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#125776 - 04/14/03 01:58 PM Challenging assumptions
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Aikido is a difficult art to get to grips with, both physically and philosophically. Is it better to let people find their own way through the morass, or should their assumptions be challenged as they go?

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#125777 - 04/16/03 10:57 PM Re: Challenging assumptions
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
I would say, challenge them as they go.

I think there should be some universal principles within aikido. Those who understand and live according to such principles can withstand any challenges. Those who cannot withstand the challenge, might want to rethink their interpretation and approach to the art. I think a healthy amount of challenge is a good way to forge a strong mind. Close mindedness, irritability, intolerance etc show lack of aiki. Inconsistency, inability to back up with logic/ reasons, over-reactions to challenges to your believes/ principles (and not your person), show lack of confidence/ understanding to your principles.

Now, you are going to take this statement and hurl it back at me, aren't you? Do your worst, I am prepared for war! (Very aiki, isn't it? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG])

-raccoon

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#125778 - 04/17/03 11:31 PM Re: Challenging assumptions
Cato Offline
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Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Oh, how you've changed raccoon!!! Prepared for war now are you? Well, I see what I can do.

Can we really expect people who are just starting out, or are still in the earlier stages of training, to have formed any hard opinions about their art? Probably not, so by challenging their early understanding wouldn't we just serve to further confuse than to enlighten?

A person can only reach a conclusion once they have a grasp of the subject to hand. Beginners have yet to get this basic understanding, they usually don't have a platform on which to construct an argument and are totally reliant upon whatb they are told of their art. If we go around challenging them I think there is a chance that they will quickly become disillusioned.

Budo

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#125779 - 04/17/03 11:42 PM Re: Challenging assumptions
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Cato, which part of the phrase "healthy amount" do you not understand? Need a dictionary?

Sure, rapid-firing a 5th kyu who is only 2 years into aikido, with rate of 3+ new questions per day, can't be that healthy. You are basically jeapardizing his sanity!!! [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/mad.gif[/IMG]

But what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Us karate folks swear by that. That's why even beginners have to join the big party and bang their shins.

If a beginner can get pass that and learn to deal with the rapid firing of challenges in aiki, for example, dodge them until you feel ready to answer them, I don't see what's wrong with it.

But then I am only a lo... oops, your turn Cato [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

-raccoon

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#125780 - 04/18/03 09:51 AM Re: Challenging assumptions
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Surely "healthy amount" is a subjective term, that has no definite definition. What I consider a "healthy amount" may appear excessive to you...Do you want to borrow my dictionary?

Raid firing questions is fine, the person answering doesn't have to rapid fire the answers. I wouldn't want to jepordize HER sanity. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG]

Aaah - "IF" a beginner...I see. You would be happy to accept a degree of failure then. I think that's a bit harsh. It is the job of sensei to encourage their students, not cause them to fail. Challenging their assumptions is different to examining them.

Budo

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#125781 - 04/19/03 01:46 AM Re: Challenging assumptions
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Questions, create a real dichotomy. Answer something they are not ready to understand, or let them find the answer. I encourage my students to ask questions, however I have worked with traditional Japaneese Sensei's who show you something 3 times and if you don't get, you shouldn't have it. They also say just do what I show, mimic, or copy what they do. This would be great if we were all Japaneese and built the same way, as most Japaneese are. But we are not, and shouldn't copy just for the sake of doing it like Sensei. You need to get a basis, a strong foundation of basics, but then, you need to fit your own body. If you don't ask questions, how will you know. I mainly take the position Cato describes, ask me anything you want, but I may only answer a part of it, or maybe none of it, or if you are ready, all of it. You have to give people what they are prepared to recieve.I was given a concept of skeletal locking, and thought it was discussing locking the spine. it took me years to understand the message of locking the spine through another part of the body and how to lock the spine and make the attacker 'weightless'. Actually it took almost 4 years to be able to practice the concept and freeze someone, with just a finger lock. Really, at that time, I wasn't ready for this information, so we have to speak at the level of our audience, which can be difficult when you have anyone from Sandan to Gokyo to beginner.

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#125782 - 04/19/03 09:28 PM Re: Challenging assumptions
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
[QUOTE]Surely "healthy amount" is a subjective term, that has no definite definition...Do you want to borrow my dictionary?[/QUOTE]

Iíve got one of my own thank you.

If two guys are communicating, you have a speaker and a listener. Whoís job it is to ensure the message gets across? Both, but the burden of choosing the appropriate words and level of abstraction to present the message, is still on the speaker.

If you are presenting abstract ideas and words to a 5th grader, and he doesnít understand, whoís fault is it?

[QUOTE]Aaah - "IF" a beginner...I see. You would be happy to accept a degree of failure then. I think that's a bit harsh. It is the job of sensei to encourage their students, not cause them to fail. Challenging their assumptions is different to examining them.[/QUOTE]

On the other hand, IF the speaker chose a level of presentation suitable to his audience, and the audience choose not to utilize his brainÖ? Well, then itís the listenerís problem. What do you want me to do? Whip the kid up with a cattle prod and expect him to suddenly put some efforts into it?

[QUOTE] What I consider a "healthy amount" may appear excessive to you...[/QUOTE]

If the level of challenge you present causes dis-ease, it canít be that healthy, can it? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

[QUOTE]Raid firing questions is fine, the person answering doesn't have to rapid fire the answers. I wouldn't want to jepordize HER sanity.[/QUOTE]

Agreed!

-raccoon

P.S.> To be honest I appreciate these questions. They can be overwhelming and maybe annoying at times, but a lot of them are things that I havenít even thought about. I never dream of aikido as having any religious significance; I never thought of ki as anything more than a visualizing tool to help student learn the movement. The more I think about these, the more I realize I donít know anything, and the more I try to find the answer in my practice and in everyday life. I call it training consciously, instead of going onto the mats and expect sensei to force-feed me. I think itís a good thing. (As long as you donít take what I say here seriously, because obviously I am making new theories up as I go [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] You can either excuse me, or execute me... I am prepared for war!)


[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-19-2003).]

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