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Old 04-15-2002, 09:29 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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Discuss the article, "Honest Practice" by Jim Zimmerdahl here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/training/zimmerdahl2.html
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Old 04-18-2002, 05:52 PM   #2
Bruce Baker
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Aikido Imposters

It doesn't matter the belt or experience of a person, that is the balance of our world.

Find the harmony of motion, break the rythym of becoming the enemy, become yourself, become the strength of Aikido.

All else will vanish as details to be observed, not to be taken into your Aikido.

Forget about your belt, it holds up your pants, and sometimes not even that.

Become Aikido ... your opponents will seem like helpless children, not the problems you write about. They might even want to be Aikido, too?
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Old 04-23-2002, 04:29 AM   #3
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
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The Thief:
When done moderately this helps the beginners very much. The sensei doesn't have eyes everywhere. If he doesn't like what the "advanced student" is doing he will stop it. The "green belt" doesn't steal anything. He gives new knowledge to the "white belt", he gives senseis attention to others, he gives very valuable knowledge to himself. Who wants to teach (even if he knows a little) has to think things through.

The Imposter:
A confrimation is sometimes the best thing you can get. If the asker had a little doubt, now has he none. Everyone should be allowed to question the ways of the teacher. That makes the teachers better. That makes the askers more sure - especially when the teacher comes out of the question with dignity (which he/she should).
The practioners who change - you should be able to do things you want to. Especially if the sensei doesn't stop you. And talking for us is a very effective way to learn.

The Victim:
What can I say... one must practice in harmony. I think those uke and tori did that. After mastering the "none-reality" you can start mastering the reality.

The Charlatan:
Well this the only case where the problem really exists. Definitely he hasn't understand that being uke is as important as being tori.

So who is this student?:
I really must say I think this article was quite uhm... bad... wanting to win our ego? Wanting to "not to be" those students? Well THIS is the case of feeding "the inner beast" (how pathetic) not those mentioned in the article. We must accept our egos and live with them not combat them - that would be as
none-Aiki as possible. Be what You are and fit into the concept of Aikido. When desperately looking for a change, a way to get better, we probably will never get there.

We musn't BATLLE ourselves that's self destructive in any way. "In the forest of spears, surrounded, You must realize that these very speartips are Your very shield" (Morihei Ueshiba). Our ego is the speartips. Our ego is our shield.


Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub

P.S. I hope someone reads my post I think I did a great job! (Ego at work )
P.P.S. Jun, Is ANYONE with a seemingly-reasonable bunch of words able to post an article? If yes, then how?
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Old 04-23-2002, 09:52 AM   #4
Lyle Bogin
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My opinion....

The Theif:

Yes, the green belt has very little to teach, but the white belt can only absorb very little. If anyone is the theif, it is the sensei, who steals personal training time from his green belt when he/she himself could be doing the teaching. However, IMO, teaching is a valuable opportunity for learning, and should a company training in an appropriate way. Teaching must be learned, and the ego does not simply vanish but must be defeated over time. New students suffer your egotistical teaching. In exchange, they learn from you. They suffer your weakness, you suffer theirs. It is a fair, harmonious trade in from which both practitioners can draw strength and develop a good training relationship.

The Imposter:

The authors description makes sense, and restates the old "empty your cup" argument fairly well.

The Chalatan:

Sounds like a person who treats the dojo like a gym. They have a right to do this, IMO. Being bitter about it helps noone. A dojo can be different things to different people, as long as there are no gross violations of conduct or respect.

The authors conclusion is not very readable.
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Old 04-30-2002, 05:27 PM   #5
[wintermute]
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I am not sure what to think of the this "thesis" except that they really don't want to train with anyone except themselves. I would think that their own "ego" is getting in the way them learning anything. Why is this person always looking at everyone else? If you want to train then train, if you want to complain call someone who cares. Everyone has something to teach us. Whether a new student or grandmaster. It is a brotherhood, and this person is oblivious to what is really going on. As for the thief synopsis- how can someone steal what I freely give? Generally, I think that this is a know it all, somehow cosmically enlightened to not look at him/herself. I would like to enlighten with this. "As the mountains need the rain, doesn't your crotch need kicking?"

- my friend's comments on this article.. a remarkable martial artist..
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Old 04-30-2002, 07:18 PM   #6
shihonage
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Quote:
Originally posted by [wintermute]


I am not sure what to think of the this "thesis" except that they really don't want to train with anyone except themselves. I would think that their own "ego" is getting in the way them learning anything. Why is this person always looking at everyone else? If you want to train then train, if you want to complain call someone who cares. Everyone has something to teach us. Whether a new student or grandmaster. It is a brotherhood, and this person is oblivious to what is really going on. As for the thief synopsis- how can someone steal what I freely give? Generally, I think that this is a know it all, somehow cosmically enlightened to not look at him/herself. I would like to enlighten with this. "As the mountains need the rain, doesn't your crotch need kicking?"

- my friend's comments on this article.. a remarkable martial artist..
Right on, Wintermute.

If you can't learn to deal with all kinds of people, you kind of lose a part of your training.
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Old 04-30-2002, 09:02 PM   #7
Edward
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Well, I find the article really excellent. Unfortunately, the kind of people talked about in the article used to be a rare specie, but now they do make the vast majority of aikido practitioners, hence the frustration of the serious aikidoka, and the negative response to the article by some of this forum's members.

Last edited by Edward : 04-30-2002 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 05-01-2002, 06:03 AM   #8
erikmenzel
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Very very good descriptive article!

This article just names some of the problems in a lot of dojos.
Unfortunately these kinds of attitudes seem to have become normal in a lot of places. They have become normal to the point where people defend these kind of attitudes and seriously dont understand anymore what is wrong with these attitudes.

Now go to the dojo and train!

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-01-2002, 06:11 PM   #9
guest1234
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I would agree with most who've posted that these are just the folks that fill each dojo, and we just learn to accept and deal with them, Except the thief, who I do think should be asked to change his ways. Why? because I do not see it as the green belt is stealing the right to teach from sensei (as some implied), or time, but he is stealing from the white belt the chance to learn. I think Aikido is best learned by carefully watching, feeling, trying, experiencing. Even if the green belt really understood what to do, and could really teach it, to keep stopping the white belt from trying and experiencing on his own is stealing the most important part of Aikido training from the white belt.

Even when I have my very favorite senseis as a partner, I want to try it on my own. I'm grateful if I'm not getting it by the 8th try or so that a hint is given, but they give only a hint, and don't stop training in order to say the 3-5 words max they want to say. But they give me time to try several versions on my own. Funny it is the junior students who want to stop and teach; the senseis (when they are students in another's class) generally want to shut up and train.
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Old 05-02-2002, 01:33 AM   #10
tedehara
 
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Talking The Wrong Brothers

Quote:
Originally posted by ca
...Funny it is the junior students who want to stop and teach; the senseis (when they are students in another's class) generally want to shut up and train.
Several years ago, one of my instructors was able to get into a class without anyone knowing who he was. This was a minor miracle, since he has over 35 years training and is fairly well known among the senior students in the area.

While he appreciated the help from one of his partners, he told me later that everything he was taught was "just wrong".

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 05-02-2002, 02:25 AM   #11
PeterR
 
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Re: The Wrong Brothers

Quote:
Originally posted by tedehara
While he appreciated the help from one of his partners, he told me later that everything he was taught was "just wrong".
Don't quite understand - did the partner comment on your sensei's knowledge or did your sensei comment on the partner's sensei's teaching ability?

Anyway as far as more advanced just wanting to shut up and train - think about it. It's one of the few chances they get to actually practice.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-21-2002, 12:28 PM   #12
tedehara
 
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Question The Wrong Brothers

Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR

Don't quite understand - did the partner comment on your sensei's knowledge or did your sensei comment on the partner's sensei's teaching ability?...
The person my sensei was practicing with was trying to teach him. They didn't know he was a black belt. This comment wasn't a reflection on the dojo's chief instructor, since he wasn't there. It was a comment on his partner's ideas on aikido technique.

There are dojos in the USA where they no longer teach aikido. However, they do practice it. By going through the rote motions of training, the members hope to improve. Their enthusiasm is admirable. Their understanding is appalling.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:51 AM   #13
ikkitosennomusha
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Hi everyone!

I feel that this post regarding the ego and honest practive is a good one and is worth reading. Most organizational student manuals need to make more mention in the write-up discerning the difference between alturism and egoism.

Unfortunately, the problem, like the article states, is that this beast is within all of us, and that means sensei as well. Being humble is idealistic for human character. In Aikido, we should strive to refine this trait because we Aikidoka need to be concered how we represent ourselves, our art, and the founder.

I once had a sensei who was a bit of a control freak which is a nuance of the ego. A begginer cannot discern the difference from a strict sensei who foloows Japanese tradition to promote safety and respect and those who are over-board with their authority.

In short, I feel this article is ligitimate and has good merit. We need to be evermindful of our ego and our skills!
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Old 05-07-2003, 02:24 PM   #14
twilliams423
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Re "Discuss this article",

NO !

I guess I'm the lone contrarian.
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:27 PM   #15
Chuck Clark
 
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Jim Zimmerdahl isn't on any discussion lists, but having known and trained with him for quite a few years now, I know that he really likes the fact that some folks like his article and some don't.

Jim spends quite a bit of his time working in Holland and we miss him in the dojo now.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:11 PM   #16
Richard Elliott
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Quote:
AikiWeb System wrote:
Discuss the article, "Honest Practice" by Jim Zimmerdahl here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/training/zimmerdahl2.html
Mr. Zimmerdahl's article is both insightful and relevant. Thinking about what we say and what we mean both in others and ourselves, to me, is the way he has done, is what helps me to realize what it is I really want out of whatever activity I might be pursuing at any given time: Why am I here? What do I have to offer? Can I make a relevant contribution? Can I learn anything here? or anywhere else!?

Issues of security (insecurity), one's given comfort level with the activities and persons in a dojo all come into play.

Is it necessary to have a "pure heart" before entering any activity? Hardly. As Mr. Zimmerdahl's essay rightly implies I think: We learn by doing.

This kind of self-analysis is not easy. It takes payment of a special kind and it's not cheap: ATTENTION. But refusing to look at ones own life objectively, to me, is consequent to perhaps making the same seemingly random mistakes over and over and ...

Respectfully, Richard
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:22 AM   #17
Jelena Drvendzija
 
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Re: Article: Honest Practice by Jim Zimmerdahl

Yes, we have all seen it on the mat, didn't we? And we all did it at one time or another, right? Thank you Jim for this honest piece of writing.

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Old 10-01-2007, 08:41 PM   #18
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Re: Article: Honest Practice by Jim Zimmerdahl

I've seen all these characters come out of me during practice, and I've seen them come out of my fellow students. Great article.
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