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Old 11-22-2005, 01:21 PM   #1
Erick Mead
 
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Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

As a itinerant Aikidoko since 1987 I have trained from the East Coast, West Coast, Hawaii and even (very briefly) in Japan. In a number of cases it was impressed upon me, either by simple language barriers and sometimes simply as a choice of instruction, that Aikido can be taught without any verbal communication whatsoever. I have tried it myself, and I find it changes the focus of training attention in a significant way for both student and instructor.

What experiences have you had in this way? What positives or negatives did it bring to your instruction (teaching or being taught)?

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:33 PM   #2
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

My opinion is that Aikido I guess really doesn't need langauge to learn the basic aspect of the movement. I believe the whole language or verbal communication comes into it in the finer points of doing aikido. We must learn the proper mind set, and how can you show a student a proper mind set? For me being a gymnast for a number of years my coach was Chinese, and couldn't speak English well, however I managed with him, and actually improved my listening and communication skills on a different level. I think Aikido is very similar, everyone learns the words or names of techniques, then you go from there. Most of the time you see before you practice in class, so you get a visual of what Sensei wants. However if sensei is correcting the group or you personally then I guess you would find it very difficult. I found this whilst training in Japan before learning to speak Japanese.

When I was at the Tenshin Dojo in Osaka, I found it difficult to understand, however we managed. Also introducing yourself, and trying to explain to them that a language barrier is present allows them to teach you better I suppose. But I do believe verbal communication is very important in the advanced stages simply because we need to be communicated to for the finer points, or proper mind set or feeling.

Cheers.
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:38 PM   #3
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

We are lucky if Ikeda Sensei says five words in a class. This creates an environment where you are researching your own technique rather than receiving formal instruction. The result is that you can focus strongly on exploring the dark corners of budo, but you have to provide all of the discipline for yourself. If you are just zoning out until class is over you will not be called on it. If you wish to inherit the organic grace and power being displayed, you literally have to steal it. All of the details of how Sensei gets things to work can easily be overlooked if you are not paying careful attention, trying things out on your own, and picking the brains of the senior students. Overall I think this is a very lonely way to practice.
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:17 AM   #4
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

"All of the details of how Sensei gets things to work can easily be overlooked if you are not paying careful attention, trying things out on your own, and picking the brains of the senior students. Overall I think this is a very lonely way to practice."

Maybe that's intentional.

Maybe for it to be of any value, it needs to be a personal pursuit, requiring an almost ridiculous amount of patience, perseverence, pain and practice (hey, alliteration- how poetical). Otherwise it's only a way to hurt or dominate others. Maybe in order for it to be Budo, it requires the inward questioning on a constant basis.

I don't know, I aint there yet.

Aikido doesn't require language, but learning the building blocks of which Aikido's made, language helps a lot.
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:25 AM   #5
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
We are lucky if Ikeda Sensei says five words in a class. This creates an environment where you are researching your own technique rather than receiving formal instruction. The result is that you can focus strongly on exploring the dark corners of budo, but you have to provide all of the discipline for yourself. If you are just zoning out until class is over you will not be called on it. If you wish to inherit the organic grace and power being displayed, you literally have to steal it. All of the details of how Sensei gets things to work can easily be overlooked if you are not paying careful attention, trying things out on your own, and picking the brains of the senior students. Overall I think this is a very lonely way to practice.
Hi Benjamin,
I know exactly what you are saying, I was trained by Saotome Sensei much the same way. However that teaching model is designed for "direct transmission" from teacher to student. It depends alot on the student's ability to take ukemi repeatedly over time from the teacher so he can "feel" the technique, etc.

The problem these days is that there are literally thousands of folks training just in our own organization. Most of them don't have anything like the foundation you are getting. Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei are operating at such an advanced level that in the limited exposure most folks have to them, a few times a year at best, they simply don't have enough foundation to see what their teachers are doing.

I find that there is a great need out there for some teachers, the second tier instructors like myself, to give some direction via explanation of concepts and principles coupled with the physical practice, so that folks have some idea what they are trying to do. If you can get people pointed in the right direction they eventually start to be able to see what the Shihan teachers are doing but without any help most will not get it. You are extremely lucky to be where you are training directly with Ikeda Sensei.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-23-2005, 04:13 AM   #6
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
As a itinerant Aikidoko since 1987 I have trained from the East Coast, West Coast, Hawaii and even (very briefly) in Japan. In a number of cases it was impressed upon me, either by simple language barriers and sometimes simply as a choice of instruction, that Aikido can be taught without any verbal communication whatsoever. I have tried it myself, and I find it changes the focus of training attention in a significant way for both student and instructor.

What experiences have you had in this way? What positives or negatives did it bring to your instruction (teaching or being taught)?

Cordially,
Erick Mead
Well, as a student, verbal communication during practice doesn't help the students to rapidly learn and too much elucidation during practice is quite disgusting on my part (no offense please) . A simple heartedly demonstration and instruction is enough and can easily be absorbed.

I believe a student will progress on his own and from his own.
When and how it is going to happen, that depends on his reponse to himself.

The way I understand the relation of a teacher to a student is that a teacher has to generously teach what he wants to teach, while the student has to listen. Students assimilitation to the instruction are not an obligatory role by the teacher but of the student.

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Old 11-23-2005, 07:21 AM   #7
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

How many times have I been talking to aging Shihan when they said "I should have explained things a little more." However, that discussion doesn't have to be on the mats but afterwards in the bar or restaurant.

But I agree with George. There are different ways of learning. Some people learn through hearing things, some through seeing things and others through feeling things. The same goes for different things to be communicated. Some things are most effectively communicated through sound, others through vision, and others through action. The most effective and efficient according to communications theory would be through all three transmission channels at once.

I also agree with everyone else. It is up to the student to learn to learn through the use of the other channels and one needs to learn to use all of them, including experimentation and self-analysis, because you won't have all channels all the time (as when someone with no understanding of French goes to practice in France).

In order to learn all the various aspects of Aikido, you have to use all forms of information transmission. Otherwise, you are not being efficient and that would be an anathema to Aikido.

Rock
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Old 11-23-2005, 07:29 AM   #8
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

While I understand where Rocky and Leon are coming from, indeed I believe their view is more traditional for most ma, if I'm teaching and I don't communicate my ideas fully, I don't blame the student - honest it's my fault!

There's some very good arguments to avoid teaching anything by spoon-feeding, but even if you're expecting some original thought and experimentation from a student, be sure to make the bread-crumb trail at least obvious.

As regards verbal communication, I'm for it as long as it doesn't (a) become an excuse for an impromptu knitting circle and bitching session and (b) nagging and over correction (the one I have to watch myself for)
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:56 AM   #9
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

I train under Sensei Dang Thong Phong of Tenshinkai Aikido (Westminster Aikikai). He speaks very little English, so what little verbal instruction we get is through a few translated words by fellow students. It forces us to just practice and "steal" the technique for ourselves. There are some benefits to this, especially since the body doesn't speak in auditory language, but responds best to copying visualizations.

OTOH, being a western white man, sometimes the head really doesn't get it and it will take me a long time to figure it out for myself. So i read a lot and discuss it here on the Internet.

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 11-23-2005, 09:01 AM   #10
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
As regards verbal communication, I'm for it as long as it doesn't (a) become an excuse for an impromptu knitting circle and bitching session and (b) nagging and over correction (the one I have to watch myself for)
I agree. My experience is that when you stand up in front of the class, you don't know if they are all listening to you or not.

Chances are, half of them are more concerned with the fact that they are in seiza and it's getting uncomfortable, quarter of them have seen the technique before and switch off ("I already know this so I don't have to watch" syndrome), an eigth of them are thinking about something else entirely (dinner, TV, work), a sixteenth of them are chatting to or winding up their neighbour, and the remaining sixteenth are actually paying attention, although half of those may not understand what you are doing anyway!

The best way is to go around and teach the individual pairs as the whole class is practising, then you know if you're getting through to them or not.

Ruth
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:10 PM   #11
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
The best way is to go around and teach the individual pairs as the whole class is practising, then you know if you're getting through to them or not.
Ruth
One way that I often teach without much talking is to note a error, and then be uke for the student who made the error. I can then show the opening or kaeshiwaza created by that error, and let nage see the consequence of it. Then I take the other student as uke and show how to avoid or close the opening when performing the technique. Then I let him or her perform it correctly on me as uke again.
I like to teach as uke. It is a healthy corrective to impress on nage the problems of reversal. Sometimes I have to show the difference in how the way uke reacts to the technique changes the progression. It is good then to serve as uke again to restore the student's confidence in the correct technique or movement.

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:33 PM   #12
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Erick, you and Ruth make good points about how to effectively use non-verbal communication to work, but in both cases it involves "being involved" in the actual practice. While this is fine once the technique has been set and the dojo is wandering on it's normal haphazard constellation of techniques, mishaps and downright conniving slacking (yes, we always do see you...), for the initial presentation of the technique I'd still err on the side of verbal for emphasis, not just show-do.

I've trained under both and found that, for beginners especially, the more ways you have of repeating and reinforcing what you're expecting, the better. Once you're able to wander round and train with the lil darlings, then yes, I'd go with your approach rather than becoming a "shouty sensei".
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:09 PM   #13
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

You know the comment I most often make verbally is: "No, don't look at my hands, look at my hips." or "... look at my feet." or "No, don't look at my feet, look at my head." or "No, don't look, feel." or "What the heck are you trying to do?"

Rock
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Old 11-23-2005, 03:31 PM   #14
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
or "What the heck are you trying to do?"
Rock

now that's funny! I have thought that more than few times.


I oscillate between silence and chattiness. If I felt have said quite a bit to make a point, I consciously impose on myself to
shut up for a while and teach through doing - being uke, etc.

Sometimes talking is useful because I express a realization about connections in practice that I might not have been fully concsious of myself till I said it. A good dose of silence right after is best for letting it sink in and be reinforced by doing.

Craig

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Old 11-23-2005, 04:28 PM   #15
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

You notice that all of the suggestions about non-verbal methods all involved how to work directly with the student - personal and hands on. That is precisley how that method works best (although there are still learning styles for whom this doesn't work well land they are apt to leave).

When O-Sensei taught the post war deshi, when I was taught by Saotome Sensei, this was how things were. You learned by watching Sensei and taking ukemi from him. If you were really lucky a senior student would give you a tip or two but mostly you muddled along doing completely incompetent technique until something would click.

I have had experience training with teachers, both in and out of Aikido, who give far more actual instruction and feedback during practice and I have found that I do better that way and I think their students are better, faster. I am not saying that this is a subtitute for good, strong, repetitive practice. But I am saying that practice yields better results when the students have a clear idea of what they are shooting for and they benefit greatly from not being allowed to go on and on making the same mistakes when they clearly don't know what they are trying to do.

The arena where I think this whole issue really becomes of crucial importance is at seminars. As I have talked about elsewhere, most Americans doing Aikido do not have the luxury of training with a Shihan level instructor. Their only exposure to the teachers they are following comes a couple times a year at seminars or camps.

I went to a seminar conducted by a Shihan level teacher. This teacher would demonstrate a technique several times, set everyone to training, and then stand and watch the clock until it was time People did the technique exactly as they had when they came in and no feedback was given. The idea that there is instruction taking place and that the students were getting something out of training in the august presence was simply a hoax. This teacher is burned out and is going through the motions.

I am used to a much more involved instruction from many other teachers. The problem is that even the ones who offer actual explanation of what they are doing have only recently started doing so. And the level at which they are executing their technique is so much more sophisticated than the foundations of the students has prepared them for that even with the sparse explanation now being offered (far more than in my early days) the students at these seminars and camps do not understand enough of what is being shown that they can go back to their dojos and practice for six months or a year and come back again ready for the next lesson. Instead you see the same folks year after year not being able to do the same things year after year. And the big problem here is that these are the serious folks! they are the ones that actually go to camp(s) every year, travel to other dojos for seminars, etc.

What I am seeing is that there is a generation of American teachers arriving at the higher levels who can explain what they do in a very organized, principle based manner. When you train with them you will come away with a sense that you know what you should be working on until the next time you see them. Theycan explain the whys and the wherefores and get you pointed in the right direction so that possibly at some point when you see the top Senseis again you will actually SEE them.

What is sad is that people generally don't appreciate what what a resource their American instructors are. At the Expo you could see a high ranked, top status teacher doing absolute beginner basics in a class that filled the mat while someone like Gleason Sensei or Matuoka Sensei were delivering absolutely amazing insights into high level Aikido to a handfull of people.

It's my opinion that it is very important to maintain ones connection with ones teacher by attending regular seminars and camps and preferably hosting them at your own school if that's possible. But if you want to make real progress towards figuring out what they are doing, train with one of their senior students who not only has had to figure stuff out on his own but can explain what he's found out. Then go back and train with the main teacher with new eyes.

This is the only way the "transmission" can be salvaged at this point I think. It's disheartening to keep going to seminars and camps and seeing a couple hundred people on the mat with about a dozen who actually get what the teacher is doing. People can remember verbal explanation and take that with them whereever they go. They can access those instructions whenever they train, long after the camp or seminar is over. Merely training with the top Shihan doesn't do it unless you are there every day putting your hands on them; then the old teaching method works (sort of).

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 11-23-2005 at 04:32 PM.

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Old 11-23-2005, 09:59 PM   #16
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

I guess I should not have put my statement rhetorically since a lot of people seem to have misunderstood me. My point was that many times in the past few years, I have been with some of my older instructors, a number of them who are now dead. During casual conversation, they seemed to feel that they should have talked and explained things a little more while they instructed, and now it is too late.

I have lately been interpreter for two of those older instructors during their visits overseas or to do seminars and I now find that I am having to do a lot more interpretation than twenty years ago. It is so much interpretation these days that my knees are aching from sitting while up front. And they are using a lot of terms now which are somewhat difficult to interpret and they did not use before.

Yes, even the Japanese Shihan are talking more these days in order to explain things before it is too late. And yes, George, they do notice that a lot of people have never understood and still do things incorrectly after twenty years of practicing the same incorrect thing. I have, at times, had to take the punishment for people who don't change even after I have translated the correction to the often senior student. It seems to me that these people don't want to be corrected, even by a Shihan. I can only apologise for my poor translation and take the painful demonstration when he does it on me this time, instead of his normal uke. For those of you out there who refuse to listen to what the Shihan is saying . . . I'm comin' for ya to get my revenge.

Rock
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:19 PM   #17
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
This is the only way the "transmission" can be salvaged at this point I think. It's disheartening to keep going to seminars and camps and seeing a couple hundred people on the mat with about a dozen who actually get what the teacher is doing.
"Those who see the path, follow it; those who do not see it, follow those who say they do."

All for better or worse.

For me, the transmission (in my entirely haphazard journey) lies in knowing the fact that there is a path, and having a sense of ways to recognize it when I stumble across it from time to time. I do not know how to explain it, even so. I know enough not to ask anyone else to follow my blundering meander through the jungle.

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 11-24-2005, 03:38 AM   #18
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
I have, at times, had to take the punishment for people who don't change even after I have translated the correction to the often senior student. It seems to me that these people don't want to be corrected, even by a Shihan. I can only apologise for my poor translation and take the painful demonstration when he does it on me this time, instead of his normal uke. For those of you out there who refuse to listen to what the Shihan is saying . . . I'm comin' for ya to get my revenge.

Rock
Years ago I was at a seminar in Seattle at which Sensei was hosted, not by me, but by some other folks who had joined the ASU. He started class and looked at what people were doing, clapped, and said, "No, look at what I am doing. It's not the same as the way you have done it before." He then demonstrated several more times. People started training again and went right back to what they'd been doing before. He again stopped the class, demonstrated quite clearly what he was after, and they all again went right back to what they already knew. This happened three times. After the third time I was watching Sensei and there was an instant in which he sort of changed channels. He called for bokken and taught the rest of the seminar for his students that were there. He worked with anyone from the other school who looked like they were making a legitimate effort but he completely ignored the senior people who were so stuck doing what they'd always done that they couldn't even see anything new, even when it was directly pointed out to them. Glad I didn't get blamed somehow for their issues...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-24-2005, 06:44 AM   #19
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
If you don't get it, it's my fault! But if you're lost and you don't ask a question, then it's your fault.
- Lawrence Kane (Martial Arts Instruction - Applying Educational Theory and Communication Techniques in the Dojo)
Different people have different preferred learning modalities. As a teacher, one must necessarily adapt one's teaching style to suit the student. I have attended seminars and classes by many different teachers on many different subjects (not necessarily martial in nature), and IMHO, the best teachers are the ones who can best engage the student, and provide (direct or indirect) feedback on areas that the student needs to work on.

I use a model that involves Showing, Telling, Asking, and Doing.

First I show how I want the technique performed. Then I tell them how I'm doing it and why. Then I ask questions to make sure they understand. I also encourage my students to ask me questions, because it improves my own understanding and gives me immediate feedback on whether I'm getting the message across or not. Then the students break off and practice, whilst I move around them and work with them, sometimes taking ukemi for them, or repeating the cycle of Show, Tell, Ask, Do.

I believe this engages the student on a multi-sensory level much more effectively, and allows the student to progress much faster.

Ironically, I am the product of the "traditional way". However, I think the traditional way has its merits for students who have reached a certain level or plateau of advancement. The traditional method works best for those lessons that cannot be taught, but which can only be lived.

IMHO, there aren't many lessons that a beginning student needs to be taught in the traditional method. After all, I'm only teaching "basic" skills, which the student needs to achieve some level of competence in order to reach the "first rung" of understanding.

Ignatius
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Old 11-24-2005, 08:02 AM   #20
ruthmc
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Years ago I was at a seminar in Seattle at which Sensei was hosted, not by me, but by some other folks who had joined the ASU. He started class and looked at what people were doing, clapped, and said, "No, look at what I am doing. It's not the same as the way you have done it before." He then demonstrated several more times. People started training again and went right back to what they'd been doing before. He again stopped the class, demonstrated quite clearly what he was after, and they all again went right back to what they already knew. This happened three times. After the third time I was watching Sensei and there was an instant in which he sort of changed channels. He called for bokken and taught the rest of the seminar for his students that were there. He worked with anyone from the other school who looked like they were making a legitimate effort but he completely ignored the senior people who were so stuck doing what they'd always done that they couldn't even see anything new, even when it was directly pointed out to them.
Hence keeping beginner's mind - if you just watch and listen to the instructor with no presumptions you may learn something new. If you think you already know it just because you're senior you can't learn anything new.

Me - I know nothing (And I don't want anything to get in the way of learning direct from sensei)

Ruth
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Old 11-24-2005, 11:32 PM   #21
Lan Powers
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Years ago I was at a seminar in Seattle at which Sensei was hosted, not by me, but by some other folks who had joined the ASU. He started class and looked at what people were doing, clapped, and said, "No, look at what I am doing. It's not the same as the way you have done it before." He then demonstrated several more times. People started training again and went right back to what they'd been doing before. He again stopped the class, demonstrated quite clearly what he was after, and they all again went right back to what they already knew. This happened three times. After the third time I was watching Sensei and there was an instant in which he sort of changed channels. He called for bokken and taught the rest of the seminar for his students that were there. He worked with anyone from the other school who looked like they were making a legitimate effort but he completely ignored the senior people who were so stuck doing what they'd always done that they couldn't even see anything new, even when it was directly pointed out to them. Glad I didn't get blamed somehow for their issues...

A sad but all too believable example.
I am a beginner...three and a half years, and have had occasion to see exactly the attitude you have described.
Sensei demonstrates at a seminar, most sincerely attempt to model the movements ( to varying amounts of success) and you notice a few who blithely nod and smile and continue doing the action in their comfortable way, over and over.
I repeat mistakes, but I try not to.
Lan

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Old 11-25-2005, 12:12 AM   #22
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

I compiled some statements about this theme and put them in a short article some time ago. The article is at this link: http://www.shudokanaikido.com/module...php?storyid=27
I didn't mean any point in an absolutist kind of way and I made my observations based as a school teacher and an aikido instructor.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 11-25-2005, 04:47 AM   #23
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
I compiled some statements about this theme and put them in a short article some time ago. The article is at this link: http://www.shudokanaikido.com/module...php?storyid=27
I didn't mean any point in an absolutist kind of way and I made my observations based as a school teacher and an aikido instructor.
Best,
Thanks Jorge - very interesting article!

I wonder how many beginning students would stick around if they were told that the responsibility for learning Aikido rests solely upon them?

Ruth
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Old 11-25-2005, 08:39 AM   #24
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Jorge,

Thanks for the read, but I disagree with the following excerpt "We have seen the decline of our modern educational system in our lifetimes. .... Our approach as westerners is almost completely external". I can't agree with your implications that it's the external nature of "Western education" that is to blame. Leaving aside the changes made in how discipline is enforced and the increasing role politics plays in the system, the methods used in Western education haven't significantly altered. Instead to my mind there's been a steady erosion in the expectations of "what edukashun can do for you", "what its for" and the "consistency in which targets are set".

Similarly, whatever your preferred teaching method for aikido is, one thing I would stress is that you're consistent. People can adapt and learn how to learn across quite a wide spectrum, but if one moment you're hands on, the next lost in the midst of myth, confusion is your normal response.
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Old 11-25-2005, 11:01 AM   #25
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
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Re: Aikido - To Teach Without Speech

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Jorge,

Thanks for the read, but I disagree with the following excerpt "We have seen the decline of our modern educational system in our lifetimes. .... Our approach as westerners is almost completely external". I can't agree with your implications that it's the external nature of "Western education" that is to blame. Leaving aside the changes made in how discipline is enforced and the increasing role politics plays in the system, the methods used in Western education haven't significantly altered. Instead to my mind there's been a steady erosion in the expectations of "what edukashun can do for you", "what its for" and the "consistency in which targets are set".

Similarly, whatever your preferred teaching method for aikido is, one thing I would stress is that you're consistent. People can adapt and learn how to learn across quite a wide spectrum, but if one moment you're hands on, the next lost in the midst of myth, confusion is your normal response.
Actually Ian, I agree with you. When I put this together, I hesitated in putting it out where I would get feedback because of the very statement you referenced. My concept of externalism isn't necessarily the classic one but rather, it's an analytical one I came up with in my own research. I plan to write a book on it over the next ten years and I am gathering the data now but I need to find a competent sociologist to help me. I explain this point because I knew that I ran the risk of being misunderstood and I wouldn't be able to explain myself in a limited forum like this one. I can only say that any educational system that works from the outside in is indeed external. When the individual has internal and apriori initiatives involved, the problem may not appear but when western cultures, especially like ours in the U.S. becomes degraded and the internal factors no longer come into play, we are left with raw externalism. This is due to the loss of common values and a shared traditions due to the fragmentation of our culture. These were some of the internal touch points we previously had. We see the results of this in the loss of transcendence and reverence in the west. We are not centered internally except for being self centered which furthers the degrading process.
I will stop now because I'm headed off theme. I just hope that what I compiled will be helpful to some.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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