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Daniel Lloyd
08-04-2010, 04:29 AM
Should all teachers/instructors of Aikido go through a coaching course?

And...

Should it be a requirement instead of just reaching green-black belt and taking the class?

Mark Uttech
08-04-2010, 06:00 AM
Onegaishimasu, someone who naturally gravitates toward being a teacher will work hard at it; that is a best case scenario.

In gassho,

Mark

Carsten Möllering
08-04-2010, 07:32 AM
Should all teachers/instructors of Aikido go through a coaching course?
And...
Should it be a requirement instead of just reaching green-black belt and taking the class?What sort of "coaching course" do you mean?
I don't think we have something like that here in Germany.

But:
Isn't Aikido taught by showing and watching? What sort of qualification do you think is needed for showing technique?
A coaching course or a graduation?

Carsten

john.burn
08-04-2010, 07:53 AM
In the UK it is a requirement if you happen to be members of the British Aikido Board. You need to have a coach level 1 certificate in order to get insured to teach etc. I think teacher insurance is only about £57 or something because of this.

Not all UK clubs are members of the BAB but I think it's one of the things that's worthwhile about membership of them - due to numbers student insurance for worldwide practice is about £1.50 per year.

Mind you, having said all of that I HATE it's called a coaching level xyz certificate. Just don't like the term coach / coaching personally.

lbb
08-04-2010, 07:54 AM
I think there's benefit to coaching courses, although I don't know of any for aikido. I've been through such courses for alpine skiing and whitewater kayaing, and they teach such things as understanding learning styles and how to teach to them, developing teaching progressions, and peripheral care of students (i.e., whatever auxiliary skills and knowledge is needed to keep students safe and healthy in the training environment, which can be anything to recognizing and treating hypothermia to knowing when to take a break). You also learn some things that are very specific to the subject that you're trying to teach, but a lot of the value of a coaching course is fairly generic.

If you spend a lot of time teaching any subject, and you're genuinely motivated to improve and help your students, you'll probably stumble upon most of the above things by sheer trial and error...but it will be a while, and some of your students will probably not make it through your learning process, and you may not make it yourself. Likewise, simply attending a coaching course does not make you a capable instructor. Theory and practice, theory and practice, some of the former and a whole lot of the latter, does the trick.

Carsten Möllering
08-04-2010, 08:09 AM
I think there's benefit to coaching courses, although I don't know of any for aikido.
...
If you spend a lot of time teaching any subject, and you're genuinely motivated to improve and help your students, you'll probably stumble upon most of the above things by sheer trial and error...but it will be a while, and some of your students will probably not make it through your learning process, and you may not make it yourself.
How do you teach aikido?

Reading the above, I assume you don't only show the techniques, practice with your students and correct them?
What do you do in your classes?
Or: What is the theory about or of teaching aikido?

@ John Burn:
There is something similar in "Deutscher Aikido Bund". But this organisation has no connections to Japan.
Organisations who are connected with aikikai hombu don't require and don't need such certificartes.

Adam Huss
08-04-2010, 09:11 AM
You bring up a good point. Basically anyone can be a teacher in the martial arts if they have a little money and are inclined to do so. Martial arts schools/instructors are very hard to regulate so all too often you find under or non-qualified people attempting to pass along an art they barely grasp (and then there's just the fakes, buts thats another story). I think, while sometimes difficult, the ideal instructor is one who devotes themselves to studying and teaching an art...so yes...I believe one should attend instructor training. This issue was recognized by Fumio Toyoda Shihan created a robust, three year long, uchideshi program with the intent that graduates would eventually become instructors. Similarly other organizations require certain number of instructor hours (either monthly instructor class or seminars) and a certain number of teaching hours. Additionally in our testing we require students (of a certain rank) write intelligently about a given subject (ronbun), answer many questions about aikido ranging from their reason for training to physical aspect of technique, as well as the requirement to teach a technique to the instructors at the grading.

Lyle Laizure
08-04-2010, 10:16 AM
Trial and error is the best teacher. This began for me at 5th kyu. I do this for my students as well. I will have students take the roll of sensei and teach a technique.

john.burn
08-04-2010, 10:29 AM
@ John Burn:
There is something similar in "Deutscher Aikido Bund". But this organisation has no connections to Japan.
Organisations who are connected with aikikai hombu don't require and don't need such certificartes.

Hi Carsten, it's not a requirement for Aikikai organisations in the UK to be members of the governing body for what that's worth but (I think) all of the Aikikai organisations in the UK do happen to actually be members of the BAB and thus, no matter what the Aikikai may state, you can't teach in an association or organisation who are joined to the BAB without a coaching course certificate over here. I'm not here promoting the BAB in any way I might add - I've done my time getting involved with UK aikido politics lol.

The BAB doesn't have any connection to Japan and neither should it. The Aikikai & Japan is far from the be all and end all of aikido. I've trained with just as many good independent teachers as I have Aikikai teachers. In this country most people associate the Aikikai as a style as most clubs linked to them are / were influenced by Chiba sensei so most move the same way hence why people rightly or wrongly see it as a style over here. I don't think any of the remaining original aikido pioneers in this country who are still teaching are directly linked via their organisation to the Aikikai either.

Anyone know how this all works in France? I think they have some quite strict government led requirements for Martial Arts and teaching in general don't they?

RED
08-04-2010, 11:17 AM
Hey, If the Sensei of the dojo thinks the individual represents what they want their students learning, then I wouldn't be one to argue.

jonreading
08-04-2010, 12:01 PM
This is a loaded question...

Yes, I believe that aikido instructors should attend regular seminars to gain better insight into general points of instruction, [re]align dojo direction with the direction of the parent organization, and homogenize the teaching curriculum of the organization.

I think eventually instructors should be reviewed to ensure they are competently disseminating aikido instruction and maintaining a level of skill representative of the art. I think instructors who excel in both skill and the dissemination of aikido should be recognized for their efforts. I think this is the traditional recognition of the renshi, kyoshi, and hanshi certification in some form.

The implementation of this type of certification would necessarily include some amount of bureaucracy and red tape. However, I think the current landscape of aikido would have difficulty implementing such a certification. Because of this issue (and others) I believe that we are left attending seminars that offer instructional direction, but without recognition or requirement to attend those seminars.

Amir Krause
08-05-2010, 02:59 AM
Methodology is a significant part of every M.A.

Here, in Israel, we have a regulatory requirement to pass an instructor course prior to teaching any M.A. Much of that course is general and aimed at sports and Karate
I recall a friend who had this course with all of his Tai-Chi school, main teacher included (the Israeli system head master who his a master of that system), telling of his experience:
The course teacher explained one should go throughly through a single move, until the student acquires high skill in it, and only then teach the next. Then, the head teacher explains - in our school, you should teach each move only a little and then continue to the next, until the whole Kata is taught, we will then deepen the knowledge of each move ...

For example:
In Korindo Aikido, there are thee pillars to the methodology: Tai-Sabaki, Kata (technique) and Randori (Kyoshu \ dual free play \ almost spar). The learning process revolves around these pillars, with each of them being given some specific time in practice. Each of these pillars has its own goals, build-up phases, advanced versions and levels, elements to be aware of, expected errors depending on students progress, etc.
All the above would be slightly different from another Aikido school, which have different pillars (possibly some additional, some less, and some significantly changed). which would require changes in purpose of each exercise, and in the methodology.

Your Aikido is not only the techniques, nor only the way you move or fight, it is also the way you teach it.

A teaching course can greatly help in your progress, and make one a better teacher, but the course should be given by your teachers. And be is very specific to the way you train.

Amir

Carsten Möllering
08-05-2010, 07:13 AM
... you can't teach in an association or organisation who are joined to the BAB without a coaching course certificate over here.
Here in Germany there are different styles of aikido and many teachers following different "lines" of aikido. Even if you only take aikikai aikido here in Germany. There is no national board / federation / organisation which covers all of them, like it is in France or - as I learn - in the UK.

The only aikido organisation which is linked to the state and to the NOC and which has a officialy recognised "Trainerschein" has no contact to the other lines and groups of aikido. And as I said no connection to what teacher ever outside their Federation. They isolate themselves for a very long time now but ironically they are the only official representatives of aikido towards the government.
The "Trainerschein" requires two years and doesn't cover aikido itself. What is next ist judo. (I think, I would do it with Volleyball because thats the sport I know best next to aikido. And that would help, to do the final examination better. But what does that help for teaching torifune oder ikkyo ura?)

Ahhhh well ....

When you talk about coaching courses or something like that do you talk about courses organized by official state organisations like in Germany and France?
(In Germany you only need such a "Trainerschein" for becoming money for your club. If you have a pirvate dojo you need it for nothing, In France you need the "Brevet d'état" it if you want to make a living out of aikido or if you want to teach it in public schools, which isn't unusual there.)

Or do you think about seminars / instructions of a aikido federation or organisation like in UK? (Or is the BAB also linked to the government?)

... A teaching course can greatly help in your progress, and make one a better teacher, but the course should be given by your teachers. ...
Isn't it a matter of course that the teacher teaches his students teaching?
And that he does this regarding the specific way the aikido is done in this line of tradition?

Shadowfax
08-05-2010, 08:19 AM
I really don't think it should be mandatory but I do think that courses in teaching are very useful and can only enhance ones ability to teach effectively. At the very least, It can make a good teacher great and an average teacher into a good one.

I've taken teaching courses in the equestrian world and training certification courses for my current job in the restaurant business. Neither made me a good teacher but both made me more effective and less likely to leave holes in my student's training.

Lyle Laizure
08-05-2010, 09:25 AM
Hey, If the Sensei of the dojo thinks the individual represents what they want their students learning, then I wouldn't be one to argue.

Very well said.

john.burn
08-05-2010, 09:25 AM
Carsten,

The main point (I think) of the coaching courses in the UK is to try and ensure best practice is followed - they are not about aikido ability or style or teaching ability. They are there so you understand how to warm people up safely, they touch on child protection issues and lesson planning etc, all of these are completely and utterly independent of any aikido style, federation or association.

I've taken teaching courses in the equestrian world and training certification courses for my current job in the restaurant business. Neither made me a good teacher but both made me more effective and less likely to leave holes in my student's training.

I couldn't agree more!

David Yap
08-05-2010, 11:31 AM
Hey, If the Sensei of the dojo thinks the individual represents what they want their students learning, then I wouldn't be one to argue.

Time and time again, it has been proven that crappy sensei produce crappy students with crappy understanding and crappy attitude. I am not even talking about the McDojo.

I wouldn't be arguing either. If crappy techniques are taught, then I wouldn't be wasting my money and time on the mats.

Regards

David Y

Adam Huss
08-05-2010, 12:15 PM
True,

A balance between David and Maggie's ideas are what has to constantly be weighed against each other. People pay money for a service they deem valuable. Who is to argue people can spend their time and money doing? That being said, national/local organizations have the right to impose requirements for membership. So if one wants to join a particular group they need to abide by that standard. I won't spend my time, money, and effort for a teacher who isn't willing to go above and beyond regular classes to improve their abilities and pass along correct training and information vice a misinterpretation suffered by lack of reinforcement of training or lack of in-depth detailed study. But that's me for my training...and what I expect of my teachers and myself.

Carsten Möllering
08-05-2010, 12:28 PM
But, John, who decides how and what to teach?

Who decides what knowledge should be provided in such courses?

There are so many things you can watch from different points of view. I think those questions are evident? And sure the answers depend on style or understanding of aikido.

So you have to decide what do want to teach and how do you want to teach it.
Who decides what can be considered as best practice?

One example:
When warming up do you do traditional aiki taiso which aims to opening the joints and the whole body for a better ki-flow.
Or do you understand warming up as getting the optimal body-temperature and doing some stretching?
There is no rigth or wrong I think, but again: Who decides what to teach the teachers?

About lesson planning: If it is considered as useful, to plan a whole lesson, the whole two hours, this is allready a decision which can be questioned: There are voices who find it usefull to follow ones intuition when watching the students and practicing with them.
Planning means: There is an aim of the class. Is this the case.

Who decides what's best?

And: Has - in consequence - every class in the BAB a comparable structure an teaching mode? Or is there still some diversity?

Carsten

Adam Huss
08-05-2010, 12:44 PM
The teacher decides this. This is why it is important he or she be qualified. Different organizations encourage various levels of liberties taken by each dojo cho. Some are more strict than others. My group is pretty lenient as long as students know what they should when they should.

For our warm ups we do both junbi undo (stretches, pushups, etc) and kihon dosa (kinda like aiki taiso) as well as aiki taiso.

Dojo tend to have trends throughout the year. Near testing time, often the focus is on kihon waza (some dojo specifically have a separate requirements class). Often, my teacher asks the students what they want to work on, if there are any requests. Teacher then satisfies these requests by teaching them the proper way. He often then teaches one or two things that he wants to, for whatever reason (there is a dojo trend of poor performance in a certain area, either a technique or even more recently cardio).

David Yap
08-05-2010, 02:03 PM
The teacher decides this. This is why it is important he or she be qualified. Different organizations encourage various levels of liberties taken by each dojo cho. Some are more strict than others. My group is pretty lenient as long as students know what they should when they should.

Knowing a technique and performing it with the appropriate skill at different levels are indicators of progression. As a teacher, I would be exceptionally embarrassed if a 2nd dan student is still forcing his techniques like when he was at 5th kyu. After years of training, the teacher still don't realize that the student is merely perfecting the mistakes and the brute force just become more and more brutal. Then, when all the crap settles, you find that teacher is a bigger brute than the student and a high ranking one too.

Qualified coach? By whose standards? Qualification by attendance or by written and physical examination?

David Y

john.burn
08-06-2010, 02:41 AM
But, John, who decides how and what to teach?

Who decides what knowledge should be provided in such courses?

And: Has - in consequence - every class in the BAB a comparable structure an teaching mode? Or is there still some diversity?

Carsten

Hi Carsten,

The BAB have no say in how you teach or what you teach. That is entirely up to the teacher and the club or association.

Lesson plans again, it's something they like you to be able to do, some of the course is aimed at potentially helping you on the road to teaching so it's a good idea if you've never taught before but it is not enforced in any way and neither should it be.

The content for the courses is drawn up and agreed by a number of relatively long standing aikido teachers from different styles and associations.

danj
08-06-2010, 07:58 AM
Right from your second aikido class you are probably someones sempai and whenever you are uke you are someones teacher, as you keep practicing you learn from your seniors(sempai) how to behave, teach as uke and formally teach (through helping a first timer, running a group, taking warmups etc..) and gradually have more kohai to look after and teach. One day you look around and you are everyone's sempai and probably by then you are formally an instructor.

Its an apprenticeship process from the beginning. And learning how to teach, alongside the technical knowledge, the pitfalls, challenges and expectations all comes in time.

Now a days it also might need some formalisation by regulatory bodies to have the appropriate checks and balances in place. But I think most dojo pretty much still operate this way. Sometime ago I wrote down some musings on teaching (http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-techniques) for a growing band of instructors. It might be of some intrest

best,
dan

Marie Noelle Fequiere
08-06-2010, 07:31 PM
Some people have a natural talent for teaching, others do not.
Teaching martial arts can be dangerous, because people who want to learn how to fight are often traumatised by some nasty experience. A clumsy instructor can do more damage than good.
I think that it's safer for a martial arts instructor to have some knowledge in pedagogy and psychology.

Walter Martindale
08-07-2010, 08:21 PM
A lot of people hear the word "coach" and think of the "rah-rah" person giving the pep talk to the team at half-time. A coach is someone who, unlike an instructor, guides discovery by helping people learn how to do things, rather than telling them or showing them how to do things.

Example - I try to do the movements demonstrated by the sensei - he comes over and says "no, do this" - but that's what I thought I was doing. A "coach" (not the rah-rah kind) would be more likely to say something like "here's what I see you doing, here's what we're trying to do - try moving your foot/hip/(whatever) more around this way, turn your hand this way" and then provides feedback if the positive change is made.

Another example - Masuda sensei from Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo visits Christchurch NZ quite often to spend a month teaching with Andrew Williamson's dojo - Masuda sensei makes up fun examples like - "Ok, you stand here, hold out hand - Now, Uke grabs my wrist and I go to shake your hand." and suddenly the technique works just fine. Or, in (say) kata-te kokyu-nage, statically, if he sees someone struggling, he'll stand in just the right place, hold out his hand, and say "shake hand", and when you reach for HIS hand with uke clamped on, uke can't stop you, and the point is made because YOU feel what you've done differently to learn something - and Masuda sensei has "coached" you into learning something.

If you want a lot of good information about coaching, look at www.sparc.org.nz
http://www.sparc.org.nz/en-nz/communities-and-clubs/Coaching/Coach-Development--Education/Framework-programme-materials/Coach-Development-Modules---Learning-Resources-and-Materials/
(it's a long URL but it's a good place to start).

I've been a member of a dojo where people instructing were required to take an introductory coaching course - not so much to learn the material they were teaching, but to learn how to help other people learn. Also to learn a bit about the ethics involved in being in a position of power with respect to the people being "taught" or coached, some safety and first-aid, and to learn a little about how people learn things. A modern "coach" does far more than yell useless crap from the sidelines - they help people be the best that they can be. An ego-driven "sensei" wants to have his "students" be little clones, while a good sensei (like Andrew mentioned above) wants his students to learn and explore the aikido with their bodies and nervous systems as long as they work with good movement principles.

Too much hurry to make this a short post - but it could go on - Yes, a person who is conscientious about his/her students learning the best and fastest they can would not harm his or her progress by taking some coaching courses. Does having a coaching course under your belt make you a good coach/instructor/sensei? Not necessarily. The certificate alone does not make a good coach - the person holding the certificate makes a good coach by working for the best interests of the people being trained.

W

Carsten Möllering
08-09-2010, 07:02 AM
Is there a difference between teaching and coaching aikido?
If so, does it affect the official sensei-student relations?

Do you those relationships, structuring your way of learning?
Do you see a sensei as a coach?
Is your dojo hierarchical structured (sensei - sempai - kohai ...)?

Do you learn aikido by understanding, trying out ...? Or do you learn aikido by just repeating again and again?

But besides all this:
Someone here (like me) who is teacher outside the dojo and sees clearly differences to teaching aikido? (Or sees parallels?)

barron
08-09-2010, 09:54 AM
As a product of the "Aikido" system of instruction (I‘m 2nd Dan graded through K. Igarashi Sensei/Hombu Dojo and both teach and train ), the university teacher education path, and also of the Canadian National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP where I am one course short of Level 5), in the Olympic discipline of speed skating ( There are five levels from introduction to international coaching, although the system has gone through some major changes recently), I would offer these points and background on coaching certification in Canada and aikido instruction (although aikido instructors are not required to take these courses) :

1) The NCCP system was developed to give "coaches" in all sports a grounding in physiology, growth and development, psychology, injury prevention and management, team management, ethics, liability, gender issues and logistics of the role of a coach.
2) The five levels progress from a weekend course to the final level which consisted ( when I took them) of 20 modules which usually took one to two weekend each plus and assignment that can take up to 3 to 4 months to complete)
3) In both Canada and I believe Britain the insurance and liability aspect are important when a person works within a "sport/recreation" system, and all coaches are required to have their basic introduction level. This is even now being introduced into the school coaching system in my district
4) In most sport/recreation systems coaches must also go through a police record check for criminal activity
5) That just because someone is certified does not mean they are a good coach/instructor and I have seen many many examples of poor methodology as a trainer of coaches, a coaching certification evaluator, as well as a course conductor trainer tot prove this
6) The "traditional" system under which aikido is delivered ( in most cases) is vastly different in manner from the "western approach". Neophyte wrestlers for example would never train with national level athletes. This sometimes works against the principles that are taught in the NCCP, but if we followed this "western" approach would we still be doing aikido or lose the underlying principles/community/tradition of the art?
7) John Burns point about "ensuring best practice" is important

" they (coaching courses) are not about aikido ability or style or teaching ability. They are there so you understand how to warm people up safely, they touch on child protection issues and lesson planning etc, all of these are completely and utterly independent of any aikido style, federation or association"

8) Walter Martindale stated,

" A lot of people hear the word "coach" and think of the "rah-rah" person giving the pep talk to the team at half-time. A coach is someone who, unlike an instructor, guides discovery by helping people learn how to do things, rather than telling them or showing them how to do things ". ( This sounds like Aikido to me)

9) Many instructors/sensei's when confronted with the term "coach" will automatically take umbrage. It's like a red flag to a bull in that they feel that the term "coach" in inappropriate, disrespectful and strays away from what aikido is .

10) As with any teaching or coaching , in Aikido one learns by doing and seriously studying and examining what you do. There are many examples in the world of aikido, from new instructors to Shihans, that exemplify excellent methods of instruction and these people have not taken one coaching course in the lives; but Aikido is their lives and they have put in their 10,000 hours so to speak.

I've been a bit long winded, and rambling here. but the bottom line in that a good teacher is a good teacher and a bad one. I believe that in this modern world of liability and "good practice" a grounding in basic principles of pedagogy would, in my mind benefit all instructors in any discipline.

Carsten Möllering
08-10-2010, 04:59 AM
Thank you, Andrew!

(I myself also teach and train aikido. In addition as the chairman of our lokal aikido club I have to look over the teaching in our club. As being a lutheran pastor I'm educated as a teacher for all forms of school here in Germany. And I know very well the german system of coaching courses from playing volleyball - long time ago.)

1) The NCCP system was developed to give "coaches" in all sports a grounding in physiology, growth and development, psychology, injury prevention and management, team management, ethics, liability, gender issues and logistics of the role of a coach.Hm, etiquette, setting, procedure, working on kata and so onare mostly set in an aikido class. They equal each other in a whole lot of dojo all over the world. The "roleplay" is set by the system of sensei-sempai-kohai.

So what does it help to know these things above?
Or - the other way round - don't you think you learn all this in every aikido class. But in relation to what you are doing in the dojo?

Do those courses mention terms like "ki"? Or "budo"? Or all those phenomenons which are "special" to aikido and other MA but have no place in modern sports?

I experienced that the coaching courses offered over here led to some very interesting conflicts.

2) The five levels progress from a weekend course to the final level which consisted ( when I took them) of 20 modules which usually took one to two weekend each plus and assignment that can take up to 3 to 4 months to complete)The basic course here last for about two years. This includes weekends, some whole weeks (You have to take vacancies from the job.) And evening courses. And it is expensive. The costs will sum up to about 1.000 €.
3) In both Canada and I believe Britain the insurance and liability aspect are important when a person works within a "sport/recreation" system, and all coaches are required to have their basic introduction level. This is even now being introduced into the school coaching system in my districtInsurance and liability in Germany depend on whether a (aikido-)teacher is "qualified" or not. This is decided by the employer. So in Germany time of practice and graduation is important.

8) Walter Martindale stated,
" A lot of people hear the word "coach" and think of the "rah-rah" person giving the pep talk to the team at half-time. A coach is someone who, unlike an instructor, guides discovery by helping people learn how to do things, rather than telling them or showing them how to do things ". ( This sounds like Aikido to me)Here in Germany we have a conflict between the one federation which has "coaches" and not teachers. And the other lines oder styles of aikido.
They understand aikido as a sport. They try to aikido in a "western way".

9) Many instructors/sensei's when confronted with the term "coach" will automatically take umbrage. It's like a red flag to a bull in that they feel that the term "coach" in inappropriate, disrespectful and strays away from what aikido is .
Same with me.

Ok, thank you.
I think my point of view has a lot to do with the experiences of aikido-"coaches" here in Germany. It were some bad experiences.

barron
08-10-2010, 11:27 AM
To respond to Carsten Möllering

I agree with all you are saying.

In reference to :

" Hm, etiquette, setting, procedure, working on kata and so on are mostly set in an aikido class. They equal each other in a whole lot of dojo all over the world. The "role play" is set by the system of sensei-sempai-kohai."

I totally agree. When one trains for a number of years with a "good" sensei we learn these aspects of our art.

"So what does it help to know these things above? *(physiology etc.)
Or - the other way round - don't you think you learn all this in every aikido class. But in relation to what you are doing in the dojo?"

Yes and no. I'm not saying that coaching courses are or should be the answer and because they do not teach how to specifically instruct martial arts but the considerations that are brought up in these courses can provide a useful foundation that can be used in ones teaching and methodology.

" Do those courses mention terms like "ki"? Or "budo"? Or all those phenomenons which are "special" to aikido and other MA but have no place in modern sports?"

No they don't ... this is what we learn in the process of studying aikido over the years and can only be learnt ( mainly) by traditional means

"I experienced that the coaching courses offered over here led to some very interesting conflicts. "

I once more totally agree.

Thanks for your response. Keep on teaching, rolling, learning and trying to get what I have found the most challenging "activity" I have ever been in. I'm looking forward to another 20 -30 years in the art.

Andrew

Walter Martindale
08-10-2010, 06:49 PM
Generally speaking, in response to Carsten and Andrew, the courses/modules to which Andrew refers are not necessarily sport-specific. An example would be the "Task 1 - Training Energy Systems" module, which described basic muscle physiology, how the energy systems (aerobic, anaerobic lactic, anaerobic alactic) blended through a continuum of effort levels and effort durations, periodised through the year (or several years) to provide peak performance. Each sport/activity will have different physiological requirements along the endurance spectrum - power lifters don't need to be able to go for 2 hours 8 minutes, while an international marathoner does. So coaches attending the module would develop their own training program, submit it to their national sport body for evaluation by experts in the sport, and to the presenter of the module for his evaluation from the perspective of the presenter - i.e., is this coach's program scientifically valid?

The 20 (or more, now) tasks involve several areas - endurance, strength, nutrition, "cross" training, biomechanics, "plan, implement, and evaluate a training camp" (and a competitive tour). long term athlete development, understanding the national sport system, leadership, sport psychology for the athlete, sport psychology for the coach, and then a few sport-specific modules.

At the "Level 4-5" coaching expertise level, you could almost say that the coach is equivalent to "shidoin" for his or her sport. Possibly even a "shihan," in a competitive sport, where people win (or not) by as little as 1/100 or 1/1000 of a second, banging on the edges of human capability.

As with any qualification system, though, going through the courses/modules and getting a "level" designation in either the old or new system at the NCCP doesn't necessarily imply that you're a good coach - just as an expert athlete doesn't necessarily make an expert coach - someone who has a 5th dan in Aikido doesn't necessarily know how to teach it, but if he or she attended some coach-training, he or she might understand better how other people learn things, and become a better Aikido instructor.
Whew...
Clear as mud?
Walter

Carsten Möllering
08-11-2010, 08:05 AM
... but if he or she attended some coach-training, he or she might understand better how other people learn things, and become a better Aikido instructor.
But there exist different theorys about how people learn things. Those you can learn in a "western coaching course" will follow specific "western" paradigms.

Learning just by repeating kata time after time represents another way of learning. (No thinking about, no trying out, no need to understand ...) But just this way of learning just by the body and not by mind. Just by feeling and not by knowing is essential.

The way aikido should be taught better can not be learned in such coaching courses.
You can only learn how to be a good instructor in "western" paradigms. And you can notice the differences to how you are teaching aikido.

Carsten

danj
08-11-2010, 10:39 PM
But there exist different theorys about how people learn things. Those you can learn in a "western coaching course" will follow specific "western" paradigms.

Learning just by repeating kata time after time represents another way of learning. (No thinking about, no trying out, no need to understand ...) But just this way of learning just by the body and not by mind. Just by feeling and not by knowing is essential.

The way aikido should be taught better can not be learned in such coaching courses.
You can only learn how to be a good instructor in "western" paradigms. And you can notice the differences to how you are teaching aikido.

Carsten

East, West or a mix of the two a good instructor/coach/teacher will be able to teach with a variety of methodologies to impart knowledge and skills. What tradition call 'kata' a skill acquisition specialist calls 'error free learning', 'repetition' can be called 'blocked learning' , 'meditation' is maybe 'dual tasking'.

A coaching course might help explain the 'why' and show the limits and advantages of different methods. e.g. too much repetitive training (blocked learning) can be detrimental to the learning process at higher skill levels though great at getting people up to a basic level of proficiency.

The advantage of the eastern approach is you just have to trust the venerable master and all is taken care of. The advantage of the Western processes is knowing why we do things the way we do them, it helps build trust in the process.

I wrote a piece some time back on comparing traditional practice to modern practice. Its a bit long to include here, but here is the link Aikido as an elite sport (http://www.aikidorepublic.com/learn-aikido) if there is further intrest

best,
dan

Nicholas Eschenbruch
08-12-2010, 01:45 AM
too much repetitive training (blocked learning) can be detrimental to the learning process at higher skill levels though great at getting people up to a basic level of proficiency.

That is my experience, too, and something I have been wondering about in relation to "basics" training for some time. In aikido, but also the academic teaching I do.

My experience is also that any teaching approach needs to be related to group size; so a complimentary perspective could be one-on-one, small group, large group; I'd prefer "Eastern" for small, "Western" for large. In academic teaching, "Eastern" would be the Oxbridge tutorial, "Western" the large lecture...

Of course there are lots of implications for aikido here. Both points also explain why I rarely go to huge courses of famous shihan anymore.

I did the BAB aikido coach certificate some years ago, and found that it was just the right, pragmatic approach of giving you some tools to work with.

Carsten Möllering
08-13-2010, 02:17 AM
A coaching course might help explain the 'why' and show the limits and advantages of different methods. e.g. too much repetitive training (blocked learning) can be detrimental to the learning process at higher skill levels though great at getting people up to a basic level of proficiency.
Do you see a difference between doing kata and repetitive learning?
<> I don't see it. Isn't repetition the "heart" of learning by kata?

Which possibilitys do you use to teach aikido besides doing kata / repetition? Do you do sparring or special exercises for "surching"/"surveying"?
<> There are some exercises we do, but they are as repetitive as doing kata.

In which way do you think kata/repetition is detrimental?
<> I think doing just kata and trust in it, is the only way to widen ones skills and transcend personal boarders.
And I never experienced another way of training in aikido than just doin kata. In no dojo of any style.

What do you mean by "basic level" and "higher level"? In our aikikai federation we do what we call basics in our examinations up to yondan.
Maybe I, only training for 16 years now, just can't see, what your point is?

The advantage of the eastern approach is you just have to trust the venerable master and all is taken care of. The advantage of the Western processes is knowing why we do things the way we do them, it helps build trust in the process.Hm, first:
In the eastern approach we also know why and what we do. This is studied scientifical. And this is or can be outlined in every class. We don't learn or teach blind.

I'm teaching people in a lot of different ways and at some different places.
I experience the "eastern approach" has a much bigger potential to lead someone over his or her barriers to. In the "western appproach" you often only can "wake up what is sleeping" in someone.
(To say it a bit provokingly. :) )

Sorry, I did'nt read your text yet, but will do it over the weekend.

That is my experience, too, and something I have been wondering about in relation to "basics" training for some time. In aikido, but also the academic teaching I do.How, when, why did you experience repetitive training/learning in academic teaching??? I graduated 1993 and up to then there was no such thing in the liberal arts?

... I'd prefer "Eastern" for small, "Western" for large. ...Interesting: From Yoshinkan representatives I heard they teach such strict kata because of being able to handle larger groups.

I did the BAB aikido coach certificate some years ago,...Can you compare it to the german "Übungsleiterschein C" ?

Carsten

danj
08-14-2010, 05:46 AM
HI Carsten,
Thanks for the feedback, some responses somewhat linked to your comments grouped below

Do you see a difference between doing kata and repetitive learning?
...
<> There are some exercises we do, but they are as repetitive as doing kata.

In which way do you think kata/repetition is detrimental?
<> I think doing just kata and trust in it, is the only way to widen ones skills and transcend personal boarders.
And I never experienced another way of training in aikido than just doin kata. In no dojo of any style.

What do you mean by "basic level" and "higher level"? In our aikikai federation we do what we call basics in our examinations up to yondan.


I think repetitive blocked learning and kata are two separate things...most of the time.
Blocked learning gernerally refers to repetitive tasks to bed some movements or skills in. These might include warm up exercises and aiki taiso. Once learnt there is a danger that any exercises where the brain turns off might be considered a blocked learning exercise and has the potential to hinder learning through complacency, false confidence etc.

Kata , with an alive and experienced uke is anything but blocked learning, here uke is an active and dynamic teacher challenging nage through different timings energies and the variable dynamics of size, strength speed etc.. between different ukes helps build a resiliency in nage.

Kata if overly focused on the basic slow stop go movements as the standard daily practice, may produce these statics jerky movement characteristics in those learning it for years to come and make it harder for them to free up later.

Kata practised as a free flowed dance, where uke offers little in the way of pressure on nage also becomes blocked learning because nage can just relax mentally


Sorry, I did'nt read your text yet, but will do it over the weekend.

Please give it a read of you have a chance Aikido as elite sport (http://www.aikidorepublic.com/learn-aikido) , its a broard brush stroke but might yield up something useful as well as clarify somethings mentioned above.

best,
dan

Walter Martindale
08-14-2010, 01:55 PM
Blocked practice versus Random practice... Blocked practice gives relatively quick initial learning because you're doing lots and lots of repetitions of the same thing, which cuts down on the processing or decision making needed to do the blocked practice.

Random practice gives slower initial learning because more mistakes are made early on, but studies (Joan Vickers of U of Calgary cites many of these in her work) show that the learning is more "robust" in the long run.

Hypothetical example from Aikido: Dojo "A" practices Tachi-Dori by doing 100 repetitions of (say) Shomenuchi Iriminage-Tachi Dori, then 100 repetitions of (say) Yokomenuchi Shihonage-tachi dori, then 100 of a third attack-technique. They do this 3-4 times/week for a month.

Dojo "B" practices 300 Tachi Dori from 100 of each of Shomen, Yokomen, and a third attack, but the nage doesn't know which of the three attacks is coming until the attack is on its way. They do this on the same nights that Dojo "A" is doing their Tachi Dori practice.

Initially, because Dojo "A" does lots of repetitions of the same movement, people at Dojo "A" will learn their respective waza more quickly than at Dojo "B", mums and dads who are paying for their kids lessons (if it's that sort of situation) will be happy because they'll see fast progress.

Dojo "B" on the other hand, will see people making bad choices because they won't recognise the attack until it's too late and they may get lightly bopped on the bean (or Uke will have to pull the strike to avoid hurting Nage), but fairly early on, they'll start making fewer and fewer mistakes in their reading of what's coming and their decision about what to do. Mums and dads paying for the lessons will wonder why their kid is getting such slow progress, and will possibly take their kids over to Dojo "A" because those kids seem to be making so much more initial progress.

Now, take someone from Dojo "A" and put them in "B" for a training session, and they'll start screwing up, because they've not had to figure out "on the fly" what's coming, while put someone from dojo "B" into a training session in "A", and you'll find that the people have a very easy time of it doing the blocked practice.

Also - take people from both dojos a couple of months later without any practice of Tachi Dori in the intervening months, and throw random attacks at them, and the people from Dojo "B" will most likely "do" better than the folks from Dojo "A".

At least that is what studies of decision training in sport show.

So, while taking a basic coaching course won't cover all of this, and it won't necessarily make a wonderful godan into a good 'teacher' it may help him or her understand how better to help the people he or she is meant to be 'teaching'.

Walter

Carsten Möllering
08-15-2010, 08:14 AM
... some responses somewhat linked to your comments ...
Thank you!
I think, I get your point better now.

I assume, we don't do what you call "repetitive blocked learning" in our practice.
Even when doing aiki taiso I try to find the "rigth way" and U will corrected by my teacher. Same thing when I teach: I teach those movements the same way I teach the waza.

We do "turn off the brain", but not for repetition of well known exercises or repeting technique.
We try to "feel" how to act an react instead of "thinking" what to do. But this is just a different way to perceive what's going on.

... ocused on the basic slow stop go movements as the standard daily practice, ...What do you mean with "stop and go movements"?
Don't you do or don't you teach techniques as a whole?

Walter Martindale
08-16-2010, 10:51 AM
We do "turn off the brain", but not for repetition of well known exercises or repeting technique.
We try to "feel" how to act an react instead of "thinking" what to do. But this is just a different way to perceive what's going on.


Or, in blocked practice of the same movement, you (we, because I do it too) don't have to decide what to do because you know what the attack is, and what technique you're doing, so you don't have to be fully "switched on". One is trying to get better at feeling the nuances of each movement - but - did you ever notice that when you switch techniques in blocked practice (say, after 10 minutes of practicing something you switch to something else) how the first few of the new technique/attack combination, you're a little clumsy until you get into the flow?

In "random" practice, you might be doing the same movement in response to the same attack, but you may not know a-priori which attack is coming at you, so you have to decide a) what's coming, and b) what to do. You may not THINK you're making a conscious decision, but the more experience at random practice we have, the farther back into the attack we "see" and we get better at reading what the attacker is going to do - so - it looks like we're "subconscious", when we're actually more alert, more aware, and more perceptive... (and - I'm using "you" here in the general sense, not any specific person)...

Walter

Nicholas Eschenbruch
08-17-2010, 02:46 AM
Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
That is my experience, too, and something I have been wondering about in relation to "basics" training for some time. In aikido, but also the academic teaching I do.
How, when, why did you experience repetitive training/learning in academic teaching??? I graduated 1993 and up to then there was no such thing in the liberal arts?


... I'd prefer "Eastern" for small, "Western" for large. ...
Interesting: From Yoshinkan representatives I heard they teach such strict kata because of being able to handle larger groups.


I did the BAB aikido coach certificate some years ago,...
Can you compare it to the german "Übungsleiterschein C" ?

Hi Carsten,
sorry for the late reply, I was away training.

In reference to academic teaching, my perspective is limited to the humanities, and was referring to textbook learning vs. close work with an academic teacher. I guess I was on about teaching the practice of a research discipline as the goal of teaching. Of course not all university teaching is about that.

Again, this is not a black and white thing - the best teachers manage to teach a research dicispline in their introductory lecture. But usually you will only get taught the real approach at PhD student level.

As for the Yoshinkan, I cannot judge whether their method is effective. Most "kihon" type practice in aikido I am familiar with I have my doubts about.

And the Übungsleiterschein C I never attempted because I heard so much offputting stuff about it... and I would reather train :-)
The BAB approach I found - ten years ago - pragmatic, not too long winded, yet serious.

Carsten Möllering
08-21-2010, 06:03 AM
And the Übungsleiterschein C I never attempted because I heard so much offputting stuff about it... and I would reather train :-)
The BAB approach I found - ten years ago - pragmatic, not too long winded, yet serious. Thank you.

Or, in blocked practice of the same movement, you (we, because I do it too) don't have to decide what to do because you know what the attack is, and what technique you're doing, so you don't have to be fully "switched on". Hm, I can't really understand this thought:
Every attacker is different. Every attack of the same attacker i different. I myself am "different" in different moments.
And experience teaches that you get hit, if you are "switched of" and work waza automatically. Even if you know, what kata you work.

One is trying to get better at feeling the nuances of each movement - but - did you ever notice that when you switch techniques in blocked practice (say, after 10 minutes of practicing something you switch to something else) how the first few of the new technique/attack combination, you're a little clumsy until you get into the flow?Hm, I myself notice it the other way round.
But I see the phenomen you mean when watching beginners. Or lets say not-advanced students.

In "random" practice, you might be doing the same movement in response to the same attack, but you may not know a-priori which attack is coming at you, so you have to decide a) what's coming, and b) what to do. You may not THINK you're making a conscious decision, but the more experience at random practice we have, the farther back into the attack we "see" and we get better at reading what the attacker is going to do - so - it looks like we're "subconscious", when we're actually more alert, more aware, and more perceptive... (and - I'm using "you" here in the general sense, not any specific person)...Ahhh, I think
the most important thing in aikido is to give the body a repertoire of movements, it can use without "thinking".
Learning aikido for me is the same thing as learning to climb stairs being a little child: You learn it by doing it and your body never forgets how to do it and can handle all the different stairs you have to climb through your life. If you start to think how to do it, you will stumble.

When doing practice like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Qy581Xvxk&feature=search) or like this (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aikido+endo+two+attakcer&aq=f)you have to just feel and move.

This is the way our practice is structured most of the time: Feeling. Not thinking.

Does this make a difference or doesn't it affect your statements?

Carsten

Walter Martindale
08-21-2010, 09:27 AM
Ahhh, I think
the most important thing in aikido is to give the body a repertoire of movements, it can use without "thinking".
Learning aikido for me is the same thing as learning to climb stairs being a little child: You learn it by doing it and your body never forgets how to do it and can handle all the different stairs you have to climb through your life. If you start to think how to do it, you will stumble.

When doing practice like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Qy581Xvxk&feature=search) or like this (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aikido+endo+two+attakcer&aq=f)you have to just feel and move.

This is the way our practice is structured most of the time: Feeling. Not thinking.

Does this make a difference or doesn't it affect your statements?

Carsten

Well... Stairs - That's something - as is walking - that we learn fairly early on, and our brain (which is amazing) tells us to lift our feet a little higher or not as high, or to take two steps, and how high to lift our feet, etc., without consciously thinking about it, but the brain does process all this stuff before we hit the first step.

Similarly, if we've trained, and trained, and trained,...., and trained at Aikido, all the processing happens very quickly, and our repertoire of movement principles/techniques "comes out" as the processing happens, and we're called experts who are doing it without thought. Thing is, these aren't spinal reflexes such as the stretch reflex, they're more like conditioned responses, which do involve the brain.

Yes - each attack by a person trying to do the same thing is slightly different from the previous attack, but for most of us, these differences are subtle enough that we don't pick up on them or we don't change our response. Each different attacker is going to be different as well, and they are going to be slightly different each time they attack. I recall reading about O-Sensei demonstrating something, and when asked to do it again, he responded to what seemed to be the same attack with a different technique each time, explaining that he couldn't do the same technique each time because all of the attacks were different. I don't have anywhere near that kind of perceptiveness, but I think I understand the concept.

Oops - better go - rifle competition to get ready for
Walter

philipsmith
08-22-2010, 06:12 AM
Just came across this on my return to Aikiweb after a short absence for various reasons (mainly travelling-related)

I find it interesting that some of the comments sem to suggest that Aikido teachers don't need to know how to teach.
Would this be acceptable in any other field?

For example all school teachers go through a training process - the analogy would be I can speak English so I can teach English professionally from basic to expert level; without knowing anything about class mangement etc.
So why is Aikido different?

Carsten Möllering
08-22-2010, 10:24 AM
I find it interesting that some of the comments sem to suggest that Aikido teachers don't need to know how to teach.
Would this be acceptable in any other field?

For example all school teachers go through a training process - the analogy would be I can speak English so I can teach English professionally from basic to expert level; without knowing anything about class mangement etc.
So why is Aikido different?
Well, I am a teacher. And I learned how to teach my students in school.
One thing you learn when you learn teaching at university is, that there are a lot of different opinions of how to teach.

I didnt say that aAikido teachers don't need to know how to teach. But that the way in which aikido or other arts (like chado, shodo, kyudo, ...) have to be taught is fundamentally different from the way of teaching which is prefferred in western sports.

Here in Germany when you want to get a coaching certificate you have to learn a lot of things which are not used in dojo.
And you don't learn the things you need to use when teaching in a dojo.

Carsten

judojo
06-14-2011, 02:08 AM
The Nipon Aikido Kukai reach out the teachers techniques on Aikido Classes. All actualities are bases of teaching lessons. Kihon during basics, Waza inclusion of Jiu Waza, Tai Sabaki, But this on numbered lessons.

Michael Hackett
06-14-2011, 11:24 AM
Adam mentioned Toyoda Sensei's uchideshi program earlier. He also implemented both national and regional instructor's seminars as part of his program to create instructors to further the art. To be sure, some of the material covered at instructor seminars in the AAA is technique driven and what you'd find at most seminars, there is considerable instruction on how to teach aikido classes and how to deal with student problems. I remember a specific class that dealt with teaching new students to roll, with emphasis on helping those who were having trouble. I understand that Andy Sato Sensei has continued along the same lines with his AWA organization as well.

Adam Huss
06-14-2011, 01:49 PM
I've been lucky enough to train at Sato Sensei's dojo once in the past, and my organization has been invited to their seminars, and I can say they definitely emphasize the impoartance of understanding what one is teaching. Dave Lowry makes a good observation about karate elbow strikes: whether the hand attached to the striking elbow should be open or closed. Many karate teachers were caught off guard by such a question and came up with something plausible 'on the spot.' There is a specific purpose for these minute details, and it is important for a quality teacher to have had access to this kind of detail and tutelage. Being in an organization that has Yoshinkan influence taught to our teacher from Gozo Shioda and Takashi Kushida, we are really able to break down technique into minute detail (for those unfamiliar with Yoshinkan, its basic techniques have very specific ways of execution).

As important, is a teacher who can adequately apply Budo training to daily life, as this is budo's most practical application....and I don't mean self defense.

We have a saying (stolen from somewhere, of course), that is taught in our instructor meetings and classes. I don't remember the Japanese translation, but the english version is "beware of four-inch knowledge." This references the approximately four-inch distance between the ear and mouth. The warning being to beware a teacher attempting instruction of something he or she has just hear/barely learned themselves. I hope that any teacher I commit myself to will have taken the time, made the sacrifice, and put forth the effort to teach from a deep well of knowledge, vice shallow understanding.

These are things I find important in the creation of a "good teacher" and I feel it important that extra time, and special emphasis, be a part of prospective teacher's aikido experience. Time on the mat is always of critical importance, but if I expected people to give me their money, responsibility for their body, and devotion of their time....I would hope to have something equally significant to give back. I have had limited exposure to this kind of training; short time as uchideshi, kenshu class (like senshusei...sorta), monthly instructor classess, and seminars when I can manage it. This has been limited and inconsistent (due to military and family obligations). If I was willing to make more of a sacrafice, I could devote more time to 'plussing up' to the level commensurate with what I consider appropriate an instructor. As it stands, I consider myself a fun training partner to have...and one can certainly derive knowledge from throwing me around...but I certainly consider myself a far cry from what I expect of a Teacher.

Tony Wagstaffe
06-14-2011, 02:39 PM
Should all teachers/instructors of Aikido go through a coaching course?

And...

Should it be a requirement instead of just reaching green-black belt and taking the class?

I think it's something that comes naturally to some people and not others depending upon their confidence within their given subject, the deeper the knowledge the better the instruction, Quality is better than quantity, that kind of thing.
Tomiki Sensei for one made the teaching of aikido a lot easier to understand and apply, the same goes for Saito Sensei of Iwama ryu and Gozo Shioda of Yoshinkan.
Some are naturals some are just plain crap, it's as simple as that....
Most are somewhere in the middle or average. Some couldn't care less....
I've met many who have done coaching courses and are absolute crap and those who have never done a coaching course and are brilliant. One can usually feel or tell if one is a good teacher or not, its called gut instinct.....

Diana Frese
06-15-2011, 11:23 AM
I read around in this thread yesterday and intend to re read more thoroughly, but for now, I noticed Cherie Cornmesser's post (#14 of this thread) and liked it something on the line of "not mandatory but could be helpful"

I like what Tony just said about gut instinct. I was fortunate to have good groups of students at the local YM and the YW in the next town, and while I taught some basic techniques and things that developed from those, (most of which I had seen others teach either previously ... or at least afterwards:) so I was validated) it was still rather recent after training daily in a major dojo and after moving to my home town, attending seminars and major dojos often .... Anyway I was fortunate in that, when I was teaching...

Diana Frese
06-15-2011, 11:37 AM
With respect to Adam's post on this page, I wasn't able to keep up the classes at the Y's, but there was a dojo in another nearby town that people could attend and our colleague did get the fukushidoin certification when it was introduced to our organization. So there would have been close connection with the major dojo if I had applied for consideration, which would have been great, but I wasn't able to train much after the Y classes ended, due to change of job from proofreader to building trades gofer and other time commitments.... But the USAF I believe is strongly committed to developing good teachers and supervising them, with requirements to attend major seminars run by the Technical Committee members...

Adam Huss
06-15-2011, 03:44 PM
Diana,

Finding a dojo with the level of instruction I am speaking about is extremely rare. Often one has to travel long distances to find such a teacher. There is a great article about this subject (the distance of traveling for instruction) I read recently.

Of course one has to make determinations of their level of training based on the priorities in their life. Now that I am married, I no longer consider the option of going back to being uchideshi in a foreign country (ok, Canada....but still. They got fries in their Taco Bell combos, its a different country!) even though I often long for those days. I have no personal feelings toward the level of commitment an aikidoka takes...as long as their heart and spirit are in the right place. I have friends who have done nothing but aikido for the last fifteen years, and I have friends who attend class maybe once a week. I firmly belive there should be stringent testing requirements...but I also belive Meiyo Shodan are appropriate for those who exhibit the proper spirit and dedication, but for whatever reason can not perform as a technician. I don't want people to think I am judging, I am just speaking to this subject from my particular point of view vice a neutral one. I figure that is more beneficial to the discussion than just stating a middle ground. I definitely know how tough it can be moving around...my training and technique has suffered incredibly due to me being in the military, deploying, and being away from my teachers. I know I will likely never be quite at the same level as I was when training as uchideshi and attending approximately 17-19 classes a week. But I still train as much as I can, and I prioritize my training pretty highly in order to seek out mat time with the high level instructors in my organization (often traveling across the US border a couple hours away). Sometimes we move away, there are no dojo, and the most practical way to continue training is to start a dojo yourself. I am likely headed in that direction soon, and I will be sure to let students have no illusions as to what I can offer them...what my qualifications are.

Gut Instinct
This trusting on intuition is great. In fact, part of my training in an advanced class was to focus on this skill, or at least the awareness of it. Unfortunately, for new students watching a class for the first time, they may not recognize a place that screams "stay away!" People will have a general sense of "this is a Cobra Kai" style dojo, or the place just looks sloppy...but as far as solid, well developed dojo...all it takes is a teacher with good salesmanship and some authentic looking scrolls on a wall to suck people into a McDojo. So trusting instinct is a great start...but having a reference helps as well...particularly for new prospective students, whereas the veteran who moves around (like yourself Diana) will have a good baseline in which to confidently follow that instinct (or render recommendation to friends).

Fuku shidoin
This is similar to what I was speaking to when I mentioned teaching Titles. This represents a level of instruction authorized by a parent organization. Today, these types of titles are often synonomous with rank; tetsudai, fuku shidoin, shidoin, renshi, et al. When asked what sensei, or renshi mean...people may know to reply 'teacher' or 'intermediate instructor.' A deeper level of understanding could explain that no word for word English equivalent exists and explain the sen-sei is someone who has gone before/come alive earlier in their training (hence, someone to learn from) or that renshi suggests that person has gone beyond that level to a level where their technique is more polished. This person is one who is seeking mastery of their own technique. When getting into levels of kyoshi or hanshi...the meaning insinuates a person who can recognize and pull these qualities out of another person, or another teacher. They provide guidance in ways beyond the physical.

Many times an organization simply provides these titles in concert with a certain rank...sometimes with an added cost. In the past, when M. Ueshiba was learning DRAJJ, he learned under an older system where each Title represented a grouping of techniques that person was authorized to teach others. Those titles were usually simply called "This grouping of techniques Title. Point being, those were very specific authorities granted to an instructor. The ambiguity of the common titles seen today sometimes represents nothing more than just a title given with a rank. Not saying its bad or wrong...just that, sometimes, it’s so.

Again, just spouting off my idealistic sentiments based on my traditionalist feelings toward my training!

Tim Ruijs
06-17-2011, 02:45 AM
require coaching course...

To my feeling teaching is integral part of your Aikido practise. First imitate the exercises, next understand and finally learn how to pass them on. How do you learn to teach? Simply try and understand why your teacher does the things the way he does. Again, imitate, understand and finally find your own way to teach.

Off course not everyone will follow this path, but those driven to learn Aikido very likely end up teaching Aikido.
It is two sides of the same thing, like the palm of your hand and the back of your hand, like mountains and valleys. One cannot exist without the other (they define eachother, ying yang).

In the Netherlands one can follow courses to attain teacher grades. Other teachers have defined a curriculum you must learn and prove to have mastered in order to receive the grade. However, I do not support such a system where teachers from different styles judge me. The only relevant appreciation is that of my teacher. But others may feel different about this...

Dazzler
06-17-2011, 05:21 AM
Do you need to have a coaching qualification to teach Aikido...no,

Would education or training help create an environment where learning is possible? ...perhaps.

Does ability and knowledge about aikido automatically mean that you know about bullying? child protection? Lesson plans? motivation of high achievers v motivation of low achievers? different learning styles?

Maybe....but I wouldn't bet on it myself.

Regards

D

aikidoaddict
07-23-2011, 11:46 PM
Should all teachers/instructors of Aikido go through a coaching course?

And...

Should it be a requirement instead of just reaching green-black belt and taking the class?

In Australia the Government has stepped in and made it compulsory for all Martial Art Instructors to have a Coaching/Instructor accreditation certificate which is obtained by going through a government sanctioned course with an officially recognised Martial Art association. This is part of the process in cleaning up the martial arts industry within Australia to hopefully weed out the so called "cowboys". These are people who have no real qualifications, knowledge or experience, and are there to just to scam you and take your money.
Paul
Melbourne, Australia

danj
07-24-2011, 10:19 PM
hi Paul,
I thought this was a voluntary banding together of schools taking place? Granted many council and state run facilities require such certification...
Can you say more?

best,
dan