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Old 01-26-2005, 10:45 AM   #1
Dominic Toupin
Location: Quebec City
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Question Best way to learn

Since the beginning of my martial arts study I was always told to help my partner if he got some trouble with a technique or tell him what works or what is wrong with his technique.

Yesterday, I remember going in a dojo and doing the same thing and the Sensei (he was very angry at me) told me that a class has only one Sensei, you don't have to correct your partner because he will learn from his mistakes. He told me that I was only a student (I was Shodan at this time) and he consider my actions to be disrespectful.

I want to know your opinion. Learn from mistakes or correct your partner ?
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:48 AM   #2
mj
Location: livingston, scotland
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Re: Best way to learn

When in Rome...

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Old 01-26-2005, 10:55 AM   #3
David Humm
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Re: Best way to learn

Any half reasonable Sensei would 'respect' the knowledge of one of his/her shodans unless of course the 'corrections' being made were grossly out of context of the instructor's teaching? or, you were a guest within the dojo and the instructor doesn't know you ?

Regards

Dave
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:56 AM   #4
Qatana
 
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Re: Best way to learn

Totally depends on Sensei.
My dojo is very "talky" and we are expected to help each other. So for me the challenge is when I visit other dojos to remember that *we* are the exception.
Then it becomes a challenge for the visitor from a more traditional dojo to relax a little when they are playing with us.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:19 AM   #5
Kevin Kelly
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
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Re: Best way to learn

I appreciate the help I receive from the sempai. It's also expected in my dojo for the sempai to help the kohai.
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:41 AM   #6
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Best way to learn

Depends on the customs of the dojo, if you're a visitor, it's better not to correct/help/teach your partners too much until you figure out what is usual in that dojo.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 01-26-2005, 01:43 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: Best way to learn

Different schools, different rules. We tend to appreciate feedback from each other. But, there is only one Sensei.

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 01-26-2005, 02:13 PM   #8
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Best way to learn

There is only one instructor during a class. Othewise will be an anarchy. Those who practice hard never talk. They have no time for such things. Explaining technique that was explained by instructor is very rude, indeed. It means, that you know better then him. So you should lead instruction, not him.

Quote:
knowledge of one of his/her shodans
what??? shodan is a beginner, fresh beginner. All his ideas about aikido are false. He must learn, instead of teaching other beginners. A blind man can't lead other blind man, it is so simple.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 01-26-2005, 02:44 PM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Re: Best way to learn

Besides each dojo culture being different, there is a difference between helping a beginner get unstuck and trying to teach them how to do what is being taught, so if your dojo is one that does not promote sempai actively helping kohei, its good to find and be cognizant of the boundaries between the two.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:13 AM   #10
bogglefreak20
Dojo: Ki dojo
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Re: Best way to learn

Well... In our dojo we talk a lot I suppose. The sensei, of course, being no exception to the custom. When he explains something or shows us a technique, we're supposed to listen and watch. But when performing with a partner, we're allowed to correct our partners.

Nevertheless, I tend to be quiet for the most part, choosing to comment on my partner's actions only if I see he/she is in a real tough-spot not knowing what to do (which way to turn, how to hold me etc.) or when he/she is repeating the same mistake over and over again.

Furthermore when I am delivering a technique, I like to be left alone and do my share of mistakes on which to learn. That means I do not appreaciate comments from my partners after every single try I make (of course I do expect them to say something if I'm hurting them or something like that). I know they're all just trying to help, but I learn more by my own wrongdoing.

What I especially do not like is being instructed by partners who have had less Aikido training than myself. I'm still a beginner, I know, but after 2 years training I do have a tiny bit more insight in Aikido in comparison to someone who just started training 4 months ago.

On the other hand I'm always grateful for comments from colleagues that have been training longer than me and of course from the sensei himself.

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:19 AM   #11
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
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Re: Best way to learn

I tell my students to keep their "advice" to one another on technique to a minimum during class. I see ego prompting one student to correct another as often as I see such correction coming from a genuine desire to help. I would sacrifice the latter to prevent the former. My guideline for my students is to let their partner figure it out on their own, when possible. If one's partner is totally lost, then advise them of the correct basic form. For all other problems, my students are to let their partner study technique without intervention from them. I take pains to watch all of my students carefully. Sometimes, when they are obviously struggling with a movement, I remain purposely silent. At other times, if they become frustrated or completely confused I step in and offer some advice. I would rather not hand solutions to my students on a silver platter. Students may come to depend on this rather than on their own capacity to analyze technique and apply aikido movement priniciples properly. More than this, students tend to value more that which they have had to work to obtain. An easy answer is not as treasured as a hard-won answer; it is quickly forgotten because it took no effort to attain.

During a seminar Kawahara shihan once walked up to a junior student who was advising another and asked very loudly, "Are you the teacher?" The student got the point -- as did we all: shutup and practice and let the teacher do the teaching.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:53 AM   #12
Adam Alexander
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Re: Best way to learn

I've been to both types of classes. I never appreciate anyone except the instructor correcting me. I think a person can really only handle one or two corrections per technique in a class without overload. In a class with a dozen or so students, the instructor has plenty of time to get around to me for my one or two corrections.

Not to mention, I don't want to lose practice time talking.
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:44 PM   #13
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Best way to learn

Quote:
Yesterday, I remember going in a dojo and doing the same thing and the Sensei (he was very angry at me) told me that a class has only one Sensei, you don't have to correct your partner because he will learn from his mistakes.
It sounds like you were in a dojo other than your home dojo. You should follow the rules of the dojo you are attending. This can be very difficult as some instructors are very liberal and others can be very narrow minded about the learning experience. Neither way is wrong just different.
Quote:
He told me that I was only a student (I was Shodan at this time) and he consider my actions to be disrespectful
Although attaining shodan means you may know something it is just the beginning. Rank is only relative when we make it such. There is only one sensei in the dojo.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:29 AM   #14
bogglefreak20
Dojo: Ki dojo
Location: Novo mesto & Ljubljana
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Re: Best way to learn

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote:
I tell my students to keep their "advice" to one another on technique to a minimum during class. I see ego prompting one student to correct another as often as I see such correction coming from a genuine desire to help. I would sacrifice the latter to prevent the former. My guideline for my students is to let their partner figure it out on their own, when possible. If one's partner is totally lost, then advise them of the correct basic form. For all other problems, my students are to let their partner study technique without intervention from them. I take pains to watch all of my students carefully. Sometimes, when they are obviously struggling with a movement, I remain purposely silent. At other times, if they become frustrated or completely confused I step in and offer some advice. I would rather not hand solutions to my students on a silver platter. Students may come to depend on this rather than on their own capacity to analyze technique and apply aikido movement priniciples properly. More than this, students tend to value more that which they have had to work to obtain. An easy answer is not as treasured as a hard-won answer; it is quickly forgotten because it took no effort to attain...

Sounds great! I would certainly enjoy training at your dojo. All the best to you!

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:24 AM   #15
ian
 
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Re: Best way to learn

I would suggest whether to advise a student usually depends on:

1. whether the student is ready to understand what you are telling.
2. whether you are certain that your advice is the same as that which the Sensei would give (otherwise it would just confuse them)
3. whether the timing is appropriate to advise the student (the training method being applied sometimes requires continuous training with little talk, just to develop reactions)
4. the sensei's preference

I suppose it is hard if you are used to teaching in some capacity, however just chalk this down to misjudgement of your sensei's intentions.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 01-31-2005, 09:59 AM   #16
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: Best way to learn

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
There is only one instructor during a class. Othewise will be an anarchy. Those who practice hard never talk. They have no time for such things. Explaining technique that was explained by instructor is very rude, indeed. It means, that you know better then him. So you should lead instruction, not him.


what??? shodan is a beginner, fresh beginner. All his ideas about aikido are false. He must learn, instead of teaching other beginners. A blind man can't lead other blind man, it is so simple.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with with discussing practice and helping those around you.

If the instructor comes by and you carry on teaching then that is wrong, but while they are elsewhere on the mat of course students can help each other.

All students are different so the instructor cannot satisfy everyones needs with a single demonstration. Those that have practiced longer can help those with less experience by covering things that the instructor may not have mentioned. This in not rude at all but very helpful in spreading knowledge

Those who practice hard never talk? Thats nonsense.

With a single question such as 'is this correct?' you can save hours of wasted effort constantly repeating an incorrect move.

Yes - shodan is beginner. But a shodan should be able help a kyu grade up to this level should he not?

D
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:34 PM   #17
Solarius
 
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Wink Re: Best way to learn

Heh... I see alot of egos speaking right now... (No offence to anybody)

I don't like to be corrected by anyone except the Sensei... if a person is younger (has less experience) than me... etc. That's the ego talking, isn't it? Because have you ever thought that this non-sensei, or a younger student can be actually right? You look at his rank/age, not the point he/she is trying to make.
Our Dojo is quite liberal, when you're not sure about a technique, or its purpose, or have doubts, my sensei doesn't get angry, he explains it comprehensively and demonstrates. Usually, any doubts dissapear after that . Also, comments are freely allowed and most partners won't get angry if you point out a mistake and vice versa. I usually take a dimm view at people who get angry just because someone pointed out their mistake. The path of Aikido is not easilly attained and I don't believe that it will harm anyone if they make less mistakes.
Also, I don't see anything bad in comments which are out of place and their main purpose is to make the atmosphere more... well, I don't believe that I'll learn better if the atmosphere is heavilly serious. A little bit of fresh air helps people to loosen up a little and it really improves the quality of training.
Of course, overdoing things will cause more harm than the over-heavy atmosphere would. Many times have I had such partners who only laughed and joked, thus rendering it impossible to concentrate and get back into the flow. In my current dojo, there are only about a half of the people who train seriously and don't overdo the fun part. It is sad, but true. The differences of skill are quite visible.
However, I don't think I'd be able to efficiently train in a dojo, where only the sensei has a right to speak and any comments are frowned upon. I think it also severely impairs the efficiency, as the trainees tend to be... edgy then.

(I'm a begginner, but some things can also be seen from where I stand)

Last edited by Solarius : 01-31-2005 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:33 PM   #18
pezalinski
 
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Re: Best way to learn

I was taught that you do not verbally correct your partner, if at all possible, but instead show them the correct way to perform the technique or ukemi to the best of your understanding -- they and you are to learn by observation, example and by experience, not by well intended but self-centered explanations. Many times I have seen someone verbally "corrected" by a partner, and the sensei came by and re-corrected the technique to what they were doing in the first place!

Beginners do often require verbal reminders of the technique, such as reminders of proper hanmi, "Nikyo, not Ikkyo," and the like -- but leave the actual instruction to the instructor.

That's what I was taught -- and it keeps me trouble free in every dojo.


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