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Old 04-22-2010, 09:52 PM   #26
Anidan
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyu Kai, AIS, Belconnen
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Re: Favorite Partners

I know I have people I prefer to train with. And I was surprised when I realised that it's not just dan grade sempai in my list. For me it's similar to Janet's comment; I learn different things by training with different people.

That said, I do have a couple of people I actively attempt to avoid training with because I find them too frustrating to work with. They fall in the category of patronising and/or uncommitted to their attack or technique regardless of their level of experience. I've encountered this in both novices and shodan but it bothers me more in the senior aikidoka.

Go gentle

Anidan )O(
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:00 PM   #27
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
It would be an unfair statement indeed...if Amir had made it.
Actually, he did state that. He said "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."

In order to make that statement, he is assuming a newbie youngster is purposefully going outside of the kata. Although this may happen, I think it is more likely a beginner is accidently going outside of the kata.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I don't think he said anything about how frequent this is.
You are accurate in that he didn't say "4 out of 5 newbie beginners piss me off because they don't know what they are doing" or something along those lines. However, (maybe it is just my interpretation) I got the feeling that he looks at all beginners in the same light. That all newbie youngsters will tsuki instead of attacking shomen because they "feel that is a neat thing to do next".

On another note, I don't see how behavior like that would be acceptable/tolerated in a dojo for the very reason you mentioned previously- safety. He shouldn't even have to be in a situation like that to begin with.

~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 04-23-2010, 12:22 PM   #28
Russ Q
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Re: Favorite Partners

I'll parrot/paraphrase what Suganuma Sensei has to say in relation to this subject: When training with a senior allow yourself to be drawn out of your comfort zone. When training with a junior draw them out of their comfort zone gently and with care/awareness (I'm paraphrasing......of course:-). I think both require an awareness and connectedness that we all strive for in daily practice. The less I pick and choose my training partners the more I get out of practice.

My two cents,

Russ
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:26 PM   #29
lbb
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Actually, he did state that. He said "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."

In order to make that statement, he is assuming a newbie youngster is purposefully going outside of the kata. Although this may happen, I think it is more likely a beginner is accidently going outside of the kata.
But he didn't say that. He didn't make any such assumption. He didn't say that all newbies do this, just that he doesn't always have the patience to deal with a newbie who does this.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:14 PM   #30
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
But he didn't say that. He didn't make any such assumption. He didn't say that all newbies do this, just that he doesn't always have the patience to deal with a newbie who does this.
Meh... this isn't going anywhere. I must say though Mary, I love hearing what you have to say. You always put a spin on things for people who aren't seeing the whole picture. I get what you are saying, I just disagree a bit. I just don't agree with his point of view and well... that happens. Again, I see nothing wrong with that either. I do appreciate you breaking things down as to how you interpret his statements though. When I read posts, I often go "Where is Mary's response?" and scan until I find it, as I often look forward to seeing your view.

Russ, I like your paraphrased quote.

Last edited by ninjaqutie : 04-23-2010 at 02:18 PM.

~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 04-23-2010, 08:47 PM   #31
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Re: Favorite Partners

Actually, Ashley, it's probably about three posts since I should have sat back and let Amir speak for himself, if he so chose. Thanks for understanding.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:12 PM   #32
Gorgeous George
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
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.
Indeed. If Morihei Ueshiba had refused to train with those 'inferior' to him, it's hard to see how we would have aikido...
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:42 PM   #33
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Actually, Ashley, it's probably about three posts since I should have sat back and let Amir speak for himself, if he so chose. Thanks for understanding.
Any time Mary... any time. A little friendly debate every now and then makes things more interesting. At least it was a welcomed courteous debate. I can't stand it when people get rude... no need for it.

~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 04-26-2010, 06:41 AM   #34
Amir Krause
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Re: Favorite Partners

Wow, did not get to the site for a few days, and already I read interpretations of my writings.

I wrote of my Preferences, not of Attitude. When I train with anyone, I try to enjoy the moment myself, and Uke. And, if Uke is a beginner, I have always done my best to help him to improve, according to his abilities (and my teaching abilities).

Further, it seems the lot of you ignored the first sentence:
Quote:
Depends on the specific practice and my own mood
:
My preference the last month, often differ from the month before, not to speak of 3 or 5 years ago. I too may come to the dojo wishing different things.

Some years I practiced 3-4 times a week, and in additional M.A. back then I did not have a problem to be a substitute teacher almost once a week, and to help others t a significant portion of my time. The last couple of years I find it difficult to practice more then once every 2 weeks, so obviously, I wish to make the best of the very short and limited time I have at the dojo, to at least slow the process of losing skill if not gain some.

I never wrote that all beginners intentionally try to interfere with each technique and go outside the kata demonstrated deliberately. That is your interpretation!
In the post I wrote of two typical behaviors which I have encountered often, and dislike: falling with no reason, and trying to resist by changing the basic situation (outside the Kata). Both of these behaviors make my training less productive. While given my current time limitations, I prefer to maximize the productivity of my training.
Actually, I prefer those who resist to those who fall without reason. With the former, I can still learn something (though not the intended lesson). I do not know about the dojo you are at, but here, it is common for beginners, mostly the young males, to try and "test the system" or "prove themselves" by trying to resist or disrupt a technique. Some times, I actually enjoy showing them how much they still have to learn and how their own resistance, opens many other options Other times, I don't. And again, time changes perspective and preferences, when I was less proficient and trained more each week, I considered it a challenge and loved it.
Ashley, your own experience may be different, but I can think of 2-3 of these in the last half year, and many more over the years. It might be because of living area and temperament; or because my Sensei belief that M.A. must be practical for fighting, getting more of a specific type of people; or it might be, that such people would not have tried resisting to you, but would try me and other Yundasha in our dojo (gender, size, belt ).

Since these days I wish to try and get some progress in the very limited time I have, I prefer to train with people with whom that will assist my own progress. This implies people who know how to follow the Kata while training it, create the very same situation repeatedly, with the same intent and power directions, and than sensitive enough to detect my own mistakes and indicate them to me (by word or implication/response). It also implies people who will know how to train in Randori (Korindo Aikido style -- both sides attacking, defending and countering as they will, for outsiders it may resemble sparring), knowing this Randori is a learning experience and not a fight (this mistake is often typical at the kyu 1 to shodan level, even though Sensei keeps explaining, it seems at that point, most are not open to hear the wisdom, nor was I).

As for the paired weapons Kata, in our dojo these are practiced almost only by the more advanced students (kyu 1 and above). There are levels to train in a Kata, memorizing the moves is the most basic. One can not practice the next level, while his partner struggles to remember the moves. Again, I prefer my fellow trainee to be at the level I too will progress, and not only him.

Your objections imply that as an "advanced student" one should not train in the manner in which he would benefit the most. Well, I wish my training time to be fairly proportioned -- as a trainee, I chose not to teach and to keep training, I think I deserve my own training as much as you do. And, Ashley don't twist this into thinking I object to training with beginners some of the time, I do not, training with beginners provides some benefits. Currently, I prefer to train with other advanced students -- I need it more.

Amir
P.S.
We normally change partners many times during a whole practice. 2-3 for Kata and another 1-3 for Randori, then 1 additional for weapons Kata and 1-2 additional for weapons Randori (yes, in Korindo we have this too)
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:46 AM   #35
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Re: Favorite Partners

Thank you for setting us straight.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:32 AM   #36
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Re: Favorite Partners

IMHO it isn't good for us to have 'favoutites', and it's equally bad for us to have people we dislike training with.

Taking your ego out of the equation and training equally happily with everybody is the ideal.

Yes, I'm still working on it myself..... I reckon I'm over halfway there as I don't have favourites, and I don't actively avoid anybody

Ruth
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:16 PM   #37
Gorgeous George
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Ruth Rae wrote: View Post
IMHO it isn't good for us to have 'favoutites', and it's equally bad for us to have people we dislike training with.

Taking your ego out of the equation and training equally happily with everybody is the ideal.
What if somebody you train with sexually assaults you? Or just regularly hurts you through lack of consideration?
I remember a thread (in the anonymous forum, i think) where a girl was asking for advice because a man she trained with inappropriately put his hands on her, if memory serves; and one time when i was practicing, i heard somebody cry out in pain, i looked over and she hit her training partner on the back because he had hurt and upset her through inconsiderate behaviour (I then had to go and train with him while she sat it out).

I think the most fundamental aspect of aikido training is respect for the wellbeing of those you train with - it's the reason why it took me about a year to actually apply techniques with some firmness/vigour, and is (in theory, at least) a cornerstone of civilisation: respect for other people.

Regards favourites: i prefer to train with high grades, quite understandably, as i am a low grade, and they can teach me; i also have an aversion to training with women as i am very concerned about harming them - not because i think i'm so good, or so strong, or better than them because i'm a man, etc.: i guess because i have been conditioned by society to abhorr harming women even more so than men; i've done sports with men all my life, so am conditioned to training with them...i've trained with plenty of women, and some of them have had excellent aikido, plus there're a couple of women i've seen as uke at courses and they were thrown around very powerfully, and kept getting back up; so: not sexist.

Oh yeah: when grabbing them by the back of the collar on irimi-nage for example, as a lot of women have long hair, i am very worried about catching and pulling their hair - so there's another thing.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:27 PM   #38
RED
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Re: Favorite Partners

I have people I hate training with.. my fiance for one. Can't stand training with him. He's a heavy uke.
And there are those I favor, just because they are light uke.

We all have favorites and those we hate to train with. Might as well admit it , whether or not we consider it right or wrong.

MM
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:31 AM   #39
Amir Krause
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
i also have an aversion to training with women as i am very concerned about harming them - not because i think i'm so good, or so strong, or better than them because i'm a man, etc
In the last couple of years, I actually prefer to practice with Women, because their (typical) light weight and lack of force, normally makes them more sensitive to any sub-movement I make. So I am can learn to move better (pin-point directions of force instead of wide ones, just the right amount) given the feedback. Most man would absorb these minuscule elements un-noticed, and not give feedback, hence my learning process would be more difficult.

Amir
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:58 PM   #40
Janet Rosen
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Ruth Rae wrote: View Post
IMHO it isn't good for us to have 'favoutites', and it's equally bad for us to have people we dislike training with.
I think it is fine for us to have favorites or people we dislike. Its whether or not/how we REACT to those internal things that makes a difference.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:48 PM   #41
Gorgeous George
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I think it is fine for us to have favorites or people we dislike. Its whether or not/how we REACT to those internal things that makes a difference.
I agree. I remember reading in another thread how two people had to be kept apart by their sensei because they were trying to have a fight...
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:24 PM   #42
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Re: Favorite Partners

Amir, thanks for clarifying things a bit for me. I do have a question for you though. You indicate that weapons kata aren't really done as a pair until 1st kyu or above... that is interesting. Do you not do paired work at all with weapons until then? Just curious. In my dojo, we do paired weapons work from 6th kyu up.

~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 04-28-2010, 06:06 AM   #43
Amir Krause
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Re: Favorite Partners

Off topic

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Amir, thanks for clarifying things a bit for me. I do have a question for you though. You indicate that weapons kata aren't really done as a pair until 1st kyu or above... that is interesting. Do you not do paired work at all with weapons until then? Just curious. In my dojo, we do paired weapons work from 6th kyu up.
Hi Ashley

In this subject, as far as I have seen, each Korindo dojo acts on its own - according to the specific teacher decision. So, I can only describe the decisions my sensei has made, I should also mention over the last 20 years he did change his mind more then once, and he does consider it per student:
- Beginners normally start with the Jo after about 1 year of practice.
- For the first few months, a beginner only learns the Jo srikes and movements, mostly on their own, but also in front of another (one strikes the other counter strikes to "block" the strike).
- At some point, a more orderly form of learning counter techniques is started, hence doing a "kata" practice (pre-defined roles for each practitioner, defined actions, timing, steps and distance), but limited to the specific single\dual moves initiated by sensei for that practice.
- At about 2 years of training, Jo randori is started. In our vocabulary this means both partners may strike in any way and should also block, deflect and even counter (as they advance). Normally at the start of Randori practice limited versions are used (No Tsuki, only one side attacks, ...), and with one beginner and one advanced student - the latter should make sure this remains a safe training and does not turn into a fight (slow enough for the beginner to learn).
- After about 3-5 years of training, which is around Kyu 1, one starts learning a the first Jo Korindo, which is a paired almost symmetrical Kata (both sides do the same thing simultaneously).
- Slightly later one starts to learn the Ken, practicing Boken.
- The Bokken learning methodology and order is very similar to the Jo learning, though it normally goes somewhat faster.
- After about 5-8 years of training, which is around Shodan (for most), additional Katas for both Jo and Bokken, as well as other weapons (E.G. Rokshaku Bo, Kodachi, HammBo (~90 cm length), NiTo -- two swords, Iai -- drawing the sword. And more: I once tried learning the Naginata, I know my Sensei learned a Tanto Kata too, he started teaching me and another student these Kata) are being introduced. These are Koryu Kata from various Koryu styles the senior Korindo teachers (including the founder -- Minoro Hirai but not only him) have learned and decided to pass on to my teacher and his group.
These Kata are introduced to the "ynew Yundahsa" according to the Kata's the more experienced Yundasha happen to work on at that particular period of time, based on Sensei decision the student is ready to absorb more. Consequently, each of the "advanced Yundasha" knows different weapons Kata at different levels, I fully remember some Katas another Yundash hardly learnt, and vice versa.

- Weapons and weapon combinations for which Kata is being taught, are also trained in Randori (I did Jo Vs Ken Randori, a Kodachi Vs Jo Randori, a NiTo Vs Ken Randri and some other combinations). Just, do nt mistake us, the more complex oprions are only done very rarely lately - not surprising if you realize only few students reach the point they could practice such a Randori safely, and then, some only arrives once a week\less at a different day, (after a period of training more).
Also, at times, I did have very fast Jo and Bokken Randori practices (again, a matter of who practices and how often - we all wish to go home safely and practice again the next time).

As for ranking
At the Dojo I train, my Sensei currently only holds Kyu-1 and Shodan tests. Higher Dan ranks are awarded but with a "demonstration" instead of a "formal test". I know a friend of mine, who is teaching, chose (with Sensei approval) to test and grant another level of about Kyu-5 (somewhere between 5-3). So it is not holding these tests is not a matter of principles, it is a matter of the current group situation (age, state of mind).

Hope this answers you to some point.

On second thought, the above is not entirely off -topic, it may give some indication regarding my preferences. The content of the training depends of who arrives to practice, and who is my partner. If, I wish to learn the most each time, this does create preferences for me too. As to whom I will like to train with.

Amir
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:30 AM   #44
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Re: Favorite Partners

Thanks for that Amir. You explaining how your dojo goes about training does sort of help me understand your preferences. Sounds like your dojo has an interesting way about going about weapons training. I like how you do different weapons together. As far as I know, and I know very little, we only have a kata with the bokken and the jo (Sansho 3). Other then that it is jo against jo and bokken against bokken.

Also, although I disagreed with your previous statement (partially because I didn't completely understand your whole side of the story), don't think for a second that I thought ill of you. To each their own... and well... I like friendly debates and learning other people's points of view.

Thanks again for your explanations. Happy training.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:30 PM   #45
Basia Halliop
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
i also have an aversion to training with women as i am very concerned about harming them - not because i think i'm so good, or so strong, or better than them because i'm a man, etc.: i guess because i have been conditioned by society to abhorr harming women even more so than men; i've done sports with men all my life, so am conditioned to training with them..
I can understand the conditioning, but if that's your mental block try thinking of it another way... by training with these women you're helping them become stronger, more confident, learn to protect themselves, be healthy, among other things. You're actually helping and even protecting them -- NOT hurting them.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #46
Mark Gleadhill
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Re: Favorite Partners

When we train, or at least when we started all the high grades stood at one side of the mats and the low grades stood at the other. After every technique the lower grades would rotate around so we would be with a different higher grade every time. As we've gotten better as a club (student club) people intermingle a lot more but we still do the rotation thing to keep new partners working in and out. We try and keep the higher grades at one side still but due to numbers we have lower grades on that side of the mat too.

When we do randori practice (I'm a shodokan Aikidoka) there is people I do much prefer to train with, because I know they are giving it as much as me. The whole iron sharpens iron thing. If people are scared going in to attack/ defend then that's throwing your practice off too.

The best partner isn't always someone you train with. I just won a Gold Medal for my Nage No Kata at the Shodokan Student Nationals with a partner I met 5 mintues beforehand, due to lack of full teams. Both without partners we were placed together, and with a couple of run through's we won the comp.

Providing both Uke and Tori give it there best, and you try and learn from every situation, then every partner is a potential good one, as far as I've found.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:54 AM   #47
ruthmc
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Re: Favorite Partners

Quote:
George Howard wrote: View Post
What if somebody you train with sexually assaults you? Or just regularly hurts you through lack of consideration?
You immediately stop what you are doing, step away from the other person, stick your mitt in the air and shout "Sensei!" These problems cannot be dealt with alone. This goes beyond the scope of favourites and dislikes - serious problems need serious solutions!

Quote:
George Howard wrote: View Post
I think the most fundamental aspect of aikido training is respect for the wellbeing of those you train with - it's the reason why it took me about a year to actually apply techniques with some firmness/vigour, and is (in theory, at least) a cornerstone of civilisation: respect for other people.
99 times out of 100 the person hurting you has absolutely no idea that they are doing it - it's due to lack of understanding and lack of control, not malicious intent! Look at how a toddler treats their toys, compared with an adult who painstakingly builds miniature models In my many years on the mat I've come across this a lot, and like the toddler you have to patiently teach these students to have respect and be sensitive. Many folk almost go autistic on you because they are so wrapped up in the technique they forget there is a human being on the other end of it

Again it's important not to over-react or take it personally, just keep up with the teaching and positive encouragement.

Where many instructors go wrong is that they don't keep a sufficient eye on the class, and they allow physically strong or non-mindful students to hurt people who don't have the ukemi skills to cope. My sensei shows both the technique AND the ukemi, because he believes both are equally important to practise, and I agree

Ruth
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:40 AM   #48
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Re: Favorite Partners

I am finding that I gravitate toward training partners who (a) know aikido better than I do, and (b) are about my size or larger. This has made it easier for me to learn techniques and apply them, since my partner knows when I need help and my partner isn't so small that I am tempted to overpower them rather than perfect my technique. As I progress in aikido, though, I am starting to discover that I am not necessarily doing myself any favors this way.
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