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Old 07-21-2004, 01:08 PM   #1
"anonymouse"
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Talking too much

Question: How do you communicate to an instructor that they talk too much?

During class, you can be practicing and the instructor will come along and correct what you are doing. Sensei points out what you did wrong, what to do right and why it is that way. In the process of doing so, so much time goes by that you end up getting to do the technique 3 or maybe 4 times and then that's it. The class moves on to the next thing.

How do you communicate that you would rather corrections be to the point and then get back to it?

And while we are on the subject, lately students are talking during class. Sensei will be demonstrating something and a student will interupt to share a revelation or thought or example. Or worse, those in the back of class will be talking (maybe about aikdo) and not paying attention.

Too much talking all around. Any pointers on how to lessen it?
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Old 07-23-2004, 10:18 AM   #2
vanstretch
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Re: Talking too much

i hear ya. you just want to train and want more "do", and less "talk". Just remember that EVERYTHING is your teacher and try to be open to that. It could be that others may need more verbal explaination to clarify. I still side with you that less talk and more walk is the way. Keep on, take care.
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Old 07-23-2004, 10:49 AM   #3
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Talking too much

Want less talking and more practice? Find a good dojo.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-23-2004, 12:58 PM   #4
shihonage
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Re: Talking too much

Your instructor is the source of all this.
This will not change unless your instructor is replaced.
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Old 07-23-2004, 01:35 PM   #5
ruthmc
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Question: How do you communicate to an instructor that they talk too much?
Politely

Quote:
During class, you can be practicing and the instructor will come along and correct what you are doing. Sensei points out what you did wrong, what to do right and why it is that way. In the process of doing so, so much time goes by that you end up getting to do the technique 3 or maybe 4 times and then that's it. The class moves on to the next thing.
Some instructors are like that. Poor time perception perhaps? I don't know. However, only you can decide if this is too irritating, or it's something you can live with. Another option is to get so good you don't need to be corrected

Quote:
How do you communicate that you would rather corrections be to the point and then get back to it?
You can't. This would be considered interfering with the teaching, which is not in your remit as a student unless the teacher requests feedback.The best option is to encourage your instructor to go to a course where he/she will be taught HOW to teach a class. You can download some useful info about teaching from http://www.bab.org.uk/downloads/downloads.html - go to the coaching handbook.

Quote:
And while we are on the subject, lately students are talking during class. Sensei will be demonstrating something and a student will interupt to share a revelation or thought or example. Or worse, those in the back of class will be talking (maybe about aikdo) and not paying attention.
If the teacher allows / encourages this, there's not a lot you can do except to decide whether or not you can put up with it.

Quote:
Too much talking all around. Any pointers on how to lessen it?
Ask the other students how they feel about it. If there are a few of you who feel the same way, it might be worth tactfully approaching your instructor as a group to discuss it.

Hope this is helpful,
Good luck whatever you decide,

Ruth
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Old 07-23-2004, 03:56 PM   #6
DCP
 
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Want less talking and more practice? Find a good dojo.
I have heard many stories that O'Sensei would spend a great deal of time lecturing. Hmm? Would you think his dojo was no good?

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
- Aesop
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Old 07-23-2004, 05:56 PM   #7
Dario Rosati
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Want less talking and more practice? Find a good dojo.
Want less "hey! look at my obscene level of coolness and silently-try-to-keep-up-if-you're-able" stuff? Find a good dojo.

As a beginner, I dare to say that I absolutely HATE speechless classes/senseis.

I WANT to know the why and the why not of what I'm beginnign to learn.
Aikido is HARD and looks SILLY (expecially some uke actions) at the start to begginers eye, unless you're a talented master who's able to let your students perceive what's behind the bare and basisc form; I'm not able by far to do some techniques properly, but I can perceive their logic with my mind after proper explaining and this makes me anxious to practice/learn them.

A simple "look-and-do" approach makes me feel like an idiot puppy who makes senseless stuff... I would have quit if my master would have been of that sort (and I've meet some of that sort, unfortunately).

This is a highly subjective matter, I fear... no offence intended, take this like the humble opinion of a 10 month practice guy... maybe for yudansha the total silence approach is better; I (6th kyu) prefer a master who explains by words every single step of every single tecnique (openings/atemi/reversal/uke role included) from the very beginning, than a shihan-soke-super-sayan of XXXVIII dan that dances blazingly fast with his 6th dan uke around the mat saying "ehi! look at us and try to do the same in silence".
Extremely cool to look, but damn boring after 2-3 lessons, since I'm not even able to keep foots straight at the start, and quickly realize that you need something completely different if you want to effectively LEARN something and not just sitting in awe drooling on the mat...

Just my 2 eurocents.

Bye!

Last edited by Dario Rosati : 07-23-2004 at 06:04 PM.

--
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:29 AM   #8
Bronson
 
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Re: Talking too much

His school his rules. I know our sensei doesn't consider the dojo to be a democracy, more of a benevolent dictatorship. You can either accept how it's run or not, your choice.

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 07-24-2004, 08:12 AM   #9
DaveO
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Re: Talking too much

Depends on the Sensei, really - what his personal teaching style is.
I tend to talk a lot when coaching; to me it's important a student understand why something is happening rather than just what is happening. Of course; there's a line - and I probably cross it frequently - being a teacher is as much a neverending learning process as being a student is.
On the other side; there are teachers that excel in the physical repetition style of instruction; as well as those who don't explain enough. Finding your way as a teacher is an amazingly confusing process.
So; it's not an easy question. As a rank beginner; I was constantly irritated by the long-winded (to me) blather about 'ki-this' and 'ki-that'; but as I started to understand a bit of what was going on; I began to appreciate its importance more.
I also began training with an instructor that is wholly physical in training style - works superbly for him.
So; my advice would be to listen carefully to what's being said - it might be possible it's more important than the technique itself. If that doesn't turn out to be the case; I'd recommend either very respectfully broaching the subject on a one-on-one level; or if that fails possibly looking at alternative dojos.
Cheers!

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 07-24-2004, 11:14 AM   #10
SeiserL
 
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Question: How do you communicate to an instructor that they talk too much?

How do you communicate that you would rather corrections be to the point and then get back to it?

Too much talking all around. Any pointers on how to lessen it?
I guess everything is relative and self-referenced. "Too much talking" for who? You. Maybe other are getting a lot out of it. Perhaps you are being selfish and need to work on your own acceptance of things as they are and change your attitude rather than expecting the world to be the way you want it to be.

OTOH, talk with your Sensei, explain that you learn best by doing, and ask that they demonstrate with you. Let them know you are having troubles intellectually transferring the talk to your training.

OR, as Sensei is explaining, try to visualize in your mind what they are saying. Let your body move slightly with their description or explanation. See if you can transfer the verbal descriptions into physical sensation.

This is a great learning opportunity on how to enter and blend with what is. Sometimes the verbal explanations will make sense later and make your training better because you understand the concepts.

BTW, I do agree. Even in my own training, at times I talk too much. At other times, I wish I were given more verbal instructions.

Okay, now all of us , back to the mats.

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 08-10-2004, 09:42 AM   #11
dan guthrie
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Re: Talking too much

My experience has been to keep my mouth shut and let sensei teach, whatever that leads to and however she wants to do it. I've opened my mouth on numerous occasions and I've almost always regretted it, sometimes deeply.
Silence is difficult for me. My parents taught me correctly but my work experience has sabotaged all of their good efforts.
One of the best things I've learned in the dojo is the importance of good manners. Aikido comes to me slowly this way but it does get to me eventually. I just have faith. It's never failed me in the past.
I got the giggles a few days ago. My partner is always on the verge of laughing and he got me going. I know it annoyed the substitute sensei we had that night. I wish I'd just sat down on the edge of the mat for a minute or two.
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Old 08-10-2004, 09:50 AM   #12
AsimHanif
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Re: Talking too much

I have to agree with the posts above that state if you want more activity, find another dojo. I went through this myself. The instructor was highly regarded and the dojo was easier to get to than others. But I found myself feeling cheated. I spent a great deal of time to get there and I'd do 1 or 2 techniques. I spent most of the time sitting and listening to a lecture. I'm sure there were some who found this great but it is not for me. I don't mind talks that are relevant or help to assist the training but going off on a tangent is another thing.
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:00 PM   #13
Lan Powers
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Re: Talking too much

It is a delicate balance.
(I am too chatty)
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:48 AM   #14
ian
 
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Re: Talking too much

There is definately a time for talking and a time for training. Don't forget your sensei is a human being, and, if like me, has only had a few years experience instructing, they may not be aware of the problem. Maybe you should mention/infer that you don't get enough time to practise those things he/she talks about? The worst that can happen is that his ego gets in the way and you have to go to a new club. However you may also improve the club and teaching tremendously. (good martial artists are not always good teachers, and the teacher-student relationship is a 2-way thing).

Ian
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:51 AM   #15
ian
 
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Re: Talking too much

P.S. I think, contrary to 'traditional training methods' verbal instruction is absolutely necessary to learn the principles quickly. However to be able to DO aikido and to get physical feedback (and thus further questions) you need good solid practise as well.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:16 AM   #16
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Daniel Pierson wrote:
I have heard many stories that O'Sensei would spend a great deal of time lecturing. Hmm? Would you think his dojo was no good?
How many O senseis are in the World? He was an exception, but exception only confirms a rule

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:19 AM   #17
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Dario Rosati wrote:
Want less "hey! look at my obscene level of coolness and silently-try-to-keep-up-if-you're-able" stuff? Find a good dojo.

As a beginner, I dare to say that I absolutely HATE speechless classes/senseis.

I WANT to know the why and the why not of what I'm beginnign to learn.
Bye!
You , italians, simply cant stop talking. I saw a video of en Italian instructor, 7 th dan. He talked all time, 2 hours, not only while explaining techniques, but also during practice itself.
It was horrible. So much noise. I couldn't hear me thinking

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:09 AM   #18
Dario Rosati
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
You , italians, simply cant stop talking. I saw a video of en Italian instructor, 7 th dan. He talked all time, 2 hours, not only while explaining techniques, but also during practice itself.
It was horrible. So much noise. I couldn't hear me thinking
Ehehe
We are very "talky" people by nature and this reflects in Aikido, too
My sensei is talky, too... he loves to explain every bit of every tecnique he shows and I like him this way... but not during practice (even if he sometimes stops pairs practicing incorrectly and show/explain what and why is wrong).

Generally in my dojo the thing never degenerates in "noise" on the mat, only a question now and then to sensei or to sempai... and I think this fit perfectly from a didactical standpoint, 100% silence is damn booooring... and you learn slower, IMHO.

Even a simple "Ehi, are you feeling something THIS or THAT way, or are you just tossing yourself around to look cool?" may help us beginners.

Bye!

--
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:54 PM   #19
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Talking too much

Nothing you can do. It would be inappropriate.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 08-16-2004, 02:48 AM   #20
maikerus
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Re: Talking too much

This is something that I've thought alot about both as a student and as an instructor. Its really difficult to tell how much talking is good or needed in any given class.

An instructor balances many different levels and personalities within a given class. They have to find a balance that gives all people in the class the opportunity to learn the best way *for that student*. Sometimes a lot of talking and explanation of what and why is important. At other times the physical repetition of a technique time after time after time again is the best thing for the majority of the class. And of course there are those classes that fall in between.

I feel that from a student point of view the best way to get out of the "my instructor is talking too much" mindset is is to find a like-minded partner and agree with them to train and to train hard. Don't ask questions of the instructor while doing the technique. Don't even make questioning eye contact. Don't stop to talk with your partner about how they felt while you did the technique or while they are doing the technique to you. Just train. Hard, strong atemi. Good kiai. Quickly up to start again. Your instructor should figure out whats going on and leave you be until you make a mistake that has to be corrected.

On the other hand, I suggest listening carefully when your instructor goes on and on about a technique or a concept. He or she is giving out pearls of wisdom and analogies that just might make it easier for you to understand what's going on. Or give you an insight into something you've already experienced. Or at least give you something to remember so that you can figure out something new a little sooner. That's what they're there for...to give you an opportunity to learn from their experience and their training. Don't ignore half of what they give.

My last point. The talking "maybe about Aikido" at the back of the class is completely unacceptable. IMHO, the instructor should use these people for uke for a few extreme Aikido moments to make sure they are paying attention. Any unsolicited comment (as opposed to respectfully asking permission to ask a question or make an observation) should be treated the same way.

Sharing my few thoughts,

--Michael

Last edited by maikerus : 08-16-2004 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Missed a word

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Old 08-16-2004, 06:23 AM   #21
Hanna B
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Re: Talking too much

Possibly, one could give positive feedback after a class when the instructor talked less than usual. "It was really great that we got so much time to train each technique", or something similar.
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:27 AM   #22
gilsinnj
 
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Re: Talking too much

If your Aikido instructor is being observant (my guess is that he isn't), he'll notice you getting a glazed over expression when he's going into the longer discussions. My instructor is known to be long winded, but he's learned that he can't do this too often or he starts boring his students. He's still training in his teaching technique, so he's constantly adjusting to what works and what doesn't.

On the issue of the students who talk during class, that's another problem. A little talking is normal, and often makes a dojo fun to come to. But, when during demonstrations, the students should remain quiet unless the instructor asks a question. That's the fault of the instructor not disciplining the students. If the instructor or senior students disciplined the students at the time, it will continue and get worse over time. At some point its going to get too disruptive to the class, and the instructor will have to come down hard and usually ends up looking like a hard-ass for doing it. Although my instructor is himself long-winded and chatty, he like to tell us to "Shut up and practice" during class.

-- Jim
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Old 08-17-2004, 12:55 PM   #23
suren
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote:
Nothing you can do. It would be inappropriate.
My experience shows that's not true. I have a pretty old and very respected sensei and lately some of students noticed that many practitioners fall back incorrectly, which can be dangerous. After discussing that with more experienced students who also noticed that, the student with the highest rank (who is also pretty close to sensei's age) approached sensei and asked to teach us some more of back falling since some students are not good in that.
Sensei was very open to it and accepted our point.

So maybe you can similarly discuss this matter with other guys in your dojo and if they agree, a group of you or a chosen delegate can approach your instructor and talk to him? I guess that greatly depends on your sensei.
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:33 AM   #24
Bronson
 
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Re: Talking too much

I think asking your instructor to teach something specific would be received better than asking your instructor to change the way they teach.

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 08-18-2004, 02:49 PM   #25
suren
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
I think asking your instructor to teach something specific would be received better than asking your instructor to change the way they teach
That's probably true, but I think discussing that rather than silently leave the dojo is the best way. At least give that a try.
If this is said tactfully and politely by a person well know to the teacher and respected in dojo, in the best case scenario that will correct the situation, in the worst case sensei will ignore it or tell that he can't change himself. In any case I think it worth to try.
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