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#256011 - 08/08/06 07:27 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: MattJ]
AikiGhost Offline
Member

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 85
Loc: UK
For me definitely practice what is being shown, but if its crap disregard it later.
_________________________
AikiGhost 4 years MMA Submission Wrestling / MMA (ongoing)

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#256012 - 08/09/06 03:30 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught? [Re: wristtwister]
kunin Offline
hard-boiled aggression

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 73
Loc: - cloud-hidden in the big city
Quote:

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've had that experience when I've taught, and I hope that I've never behaved that way myself. I definitely agree that if you find yourself training at a particular dojo, you should take care to conform to the house style while you're there, both as a matter of common courtesy and as an opportunity to broaden your experience. Unfortunately, I think Eyrie's right—most of us have trouble emptying our cups, no matter that they're filled with fine tea or with sewer sludge.

I have to confess that I used to take such behavior personally—almost as if it were an assault on my worth as an instructor and on the integrity of my art. Now, unless it interferes with other students' learning, I'm inclined to let such recalcitrance go after an initial conversation, pretty much ignoring the bad actor after that. Why should I invest my time and energy trying to convince such people when they obviously think they know better? I'd rather reserve these for students who are willing to give my instruction an honest try.

I have to admit that that's relatively easy to do in something like a taijiquan class, especially when people are concentrating on their solo form. It's not always so easy to pull off, however, when the practice regimen is inherently more interactive like aikido or jujutsu. A problem student in that sort of context is likely to have a greater impact on class flow, morale, and safety.

I did train in aikido and judo in my younger years, and I was often called upon at the brown and black belt levels to teach classes at our dojo. Our teacher taught our yudansha and other senior students to make a point of working personally with particularly rude or stuck-up outsiders—delivering our techniques with class, to be sure, but also with enough kick to enforce a sense of respect for the school. No need to hash anything over verbally--just put the bozo down a couple of inches into the mats while sticking with the house rules. I'm not sure that this stratagem would work so well with today's jaded sensibilities and general atmosphere of entitlement, but it usually paid off back then, with the offensive party shaping up or never coming back.



Edited by kunin (08/09/06 03:48 AM)

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#256013 - 08/09/06 11:53 AM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: AikiGhost]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Sometimes it is a little tough to do as "they" do, especially if paired with an orange belt (two stripes) who (in the most polite way possible) explains how to do a kotegaishi which looks very like a borderline shihonage.

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#256014 - 08/12/06 10:28 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
Iaibear,
since the energy pattern for shihonage and kotegaeshi are the same, what's the problem? Sure, they orange belt needs to learn to stretch out the attacker's arm to apply the spiraling energy at the wrist, but that's part of learning.

I've played against black belts who raised kotegaeshi up so high I couldn't go over my arm if I had a step stool, so it isn't always the "mismatch" that's the problem. There's a point where it makes more sense to use shihonage rather than kotegaeshi, but I wouldn't expect an orange belt to understand the parameters for that decision yet.

When they're "politely explaining" the technique wrong, you need to exert a little discipline and correct their mechanics, especially if they're near beginners. You aren't a schmuck if you explain to them that you have to have the hand low enough to execute the technique or switch to a different technique. Where trying to make it work when it's wrong won't teach them much, exerting a little knowledge by saying "I'm familiar with this technique, and the correct way to do it is...."

I know that they will continue to do it "their way"... wrong... but you've held your ground, and can do it correctly when it's your turn. I always call it "adjusting attitudes by adjusting altitudes"...

Taking that big "sword step" will make a difference too... They always learn more when you're in the "launch mode"...

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

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#256015 - 09/07/06 01:26 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: wristtwister]
cuongnhu Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1
just wondering but where in south carolina do u teach? im on the hunt for a new school

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#256016 - 09/07/06 11:35 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught [Re: cuongnhu]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Right now, I'm not teaching anywhere. My wife has cancer and I have to care for her rather than train. When I do, however, I'm in Simpsonville.

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

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#256017 - 11/02/06 01:56 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught? [Re: wristtwister]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
Are you sure these students are doing the techniques "wrong" just to spite you?

Perhaps they have been doing techniques "wrong" for so long it has become reflexive. Few people can see a technique done once (or even several times) and simply "do it right."

I say this because you mentioned that when it came to MAs, you were always able to "get it" pretty quickly. Often, people who have a natural aptitude for something, be it MAs or mathematics, get frustrated when others are not able to catch on as quickly. They do not realize that is easy for them may be quit difficult for others.

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#256018 - 11/03/06 10:25 PM Re: Practice what you know, or what's being taught? [Re: fileboy2002]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I don't think any of them are doing it to spite me, they just don't "get it".

There are a lot of teachers who, if you ask them what time it is, they tell you how to build a watch. I'm not one of them... I teach principles, methods, and then practice... but you have to have an understanding of any art's basics to be able to perform it. I can teach a monkey to mimic my movements, or do certain things that look "martial artsy"... but that doesn't mean they understand or can effectively use the movements to defend themselves.

Martial arts are structured so that you learn things in layers... and like peeling an onion, you either reach the truth by peeling away the outer covering, or learn to slice through the body and find the center. Understanding what you're doing is paramount in learning "how" to do something, and having a "martial mindset" is important.

Whether I have a sword, bokken, or am standing there "empty handed", I want you to feel that you are threatened if I'm attacking... and my demeanor, looks, and intent are clear because I have that "martial mind" that you can see those things in my face. Now, that being said, I could do the same motions with you, and unless you felt threatened, it would not make any impression on you at all. It's all about intent.

If you think my attack is bogus... you won't give "self defense" any creedence... and you won't respond with a good self defense technique. If you think I'm trying to kill you, you'll give it a better effort and whether or not you have something "perfect", you'll try to make it work to protect yourself.

If all you ever practice is what you know... you might be really good if someone gives you the "prearranged attack" you're expecting... but if their intent is serious, and you have "only what you know" to work with... you're probably toast.

Kote gaeshi is a perfect example... most arts and styles have some form of kotegaeshi technique. If you're used to practicing it at "shoulder level", you'll never be able to throw the opponent. If you're used to lowering the technique until someone can easily "turn over", you'll have a technique... otherwise, you're just doing motions... and will probably get the hell beat out of you while you're trying to make it work.

Martial arts is fighting practice... not "motion practice"... and if you aren't fighting... you aren't doing martial arts. You have to practice with intent...

Some students do... some don't...

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

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#256019 - 11/04/06 12:08 PM 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
Glad to have you back among us, wristtwister.

Just a question because I truly want to know:
When you demonstrate a technique how persistent are you?
My sensei was showing us a single hand same side gi grab (katatori) that became a nikkyo that morphed into a yonkyo complete with radial nerve pressure.

I was having trouble. He repeated it. "Did you see it?" "No." Repeat. "Did you see it that time?" "No." Repeat. Still "no."

He moved on while one of his black belts tried to clarify it for me. This gentleman showed me where there had been a grip switch and a wrist pivot on the grabbing arm. So help me, if he had not taken that extra time I would never have caught it purely be watching or even having it done to me.

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#256020 - 11/04/06 03:41 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
Some techniques take that "extra time"... and lots of teachers seem to think that you're automatically supposed to "see the technique" and be able to do it. I'm not quite that pragmatic.

I'll usually ask someone "where did you lose it?", and start at that point s l o w l y to show them how hand changes, etc. are done. I know I've said this a million times, but "all of aikido is in the warmup exercises". If you're doing a grip that you don't practice in warmups... it's probably wrong. Even with "hand changes", the position of the hand has to be where you can do the grip correctly.

Every time I'm doing warm-ups, I tell students that Aikido is nothing more than doing your warm-up exercises with somebody else's hand. I'd like to make it more complicated than that (which would make me look smart), but that's all there is. Correct grip = correct technique... incorrect grip = whatever you come up with.

As a teacher, I try to spend enough time to make everyone understand what they're doing... but I can't teach them practice.



p.s. Not sure "I'm back" yet, but I had a few minutes that weren't being spent doing "tasks"... Thanks for the sentiment.
_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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