View Full Version : On Teaching

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Kensho Furuya
09-23-2003, 08:17 PM
Always try to be the best teacher for your students. After many years, I often see my students who used to attend my children's class and are now grown up with children of their own. Some of my current students are children from former and present students of many years ago and lately, former students are introducing their grandchildren to me! It makes me feel old but I am always happy to be remembered as their teacher. Yes, indeed, always try to be a good teacher to all of your students. The connection between a teacher and student is never broken; you will begin to see this for yourself as the years go by. I just give you a little hint for the many years to come! Thank you so much.

Rocky Izumi
11-23-2004, 04:19 PM
I find teaching a great chore and very expensive to my wallet, my business, my free time, and my family. When all others are taking vacation or going out on New Year's eve, I have to be at the dojo for the one or two students that will show up. However, I owe it to the teachers who did the same for me all their lives to do the same for my students. They sacrificed much for me so I have a responsibility to do the same for my students and to keep up the line that they hoped would continue. I will hope that my students will do the same for others some day. The responsibility comes from both sides. From my teachers who taught me the lessons and from my students who look to me for lessons.

I secretly feel sorry for those I see who say they want to be good enough to become instructors. If they really begin to understand the responsibilities one takes on as you become an instructor, you must either feel sorry for them or proud of them. Which is which?

Those of my students who have gone on to take on those responsibilities, I am very proud of for they have learned to take on those responsibilities and have become better people for it. I am sorry for those who tried and the responsibilities beat them down.

Time to stop thinking of the old days and go teach class.

Later dudes and dudettes!

09-04-2009, 11:16 AM
Shidoo Geiko is a term designating training by teaching. It is not an optiion for the serious student of the Way of Aiki, and of Aikido. Combined with the other forms of keiko, (solitary, partner practice, randori, weapons, by observation, etc.), the entire experience of the Founder's art may be experienced and beneficial.

Learning any lesson, art form or legitimate system like Aikido, is primarily the responsibility of the student. Any teacher worth his or her salt must always respect this fact, and avoid usurping the student's right to choose for themselves. The best teachers can be are as "assistant instructors" to the primary sensei within each student.

The most effective and meaningful way to be a teacher of merit, is to exemplify, through one's own lifestyle and behavior, the living legacy of doing what is taught, giving true substance to any lesson given. A true teacher has to "walk the talk", taking full responsibility for any action affecting the student, directly or indirectly. This may very well be the most difficult, and certainly, one of the most important points to understand and to accomplish.

Like medical doctors ,who are enjoined by the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm to their patients, would be teachers of Aikido and other martial arts must resolve to do no harm to their students and followers,

Always training with integrity, honesty and joy, a genuine teacher needs never bother about what is being taught or transmitted.

In Oneness,

francis y takahashi

Rocky Izumi
09-06-2009, 04:27 PM
Francis, you contradict yourself. If the primary instructor is the one who takes ultimate responsibility for everything and that primary instructor is within the student, then the teacher cannot take furll responsibility for "any action affecting the student, directly or indirectly." The teacher must be the primary instructor if he or she is to take full responsibility for any actions affecting the student.

On the other hand, if you are saying that we must all take full responsibility for all our actions, whether we are teacher or student, then it makes sense. If that is the case, then there is no need to make a distinction between student responsibility and instructor responsibility. You take action or don't take an action. You are responsible for what you do or don't do.


09-06-2009, 08:45 PM
Hi Rock,

Thank you for your contributions to our national safety, and for the sacrifices all Americans make on foreign soil. Domoo Arigatoo!

Thank you also for your review and response to my musings.

I do not believe that I used the word "ultimate" when I referred to an outside influence on the student. That ultimate responsibility is, and should always remain with the student himself or herself. I do not believe that such accountability can be delegated, although many apparently still attempt to do so,

When we dare to teach or give guidance to another person, basing our effort on what we think we know, we will always fall short of success or of fulfillment, both for the student and the teacher.


Simply because the teacher needs to become the student himself to truly know and adequately understand the needs, awareness and understanding of that student.

Again, the best we can do is support and encourage the sincere and wholehearted effort of the student to become better, and to understand internally what more needs to be done. We must resolve to humbly attempt to guide the teacher within each student, allowing for each of our students to "get it" when they have put in enough time, and when the timing and confluence of all lessons received finally allows them to receive the gift of understanding and fulfillment. We cannot do it for them.

I apologize for any confusion over terminology, or over what a "primary" teacher is with any given circumstance. Perhaps a student, over his lifetime, may choose "primary" teachers in several disciplines, gathering all knowledge, experiences and epiphanies together for affirmative self confirmation of maintaining their Way towards the goals and horizons they have chosen to follow.

Is it not true that the Founder himself had a primary teacher for Daito-ryu, a primary teacher for Omoto-kyo, and who knows what other disciplines he chose to study over his lifetime. Yet, in the end, he took ultimate responsibility for all his lessons, the mistakes made in internalizing them, and the impact all of his actions on people in the environment he chose to live his life, and ultimately, on the entire course of the history of his art on all who chose, and continue to choose to study the marvelous art form he created.

I must disagree with your point that there is no need to make a "distinction" between teacher responsibiity and of student responsibility. It is the very fact that they must be kept separate, and respected as such, that can give any meaning to a productive and honest student-teacher relationship. The teacher provides "external" input, while the student provides the "internal" input.

I see no way to commingle the two, seeing them both to be necessarily separate sources of guidance, inspiration and value to both parties. After all, the teacher is simultaneously the student, even as the student is simultaneously the teacher, in such a wonderful exchange.This union of intent is what I call Aiki in action.

In Oneness,

Rocky Izumi
09-07-2009, 08:40 AM
That works for me.

In fact, it is that distinction of responsibilities that I would call the sempai/kohai relationship but that comes from a different thread.