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Old 11-12-2002, 05:07 AM   #1
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Confused No talking in class?

Hi!

I've got the impression that most of you out there are not allowed to talk during practise... In the dojo I practise at, we are allowed to talk. Of course, we are to keep the talking to a minimum and stick to the subject at hand.

What are your rules? Some seem not allowed to correct a newbie, but wait until sensei showes up.

Where I practise, the senior students always helps the newbies as much as possible, and only "waste" senseis time if the matter cannot be solved easily. Of course, sensei walks around and corrects those who needs it too. He doesn't just sit there and drink coffee.

Any thoughts?

/Patrik
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Old 11-12-2002, 05:34 AM   #2
Creature_of_the_id
 
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the only time we are not allowed to talk is during the 'bows' and when sensei is speaking/demonstrating.

at all other times we can talk... although, talking usually stops when sensei comes around to watch so people can make it appear that they are in the utmost state of concentration.

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Old 11-12-2002, 05:50 AM   #3
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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Where I come from, we almost never talk. Even the teachers who are on the mat during the head Sensei's class time do not help (verbally) very much, unless asked. Sometimes the teacher will even loudly pronounce "Quiet" because someone has started talking. This style seems to me to make the structure of the class and the dojo more formal. You learn by seeing and trying to copy, instead of through your ears. This is quite hard for a lot of folks, coming from a very cereabral city (University town, most students are professors or grad students).

In my own dojo, I verbally correct quite a bit. I would like to do less so, but right now I have very new students who need a lot of help. As time goes on and they gain more experience, I would really like to do less in the way of verbal correction (the verbal part seems appropriate at this point) and more through visual/feeling. They are certainly not mutually exclusive, I just like the feeling of a quiet class, it feels "right" to me.
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:28 AM   #4
Ta Kung
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I practise in the "advanced" group, but most of us also attend the newbie group. In their group there is quite a bit more talking, since they seem to catch on quicker if we show AND tell them how to do the techinique. In the "advanced" group, there is little or no talking. I find it a bit strange not to verbaly help your partner, if he/she needs it...

/Patrik
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:16 AM   #5
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
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No talking in practice is a major rule in our dojo. Only the instructor in charge may talk and only if instructed one may talk back. Only the instructor can correct. The way it works the practice is intense and very focused.
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Old 11-12-2002, 11:19 AM   #6
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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We don't have a specific "no talking" rule in our dojo. More senior students are expected to work with the more junior students and we are expected to help them. This includes talking to them. I learn much, much better when my partner says, "do 'x' to get my balance" instead of him keeping his mouth shut and watching me having apparent trouble with him. I don't mind if this comes from a junior to me either.

My sensei watches everyone train and if he sees that the senior student can not help he will then step in. Most of the time the senior is not "wrong", but they just don't know how to explain the technique the way our sensei does. When that happens I usually say with a smile, "do that."

Also, I don't think this hurts the intensity of training. It helps as the junior seem to learn more quickly this way and they are pretty up to speed by the time we switch to the next technique.

Last edited by giriasis : 11-12-2002 at 11:21 AM.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 11-12-2002, 02:09 PM   #7
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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I don´t know, maybe if people talked less (or not at all), paid attention and practiced more...I love teaching kids, they´re usually quiet, respectful and very attentive, and they progress at a faster pace than their adult counterparts. I think fighting through silent frustration is part of it, until we "get it". But that´s what works for us.
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Old 11-12-2002, 02:19 PM   #8
giriasis
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I think what matters is what works best for the particular sensei and the students in the class. We're not at all chit-chatty on the mat and everyone trains real hard. We also have enough dan ranks where this really does work well for us. (i.e. you're not getting "bad" advice) They want to train hard so they push us, but they also want us to learn to do the techniques correctly. We teach through ukemi as well, but sometimes what is being "taught" isn't conveyed very well non-verbally. That's when you need to say "hey, what am I doing wrong?" It's not like were talking about the weather or the events of the day.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 11-12-2002, 05:25 PM   #9
blackburnaj
Dojo: Aikido of San Jose
Location: San Jose
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I hate talking in class! I am a poor college kid who has little money. If I wanted to talk, I would pay a therapist. Sorry, struck a vein. I by no means pretend to know everything, especially about aikido. But sometimes individual personalities in the dojo choose to be vocal about technique when they should not. With all due respect to those who have something relevant to say.

When I was in the military I trained in Iwama Ryu Aikido. It seems to me that there was less talk, and more technique. I prefer this method. I believe that you can only learn by getting dirty and sweaty. I don't think you can talk a technique to death. Of course we all need a good correcting, every once in a while.

peace and jokes.... and a lot of hard work. aj

Peace and Jokes!
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Old 11-12-2002, 05:37 PM   #10
Hogan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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We talk when necessary... not how was your day, what are you doing later, etc.... I really don't understand the no talking PERIOD rule. If a word can wake you up and cut through the crap in understanding a move, why not talk ?

To all the dojos out there who NEVER talk, I have been in situations (while visiting a different dojo) where I didn't quiet get or didn't see a particular part of a move, and asked my partner something, and they just stare ! Helloooooo ! At least answer when a question is asked ...
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:28 PM   #11
YEME
Dojo: South West Aiki
Location: Margaret River
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Talking focus

i'm very new to aikido. but i've found that trying to keep to no talking is the only way i can focus. once i start verbally trying to figure out something that is a physical movement it all goes wrong.

but my dojo doesn't strictly enforce this. In mixed level classes though, there is less talk and more concentration on the practice.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:44 PM   #12
Thalib
 
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Dojo: 合気研究会
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In the Dojo I train, seniors are advised to help the juniors and the beginners. So usually, we have little time to practice ourselves. Usually after the instructor demonstrated the technique, I practice with a fellow senior or two, do a few movements, finished, and then proceed to help the juniors and the beginners.

There is no "no talking" rule in our dojo. Our dojo has that "family" feel. During sensei's instructions, we just pay attention of course, no talking or discussing. After our sensei has finished the demonstrating part, when each takes a partner or a team, each pair or each team is encourage to discuss the technique. It is important for each student to understand the essence or the principle instead of just doing the technique blindly as a form.

The seniors have to keep an eye out for every students that are having trouble. Sensei instructs when one is really stuck in a problem and seniors can't solve the problem. Seniors also have to keep the training environment safe, making sure that there will be no injuries, especially among the beginners.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 11-12-2002, 10:12 PM   #13
sanosuke
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
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in our dojo we are allowed to talk during training, but kept to a minimum. we correct each other but we pay attention when our instructor correct or present the technique.

sometimes we also discussed the technique during training, but for further discusiion we usually wait until the class end and continue the discussion after class. This after class session is also important to me because we can analyze and discuss techniques in more depths. Our instructors also encourages us to ask any questions regarding aikido after training.
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Old 11-13-2002, 12:56 AM   #14
DrGazebo
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Yak Yak Yak

No talking. It completely wastes Sensai's time and yours. Learn by watching, especially the movements of the feet.
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Old 11-13-2002, 04:31 AM   #15
Bronson
 
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Quote:
No talking
Man, we'd probably give you hives

Senior students (read that as anybody with more experience than you) are encouraged to help and talk. There is talking and help being given back and forth among people of equal or close to equal rank all the time too. If we are practicing munetsuki kotegeashi and the newbie doesn't know how to throw a punch we are expected to stop them and teach them, right then during class. We are expected to give all the little lessons about etiquette, ukemi, technique, dojo policy, etc whenever the subject comes up. For instance, if a new student comes late to class and just walks out onto the mat and sits down in line sensei won't say a word about it to him. Instead whoever is his training partner when we pair up is expected to let him know that if he has to show up late to sit quietly at the edge of the mat until sensei gestures for him to come out.

I guess what matters is that it works for us and what you do works for you. If I come to your place and you're all quiet I will be too and if you come to ours you can speak up

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-13-2002, 06:44 AM   #16
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
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The only time I talk in class is when I'm teaching a newbie (someone with less than a month of Aikido experience). Besides that if someone is not getting a technique I either: Have them take ukemi for the technique a couple of times (so that they can feel the waza) or I gently extend ki back into nage to guide there movements.

I also give my nage non-verbal clues like I gentle nod or shake of my head.

I'm personally a strong believers that a new student learns more by taking lots of ukemi.

Peace and Blessings
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Old 11-13-2002, 06:54 AM   #17
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
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Quote:
Ignacio Jaramillo (Nacho_mx) wrote:
...I love teaching kids, they´re usually quiet, respectful and very attentive, and they progress at a faster pace than their adult counterparts.
Wow kids in Mexico sound great. I help teach the kids class in Brooklyn (In our dojo, a requirement of all Shodans and soon to be Shodans) and they're just the opposite. We currently have about eight instructors in the kids program, and besides myself and a couple of the other instructors (one is a professional teacher, the other a professional bouncer/ security director) the rest have a hard time controlling their class.
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Old 11-13-2002, 07:12 AM   #18
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
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There sure are many views to this, as I expected. I, however, can not see the point in not talking when required/asked by a junior student.

Just watching and think you'll learn it, sounds like limiting the learning process to me. And why does talking/verbaly helping your partner waste senseis time? Isn't sensei there to help everyone learn? Isn't refusing to talk/help your partner forcing sensei to go there and therefore "waste his time"?

Human beeings have 5 senses, why not use as many of them as possible?

/Patrik

PS. No disrespect to those who have other opinions. I haven't tried this "no speaking/helping" apporoach. Maybe it's better than it sounds?
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Old 11-13-2002, 07:34 AM   #19
Kat.C
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Well I'd never learn anything if my partner couldn't talk to me to help me out. Taking ukemi, fun as it is doesn't help me learn a technique, and I often miss things when I just watch. It also helps when my partner actuall moves my hand or arm or whatever into the right place. I have to say I really hate it when someone starts talking to me about something unrelated, that is a waste of time.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 11-13-2002, 10:24 AM   #20
Thalib
 
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Diffin-san, Eng-san, and Cole san, your dojo's policy to be the same as mine.

Our sensei, let the the seniors teach the juniors or the beginners, verbally or otherwise, as a test on how much one has understood Aikido. He does this also to see the arrogance or ego that sometimes appear during senior-junior practice. This is taken into account wether or not one is ready to go on the next level/rank/grade.

Our sensei consider every senior, especially 3rd kyu and up, as assistant instructors. They have to act more maturely and be a role model to the juniors. They have to be more responsible for their techniques when practicing, being able to explain "why" not just just "how".

After all these years with my sensei, I have learned that learning through teaching is quite effective. One has to be able to teach others and accept teachings of others. This, though, requires quite a high level of maturity, humbleness, and respect for others; arrogance have no place here.

Everytime I teach, I see how my level of understanding is nothing. I realize that what I've learned is not ven the tip of the iceberg yet. The more I learn, the dumber I feel. The more I teach, the more I feel that I'm not qualified to teach. I teach classes in my sensei's absence, I do this because of my responsibility towards the Dojo, towards the students, towards my Sensei, towards my "family".

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 11-13-2002, 10:15 PM   #21
DrGazebo
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Pre Verbal Communications

I still maintain that student chattering during training is counter productive. Most of what we learn isn't verbally transmitted, and I have always found "talky" dojos more of a social club than real training. This is obviously what works for me, its not a universal standard.

I just think the dojo is one place to put our intellectual Western mind to rest and to learn using our other senses. Sight,sound, smell, touch need to be heightened.

Yak, yak, yak....the place for discussion is here, not in the dojo. I really think intellectualization of practice is unfortunate, and most questions students have should be short and to the point, directed at the teacher.

A yakky dojo is a cocktail party, not a training hall. Call me traditional, its a compliment.
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Old 11-14-2002, 09:42 AM   #22
Rev_Sully
Location: Somerville, MA
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As I heard a friend playing defense (in front of me playing goalie) yell to our teammates playing hockey: "Hey! Talk to eachother out there! It's not an F*in' library!!!".

Dojo is not a library. If what you are talking about is not talking over sensei/sempai or if what you are talking about is strictly about AiKiDo, then there shouldn't be a problem.

If someone told be to shush, they'd be very inappropriate because I wouldn't think about talking during/over sensei/sempai and I would ask you how you liked Star Wars Episode 2 IMAX on the mat. I'd be asking you to come at me harder as uke. I'd be asking you how to grip better, I'd be asking you how to perform ukemi better, etc.

I'm all about good communication. I think I'd leave the philosophy off the mat though but I'd have no problem about communicating my needs to my uke when practicing or asking advice/better technique.

Talk to eachother, it's not an F*in' library out there, chief!

; ^ )

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:33 AM   #23
Rev_Sully
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I meant to say in the last post that I would NOT be talking about movies...

Thanks.

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:46 AM   #24
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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It's all about different dojos being different. Some dojos are really into doing lots of breakfalls and convincing themselves that they know how to do powerful technique; other dojos make their aikido as movement-free as possible and convince themselves that they know how to really feel the other persons balance and energy. Some dojos teach through discussion; others teach without discussion.

The interesting question is not which dojo is better but how you can learn to see the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and each dojo. In my experience, talk-y dojos tend to make beginners (and possibly also women ... ?) more comfortable. On the other hand, non-talk-y dojos tend (paradoxically?) to communicate more clearly the ideas of respect and humility that are, to my mind, part of budo. It's not that a talky dojo can't teach respet or that a non-talky dojo can't be welcoming, I'm just reporting the tendency I've seen in my limited experience.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 11-14-2002, 11:43 AM   #25
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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Smile universal language

A friend of mine told me that he once visited a small dojo in Japan. He said six older black belts shuffled into the room and didn't say a word — they just smiled, bowed, and began practicing seated waza. They continued to smile.

Next they did standing waza.

Although all of the gentlemen were 4 dan or above, they only practiced basic waza, that is waza for beginners, and waza for 5, 4, and 3 kyu-level students. They kept smiling and somtimes laughed out loud, but still, they never said a word.

At the end of practice, they wiped some of the sweat off of their foreheads, streightened up their gi, and bowed. Then they smiled to one another and shuffled off of the tatami.

My friend said he smiled, and left the dojo.

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