10-23-2001, 03:31 PM
As a BAB assistant coach, and relatively new shodan, I have been taking classes at our club quite regularly. Our chief instructor recently held a discussion with all club dan grades and explained that , although as instructors our responsibilitys were to teach and guide our students, an equaly important responsibility was to use the teaching to develop ourselves and our own Aikido.
Some Felt that they were doing this already, others couldn`t understand how this could work better than training at a higher level with other dan grades.
I feel that both methods of training have their advantages. There is a lot you can learn from working out how to make students understand what you are doing. You analyse your own technique more, concious that it must be correct and will be mirrored in the students.
But there are other things that are better worked on with higher graded aikidoka.Not all techniques are suitable for lower grades to be practicing, There can be more intense practice with those who are more able to take ukemi. Also we are encouraged to "play", to experiment. One has to be careful how this is done when instructing a class, when you experiment you are unsure of the outcome, if when experimenting techniques fail or feel poor, students may lose faith in their instructors competance.
I've gone on for long enough
What does everybody else think?
I'm quite new to teaching myself (1 year). I have learnt an enormous amount about aikido since I started teaching 'cos I realised that what I am thinking about in techniques is different to what beginners are thinking about and therefore I had to analyse what I was actually doing in practise.
I try not to split beginners from more advanced students (as I think advanced students have a lot to learn from beginners in terms of 'natural' reaction to certain techniques e.g. a common one is twisting out of shiho-nage, sankyo and ikkyo pins) - dealing with this sharpens their technique.
However, I am beginning to wonder whether to split people up on occasion as beginners can't do ukemis.