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Lyle Laizure
12-08-2009, 08:43 AM
How approachable is your sensei? The reason I ask is that there seems to be a lot of questions on the forum that would best be answered by a student's sensei than by those not attending the same dojo. Don't get me wrong it is great to have other opinions but shouldn't we naturally seek that information from the one person that actually knows the answer?

GMaroda
12-08-2009, 09:09 AM
Very.

But sometimes folks just like to sit back and chat about whatever question they have or want more opinions. Sometimes there just isn't time at the dojo or you forget you wanted to ask something while you're there.

That last one happens to me all the time. I get to class and...time to practice!

lbb
12-08-2009, 10:29 AM
My senseis are very approachable, and they're the ones I ask aikido questions. Some stuff I'm more likely to ask a sempai, particularly "how are things done around here" type questions. I find aikiweb useful for the "where can I find a" questions.

chillzATL
12-08-2009, 10:43 AM
As approachable as anyone you would know. This goes for all the yudansha in our organization, from the top down.

ChrisMoses
12-08-2009, 11:22 AM
Mine's extremely approachable. Particularly if you approach him with Scotch.

David Maidment
12-08-2009, 11:24 AM
Very approachable. Most of them I would call friends. Or good acquaintances, at least. Both on and off the mat.

Lulu
12-08-2009, 11:55 AM
My Sensei is not only very warm and welcoming, he is a font of Aikido info. He will answer any question any time and is very helpful. I try not to pester him during class with too many questions and I am sure that he has answered the beginners queries a thousand times - and he has done it with genuine interest.

The problem is that we should be learning by doing, - not by asking, - but by experiencing Aikido.

Forums like this are great for all kinds of things that you can't always ask at your own Dojo - no time etc.

I have learned a great many things here, about Aikido, different styles and Dojos, Senseis and students.

Shadowfax
12-08-2009, 12:36 PM
The senseis in my dojo, like Gregg said, are very approachable. Probably some of the nicest people I know. In my short time in Aikido I have not really come across anyone who isn't easy to talk to and willing to help with questions.

But the dojo is where we train and yes sometimes we might forget to ask or the question does not percolate into our thoughts until we have left and come home. Usually I come here to learn more from other people's experiences and ideas. Not so much to have my specific questions answered.

ninjaqutie
12-10-2009, 12:48 PM
My sensei is pretty approachable. I know I ask questions on here to get other people's POV or to ask about something he may not know (stitched hakama for example is one of them). I guess some people may just feel strange asking certain questions... who knows!

Linda Eskin
12-10-2009, 01:50 PM
Very approachable, and generous about answering questions.

I'm sure I'm bringing baggage from my own background (former tech writer) into the equation when I try to only bother him with questions that only he can answer. If it's something I can look up on my own later, or ask another student about, I'll do that, just like I would not run straight to the senior project engineer with basic technical questions.

trademark8806
12-10-2009, 04:07 PM
I would say my sisay is aprochable, if I could formalate the question so he would be able to answer. He incurage people to ask questions.

Carrie Campbell
12-10-2009, 04:49 PM
Very approachable, and generous about answering questions.

I'm sure I'm bringing baggage from my own background (former tech writer) into the equation when I try to only bother him with questions that only he can answer. If it's something I can look up on my own later, or ask another student about, I'll do that, just like I would not run straight to the senior project engineer with basic technical questions.

Exactly.

I think save the big questions, the ones important right now for your situation, for sensei. Otherwise, I don't feel like I should bombard him with trivial details or things I'm just curious about. Also, opinions from the community at large are interesting and generally pretty informative.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
12-11-2009, 11:07 AM
I am also blessed with a very approachable sensei.
But I do remember reading in a magazine years ago that the traditional method of teaching in Asian countries was that the instructor would just execute the techniques without any kind of explanation, and that the student's job was to copy them the best they could with the hope of finding out the answers to their questions by themselves after a while. For this reason, the magazine said, the first instructors who travelled to the west had a hard time at first because the western students would pester them with endless questions, and would quit when they got no satisfying answer. Thus they had to adapt to the western mind and accept the fact that they would not be able to transfer their knowledge as efficiently if they kept their traditional methods.
Now, that's what I read. If anyone disagrees with that, please let me know. I also noticed that some members of the forum ask questions that their instructor should be able to answer, but I suppose that there are still some very traditional instructors who insist on teaching the old way.
The advantage of the old teaching method is that it forces the student to sharpen their observations skills, and this is the reason why sometimes my approachable sensei makes us train in silence, so that the kohai is forced to focus his attention on every move of the senpai so he can learn the technique.
Every method has a good side and a bad side, as nothing in the world is perfect. So my instructor tries to use both, but even after the silent class, the senpais and him are very approachable.

lbb
12-11-2009, 11:50 AM
The advantage of the old teaching method is that it forces the student to sharpen their observations skills

...and the internet, arguably, dulls them. :D

Linda Eskin
12-13-2009, 10:27 PM
Addendum: Although my sensei is a generous and patient teacher, I'm certain I could test both those qualities, with as many questions as I always have. Multiply that by a hundred+ students...

(A fun thread might be "Things your students want to know about, but don't want to ask.")

Also, frankly, there are things I think I should already know, or have been told and have forgotten (or never quite grasped), and I'd feel stupid asking (again).

Yes, I understand the absurdity of not wanting to ask one's teacher for fear of looking stupid. :crazy: And yes, he might read this, and no, it probably wouldn't come as news to him that there are plenty of things I don't know. :p

In any case, I truly appreciate the good folks here who are willing, on a Sunday night, to try to unconfuse me when I get my brain tied in a knot.

Danulka
12-14-2009, 02:22 AM
A fun thread might be "Things your students want to know about, but don't want to ask."

That would be very funny one. Why don't you start it? Please... :D

RED
12-14-2009, 09:09 PM
I'm hear to talk when I'm bored. If I have a question about aikido I have actual real life aikidoka to address my issues with everyday of the week at class.
Getting real inspiration from the internet is bizarre to me.

Brian Gillaspie
12-14-2009, 09:40 PM
My sensei is very approachable although there are some questions he prefers to discuss outside of class time instead of taking up mat time.

I traing in Topeka, KS which is not exactly the most popular place for Aikido so it's helpful for me to get on here to hear other people perspectives....plus there are a lot of intersting discussions on topics I have never even thought about.

Rob Watson
12-15-2009, 02:10 PM
Funny thing. Last night beginers class only me, one uchideshi and sensei. Sensei asks "What techniques you want to work on?" or something to that effect.

I say "I'm not really worried about techniques but I'm working on whole body connected movement - kokyu throughout the body." Sensei says, "That's good." Off we go on suwari waza kokyo ho and ushiro ryote dori.

Maybe I've gone over to the dark side but now I see techniques as hollow shells to fill with a kokyu endowed movement.

I don't even need to approach sensei becasue she is always right there with just the right correction and guidance. My plate is plenty full with what's on the menu as it is.

lbb
12-15-2009, 03:38 PM
Maybe I've gone over to the dark side but now I see techniques as hollow shells to fill with a kokyu endowed movement.

Nah, you've just memorized the marketing and drunk the kool-ade :D

Rob Watson
12-15-2009, 06:35 PM
Nah, you've just memorized the marketing and drunk the kool-ade :D

... pulls pants up and slinks back into the shadows ... HIYO Breezy, AWAY!