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Old 06-09-2005, 07:35 PM   #26
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Quote:
I really do enjoy when people with other MA backgrounds come to practice Aikido, but also speaking as a beginner who also had other MA backgrounds it can be difficult to break free of what you've already learnt and question where certain things would actually work (though I never pointed this out or made any comment; I was there to learn Aikido, not teach another style).
I really enjoy it when people come in with other MA backgrounds, too. They really do add a lot to the training environment and provide are really great perspective. And your right, they have an adjustment period to go through. But that is not an excuse for them to being absolutely rude -- an explanation but not a justification. However, not all beginners with MA background are rude, and you are right that there is a lot of unlearning they need to do to learn aikido. I guess I would assume (you know what that means, right? ) that since they do have previous martial arts experience they would know better and come in with a sense of humility. But like I said, my example really was an extreme, and instead of cranking (like some people here assumed I did) I spoke up and said something. I talked to him to find out what the heck was going on in his head. Unfortunately, the ONLY THING that worked was pulling rank because he was refusing to listen to me otherwise. I never had to do that before, but it's a better solution than trying to lash out at the poor guy.

Anyhow, he's already past that "i've trained in another martial art phase" and is becoming a great training partner.

RE: "teaching" in class -- Yes, at my dojo, my sensei expects and encourages the higher ranked student to help teach the beginners (or lower ranked) and not just stand there silently allowing them to suffer and struggle in an attempt to teach themselves. My sensei has discovered beginners learn faster when he allows the higher ranking to assist and even instruct the lower ranking. (Of course we're under his watchful eye, and he steps in if we totally mess things up. ) (And btw, this could be a 4th dan to 1st dan or, 1st kyu to a 3rd kyu or, a 5th kyu to a day-one-newbie.) So, I was not out-of-line by "instructing" him. So if you like "no talk or hardly no talk" training, you'd probably get really annoyed training at our dojo.

Last edited by giriasis : 06-09-2005 at 07:43 PM.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:42 AM   #27
"Entusiastic beginner"
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

I am a beginner in aikido but with MA background. I've only been to 3 classes so far and it's great. It's similar to what I've learnt in the past (taijutsu) so I do understand the techniques and i'm not too bad as an uke given pointers here and there. I know I have a lot of getting use to( that's why I went on 3 consecutive days) but I am able to keep up with the class.

I've seen mistakes done by my seniors and although I've never corrected them, I wonder if I should. I'm afraid they'd feel humiliated. They are probably 5th or 6th kyu(it starts at 6 here) and I don't even have my gi yet. So is it proper to correct your seniors?
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:06 PM   #28
Qatana
 
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

If you have only been to three classes how can you tell they're making mistakes?

They won't feel humiliated, they will probably feel insulted.Wouldn't it be better to ask sensei to show you Both how to do the technique properly?

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Old 06-10-2005, 01:52 PM   #29
giriasis
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Quote:
I've seen mistakes done by my seniors and although I've never corrected them, I wonder if I should. I'm afraid they'd feel humiliated. They are probably 5th or 6th kyu(it starts at 6 here) and I don't even have my gi yet. So is it proper to correct your seniors?
If you really have a question about your technique, there is nothing wrong with bowing to the sensei and asking for his/her help. If you have a question about your partner's technique try your best to give them good honest ukemi as it's taught in the dojo. Also please realize that although you're partners might be making mistakes, they might be aware of those mistakes and that they might actually be working on them. There is a reason they are 6th and 5th kyus -- their techniques are not going to be perfect yet. It's like telling an overweight/ obese person they are "fat". You don't have to tell them that -- they already know it. If all you want to do is point out their mistakes, and since you only have three days experience then I don't see how you will help them -- aikido-wise -- other than pointing out their errors. I assure you, you have errors, too.

Also, you might have awareness of openings and how you might be able to counter from your previous martial arts background. Just be patient and take the time to learn aikido, and your previous MA background will be obvious to others as you train, and you will eventually be able to share that with them.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:33 PM   #30
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

The rule of thumb I try to stick to is: If my partner makes a mistake, and I both know a way to fix it, and I'm 120% sure that my "fix" is the right one, I might say something. If I see a mistake, but I don't know what to do about it, I'll just shut up and take ukemi.

This takes care of almost all cases.

kvaak
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:33 AM   #31
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Freaky! Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

I hope noone's taking what I said wrongly. I do not wish to correct someone just for the sake of pointing out their mistakes and I don't act as if I know everything. My techniques obviously will have mistakes but I have the sensei and sempais to correct me. If I am having problems, someone is always there to help me.

I guess you guys must be wondering 'what would a beginner like me know about Aikido?'. I admit I know very little at this point. What mistakes I've seen in others are usually the ones that I've done before and have been corrected. Anyway, I'm too shy(always have been) to say anything so no worries there.http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif
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Old 06-11-2005, 12:03 PM   #32
Sonja2012
 
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

There is one thing that - for me - makes a very good teacher: to know exactly what tip each student needs at what time. Dave Lowry wrote about that in his book Moving toward Stillness - it is the chapter called Sottaku doji. It is excellent reading.
IMHO only your sensei knows when it is the right time for the right tip. Of course your sempai can help, and it suree is great fun to play around on the mat with a friend, gently blocking, giving each other tips, etc. But there is nothing like the tips I get from sensei. Even though you might have experience in other MA, you certainly havenīt got the knowledge of where the individual student is at and what he/she can handle. Therefore IMHO you should be quiet unless your partner asks you for help.

Just my two cents.
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Old 06-11-2005, 03:52 PM   #33
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Senior students are allowed to make *basic* corrections at my dojo - "don't let your hands get behind your head" for shihonage, for example.
If the sensei is walking by, though, I'd rather wave them over than say something myself; for one thing, the sensei will often notice and correct something totally different that what I wanted to say, and for another my shoulder injury came from trying to help a kohai with kaiten-nage and not paying enough attention to my own ukemi.
Far better for both me and my kohai if I concentrate on taking good ukemi and let the teacher teach.

In a bigger dojo, I imagine it would be much more important for the sempai to help out with basic corrections; more than 10 students is a big class for us, though, so we get a lot of personal attention.
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Old 06-12-2005, 09:16 AM   #34
giriasis
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Quote:
I hope noone's taking what I said wrongly. I do not wish to correct someone just for the sake of pointing out their mistakes and I don't act as if I know everything. My techniques obviously will have mistakes but I have the sensei and sempais to correct me. If I am having problems, someone is always there to help me.
All you need to do is worry more about your technique. If the instructor is around to correct you then they are around to help your partner. It never dawned on me in my early days of aikido to want to correct someone or to at least worry they are making errors, too. I was still too busy figuring out where my hands and feet went as nage and as uke still figuring out how the heck to do a roll out of a particular technique.

Quote:
I guess you guys must be wondering 'what would a beginner like me know about Aikido?'. I admit I know very little at this point. What mistakes I've seen in others are usually the ones that I've done before and have been corrected. Anyway, I'm too shy(always have been) to say anything so no worries there.
Actually, that is what I think when a beginner tries to correct me. Here's a better example other than the excessive corrector I previous described. The instructor demonstrates a technique: yokomenuchi gokyo omote with an irimi opening. I did a tenshin opening instead, but had a mind fart and didn't do the irimi although I had the full intent to do irimi not tenshin. I reverted to what I had been ingraining into my mind for my 2nd kyu test. However, newbie/ beginner says "you did it wrong." I think to myself, "ergh, I just did something else, but say, "thanks for pointing that out." I continue doing irimi opening instead of tenshin. I then just let him do what he thinks is right when it's his turn. He then did tenshin, too, btw. I say, "it's a lot harder than it looks." He nods. (He was just getting ready for his 5th kyu test.) Sensei comes over to help.

Now, when I'm working with someone more senior. The first thing that I do is to do my best to give honest ukemi. I go where they lead me and don't necessary go "where I'm supposed to go." For example, if we are doing kaitennage and they don't get my head, I stand back up, but my ukemi is also good enough to take an iriminage when I do that. Most of the time that's the kind of feedback my seniors need. The next time they throw me they have my head.

If I want to say something to a senior, I ask -- do you mind if I suggest something? But remember I'm not a beginner any more, but I'm still not a their level. Usually the senior welcomes it. But then again, I've been training with them for years and they know me as well as I know them, and it usually is an exchange rather than a correction session. But usually, I only do this if I have more of a training relationship with my senior where we have developed this overtime and it's more of a mutual training partnership than a sempai/ kohai kind of thing.

I do have many "mutual training partnerships" with those who are only a year or two behind me. They're my best training partners. We know each others limits, but still can go "all out" with each other if we wanted. From these guys I don't mind the assitance. So you ask why with them and not a newbie with three classes? The answer is simple. I have developed a training relationship with them over the past few years. It evolved out of respect and trust. You can develop that, too. But three classes won't cut it.

Like I said in my other previous example (the excessive corrector) I'm beginning to develop a better training relationship with him. It will happen where you can have a positive exchange with your partners, but yes, you will come across as "you think you know more aikido than your seniors" if you just try to start correcting them on your first few days of practice.

So, what do you do when you see a senior student made a mistake that you were once corrected on? First, don't assume they don't think they made the mistake. Second, continue giving them honest ukemi (the way it's taught in your dojo). Third, just worry about your mistakes and not your partners. Finally, once you get more training time in who knows they might want you to say something, but considering you only have three practice days in, then that's not enough to develop a relationship without insulting them.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 06-16-2005, 03:51 PM   #35
emi_moes
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

I think that this experience has been beneficial to you. From what I've seen Aikido is Much more than simply throwing & ukemi, it is also a big part of how to view things. Just as one blends with an attack, one should blend with people in disagreements or difficulties/problems in every day life.

As my dojo is geared to college students it seems important to relate Aikido to things outside of the dojo, & not just the physical. Also as it's mainly visited in a university class there tends to be a high turnover rate. While I realize I may not be anywhere near as experienced as you I have still noticed this with "beginner students."

~Emi, Domo arigato gozaimashita
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Old 06-18-2005, 05:38 PM   #36
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I was the beginner who nearly hurt the old timers

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So last nights training I'm working with a new student. Technique is Shomenuchi Shihonage and I'm nage. I do the technique slowly as this student has zilch ukemi ability and I don't want to hurt him. I enter shihonage and begin to cut down uke begins to twist out of shihonage. We've all experienced this with beginners. With experienced Aikidoka I can just continue with a smooth cut down and a pin if I choose. But this is beginner stop and go aikido, so I tighten up the grip with a little elbow atemi to the back to prevent the twist. I gently suggest that twisting away from shihonage is a good way to get hurt, much safer to turn a little towards nage, easier on shoulder, better ukemi with more ukemi options.

I complete the technique and we begin on the other side. Same procedure, he twists, I restate and gently take him to the mat. By the third try he has decided its not his ukemi that needs work, but rather that my technique is all wrong and procedes to lecture me on how I should enter and block the attack, then move into shihonage. He assures me this will work much better. He is wearing a TKD gi, so I see were he gets his idea that this is some kind of block. I explain that in aikido the focus is on moving and blending, not standing still and blocking. He disagrees. At this point I'm looking for the instructor and of course she is on the other side of the mat.
,.......
Now don't take this the wrong way, cause my first experience in my first two weeks of aikido was that I was hurting the practiced students because I took the slack out of techniques no matter how bad they were in terms of aikido proficientcy.

I think it was my second week of aikido, in 1997, and I had this chiropractor who was an ex-marine, and pretty tough, but he kept putting up more and more resistence trying to show me that what I was doing was not going to work because I wasn't cutting down like most people do for shihonage. Looking back on it today, I had more of a chicken wing with a yonkyo than shihonage and that just wrenches the shoulder socket out of joint if uke resists. Well .. uke resisted and a scream of pain, a pretty loud yelp came out, so I let go and looked over at the teacher and said,' he is resisting too much." to which my partner gave the sad look that this new student was doing shihonage all wrong, which was probably right, but it takes time to adjust, at least for grumpy old men, ya know what I mean?

Anyway, the teacher asked the student to do exactly what he did with me, and the word came down ... he was resisting too much! RELAX ... don't fight the technique, but I should do it slower and keep my uke's arm over his shoulder not out to the side which would wrench my partners shoulder even more with any resistence.

Point is ... eventually, in about two years, even the biggest hardheads who kept saying I was gonna quit aikido because I didn't have a feel for the techniques ... just gave up trying to make judgements, and I learned to be gentle yet firm as I learned to feel how far I could go with different people. This was something I had missed in my jujitsu/ karate classes, learning to feel the tightness of my practice partner. For the first five years of martial art training, which is about what I had before aikido .. I just wanted to take out all the slack until pain, which was usually a yelp or tapping out/ slapping to release the technique, was the only motivator to release the techniques before injury occurred.

NO, it wasn't a kinder gentler aikido I was looking for in those first two years of practice, but a style of practice that left absolutely no other choice than compliance. And yet, I really wasn't looking to cause harm or injury to anyone.

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, or from another style, or simply just passing though trying out an aikido class ... people with a good spirit will give your body back in as good or better condition because that is what good caring people do. When we borrow something, we give it back, barring accident or breakage beyond our control, in as good or better condition than when we borrowed it, including human bodies, right?

One last story.

My buddy and I were going to South Carolina to pick up some baby clams for his clam farm. (Yeah, there are clam beds where people are literally farming crops of clams, and they are licensed farmers, believe it or not.)
Well, we stopped by Okimura's sensei's dojo in Newark, Delaware. That night there were only two or three students, and Karate black belt who was in his late forties wanting to try out aikido class. Nicest fella you would want to meet. Polite. Knowledgeable, and completely open to the throws and techniques that we were practicing.

Here we are, two strangers from another dojo, although we had been there for three or four seminars over the last four years, we were helping each other out to understand not only the way Okimura sensei's teacher for that night wanted his student for that class to do aikido, but adding our own two cents for what our teacher practiced also, as we tried to help this person understand why we let ourselves practice so gently. In trying to keep the practice safe and yet fast paced enough to keep everyone up to speed, despite the variety of proficientcy levels for people in the room, we did keep it real for this karate black belt who wanted to try out aikido as well as see his variations for what we were practicing.

We had a few more hours to drive through the night, but I can't help but remember that this was a prime example of the people in aikido are not alone in world, nor do we have the franchise for being caring or nice. Sometimes there are opportunitys for us all to learn from each other.

Yeah, there are other stories of people coming to our dojo who were just plain unreceptive for the techniques or the training as they are trying to prove everything we are doing for aikido doesn't work. But then, if anyone even half understands getting closer and closer to reality is as much the responsibility of the uke as it is the nage while giving back that body you borrowed for practice in as good or better condition than you found it, this problem is not just a problem with beginners who have delusions of grandeur, is it?

As difficult as it is for some people to grasp .... we learn to hurt each other and yet be gentle and caring at the same time.

Strange world, huh?

Sometimes people are gonna get hurt when they have the wrong attitude, and they are actually trying to hurt themselves or others, but I would hope that we meet some nice people along the way and realize ... aikido has no patent on good caring people. They are everywhere, sometimes even in that new student who is pretty awkward for aikido practice.
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:17 AM   #37
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

When corrected by beginners, I usually smile and say politely, "Thank you very much".
A lot of the time, they are right, anyway
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:14 AM   #38
Nick P.
 
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Newbie Shihan: "No, no, that is all wrong. Do it like this instead."
Me: >Nods head, smiles in agreement, unloads hardest technique they can handle<
"Like that? Was that better?"
Newbie Shihan: "How come I now see 3 of you, and where did my pants go?"

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Old 05-26-2006, 11:24 PM   #39
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

This issue tends to pop up from time to time everywhere. For myself I've noticed that it doesn't happen to me anymore seeing as I'm the instructor of the class now rather than a student. It would take someone really cocky to try to tell the guy teaching the lesson he's doing it wrong Not that thats beyond the realms of possibility mind. But it hasn't happened to me yet.

What I have had happen is things go a bit wrong when demonstrating a technique in front of the class, if I have a beginner for an uke and they don't know what is expected of them things can go a bit awry. It happened this week in fact. My chosen uke was supposed to be attacking me ushiro tekubi tori but rather than grabbing my other wrist once he was behind me he just kept charging along having no real clue where he was or where he was going. It took a lot of control on my part to stop him planting his own face into the mat

When this sort of thing happens to me while I'm teaching the lesson I usually just laugh and explain what happened and ask uke to do it again until he/she gets their part right so that I can do my part (demonstrating the technique we're about to practice).

I have also had people come to Aikido from other martial arts backgrounds and look at what I'm teaching with a critical eye, I really have no problem with this in any way. My feelings on the matter are simply this: If I can't explain it properly, then I don't really understand it myself. Which means I've found something else I need to learn

My experience of people from other MA backgrounds coming to Aikido is easily described by lumping them into two broad categories.

1 - They have their curiosity piqued and keep coming back
2 - They think Aikido (or the instructor who happens to be teaching it at that time) is a load of rubbish and they leave.

I tend to find that those in category 2 come back when their joints etc can't hack all the stuff they want to do in TKD or whatever, then they reappear aged 35+ with dodgy knees, shoulders etc and wonder why they didn't start Aikido earlier.

Mike

PS - With regards to the original shihonage twist out thing. Easy, bend your knees if you're nage or when they're off balance midway through the twist let go and take a bold confident step straight towards them, they tend to fall over and realise that the technique doesn't have to be text book for them to find themselves on their backside.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 05-27-2006, 04:15 PM   #40
Lucy Smith
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

I'm taking my 5th kyu test on June, so you can figure I'm a newbie. I never correct my sempai, even if they are younger than me (and they all are, except when one of the adults comes for our class), and they sort of expect me not respecting them or trying to correct them if they don't understand clearly, only because I'm older. What I have done, on just a couple of occasions, was helping other newbies when they had absolutely no clue of what to do, not even what foot to move first. And it was only with my friends, who started with me, and with whom I am very confident. I haven't corrected other new guys who weren't friends of mine.
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Old 05-27-2006, 05:25 PM   #41
Mark Uttech
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

O Sensei, the founder has been quoted as saying: "Aikido is not for correcting the minds of others; it is for correcting your own mind. I trust you understand."
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:56 PM   #42
kaishaku
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

That's 'cause shiho nage isn't a realistic technique. Ever seen anyone use it in the cage? Nuff said.

(I'm just kidding.)
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:58 PM   #43
statisticool
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

As a beginner, I've found this thread very educational. Thanks!

I'd personally try to correct a senior only if I was concerned a technique would be injurious if applied to me, them, or to someone else.

Even then, I'd phrase my concern in a question, as opposed to a statement.

If I'm wrong, which I think has happened maybe once or twice in my life ,at least I was erring on the side of caution.

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Old 06-02-2006, 01:06 PM   #44
Mark Uttech
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Here is a reflection that really works for me: "Any mistake you see, is a mistake for you."
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Old 06-02-2006, 03:04 PM   #45
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

I've been on both sides of this fence recently (I'm a 3rd kyu), and its been a frustrating issue with me.

#1: I am the beginner with delusions
I was at a seminar recently, and I was lucky enough to work with several dans. One of the first was an older gentleman, and it was a technique that started with a same-side wrist grab. So, he did it 4 times, and then it was my turn. I try it... and he resists. Hard. As in will NOT move at all. I blink, try to relax, check my position, and try again. More resistance. I'm starting to get a bit urked. I dont know him, and while its obvious I outweight him and am probably stronger, there's no way in hell I'd be dumb enough to intentionally muscle a dan at a seminar. So, this continues, maybe 4 ot 5 tries all together. Me trying to do the technique, him clamping down hard to stop it. Meanwhile, he's just calmly looking at me.

So finally I smile, shrug and ask what I'm doing wrong. "The problem with young people is they always think they need to use strength." Ah, ok... I was using strength. I can believe that... its happened before that I was using strength and not aware of it. So, he shows me where he wants me to move, I move, and he takes ukemi. For the rest of the time I worked with him, he shut me down more often than not, and offered minimal feedback on what was happening.

I didn't react well. I kept my reaction inside, but it was very frustrating. He wouldn't tell me what he didn't like, or how to fix it, and he wouldn't let me try to 'feel' the technique. I think the thing that really got me was the way it began: he tanked, and continued to tank, and then finally told me I was being too strong. I realized later I used more and more strength every time... and while I know I shouldn't do that, its an understandable mistake: if I dont know what I'm doing wrong, and no one is telling me, chances are I will, even if its unintentional, resort to "do the same thing, only harder." It was humbling, but not particularly educational. I dont know what I was supposed to do


#2: a beginner in my dojo.
I'm training right now for my next kyu test, and last night I was training with 3 other people (a 5th kyu, 2nd kyu, & 1st kyu). It was a small class (half what it usually is, w/ at least 1 dan there), so the class became "Helping me train for the test." ok, fine.

The 5th kyu would attack harder, faster, and resist all technique. And resist in ways that dont help me learn techniques. I mean, sure, he can block my ushiro shihonage pretty well since a) I need a lot of work on it, b) he knows its coming, and c) I'm not gonna switch to a sankkyo or something. But thats not helping me train for my test, and I dont see how its helping him learn ukemi. I also outweigh him by at least 50 pounds, and I resisted the urge to just squash him with my mass, because, again... that doesn't help me train.

In retrospect, I think I should have said something. I didn't at the time, b/c I know him, and he would take it more or less as me admitting I couldn't handle him. So, I trained to go at same speeds, etc... a fact he's quite oblivious to.


I dunno... just needed to rant. He got under my skin yesterday, and I dont really know how to react.

So... act better than me
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:00 AM   #46
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Ha, Cito is right on.

With new aikidoists from other martial arts, I like to talk about techniques in terms of their martial art if I know something about it.

It's hard to come to aikido from another martial art, especially since it's a fixed game. If the guy was at another type of school, he could easily establish his identity by doing some measured competing. I know we should begin as beginners, but it there is a valid culture in all athletics (or in most persuits) or figuring out who should be your teacher and who should be your student.

The most amazing thing to see is when someone coming in with this attitude changes their mind and learns to appreciate what you, and aikido, really has to offer.

As a final thought, I was once discussing with a friend how I came to SBK with a similar attitude. Not that I would correct my seniors, but I would counter them, strike them, etc. I apologized to him for that first year of being a bit of a jerk, and he said "I don't mean to offend you, but I never noticed."

Too cool.
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Old 06-03-2006, 08:24 AM   #47
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
I've been on both sides of this fence recently (I'm a 3rd kyu), and its been a frustrating issue with me.

#1: I am the beginner with delusions
I was at a seminar recently, and I was lucky enough to work with several dans. One of the first was an older gentleman, and it was a technique that started with a same-side wrist grab. So, he did it 4 times, and then it was my turn. I try it... and he resists. Hard. As in will NOT move at all. I blink, try to relax, check my position, and try again. More resistance. I'm starting to get a bit urked. I dont know him, and while its obvious I outweight him and am probably stronger, there's no way in hell I'd be dumb enough to intentionally muscle a dan at a seminar. So, this continues, maybe 4 ot 5 tries all together. Me trying to do the technique, him clamping down hard to stop it. Meanwhile, he's just calmly looking at me.

So finally I smile, shrug and ask what I'm doing wrong. "The problem with young people is they always think they need to use strength." Ah, ok... I was using strength. I can believe that... its happened before that I was using strength and not aware of it. So, he shows me where he wants me to move, I move, and he takes ukemi. For the rest of the time I worked with him, he shut me down more often than not, and offered minimal feedback on what was happening.

I didn't react well. I kept my reaction inside, but it was very frustrating. He wouldn't tell me what he didn't like, or how to fix it, and he wouldn't let me try to 'feel' the technique. I think the thing that really got me was the way it began: he tanked, and continued to tank, and then finally told me I was being too strong. I realized later I used more and more strength every time... and while I know I shouldn't do that, its an understandable mistake: if I dont know what I'm doing wrong, and no one is telling me, chances are I will, even if its unintentional, resort to "do the same thing, only harder." It was humbling, but not particularly educational. I dont know what I was supposed to do


#2: a beginner in my dojo.
I'm training right now for my next kyu test, and last night I was training with 3 other people (a 5th kyu, 2nd kyu, & 1st kyu). It was a small class (half what it usually is, w/ at least 1 dan there), so the class became "Helping me train for the test." ok, fine.

The 5th kyu would attack harder, faster, and resist all technique. And resist in ways that dont help me learn techniques. I mean, sure, he can block my ushiro shihonage pretty well since a) I need a lot of work on it, b) he knows its coming, and c) I'm not gonna switch to a sankkyo or something. But thats not helping me train for my test, and I dont see how its helping him learn ukemi. I also outweigh him by at least 50 pounds, and I resisted the urge to just squash him with my mass, because, again... that doesn't help me train.

In retrospect, I think I should have said something. I didn't at the time, b/c I know him, and he would take it more or less as me admitting I couldn't handle him. So, I trained to go at same speeds, etc... a fact he's quite oblivious to.


I dunno... just needed to rant. He got under my skin yesterday, and I dont really know how to react.

So... act better than me
Where is the Sensei in all of this Nicholas? Surely he/she is the logical step to a resolution.

regards,

Mark
Wg

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:48 AM   #48
Nick Pagnucco
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 107
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Where is the Sensei in all of this Nicholas? Surely he/she is the logical step to a resolution.
Well... a few things.
First, the instructor for that class couldn't show up that day, so the person in charge was the 1st kyu. But this really isn't something I'd lay at his feet.

Second, I was over-reacting. The 5th kyu wasn't doing anything THAT bad (he was attacking earnestly, allbeit not perfectly or in the way I would have preferred), but it was getting under my skin. "Beginners with delusions of grandeur" is definitely a spectrum, with some people more gray than others, some more tolerable than others. The guy I talked about is definitely on the spread, but he's not as bad as one could be. My over-reacting carried over to how I described it in my post here.

Third, I was handling it more or less the way I am supposed to (at least in my dojo in what we call a circle class): keep moving and figure out how to manage. I just wasn't in the mood to do that cheerfully b/c my test techniques weren't going smoothly. If he was doing something clearly wrong, the 1st kyu would have definitely jumped in to correct things.

DOnt get me wrong: it wasn't the most fun I ever had at practice, I think the beginner I talked about needs to change his orientation a bit, and in retrospect I perhaps should have said something. But it wasn't nearly as bad as something things people have described on this thread.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:45 PM   #49
mj
Location: livingston, scotland
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 715
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
(he was attacking earnestly, allbeit not perfectly or in the way I would have preferred), but it was getting under my skin. .
Welcome to martial arts.

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Old 06-11-2006, 12:53 AM   #50
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
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Re: Beginners with delusions of grandeur...

Lucky,

You did the right thing, kept your cool, didn't retaliate, Etc.

Next stop should have been sensei. Not to get the new guy in trouble, but so Sensei would see the need to explain why and how we train.

Your problem with the new student (who evidently is finally catching on) was that he failed to understand that he was simulating a fast and strong attack, though moving slowly for safety. Had he really come fast and had your thrown fast, he would not have been able to twist out of anything. You know this. If he wouldn't listen to you, Sensei needed to remind everyone of the rules.

This sort of nonsense goes on way too often. Beginners just don't understand the meaning of ukemi or the reasons that we practice the way we do. Sometimes experiences students will take advantage of the slow practice and kindness of Nage because they want to demonstrate their (imagined) superiority by refusing to follow in their ukemi. If Sensei doesn't call them on it, it will continue.

Ken
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