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Old 05-01-2007, 12:46 PM   #1
"Not Telling!"
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Unhappy Training

I'm having a bit of a hard time training with one of my aikicolleagues.

We are the same grade (pick a kyu!) and have been training for the same period of time but somehow i pick things up faster than he can and have thrown myself heart and soul into aiki. Whilst i'd like to think that we are equals on the mat, if i am honest i'd have to say that i was "better". I think because of this he assumes that i don't need the same amount of practice as he does. In practice this presents itself as me being uke for him more or less the whole training slot. I don't mind taking ukemi for him as it is good training none the less, but i need to practice as nage just as much as he does.
It's getting really frustrating, which i know is one of my short-comings as a person, i try to give him pointers here and there (the wise and powerful aikidoka that i am ) but things don't stick and he constantly makes the same mistakes over and over again. Then, after his 10th or so go, i'll get a turn! But only once or twice as i can usually manage to do something like it is supposed to be! And even if i don't i won't give up the technique 3/4 of the way from finish!! Then it's back to him. It's getting to the stage when i want just to fall over and say "yeah that was good" rather than the usual kind of resistance we push each other with to learn good technique.

A bit of a rant I know, but airing these things is a bit of a therapy and i certainly don't want to bitch about him in the locker room after training.

Have any of you had similar experiences?

What i thought might be a possible solution would be simply to "formalise" our training e.g. two goes on left, on right then swap over. That way i think we'll use the time a bit better too!

Your thoughts would be very much appreciated.

In aiki

Mr. Tooscaredtousemyname
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:03 PM   #2
Bronson
 
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Re: Training

Formalized sets of techniques is definitely one way to go and I think many dojo follow that example.

You could also ask to be nage first.

You could also just say "hey, it's my turn now."

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."
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:15 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Training

One, you are not responsible for his training, his progress, etc. As long as you are not being endangered by a training parter, the rest is IMO an opportunity to learn SOMEthing.
2, in most dojos I've trained at, the usual is for people to take a set # of turns then change roles. I guess if this is not the norm where you are, you either have to accept that you will learn something (being a good uke? patience?) from this partner or else find a way to not train w/ him.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:18 PM   #4
Mark Uttech
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Re: Training

Most dojos follow the '4 turns each' formula, and it seems to work. So, the '4 turns each' formula seems to be some sort of aikido icon. Also, there is a saying of O Sensei that is quoted often with regard to training: "Aikido is not about correcting others, but about correcting yourself."

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:36 AM   #5
Edward
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Re: Training

Do you mean you have no other partners? Training with only one partner all the time is not very good for your progreesion anyway. You should be training with as many partners as possible.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:28 AM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: Training

IMHO, train with some one else, ask Sensei to announce the 4 times rule, or shut up and practice ukemi teaching you humility, compassion, and patience (far greater skills).

I think your situation is very common and frustrating.

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 05-02-2007, 07:26 AM   #7
"Not Telling!"
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Re: Training

Often is the case that the answers were already known to me; i think i just needed a bit of a rant.

For the next couple of sessions I think I will say that I will just take ukemi, in fact i'll just speak to him about it! We get on reasonably well so i don't think there'd be an issue. Plus (with the benefit of post-rant hindsight) i really could do with practice taking ukemi whereas he could do with more practice as nage... but it could be counter productive... over analysing a situation me thinks.. i'll just dig deep and train hard!!

I was also curious to see if anyone is currently in the same situation.

To answer some of your questions: Yes i do train with other people but our class is small and when we split into grading groups there are only 2 of us in our grade

Mr. Seiser, i have seen your various posts and please know i am speaking true when i say thanks for telling me to shut up!

Many thanks

Mr Tooscaredtousemyname
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:27 AM   #8
SeiserL
 
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Re: Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Mr. Seiser, i have seen your various posts and please know i am speaking true when i say thanks for telling me to shut up!
It is my most frequently repeated lesson myself.
"Just shut up and train."

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 05-02-2007, 09:29 AM   #9
odudog
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Re: Training

One would hope that your friend would notice the disperity in amount of attempts that he gets vs. your attempts. It is not fair for him to get all the practice. To make sure that this kept to a minimum, you should do 4 tries then switch. When I teach, I tell the class that they have 4 tries then switch & that there are no do-overs. I think this helps them to concentrate to try their best on doing the technique right the first time for they aren't going to get to do do-overs if they have to use this on the street. He could learn a lot more by being uke as well.
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:54 AM   #10
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: Training

Perhaps you could try to convince him of the importance of being uke in ones aikido development.

With being uke I do not only mean the falling part, but also the attack, and most importantly the receiving of the technique.
Being able to feel what tori is doing to your body will give you the hinds of what needs to be done when you are tori yourself.
You first need to be aware of what certain technique does to your body before you can apply it to someone else.

This will give you the opportunity to practise more being tori, and will hopefully help your friend with his aikido as well.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:23 PM   #11
heathererandolph
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Re: Training

Maybe he's not doing well because your ukemi is not what it could be.
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Old 05-04-2007, 06:26 AM   #12
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Re: Training

My ukemi is far from good, i know this; hence why i will be using the practice much more effectively. I think it is a common beginners mistake to see ukemi simply as rolling around but if i don't feel the need to roll i don't.

Mr Tooscaredtousemyname
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:04 AM   #13
heathererandolph
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Re: Training

Sometimes when I don't roll --if I don't feel off balance -- I've actually offended fellow students. I know I'm very grounded, something we learn in Aikido, but on the other hand it's easy to fall into the habit of not extending on one's attack and being off balance for the nage. What I meant by ukemi was attacking all together, not just rolling. There is a lot of debate over weather being a great uke or great nage is an either/or situation, but I don't want to start that debate!
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:10 AM   #14
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
My ukemi is far from good, i know this; hence why i will be using the practice much more effectively. I think it is a common beginners mistake to see ukemi simply as rolling around but if i don't feel the need to roll i don't.

Mr Tooscaredtousemyname
Hello,

I would ask if your instructor has seen the problems that caused you to start this thread.

A second question is whether as a beginner, you receive any ukemi training, specifically focussed as the mechanics of the ukemi, rather than training on how to take ukemi, in order to blend with the partner who is throwing you.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:04 AM   #15
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
My ukemi is far from good, i know this; hence why i will be using the practice much more effectively. I think it is a common beginners mistake to see ukemi simply as rolling around but if i don't feel the need to roll i don't.

Mr Tooscaredtousemyname
I think it is a mistake to assume that we can evaluate anyone elses training, fully.One does not know the content of that persons life, and make no mistake, it is their whole life they are working when they are on the mat. Unless, of course, one comprehends all of the myriad dimensions of the inner and outer. I most particularly feel it is a mistake, although you are most likely to commit this error, when you are a youngster in the art ( oh, say, the first 10 years of practice) to rest on your own understanding. Lynn used a beautiful, and under-utilized expression, "shut-up and train".

I would add to that "open-up and train".
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:36 AM   #16
Mark Uttech
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Re: Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
My ukemi is far from good, i know this; hence why i will be using the practice much more effectively. I think it is a common beginners mistake to see ukemi simply as rolling around but if i don't feel the need to roll i don't.
'Not feeling the need to roll' is actually a little wake-up call that occurs early in everyone's training. You need to know that you are training your body, not 'what you think about what you need'. Of course, ukemi is not 'simply as rolling around', but what are you practicing for? I have watched people who get into the habit of not rolling. Their practice also begins to drop off. The dojo becomes some social place to hang out. Practice even begins to become a bit of a bore. In any practice, you need to make a great effort in the beginning until the practice becomes part of you. In practice, 'nage' continually gives 'uke' the opportunity to roll. The opportunity is a gift. In practice, all sorts of giving and receiving is continually going on, and that is what practice is.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:00 AM   #17
Edward
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Re: Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
My ukemi is far from good, i know this; hence why i will be using the practice much more effectively. I think it is a common beginners mistake to see ukemi simply as rolling around but if i don't feel the need to roll i don't.

Mr Tooscaredtousemyname
I hope you are not one of those Uke who don't deliver honest attacks. If your attack is correct, you HAVE to roll even when Nage's technique is poor. The way I see it, aikido is about being generous on the mats. Uke teaches Nage by taking the right course and thus guiding Nage into the right direction. By refusing to take Ukemi, all what you do is make Nage more obstinated to make the technique work and you won't have time to do the Nage role.
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Old 05-11-2007, 03:30 AM   #18
"Not Telling!"
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Re: Training

No Edward I am not "one of those ukes"...

I attack with conviction and never "refuse" to take ukemi.

Your comment on having to roll, even if the technique is poor, IMO is not correct. Please don't judge our style with your style; if your ukes freely give away their centre then fair enough, it is a good way to train. We train differently.

Many thanks

Mr. Tooscaredtousemyname
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:17 AM   #19
Mark Uttech
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Re: Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
No Edward I am not "one of those ukes"...

I attack with conviction and never "refuse" to take ukemi.

Mr. Tooscaredtousemyname
This post seems to completely contradict your first post.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:31 AM   #20
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Re: Training

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
This post seems to completely contradict your first post.

In gassho,

Mark
I never said that i don't attack with conviction nor that i refuse to take ukemi.

I thought i might get some help from more experienced aikidoka and have in part. However, i do not find the last couple of posts helpful in the slightest.
Consider this thread closed because i have a feeling it will deteriorate into something it was never intended for
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:04 PM   #21
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I never said that i don't attack with conviction nor that i refuse to take ukemi.

I thought i might get some help from more experienced aikidoka and have in part. However, i do not find the last couple of posts helpful in the slightest.
Consider this thread closed because i have a feeling it will deteriorate into something it was never intended for
Don't take it so personally if you can help it. The people here only have a glimpse of you through a little post and all of our thoughts are in development also. Take what seems helpful and don't judge the rest too harshly. Who knows, one of the things you like hearing the least may be your best allie down the road.

And, I said it above, and I'll say it different again; Beginners mind is the blessed state of the beginner and the location we are all seeking to return to, ultimately. So, ease off of your need to know so much while you have a big fat permission slip to do so.

Hang in there!

One practical thought. Practice solo movements of technique as Kata. Practice Ukemi on your own (rolling and committing energy forward and backward) and then feel that sensation when you are practicing with whoever.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-11-2007 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:29 AM   #22
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Re: Training

Thanks for that.

I'll admit I did take the comments a bit personally.

A permission slip to screw up... i like the sound of that!

Many thanks
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:58 AM   #23
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Training

Actually, I wrote a much longer post, in succession to my earlier one (Post #14), but did not send it. In view of the development of the thread, I did not want to be misconstrued.

In your first post you did not mention your actual grade, nor the number of people in the dojo, nor the kind of instructor you have. Your grade might not matter generally, but to me, as an instructor whose time is taken up teaching beginners in a small class (10 - 15 students, all 5th kyu to 1st kyu: I exclude visiting yudansha), it is a rough indication of a band of skill levels. The kind of instructor you have also matters, because the teaching style varies greatly. My instructor colleagues give longer explanations than I do, but we all monitor very closely what happens during training and also join in the training: we do not just 'teach' and stand around watching.

So, I am surprised that your instructor has not noticed, or, if she/he has noticed, has done nothing to rectify the situation.

I second Jennifer Paige Smith's post (#21), especially the points about what we know about you in an Internet forum and the need to train ukemi on your own. I used to make several return journeys up and down the dojo, suwari-waza mae ukemi, suwari-waza ushiro ukemi, tachi-waza mae ukemi, tachiwaza ushiro ukemi, and then breakfalls using a jo.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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