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Old 11-27-2006, 01:05 PM   #26
DonMagee
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I'm the kind of person that learns best though doing. I learned to program though doing, I learned to play guitar though doing, etc. Then after I've learned, I refine by going and getting educated. The best way I can be taught is by giving me a quick overview of my goals, some examples of how to accomplish them, and then let me practice it. After a good while of practice, give me a suggestion. Then repeat.

Don't waste time on the finer details. Don't stop me every other minute to point out a flaw. And don't change up what we are doing ever 10 minutes. It just bored/discourages/annoys me.

To me the perfect class is a series of techniques show that have the same basic movement. Maybe you want to work on entering, or footwork, or kuzushi. So pick 2 or 3 techniques with the same movement. Demo one, let us train it for like 10 minutes. Don't stop us to suggest solutions, just walk by and suggest them. No need to stop and bow, or stop the class to show everyone. At the end of the 10 minutes, then you can show everyone the common pitfall they all fell into. Then move on to the new technique and have them switch partners. This should fill 45 minutes or so if you did 3 techniques. At this point, it's time for free play. Now is the time to engage on a individual level and refine the 3 techniques for those who need it, or allow randori for those who need that.

In my judo class, this would be warmups (lots of cardio to get muscles warm, pushups, crunches, then falls and stretches) , then 45-50 minutes of uchikomi (I perfer 10 fit-ins with 1 throw, switch sides) with 15-25 minutes of randori (broken into 3 minute segments switching partners with 1 minute breaks). Finally, end with a summary and demonstration of key points you want to reinforce. BJJ would be similar, but with less drilling and more conditioning and sparing.

Contrasted with my old judo class.
First warmups (although very light usually no cardio, cold stretching), followed by break fall practice, a conversation on how everything was going with us, who did what in competition, who might be ready for a belt rank, and other chatter, followed by a technique demo or mat work (ground only randori). Usually during randori or the uchikomi for the technique the entire class would be stopped within 2 minutes to explain how to fix a problem he noticed on a single student. Tipically the explanation would take 5 to 7 minutes. At this point we would begin the uchikomi or mat work again, and again be stopped within 1-2 minutes. After 2 or 3 rounds of this, we would have a throw line. Each person would throw, then be verbally corrected. Typically this required 1-5 minutes per person until you got to throw. I would usually suffer injury due to cooling down. After the throw line, we would move to either a new technique and repeat the process, or if time was short (usually it was) we would be brought out 2 at a time for randori, the rest sitting waiting for their turn. Randori would last only a minute or two tops when we would be stopped and either scolded for not using the technique of the day, using a throw that the other student has never been shown, or commenting on our poor technique and how we are not ready for tournaments. Finally we would line up to bow out and he would chatter about something or another for the last 5-10 minutes of class.

Needless to say I did the one for a year with no noticeable gains, did the other for a few months over the summer and came back to clean house on the old school's students. Most of the promising ones now train where I train. I didn't go back to steal his students. I went back to see if there was anything I might have been missing by going from training with a high dan grade Olympic to training with a bjj brown belt (and also now cross training with a judo shodan).

I found that while the guy was very good at judo, and could clean house with me even at his age, his teaching methods did not build fitness or technique, and his best students were good not because of skill, but because of the physical strength they acquired in their careers (such as firefighting). This solidified my belief that training methods are even more important then the style you are training.

More recently I've decided to actively peruse rank in judo. Hopefuly when I open my own club in years down the line I will remember this lesson and make sure my students don't simply listen, but do as well. I think the best way to balance this is to teach your students to not stop while you are talking. Tell them what to do, but at the same time tell them to keep doing the randori or uchikomi. Most of the time there is little need to stop them to make your point, and if they keep practicing and sparing, it will work itself out.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:17 AM   #27
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
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.
O yeah Gernot,
and then he would get new ideas in Aikiweb, he wants to share with his students - or needs to point out some of the nonsense he read here

There is nothing to say about long lectures as long as the students hav enough time to practice. If a Honbu dojo teacher talks for hours, his student will take, what he says and add other classes or move schedule. When they get advanced, they might not go there on a daily basis, but from time to time to get inspired.

But if a dojo offers only classes two days a week and one of them is mostly lecture, that is certainly not sufficient for the students, regardless of his quality of waza and lecture.

So either you talk to him and make him start with one hour of practice and then an extra lecture class, maybe after changing with some water, wiine, beer, soft drinks or even in a quite corner of a pub or restaurant, or you better look for another dojo. If you can afford it, both could be a good combination, at least for a while.

Best regards


Dirk
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:05 AM   #28
James Davis
 
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Perhaps these stories that sensei tells are designed to make us sit in seiza for a longer period of time?

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:24 AM   #29
mriehle
 
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I'm the kind of person that learns best though doing. I learned to program though doing, I learned to play guitar though doing, etc. Then after I've learned, I refine by going and getting educated. The best way I can be taught is by giving me a quick overview of my goals, some examples of how to accomplish them, and then let me practice it. After a good while of practice, give me a suggestion. Then repeat.
It's good to understand your own mode of learning. In fact, it may be critical. It's best to find a teacher who teaches in a manner compatible with your personal learning mode. Always. You can and probably will learn from someone else, but not as well.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
This solidified my belief that training methods are even more important then the style you are training.
This may be the single most important point made in Aikiweb in months, IMO.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I think the best way to balance this is to teach your students to not stop while you are talking. Tell them what to do, but at the same time tell them to keep doing the randori or uchikomi. Most of the time there is little need to stop them to make your point, and if they keep practicing and sparing, it will work itself out.
I don't think "best" is the word I would use, but it certainly is high on the list.

Another way that I have a great deal of respect for is to explain while demonstrating. Demonstration without explanation or explanation without demonstration will often leave students feeling disconnected. Demonstrate and explain, send them off to practice. After ten or so minutes, stop and refine the explanation, then send them off to practice. Repeat as needed (it's not uncommon, IME, for the second time around for practice to go 20 minutes or more without a need for interruption).

Yet another is to have a theme in classes. Some classes are about find details, others are about simple practice, others are about randori and jiyu waza. Stick to the theme. One thing I like about this approach is that sometimes the issue with talking is students talking too much, especially in the kids' classes. For simple practice classes I can say "Practice with no talking. Practice is movement, not discussion."

Yet another is to divide up the class according to the themes and stick to a strict schedule. This one, IME, helps the most with teachers who are inclined to talk too much (oh, you know, like me ). By exercising a little personal discipline to not interrupt and talk during practice time I can make lecture time more effective (and, BTW, less boring).

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Old 12-04-2006, 02:27 PM   #30
DonMagee
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I fall prey to being that student talker. I like to talk while warming up, or while sparing. It leads to lack luster performance during a very important part of my training. I have to constantly remind myself to shutup and work harder. If I can talk, i'm not working hard enough.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:41 PM   #31
mriehle
 
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Part of the problem with students talking is that - at least in Aikido - sometimes some talking is necessary. But it's just a little too easy to go from the "necessary" to the "chatter".

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Old 12-04-2006, 03:14 PM   #32
DonMagee
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

The silly part of this is I just realized when I teach here at the college (I teach computer classes) that I lecture more then I do labs. In fact out of the 3 hour class, 2 hours in lecture. I'm going to change that next semester.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:12 PM   #33
kironin
 
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
The silly part of this is I just realized when I teach here at the college (I teach computer classes) that I lecture more then I do labs. In fact out of the 3 hour class, 2 hours in lecture. I'm going to change that next semester.

quote from your students, "woo-hoo! yeah!"


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Old 12-07-2006, 12:04 AM   #34
CNYMike
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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 ?

That's just the way he is -- it's his style. Learn to love it. If you can sit cross-legged, do it. Instead of it going nuts over it, think of it as running inside joke with him. No, you're not doing techniques, but think of how much less sweaty and stinky your gi will be when you get home. There are instructors who runn off at the mouth an some who barely say five words; that's true in all the arts, not just Aikido. Don't sweat it.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:01 AM   #35
DonMagee
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
That's just the way he is -- it's his style. Learn to love it. If you can sit cross-legged, do it. Instead of it going nuts over it, think of it as running inside joke with him. No, you're not doing techniques, but think of how much less sweaty and stinky your gi will be when you get home. There are instructors who runn off at the mouth an some who barely say five words; that's true in all the arts, not just Aikido. Don't sweat it.
Except that 5-10 years to proficiency is now 10-20 years :-)

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:29 AM   #36
David Yap
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Except that 5-10 years to proficiency is now 10-20 years :-)
Then again, it could be the other way round - 10~20 years to proficiency is now 5~10 years

Most might said, "Practice makes perfect". The truth is "Perfect practice makes prefect". No point spending 10~20 years perfecting a bad habit/belief. Ultimately the teacher is in ones self. I would rather have a teacher who would explain in perfect sense than one who physically teach absolute nonsense that wouldn't work at all in a real situation.

Are you having quality time in the dojo? To each his own.

Best training.

David Y
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:50 AM   #37
CNYMike
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Except that 5-10 years to proficiency is now 10-20 years :-)
Well, it all depends on the teacher and what's being covered. I've never had an instructor in anything I do who runs off at the mouth during the whole class, but sometimes you do have to stop and explain concepts and underlying principles. Especially when you talk about things like Filipino Kali or Jun Fan Gung Fu/JKD, there's a lot of ground to cover, and in Kali, concepts and principles are as important as the techniques, perhaps moreso. Because when you understand the principles, you can come up with your own techniques!

The Aikido classes I go to are pretty "physical" -- no class eating lectures around here. But the opposite extreme of having nothing explained doesn't help. It may be good to ingraine something into your muscle memory, but not so good for understanding what you're doing.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:32 AM   #38
DonMagee
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
Then again, it could be the other way round - 10~20 years to proficiency is now 5~10 years

Most might said, "Practice makes perfect". The truth is "Perfect practice makes prefect". No point spending 10~20 years perfecting a bad habit/belief. Ultimately the teacher is in ones self. I would rather have a teacher who would explain in perfect sense than one who physically teach absolute nonsense that wouldn't work at all in a real situation.

Are you having quality time in the dojo? To each his own.

Best training.

David Y
I think a little sparing can point out bad technique faster than a lecture. I do agree that mat time with improper form is a waste of time.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:42 PM   #39
JAMJTX
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I tend to be one of those teachers. My students are under orders to cut me off.

I tend to teach technique, theory and history in class. The history includes who's who in our lineage so I sometimes go off on a tangent .. I rememeber when Sensei x showed me this technique..."

It does give them a little breather and they learn some history about our arts. But too long is not good. I have told them to say we need to get back to practice.

What we are trying to do is spend more time outside of class - like going to lunch afterwards on Saturday, and use that time for the history, theory and philosophy, etc. Maybe your teacher can try this approach.

Or he can just plan on lecture classes for those interested. They can stay for an hour after class sometimes.

Jim Mc Coy
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:19 AM   #40
mriehle
 
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Ai symbol Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I think a little sparing can point out bad technique faster than a lecture. I do agree that mat time with improper form is a waste of time.
Hmm...

Yes and no.

It's certainly true that you'll know when you get it wrong, but it doesn't follow that you'll learn how to fix it. Part of learning martial arts is learning how to learn.

When I started, I almost never had a clue why a technique I was doing didn't work. I had no realistic way to examine the process and determine the mistake. At that point, sparring alone would have done nothing but discourage me from training.

Now, when I do jiyu waza and something doesn't work, I can usually work out what the mistake is on my own. It still helps, though, to have a teacher to tell me about mistakes that he sees that I might miss. Jiyu waza is not sparring, but it's as close to it as you'll see in my school, especially when reversals are allowed (which is where the fun really begins ).

Knowing that you made a mistake is not always - or even usually - enough to know how to correct it. If you don't know how to correct your mistake, you won't learn from your mistakes, you'll just keep making them over and over again.

Amusing sidenote: I just introduced one of my nikyu junior students to jiyu waza with reversals. He enjoyed it immensely and did better than I expected him to. I expected him to do well, but he did better than that. All the gokyu students are now eager to try it. They aren't ready, though.

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Old 01-09-2007, 01:19 PM   #41
Aiki LV
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Sorry not much you can do as far as I can tell. I've had Sensei that liked to talk as well. My first Sensei would do a fair amount of talking, but I didn't mind at all I always got something from it. He was interesting to listen to. The other Sensei well.......he would just repeat the same thing over and over and over till you just could not take it anymore. He was not very articulate, so instead of being able to explain something in a different way he would just repeat himself. Eventually everyone would get tired and just nod their head whether they understood what he was saying or not. Hang in there try to pick out the good stuff and hang on to what they say it might come to make sense later.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:25 PM   #42
mriehle
 
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Jim McCoy wrote:
It does give them a little breather
This is a point I missed before and which no one has actually addressed. Sometimes the lecture is to allow students to rest.

Especially in the summer I sometimes look at the people in the class and realize they are all very near to exhaustion. With 20 minutes left in class. I need to continue to teach them in a productive way but they are not physically capable of continuing at the pace I'd originally set. There is definitely a relationship between this happening and the experience of the people I'm teaching.

I have some "stock lectures" for these situations. They're generally about five minutes long. This gives everyone a chance to catch their breath (one of the stock lectures is about breathing correctly during practice so you don't get exhausted) and then we move on to something less strenuous.

Killing your students really hampers the learning process.

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Old 09-11-2007, 11:07 PM   #43
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I guess I might be accused of talking too much during my lessons but that is very confusing to me. I have always thought of time in the Dojo with the Sensei is time for learning from the Sensei, not for practice. My parents always taught me that time with the Sensei is to watch, listen, and learn from Sensei, whether it was in regular school or in martial arts school or in any other art or learning. Practice, I was to do on my own or with my friends outside or in the Dojo during the time that was not with Sensei. Otherwise, I was told, I was wasting Sensei's time. Practice is homework, not school work. The time spent practicing in the Dojo when Sensei was there was to demonstrate what you have practiced so that Sensei can comment on what you are doing right or wrong or to give you some more tips on improvement.

However, I have amended that idea because I understand that not everyone has the ability nor the inclination to get together with another student to practice. So, I give my students some more time to practice in class and demonstrate to me in class. However, I still expect my students to practice outside those times I am teaching so that they do not waste my time when I am trying to teach them new things, not practicing old things.

If the only time you practice and do your cardio and stretching is when Sensei is teaching, how do you ever expect to improve or learn anything new? In the old days, my Senseis would come into class expecting everyone to be warmed up and stretched out and practiced so that they could demonstrate some new things and revise some old things, check during a short practice to see if most people got on the right track, then move on to something else new. Often, if something old was done, it was done to see if the students grasped more of the nuances of the technique than before. My Senseis expected everyone to do their research and practice outside their time. Often, they would show a technique once to show you possibilities, then expected you to practice it later to discover how to do what they did and to figure out how it fit with everything else they did. When I was young, I remember my father's or mother's budo lessons would only last about five or ten minutes then I would be sent off to go and practice what I was taught. They would come back in an hour or so to see if I had practiced what they taught, then correct something for a couple minutes, then I would be sent off to practice by myself again.

Are we all getting so lazy that we expect no homework?

Rock
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:44 PM   #44
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Rocky, keep talking... anyone with any sense will listen.

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:57 AM   #45
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
IAre we all getting so lazy that we expect no homework?
IMHO, yes.
We are getting so lazy that instead of "stealing" a technique to make it our own, we are expecting it to be given to us with all the practice necessary to have it already mastered, instant mastery and immediate gratification.
This is one of the reasons there is a large decline in skill.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:28 AM   #46
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

I am unfortunately quite verbose on the Tatami.

This is mostly because I suffer with a considerable lack of self-esteem and confidence. I learn by having my mistakes pointed out and my technique corrected, so I'm also always asking "what did I do wrong there, what do I need to improve here etc". Sometimes its hard to tell the two apart. No doubt once I'm a little more comfortable in the Dojo, wearing my Gi and so forth this will ease off, but at the moment, with me still being a little nervous, I chatter (though not when Sensei is talking).
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:34 AM   #47
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Also, while I'm here, I also believe in balance. I find it easier to learn if a technique is explained to me, and named. We do this because X, don't do that otherwise Y, its called Z. It breaks down into these movements blah blah blah.

Again, maybe this is just how I learn.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:43 PM   #48
Jess McDonald
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Talking is all good as long as it's content is meaningful.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:56 PM   #49
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Jess McDonald wrote: View Post
Talking is all good as long as it's content is meaningful.
The trouble with trying to find meaningfulness is that I have noticed that sometimes what my Senseis have told me does not have meaning until I am ready for it, five, ten, twenty or thirty years down the road. I have also noticed that my Senseis will sometimes keep repeating the same thing over and over "in different ways, of course" until I feel like yelling -- "Stop! I heard you the first time!" But, just as I start to think that, I realize that I might have heard but I didn't listen. Or I might have listened but I didn't understand. Or I might have understood but I still hadn't embodied that understanding. Or I might have embodied that understanding but I understood the wrong thing. Oops. Looks like I have to start all over again. "What was that you said Sensei?"

Obviously, if the Sensei figures something is worth spending time on, it is because that learning was meaningful to him or her in his or her progression. Unfortunately, we can never really judge meaningfulness to us until our lives are over. That little blip when you started up your net browser is meaningless to you until the virus eats up your hard drive. That little temporary focus problem you had with your eyes is meaningless until you get the full-blown stroke. That little momentary silence of the crickets is meaningless until . . . .

Rock
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:41 AM   #50
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Re: Have a sensei that is to verbose .

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
Rocky, keep talking... anyone with any sense will listen.
Well, I'M listening, so there goes that theory.

Michael Hacker
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