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Old 03-27-2002, 11:14 AM   #1
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
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Preferred and non-preferred partners

This is a quote from an old thread, I found it better to start a new one. Peter Goldsbury said

Quote:
Since the technique should work, no matter who is your partner, the best way to do this, in my opinion, is to train with the entire dojo population. This also tends to discourage the bad habits of training excessively with preferred partners, or avoiding non-preferred, partners.
Is it a bad habit to choose who I practise with? I'd say habits in dojos vary. Why is it/why is it not a bad habit? What do you think?

Regards,
Hanna
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Old 03-27-2002, 11:45 AM   #2
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
Thailand
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Obviously training with one or a few selected partners is:

1. Not so good for your technique.
2. Impolite towards the other dojo members.

In our dojo, you have to change the partner with every change of technique. I have seen in some Iwama dojos teachers pairing students together, which I find is a good idea especially in beginners classes.

I have seen some people truly attached to eachother in an inseparable way, and I honestly find it disgusting. It is aikido that we're learning after all, not Tango.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 03-27-2002, 01:03 PM   #3
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
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How about "it depends" as an answer.

Generally, the more people you train with the merrier. However, if you want to work on something specific or feel something specific then by all means try and grab a partner that can help you feel or work on what you are working on. Some will be better than others for certain things. For instance, sometimes I want someone that will fight and resist me every step of the way and sometimes I don't want any resistance at all. Or, if you have no clue as to how to do a technique it's possibly more prudent to grab someone who does than a first day on the mat white belt.

The problem with working with the same people all the time is that your habits and patterns get ingrained, comfortable and never threatened. It's sort of like germs and dirt. It seems, from what I've heard, that putting children in a safe and clean enviroment weakens their immune system because it's never tested or exposed. Whereas letting them play outside and get dirty strengthens their immune system precisely because it is tested and exposed. You don't want children in a completely safe and sterile environment. Seems to me that Aikido is the same way.

Most of the time I don't care who I work with but not always.
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Old 03-27-2002, 04:37 PM   #4
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Re: Preferred and non-preferred partners

Quote:
Originally posted by Hanna B
This is a quote from an old thread, I found it better to start a new one. Peter Goldsbury said



Is it a bad habit to choose who I practise with? I'd say habits in dojos vary. Why is it/why is it not a bad habit? What do you think?

Regards,
Hanna
From the quote that you provided it appears that Peter Goldsbury already answered your questions.
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Old 03-31-2002, 08:51 AM   #5
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
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different partners in training

As the tree like guy of the dojo, I sometimes get intrepidation at either seminars or with new people in the dojo. There is always the fear of not being able to move the guy whose arms are like some people's legs ... but it goes away after they throw me, correctly, in five or six months. (JUST kidding, I play nice)

Establishing your posture, sometimes rooting, leading your partner, and executing a technique can be learned mechanically, or you can blend the circular/balance version of taking away the balance and pulling into your sphere of power, it doesn't matter. You get a moving body that is directed by YOU to YOUR advantage.

A lot of time can be spent starting the movement, following the movement, and leading the movement ... but that is usually the crux of practice, using figure eight movement to continue motion, or interpreting the weapons or sword movements that translate into hand to hand techniques. You can not learn the thousands of variations by directing one body, one size, one set of responses ... that is the mechanical theorey, not the actual real world.

If you watch a practice, you will see little variations of each practitioner, no two people are exactly alike. That is the way of nature. Even if they look alike, and are within a set of guidelines, deviations and variations are inevitable? So you might as well bite the bullet, accept the inevitable ... jump right in and experience the humiliation of stumbling, falling, looking stupid until the natural effect of practice gives you the skills you need to move anyone, throw anyone, and stay ahead of even the most fearsome ukemi. (HEY, you were brave enough to write a question on the Aikiweb.)

It took a year for the guys/gals of my dojo to realize I was merely using restained force to effect a correct technique, not trying to rip off their arms and break their bodies? (Although I am much more gentle in my old age.)

If you don't go with everyone in your dojo, a seminar will be just plain terrifying, and seminars are about the most fun you can have in Aikido practice! Try it! Give it some time, it will come to be.
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Old 04-01-2002, 03:40 AM   #6
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Estonia
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Hm...

I think it is sometimes wise to choose your partners. Of course (especially for the beginners) it's important to work with different folks. BUT I for example sometimes especially choose larger guys to work with if they want to - I can more easily see my mistakes on them. Then again when I sometimes feel really crappy, I say so and pick (for the whole lesson) let's say a nice girl who is much smaller than I am and then we do soft techniques. Also I think it's wise before seminars and exams (on the lower levels) "to get to know" someone. Because an uke you know can be so helpful. I mean as I understand it, in the exams BEAUTIFUL work is important - that's why you should do it with someone you know, so it really becomes a dancelike harmony. On the other hand in the seminars it's important to have an uke you know because it can make the understanding of techniques easier and you don't have to worry about that the uther guy could start "this is not the way that ukes fall in our dojo" or takes you in a headpin when finishing an iriminage while you are just used to the plain and simple throw.

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
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Old 04-02-2002, 01:21 PM   #7
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Wink Re: Re: Preferred and non-preferred partners

Quote:
Originally posted by shihonage


From the quote that you provided it appears that Peter Goldsbury already answered your questions.
Nope. He did not tell me what you think on the subject, and I do honestly not think you believe that he did.



Hanna
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Old 04-02-2002, 02:02 PM   #8
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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In the first dojo I put my fot in, I saw the black belts taking turns in practising with each other on one hand, and picking the most inexperienced beginner on the mat on the other. This has been an important part of what aikido is to me for so long. When I come into environments where it does not work like this... I have had severe difficulties in adapting. I have not wanted to. Personally I'm trying to find a way to accept the choosy policy - not advocating it perhaps, but accepting it.

Also in aikido environments where you normally change partners every technique, this is often not done whem practising jo and bokken. Then you practise with the same partner the whole class, and suddenly people choose a lot more... I see the point in working for a longer time with the same partner. I have experienced the point of doing this in non-weapons aikido practise. Maybe you could see it as part of practise to learn how to get people interested in training with you, as part of hte human interaction-thing.

If Peter Goldsbury means what I think he does when he says that "the technique should work, no matter who is your partner" then there are aikido contexts where this statement does not hold true. I kind of wonder if being choosy is more prevalent in schools or styles where the concept of making the technique "work no matter what" is de-emphasized. I don't want it to be true, but nontheless have a feeling it is so.

Regards,
Hanna
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Old 04-24-2002, 10:30 AM   #9
jeda
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Join Date: Apr 2002
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As a wet-behind-the-ears newbie, I feel I must defend my partnering choices during class.

There are a few techniques that I am quite comfortable with. When going over those, I'm comfortable partnering with anyone in class.

When there is something new, or I don't quite understand how it works, I chose some one who does understand and can adequately demonstrate.

It's not personal. But I don't learn and my partner doesn't learn if neither one of us knows what is going on.

Or maybe I'm just a snob ;D
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Old 04-24-2002, 11:40 AM   #10
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
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picking a training partner

You know ...

One should not look at the belt, or hakama, or even consider the rank/pecking order of a dojo when partnering.

It is plain bad manners to not to consider all your partners as compatriots/friends in aikido training.

If you live long enough, reach 10th dan, you will be allowed to wear a white belt again and complete the circle of change.

If you do not believe that mastering a martial discipline is becoming a beginner again ...

Maybe you should start.

In the end, whether we are student, teacher, or master, we are all human beings just trying to get along ....

Learn to enjoy practice, laugh at your proficiency or lack of proficiency, and it won't matter who you go with, it will always be fun.

Think about your partner in these terms and see if your answer leans towards going with everyone?
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Old 04-24-2002, 01:00 PM   #11
jeda
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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I never said I discriminate according to rank.
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:50 PM   #12
njnoexit
Join Date: Mar 2002
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I say only train with the people who are very good and better then you so they can give you advice.
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Old 04-25-2002, 09:44 PM   #13
jeda
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Quote:
I say only train with the people who are very good and better then you so they can give you advice.
Are you telling us you have nothing to offer?
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Old 04-26-2002, 05:29 PM   #14
AikiAlf
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 47
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Square

all partners offer a lesson in practice with them. Your training is your responsibility, and learning to deal with uncomfortable people is part of the lesson. You'll learn no matter who you train with.

All body types, levels of experience conrtibute to your understanding technique. There are different things to understand according to how each execution goes.

Be respectful of your training mates; they are loaning their bodies for you to play with, you can seriously injure and kill someone by mistake; same goes with your own offering. This is a precious thing, not to be blown off by a "yeah but he's smelly" or
"yeah but he's stupid" or any other excuse.
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Old 04-26-2002, 05:33 PM   #15
AikiAlf
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 47
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Arrow

and another thing. Unless you're in an informal/unsupervised setting there's someone watching you . The teacher in the dojo is monitoring practice; if you're truly wasting your time that person will make sure that the situation stops... it's pretty obvious.
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:33 AM   #16
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Sweden
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Re: picking a training partner

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
You know ...

One should not look at the belt, or hakama, or even consider the rank/pecking order of a dojo when partnering.

It is plain bad manners to not to consider all your partners as compatriots/friends in aikido training.
Bruce, I'm sure you mean what you are saying. But. What if this is the most common aikido hypocrasy around. And where does this ideal come from? My gut feeling says: Well, not from Hombu Dojo.
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