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Old 11-02-2006, 06:40 AM   #101
RampantWolf
Dojo: Cork Aiki Dojo
Location: Cork
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 39
Ireland
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"And for those who didn't see what I did, I'll slow the next one down"... after uke tripped over his feet and fell into an ukemi without Shite having to move.

If it's stupid but works, it isn't stupid.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:00 AM   #102
racingsnake
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 11
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Be more positive. the whole point of this technique is to be positive. You're about as positive as... an electron. Incidentally, that's a negatively-charged particle."

This comment has certainly stuck with me. It was made about 24 years ago by a senior student when I'd been practicing for about 10 weeks. At the time, it was all I could do to get the 'choreography' right, let alone think about 'ki', 'irimi' or any of those good things.

For a comparatively off-hand remark, it really knocked me back, and to be honest, it soured my view of that dojo as a learning environment at the time. I just didn't want to be somewhere where my efforts were rearded with sarcasm and put-downs, even if they were meant to produce a positive effect.

Twenty years later I took up aikido again (elsewhere), and am thoroughly enjoying it. Whenever we get new students in our dojo, my self-imposed rule is to offer help and advice, but never criticism. If you destroy a beginner's confidence, even with the best of intentions, they will probably stop enjoying, stop learning and then stop coming at all. Which is not very productive.

Well, this has been most therapeutic..... ;^)
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:53 PM   #103
Nick Pagnucco
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 107
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Just had one last night.

I was working on my 2nd kyu last night, with one of the dans in my dojo looking one. He tried telling me to be more energetic, to follow through more... finally he said "O-Sensei taught us to be merciful, not to be nice."

I suspect that my opinion of that quote will change several times as I continue to train, but it will stay with me.
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:11 AM   #104
stelios
Dojo: aikido dojo nippos Crete
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 75
Greece
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

After a very beautifully executed irimi-nage by me as nage and a very bored & fat-slow uke that fell awkwardly on his back: "Relax, you are not Ueshiba!"
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:14 AM   #105
Amanda
Dojo: Exeter Ki Aikido
Location: Devon
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 39
United Kingdom
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

The ones I hear most often are 'relax' and 'don't rush'. My sensei just might have those taped to save him the bother of repeating them so often.

The one I remember at the momet is 'remember to breathe'. This was at the weekend. We'd been doing a timed set of techniques and I was feeling rather woozy. I sort of smiled and gasped in response.
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:59 PM   #106
Chiburi
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

This one's mine. I'm sure it's been said before in other forms, though.

"Imagine all forms of martial art as it's own world, culture, existence, etc. Aikido is the dance, the poetry and art of that world."

Shinma Hukumetsu
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:17 AM   #107
Jaikido
Dojo: Shin-Gi-Tai Society
Location: Wild West Wales
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 18
Wales
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"No matter how good you do the technique, you always cock it up when Sensei is watching"

"You're all amazing, theres just something not quite right"
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:22 AM   #108
sanosuke
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
Location: Jakarta
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 247
Indonesia
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Adapt soon, you're not the only one learning aikido here, your partner is too. Don't let your partner down."

Thank you for Marissa Senpai in Malaysia.
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:33 AM   #109
billybob
 
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Dojo: Academy of Warrior Spirit
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

warmhearted stuff. thanks all

"If you relax, taking break falls won't hurt as much (whispered)" . Turns out they weren't having me on!

"David, turn your head Away from the punch."

"Not that relaxed, and stop moaning and get up. You're embarrassing me."


dave
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:40 AM   #110
Carlos Rivera
 
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Dojo: Aikido in Savannah
Location: Savannah, GA
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

From Iwama, Japan:

1- "Hanmi"

2- "Kiai"

3- "Keep your hands in front of your center"

4- "Move from your hips"


Everything else falls into place after that.


Last edited by Carlos Rivera : 12-16-2006 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:18 PM   #111
mriehle
 
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Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Not really a sempai comment. But a comment about a sempai, sort of.

At a recent seminar. I was feeling a bit at sea since they were a completely different style than I'm used to and the forms of the techniques were far different (okay, not that far, but enough to create confusion) from what I am used to and these guys are far more "physical" than what I am used to. Heck, even the etiquette rules got me in trouble; things they considered rude are commonplace where I come from and things they considered commonplace are rude, Just Not Done under the rules I'm used to.

So...

Someone I'm working with says to me: "Whatever you prefer, Sempai.".

At which point I no longer was sure of what I prefered.

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Old 12-17-2006, 12:31 AM   #112
Robert Jackson
Dojo: seishinkan
Location: Texas City.
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"wall!"

I put my right foot in, I put my left foot out, I do the Aikipokey and throw you all about
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:24 PM   #113
JeffDuncan
Dojo: Full Circle Aikido Club
Location: Killeen, TX
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
Robert Jackson wrote:
"wall!"
LOL THATS MY FAVORITE!!!

What was meant was to aware of your surroundings... but all that made it out before the concrete slapped me in the face was "Wall"...lol
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:04 PM   #114
Ken Zink
Dojo: Komyozan Dojo - Boise, ID
Location: Boise, ID
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Some gems I've taken to heart:

"Practice, Practice, Practice!"
"Breathe"
"Move"
"Don't block with your face"
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:38 AM   #115
Robert Jackson
Dojo: seishinkan
Location: Texas City.
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
Jeff Duncan wrote:
LOL THATS MY FAVORITE!!!

What was meant was to aware of your surroundings... but all that made it out before the concrete slapped me in the face was "Wall"...lol

No on this one he really meant WALL!... As he was 2 seconds late and I had just went through the wall.

I put my right foot in, I put my left foot out, I do the Aikipokey and throw you all about
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:18 PM   #116
Murgen
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

In a fight there is no "Oops I screwed that up, let me try again" You have to be spontaneous.

You guys.......what can I say........you don't suck, but your not way out there either.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:37 PM   #117
nuxie
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Evansville
Location: Evansville, IN
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Always Hamni"

and my favorite was when I was learning how to cut with a bokken and he told me it looked like a lightning strike.

Mary
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:55 AM   #118
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,321
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

1. If I stop correcting you it is because you are doing it perfectly or there is no hope for you. Nobody does it perfectly.

2. Shut up, you ask too many questions.

3. All your answers are on the mat.

dps

Last edited by dps : 03-04-2011 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:20 PM   #119
Russ Q
Dojo: Shohei Juku Aikido Gibsons
Location: Gibsons BC
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 192
Canada
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

....gasping for breath, flat on my back....other folks taking a break sempai said to me:

"Get up! Don't stop!"

That was a long time ago....but it motivated me to quit smoking and made me think...he didn't get stern with anyone else...I must be special:-)...for today at least.

Cheers,

Russ
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:39 AM   #120
amoeba
Dojo: Aikido Netzwerk
Location: Düsseldorf, NRW
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 80
Germany
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Night before my shodan exam:

"For tomorrow: Just don't make a fool out of yourself!"

Gnaaaaaaahhh... didn't help at all!
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:41 AM   #121
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Pratt......
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:54 AM   #122
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

I think seniors should be very conscious of what they say and how they say it. That doesn't mean you are always nice... sometimes a verbal atemi is the right thing at the time. But it shouldn't be unconscious or unintentional.

One of my good friends had been training for only a few months when he attended his first seminar. The teacher passed by. looked at him, and said "If you are going to do things that way, you should just quit." then walked off. My friend has been training for fifteen or twenty years now and still remembers that moment as if it were yesterday.

At another seminar, one of my fellow teachers had brought two of her top junior students to see Saotome Sensei. One of the two was actually one of the rare teens who had made it to black belt. My friend told her students to get right up there, front and center, and maybe they'd be noticed by Saotome Sensei and take some ukemi.

The teacher hosting the seminar actually told them to go back because they were taking up space that should be for the seniors to have access to Sensei. I was, frankly, totally appalled. Does anyone think that these two young people will not remember being told to "go to the back of the bus" twenty years from now? And this was from someone who is very serious about Aikido's mission to create world peace, it's trans-formative power etc. In that one instant that teacher created a whole raft of bad karma. These kids are the future of Aikido! If anything, we should be falling all over ourselves to encourage young folks like this. Anyway, this sort of comment or action can never be undone or taken back. It's like it's written in stone on the tablets of these kid's memories. Yet I believe that the teacher who did this was simply being "unmindful" in the Buddhist sense of the consequences of his actions.

On the other hand, I have been told by a couple of students who are quite serious that one of their earliest memories of training with me was me looking at something they are doing and saying "WHAT was THAT?". Or the time I told my uke "That is not a strike... that is a strike-like substance, a faux strike; that is a shomen no uchi... I want a REAL strike!" I gathered that these had served as something of a motivator NOT to hear that comment again. So sometimes tough love is effective but it needs to be used judiciously...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:28 AM   #123
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

I was struggling badly trying to throw a partner a few grades up on me with shihonage. My teacher walking past, said "take your time, it'll get done quicker". I consciously slowed down and low and behold, it semed to work so much easier! I went home that evening and for many evenings after, was just scratching my head and wondering. Those words have never left me and they still have a positive effect to this day.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:45 AM   #124
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 641
England
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

1960 - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei to a dan grade at the Hut Dojo.
" Necessary sell your gi and hakama while prices are high "

The effect on this young man was devastating..

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:35 PM   #125
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,211
United Kingdom
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
1960 - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei to a dan grade at the Hut Dojo.
" Necessary sell your gi and hakama while prices are high "

The effect on this young man was devastating..

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
Henry,
We used to get similar comments or something like that, when serving "Her Majesty" If one didn't pull his weight, you were demoted as quick as you like....
The loss of face to your fellow service men was hard enough to bear let alone the financial penalty....
Did that Dan grade pull his socks up?
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