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Old 01-11-2002, 01:29 PM   #26
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You obviously like to teach your partners.

Wrong. I don't like it at all. It is the 2nd worst thing I could do in class.

If you really think that your partner is doing wrong, and you feel so benevolently compelled to correct his technique, when it's your turn to be Nage, just do the technique as correctly and as slowly as possible, and your partner will learn it from your action better than from your words.

This only works if your partner has an eye for subtle changes.

Or better call the Sensei and ask him if the technique is correct or not, and he will be very happy to explain it to both of you.

Here in America, nobody likes a tattletale.

If you don't believe me, perhaps you would believe Osensei.

Who has spent all their time training with O'Sensei's method?

O'Sensei didn't.

Who has reached O'Sensei's level, by following his training method?

Nobody.
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Old 01-11-2002, 01:58 PM   #27
Erik
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Quote:
Who has reached O'Sensei's level, by following his training method?

Nobody.
But, have they all hung from trees to try and grow taller?

I think not!

So how can you say that anyone has followed his training methods?

Or, could that be the point.

Last edited by Erik : 01-11-2002 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 01-11-2002, 02:02 PM   #28
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At Shodokan Honbu you are taught to teach almost from the beginning.

The usual situation is a static senior line and a rotating junior line with sempai expected to help their kohai progress.

Every class there is a portion reserved for grading preparation where you tend to be matched with someone two grades above or below you.

Sure you get the talkers (I was one - go figure) but eventually you want to get some practice in yourself and learn that correct one or two things and then get down to it. for some it takes a little longer to figure out and strangely I have seen people getting called on for not correcting as much as overcorrecting.

The overall atmosphere has a very low level of chatter. Most of the correction is by example anyway.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-11-2002, 02:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
(I was one - go figure)
THAT IS UNBELIEVABLE!

I, on the other hand, will sometimes keep a running conversation going while bouncing around the mat but at 600+ posts we all know I'm a veritable fountain of wisdom. Or, at least a fountain of something....
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Old 01-11-2002, 03:16 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik
THAT IS UNBELIEVABLE!

Well my only saving grace is the last time I was corrected over this by Shihan it was because I did not correct enough.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-11-2002, 04:43 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Well my only saving grace is the last time I was corrected over this by Shihan it was because I did not correct enough.
To be more serious, that was one definite difference about my visit to the Tomiki folks. I was always paired off with someone. Most classes, in my experience, tend to be fumble around affairs where everyone runs to their favorites and trains. I've gone to some places as a visitor and wound up scrambling for a partner which interestingly is usually a beginner who also didn't jump fast enough.

Personally, I don't mind working with beginners, and I'm comfortable that I do more good than bad, but it seems more than a little bit strange that a dojo would entrust a visitor, whom they don't really know, with the most important part of their crop, so to speak.

And, the idea of learning to teach from the beginning is incredibly valuable.
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Old 01-11-2002, 10:19 PM   #32
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Hi Sarah,

I don't think he would mind, since we are doing this as over time on the top of our practice

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-11-2002, 10:28 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by [Censored]
[b]
If you really think that your partner is doing wrong, and you feel so benevolently compelled to correct his technique, when it's your turn to be Nage, just do the technique as correctly and as slowly as possible, and your partner will learn it from your action better than from your words.

This only works if your partner has an eye for subtle changes.

I like to believe that if my Kohai does not understand from me showing the example, this means that he's not ready yet for the technique. I have been in situations where no matter how many times my Sempai explained a technique to me, I didn't get it. And then one day, without any obvious reason, I just got it right. I think we all have had similar experiences.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-12-2002, 10:24 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I like to believe that if my Kohai does not understand from me showing the example, this means that he's not ready yet for the technique. I have been in situations where no matter how many times my Sempai explained a technique to me, I didn't get it. And then one day, without any obvious reason, I just got it right. I think we all have had similar experiences.
I don't know, really. I'm guessing that all of the prior experiences in "not getting" the technique always helps someone "get" the technique. I don't think there's ever a time when someone "gets" something they haven't "gotten" in the past without this kind of work.

I guess I'm agreeing with George Leonard sensei who says in his book Mastery that we all encounter plateaus in our training before progress. He says that progress can not happen without these plateaus. One example he uses is that for a person who is used to playing in the 90's in golf to get his game down into the 80's, he's probably going to have to play in the 100's while he's "improving" his game.

I think that all of the training that we've done so far, whether we "understand" it or not, comes into play when we're learning something. These "sudden" spurts of improvement, in my mind, wouldn't come without periods of not "understanding."

-- Jun

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Old 01-12-2002, 10:50 AM   #35
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Hello Jun,

In fact, your reply does not contradict my view on the matter.

We all pass by these plateaux for certain techniques, and no matter what we do, we need to wait for the technique to mature in our head before we are able to do it. The duty of the Sempai is to show the technique to his Junior as correctly as he can and as often as he can, sort of showing him the good example. If he does not get it right, insisting and pressurizing him would only lead to his frustration. Just letting things fall into place naturally would be better.

My opinion is based on my own personal experience. Probably there are some people who like to be verbally taught by their Sempai during class, but not me. I prefer the more subtle way of mute demonstration

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-15-2002, 01:38 AM   #36
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Last week my game was in the 90's and now it's 100. I hope 80 rolls around soon It's really true what you say though. Right now, I'm not sure if my brain is figuring out what I was doing right or what I still need to do right. damn.

Quote:
Originally posted by akiy


I guess I'm agreeing with George Leonard sensei who says in his book Mastery that we all encounter plateaus in our training before progress. He says that progress can not happen without these plateaus. One example he uses is that for a person who is used to playing in the 90's in golf to get his game down into the 80's, he's probably going to have to play in the 100's while he's "improving" his game.

I think that all of the training that we've done so far, whether we "understand" it or not, comes into play when we're learning something. These "sudden" spurts of improvement, in my mind, wouldn't come without periods of not "understanding."

-- Jun
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Old 01-15-2002, 12:42 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
...we need to wait for the technique to mature in our head before we are able to do it. The duty of the Sempai is to show the technique to his Junior as correctly as he can and as often as he can, sort of showing him the good example.
Isn't this primarily the teacher's job? Sempai/Kohai relationships are based on a heirarchy of ability, but that does not mean the Sempai necessarily knows what they are doing, or "showing the good example". Half the battle of doing correct things is leaving out what is incorrect. I don't think we need to wait for the technique to mature only in the head, that is one of the reasons for strigent anti-verbalization used in classical Japanese disciplines. An intellectual understanding of what we are doing is necessary, but that is not the goal of training on the mat.

Quote:
Probably there are some people who like to be verbally taught by their Sempai during class, but not me. I prefer the more subtle way of mute demonstration.
I don't want to sound impolite, but I find it very hard and much more subtle to convey instruction through correct verbiage than to simply walk through the technique. Sometimes "walking the talk" is hard because we have to know how to talk correctly, and know that we can do what we are saying. Don't forget that though you may be a visual or kinesthetic learner, there are those out there who must hear things in order to grasp them completely. I live in the Southwestern United States and that is a very common trait amongst Native Americans.
Do your best to emulate your teacher's ability and articulate what you can to those who feel it important to listen. Just remember Abe Lincoln's "it is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." I sometimes think that Westerners take the "silent treatment" a bit too far and use it as an excuse to show how wise they are.

Jim Vance
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Old 01-16-2002, 01:10 AM   #38
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Hi Jim,

My actual position on this matter is even more radical. I am against any tutoring at all by students. Practice time is sacred and most valuable and should not be wasted by talking. Our purpose is to practice not to teach. We just follow the Sensei's example and try to emulate his technique as good as we can. If he finds any substantial flaw, he will come to correct it, otherwise he will let you fine-tune your technique by practice.

I have a principle NEVER to teach my partner even when he's doing wrong. And I don't want anyone to teach me even if I'm doing all wrong. There is a teacher whose duty is this very task, so leave it up to him.

Now since some people feel a great urge to teach no matter what, I prefer that they teach by action and example. If they start to talk, I just say shut-up and practice. Of course it's not a silent movie, and the partner could say for instance: "Would you like to try it this way?" but that's just about all what I tolerate. Lengthy explanations are not welcome.

I leave the technical discussion and speculation for the beer session after the class.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-16-2002, 05:50 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Hi Jim,

My actual position on this matter is even more radical. I am against any tutoring at all by students. Practice time is sacred and most valuable and should not be wasted by talking. Our purpose is to practice not to teach. We just follow the Sensei's example and try to emulate his technique as good as we can. If he finds any substantial flaw, he will come to correct it, otherwise he will let you fine-tune your technique by practice.

I have a principle NEVER to teach my partner even when he's doing wrong. And I don't want anyone to teach me even if I'm doing all wrong. There is a teacher whose duty is this very task, so leave it up to him.

Now since some people feel a great urge to teach no matter what, I prefer that they teach by action and example. If they start to talk, I just say shut-up and practice. Of course it's not a silent movie, and the partner could say for instance: "Would you like to try it this way?" but that's just about all what I tolerate. Lengthy explanations are not welcome.

I leave the technical discussion and speculation for the beer session after the class.

Cheers,
Edward
I actually like being taught by sempai. It gives a different perspective, and that's just my opinion.

Edward, what about during free training do you like to talk things through with your peers as u do techniques or do u guys just go at it hammer and tongs?

Regards
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Old 01-16-2002, 09:06 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mares


I actually like being taught by sempai. It gives a different perspective, and that's just my opinion.

Edward, what about during free training do you like to talk things through with your peers as u do techniques or do u guys just go at it hammer and tongs?

Regards
Hello Michael,

We all have different preferences and there is no right and wrong, just like or dislike.

Sorry but I didn't understand what you mean by free training. Do you mean Randori?
If yes, well it's rather the second option

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-16-2002, 10:26 AM   #41
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Talking and teaching are not the same thing. Giving verbal "feedback" can be a stimulus to sempai as well as to kohai. Disseminating cultural idiosyncracy should not the goal of aikido be. I am not saying the Japanese model is flawed; it is Japanese. I am not, and neither are my teachers or training partners. My paradigm is radically different than the Japanese paradigm, but Aikido is a universal subject. Kind of like the finger pointing at the moon. I am not interested in what the finger looks like. Here is a good article that can be found on the Aikiweb.

http://www.aikiweb.com/teaching/clark1.html

Jim Vance
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Old 01-16-2002, 11:14 AM   #42
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This is an excellent article that I've already read previously, actually more than one time.

But it deals, I guess, with the teacher's approach, and in this respect, I have nothing to say. The teacher can explain any way he finds suitable, combining visual, auditory, kinesthetic...etc.

But the problem is when partners start teaching, this is where we disagree...

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-16-2002, 12:11 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
But the problem is when partners start teaching, this is where we disagree...
Teaching takes place in many forms. If you flub a technique and I don't fall I'm helping to teach you that you might have done something wrong. If I'm sempai in this case I've also got to scale my attack and intensity to a level that nage can handle and be pushed by. This is teaching. If you tap someone on the forehead when they leave an opening you are also participating in an act of teaching. Sometimes, just by being an obnoxious ass, a partner is teaching you how you don't want to be.

Quote:
If they start to talk, I just say shut-up and practice.
I bet that if your partner has a bunch more notches on the belt you don't tell them to shut up should they offer you some advice.

There are some people that will talk you to death and I understand the pain inflicted in those cases. But to categorically deny feedback during a class just slows down your learning process. I've received more than a few gems from someone my junior in terms of rank. Often, the only way they can communicate that is through words. I want that feedback.

I don't know about anyone else but my purpose in getting on the mat, outside of having fun, is to learn and where possible to help others to learn. If that is done by someone talking then talk.

Last edited by Erik : 01-16-2002 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 01-16-2002, 12:54 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
...But it deals, I guess, with the teacher's approach, and in this respect, I have nothing to say.
But the problem is when partners start teaching, this is where we disagree...
Hypothetical: What happens when two teachers practice together? Let's make the point of saying they are of equal rank and have different strengths and weaknesses, but are basically technically equal. How do they progress with their practice?
The point I am trying to make is not intended to be litigious.
My point: From where do we receive our authority in our practice? If you are a junior student, a beginner, the teacher is the source of authority. At what point do we gain authority, and where does that authority come from? I know this is somewhat off the subject of the thread, but I think it relates to the initial post. Some people claim that all authority in Aikido comes from its founder, some make other claims. Do we become teachers when our teacher says that we can, or do we take authority in small bites, starting with ourselves? These are hypothetical questions that as a beginner I needed answered.
If you decide to practice a certain way, be sure that it serves a purpose, and is not detrimental to your progress or the progress of others. In the model given above, I doubt there would be a lot of "chatter" from the two high level practitioners. But I doubt they would tell each other to "shut up and train".

Jim Vance
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Old 01-16-2002, 08:37 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward


Hello Michael,

We all have different preferences and there is no right and wrong, just like or dislike.

Sorry but I didn't understand what you mean by free training. Do you mean Randori?
If yes, well it's rather the second option

Cheers,
Edward
it's all good though, if everyone was the same this would be a boring world.

by free training I meant unofficial training or just stuff u do outside of class with other classmates, whether before or after class our any other time really.
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Old 01-16-2002, 10:19 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mares


it's all good though, if everyone was the same this would be a boring world.

by free training I meant unofficial training or just stuff u do outside of class with other classmates, whether before or after class our any other time really.
I see. Well, I myself rarely talk when I'm doing any kind of Aikido practice. But I must tell you that usually, my Thai classmates seem to do just the opposite, dissecting every move and holding long descriptions and comments about each part. They seem to favour this kind of learning.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-16-2002, 10:33 PM   #47
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Originally posted by Erik


Teaching takes place in many forms. If you flub a technique and I don't fall I'm helping to teach you that you might have done something wrong. If I'm sempai in this case I've also got to scale my attack and intensity to a level that nage can handle and be pushed by. This is teaching. If you tap someone on the forehead when they leave an opening you are also participating in an act of teaching. Sometimes, just by being an obnoxious ass, a partner is teaching you how you don't want to be.


Well this is the kind of partner I cherish the most.



I bet that if your partner has a bunch more notches on the belt you don't tell them to shut up should they offer you some advice.


Usually the Yudansha at my dojo are all a few years younger than me, so I have enough leverage on them to be able to do so But please do not misunderstand me. Advice is always welcome. Long interventions are not.


There are some people that will talk you to death and I understand the pain inflicted in those cases. But to categorically deny feedback during a class just slows down your learning process. I've received more than a few gems from someone my junior in terms of rank. Often, the only way they can communicate that is through words. I want that feedback.


You are right, but I guess it depends on the situation. On some days, you are full of energy and you want to practice hard, and then you meet one of these philosophers who spoils your training. On others, you feel tired and have a few injuries, and such persons are suddenly a gift from heaven
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Old 01-16-2002, 11:21 PM   #48
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Originally posted by jimvance

I feel we are saying similar things but in different ways, emphasizing different aspects.


Hypothetical: What happens when two teachers practice together? Let's make the point of saying they are of equal rank and have different strengths and weaknesses, but are basically technically equal. How do they progress with their practice?


If it's a private practice or before or after class, I expect major discussions and analysis of techniques, which I have seen on several occasions during seminars and just watching this can be very educating. But during class, techniques are usually not discussed, just taught.

The point I am trying to make is not intended to be litigious.

In the countrary, it's a very interesting discussion.

My point: From where do we receive our authority in our practice? If you are a junior student, a beginner, the teacher is the source of authority. At what point do we gain authority, and where does that authority come from? I know this is somewhat off the subject of the thread, but I think it relates to the initial post. Some people claim that all authority in Aikido comes from its founder, some make other claims. Do we become teachers when our teacher says that we can, or do we take authority in small bites, starting with ourselves? These are hypothetical questions that as a beginner I needed answered.

In my opinion, we all have something to say no matter the rank or the experience. Authority is always earned and not given. I believe we get it by earning the respect not only of our teachers but also that of our fellow classmates.
I have seen teachers who enjoyed more authority than their seniors simply because students recognized in them certain technical and humane qualities which are higher than those of the seniors.

In the model given above, I doubt there would be a lot of "chatter" from the two high level practitioners. But I doubt they would tell each other to "shut up and train".

In my experience, those who explain the most are beginners. Eventhough I have encountered old aged high ranking Shihans who wouldn't stop teaching me during practice , but in this case, I am the one who should shut up and listen and feel grateful for the (undeserved)attention they are showing towards me.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-17-2002, 12:37 AM   #49
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No, you're all wrong (and you know who you are). Thalib is right. Osensei never says not to listen. You should understand at least why your partner has the wrong idea. How will you understand the great mistakes people make in life, if you can not understand the insignificant ones your partner makes in your dojo?


Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Here are the actual verses of Osensei.

Aiki cannot be exhausted
By words written or spoken
Without dabbling in idle talk
Understand through practice


Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-17-2002, 08:32 AM   #50
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I am often paired with sempai that have 5, 10 20 years more Aikido under their belt than myself. If I am doing something wrong, or a few words might clarify a point, I would hope they would speak up. There are even situations where a deshi is teaching the class and his sempai are taking it.

I have a problem with sempai doing something differently than what's being taught (thankfully rare) but a little well placed guidance by those who went before is not to be ignored or complained about.

Last edited by PeterR : 01-17-2002 at 04:09 PM.

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