When is it approporiate to start teaching?
I think maybe this subject has been up before but still:
When it is appropriate to start teaching beginners?
I know that some schools officially set the "teacher" level to nidan but would it be wrong to substitute your sensei when just uhm... let's say 3rd kyu? Or taking a beginner group yourself on that level? 1st kyu? For how many years should one train OR what knowledge and attitude should one have to be morally allowed to teach those who know less?
I started my first club when I was 3rd kyu, under the direction of my Sensei (at that time) who was about 3 hours away. Lasted 12 months & gave up as I had to hire the hall & couldn't afford to keep it running. Had 4 students. Let them down & still regret that to this day.
I lost touch with them, but often wonder if they were able to restart somewhere else.
For me personally it was definitely far, far too early as I was effectively entirely on my own.
teaching the kyu-less
That's up to your Sensei.
My answer is shodan. By that time a shodan should be rooted in the basics. A shodan should understand hamni, ma-ai, ukemi, kihon waza, and be able to impart them to raw beginners. Some people like to be taught by example, some like to hear it, some like to feel it, and nearly every beginner needs a familiar similie to hold onto before grasping a foreign one. So to me "understand" means being able to explain a concept, not to just know it. And that understanding is not limited (nor guaranteed) to someone with a black belt.
What if you're stuck in an Aiki-desert?
What if you're stuck in an area with no available teachers? Is it 'ok' to start teaching with the understanding that you will only be introducing people to what you know of the art... maybe letting them find appropriate teachers elswhere?
Re: What if you're stuck in an Aiki-desert?
<removing tongue from cheek>
It varies all over the map and rank shouldn't be the criteria. I know of at least one situation where the dojo's founder got into a wee bit of trouble and the local judiciary said he was no longer allowed to teach children. His senior student ascended through the ranks rather quickly after this -- in 2 arts for what they are worth. Guess that was ok because they are playing by their own rules anyway.
The first person in my immediate upline began teaching as a brown belt. He just started teaching. I taught my first class as a brown belt. Many of the bigwigs you see today began teaching after a few years. If all you had was all you had, well, you used it. Of course, they were better back then. That was back when real Aikido was being done. :rolleyes:
It just depends on the environment and circumstances. If you are it and you want to practice then you go find someone to practice with. Since you are senior you'll probably be doing most of the teaching. I'd argue that you don't need to get all formal though. Just work out and learn from each other. If you can find someone more qualified work with them and go from there.
Not every place is like it is here in the Bay Area. I could practice with a different 5th dan (or higher) each night for months. We've got the opposite problem. Way too many dojos if you ask me.
I once trained with a guy who grew up in the third world, where he studied karate some twenty odd years ago.
He used to tell me stories about his three sensei who were all brown belts and how utterly amazing they were. He said that their skill, stamina and training methods were far superior than many senior people that he saw and trained with in the US. He also said that there were a handful of yellow and green belts, and that these people were shown the respect generally reserved for black belts - heads would turn when a yellow belt entered the dojo.
The reason for these high standards was that years went by between gradings, when the senior people came down from Japan - the local sensei were not qualified to grade anyone. He said that at one grading he attended, some of the white belts jumped to brown and black. Pretty amazing. Pretty dedicated too.
So, I guess its not always simple.
Re: Re: What if you're stuck in an Aiki-desert?
I agree with your entire statement... not just the part I quoted.
BTW: where do you practice in the bay area? I'll be there once every few weeks for the next three months so I might try to drop in and pracitce (if allowed of course.)
Re: Re: Re: What if you're stuck in an Aiki-desert?
The dojo right next to me asked $80/month (... I'm currently paying for everything but housing on a minimum wage campus job.) and it didn't feel right to me so that wasn't going to happen. The dojo I started going to where the sensei is _amazing_ was a 45 minute bicycle ride: no car here. I believe they're associated with a larger dojo in woodstock (maybe your dojo?) I've been going there until now (I'm in the process of graduating and moving to CA)
So that's my story of woe. I think I've become much more competent at finding dojos and getting around with the means I have so the situation should be better when I move.
BTW: A new teacher (Shodokan) is going to start teaching at Vassar college next year... Sad that I missed it but I think it's good that it's hapening at the college.
End of long post,
I guess it depends on your definition of "teaching." I am a teeny, weeny, measly 5th kyu, and know nothing of aikido next to my sensei. However, compared to the student who just walked in and started his very first class this very night, I might know a thing or two. So I help explain ma-ai, or a few points about hanmi, or help show them how to give a a proper shomenuchi attack...did I just "teach" aikido? I certainly couldn't get up and run the class, but maybe I taught somebody something, didn't I? Guess it depends on your terms...
The Bay Area has a ton of dojos and most of them are fairly welcoming. I've only ever felt uncomfortable in one dojo and even there it was much better than what I hear goes on in some other places. I think it was just poor timing.
I do have to admit that I hang around primarily in what used to be AANC dojos (now split and some are in the ASU realm). So, I can't speak for any of the other 14 or so organizations around here other than to say that the couple of times I've been in one the've been fine with it. I'd be surprised if you couldn't just show up almost anywhere around these parts.
If you want more send me a private message.
When to start teaching?
When you are ready to teach.
The best any teacher can hope to do is share with their students their understanding in such a manner that the students are able to use it.
The ideal situation is to have a supportive senior teacher in Aikido that you can go to for your training and clarification.
There are some very high ranking Aikidoka who are lousy teachers. You watch them for their technique and skill, but you will not learn much from them.
If you are sincere in your own training and in your desire to share your grasp of Aikido with others, then teach. Just keep up your training and practice.
Re: When is it approporiate to start teaching?
Hi there !
In our dojo we all get at taste of teaching
now and then,and maybe it's to always to be
alert to the task,fate maybe one day will make
you a sensei.
Like always being prepared to take breakfalls - always being prepared to teach to the best of your ability is a healthy thing.
From my previous experience of music tuition
I know that a great artist doesn't guarantee
a great teacher.
As I later began teaching music myself I knew
that good teaching produces results,and sometimes good teaching takes a while to
manifest in the student,and only adds to the joy when bursting out.
Some are good teachers by gift some by hard work.Of course you feel certain about instruction when given by an experienced
teacher who knows far more than the basics,
and it adds to your attention.
If there is no problem with inflated ego's
then I think we should all think of ourselves
as potential teachers , not think to much about it,but rise to the occasion when needed.
Yours - Chr.b.
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