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Old 03-05-2015, 09:47 AM   #1
Peter Boylan
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Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I got to spend the weekend training in something completely outside any of the things I regularly train in this weekend. The biggest thing I took away from the training was just how much there is beyond the stuff I regularly study. It gave me some great perspective on other options and other ways of looking at things, as well as ideas for how to improve my own regular practice, ideas that would never have occurred to me otherwise. I wrote this blog post about it.

http://budobum.blogspot.com/2015/03/...t-we-dont.html

Do you go to outside seminars? Why or why not?

Peter Boylan
Mugendo Budogu LLC
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http://www.budogu.com
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:08 AM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Peter Boylan wrote: View Post
Do you go to outside seminars? Why or why not?
Heck, yeah! I started going to seminars in other Aikido styles very early in my training (early enough that it was at the point where most advise against it due to "confusion") and over the years have dabbled a little in several other empty hand or weapons arts, not intending for them to replace Aikido as my primary art.
I agree with your point that doing so immediately makes very explicit the implicit assumptions within one's primary art that limit either our understanding or our skills.
This does not mean that one comes to disrespect one's primary art. It's just a different perspective, with a broader understanding.
For example, koryu weapons are a whole different creature than Aikido weapons work - but the goals are different, and I have no expectation that Aikido jo kata are teaching me fighting skills; they are teaching me lessons I need in order to enhance my Aikido practice.
Having attended the same seminar you did....I will say that it was incredibly congruent with my Aikido training, a near-perfect complement.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:27 PM   #3
Susan Dalton
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Yes, as often as I can, which isn't as often as I'd like. I enjoyed your blog, Peter.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:00 PM   #4
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I just did last weekend. I often train at seminars, and more frequently schools, outside of my organization. What I commonly find is this isn't very common. I've trained at countless aikido dojo where students didn't know there were other styles of aikido, let alone name an instructor from one. Heck I was at a dojo where many students didn't know there was other aikido dojo in their city (there was one across the street).

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:32 AM   #5
kewms
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Plenty of people just don't go to seminars, even the ones held at their own dojo. "Serious" students are a relatively small fraction in most places.

Katherine
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:07 AM   #6
dps
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Plenty of people just don't go to seminars, even the ones held at their own dojo. "Serious" students are a relatively small fraction in most places.

Katherine
A lot of students don't have the money or are too busy with thier lives (raising kids, taking are of sick family members) to go to seminars or visit other dojos. That doesn't make them less serious about Aikido than someone who can.

dps
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:47 AM   #7
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
"Serious" students are a relatively small fraction in most places.
True, but going to seminars and seriousness are not directly related.

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Old 03-06-2015, 06:36 AM   #8
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Plenty of people just don't go to seminars, even the ones held at their own dojo. "Serious" students are a relatively small fraction in most places.

Katherine
Lol, Serious students come in all shapes and sizes. We have had people come to our seminars that just go to seminars.

I go to a few. It is fun and great to see what other people are doing. But I would much rather walk downstairs and train here. Some aikido people really think who they are and act all strutty and important just because they have a certain rank.Our dojo, people and mats are really nice . I hate moving mats and snotty people.

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Old 03-06-2015, 08:06 AM   #9
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I think what Peter had in mind here was OUTSIDE seminars – means non aikido related seminars. Personally I think it is excellent idea (I even met Peter in one of such seminars many years ago  ), but these days it is so difficult to find somebody with serious reputation and significant knowledge who is teaching. On the other side so many muba bumba self-designated soke, grandmasters and other mysterious teachers who are taking advantage of naïve and not well informed researchers of ultimate power…

Also in North America the distances for travel are big so it reflects in important costs.
But I highly recommend Koryu weapons seminars for all aikidoka who think they know how to use bokken and jo LOL Of course it will be a shocking therapy but it is worth any money…

In the other hand I’m not very enthusiastic about combat sport seminars; I think it is a contradictory to the spirit what O sensei developed and would be very misleading by giving false self confidence that now you know how to fight efficiently.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:07 AM   #10
SeiserL
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I cross train in different arts and styles on a regular basis.
Training/experiencing different perspective facilitates seeing the common denominators.
Besides, its fun.

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 03-06-2015, 08:46 AM   #11
Cliff Judge
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I used to, then I found some things I really liked, and made them officially my style as well. And now I don't have any time available to go playing around at seminars.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:48 AM   #12
PeterR
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Plenty of people just don't go to seminars, even the ones held at their own dojo. "Serious" students are a relatively small fraction in most places.

Katherine
I considered myself a serious student and avoided seminars like the plague - much rather go on a dojo visit.

It may be just me but I never got that much out of group events. Too much battling of egos (I may admit to being part of the problem).

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:26 AM   #13
phitruong
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

not a serious student meself. i used to go as much as i can, to as many seminars outside of my organization as well as different martial arts styles. these past few years i haven't done much in that, because of life, family, work, and so on and so forth. i like to play with other folks ego. it's sort of an aikido practice in the spiritual sense. we talked quite a bit about spiritual, but we don't often put it to the test. play with other folks ego put your spiritual to the test or a training of sort. of course, if folks won't let go of my eggo i will employ my One Thousand Years of Death technique.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:42 PM   #14
lbb
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I don't go to more than two or three seminars a year -- it's a matter of time and money. My senseis usually attend both summer camp and the eastern regional camp, so I try to as well, and that's a chunk of change. Then we also usually host a seminar as well. So, as a practical matter, no.
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:20 PM   #15
Susan Dalton
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Different perspectives here are making me giggle. I go to maybe 2 or 3 a year, and I think that's a lot. Some of you go to 2 or 3 and no, that's not much. Phi, I know you go to some because I see you there. Now, just don't put the One Thousand Years of Death technique on me when you see me next.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:18 AM   #16
MRoh
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Peter Boylan wrote: View Post
Do you go to outside seminars? Why or why not?
My experience is, to participate in "outside-arts" seminars is interesting just in the moment you do it.
To benefit from training new arts ore styles permanently, a deeper examination with the material is neccessary.

To profit from "outside" seminars, the material must be usable across the boundaries of forms.
Forms are containers that teach specific principles of an art, and if it's not related to the stuff you do in your daily training or if you dont understand, it's a waste of time.

If you go to seminars where you just learn new forms, you will get nothing if you don't understand what is behind.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:35 AM   #17
Alex Megann
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Peter Boylan wrote: View Post
Do you go to outside seminars? Why or why not?
Well, since nobody else has said it, I started going to seminars with a "non-aikido" teacher a couple of years ago, and it has revolutionised my understanding of the aikido I was taught up to then. I am currently working on trying to integrate the two "streams" in my own practice: I certainly don't feel that one invalidates the other, but I am doing my best to understand what the overlap is between the two models, at the same time as enjoying the subtle and slow changes in how my body works.

A by-product of this is that I am getting much more selective in which aikido teachers I find interesting.

Alex
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:22 AM   #18
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Traditionally, you seek out for a teacher. During this period it is allright to go to different seminars as you are still 'shopping'. After perhaps two, three years you should know what you are looking for and commit to a teacher and work with him. During this period it would be rather strange to visit other teachers (outside your lineage). When you feel your current teacher cannot help you progress, it is time to seek out another...your relation has naturally ended.
When in doubt, contact your teacher and see what he thinks.

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.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:12 AM   #19
kewms
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

FWIW, my current teacher attends seminars outside his style regularly, and encourages his students to do the same.

It's not "either/or," it's "both/and." That is, I am still learning plenty from my current teacher, but still find other perspectives valuable.

The idea of long-term loyalty to a single teacher assumes, among other things, that the student is willing and able to seek out the best possible teacher in the first place. Most beginners don't know what they're looking for, wouldn't necessarily recognize top-level instruction if they tripped over it, and certainly aren't willing to up-end their lives and travel across the country for it. It takes some experience -- including experience outside one's own lineage -- to begin to understand what the possibilities are and what one might want to look for.

Katherine
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:19 PM   #20
Robert Cowham
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I've seen examples where the teacher attempts to control students and become the "only source" for said students - "I myself studied with all these people, but you don't need to - you can just study with me!" To my mind, this shows a lack of confidence, and "guru complex". I prefer the teachers who are happy with you going elsewhere, and encourage this and indeed challenge you to bring back your new understanding and demonstrate it. The best teachers for me are particular about fundamentals and principles, but also encourage appropriate individual understanding which can manifest itself in ostensibly very different outward forms.

Of course there is a balance here. If there is not enough commitment to a particular relationship with your teacher, then why should they bother to teach you? Classic "shu-ha-ri". There are periods in your learning where attempting to study too many different styles at the same time can mean confusion. But done in a respectful way, a certain amount of variety is good.

Then there are people who become shodan in a variety of different arts but it can become an academic "collect techniques" type of endeavor, with little depth in understanding compare to what they might have achieved by sticking to fewer arts.

YMMV
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:39 AM   #21
Currawong
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

I am thankful that one sensei where I am is, despite being an uchi deshi of the main teacher here, is completely different in his style, having explored a number of koryu and other martial arts. His classes are always surprising and very challenging to one's knowledge and ability. In that regard at least, it has encouraged me towards considering different types of Aikido training and even a bit of training in other martial arts to gain a wider perspective.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:43 PM   #22
philipsmith
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Practice outside your main style should be encouraged. I remember Tamura Sensei once asking me what I'd been doing recently and when I said training with Yoshinkan & Tomiki teachers saying "Very good experience; keep doing that"

Just about sums up how we should approach training IMHO
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:33 AM   #23
JP3
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

It sounds like Peter went to one of Howard Popkin & Joe Brogna's daito-ryu seminars, as that was precisely my experience with Howard/Joe.

I "try" to get up to Nick Lowry's Windsong Dojo in OKC at least once a year for one of his multi-day things. Sometimes I can make it twice a year, some years not at all because of real world concerns.

Those multi-day things are a lot of fun, and often there are things to be learned right in one's own art that you'd not considered before, or in a closely-related art that supplement and enhance, or in something completely different.

What I find when I go do something unrelated to aikido, like systema for example, is how closely they actually are in their working. Having practiced for literally decades in punch-kick, I can tell you that the systems are different in their emphasis, not terribly much in their techniques (e.g. Shotokan karate vs. hapkido is a good example of that dichotomy).

I'm straying. Yes, I have done the outside style seminar thing and came away better for so doing.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:01 PM   #24
Peter Boylan
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Traditionally, you seek out for a teacher. During this period it is allright to go to different seminars as you are still 'shopping'. After perhaps two, three years you should know what you are looking for and commit to a teacher and work with him. During this period it would be rather strange to visit other teachers (outside your lineage). When you feel your current teacher cannot help you progress, it is time to seek out another...your relation has naturally ended.
When in doubt, contact your teacher and see what he thinks.
Tim, I'm not sure where this tradition you mention is from. It's certainly not from traditional Japan. People often cross trained there. In fact, cross training and challenge matches (not duels) were so common that many dojo in the pre-modern era required oaths to not engage in inter-art matches. Within Aikido, training in multiple arts was closer to the norm during Ueshiba's lifetime than not. Look at Tomiki, Mochizuki, Inaba, Nishio, Ueshiba Kisshomaru and others. Most of Ueshiba's students in the pre-War period were accomplished martial artists before they started training, and many continued training in other arts after beginning Aikido.

Training in other arts and styles gives you new perspective on what you are doing. It doesn't negate it, it supplements your understanding so you can learn more deeply.

Peter Boylan
Mugendo Budogu LLC
Budo Books, Videos, Equipment from Japan
http://www.budogu.com
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:06 PM   #25
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Do You Go To Seminars Outside Your Style?

The more the better ...

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