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Teaching methods
Just Passing Through
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Well, I'm writing here because I hope to get some advise.
I've been attending a Ninjutsu class for almost one year.
The course had started only few months before.
My problem is that I've the feeling of being always at the same point: after the beginning months, we didn't got anything of new.
At first, my teacher followed the Ten Chi Jin very closely.
However, nowadays not at all.
I'm not feeling at my ease, at this regard.
In your opinion, is this a common fact?
Anyway, I don't want criticize my teacher, maybe the matter is that I don't fit his way of teaching at all.

Bye

Posted on: 2006/3/1 5:39
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Re: Teaching methods
Villager
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Dario...

First, it is required in this forum to sign your real name to all posts; it's a respect issue. Second, congradulations on making it through your first year! Many people don't make it through their first month.

Now, on to your questions. You may or may not feel as if you are improving, but I'm pretty sure your teacher is aware. I don't see improvement in myself unless I watch video footage of myself from the previous year or two, and I've been studying for a long, long time. But them I'm a slow learner.

As for following the Tenchijin Ryaku No Maki... All licensed teachers follow it to a greater or lesser degree, as fits their taste... that's the freedom Soke allows us as licensed teachers. Some teachers follow it in a very linear manner, page by page, technique by technique. Some teachers teach techniques from it randomly, in a more eclectic manner. Other teachers (such as myself) are quite haphazard in their presentation of the Tenchijin Ryaku No Maki material, although I always inform my students in which section of the TCJRNM any particular technique is found in.

As my teacher told me, the TCJRNM is a guide for teachers that contains all the information that a student should know by the time they reach their shodan level. Since shodan takes somewhere around three to five years to reach (variable by MANY factors), there shouldn't be any trouble in covering this material. If a teacher wished, they could pick any ryu-ha they wanted, teach it consistently for three years and all of the TCJRNM would be covered either through the techniques as written in the densho or through henka.

Quote:
Maybe the question is that I don't fit his way of teaching at all.

Ah, this is another issue entirely. It is entirely possible. All teachers within the Bujinkan have their own style or approach to teaching this art, and that is as it should be. It helps to keep the art alive. I would suggest that you respectfully discuss your concerns with your teacher and get his/her feedback.

Gambatte...

Posted on: 2006/3/1 6:02
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Ron Bergman
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Bujinkan Kushin An Dojo
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Re: Teaching methods
村長 :: Sonchou
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Hi,

Although I am not an instructor, I deeply agree with Ron.
I am sure your instructor knows very well why he teaches the things to you the way he does. If you feel that you have problems with learning from him, it would be the best to politely talk to him and ask him about your doubts.

I can only speak for myself, as a student: back then when I started training, I was picking up skills very fast, I don't exaggerate if I say I was on the wing for a year or two.
But after a while this fast development started slowing down and it completely stopped at a point. My instructor did not show anything new -I mean new to me- and I slowly started feeling that I got stuck at a point. But the truth is that, I had just really started going deeper into examining the techniques at that time, and I had just started understanding and trying to apply their principles. Therefore that was the time which brought all my shortcomings and mistakes to light and that's why I felt that no matter how hard I trained, I still was paddling at the same place. And I thought it was because my teacher's style of teaching did not fit the way I could learn.

But then I got some very good advice from fellow Boojies at a certain forum , who said the same I have described above, and told me to be patient and give it some time. I did that and I did not regret it. So I can recommend you the same thing: give it some time - probably this is the tme when you really start to notice the mistakes you make and you can learn the most now.

And also, talking to your instructor about this thing can be very constructive. If you keep it in and give space for your doubts inside, that will just slowly wash-out the openness towards him and that way you just slowly cut yourself off from learning anything from him in the future.

Just my 2 Forints

Eva

Posted on: 2006/3/1 6:34
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Eva Barbara Bodogan
Bujinkan Kagami Dojo
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Re: Teaching methods
Just Passing Through
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I really appreciated the informations you gave me.
Programs are probably my weak point: maybe I'm addicted to programming, on the other hand I'm a IT programmer indeed.

Maybe this could be the good chance to become a little bit more flexible: in my country bujinkan instructors aren't found easily, and so I suppose to have to keep my one with care...

Thanks a lot!

Posted on: 2006/3/1 6:44
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Re: Teaching methods
Villager
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It must also be remembered that true learning, especially within the Bujinkan, takes place in two ways. First you actually learn the techniques physically and intellectually. You practice them to learn the proper form and structure. Sometime after this, after the information has rolled around inside you for awhile, it is assimilated into your being.

In other words, first the techniques are something you carry around with you. Then later on, at some unidentifiable time, they simply are part of you, as if they always have been. How long does this process take? Depends. There are some things I still haven't assimilated that my first teacher showed me back in the mid-80s.

Posted on: 2006/3/3 9:43
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Ron Bergman
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Re: Teaching methods
Villager
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To further expound upon this, I remember being told by Shihan Brin Morgan back in the late 80s that training within the Bujinkan does not happen as a gradual yet steady incline on a chart. Rather it occurs in graduated levels, with sudden jumps of understanding followed by plateaus where in the body works on assimilating the information, until it jumps vertically again. Hope this helps.

Gambatte...

Posted on: 2006/3/3 9:49
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Ron Bergman
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Re: Teaching methods
Villager
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Huh... I just checked the other threads and noticed that Chris Chrenka had already talked about the whole plateau thing here.

Gambatte...

Posted on: 2006/3/3 9:54
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Ron Bergman
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Re: Teaching methods
Villager
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Ron,

I entirely agree to what you've written. Indeed, I sometimes did not know what my teacher was showing until (days, months or even years later) I discovered that most of the stuff was indeed part of the TCJ or at least connected to it.

I think training basics over and over again has nothing to do with doing the same stuff alwyas the same way. Even if you repeat the exercises, it's always different and you can always discover something new in it - in most cases you learn what you need for your individual level. But - you have to be ready to learn and should not let yourself get fooled by the impression that "you already know" or "that's boring, I already did it 100 times"...

Therein also lies the beauty of our art...

"Nin" also stands for "enduring" and Hatsumi Sensei's famous quote "Keep going!" may well be one of the most important lessons in the martial arts and in life.

Posted on: 2006/3/3 23:21
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Stefan Filus
Bujinkan Sakura Dojo Munich / Germany
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Re: Teaching methods
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First and formost you should always have a mind to learn. Throughout your training you will find lessons from the most unexpected places. Indeed, it may not even come from the training at all, but through completely unrelated, an understanding of a principle that relates back to the training.

Maybe one of the reasons you feel you are not progressing is that maybe you are indeed focused on the right areas, and not yourself. I have found all through my training that I can never see where I am, but my teachers do. Thus I tell my own students, " Let me worry about where you are, you just train, and I will let my teachers worry about where I am and follow their instructions."

One of the things that helps you to see that "yes", you have learned is to have new people come into the dojo and then seeing that you where in fact there at one time. Thus, you will become a sempai, and the new person a hokai, as you are hokai to someone ahead of you. Do your part, keep going, and everything will make sence. Be patient.

Posted on: 2006/3/4 1:51
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Christopher Sanders
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Re: Teaching methods
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Quote:
in my country bujinkan instructors aren't found easily, and so I suppose to have to keep my one with care...


This is important. You may live in an area where the only training around is a shibu ran by a kyu ranked student, but if it's the only training available - then take what you are being offered.

I started back when there wasn't any teachers around unless I wanted to drive a good 4 hours or more! So, I had to be very flexible with who I trained with, because my options were extremely slim. I'm sure I was taught things which weren't 100% correct, or even just plain wrong, but it still gave me enough foundation to build on. In time, more and more instructors popped up and I was able to spend time with other teachers. That's where I was able to peel away the bad habits and bad teachings, to arrive at something far closer to what was correct.

It was (and is) my own personal journey - and yours is the same.

It's all a process and we have to start somewhere. Being persistent and consistent will pay off. It's not about where you start - it's about where you are going that's important. It will all work out in the end.

Gambatte!

Posted on: 2006/3/4 2:06
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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