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Old 09-06-2010, 08:10 AM   #26
fisher6000
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Wow, those are good questions Dan.

One of the visiting shihan here said in a recent class that whenever he got frustrated by technique, he would let it go completely and focus exclusively on the ukemi for that technique.

This is one of those things that's easy to say and hard to do, but I've been working to incorporate it into my own practice. Focusing on ukemi when frustrated does seem to shut off the critical internal dialogue and make more listening happen.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:56 PM   #27
Linda Eskin
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Dave Plaza wrote: View Post
...
I did however skip my Wednesday and Thursday training this week because I've been at it non-stop and I thought a bit of time away might do me some good...

I think missing the training was a mistake though, I miss it far too much.
Yup...

After my 5th kyu test I thought I'd back off a little, regain some balance in my life, and spend a little more time on other things. Ha! Like you, I missed it too much. Since then I've been training pretty regularly 4 nights a week, and I miss it on the days I can't be there. I'm adding a 5th day for the next few months (2 more classes, plus working one-on-one with a mentor) while I get ready for my next test.

This weeekend I've been reading "Mastery" by George Leonard. Everthing about it rings true for me. He even uses some of the same examples I've been using. I think you'd really enjoy the book, and it relates directly to the toloic of your thread here.

Linda Eskin - Facebook | My AikiBlog

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:46 AM   #28
GMaroda
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Nancy Moore Sensei once told me "if you're not confused, I'm not teaching you right." After that, I just assumed Aikido was not supposed to make sense.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:58 PM   #29
Anita Dacanay
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

How long have you been learning now?

Thanks

Dave[/quote]

Dave,

To answer your question, just about another year since that crisis. I just try to stay in the moment when I'm training. There are days when I feel or experience "getting" some aspect that I've been working on, but I find that there is always some other aspect to "get" that I'm not getting... like Mary said: you got it, you don't got it, etc...

So why bother? Well, I find Aikido fascinating and deeply rewarding even as I find it maddening and yes, very difficult indeed. A yoga instructor once told me that the poses that are the most difficult are the ones you need to practice, because they are the ones that are working on your areas of weakness. I see practicing Aikido in a similar light: "because it's hard" isn't a reason for me to quit, it's a reason to keep training, and thereby work the areas of my being that need strengthening.

How are you enjoying your training this week?
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:22 PM   #30
Janet Rosen
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Deborah Fisher wrote: View Post
One of the visiting shihan here said in a recent class that whenever he got frustrated by technique, he would let it go completely and focus exclusively on the ukemi for that technique.
I find myself doing that pretty much any time I'm blocked in my nage-waza for any reason. I'll ask my training partner to stay in the nage role for a few extra turns each time, and since most people seem to think that's more important or prefer it, we are both happy :-)

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:35 AM   #31
SeiserL
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

IMHO, it can begin to make sense at the level you.
It will make different sense as you progress.
Each time you experience something new you will be confused again.
Don't be in a hurry.
It sounds like it has already begun.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:00 PM   #32
Dave Plaza
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Linda Eskin wrote: View Post
This weeekend I've been reading "Mastery" by George Leonard. Everthing about it rings true for me. He even uses some of the same examples I've been using. I think you'd really enjoy the book, and it relates directly to the toloic of your thread here.
I will check it out, thanks.

Quote:
Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
A yoga instructor once told me that the poses that are the most difficult are the ones you need to practice, because they are the ones that are working on your areas of weakness. I see practicing Aikido in a similar light: "because it's hard" isn't a reason for me to quit, it's a reason to keep training, and thereby work the areas of my being that need strengthening.

How are you enjoying your training this week?
I will remember this when it gets confusing on my bad side, I mean it's confusing on my good side, but y'know what I mean

Training was a mixed bag this week. The first night was weapons, and I mess that up quite often, but I'm never too hard on myself about this aspect. The next night was high level stuff, Sensei likes to take us right up there some nights then drop us back down again on another session, it's always up and down with him edging the goal posts slightly. The last training night was amazing, I left buzzing, practiced a lot of techniques against strikes, and it had a good contemporary street feel to it.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, it can begin to make sense at the level you.
It will make different sense as you progress.
Each time you experience something new you will be confused again.
Don't be in a hurry.
It sounds like it has already begun.
Thanks for the advice Thanks to everyone for their advice

Last edited by Dave Plaza : 09-11-2010 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:47 PM   #33
tarik
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

I guess I will differ from everyone else in saying that what you're working on should make sense pretty much from day 1.

All the other issues people discuss about being patient with yourself, not overtraining, are quite true, however, in my own experience, a teacher should be able to make something of what you are working on make enough sense right away that there is no mystery to it.

Now you will still experience mystery, ongoing growth, and aha moments, and you won't understand or make sense of everything right away by any means, and you should be learning stuff that you have no clue about if your teacher is any good.

This could be why it took me so long to call anyone I learned from 'my teacher', because few of them were capable of that level of teaching. If it doesn't make sense, it could be you, but I would also suggest that it could be your teacher.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:00 PM   #34
Janet Rosen
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
This could be why it took me so long to call anyone I learned from 'my teacher', because few of them were capable of that level of teaching. If it doesn't make sense, it could be you, but I would also suggest that it could be your teacher.
Best,
Tarik, you're not actually suggesting that a lack of basic pedagogy or curriculum exists in some aikido dojos, are you?!

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:53 AM   #35
Amir Krause
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Tarik, you're not actually suggesting that a lack of basic pedagogy or curriculum exists in some aikido dojos, are you?!
There are many ways of teaching Aikido:

* Some teachers are methodological. They have a clear logical order of techniques and situations.
* Some teacher are instinctive, they see their students and adapt the teaching to the needs of the students.
* Some teachers believe in intentional chaotic methodology.
* Some teachers have no idea about methodology and just teach as they see fit.

The above categories are not exclusive. People rarely belong only to a single group. E.g. I was lucky to find a teacher who belongs in the first two groups, I would not have kept practicing otherwise.

Amir
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:38 PM   #36
tarik
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
There are many ways of teaching Aikido:
Indeed.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
* Some teachers are methodological. They have a clear logical order of techniques and situations.
* Some teacher are instinctive, they see their students and adapt the teaching to the needs of the students.
* Some teachers believe in intentional chaotic methodology.
* Some teachers have no idea about methodology and just teach as they see fit.
There is a difference between people who actually teach and those who merely lead class. I do believe that there are a lot of great teachers out there, but I believe that there are also a lot of high ranked leaders of class who get called teachers. <shrug> It all depends on what you're looking for in a teacher and looking to learn in the dojo. I think it takes a lot of time to even discover that for yourself.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:50 PM   #37
tarik
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Tarik, you're not actually suggesting that a lack of basic pedagogy or curriculum exists in some aikido dojos, are you?!
Janet, I reckon that there is a pedagogy and a curriculum in most aikido I've experienced.

It's just that a lot of it wasn't really designed by skilled educators who were specifically trained in how to teach and build physical skill sets. It shows, particularly in the debate about what makes or doesn't make a principle.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:44 AM   #38
Janet Rosen
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Janet, I reckon that there is a pedagogy and a curriculum in most aikido I've experienced.
I don't know.... does a list of techniques constitute a curriculum?

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:01 AM   #39
tarik
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I don't know.... does a list of techniques constitute a curriculum?
Yes, of a very basic sort... and we all know what teaching to the test does for a student. ;-)

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:04 AM   #40
jonreading
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

I am talking old-school here...In the Aikido Journal Yukiyoshi Takamura wrote an article about teaching and the levels of instruction and learning through which a student must pass (shu, ha, ri). The article was not about aikido training, but the article is so instructive I find it one of the best sources I ever read to learn how to better teach and how to better learn aikido.

For my part, aikido should make sense upon explanation; whether your body can physically perform aikido is a matter of training, not education. For example, gravity makes sense even if I don't understand the physics of gravity (I can comprehend the theory). My education dictates the level of comprehension. There is an order to learning and that is where curriculum can provide an advantage over instruction which is not structured.

Some of the old school structure makes a lot of sense because it limits what a students is supposed to know until she is ready to expand her education. It also ensures that students who are faking their training will not expand their education.

Curriculum to me not only incorporates a list of techniques, but the level of comprehension that should be demonstrated while applying that technique. I would not expect a black belt to perform technique like a white belt, nor the reverse. I expect a black belt to act like a black belt.

I may not be able to do what sensei shows, but I should comprehend what sensei wants to see me do. If I comprehend what to do then I can practice what sensei shows. If I don't comprehend what to do I can only mimic what sensei shows...
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:52 PM   #41
danielajames
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I am talking old-school here...In the Aikido Journal Yukiyoshi Takamura wrote an article about teaching and the levels of instruction and learning through which a student must pass (shu, ha, ri). The article was not about aikido training, but the article is so instructive I find it one of the best sources I ever read to learn how to better teach and how to better learn aikido.
wow heady stuff speaking to my past, present and I hope future thanks for sharing.
Here is the full text http://www.advdojo.org/shuhari.html

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 09-22-2010, 10:00 AM   #42
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I guess I will differ from everyone else in saying that what you're working on should make sense pretty much from day 1.

All the other issues people discuss about being patient with yourself, not overtraining, are quite true, however, in my own experience, a teacher should be able to make something of what you are working on make enough sense right away that there is no mystery to it.

Now you will still experience mystery, ongoing growth, and aha moments, and you won't understand or make sense of everything right away by any means, and you should be learning stuff that you have no clue about if your teacher is any good.

This could be why it took me so long to call anyone I learned from 'my teacher', because few of them were capable of that level of teaching. If it doesn't make sense, it could be you, but I would also suggest that it could be your teacher.

Best,
Great post! Could not agree more.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:24 AM   #43
Zach Trent
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Great question- if you would like to compound your frustration and confusion, just try studying at another dojo!

For various reasons I have studied under 3 aikido teachers in 3 years- it is basically like starting all over each time...though it takes less time to reach a level of competence than it used to.

Still- I guess this is to say that you will likely experience confusion and frustration even after you feel competent
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:00 AM   #44
Matt Fisher
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Dave,

From my perspective (25+ years of studying aikido), the comment made by someone that different people go through somewhat different paths in terms of aikido making sense resonates with my experience and discussions that I have had with others over the years. My own practice has been characterized by a number of plateaus rather than what I perceived as "steady progress." When I first started aikido and was testing for kyu ranks, it felt like a lot of the jumps from one plateau to the next one came as I trained more intensely to prepare for a test. As a yudansha, the transition between plateaus has taken on a rhythm of its own that is independent of tests.

A number of times I felt like the transition to another plateau was preceded by a period of time where some particular techniques didn't feel as if they worked as well as before. Someone (can't remember who, a senior or one of my teachers) made the comment that sometimes we improve to the point where we are pushing up against our "old limits" and being at that point often results in techniques feeling awkward that used to feel good. That idea made sense to me at the time, and my experience in the years since first hearing that still support that idea.

All of the above is why I find aikido one of the most fascinating learning processes that I have EVER been involved in.

(and I have taught at the undergraduate level fulltime for 20 years now...)

Matt
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #45
kewms
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Matt Fisher wrote: View Post
A number of times I felt like the transition to another plateau was preceded by a period of time where some particular techniques didn't feel as if they worked as well as before. Someone (can't remember who, a senior or one of my teachers) made the comment that sometimes we improve to the point where we are pushing up against our "old limits" and being at that point often results in techniques feeling awkward that used to feel good. That idea made sense to me at the time, and my experience in the years since first hearing that still support that idea.
That's been my experience as well. The frustrating "nothing works" periods are often followed by "everything works"... for about three days, and then I find that there are still things not working at my new level...

Katherine
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:39 PM   #46
jurasketu
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
It's like learning to roll a kayak. First you don't got it. Then you got it. Then you don't got it. Then you got it again. Then you lose it again. Then you got it again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

(of course, the "it" keeps changing, whether you realize it or not, and the context changes as well. kinda a microcosm of life in general I guess)
That's my Aikido life... "I'm getting it. I'm getting it. Uh... No I'm not."

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Shodan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:24 AM   #47
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
When does it begin to make sense?


It always made sense to me... it's just that looking back, I was pretty much wrong most of the time.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #48
Janet Rosen
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post

It always made sense to me... it's just that looking back, I was pretty much wrong most of the time.
Or as I said afer passing 4th kyu and ever since...my aikido now sucks at a higher level :-)

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:34 PM   #49
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

In my own training i always tried to make sense or have apersonal take on what i was doing, whether right or wrong it doesn't really matter but i believe it is important so that you are at least trying different things within the technique, so in that way you always own the technique not just borrow your sensei's technique for the evening, as as you progress the technique that you own will become better
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:37 AM   #50
lbb
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Re: When does it begin to make sense?

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
In my own training i always tried to make sense or have apersonal take on what i was doing, whether right or wrong it doesn't really matter but i believe it is important so that you are at least trying different things within the technique, so in that way you always own the technique not just borrow your sensei's technique for the evening, as as you progress the technique that you own will become better
And yet there are so many situations in life, never mind aikido, that defy attempts to make sense, at least when you first come to them. I think that the ability to proceed when things don't make sense is itself a skill, and I prefer it to insisting on making sense of something and getting it wrong.
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