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Old 03-04-2003, 08:59 PM   #1
Dojo: West Michigan Aikido
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 112
Monkey See Monkey Do

I have been training at a dojo in southern Taiwan for the past 8 months. While I can get around here using Chinese (American) well enough, at the dojo, they speak Taiwanese( More difficult to learn then chinese). I have been getting though the basics using the monkey see monkey do method, but I am starting to come to the point where I feel more explanation is needed. (they don't use any Japanese language in class). Am I wrong? Can one get by just by sight learning?

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Old 03-05-2003, 03:10 AM   #2
Dojo: Bristol University Dojo
Location: Bristol UK
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 28
No not just sight But sight and feel, that is enough.


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Old 03-05-2003, 03:25 AM   #3
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,167
Re: Monkey See Monkey Do

Ryan Bertram (acot) wrote:
Am I wrong? Can one get by just by sight learning?
Nope, no way, impossible, forget it.

Seriously having been, and to some extent still am, in the same boat the answer is these very forums. Most of us feel the need to talk about what we do - without that we tend to confuse ourselves. Use the forums as an outlet and in the dojo you can concentrate on the physical.

Side notes

You don't know us from Adam. If there is a contradiction between something said here as opposed to your teacher - lean toward your teacher.

A lot of what you do is made up of a small set of movements. Once you get past that a lot of the confusion goes out the window. Just sight becomes far easier.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-05-2003, 03:47 AM   #4
Dirty Dogi
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 21
I suggest you take a look at this link. It may anwser some questions.


Copy and paste it into your web browser.

Check out my personal Aikido Journal.
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:58 AM   #5
Kelly Allen
Dojo: Friends Dojo
Location: Winnipeg
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 190
Is that monkey style?
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Old 03-09-2003, 03:54 PM   #6
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Brian: just goes to show you never to monkey around in class. That was funny.
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Old 03-09-2003, 07:25 PM   #7
Dirty Dogi
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 21

Check out my personal Aikido Journal.
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Old 03-10-2003, 06:05 PM   #8
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
I think there is some macho idea that you can learn just by seeing. I don't believe that at all. You can learn techniques and replicate what somebody is doing, but if we are doing aikido properly each technique is unique (because we are responding to the movement of uke, which varies).

Underlying aikido are the principles - these need explanaition. You may be able to follow principles with some physical explaition (e.g. gesturing etc when you are actally training) but I think it may take much longer.

The same happened in my swimming - I read one chapter of a book on swimming efficiency and within weeks I was swimming far far faster. I could swim before, but my speed was purely through fitness rather than technique. I had seen others in the club swimming fast, but now when I look at them I understand WHY they swim fast.

I've never found a good book that really explains aikido principles concisely and well (without getting obscure). Maybe the aikido community should get together with some sports physiologists and psychologists and write an excellent scientific book on aikido principles that would benefit everyone in a direct and practical manner.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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