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Old 07-11-2006, 12:50 AM   #26
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Re: Fellow students "teaching" !

Quote:
Stelios Papados wrote:
Has it ever occured to you being annoyed by some fellow students who think they know all and everything and they keep telling you that everything you do is a mistake despite the teacher being prsent?
This has been discussed a couple of times before. I personally prefer to have one teacher on the mat, but some dojos let students teach and correct each other.

Some people actually try and teach their seniors and possibly they see it as power play, but some just keep talking and say "now you should do this and that" just to keep their mouth going - when you ask them "why do you think you need to tell me that?" they might get embarrassed. I had one person explaining to me that he learned by verbalising, so he needed to talk constantly (duh!) Those who actually try to teach you are more difficult to handle, IMO. In some bad cases I have returned the favour by picking on every part of their technique, simply to show that it is not constructive.

Most of the times it works to just say you prefer to work on the things yourself without help, though. I never managed to do that until I had some strategies ready for how to handle when a simple suggestion to not talk/teach was not obliged.

If it comes to a dispute over how the technique should be performed, it is always best to ask the teacher come over.
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:47 AM   #27
DmG
 
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Dojo: Southern Maryland Aikido Center
Location: Southern Maryland
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Re: Fellow students "teaching" !

Ah....the age old question of shadow instructing :~)

Usually, when I get shadow corrected, it is because I am being 'nice'. Meaning, I'm working with someone who's energy is telling me they can't really take the ukemi for the technique (ie new, elderly, hurt...whatever). So. My usually way of handling is to First, Smile :~)....then do EXACTLY what they tell me...when they get that surprise look on their face :~O.....I smile even bigger, and ask if that was what they wanted me to do.....

Seriously, there are a number of reasons why people shadow instruct. Bill mentioned sometimes people think outloud...true...sometimes people are covering their own insecurities....true....sometime people really don't know how to take the ukemi, so they stop the attack to 'talk' about it in avoidance of taking the fall (not understanding, of course, that by doing so, they have put themselves in worse jeopardy of a choke, strike, kick or something nasty).

The best part about shadow instructors, as you raise in rank....is.....you realize you don't really care about them. It is harder to ignore at the lower levels (all you yudansha....want a fun experiment? Trade your black belt for a white belt at a seminar sometime (ok, maybe you'll have to go across country where they don't know you so well)...and watch the increase of shadow instructing!!! It is hysterical!!!)

Bottom line is....you are responsible for your learning, the sensei is responsible for teaching. Smiling helps you ignore the chatter...and if you really get someone annoying, just avoid them. Training time is short enough, as it is, to waste time arguing on the mat!

DG
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:03 PM   #28
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: Fellow students "teaching" !

The best way in my opinion to help others work on their technique is to take good ukemi. If you are much more senior, you can use good ukemi to guide others in the performance of their technique. By good ukemi, I don't mean stopping the technique. I suppose you could call that teaching, however, it is much less interventional and more experiential. Leave the more direct coaching for the instructor. Everyone has different skills when it comes to learning technique-however, it is not the responsibility of classmates to fix their partner's modeling difficulties. It's ok to give some feedback- "that didn't feel quite right, try it again".
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:22 PM   #29
mriehle
 
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Re: Fellow students "teaching" !

I'm a teacher. I own my own dojo (see my signature). I also continue to train with my teacher at his dojo.

One of the hardest things to do is not teach when I'm in one of his classes. I instinctively want to help my partner. I've even identified three distinct scenarios and appropriate approaches to them:

1) Sensei has a specific thing he's working on with us. The only time I will correct a partner in such a case is if he/she is doing something which is actually dangerous. Otherwise, I just shut up and do my thing.

2) Sensei is "in a mood". This means he's started us on an idea and has asked us to explore the idea. In this case it's good help each other out in the exploration. Even here, help should be "how about trying this?", rather than "Well, that was wrong.".

3) Working on something and my partner is just getting it wrong. Correction is required, but I'm not the instructor. The best approach, I've found, is "feedback". No specific comments. Just stuff like, "that one felt better", or "it was better on the other side". The truth is, I don't always know what's wrong anyway, I just know it's wrong. Better to let my partner work it out or call Sensei over if that isn't possible.

Helping is not the same as teaching. Senior students should help. Junior students actually can help somtimes. No student should be teaching during another instructors class.

Sort of a follow-on: think about your own ukemi. The other night I was working with a guy and the technique went badly. I realized immediately that I'd messed up the ukemi. I said as much to him. He stopped trying to "fix it" and got on with what he was supposed to be working on.

If you're going to help, be sure you consider your own role in the problem.

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Old 07-12-2006, 02:33 AM   #30
TracyHeld
Dojo: Shusekai, Berkeley
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Re: Fellow students "teaching" !

Everyone who has posted so far made good points about the benefits and disadvantages of students teaching other students. I'm personally biased towards encouraging students to teach other students, because I train in a dojo that actively encourages this kind of behavior.

Normally, when I get annoyed that a lower ranking student is "teaching" me something, it's because I'm embarassed that someone with less experience is pointing out my weaknesses. Most of the time, I skip that phase and genuinely appreciate the feedback, because Sensei isn't always around to notice when my technique is flawed. And, sometimes, only the uke (regardless of rank) is able to point out a flaw in my movements with her, because she's the only one experiencing it with her body.

Also, it's important to remember there's a difference between teaching/coaching/helping a partner and distracting a partner by overwhelming him with feedback. Some people talk a lot or critique a lot because they feel a need to show off their knowledge or to control their partner's progress. To me, dominating someone else's practice for those reasons is inappropriate and can come from anyone on the mat.

And one point that hasn't been mentioned so far in the thread is that students are sometimes better at pointing out certain kinds of technique flaws because they're actively trying to correct the same flaws. I may not be able to instinctively move into a tenkan for a particular technique, but I sure can tell when someone else is forgetting it, too. Or, I may be watching Sensei's footwork during a demonstration and may not notice the hand change that another student picked up on. I appreciate having an extra pair of eyes (and another brain) helping me work on techniques.
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:28 AM   #31
DmG
 
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Re: Fellow students "teaching" !

Tracy, good point.....there is a big difference between inviting comments and receiving "shadow instructing". If I want a comment, I'll say something like "I'm working on the footwork...do you notice a difference?" And, if I really really think I need to 'instruct' someone, I'll politely ask "would you like a comment?"....but mostly, I keep my thoughts to myself, unless I am asked what I think.....

There are times, when students are brand new, that you may have to give them some basic instruction. But in those times, it is best to give them the minimum to let them move through the technique....and then slowly, if time allows, feed them additional information one bit at a time.

I used to dance. And in ballet class, often a teacher only shows the routine once or twice....and then you get a few minutes to review it in your head (or with your body). I found that I needed three distinct steps: 1) learn the general moves and direction (like, turn left, step right); 2) nail down the actual dance steps (like tendu here, releve, etc.); 3) polish (like tilt your head, point your toes, etc.). If I tried to focus on specific steps before I really understood the flow of the routine, it would take me twice as long to learn. If I worried about which way my head tilted before I knew to plie here and releve there....it took me twice as long. Step 1 before Step 2 before Step 3...works every time...and I got to where I could learn routines really fast because I realized that!

So, I try to remember that when I'm "helping" someone in aikido....if I start talking to someone about 'feeling their center', or 'extending ki' before they even know which foot goes where....I sound like Charlie Brown's teacher (WHA,WAH, WAH, WAH).....:~)
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:20 AM   #32
TracyHeld
Dojo: Shusekai, Berkeley
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Re: Fellow students "teaching" !

Hey, Donna--I'm going to start using your strategy. I usually feel lost right after a new technique is demonstrated; maybe this is the cure!
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