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Old 05-27-2004, 03:21 PM   #1
stern9631
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Question Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Has anyone come up with a way to effectively create a [b]reuseable footwork cheat sheet like that used in dancing?
Like --left foot here, right foot there, turn
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Old 05-27-2004, 05:13 PM   #2
Jordan Steele
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

You're clearly interested in the technical aspects of Aikido, but honestly those kind of thoughts in your head and on paper are just going to confuse you. Physical confrontation and "functional Aikido" is all about improvisation, not technique. Just do what Sensei shows and let your muscles remember the technique.
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Old 05-29-2004, 04:27 AM   #3
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
Has anyone come up with a way to effectively create a [b]reuseable footwork cheat sheet like that used in dancing?
Like --left foot here, right foot there, turn
Ah, Arthur Murray Ryu Aikido?

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 05-29-2004, 01:50 PM   #4
Richard Cardwell
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Must be!

I think anything like this is a bit of an unnecessary crutch- if you ever use aikido in Real Life (tm), you won't be able to stop and put down your footwork sheet! Sorry if that sounds facetious, but I honestly can't think of a good reason for them.
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:17 PM   #5
Don_Modesto
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
Has anyone come up with a way to effectively create a [b]reuseable footwork cheat sheet like that used in dancing?
Like --left foot here, right foot there, turn
If not precisely cheat sheets, you might take a look at Yoshinkan; they're known to work on foowork without a partner sometimes.

Actually, I'm not laughing with the rest. I have some students who need more time on the footwork and we do solo kata this way, too. Cheat sheets are a novel idea for aikido, but not a bad one, I think, for some learners.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 05-30-2004, 12:10 AM   #6
Hara
 
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

I can understand how you may want a cheat sheet. I'm sorry to say I don't have access to any of these. IMHO, I have no objection to using a cheat sheet. I feel you should do whatever works for you. The important point the previous posts mentioned is to not think in a cheat sheet manner when doing the technique. (In other words not to rely on it) BUT as a learner, writing things down can be great when trying to remember certain steps. Once you mastered it, you won't need a cheat sheet (or notes) and every motion should be fluid and natural.

If you have trouble with your foot work, I recommend just working it out with an experienced student and just practice it. You may find you don't need to take notes.

My Sensei stresses not to be sloppy and every step has meaning (or purpose), so take it slow and try to think of it with a big picture mentality. (Sawari Waza can help understand the reasons for footwork when you find you need to move to make the technique work)

Hope this information is useful.
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Old 05-30-2004, 12:12 AM   #7
Bronson
 
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
Richard Cardwell wrote:
I think anything like this is a bit of an unnecessary crutch
I'd agree. When I was doing tai-chi one of the students made a list of the movements in big letters to hang on the wall. It seemed ok until we noticed that people couldn't remember what came next without looking at the list. It came down immediately.

In my sensei's dojo there is a list of aiki-taiso that one of the students made with nice (western) calligraphy. On our tests we are asked to demonstrate an aiki-taiso. I've seen people look at the list and say "l think I'll do number 9". After seeing this I asked sensei if I could take the list down during tests...he lets me

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 05-30-2004, 08:33 AM   #8
markwalsh
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

There are some basic footwork diagrams in Aikido by second doshu.
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Old 05-30-2004, 11:50 AM   #9
Don_Modesto
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
When I was doing tai-chi one of the students made a list of the movements in big letters to hang on the wall. It seemed ok until we noticed that people couldn't remember what came next without looking at the list. It came down immediately.
This was a problem with the training progression, not that particular technique.

Overdependency on the learning tools is an artefact of any kind of heuristic device/teaching methodology (which is why most disciplines have such warnings as "Thou shalt not worship graven images," "The map is not the terrain," or "Don't reify your theories.")

Personally, I think we see this fetishization all the time but don't criticize, or perhaps even see it. Imagine the frustration of the UCHIDESHI with Osensei refusing to repeat a technique: He was pointing at the moon (principle), they were looking at the finger (technique). But what were they supposed to practice when he finished demonstrating?! Now you see some of them showing a technique--become THE TECHNIQUE--and woe to him who diverges from this in their class. The pendulum has swung back too far. Now that we have WAZA, who needs that old TAKEMUSU AIKI?

Eventually one would want to be weaned of footwork diagrams or, if Osensei is to be believed, WAZA, but in the meanwhile, they merely represent a core process (dissed as "crutch" here) for getting at something beyond themselves, even as does aikido practice, no?

"Learn and forget, learn and forget."

Don J. Modesto
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:33 PM   #10
Bronson
 
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Hey Don,

In our particular situation we had students who knew the first segments of the sequence by memory who "suddenly" couldn't remember what came next without looking. We also noticed that the newer students were taking much much longer to learn the sequence by memory than the senior students had.

One of my students is a trainer where he works. He always wants to make everything as easy as possible for the new students in class to learn things. He has made sheets, charts, and all sorts of stuff to hand out. The problem is that I don't think learning MA should be made as easy as possible. I think it should be a struggle. You should have to apply yourself and work hard to remember things. You should have to make your own flashcards or come up with your own mnemonic devices to help you remember. The process of figuring out how to learn it is as important as actually learning it, and it's something that I feel should be worked out on an individual basis.

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 05-31-2004, 12:47 AM   #11
Hara
 
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Lightbulb Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
In our particular situation we had students who knew the first segments of the sequence by memory who "suddenly" couldn't remember what came next without looking. We also noticed that the newer students were taking much much longer to learn the sequence by memory than the senior students had.
Interesting, Bronson, that you should say that. I have been researching accelerated learning techniques and strategies for over four years. A relating article I found on a website quite a while ago at www.geniusbydesign.com

http://www.geniusbydesign.com/gbdpapers/learngob.shtml
(A good read)

It discusses mostly about learning to communicate but the strategy to learn may be applied to anything.

Quote:
Mastery is about being able to use all of the skills precisely, seamlessly, simultaneously, and most importantly, unconsciously (so our attention is focused on the people we're communicating with, not ourselves). And frankly, that seems to be too much to learn.

Think about it. You'll never cover every little possible contingency in any complex system. It doesn't matter if you're studying the weather, investing in the stock market, or learning conversational mastery. There are simply too many little things for the conscious mind (a.k.a. our awareness) to keep track. It is no wonder that so many people consider superior communication skills to be an innate talent rather than a learnable skill.
So if its impossible what do we do?
The article continues

Quote:
Herein lies the genius of trainers such as Carmine Baffa. He understands that it is pointless to overwhelm a student with endless lists of rules and distinctions. If one has to consciously recall a skill in order to activate and use it, then he will lose focus on his outcomes and the feedback that he's receiving from his audience.

Instead, he presents and installs a system where he both implicitly and explicitly teaches the big chunks that elude most students (like mindset, clarity of outcome, etc) and meanwhile installs all of the little chunks (like analog markings, language patterns, etc.) through demonstration and the unique layout of his training.
Basically, this reaffirms with your observations. Conscious recall during a real situation (either on the street or during a test) will result in ineffectiveness.

Just something I found interesting and may be helpful



You also mentioned that learning a MA should be a struggle. I just want to point out that this should not be confused with frustration. Frustration interferes with learning, causes anxiety, and mental blocks, where as struggling (or confusion/eustress) could be seen as actively participating and engaging in the subject that reinforces mental learning pathways. Learning, IMHO, does not necessarily have to be hard (not easy, frustrating [not that you implied it, just wanted to clarify]), but does have to be effective. (Frustration vs Confusion ideas learned from Book: Natural Brilliance by Paul R. Scheele)

In general, I agree that your student who gives out handouts and charts is probably ineffectual in teaching them techniques. However, charts can be useful when used correctly. If I recall, O Sensei used charts to explain one particular concept when I watched a short 20 min documentary about him.
__________________________________________________

Some other things I've used and researched is Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Photoreading, and Image Streaming to name a few. Its amazing how they can be applied to education, martial arts, daily life, or any learning.

Brent Millare
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Old 05-31-2004, 01:21 AM   #12
Hara
 
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Eek! Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Whops

Quote:
In general, I agree that your student who gives out handouts and charts is probably ineffectual in teaching them techniques
I did not mean your student is ineffectual, I just meant that method may not be as effective

Sorry if any misunderstanding

Brent Millare
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:57 AM   #13
Charles Hill
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Hi Brent,

I`m interested in hearing how you have applied NLP to martial arts.

Charles Hill
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:00 PM   #14
Don_Modesto
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
The problem is that I don't think learning MA should be made as easy as possible. I think it should be a struggle....

You should have to make your own flashcards or come up with your own mnemonic devices to help you remember. The process of figuring out how to learn it is as important as actually learning it, and it's something that I feel should be worked out on an individual basis.

Not sure about the first paragraph; agree with the second.

(Your second point has actually been empirically demonstrated, albeit in a very simple experiment.)

Don J. Modesto
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:32 PM   #15
Hara
 
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Sure Charles,

First I'll describe a quick overview: (Taken from NLP.com)
NLP is all about noticing patterns. Whenever we want to improve, (develop hara, make a technique more effective), we have to first pay attention to how we interact with others. This is an important part of NLP and its better explained at the website and in books. I mainly use a derived model of NLP found in "Natural Brilliance".

From there you can do number of things like rapport, being in positive states, anchoring, and reframing.

From my experiences of just NLP, I mainly used the rapport techniques and reframing.

Rapport is when you try to mimic what a person is doing. You act like that person, become that person. (Kind of like what Don was saying, "Become the technique". Its not coincidence that these things agree with each other). This is kind of like blending too, which is another fundamental of Aikido.

With reframing its about changing your perspective. For example, recently, we've been taking high Ukemi. I've been having trouble trying to fall (and roll) over someone who is on their knees and palms (especially if they are tall). As beginners I think we treat it like something totally different and all of our Ukemi training goes out the window. But if we change our perspective and try to think of it still as a fall, we should be able to do it. A Sempai of mine, keeps saying its just a roll.

Thats the main ones I can think of at the moment. Anyone else here study/use NLP (or anything I mentioned)?

Brent Millare
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:59 PM   #16
jimvance
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
Jordan Steele wrote:
You're clearly interested in the technical aspects of Aikido, but honestly those kind of thoughts in your head and on paper are just going to confuse you. Physical confrontation and "functional Aikido" is all about improvisation, not technique. Just do what Sensei shows and let your muscles remember the technique.
I think that using whatever patterns you can to help your body remember what you are learning in the dojo is important. That was the whole point of kata training in the first place. Kata (or what could be considered kata) are not valid techniques as much as they are viable scenarios for developing other skills that are useful in conflict situations. Studying the art is meant to confuse the beginner (so that they listen to their bodies more than their minds), lead the intermediate (so that they don't get bored with the repetition), and inspire the advanced. How can you learn to improvise if you are not aware of basic movement patterns?

Jim Vance
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Old 05-31-2004, 06:42 PM   #17
Charles Hill
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Thanks for the reply Brent.

I understand that the original developer of NLP, Richard Bandler, is very critical of how NLP has come to be seen a collection of techniques, such as matching and mirroring to get rapport, anchoring, and reframing (especially the 6 step reframe.) I think there is a obvious parallel to Aikido that is shown in this thread. Bandler has said that NLP is a state of "wanton curiosity" as to how things are done. Bandler and John Grinder originally called themselves "modelers." They would find people who excelled in a particular thing and then figured out how they exactly did it and then they broke that down into specific steps that could be taught to others. Bandler and Grinder figured that they were successful when the person being taught could produce the same results as the original model.

Applying NLP to Aikido in terms of Jon`s cheat sheets, I think an important point is to be clear about when they work and when they don`t. It is my opinion that having step by step footwork named and numbered is almost indispensible when dealing with beginners. Of course, this help will become a hinderance when the Aikidoist wants to go up to the next level, but that too, is part of the training.

Charles Hill
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:44 PM   #18
Bronson
 
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Re: Reuseable Footwork Cheat Sheets

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Not sure about the first paragraph; agree with the second.
Well, by difficult I don't mean they should have to drag their tongues across razor-wire to gain admittance to the dojo

I meant more that the student should have to take some responsibility for their education. They shouldn't be handed everything on a plate. It should be made available to them but they should have to put in some sort of effort to attain it. It doesn't have to be anything big but it should be something.

EXAMPLE: One thing I do differently where I teach than my sensei does in his dojo is how we make the test requirements available to students (I think I'm going to change to his way btw). I have copies of the various kyu rank requirements that the students are free to take at any time. They just have to go in the office and get one or ask a senior student. My sensei has a book that has all the requirements in it. It is always availailable but if you want a copy you have to get paper and pen and hand copy your own. When I started teaching I thought my way would be better because people would be more likely to take and read a sheet instead of taking the time to copy one. I was right in that respect, I'm always running out of sheets. The problem is that nobody ever remembers what was on them. By having to hand copy them you invest time and effort making it more "real" for you. Not to mention it utilizes more than one learning mode which helps to cement it in the memory. The same thing happens with flashcards. I made a set and found that in the process of making them I learned almost half of them. If some one had just given me a set I'd never have learned what was on them so quickly.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not really opposed to the idea of Arthur Murray style foot patterns. I just think the students should have to make them for themselves. They should research the movements, diagram them out, label everything, name everything, etc. My bet would be by the time they were done they wouldn't really need most of the them.

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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