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Shison
28th April 2004, 15:51
Iím a recent student of another Martial art. I seem to be having some difficulties with it. I come from a Jujutsu background, with a bit of aiki at the higher levels. In my current studies, I am shown a technique. I get the technique explained to me. I then get to feel the technique, then I am to perform the technique (No probs here, Iím used to that particular structure from my prior training).

My problem is this. When Iím performing the technique, and it doesnít work, I automatically revert back to Jujutsu, almost like a prescribed response. Sometimes without thought. While I find this to be a small comfort (Say, in case Iím jumped next Friday), I can for the most part defend myself using what I already know. The downer is that I probably will not be "jumped" next Friday or ever, and (I feel) itís hurting my current studies.

How do those of you who break from a particular style after many years and pick up a new one, that is similar in some aspects but in actuality is totally different than what you have previously learned, deal with this issue?

For example, you study MJER for 20 years, then switch to MSR. Many of the kata/waza are similar, but they have distinctions. While performing your kata, you find yourself reverting back to MJER, sometimes without a thought. (Probably a poor example, but I hope it conveys my thoughts on this)

Thanks in advance.

Walker
28th April 2004, 17:55
There is a great quote from Toby Threadgill - Everyone wants to start in the middle.

You have switched to a new martial art, style, school or whatever. Just because you have competence in your old area, this in no way means that you have it in your new endeavor. You have to start at the beginning.

You have to start all over again and go step by step through your new curriculum. Don't expect it to work as well as the "old" stuff until you have invested sufficient effort. If you try to shortcut the process all you will be doing is falling back on your old stuff, mixing everything up and don't have a chance of mastering your new art.

Have the courage to suck! :)

Richard Elias
28th April 2004, 18:02
Slow down.

If you are performing a technique so quickly that you cannot pay enough attention to what you are doing to be able to control your response, so that your just doing it automatically, your going to fast to learn.

Shison
28th April 2004, 18:57
Actually, I like it at the beginning. Less responsibility, less headaches (Except for my current one) etc. My problem is, when the waza doesn't work (Say for example, I'm performing it on someone who is more flexable than most or double-jointed), and the waza doesn't work, I (for lack of better word) "instinctively" revert back to the Jujutsu to make it work. It sometimes happens without thought until after the waza is finished, then I step back and say to myself "Why did I just do that???".

Believe me, I'm not looking for a short-cut. I thought it out and debated with some friends in the arts for a bit before I decided that this is what I want to do. I also have no problem with "promotions" or lack thereof (I have seen too many higher-ranked belts that suck very badly). I'm expecting this to be a life-long endevour, and if it takes 30 years to go from rokyu to gokyu, as long as I'm learning, I'm happy with it.

My problem is how to "cut out" the previously-learned stuff so I can learn afresh. Sometimes I catch myself and correct it, sometimes I don't. I'm concerned with the times that I don't catch it.

Hope this explains it a bit better :)

BTW, thanks for the replies.

chrismoses
28th April 2004, 19:01
Originally posted by Walker
Have the courage to suck! :)

See Neil, I'm really just being courageous!

Walker
28th April 2004, 20:47
OK, how about this?

Forget about results. Work on doing the technique correctly and don't use its effect to asses success. Later you can worry about how well it is working on another person.

Control yourself before you try to control another person.


So Chris are you our standard bearer on this courage issue?? :D
I hereby honor you with: The Chris Moses Red Badge Award

Nathan Scott
28th April 2004, 21:27
[Post deleted by user]

Neil Yamamoto
28th April 2004, 22:33
Chris, you don't always suck. I saw you do a technique right last month. :p Actually, you did all right last night too, but you get some slack for bring beer.

Jared, I've been there. What everyone says is right, don't worry about the results short term, go slow, just try to learn what the sensei is teaching and if you tank it, so what? Isn't that what beginners in any art do?

Just trying to throw the guy is not a good thing. It's what junior students do when frustrated they can't get the technique right and just want to get it over with. But you have enough experience to know better. In the word of Yoda -patience you must have.

Scott Irey
28th April 2004, 22:36
I was Yoda's stunt double...Neil was too short :)

John Connolly
28th April 2004, 23:35
Hey Jared,

I found earlier on in my martial arts career (read: hobby), that going from a style that I was really comfortable with to a completely different style was really easy, because I was forced to be a beginner.

More recently however, I moved from one style in which I felt great confidence and familiarity--to another style, where outwardly there are many similarities, and I found myself relying on previous notions to finish techniques. This is when I really sucked at the new art. REALLY SUCKED. Now I suck slightly less, and feel a constant decrease in general suckitude as I go along, because I am trying to completely let go of my old stuff, in terms of training. The most important thing I have learned (aside from don't be afraid to suck) is: Don't lie to yourself. Ask yourself constantly if you were fudging or forcing a technique. Analyze what you are doing. Are you falling back on old habits?

Really, in fighting, (and I have been in a few, unfortunately) I never look like a style, and everything I've learned has served me well. So, just absorb the new. Trust in your ability and your responses in the world at large, but take baby steps in the dojo.

Shison
29th April 2004, 03:49
Whew, I thought I was doing something wrong (Other than the waza!!)

Thanks for the input folks. Lotsa good info here for me to ponder before next class.

Keikokeiko :D

MarkF
29th April 2004, 08:22
What I've found is that your previous experience will get in the way of your other art in the beginning, but will be an asset at the more advanced levels. Your experience should cause you to learn slower in the beginning, and faster later on.


Nathan makes a good point here, one which has been said by those in a position to see or feel it.

You don't have a problem, what you have is a damn good base from which to work.

People I know who have a pretty good (some years) base in Kodokan Judo (not unlike what you are feeling now and you do the right thing when you revert, IMO) do come back to it when all else fails. These are accomplished people with decades of experience in koryu jujutsu, or even hard or striking art. I hear it a lot: "My judo comes out the more we practice realistic attacks."

Don't look at it as a problem, see it as a gift, you worked hard for it, didn't you?

Even the most hard-core entusiast who began a martial education never forgot their beginnings. While you may have trouble staying within a syllabus, I don't see a problem in using what you know which is the best advice I've ever received.

"Use what you know."

Certainly, you don't want to lose them, they just may save your life one day. In the future it will come. Don't avoid it, work within it.


Mark

chrismoses
29th April 2004, 14:42
So my Aikido dojo has a pretty healthy noon class (15-25 people in general). Another (formerly Aikikai) dojo near by doesn't. Lately we've had something of an influx of yudansha from the other Aikido school who are trying to get a few more workouts in the week. They haven't switched schools or anything, they just come to our noon classes a couple days a week. Problem is we have just about nothing to do with Yamada style Aikido. Do they treat it as an opportunity to move in different ways and expand their technical repertoir? No, they do everything exactly the same as if they were back in their dojo. They are in effect, using what they know. As a student in the class, I simply find it rude. On the occasion where I'm the instructor, I find it pointless. Why bother to come to someone's class if you aren't going to at least try it out and see it through to the very end? No one tries on a suit by slipping on one sleeve. You put it on and see how it feels. If you already know enough that you don't need to study what's being presented, then why train at all? If you can't isolate your responses enough to stay on the technique at hand, you need more practice. If the techniques simply don't work for you the way other training did, why not stick with what you know all together?

A dojo should offer more than specific techniques, it should offer something of a world-view, an approach to combat. Ellis Amdur and Dave Lowry have discussed aspects of this recently in the Koryu forum. The techniques themselves are what transmit this world-view. If you never experience the techniqes through to the end and do them in keeping with the principles of the school how will you ever develop the flavor of that school in your techniques?

By the very nature of your post, Jared, I think it's safe to say that you aren't ignoring the teachings or acting like the Aikidoka that I mentioned in my first example, so please don't take this post as a personal attack. I suppose you have to ask yourself why you are falling back on what you already know. Is it out of a desire for the comfortable? Arrogance/pride? Do you know what your body is doing well enough to even know when you're beginning to revert? Do you think deep down that what you already know works better than what you are trying to learn?

As for the empty cup, keep a plant nearby to toss the stuff that doesn't taste good, then smile when they turn around and ask for another cup... Keeps 'em happy. :)

Shison
29th April 2004, 15:21
MarkF Certainly, you don't want to lose them, they just may save your life one day. In the future it will come. Don't avoid it, work within it.

No, I don't want to loose them, I just want them to quit interfereing while I'm learning something new ;)

While I'm thankful for what I've learned in the past, and it does work, I've wanted to study my current art for a long, long time (Every since Yasuda Sensei first mentioned it to me, my curiosity has been peaked, now I'm living that curiosity out). It's hard to explain without naming ryu/waza, but since I'm such a noob in the art I'm currently studying, I could in no way, shape, or form do it any justice by posting about it.


chrismoses By the very nature of your post, Jared, I think it's safe to say that you aren't ignoring the teachings or acting like the Aikidoka that I mentioned in my first example, so please don't take this post as a personal attack. I suppose you have to ask yourself why you are falling back on what you already know. Is it out of a desire for the comfortable? Arrogance/pride? Do you know what your body is doing well enough to even know when you're beginning to revert? Do you think deep down that what you already know works better than what you are trying to learn?

No, I don't ignore the new ones(Current study), nor the "old" ones (Previous training). As far as asking myself why I'm falling back on my prior training, that's the question of my original post ;) I can see falling back on my prior training if I'm taking my family to the Portland Zoo and some wacko on meth starts creating trouble, but I don't want it to interfere with my current studies (Which I feel it is doing). I don't think it's a comfort thing (After all, can't you get comfortable with shikko/seiza after practicing it for years? are you really comfortable with it, or did your body just get used to it...) I also don't think it's arrogance/pride, I leave that to short bursts of time when I'm feeling ornry, which my wife usually puts me in my place shortly afterwards :D. If it is that, then it will be taken care of this August :D As far as what works better, for me (At my current level), in a "real" situation my prior works better, simple because I'm such a noob at the new, and the prior is intinctive to me; but that is neither here nor there, as I'll probably never be involved in a "real" instance, and I'm concerned with my new training.

I wish there was a switch, I could turn off the prior during keiko and subsequent training, then flip the switch back on when I'm not practicing...

I guess that's the nature of my post. Where's the switch and how do you flip it?

John Connolly
29th April 2004, 17:08
... just constant awareness of what you're doing. Keep your mind in the now. Work on the specific movements and intentions given to you by your sensei. It is hard work, and should be approached with an honest work ethic. Your frustration will be tempered by your attitude of accepting that you are a beginning student in this new and exciting art, and if you pay attention to detail and give it your best effort, you'll pick it up eventually. There's nothing automatic or easy about it.

And don't forget to enjoy it!

don
29th April 2004, 18:39
Originally posted by chrismoses
So my Aikido dojo has a pretty healthy noon class (15-25 people in general). Another (formerly Aikikai) dojo near by doesn't. Lately we've had something of an influx of yudansha from the other Aikido school who are trying to get a few more workouts in the week. They haven't switched schools or anything, they just come to our noon classes a couple days a week. Problem is we have just about nothing to do with Yamada style Aikido. Do they treat it as an opportunity to move in different ways and expand their technical repertoir? No, they do everything exactly the same as if they were back in their dojo. They are in effect, using what they know. As a student in the class, I simply find it rude. On the occasion where I'm the instructor, I find it pointless.

I know where you're coming from, but I have sympathies for your guests, too. We've all experienced the way our techniques suddenly stop working when we try them outside our home dojo; You're providing your guests a chance to hone their techniques under different circumstances than they're used to. As you say, they're "trying to get a few more workouts", not trying to learn something new necessarily. It's not pointless for them. But if you want consistency, have you asked them to conform to your way?

chrismoses
29th April 2004, 19:40
"It's not pointless for them."

I couldn't care less, it's not their dojo, they don't pay dues here (mat fee only). Would you have the same attitude if someone from BJJ showed up at your dojo and tried to grapple with all of your students during class? I consider the issue virtually identical.

I have not addressed it to them directly, although I have flattened one of them on occasion for basically picking on one of our white-belts and trying to teach while I'm instructing. I won't be tolerating it in my upcoming classes, that's for sure. (I don't teach noon classes, so it hasn't been my place to determine what is tolerated there).

Nathan Scott
29th April 2004, 20:04
[Post deleted by user]

Ron Tisdale
29th April 2004, 20:17
Good and interesting posts all.

Hi Chris,

Please don't take offense at this...

I am often in the position of training with folks when I don't know squat about their style or the culture of their dojo. I do my level best to accept advice for how to move and do technique that day, and to apply it as best I can. I know for a fact that I don't always sucseed. While I certainly don't pick on any white belts, much less try to teach them, if I feel something out of line with what the instructor is showing I may let my partner know if they seem open to that.

I guess my concern would be a scenario like the following:

I show up at an unfamiliar dojo for their open seminar or class, let them know I'm from another style and interested in cross-training that day. I step on the mat and proceed to do my best. Without meaning to, I piss someone off. A senior in that dojo takes me as a partner next and proceeds to 'edicate' me into the finer mores of that dojo in a physical manner.

Now, what do you think my response is likely to be? If I'm feeling pretty mellow to start, perhaps just calmly ask what the heck I did so I can appologize for it. On some of my less mellow days...well, you get the idea.

I guess I just hope you'll make it all clear what *your* expectations are if they step on your mat. Up front and all. Less chance for misunderstandings that way. And I totally agree with the idea of the empty cup.

Ron

chrismoses
29th April 2004, 20:50
Originally posted by Ron Tisdale
Good and interesting posts all.

Hi Chris,

Please don't take offense at this...

Ron

How DARE you!

:D Just kidding Ron. The dividing line that I perhaps should have made clearer is the intent. We have lots of people from all over stop by for classes, sometimes just for the day, sometimes repeat customers. Generally we're a pretty open bunch. What gets me going (for example) is when a visitor watches a technique done once, then looks away. Bows into a partner and just does, kotegaeshi, or whatever. They watch long enough to identify the technique and then you can just see their brain shut off. "Got it, kotegaeshi, I know how to do kotegaeshi."

Last year I taught our sunday night class for about six months. By the end of that time I had about 3 people who were not from our dojo who came just about every Sunday. I have no idea if it just fit in their schedule or liked my cologne. :) Anyway, despite having patterns of movement that were different from what we were working on, they all did a great job of *generally* doing what was going on in class. Sure sometimes they hit a brick wall with their waza, or would revert to what came naturally, but it was always within the context of *trying* to do what was going on in the class. This current crop never even seems to try and do anything outside of their existing waza. They never look frustrated, they never ask questions, they just use our space.

Shison
29th April 2004, 20:51
I see that mine is not as unique a situation as I thought; I'm just at a beginning "phase", whereas others have passed through it already...

Thanks for the input folks

Ron Tisdale
29th April 2004, 21:05
They never look frustrated, they never ask questions, they just use our space.

How Wude! :D

Yep, I'd probably just show 'em the door...

RT :)

don
30th April 2004, 15:30
Originally posted by chrismoses
"It's not pointless for them."

....Would you have the same attitude if someone from BJJ showed up at your dojo and tried to grapple with all of your students during class?

DJM: Actually, yes. Not BJJ precisely, but I had a young fellow come into my class once who practiced a different style of..."aikido", shall we say. He didn't compliantly sit still for pins but constantly rolled out when I tried lock him down. After suppressing my frustration/irritation, I realized how valuable this was to my learning. The dojo's culture was such as not to encourage this and I had grown complacent in my technique.

DJM: Another member of the dojo was not so sanguine. He reported that the instructor had to pull him off the offending individual for trying to break his (the guest's) arm. At a recent seminar in Miami (Mary Heiny), the visitor and his students greeted me with fulsome warmth, regard, and good will. I felt glad for the experience with him all around. He wasn't intending disrespect, just honest training. I'm good with that.

I consider the issue virtually identical.

I have not addressed it to them directly, although I have flattened one of them on occasion for basically picking on one of our white-belts and trying to teach while I'm instructing.

DJM: A different matter, providing that the beginner knew enough to proceed. Failing which, quick instructions may have been necessary. I've found myself in the same uncomfortable situation, of "helping" someone else's beginners. Matters progress through good will on all sides.

I won't be tolerating it in my upcoming classes, that's for sure.

DJM: My instincts are to communicate with the offending individuals before taking action such as this, but YMMV. Good luck.

chrismoses
30th April 2004, 16:39
"He wasn't intending disrespect, just honest training. I'm good with that."

Like I said, intent. If he's going to try to roll out of pins, he has to be ready to accept the concequences though. I'm all for being a pain in the a&& at times and going outside of your comfort zone with training partners. I'm even all for bringing in outside influences into the dojo in order to try to keep it real.

What does raise my temperature is when people use the "rules" of Aikido to make life difficult on nage, ie. we're not supposed to actually hurt each other, so I'll bank on the fact that this isn't a genuinely dangerous situation to be a total git. I've trained with a lot of yudansha who have learned how to be very difficult to pin and throw, but have learned within the context of Aikido and the artificial safety of the dojo. Since I don't want to hijack this thread, I'll just leave it at that. I've already talked about this kind of thing in the Aikido forum, I'll leave it over there.

Ron Tisdale
30th April 2004, 17:16
Sounds like the kind of thing that bears repeated discussions. Raising the level of training is one thing, being a total 'git' (what exactly IS a 'git' anyway?) is something completely different...
Ron

Neil Yamamoto
30th April 2004, 17:43
Ron, don't you watch Brit TV?

A git is a jerk, A synonym would be "prat".

As in "That guy who used to post long winded rambling notes here in the aikido forum is a real git."

Ron Tisdale
30th April 2004, 17:58
:) Thanks Neil! I knew it was british, but not what it meant. Hey, speaking of British comedy, Monty Python's life of Brian is being re-released to the theaters!

Ron (I'm not the messiah!)

((someone should tell BB he's not the messiah...now he's stinking up yet another board -- two down and counting...))