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Old 08-19-2004, 01:28 AM   #26
Bronson
 
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Re: Talking too much

Actually I don't think Anon should leave just yet. For quite a while I had a problem appreciating how our senior sempai taught her class. Details aren't really important, I just felt it could be better if it were different. Well lo and behold one day I just happened to stop listening to my internal voice complaining about her teaching style and actually listened to what she was trying to teach us. I learned that she really does know what she's talking about and if I'd shut up in my head I could learn a lot from her.

IMO a teachers personality should come through in their teaching. If it doesn't it seems somehow dishonest. If the instructor is teaching from an honest and sincere place I think the student should make every effort to receive the teaching. I'm not saying that there aren't going to be student/teacher combinations that won't work but I think there should be some effort from the student to receive what is being given.

As to the other students in the class talking....lead by example would be the best thing I can offer.

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 09-12-2004, 02:11 AM   #27
taras
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Re: Talking too much

Please forgive me if I am out of line but I think with all the talking in the dojo there is still lack of communication. Your sensei is a human being just like anyone else. If there is something he can't see about his method of teaching, he needs telling this. Talk to him. If you are ready to discuss it on the web, surely you need to let him know. Aikido is about being sincere and honest. I hope your sensei will appreciate you letting him know. He will only benefit from it.
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:51 PM   #28
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Talking too much

One of my senseis once had about 2 doz. t-shirts printed up to say, "SHUT UP AND TRAIN." and then offered them for sale at the dojo. People apparently got the hint, even though they didn't sell too well.

-Lorien
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:22 PM   #29
BKimpel
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Re: Talking too much

I have noticed the following talky sensei-types:
(1) Non-Japanese sensei, especially in North America (it must come from the western teaching model or something, cause sometimes they just don't shut up!).
(2) Newbie shodans (because talking is their way of coping with the stress of teaching something they don't really understand well enough yet).
(3) Aging sensei (because their body is slower than it used to be so they take longer and longer breaks in between techniques to recuperate).

On the other hand I will testify that I have recently been humbled by a sensei that I previously deemed ‘talky'. When I finally listened (really listened) to what he said (even the stuff I was tuning out cause it was so obvious) I realized that everything he has ever said to me was gold…pure gold!

So do not just ‘shut up and train' -- ‘listen and learn' like sentient beings.

Bruce Kimpel
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:59 PM   #30
tedehara
 
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Bruce Kimpel wrote:
...So do not just ‘shut up and train' -- ‘listen and learn' like sentient beings.
I have often wondered why people want to "just train".

I have been told the human brain is a marvelous thing. Perhaps we can use it in our training.

Last edited by tedehara : 09-21-2004 at 12:03 AM.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 09-21-2004, 12:50 AM   #31
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Talking too much

Resist asking for help untill you're sure you need it. In our dojo we're told to try something on our own 10 times before we consider asking sensei. If you just need a quick reference look at what one of the more advanced students are doing.

Of course you can't avoid a long discussion if sensei decides to go over and correct you himself. But I find that these tactics can be a good method of figuring things out without going to sensei.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 09-21-2004, 01:00 AM   #32
PeterR
 
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Bruce Kimpel wrote:
I have noticed the following talky sensei-types:
(1) Non-Japanese sensei, especially in North America (it must come from the western teaching model or something, cause sometimes they just don't shut up!).
(2) Newbie shodans (because talking is their way of coping with the stress of teaching something they don't really understand well enough yet).
(3) Aging sensei (because their body is slower than it used to be so they take longer and longer breaks in between techniques to recuperate).

On the other hand I will testify that I have recently been humbled by a sensei that I previously deemed ‘talky'. When I finally listened (really listened) to what he said (even the stuff I was tuning out cause it was so obvious) I realized that everything he has ever said to me was gold…pure gold!

So do not just ‘shut up and train' -- ‘listen and learn' like sentient beings.
And some just like to talk

Standard advice in my little group is to struggle with the technique a little bit before you ask me <--- one of those talkative types.

1) You often know more than you think you do and your body will tell you.

2) If you really are messing up - I will find you.

If your teacher talks to much for you - stop using him as a crutch or as Nathen more politely said.

Quote:
Resist asking for help untill you're sure you need it.

Last edited by PeterR : 09-21-2004 at 01:03 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:29 AM   #33
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Talking too much

A little off topic.

But wasn't O sensei occasionally known to be the "Talky" type?

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:38 AM   #34
PeterR
 
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Nathan Gidney wrote:
A little off topic.

But wasn't O sensei occasionally known to be the "Talky" type?
Legendary - which leads to the question as to whether he was always like that or did it increase with age.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:13 AM   #35
Clayton Drescher
 
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Re: Talking too much

My dojo is middle of the road I suppose. Sensei doesn't blab, except for the occasional "final thought" at the end of practice which is nice. Other teachers talk and show when correcting or instructing....I find that most useful, I can follow along with my body and listen with my mind.

One night we had a totally silent class. That was really good actually. If I screwed up, nobody was going to preach at me...I generally knew what I needed to do. And if I had an inexperienced uke, there was no responsibility for me to correct them in too much detail, just with my actions. It's kind of a cop-out, but that night it was nice to train in total silence with no pressure. But I think it was done because we had gotten too chatty in the past few sessions
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Old 11-25-2004, 06:16 AM   #36
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Talking too much

You might ask your Sensei some time after class whether he would like the entire class to sit and listen to him/her or just keep practicing with your partner when he is talking to some pair. Most seminars, the Shihan will often yell at others to keep practicing while he/she talks to a pair. The others who are interested in the discussion come close and sit around the Shihan in seiza to listen or watch the demonstration of a point. If the Shihan wants everyone to listen he/she will yell to the class or clap to get everyone's attention so that everyone can sit and listen. The discussion with certain groups may need to be done because everyone learns differently and in some cases a specific issue needs to be communicated verbally. But the communication could be just for the people who need it, not those who can continue to practice without listening. The people who already know the point or aren't interested can keep practicing. That way, everyone gets what they need.

So ask your Sensei what is the right protocol/reigi.

If your Sensei wants everyone to listen to every word he/she says, then, his/her dojo, his/her rules. Everyone has a different way of teaching. That is the beauty of Aikido and its flexibility and its growth in the number of different dojos. You can now pick your dojo based on your learning style and level of practice. Of course, you may have to travel far to find what you need, but I have seen students move to a different location just to get near the Sensei they want to learn from.

I try to keep my verbal teaching to this web format but not all my students have internet nor computers and sometimes I have to give a lengthy demonstration and explanation verbally in the dojo. I try and use whatever format of teaching that is the best but there is so little dojo time. I try and get people who need explanations to ask me after class or on the internet so that it doesn't cut into physical practice time. However, I also try to get people to practice what they need to practice on their own time as well with their partners on a beach or in their own yard if they need more physical practice so it doesn't cut into my lecture time. Dojo time is the Sensei's time to teach in whatever way he/she deems most appropriate. In most cases the Sensei is donating his/her time to the dojo so we must respect his/her ways and his/her teachings. Outside dojo time, you have control so if you need more physical practice, why don't you just arrange with someone to practice with them outside the dojo?

Rock
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Old 11-25-2004, 06:19 AM   #37
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Talking too much

P.S. The dojo is what the students make of it. The Sensei is just the leader and cannot make something out of it if the students don't want him/her to make it in a certain mould. The others might take your example and follow.

Rock
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:29 AM   #38
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
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).
Right on!
Quote:
How many O senseis are in the World? He was an exception, but exception only confirms a rule.
He was an exception in his own art? Are you kidding me?!

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:20 PM   #39
Tom Kaluzynski
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Re: Talking too much

I have to agree with the posters who preferred a non talky style. Aikido is kinesthetic learning; even though you may "get" a technique on a mental level, you must learn it in your body, which no amount of blabbering will do. However, I do not believe it is appropriate to mention your preference to the teacher, but I am more traditional in my approach. You are the student, and you are there to learn. If the talking is really not working for you, you probably should find another dojo more suited to who you are.
As regards O'Sensei, it worked for him to talk, but I dont think he talked as much when young. MOst older people talk alot, as any good grandchild would tell you! Good luck, in any case.
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Old 12-03-2004, 03:23 PM   #40
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Talking too much

I was thinking about thread just a while ago and I realised that I am tending to talk more these days as well. I realised that so were a lot of the Shihan I know.

I figured out that it is because I have become more aware of my mortality as a lot of my friends and acquaintances, especially my closest Shihans, have started to die off. There is so much that I would like my students to understand but but even after years of practice, they are no closer to understanding some principles that are vital to their advancement in Aikido. For them to keep practicing the techniques incorrectly will not result in their learning the principles I would like them to learn. Now, I realise that these principles are not compulsory to the learning of Aikido. You can still do and learn Aikdio without them but learning them, I think is the goal of Aikido. I don't want to die or move away and not have the students understand these principles as principles.

Recently, one the Shihans and I were sitting and talking about technique and principles when he lamented that most still did not understand the principle no matter how much he made them practice it. He lamented that the students seemed to think that the goal of the practice was just to throw the uke any way possible. I kept silent because I wasn't sure if he was talking about my lack of understanding. But, I too feel that way sometimes, so I talk more to try and explain. Since he does not speak English that well, he is limited in what he can tell the people. He just shows. But then, it seems that a lot of people just haven't learned to see and learn.

Learning Aikido is not just kinesthetic. It is also visual. You have to get your visual cues from the instructor. He sometimes helps by coming over and tossing you around a bit. But our educational systems are not designed for us to learn how to learn kinesthetically so many of us still have difficulty learning by feeling.

I guess "talking too much" depends on what your teacher is talking about. But then, you have to be careful when interpreting as well. I remember sitting in a bar drinking with the instructors after a Kendo seminar. One of the Kendo teachers was talking about some fine points about the golf swing. He suddenly turned to me and winked. I understood that he was getting at me about an issue with my sword swing that he had been working on with me that afternoon. I nodded back that I understood. What seemed like a disparate conversation was still my lesson.

Rock
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:52 PM   #41
Nikopol
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Re: Talking too much

There are so many replies I am afraid I may be repeating someone, but it's a good question.
First let me say that sometimes I have gotten impatient with a partner and opened my mouth only to find out that I was in a muddle... for example, it seems to happen that sometimes I forget I am the 'shite' and grow impatient waiting for the uke to throw me. I say this to point out that as murphys law indicates, the time you open your mouth is more than likely to be the time you were wrong.

at times like that I am glad I have a quiet voice.

now the practical advice. Give the sensei your full attention until he gets to a logical point where you think you have gotten his point (four to six seconds?) and now, not to waste HIS time further, give a smart 'hai' and slight but snazzy one inch - bow, then immediately go to perfect kamae and prepare to execute your technique incorporating the advice (freeing sensei to walk over to someone else).

Getting people to wrap up their explanations is a universal situation that you manage by showing that you accept and understand and are ready to demonstrate that.

It is similar to shaking out your hands and feet and fixing your gi when told to - do so for two or three seconds and then clearly return to attention. The sensei will see this and know that he can continue. If you value time in the dojo, you need to always return to a visible state of readiness.

On a side note, I had something worse than talking once, an inexperienced instructor insisting on using me like a clay model, physically moving my feet and hands and neck into her image of the proper contortion for beginning a technique. Needless to say, one or two points of external re-orientation are manageable, but when you feel like you are daffy duck in a game of twister with his beak yanked around to the back of his head, there is only one thing to do.

As soon as she felt satisfied with her clay modeling, I would relax, close my stance and shake out my neck and wrists for a half-second and resume the position she was demonstrating. Becasuse the only way to internalize a form, or state of balance, is to move into it by your own body movements. to arrive there on your own, as it were. The trick here is not to abrigate your own responsibility for your movements but at the same time demonstrate that you are open to receive instruction.
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:04 PM   #42
Nick P.
 
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Re: Talking too much

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
One of my senseis once had about 2 doz. t-shirts printed up to say, "SHUT UP AND TRAIN." and then offered them for sale at the dojo. People apparently got the hint, even though they didn't sell too well.

-Lorien
I had a sticker on my roof ski-box that said "Shut Up and Ride" (from a ski/snowboard shop). Sometimes that advice is bang-on. Sometimes talking is nice too.

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