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Old 01-14-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
Joseph Madden
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Another controversial question....

That's mainly directed towards the sensei and seniors on the forum.

Do you honestly feel that the very best students at your respective dojos leave? Do those students that show the greatest "physical" abilities in the art, an almost innate sense of timing and technique leave far earlier than the merely adequate students.

Feel free to give examples if you wish. Also note that this question merely pertains to physical abilities and has no spiritual side.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:28 PM   #2
crbateman
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Re: Another controversial question....

I personally have not noted a correlation between attrition and natural talent level, except that there is probably a higher dropout rate among those who totally do not "get it". I can't say as I blame them. Among the talented, there does seem to be an increased desire to broaden the horizons, which I think is a healthy thing, even though it means that desire to experience the training in other places, and from other teachers, might become a natural outgrowth of that desire.

As an instructor, all one can do is try to pass on the teaching in the best way one can. It is pointless not to expect students to go their own paths when they feel it's right. The best tribute an instructor can hope to get is that his students go on to exceed him, as much is owed to his training in encouraging them and making a pathway for that success.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:43 PM   #3
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Joseph Madden wrote: View Post
That's mainly directed towards the sensei and seniors on the forum.

Do you honestly feel that the very best students at your respective dojos leave? Do those students that show the greatest "physical" abilities in the art, an almost innate sense of timing and technique leave far earlier than the merely adequate students.

Feel free to give examples if you wish. Also note that this question merely pertains to physical abilities and has no spiritual side.
What I have seen, is people with those abilities, trying to become instructors too soon. Not everyone with those abilities, can transmit the art to other students. Even some of them who can, try to do so, while at the same time, they themselves stop training.

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:35 AM   #4
Aikibu
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
What I have seen, is people with those abilities, trying to become instructors too soon. Not everyone with those abilities, can transmit the art to other students. Even some of them who can, try to do so, while at the same time, they themselves stop training.
I completely Agree. This is another aspect of Black Belt Disease IMO. Being an old school guy... I was taught that you never ever teach unless you are givin specific permission to do so...Now I know that there can be allot of abuse with this "old school philosophy" but I am lucky with my Aikido Sensei's in that regard. Nishio Shihan asked, was granted, and even encouraged to develop his style by O'Sensei and a Generation Later Maszu Tazaki Sensei asked for and was givin permission by Nishio Shihan to develop his own style and organization.

I hope I am not being too glib by saying this but some "black belts" are too quick to respect the power of the dollar over the heritage of the Art they practice.

William Hazen
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
I hope I am not being too glib by saying this but some "black belts" are too quick to respect the power of the dollar over the heritage of the Art they practice.
One can make money teaching aikido
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:56 AM   #6
Aikibu
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
One can make money teaching aikido
One can make money teaching anything provided one is a good teacher and (in our economy) a great salesperson.

William Hazen
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:55 PM   #7
Stefan Stenudd
 
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When they hit the wall

In my experience, many particularly talented students drop out when they find that in spite of their talent, they need to do a lot of keiko in order to develop further.

Although they fly forward the first few years, as if they had it all inside of them to begin with, one day they hit the wall that talent is not enough to break through. We all do.
The most talented ones are completely unprepared for it, and might leave in pure disappointment.
But those who had to struggle from day one, they just frown and go on.

Indeed, there are drawbacks to talent, as well.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
crbateman
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Re: When they hit the wall

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Indeed, there are drawbacks to talent, as well.
Granted, but still the more desirable predicament, methinks...
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:14 PM   #9
Joseph Madden
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Re: Another controversial question....

Thanks for the responses.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:46 AM   #10
edshockley
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Re: Another controversial question....

I don't mean to extend the thread but I must say that my experience is markedly different. The senior students who have left our dojo, with a single exception, have moved on because of graduating school, children, relocating. I can less authoritatively say the same for Aikido School of Central Ohio where I have visited twice per year for nearly a decade and am welcomed by the same faces. Whenever I encounter a warm and competent sensei then I find students who visit other locations and even cross train but they wouldn't dream of leaving their home.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:18 PM   #11
Takuan
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Re: Another controversial question....

This is a funny question. The good students - by definition - should never leave!! We're talking about a path more than anything else. Anyone who has an understanding of it should know that it will take a lifetime of training to reach anything at all.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:14 AM   #12
David Yap
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Re: Another controversial question....

Another controversial answer...

Quote:
That's mainly directed towards the sensei and seniors on the forum
This is my 15th year as an aikido student. I think I am qualified to be called a senior.

Quote:
Do those students that show the greatest "physical" abilities in the art, an almost innate sense of timing and technique leave far earlier than the merely adequate students.
I left earlier...
I think I am qualified too, probably reached this level about the 3rd or 4th year (can't say to what extend). I have been training karate for about 21 years when I began aikido. A late starter at aikido at 36 years young, I approached the art with a mindset of adapting to a different set of rules of engagements -- what would do if I was forbidden to use my strikes and kicks. During these past 15 years, I have moved dojos X times and have trained with X different instructors. There was a break in training due to career and relocation move and at times even contemplations to drop out of aikido completely (due mainly to the spiritual factor -- can't reconcile the dojo spirit to the dojo kun, presently still can't).

My definition of a teacher covers both having physical abilities and spiritual leadership. Being an objective person, I set training goals for myself. During this period I have also lost two teachers on my aikido path -- one returned to his country of residence and other was called to the Lord.

Besides losing these teachers, the primary reason for my moving dojo is: The instructor does not have the means to help me achieve my goals and on the worst side, I find that his instructions (physical) and interpretations (spiritual) of the art set me back further up the path. There is a martial saying, "its better not to train if you have not found a teacher".

Quote:
One can make money teaching anything provided one is a good teacher and (in our economy) a great salesperson.
A clues salesperson…
We have always been told that aikido means different things to different people. Various people have various reasons/objectives to step on the mats. Critically, the aikido instructor himself must have an ethical reason to be there. If he himself is clueless and goalless but set strongly in his own belief and ego, then how would you expect him to lead and control his class? IMO, his techniques (or rather his instructions) and his understanding of the concepts and principles of aikido must be consistent.

Quote:
…But those who had to struggle from day one, they just frown and go on…
For the better or worst…
At one the dojo, an instructor would show long and fancy techniques; techniques that appeared more likely to have come out from the YouTube's Judo or Shorinji Kempo video clips, techniques that only he could perform but of high injury risk to the uke. These instructions (performances ratherr) do not help me to improve my aikido in any way. The nature of his instructions is that he keeps showing variants of the technique (sort of like he made them up as he moved along -- formless aikido, so he said) and most students hardly have a clue and emulate him in the crudest manner heightening the risk factor…and they continue to emulate him and perform his brand of aikido at every opportunity… There is another saying, "One judges the quality of the teacher by the quality of his students". Some view it as good aikido and some as bad. Different sticks for different strokes (sic).

Quote:
This is a funny question. The good students - by definition - should never leave!!
To be fair, my views are based on PAST experience. Instructors are students too and we could have trained together at the beginning of our paths. Some may have gone further up the spiral and some are in moving in circles still searching for the clue. Unlike the contestants in the Amazing Race TV series, there is no time frame or elimination. The contestants list just keeps growing longer until it is taken off the air.

For your controversial thread, it's my controversial 2sen experience.

Regards

David Y
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:07 AM   #13
Joseph Madden
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Re: Another controversial question....

Thanks for being honest David.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:25 AM   #14
Aikibu
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
Another controversial answer...

This is my 15th year as an aikido student. I think I am qualified to be called a senior.

I left earlier...
I think I am qualified too, probably reached this level about the 3rd or 4th year (can't say to what extend). I have been training karate for about 21 years when I began aikido. A late starter at aikido at 36 years young, I approached the art with a mindset of adapting to a different set of rules of engagements -- what would do if I was forbidden to use my strikes and kicks. During these past 15 years, I have moved dojos X times and have trained with X different instructors. There was a break in training due to career and relocation move and at times even contemplations to drop out of aikido completely (due mainly to the spiritual factor -- can't reconcile the dojo spirit to the dojo kun, presently still can't).

My definition of a teacher covers both having physical abilities and spiritual leadership. Being an objective person, I set training goals for myself. During this period I have also lost two teachers on my aikido path -- one returned to his country of residence and other was called to the Lord.

Besides losing these teachers, the primary reason for my moving dojo is: The instructor does not have the means to help me achieve my goals and on the worst side, I find that his instructions (physical) and interpretations (spiritual) of the art set me back further up the path. There is a martial saying, "its better not to train if you have not found a teacher".
I have been in the Martial Arts over 30 years at that is the first time I have heard this...But hey whatever works for you spiritually...A teacher is a guide nothing more...As you infer in your own post once you reach a certain point the responsibility to grow in your practice is all yours...

Quote:
A clues salesperson…
We have always been told that aikido means different things to different people. Various people have various reasons/objectives to step on the mats. Critically, the aikido instructor himself must have an ethical reason to be there. If he himself is clueless and goalless but set strongly in his own belief and ego, then how would you expect him to lead and control his class? IMO, his techniques (or rather his instructions) and his understanding of the concepts and principles of aikido must be consistent.
No argument there but this is America You can have all the Skill Talent and Spirit in the World and still starve...I think you've read into my glib answer a bit too much but still your response is valid...If you lived out here in Malibu and worked in the entertainment biz you might understand what I am talking about...

Steven Seagal's Son is now opening an Aikido Dojo out here in LA. Looking at his webpage might give you the gist of what I am talking about.

Quote:
For the better or worst…
At one the dojo, an instructor would show long and fancy techniques; techniques that appeared more likely to have come out from the YouTube's Judo or Shorinji Kempo video clips, techniques that only he could perform but of high injury risk to the uke. These instructions (performances ratherr) do not help me to improve my aikido in any way. The nature of his instructions is that he keeps showing variants of the technique (sort of like he made them up as he moved along -- formless aikido, so he said) and most students hardly have a clue and emulate him in the crudest manner heightening the risk factor…and they continue to emulate him and perform his brand of aikido at every opportunity… There is another saying, "One judges the quality of the teacher by the quality of his students". Some view it as good aikido and some as bad. Different sticks for different strokes (sic).
Thus reinforcing what O'Sensei said about relying on Teachers too much.

Quote:
To be fair, my views are based on PAST experience. Instructors are students too and we could have trained together at the beginning of our paths. Some may have gone further up the spiral and some are in moving in circles still searching for the clue. Unlike the contestants in the Amazing Race TV series, there is no time frame or elimination. The contestants list just keeps growing longer until it is taken off the air.
And thus as it has been said before in many ways Martial "Arts" like Aikido imitate life.It is the Artist who determines the course of his "Art."

Thanks for sharing.

William Hazen
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:58 PM   #15
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Another controversial question....

In theory, a "great" student of martial arts is a student who studies broadly outside of just Aikido, so saying that great students are those who stick in Aikido is a bit of an oxymoron.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:32 PM   #16
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Steven Seagal's Son is now opening an Aikido Dojo out here in LA. Looking at his webpage might give you the gist of what I am talking about.
Do you have a link?
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:45 PM   #17
Joseph Madden
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Re: Another controversial question....

The primary reason behind the question is that I've heard several senseis discuss various students and how some with "the way," at least from a physical sense, left their dojos long before they reached any level other than 5th kyu. It may be because they simply became bored. It maybe this was all they needed from aikido. One of those students I have discovered may have in fact been a famous student of ballet, just before he left Toronto for New York. I just often wonder how many truly gifted wanderers there are.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:55 PM   #18
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Joseph Madden wrote: View Post
I just often wonder how many truly gifted wanderers there are.
We're all gifted wanderer's.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:36 PM   #19
Aikibu
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Do you have a link?
http://tenshinclub.com/

Thanks to the Aikido Journal for the original heads up.

William Hazen
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:41 PM   #20
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
One time registration – lifetime membership
$50.00
The Lessons
3 times a week
$160.00 per month
Once a week
$80.00 per month
Um...
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #21
Aikibu
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Um...
Need help with the math?

William Hazen
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:59 PM   #22
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
In theory, a "great" student of martial arts is a student who studies broadly outside of just Aikido, so saying that great students are those who stick in Aikido is a bit of an oxymoron.
I disagree. I don't think simply sticking with Aikido precludes "great" studentry (that's a word isn't it? ) in the martial arts. You might make the argument that someone would need to experience other martial arts too, but sticking with Aikido would imply to me that the theoretical student ssimply enoyed whatever Aikido had to offer.
Although in a different sense I'd agree with you. I don't think any great student rests on any one thing, be it a style of martial art or any other school of thought or discipline. In my mind, the essence of being a "great" student, whatever that is, has to do with absorbing and internalizing everything possible. This means there will always be some degree of hopping around in order to cross reference what they've learned so far.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:05 PM   #23
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Um...
Heheheh...those are some premium prices to say the least.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:00 PM   #24
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
In theory, a "great" student of martial arts is a student who studies broadly outside of just Aikido, so saying that great students are those who stick in Aikido is a bit of an oxymoron.
oops...sorry, I think I misread you in my earlier post.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:12 AM   #25
lbb
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Re: Another controversial question....

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Heheheh...those are some premium prices to say the least.
I bet he's got enough people paying them, though. Either that, or it'll be yet another glam gym that folded after less than a year in operation.
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