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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:54 pm 
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Vicki

Part of what may be bringing you frustration is that you have a male teacher trying to relate extremely advanced concepts in a male fashion.

To me, kata are reference books and not story books. Yakusoku kumite aren't self-defense exercises; they are opportunities to engage in kinetic exploration. At some point, you need to get off the damned lesson plan and run with the material. At some point, you need to drop the specifics and see the underlying principles. If it was easy to do, everyone would be doing it.

Why do you think Van and I pull our hair out when we see this mind-numbing practice of "advanced teachers" doing stupid-simple futzing in Sanchin? To us, that's just bad teaching. Sanchin is a means to an end, and not an end unto itself.

At my work, we had a practice in model-building that we called "futzing." Basically you build a statistical model, see if it violates your principles, constrain it where it does, re-fit the model, see if it violates your principles, constrain it where it does, etc., etc. until all parts of the model follow your underlying principles. When all is said and done, you have a cost prediction model that won't predict less cost if you evolve to a more serious stage of a disease. That's an important constraint, because we don't want to penalize doctors for having sicker patients, and possibly incent them to code less information. More information (and more specific information) should always result in predicting equal or higher cost - even if the "R-square" of the model is ever so slightly worse. Arriving at the final result is an iterative process. Anyhow... we're always looking to find ways to communicate our geek-talk to our lay customers.

So one day I look up the word futz. And do you know what it means? Let's start with the origin of the word. It is a combination of fuking and putz. Putz is yiddish for penis. Hmm... Not such a good way to describe what we were doing.

Then we get to the actual meaning.

To waste time or effort on frivolities; fool. Often used with around:

Hmm...

You see... to Van and I, these "advanced" instructors were futzing. What we believe instructors should be doing is measuring all that we do against a small set of important principles, and make sure we aren't violating those principles. In doing so, we should be free to drift from a stiff, robotic norm - so long as we don't violate the principles of our art.

More so, a cadre of us (George included) believe it is our DUTY to take this Uechi ball and run with it. But how do you actually TEACH someone to do that? Well... one way is to create a kinetic "play" environment where we can try stuff out and learn by trial and error. That's a very yang way of doing things. Another way is to survey what others are doing and try to synthesize an encyclopedia of cool things to do. That's a very yin way of doing things.

Ideally as a dojo, we do both. But individually we must contribute based on our strengths. That means that at some point, Vicki must "go it alone" and bring stuff to the table. No more spoonfeeding. We give you the paintbrush, the canvas, and the paints, and tell you to "just do it." Then we look at what was done.

That's some scary schit! ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:11 pm 
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MommyAngela wrote:

Last night I ventured to Avon to see some friends for a little get together. On the way to my friend's house I was stopped on the 90West split due to some standing water from the heavy rain we had earlier in the day. Mother Nature at work and unavoidable.

Then on the way home I'm cruising along 90East only to find that it is closed at the bridge to cross over from the West to the East Side. So I follow the Detour Signs and end up having to decide whether I should head toward Parma or Columbus. I chose Columbus after almost getting killed in the decision making process. It was the right choice [or so I thought] because their were 90East Detour signs telling me to get off the freeway at W25th. So I did as the signs said and got back on the freeway at 71North to 90East only to find another Detour. This time I saw a sign for Steelyard Commons [don't ask me what route because at this point I just wanted to get home] so I got off of the freeway there. I thought that I would get to Steelyard and call my husband to direct me home since he works close to there. Well I took another wrong turn and again had the choice between Columbus and Parma. Fortunately I saw MetroHealth's Campus before I had to make my decision [and probably risk my life again] so I turned into there to call my husband because it is well lit with security driving around. From there my husband directed me home but if I couldn't have gotten a hold of my husband I was going to looik for some MetroHealth Security and ask for directions.

I probably should have asked for directions from the beginning when I first got lost and I am not a person that is afraid to ask for directions because I would rather know where I'm going then get lost at 10:30pm!

Do you stop to ask for directions?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Image

Quote:

Michelangelo's David is based on artistic drawings of the male human form. He considered sculpture to be the highest form of art because, among other reasons, it mimics divine creation. Because Michelangelo adhered to the concepts of disegno, he worked under the premise that the image of David was already in the block of stone he was working on — in much the same way as the human soul is found within the physical body.
- Wikipedia

When someone once asked Michelangelo how he sculpted David, his reply was "I removed all the marble that wasn't David." He just did it.

David

Maddening, isn't it?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:30 am 
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Men and women are different. Well well well, lol. I can see a book here –Mars and Venus in the Dojo…

Seems to me that a “gender-neutral” upbringing is nigh on imposible, you haven’t mentioned the particular research.

We are each a sum of inherited, environmental and social influences. All of our personal qualities fall somewhere on a continuum – how we react, how we learn etc. Simply dividing us into two groups fails to take into account the multiplicity of individualness. Some men and women very different, others not so much. And we change over time.

Students respond to success. The challenge for teachers is to tailor what they do so each individual can experience this. And a student may have to re-examine some of their ideas about themselves to get the most out what a teacher has to offer.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Sue G wrote:

Students respond to success. The challenge for teachers is to tailor what they do so each individual can experience this. And a student may have to re-examine some of their ideas about themselves to get the most out what a teacher has to offer.

Well put.
Sue G wrote:

All of our personal qualities fall somewhere on a continuum – how we react, how we learn etc. Simply dividing us into two groups fails to take into account the multiplicity of individualness. Some men and women very different, others not so much. And we change over time.

I get what you're trying to say. Behavioral tendencies WITHIN GROUPS fall on a continuum.

But BETWEEN GROUPS, gender is a binary variable. In the 40 million people whose data I work with, there are only a handful who don't have either male or female in the gender variable. It and date of birth are our best variables for analysis. DOB translates to age which is a ratio-level variable. Gender is binary. Period. Most are either XX or XY. (There are some odd XYYs, XXYs, etc. out there. There are also testosterone-insensitive males, and other odd medical anomalies that translate to physical anomalies such as hermaphroditism.)

BETWEEN GENDER GROUPS, we do have an overlapping of behavioral tendencies found within groups. Such are the observations dealt with in myriad statistical analyses.
Sue G wrote:

Seems to me that a “gender-neutral” upbringing is nigh on imposible, you haven’t mentioned the particular research.

It's difficult because it can't be blinded. But it's not impossible. And it certainly has been conducted. Since I've only read review articles on the subject (consisting of references to hundreds of studies), I'm not prepared to give you lots of individual citations.

What we do know is the relationship between gender and hormone profile. And hormones have been shown to affect the anatomical structure of the brain. That would give us first principles causality. In fact it's this very kind of research that's opening our eyes to some of the origins of homosexuality. (Female-female relationships are a bit more complicated...)

Anyhoo... The bottom line is that differences exist. For example both men and women get breast cancer, but it's much more prevalent in women. It's a hormone thing. Behavioral and learning differences are more subtle, but definitely measurable.

Indeed, Mars and Venus live in the dojo. Vive la différence!

- Bill


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