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An article with solid advice across arts
Village Old Timer
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http://kenshi247.net/blog/blog/2010/0 ... o-other-peoples-students/

I think this article has solid advice and worthy of discussion.

So, do you think the article's argument a valid one?

If so why, and if not why?

Does it apply within the bujinkan, with teachers varying in rank?

For example, should a 15th Dan give advice to an 8th Dan if the 8th has a teacher already?

This could be an interesting topic I hope everyone enjoys the article.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 20:22
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Hmm, if someone has come to my training I'd believe he wants to learn what I am teaching....

Posted on: 2010/10/21 20:31
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Quote:

Yamazu wrote:
Hmm, if someone has come to my training I'd believe he wants to learn what I am teaching....


That wasn't the point of the article. To put it in perspective say you go to the hombu and train with one of the shihan and some random 15th dan, not the teacher of the class, walks around the class giving advice willy nilly. Should the 15th dan dispense advice in the presence of that teacher?

And similarly say you have a visiting budoka and he gives advice to your students about how to do certain techniques. Ought he do that, given you are the teacher?


Posted on: 2010/10/21 21:23
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Quote:

RJHIII wrote:
That wasn't the point of the article. To put it in perspective say you go to the hombu and train with one of the shihan and some random 15th dan, not the teacher of the class, walks around the class giving advice willy nilly. Should the 15th dan dispense advice in the presence of that teacher?


Good clarification.

Hmm, I think that "shoulding" depends on the relationship between the actual teacher and this 15th Dan. If the teacher is ok with it, then there most likely is a reason for that.

If the teacher is not ok with it... well... that's another can of worms right there

Quote:

RJHIII wrote:
And similarly say you have a visiting budoka and he gives advice to your students about how to do certain techniques. Ought he do that, given you are the teacher?


I think I'd give the same answer here as above

Thinking about how I would react to such a situation [being given advice from someone else than the teacher of the class]... If it was in line with the teaching of the teacher whose class it is I believe I would do my best to follow. If it was something completely different... again, an interesting situation, there....


Good topic.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 22:44
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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As we all should be students first, no matter our rank, if we show up to a class where somebody else is teaching, we are doing so as a student. Therefore, if a 15th dan goes to a class being taught by any other rank, it is not his/her role to be the teacher. They are there as a student and/or a guest, period. Now, if the 15th dan understands what the teacher is trying to show, there's certainly no problem in assisting the others in understanding as well. But, there's a big caution about making sure this uber-dan isn't going off on their own tangent or upstaging the one who is teaching. Being aware of the influence they have in a class is an important aspect to their own training as well. They need to be careful of that.

I know certain jugodan who show up to seminars taught by lower ranking shidoshi and just float about in the background, partner with people and just train like everybody else. They may interject a comment to help explain, but very minor. Even when asked by the teaching shidoshi, they keep it specifically on topic and redirect it back to the teaching shidoshi.

Of course, if the teacher is teaching something completely wrong, then the senior rank would be in their right to point out such things. But, I would suggest it is better to do so away from the others, to give the teacher the opportunity to fix the error themselves without losing credibility with the class. I think it would be bad manners and showing disrespect to just pipe off that what the teacher was doing was wrong, or to tell the other students during training. As we all have our own unique way in which we interpret this art and train, it is equally important to accept that maybe something isn't necessarily 'wrong', but maybe just 'different'.

As far as advice in general, I agree with the article that it can be bad form to try and teach with your partner when you are a visiting student. However, if they are not getting a particular part of a technique, there's nothing wrong with offering a fix - as long as it is what the teacher is teaching (not some kind of henka). It is better to help them get what is being shown, than to just give them some other option so that they can do 'something'. What gets frustrating is when the teacher shows a technique, then the guy I'm working with tries to re-teach it to me - often before I even had a chance to figure it out. Let me make the mistakes and keep trying. Learning comes from trying to discover the correct way, not have someone always pointing it out. The other problem, especially when training in many Bujinkan classes, is that techniques can be thrown at us quickly with little time to work on each. Someone blabbing away with their own teaching takes away from the training time. Maybe the technique isn't as important as the 'feeling'? Maybe the teacher wants them to make the best of it, without stopping, and just keep going? Having someone constantly comment makes stopping points in training.

My rule about giving advice is that it needs to be surgical - only when necessary and only as much as necessary to fix a problem. Also, the recipient should have asked for it, or be in obvious need of the help. In essence, only when they are really stuck. And, the teacher isn't in position to come over and help.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 0:49
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Quote:

say you go to the hombu and train with one of the shihan and some random 15th dan, not the teacher of the class, walks around the class giving advice willy nilly. Should the 15th dan dispense advice in the presence of that teacher?


Personally I don't think rank has much to do with it. For me it has more to do with context, espeically since rank isn't objectively tied to skill. For example, I don't want to hear a 15th dan who doesn't bend his knees telling me to forget about kamae, but if my training partner has feedback/advice based on what he felt during the technique, I definitely want to hear what he has to say even if he's 9th kyu.

I think it's weird, inappropriate and annoying when someone who isn't teaching the class and isn't my training partner interrupts to give me advice.

Quote:

And similarly say you have a visiting budoka and he gives advice to your students about how to do certain techniques. Ought he do that, given you are the teacher?


I don't feel the need to say anything unless it becomes disruptive.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 0:52
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Of course, if the teacher is teaching something completely wrong, then the senior rank would be in their right to point out such things. But, I would suggest it is better to do so away from the others, to give the teacher the opportunity to fix the error themselves without losing credibility with the class. I think it would be bad manners and showing disrespect to just pipe off that what the teacher was doing was wrong, or to tell the other students during training. As we all have our own unique way in which we interpret this art and train, it is equally important to accept that maybe something isn't necessarily 'wrong', but maybe just 'different'.



What if the case was the opposite? What if a 15th dan was teaching and an 8th dan from a notable teacher saw something completely wrong, should the 8th dan say something to the 15th dan?

Since we can almost all agree that rank isn't an indication of skill. Ought the more skilled 8th dan say something to the 15th dan making the mistakes.

Perhaps it would be best for a person to remain quiet in these cases.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 0:57
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Quote:

RJHIII wrote:
What if the case was the opposite? What if a 15th dan was teaching and an 8th dan from a notable teacher saw something completely wrong, should the 8th dan say something to the 15th dan?

Since we can almost all agree that rank isn't an indication of skill. Ought the more skilled 8th dan say something to the 15th dan making the mistakes.

Perhaps it would be best for a person to remain quiet in these cases.


I wouldn't do it, even if it was glaringly wrong. I may inquire privately when he comes around to us, like "why do you have the hand going here?", not "this kata is supposed to be done this way". Who is to say I (as the student) am just not seeing something correctly myself? Maybe it's setting up the next thing that I haven't been shown yet? Even Soke has done some versions of techniques that left people scratching their heads. It doesn't make it wrong. We just don't 'get it'.

But, even if it's a huge mistake (like tactical error that would be dangerous), I still wouldn't say anything to the class or my training partner. If my students were also attending, I'd make a note to fix the error in my class, when I am the teacher.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 1:09
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Quote:

Now, if the 15th dan understands what the teacher is trying to show, there's certainly no problem in assisting the others in understanding as well.


Ya, but that's sometimes the problem. These "helpers" often think they understand when they don't. I've been "helped" by people who thought they understood what was being taught but could not perform the technique themselves.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 1:11
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Re: An article with solid advice across arts
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Quote:

What if the case was the opposite? What if a 15th dan was teaching and an 8th dan from a notable teacher saw something completely wrong, should the 8th dan say something to the 15th dan?


I think it depends on their relationship.

This could also be cited as a good reason for keeping our rank to ourselves. If the 15th dan didn't know the other person's rank (and the 8th dan wouldn't say when asked) then the conversation would probably be different than if the 15th dan knew he was being questioned by an 8th dan.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 1:20
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