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Old 01-06-2007, 08:20 PM   #26
L. Camejo
 
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Re: What is appropriate?

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
I asked this question of the group because I openly disagreed with a senior Shihan here on the web.
Once respect was maintained I see no issue with this. If the Shihan could not deal constructively with a simple question I'd immediately start questioning his knowledge level and maturity. It's one thing to be put off by nosey beginners asking a thousand "What if.." questions but serious questions directly related to training and one's development in their chosen Budo should be at least considered, even if not answered directly. I've found that there are Sensei who react negatively, even get visibly disturbed by some questions not because of beginner over enthusiasm or someone asking things to which the answers are obvious, but they often react negatively because they simply do not know the answer and are at that time forced to look at their own limitations and shortcomings.
Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Some people feel this would immediately be wrong by definition. Some people felt it was ok to do, but I had to be willing to face some possible (violent) consequences. Some people felt it was my responsibility to do, as long as I was respectful. Some felt that I was trying to 'trip up' the Shihan for egoic purposes.
Why would you need to face violent consequences? Were you incorrect or misinformed in the information that fueled your disagreement? Was the subject of disagreement regarding Aikido matters? If the answer to the 2 above is no then I think the Shihan would be very wrong (and criminally culpable if resorting to violence) to serve up any sort of retribution. Many Sensei and Shihan tend to forget that the only area of expertise that really matters when in the dojo is their Budo expertise, everything else is challengeable, though with respect.
Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Personally, I feel that an instructor, teacher, preacher, doctor, therapist, parent, ad nauseum, is responsible to Offer their teaching. I am Fully responsible for my own learning. That makes the instructor merely a catalyst. I could learn perfect aiki from a mediocre instructor - because my true instructor is my body acting within this life.
I'd partially agree here. Practice makes permanent, but only perfect practice makes perfect. Learning from someone with mediocre abilities can set you back many years in having to unlearn the bs previously taught and then having to re-learn things from scratch. Not a good thing if one values one's time and money.

Just a few thoughts.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:59 PM   #27
Mike Galante
Dojo: Aikido of North Jersey
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Cool Re: What is appropriate?

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
This is a problem of the Western Mind.
In traditional Eastern cultures, one never questions one's senior, and only does what he is told to do. It's very much a rote approach that is meant to ingrain basic movements and actions. In the West, analytical thought and questioning is usually encouraged and expected. We tend to overthink everything, which can be detrimental to learning physical skills or a fundamental philosophy and way of thought.

Remember Karate Kid, yeah, the "wax on, wax off" and "you paint fence -- up, down"? The movie may be corny and now cliched, but there is a basic truth in it. Miyaga was peeved when his young "deshi" impatiently demanded to know the purpose of the exercises he was being made to do. The idea was, "do as I say now, and understand later." If you ask too many questions, you get lost in analysis and fail to simply "do" and absorb. Teachers of traditional Asian martial arts expect you to trust their knowledge and wisdom to learn the basics. Much later, when you are a "martial adult" and have a solid foundation from which to speak, they will likely be more open to the urgent questions. Just as parents will tell complex truths to their adult children, after having withheld them from young children whom they felt were not ready to understand those truths.
AMEN- well said.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:28 PM   #28
natasha cebek
 
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Re: What is appropriate?

ditto

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Old 01-07-2007, 05:03 PM   #29
Adam Alexander
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Re: What is appropriate?

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
I am 43, quite bright analytically (I have a Master of Arts Degree) and as socially clueless as one can be and still hold down a job.

When I did my BA degree we listened to professors lecture, and then were Expected to ask probing questions, and even attempt to prove some of the professor's points wrong. If we failed to ask questions we were prodded - institutionally they believed we simply were not learning if we failed to challenge them.

***My question is this - is it appropriate for me to openly disagree with someone I know to have superior rank and experience? Is there a special formula by which I can show the respect (I truly and deeply have) for these people, and then ask the most probing questions I can come up with? If Not - if this forum would be better left to those with a certain level of experience, and just read by people like me - then please tell me.

I do NOT want to make enemies. That happens as I walk through life anyway. I sincerely ask the guidance of this on-line community.

David Knowlton, aka billybob
The method you learned in school isn't appropriate for day-to-day living. You already describe that in the above post with acknowledging that you lack social skills and easily make enemies.

The method you learn in Aikido is appropriate for everyday living. Don't challenge anyone's understanding. In time, you'll understand why. And in the process of understanding, you'll learn and naturally implement the lesson.

Besides, it's just a lot of burned energy. Why worry about the opinion of a superior? If you agree, follow. If you're undecided, consider following. If you totally disagree, consider not following. Beyond that, just let it go. You've got two ears and one mouth. Listen more and let others do what's right for them.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:43 AM   #30
billybob
 
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Re: What is appropriate?

Thank you

The advice from Natasha, Cady, and especially Jean is making me quite angry - indication that it is what I need to hear.

Good training, and thanks for your help

David
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:13 AM   #31
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: What is appropriate?

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
I am 43, quite bright analytically (I have a Master of Arts Degree) and as socially clueless as one can be and still hold down a job.

When I did my BA degree we listened to professors lecture, and then were Expected to ask probing questions, and even attempt to prove some of the professor's points wrong. If we failed to ask questions we were prodded - institutionally they believed we simply were not learning if we failed to challenge them.

***My question is this - is it appropriate for me to openly disagree with someone I know to have superior rank and experience? Is there a special formula by which I can show the respect (I truly and deeply have) for these people, and then ask the most probing questions I can come up with? If Not - if this forum would be better left to those with a certain level of experience, and just read by people like me - then please tell me.

I do NOT want to make enemies. That happens as I walk through life anyway. I sincerely ask the guidance of this on-line community.

David Knowlton, aka billybob
Hello,

I think this depends on the relationship you have built up with your instructor as a result of your training.

If you do not have such a relationship, then, certainly, you can whatever questions you like, but I doubt whether they will be answered in a way that you will find imediately beneficial.

If you do have a close relationship with a teacher and you believe that both of you feel responsible for your development in the art you practice, then you can also ask questions, but your teacher will also be able to teach you the value of asking questions, or not, as part of the total training relationship.

There are various reaons why a student should ask questions of his/her sensei, not all of which involve the acquisition of knowledge. But the answering of these questrions also depends on the acquisition of the knowledge that comes from hard training.

Thus, I was once told (a) that I needed to learn more Japanese before I asked the question, and (b) to wait until I had trained more, so that I could make better use of the answer.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 01-08-2007 at 09:15 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:37 AM   #32
David Shevitz
Dojo: Aikido Kokikai South Everett
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Re: What is appropriate?

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Besides, it's just a lot of burned energy. Why worry about the opinion of a superior? If you agree, follow. If you're undecided, consider following. If you totally disagree, consider not following. Beyond that, just let it go. You've got two ears and one mouth. Listen more and let others do what's right for them.
I wish I had read these words a few weeks ago. Very well said.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:01 AM   #33
DonMagee
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Re: What is appropriate?

The biggest problem however with not asking questions and waiting is that you could spend years doing something only to find out you were lead the wrong way. At this point you are so ingrained into the system you will now adapt the cult like personality and just lie to yourself and convince yourself that what you learned was not a waste of time.

Those who doubt, ask questions, and test themselves will rarely be lead down the wrong path.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:46 AM   #34
Basia Halliop
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Re: What is appropriate?

Something I figured out in elementary school and found useful often with teachers sometimes was to reformulate a difference of opinion as a question: "I don't understand why you say A, I would have thought B for these reasons, could you explain what I'm misunderstanding?"

It was sort of a win-win situation because generally either they explained so that I understood, or they thought about it and said that I was right. And either way they found it polite and did not tend to resent my asking, provided they did have a moment to speak with me.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:48 PM   #35
DonMagee
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Re: What is appropriate?

I do the same thing. How you ask a question is very important.

For example, I would not say yonkyo sucks and doesn't work. I would say "I can't seem to get my yonkyo to work when i'm sparing. I am trying to do it like this, yet it keeps failing, what would you suggest?".

I would also not dismiss a technique unless it was so obviously flawed there was no possible logic into why it should work. Usually after a few questions and trial and error, I will put it on the back burner and come back to it after I have developed more skill. I would rather focus on basic fundamentals I know work and perfecting those then working on a technique with a lower percentage chance of working. After a while my basics will advance and I will have more skill, I can try to make the advanced technique work again.

It's not about challenging your instructor. It is about being skeptical in your own mind, testing what is presented to you, and asking questions to make sure you understand correctly.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:03 PM   #36
billybob
 
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Re: What is appropriate?

Larry Camejo wrote:
Quote:
Why would you need to face violent consequences? Were you incorrect or misinformed in the information that fueled your disagreement? Was the subject of disagreement regarding Aikido matters? If the answer to the 2 above is no then I think the Shihan would be very wrong (and criminally culpable if resorting to violence) to serve up any sort of retribution. Many Sensei and Shihan tend to forget that the only area of expertise that really matters when in the dojo is their Budo expertise, everything else is challengeable, though with respect.
Peter Goldsbury wrote:
Quote:
Thus, I was once told (a) that I needed to learn more Japanese before I asked the question, and (b) to wait until I had trained more, so that I could make better use of the answer.
I nod my head when I read what Larry wrote - I have to be humble to appreciate what Sensei Goldsbury wrote.

A master once told me a zen story that I really valued (once he had explained it to me). In the end, unlike most of the stories - both zen masters were WRONG.

In that I have to take responsibility for myself i have to take the hit in this situation.

A friend told me 'let the wookie win' in the Navy - soon before I received a beating that left me barely able to walk. Slow learner this one!

Training tonight! peace

david
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:25 AM   #37
billybob
 
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Re: What is appropriate?

I get it now. It was foolish of me to show up here and expect immediate credibility.

Please pardon a not-so-young man for a young man's mistake.

David Knowlton
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:44 AM   #38
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
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Re: What is appropriate?

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote: View Post
I get it now. It was foolish of me to show up here and expect immediate credibility.

Please pardon a not-so-young man for a young man's mistake.

David Knowlton
David, what mistake? You have a right to an opinion and the right to question anyone that is asking you to learn what they are teaching. If anyone would result to violence because of a disagreement of opinion that would be a criminal act. I would respectfully request a clarification on the issues bothering me and if he or she in not willing to do that then I would train somewhere else or cease to train with that individual. Lord knows I have had my share of heated disagreement with my teachers over the years. An airing of the issues always helped me if not them.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:07 AM   #39
billybob
 
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Re: What is appropriate?

Sensei,

Thank you so much. My error was that I failed to show the proper respect. My Sensei has helped me to realize a subtlety that most people learned around age 9 - but escaped me!

Thank you, as always, for your opinion. I hope to be able to carry forth in an honorable way as you have suggested.

David Knowlton
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