and failing), all the same time getting my ears tortured?

Generally I have just been avoiding training with her but recently it has gotten really awkward since she can tell that. We hang out as a group off the tatami too, and this creates unnecessary tension.

How do I deal with this kind of situation?
Talking to your sensei or another sempai about what is expected can be a good place to start. Asking her opinion on your dilemma regarding missing out on technique would be another great way to directly diffuse that tension, although you'll have to accept that she probably will have an answer that suits her and might not suit you. One thought though, techniques can be useful, but so can your stance. I'm not sure how long you've been training but the first thing I tend to "correct" (try to the best of my ability) is that basic starting posture/stance.

Good luck!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
sakumeikan
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work. Practically I never get to do a technique with her because she would stop me at any "error" she detects, and make me restart from the beginning.

I appreciate her trying to help me learn, but frankly she is not the best person in the class in a position to give instructions, especially when they are not solicited. And how do I improve without doing the techniques (and failing), all the same time getting my ears tortured?

Generally I have just been avoiding training with her but recently it has gotten really awkward since she can tell that. We hang out as a group off the tatami too, and this creates unnecessary tension.

How do I deal with this kind of situation?
Hi, Long,
Be polite , but be direct .Tell her that you do not welcome her criticism however well meant.
Tell her if you want to have feedback , you will ask her for the feedback.Your partner may not be fully aware of her nuisance value.If all else fails be blunt.Cheers, Joe
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:32 AM   #4
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
At my dojo, there's this girl I know who is a 1st kyu and a pain to train with.

Every time we train together she opens a full verbal assault on me on how I need to spread my stance wider, how I need to twist my stance this way and that way, how this would work and that would not work
Tell her to STFU until she gets shodan at least.

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Old 11-23-2013, 06:32 AM   #5
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

When someone is too chatty I say. "Let's just train, if I need correction the teacher will see it and correct me."

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Old 11-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #6
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Start questioning everything she does.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Is she usually correct?

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 11-23-2013, 10:53 AM   #8
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi, Long,
Be polite , but be direct .Tell her that you do not welcome her criticism however well meant.
Tell her if you want to have feedback , you will ask her for the feedback.Your partner may not be fully aware of her nuisance value.If all else fails be blunt.Cheers, Joe
This. The first thing I would advice you try is to tell her. You can be nice and polite about it, but just tell her that you would prefer to practice in quiet, and get your corrections from sensei.

Pauliina
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:10 PM   #9
Dalaran1991
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Thanks everyone. I think I'm really going for the route people suggested: "your criticism is appreciated but not asked for. If I need something I'll ask Sensei" This really does 2 things: I speak my mind while being polite, and remind her of her place while not directly burning her ego.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Is she usually correct?
No. A lot of the time she was telling me to do X Y Z, then Sensei came to the rescue and told me to do A B C. I thought that should remind her that she should not be giving me instructions, but as soon as Sensei leaves my ears get harassed again. It's amusing and frustrating at the same time.

Usually I try to stay as far away from her as possible. But one day she was sitting next to me and was about to salute, I had to shut off my peripheral vision and go directly in the opposite direction to look for another partner. This is horrible etiquette but I had no choice. So I wanna put an end to this.

I'm a 3rd kyu and in our dojo, men wear a hakama at 2nd kyu and women at 3rd kyu. So evidently I'm really hesistant to "talk back" in respect to the "fancy dress".

Frankly I think Aikido is a lifelong lesson and everyone makes mistake from 7th kyu to 4th dan. Our goals should be to help each other train, make mistake and improve together, not to harass.

Now I just wonder, have you encountered something like this personally?
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:12 PM   #10
Dalaran1991
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Start questioning everything she does.
Clearly you didn't learn never to argue with a woman, much less a chatty one with a law degree At least she taught me this invaluable lesson. Might save my life one day
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:21 PM   #11
Walter Martindale
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

How about "But sensei JUST FINISHED telling me to do ABC and I think you're telling me to do XYZ - I don't understand… I'm trying to do what sensei just showed me - is that not what I'm doing?" or something along those lines…

I've never met an athlete/aikido person who wanted to do badly…
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:54 PM   #12
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

In fairness, it's a difficult balance. I generally don't offer much verbal feedback unless my partner is either very junior and in difficulties or clearly indicates that feedback would be welcome. But I recently got a "shut up and let me train" message from a partner... so maybe I'm not as careful about it as I thought. The world will not end if you give her the same message.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #13
Dalaran1991
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

uhhhhhh, are we back to the Sengoku Jidai period, guys?

I was pretty sure Phi Truong and Bill were half joking with their comments and I actually kinda laughed a bit. If they actually meant what they said, I'll just pretend I heard a good joke.

And this has nothing to do with her being a girl or a guy. Hell, in my dojo the Sensei is a woman. She is nicer than your typical sweet grandma but oh my god try not to faint when she throws you... Over half of the yudanshans are women. Among the youth, the only shodan is a girl together with this girl 1st kyu. The highest ranking young guy is my buddy who is 2nd kyu. So I won't enter in the debate on anything regarding sex/gender in Aikido.

I had a similar problem with another dude. He is a newbie but he comes in the dojo pretending it is his home. He doesn't bow to the sempai and gives me shoulder slaps to the shoulder when I don't even know his name. I make a point of not talking or training with him and I have no problem with that.

The only reason I wanna fix thing with this girl is, like I said, we're friends out of the dojo. Due to her family issues she draws the only validation in her life from the dojo and Aikido training, so I'm reluctant to say anything negative about her training. I've learned that some harmless words even though spoken respectfully can still rain hell fire on people's ego.

@ Carsten: Sorry, I've just not reached that level of budoshin yet to have enough patient Not while my hearing sense is being overloaded while a 1st kyu is crushing my wrist. (girl is always too damn stressful)
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:05 PM   #14
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
@ Carsten: Sorry, I've just not reached that level of budoshin yet to have enough patient
"Much to learn still you have, young Padawan."
ahem, ahem, ... me either ... ahem ...
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:50 PM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Thanks everyone. I think I'm really going for the route people suggested: "your criticism is appreciated but not asked for. If I need something I'll ask Sensei" This really does 2 things: I speak my mind while being polite, and remind her of her place while not directly burning her ego.

A lot of the time she was telling me to do X Y Z, then Sensei came to the rescue and told me to do A B C. I thought that should remind her that she should not be giving me instructions, but as soon as Sensei leaves my ears get harassed again. It's amusing and frustrating at the same time.

Usually I try to stay as far away from her as possible. But one day she was sitting next to me and was about to salute, I had to shut off my peripheral vision and go directly in the opposite direction to look for another partner. This is horrible etiquette but I had no choice. So I wanna put an end to this.

I'm a 3rd kyu and in our dojo, men wear a hakama at 2nd kyu and women at 3rd kyu. So evidently I'm really hesistant to "talk back" in respect to the "fancy dress".

Frankly I think Aikido is a lifelong lesson and everyone makes mistake from 7th kyu to 4th dan. Our goals should be to help each other train, make mistake and improve together, not to harass.

Now I just wonder, have you encountered something like this personally?
The sex/gender issue is a red herring, in my opinion. Precisely the same issue can arise if all the parties are male. My question concerns the instructor. In my own dojo I can immediately see how individual students do the waza and also how they generally interact with the other students in the dojo. In addition, the instructors actually practise with all the students, including ukemi. There is some discussion, but if I want to stop people talking too much, I tell them straight (you can do this very politely in Japanese). Does your instructor do this?

In addition, there is an assumption here about the value of verbally correcting mistakes. The assumption is that if someone sees another person practising the waza incorrectly, there is an obligation to point this out -- immediately and on the spot. This is clearly the case with the person with whom you are having trouble, but is it the case generally in the dojo? In Japan, such immediate verbal correction is less likely and it is quite possible for someone to be practicing the waza wrongly, but without any correction. As the chief instructor in my dojo, I often see people practising waza incorrectly, but it is quite another matter whether I should tell them so, or leave them to make corrections in their own time and in their own way.

I give seminars occasionally and am constantly surprised at the number of people, including 4th dan and above, who do not practice the waza in the way I have shown. Do they do this because they cannot perceive what I am doing, since their mental map of the waza does not allow for another way of doing it, or because they have already made a mental judgment that their way is better?

Since your aikido practice will be a lifelong activity, I am sure you will be faced with issues like this when you come to instruct classes.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #16
Eva Antonia
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Dear original poster,

in my dojo and also when going to seminars and visiting other dojos, I observe pretty much the same, and it occurs again and again. Although I'm normally not at all a patient person and if the same happened in my area of work, would explose or say something with a cutting edge, in aikido I work on keeping calm and learn something from what happens. Why that? In my line of work, I'm an expert, I do it since 20 something years and generally don't make 25 blunders in 90 minutes. In aikido, though training since 7 years, I'm far from being an expert, and it may occur that I do every single action wrong in 90 minutes.

There are guys of different levels who have it as a principle to block my technique and provide not-asked-for advice. It's mostly, but not exclusively, guys, and of all levels. Motives are different. They vary from ignorance that what works for a guy of 80 kg doesn't always work for a woman of 60, to pissing contest or the observation that I'm just getting the technique unwittingly completely wrong.

So what? If they manage to block my technique, what does it mean?
=> my capacity is not good enough to do the technique intended by the teacher
=> I try to find out why or
=> I apply henka waza
If it still doesn't work, obviously the other person is not collaborating, but if my aikido was good, that wouldn't be a problem. So if I get angry, and I do, it's not at the would-be sensei but' more at the fact that after 7 years, my technique still sucks.

As to the advice, there are different options:
=> I try what the guy said, and it works => he was right
=> I try what the guy said and it doesn't work => a) he was wrong b) I didn't get it
=> he can launch another round of advice
=> go to 1

It may also happen that I differ and remain convinced that what the guy said is wrong or that he didn't get what the teacher said. Then we can try to find out what's the matter and why.

Or we can simply shut up and train.

In a nutshell, I don't see this sort of situation as annoying, I rather see it as a useful part of the training.

All the best,

Eva
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:09 AM   #17
Dalaran1991
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Eva Röben wrote: View Post
Dear original poster,

in my dojo and also when going to seminars and visiting other dojos, I observe pretty much the same, and it occurs again and again. Although I'm normally not at all a patient person and if the same happened in my area of work, would explose or say something with a cutting edge, in aikido I work on keeping calm and learn something from what happens. Why that? In my line of work, I'm an expert, I do it since 20 something years and generally don't make 25 blunders in 90 minutes. In aikido, though training since 7 years, I'm far from being an expert, and it may occur that I do every single action wrong in 90 minutes.

There are guys of different levels who have it as a principle to block my technique and provide not-asked-for advice. It's mostly, but not exclusively, guys, and of all levels. Motives are different. They vary from ignorance that what works for a guy of 80 kg doesn't always work for a woman of 60, to pissing contest or the observation that I'm just getting the technique unwittingly completely wrong.

So what? If they manage to block my technique, what does it mean?
=> my capacity is not good enough to do the technique intended by the teacher
=> I try to find out why or
=> I apply henka waza
If it still doesn't work, obviously the other person is not collaborating, but if my aikido was good, that wouldn't be a problem. So if I get angry, and I do, it's not at the would-be sensei but' more at the fact that after 7 years, my technique still sucks.

As to the advice, there are different options:
=> I try what the guy said, and it works => he was right
=> I try what the guy said and it doesn't work => a) he was wrong b) I didn't get it
=> he can launch another round of advice
=> go to 1

It may also happen that I differ and remain convinced that what the guy said is wrong or that he didn't get what the teacher said. Then we can try to find out what's the matter and why.

Or we can simply shut up and train.

In a nutshell, I don't see this sort of situation as annoying, I rather see it as a useful part of the training.

All the best,

Eva
Agree with almost everything you said, except maybe the patient one. The thing is, if you do what he/she says and it works, it does NOT mean that is the correct way. I've realized something really insidious about aikido training: sometimes people do a technique the wrong way, and they tell other people to do the same thing. To prove that they are right, they intentionally fall when I do it "their way", and apply a lot of blocking/resistance if I'm doing differently. Happens all the time with this girl and lotta other people. I wouldn't know if Sensei didn't point out to me.

And plus, just like you said, Aikido is about body synchronization. What works for this girl might not works for me.

There's no reason to train with some1 who doesn't help you learn in a productive way. Except for the personal reason I mentioned.

Quote:
The sex/gender issue is a red herring, in my opinion. Precisely the same issue can arise if all the parties are male. My question concerns the instructor. In my own dojo I can immediately see how individual students do the waza and also how they generally interact with the other students in the dojo. In addition, the instructors actually practise with all the students, including ukemi. There is some discussion, but if I want to stop people talking too much, I tell them straight (you can do this very politely in Japanese). Does your instructor do this?
Mine is a little bit too nice and too soft to be honest, since we're an university club. Plus normally this shouldn't be a problem, since the dojo has plenty of other students to train with.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:24 AM   #18
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
I've realized something really insidious about aikido training: sometimes people do a technique the wrong way, and they tell other people to do the same thing. To prove that they are right, they intentionally fall when I do it "their way", and apply a lot of blocking/resistance if I'm doing differently.
Don't do things differently, do them right. You know the old saying: "If do right, no can defense".

And grow a handlebar moustache

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Old 11-25-2013, 08:25 AM   #19
PaulF
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
There's no reason to train with some1 who doesn't help you learn in a productive way. Except for the personal reason I mentioned.
Everyone I ever got on a mat with I could learn from, just often it wasn't what they were trying to teach me.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:29 AM   #20
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Long Trinh, you asked about others experiences, here's mine:

I often ask people simply to please not block my technique.

In my experience, most people who do aikido are basically nice ordinary people, not strange psychopaths or something. So most of the time when someone blocks my technique or gives advice, they are trying to help, just maybe not in the best way. And if I approach the situation from that perspective, I can then say "I appreciate that you're trying to help, but could you just go with it for now, I'd like to try and figure this out by myself?", and usually people are then happy to comply.

At other times, I might choose not to say anything. When a training partner first blocks your technique, then gives advice, then falls for you when you follow the advice - what they are doing in fact is teach you how they like to be thrown. That might not teach you universal truths about aikido but it can teach you something interesting.

Now sometimes people who block you are trying to play a weird manipulative power game. Then they can enjoy "winning" when your technique doesn't work and they get to explain things to you. I try not play that game with them, of course I could also start to block their technique (aikido techniques are usually easy to stop in practice since you know what is coming), but that just means there are then two jerks playing a passive agressive game, and I try not to be a jerk.* So i just practice as well as i can, and then avoid such a person in the future. But I think the people who do this consciously are in a minority, most people really are nice and if you ask them will stop blocking. So my basic rule is, talk with people. Only if that really doesn't help, maybe consider not training with that person, at least not very often.

* Except when I fail and get annoyed and start to play that game. I'm not perfect either.

Hope that helps.

Pauliina
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:59 AM   #21
Larry Feldman
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Nice job avoiding her.

Next time you are cornered you might try - "Let's check with Sensei", raise your hand and get an opinion from the teacher.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:48 AM   #22
Susan Dalton
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

We cannot control other people. We can only control ourselves. Human relations are the most important, and the most difficult, part of aikido. Some people are easy to train with. Probably, really, they don't need aikido. But most of us do. We need to work with other people so we can figure out how to be decent human beings. Blaming uke is always easier than taking a clear-eyed look at our own shortcomings. Work with the people you find most difficult until you get your "stuff" worked out. It's hard, I know.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:13 AM   #23
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

I've done what I can to clean up this thread to keep things on-topic.

Thanks, everyone, for your continued attention in keeping things civil here on AikiWeb.

-- Jun

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Old 11-25-2013, 04:01 PM   #24
sakumeikan
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The sex/gender issue is a red herring, in my opinion. Precisely the same issue can arise if all the parties are male. My question concerns the instructor. In my own dojo I can immediately see how individual students do the waza and also how they generally interact with the other students in the dojo. In addition, the instructors actually practise with all the students, including ukemi. There is some discussion, but if I want to stop people talking too much, I tell them straight (you can do this very politely in Japanese). Does your instructor do this?

In addition, there is an assumption here about the value of verbally correcting mistakes. The assumption is that if someone sees another person practising the waza incorrectly, there is an obligation to point this out -- immediately and on the spot. This is clearly the case with the person with whom you are having trouble, but is it the case generally in the dojo? In Japan, such immediate verbal correction is less likely and it is quite possible for someone to be practicing the waza wrongly, but without any correction. As the chief instructor in my dojo, I often see people practising waza incorrectly, but it is quite another matter whether I should tell them so, or leave them to make corrections in their own time and in their own way.

I give seminars occasionally and am constantly surprised at the number of people, including 4th dan and above, who do not practice the waza in the way I have shown. Do they do this because they cannot perceive what I am doing, since their mental map of the waza does not allow for another way of doing it, or because they have already made a mental judgment that their way is better?

Since your aikido practice will be a lifelong activity, I am sure you will be faced with issues like this when you come to instruct classes.

Best wishes,
Hi Peter,
Surely if someone is doing a waza incorrectly the person will be embodying the wrong method of doing the waza? This in time would become habit forming and in my mind in a negative way.The guy having conditioned himself to doing incorrect waza then has to re programme himself over again.
Not only that surely you as the visiting instructor at a seminar have a duty to see /check that the students are doing what you show them rather than what they believe your demonstrating?What would be the point of inviting you to teach them if they carry on doing what they normally do?Seems a waste of valuable time money and human resources ie you.Hope you are well> Cheers, Joe.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:02 PM   #25
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Re: How to deal with irritating partner?

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
As the chief instructor in my dojo, I often see people practising waza incorrectly, but it is quite another matter whether I should tell them so, or leave them to make corrections in their own time and in their own way.
Hello Peter,
Recently I was asking myself similar questions...
Could you explain please why don't you make corrections right away to avoid creation wrong automatism and also to avoid creation wrong waza example to other dojo members?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I give seminars occasionally and am constantly surprised at the number of people, including 4th dan and above, who do not practice the waza in the way I have shown. Do they do this because they cannot perceive what I am doing, since their mental map of the waza does not allow for another way of doing it, or because they have already made a mental judgment that their way is better?
Best wishes,
I personally have a lot of difficulties to change the automatic movements, I need minimum 1 some times 2 hours of practice to do a switch.
Also, if an instructor is from different style, often, most what he is doing has not much sens to me, because I don't understand the assumptions of his teaching system. This is very frustrating and not helping to easy absorb his teaching. On the other hand he has no time to explain it. So I'm not sure is it a good idea to follow such seminars...however it has as a consequence to close myself in my own style only...not good....

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