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Old 11-08-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
dapidmini
Dojo: Surabaya Aikido Dojo
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how many back talk would you take?

so there's this student in my dojo who talks back to people who tries to correct him (let's call him X). I don't think we need to go into the detail of the back talk but how many back talks would you take before giving up on teaching someone? Sensei has given up on him though.. should I just follow Sensei and ignore him? I feel indebted to him because he was my teacher in another martial art for about 4 months which I quit last month because the training schedule clashes with aikido class.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
Basia Halliop
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

I don't know what you consider 'back talk'. It sounds like a really strange expression to use when you're discussing a conversation between two adults. 'Back talk' sounds like you tell a child you're in charge of to do something and they say they won't, in a rude way... It's hard for me to see how that applies to adults.

I guess you have to figure out if they're responding to your comment as a way of furthering the discussion or as a way of stopping the discussion.

If they're responding in a way that seems like they want to discuss your idea or comment, then, well, it depends if YOU want to keep discussing it or if you think their point might be interesting or if you think you want to try to convince them of your original point. It's kind of up to you if you want to continue discussing with them or not.

If they're responding in a way that seems like they want you to stop making comments on their technique... then stop making comments on their technique. In that case, they don't want you to teach them, so just train.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:21 PM   #3
kewms
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Like Basia said, "back talk" isn't really a phrase I associate with adult conversation.

But if he refuses to accept instruction, the best answer is to just ignore him and get on with your life. That's especially true if you're not actually teaching the class.

If you *are* teaching, then you have a responsibility to make sure that he doesn't injure anyone, disrupt the class, or undermine what you're trying to teach. Throwing him until he can't stand up seems to be the classical solution. (Or should I say, showing that what you're doing is effective, repeatedly, until he either agrees with you or is too tired to argue.)

Katherine
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:26 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

If it were a total novice, I might cut some slack, explain dojo etiquette, etc...but this guy was your teacher so I would stop giving him any verbal corrections he can reply to.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:48 PM   #5
jatucker
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Not everyone naturally responds well to criticism, no mater how constructive the comments are intended. If someone becomes defensive to corrections, politely tell them this is not a competition, you are only giving feedback. Feedback is an important tool for learning Aikido. Make sure you are really giving them helpful feedback not telling them they are wrong.

Coming from another martial art they may feel they have some conflicting knowledge. Let them know you are not replacing their style, but you want to add to what they know.

Don’t let them clash with you (even verbally) blend.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
phitruong
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

sounded like he need a good spanking. i'll say proceed with spanking waza until the talk stop. if that fail, koshinage until stop.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

If your sensei has "given up on him" why hasn't he told him not to come back?

Lyle Laizure
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:38 PM   #8
robin_jet_alt
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

I'm not sure about this case, but I would like to relate something from my own experience.

For the last year, I have trained in a style of aikido that is not what I'm used to, and one of the more challenging aspects is that certain techniques look very similar but actually use totally different mechanisms to what I'm used to. It can take me a looooong time to work out how it is they are doing them. I certainly don't mean to argue with anyone about it, but because I have the pre-existing knowledge about other ways that they are done, it can take a while for the new information to penetrate. This is particularly the case when I am working with someone who can't demonstrate an effective technique. On the other hand, my understanding improved much more quickly when sensei let me experience the technique multiple times. Could this be the case here?

On the other hand, if they are actually being argumentative, then it makes me wonder why they are still there.

Either way, Katherine's "classical solution" sounds like a good idea to me.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:31 PM   #9
Stephen Nichol
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

This is actually rather easy to answer; Follow your Sensei's example. It is your Sensei's dojo and so when there, follow the example set before you.

I suggest that you try not offer to 'teach' how to improve the technique to this individual during training unless they ask for it.

Take what you have said about this person to us and consider it simply: "because he was my teacher in another martial art for about 4 months".

This could mean that this individual while curious about Aikido, has been an instructor in their own right albeit in another martial art and so taking any advice from anyone they cannot see as equal or their senior 'may' default to advice not worth listening to. This may be even worse in your case as you used to train under this person but left his school to focus on Aikido. A choice you made for yourself however has had this possible side effect. You will 'know' the answer to that better than any of us though.

This individual currently has a preconceived 'way' of wanting to train, learn and come to understand what is being taught based on how they have done so in thier life of learning and teaching martial arts. They may simply feel that they know better even if their knowledge comes from another path that they are trying to merge with this one.

Think of it in terms of the path of Aiki. Do not offer any resistance to this individuals 'way' of learning. Do not encourage it with others in your dojo as I am hopeful your Sensei has not done so.

Instead try lead by example. Do not avoid training with them as that is not the best path for yourself if your goal is to help this person. Instead just train with them. Do the technique as you know how without 'teaching it' and see how he goes. Simply encourage him with positive comments when you notice any improvement with his technique. I would avoid any negative commentary regardless of what you see being done incorrectly.

Simply try: "That's pretty good. Try it like this and see if it is easier for you." Then demonstrate what you mean.

However be careful not get caught up with 'judging' his performance in the techniques. It is not important. Keeping your true centre (inner peace) is all that is important and setting the example. Provide an environment that allows him to learn what he needs to his way even if you find yourself leading him 'your way'.

You do Aikido for yourself and when he wants your help, he will ask for it. Perhaps all you need to do is let him know that you are there to help should he ever feel he needs it.

I hope this helps
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
Joe McParland
 
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Just out of curiosity, has the instructor indicated this person is a problem, or is this just your own assessment--something that is bothering you?

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Old 11-08-2011, 11:41 PM   #11
dapidmini
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I don't know what you consider 'back talk'. It sounds like a really strange expression to use when you're discussing a conversation between two adults.

If they're responding in a way that seems like they want you to stop making comments on their technique... then stop making comments on their technique. In that case, they don't want you to teach them, so just train.
that's what he did and that's what I intended to do.

Quote:
Jason Tucker wrote: View Post
Not everyone naturally responds well to criticism, no mater how constructive the comments are intended. If someone becomes defensive to corrections, politely tell them this is not a competition, you are only giving feedback. Feedback is an important tool for learning Aikido. Make sure you are really giving them helpful feedback not telling them they are wrong.

Coming from another martial art they may feel they have some conflicting knowledge. Let them know you are not replacing their style, but you want to add to what they know.
yes. his mindset is all about fighting so it's contradictory to my dojo's Aikido. thanks for the advice

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
sounded like he need a good spanking. i'll say proceed with spanking waza until the talk stop. if that fail, koshinage until stop.
problem is, he's quite old and can't take a good enough ukemi for a koshinage yet..

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
If your sensei has "given up on him" why hasn't he told him not to come back?
Sensei doesn't kick anyone out of the dojo unless it's absolutely necessary..

Quote:
Stephen Nichol wrote: View Post
This is actually rather easy to answer; Follow your Sensei's example. It is your Sensei's dojo and so when there, follow the example set before you.

I suggest that you try not offer to 'teach' how to improve the technique to this individual during training unless they ask for it.

Take what you have said about this person to us and consider it simply: "because he was my teacher in another martial art for about 4 months".

This could mean that this individual while curious about Aikido, has been an instructor in their own right albeit in another martial art and so taking any advice from anyone they cannot see as equal or their senior 'may' default to advice not worth listening to. This may be even worse in your case as you used to train under this person but left his school to focus on Aikido. A choice you made for yourself however has had this possible side effect. You will 'know' the answer to that better than any of us though.

This individual currently has a preconceived 'way' of wanting to train, learn and come to understand what is being taught based on how they have done so in thier life of learning and teaching martial arts. They may simply feel that they know better even if their knowledge comes from another path that they are trying to merge with this one.

Think of it in terms of the path of Aiki. Do not offer any resistance to this individuals 'way' of learning. Do not encourage it with others in your dojo as I am hopeful your Sensei has not done so.

Instead try lead by example. Do not avoid training with them as that is not the best path for yourself if your goal is to help this person. Instead just train with them. Do the technique as you know how without 'teaching it' and see how he goes. Simply encourage him with positive comments when you notice any improvement with his technique. I would avoid any negative commentary regardless of what you see being done incorrectly.

Simply try: "That's pretty good. Try it like this and see if it is easier for you." Then demonstrate what you mean.

However be careful not get caught up with 'judging' his performance in the techniques. It is not important. Keeping your true centre (inner peace) is all that is important and setting the example. Provide an environment that allows him to learn what he needs to his way even if you find yourself leading him 'your way'.

You do Aikido for yourself and when he wants your help, he will ask for it. Perhaps all you need to do is let him know that you are there to help should he ever feel he needs it.

I hope this helps
agreed thanks. it helps a lot.

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Just out of curiosity, has the instructor indicated this person is a problem, or is this just your own assessment--something that is bothering you?
Sensei has actually talked about this a couple times when we were driving home together.. so I guess it's not just me
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:44 AM   #12
Hanna B
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

This might not apply in your case... but I might have a strong urge to "talk back" (I don't like the expression either) if the correction is based on incorrect description of how I did the technique. That is fairly common, really. The description of what I did wrong might be exaggerated "for pedagogic reasons" and maybe even showed to me that way. Many people I think have problems recieving this politely - I certainly do. It feels like I am wrongly accused of doing something I didn't.

Unless teachers are willing to spend some time studying what the student is doing, so he/she can adequately describe what he or she is doing wrong, it might be better to just skip that part and focus on how to do the technique correctly. My position is wrong, OK. But being showed a parody of how I stand is not really helpful.

Last edited by Hanna B : 11-09-2011 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:18 AM   #13
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

At times it happens that the teacher observes something and wishes to correct that, but the student is actually working on something else. Student should always listen to the teacher. ALWAYS. Even when you disagree, listen, take notice, think about it. This really polishes your judgement.

Off course the student may point out what he/she was working on so the teacher may respond to that. But I do not consider this back talk. These are moments where the student really learns: focus on what the teacher wants you to focus on and not what you want to focus on. This problem is very common I suppose.
A good method to show student what they are doing wrong is exaggeration. Many quickly recognise their error and know what to work on. Others pick up on it when teacher lets them feel the technique. Again others only need a few words to point them in the right direction. A good teacher, after a while, knows his students and acts accordingly. Or he/she incorporates the different techniques when teaching....

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:41 AM   #14
bob_stra
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Well, if the guy has basically indicated that he knows best, then leave him to that. Solves your problem and solves his. C'est la vie

If he's observant, he'll notice he's not improving and then take steps to either correct or find another avenue to pursue. I think the only issue would be around safety / cranking things, should tempers flare. It kinda goes hand-in-hand with this sort of behavior / personality.

Thinking of it historically, there have always been "folks who pay the rent" and "actual students of the art". Isn't there some kinda parable about sheep and goats?
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:16 AM   #15
JJF
 
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

No doubt this guys need Aikido as much - or even more - as anyone else.

I know it's a pain. During my 15 years in the same dojo (with some pause I'll admit) we almost once threw a guy out of the dojo. He was not good for the wa of our dojo, and he was a bad example for the new students.

As chance had it, he chose to stop by himself and shift into another style. I think that he one some level understood that he was not going to meet a lot of sympathy in our dojo. He stayed for many years though.

I guess my point is, that strange people will join our dojo's, and that Aikido could be what help them towards becomming better people. It has that potential and we all have different starting points. Who are we to drive someone away because we can't handle them? If they are a pain in... well.. uhm.. the neck.. then examine what it is that bothers you and try to embrace them.

It's damn hard.. I know... but its altso a great opportunity for us to train our own ability to handle what ever cards life deals us.

Politely offer suggestions, and if he don't want to listen - accept it and move on. One of two things are bound to happen. Either he will leave one day since "these guys don't know what they are doing, so I'm OUT of here" or one day he will start realizing that he's a pain, and will hopefully mend his ways.

Well.. a third option is that he will just stay the same - but it's not likely unless you give him reason to stay the way he is by accepting his challenges.

Accept - Blend - Forgive

(Once more.. I'ts really really difficult - I know... good luck)

JJ

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:43 PM   #16
Larry Feldman
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Time for the "empty your cup" lecture.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #17
Hanna B
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
At times it happens that the teacher observes something and wishes to correct that, but the student is actually working on something else. Student should always listen to the teacher. ALWAYS. Even when you disagree, listen, take notice, think about it. This really polishes your judgement.
Then there's sempai observing something and wanting to correct it while the student is working on something else.

And students of the same level observing something and wanting to correct it while student in question is working on something else.

And then there's kohai observing something and wanting to correct it while the student is working on something else.

We all agree you should focus on what the teacher wants you to focus on. The rest... depends.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
A good method to show student what they are doing wrong is exaggeration.
That depends on how it's done, I guess. "You do like this" and then exaggeration is probably not so good. "Nobody is really doing like this, but this is an exaggeration of a common error" might turn some lightbulbs on in the crowd.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:39 PM   #18
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Quote:
David Santana wrote: View Post
Sensei doesn't kick anyone out of the dojo unless it's absolutely necessary..
But if the sensei has "written the individual off" I would think it has become necessary.

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:35 PM   #19
Mario Tobias
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

If the person doesn't want to follow the sensei then it's a problem.

If the correction is coming from a sempai or a kohai and the partner doesn't listen, it shouldn't be your problem. People in the dojo always have the urge to teach something but regardless how good our intentions are with imparting our knowledge, no matter how "good" we are or how we think how good we are, we can't force somebody to accept the information we give them. It is their journey.

I also observe in some occasions that when we teach, we talk too much. The more we talk, no matter how great and superb the idea/principle is, the lesser we train. Aikido is about doing and about feeling. You get good at aikido when you train a lot IMHO, not when you talk a lot. That is why I understand in some dojos talking is forbidden during practice.

Also, the partners learning accelerates from the ideas he himself discovers not the verbal things imparted to him. Once a person discovers by himself something new, it leaves an indelible mark in his brain and these things he discovers by himself mostly likely won't be forgotten. A verbal correction even by a sempai or even sensei will pass through one ear and out the next.

That is why when I have the urge to correct my partner, I zip my mouth and let them do the technique even if its wrong. Though I give them some resistance where there are openings. It will take a long time (or very very long time) for them to get it but you will find everything will turn out OK in the end.

If they are sincere in their training, they will get good. If they don't get good, ultimately they will get good later or they will stop training eventually, so why worry about the outcome?

Being argumentative though is a different story.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:00 PM   #20
dapidmini
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

thanks for all the answers guys.. really appreciate them . okay, this is what happened: Sensei taught us to control and redirect the opponent's attack (uppercut). but instead of doing that, X just blocks the uppercut lightly so that even though I wasn't using anywhere near my full strength and speed, my hand almost reached his chin. I thought it's going to be dangerous if he tries that move with someone using full strength. I thought it was just a simple mistake and he'd realize it soon so I didn't say anything the first time he did that. but it turns out that he's still doing that the when it's my turn again to pair with him (we were in a group of 5 people, and I have shown how it's supposed to be done when I'm tori). that's when I said to him, "maybe it's better to control and redirect the attack like this.." he then quickly dismisses my suggestion by saying (I'm quoting) "if you'd done that, the attacker would've smashed your face".. I was thinking, how would it be possible when I'm behind him and in control of his movements?

so I guess I'll take your advice and not encourage nor avoid him.. what will be, will be. (isn't it que sera sera?) thanks.

@Larry: apparently his cup is sealed shut. if I use force to empty it, the mat will be drenched again and get smelly. the mats already smelled bad enough because of the rain last tuesday

Last edited by dapidmini : 11-10-2011 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:37 PM   #21
Janet Rosen
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Oh, heck, only thing to do after he's been warned of the danger is to pop him.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:39 PM   #22
kewms
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

None of us were there, so it's impossible to say who is in the right technically. Ask your teacher about that.

As for the personal dynamics, you have two choices: you can demonstrate that what he's doing is incorrect, by hitting him. (Be prepared for him to return the favor when it's his turn.) Or you can shut up and train.

Katherine
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:24 PM   #23
Mario Tobias
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Unless you are a teacher who tries to protect your reputation for quality, work on your problem, not the others.

If you try to correct somebody else be ready to accept the fact that most will not listen but do not be offended by this. You can't change people's attitudes but what you can change is how you react to them. For me I also think for these kinds of people, why should I give them readily the secrets I know when I discovered them only after 15-20 years practice. They weren't handed out to me I worked for it. They should work for it and discover these by themselves, so everything's fine. They dont want to listen, fine by me.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:04 AM   #24
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote: View Post
Then there's sempai observing something and wanting to correct it while the student is working on something else.

And students of the same level observing something and wanting to correct it while student in question is working on something else.

And then there's kohai observing something and wanting to correct it while the student is working on something else.

We all agree you should focus on what the teacher wants you to focus on. The rest... depends.
Still, follow the lesson of the teacher...
It takes real effort to get such an environment in your dojo, but when you get it, it works really well. Off course this is a continuous process.
I think it is the responsibility of the teacher to make this very clear to all students. It forces students to think about what the teacher is trying to achieve so they do not distract eachother with other issues. I do correct students that correct others on aspects outside my lesson.
I have encountered people on the tatami that simply did what they wanted to work on regardless of what the teacher is doing. They undermine the entire lesson of the teacher and even worse they often start correcting others on things they work on....very bad.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:14 AM   #25
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: how many back talk would you take?

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
If the person doesn't want to follow the sensei then it's a problem.

If the correction is coming from a sempai or a kohai and the partner doesn't listen, it shouldn't be your problem. People in the dojo always have the urge to teach something but regardless how good our intentions are with imparting our knowledge, no matter how "good" we are or how we think how good we are, we can't force somebody to accept the information we give them. It is their journey.

I also observe in some occasions that when we teach, we talk too much. The more we talk, no matter how great and superb the idea/principle is, the lesser we train. Aikido is about doing and about feeling. You get good at aikido when you train a lot IMHO, not when you talk a lot. That is why I understand in some dojos talking is forbidden during practice.

Also, the partners learning accelerates from the ideas he himself discovers not the verbal things imparted to him. Once a person discovers by himself something new, it leaves an indelible mark in his brain and these things he discovers by himself mostly likely won't be forgotten. A verbal correction even by a sempai or even sensei will pass through one ear and out the next.

That is why when I have the urge to correct my partner, I zip my mouth and let them do the technique even if its wrong. Though I give them some resistance where there are openings. It will take a long time (or very very long time) for them to get it but you will find everything will turn out OK in the end.

If they are sincere in their training, they will get good. If they don't get good, ultimately they will get good later or they will stop training eventually, so why worry about the outcome?

Being argumentative though is a different story.
Very good points, indeed.
One cannot convince the other (i.e. force, fight, compete). One can merely show the better way, or let feel why their way is less.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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