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Old 03-30-2008, 02:48 PM   #1
Shany
 
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It's always the same.. same .. same...

It's been already a over a year since I've taken my first seminar with this 4th Dan Aikido teacher, that especially come from overseas to my country to share his wisdom with other of his aikido dojo branch aikidokas or few months'.

In the first time, it was cool, energetic and facinating.
In the second it was 'enlighting'.
In the Third it became boring.

The same phrases were sounded each seminar. The same principles by which he teaches remained the same. nothing has evolved, nothing new explored and tried.

As an Aikidoka, I am getting frustrated and ashamed of the same phrases, being sound out again and again:

"japan's Aikido is no more as it used to be, europe are now equal or better".

"Aikikai are out there for power & money, building up federations, not aikido as it should be and what o-sensei would want it"

"aikido is not sport, in sport people race each other and do stuff that doesn't ment to hurt because the techniques are being selected from non-effectice movements - related to judo".

"Uchi-deshi term is dead no one does it nowdays"

"Aikido should be used in a bio-mechanic way"

"You must never teacher Aikido that is not the way your teacher has thought you, you must continue his way to preserve the school's authentic aikido"

and many more of those kind of phrases.

now, some are true and some not, for me: I don't care.
Really, I do Aikido because of what it gives me as a person:

1. Self defense (whatever it may be and in whatever situation that it might help me)

2. Health and fitness.

3. Philosophic aspect.

4. Explore my self as aikidoka and find what's best and work for me

5. Fun

And I don't do Aikido to fill my head in false believes.

So, sure, the man can do techniques (as for now) better than me because of the years he's been training.

But why do I need to hear all those phrases from "Higher up" ranked persons which I see in my own eye saying the same things, over and over and over again (workshop after workshop).

Where is the self-growth? The ability to explore, look and try new ways in Aikido? Why one to become cubic in his own thinking ? and worse, shed his destructive words on students and bound them with his own Aikido way (branch way)?

I'm frustrated with the way teachers do it, un-consciously and consciously.

Sometimes I ask my self if Aikido has become incapable of explaining one's self and has been bound to stay covered under false statements and believes that makes us aikidokas' struggle to stay in this beautiful art.

To free my self form this kind of frustration, I like to read Bruce Lee's phrase which does clears my mind and show me the way out:

"To reach the masses, some sort of big organization (whether) domestic and foreign branch affiliation, is not necessary. To reach the growing number of students, some sort of pre-conformed set must be established as standards for the branch to follow. As a result all members will be conditioned according to the prescribed system. Many will probably end up as a prisoner of a systematized drill.
Styles tend to not only separate men - because they have their own doctrines and then the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change. But if you do not have a style, if you just say: Well, here I am as a human being, how can I express myself totally and completely? Now, that way you won't create a style, because style is a crystallization. That way, it's a process of continuing growth.
To me totality is very important in sparring. Many styles claim this totality. They say that they can cope with all types of attacks; that their structures cover all the possible lines and angles, and are capable of retaliation from all angles and lines. If this is true, then how did all the different styles come about? If they are in totality, why do some use only the straight lines, others the round lines, some only kicks, and why do still others who want to be different just flap and flick their hands? To me a system that clings to one small aspect of combat is actually in bondage
."

I Love , let's build it, not ruine it.

"Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment." - Morihei Ueshiba



- Shany
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:54 PM   #2
ChrisHein
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Thank you for being honest, if more people would do this, maybe Aikido would become stronger.

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Old 03-30-2008, 03:07 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

I have met some instructors who seem to think of aikido as a Museum, the techniques and rationale a set-piece they learned decades ago. They may have improved or refined that little corner of aikido, but they offer only canned replies to anything that reflects the world outside that corner.
I have met some aikido instructors who have never lost the curiosity and creativity they came to the art with, who are solidly grounded within their art/philosophy but have never flash-frozen it.
I suspect most teachers are somewhere in between. But the truly great and insprining teachers, to me, fall into the second category.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

IMHO, I agree, with some instructors you see the same thing every time. With others, even though they show the same thing every time, I keep seeing more and more. Yes, I love the same ole same ole that just keeps getting better.

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 03-30-2008, 05:00 PM   #5
chunie
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

I haven't seen many different instructors on a regular bases, but I'm wondering wether I'll be in the same situation as you in the (near) future Shany.

Can you tell yourself what it was that really got you bored at the seminars? Was it only the things the instructor talked (eg. principals of aikido and politics) about or was it more that? I'm asking because I heard an instructor telling the same things as my sensei said, only the instructor used slightly different words or other kind of body language, and he did that on both techniques and on more philosophical and spiritual subjects. For me it wasn't really an eye opener, but it was fun to hear him saying, in essence, the exact things as my sensei and it's that small difference in explanation or view which made me feel and understand my aikido better!

I do agree though that one should always need to be flexible and critical (can I use 'critical' like that?), especially to yourself, in both practicing and teaching, wether you are just a beginner or an instructor. Besides, it's one of the many things that we learn on the mat, right?

It's good to see that at least you know which direction you want to go. Keep it up!

Oh, and for me self defence is not on top.
"There wasn't a fight, there is no fight and there will be no fight!"

And an other thing, I think I also like the same old same old, as long as it's the 'correct' same old same old.
"Practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permamanent."
(don't know where I got the quates from..)
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:13 PM   #6
crbateman
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

To an instructor, what is "the truth" may not change from this year's seminar to the next. After all, many of them have arrived at "their" Aikido over 40 years or so of daily training. Change is inevitable, but equally important is the faithful transmission of teachings over generations, so how can one expect a year-to-year reinvention?

One might expect an instructor to rotate the seminar lesson material he/she teaches from year to year, but it is then a bit unfair to someone who can't or hasn't attended them all.

That said, let me jump to the other side of the fence for a moment, and say that it is also difficult for the student to hear exactly the same thing, exactly the same way, time after time, especially if it also sounds exactly like what may be on that instructor's DVD's etc. A good seminar instructor must also be a good presenter, and will be more successful if he/she holds the interest of the student, and perhaps teaches substantially the same material, but shifts the order and/or perspective.

Overall, it is quite revealing if one stops to think just how difficult it is to put together a seminar program that will be fair to all. There will be, all at once, students who are barely beginners, and those quite advanced; those who have been to many seminars and possibly daily training with this instructor, while others may never have seen him/her before. Doing right by each and every student present is very difficult, if not impossible. Add a possible language barrier on top of that. Frankly, some instructors seem to handle this with ease, while others struggle mightily. It just goes with the territory.

My best suggestion would be to confide in senior deshi in your organization, and let them pursue some subtle suggestions up the line if appropriate, but don't expect too much. Then make your own decision as to whether your attendance is worthwhile and meaningful. But don't condemn sameness, as repetition is still fundamental if proficiency is to be expected.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:34 PM   #7
dps
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Sounds like you got the blues. Nothing a little music can't help.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=3

There now.......fell better?

David
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:51 PM   #8
crbateman
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
.......fell better?
Your Freudian slip is showing, David...
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:22 AM   #9
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Seperate issues - PHilosophy and small organization spirit

Quote:
Shany Golan wrote: View Post
It's been already a over a year since I've taken my first seminar with this 4th Dan Aikido teacher, that especially come from overseas to my country to share his wisdom with other of his aikido dojo branch aikidokas or few months'.

In the first time, it was cool, energetic and facinating.
In the second it was 'enlighting'.
In the Third it became boring.

The same phrases were sounded each seminar. The same principles by which he teaches remained the same. nothing has evolved, nothing new explored and tried.

As an Aikidoka, I am getting frustrated and ashamed of the same phrases, being sound out again and again:

"japan's Aikido is no more as it used to be, europe are now equal or better".

"Aikikai are out there for power & money, building up federations, not aikido as it should be and what o-sensei would want it"

"aikido is not sport, in sport people race each other and do stuff that doesn't ment to hurt because the techniques are being selected from non-effectice movements - related to judo".

"Uchi-deshi term is dead no one does it nowdays"

"Aikido should be used in a bio-mechanic way"

"You must never teacher Aikido that is not the way your teacher has thought you, you must continue his way to preserve the school's authentic aikido"

and many more of those kind of phrases.

now, some are true and some not, for me: I don't care.
Really, I do Aikido because of what it gives me as a person:

1. Self defense (whatever it may be and in whatever situation that it might help me)

2. Health and fitness.

3. Philosophic aspect.

4. Explore my self as aikidoka and find what's best and work for me

5. Fun

And I don't do Aikido to fill my head in false believes.

So, sure, the man can do techniques (as for now) better than me because of the years he's been training.

But why do I need to hear all those phrases from "Higher up" ranked persons which I see in my own eye saying the same things, over and over and over again (workshop after workshop).

Where is the self-growth? The ability to explore, look and try new ways in Aikido? Why one to become cubic in his own thinking ? and worse, shed his destructive words on students and bound them with his own Aikido way (branch way)?

I'm frustrated with the way teachers do it, un-consciously and consciously.

Sometimes I ask my self if Aikido has become incapable of explaining one's self and has been bound to stay covered under false statements and believes that makes us aikidokas' struggle to stay in this beautiful art.

To free my self form this kind of frustration, I like to read Bruce Lee's phrase which does clears my mind and show me the way out:

"To reach the masses, some sort of big organization (whether) domestic and foreign branch affiliation, is not necessary. To reach the growing number of students, some sort of pre-conformed set must be established as standards for the branch to follow. As a result all members will be conditioned according to the prescribed system. Many will probably end up as a prisoner of a systematized drill.
Styles tend to not only separate men - because they have their own doctrines and then the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change. But if you do not have a style, if you just say: Well, here I am as a human being, how can I express myself totally and completely? Now, that way you won't create a style, because style is a crystallization. That way, it's a process of continuing growth.
To me totality is very important in sparring. Many styles claim this totality. They say that they can cope with all types of attacks; that their structures cover all the possible lines and angles, and are capable of retaliation from all angles and lines. If this is true, then how did all the different styles come about? If they are in totality, why do some use only the straight lines, others the round lines, some only kicks, and why do still others who want to be different just flap and flick their hands? To me a system that clings to one small aspect of combat is actually in bondage
."

I Love , let's build it, not ruine it.

"Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment." - Morihei Ueshiba



- Shany
Shany

In your post I found two very distinct kind of declerations your visiting teacher talks about:
a. His Aikido philosophy and methodology.
b. Small organization fighting for identity.

It is only natural the first element should not change, it takes years to come to some understanding and that evolves very slowly. Further, there is merit in continuously drilling those same principles again ang again, since it takes a long time for them to sip into the students.

Reading your post, I think the second type was the irritating factor for you. Most of your quotations belong to it. You practice in a small organization. Your visiting teacher is one of its heads and he keeps fighting for an organizational identity. He feels he is threatened by other teachers, thus he tries to "defend" himself by diminishing those others (read your own quotations). This type of behavior is typical to small organizations which feel threatened by the larger group, and are not certain in their own internal identity. It has more to do with sociology then with Aikido, except Aikido teaches us another way of defense - being sure of oneself and ones identity and responding to others in a soft and fluid way.

I recall seeing such elements in our own group, since we too belong to a small separate M.A. -- Korindo Aikido. It took my Sensei some time to realize the exact nature of difference and be really sure of himself., and lose any reminder of the need to compare to other Aikido styles and show we are better.

Amir
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:57 AM   #10
dps
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
Your Freudian slip is showing, David...
ooops, must of been that voodoo chile I had.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...ch&pl index=4
David
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:41 AM   #11
Rupert Atkinson
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
To an instructor, what is "the truth" may not change from this year's seminar to the next. After all, many of them have arrived at "their" Aikido over 40 years or so of daily training. Change is inevitable, but equally important is the faithful transmission of teachings over generations, so how can one expect a year-to-year reinvention?
I expect year to year re-invention, or even, day to day. Also, while I kinda agree with the above, some teachers get to shodan and stop improving - they just teach the same old stuff for the rest of their lives. I have seen that in more than a few cases and it is the source of a lot of hte problems we face in Aikido today. As I said, I expect year to year re-invention, or even, day to day. Oddly, perhpas, it is the only way we can all arrive at the same destination.

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Old 03-31-2008, 02:58 AM   #12
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Quote:
Shany Golan wrote: View Post

In the first time, it was cool, energetic and facinating.
In the second it was 'enlighting'.
In the Third it became borin

- Shany
Onegaishimasu. In every seminar, there are people there for the first time, the second time. If boredom sets in on the third time, the first two times have been defeated and destroyed. There is some new thing, always there to be discovered, and there are those thoughts that we haven't yet received. The kihon waza are there for a reference point and a place to spring forward from. Inspiration comes when we look at the same thing, but see something else.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:01 AM   #13
Shany
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Hey all,

Thank you for you kind words.

ChrisHein,
Thanks!

Janet Rosen,
I feel the same, is it that when one to become >= shodan he than abandon the path he so much tried to achieve? Now that he teaches he must never stop him from developing him self, not only physically, but also philoshophy-wise. The second category, shows that we keep on developing and spreading what aikido is.

chunie,
What got me bored, was the fact that, as an Aikidoka that participate in seminars that supposely need to help us perfect aikido (only because it is being tought by someone who is more experienced than you in many fields of aikido) I felt that I'm going backward and not forward.

The seminar was seperated into 2 days: 3 hours each (1, break and than another 1 per day) .
In each day, we got lectured twice by the same words of "wisdom", and each lecture i was drowning with brodom and wondering why o why those words came from cubic thinking??

When it came to practice time, and demonstration by the teacher, the techniques were kinda good, he is experienced indeed, no doubt about it, but I sensed (you know when you sense something that is not right?) that his ability has not changed, on the other hand it seems like it didn't developed at all.
Same movements, some were jaggy some were not. Explanation of the techniques involved in "aikido is bio-mechanic" statements.
It felt different, period.

Now, it could be that when time extends, and we become better, we see stuff different from seminar to seminar, true.

but to learn noting new, feel nothing new, understand nothing new, is a totally different route.

and that's what made it boring.

Quote:
Oh, and for me self defence is not on top.
My list is not listed as a priority list, it is just a list of things that I love in Aikido generally.

crbateman,
Quote:
One might expect an instructor to rotate the seminar lesson material he/she teaches from year to year, but it is then a bit unfair to someone who can't or hasn't attended them all.
I agree, but there is a difference when it comes to saying stuff all over again, year by year, where is the self growth as a teacher in that? You can build up your philosophy throughout the years, refine it and en-rich it, not re-using it over and over.

dps,
hahaha no I don't got the blues but thanks for the link

Amir,
Quote:
It is only natural the first element should not change, it takes years to come to some understanding and that evolves very slowly.
I do not totally agree, Aikido today is not the Aikido of 40 years ago when it was not popular world wide or known as today. Now days Aikido is all over, we have forums, books, DVDs, alot of text and essays,seminars, ..etc.
to say it takes years is not totally true.

Techniques on other hand can take time to refine, and this can take years, (we all have our private life, work and other millions tuff to do as well, so its natural that aikido is not totally part of our life daily, unless you devote your self and become uchi-deshi, living aikido, breathing aikido ..etc)

Quote:
You practice in a small organization. Your visiting teacher is one of its heads and he keeps fighting for an organizational identity.
That may be true in Israel, amir, but not in europe, where it's kinda big so no point on influence people to stay in this branch anymore. but israel is small after all, and Aikido just like other sports, is too.

Rupert Atkinson,
I agree. One should not be bound to one system or thinking. we must expends just like the universe does.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:50 AM   #14
crbateman
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Rupert and Shany,

As I said, change is inevitable. However, without some coordination, with every instructor motivated to change things on his own, presumably to "stay interesting", what you end up with is not change, it is chaos. I would very much like to learn more about O'Sensei's Aikido, as it worked very well for him. But here we are, not 40 years after his death, and there's hardly anybody left teaching it, or even knowing for sure what it was. Maybe I should think a little more progressively, but this seems like too much change to me. Progress is fine IMHO, but not at the cost of identity. I'd rather keep the pivot foot planted on familiar ground. Maybe I'm a cynic, but I'd like to walk into a dojo with "Aikido" painted on the door, and see something more of O'Sensei than just his picture on the wall.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:19 AM   #15
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Shany,
Since you're probably not going to change the way the seminar instructor presents his material, why don't you go to some other seminars?

Last edited by gdandscompserv : 03-31-2008 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:45 AM   #16
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
Your Freudian slip is showing, David...
Maybe he needs a longer hakama.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:57 AM   #17
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

OK, all kidding aside, for a moment......
Here's a few thoughts I got on the topic.....
1) the fact that you are having this inner dialog is a product of the learning environment that inspires one to know themselves. In other words; enjoy the fact that you are 'getting the fact' that you don't like this type of presentation. Know you know yourself a little bit better. Appreciate that this reflects growing on your part. What you do about it is another element of your training responsibility.

2) Presentation is about being present ( narf!!! go figure). And when our teachers are stuck in the past or stuck in some unnerving monologue about being a 'pillar' of aikido,or some other anachronistic death grip of thought, we can notice that if they were more present we might be 'getting more' out of it. OTOH, we can also use this as an opportunity to appreciate our own level of presence. In which case, there are others at the seminar who are also as high up on the mental food chain as yourself and you can tie in to their intentions and learn a lot from osmosis.

3) Sometimes the teacher is not the greatest feature of a workshop. Often it is an individual experience of one training partner, one vibe, one thought that arrived in your training, one piece of something good that got set on your training 'table'. In a charged, electric environment with may peple there is lots to be learned from.

So, make your choices, and if you haven't considered all of this, then maybe you're right where you ought to be. Maybe youre where you ought to be even if you haven't thought exactly like me, the greates sensei in the whole world who insists you think like her, and only like her....you-re getting sleepy,sleepy,sleepy..ha-ha-ha.....

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:42 AM   #18
Rocky Izumi
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

In defense of seeming to teach the same thing each time . . .

I know there are a lot of senior instructors, including Shihan, who seem to teach the same thing over and over. Let me interject upon this from the other side.

Many times, what an instructor teaches is what that instructor herself/himself is researching at that moment. For instance, during the past eight months, I have been researching the 90 degree principle and everything I teach and do is consumed with the implications of the principle. When I teach, I teach about the 90 degree principle and when I watch people practice, I watch in regards to this principle and its effects on people's techniques and applications. When I give a class, I think I am giving entirely new insights into the principle and its application . . . at least they are entirely new insights for me. The problem is that the people who are attending the seminar or class hear and see the same thing each time. They can't seem to differentiate between what I was saying two weeks ago from what I am saying this week. It seems to be an issue of level of analysis.

It is like a conversation I had on the Aiki-L years ago. One of the people I knew complained that he just couldn't do Koshi-nage. Another person on Aiki-L berated that person saying that at their dojo, they learned to do Koshi nage in the first year. Now, I knew that the person complaining about the inability to do Koshi nage had thrown me with Koshi nage hundreds of times. His complaint was at a totally different level of analysis. What he meant by doing Koshi nage and what the berater meant by doing Koshi nage were at two totally different levels of ability.

I see that sometimes, the instructors who seem to be teaching the same thing over and over see themselves as having changed the content of their instruction to a magnitude difference. However, the people who take their instruction are not at the level that they can perceive any difference at all in what is being taught. No one is at fault. It is just a miscommunication due to using two different languages . . . each at a different level of analysis.

Another case with which I am very familiar is as below: The instructor sits there thinking: "Why can't these people understand even the smallest thing of what I am teaching them. I have to keep going over the same lesson over and over. I am getting tired of this." Meanwhile, the students are thinking: "Why is that old geezer teaching the same thing over and over. Why can't we go and do something new and interesting?" In this case, it is the fault of the instructor. I have glommed on to the definition of insanity that says: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." At the same time, maybe the students should also make some effort in learning what the instructor is trying to get across?

So, it may not be that the instructor is teaching the same thing over and over. It may just appear that way or maybe the instructor is just waiting for the students to show that they have learned the old lesson so that they can move on to the next one.

Rock
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:08 AM   #19
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Clipped from an old article I wrote for ATM

"Standing there looking at my fellow students all this went through my mind and I knew I had to try and teach the young fellow that nothing about our learning Aikido is boring. I had to try and teach him something of ichi-go ichi-ye, about one time, one beginning. I had to try and teach him that every encounter is a first and last. I had to try and get across that nothing can be repeated and nothing can be practiced. It can only be experienced once, and then it is gone forever. How can you become bored with something you only do once? I had to try and teach him that each encounter with another of gods creations is a once in a life time event that can never be repeated nor taken back. Each encounter should be full and true, and never done with half a heart or half a mind. Each time you face another person and that person gives their body to you in technique then you hold that life in your hands. You hold in your power a gift more precious than gold, one that can never be replaced and is a unique and wondrous thing. How can you become bored with that? I had to try and teach that young man that accepting the gift of that life is an ominous and yet joyous responsibility.

You accept it; you protect it and you return it better for the encounter. Then you offer your self in return. The uniqueness of "good" Aikido is that we can do this in total trust and in so doing be all the richer for the encounter. I had to try and teach this young man we do not practice shoman uchi ikkyo. We experience it only once, and in that one experience we share a lifetime with another of gods beings. How can you be bored with that?

You give yourself to me and I give myself to you in total trust, no equivocation or self-evasion what so ever. To learn to trust and be trusted is ikkyo. It is the first principle of Aikido, without which all other training becomes less by its measure. It is the first because it is the hardest. The hardest to learn and is the hardest to keep.

I had to also try and teach the young man that coming to the dojo everyday should not get old and should not need to be boring. As I looked at the faces of each of the more experienced men I knew they too embrace the concept of shoshin, of the beginner's heart. How else could those "other" old worn down, tattered ragamuffins of old men, of whom I am one, be there."

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

www.shindai.com
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:22 AM   #20
Cephallus
Dojo: judo only at the moment
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

This is one of the reasons I love living in a heavily-populated, culturally-diverse area: variety.

I remember once going back to my old high school to visit an English teacher who had made a big impact on me in my teenage years. I walked in and sat at the back of the class for a few minutes before it ended, and was more than a little surprised to hear, word-for-word, the same discourse on Camus' "The Stranger" that had seemed to open my world at age 16. More than a little bothered, I asked him about it when the class ended. He smiled and said he'd been teaching this book the exact same way to his students for more than a decade.

It's why we continually seek out new teachers, new experiences. Expanding our experience and world-view. Good stuff.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:10 PM   #21
Shany
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Ricky Wood,

That's what I'll probably do. Look out for other seminars, learn and evolved.

I onced talked with a girl who study with one of saito's students named Miles Kessler, and he is now teaching Aikido in Israel. I'll have a look at that.

I know guys alot of you have a say on the matter, whenever it is that the instructor do what it does in order to finally let his students "get it" or that he wants to make his system stronger.

but I assure you that all his philoshopical preachings in the seminar were not connected to the techniques that he had shown. He would sometimes stops and than talk about what Aikido is in his branch and why what he does is good than the others, and continue on without any structure. (seminar after seminar - already a year gone by as I stated).

I wish you all to find your own path and never be static by someone else's system boundaries. set your mind free to all possibilities in Aikido, weather it is styles like aikikai, yoshinka, ki-society, to freestyle aikido.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:23 AM   #22
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

"I wish you all to find your own path and never be static by someone else's system boundaries. set your mind free to all possibilities in Aikido, weather it is styles like aikikai, yoshinka, ki-society, to freestyle aikido."- Shany

Right back at ya! Sometimes the best advice comes from ourselves.
Good luck in your tireless search.
Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:37 PM   #23
Walter Martindale
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
In defense of seeming to teach the same thing each time . . .
(some snipping)

Another case with which I am very familiar is as below: The instructor sits there thinking: "Why can't these people understand even the smallest thing of what I am teaching them. I have to keep going over the same lesson over and over. I am getting tired of this." Meanwhile, the students are thinking: "Why is that old geezer teaching the same thing over and over. Why can't we go and do something new and interesting?" In this case, it is the fault of the instructor. I have glommed on to the definition of insanity that says: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." At the same time, maybe the students should also make some effort in learning what the instructor is trying to get across?

So, it may not be that the instructor is teaching the same thing over and over. It may just appear that way or maybe the instructor is just waiting for the students to show that they have learned the old lesson so that they can move on to the next one.

Rock
Hi Rock,
I can relate to Rocky's remarks, having been on both sides of the discussion as a professional rowing coach and an obtuse Aikido student. As a rowing coach, if I'm not getting my message through, it's usually my fault because I haven't found a way to communicate with the athlete. I recognize, however, that all the athletes want to do "it" well, and that they think that they're doing what we're asking of them. Until they become aware of the difference between what they're doing, and what we're asking of them, and also become aware of a strategy for shifting in the direction of increased effectiveness/efficiency/skill, then I can repeat the same instruction over and over til I'm blue in the face and nothing will change. If we can find ways to make the athlete aware of his or her movements AND how to get them "fixed", then we're doing our job and giving some ownership of the movement and the learning process to the athlete.
As an aikido oaf (only shodan, so quite clumsy), I think I'm doing what the shihan or sensei is telling me, but can't tell, really, because I'm not outside of me watching me or feeling, with my nervous system, what the sensei is demonstrating (even if I'm uke in the demonstration, my nervous system and the sensei's are not the same, so I don't know what sensei feels).
I try to blend with the attack, and I'm starting to become aware of Rock's 90 degree principle (recognizing when I'm doing it badly, more, and seeing in my practice partners when they're not getting it). That, coupled with the consideration that each attack/keiko is going to be slightly different, the feel of each technique is going to be different.
Coaching science is now getting back to the Socratic approach - guiding discovery by letting people make mistakes, and sometimes forcing mistakes on people so they can feel the difference between what's right FOR THEIR BODY and what doesn't work (it's called constraints led practice). Guiding discovery by directed questioning - in my game, it's more like "Where should your hands be on the oar for the best trade off between power application and ease of handling? Try holding it a little farther out in your hands and tell me what you feel - try holding it a little more in your fist and tell me what you feel. Is it more powerful-efficient-relaxed-tense-awkward-comfortable when you hold your hand that way? Which grip feels the most effective?" The learning may be a little slower but the learning is more robust, and tolerates distractions like competitive pressure or adverse weather, in my area. In Tachi Dori, for example, one could be practicing a repertoire of defenses against Shomen, Yokomen, Gyaku-Yokomen, or Tsuki, uke attacks but doesn't tell nage what's coming (this is called randomized practice) - at first, it's controlled and slowed down a little so that nage initially doesn't get overwhelmed, but as nage gets more skilled at recognizing the cues of which attack is coming earlier and earlier in uke's attack, he/she can be attacked a little faster and more randomly. Nage might get bopped on the bean a few more times, this way, but will learn more about recognizing the attack earlier and earlier (this is called decision training), While the initial learning might look slower and less effective, after a while the learning is more robust than going through the same attack, same technique for 20 minutes before switching techniques and attacks (this is called blocked practice).
Ok. That's off on a tangent.. Another bit of a tangent - people learn more about how to move their bodies if they focus their attention more on the external object that they're trying to move than if they focus on the internal movements...
When sensei recognize that their students really do want to do well, and that their messages aren't getting through, then the sensei need to find different ways of showing or explaining, or guiding discovery, or whatever, so that their (usually very keen and eager) students "get it" and allow them to move on to advanced teaching...
Whew...
(Incidentally, Rock often quizzes me online about why some things are done the way they are - It's uncomfortable, but forces me to use that bit of mush between my ears..)
Walter
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:05 PM   #24
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Based on what Walter was saying, I guess that is why it is important for the instructor to take Ukemi and produce the constraints in an orderly way for the advancing student by blocking them in such a way that it forces the student to do the motions correctly. It seems important, as well, to demonstrate to the student what we see them doing rather than just telling them to correct something. In other words, instructors, if they want to communicate well with their students, have to mix it up with the students to some degree. I like that! Another saying I now try to use is ... "Do as I do, not as I say." So to follow that rule, I have to do the techniques with the students as I practice rather than sitting back, watching, and yelling. That leads me into another one of my off-beat sayings . . . those who can, teach . . . those who can't, better do something else.

I think that the Socratic constraints led practice Walter talked about, when it is done to oneself, is what I call Aikido research. To really understand and improve what you do, you need to put new constraints on your practice and see what those constraints do. Just doing the same old practice over and over again cannot lead to improvement. Like I said before, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is my definition of insanity. By increasing the resistance that Uke gives or the speed that Uke attacks or the way I enter or the speed that I move allows me to explore the limits of a technique and my own limits as well. I think that is what one of my Shihans was doing to me when they made me do Shomen Uchi Irimi Nage from the mounted position -- ground fighting, Aikido style.

Rock
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:23 PM   #25
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: It's always the same.. same .. same...

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
Shomen Uchi Irimi Nage from the mounted position -- ground fighting, Aikido style.

Rock
Nice.
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