12-20-2002, 03:46 PM
After reading the thread on "Why do they leave", I found the question about test requirements for black belt and what follows.
In my organisation (Shudokan International), Shodan requires knowledge of all of the techniques in the grading syllabus, plus 4 Jiyu Waza (freestyle techniques against a repeated attack), including any attack with a real knife (but only one-on-one).
There is so much more to learn after Shodan, but if your training is technique based and no further, then you will go no further (in ability, even if you do in rank). There is so much more in the principles of Aikido. My Master always told me "Timing, Distance, Balance" and I have always looked to find this path.
After Shodan is multiple attacker Jiyu Waza, which helps the student to learn the principles.
In my eyes this has always shown the weakness in technique based teaching. More is the principle based teaching I always got from my late Master (and I have seen during and later from his Master).
I wonder what other instructors think. How do you teach lessons? Do you teach a series of techniques, or do you follow principles through your lessons. The later is my approach. Following one form, method or body movement, in to which follows timing-distance-balance, which is the corner-stone of my practice (learning), and also my teaching.