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Old 02-13-2006, 08:42 PM   #1
nathansnow
 
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How many techniques per hour??

I recently surfed through the online poll archive and found an interesting one. It asked how many techniques do you perform in a one hour class. I was surprised to see the majority was in the 4 - 5 range. I though this was a bit low myself. I'm just used to a more uptempo class with an average of about 15 techniques per class and switching partners twice for every technique. I'm interested in other thoughts and ideas on this. What does everybody else do and what do you think is better (or if it matters at all)?
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:43 PM   #2
Don_Modesto
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Nathan Snow wrote:
I recently surfed through the online poll archive and found an interesting one. It asked how many techniques do you perform in a one hour class. I was surprised to see the majority was in the 4 - 5 range. I though this was a bit low myself. I'm just used to a more uptempo class with an average of about 15 techniques per class and switching partners twice for every technique. I'm interested in other thoughts and ideas on this. What does everybody else do and what do you think is better (or if it matters at all)?
When I teach a two hour class, we'll do maybe up to 5-6 techniques. When Saotome runs a seminar, he'll switch techniques so fast I ask my partners to do each one two times instead of four so we both have a chance to try things. He has ragged on me on occasion for being preoccupied with learning technique rather than principle so I guess that's the reason he buzzes through techniques like that.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:59 AM   #3
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Not long ago, we spent a whole hour-and-a-half class on tenchinage, in three parts (all together, top hand, and bottom hand). Last night's class, we did at least a dozen different techniques. I like to have that 15-20 minutes per technique, especially if it's unfamiliar, or if I'm figuring out something in it, but I've noticed that the pace at seminars is usually a bit faster. Without the repetition, the technique doesn't have a chance to sink in as well, leading to confusion and even boredom. The boredom comes from short-circuiting the nuances of a technique by speeding through it (the message being that there isn't really that much to focus on in that technique).

That said, sometimes it's good to do a whole lot of techniques in one class, as long as there's a common thread or discernable theme.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:23 AM   #4
ian
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Excellent thread. Its often around 4, but I think for best learning 1-2 is optimum. I think lots of techniques in a class tends to produce superficial understanding of the principles behind all the techniques. I think if you learnt ikkyo and irimi-nage well, the rest of the techniques would be easy. In fact, the more I teach the more I focus just on these two to ensure that students learn how to blend, rather than learning lots of techniques. I also have an '8 technique' set which we do occasionally. I believe these techniques are the core of aikido and are completely integrated with each other (i.e. the principles are identical and they blend from one to another):
ikkyo, irimi-nage, tenchi-nage, kokyu-nage, shiho-nage, kote-gaeshi, sumi-otoshi, kaiten-nage.

More and more I also hear myself saying 'it's exactly the same of what we do in ikkyo', regardless of the technique.

Indeed, I wish students had a good background in ju-jitsu before starting aikido. Then we could ignore 'learning technique' and just concentrate on the aikido principles.

Last edited by ian : 02-14-2006 at 09:26 AM.

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Old 02-14-2006, 09:55 AM   #5
Edwin Neal
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

4 to 6, but in a two hour class at least the last half hour is usually general randori...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-14-2006, 10:36 AM   #6
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Description of Saturday's classes at the Doshinkan:

1st 1 hour Class:
quick warm ups, ukemi (ushiro, backward rolls, about 50), united basic movements (7 of them) interspersed with the ukemi (about 6 times), Jo stances (8).

Waza for first hour; katate mochi, nikajo, osae ichi (one hand grasp, 2nd control, pin # 1).

I can't remember if there was much of a break between 1st and 2nd class, but then the techniques were:

2nd class:
katate mochi, nikajo, osae ichi / katate mochi, nikajo nage (throw) / katate mochi, nikajo, kaeshi waza into kotegaeshi nage. Ushiro ukemi as a class to finish, about 50 I think.

Both classes were fast paced, 1st class is basic, 2nd class intermediate.

3rd class (advanced):
kihon dosa to kanren waza (united basic movements and applied technique) with partner which is six basic movements and six techiniques (sokomen iriminage, hijiate kokyunage, kokyunage, nikajo osae, shihonage ichi (omote), shihonage ni (ura) osae).

tanto tachi waza - hiza giri hichu giri
tanto with partner, 10 waza, 4 kneeling, 6 standing.
randori (it was a small class, so one person in the middle, all the others doing katate mochi attacks)

I haven't done 3 classes in a row for a while, so as you can imagine, I was rather tired by the end of this. I may have forgotten a thing or two...

Best,
Ron

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Old 02-14-2006, 11:42 AM   #7
James Davis
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Amelia Smith wrote:
That said, sometimes it's good to do a whole lot of techniques in one class, as long as there's a common thread or discernable theme.
I agree. When I teach, I often do many techniques from the same attack, or the same technique from many attacks. It helps to drive home that any technique is available when you're attacked - you just have to be a little creative.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 02-14-2006, 01:10 PM   #8
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

At the dojo I train at, we start off with tai no henkou (every time), and then usually (but not always) morotetori kokyuuhou. Then it's 4-5 techniques, and then suwariwaza ryoutetori kokyuuhou. The techniques always follow a pattern. Either it's always the same attack with different responses, or different attacks with the same response. We switch partners after each technique.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:23 PM   #9
nathansnow
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Excellent thread.
Thanks Ian
Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
I think if you learnt ikkyo and irimi-nage well, the rest of the techniques would be easy. In fact, the more I teach the more I focus just on these two to ensure that students learn how to blend, rather than learning lots of techniques.
I agree that learning the basics and learning them well is always a good thing.... but when do you move forward to explore the hundreds of techniques and variations. They may all be similar and relate back to basics, but I still think you have to practice them because they are all valid in a particular situation.

Last edited by nathansnow : 02-14-2006 at 02:25 PM. Reason: grammer

Nathan Snow
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:23 PM   #10
Lyle Bogin
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Usually we study fewer techniques with more beginners on the mat (3-5) and more with advanced students (5-7).

Also, if there are all advanced students, Imaizumi Sensei will sometimes say "advanced practice so don't stop" and we'll continuously perform techniques at a vigorous pace. Occasionally he pops in and fires off something else for us to do, and then we're back out and running. That's pretty hard.
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:38 PM   #11
MaryKaye
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

For us it really depends on who is teaching.

If the head instructor and one of the junior instructors take it into their heads to, say, teach a six-technique "taigi" sequence, at the end of two hours the head instructor might barely be finished with the first technique, and the junior instructor will have worked through all six--possibly with kokyu dosa or breathing exercise thrown in.

I like both of these approaches, especially in combination--to be frank, the "one technique per evening" thing would eventually drive me crazy if I didn't have classes with other instructors to balance it out.

I trained at one place which aimed for 8-24 techniques (admittedly, mostly variations on 1-3 themes) per 1.5 hour class, and this was more than my poor brain could handle. I never got past "What am I supposed to be doing now?" on to "How can I do this technique better?" and found the whole thing quite frustrating. But I'm a slow learner, and the regular students seemed okay with this.

Mary Kaye
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:15 PM   #12
tarik
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

What are we really practicing and learning when we do 10-12 techniques in an hour or 1.5 hour long class?

There's a place for it, but is this how one really learns fundamentals?

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:18 PM   #13
Don_Modesto
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote:
What are we really practicing and learning when we do 10-12 techniques in an hour or 1.5 hour long class?

There's a place for it, but is this how one really learns fundamentals?
Excellent question. But excellent teachers I know do it. Go figure. They must have some purpose. Perhaps to get us away from emphasis on technique and to get us to feel principle. My guess anyway...

Don J. Modesto
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:23 PM   #14
tarik
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Excellent question. But excellent teachers I know do it.
How does one define an excellent teacher? By their students, I would presume?

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Go figure. They must have some purpose. Perhaps to get us away from emphasis on technique and to get us to feel principle. My guess anyway...
Not a bad guess and perhaps (or perhaps not) has more truth than my guess.

Mine is.... tradition. It is how they were taught, so it is how they teach.

I would think that a better way to get away from an emphasis on technique might be to work on building blocks that are smaller than techniques.

BTW, this is from the perspective of someone who is not an excellent teacher, but has spent some time teaching and tutoring since junior high almost everything interesting I have tried to learn.

When I first started leading classes in Aikido I used to spend the entire time on a single technique or practicing a single 'important' idea with which I was struggling.

Last edited by tarik : 02-17-2006 at 07:27 PM.

Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:40 AM   #15
Nick Simpson
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

To missqoute Lt Richard Sharpe: 'The ability to perform 3 techniques a minute is what makes a good Aikidoka.'

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:08 PM   #16
tarik
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
To missqoute Lt Richard Sharpe: 'The ability to perform 3 techniques a minute is what makes a good Aikidoka.'

I'm sorry, while I sort of know that Lt. Richard Sharpe is a character in a TV series, this paraphrase is out of context for me and I don't get your point.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:31 AM   #17
Alec Corper
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

In my experience as a student and teacher I see benefit in both ends of the spectrum at different times and in different ways for beginners and those with more experience. Doing one technique for an hour for a beginner can be extremely informative through the mechanical practice of key elements and through providing a (false) sense of understanding as a basis to real progress. ~It can also be extremely boring if the student has not yet learned discipline, focus,or appreciation of the use of finer motor skills.
For a more senior person it allows deep exploration of subtlety, the exploration of suki, kuzushi, rooting or uprooting, and a host of other factors that waza practice offers. It can also be confining to practice techniques in spite of the spontaneous response rising to the presentation of uke's body mechanics, angles, intentions and so on.
Doing 30 techniques in an hour can teach beginners to move freely with their whole body instead of being preoccupied with their arms and hands. It can give a taste of the flow of Aikido, the "energy", for what of another term, that makes Aikido feel like Aikido and not Wing Chun, for example. It can also be confusing, frustrating and downright off-putting to spend an hour not having a clue what you are trying to do.
For seniors it is an opportunity to explore the unity within diversity, and to see how techniques can spontaneously emerge from good grounding in principle. It is also an opportunity to engage in Aiki aerobics devoid of any substance but plenty of fun.
I could carry on with these kinds of examples but essentially both kinds of practice are useful some of the time for some of the people. They can only be of use to all if the participants in the practice are beginning to be serious students irregardless of todays approach to the lesson.

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Old 02-26-2006, 10:40 AM   #18
Amir Krause
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote:
In my experience as a student and teacher I see benefit in both ends of the spectrum at different times and in different ways for beginners and those with more experience. Doing one technique for an hour for a beginner can be extremely informative through the mechanical practice of key elements and through providing a (false) sense of understanding as a basis to real progress. ~It can also be extremely boring if the student has not yet learned discipline, focus,or appreciation of the use of finer motor skills.
For a more senior person it allows deep exploration of subtlety, the exploration of suki, kuzushi, rooting or uprooting, and a host of other factors that waza practice offers. It can also be confining to practice techniques in spite of the spontaneous response rising to the presentation of uke's body mechanics, angles, intentions and so on.
Doing 30 techniques in an hour can teach beginners to move freely with their whole body instead of being preoccupied with their arms and hands. It can give a taste of the flow of Aikido, the "energy", for what of another term, that makes Aikido feel like Aikido and not Wing Chun, for example. It can also be confusing, frustrating and downright off-putting to spend an hour not having a clue what you are trying to do.
For seniors it is an opportunity to explore the unity within diversity, and to see how techniques can spontaneously emerge from good grounding in principle. It is also an opportunity to engage in Aiki aerobics devoid of any substance but plenty of fun.
I could carry on with these kinds of examples but essentially both kinds of practice are useful some of the time for some of the people. They can only be of use to all if the participants in the practice are beginning to be serious students irregardless of todays approach to the lesson.

One should play with both ends of this spectrum.


Amir
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Old 02-27-2006, 02:43 PM   #19
tarik
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
One should play with both ends of this spectrum.
I agree. One too often finds one end or the other too heavily used.

Regards,

Tarik

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 02-28-2006, 05:45 AM   #20
Nick Simpson
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
I'm sorry, while I sort of know that Lt. Richard Sharpe is a character in a TV series, this paraphrase is out of context for me and I don't get your point.
Erm, it was an attempt at humor? Sharpe says that a good soldier should be able to fire 3 rounds a minute...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:23 AM   #21
tarik
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Erm, it was an attempt at humor? Sharpe says that a good soldier should be able to fire 3 rounds a minute...
Ah... I know it takes the wind out of a joke when you have to explain it, but thank you for elucidating.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:31 AM   #22
jonreading
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Don memtioned early in this threads a separation of technique and principle. In terms of class content, 4-5 techniques per hour seems to focus on executing the technique; more techniques in class tends to lean towards principle-based training.

I think both types of training are fundamental to proper education and I try to find the appropriate balance between the two. I'll change my training sometimes to focus on one aspect more or less, depending on the student body and senior instructors that often visit and teach. Repetition is the key to learning technique, but principle is the key to learning aikido, I don't know if you can separate or treat one preferentially over the other.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:16 PM   #23
senshincenter
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

For our regular body art classes, which are about an hour long, we tend to take one technique for the full hour. We study this technique for a minimum of one week - so every body art class covers this technique. However, often, because we are studying this one technique for so many hours, somewhere near the end of the week, we add one one or two variations in order to bring out some of the more focused upon principles we are trying to work on.

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Old 02-28-2006, 04:56 PM   #24
CNYMike
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

That's a good question; I haven't really counted. I guess it all depends on whatever "theme" Sensei has for the class. Three or four seems like a good guestimate for the max, but sometimes it'll be variations of one or two. Sometimes the class has an "organic" quality, where after doing one technique, they tweak the body movement and that leads into the next tehcnique. Then, of course, there's the odd "nikkyo [ura] night." That should be self explanatory.

A few months ago, I went to a seminar with Harvey Konigsberg Sensei, and to illustrate his lessons on timing, he kept it "simple" by having us do nothing but Shiho Nage for the two hour morning class. I left for lunchwith a sore neck. I came back from lunch with a sore neck, shoulders, pecs, and those little muscles in that traingular area on your upper arm near the tops of your biceps and triceps. They were all sore. I sat out for the afternoon.
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Old 02-28-2006, 05:23 PM   #25
tarik
 
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Re: How many techniques per hour??

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
I think both types of training are fundamental to proper education and I try to find the appropriate balance between the two. I'll change my training sometimes to focus on one aspect more or less, depending on the student body and senior instructors that often visit and teach. Repetition is the key to learning technique, but principle is the key to learning aikido, I don't know if you can separate or treat one preferentially over the other.
I find that I alter my after class training based on this need. If the instructor has been changing techniques a lot, I tend to focus on one or two techniques. If we've been working on a single technique for an hour, I might switch to a randori or jiyuwaza exercise.

Regards,

Tarik

Tarik Ghbeish
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