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Old 09-09-2011, 10:47 PM   #1
Andrew Macdonald
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moving the goal post

right o

I am a little upset. there seems to be something not very fair happening

when practicing a technique for example tsuki, and my partner will do say an irimi (just a random example)

so in the middle of practice my teacher will stop me and ask me to do the technique. sensei will attack and as i am doing the technique will punch or kick me agina on the way through. to demostrate i am open

of course later in the class and classes before we are told that uke should just throw the attack and not be tricky about it

no i understand senseis point, of should should n't be open to an extent, but change the rules just to suit himself is a little bit too far.

i.e. i have to throw a technique and freeze while nage moves around me, but sensei can break any rules to make things fit.

just to add i was a competitive fighter and have had a few scrapes (some good soem not so good, from my point of view) and i don;t really mind getting hit/taught by my teachers. but other teachers that i have had have been able to do things like that without bending thier own rules

is this a normal way of teaching?
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
gates
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Re: moving the goal post

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
right o

I am a little upset. there seems to be something not very fair happening

when practicing a technique for example tsuki, and my partner will do say an irimi (just a random example)

so in the middle of practice my teacher will stop me and ask me to do the technique. sensei will attack and as i am doing the technique will punch or kick me agina on the way through. to demostrate i am open

of course later in the class and classes before we are told that uke should just throw the attack and not be tricky about it

no i understand senseis point, of should should n't be open to an extent, but change the rules just to suit himself is a little bit too far.

i.e. i have to throw a technique and freeze while nage moves around me, but sensei can break any rules to make things fit.

just to add i was a competitive fighter and have had a few scrapes (some good soem not so good, from my point of view) and i don;t really mind getting hit/taught by my teachers. but other teachers that i have had have been able to do things like that without bending thier own rules

is this a normal way of teaching?
For me this depends on the kind of intent behind what he/she is trying to demonstrate. If you feel that the point is being made to demonstrate where you are open without an implication that there is something inherently incorrect in the attack then I'd say that is reasonable.

If on the other hand you feel that it is a complete contradiction and you are being held back from acting naturally and you can't contain the frustration, then you will need to decide if there is enough benefit from the lessons to work through the frustration. This teaching style may not suit or requirements.

Personally I hate it when you are asked to 'freeze' although it is often an absolutely essential learning mechanism. So I let it go and listen carefully to what I am being told whilst watching my ego to see if it is starting to act up. So whilst learning something martial I am also learning to monitor my own ego - two birds one stone.

Understanding that there are no 'rules' of engagement is after all the difference between competition/sport and a live encounter with heat, blood sweat and tears. Of course you know this as well as I do.

Last edited by gates : 09-09-2011 at 11:23 PM.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:19 AM   #3
kewms
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Re: moving the goal post

How experienced are you? How experienced is your practice partner?

Two black belts practicing together should be much less forgiving of each other's openings than a black belt practicing with a junior student. If you are one of the more senior people in the class, it falls to the instructor to challenge you because the other students aren't skilled enough.

Have you asked him how to fix your openings?

Katherine
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:09 AM   #4
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: moving the goal post

i don't mind people focusing on and pointing put my opening i guess it is in the manner that it is being done.

if for example sensei came through with a blistering tsuki that i didn't get out the way of in time and floored me, well ok i'll do better. if on the other hand we are doing the single attacks and working on the techniques for that single attack. out of nowhere a fist come flying at me, without any sort of verbal correction or even focus on that partof the technique before hand i believe there is a small issue. it amounts to possibley taking cheap shots

no i am an not saying i have no openings or that they should be pointed out or even that we should always stay on single attack. however, some sort of continuity should be there

for example in my karate days, some times we would spar to open rules, sometimes we would change the rules to work on something specific. At no time during the change of rules did that sensei break them just to make a point. but he could beat us within the rules he had set

no i know that in reality there are no rules. but in training we can put rules or guidlines in to learn something. other wise why have training on techniques, or even why specified attacks. just let even one jump in and fight
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:00 AM   #5
robin_jet_alt
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Re: moving the goal post

You keep talking about fairness and goalposts as though this is a sport, but aikido isn't supposed to be fair. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed here.

1. Is your sensei taking cheap shots?

Well that really depends. Is it normal to show you your openings by striking? - yes it is. It is a much more effective teaching method to show you than to tell you. BUT, if your sensei is hurting you, then he is taking cheap shots. A little tap to show that you are open is all that is necessary.

2. Why are different rules applied to different people?

Again, this boils down to aikido not being a sport. In reality there are no rules. The point of training in a dojo is to improve your ability in a safe environment. This means that what is appropriate for people at some levels is not appropriate for people at other levels. So, if your problem is "why is sensei doing this to me, and not to other people?" the answer is, because he thinks you are ready for it, whereas other people may not be. If the question is, "why can sensei do this to people, but I can't" the answer is, because he is the sensei. He is the one who is responsible for teaching, not you.

The rule against getting creative as uke is usually a matter of utility and safety. There is no point getting creative and showing people their openings when they are still learning the basic movements. That impedes their learning rather than helping it. Equally, getting creative as uke requires a great deal of sensitivity and ability to protect yourself. If nage just happens to get the technique right and catches uke unawares that can be very dangerous, so the rule is also there to protect you.

Having said all of that, it is part of uke's role to help tori learn their techniques, and pointing out openings is part of that, as long as you are confident in your ukemi, and your training partner is of a fairly high level (around 1kyu, or shodan I guess). If your sensei is preventing you from helping your training partner in those circumstances, you might want to discuss it with him/her.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:07 AM   #6
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: moving the goal post

hi

thanks for you reply

1. yes, it is full strikes that have drawn blood before, and also kick to the groin etc.

again i have no issue with that so much as long as it is stated at the beginning of the session that we will be training in such a way. not stated that we will be looking at this technique and then way hey.

2. in reality there are no rules, yes we all know this, this is not a question about reality. it is a question of what i see as an odd teaching technique. again if it is an open shot i don;t mind, but i want to know about it first, again in other styles (non sport based, i haven't done sport based martialarts for years) we limit ourseleves to say, only stayingon the ground, for me it is not acceptable for then the teacher to jump to his feet and stomp on my head with the theory i should be ready
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:24 AM   #7
robin_jet_alt
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Re: moving the goal post

Well if it is full on strikes then I completely agree with you. That's taking advantage of his position to boost his own ego at your expense. I wouldn't stay there.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
sorokod
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Re: moving the goal post

Andrew, imagine that mastering a technique is like building a structure (bear with me here). You do it with a partner and you both have a limited knowledge hot to go about it. At this point of structure building career any structure you finish is full of imperfections and structural weaknesses.
Now imagine that from time to time your partner sees an imperfection in your "work in progress" leans on it and breaks it down. Is this a good thing? It depends really, as part of your learning process you need, occasionally, to to finish your structure, warts and all, just so you can learn. Also as part of your learning process, from time to time, you need to be shown those weaknesses, otherwise you will have an unrealistic expectations of your work.

The challenge is to get this balance right and this is mainly the responsibility of your teacher (the master builder) but also yours and your partner's.

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Old 09-10-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: moving the goal post

once again

i have no issue with flaws being pointed out, more the method and the timing of such corrections
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:58 AM   #10
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: moving the goal post

Ah, old school treaining methods...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M_36uhUSFI

It's all about taming... enjoy the path.

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Old 09-10-2011, 09:23 PM   #11
gates
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Re: moving the goal post

Andrew,
One simple question. Is it only you this happens to in the class?

Enjoy the journey
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:48 AM   #12
SeiserL
 
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Re: moving the goal post

Whose school is it?
Who is the Dojo-cho?
Who is the Sensei.
Who sets the curriculum methods and goals?
Whose the post?

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 09-11-2011, 09:19 AM   #13
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: moving the goal post

hi Gates

interesting question

i happens to a few of us,
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:20 AM   #14
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: moving the goal post

Mr Seiser

sorry but i am not going to give out the names of my teachers
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:55 AM   #15
gates
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Re: moving the goal post

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
hi Gates

interesting question

i happens to a few of us,
Andrew please call me Keith.

The plane and simple fact of the matter is that only you know what to do.

Personally I would take a week off and reflect on it.

Good luck.

Last edited by gates : 09-11-2011 at 10:02 AM.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:08 AM   #16
Mark Freeman
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Re: moving the goal post

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Well if it is full on strikes then I completely agree with you. That's taking advantage of his position to boost his own ego at your expense. I wouldn't stay there.
Me neither

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:47 PM   #17
SeiserL
 
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Re: moving the goal post

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
sorry but i am not going to give out the names of my teachers
Actually I was not asking you for the names of your teachers, just reminding you that they are your teachers and as a student, please try to learn from them.

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 09-12-2011, 02:47 AM   #18
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: moving the goal post

Well er... Thanks

I clear about who the teacher is. but i am worried that he is just kinda throwing in punches and kick for his own ego rather than for any real teaching methods

like i said, In other clubs I am always very clear when it is teachnique training and when it is all in

The teacher now seems to switch gears when he feels like it. I kinda fnd this a little silly even from a practical sense as he is giving me one thing to do and then reacting to what he knows wht is coming.

anothe example of what happen is duing an irimi, if we don't control the arm in a way he wants it is not uncommon to get an elbow in the face from that arm. again i understan that we have to contorl and unbalance but at the same time it that really a natural response or a response by soem one who knows where i am going to be. at a certain point.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:05 AM   #19
dps
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Re: moving the goal post

You are consumer paying for a service ( Aikido training ) if you don't like the service you are paying for find another dojo.

dps
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:28 AM   #20
hughrbeyer
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Re: moving the goal post

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
anothe example of what happen is duing an irimi, if we don't control the arm in a way he wants it is not uncommon to get an elbow in the face from that arm. again i understan that we have to contorl and unbalance but at the same time it that really a natural response or a response by soem one who knows where i am going to be. at a certain point.
If he can elbow you in the face during an irimi, it's probably a completely natural reaction from an uke who knows what he's doing and you're probably open. Either take it as feedback and fix your technique, or decide this is not the teacher for you.

And yeah, when you're working with your sensei the rules are different. It's perfectly legitimate for him to show you your openings even if he doesn't want you doing that to people you practice with. In theory anyway, he knows the difference between taking fair advantage of an opening and taking unfair advantage of knowing what the technique is going to be.

Get good enough so that he can't find an opening to hit you with. Then argue with him about his teaching methods.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:31 AM   #21
kewms
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Re: moving the goal post

Very often, teachers are more demanding with students they believe to be more promising. You can take the elbow in the face as a compliment and fix the opening, or you can find a different dojo. Whether you agree with this teaching method or not, it is unlikely to change.

Katherine
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:39 AM   #22
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: moving the goal post

Andrew,

http://www.shindai.com/articles/amdur01.htm

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:50 PM   #23
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: moving the goal post

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
Well er... Thanks

I clear about who the teacher is. but i am worried that he is just kinda throwing in punches and kick for his own ego rather than for any real teaching methods

like i said, In other clubs I am always very clear when it is teachnique training and when it is all in

The teacher now seems to switch gears when he feels like it. I kinda fnd this a little silly even from a practical sense as he is giving me one thing to do and then reacting to what he knows wht is coming.

anothe example of what happen is duing an irimi, if we don't control the arm in a way he wants it is not uncommon to get an elbow in the face from that arm. again i understan that we have to contorl and unbalance but at the same time it that really a natural response or a response by soem one who knows where i am going to be. at a certain point.
Hi Andrew.
If as it seems by what you say he is just an arrogant bully then leave. It's for you to see the difference yourself and act accordingly.

We like to think that a person in such a position is responsible but it's not always the case. What you do about it is more to the point.

I have met two Aikido instructors who were just plain ignorant arrogant bullies. So they do exist I'm afraid just as in all walks of life.

So it's for you to decide whether he is such or if he is just a strict teacher.

Regards.G.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #24
robin_jet_alt
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Re: moving the goal post

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Nice article.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:51 PM   #25
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: moving the goal post

Demetrio

Great article, very concise and real

thanks everyone for your input, I have some thinking to do about my future with that teacher
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