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Old 08-10-2006, 02:27 PM   #1
markwalsh
Dojo: Airenjuku Brighton
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Question What's your Specialty?

I'm in a role at the present where I get to talk to various experts in a diverse number of fields. This is obviously pretty cool, but it's also frustrating as they can't always convey something useful to me, quickly and clearly. Of course, that's a big ask and I'm not putting the entire onus on them either…but the ones who can do it…I really appreciate.

So here's my question: What do you have expertise in that you could convey in one class on the mat, or even in a few sentences online?

Or to put it another way: If you had the whole aikido world for one class, and were asked to teach something useful and unique, what would you teach?


Disclaimers and definitions:
By expertise I mean only you personally feel qualified - not by any objective or comparative standard, so feel free to post if you're less than an 11th dan. We're all beginners and all that.

I also fully appreciate that nothing good can be rushed and that it's an impossible question!
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:02 PM   #2
NagaBaba
 
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Re: What's your Specialty?

I can teach in one class how to drink in correct way a good beer. As we all know that exists close relation beer to aikido, particularly to the way of developping kokyu power, and kokyu power is a fundamental for aikido, is it mean I can teach fundation of aikido in one class?

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:47 PM   #3
raul rodrigo
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Re: What's your Specialty?

I was taught to do kokyu dosa properly by my sempai showing me how to bring a bottle of beer to one's mouth in a proper kokyu fashion, relaxed arm, spiral motion, et al. And we had to practice that for years.
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:04 PM   #4
MikeLogan
 
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Re: What's your Specialty?

accomodat th circumstancs, do not argu with thm. Th on my kyboard is brokn, wll, at last for this post, but w must mak do with what is availabl as though it wr prcisly what was calld for.

Pardon the lack of e's up there, but it was part of what I would try to communicate. The idea of making the best of it, and not believing that you must respond to an attack with some exact technique.

If it means screwing in a light-bulb with a hammer, do your best. If it means making a cup out of duct tape, get going. No sitting around wishing you had a box of dixie cups.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:35 AM   #5
Mark Uttech
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Everyone wants to get to some place where they are safe; that is even why you ask the question.
Where is the safe place? Is it really different for everyone? Yes, because not everyone drinks beer.
Even that answer is only one answer. My single expertise is my own personality. In gassho,

Mark
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:39 PM   #6
Mike Sigman
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Ohmigod... this thread is just so perfect in a subsection that contains "why teachers stop learning", "why students stop training", and "mental disorders in Aikido".
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:57 PM   #7
markwalsh
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Re: What's your Specialty?

I'm really suprised by the responses to this thread.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:39 PM   #8
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: What's your Specialty?

I would teach about accepting and having compassion for each uke for the unique qualities that they bring to the mat.
Mary
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:33 PM   #9
dps
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Mark Walsh wrote:
Or to put it another way: If you had the whole aikido world for one class, and were asked to teach something useful and unique, what would you teach?
I would show them how to watch, listen, ask questions and imitate, by asking them to show me thier Aikido ( very long class). I could not pass up the opportunity to learn from so many people.

NagaBaba can buy the beer for everyone, not me.

Last edited by dps : 08-11-2006 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:22 AM   #10
shadowedge
 
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
I'm really suprised by the responses to this thread
Mark, when you asked were you referring to techniques? or more philosophical / spiritual lessons?

sorry if I misunderstood...
a lot of intresting replies though
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:53 AM   #11
ian
 
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Re: What's your Specialty?

In the last year I've changed the way I do ikkyo and noticed that beginning students can learn it quickly and effectively in a matter of weeks. Its got to the point where I explain every other technique beginning 'it's just like ikkyo'. - So I would teach this method of ikkyo.

P.S. I'd also tell people to stop being a bunch of hippies

Last edited by ian : 08-14-2006 at 05:56 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:07 AM   #12
odudog
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Re: What's your Specialty?

I teach effeciency and language/culture. I see a lot of unnecessary movement in a lot of my fellow students in my dojo. Even if the technique is long and flashy, get rid of the extra stuff that does abosultly nothing. For the non-native Japanese speakers, I show the true meaning behind the words and how the word or technique came about. For example kuzushi does not mean balance breaking. You can apply kuzushi in many aspects and never take the opponents balance.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:45 AM   #13
David Shevitz
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Re: What's your Specialty?

If I had the opportunity to show or teach anything, it would probably be ordinary perseverence.

In my limited time in Aikido, I've trained with a lot of amazing folks. I've trained with people who are physically gifted, able to move in ways an olympic gymnast would envy. I've trained with folks who have an encyclopedic knowledge of technique, remembering every movement they've seen. And I've trained with those who have an uncanny ability to identify what a student should work on to move to the next level of understanding.

Personally, I have none of these traits; or, if I do, I do not have them in abundance. But I have committed myself to studying this art, and I try, every day, to improve that understanding.

It's not much, and it's certainly not very spectacular, but it's what I've got at the moment.

Dave Shevitz
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:53 AM   #14
Mark Uttech
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:

P.S. I'd also tell people to stop being a bunch of hippies

I think people should quit picking on hippies because they are so few in number and are now a true minority.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:59 PM   #15
Karen Wolek
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
I think people should quit picking on hippies because they are so few in number and are now a true minority.
Not in Woodstock, they're not.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:11 PM   #16
Mike Sigman
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
I think people should quit picking on hippies because they are so few in number and are now a true minority.
I dunno.... at one time in a certain Summer I played guitar in a bar in Haight-Ashbury and I knew a LOT of hippies. One of the things I took from that time was that despite the role, the "peace and love", etc., is that deep down inside *almost* everyone is usually pretty much out for themselves. Everything else is a masque. Some people just work harder at pretending they're something else.

Mike
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:52 PM   #17
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
One of the things I took from that time was that despite the role, the "peace and love", etc., is that deep down inside *almost* everyone is usually pretty much out for themselves.
Do you have children Mike?
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:05 PM   #18
Mike Sigman
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Why would you shift the topic to me personally and my children?
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:14 PM   #19
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Why would you shift the topic to me personally and my children?
Well Mike, for me personally, having children has really changed that
"deep down inside *almost* everyone is usually pretty much out for themselves"
feeling.
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:32 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
Well Mike, for me personally, having children has really changed that
"deep down inside *almost* everyone is usually pretty much out for themselves"
feeling.
I can appreciate that, Ricky. And if you want to bring out what "you personally" feel about it, I think that's great. Until you bring the topic of you or your children into a conversation, though, I would never think of mentioning something personal. It's something to do with the self-absorption I mentioned that I ran into in the Haight.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:32 PM   #21
markwalsh
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Re: What's your Specialty?

To hit it form the other angle: I've worked extensively with kids all over the world and see their social insticts as being at least as strong as their selfish ones - from a young age. NOt saying they can't be little gets, but basic human being design, has a least a caring side.

While I would agree that on some level we are selfishly motivated - If someone enjoys helping other people, caring for them and protecting them (and I think most people do) - then are they really out for themsleves by meeting their own social needs?

Also which is a more useful view of other people to hold -basically good, or basically bad? Good works well for me, and I aint no sucker!
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:39 PM   #22
Mike Sigman
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
Mark Walsh wrote:
While I would agree that on some level we are selfishly motivated - If someone enjoys helping other people, caring for them and protecting them (and I think most people do) - then are they really out for themsleves by meeting their own social needs?
It's a common argument in socio-biology, Mark. Or if you want an interesting primer, try the old book "Manwatching" by Desmond Morris.
Quote:
Also which is a more useful view of other people to hold -basically good, or basically bad? Good works well for me, and I aint no sucker!
I think people are basically good. But the behavior and drives are quite definitely primate in origin. As much as we like to escape it, we're still closely related to monkies. Ever noticed how shiney stones (like diamonds), bright colors, foods and sex attract us very much like they do monkies? No matter how we rationalize it with things like "I was just following the dictates of Heinrich Heine"?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:09 AM   #23
happysod
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Re: What's your Specialty?

Quote:
If you had the whole aikido world for one class, and were asked to teach something useful and unique, what would you teach?
Three things (I'm greedy)
- how to remember left from right
- how to check there's a space where you're throwing
- flashy break falls should be used sparingly on a full mat

As you can probably tell, these three meet the "manwatching" test - which, I must admit, wasn't a phrase I'd ever thought about using for myself. Otherwise I'm fine with matching beer waza and collecting shiny things, but I draw the line at collecting children (how do you play with them, is it like top trumps?)...
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:27 AM   #24
Mark Uttech
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Re: What's your Specialty?

This thread is an example of energy that "scatters."
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:27 AM   #25
jxa127
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Re: What's your Specialty?

If I could teach one thing, it would be the same thing that I'm trying to learn: move sooner instead of faster.

The two times that I had to use aikido, it was the timeliness of my movement, not any great skill on my part, that made for an effective technique.

It didn't hurt that I'm a big guy too.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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