Monday, January 11, 2010

Learn By Watching Others

One of the things asked of you when you are first starting is to pay attention to your instructors and listen to them. What they don't explicitly say is that you can learn from just about anyone at any time. You have to keep an open mind.

Recently we were doing lots of hip throws. There was one partner who was taller than I and for whatever reason I felt like he was draping himself over my back. So, I dismissed it as something 'he was doing'. Later on I had cause to watch him with a different partner.

A light bulb went off. Although he was indeed not firming up his center, part of the problem I think could have been solved by my position. I have a suspicion that I was too far away from uke. You want a little bit of space at times so you can draw uke a little off-balance forward. However, if he's too far away and he breaks down over your hip, your belt will likely be higher than his no matter how low you get.

So. You really do have to keep an open mind as to why something isn't working as well. There may be more than one reason.


At January 11, 2010 9:27 PM, Blogger alberto sam said...

i've read the prfile and found the story to be very interesting. i practice martial arts too! taekwondo to be precise.but i found your lttle story to be very inspiring.the question i' like to ask is, practice aikido on line is it effective than train face to face or is it just similar? if possible i'm really interested in purchasing material.

At January 12, 2010 9:46 AM, Blogger Poxbox said...

Maybe some more experienced people would like to chime in here. The question alberto is asking is "Can someone learn aikido from a book, DVD, or online resources or do you need to attend an actual class".

My opinion is that you need to work with a partner in a class with a qualified instructor to really learn well. Face to face as you put it is best.

The books/DVD's will give you the idea behind the various exercises, techniques, ukemi(rolling/falling), stances and so forth. This is NOT as effective as being in an actual class with a partner where you can FEEL the technique.

Perhaps, you may be able to pick up a weapons kata on your own by watching or getting a dvd.

At January 12, 2010 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alberto, as Eric says, you can learn some of the parts of the techniques from educational material, but definately not all.
In taekwondo, you can kick into the air all you want, but as soon as that kick contacts a person, or a punching bag, you know it's a completely different feeling, right?
Same in Aikido where we're trying to learn to control our body while we control their body at the same time. Alone there's no weight or resistance to make the technique "real". Also having an experienced teacher watching your body position and movements and helping with corrections will speed up your learning immencely.
If you're going to start Aikido classes in the future, then sure, a book or DVD will help get you ready for and you move through the beginning stage a little easier. But to use only books/DVD's, you will not learn anywhere near as well as taking classes.
Good Luck.


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