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Old 07-05-2006, 08:03 PM   #76
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
We're talking about hypothetical people here in hypothetical situations, so it is somewhat difficult to evaluate.

It really wouldn't matter to me if a practicioner of martial art X wins 30 straight UFC-ish events, or if a person or persons are more "consistent" in the gym because they enjoy full contact and resistance there; I'd still practice aikido instead of martial art X because of its unique philosophy and proven effectiveness for defense in the real world.

Plus it fits me for a variety of other reasons. A short list of factors involved with settling down on a martial art might include
  • is it good exercise
  • is it effective in real life
  • does it use leverage or brute strength
  • how expensive is it
  • do I live near the school
  • is there an ample number of training days per week
  • what is the general reputation of style/school/teacher
  • does the time of classes fit in with my schedule
  • can any of it be practiced at home
  • can I also practice weapons
  • can any of it be practiced with minimal equipment
  • what is the potential of injury
  • did I enjoy what I found when I watched or participated in a trial class
  • can I do it as I get older
  • do I find the culture it comes from interesting
  • can I do it in street clothes
  • is the philosophy compatible with how I think

and in my research I found aikido to satisfy these more than others for me. For MMA stuff, my research showed it to lead to too many injuries, be too expensive, too few possible training days per week, and I don't care for aggression and competition that I've found it to promote. Others might find it works for them.

I know you're not saying one martial art is better than another, but it sounds like you are replacing "better" with "consistent level of skill", and it sounds like someone trying to convince that no matter the food a fork is better than a spoon.

I am saying consistant level of skill. This means you have a method of teaching that tends to train people in a consistant manner. Most martial arts are lacking in this. I am not saying everyone should train MMA and fight in a cage. In fact I know that's not for everyone. What I am saying is that I feel judo, bjj, MMA, boxing, and kickboxing training methods are superior to other martial art training methods. I feel that everyone could benifit from adding the type of training methods the SBG advocates to their current training. I'm not sure if you read my bullshido link or other material on training methods, but these 'sport' ideas seem to build skill much faster then 'traditional' methods (I put traditional in quotes because I feel these new sport methods are really the way people used to learn back in the old days anyways). These training methods do not require putting on mma gloves and getting into competition, getting agressive, or any other misinformed opinion on them. They are simply training methods. They could be applyed to chess, martial arts, painting, etc. Every criteria you have could be matched with an art that used SBG training methods. In fact some these training methods are used in some aikido schools today (tomiki style aikido has resistant randori).

Its a simple process really.

Introduce: Demonstrate and explain the material being taught, let them drill it to get a basic understanding and put it static reps.

Isolate: Work on the material in isolation, usually with drills or restricted sparring with progressively increasing resistance/difficulty.

Intregrate: Have the students encorporate the material into their whole game, usually in free rolling/sparring.

The bullshido link above goes into much more detail on ways to use this training.

Consistant performance in practioners should be VERY important to your decision to train. I mean if only a handful of people at 'high rank' can actually perform the art, then what does that say about your chances? If the training methods are inferior, then your chances of actually being able to use this art outside of your gym is smaller. I see more consistant levels of skill in places with this 'sport' type training. However, if you are just doing aikido for standing meditation and have no desire to use it as a martial art, then I would suggest not using these methods. They will be a waste of time.

Finally I would like to answer your criteria with my bjj training. It is good criteria and I would like to use it. I feel it is a good place to show some perceived weakness in sport training. For example:

can I do it as I get older? I know guys who are 65 and still doing judo. I know guys who are 55 and doing bjj. Sure they can't compete with young guys. But they can train and teach just fine.

what is the potential of injury? I feel that the potential for injury is actually much lower in bjj than in judo and aikido. This is because we take much less falls. Falls are very dangerous. Even with proper ukemi it is possible to hurt yourself. In fact I have yet to see a new person come to aikido class who didn't hurt their shoulders, back, or knee seriously within the first 6 months of training. Falling is more dangerous than anything I know of in the martial arts.

In the end you have to train how you are comfortable. But you have to also be honest about what you are actually getting from your training. I perfer efficancy, function, physical fitness, and competition. I dont care about being street lethal, learning a culture, using ancient weapons, or looking good while i'm training. If there is a new training method that can cut months or years off of learning and build consistant skill more reliably than older methods then I will be the first person to throw out the old and bring in the new. I personally do not train aikido anymore. The reason is not a flaw in technique, but a flaw I found in traing methods. After going out and trying judo and bjj and seeing how fast I was able to gain skill and seeing how fast I could apply these techniques against someone who was trying to do the same, I simply could not go back to the old ways of training. I was able to leverage these training methods outside of the gym to help my aikido, but I could not live with going to class and use what I feel are inferior methods of learning.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:34 PM   #77
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Neal Earhart wrote:
"The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing"
- O Sensei
When you are attacked by someone if you resist the attack then you are not at peace within yourself nor is your attacker at peace within themselves. Nonresistance is not resisting the attack but removing oneself from the attack, aligning yourself with your attacker's direction of attack, taking control and redirecting the attack to neutralize it in your favor.
You are at peace from the beginning of the attack because you know how to protect yourself and you demonstrate this peace to your attacker through your technique.
You win because you are at peace and he isn't.
The Art of Peace is invincible because you have moved out of the line of attack and there is nothing to continue the attack against.

You learn this not by theory but by practice.
You practice for when you will be attacked but pray that you never will be attacked.

Last edited by dps : 07-05-2006 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:32 PM   #78
CNYMike
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I am saying consistant level of skill. This means you have a method of teaching that tends to train people in a consistant manner. Most martial arts are lacking in this. I am not saying everyone should train MMA and fight in a cage. In fact I know that's not for everyone. What I am saying is that I feel judo, bjj, MMA, boxing, and kickboxing training methods are superior to other martial art training methods. I feel that everyone could benifit from adding the type of training methods the SBG advocates to their current training. I'm not sure if you read my bullshido link or other material on training methods, but these 'sport' ideas seem to build skill much faster then 'traditional' methods (I put traditional in quotes because I feel these new sport methods are really the way people used to learn back in the old days anyways). These training methods do not require putting on mma gloves and getting into competition, getting agressive, or any other misinformed opinion on them. They are simply training methods. They could be applyed to chess, martial arts, painting, etc. Every criteria you have could be matched with an art that used SBG training methods. In fact some these training methods are used in some aikido schools today (tomiki style aikido has resistant randori).
Weeelllll maybe. And maybe not.

When you learn a martial art, you are really learning two things at the same time -- the techniques, presumeably for practical use in self defense; and the paritcular system. It sounds the same but they're not. A martial art is more than just an amalgam of techniqes. It is, as my Kali instructor put it, a snapshot of the thinking of its founder. In some cases it is hard to point to one founder; if there's a single founder of Kendo, I missed it someplace. But in Aikido, that founder is O Sensei. Granted no one is getting pure, undiluted "Ueshiba Aikido" because everyone has put their own spin on it; but even then, allowing for that is part of O Sensei's thinking.

The "system level" means one should be carefull in how one propgates the system when it is time to teach it to other people. Even if we agree, for the sake of argument, that O Sensei was laboring under a misconception when he banned sparring from Aikido, does this mean we should just put it back in because we want it? Well, Tomiki put it in, but AFAIK, none of his contemporaries did. And I'm pretty sure Tomiki Sensei isn't in my Aikido lineage. One would, therefore, be at risk of not preserving and propagating the system as itr was passed to you if you change things to suit yourself; you might be better served calling it something else, just as O Sensei gave his art its own identity when he divered from Daito-ryu Aikijutsu.


Quote:
..... I would like to answer your criteria with my bjj training. It is good criteria and I would like to use it. I feel it is a good place to show some perceived weakness in sport training. For example:

can I do it as I get older? I know guys who are 65 and still doing judo. I know guys who are 55 and doing bjj. Sure they can't compete with young guys. But they can train and teach just fine.
So? I met an Aikido black belt who had started in the same age group. He can't take ukemi very well, but he knows the material enough to have got a black belt.

Quote:
..... what is the potential of injury? I feel that the potential for injury is actually much lower in bjj than in judo and aikido. This is because we take much less falls. Falls are very dangerous. Even with proper ukemi it is possible to hurt yourself. In fact I have yet to see a new person come to aikido class who didn't hurt their shoulders, back, or knee seriously within the first 6 months of training ....
You'me met one now: No such injuries within six months of beginning Aikido the first time in the '80s. No such injuries withink the first six months of coming back to it in 2004.

Quote:
Falling is more dangerous than anything I know of in the martial arts.
Well, the gentleman I mention above solved that problem by not falling, and I went along with him on that. Although it might also explain why ukemi waza is so specific.

Quote:
..... In the end you have to train how you are comfortable. But you have to also be honest about what you are actually getting from your training. I perfer efficancy, function, physical fitness, and competition. I dont care about being street lethal, learning a culture, using ancient weapons, or looking good while i'm training. If there is a new training method that can cut months or years off of learning and build consistant skill more reliably than older methods then I will be the first person to throw out the old and bring in the new. I personally do not train aikido anymore. The reason is not a flaw in technique, but a flaw I found in traing methods. After going out and trying judo and bjj and seeing how fast I was able to gain skill and seeing how fast I could apply these techniques against someone who was trying to do the same, I simply could not go back to the old ways of training. I was able to leverage these training methods outside of the gym to help my aikido, but I could not live with going to class and use what I feel are inferior methods of learning.

Funny you should say that. My Kali instructor, who is also a Jun Fan/JKD instructor, is a big advocate of sparring. Yet when I told him I wanted to get back into Aikido, he all but shoved me in the dojo door. I was reluctant to do it beacuse I thought I would be pooped at the end of the week (I was doing four other arts at the time), but he said, "Do it. You'll be a better martial artist." Food for thought.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:38 AM   #79
xuzen
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Hi all,

Across the forum, here and many other Martial Art forums, the argument against aikido is almost the same. It is not the problem with the technical repertoire of aikido but mainly with how aikido is trained. Many argued that aikido training lack aliveness.

I would be one of those KIHONOPHILE (TM) aka Kihon/Kata Nut-rider if not for meeting my current aikido teacher a few years ago.

What he did was to cut down on the low percentage moves from the syllabus but retain those higher percentage ones, where we use them repeatedly in jiyu waza and randori fashion. He is from the Yoshinkan lineage and the only Yoshinkan'esque flavour he retain from the old syllabus is the Kihon Dosa. He feels that the Kihon Dosa value lies in teaching student about tai-sabaki.

I have been an uke for my teacher many times, and what he is good at is not his fantastic kihon waza or strong static movement. What is so good about him is his ability to read my intention and energy focus. There are times I tried to resist him, and most times I do not go down on purpose... all he did was just change to something else and redirect my energy.

Aliveness among other thing is the ability to read your partners' intention and movement and react accordingly and kata / kihon is a poor methodology for accomplishing that.

So once again, the criticism about aikido is mainly about our training methodology, not about the art itself. Years ago, I would kill myself before saying such things, how ones' understanding of the art changes as one progresses.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:43 AM   #80
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
The "system level" means one should be carefull in how one propgates the system when it is time to teach it to other people. Even if we agree, for the sake of argument, that O Sensei was laboring under a misconception when he banned sparring from Aikido, does this mean we should just put it back in because we want it?
It's not clear sparring as a teaching tool was banned by O Sensei.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=998

Free sparring was not a tool he used, well...; at his times Aikido was an especialization art for Judo and Kendo practitioners, O Sensei students didn't need to learn from him how to use Aikido in an "alive" manner, they had a MA background in arts with sparring (like you with Kali-Jun Fan/JKD). They had enough knowledge to do the "integration" phase by themselves.

Today things are a bit different, there are a lot of Aikido practitioners without previous experience in MA who are unable to understand the technique (even if they can repeat what they see like parrots repeat what they hear) and need a different teaching approach (like people with special needs).

And, btw, i don't know about anyone who is training like in the Kobukan, maybe that's what we should put back (like it or not) because it was "the system".

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 07-06-2006 at 01:55 AM.

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Old 07-06-2006, 06:08 AM   #81
DonMagee
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Michael, it seems you are of the opinion that changing the training method will change the entire system. I do not feel this is correct. In fact I'm not even advocating a complete change of the training method. I am advocating adding a new dimension to the existing aikido training method.

It seems you believe that sparing = competition. Sparing is not competition. I have never lost a sparing match, ever. I am however forced to tap out at least a half dozen times a class. I am not advocating adding competition to aikido (although it already exists). I am just advocating exploring new training methods in an attempt to teach aikido more consistantly. If you use the I-method over kata it will not have any effect on the philosophy you teach. You can still preach whatever it is you want to preach. The difference will be the more consistant level of physical skill you will find though your class. People will learn to intergrate new techniques faster and build their own aikido. They will learn to innovate and try new things faster. Its just the nature of the I-method.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:08 AM   #82
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Michael, it seems you are of the opinion that changing the training method will change the entire system .....
I consider the training method to be part of the system. So from that perspective, yes, I would be reluctant to change anything.

Quote:
I do not feel this is correct. In fact I'm not even advocating a complete change of the training method. I am advocating adding a new dimension to the existing aikido training method.
Well, I'm familiar with what your advocating, mostly through eight years of LaCoste Inosanto Kali under Guros Kevin Seaman and Guro Andrew Astle. I also took a class in western boxing so although I've never actually boxed, I know the basics of boxing and holding rounds for it. And, of course, Kali includes the Filipino grappling system, Dumog, so I'm not unfamiliar with that range. Probaly would be clocked by the first BJJ guy who came along, but not because I was ignorant of that range but because he'd be better at it than me.

But my Kali instructors, most recently Mr. Astle, impressed on me the importance of maintaning the integrity of the systems you've been taught. No matter what you personally like to do, if you are teaching someone else's system, you don't mess with it! And I know for a fact Guro Andy agrees with me on this. Besides, I personally like Aikido the way it is; why fix it if it ain't broke?

Quote:
It seems you believe that sparing = competition .....
No, I don't; O Sensei and some of his contemporaries, like Funakoshi Sensei, may have thought so, and that's the misconception I was referring to. Sparring isn't competitve .... unless you're competing, trying to "win" somehow, and that' really a matter of ego and pride. Those things can work on you even if you don't think they are. I know this because I am still struggling with those issues. It is personally possible to spar as a learning experience and/or for fun without getting wrapped up in who "won." I agree with this.

But does that mean one can just add sparring to an Aikido curriculum? I don't think so. I think that if your seniors and instructors tell you not to do that, then you don't do it. It would be disrespectful to do otherwise and I wouldn't do that. And I know for a fact that Guro Andy agrees with me on that, too; in fact, you would be right to think he had a big influence I how I've approahced Aikido since I came back to it. If you don't agree with that, that's your business, but that's my perspective on this.

Quote:
..... You can still preach whatever it is you want to preach. The difference will be the more consistant level of physical skill you will find though your class. People will learn to intergrate new techniques faster and build their own aikido. They will learn to innovate and try new things faster. Its just the nature of the I-method.
Ahhhh ..... sorry if I somehow confused you. But I don't have an Aikido class. I don't even have Aikido rank. After two years, I still have yet to take the 5th kyu test, so from that persepctive, I am somewhere beneath the bottom of the totem pole, not on it.

But if I do end up teaching Aikido someday, before I die, I'd be extremely reluctant to diverge from the way I'd been taught it for the reasons I described.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:33 AM   #83
DonMagee
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
No matter what you personally like to do, if you are teaching someone else's system, you don't mess with it! And I know for a fact Guro Andy agrees with me on this. Besides, I personally like Aikido the way it is; why fix it if it ain't broke?

Except for it has been changed. Nobody teaches aikido the way O'Sensei taught it. Nobody teaches karate the way it was taught 100 years ago. Nobody teaches judo the way Kano taught it. Every instructor changes the way he teaches to meet his views of what the art is. If they didn't we would have a bunch of parrots and there would be no linage wars in kung fu, there would be no discussions on how different teachers teach, and no questions on what schools are good schools. Tohei added ki exercises to his aikido. O'Sensei didn't have them. They believe they help them extend and move with ki better. Was this an insult to O'Sensei? Tomiki added competition and sparing to aikido? Was this an insult to O'Sensei? How any teachers have given names to techniques that had no names. How many people learned the jo kata's from O'Sensei?

If you internalize something, then you will develop your own ideas on how it should be done. Once this happens, you will change what you teach to match your views. I feel its a big problem that people do not look past their teacher and art to see what the world around them is doing. They don't evaluate the ideas and concepts in the world and see if they have any bearing on their training or if there is anyone to improve. Some say the purpose of martial arts is self improvement. What better way to help this goal then to improve the art as a whole. No matter how good a system, you can always improve it. To rest when something is good enough is to allow for stagnation and inbreeding. Fresh blood and fresh ideas are what keep things alive.

I see a lot of talk about respect in the martial arts. I see a lot of it as fake respect and insult taken only to act like we are something deeper then we really are. If I take your teachings, change and reteach them you should be happy that I have made my own opinion and grown from my training with you. You should not be insulted that I dare question your methods. I should not have to respect you simply because you wear a darker colored belt than I do. I should respect you because you are deserving of respect. If I think you are wrong, I should be free to express it. We should be free to discuss and develop my ideas and no one should be insulted. Questioning is the most important skill we have as humans. It is very important that we question and look to improve everything. Blind faith for the sake of respect is silly.

I like the ideas and philosophy that aikido has. I think it is a great are and good for people. I just think its training methods are very poor.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:16 PM   #84
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Except for it has been changed. Nobody teaches aikido the way O'Sensei taught it. Nobody teaches karate the way it was taught 100 years ago. Nobody teaches judo the way Kano taught it. Every instructor changes the way he teaches to meet his views of what the art is. If they didn't we would have a bunch of parrots and there would be no linage wars in kung fu, there would be no discussions on how different teachers teach, and no questions on what schools are good schools. Tohei added ki exercises to his aikido. O'Sensei didn't have them. They believe they help them extend and move with ki better. Was this an insult to O'Sensei? Tomiki added competition and sparing to aikido? Was this an insult to O'Sensei? .....
Well, in both cases you're talking about people who left the Aikikai fold. Whether O Sensei (no apostrophe -- he was Japanese, not Irish ) flet insulted is a matter of speculation (although Tohei left in 1974, so it would be kind of hard to check that).

However it is also true that O Sensei did want Aikido to change over time. And it is also true that none of the people who learned from him at any given time taught it the same way he did or the same way as each other did. He didn't want Aikido locked down, unchabeable over time. Every source I have says how "personal" Aikido techniqes are; that we all have different takes on Aikido is built into the equation.

However, I think that even with wiggle room built in, there are still boundaries you don't want to go past if you want to be true to Aikido. It's like driving on a multi-lane highway. You can be anywhere you want on that road, as long as you go in the right direction, and as long as you don't go off that road. But if you do go off the highway, or turn off onto another one, you can't say you're still on the first one, are you?

So if, God willing, someday I teach Aikido, no, I will not teach it exactly the same way any of my instrucotrs teach it or exactly the same way any of my peers do it. But I still wouldn't decide to change things willy-nilly. I couldn't do that, call it Aikido, and live with myself.

Quote:
..... I see a lot of talk about respect in the martial arts. I see a lot of it as fake respect and insult taken only to act like we are something deeper then we really are. If I take your teachings, change and reteach them you should be happy that I have made my own opinion and grown from my training with you. You should not be insulted that I dare question your methods. I should not have to respect you simply because you wear a darker colored belt than I do. I should respect you because you are deserving of respect.
So, if we met in person, you would be a disrespectful horse's @$$ to me until I earn it by proving I could beat you up? No, of course not. You'd stick your hand out and say "So you're mike? Nice to meet you. Want help with your bag?" At least I hope you would.

Asian cultures do have a slightly different take on respect than the west does, but a lot of it is how they express simple courtesy. Just as you wouldn't misbehave when being introduced to someone in polite company, you shouldn't misbehave in martial arts.

As to challenging what you are taught, well, if I know more about a subject than you do, how can you claim to know enough to challenge me? You can't. If I am a nuclear physicist, and you are just learning the subject from me, coukld you say, "I don't agree with that?" No, of course not.

I am still very new at Aikido. I don't question the methodology because I don't know what the outcome is it's looking for. I have my specualtions, but I won't know until I get there. But to just challenge my sensei, who after 35 years knows the material a lot better than me, would be rude, impolite, and just plain ignorant. How can I reasonably question something I don't know all that well to start with? Doesn't pass the laugh test.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:37 PM   #85
Chris Li
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Whether O Sensei (no apostrophe -- he was Japanese, not Irish )
There are really no hard standards for romanization - the apostrophe after the "O" to designate a prefix is not the most used method, but it is far from uncommon. Anyway, if we're talking about Japanese we wouldn't be using capital letters either .

Best,


Chris

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Old 07-06-2006, 07:49 PM   #86
DonMagee
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
So, if we met in person, you would be a disrespectful horse's @$$ to me until I earn it by proving I could beat you up? No, of course not. You'd stick your hand out and say "So you're mike? Nice to meet you. Want help with your bag?" At least I hope you would.
Asian cultures do have a slightly different take on respect than the west does, but a lot of it is how they express simple courtesy. Just as you wouldn't misbehave when being introduced to someone in polite company, you shouldn't misbehave in martial arts.
Questioning is misbehaving?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
As to challenging what you are taught, well, if I know more about a subject than you do, how can you claim to know enough to challenge me? You can't. If I am a nuclear physicist, and you are just learning the subject from me, coukld you say, "I don't agree with that?" No, of course not.

I am still very new at Aikido. I don't question the methodology because I don't know what the outcome is it's looking for. I have my specualtions, but I won't know until I get there. But to just challenge my sensei, who after 35 years knows the material a lot better than me, would be rude, impolite, and just plain ignorant. How can I reasonably question something I don't know all that well to start with? Doesn't pass the laugh test.
Actually it is expected in science to question what you are told. If I think my physics teacher is wrong. I will say so. He will ask me to prove I am wrong. We will find out who is right. Who knows the best way to educate a student in aikido. A aikido sensei, or someone with a college degree in education? My point is that just because someone has done something for a decade does not mean they are doing it right. Just because we have done something for two thousand years does not mean its the best way. You dont need to know aikido to understand how to teach people things. Aikido is no different from anything else when it comes to teaching. There are good ways to teach things and bad ways.

What you are talking about is not changing a teaching method simply because that is the way it has been done. It seems obvious to me that O Sensei didn't really have a standardized or committed way of teaching. When I read about his life I see he taught different things different ways to different people. Some people he didn't teach at all, he just let them figure it out. The priciples and techniques are not dependant on a training method. The quality and speed in which you aquire them is however dependant on your training method. If I tell this to an professors at the college where I work they understand this perfectly. However it seems to be disregarded in the non sport martial arts community. I have even seen 'Sensei's' get offended that I would even suggest they look at other methods of teaching. It is amusing that saying " Have you ever looked at this method of teaching with your students?" is replyed with "Are you a 3rd degree in X martial art? How can you possibly know how to teach this?" Knowing a martial art has nothing to do with understanding the best way to teach a physical movement/principle or philosphy.

I had a horrible programming teacher in college. I confronted him and was told this is how he learned and it should be good enough for us. (No code examples, all theory, lots of talk, etc). I had to work hard on my own and most of the people failed his class. The few that did were actually poor programmers. When I got in the real world, I had to learn a lot of new things. I found better ways to find and learn this information. Now when I teach my students, I teach them with a good method that allows the majority of them to understand and leverage the information I am giving them. Should I teach the way my programming professor taught me? Its obvious I have a better method and I am nowhere near the programmer he is. I am however a better teacher than he is because I am not afraid to try new ideas and change my approach, however my coding philosphy and technqiues are passed down no matter what my approach.

I am not on a crusade to change aikido. I train my own way. I simply want to make people aware that there is nothing wrong with a little change and teaching methods should be explored and questions should be asked. Maybe somewhere out there this will click in a teachers head and he will start adding these training methods (especially the I-Method) to his existing methods. Maybe people will realize being hard set on pretending to be a culture they are not slows down the actual training and you dont need the false pretense of a culture that is not your own to learn the philosphy and techniques of aikido. But I'm not holding my breath. I do however love having these discussions and learning about why people do or do not like these ideas. It helps me with my own training and the training of my students (although I do not teach martial arts yet, I teach programming and unix).

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:51 PM   #87
DonMagee
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
There are really no hard standards for romanization - the apostrophe after the "O" to designate a prefix is not the most used method, but it is far from uncommon. Anyway, if we're talking about Japanese we wouldn't be using capital letters either .

Best,


Chris
I like the apostrophe, I dont speak japanese so it doesn't effect me. O' sensei is just easier to write than ueshiba.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:19 PM   #88
CNYMike
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Questioning is misbehaving?
Did my example indicate it was? No.

Quote:
Actually it is expected in science to question what you are told. If I think my physics teacher is wrong. I will say so. He will ask me to prove I am wrong. We will find out who is right .....
So if, on your first day of physics class, you thought Heisenberg's Uncetainty Principle was bunk, would you go up to your professor and say "I think that's wrong"? That's a better analogy to what I am getting at. It's one thing if you think someone is a lousy teacher -- and I had one, too -- but another if you think you know the material better than he does. If you think the instructor isn't a good instructor, it's one thing. But if you go up to him and saym "I don't think you should teach it your way; teach it another way," that knocks on the door of knowing the material better than he does. How do you know the methodology is not good when he's gone farther in it than you and knows where it leads? You don't.

.

Quote:
..... The quality and speed in which you aquire them is however dependant on your training method .....
Well, there's also how quickly people can absorb things. Someone who's slow at picking some things up will be slow regardless of how they're taught.

Quote:
.....Maybe people will realize being hard set on pretending to be a culture they are not slows down the actual training and you dont need the false pretense of a culture that is not your own to learn the philosphy and techniques of aikido .....
I disagree. A martial art is not independent of the culture it originated in but a product of it. So to understand what's going on, you know at least a little bit of where it's coming from. It's not "pretending" anything; it's part of the package whether the art is Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, whatever. And how does learning the term "kote gaeshi" slow down learning the actual technique? Unless there's a connection between the linguistic and motor centers of the brain I don't know aboout?

Like you say, you train your way. But think twice before making pronnouncements on how well other ways "work."
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:04 PM   #89
DonMagee
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Did my example indicate it was? No.



So if, on your first day of physics class, you thought Heisenberg's Uncetainty Principle was bunk, would you go up to your professor and say "I think that's wrong"? That's a better analogy to what I am getting at. It's one thing if you think someone is a lousy teacher -- and I had one, too -- but another if you think you know the material better than he does. If you think the instructor isn't a good instructor, it's one thing. But if you go up to him and saym "I don't think you should teach it your way; teach it another way," that knocks on the door of knowing the material better than he does. How do you know the methodology is not good when he's gone farther in it than you and knows where it leads? You don't.

.



Well, there's also how quickly people can absorb things. Someone who's slow at picking some things up will be slow regardless of how they're taught.



I disagree. A martial art is not independent of the culture it originated in but a product of it. So to understand what's going on, you know at least a little bit of where it's coming from. It's not "pretending" anything; it's part of the package whether the art is Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, whatever. And how does learning the term "kote gaeshi" slow down learning the actual technique? Unless there's a connection between the linguistic and motor centers of the brain I don't know aboout?

Like you say, you train your way. But think twice before making pronnouncements on how well other ways "work."
See, but you are still not looking at it right. I'm not saying "Your training method is wrong." I wouldn't tell a physics teacher "This principle is wrong". I am saying "Your training methods are wrong, this is why I feel this is the case, this is my solution to the perceived problem." That is a lot different. Instead of showing me how my training methods will not help aikido, you are instead saying "Don't question the master".

My argument is that by watching and using training methods based on the I-method I have found that people will learn faster and will be able to leverage that knowledge with a higher level of consistency then students who do not use the I-method. I have decided this though years of trial and error of watching, working with and trying different training methods and seeing how other students react. I have noticed a distinct pattern in the level of skill at each belt level between schools that use this method, and schools that don't. This does not mean that a judo club using the I-method can beat up aikido guys. It simply means that you will notice a more consistent skill level in students of any rank. This simply means that the art is being taught though a better method so more students are able to leverage the teachings faster.

Now, rather then show me how I am wrong. You have simply told me not to question a master. You have talked about culture and how this stops us from being able to even explore the possibility of using a different training method. I have argued that the training method and the culture are not related and that in my opinion the culture is detrimental to the learning process if it is slowing down advancements in teaching practices. Again, you have simply not shown me a counter argument, but said to not question the masters. You have stated the the culture does not allow us to question our training methods because our 'masters' know more than we do.

I know you must feel the I-method will not give any improvement to the training of aikido. So I would like to ask why you feel this will not improve the training of aikido? Simply because some guru or master says so is simply not enough. How do we know they are right? How do we know O Sensei was aware of these types of training methods and choose to ignore them? How do we know these methods were not used and simply ignored by his students? A great martial artist doesn't equal a great teacher.

Martial arts are a very oral tradition and things get misplaced and screwed up. It saddens me every time I read about people disregarding even exploring how something could improve their training because some old fart told them it wont help or out of fear of insulting their teacher. This is the problem I have with the culture. It breeds false modesty and false respect where the word of a higher rank is golden and a lower rank simply hasn't done it long enough to understand. Respect is not blind obedience. I can respect you and still tell you that you are wrong to your face. However telling that you are wrong is not enough if I respect you. I have to prove my point. Again, I'm not saying I am right and you are wrong. I am saying I feel you are wrong and this is why. Please show me how I am misunderstanding. But I don't get an answer that satisfies me. It reminds me of the medieval church. The earth was flat, don't question that. You should respect us because we know more than you. After all we talk to god.

See, I am not content to do things the way they are done. I want to know why they are done that way. I want to know why they are better than other methods. And finally, I want to see the results. If I think something is wrong I have no problem pointing it out. Why? because I want to know why I am wrong. I want someone to show me how I misunderstood and why what I think should be done will not work or is inferior to what is being done.

So to wrap this up.

My argument: The I-method of training allows more people to grasp concepts quicker and integrate these ideas faster then the traditional method of training martial arts. For proof I site judo, bjj, and modern MMA schools.

Your argument as I see it: You are wrong because we have done it this way from day one and it has worked. I will not consider the option because it may offend a shihan and I was told by my teacher to never change the art. You will never have a better idea than what exists.

Of course we then have a few posts that state obvious things such as not everyone can learn at the same pace, and talk about what respect is, etc.

And yes, I have thought long and hard about this. I have thought about this for years from the time I was first starting as a teen until now. I went though phases of thinking it was me that was the problem, it was the art that was the problem, it was the teacher that was the problem, etc. I jumped about and tried a lot of things. I read a lot of books, I came to a conclusion based on that research. It is only now that I have found a name for the method (thanks to the SBG) and can express what I was feeling from day one. Also my teaching exp allows me to also have an insight on how to each people. I have come to realize that all the physical techniques in the end are the same, the speed in which you learn them is really based on two things. Who you are, and the training method you use. I have come to realize that the philosophy behind the arts can be taught regardless of the training method. This is not some "Hey I got an idea aikido sucks" post. I have thought about this and truly feel that the I-method (and other SBG style training methods) are superior to other training methods. I only wish to explore other peoples opinions and experiences with these training methods and hopefully start down a path that will improve my martial arts training further.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:31 PM   #90
milesc
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
I only wish to explore other peoples opinions and experiences with these training methods and hopefully start down a path that will improve my martial arts training further.
That's a familiar sentiment Don. Great post!
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:13 AM   #91
CNYMike
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
..... You have simply told me not to question a master. You have talked about culture and how this stops us from being able to even explore the possibility of using a different training method. I have argued that the training method and the culture are not related and that in my opinion the culture is detrimental to the learning process if it is slowing down advancements in teaching practices ......
If you want to hugely oversimplify it, yes, although I never said specifically that culture does not allow us to "explore new training methods." I have made two points:

1. A martial art is intertwined with the culture it originated from. You can not separate the two, even if it's only restricting yourself to using English terminology, without losing part of it. It's not just about the techniques.

2. A martial artist should not go against the wishes of his seniors and instructors. Like it or not, resepect is a big part of the arts that are handed down to us; being disrespectful, such as pursuing training methods you have been told not to do, is a very big no-no.

So whether the I-method helps or hinders learning Aikido has nothing to do with the points I've raised, because learning the techniques is only part of what you are doing. You don't agree with that; that's fine. But that is not me talking or even something I got from an Aikido instructor. It's really the thinking of my Kali instructor. But that, in turn, comes from the way the arts are. He's said one of his goals is to preserve the systems he teaches by teaching them to other people. There are things in Kali that are not super destructive, not even relevant in today's society, but they are part of the art so he teaches them.

That is my counterargument. Don't want to agree with it? Fine. That's ok. But that is where I am coming from.

Quote:
.... I am not content to do things the way they are done. I want to know why they are done that way ....
See above.
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Old 07-07-2006, 03:39 AM   #92
milesc
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
1. A martial art is intertwined with the culture it originated from. You can not separate the two, even if it's only restricting yourself to using English terminology, without losing part of it. It's not just about the techniques.
I'll agree with that. Embracing the culture is a significant part of truely understanding a martial art and the history or lineage behind it.

Quote:
2. A martial artist should not go against the wishes of his seniors and instructors. Like it or not, resepect is a big part of the arts that are handed down to us; being disrespectful, such as pursuing training methods you have been told not to do, is a very big no-no.
I'll agree that respect is needed and earned in the student - teacher relationship but at some point the student needs to step forth on his own. If it is appropriate for a student to flounder and learn a new technique by experimentation, why would it be different for fledgling teachers? I think its an easy case to make that being a good teacher is more difficult than being an apt pupil.

Perhaps looking at revising the methods in which people are taught martial arts should be viewed more as one of those things that let new teachers become experienced teachers. Ultimately, their students will correct the teacher if the method is unacceptable. We do not live a world where trainers and options are few and a bad choice could lead to death on the battlefield.

I actually agree in part with your counterarguments but I would like to suggest that neither argument prevents a change in teaching style. You can respect the spirit, tradition and honor your teacher while still placing your mark on your students in your methods. You can still cherish and celebrate the culture that is a part of your art and it will not have to impact on your training method.

You must learn the basics and the concepts of that art before you can start to refine and improvise. Don's main point I take to be that traditional style MA's *are* valuable and do have much to pass on to future students. Yet the methods that are used to teach these arts that take on a traditional bend may not be suitable for the modern world. Is it better to let a traditional style art lose its students or make small changes to keep it accessible? Am I describing a slippery slope? Yes but things cannot stay static forever.

In my neighborhood we have Shinto temples that are falling into this exact scenario. They have not tried in any way in the past to increase their memberships. The generation that supported them is passing on and the children are not Shinto but instead are Christian or possibly Buddhist. So what is left for them? Simply wait until the last member dies so they can close the gates? Or maybe do what they are trying now, gathering up the several smaller shrines to try and consolodate membership. *Change* the way they think about how their organization has and will survive. Make a concerted effort to not recruit people just to give money but to continue spreading their philosophy and teachings. Aikido is not in this situation yet, but is it wise to wait until the day it is to start addressing problems?

If the whole real arguement is about sparring, what would you call practice throws? If the uke and nage agree to increase the speed and tempo at what point will it stop being "practice" and become sparring with someone taking the fall?
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Old 07-07-2006, 04:20 AM   #93
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Miles Calunod wrote:
If the whole real arguement is about sparring, what would you call practice throws? If the uke and nage agree to increase the speed and tempo at what point will it stop being "practice" and become sparring with someone taking the fall?
At the moment the roles of attacker/defender nor the techniques to be used are not predeterminated.

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Old 07-07-2006, 04:39 AM   #94
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Brawling with a friend

And, btw, "sparring" is "practice".

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Old 07-07-2006, 04:56 AM   #95
Mark Freeman
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Hi Don, good post #89, thanks.

Could you explain a little about the 'I method' I have no idea what it is and would like to.

My own teachers history mirrors much of what you are writing about. He started in the mid 50's with a japanese teacher whose english was poor, but his aikido was good, he taught and learnt in the 'old style'. Later on in his aikido career he spent some years with Tohei who as we know developed his own teaching methods, which further informed my teachers methods. He then left Tohei and while teaching Tohei's methods, further developed his own teaching, as he put it 'for the western mind'. So to put it bluntly while he totally respects his original teachers he doesn't teach exactly the same way that they did. He says himself that he took many years to learn some of the concepts which can now be passed on in a shorter space of time. I for one am grateful for this progress as it fits in well with my own understanding of the learning process.
I have spent a number of years working in the corporate training environment, which I came to through learning an effective training model, which majors on understanding how people learn, and how to 'model' excellence in any field. I was happy to discover that the way my aikido teacher was teaching conformed to the best current known methods for ideal learning. This involves the best environment for learning, and most useful 'attitude' for learning amongst others, all dished up with a sense of humour, as people learn more when they are open relaxed and smiling.

Modern day 'coaches' in business do not have to be experts in the field that the coachee is in, they just have to be great at 'coaching'. Anyone aware of 'The Inner game' approach will recognise this. However in aikido itself it really does help to have at least a 'good' level of understanding before you try to attempt to teach it. Conversely, understanding of aikido really starts once you attempt to teach it to others. Well, that's my experience anyway.

Just accepting what has gone before as 'gospel' and sticking ridgidly to it is a path to atrophy. We must be looking to ourselves to develop what we learn from our teachers to make our 'teaching' our own in the same way that we develop our 'own' aikido. Of course some teachers will be 'better' than others, but at the end of the day it is up to the student to do the learning, and part of that learning is knowing when you are in a position to question the teacher. A good reason why all teachers should remain students.

regards,

Mark

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Old 07-07-2006, 05:18 AM   #96
milesc
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
At the moment the roles of attacker/defender nor the techniques to be used are not predeterminated.
I think we are of the same opinion on sparring Demetrio.

If we agree to use 1 throw and take turns is it sparring?

If we agree you can choose between 2 throws with similar openings in no order and take turns is it sparring?

If we agree to practice a counter and take turns is it sparring?

If we agree to use 2 throws and counter in no particular order and take turns is it sparring?

Even if you limit the number of techiques you can throw (meaning your opponent knows that you are going to move in a certain manner) you still have the random element.

And I agree, sparring is practice. I wouldn't want to practice any martial art without sparring simply because to the martial aspect somewhat demands it. The art must be viable in and out of the dojo and that skill set can only be achieved by some level of sparring no matter what name or face you put on it.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:15 AM   #97
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Miles Calunod wrote:
I think we are of the same opinion on sparring Demetrio.
Not sure about that.

Quote:
If we agree to use 1 throw and take turns is it sparring?
No
Quote:
If we agree you can choose between 2 throws with similar openings in no order and take turns is it sparring?
No
Quote:
If we agree to practice a counter and take turns is it sparring?
No
Quote:
If we agree to use 2 throws and counter in no particular order and take turns is it sparring?
No

All those noes are because the "take turns" thing (of course imho). But maybe i don't fully understand you.

At the moment the uke/tori roles are not fully interchangeable without previous notice, it's not "sparring" in my book, it doesn't matter the number of techniques/counters available to the practitioners. What is important is if we are in a spontaneous environment or not.

Let's see if i can explain:

When i practiced TKD (i competed in regional/national events. WTF Olympic style), some of the drills most used for training was:

Guy A trows a number of strikes (lets say 4), any striking combo he wants full speed full force with hitting intent to guy B.
Guy B deals with said combo with any thing he wants/can (evading, blocking, parrying, counter striking...) but allowing guy A to do the 4 attacks. At the very moment guy A finishes his fourth attack, guy B starts his 4 strikes combo.
This is done non stop, full speed, full force for a limited amount of time, lets say 2 minutes.

This is not sparring, this is drilling, and that is because the attacker/defender roles are not interchangeable at any moment, we had to wait for the fourth strike.

Sparring needs spontaneity in the roles, even if the number of techniques available are limited. Think about boxing: jab, cross,hook, uppercut... (there's not a big number of techniques in boxing) all aimed from waist up. It's not the amount of techniques and targets or the intensity of the strikes what makes a boxing sparring session, it's the lack of definition about who is uke/tori what makes it sparring. At the moment these roles are predefined, we're talking about drills, kata, uchikomi.... you name it.

Quote:
Even if you limit the number of techniques you can throw (meaning your opponent knows that you are going to move in a certain manner) you still have the random element.
Well.... maybe. It sounds like Shodokan tanto randori, i don't have any problem in calling it "sparring" but with the consideration i made before about the attacker/defender role.

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Old 07-07-2006, 06:24 AM   #98
DonMagee
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Hi Don, good post #89, thanks.

Could you explain a little about the 'I method' I have no idea what it is and would like to.

My own teachers history mirrors much of what you are writing about. He started in the mid 50's with a japanese teacher whose english was poor, but his aikido was good, he taught and learnt in the 'old style'. Later on in his aikido career he spent some years with Tohei who as we know developed his own teaching methods, which further informed my teachers methods. He then left Tohei and while teaching Tohei's methods, further developed his own teaching, as he put it 'for the western mind'. So to put it bluntly while he totally respects his original teachers he doesn't teach exactly the same way that they did. He says himself that he took many years to learn some of the concepts which can now be passed on in a shorter space of time. I for one am grateful for this progress as it fits in well with my own understanding of the learning process.
I have spent a number of years working in the corporate training environment, which I came to through learning an effective training model, which majors on understanding how people learn, and how to 'model' excellence in any field. I was happy to discover that the way my aikido teacher was teaching conformed to the best current known methods for ideal learning. This involves the best environment for learning, and most useful 'attitude' for learning amongst others, all dished up with a sense of humour, as people learn more when they are open relaxed and smiling.

Modern day 'coaches' in business do not have to be experts in the field that the coachee is in, they just have to be great at 'coaching'. Anyone aware of 'The Inner game' approach will recognise this. However in aikido itself it really does help to have at least a 'good' level of understanding before you try to attempt to teach it. Conversely, understanding of aikido really starts once you attempt to teach it to others. Well, that's my experience anyway.

Just accepting what has gone before as 'gospel' and sticking ridgidly to it is a path to atrophy. We must be looking to ourselves to develop what we learn from our teachers to make our 'teaching' our own in the same way that we develop our 'own' aikido. Of course some teachers will be 'better' than others, but at the end of the day it is up to the student to do the learning, and part of that learning is knowing when you are in a position to question the teacher. A good reason why all teachers should remain students.

regards,

Mark
In a nutshell the I-Method is:

* Introduce: Demonstrate and explain the material being taught, let them drill it to get a basic understanding and put it static reps.
* Isolate: Work on the material in isolation, usually with drills or restricted sparring with progressively increasing resistance/difficulty.
* Integrate: Have the students incorporate the material into their whole game, usually in free rolling/sparring.

There are a few good articles on the web about this:
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=36273
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquiry_Method
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=36280
http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/200...-sbgi-way.html

A goggle search on the I-method (inquiry method or inquiry education) will show that it is successfully in math, science, and any other area that requires critical thinking and a deeper understanding than memorization. It works in kids and adults equally well.

To explore further, is what tohei did still aikido? Is what tomiki did still aikido? They broke from the general consensus of the aikiki they broke from the standard training methods. Is it no longer aikido? It's not the founders aikido.

Last edited by DonMagee : 07-07-2006 at 06:27 AM.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:32 AM   #99
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Brawling with a friend

It's the general consensus of the Aikikai about aikido founder's aikido?

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Old 07-07-2006, 07:08 AM   #100
DonMagee
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
It's the general consensus of the Aikikai about aikido founder's aikido?
I dont belive so (at least I hope people dont think that). Their are posts in this thread that say drastic changes in training methods change the art to the point where it is no longer honorable to call it by the arts name. And that these changes disrespect the founders of the arts and destroy the culture. I wanted to explore the possilibty of tomiki or tohei's aikido destroying aikido. I wanted to explore how these changes effected the aikidoka's perceived vision of the founder's aikido and if people really belive it is all aikido even with such wide viewpoints on how it should be trained and done. These ideas and questions go right to the heart of the question of training methods, culture, honor, respect, and tradition.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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