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Old 11-17-2004, 10:02 AM   #1
stern9631
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Dominate a senior student....

Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:37 AM   #2
jonreading
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

I once helped orient a new student to aikido class. The student was having difficulty with simple moves and I dedicated a whole class to helping them. When we were in the locker room later, I found out he had served and taught in the special forces. I can only imagine what he could have done to me in "freestyle" training.

That said, I feel that when training in aikido, senior students should usually have the upper hand in freestyle training, but expect to see a exceptional aikidoka occassionally though that will be overqualified for their belt. As with all physical contests, there will always be athletes that are superior. You can't forget about the wisdom of experience and the spirit of the student though. I have seen aikidoka with physical disabilities that prevent them from fighting effectively, but their spirit and wisdom are superior.

I don't think it necessarily prudent to judge skill based on one encounter, nor do I think it should relate to the validity of their rank. But I see where you are going and I do think that sempai(especially dan rank) should be capable of taking care of themselves in most cases when working with kohei, both physically and spiritually.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:37 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

IMHO, any senior student is good within the box they have studied. Step outside that box and it becomes a very different story. Training does not always generalize outside the box. That's why I encourage cross-training. Dominance will alwasy go to the better trained and determined person at that range or within that specific box.

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 11-17-2004, 11:46 AM   #4
aikidoc
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

There are other issues as well: age, injuries and the nature of the encounter.
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:05 PM   #5
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Umm, and why would a junior be TRYING to dominate a senior? Is said junior trying to learn somethign or trying to compare, um, anatomical appendages ...

Seriously, why is it important. Doing budo ain't about combat effectiveness.

No, really.

Budo is about living. You wanna learn combat effective stuff? Come visit and I'll introduce you to the folks I work with ... infantry grunts, cannon cockers, armor dogs, SpecOps guys ... you know, The folks who go looking for bullets for a living.

We had a memorial service for four of them here today.

Kevin, you out there? Kevin Leavitt's got some very good ideas about how aikido fits into the combative specturm.

Combat effective. What a joke.

Get a life, son. No, really. And go do something useful with it.

Chuck

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Old 11-17-2004, 12:29 PM   #6
stern9631
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
Kevin Leavitt's got some very good ideas about how aikido fits into the combative specturm.

Combat effective. What a joke.

Get a life, son. No, really. And go do something useful with it.

Chuck
??
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:59 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid?
Huh?
So you think ranking in aikido is not by each separate individual meeting a chief instructor's standard, but by who can "outperform" who, so that ranking should change day by day?

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:12 PM   #8
stern9631
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
Huh?
So you think ranking in aikido is not by each separate individual meeting a chief instructor's standard, but by who can "outperform" who, so that ranking should change day by day?
No, not really. I was just kinda wondering if anyone thought that there should be an expectation that a brown belt or a black belt should be able to outperform a beginning or intermediate student in a freestyle practice.

I understand that there is a continuum of skill among people of the same rank and between ranks and that people have good days and bad days. As long as the expectations are the same for everyone then that's cool.
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Old 11-17-2004, 02:25 PM   #9
kironin
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Exactly. bears repeating many times.


Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
Umm, and why would a junior be TRYING to dominate a senior? Is said junior trying to learn somethign or trying to compare, um, anatomical appendages ...

Seriously, why is it important. Doing budo ain't about combat effectiveness.

No, really.

Budo is about living. You wanna learn combat effective stuff? Come visit and I'll introduce you to the folks I work with ... infantry grunts, cannon cockers, armor dogs, SpecOps guys ... you know, The folks who go looking for bullets for a living.

We had a memorial service for four of them here today.

Kevin, you out there? Kevin Leavitt's got some very good ideas about how aikido fits into the combative specturm.

Combat effective. What a joke.

Get a life, son. No, really. And go do something useful with it.

Chuck

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Old 11-17-2004, 04:53 PM   #10
stern9631
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Um, I guess I'm not talking about Budo. I must be talking about something else, so any response dealing with that "something else" are great and everything else ---just ignore this thread.
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:12 PM   #11
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice?
You should not be able to - all things being equal. But since things are not always equal it can depend on a lot of elements regarding the beginner's instinctive skills that can be applied to Aikido freestyle practice, as well as how much the senior student is also holding back since it is practice after all. However all involved must remember that freestyle is still practice and not a free for all. In the case of the latter, both people involved can use whatever means is necessary to win/survive. Of course at this point you have left Aikido or Budo training and entered the realm of plain fighting.

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required.
Performance in freeplay in no way invalidates rank. After throwing my instructor I often remember him indicating to me that he in fact allowed me execute some techniques when we do full resistance randori to build my confidence in randori. As a result I was later able to feel on the very very rare occasion when I may have actually got a couple off without his relaxing his skill level to allow me to get off the technique. These were highly rare occasions though and one could feel the difference.

Regardless of how well you perform one day in freeplay it does not negate the years of training and ability that your partner possesses. Personally any time one of my students get cocky because I let him throw me a couple of times during freeplay, I tend to remind him very painfully if he tries to go throwing his weight around on others in the class (I've had one or two of those). There are even those that I just don't respond to, since the response would probably land em in the hospital. I merely smile and walk away. For those who know me from experience, they know what that smile means.

Training is not competition. Competition is about better understanding oneself, not about seeing who is better and as Chuck said "comparing anatomical appendages". Not a good idea to confuse the dojo with the hard truths that lie outside the rules and protection of the mat.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 11-17-2004 at 07:15 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:36 PM   #12
Nick P.
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice?
Yes: Only then will the true mysteries of the universe reveal themselves to you as you tower of their crushed body.
No: They obviously have mastered said mysteries, and you are less than dirt.

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
And if you can is their rank valid?
Yes: They likely rendered your fists bloody with their face, showing their true oneness with the universe.
No: You surely are The Chosen One, The Taker of Rank, The Prince of De-ranking, The...

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required.
Ohhh, Ai-Ki-Combat: down the hall, 2nd left.
I train to satisfy my expectations: who's are you pursuing, exactly?

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Old 11-17-2004, 07:53 PM   #13
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Aikido is Budo

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:56 PM   #14
Chad Sloman
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

BTW my limited understanding leads me to believe that ranking is just an indicator as to basic understanding and mastery of certain techniques in the curriculum. IOW most of us don't train to compete or best others, but to just get better at Aikido in of itself.

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:38 PM   #15
stern9631
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
You should not be able to - all things being equal. But since things are not always equal it can depend on a lot of elements regarding the beginner's instinctive skills that can be applied to Aikido freestyle practice, as well as how much the senior student is also holding back since it is practice after all. However all involved must remember that freestyle is still practice and not a free for all. In the case of the latter, both people involved can use whatever means is necessary to win/survive. Of course at this point you have left Aikido or Budo training and entered the realm of plain fighting.



Performance in freeplay in no way invalidates rank. After throwing my instructor I often remember him indicating to me that he in fact allowed me execute some techniques when we do full resistance randori to build my confidence in randori. As a result I was later able to feel on the very very rare occasion when I may have actually got a couple off without his relaxing his skill level to allow me to get off the technique. These were highly rare occasions though and one could feel the difference.

Regardless of how well you perform one day in freeplay it does not negate the years of training and ability that your partner possesses. Personally any time one of my students get cocky because I let him throw me a couple of times during freeplay, I tend to remind him very painfully if he tries to go throwing his weight around on others in the class (I've had one or two of those). There are even those that I just don't respond to, since the response would probably land em in the hospital. I merely smile and walk away. For those who know me from experience, they know what that smile means.

Training is not competition. Competition is about better understanding oneself, not about seeing who is better and as Chuck said "comparing anatomical appendages". Not a good idea to confuse the dojo with the hard truths that lie outside the rules and protection of the mat.

LC
Very enlightening... Thank you.
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:42 PM   #16
stern9631
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Smile Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Yes: Only then will the true mysteries of the universe reveal themselves to you as you tower of their crushed body.
No: They obviously have mastered said mysteries, and you are less than dirt.



Yes: They likely rendered your fists bloody with their face, showing their true oneness with the universe.
No: You surely are The Chosen One, The Taker of Rank, The Prince of De-ranking, The...



Ohhh, Ai-Ki-Combat: down the hall, 2nd left.
I train to satisfy my expectations: who's are you pursuing, exactly?

NICE!
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Old 11-17-2004, 09:03 PM   #17
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Should you be able to dominate a senior student (brown or black belt) in freestyle practice? And if you can is their rank valid? I would expect that a certain level of combat effectiveness should be required.
I would say that there is not enough information given here. What kind of rules are you putting into the scenario. Any rules limiting the ability of the defender to defend will make the results insignificant.

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:38 AM   #18
Jonathan Punt
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
And if you can is their rank valid?

You worry about your rank, and let them worry about theirs.

What do you think they are learning when you 'dominate' them? Only that you arent a lot of fun to practice with.

Try ying and yang, a bit of give and take, you both might learn something.....
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:55 AM   #19
happysod
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Just to go against the flow slightly, I would expect a person to get better at being able to defend themselves as they progress in rank. However, I would be comparing this person against themselves at a previous level rather than against their sparring partner.

If someone progresses in rank but still retained all the ineptitude they showed as a beginner, I'd seriously question what I was teaching and what we were measuring.
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:15 PM   #20
Charles Hill
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
However, I would be comparing this person against themselves at a previous level rather than against their sparring partner.
Hi Ian,

So do you think that rank should be indicative of subjective personal growth as opposed to a dojo-wide or federation wide standard?

Charles Hill
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Old 11-19-2004, 10:28 AM   #21
bob_stra
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

You're making some assumptions abt what a black belt means. Here's a fun article. (Note: in BJJ, blue belt is the equivalent "holy grail")

*******************

Her's the link www.royharris.com

Belt ranks within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Within the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community, many students look at the color of a person's belt and immediately expect a certain skill level. While this person may be at the skill level, you may find, at times, that people will not always be at the level of their belt. Let me tell you why.

For starters, let's say a person wears a blue belt. What exactly does that mean? Do you know? Do your fellow classmates know? Can you or your training partners take a guess? And, if you take a guess, will you all say the same things?

If you are like most people, you know that there are no standards within our community. Sometimes, there isn't even a standard with some instructors because they base their promotions on how they "feel." And, since there are no standards, who can really pin down what a blue belt represents?

Next, there's the issue of experience. When a person wears a blue belt, it shows nothing of their experience. All it shows is that they passed a belt examination at one time or another. Let me give you some examples to illustrate a point:

1. Joe wears a blue belt. You grapple with him and he smokes you like a Cuban cigar. You ask him about his training and you find out the following: A) He has been training in BJJ for six years. B) Before he came to BJJ, he had a seven year wrestling background. C) He works out seven days a week. He runs three miles, swims a half mile in open water, trains with weights and performs calisthenics for two hours each and every day.

2. Rick wears a blue belt. You grapple with him and are able to hold your own. You ask him about his training and he tells you that he began his training six years ago. However, because of a car accident, he is just making his way back to BJJ. He feels out of shape and tells you his timing is gone. He has a wife and two kids, and is only able to train twice a week. He works as a computer programmer, 50+ hours per week and only works out when he comes to BJJ class.

3. John wears a blue belt. He was recently promoted to blue belt. He is not able to make you tap. He moves so fast and explosive that it is difficult for you to control him. Plus, you have difficulty submitting him. You ask him about his training and he tells you he has been training for about nine months. He has a wrestling background, works out twice a week and trains BJJ four times a week.

4. Alex wears a blue belt. You grapple with him and are able to repeatedly submit him. You ask him about his experience and he tells you that he has been training BJJ for about three years. He says he struggles with the idea of getting hurt again. You see, he got his arm broke by Joe about a year ago. Since that time, he has been very leary of hard grappling. He always grapples light and when he sense he is in danger, he taps very quickly. You tell him to go harder, but he can not pull himself to do it. He is gun shy!

5. Sheila wears a blue belt. You grapple with her and she taps you twice for every time your tap her.You ask her about her training and she tells you that she has been grappling on and off for six years. She trains pretty muchevery day of the week, sometimes even twice a day. He training partners are all men and outweigh her by 40 to 90 pounds. You can get her in a submission once every class, but you have to use so much strength and speed to get the tap (even though you outweigh her by 60 pounds) that you have to rest after your match with her.

All five of these people wear a blue belt, yet each one of them has a different experience. Also, your experience with each of them was different.
Remember this when you see, meet and grapple with someone who wears a certain belt color. The color of the belt means little. The level of experience and the current level of fitness mean so much more!

Remember this!
Good training to you,
Roy Harris
www.royharris.com
****************************
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Old 11-19-2004, 11:00 AM   #22
happysod
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Charles, I'd expect ability at aikido to be federation wide, but on the subject of sparring I'd look at the individual. I'd hope the two went hand in hand, but - as ahs been stated previously - many are in aikido for aikido, not fighting.

(As an aiki-fruitie, we often get students who have no aggressive bone in their body, they can effortlessly gain confidence in their technique, but as soon as you attack them like a loon they lose it.)
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Old 11-19-2004, 11:29 AM   #23
rachel
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

In Aikido training, your responsibility is to learn, not to compare yourself with others. Many times, even though you might not know it, your senpai might be trying to teach you something, and sometimes, you might feel that you are better than them. In that case, you might not have understood what it is that they were showing you. If you do not think too deeply into it, and just enjoy the training, something might occur to you. I began Aikido as a very young child. As a child, I was competitive, and I wanted to be better than all of the other kids. Rank meant everything. Now I am an adult, and I understand more deeply that your rank isn't what's important, who you are and what you've learned is.
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Old 11-19-2004, 11:52 AM   #24
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

Lots of others have said many things already that I cannot expand on for sure!

Aikido seems to bring issues to the surface about competition and effectiveness. I too have had the same questions over the years. I think it is natural to ask these questions and aikido by its nature makes them come to the surface.

I can tell you that aikido has made me a better person in many ways. It has also made me a very effective martial artist. That said, I have done many other things as well to make myself a good martial artist and person. Read Book of Five Rings....you have to do many things in order to be good at what you do.

I will tell you while I consider myself to be a pretty darn good fighter, I am a novice in many respects when it comes to aikido. I would never waste my time with an instructor that I do not respect and feel I have something to learn from...but that does not mean that I cannot kick the crap out of him. But why would I?

There is a respect in the dojo that must be maintained between students and instructors for the learning dynamic to work.

On rank, I just ordered a japanese kimono obi with a nice pattern on it, in a color that does not even look like anything resembling rank. Why? One I like the looks of it. Two, it is philosophical, I do not wish to be labeled a beginner or a "black belt". It does not matter...it is simply something to keep your gi closed.
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:01 PM   #25
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Re: Dominate a senior student....

When I was younger, I was an M1-tanker in the ARMY.

I was only a Specialist at the time, and I was on the Platoon Sargent's Tank. We had a 3 man crew (a normal crew is 4 men). Anyway, we used to get all of the new Lieutenants on our tank to let them get some training in.

All but one Lieutenant, that we had on our tank, was a total numb skull. They had a tremendous amount of book smarts, but limited hands on training, so they performed really bad. They got confused, and couldn't make pressure judgments.

I, being a Specialist, was way more qualified on every aspect of that tank at a crew and platoon level, but the Lieutenant out ranked everyone in our platoon.

Given a little time though, they all went on to become really competent and because of their previous studies, became great strategists as well.

So what are you really comparing? Their overall knowledge or their technical prowess? People focus on different things at different times. You just have to trust the instructor to make the correct promotion choices.
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