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Old 11-12-2006, 01:38 AM   #1
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Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of November 12, 2006:

Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:27 AM   #2
Amir Krause
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

I answered Yes, but my real answer is "depends and not as the only means of study".

I had an opportunity to practice in Japan in several very small groups for a month, with Shihan level teachers practicing with me or supervising the practice. In one group, there were 3 of us: The teacher 6th Dan, My brother and me (both 2nd Dan at the time) and we practiced as equals. In another case, the teacher was 8th dan and he mostly supervised the practice in a group of 5-6 people (himself and us included).

I found I progressed much faster than usual, with a great teacher (6th dan at the time and now 7th) but with a group of 10-20 practitioners in most practices. The personal attention did a lot, as did some additional circumstances (I was in Japan mostly to train and tour, no added pressures ...).


Generally speaking, I think a "one on one" or perhaps "one on two" setting (It is difficult to show a few things if there is no-one else to execute the technique on) is great and can advance students substantially as an addition to usual group practice. One should of course change partners on occasion, but this issue can be satisfied in another practice.

Amir
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:32 AM   #3
Mark Uttech
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

I don't think private lessons can do it because actual physical practice against various body types and personality types is what polishes a person's understanding and ability.

In gassho
Mark
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:04 AM   #4
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

Since to me Aikido is so much more than learning how to be proficient at technique...I think the group experience is essential.
Mary
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:28 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

Depends on the teacher, the student, and the intent.

As a general rule, no.

The group provides more opportunity to train against difference and generalize the learning. Its also provide the perspective of being the observer and learning from others (usually mine) mistakes.

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 11-12-2006, 07:52 AM   #6
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

When I trained alone with my Sensei, I always learned more than when with the group. The answer is, when with a senior person, yes in the short run. In the long run, you need the group.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:22 AM   #7
Chris Li
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
In the long run, you need the group.
I'd note that Sokaku Takeda turned out a number of highly skilled students (Morihei Ueshiba among them) relying almost entirely on one on one instruction.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-12-2006, 05:52 PM   #8
Neil Mick
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

Sometimes (weapons-katas, for example).

As such, there is no answer for me on the poll question.
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:31 PM   #9
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
I'd note that Sokaku Takeda turned out a number of highly skilled students (Morihei Ueshiba among them) relying almost entirely on one on one instruction.
Best,
Chris
I believe we agreed on that point.

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
When I trained alone with my Sensei, I always learned more than when with the group. The answer is, when with a senior person, yes...

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:37 PM   #10
Chris Li
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
I believe we agreed on that point.
I was talking about the "in the long run" part. My point was that some of Takeda's top students (including Morihei Ueshiba) were never trained in a group environment for any significant portion of their development.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-12-2006, 08:59 PM   #11
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
I was talking about the "in the long run" part. My point was that some of Takeda's top students (including Morihei Ueshiba) were never trained in a group environment for any significant portion of their development.

Best,

Chris
I would counter that Ueshiba trained with his many students and developed himself in that fashion. Instructors like Yamada sensei who left the Hombu after 6 or 7 years to become instructors have vastly improved their skills in the last 40 years. They did so because they were professional nages doing techniques to many different people. To me that's a group.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:31 PM   #12
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

We tend to reserve 1:1 for test coaching and the like.

Jeanne
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:01 PM   #13
Chris Li
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
I would counter that Ueshiba trained with his many students and developed himself in that fashion. Instructors like Yamada sensei who left the Hombu after 6 or 7 years to become instructors have vastly improved their skills in the last 40 years. They did so because they were professional nages doing techniques to many different people. To me that's a group.
Takeda, of course, also trained groups, but never seriously - and he seemed to do OK. In any case, individual instruction was much more common than group instruction in many ryuha for hundreds of years, and they seemed to do OK as well, which would seem to obviate any requirement for group lessons in order to progress.

There's no question that training with a variety of people is going to be of benefit. Whether or not that training is best conducted in the context of a group lesson is much more problematic. Takeda promoted some 30 or so people to kyoju dairi, so he obviously trained with a variety of students - but he trained with them, for the most part, one at a time.

Now, even if you accept that Yamada (for example) was still a "student" for those years of leading practice, the question should really be which would have benefitted him more - 40 years of leading group practices, or 40 years of one-on-one instruction with Morihei Ueshiba (since the original question was which method was of greater benefit).

Best,

Chris


Best,

Chris

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Old 11-13-2006, 12:01 AM   #14
Amir Krause
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

As should have been implied by my previous answer. I think an "either or" approach is not the best one, instead, the ideal is a question of adjusting the dosage to the student, and most lessons would be best in a "one on two" cofiguration, when the Sensei can also show you things on another.


Amir
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:32 AM   #15
Amanda
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

I think one on two is probably more useful but generally a group is a more active environment.
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:06 AM   #16
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
I'd note that Sokaku Takeda turned out a number of highly skilled students (Morihei Ueshiba among them) relying almost entirely on one on one instruction.Best, Chris
Where does this statement come from? Admittedly I'm not an Aikido historian, but I always thought that Takeda roamed around and taught various seminars. And when not teaching in the big seminar fashion would run various "courses" for small groups [2-5] folks. If it was one on one instruction, what was it like? Takeda would throw Ueshiba and then Ueshiba would turn around and throw Takeda? I would imagine Takeda, Ueshiba and at least another body. Then Takeda would throw Ueshiba and then Ueshiba would throw the other body. Weapons practice would be different, but I could not imagine Takeda allowing Ueshiba to pin him. That's just my own imagination though, reality may have been much different...

Last edited by Joe Bowen : 11-13-2006 at 08:07 AM. Reason: bad grammar?
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:14 AM   #17
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

That statement was probably borne out of the time Ueshiba spent living with Takeda in Hokaido. There was probably a period of a few years where the two lived together and trained in some fashion. I don't believe there are any records of what that training consisted of though. There was also time spent in Ayabe where Takeda was teaching Ueshiba. While most of the students of Takeda were indeed taught in seminar fashion, you'll find that his top students were either getting one on one time with him somehow, or were travelling with him as assistant instructors for a time. One notable exception could be the Asahi Newspaper Dojo group, which started training with Ueshiba, then switched to Takeda later on. Check aikidojournal.com for more info, and the books of Stan Pranin as well.

Best,
Ron

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Old 11-13-2006, 09:08 AM   #18
Chris Li
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote:
Where does this statement come from? Admittedly I'm not an Aikido historian, but I always thought that Takeda roamed around and taught various seminars. And when not teaching in the big seminar fashion would run various "courses" for small groups [2-5] folks. If it was one on one instruction, what was it like? Takeda would throw Ueshiba and then Ueshiba would turn around and throw Takeda? I would imagine Takeda, Ueshiba and at least another body. Then Takeda would throw Ueshiba and then Ueshiba would throw the other body. Weapons practice would be different, but I could not imagine Takeda allowing Ueshiba to pin him. That's just my own imagination though, reality may have been much different...
Takeda ran a lot of seminars, quite often large ones for the police, but those were almost always short term one or two day affairs, done mostly for the income. Training with the people who were his long term students was almost always one on one.

Takeda never had his own dojo, students would travel to see him, or would see him when he came into town, so there weren't that many cases when there were many people with him at a time. Two of Takeda's top students, Sagawa and Ueshiba, for example, never really met at all until long after he passed away - even though their study covered exactly the same period of time under Takeda.

One student of Takeda (I can't recall the name now) recalled how Takeda would come into town, rent a small room at an inn, and then the two of them would go into his hotel room to train for hours at a time.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-13-2006, 09:25 AM   #19
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Takeda, of course, also trained groups, but never seriously - and he seemed to do OK. In any case, individual instruction was much more common than group instruction in many ryuha for hundreds of years, and they seemed to do OK as well, which would seem to obviate any requirement for group lessons in order to progress.

There's no question that training with a variety of people is going to be of benefit. Whether or not that training is best conducted in the context of a group lesson is much more problematic. Takeda promoted some 30 or so people to kyoju dairi, so he obviously trained with a variety of students - but he trained with them, for the most part, one at a time.

Now, even if you accept that Yamada (for example) was still a "student" for those years of leading practice, the question should really be which would have benefitted him more - 40 years of leading group practices, or 40 years of one-on-one instruction with Morihei Ueshiba (since the original question was which method was of greater benefit).

Best,

Chris

Chris
I'm not sure about that since my teacher believes that you don't learn from being taught but by yourself. Some people that trained with O Sensei aren't very good and others are great. That may not have been because of him but because of their own efforts. As I said before though, I always learned more when I trained one on one with my Sensei.

Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:34 AM   #20
Chris Li
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student mor

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
I'm not sure about that since my teacher believes that you don't learn from being taught but by yourself. Some people that trained with O Sensei aren't very good and others are great. That may not have been because of him but because of their own efforts. As I said before though, I always learned more when I trained one on one with my Sensei.

Best,
Of course, if their efforts weren't great under Ueshiba there's not much reason to believe that their efforts would have any better in a group lesson (although most of Ueshiba's students actually learned in group fashion anyway).

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-14-2006, 08:48 AM   #21
Takumi
 
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Do symbol Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

I believe it is important to have group lesons because the bigger picture of Aikido is not the technique. When you practice with different uke, you can see what Aikido is truly about and see how it affects people differently. Hense the "do" part of Aikido, which means "the way", not "technique".

One on one lessons seem to me to be more about technique.
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:30 PM   #22
Cary James Barrett
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

IMHO, my answer would have to be neither of the given options. I'd say the very small group lessons are the most conducive to effective learning.

On average, the Aikijutsu Dojo where I study will have 4 - 6 students [includes two black belt students] in any given class. This small number of students affords a lot of individual attention can be given by the head sensi during the 2.5 hour class.

BTW, this is my first post on AikiWeb Aikido Forums.
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:45 PM   #23
raul rodrigo
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Re: Poll: Do you think private "one on one" lessons in aikido benefit the student more than regular group lessons?

The biggest jump in my own growth occurred during a time when there was a small core group of six in my dojo. We did every session in round robin format, we attacked with real spirit, and we could throw anyone without having to hold back. At a smaller number, say three, we would have trouble keeping up the high energy level for 90 minutes. At a larger number, particularly if there were white belts, the energy level would also break down because the kohai would be struggling with the waza and the flow and spontaneity would be lost. At that point it was better to pair up again.
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