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Old 01-22-2001, 01:30 AM   #1
darin
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Have many of you had problems training in schools different to your own? I have met many instructors who criticise other styles and purposely resist my techniques to prove a point. But when I resist theirs they get angry and tell me to go with it. Of course I have no problem throwing them but they argue that I am using too much strength or not doing it right even though they are the ones on the ground in pain.

I think its hard for people to change what they are used to doing over night. In my school we don't mind if visiting students do their own style. Sometimes they have a variation that is better than ours!







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Old 01-22-2001, 07:04 AM   #2
andrew
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
Location: Galway, Ireland.
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Quote:
darin wrote:
even though they are the ones on the ground in pain.
Well that's absoloutely contrary to the point of aikido training. They'd also be on the ground in pain if you threw acid in their faces. You can absolutely cripple someone using awful aikido in training.
Remember attacks are toned down in order that you can defend against them. When you learn to it all properly you can use it against realistic attack. Whether Uke is on the ground is often not a reflection of good technique so much as unwillingness to hurt on behalf of uke.
andrew
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Old 01-22-2001, 07:41 AM   #3
darin
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Quote:
andrew wrote:
Quote:
darin wrote:
even though they are the ones on the ground in pain.
Well that's absoloutely contrary to the point of aikido training. They'd also be on the ground in pain if you threw acid in their faces. You can absolutely cripple someone using awful aikido in training.
Remember attacks are toned down in order that you can defend against them. When you learn to it all properly you can use it against realistic attack. Whether Uke is on the ground is often not a reflection of good technique so much as unwillingness to hurt on behalf of uke.
andrew
Yes but I didn't have a bucket of acid at the time. Probably would have been more effective.

I think you missunderstood the situation. These uke were out to prove a point, trying to make me look bad. But don't worry. Nobody was hurt. I just applied the locks and throws a little harder than usual.

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Old 01-22-2001, 08:53 AM   #4
andrew
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
Location: Galway, Ireland.
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[quote]darin wrote:
[b]
Quote:
andrew wrote:
Quote:
darin wrote:
even though they are the ones on the ground in pain.
I think you missunderstood the situation. These uke were out to prove a point, trying to make me look bad. But don't worry. Nobody was hurt. I just applied the locks and throws a little harder than usual.
No,no. I've been there too. But they're often right as well as contradicting what you already know is right.
Pardon me if I was wrong, but I assumed you were referring to teachers here rather than uppity self-important students. ( I trained with a high dan grade once who was terrible for doing this, only you couldn't down him. Terrrrriffic class though..)
I find annoying the phenomenon of the student who goes to a seminar, ignores the teacher, and then tells you you're wrong because they learned the "right" way and there's no point in paying attention to some guy just because he's a visiting shihan from Hombu, for example.
andrew.
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Old 01-22-2001, 04:54 PM   #5
darin
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[quote]andrew wrote:
[b]
Quote:
darin wrote:
Quote:
andrew wrote:
Quote:
darin wrote:
even though they are the ones on the ground in pain.
I think you missunderstood the situation. These uke were out to prove a point, trying to make me look bad. But don't worry. Nobody was hurt. I just applied the locks and throws a little harder than usual.
No,no. I've been there too. But they're often right as well as contradicting what you already know is right.
Pardon me if I was wrong, but I assumed you were referring to teachers here rather than uppity self-important students. ( I trained with a high dan grade once who was terrible for doing this, only you couldn't down him. Terrrrriffic class though..)
I find annoying the phenomenon of the student who goes to a seminar, ignores the teacher, and then tells you you're wrong because they learned the "right" way and there's no point in paying attention to some guy just because he's a visiting shihan from Hombu, for example.
andrew.
Glad to hear I am not the only one. Yes I was referring to teachers, not students, who openly criticise your style and try to prove it by making your training misserable. The ones on a power trip.

I don't think one style is better than another. It comes down to the person. That instructor you are referring to probably doesn't realize that it isn't his style that makes his techniques effective but his talent and experience.

I think people who go to seminars to try to prove something are wasting their money and time.

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Old 01-22-2001, 10:01 PM   #6
daedalus
Dojo: Seiryukan Dojo/Illini Aikido
Location: Champaign, IL, USA
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I too have trained outside my given style (kind of). I was in Denver and didn't want to miss training, so I went to a class at Nippon-kan Aikido Dojo. I paid my fee, got dressed, and stepped on the mat.

We warmed up, and moved on to our first technique. I was paired up with a man who was quite a few ranks above me, and we began the technique. Guess what happened? Nothing special.

My next partner turned out to be the man who would teach the next class. He asked me where I was from and what style I practiced. I told him, and guess what he did? Nothin too much different.

I guess my point is (if I actually have one), that not everyone is out to humiliate people from other styles. Any one who does, if I may say with my limited and low ranking experience, is having a lot of trouble harmonizing their differences. Heck, I'm a 6th kyu and I can figure that out!

Love * Peace * Unity
Brian
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Old 01-22-2001, 10:31 PM   #7
jaemin
Dojo: Korea Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: South Korea
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Cool

I'm learning aikido from two teachers. One is very much affiliated to Aikikai style and the other one is to various styles.

Besides me and some other students, most students are learning aikikai style. So when I have a chance to train with such students, they sometimes say, 'you are doing something weird' or 'it's not an aikido technique'

That's my trouble. However there isn't any problem for me besides that.

So far many people visit our dojo and I trained with them. Some people looked weird. However they are also aikido learners and there's no reason to argue with them. I think we are all 'right' as long as doing 'aikido' whatever style we do.

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Old 01-23-2001, 04:42 AM   #8
andrew
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
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A point I wanted to make above (ran out of time, had to go..) is that even when a teacher appears to be simply bullying/blocking he may be actually also correct. He can simply be saying "there is a flaw in your technique here, if you do it this way there won't be.." So he may appear to be flatly dismissing your style... He might simply be dismissing your ability in your style, and that could well be valid.
There's no point in not doing as he says. You learn a new method and you don't ever have to use it again, if you don't want.

Of course, I am assuming a teacher who has trained a lot longer at a higher level than you... There's always a shodan who thinks he's a shihan..

andrew
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Old 01-23-2001, 05:31 AM   #9
Aikilove
Dojo: Lunds Aikidoklubb
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As late as during my last practice, there was a guy, sandan it turned out, without Hakama, visiting from an other club. During weapon class I wasn't really impressed, he had a black belt and yet he couldn't turn properly. I was starting to think this guy was from a jiu jutsu club.
When Taijutsu class begun I ended up with him as a partner. We were to do Shihonage followed by kotegaeshi (uke stand up right after shihonage). I started to do shihonage and he felt as a block of lead, but I must have done something right because he went down with a crash (he took a breakfall) and went up again. I harmonized with his up movement and proceeded with a kotegaeshi (the throwing variant)... and he didn't move an inch. I froze, since I didn't wanted to dislocate his elbow or wrist, and looked at him. He didn't say anything so I tried again and same thing happens. I asked him why he didn't take ukemi, and he simply said that he was waiting for me to throw him. I didn't know what to think but made another try and prayed that he would take ukemi, because this time I wasn't going to stop. I did kotegaeshi and far behind the point where it would be good for his joints he suddenly made a volt on the spot ending up in a huge brakefall. I asked him if he was ok, and he looked at me as if I was a fool asking a question like that to a blackbelt like him.


Jakob Blomquist
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Old 01-23-2001, 07:43 AM   #10
wilmking
Dojo: Yoshinkan (IKA), Sei Shin Kai, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Hi:

if you have the chance to visit another style - always do it. there are so many different varieties, other interesting points out there, that it will definately help your aikido at home. i travel quite a bit and always take my white belt with me to visit other dojos and styles. i have never regretted a single training session. sure, there are those people out there who are on power trips, want to show off there "great technique", believe that they are "right". in our dojo we say: you will probably never do a technique completely right, but probably never competely wrong either. keep trying and keep an open mind. you will learn, even from those on the power trip, i doubt though that THEY will learn much from anyone...

Martin
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Old 01-24-2001, 04:58 PM   #11
tedehara
 
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Ai symbol The Rough Guide to Aikido

Quote:
Aikilove wrote:
... I harmonized with his up movement and proceeded with a kotegaeshi (the throwing variant)... and he didn't move an inch. I froze, since I didn't wanted to dislocate his elbow or wrist, and looked at him...
It seems that if he didn't move an inch you had lost the lead somewhere during the transition. You probably could have put an arm bar on him, but that's not kotegaeshi.

Quote:
Aikilove wrote:
... I asked him if he was ok, and he looked at me as if I was a fool asking a question like that to a blackbelt like him.
If a person is wearing a black belt, you can assume (hope?) that they know enough to take care of themselves on the mat. However as a nage (thrower), there is nothing wrong with being concerned with the safety of the uke (da fall guy).

[Edited by tedehara on January 25, 2001 at 11:44am]

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 01-24-2001, 09:19 PM   #12
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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I have experienced schools bad mouthing other styles.

It was actually in the old school I used to practice in. They teach an aikijutsu style and they always would say things like "we are more effective" or the "Aikikai does not work." This would happen at least every other class. They were always comparing themselves to other styles to emphasize how good they are.

Well, I had to move away, and there was not another school in my new area that taught my old school's style. Well, what did I take up? Aikikai. Since I only had 6 months at my old school, I decided to start over.

The ironic thing is this. When I went home and I visited at my old school, I participated in their classes. Well, my senseis were impressed with my aikido -- not that I improved over a year. But they were glad I found a "good" Aikikai Aikido school. So I guess their blanket statements about Aikikai being "bad" has been proven wrong.

Oh well.

Any how, I'm very happy where I'm at and I don't hear "we are better than so and so..." and people (teachers and students) were always diplomatic about what they said and how they said it.

In my opinion, if I hear someone saying "we are better than so and so.." or "such and such style does not work" then to me that just reflects insecurity in their own style.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 01-24-2001, 11:50 PM   #13
darin
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Quote:
giriasis wrote:
I have experienced schools bad mouthing other styles.

It was actually in the old school I used to practice in. They teach an aikijutsu style and they always would say things like "we are more effective" or the "Aikikai does not work." This would happen at least every other class. They were always comparing themselves to other styles to emphasize how good they are.

Well, I had to move away, and there was not another school in my new area that taught my old school's style. Well, what did I take up? Aikikai. Since I only had 6 months at my old school, I decided to start over.

The ironic thing is this. When I went home and I visited at my old school, I participated in their classes. Well, my senseis were impressed with my aikido -- not that I improved over a year. But they were glad I found a "good" Aikikai Aikido school. So I guess their blanket statements about Aikikai being "bad" has been proven wrong.

Oh well.

Any how, I'm very happy where I'm at and I don't hear "we are better than so and so..." and people (teachers and students) were always diplomatic about what they said and how they said it.

In my opinion, if I hear someone saying "we are better than so and so.." or "such and such style does not work" then to me that just reflects insecurity in their own style.

Anne Marie Giri
I have also heard aikikai schools criticise aikijutsu, jujitsu and karate. You are right, it definately is insecurity, which I feel comes from a lack of knowledge and experience. These people shouldn't be wearing black belts at all.

What one sees in another school only represents that school's students and teacher, not the style itself. As nobody can visit every school around its very unfair to pass judgement on others.

My advice, is first watch a class. If its close to what you are after then join up. If not then forget about it.








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Old 01-25-2001, 03:04 AM   #14
Yozzer
Dojo: Chester (Ryusuikan)
Location: Chester, England, UK
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The thing to remember when training at different Aikido schools within your own style or those of another style or even seminars by visiting instructors is to have a ‘beginners mind'.

What I am trying to say is that you go to learn from a particular instructor, therefore you should do the techniques in the way that they are demonstrated and not the way that you normally do them. In other words ‘forget' what you already know and view all demonstrated techniques as you would as a beginner. Otherwise you will not be learning anything which defeats the object of training.

As much as I enjoy training with anyone visiting my club, a pet hate of mine is when they insist on saying ‘but at my club we do it this way' all the time.

Paul
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Old 01-25-2001, 09:05 AM   #15
MikeE
 
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I think certain etiquette applies when you are visiting another style and training in another's house. First, before stepping on the mat, talk to some of the students to see what their attitude is like. Their attitude will often mirror that of the instructor.
Next, properly introduce yourself to the instructor. I usually start by calling or e-mailing the dojo and asking permission to visit, what attire I should wear. (Whether or not to wear a hakama or a black belt) You can usually get a good sense of what they are like by talking to the instructor. Set a time that you are going to come, and don't be late.
At this point you will probably be introduced to the class as a new friend. This will often put the students and instructors at ease and you will be able to get a good workout.
I find that if I get lots of negative energy from people, training is not fun. So, do whatever you can to avoid it.

As an instructor, I am thrilled with my class on Fridays. I will often have instructors from Ki Society, Aikikai, Seidokan, (and sometimes yoshinkan) all at the same time come for a workout. They practice what my style teaches and always have a great time. My point with this is; You, your students, and your style will benefit from a friendly relationship with other styles. Each style of aikido has particular
strength(s) and may differ in its approach, attitude, and philosophy. Its very rewarding to be exposed to them. And anyway its doing what the Founder wanted. Why let politics get in the way of learning when we don't have to.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 01-26-2001, 06:37 PM   #16
Chris P.
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Quote:
Aikilove wrote:
As late as during my last practice, there was a guy, sandan it turned out, without Hakama, visiting from an other club. During weapon class I wasn't really impressed, he had a black belt and yet he couldn't turn properly. I was starting to think this guy was from a jiu jutsu club.
When Taijutsu class begun I ended up with him as a partner. We were to do Shihonage followed by kotegaeshi (uke stand up right after shihonage). I started to do shihonage and he felt as a block of lead, but I must have done something right because he went down with a crash (he took a breakfall) and went up again. I harmonized with his up movement and proceeded with a kotegaeshi (the throwing variant)... and he didn't move an inch. I froze, since I didn't wanted to dislocate his elbow or wrist, and looked at him. He didn't say anything so I tried again and same thing happens. I asked him why he didn't take ukemi, and he simply said that he was waiting for me to throw him. I didn't know what to think but made another try and prayed that he would take ukemi, because this time I wasn't going to stop. I did kotegaeshi and far behind the point where it would be good for his joints he suddenly made a volt on the spot ending up in a huge brakefall. I asked him if he was ok, and he looked at me as if I was a fool asking a question like that to a blackbelt like him.

Consider yourself lucky. Many of the people I work with don't even wait for the throw before tossing themselves on the ground!
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Old 01-26-2001, 06:55 PM   #17
DiNalt
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Quote:
Chris P. wrote:
[QUOTE
Consider yourself lucky. Many of the people I work with don't even wait for the throw before tossing themselves on the ground!
Maybe both the people that resist with all their might (without showing you whats wrong with your technique at the same time), and the people that just fall down in the middle of technique, have their reasons, for example maybe the former are from a much different style with different logic to it, and the latter are recovering from a recent injury... or, they're wary of the damage that an inexperienced nage can cause them...

...but it does unnerve me when it happens.
I just feel like both of us are wasting time, and I don't even know the reason *why*.
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Old 01-27-2001, 07:55 AM   #18
Aikilove
Dojo: Lunds Aikidoklubb
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Quote:
Chris P. wrote:

Consider yourself lucky. Many of the people I work with don't even wait for the throw before tossing themselves on the ground!
Your right, that bother me even more, and happens with beginners all the time!

And for the matter of me loosing the lead, hence the 'not moving an inch' I feel that's not beeing the hole explanation. If you want to be stif as a rock when you're uke you can be that and totally destroy nages techniqe. On the other hand, the moment your beeing a rock the same moment you have lost all sence of attacking and we can all go home.

In my case, I later learned that beeing stif as a rock is that man's clubs's style. Or rather not giving nage a chance of making errors (in their eyes). Me doing wrong techniqe or not, in this case I was just conserned for ukes joints. In my eyes he didn't take ukemi( to prevent injury). In he's eyes he did, but had no reason to give me an easy throw.
The thing is, I consider our club's ukemi rather 'hard' (in the sence that we usually don't get thrown if we don't have to), but that is nothing compared to this man. And I don't think he was doing that to destroy my techniqe, rather that's just his style of ukemi...

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 01-27-2001, 09:04 AM   #19
darin
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Quote:
Aikilove wrote:
Quote:
Chris P. wrote:

Consider yourself lucky. Many of the people I work with don't even wait for the throw before tossing themselves on the ground!
Your right, that bother me even more, and happens with beginners all the time!

And for the matter of me loosing the lead, hence the 'not moving an inch' I feel that's not beeing the hole explanation. If you want to be stif as a rock when you're uke you can be that and totally destroy nages techniqe. On the other hand, the moment your beeing a rock the same moment you have lost all sence of attacking and we can all go home.

In my case, I later learned that beeing stif as a rock is that man's clubs's style. Or rather not giving nage a chance of making errors (in their eyes). Me doing wrong techniqe or not, in this case I was just conserned for ukes joints. In my eyes he didn't take ukemi( to prevent injury). In he's eyes he did, but had no reason to give me an easy throw.
The thing is, I consider our club's ukemi rather 'hard' (in the sence that we usually don't get thrown if we don't have to), but that is nothing compared to this man. And I don't think he was doing that to destroy my techniqe, rather that's just his style of ukemi...
Maybe you should have asked him what variation works best on him. I do that with my students. Each person is different. Some people have stronger balance or more flexible joints. Nobody is perfect.

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Old 01-27-2001, 09:28 AM   #20
Aikilove
Dojo: Lunds Aikidoklubb
Location: Lund, Sweden
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Thumbs down

Quote:
darin wrote:

Maybe you should have asked him what variation works best on him. I do that with my students. Each person is different. Some people have stronger balance or more flexible joints. Nobody is perfect.
That's right! nobody is perfect, and that's why I believe so hard on nage's responsibility to make sure uke is not injured during a techniqe. And that's why I frooze when he, in my eye's, didn't take ukemi the first time. I don't care if the person is shodan or sandan or beginner, if I feel that person is going to be hurt (on the mat), I will do everything to prevent that. When I found out that It actually was OK to throw him and that he obviusly knew what he was doing, I did, and he fell...hard.

Thank you for your comment's that made me be clearer in my posts.

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 01-27-2001, 03:20 PM   #21
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Quote:
Chris P. wrote:
Consider yourself lucky. Many of the people I work with don't even wait for the throw before tossing themselves on the ground!
I've bumped into a lot of that over the last year at my home dojo. I find myself constantly reminding people that they are falling too early or falling in a manner that could be harmful to themselves if someone were less attuned than my enlightened self. Very frustrating at times because it becomes almost impossible to complete a formal technique when this happens. This clearly shows up in other dojos as my technique produces less effective results than I'd like it to. I really believe that you need at least one knowledgeable person in the dojo who will look you in the eye with an expression of "you call that a sankyu" if you want really good technique.

On the other hand, I've also spent a great deal of time questioning if I'm doing something that makes them fall early. I'm a more potent energy force than some of them were used to. So, in a sense, I might not be harmonizing with their energy. They come in at a 3 energy level and find themselves in an 8. In that sense, it's logical that they bail out. This also shows up in other dojos as my Aikido has clearly gotten better because of this study.

Just a comment on visiting other dojos. The only 2 times I've ever had any problems were when I didn't meet the instructor or someone cleanly on arrival. Once the instructor was late and just charged in, leaving me no chance to talk to her so I just went with the flow. I should have specifically broken the flow in that instance. The other time was similar but I doubt I could have done much more than soften the confrontation. The dude just had issues that I clearly triggered. In both cases, I smiled, said "yes, sensei", bowed out with the class, changed, said "thank you for the class" and have never returned. If Rome wants me to stand on my head, then for 2 hours, I can stand on my head. Everything is fine as long as Rome doesn't want to hurt me, and so far, it never has.

[Edited by Erik on January 27, 2001 at 05:44pm]
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Old 01-27-2001, 05:18 PM   #22
Catherine
Dojo: IAA headquarters
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About people "falling out" of a technique early-

I'm a fairly small person, five feet tall and 90 pounds. Many times, people used to working with guys that are six five and 200 pounds (not an exxageration) will do things with waaaaaay too much energy. I know from experience that if I don't bail out early I will get thrown across the dojo. Several times I have been painfully thrown into walls that were over seven feet away. I don't know how to blend with sharp objects and pictures on the wall, nor with shelves that have sharp corners.

This is not meant to offend anyone, but simply to say that (as I believe someone else said) that people are falling down too soon could have something to do with how you are doing your technique.

Catherine
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Old 01-30-2001, 09:27 AM   #23
Frugal
Dojo: Ki-Shin-Kai
Location: Bristol, UK
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Quote:
andrew wrote:
A point I wanted to make above (ran out of time, had to go..) is that even when a teacher appears to be simply bullying/blocking he may be actually also correct. He can simply be saying "there is a flaw in your technique here, if you do it this way there won't be.." So he may appear to be flatly dismissing your style... He might simply be dismissing your ability in your style, and that could well be valid.
I once spent a weekend visiting a friend and on the sunday morning we went along to her Go-shin-do class. I had only been doing Aikido for 4 months, but I thought I knew how to do Ikkyo. This Sensi taught it in a slightly different way so I tried it his way. After a few months back in my own dojo I realised that the technique he had shown was more Aiki that the one my own Sensei taught (my sensei likes to put a bit of Nikkyo on rather than just holding the wrist).

The moral is, just because you are being shown something different does not mean that it is wrong. I now get taught by 3 different senseis and each of them teaches in a different way. I learn different things from each of them. And do you know what, they are all right...

2 secrets to life: 1-Never tell anyone everything.

Frugal
(frugal@fysh.org)
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Old 02-05-2001, 07:33 AM   #24
Sam
Dojo: Kyogikan Sheffield
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It is very hard to keep an open mind. I recently joined a second (judo) club as a beginner and it made me realize how comfortable I had become in my own club. I think this has made me a lot more considerate toward people from other styles of aikido.
Another attitude changing experience was one I had with a rather likeable fellow from an aikikai club (ours is a tomiki club). He has clearly struggled over the last few months as a lot of our techniques he had never seen. I wondered what he had been doing all that time, but once I was his partner for irimi-nage all doubt vanished. I felt as if I had been really arrogant (even though I had never tried to change the way he did things) and I think it takes a lot of courage to visit another style.
One of the big events on our calendar is a three day summer school which is open to other styles and invites intructors from other styles. Once, watching a 5th Dan Yoshinkan intructor try his hand at competition - I was shown the meaning of open-mindedness.
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