Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Teaching

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-26-2006, 08:05 PM   #1
Gregg
Dojo: Aiki do Of Ogden
Location: Utah
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
United_States
Offline
Do symbol Have a sensei that is to verbose .

My sensei is a very long winded fellow. We practice two nights a week and for the last practices he has talked about an hour and a half those class sessions, this is a on going for the past number of years that I have practiced with him. He has been asked to keep his speeches of aikido short and to help the class with technique.
But yet his speeches continue. Help ?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2006, 10:41 PM   #2
acot
Dojo: West Michigan Aikido
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 112
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Start asking questions... Technique questions... Raise your hand and just ask. I'm sure he won't beat anyone up over it. It might prompt a longer speach, but maybe getting him in the act of demostrating could spark on the class.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2006, 01:16 AM   #3
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

His school his rules. If you don't like it the dojo search here on AikiWeb shows approx. 8 different instructors within about 30 miles of Ogden.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2006, 01:19 AM   #4
kironin
 
kironin's Avatar
Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,033
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

unfortunately, some people like to hear themselves talk way too much.

for it to go on so long must mean he likes it so much he is not going to change unless the students stop enabling his behavior and simply walk out on him.

an empty dojo is about the only cure for this.

but what happens instead is that you get a self selected group of students willing to put up with it either because they like the idea of practicing more than actually practicing or they love aikido but have nowhere else to go.

as might be said of the Pastor of a church, " I'd rather see a sermon, than hear a sermon."

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2006, 05:00 AM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,000
Japan
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Gregory Herbert wrote:
My sensei is a very long winded fellow. We practice two nights a week and for the last practices he has talked about an hour and a half those class sessions, this is a on going for the past number of years that I have practiced with him. He has been asked to keep his speeches of aikido short and to help the class with technique.
But yet his speeches continue. Help ?
What does he talk about? Is it important? What about his waza? Are they OK? I mean, is the talking a substitute or cover-up for lack of technical ability?

Morihei Ueshiba was famous for giving long talks that very few understood, but he always backed up his lectures with spectacular waza.

There is a certain aikido shihan (Aikikai) who is renowned for his long lectures. I suppose it is good seiza practice for the students (he always stands). He usually teaches kihon waza, and the general purpose of the talks is to explain why kihon waza are so important. However, his classes have never been subjected to a peer review. Nevertheless, his waza can be spectacular.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2006, 05:49 AM   #6
Gernot Hassenpflug
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 319
Japan
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Ask your teacher to join Aikiweb and start posting. Maybe he has some good ideas and would like to interact with others, and just hasn't found an outlet for his enthusiasm.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2006, 06:50 AM   #7
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I had a judo instructor like this, he was lack on training, would interupt you to correct your technique and then spend 15 minutes talking about it, etc. We wouldn't randori for more then a minute before he would stop us to lecture . We couldn't do more than 10 fit ins without a lecture, we couldn't bow without a lecture, etc.

Eventually he had no good students, only white belts. Those students came to compete and also eventually left for more serious training. One day long after I left he complained to a friend of mine about how he can never get any students to stay long enough. My friend told him why this was happening and he got mad at him. Told him it was disrespectful and back in his day blah blah.

After about a 6 month break I came back and tried to train with him again, this time he had more new students who again, wanted to learn judo and compete. But he kept talking, I wasn't working up a sweat and it was wasting my time to give up a bjj class each weak for this, so I stopped going after a month. All his students wanted to know where I was because I was the guy who was pushing them and working them out hard. Sadly most have found out where I train and have left, so again, his talking has cost him students. But he can't see past his own greatness.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2006, 08:16 AM   #8
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I left a dojo because of similar issues. But I maintain a good relationship with the instructor...he introduced me to yoshinkan aikido, and I respect and love him for that. Sometimes the student just grows in a different way.

Be nice, state any issues in an honest, caring manner. If he doesn't want to change...you change. But keep the relationship. It usually benefits everyone that way.

Best,
Ron

PS...when I say keep the relationship, I'm serious...that instructor will be at my parent's house for dinner next week.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2006, 03:17 PM   #9
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Yes. A shame.

There've been several solid players I've known whose classes I refused to attend a second time for their pronounced logorrhea.

dojo:train
café (locker room?):talk

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2006, 06:25 PM   #10
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 860
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I had a judo instructor like this, he was lack on training, would interupt you to correct your technique and then spend 15 minutes talking about it, etc. We wouldn't randori for more then a minute before he would stop us to lecture . We couldn't do more than 10 fit ins without a lecture, we couldn't bow without a lecture, etc.

Eventually he had no good students, only white belts. Those students came to compete and also eventually left for more serious training. One day long after I left he complained to a friend of mine about how he can never get any students to stay long enough. My friend told him why this was happening and he got mad at him. Told him it was disrespectful and back in his day blah blah.

After about a 6 month break I came back and tried to train with him again, this time he had more new students who again, wanted to learn judo and compete. But he kept talking, I wasn't working up a sweat and it was wasting my time to give up a bjj class each weak for this, so I stopped going after a month. All his students wanted to know where I was because I was the guy who was pushing them and working them out hard. Sadly most have found out where I train and have left, so again, his talking has cost him students. But he can't see past his own greatness.
I know of an instructor like that. 20 minute lectures on either how good he is, how bad other instructors are or a talk about the good old days with such and such shihan.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2006, 09:10 PM   #11
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
I know of an instructor like that. 20 minute lectures on either how good he is, how bad other instructors are or a talk about the good old days with such and such shihan.
Yea, the saddest part was he would spend a good deal of the classes time trying to show me how judo can beat bjj and how much better then me he was.

Of course he is better than I am, he better be being that he has done judo longer then I've been alive and outweights me by almost 100 pounds.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2006, 06:25 PM   #12
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 971
New Zealand
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

yeah, if I ever find time to make into a judo dojo again I may try and keep my bjj under wraps - alot of judo instructors I've met are keen to have that discussion as soon as they find out. I haven't found that to be the case when they find I do Aikido, which is interesting.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 11:34 AM   #13
Mike Hamer
 
Mike Hamer's Avatar
Dojo: Shinki Rengo, Mt. Pleasant MI
Location: Alma, MI
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 244
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

My Sensei usually saves his speeches for the end of each class, and even then they aren't very long winded.

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 01:33 PM   #14
Alec Corper
 
Alec Corper's Avatar
Dojo: Itten Suginami Dojo, Nunspeet
Location: Wapenveld
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 267
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Try ear plugs

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 01:38 PM   #15
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

It's not my ears that suffer...it's my knees!

B.
R

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 01:42 PM   #16
Alec Corper
 
Alec Corper's Avatar
Dojo: Itten Suginami Dojo, Nunspeet
Location: Wapenveld
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 267
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Ah Glasshopper, I hear them creaking

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 02:27 PM   #17
mriehle
 
mriehle's Avatar
Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 320
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I guess my perspective would summed up in my experience years ago when I started training. The dojo I was at was being visited by Koichi Tohei Sensei. He frequently just took over classes. I didn't even remember the name of the head instructor of the dojo until my dad reminded me recently (sorry Naluai Sensei, you actually are a very good teacher).

There were nominally two, one-hour classes in a row. Tohei would sometimes spend two hours lecturing. I learned a lot from those lectures. There are still things he said all those years ago (circa 1974-1976) that pop up from time to time in my training in "aha!" moments ("Oh, yeah, that's what he meant by that!").

Other times he wouldn't say two word the whole class.

I think balance is key.

Now that I teach, I realize that I tend to be heavy on lecturing. I *do*, though, sometimes make an effort to just shut up and demonstrate technique. I also try to keep my lectures focused on real issues. It requires a conscious effort because I'm an essentially verbal person. But I find the effort is worthwhile.

One trick I discovered is to demonstrate at the same time I'm lecturing. It requires that you be able to do the techniques without much thought, but it's an interesting exercise. You also have to be okay with making a mistake in front of your class. When I first started to try to do this I learned all about a half-dozen unconsious mistakes I make in my techniques on a regular basis. Actually, it still happens, just the mistakes have changed.

Maybe your instructor needs to come to this understanding. A lot of essentially verbal people have trouble understanding that others are not that way. That being said, it's not really your responsibility to help him to achieve that understanding. It would be polite of you to say something to him about the problem, but ultimately you have to do what's right for your training.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2006, 04:13 PM   #18
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

A number of the Shihan I had an opportunity to practice with and talk with at leisure and in private, just before they died said virtually the same thing to me. To paraphrase: "The only thing I regret is not explaining things enough." They tried to teach by showing in many different ways but they found that the majority of students never understood the lessons or their purpose.

I try and explain things a lot more these days. Yes, it means that sometimes physical practice is postponed for a while so that I can try and explain things. I used to use our drinking sessions or after practice in the Dojo to do these things but now that I am in a rented dojo, people have to leave and often, you can't go around demonstrating something in a bar without getting kicked out. Yes, I've been kicked out of bars for "acting funny" and creating a disturbance while demonstrating something during one of our drinking sessions. But, the rum shops around here have started to get used to us doing strange things so it is getting better. They still don't like it when I use a pool cue as a Ken or Jo.

I don't want to have those same regrets when I die. I do have pity on the students' knees and often ask them to stand and come closer so that they can see better. Or, I ask them to sit in Anza to save their knees. But, I have come to realise that if my job is to speed up their learning by passing on what I have discovered through observation of my teachers or from talking and listening to them, then I need to talk some to explain things. I have observed that often, until the students get to about Sandan or Yondan, they don't understand by just observing. I also have found that many students, even at the higher levels these days, don't experiment and research enough to understand lessons through observation. They simply keep repeating what they learned previously and think that repetition of what they learned before is going to advance their knowledge. (Insanity is doing the same thing over and over - and expecting different results.) To do this experimentation and research is difficult these days as we often use rented Dojos and there is not the time nor the partners with whom you can do different things to experiment and research. As Shihan-Dai (the chief instructor), I am lucky in that I can use Dojo time and my students to do my research. But the students are not so lucky. They have to try and find a friend who has the time and inclination and go to a beach to practice and research. So, yes, I do talk too much but it not because I want to but because I have to. The talks I give are probably more difficult for me since I have to sit in Seiza as well and my knees are no better than that of my students who are allowed to sit in Anza. Standing around is no better since my muscles get cold and tight. Just showing through practice would be easier for me but not as productive. Anyway, I just get frustrated by watching the students make the same mistake over and over, reinforcing their bad habits, because they didn't get the lesson.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2006, 04:29 AM   #19
Peter Ralls
Dojo: Suganami Aikikai SF
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 32
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I find it interesting that people who instruct are supporting the concept of spending a very large percentage of class time being spent in lectures by the teacher rather than training. I do not really think that anyone is going to be able to develop any skill in aikido or any other physical discipline by spending most of their time listening to lectures.

I have trained with instructors that talked so much that I was frustrated by the lack of time to actually train. I found that those instructors attracted students who preferred to listen, talk and conceptualize about aikido rather than practice it. The students that actually wanted to train usually left. Needless to say, the level of the students who stayed was very low, though the teacher's level was quite high.

On the other hand, I have spent some time at honbu dojo, where the majority of the the teachers never give explanations at all. My own feeling is that some explanation is necessary, as the concepts and philosophy of aikido need to be communicated, but that it should take up less than ten percent of class time, preferably much less.

My own experience with the instructors that spend huge amounts of class time talking is that they are self indulgent people full of their own self importance, and that they are much more interested in fulfilling their ego needs than they are in responding to the needs of their students, even though some of these instructors are very good aikidoists themselves.

My advice to someone who is frustrated by their teacher talking so much that they can't train, is to find another teacher. If you are not happy with the teaching you are receiving, it's not going to get any better as time goes by.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006, 08:57 AM   #20
mriehle
 
mriehle's Avatar
Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 320
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Peter Ralls wrote:
I find it interesting that people who instruct are supporting the concept of spending a very large percentage of class time being spent in lectures by the teacher rather than training.
I think it's a question of defining "very large". I support the idea that lectures are a part of teaching. So is actually training. Some lectures are longer than others. Some people need more lecturing than others.

Balance is key.

Quote:
Peter Ralls wrote:
I have trained with instructors that talked so much that I was frustrated by the lack of time to actually train.
That seems to me the exact definition of too much lecturing.

Quote:
Peter Ralls wrote:
My own experience with the instructors that spend huge amounts of class time talking is that they are self indulgent people full of their own self importance, and that they are much more interested in fulfilling their ego needs than they are in responding to the needs of their students, even though some of these instructors are very good aikidoists themselves.
Or they are inexperienced at teaching. Being good at Aikido doesn't automatically make you good at teaching. I believe all yudansha should be required to spend some time teaching, but I don't expect them all to be good at it.

I know when I first started teaching I probably talked way too much. I may have already mentioned my essentially verbal nature. It took a while to hit a balance where I explained enough, but didn't spend half the class time lecturing.

It also helps to be able to lecture effectively. Explanations which fail to communicate the point you're trying to make are a waste of time by definition. I know that many of my lectures in my early days of teaching came under this heading.

Quote:
Peter Ralls wrote:
My advice to someone who is frustrated by their teacher talking so much that they can't train, is to find another teacher. If you are not happy with the teaching you are receiving, it's not going to get any better as time goes by.
I wouldn't be quite so definite about it. But if the guy has been teaching for a few years and he's always been like this, well, it isn't likely to change. If he or she is a green teacher, say something. If it still doesn't change, move on.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006, 02:48 PM   #21
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Who wins the judo competition? The man who spends all day doing fit ins and randori, or the guy who listens to his sensei talk about how his instructor told him to turn like a steering wheel while doing Osoto gari?

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2006, 05:23 PM   #22
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

The one who paid attention in class, so he didn't use a steering wheel motion but a push-pull for the Kuzushi.

Rock

Last edited by Rocky Izumi : 11-26-2006 at 05:27 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2006, 05:50 AM   #23
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I'll tell my old sensei to pay more attention in class.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2006, 08:28 AM   #24
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,211
United Kingdom
Offline
Wink Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Find another Sensei? All talk and no do... waste of time and money!
Alternatively ask him/her to lecture in the pub after a hard satisfying practice!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2006, 10:47 AM   #25
mriehle
 
mriehle's Avatar
Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 320
United_States
Offline
Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

For those of you advocating the no talking approach, here's another perspective.

I've had teachers over the years who never explained anything. In fact, my Judo instructor was kind of the classic example of this. In three months of training with him I learned - well, nothing, really. Most of the Judo I've actually learned I learned from my dad in various living room sessions. Even my falls come more from my Aikido training than Judo.

What's more, part of the reason I didn't stick with Judo is that I never had a clue the whole time when I was doing it right or wrong. It was never clear whether a successful throw was because I got it right or because my partner got it wrong. Or when I got thrown; was it my mistake or was it just superior Judo from my partner? And if it was just a stupid mistake on my part, what was the mistake? And how do I go about fixing it next time?

Oh, and, by the way, how are these techniques supposed to work? A little explanation would have gone a long way toward keeping me in Judo.

As I may have already mentioned, I believe balance is key. All talking and no doing results in a great theoretical knowledge with no practical ability. All doing and no talking leads to sloppy technique which *might* work until someone comes along who has had a better teacher.

If you actively compete, the latter approach appears to work itself out; sloppy technique loses matches. If you are a person who can learn from the physical interaction of competition you'll tend to clean up your techniques. IME, however, what actually happens is that people who otherwise could have learned something just drop out. For what, fundamentally, amounts to the same reason that people with teachers who talk too much drop out: they aren't learning anything. Even people who can learn simply from competition and sparring will tend to learn faster when they have some things explained to them.

The best teachers know when to speak up and when to shut up.

  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ueshiba vs. Gun Squad aikido_fudoshin General 126 02-04-2009 05:54 PM
Standing Postures in Aikido? Mike Sigman General 106 03-30-2005 06:41 PM
Seminar with Students of Chiba Sensei Ron Tisdale Seminars 0 01-21-2004 09:47 AM
Seminar/Event: Saito Sensei Seminar Update AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 09-17-2001 01:15 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:20 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate