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Old 05-19-2005, 08:10 AM   #1
Jonathan Thielen
 
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Sempai comments that stick with you...

Last night during practice I found myself having a flood of memories of those little comments that senior students have made to me that will stay with me the rest of my life. Some of them were simply small (or not so small!) corrections that seemed to instantly "click." Some were indicators of things that I still struggle with, things I know I will still be working on for years--(this latter variety is certainly the majority).

I don't think that any of my sempai are aware of the lasting impression some of their comments have made, though I am certainly grateful for each thing that was somehow exactly the right thing to say at exactly the right time in my practice.

Do any of you have stories of these kinds of small, "harmless" things that a senior student or sensei says to you--but which have a major impact and become a part of your lasting consciousness, on or off the mat?
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:51 AM   #2
mj
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

'Confidence is not competence'

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Old 05-19-2005, 09:34 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

When I first began, I had a Sempai watch me and comment to others that I was a white belt. Later i asked him about it. he said that I was doing really good but that i was only a white belt. others were just confusing me by trying to get me to perform at a level higher than I was at. Awareness and acceptance brings great progress.

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 05-19-2005, 10:18 AM   #4
RebeccaM
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

In a weapons class: "Don't watch the stick."
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:39 AM   #5
Steven
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

First rule of self-defense and Aikido ... Don't get hit!
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:55 AM   #6
James Davis
 
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Smile Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

I was once thrown ONTO the ankle of my sempai when I was a brand new aikidoka. It bruised my back quite a bit, but sempai Mark was hobbling around on crutches for weeks! I felt horrible about his not being able to train, and told him so. Sempai Mark smiled, patted me on the back and said, "James, it's okay. Accidents happen sometimes. That's why I'm going to get you back and make it look like an accident." (He was only kidding.) (I think.) (I hope!)
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:34 AM   #7
Joost Korpel
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Sempai: Did you know that you can do Yankyo on the leg?
Me: AAAaaarrrrgggghhhh!....slap...slap...slap
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:56 AM   #8
Paul Kerr
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Never show where you go"

Paul Kerr
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:36 PM   #9
senshincenter
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Great topic!

I got three from three different senpai:

1. "If you can 'get it' in a day, it's not worth having."

2. "You don't want to go backwards to go forward - if you are entering, enter."

3. (feeling sick during my first sesshin - in the bathroom) "During my first sesshin, I felt like vomiting too. Hang in there, it goes away."

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 05-19-2005, 03:16 PM   #10
ruthmc
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Don't think, just do"

Ruth
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:15 PM   #11
DCP
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Don't attack me like you're already dead."
-Whited Sensei

(Happy birthday Mark)

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
- Aesop
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:34 PM   #12
KerstineElnegaard
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
Joost Korpel wrote:
Sempai: Did you know that you can do Yankyo on the leg?
Me: AAAaaarrrrgggghhhh!....slap...slap...slap
I just had to comment on this one Yep I know the feeling... But its worse if you, while the lock is being applied hear another voice: "how do you do that???" owie... Plus, sometimes when people have "demonstrated" yonkyu on my leg, I ended up hovering, being lifted from the ground only by the lock... that also qualifes as an owie
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:44 PM   #13
ChristianBoddum
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Donīt drop your sword !

So far I havenīt - since !
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:19 PM   #14
pezalinski
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Touch same as Hit -- Hit same as Kill" -- i.e., in a fight situation, if they can touch you, thay can hit you; and if they can hit you, they can kill you... so the Aikidoka's First Rule is: Don't let them touch you.


A little danger is a knowledge thing...

"Helping the planet make an impact on people, since 1985"
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:15 PM   #15
DustinAcuff
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Best thing I've ever heard from a senior student : don't break the head uke or you become him.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:48 PM   #16
Rod Yabut
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

on techniques.."sometimes certain techniques don't work on certain people. So don't force it."

on being nage...."Get off the line of attack!"

and lastly..."There is no mercy in this dojo, is there?!!" - j/k! Sorry couldn't resist.

Rod
"Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything." -- Miyagi Sensei
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Old 05-19-2005, 07:44 PM   #17
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Never try to outdrink the Japanese. The trick is to outpour them."

Charles
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:11 PM   #18
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"Don't fall out of the tree, monkey!"

(i.e. don't bail on ukemi, stay with it 'til the end.)

Jeanne
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:31 PM   #19
Kevin Kelly
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

It wasn't a sempai but my sensei, "your bokken is upside down"....
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:05 PM   #20
Charlie
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

[when it comes to the application of Aikido techniques] It doesn't always have to be pretty...but it MUST be effective.

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:14 PM   #21
xuzen
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
Charles Burmeister wrote:
[when it comes to the application of Aikido techniques] It doesn't always have to be pretty...but it MUST be effective.
Love the advise Charles, it is quite a useful advise.

As for me, this is not from a sempai but from an manga anime:-
Quote:
No matter how hard your opponent punches, no matter how hard he kicks, it is of no value if he can't connect with you.
Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:54 PM   #22
Lan Powers
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

"breathe"

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:43 AM   #23
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
Kevin Kelly wrote:
It wasn't a sempai but my sensei, "your bokken is upside down"....
*breaks down laughing* Same thing happened to me! Actually, mine was upside-down and backwards... I keep asking myself almost 7 months later how I did that...
My most memorable quote from a sempai was: "If it feels comfortable for the uke, you're not doing it right"

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:45 AM   #24
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
As for me, this is not from a sempai but from an manga anime:-


Boon.
That was Saito from Rurouni Kenshin wasn't it?

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-20-2005, 01:22 AM   #25
xuzen
 
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Re: Sempai comments that stick with you...

Quote:
James Matarrese wrote:
That was Saito from Rurouni Kenshin wasn't it?
Could be... I have forgetten which character or which episode or which manga anime. It is such a blur now, but that comments seemed stuck in my head like forever. It is a good quote though.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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