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#262341 - 06/11/06 08:20 PM What's the hardest thing to teach?
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Just curious, but I have an inordinate amount of trouble getting people to understand how important their body position is in doing techniques, and wondered if other aikido players have the same problem. I don't have any trouble getting there myself, but its almost like students have a mental block about stepping into the right position to execute throws, especially irimi nage. What's everybody else's experience?

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

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#262342 - 06/11/06 09:29 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: wristtwister]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
This is in relation to Brazilian jiu-jitsu not Aikido, so I hope you don't mind my sharing my thoughts.

The ABSOLUTE hardest thing I've encountered, is getting people to relax. People always want to go all-out using every bit of strength they can muster up, only to gas-out and fall WAY short of developing any real technical ability.

But whaddya do....


-John

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#262343 - 06/11/06 09:43 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: JKogas]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
you have to tell them to "relax harder"...

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

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#262344 - 06/11/06 10:03 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: JKogas]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Technical curriculum aside, you'd be surprised how much BJJ has in common with aikido, John.

Being relaxed and moving from your core is merely the starting point. The hardest part is dis-engaging the mind from conscious thought. I noticed a post of yours in the State of No Mind thread and couldn't help thinking, if I didn't know you did BJJ/MMA, I wouldn't have guessed. For all I knew, you could be talking about Aikido.

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#262345 - 06/11/06 10:13 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: eyrie]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Ya wanna know something weird Eyrie, I really believe that there are many common principals found within...well, many arts. But I believe that there are even more in common between aikido and the things that I do relative to the clinch and the ground. To be sure, there are some differences as well.


-John

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#262346 - 06/11/06 10:41 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: JKogas]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
John,

It's funny. I trained in an Aikido Dojo under Mits Yamashita for a very short while. He's been training for 50 years in Aikido and trains police and has experience in boxing, kickboxing, karate and BJJ. He had trained with the Gracies, I believe it was for about 10 years, and still practices grappling though is in his 60s. In fact, they offer grappling classes after the Aikido classes for all those interested.

He even called BJJ, Aikido on the ground. Interesting....but believe it or not, I think there are a lot of corollaries between BJJ, Aikido, and several other more traditional arts. Principles of closing the gap, using the opponent's momentum against him, the "floating" sensation, etc.

I still belive it's less the art, but how you train. But there are commonalities between many of these stylistic interpretations.

-B

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#262347 - 06/12/06 12:13 AM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: wristtwister]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Quote:

its almost like students have a mental block about stepping into the right position to execute throws, especially irimi nage. What's everybody else's experience?




When moves are taught purely by example, people like myself often miss some crucial shift in hand or weight or position. In answer to the title question, I would say "patience" is the hardest thing to teach.

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#262348 - 06/12/06 03:23 AM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: JKogas]
Chanters Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 559
Loc: Manchester, UK
I'm only currently hold a 5th kyu ranking so I can't really offer much in the aspect of 'teaching' but when I practice with beginners and particularly beginners with a background in another art, I find they are very rigid and tense and their movements are very choppy. I find the hardest thing sometimes is getting some beginners to relax and just listen to what you are advising and picking up where they're going wrong. I particularly have a tough job working with most of the middle-aged male beginners. They don't listen, rush through techniques and try to use their strength and sometimes I feel they are not only a danger to themselves but also to the other practitioners within the dojo. I understand that they're learning, but when a higher grade offers advice and picks up where you go wrong you should work with that. Or maybe they don't like being told what to do by a female who is younger than them?
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#262349 - 06/12/06 04:50 AM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: JKogas]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Couldn't agree with you more John... couldn't agree more.

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#262350 - 06/12/06 09:00 AM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: eyrie]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
This is not for Aikido in particular, but I reckon that the hardest thing to teach is patience. Today, we live in a world of instant gratification, people want everything now. This means that a lot of students don't realise that getting a belt now is not as important as the process of learning that comes before getting a belt. It takes patience and perseverence to progress and learn properly but few people want to do things that way.

I'd argue that a lack of patience is the cause of the "belt factories" we see so much of today.
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#262351 - 06/12/06 08:04 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: Leo_E_49]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
"I want patience and I want it right now!"

I paid particular attention tonight to what I taught and what the students did, just to record the results for you, and it's more like they are up for "doing what they know" rather than following the instructions. I gave clear instructions for very simple techniques and had a cornucopia of different variations done by the students... not one of which was exactly what I taught them to do.

It was on every technique, and it wasn't even close to what was shown to them. I don't think it's a hearing problem or a problem of understanding, it's a problem following instructions.

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

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#262352 - 06/12/06 09:30 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
There is much to be said for "traditional" teaching methods. My teachers would say very little and let you play. They'd come around and demonstrate on you some and then let you discover for yourself what they meant. Maybe one day you'll figure out what they meant. So much for patience.

Yep, I dunno what the answer is... :P

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#262353 - 06/13/06 12:37 AM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: eyrie]
kunin Offline
hard-boiled aggression

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 73
Loc: - cloud-hidden in the big city
The following aphorism from Kung Fu-tze (Confucius) seems to sum up traditional attitudes rather neatly: "I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson."

The Analects. Internet Classics Archive, http://classics.mit.edu/Confucius/analects.2.2.html ...
_________________________
'If you have an honest mind, everywhere is a dojo.' Nicole

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#262354 - 06/13/06 12:38 AM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: eyrie]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Based on peoples comments I think it's pretty safe to say that the hardest thing to teach someone is something they "already know".

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#262355 - 06/13/06 12:48 AM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: oldman]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Damn... well put oldman.

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#262356 - 06/13/06 12:16 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: oldman]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Oldman, you nailed it, but it's not something they already know... it's something they think they know, but don't. If they did know it, they wouldn't constantly have to change to what the instructions are.

I had one student last night that I must have told thirty times "don't fold their hand backwards" (doing sankyo) "keep it vertical". Every time I looked, they had the uke's hand folded backwards trying to spiral their wrist.

That's why I changed my signature on the boards. It would be nice if they would follow the instructions when they're given rather than trying every other option first.

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

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#262357 - 09/05/06 11:26 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: wristtwister]
Atreu Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 11
Loc: under the southern cross
patience, sincerety, and zanshin
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Sumorai Speak softly Kiai loudly carry a big kamagong boken

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#262358 - 09/09/06 02:54 PM Re: What's the hardest thing to teach? [Re: wristtwister]
jonnyboxcutter Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 320
Wrist,

Think of some of the recent “Aikido doesn’t work” or the “X vs. Y” threads. They all have a similar theme, if it’s not Neanderthal – grunt and hit with stick and rock - fighting it must not work – cuz after all who would just stand there with their arm out? It could be attributed to instant gratification, patients any number of things. I would say what it all boils down to, is your art requires appreciation of the subtleties so IMO it’s the same as trying to explain a sun rise to someone who wont open their eyes.

I run into similar issues with Hapkido, just trying to get them to relax, step correctly, hell I would be happy if they could just get the wrist position correct, it’s one of those things that – again IMO – some people get and some people don’t – even if it is something they REALLY want to do.

Just my .02
-JBC-
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-- -JBC-

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