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Old 03-31-2017, 08:26 AM   #26
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Quote:
Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
(snip)
Sometimes, here and there, I find moments where things just happen - like in jiu waza - but just as often I find myself grinding to a halt halfway through a technique because I didn't think clearly about the steps I needed to perform and got lost, as it were.(snip)
Happened to me in my nidan test - jo-dori...... er... now what... er... OK, uke hasn't countered me yet so I'll try this... Whew...

One think I can suggest - Whether you're trying to unlearn something or learn something new, take some time, quiet time, at home, and practice some part of what you're trying to "get" - maybe 400 or 500 times, slowly - accurately - daily - for a week. I had to relearn tenkan early on, and later, and later still.

In some training communities, people say slow is smooth, smooth is fast - start slowly, blend out the "stops" so you can go through the movement without "checks", and gradually speed up.

When you don't have to think about what's coming next in your movement, because it's a trained response, then you can get stuck being predictable, but if you're not thinking about what your body is doing, you can be more "in the moment" and respond more freely to the movements of the "attacker" because you're not paying attention to whether or not your knee is in line with your toes, or if your arms are in front of you...
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:05 PM   #27
Cass
 
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Happened to me in my nidan test - jo-dori...... er... now what... er... OK, uke hasn't countered me yet so I'll try this... Whew...

One think I can suggest - Whether you're trying to unlearn something or learn something new, take some time, quiet time, at home, and practice some part of what you're trying to "get" - maybe 400 or 500 times, slowly - accurately - daily - for a week. I had to relearn tenkan early on, and later, and later still.

In some training communities, people say slow is smooth, smooth is fast - start slowly, blend out the "stops" so you can go through the movement without "checks", and gradually speed up.

When you don't have to think about what's coming next in your movement, because it's a trained response, then you can get stuck being predictable, but if you're not thinking about what your body is doing, you can be more "in the moment" and respond more freely to the movements of the "attacker" because you're not paying attention to whether or not your knee is in line with your toes, or if your arms are in front of you...
That still happens so far on? I suppose under the pressure of testing - we don't do tests at my dojo until 1st kyu so I haven't had to deal with that yet.

You make a great point about at home practice, though unfortunately many of the things I need to work on either need to be guided by someone more experienced - who knows what I'm doing wrong and how to correct - or are not so easily done at home safely (like ukemi). But I think with patience and persistence I can get there eventually, this is just the first "step back" as it were as I have been doing - I think - rather well up until this point and had much praise from various sempai. What was mentioned earlier about ego sneaking up was a good point, it does indeed set you up for a fall in the end when things get hard.

One of the things I am trying to work on is fluidity as you mentioned, at least at first it is very first movement, irimi tenkan, next movement, step back, third movement move arms/hands, fourth movement move forward. Speed has been a hurdle, I love fast techniques so often I find myself "rushing" and it makes me careless, I sacrifice my balance/position/flow to perform in a way that gives a great rush when it works - and comes off awkward and jarring when it doesn't. So slowing down, trying to work on making everything flow together, is something I try to remind myself of from time to time.

Your final point is well noted, in time this will be something I will have to be careful on, but for the time being as you mentioned, my concerns are of a more basal nature . I think this is where there was some disagreement earlier, it is not that I reject the idea of "freeing my mind" so to speak and don't want to - just that right now, I can't, because I am frankly not good enough yet.

P.S. To the kind observer that PM'd me, thank you for your encouragement! Your Inbox is full so I could not respond to you in private

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Old 03-31-2017, 05:02 PM   #28
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

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Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
That still happens so far on?
haha. When I told you I totally relearned tenkan a few years ago, I was 2 dan at the time. I suspect that I'll have to totally re-work something else in the near future.

Quote:
Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post

You make a great point about at home practice, though unfortunately many of the things I need to work on either need to be guided by someone more experienced - who knows what I'm doing wrong and how to correct - or are not so easily done at home safely (like ukemi).
You can practice ukemi at home. Just do it low, practicing the shape rather than doing it from standing.

Quote:
Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
One of the things I am trying to work on is fluidity as you mentioned, at least at first it is very first movement, irimi tenkan, next movement, step back, third movement move arms/hands, fourth movement move forward. Speed has been a hurdle, I love fast techniques so often I find myself "rushing" and it makes me careless, I sacrifice my balance/position/flow to perform in a way that gives a great rush when it works - and comes off awkward and jarring when it doesn't. So slowing down, trying to work on making everything flow together, is something I try to remind myself of from time to time.
I'm currently teaching the beginners class at my dojo. I have a few students that I would like to get more fluid. They have been training for about 2 years. Before that point, don't even think about it.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:13 AM   #29
Currawong
Dojo: Shoheijuku Aikido, Fukuoka
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
haha. When I told you I totally relearned tenkan a few years ago, I was 2 dan at the time. I suspect that I'll have to totally re-work something else in the near future.
You too? I've been going through just about everything, one at a time, the last couple of years. I've found it helpful for deriving teaching strategies.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:48 AM   #30
SeiserL
 
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Perhaps all growth/progression/unfolding is a constant/continual sequence of learning/refining/unlearning and learning at a new level to be refined/unlearned at the next level.
May we all experience "unlearning bad habits" everyday or we have plateaued and become stagnant.
Perhaps this is where need a new model of learning/practice.

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 04-01-2017, 08:49 AM   #31
shuckser
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Quote:
Cassia Rose Heatley wrote: View Post
That still happens so far on?
Sho - Beginner
Dan - Grade

Shodan = Beginners grade

It seems trite, but it really is true. Expect to continually readdress everything you know. Not because what you're learning is wrong, but as as been said before, you need experience in one direction to even notice another, let alone start moving towards it. As a mere Nidan myself I can completely relate to the Tenkan-relearning discussion above!

Frustration is not an obstacle, but an essential learning tool. Frustration not only reveals your own level to yourself, but also gives impact to your eventual revelations, and they become all the more clear and precious because of that struggle, inviting you to improve once again. Even in the best dojos, I really don't think there's a way round it, and try to think of it as a positive aspect of learning. You will only learn as quickly as your body can absorb the answers, even from a teacher who seems to have them all.

I think of it like building a tower. Every time you get something right, the tower builds upward. Every time you get something wrong, a rock falls to the side. If you only practice the "right" way, your tower will be tall, but narrow and easily shaken. But if you allow yourself to fail, the rocks of your mistakes build up all around the sides of the tower. It goes up more slowly, but is held up by a vast pyramid of experience underneath.

Of course, every now and then you have to dynamite a level of the tower into yet another pile of rocks...
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:55 PM   #32
jamesf
Dojo: Kitsap Aikido, Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Cass,

Don't let it get you down. I think it was around my own 6 month mark in Aikido, that I too started having the frequent feeling of "why can't I get this right!?!" I think it's probably part of the learning process that most of us go through. (I'm coming up on 5 years of Aikido, just for reference)

For me, it largely went away after my 4th Kyu exam; that's certainly not to say that I never screw up my techniques (I do, often), but the way I've accepted correction has changed. It's gone from "Why can't I get this right!?!" to "Alright, self! Let's do this next repetition correctly" [or at least "do it better", depending on how far off I am] followed with a verbal "Hai, sensei!"

Building this sort of true humility (i.e. focusing on correcting yourself, without being angry with yourself), also helps you survive the pressure when a Shihan calls out your technique during a seminar as being an example of "Was not anyone watching me? Do like this!". OK, self: give a brief embarrassed expression, breathe... "Hai, sensei!" ...copy what sensei just did. Hey, success!
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:21 PM   #33
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Quote:
James Frankiewicz wrote: View Post
Cass,

Don't let it get you down. I think it was around my own 6 month mark in Aikido, that I too started having the frequent feeling of "why can't I get this right!?!" I think it's probably part of the learning process that most of us go through. (I'm coming up on 5 years of Aikido, just for reference)

For me, it largely went away after my 4th Kyu exam; that's certainly not to say that I never screw up my techniques (I do, often), but the way I've accepted correction has changed. It's gone from "Why can't I get this right!?!" to "Alright, self! Let's do this next repetition correctly" [or at least "do it better", depending on how far off I am] followed with a verbal "Hai, sensei!"

Building this sort of true humility (i.e. focusing on correcting yourself, without being angry with yourself), also helps you survive the pressure when a Shihan calls out your technique during a seminar as being an example of "Was not anyone watching me? Do like this!". OK, self: give a brief embarrassed expression, breathe... "Hai, sensei!" ...copy what sensei just did. Hey, success!
Funny... I had "Why can't I get this right" moments after 17 years of aikido. It's partly why I kept going.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:02 AM   #34
ilona
 
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

I am following this thread with interest. I just started Aikido a few months ago and while I mostly train at one dojo, occasionally I go to another one which offers a class in "basics". My home dojo is small and has a lively atmosphere. The teacher mixes things up, so even beginners start to learn techniques that are more advanced; that keeps things fun and unpredictable since he does not teach for testing purposes. The other place is more systematic, allowing me to focus more. It's interesting to receive feedback from different instructors and experienced students - when they all say similar things, I take note. And there are variations in style, or nuances in teaching, too, that are not identical, so if I am looking for the "right way" I guess I have to figure it out from various inputs. I have decided, for the time being, to enjoy being somewhat confused. And, with forward ukemi, when I thought I'd sort of got it (after weeks of really not getting it), my main teacher pointed out more nuances for me to pay attention to. There is no end to improvement, and I imagine it might be challenging for a teacher to determine when to say something to a student; one wouldn't want to correct so much early on that the student gives up and leaves. I can only integrate small bits of feedback at a time, and I imagine that is true for others, too. And, it's sad to read that some people might have been practicing in a suboptimal way for years and years with no one saying anything.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:57 PM   #35
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Quote:
Ilona Fried wrote: View Post
And, it's sad to read that some people might have been practicing in a suboptimal way for years and years with no one saying anything.
Not with no one saying anything. Just without understanding what people were saying. Also, you get to a point where you really need to start working things out for yourself, anyway. (in your case, not for another 15 years or so).
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:17 PM   #36
ninjedi
 
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

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Old 05-26-2017, 08:41 AM   #37
Susan Dalton
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Re: Unlearning Bad Habits

Cass,
If it makes you feel any better, my teacher has been doing aikido for around 60 years and according to him, he still doesn't have it "right." The beautiful thing about aikido is no matter how "good" you get, you always have room for improvement.

Ukemi is all kind of things--it is being sensitive to the environment around us. At a seminar recently, our teacher scolded us for having bad ukemi. Many people thought he was talking about rolls and since theirs were beautiful, he couldn't possibly be talking about them. (I'm almost 60. Mine are clunky--I was certain he was talking about me, even after 26 years of practice.) But he was referencing there being so many beginners on the mat and how crowded we were and how many participants were more focused on showing what they knew than helping the beginners learn and practice safely. That's ukemi, too. Ukemi is being open to receiving and dealing as compassionately as you can with whatever comes. (That includes yourself.) When you fix the thing you're doing wrong now, there will be something else to fix, and when you fix that, something else and then something else and then...

May you have many happy years of training.
Susan
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