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#302118 - 11/17/06 12:38 PM Experiences with high ranked senseis
9diov Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 1
It would be fun to hear about experiences with high ranked senseis. I'm new to aikido, so the highest ranked senseis whom I was taught were 6th dan. Their styles were very different. How 'bout yours ?

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#302119 - 11/19/06 11:58 AM Re: Experiences with high ranked senseis [Re: 9diov]
Canyon Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 42
Welcome to the forums.

I've certainly been to seminars with 7th dans teaching; I always seem to be out of town when H. Saito comes to the U.S. though. Anyway, I don't have any amazing stories or anything really incredible I've learned from them; they're just amazing to watch. In fact I'd say I've learned more from watching lower ranked students try to do techniques that don't work out very well (myself included). When shihans do techniques their taisabaki is spot on so they make the techniques look very easy. Sometimes it's hard to learn from that. Just my 2 cents.

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#302120 - 11/19/06 09:31 PM Re: Experiences with high ranked senseis [Re: 9diov]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
I have been to several seminars where highly ranked sensei were teaching. They all impressed me with their ability on the floor and their friendliness and humility off.

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#302121 - 11/20/06 10:06 PM Re: Experiences with high ranked senseis [Re: iaibear]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I agree that all the high ranking people I've played with are both competent and excellent technicians of the arts. My question would be "if you don't have the same level of skills as the "high ranking teacher", what does it matter how 'high ranking' the guy is that teaches you the skills?" I still learn from almost everyone I play against, I just learn different things from the high ranking guys.

"When you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"... so if you're a rank beginner, a shodan can teach you as much as a hachidan until you have some skills to reference your training back to...

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

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#302122 - 11/21/06 09:47 AM Re: Experiences with high ranked senseis [Re: wristtwister]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
"if you don't have the same level of skills as the "high ranking teacher", what does it matter how 'high ranking' the guy is that teaches you the skills?"

They have "the eye". By that I mean they can spot a person's level of ability almost instantly and tailor their explanations to fit, correcting a student's errors as their go.

My first Iaido instructor was that way. The class swore he had eyes in the back of his head. :-)

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#302123 - 11/21/06 08:25 PM Re: Experiences with high ranked senseis [Re: iaibear]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Ah, yes... the old "I've seen you walk across the room, so I know your every thought and dream"... give it a rest.

Experience counts to help people learn, but learning basic skills isn't "tailored" to every individual's needs... they're taught as basic skills. As you progress, that level of skill improves, and your training IS tailored, but let's not turn the teachers into the Wizard of Oz quite yet.

I've had great teachers in my training, and most of the time, everybody else getting the same training was seeing the same things and learning the same things I was... when I was getting individual help, they tailored what they were doing... the rest of the time, and it's true for everyone, you get the flavor of the month from whoever happens to be teaching at the time.

I certainly hope that you aren't going to tell me that if you need work on your shihonage, one of these "high ranking masters" is going to see that if he's teaching sankyo and stop the presses to make sure your shihonage is correct... 44 years of training tell me "that ain't gonna happen"...

You get what they bring with them... and if you go enough times, you get a lot of it...

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

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#302124 - 11/29/06 11:12 PM Re: Experiences with high ranked senseis [Re: wristtwister]
belvedere Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 40
I've had the extremely "rare privelege" to see high ranking senseis visit my dojo. And I've enjoyed them immensely! And while I was in utter awe of their technical expertise and experience, I also realized that they were "on their path" in/with Aikido, just like me and my sempai and kohai. And I took just as that. Aikidoka senseis with mith much to share, and still so much to learn. JMO.

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#302125 - 11/30/06 10:44 AM Re: Experiences with high ranked senseis [Re: 9diov]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello 9diov:

I have had the true pleasure of exposure to the art with several very expert practitioners. Konigsberg Sensei, Utada Sensei, both Tohei <sp.?> sensei in Chicago... a few others not nearly as well known.

All I can say is that without exception they were all expert & professional teachers. They were a joy to see performing their craft...

Jeff

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