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#256001 - 05/20/06 09:08 AM Practice what you know, or what's being taught?
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
It's interesting to watch people. We have some students that have had some previous training who are now in our class, and every time we teach a technique, they go back to their "old" way of doing it (which they don't do well, by the way) and seem to ignore the instructions. They're polite when we point out what they should be doing, and go right back to doing it wrong again.

I finally asked one of them "do you want to do what you know, or are you interested in learning what we can teach you?" He changed what he was doing until I walked away, and went right back to "doing what he was doing".

I have no problem with someone learning several different ways to do a technique, but they should at least make some effort to do them the way they're being taught at the time.
I would no more do that to a teacher than just walk off the mats, but apparently students today seem to think that there's "no courtesy required" in classes any more.

Maybe the reason I've had such a good time doing martial arts over the years is that I "got it" from day one. Teachers take time out of their life to show you things, and it's just basic courtesy to at least make some effort to learn it... but I've had that problem from people of that style before. They spend half their class "being polite", and the rest of the class ignoring the teaching...
it's both sad and shameful, and they're the loser for having that kind of an attitude.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#256002 - 05/20/06 12:34 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught? [Re: wristtwister]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I try to be open-minded about new technical concepts. However, there are certain physical limitations I have (on certain techniques) that would be more trouble than it's worth for me to change at this point.

Not trying to be rude to my instructors, but (for example), I simply do not have the hip flex required to do a good Muay Thai roundhouse kick. I like the technique, and have modified my kicks to accomodate as much of the Thai influence as I can. But I do not really kick Thai style.

So, perhaps it is not always willful insolence on the part of the students, but rather some limitation that they would rather not complain about. Just a thought.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#256003 - 05/20/06 04:23 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught? [Re: MattJ]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I think any student that was limited in something that would stop them from doing a technique would say so to the instructor, rather than just continuing to do it differently from the instruction. He has no trouble doing it the way it's shown when I ask him to demonstrate it that way, but he just keeps on going back to his "other method".

I've been nice about it, but my partner is getting a bit miffed when he sees them intentionally doing it the way it's taught in their old school. I've trained in both Hombu and Shin Shin Toitsu schools before, and wherever I'm training, I try to do it "their way", if for no other reason, to be courteous to the teacher. To train so much on "being polite", they sure didn't get the message.


_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#256004 - 05/20/06 07:45 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
The problem as I see it is it's hard to fill a cup that's already full.

The question is how do we get people to "empty their cups" first?

The brain is a pretty amazing "computer". The problem is, it's hard to program it, or reprogram it. The other problem is that most people use less than 5% of their brain capacity. (It used to be 10% 20 years ago).

The issue is how do we reprogram (or program new) neural pathways, so that we change our behaviours? The same thing applies in trying to control alcohol abuse, quit smoking, or losing weight and keeping it off.

It's like a person who has suffered a stroke relearning how to use parts of their body again.

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#256005 - 05/21/06 12:07 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: eyrie]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Eyrie,
I'm not sure underbelts have enough experience to even have an opinion, much less a "full cup". That's why it's so frustrating to try to teach someone that keeps going back to their "old training".

I've started asking them why their technique doesn't work. When they can't answer me, I'll say "then why don't you try it the way we're teaching you to do it?"

I don't expect them to know the answers, but they should know how to listen and copy what you show them. A lot of aikido is simple body mechanics, and it's like these guys "go stupid" as soon as they start doing anything on their own.

Bad technique is not going to improve with practice, and if you're going to "fix it" you have to make changes. These guys are like dogs returning to their vomit...

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#256006 - 05/21/06 12:30 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Yep. Cognitive dissonance. Fortunately I don't have that problem. Well, I used to. Some karate and TKD guys came to check us out and all they wanted to do was kata and sparring.

So I made them do really boring solo exercises and simple paired drills that were not technique related. It forced them to do something different to what they're normally used to and to establish a movement baseline. Ya know, the boring old "wrist grabs".

Then I was told that nobody attacks this way. So I said, great, attack me in whatever way and I'll show you what I mean. First thing he does is try to grab my wrist. Go figure.

Usually the ones that want to "learn how to fight" get bored and never really learn how to fight. Usually they never come back either. Which is great, coz I really hate wasting time retraining people who don't want to learn.

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#256007 - 05/21/06 09:37 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: wristtwister]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
WT -

OK. So what would you do if you have a person that has technique that works for them. Perhaps the technique does not work as well as your technique, but it still works. Does that warrant a concerted effort on the instructor's part to TRY to change it?

Perhaps the student's cup is full enough, if not actually full?
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#256008 - 05/21/06 10:03 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: MattJ]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I let them "do their technique" on me. When they get to the point where it's weak, I do my technique on them. Fortunately, the one I've had a problem with in these guys, is one where at one point, the positions are exactly identical for uke and nage, and the one with the lead is the one who "wins" (shiho-nage).

The way I do the technique (and the Hombu method), you have control of the uke from the initiation of the technique, so there is never a "positional advantage" that can be exploited. Trust me, I've been teaching this stuff long enough that I know how to teach the techniques, it's "de-training" that these guys need.

I've trained with a lot of different instructors over the years, and I guess that I have an open enough mind to give their technique a chance before I bail out and start doing what I was doing before I started training with them. I especially am going to change what I'm doing if my stuff doesn't work against their stuff...

What do you think I need to do... open a "slow learners" class?

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#256009 - 05/21/06 10:55 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: wristtwister]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
I bumped head on into this when I was obliged to switch schools a few years back. It is the difference between "Learning The Technique" and imitating/copying the movements as demonstrated by the instructor. I have come to believe the second is the culturally original "traditional" way of learning an oriental art. Problem is, they never say. The student is supposed to figure it out for him/herself in the oriental manner. The point is to do as the teacher does, no matter how you originally were "taught". If the teacher is demonstrating a "variation", live with it. He is doing it for a reason, even if he is not sharing his motivation with you.

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#256010 - 05/23/06 08:22 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: iaibear]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Quote:

He is doing it for a reason, even if he is not sharing his motivation with you.




Bingo!

What I think is amazing, is that these "pre-trained" people will go right back to doing whatever they were doing even if it isn't working!!!

My senior student was told on many occasions during training, "You won't understand this for at least ten years, but just keep doing it this way". Now, he's Sandan in Aikido and Godan in jujutsu, and tells me all the time that he'll be doing something and have an epiphany where he suddenly understands why I taught him to do something a certain way.

Maybe the hardest thing to teach people in martial arts is that there are things learned through practice that can't be put into words.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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