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Old 08-07-2009, 12:43 PM   #1
dalen7
 
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Aikido 101

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Well my take on it is that we do a pretty poor job in aikido over all at teaching basic foundational skills. Sure most schools have a syllabus of techniques and testing criteria....that is not what I am talking about.

bottomline is that in doing a particular technique in aikido, there are some fundamental body skills and a certain level of conditioning that must exsist in order to actually do it successfully. There are ways to do this I think.

If you want to discuss we can move to another thread!
This thread is a spin-off of the above statements by Kevin.

Ill have to say, either directly or indirectly, our dojo has been a victim of the above scenario... in short beginners are not adequately trained in the basic foundational skills... and this does cause issues.

Initially I had attributed the difficulties I had in learning Aikido down to the fact that I wasn't fluent in Hungarian.
While this for sure doesn't help things, the fact is that our dojo lacks a certain teaching structure necessary in helping to adequately facilitate growth.

Case in point -
After about half a year, the new guys still don't know the required footwork for their exam - as we practically never go over it. Same goes with Ukemi. [The daughter dojo in the neighboring city could blow a lot of our guys away with their skills, as they go over the basics footwork/body movement and ukemi before starting each class.]

Another example are the guys who started around the same time I did. It appears they have not felt comfortable enough with their skill set to test in quite awhile... which can be attributed to our lack of study in the skills needed for advancement. [I've paid for private lessons, and went to train at the neighboring city, just to figure out what was required on my exam...]

note: And I will say that my moves could use some honing, to be sure - but that will come.

Of course things like this cant stay the way they are, they have to evolve. People leave, or they show up periodically until they just stop coming, etc.

Things have began to shift somewhat for us, and it remains to be seen if the trend remains...
However, it seems the top senior students have taken a more proactive role in teaching when the instructor is not there, trying to cover some of the gaps that have been quite apparent over the years... such as going over Sumi Otoshi this past Thursday, and for the lower kyu going over the footwork the week before, etc. [and this I appreciate]

It can be sensitive talking about such issues, especially in an open forum when talking from personal experience, as I realize there have been people from my dojo who have been on Aikiweb in the past... however the issues are open and apparent to those who look... though even this is relative and perhaps a non-issue for some.

Either way, this may help get the ball bouncing for this particular thread.

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 08-07-2009 at 12:47 PM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: Aikido 101

That sounds outrageous man!

I mean why do you think your dojo got that way?
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido 101

I think you may have a different idea of "foundational skills" than Kevin does. Just guessing though...I'm sure Kevin will pop in and say something.

FYI...*if* I am correct in what Kevin was thinking, even if you were in a style that gave step by step instructions from day one as to where the feet and hands go...I don't think that in itself get's the foundational skills (that I am thinking about) in your body. Something more is needed. And if you get the something more, the rest of the issues kind of fade away anyhow. Just my opinion.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: Aikido 101

I think it also depends out how it is taught. The old school way of showing the technique with limited 'teaching' can be much harder to get the basics down.

Also, a lot of students want to do the fun/flashy stuff and brush over the basics. This is obviously a bad long term decision. Hind sight is 20/20. You need strong basics or everything falls apart.

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
That sounds outrageous man!

I mean why do you think your dojo got that way?
In truth Im not sure. It could just be a part of this small city dojos natural evolution... I dont really know.

I do wish I could sit down and chat with my instructor about a lot of this. However due to the language its a tricky situation... even when speaking in ones native tongue its often difficult not to get someones ego to go on the defense.

The instructor does appear to try and be open when I have talked with him in the past. However it may be more beneficial if those who spoke the language natively would just tell him what they thought. Sometimes the obvious alludes us.

There have been some frustrating moments to be sure... which is an understatement... but it has given me the opportunity to do some serious ego observation, as well as trying to learn from the situation Im currently in and letting things flow naturally.

The hard part is in realizing this, that each thing has its time and place, and that what is happening is here to teach me something, more so than it is me trying to change the situation - though change can happen, there is a lot that can still happen in me.

On the other hand, yes it would be nice to get some of this basic stuff straightened out, and I am amazed, as others obviously are, that the beginners never are really sat down and taught the fundamentals. [i.e., footwork, etc.]

And more so, that some techniques [actually most] are not covered which are required for higher level kyu exams. Our training tends to focus around a 6th/5th kyu level, minus the basics.

Im going out on a limb as I think back on what I understood the instructor to say. It seems his opinion is that of, "if you learn ikkyo, nikkyo, etc." its the same for every attack, etc. [I suppose in principle this may be true, but the fact remains the body dynamics are different and as the quote from Kevin points out, one must first understand these various dynamics]

Also, in regards to footwork, it appears that his thinking is similar to the above... forget footwork its natural. While this may be true there is a lack of confidence in the beginners as to the required footwork and what it means.

In a way, it seems that there is a gap in what the instructor knows, as he is talented, and how he presents the knowledge.
I suppose at a certain point you just catch on... but until then, there are a lot of frustrated beginners who can turn into mediocre mid/high level students.

I would say that potentially the one area of fault in higher kyu ranks is that of the lack of flexibility in how a technique is done. Personally I believe the technique is dynamic and fits to a given situation. But some appear to think there is one particular body dynamic that works for each technique.

The issue with this is that it has caused confusion in the lower kyus who want to feel like they have a basic grasp of a technique. When in reality they would probably benefit from knowing that it is just one of many possibilities of what they are learning.

Now this concept is not new in theory, as I have heard it talked about, but Im not convinced this is shown consistently enough in practice.

I have tried to be subtle in my suggestions, and it may have paid off... even if it was on a subconscious level. As I have mentioned the senior students have been a bit more proactive recently in trying to cover the basics for the beginners, when the instructor is not there, [which he is out a bit, so I suppose he is delegating teaching for the most part to the 1st kyus], and now doing some of the more advanced moves with the higher kyu ranks... which is cool.

So step by step, as it were -

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 08-07-2009 at 01:37 PM.

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
FYI...*if* I am correct in what Kevin was thinking, even if you were in a style that gave step by step instructions from day one as to where the feet and hands go...I don't think that in itself get's the foundational skills (that I am thinking about) in your body. Something more is needed. And if you get the something more, the rest of the issues kind of fade away anyhow. Just my opinion.

Best,
Ron
Totally interested and ready to learn...

Peace,

dAlen

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Bob Blackburn wrote: View Post
I think it also depends out how it is taught. The old school way of showing the technique with limited 'teaching' can be much harder to get the basics down.

Also, a lot of students want to do the fun/flashy stuff and brush over the basics. This is obviously a bad long term decision. Hind sight is 20/20. You need strong basics or everything falls apart.
heheh...you can keep the flashy stuff!
[read my sumi otoshi post, etc.] lol

Give me the basic foundations for sure. I am interested in this whole body structure thing I keep hearing about in regards to Dan.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:55 PM   #8
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Re: Aikido 101

I hope this is helpful in this thread. In another thread someone brought up the term Shugyo. I did a Google search and came up with this that I think illustrates the problem. If not then I am sorry to drift off topic.

http://www.lion-gv.com/v08/shugyo/ht...is_shugyo.html

01 The Shugyo Model of Education

Shugyo Education Model
The shugyo educational paradigm is characterized by an emphasis on the depth of knowledge, wisdom, experience, technical ability.

In the shugyo model, the student takes only a handful of skills or forms and repeats them time and time again. Each repetition refining the skill or deepening the knowledge.

The aim here is total mastery over one's object of study and oneself to the point where both subject and object disappear into the void of experience... enlightenment.

Western Education Model

The western educational paradigm is characterized by an emphasis on the accumulation of knowledge, experiences, and skills.

In the western model, the student usually only touches the tip of many icebergs... almost never achieving mastery and rarely achieving proficiency.

The aim here is... well, it does help one to become well rounded, but I find that I have forgotten most of what I had learned in high school.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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Re: Aikido 101

Interesting David. This will be an interesting topic.

What has prompting my looking into this is a few things.

1. My years spent trying to learn Martial Arts and looking back and all the time that was wasted doing a bunch of inefficient training.

2. Getting to where I am now, only to find out that I have alot to learn, and really no foundation or structure in place that is "holisitic" to get there.

3. Watching 40 year old men that are in a 60 year old body, with a mind that still believes that they are 18 get hurt and frustrated in Martial Arts.

Looking at this, I think what we need are several things.

1. Definable measures of success. It could be as simple as standing on one foot for 10 seconds, or being able to move an heavy object without using your bicep muscle (come up with a way to measure that).

Not so much about martial techniques, but foundational structure in this category. basic kinesiological drills and exercises that are quantifiable and measureable. They would allow us to provide feedback to ourselves and our students where we are, where we are weak, how far we have to go.

There are many other practices out there that do this form Physical Therapy, Alexander Technique, Ki society probably has some test right?

We can then give a "prescriptive" approach to our students instead of the scatter fire "just move your hips" or "do it for 20 years".

2. Then we need to have a basic set of kata, waza or drills that is standardized. One in which allows us to practice correctly and progressively. The waza/kata should also have various points of emphasis and teaching that will allow us to show our students and selves where we are in practice.

So you do shihonage, and nage is not bending their knees and keeping the back straight. What do we do commonly today?

We say "bend your knees and keep your back straight." It is not helpful in the least!!!!

I go back to #1. It is probably due to not having foundational skills. If we identify in solo practice in #1 that the student can't bend his knees and keep his back straight doing solo exercises then why should we expect him to do it in paired Kata???

But most of us in practice in the dojo simply just do kata and Waza. It is crazy!!! Keep doing it over and over until you get it right??? Yeah it will take 20 years sure. Why?

Statistics. It took 100 people walking through the door over 20 years to get one guy that stayed 20 years and practiced it to and stuck it out to finally get it right!

But we live on this false correalation in our practice!

Anyway, I think we can take a clinical approach to the situation and distill things down to a very focused practice that is comprehensive and really follows the model that David depicted above, but the linkage needs to be there!

3. We need to develop instructor training courses that actually train people to be instructors. Not everyone has the skills to instruct...not everyone should instruct. But there are more out there that could do a better job and learn to instruct if we taught them how to do it.

There are lots of good models out there for us. How to speak. How to demonstrate techniques properly, safety, managing a dojo, how to plan a class. The military does this very, very well.

Instructor programs can actually begin before someone is Yudansha too BTW. I see no reason to wait until someone is 5 years into an art to start getting them ready to teach independently. Train the Trainer works very, very well. So many learning opportunities when we teach this way. It multiplies our ability to reach out and teach when we have others (sempai) that understand teaching methodology and the points behind what we are doing.

Anyway, a huge brain storm and dump of info!

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Old 08-07-2009, 03:28 PM   #10
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
So you do shihonage, and nage is not bending their knees and keeping the back straight. What do we do commonly today?

We say "bend your knees and keep your back straight." It is not helpful in the least!!!!

I go back to #1. It is probably due to not having foundational skills. If we identify in solo practice in #1 that the student can't bend his knees and keep his back straight doing solo exercises then why should we expect him to do it in paired Kata???
Interesting point if I understand where your coming from.
For me it would be my lack of flexibility in stretches as an example, which can then impact how my techniques are performed.

Along with the fact that I spent most of my time when I did weight training on the upper body, which left my legs a bit behind in the strength area... this of course is counter productive seeing that a persons legs are their foundation, acting as a pivotal part in Aikido movement, therefore this has a negative affect in executing Aikido techniques.

Of course you can practice a movement all you want, but if these structures are out of place then the technique has already been weakened.

Is this how your approaching it? This is something that has been in the back of my mind recently.

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 08-07-2009 at 03:31 PM.

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Old 08-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #11
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Re: Aikido 101

Yes, essentially that is it. and while maybe a little different perspective, this is the crux of the Internal Strength argument which is all about developing your structure.

The problem is, who really has the skill to assess and say what is and isn't wrong? I certainly don't have the complete picture, just see the problem.

There is also alot proprioceptively that we simply have to learn as well. This requires both solo work and paired practice with the proper control mechanisms in place.

This training would be much more slower and deliberate than maybe many of us would like (read boring and slow).

However, I agree with the Shugyo model above and that you can matrix your training so as you are hitting all the major areas and then spiral down to synthesis.

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:10 PM   #12
dps
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Re: Aikido 101

Foundational structure, isn't that what aiki taiso is for?

David

Last edited by dps : 08-07-2009 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:05 PM   #13
RED
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
In truth Im not sure. It could just be a part of this small city dojos natural evolution... I dont really know.

I do wish I could sit down and chat with my instructor about a lot of this. However due to the language its a tricky situation... even when speaking in ones native tongue its often difficult not to get someones ego to go on the defense.

The instructor does appear to try and be open when I have talked with him in the past. However it may be more beneficial if those who spoke the language natively would just tell him what they thought. Sometimes the obvious alludes us.

There have been some frustrating moments to be sure... which is an understatement... but it has given me the opportunity to do some serious ego observation, as well as trying to learn from the situation Im currently in and letting things flow naturally.

The hard part is in realizing this, that each thing has its time and place, and that what is happening is here to teach me something, more so than it is me trying to change the situation - though change can happen, there is a lot that can still happen in me.

On the other hand, yes it would be nice to get some of this basic stuff straightened out, and I am amazed, as others obviously are, that the beginners never are really sat down and taught the fundamentals. [i.e., footwork, etc.]

And more so, that some techniques [actually most] are not covered which are required for higher level kyu exams. Our training tends to focus around a 6th/5th kyu level, minus the basics.

Im going out on a limb as I think back on what I understood the instructor to say. It seems his opinion is that of, "if you learn ikkyo, nikkyo, etc." its the same for every attack, etc. [I suppose in principle this may be true, but the fact remains the body dynamics are different and as the quote from Kevin points out, one must first understand these various dynamics]

Also, in regards to footwork, it appears that his thinking is similar to the above... forget footwork its natural. While this may be true there is a lack of confidence in the beginners as to the required footwork and what it means.

In a way, it seems that there is a gap in what the instructor knows, as he is talented, and how he presents the knowledge.
I suppose at a certain point you just catch on... but until then, there are a lot of frustrated beginners who can turn into mediocre mid/high level students.

I would say that potentially the one area of fault in higher kyu ranks is that of the lack of flexibility in how a technique is done. Personally I believe the technique is dynamic and fits to a given situation. But some appear to think there is one particular body dynamic that works for each technique.

The issue with this is that it has caused confusion in the lower kyus who want to feel like they have a basic grasp of a technique. When in reality they would probably benefit from knowing that it is just one of many possibilities of what they are learning.

Now this concept is not new in theory, as I have heard it talked about, but Im not convinced this is shown consistently enough in practice.

I have tried to be subtle in my suggestions, and it may have paid off... even if it was on a subconscious level. As I have mentioned the senior students have been a bit more proactive recently in trying to cover the basics for the beginners, when the instructor is not there, [which he is out a bit, so I suppose he is delegating teaching for the most part to the 1st kyus], and now doing some of the more advanced moves with the higher kyu ranks... which is cool.

So step by step, as it were -

Peace

dAlen
That's a hard situation man. It seems like if you are stuck. Either quit the dojo or deal with it. I'm sorry you are having these problems man. I just don't see a resolution beyond trying to take things into your own hands and give instruction to your lower class men when you can.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #14
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Foundational structure, isn't that what aiki taiso is for?

David
Yes, but is it done right, is it enough, and how do you test/evaluate where someone is in the process?

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Old 08-07-2009, 08:27 PM   #15
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Re: Aikido 101

dAlen wrote:

Quote:
Im going out on a limb as I think back on what I understood the instructor to say. It seems his opinion is that of, "if you learn ikkyo, nikkyo, etc." its the same for every attack, etc. [I suppose in principle this may be true, but the fact remains the body dynamics are different and as the quote from Kevin points out, one must first understand these various dynamics]
lol, I agree with your instructor actually. I think it is the same, but alas timing, proprioception, structure, shifts, adjustments in your body, being proactive, responsive to the changes in the relationship differ.

That is where all the "stick time" of just being on the mat and training dynamically come into play.

It is also where building your body and structure come into play as well.

Techniques are not where it is at. In fact, I think the more you develop posture, structure, etc...that techiques are not important at all. They don't lead, they follow.

However, the way most of us come into the art and what we are thirsty for are the Techniques...cause we come at it with the Western Learning model that David provided.

We want to see the logical progression of the steps...open up the playbook, cookbook or whatever you want to call it, memorize the patterns of the technique and master it that way.

As you know, it becomes a very frustrating endeavor!

Especially when you throw non-cooperative play, aliveness, and randori in the mix.

Yes, you learned the techniques, but you don't really have the structure nor the experience to deal with that level of action.

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Old 08-07-2009, 08:36 PM   #16
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Re: Aikido 101

dAlen wrote:

Quote:
I would say that potentially the one area of fault in higher kyu ranks is that of the lack of flexibility in how a technique is done. Personally I believe the technique is dynamic and fits to a given situation. But some appear to think there is one particular body dynamic that works for each technique.
Yes, I agree that technique is dynamic and you can have many options....like a Jazz muscian.

That said, all good muscians study classically. They learn the basic fundamentals first.

There are some common fundamentals of structure that really need to be burned into the body I think before you start playing with the variations on the theme.

This is the essence of what I am talking about.

Uechi Ryu Karate comes to mind as a particularly good waza that builds a decent structure with Sanchin Kata.

Sanchin is not too dynamic, very restrictive, and certainly won't teach you to fight. But is will (if trained right) I think help you form good habits and structure such as connecting breath with movement, shift wieght, and keeping your elbows in. It also conditions your body and burns in somethings.

Just using this as an example that many might be familiar with. There certainly are other ways to do this.

I think the challenge is to develop a waza practice that instills the things we want to instill, develops the core and body for future study. We then test and measure progress on this practice in someway. This is all before we even get to the first irimi nage! (which btw, I submit we can still practice concurrently, but is not the main focus early on).

That and as you state, our instructors should be able to articulate to us clearly why we are doing this and how it will help us later on as we develop.

We then mark promotions an measure success by the little milestones, not the big ones and then I think we will find our students and selves happier and not feeling so much like a failure maybe?

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Old 08-07-2009, 08:44 PM   #17
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Re: Aikido 101

BTW, I just want to say that I don't want anyone to think that I think this is something revolutionary and that no one practices in with these concepts, as I am sure alot of you out there do train this way. Just discussing concepts and Ideas.

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Old 08-07-2009, 09:39 PM   #18
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Re: Aikido 101

I found this while researching another topic.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=558

Training and Cognition
by Yoshio Kuroiwa

"Techniques (form) serve as guideposts in order to learn the principles of nature. The aim of training is content and not the practice of form. An understanding of the content, meaning and purpose of techniques creates an enriched mind and a broad confidence (faith). Techniques are the expression of the mind through the body and are not for forcing people into a pattern, nor for limiting their minds. ......... It is important to understand correctly the meaning of the oft quoted expressions, "The mind leads and the body follows" and "The mind and body are one." If you misunderstand these concepts, it will prove a great hindrance and I am afraid that this will lead to the "cart being placed before the horse". Basics (kihon) are the guideposts (meaning) but are not the same as training in the technical fundamentals (kiso). Problems arise if you confuse basics and training in technical fundamentals. "

David
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:56 PM   #19
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Re: Aikido 101

I am probably going to get lost in semantics again with the above David.

"Techniques serve as guidepost..."

These days I tend to think that they serve as obstacles...at least the way we as westerners understand the word "technique".

I think we assume away alot of things when we use techniques as a guidepost or training mechanism.

I think this is what Systema seems to think to as what I see in there training is guys worried more about the structure and flowing than any techniques at all.

Sure techniques can give context. They give us something to discuss form, function, and structure around.

But then we get the huge gloss over in irimi tenkan for example of "Just move your hips!"

I think this is the problem when one says "Techniques are the guidepost..."

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Old 08-08-2009, 12:36 AM   #20
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I am probably going to get lost in semantics again with the above David.

"Techniques serve as guidepost..."

These days I tend to think that they serve as obstacles...at least the way we as westerners understand the word "technique".
What you describe reminds me of when I taught kids and they kept telling me they "already knew that technique." I had to keep reminding them that they only knew the outter form of the techniques and that my seniors were still learning the very same techniques I was teaching them. I've generally been taught that techniques are there to give us something to play with...rather than doing something completely different every time, we repeat and refine our approach to that basic form.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:25 AM   #21
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido 101

Thanks Matthew.

I ran into sort of the same problem when I was in charge of what the Army Calls "Individual Replacement Training" for Europe.

This was a "refresher" course of basic skills for soldiers that were going to Iraq or Afghanistan as "replacements" for people that had gotten injured, left, or they simply had a new need for a soldier.

Anyway, The skills that were taught we very basic skills such as, for example, how to get your rifle working again if it malfunctions when firing it.

Once a week I'd have some high ranking officer, that was sharp, walk into my office, after getting the in brief on what they would be covering during the 5 day course that wanted to be exempting from the course.

"Why do I have to do this, I've been in the military for 15 years and already know this."

Well, my reply was this:

"Sir, let me see your weapon". then I'd look it over and hand it right back to him and say you have 5 seconds to load, clear, and reduce stoppage, and describe to me as you do it step by step every action you are doing."

He'd never be able to do it.

Then I'd say, this is why you are taking the course sir.

What happened is this.

Yes, "he knew it". and "no he did not KNOW IT".

I think this is true in any kinda of martial art.

We learn three different ways for the most part right?

VAK: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthically.

In his mind, conceptually he had this down and could visualize himself doing this simple drill. Of course he could, He had done it in Basic, and sproradically throughout his career.

He'd sit in the back of the classroom while his soldiers did it and watch them "supervising" training.

He'd even quizzed others under him to make sure they could do it and could mentally process the steps and know if they did it wrong.

The problem is he did not understand it in his own body, in the context of "pressure" or "aliveness". He could not do this without mentally processing it, or taking a few seconds to "rehearse" it prior to showing me.

I think this happens alot in our training, especially when we look at the simple stuff. We cognitively have processed it, and understand it.

I go back to my 40 year old in a 60 year old body that has a self image that he is 18!

Our brains can help us and it can hurt us.

I think this is a good example of the kind of training we should provide instructors so they have an acute understanding of Kinesthetic learning and how it differs from Mental models of learning, which is what we are primarily concerned with and used to in the West for most of us.

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Old 08-08-2009, 02:18 PM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido 101

Yeah, what Matthew and Kevin said....

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:31 PM   #23
Mark Mueller
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
3. Watching 40 year old men that are in a 60 year old body, with a mind that still believes that they are 18 get hurt and frustrated in Martial Arts.
Kevin....this is me only I am 52!
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:05 PM   #24
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido 101

Yea Mark, but you are probably a 52 year old guy that thinks he is in a 60 year old body, but is actually in a 40 year old body!

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Old 08-08-2009, 03:19 PM   #25
Bob Blackburn
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Re: Aikido 101

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I am probably going to get lost in semantics again with the above David.

"Techniques serve as guidepost..."

These days I tend to think that they serve as obstacles...at least the way we as westerners understand the word "technique".

I think we assume away alot of things when we use techniques as a guidepost or training mechanism.

I think this is what Systema seems to think to as what I see in there training is guys worried more about the structure and flowing than any techniques at all.

Sure techniques can give context. They give us something to discuss form, function, and structure around.

But then we get the huge gloss over in irimi tenkan for example of "Just move your hips!"

I think this is the problem when one says "Techniques are the guidepost..."
Excellent point. I don't think this can be stressed enough.

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