who will you take corrections from?

Ken Morgan

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Question for everyone;

I was thinking about this at our seminar this past weekend, plus there is a similar thread here.

So, who will you take corrections from?

Personally I will listen to anyone, low rank, no rank or high rank. Evaluate what they say, go through it in my mind, recall what I was taught and then give the other persons opinion its due, one way or another.

Im a mid rank, but I find when there are some serious ranks around few listen to anyone but the serious ranks. For example about two years ago, I was in a situation once where I was practicing with another person who constantly made the same mistake, hurting me a bit in the process. I corrected him a handful of times, and he essentially ignored me, looking at me like I was an idiot, and arguing that I didnt know what I was talking about. I finally asked the 8th dan to join us and watch us practice, low and behold buddy made the same mistake and the 8th dan gave him the same correction I did!! He bowed and groveled to sensei and ignored me.

This past weekend I had a similar situation, though not as bad. This past weekend I also took corrections from people my rank and lower, no problem, if Im screwing up I hope someone notices and tells me.

So honestly who will you take corrections from?
 

Omar B

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You say anyone, low rank, no rank or high rank.

I'm more selective. I'll take tips from someone of higher or lower rank within my style but no rank seems odd to me. I've been doing kata in the park and had people say the oddest things as tips to me.
 
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Ken Morgan

Ken Morgan

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You say anyone, low rank, no rank or high rank.

I'm more selective. I'll take tips from someone of higher or lower rank within my style but no rank seems odd to me. I've been doing kata in the park and had people say the oddest things as tips to me.

I'll listen to anybody, then evaluate what they say.

The no ranks I'm refering to are all within my style, maybe I missed something during a seminar that they caught, but I certainly evaluate what they say.
 

harlan

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I don't 'take' corrections from anyone other than my teacher. But then again, I don't accept, or currently go looking for instruction except from a sole source. There are times when correction is offered by visitors. I 'accept' them if I know them to be true observations ('your hands were sliding too close on that last kata...should be in thirds'). Anything more...I store away for discussion/review in private with my teacher.
 

Aiki Lee

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I only take corrections from my instructors. If I ask for imput from people with similar or lower rank than me, then I will listen. As rule in our organization we are not allowed to correct each other unless someone has asked for an opinion. If we see someone making a mistake we call a teacher over.

The reason for this is because a lot of people think they know what they should be doing, but really don't. It is better to learn from somone who knows than someone who doesn't.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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I may listen to everyone but not follow their advice on corrections.

Someone with no rank or low rank may have something I have not thought of before but I will ask my teacher for corrections or clarify.

The person who has the most experience in what ever it is I am learning is IMO the final say of if it needs correction or not. I think it is healthy to bring up others point of view with the teacher to explore why or why not this correction is beneficial or not.
 

clfsean

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I'll listen to anybody.

If they know the material & mechanics being presented/worked on better than me, I'll listen. If 1 out of the 2, I'll take into consideration. If neither, I'll look to whoever's teaching the material.
 

Sukerkin

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The reason for this is because a lot of people think they know what they should be doing, but really don't. It is better to learn from somone who knows than someone who doesn't.

That's an important point that deserves emphasising. I know that I for one have been in the situation of passing on advice to fellow students and getting it wrong. It is very important in such circumstances to make the effort to undo your mistake when you find out about it. It is an important lesson in humility and also adds anther string to your teaching bow (I always find errors from my own studies to be very useful in helping others avoid the same gaffes).
 

Steve

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I don't care who it is. If it makes sense, I'll use it. If not, I let it go. I won't argue with anyone about techniques. I'll simply use it... or not.

Same goes for me giving it to someone else. Often, a white belt will be making a fundamental error while sparring, or I (or someone else) will offer a tip. "Drop your hips and stay low. You're too high and you're going to get swept." Or, "He's feeding you an arm. You can take the choke or the armbar." If they don't listen, it's okay by me.

Same goes for drills. I'll help if I can. If they don't listen, I'll stop helping. So much of BJJ is kinetic, I think that feedback from my partner is critical, regardless of his or her rank.

Edit: just to add that I'm a firm believer that techniques ARE different for different people. While there are fundamentals that are crucial, my armbar is different than someone else's because I am different. I'm taller or shorter, fatter, older, less flexible or whatever. I can still make the technique work, and that's what's important. And I get to that point by working WITH my partners of all skill levels, and listening to their feedback.
 

Grenadier

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What's the situation? If it's in class, and if I'm teaching, then I'll take corrections from someone after class is over. There is only one sensei in charge on the floor at any given time, regardless of what rank someone else may be. Too many cooks spoil the broth, no matter how good each of them may be.

It's supposed to be my class, and I'm supposed to know what I'm teaching, and if I stick with the lesson plans, then I generally don't have to worry about being corrected.

If I am unsure, though, I won't hesitate to ask one of the senior black belts on the floor, or even consult the chief instructor as needed. There's simply no sense in knowingly giving uncertain information.

If it's a class where I'm not teaching, then comments and criticisms from those who I am partnered with are always welcome, regardless of rank, as long as they are in good taste, and presented in a polite manner.

If it's a seminar, then I'll take corrections from anyone, especially since the person giving the seminar can't be in all places at all times, but with several grains of salt. What may be right for you, may not be right for me. In those circumstances, I have no official seniority, and should not exercise it, either.
 

Jenna

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If you are specifically talking about corrections (as it says in the title) then I would only take them from a more experienced practitioner - and that does not mean that they cannot hold a lower ranking (although it is generally borne out like that), simply that they would necessarily NEED to have more experience of the point needing correction.

I would absolutely not take a technical correction from no-grade, nope. No-grade vs 16yr experience, how would they expect to recognise an error? I do not think that is arrogance on my part and but rather on theirs for assuming, pffft.

I would on the other hand certainly entertain *suggestions* on a wider martial issue from anyone at all regardless of their level of competence or seniority and but I think the question was specifically about corrections. Taking technical correction advice from a practitioner of less experience (or worse, none at all) would serve your training in no good way at all and could end up moving technique in regrograde and potentially in a dangerous way too for many arts.

Likewise, I have learned to give no technical advice outside of a teaching context unless it it sought. It can be regarded as arrogance.

Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

sgtmac_46

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You say anyone, low rank, no rank or high rank.

I'm more selective. I'll take tips from someone of higher or lower rank within my style but no rank seems odd to me. I've been doing kata in the park and had people say the oddest things as tips to me.
That's because opinions are like.......well, you know what they're like. Everyone who walks by is an expert.....just don't ask them to demonstrate. ;)
 

Jenna

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If they know the material & mechanics being presented/worked on better than me, I'll listen.
In my experience, it generally follows that in that instance they would be higher ranking :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 
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Ken Morgan

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In class i've never had an issue.

At seminars, where I'm not helping teach, is what I'm mostly refering to. Generally you watch and listen to Sensei, then break up into maybe 10 - 20 groups of partners and practice what you've just been shown, sometimes you pair up with people with interesting attitudes.

95% of the time we help each other, work through things, watch another partner group to see what they do and get on with it. But man when your partner will only take correction from the highest rank in the room.....not fun.

I'm not even talking move the elbow from 45 degrees down to 35. I'm talking basics, when your partner takes three steps instead of two, when he/she starts on the left foot instead of the right, when they completly miss a section of the kata, or when they're hitting the totally wrong target, and hurting you!
 

Jenna

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In class i've never had an issue.

At seminars, where I'm not helping teach, is what I'm mostly refering to. Generally you watch and listen to Sensei, then break up into maybe 10 - 20 groups of partners and practice what you've just been shown, sometimes you pair up with people with interesting attitudes.

95% of the time we help each other, work through things, watch another partner group to see what they do and get on with it. But man when your partner will only take correction from the highest rank in the room.....not fun.

I'm not even talking move the elbow from 45 degrees down to 35. I'm talking basics, when your partner takes three steps instead of two, when he/she starts on the left foot instead of the right, when they completly miss a section of the kata, or when they're hitting the totally wrong target, and hurting you!
Ken :) What happens if he is wrong? What happens if you are wrong? No good end is served by giving or taking corrections if they are not themselves correct, no?
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

just2kicku

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I will take corrections from my insrtuctor or those in the dojo with a million years more than me. I will take observations and comments from anyone and throw by the wayside the ones that have no merit.

There have been times when my teachers instructor has been there (which is also his older brother) and corrected all of us. He'll say "Dougie, remember in '69 when Johnny changed this".
It is pretty funny to watch my instructor say no, and then get yelled at. Like the silent kiai, we have a silent laugh.
 
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Ken Morgan

Ken Morgan

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Ken :) What happens if he is wrong? What happens if you are wrong? No good end is served by giving or taking corrections if they are not themselves correct, no?
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna

I don't disagree with the logic, but, (and there's always a but!!), when I'm helping teach at a seminar, these people have no issue taking a correction from me.

I honestly could care less if they take the correction or not, but, (there's taht word again!), when I'm getting hurt or the kata and hence the practice is so messed up, whats the point? I have ten years in the art, the person i'm partnered with has two.
 

Steve

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In my experience, it generally follows that in that instance they would be higher ranking :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
From the discussions I've had here and elsewhere on rank structure, what blacks belts signify and training methods, I would suggest that in many styles your experience is the exception to the rule.

In my opinion, we should distinguish between those arts that are focused on practical application by any means, such as a Krav Maga, Boxing, BJJ or what have you, and those that are interested in a very rigidly defined set of techniques, such as what I understand about taijutsu.

In BJJ, a technique that works is correct. From discussions I've had with practitioners of other arts, the correct form of a technique is very specific, and taking shortcuts based upon practicality are discouraged.

All of this to say that in a practical art, prior experience can be very helpful. A guy might be a 1 stripe white belt in BJJ but have been a division 1 collegiate wrestler. He has applicable skills and I'd be foolish to ignore his correction.

However, in a style such as Taijutsu, experience as a boxer might actually impede learning the style.
 

clfsean

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In my experience, it generally follows that in that instance they would be higher ranking :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna

Not necessarily. For example, considering the time I've put in & ranks I've earned, if a san kyu in aikido is offering me advice about how to apply or receive kotegaeshi, I'll listen.

Is the san kyu "higher ranked" than me??? Depends... in MA in general? Probably not... Do they have the amount of training time & experience I have. Probably not... Do they have the specific technical training about the specific technique hypothetically used for this example. Yes they do & much more than me. Therefore, I would listen when they offered advice. Unless I was told ahead of time that the san kyu working with me is a putz & shouldn't be listened to. Then I would wonder why I was with that person, but that's another discussion.
 
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Jenna

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All of this to say that in a practical art, prior experience can be very helpful. A guy might be a 1 stripe white belt in BJJ but have been a division 1 collegiate wrestler. He has applicable skills and I'd be foolish to ignore his correction.

Yes, certainly, I guess that works if you are saying that your art benefits from the expertise of other outside arts. I had assumed that the implication of "no grade" in the OP, was literal. There was no mention of being versed in other arts. Nonetheless, in Aikido when I used to train in a class, were we to have had a new start who happened to be a black sash in, say, Northern Style Longfist, while his achievements there would most certainly have been respected, for his time in Aikido, he would be a beginner and thus were he to offer correction to others with many more years experience in on his first class, it may have been regarded as a little impudent. Personally I keep my big gob shut when I travel to try out other arts. For me it is purely a matter of common respect for those with greater experience and but I understand as you say, that my experience is perhaps the exception and not the rule. Yet, I understand that BJJ is a different system that has drawn from other disciplines, no argument, I am just stating my pov if that is ok :)

Not necessarily. For example, considering the time I've put in & ranks I've earned, if a san kyu in aikido is offering me advice about how to apply or receive kotegaeshi, I'll listen.

Is the san kyu "higher ranked" than me??? Depends... in MA in general? Probably not... Do they have the amount of training time & experience I have. Probably not... Do they have the specific technical training about the specific technique hypothetically used for this example. Yes they do & much more than me. Therefore, I would listen when they offered advice. Unless I was told ahead of time that the san kyu working with me is a putz & shouldn't be listened to. Then I would wonder why I was with that person, but that's another discussion.
Again, I am not speaking for you my friend, I am just stating that in my experience, I would not see any merit in a system of grading where yonkyu could correct sankyu, sankyu nikyu etc. The implication is that even though a student has moved up a grade, they are no more proficient than their subordinate grades. For me that would make a mockery of the grades. And but again, that is just my opinion and no argument is sought if that is how things happen elsewhere :)

I don't disagree with the logic, but, (and there's always a but!!), when I'm helping teach at a seminar, these people have no issue taking a correction from me.

I honestly could care less if they take the correction or not, but, (there's taht word again!), when I'm getting hurt or the kata and hence the practice is so messed up, whats the point? I have ten years in the art, the person i'm partnered with has two.

I think it would be incumbent upon you to speak to your instructor / sensei in that case, no?

Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 
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