Training Update – Mass Aikido Pandemonium

Aikido shomen
This is the shomen at my dojo, where today’s seminar took place.

Just came back from a seminar involving my dojo and the association that it’s part of. Some of you must have heard of it: The California Aikido Association (link is on this page on one of the side bars).

Over 100 + martial artists at my school – craziness. I’ve realized that I get easily distracted and off centered in mass numbers of practitioners. Or it could be that I’m constantly having to partner up with different people.

Got paired up with some black belts that were very good intentioned in their critiques of my technique(s). But having “grown up” with more holistic approaches to the art, I find myself having to “translate” what they say into something that I can understand. It definitely took a little longer in the space of 5 seconds. Just as I’m typing this I can hear one of my sensei’s voice stating “Don’t think! Do!”

For the first time ever, I can feel the different perspectives played out among the top instructors; three 7th degree black belt teachers today (a rare occasion among large gatherings like these). It’s amazing how much students can get caught up in their instructor’s way of explaining things and take it for gospel and exclude others – hence my need to “translate” what other yudansha might be telling me.

Had pizza for lunch and left when the 30+ heads of the various schools had their post training meeting.

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2 thoughts on “Training Update – Mass Aikido Pandemonium

  1. Part of the dilemma comes down to teaching style vs. learning style. If the two do not match someone will have problems. Just because someone has high rank does not always mean they are good at teaching.

    The “Don’t think! Do!” approach sometimes drives me batty. The advocates of that perspective (sometimes) forget that they have 10 or more years in the art whereas the person they are teaching might only have a year or two.

    1. Bob – Indeed. As for “Don’t think, Do!” It has been explained to me that you can not “think” you’re way through movement, it has to be a whole body experience. Actualizing this difference is (as I’ve found) not determined by rank or age.

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