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Old 04-17-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
fisher6000
Dojo: NY Aikikai
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Favorite Partners

I was talking to one of my sempai yesterday, and he said that he definitely has "aikido boyfriends and girlfriends," or people that he strongly prefers to train with.

I do too, of course. And in my dojo most teachers don't ask you to switch partners during class, so once you're paired up you're stuck.

I've noticed, though, that my favorites tend to be a lot like me, and that we wind up training easily but not sensitively.

I've been finding that I learn more when I let go of my favorites, and that I need to find a new strategy for picking partners. Does anyone else think about this?
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:21 PM   #2
David Maidment
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Re: Favorite Partners

I have favourites too, but a few of them are people who don't necessarily make it easy for me to train -- people, for example, who always push me and give me something to think about. Going in to train with them I know that I'm going to have difficulties, but I also know that I'll come out with something great.

Then there are also the folk who I just know I can easily flip and throw around. I find it healthy to have a good 'play' in training once in a while with those who are a lot like you.

"Never escalate a battle unless forced to do so by your enemy" - Zordon
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:05 PM   #3
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

If we only do what we have always done we will only do what we have always done.

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:05 PM   #4
RED
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Re: Favorite Partners

You learn something different working with extremely light uke, and something very different working with heavy stiff uke. You learn something different being thrown by a competent student, and something different from taking ukemi for a beginning student.

The definition of insanity is repeating your actions and expecting different results.

MM
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

I can't say I have any particular favorites... Although I do love when I get to train, one on one, with either sensei..

Each member of the dojo has something special and unique that helps me to learn. Nice thing is sensei rarely dictates who pairs with who and we are strongly encouraged to train at least once a class with each person present or as many different partners as possible. This pretty much keeps us from getting stuck in the habit of only training with the one most comfortable for us.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:36 AM   #6
aikishihan
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Re: Favorite Partners

The one in my mirror.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

I have people I love to train with and those I don't particularly love to train with. I train with everyone regardless though. Each has something different to offer to my training experience. We change partners constantly though.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:35 AM   #8
GMaroda
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
I can't say I have any particular favorites... Although I do love when I get to train, one on one, with either sensei..

Each member of the dojo has something special and unique that helps me to learn. Nice thing is sensei rarely dictates who pairs with who and we are strongly encouraged to train at least once a class with each person present or as many different partners as possible. This pretty much keeps us from getting stuck in the habit of only training with the one most comfortable for us.
I'd say I have favorites for specific things we're doing or I want to focus on but otherwise I agree that everyone has something to offer.

Maybe it's just our dojo. LOL.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:11 AM   #9
Karo
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Re: Favorite Partners

In our dojo we switch partners quite often during class, so it's not a problem. But yes, I do have one "aikido girlfriend", and two "aikido boyfriends"... and am currently chasing after a third

And my favorite partners are not necessarily favorite only because they're like me. Some are, and it's fun to train with someone who's matched to you in height, weight, strength, and flexibility; but I also like to choose people who will challenge me and, in doing that, help me become better.

Karo
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:00 AM   #10
raul rodrigo
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Re: Favorite Partners

My favorite depends on what I am working on at the moment.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:09 AM   #11
Amir Krause
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Re: Favorite Partners

Depends on the specific practice and my own mood.

As a rather experienced practitioner, there are only few people who can pose a challenge to me (and only if we get to practice on the same day).
I dislike practicing with bad Uke of the type in which I find myself "stuck" with someone without the ability or experience to realize my reasons for deciding a certain throw was "worth-less" and he should not have taken a fall.
I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation dictated by the Kata. Yes, sometimes I feel like just training as Sensei has asked, and not playing around it.

When practicing a paired weapons Kata, I prefer to practice with someone whose knowledge of the Kata at least approximates mine, so I will not have to remind him of the next move all the time, and we could both improve and learn the Kata instead.

Amir
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:36 AM   #12
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

You must train alone an awful lot.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:20 AM   #13
Janet Rosen
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
You must train alone an awful lot.
LOL! Me, I like to mix it up. Working w/ newbies (in ANYthing, not just aikido) makes me slow down and consider the steps that comprise what I do and the reasons behind them. Working with peers is a chance to explore my current status, play a bit, stretch a bit. Working with people w/ significantly higher or different capabilities than mine is a challenge to learn and grow. The only partners I really don't enjoy are those who want to impose their vision of what/how I should be learning on me to the degree that I cannot learn anything. And I try not to be that partner, but I'm sure I don't always succeed.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:27 AM   #14
earnest aikidoka
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Re: Favorite Partners

the reason i jumped thru different dojos was to look for others to train with
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #15
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Depends on the specific practice and my own mood.

As a rather experienced practitioner, there are only few people who can pose a challenge to me (and only if we get to practice on the same day).
I dislike practicing with bad Uke of the type in which I find myself "stuck" with someone without the ability or experience to realize my reasons for deciding a certain throw was "worth-less" and he should not have taken a fall.
I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation dictated by the Kata. Yes, sometimes I feel like just training as Sensei has asked, and not playing around it.

When practicing a paired weapons Kata, I prefer to practice with someone whose knowledge of the Kata at least approximates mine, so I will not have to remind him of the next move all the time, and we could both improve and learn the Kata instead.

Amir
Wow.... that is all I have to say about that. Glad you aren't in my dojo. I don't think you would fit in with that attitude. Also, I don't believe that all "newbie youngsters" interfere with each technique and go outside the kata demonstrated. If they do, it could be lack of understanding instead of an attempt to challenge your "experience".

Maybe I am just reading way too much into what you wrote, but perhaps you need to check your ego and gain a bit more humility and realize that you too were once in their position. If I misinterpreted what you wrote, then I apologize for the error.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:00 PM   #16
Rob Watson
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters ...
I'm selfish like this too but I also know that eventually they will 'catch up' a bit and serve my needs more fully so I do my best to help them along. Sometimes ya' gotta give some to get some.

Once, at a post exam interview, a senior (godan) mentioned that I was his favorite uke in morning class and I've been trying to figure out why that is ... maybe I'll ask him one of these days. He might have said training partner but I remember it as uke.

We always change partners after each technique session so everyone cycles through everyone.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:23 PM   #17
danielajames
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

Newbies, oldies and aikipals...Traditionally Uke is the teacher, sometimes you need a teacher sometimes you are the teacher and sometimes you just want to hang out with your buddies and blow out some cobwebs.

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:22 AM   #18
Kwizxi
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Re: Favorite Partners

I must say, having only been training for a couple of weeks, I am glad that nobody has taken that attitude with me... how would I ever get anywhere?
As a dance teacher, (different I know, but the only way I can relate to the experience), I love having new students in class, it makes us all go back and pay attention to our basics, posture, formation etc. No matter how accomplished I think I am as a dancer, it is always beneficial to return to square one for an evening. Also, new students will ask new and challenging questions sometimes.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:27 AM   #19
lbb
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Re: Favorite Partners

I think you all are triggering off the phrase "newbie youngsters" and missing the rest of what Amir is saying -- there's a lot of text there besides those two words, so give it a fair reading. Amir has a good point about training with people who want to color outside the lines, particularly in weapons kata. Think about the implications of a newbie, holding a weapon for the very first time, who decides to try something random instead of just sticking to the kata. That's unsafe practice, it's how people get seriously hurt, and it certainly doesn't help anyone's practice.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:56 AM   #20
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Think about the implications of a newbie, holding a weapon for the very first time, who decides to try something random instead of just sticking to the kata. That's unsafe practice, it's how people get seriously hurt, and it certainly doesn't help anyone's practice.
THAT statement, I can totally agree with Mary. However, I was not triggering off of just two words in his statement. The main thing that I was pointing out is the part where he says ".... I don't always have mood to play with newbie youngsters who try to interfere to each technique, going way outside the situation......"

I understand (or at least think I do) what he is trying to say, I just don't agree. Now, maybe I have been very lucky in my 10 or so years of martial arts experience (very little aikido though), as I haven't worked with a "newbie youngster" that has willingly and intentionally just did whatever they wanted. Maybe I have always been lucky enough to work with beginners who have eagerly and whole heartedly tried to do excatly what was shown to them.

I think it is an unfair and innacurate statement to assume that a (or every) beginner will purposefully go outside of the kata for their own enjoyment. Now, I'm sure that this does happen sometimes, but I don't think it is as common as Amir seems to make it seem and I also think that when you are learning something new, you are bound to accidently skip over a move or do the incorrect move. If this is what he is talking about, then saying "the newbie youngster is trying to interfere with the technique" isn't accurate because they are NOT trying to interfere. They are trying to do the correct one, but simply made an error. To try to do something requires intent. I don't know too many beginners who intentionally make mistakes to annoy their training partners.

Either way, to each their own. Everyone has different preferences, which is what makes training a unique experience on a daily basis. I guess some people like working with beginners and others don't. Nothing wrong with either of those I suppose. I just think that everyone needs to be reminded that they were once in that new persons shoes. We were all clumsy and lost at one point.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:01 PM   #21
Rob Watson
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
"newbie youngsters"
To the seniors I'm one and to me my juniors are also. Why we do stuff that is thought 'incorrect' ... well who knows ... unless it is explained or 'corrected' it just leads to frustration and alienation. Some would rather let others figure it out on their own while there are others that are more proactive. Personality and mood play a large part ... humans do that sort of thing.

It does take a bit of brass to ask ones senior why they are doing something that sensei clearly was not doing. I do take a bit of misplaced joy when sensei corrects my seniors.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:37 PM   #22
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

Personally I wasn't triggering off of any particular words. The overall tone of the post just seemed rather arrogant. And gave the distinct feel of..

"no one is as great as I am and I only want to train with those who are my equals. I can't be bothered to work with people who don't already know the techniques"

I figure its very possible I misunderstood the intention of the post given that English is probably not the posters strongest language. But that is the impression it gave me. I hope that if I am wrong the poster will clarify for us.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #23
lbb
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
I think it is an unfair and innacurate statement to assume that a (or every) beginner will purposefully go outside of the kata for their own enjoyment.
It would be an unfair statement indeed...if Amir had made it.

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Now, I'm sure that this does happen sometimes, but I don't think it is as common as Amir seems to make it seem
I don't think he said anything about how frequent this is.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:52 PM   #24
lbb
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Personally I wasn't triggering off of any particular words. The overall tone of the post just seemed rather arrogant. And gave the distinct feel of..

"no one is as great as I am and I only want to train with those who are my equals. I can't be bothered to work with people who don't already know the techniques"
Ok, so that's your paraphrase of what Amir said. Now here's mine. I took a look at what Amir actually wrote -- five sentences -- and summarized those sentences into the following four points:
  • I'm an experienced practitioner, and not many people can push me to the point where I can improve in certain ways
  • I don't like practicing with ukes who "take a dive"
  • Sometimes I don't have the patience to work with someone who decides to ignore what Sensei has told us to do and play "yeah, but what if" in kata practice
  • In paired weapons kata, I prefer to practice with someone of equivalent skill so that I can make some forward progress, not someone that I have to teach the basic moves of the kata to
Obviously we're seeing quite a difference. Certainly given that this was a thread that asked about preferences, I really can't find any fault in what Amir is saying.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:00 PM   #25
chillzATL
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Re: Favorite Partners

It goes both ways. I really enjoy the times when I can train with more experience people who are working towards the same goals as I, or at the very least are aware of what I'm working towards and willing to give me what i want.

At the same time though, I like working with the newbs. It's nice to help someone with something and see that epiphany where they've finally, maybe for the first time, felt what they've been being told. It's also nice to potentially shape the way someone will train, maybe their entire life, if they stick around that long.
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