View Full Version : Looking for Advice on Conducting Seminar Session

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09-11-2002, 06:57 AM
Hello all

I am in need of some advice. Here's the story. My sensei was invited to conduct a session at a Friendship Seminar (Aikikai, tomiki, yoseikan and aikibudo will be represented) in about 10 days time. He accepted but has subsequently injured his back and is unable to train and teach until he's healed. So he's asked me fill in for him and represent him at the Seminar (what is colloquially called in Ozland as "being dobbed in").

In and of itself no biggie because I sometimes have to take class at my dojo except that most of the dojos in Perth and their Chief Instructors will be at the Seminar to take sessions, do demonstrations and train while other instructors are doing their sessions.

These people will have a darn sight more experience than my 9 years and will be at least 3rd dan and above. While some of their students will have less experience than me I'm not sure that I can add any value to what these instructors already know.

I guess I can look upon this as a challenge and a wonderful opportunity. Frankly, it scares the living buhjeezus out of me despite a healthy dose of support and encouragement from my sensei and the convener of the Friendship Seminar who has his own dojo. I don't want to disappoint my sensei or his confidence in me but I don't want to screw up either.

Any advice on what I can do to make sure I don't make a fool of myself and put sensei in a bad light is welcomed and actively encouraged...please :)

Happy training all

09-11-2002, 07:15 AM
How about "Break a leg" ? If you decide to do the training session that's my good wishes to you - otherwise and in a more litteral sense it's a way to get out of the dilemma. :D

But seriously: you are about to show what your dojo stands for. Explain the situation, do your best and select the part of your 'repertoire' that you are most comfortable with. You are not there to impress everybody with 'superior' technique, but if you do a decent job you should earn a lot of respect for living up to the challenge.

I think you should go for it.

Jim ashby
09-11-2002, 07:16 AM
Hi Mayland. I had a similar situation last friday where I was put on the spot at our regular visit to an affiliated Dojo. I was originally slated to teach as the regular Sensei was on holiday, however one of our senior instructors agreed to come down. Thinking he was going to take the class, I took my place in line only to be told that I was still taking the class! This senior instuctor (4th Dan) was the first person to ask me on to the mat (jeans and T shirt on my part... eleven years ago)so I was naturally afraid of making a fool of myself in front of him. Anyway, I stuck to my original plan of a structured exploration of Avoidance, Balance, Control. Afterwards I was congratulated on an enjoyable class.

In the final analysis, anyone on the mat is there to train, whether they learn something new or not.

Just stick to your plan, relax and "she'll be right mate".

Have fun.

09-11-2002, 07:24 AM
Having never been to a seminar (first one this sunday in stoke-on-trent) i could not really offer any advice accept, dont panic.

off the top of my head, i'd assume that your not the only person of your stylee of aikido to be going to the seminar, yet i see from your post that there are other stylee's going therefore logic dictates (not really having a place anywhere) that you could maybee take your students and throw them around using a set pattern?

maybee figure out some moves that look good and are fun and get the ppl at the seminar trying them, baring in mind that whatever you do it will be different to the way that ANYBODY does it because everyones stylee is different.

But most of all DONT PANIC (this should be in large friendly letters)

btw stylee is just a stuuupid thing i cant get out of my head whenever i say the word stylee!



09-11-2002, 12:37 PM
IMHO, stess the basics, teach it like its a home class, and have a good time.

Until again,


09-13-2002, 11:05 AM
Hello everyone

Thank you for the kind words. I think I was caught off guard by my sensei (not the first time by any means).

I will be leading the session and since I will be first up, I'll be doing a series of very basic techniques that stress posture/centre, movement and sensitivity to Uke's energy and balance. Its probably going to be from katate dori with emphasis on irimi and/or tenkan movements.

I'm going to take a leaf out of Mr David Organ's book and set up a brief lesson plan and then rehearse the techniques with the person who will be Uke.

I'll let you know in a couple of weeks to let you know how it all went.

Till then, happy training all :)


Any suggestions for techniques or exercises are also gratefully accepted.

09-21-2002, 09:04 AM
Just thuoght people might like to know. Things went well :)

Guess it wasnt as daunting as I thought it might be. As my wife would say...on numerous occassions..."told you so" :)

Anyway thanks for the advice and suggestions.

All the best for training.