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Old 10-29-2004, 01:23 AM   #1
Adrian Moore
Dojo: Shinmei-Kan, London England
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is there a correct learning path?

Hi everyone,

I've been training in Aikikai Aikido now for a few weeks and am totaly obsessed with it. it's such a great martial art to learn and i've been going three/four times a week! however, one thing i dont get is the learning strategy.. let me explain myself..

i used to train in karate when i was very young, and i remember distinctly when you start you learn stances, then basic punches, kicks etc..basically, it was structured.

but when i train in Aikido, only the first lesson when i learnt rolls, falls etc did i feel i was learning the correct thing at the correct time.

there are people of all abilities training, quite a few 1st Dans and we are all doing the same thing. surely there are things i need to be learning specifically for my 6th Kyu?

someone explain!

thanks
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Old 10-29-2004, 01:38 AM   #2
Bronson
 
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Easy. When you know the stuff for your 6th kyu you'll be able to test for it, whether that takes 3 months or 3 years...

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 10-29-2004, 01:55 AM   #3
Adrian Moore
Dojo: Shinmei-Kan, London England
Location: London
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

but what's the point of learning thing i wont need for ages instead of learning things i will need. ie, why no logical progresssion?
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Old 10-29-2004, 02:33 AM   #4
Creature_of_the_id
 
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Common principles can be found in most techniques, what you learn from techniques that you 'dont need' can be applied to techniques that you do need.
Also in a class of many grades then all grades must be catered for, it would be a shame to split the class up constantly and only get people to do things that they need for their gradings making them only able to train with people of their own grade.
Half the fun of aikido for me, is that everyone gets to train with everyone, its a shame to split that up.

It also depends on what you percieve as what you 'need', if you stop being in a hurry to get the next belt then you can just enjoy your training and let the belt come when, as Bronson said, you know everything on the grading

are there no specialised courses or things like that aimed specifically at your level?

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Old 10-29-2004, 02:39 AM   #5
Adrian Moore
Dojo: Shinmei-Kan, London England
Location: London
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Dont get me wrong, i'm not a grade chaser.. and i also enjoy trainig with all levels, it helps immensely. i guess i was just a bit worried i was throw in at the deep end as it seemed i was just supposed to know things.. my sensei's are very approachable, so there is no problem when i cannot do something.

like i said i am really enjoying it, which is why i want to make sure i am doing it right..
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Old 10-29-2004, 03:52 AM   #6
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Quote:
Adrian Moore wrote:
Dont get me wrong, i'm not a grade chaser.. and i also enjoy trainig with all levels, it helps immensely. i guess i was just a bit worried i was throw in at the deep end as it seemed i was just supposed to know things.. my sensei's are very approachable, so there is no problem when i cannot do something.

like i said i am really enjoying it, which is why i want to make sure i am doing it right..
Don't worry Adrian, most aikido clubs I've visited work this way. No-one expects you to know more than you do. If you're working on a complicated technique, just concentrate on where to put your feet and keeping a good posture (or whatever your sensei says you should be working on!) and if your partner is working on a different level, don't worry about it. That's the fun part of aikido practise I think that everybody is practicing together.

The plus side is that when it comes time to test for the higher grades you'll have done those techniques as well from the beginning, so they don't come as a big ugly shock.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:15 AM   #7
Adrian Moore
Dojo: Shinmei-Kan, London England
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

hi Pauliina, thanks a lot, that makes a bit more sense.. i never thought i would be doing bokken work already and it's great !
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:22 AM   #8
Anita Crowhurst
 
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Dojo: Test Valley Aikido Club, Andover
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Adrian, I know exactly where you're coming from!
When I started karate, us beginners drilled & drilled the basics. Due to aikido class times, I've actually attended more of our dojo's advanced class than normal ones... Personally, my initial concern was that I was getting in the way, but every made me feel very welcome. I think I've come to the conclusion that it's all good experience, & to just stop worrying. I did feel pretty honoured one class, as it was just me & 5 black belts.
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:30 AM   #9
Adrian Moore
Dojo: Shinmei-Kan, London England
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

hi Anita,

one saturday morning it was just me, which was amazing. one on one tutoring - cant better than that !
it seems the norm for everyone to practice together and i think someone said further up it gives you a better knowledge generally, and prepares you for your later kyu's

I just wish someone wold explain some of the lingo !
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:48 PM   #10
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Quote:
Adrian Moore wrote:
hi Anita,

one saturday morning it was just me, which was amazing. one on one tutoring - cant better than that !
it seems the norm for everyone to practice together and i think someone said further up it gives you a better knowledge generally, and prepares you for your later kyu's

I just wish someone wold explain some of the lingo !

It seems to work even better with two in class with the instructor. You get to feel the technique as uke, seeit as an outside observer, and apply it as nage. And, you are 1/3'rd of the class!
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 11-01-2004, 11:34 PM   #11
Shane Mokry
Dojo: Mokurin Dojo
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Grab the highest ranked person in the room and get ready to fall.

Shane
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Old 11-02-2004, 02:01 AM   #12
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

I think studying Aikido is much like studying in a spiral, in that you always get better the more you study, but you always come back to what you thought you knew and relearn it...but this time with a bit more experience and looking a little bit deeper into the technique.

I know this sounds weird, but something that you are trying to figure out when doing a technique is not the same thing that someone else is trying to figure out while doing the same technique, even if they are doing it with you. This is particularly true when a person who's been practicing for many years works with a beginner. You are both "doing" the technique but the beginner is probably trying to get their feet in the right place while the more experienced person is probably trying to figure out how to move this new aikidoka where they want them to be. Different points being studied at the same time.

One of the neat things about Aikido is that you can work with anyone and learn something from them. This is probably why mixing up classes with beginners/seniors is often a good thing for everyone - not always...but often. Don't feel bad about being there, but instead consider yourself an object of curiousity that all your seniors are going to try and test themselves on.

And when you're a senior, don't forget that.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 11-02-2004, 03:55 AM   #13
ian
 
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

IMO aikido is a holistic martial art - the techniques flow into one another and you use what is appropriate at the time. You need to learn in a structured way to start off with (get a grading syllabus), but ultimately you will reach a point where you are not learning techniques, but just how to move with your partner (and techniques drop out). I believe in 3 different training methods which should ALL be used:
1. static - to develop body mechanics
2. single repeated techniques with strong agressor - to develop reactions and integrate techniques into nervous system
3. slow blending exercises - to develop sensetivity to opponent and develop ability to swap between techniques

Obviously there are more people than you in the class, and the instructor generally has to teach to the average ability of the students.

Ian
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Old 11-02-2004, 03:56 AM   #14
ian
 
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

P.S. tell your sensei you want to work towards your 6th kyu - no matter what people say, grading is very important in the early stages. You need to learn before you can forget!

However, don't worry about 'wasting' training. Stuff you are doing at a higher level is still being integrated into your body learning. On a practical note, anything you think you know is irrelevant - it is what your BODY knows which will save you in a real self-defence situation. So repeated practise! (Though intellectual formalisation of techniques can help to improve your body practise).

Last edited by ian : 11-02-2004 at 03:58 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-02-2004, 06:23 AM   #15
Anita Crowhurst
 
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Dojo: Test Valley Aikido Club, Andover
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Re: is there a correct learning path?

Hi Adrian. My initial contact with the dojo was at an all day introductory course. I was the only attendee & was extremely lucky to have Sensei, a 2nd dan & brown belt to myself all day! Boy, did I sleep well that night...
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