Journey to a new style...

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_Simon_

_Simon_

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Everything now on hold for the moment obviously... :s:s:s

Some crazy times ahead... but I've gotten used to alot of different ways to train at home so gonna delve into it. Stay safe everyone.

*deep bows*
 
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So the Goju ryu dojo that I trained in earlier this year were all set to reopen, but lockdowns had to be reinstated in our state capital as case increases were getting quite concerning... so they've had to close up again and go back to online training. Even though one of their dojos are close to here and out of that zone, their other one is in the hotspot zone, so just decided to close both (they may live up there actually and not able to leave...)

Decided to sign up for their online training for the next month or so, as I enjoyed training for that two weeks and would love more insight into Goju ryu and how they train, but also it's their income and this is what they do for a living, so thought would be nice to help them out in whatever way I could.

Had the first session this morning, and even though my WHOLE computer/camera completely froze around the start haha, eventually got it back up and running, was a good session!

Worked on particular offensive and defensive combos, some calisthenics, did katas Tensho, Sanchin, and much to my surprise we worked on Naihanchi kata! It comes from Shotokan, but so awesome that they train that as I've always wanted to learn it.

See how the next few weeks go. OH and also Sensei Rick Hotton is offering online training recently too, which I am absolutely over the moon about... two different timeslots (for the different timezones) alternating them once a week, so I'll be doing that once a fortnight too.

Sounds like a nice balance with these :). Until dojo training properly resumes, this will be great
 
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Finished up having my last online session with the Goju guys today. Have mixed thoughts... I did enjoy some of it, but I really struggle with one of the instructors. It's a husband and wife team that usually alternate in the actual dojo but it was mainly the fellow who took the adult online classes.

I think maybe his style or emphasis of teaching I couldn't get on board with.. he very much has focused on 'smashing' and 'slaughtering' us (his words too haha), and that's sort of a big part of why I left my old style.

Felt more like a hardcore fitness class at times rather than any depth in karate... now I'm all for working hard and having some tough sessions, but felt like it was almost every time. He's a funny guy, but very masculine in energy, which of course there's nothing wrong with that, but an approach I don't feel I can connect with it.

The two sessions the other instructor took I actually really enjoyed, and quite like her style of teaching, way of explaining, emphasis on correct body mechanics and movement, breathing, and genuine care for the students. She stills works us hard at times but the intention and energy is different I feel, it's not a focus on annihilating us... if that makes sense!

So a bit lost as to whether I'll join this style when things go back to normal. I absolutely love Goju ryu and want so very much to learn it, but I'm learning that the club and instructor is more important than styles as that's where I'd be going every single week. So if 50% of the classes are taken by the instructor I really vibe with, is that good enough? Or maybe that might be a good balance to have alternating between the two?

That being said, perhaps it was purely an online thing, a way to really keep our fitness up. As I remember in the actual dojo classes I did he wasn't always that full on. But the intention and emphasis seemed one that I didn't gel with.

Hmmm... overthinking perhaps haha.. but I'd love anyone's thoughts or feedback here.

But nevertheless, the Shotokan dojo I trained with at the end of last year are also back doing online classes, so I contacted them and I'll be training with them for the next month :)
 
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Flying Crane

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Hi Simon, I would say listen to what your gut is telling you. You make a good point that perhaps this isn’t a fair judgement given the unusual situation we are in, maybe he isn’t that way if the dojo was actually open. But your gut instincts are telling you something. Don’t ignore it.

I have definitely met folks and had instructors (briefly) who I simply could not train with. It was a personality conflict and I did not feel comfortable with them. You cannot train with someone who makes you feel that way. If you try to just push yourself into it under the belief that the training will be worth it, you will end up hating it and it won’t last. You will keep looking for a plausible excuse to stop coming.
 

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@Flying Crane is right on IMO.

It could definitely be an online thing. Perhaps he doesn’t want to get carried away with technical details online when he’s going to have to make corrections in-person once this bubonic plague is over with. I honestly wouldn’t get too technical if I was temporarily teaching online. I’d make corrections, but I wouldn’t go too far with it because there’s only so much you can actually see on something like zoom anyway. I’d make sure it’s correct overall, then fine tune it once the dojo was fully open.

If there were a lot of good things, I’d visit it again to see if that was or wasn’t the case.
 
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Hi Simon, I would say listen to what your gut is telling you. You make a good point that perhaps this isn’t a fair judgement given the unusual situation we are in, maybe he isn’t that way if the dojo was actually open. But your gut instincts are telling you something. Don’t ignore it.

I have definitely met folks and had instructors (briefly) who I simply could not train with. It was a personality conflict and I did not feel comfortable with them. You cannot train with someone who makes you feel that way. If you try to just push yourself into it under the belief that the training will be worth it, you will end up hating it and it won’t last. You will keep looking for a plausible excuse to stop coming.

That's really helpful, appreciate your very thoughtful post.

Yeah it does feel like a conflict of sorts that I need to listen to. And that's exactly right, if I push myself into going there, it won't be something I'll enjoy and want to commit to. And I promised myself I wouldn't go down that sort of path again. It served its purpose and I learned alot, but moving on is moving on, and I'm getting clearer on where that is..

Reminds me of the movie Whiplash. I haven't seen it but only snippets. Where the young fellow wants to join a really elite college band, but its run by an absolute tyrant. So if he joins he'll improve his drumming immensely, but be treated horrendously in the process.

It's an interesting dilemma... how far do we want to go in becoming 'good' at something and what are willing to subject ourselves to, which may make us hate it in the end, and it also says something about how we 'deserve' to be treated. How we justify others' behaviour and put up with it just because we think it's where we 'should' be or what's others said will get you far.

Happened to me in a sort of similar way with classical piano, and karate...
 
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@Flying Crane is right on IMO.

It could definitely be an online thing. Perhaps he doesn’t want to get carried away with technical details online when he’s going to have to make corrections in-person once this bubonic plague is over with. I honestly wouldn’t get too technical if I was temporarily teaching online. I’d make corrections, but I wouldn’t go too far with it because there’s only so much you can actually see on something like zoom anyway. I’d make sure it’s correct overall, then fine tune it once the dojo was fully open.

If there were a lot of good things, I’d visit it again to see if that was or wasn’t the case.

Haha yeah I was wondering that. Although he did give a few corrections, and the other instructor was very attentive in watching us and giving corrections, but for sure I hear what you mean.

Yeah definitely, and that's the thing, I know I'm never going to find a dojo that has absolutely everything I like, and have nothing unpleasant whatsoever. I'm certainly trying to remind myself of that anyway!

And of course it's a matter of weighing up whether the good overruns the bad, AND that it's enjoyable enough to keep me wanting to go. The fellow has said some things that made me bite my tongue, and almost roll my eyes haha.. and just the overly masculine attitude and approach don't gel with me.

Will have a ponder. Thanks heaps JR great food for thought.
 

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@Flying Crane and @JR 137 as well as others have given good food for thought. And I think your thoughts in your Post 286 are really good things to think about. What is the difference between your own hard time with a certain part of the instruction, and actual poor performance by the instructor.

I am amazed you have been able to try out all the different schools like you have. That is a neat thing. At least by the time you are done with that you should have a very good idea what school and art will be best for you.
 
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@Flying Crane and @JR 137 as well as others have given good food for thought. And I think your thoughts in your Post 286 are really good things to think about. What is the difference between your own hard time with a certain part of the instruction, and actual poor performance by the instructor.

I am amazed you have been able to try out all the different schools like you have. That is a neat thing. At least by the time you are done with that you should have a very good idea what school and art will be best for you.

@oftheherd1 thank you very much. I've always appreciated your thoughts and feedback, and for sure that's a really important distinction I need to delineate.

And yeah there is definitely a difference between just not liking a style of training and poor instruction. And also whether it's a style that I resonate with and want to follow comes into the whole mix. I couldn't say it was poor performance/teaching of the instructor, but perhaps a personality clash and an intuitive knowing that it's a direction and emphasis I don't think is beneficial for me anymore. His emphasis didn't gel with where I want to go, and on what direction my path is to be, spent years and years training in this very way and know I don't want to go back there.

(Knowing what I don't want also helps me in figuring out what I do want)

That being said, it may very well be just an online thing, hard to tell but it was brought up and emphasised alot.

And yeah it truly is awesome that I have the opportunity to explore all these, very grateful. Too many choices can certainly paralyse me though haha. I do know that exposure to Hotton Sensei's teachings has brought my training to life and has awakened something in me that I can't deny or turn away from, and that is exactly the very way I want to train and direction I want to go.

Something is still calling me and my thoughts often randomly go back to the very first school I tried out (the one you actually commented on as sounding great), so I very much feel I may be leaning towards there... we shall see :)
 

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I've noticed that there are instructors like that-they give you an amazing workout, but after a point, they're not really teaching. Just kind of calling out what you should do, not really going beyond that. Which-if your goal is maintenance, or you just want to get in really good shape, is perfect. It even helps you practice the art, in the sense that repetition always helps. But if you want to actually improve your understanding of the art, you'll (or at least I) realize after a few months that it's leaving a hole in your training.

I feel like I see this more often in styles without belts, where there's not a syllabus they're supposed to be teaching.

Like JR said though- that might not be the case here. It might just be he doesn't want to get technical online, so he's making sure he gives everyone a workout and helping them stay in shape until in-person classes start up again.
 
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I've noticed that there are instructors like that-they give you an amazing workout, but after a point, they're not really teaching. Just kind of calling out what you should do, not really going beyond that. Which-if your goal is maintenance, or you just want to get in really good shape, is perfect. It even helps you practice the art, in the sense that repetition always helps. But if you want to actually improve your understanding of the art, you'll (or at least I) realize after a few months that it's leaving a hole in your training.

I feel like I see this more often in styles without belts, where there's not a syllabus they're supposed to be teaching.

Like JR said though- that might not be the case here. It might just be he doesn't want to get technical online, so he's making sure he gives everyone a workout and helping them stay in shape until in-person classes start up again.

Yeah for sure, and that's right that that suits a great majority. And I guess I'm looking for something deeper than "do this, don't do this", (which is necessary for beginner levels of course).

I'm definitely trying to take into account the circumstances, as that may be part of it. I am getting alot better though at reading people, their energy, emphasis and sort of what they're about (without overlabeling and limiting, but getting a general idea and trend).

And I also know I may be asking for alot haha, and it's not always completely realistic, even though what I'm looking for is definitely out there, but may not really be close to me here. I just know I don't want to settle for an art, especially one that I'd be committing to for many many years to come.

But what you say does make sense, and may indeed just be some training to get us by while seeing the limitations of it until we get back in the dojo. Thanks kempodis... errrr Monkey Turned Wolf ;)
 

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I've noticed that there are instructors like that-they give you an amazing workout, but after a point, they're not really teaching. Just kind of calling out what you should do, not really going beyond that. Which-if your goal is maintenance, or you just want to get in really good shape, is perfect. It even helps you practice the art, in the sense that repetition always helps. But if you want to actually improve your understanding of the art, you'll (or at least I) realize after a few months that it's leaving a hole in your training.

I feel like I see this more often in styles without belts, where there's not a syllabus they're supposed to be teaching.

Like JR said though- that might not be the case here. It might just be he doesn't want to get technical online, so he's making sure he gives everyone a workout and helping them stay in shape until in-person classes start up again.
There can be value in that though, in that it is an example that teaches people how to practice when they are by themselves. I am often shocked at how people are unable to string together a coherent and effective practice session when they are alone and don’t have a teacher telling them what to do. Apparently they go to class and simply play “follow the leader” without thinking about what they are doing. Instead, they should pay attention to the example.
 

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There can be value in that though, in that it is an example that teaches people how to practice when they are by themselves. I am often shocked at how people are unable to string together a coherent and effective practice session when they are alone and don’t have a teacher telling them what to do. Apparently they go to class and simply play “follow the leader” without thinking about what they are doing. Instead, they should pay attention to the example.
Couldn’t agree more. If you’ve been in classes for more than a few weeks, you should really know the format and be able to replicate it and modify it at home. My CI has a basic formula he follows practically every class. It’s quite simple and a logical progression...

Warmup and stretch
Solo (meaning without a partner) kicks
Solo hand techniques
Solo hand and kick combinations
Solo drills
Partner drills
Sparring
Cool down and stretch

Kata is usually either before or after solo drills, more often before. He’ll emphasize something over the others when appropriate. Working out alone, I substitute the partner drills and sparring with bag work. Or I’ll emphasize one aspect much more and touch on the others. It all depends on what I really want to accomplish that day and what I feel I need more work on.

It’s not rocket science.
 

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Couldn’t agree more. If you’ve been in classes for more than a few weeks, you should really know the format and be able to replicate it and modify it at home. My CI has a basic formula he follows practically every class. It’s quite simple and a logical progression...

Warmup and stretch
Solo (meaning without a partner) kicks
Solo hand techniques
Solo hand and kick combinations
Solo drills
Partner drills
Sparring
Cool down and stretch

Kata is usually either before or after solo drills, more often before. He’ll emphasize something over the others when appropriate. Working out alone, I substitute the partner drills and sparring with bag work. Or I’ll emphasize one aspect much more and touch on the others. It all depends on what I really want to accomplish that day and what I feel I need more work on.

It’s not rocket science.
Literally from Day One of my martial career, I’ve been practicing at home between classes. I just took what I learned in the class and practiced it the next day. As I learned more, my home sessions increased in length. Eventually I understood enough to be able to get creative and design my own drills to follow. But I always pulled from the example of what we did in class. It’s right there in front of you.

When people clue into this, then it becomes obvious that they can maintain their own training and keep fit during such times as Covid quarantine. They don’t need to go to online training. They can take ownership of their own training.

Training isn’t always about being shown the way and having everything explained. Much of it is just about drilling it in and honing what you know and to some degree figuring it out yourself. You don’t need a teacher with you every step of the way. Especially in times like the present, when we cannot be together with our teachers, we can still train effectively and we can still progress in our development.

So if you (the general You) are in an online session or a face-to-face session and it seems like it is more “working out” and less instruction, well take that as a lesson as well. Steal those drills and ideas that make you sweat and work hard and hone what you already know. And then do them at home when you cannot be with your teacher.
 
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Literally from Day One of my martial career, I’ve been practicing at home between classes. I just took what I learned in the class and practiced it the next day. As I learned more, my home sessions increased in length. Eventually I understood enough to be able to get creative and design my own drills to follow. But I always pulled from the example of what we did in class. It’s right there in front of you.

When people clue into this, then it becomes obvious that they can maintain their own training and keep fit during such times as Covid quarantine. They don’t need to go to online training. They can take ownership of their own training.

Training isn’t always about being shown the way and having everything explained. Much of it is just about drilling it in and honing what you know and to some degree figuring it out yourself. You don’t need a teacher with you every step of the way. Especially in times like the present, when we cannot be together with our teachers, we can still train effectively and we can still progress in our development.

So if you (the general You) are in an online session or a face-to-face session and it seems like it is more “working out” and less instruction, well take that as a lesson as well. Steal those drills and ideas that make you sweat and work hard and hone what you already know. And then do them at home when you cannot be with your teacher.

Very well said!

In fact it's an interesting phenomena... when we all went into lockdown, my home training took on such a beautiful life of its own. I was training more than ever, and was able to really hone in on aspects I wanted to work on, and like you said, be creative with drills and learn how things can work in different ways.

Then when I started looking into online training (which I saw more as an opportunity to train with others and learn and broaden my own training ideas and expose myself to new ways of doing things), when alot of the online stuff starting wrapping up, when going back to doing my own stuff I actually had a moment and froze, as though I didn't know how to do that anymore!

So bizarre, it's amazing how reliant you can become on training and instruction from others. But once I realised I could indeed and have trained on my own it was easy. But there was a real moment of confusion!

And like you said it's about taking ownership of your own training, and I'm seeing that that autonomy is so very important in deepening your own understanding of what you're doing, and in being able to explore it on your own without direction.

I think both are important, but that self reliance can really spur on your own motivation and keenness for training too :)
 
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Just did another online session with Hotton Sensei this morning... still buzzing from it. Can't explain how much I resonate with it and how much it impact my training and understanding... AND the direction that I want to go. Brings such clarity, meaning, naturalness and life in me... that's all, just buzzin' :)
 
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Dojos are still not open, so I trained with the Shotokan guys online for a month and it was good fun, so very welcoming and didn't even charge me even though I insisted! In the end I felt it wasn't the direction I wanted or the training I wanted to commit to long term.

So I decided to go with the Goju folks again online, and I tell ya what, I'm glad you guys offered your thoughts that it may just be an online thing that may make the teaching different, and to try them again if there's some good stuff there. I've really loved it! I may have unfairly assumed or looked only for things I didn't like or that maybe I'd imagined, as the guy instructor has been mostly really great. He actually does give really great feedback and watches us all, tailoring feedback individually and collectively. He's still a funny guy haha but it's a good practice in not taking someone too seriously and being aware enough whether someone is just being a jokester or a bully.

But when I asked if I could join them again, I ever so subtly asked the female instructor whether she would be taking any of the adults classes? Even casually mentioned that I felt like I really clicked with and loved her style of teaching, and she said yeah her husband and her have very different styles of teaching, complimentary but different. And I thought... yeah you're right! She did say that yeah she mostly been taking the kids online classes but was a good reminder to her to take some of the adults classes. She's run a few and I've absolutely loved them.

Really click with Goju ryu, feels like a really cool thing to explore for me, they don't emphasise really long deep stances, focus on alot more freedom of movement, posture, still good technique but making allowances for individuals which is awesome, bunkai, really emphasising that with kata it's really about the principles etc. And the sparring is just darn awesome, they encourage trying anything and everything mostly haha.

So funny that! I have some thoughts as to what to do when things open back up, we shall see whether it's doable :)
 

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Dojos are still not open, so I trained with the Shotokan guys online for a month and it was good fun, so very welcoming and didn't even charge me even though I insisted! In the end I felt it wasn't the direction I wanted or the training I wanted to commit to long term.

So I decided to go with the Goju folks again online, and I tell ya what, I'm glad you guys offered your thoughts that it may just be an online thing that may make the teaching different, and to try them again if there's some good stuff there. I've really loved it! I may have unfairly assumed or looked only for things I didn't like or that maybe I'd imagined, as the guy instructor has been mostly really great. He actually does give really great feedback and watches us all, tailoring feedback individually and collectively. He's still a funny guy haha but it's a good practice in not taking someone too seriously and being aware enough whether someone is just being a jokester or a bully.

But when I asked if I could join them again, I ever so subtly asked the female instructor whether she would be taking any of the adults classes? Even casually mentioned that I felt like I really clicked with and loved her style of teaching, and she said yeah her husband and her have very different styles of teaching, complimentary but different. And I thought... yeah you're right! She did say that yeah she mostly been taking the kids online classes but was a good reminder to her to take some of the adults classes. She's run a few and I've absolutely loved them.

Really click with Goju ryu, feels like a really cool thing to explore for me, they don't emphasise really long deep stances, focus on alot more freedom of movement, posture, still good technique but making allowances for individuals which is awesome, bunkai, really emphasising that with kata it's really about the principles etc. And the sparring is just darn awesome, they encourage trying anything and everything mostly haha.

So funny that! I have some thoughts as to what to do when things open back up, we shall see whether it's doable :)
Could also be that the teacher is learning to be a better teacher In the online venue. This is a new arrangement for most people, and everyone is learning how to be effective with it. It takes time, and there may be some missteps or false starts until people get better at it.
 
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Could also be that the teacher is learning to be a better teacher In the online venue. This is a new arrangement for most people, and everyone is learning how to be effective with it. It takes time, and there may be some missteps or false starts until people get better at it.

Very true!
 
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Still online training, BUT restrictions have been easing up of late, and one of the instructors has organised to come down for the day this Sunday to run outdoor sessions with two people at a time, so this will be my first in person training since February!

Really, really looking forward to it. Quite nervous though, and my anxiety has been probably the worst it has ever been... but I've been making sure to go at my own pace and take my time with everything, whilst also making sure I step outside my comfort zone and get out a bit more. Being at home for pretty much 7 months straight has its pros and cons I guess...

But looking forward to in person outdoor training :)
 

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