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Old 12-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
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The harder I try the more I am lost

Not sure if anyone has experienced this in their training quest. However, I have been training since mid October and I am very serious about aikido. I am trying very hard to learn all proper etiquet, on my own, ever since I got in trouble in my first class when I did not know that when sensei is explaining something to you personally you have to sit in seiza. From that point forward I have been trying very hard in both technique, etiquet, and spiritual/mental aikido training. I don't talk to my sensei too much as I find him a bit to himself and I guess I feel intimidated, although I think most of this is just because I am very shy and timid myself.

I have missed only 3 classes since I started, due to flu, but came back to class as soon as I was a little better. In the beginning I have found sensei correcting me and providing extra attention, which has motivated me to try harder, as I felt that sensei did see my effort and took me seriously. But since my husband, who had joined same time as me, declined in attendance and began to regularly attend jiujitsu class instead, which I have began to occasionally attend too, although aikido is my primary. I feel that both go hand in hand. Well since all this, I have noticed that my sensei, does not always give that extra attention that I noticed in the beginning and I think maybe it might be just me, since I do feel a bit of guilt.

With all this I continue to give as much as I can, I even practice breathing techniques, read tons of stuff on spiritual aspect of aikido, and practice for my 6th kyu test at home, as it is comming up. Well, I noticed that my focus and concentration in class has diminished. Today's class was a nightmare I could not focus on the most basic.... Then at the end of the class suddenly I got this terrible migraine where I felt a bit disoriented, with this another 5th kyu student aproached me and very formally asked me if my husband is no longer going to attend aikido, since his attendance has notably diminished, in that time sensei was standing beside him and correcting some mistake on attendance sheet. I felt panic and embarrassment and my disoriented state did not help at all, so once I politely responded to this inquiry (my husbands schedual is getting in his way and that is why jiujitsu works better since it's a very late class, but I am here to stay), then I headed out of the dojo, on my way out I totally forgot to bow/Rei and did not remember till I was at the door outside. Once I remembered I ran back bowed and left. I feel like instead of better things just got worse.
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
Krystal Locke
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

The advice you will always get for stuff like this is to talk to your sensei.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:57 AM   #3
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Take a deep breath, relax, and remember that you are, in fact, in Canada, and not in feudal Japan.

You are just a beginner, so long as you are applying usual western standards of good conduct and respect, there is no reason for your sensei to brow-beat or shame you. There's no reason to expect someone who has grown up outside of a completely foreign culture to automatically know how to operate within that culture, especially when you are not anywhere near the home of that culture.

Some senseis can take the 'more Japanese than the Japanese' thing too far, however. If it begins to creep you out too much, then I would recommend, discreetly, without telling anyone about it (as some are easily offended types about this), explore one or two other dojos for a class or two, even if only to watch and not participate, to see and contrast what type of etiquette they expect and if you might even like those environments better than your current one.

At the same time, senseis are people too, so like all people, reading moods from external cues is as effective as reading tea leaves. Perhaps you are just letting paranoia get the better of you. So, like Krystal says, maybe you could also talk with your sensei and let him know that you're trying hard and confused. If he doesn't respond with at least some small amount of human sympathy, you definitely should find somewhere else.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:25 AM   #4
Dalaran1991
Location: Paris
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Please do not give up or be discouraged. Cant speak for the others but your experience is mine. Hell I'm a first kyu now and I feel like I'm much more confused and lost than 2 years ago when I was noob. Sensei usually asks me to do demonstration and asks me to step up my games and I feel like "I have no idea what I'm doing". She often says to noobs "you need to come at least 2/week or you will get lost". Hell I come 5 times/week and I'm still lost.

I think what would help is to stop thinking and worrying too much about progressing. I know its hard, especially when you started out and you loved aikido and you want to progress quickly, but this is not something you can force. At first I din't know which one was my left foot and which my right arm. Now I still don't know but I can do tai sabaki on auto-pilot This is why I have horrible time explaining techniques to other, but I can do mine just fine.

Don't worry about making mistakes on etiquette. We still need to be taught how to eat at business dinner, so why chastise ourselves for not forgetting to bow to a passing sempai (if that's even necessary...) You WILL learn over time. You just need to be respectful of people and show that your willing to learn, which you are doing. Sometimes I find it hard to help beginners who are stressed out on learning techniques perfectly, bc they are so tensed up and then they will hurt themselves.

Keep on with aikido, you are doing great.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.....I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions there is truth in everything said to one or the next degree.

Thanks once again!
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:03 AM   #6
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

6th kyu - you discovered you got two left feet or possibly two right feet
5th kyu - you realized you actually have a left foot and a right foot. you also discovered you have two left hands or could be two right hands
4th kyu - you can actually move your feet in some sort of direction, but usually in the opposite of everyone else. still can't figure out which is left hand and which is right hand.
3th kyu - you move in the same general direction as everyone else, but for some reason it seems to be in the next planet. and you discovered you left hand actually on the left side and your right hand, right side of your body.
2nd kyu - you discovered that you ass is too large, because it kept sticking way out the back.
1st kyu - you waddle like a penguin or maybe a duck and you realized you actually have a head, since you keep smashing it into other folks hands.
shodan - you tripped on your hakama and hurt yourself by trying to go through the mat with your face
nidan - you developed a beer gut and that smooth out the waddle
sandan - you started to recognize those strange chicken scratches on the wall is actually meant "Aikido" and wondering why in the hell name someone didn't write it as "Aikido" in the first place.
yondan - you realized you don't have to wear anything under the hakama and nobody care, and that makes going to the bathroom easier.

as you can see, you are at the very early stage of self-discovery. give yourself time and hakuna matata. don't take things too serious, since you won't get out of life alive.

"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 12-19-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Please do not give up or be discouraged. Cant speak for the others but your experience is mine. Hell I'm a first kyu now and I feel like I'm much more confused and lost than 2 years ago when I was noob. Sensei usually asks me to do demonstration and asks me to step up my games and I feel like "I have no idea what I'm doing". She often says to noobs "you need to come at least 2/week or you will get lost". Hell I come 5 times/week and I'm still lost.

I think what would help is to stop thinking and worrying too much about progressing. I know its hard, especially when you started out and you loved aikido and you want to progress quickly, but this is not something you can force. At first I din't know which one was my left foot and which my right arm. Now I still don't know but I can do tai sabaki on auto-pilot This is why I have horrible time explaining techniques to other, but I can do mine just fine.

Don't worry about making mistakes on etiquette. We still need to be taught how to eat at business dinner, so why chastise ourselves for not forgetting to bow to a passing sempai (if that's even necessary...) You WILL learn over time. You just need to be respectful of people and show that your willing to learn, which you are doing. Sometimes I find it hard to help beginners who are stressed out on learning techniques perfectly, bc they are so tensed up and then they will hurt themselves.

Keep on with aikido, you are doing great.
Thank you for replying and for sharing your experience. I truly find a lot of comfort in your experience and the fact that someone at a higher ranking thinks that I am doing good (just based on what I wrote), I find that there isn't much feed back on how well you are doing in aikido, or is it just at my dojo? I wish that there could be more feedback otherwise how do you know when you are progressing and where you need work? I realize there is lots of independent and personal learning involved which is perfectly fine. When something is worth it, it is worth the effort. Aikido to me is more than just a technique.

I will not give up, I have been trying to hard and it means to me too much to give up.

Thank you for sharing your story definitely makes me feel better
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
6th kyu - you discovered you got two left feet or possibly two right feet
5th kyu - you realized you actually have a left foot and a right foot. you also discovered you have two left hands or could be two right hands
4th kyu - you can actually move your feet in some sort of direction, but usually in the opposite of everyone else. still can't figure out which is left hand and which is right hand.
3th kyu - you move in the same general direction as everyone else, but for some reason it seems to be in the next planet. and you discovered you left hand actually on the left side and your right hand, right side of your body.
2nd kyu - you discovered that you ass is too large, because it kept sticking way out the back.
1st kyu - you waddle like a penguin or maybe a duck and you realized you actually have a head, since you keep smashing it into other folks hands.
shodan - you tripped on your hakama and hurt yourself by trying to go through the mat with your face
nidan - you developed a beer gut and that smooth out the waddle
sandan - you started to recognize those strange chicken scratches on the wall is actually meant "Aikido" and wondering why in the hell name someone didn't write it as "Aikido" in the first place.
yondan - you realized you don't have to wear anything under the hakama and nobody care, and that makes going to the bathroom easier.

as you can see, you are at the very early stage of self-discovery. give yourself time and hakuna matata. don't take things too serious, since you won't get out of life alive.
Omg lol.... Thank you so much for this.... I am actually laughing out loud with tears in my eyes and my kids think I am laughing at some silly stuff they are doing....lol
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:56 AM   #9
Cliff Judge
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Leave it on the mat - don't worry about Aikido related things any other place. It'll take time for you to get comfortable with matters of etiquette and respect, and that's part of your training. Your brain will only hinder your progress and enjoyment if you engage it overmuch.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Thanks cliff, there is truth in that
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:11 AM   #11
Krystal Locke
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Check out the idea of shu, ha, ri. You are being unrealistic in your expectations about your own learning curve. Martial arts is for fixing unreasonable expectations.
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:59 PM   #12
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Check out the idea of shu, ha, ri. You are being unrealistic in your expectations about your own learning curve. Martial arts is for fixing unreasonable expectations.
Please clarify..... Not sure I see which part of my learning I am being unrealistic about or which part of what I wrote states "my unrealistic expectations".... Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your response, if so I appologize in advance and I would like to understand what you mean.
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:16 PM   #13
GMaroda
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

My first sensei told us if we weren't confused, she wasn't doing her job.

If you're confused, just keep practicing. We all have highs and lows in our practice. Even professional atheletes their moments.

If it's a matter of the class environment, then you probably are not going to be able to change that. In that case, you might want to explore other options.

Whatever happens, try not to get discouraged. And when you inevitably get discouraged, as we all do, realize that's normal and keep practicing.
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #14
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

If your teacher makes you feel like a stupid jerk, then he is a stupid jerk and deserves no respect. And if that is the case, and you give him respect, you are the stupid jerk. Or, is it all in your imagination? Look at him, look at yourself. And try out another dojo for comparison. Just treat people like they treat you, but give them the benefit of the doubt first.

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Old 12-20-2013, 03:38 PM   #15
James Sawers
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

To help keep things in perspective, just assume that your aikido sucks (and it probably does), so don't get all worried about how well you are doing. You will suck for a long time, then you will get better, then you will realize you are wrong, and get back to sucking, again. It is all just practice and all any of us can ever do are rough approximations of the ideal.......Just relax.....
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:35 PM   #16
lbb
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Oksana De Luca wrote: View Post
Not sure if anyone has experienced this in their training quest. However, I have been training since mid October and I am very serious about aikido.
<much more snipped>
Gosh, two months and you haven't completely mastered aikido? You don't know everything there is to know about it? And you've made all those mistakes, tsk tsk. I don't think you're very serious at all!

I'd suggest taking things a lot less seriously. It's fine to love aikido, and it's fine to feel that you want to do it a lot. But at two months in, your aikido and your experience in aikido are still extremely amorphous. They are shapeless, naturally so. They need time to grow and become and take on their shape, and only time and mileage will do that. If you try to take them and force them into some shape based on ideas you've gotten from books or videos, about what the "serious aikido student" is like, you're going to end up stunting your own development. And you can't create shortcuts by piling on the training and doubling up to try to get twice the experience in half the time. It doesn't work that way.

It's very telling that you're still castigating yourself about an etiquette error you made on your first day -- an "error" that, in my experience, every new student makes because they don't know any better. No one thinks less of them for it, and I find it hard to believe that you "got in trouble" over it -- I suspect that instead, you're just beating yourself up about it when absolutely no one else even remembers that it happened. Am I right about that?

It's silly to hold yourself to the standard of a much more experienced student, and it's silly to get all caught up in what you're going to accomplish and how you're going to change. Any sort of development is a process. People who have their eyes fixed far down the road see mirages rather than what's really there. How could they see what's really there, when it doesn't exist yet? What your aikido will be in five or ten years, doesn't exist yet. Stop telling yourself stories about what it will be and trying to put on some halloween costume and a funny accent to pretend to be that. That's a guaranteed way to go astray.

You say that your focus and concentration in class have diminished. I'm not surprised, with such an elaborate agenda and so many extracurricular activities. Skip the reading; you need a lot of practice to anchor it in before it makes sense (even if you think it makes sense now). Skip the breathing exercises and skip the practice at home. Focus on class! What good is all that other fluff if you're not present and engaged in class? It's wasted time. Class is where you will learn what your sensei is teaching and where you will see what your sensei expects of you on your test. Skip the rest and focus on class. And remember, more is not better. Only three days off? That's part of the problem right there. Sounds like a classic case of burnout.

You've been piling on practice hours and peripheral activities in the belief that more is better. It isn't. Simplify. Cut back. Train when you feel well, rest when you're hurt or sick. Go for quality rather than quantity. Lessen your expectations, stop telling yourself stories about how it's supposed to be, open your eyes and ears, stop doing so much and spend more time being. It'll all work out.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #17
sadams122
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Aloha,

You've probably heard the pail of water metaphor before but anyway here goes: Mind as a pail of water. If it is agitated and we want it to settle it does little good to lay hands on it to produce stillness. Just let it be. Just relax and train, and train some more, thinks will work out.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #18
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

I see too much of a perfectionist, here. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. You are too tense, and being just too hard on yourself. Relax, let go of the readings a bit. A little meditation might help you.
Who told you that everyone who excels in Aikido today was perfect from day one?
Print Phi's post, read it from time to time, and just accept being a human being.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:39 PM   #19
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
If your teacher makes you feel like a stupid jerk, then he is a stupid jerk and deserves no respect. And if that is the case, and you give him respect, you are the stupid jerk. Or, is it all in your imagination? Look at him, look at yourself. And try out another dojo for comparison. Just treat people like they treat you, but give them the benefit of the doubt first.
I'd have to disagree about anyone being a "jerk" and I have to agree with those who are suggesting that perhaps it's the fact that I worry too much

Silly me
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #20
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Gosh, two months and you haven't completely mastered aikido? You don't know everything there is to know about it? And you've made all those mistakes, tsk tsk. I don't think you're very serious at all!

I'd suggest taking things a lot less seriously. It's fine to love aikido, and it's fine to feel that you want to do it a lot. But at two months in, your aikido and your experience in aikido are still extremely amorphous. They are shapeless, naturally so. They need time to grow and become and take on their shape, and only time and mileage will do that. If you try to take them and force them into some shape based on ideas you've gotten from books or videos, about what the "serious aikido student" is like, you're going to end up stunting your own development. And you can't create shortcuts by piling on the training and doubling up to try to get twice the experience in half the time. It doesn't work that way.

It's very telling that you're still castigating yourself about an etiquette error you made on your first day -- an "error" that, in my experience, every new student makes because they don't know any better. No one thinks less of them for it, and I find it hard to believe that you "got in trouble" over it -- I suspect that instead, you're just beating yourself up about it when absolutely no one else even remembers that it happened. Am I right about that?

It's silly to hold yourself to the standard of a much more experienced student, and it's silly to get all caught up in what you're going to accomplish and how you're going to change. Any sort of development is a process. People who have their eyes fixed far down the road see mirages rather than what's really there. How could they see what's really there, when it doesn't exist yet? What your aikido will be in five or ten years, doesn't exist yet. Stop telling yourself stories about what it will be and trying to put on some halloween costume and a funny accent to pretend to be that. That's a guaranteed way to go astray.

You say that your focus and concentration in class have diminished. I'm not surprised, with such an elaborate agenda and so many extracurricular activities. Skip the reading; you need a lot of practice to anchor it in before it makes sense (even if you think it makes sense now). Skip the breathing exercises and skip the practice at home. Focus on class! What good is all that other fluff if you're not present and engaged in class? It's wasted time. Class is where you will learn what your sensei is teaching and where you will see what your sensei expects of you on your test. Skip the rest and focus on class. And remember, more is not better. Only three days off? That's part of the problem right there. Sounds like a classic case of burnout.

You've been piling on practice hours and peripheral activities in the belief that more is better. It isn't. Simplify. Cut back. Train when you feel well, rest when you're hurt or sick. Go for quality rather than quantity. Lessen your expectations, stop telling yourself stories about how it's supposed to be, open your eyes and ears, stop doing so much and spend more time being. It'll all work out.
You are probably right... A little blunt and criticizing, but I can see you mean well.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:53 AM   #21
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Oksana De Luca wrote: View Post
Please clarify..... Not sure I see which part of my learning I am being unrealistic about or which part of what I wrote states "my unrealistic expectations".... Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your response, if so I appologize in advance and I would like to understand what you mean.
The parts of your original post that worry me are:

"....I got in trouble in my first class when I did not know that when sensei is explaining something to you personally you have to sit in seiza."

Did you actually get in trouble or did your sensei or a sempai tell you that you should generally sit in seiza when you are being taught? And in your very first class? Who was the person expecting you to get this right with no previous instruction and no previous role modeling to draw on? Did sensei take you on the mat expecting you to already know aikido, or did he or a sempai just give you a note in your very first aikido class?

If you want to learn etiquette quickly, ask questions of your sempai before class, use their answers on the mat, and most importantly, observe and follow your sempai's actions on the mat, and ask your sempai and your sensei more questions after class. Save asking questions during class for the really big questions and problems, like "Can I please go pee?" (to the sensei, and understand that you aren't really asking permission, you're letting the person who is responsible for everyone on the mat know why you are stepping off) or "I'm sorry, was that cross-hand or same side grab?" (to sempai you bowed to for training on that technique)

Receiving instruction is not getting in trouble.It is exactly what you are there for. It really shouldn't bother a sensei of any quality at all that a student in her first class missed a point of etiquette. If it did, you have a bad sensei. If it didn't, then you were having an unreasonable expectation of either or both your desired performance in your first class or your sensei's response to your performance in your first class.

"However, I have been training since mid October and I am very serious about aikido."

That sounds great on the surface, but makes my warning bells go off. For two reasons. First, you sound like you are over-committing. A couple months of aikido is not much time for knowing if you are serious or not, because you have no real frame of reference about what actually constitutes proper serious study. You may be heading for serious burn out. Next, I wonder how you are so serious about aikido in such a short time. Aikido is a potential life-long practice. The sensei and dojo you choose are the entities which should install that seriousness, and that seriousness should be installed over a period of years, not weeks. If your seriousness level is somehow that high, you very likely came in to your first class with a lot of preconceptions, expectations.

"In the beginning I have found sensei correcting me and providing extra attention, which has motivated me to try harder, as I felt that sensei did see my effort and took me seriously."

In the beginning? About 8 weeks? Extra attention? Sensei seeing your effort and taking you seriously by giving you extra attention? This sounds like you think you aren't getting attention now (much less extra attention), and you think sensei is not taking you seriously now, after two months of training in order to show him how serious you are.

Pro tip, after 8 or so weeks of a new student, sensei is really still looking to see of you know your right from your left (and knowing right from left isn't really all that important...), that you can get through a class without breaking your own bones much less someone else's, and that you dont crap on the mat. That's going to go on for a while. Besides, not getting all of sensei's attention in a class is a capital Good capital Thing. Not to play Master Po on you, but I bet there comes a time in your aikido (if you stick with it) that you'll be pretty dang happy on the days you dont get a lot of extra attention from sensei. It just means that he's pretty sure you wont either hurt anything or try to teach the next newbie something egregiously incorrect (or poop on the shomen).

"Well, I noticed that my focus and concentration in class has diminished. Today's class was a nightmare I could not focus on the most basic.... "

Textbook over-training. Textbook over-commitment. The very word "sensei" means "the person who has been there, done that. It is almost certain your sensei has noticed that. It is entirely possible that sensei is pulling back a bit on attention so that you dont explode.

"I felt panic and embarrassment...."

Why? What did you imagine the consequence would be for explaining why your husband was moving away from a art he was just checking out anyway? Dont forget, sensei has been there, done that.

"Once I remembered I ran back bowed and left. I feel like instead of better things just got worse."

Yeah, that happens. Been there, done that.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #22
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
I see too much of a perfectionist, here. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. You are too tense, and being just too hard on yourself. Relax, let go of the readings a bit. A little meditation might help you.
Who told you that everyone who excels in Aikido today was perfect from day one?
Print Phi's post, read it from time to time, and just accept being a human being.
Perfectionist I am... Lol

I went to class last night and I took advice from those who suggested to relax, not worry about it and that everyone makes mistakes and is confused regardless of their ranking......and alas!

And because I "remained calm" I was able to see what is going on around me rather then focus on what I am doing wrong.

I noticed some interesting phenom LOL ..... Such as sensei not bowing when walking out and back into class during warm up ( and here I am beating myself up for not bowing out when I had a terrible migraine, who ever said that we are not in revolting japan don't worry about strict etiquet was totally right)...also, some students who appear to be very confident in their technique are the once that have no idea what is going on and are the once that keep practicing the techniques the wrong way....lol

So to my resolution I have officially taken advise from most of you:
1. Relax
2. Don't stress about etiquet mistakes it's 2013 and were in Canada
3. Have fun!
4. Leave aikido at the dojo, no more reading or practicing at home, unless it's just for fun (I'll take the meditation advise since I do enjoy it)
5. Everyone is lost regardless of the ranking, especially those who appear extremely confident.

Thanks everyone problem solved! Until next time as we all get lost along the way
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:21 AM   #23
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
The parts of your original post that worry me are:

"....I got in trouble in my first class when I did not know that when sensei is explaining something to you personally you have to sit in seiza."

Did you actually get in trouble or did your sensei or a sempai tell you that you should generally sit in seiza when you are being taught? And in your very first class? Who was the person expecting you to get this right with no previous instruction and no previous role modeling to draw on? Did sensei take you on the mat expecting you to already know aikido, or did he or a sempai just give you a note in your very first aikido class?

If you want to learn etiquette quickly, ask questions of your sempai before class, use their answers on the mat, and most importantly, observe and follow your sempai's actions on the mat, and ask your sempai and your sensei more questions after class. Save asking questions during class for the really big questions and problems, like "Can I please go pee?" (to the sensei, and understand that you aren't really asking permission, you're letting the person who is responsible for everyone on the mat know why you are stepping off) or "I'm sorry, was that cross-hand or same side grab?" (to sempai you bowed to for training on that technique)

Receiving instruction is not getting in trouble.It is exactly what you are there for. It really shouldn't bother a sensei of any quality at all that a student in her first class missed a point of etiquette. If it did, you have a bad sensei. If it didn't, then you were having an unreasonable expectation of either or both your desired performance in your first class or your sensei's response to your performance in your first class.

"However, I have been training since mid October and I am very serious about aikido."

That sounds great on the surface, but makes my warning bells go off. For two reasons. First, you sound like you are over-committing. A couple months of aikido is not much time for knowing if you are serious or not, because you have no real frame of reference about what actually constitutes proper serious study. You may be heading for serious burn out. Next, I wonder how you are so serious about aikido in such a short time. Aikido is a potential life-long practice. The sensei and dojo you choose are the entities which should install that seriousness, and that seriousness should be installed over a period of years, not weeks. If your seriousness level is somehow that high, you very likely came in to your first class with a lot of preconceptions, expectations.

"In the beginning I have found sensei correcting me and providing extra attention, which has motivated me to try harder, as I felt that sensei did see my effort and took me seriously."

In the beginning? About 8 weeks? Extra attention? Sensei seeing your effort and taking you seriously by giving you extra attention? This sounds like you think you aren't getting attention now (much less extra attention), and you think sensei is not taking you seriously now, after two months of training in order to show him how serious you are.

Pro tip, after 8 or so weeks of a new student, sensei is really still looking to see of you know your right from your left (and knowing right from left isn't really all that important...), that you can get through a class without breaking your own bones much less someone else's, and that you dont crap on the mat. That's going to go on for a while. Besides, not getting all of sensei's attention in a class is a capital Good capital Thing. Not to play Master Po on you, but I bet there comes a time in your aikido (if you stick with it) that you'll be pretty dang happy on the days you dont get a lot of extra attention from sensei. It just means that he's pretty sure you wont either hurt anything or try to teach the next newbie something egregiously incorrect (or poop on the shomen).

"Well, I noticed that my focus and concentration in class has diminished. Today's class was a nightmare I could not focus on the most basic.... "

Textbook over-training. Textbook over-commitment. The very word "sensei" means "the person who has been there, done that. It is almost certain your sensei has noticed that. It is entirely possible that sensei is pulling back a bit on attention so that you dont explode.

"I felt panic and embarrassment...."

Why? What did you imagine the consequence would be for explaining why your husband was moving away from a art he was just checking out anyway? Dont forget, sensei has been there, done that.

"Once I remembered I ran back bowed and left. I feel like instead of better things just got worse."

Yeah, that happens. Been there, done that.
Thanks for clarifying

Perhaps you have a point as well see my previous reply to this post on my resolution

Just a quick question for you, what's with the poop comments? Lol :-P
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:27 PM   #24
Shadowfax
 
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Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Cool to see an enthusiastic new member posting about their experience.

As has been said don't worry too much about making mistakes. You will never be perfect. None of us are. Be willing to look foolish in front of your sensei and other students because that is how you will learn. It isn't easy to be an adult student. We are used to knowing how to do things and often fear embarrassment when we don't. My teachers do often say that it is fine to be confused.

As for attention from sensei. As my sensei has said to me. The ones who keep showing up are the ones who get the attention. It does not go unnoticed when someone turns up for class regularly and over a long period of times. At two months in you are still very new to aikido. Very new people will tend to get extra attention. In my dojo from everybody not just sensei. Those who keep showing up also get extra attention as do those preparing for testing.

A little reading outside of class and practicing some things can be useful. But life is full of things you also should take time to enjoy. I was as determined as you seem to be in the beginning. Some thought I would not last long. Here I am almost 5 years later preparing for shodan and being accused of being an over achiever by some newer members. My answer to them? "I am setting an example. You should follow it".

Do what works for you but remember this is a long long haul. It is not going to be easy. It will be confusing, frustrating and fascinating. It isn't a sprint, it is a marathon. So don't try to learn it all at once.

And don't worry about what your husband has chosen. That is his choice and has no reflection on you or your value as a student in your dojo.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:09 PM   #25
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Re: The harder I try the more I am lost

Quote:
Oksana De Luca wrote: View Post
Thanks for clarifying

Perhaps you have a point as well see my previous reply to this post on my resolution

Just a quick question for you, what's with the poop comments? Lol :-P
Everybody poops. Poop is just a funny word, and the topic is especially evocative. Another instance of been there, done that. I am a master of the ancient chinese secret martial art of flung poo.

Sounds like you got some good input and you tried it out successfully. My third favorite Japanese quote is "Saru mo ki kara ochiru;" Yup. Sensei doesn't always bow, sempai lean against walls, dojocho runs in and out of the dojo for some paperwork without taking off the shoes. Me, I occasionally will fart on the mat, sorry, I cant seem to put bad scatological jokes behind me.... Most of us aren't Japanese and aren't in Japan, so lots of the etiquette is a bit silly and out of place for us, hard to remember, easy to ignore.

But, my second favorite Japanese quote is "Nana korobi ya oki". If you want a translation of that, listen to Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping", one of the best aikido songs ever written. A good reminder of what training is all about.
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