View Full Version : Teachers who won't share

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Peter Boylan
08-02-2016, 11:46 AM
Not all teachers are great. Some of them, for whatever reasons, don't want their students to learn from anyone else. I just can't follow their line of thinking, and I explain my reasoning in this blog post.


What do you think? Is it ok to train with someone other than your teacher?

Janet Rosen
08-02-2016, 06:39 PM
When we did the first USA aikido-l list seminar in 1998, and I mentioned it to my then-instructor, he was incredibly scornfully dismissive of any of the participating teachers outside of his organization - never mind some of them had been training and teaching twice or three times longer than him within other mainstream organizations. That was my first inkling of how insecure some people are.

Dan Richards
08-02-2016, 09:48 PM
The best teachers and the best students I've seen—in martial arts or any other endeavour— are those who play and work well with others.

People who practice in these little secret isolated pockets—are weird. And they're never really all that good. They have limited scope and experience.

Ueshiba's students went to many different teachers. So did Ueshiba.

Shoji Nishio, who was more well rounded than any other aikidoka, and who was taught by more high-level teachers than anyone in aikido, was always encouraging—even recommending—that students go to other schools and teachers.

08-03-2016, 12:36 PM
Perhaps its tradition.
Perhaps its preference.
Perhaps its insecurities.

08-03-2016, 02:10 PM
There can be said a lot about good, bad and mediocre teachers.

I offer only the following:
Be weary of those who take themselves very seriously.

08-03-2016, 03:55 PM
Okay to look around when you have good fundamentals - I realize looking back I had a higher opinion of my fundamentals then, than I do now.

I have had three teachers get very angry about their students seeing other teachers - and two of them studied multiple arts oddly enough. One was very clear about what he wanted and any contamination wasn't going to be tolerated. His students were scared of anything resembling personal interpretation of kata. Another teacher spent every seminar insulting every other branch of Aikido, and grading was directly tied to who drank the Kool-Aid.

I was always going to encourage more freedom, I thought.

Now I teach more often. Now I have students who talk to several people regarding any questions. Aikido Koshinage is less commonly taught, I have a way I teach it and what I want students to understand. It's not "my way or the highway" so much as please understand why this is done the specific way I have shown. Which arm is held on to, which is let go, how to protect uke and your knees. I have seen a few mix and match lessons with other pieces of advice, then I get scolded for injuries or I see unnecessary risks. Some times it feels like a vote is being held after I give my best researched and demonstrated answer. I am not sure how to best handle it, but it does irritate me.

So far, I just keep moving forward. My primary teacher wasn't going to punish people who didn't listen, but he didn't beg or cajole people to learn from him and be his students either.

Lyle Laizure
09-04-2016, 02:21 AM
I agree there are those that are insecure with their ability and therefore do not wish their students to train with other instructors; whether they are in different or the same organization.

Sometimes however an instructor will tell their students don't practice here or there or with that instructor or person out of concern for his/her students because the instructor has experience with that individual and believes them to be unsafe, in technique, method, or moral influence.

Also, if an instructor has a new student with little to no experience it may be recommended or encouraged that the new student refrain from training at other schools/with other instructors so as to make it less confusing for the student laying that initial foundation. Too many cooks in the kitchen....

I have never forbade a student to practice with another school or teacher...I have made recommendations and make clear why my recommendation is what it is.

09-07-2016, 07:47 AM
All of my teachers encouraged cross-training; not just in Aikido but wherever I wanted. In fact I remember after I told Tamura sensei that I'd trained with Senta Yamada asking me every time I saw him thereafter if I'd trained in Tomiki Aikido again; and Chiba Sensei passing on his regards to Sakegame Sensei from Wado-Ryu (I didn't even know they had met).

As other posters have said I believe that if a teacher is secure they actively encourage their students to explore other arts.