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-   -   Should everyone teach? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4205)

taras 07-29-2003 11:10 AM

Should everyone teach?
 
In some Aikido assosiations is is a reqirement for dan grades to teach others Aikido if they want to get the next dan. However, all people are different; some are better at teaching, some are worse. What if the person only teaches because he/she is after the next grade?

On your oppinion, should it be nesessary for everyone to teach Aikido in order to make their own progress?

Disclamer: These are only my speculations, I am not refering to any real people, I hope nobody's got an instructor with wrong motivation for teaching.

gamma80 07-29-2003 11:58 AM

I understand the concept of wanting upper ranks to teach kohai, sometimes you can better understand a tecnique yourself when you try to explain and demonstrate it to others. HOWEVER, some folks just don't have the teaching nack whether it be the lack of ability to communicate information in verbal form (they can proficiently perform a move but can't quite explain how to do it) or they don't pick up on errors made by the student thus being unable to correct mistakes.

A good practitioner doesn't neccessarily make a good teacher. Requiring someone to teach who doesn't have that nack will ultimatly result (in my opinion) in students being taught poorly or incorrectly.

If a person has the desire to teach then they should do so with close guidance and supervision from thier Sensei in order to become as good a teacher as they are an Aikidoka. In this way Aikido is passed along well, not watered down. Good teachers make good students, and visa versa!!

Chris

jimbaker 07-29-2003 02:15 PM

Well, the USAF-East doesn't have a teaching requirement for higher yudansha rank. I know several fifth dans who have taught only a couple of classes over twenty-five years, and those only by the default of being the highest rank present.

I think you would be able to find a few seventh dans in Japan who never taught a class.

JIM

Lyle Bogin 07-29-2003 02:16 PM

You mean there are martial artists who don't teach :)? I never heard of such a thing.

Chuck Clark 07-29-2003 03:04 PM

No.

There's a difference in being a responsible senior that trains with juniors and draws them along in their wake and a senior that is also an instructor or teacher.

Sometimes it can be complicated though. Many really good instructors I know and some teachers would rather not have the responsibilities inherent in being a teacher. They do it though, to the best of their abilities, because they see it as an obligation they have to their own teachers and their teachers' teachers.

There are lots of good times associated with being an instructor or teacher, such as seeing and taking part in people's growth, etc. However, it is also a huge pain in the butt.

Thankfully, we have people that, for whatever reasons, accept the responsibilities of passing on the art to the best of their abilities. We all owe teachers more than we can ever repay. That's why I am a teacher.

kironin 07-29-2003 04:05 PM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
[quote="Taras Poltorak (taras)"

On your oppinion, should it be nesessary for everyone to teach Aikido in order to make their own progress?[/QUOTE]There is formal teaching and informal teaching.

Some people are naturals at teaching a group of people while others can do better at one-on-one mentoring. Senior students teach just in the act of being there. It's my opinion that if you are capable of learning enough to be awarded dan rank then you are capable of teaching on some level. You are certainly capable of learning how to teach too. A dan certificate is sort of pointless if you aren't in some way involved in passing on what you have learned. Recognition of this by having teaching a class as part of the requirement of a dan rank isn't bad IMO.

I do think that one should try to avoid beginning teachers teaching beginning students.

It maybe not necessary to learning, but it could enhace your progress.

Craig

taras 07-30-2003 03:12 AM

Re: Re: Should everyone teach?
 
Quote:

Craig Hocker (kironin) wrote:
It's my opinion that if you are capable of learning enough to be awarded dan rank then you are capable of teaching on some level. You are certainly capable of learning how to teach too.

Craig

Craig,

I agree with this, one should be capable of transmitting the knowledge on some level, but this ability does not give you dedication and charisma to teach others Aikido. I beleive that being an Aikido sensei is a lot more than just having knowledge. Jun posted a thread here about all the qualities a sensei should have. It was after reading it that I posted my question.

happysod 07-30-2003 05:29 AM

Personally, I do prefer everyone to teach if only to find the gaps in their own knowledge. However, teaching during a class and actually being the main teacher is very different and if someone isn't comfortable (or capable) of taking the class, I'd prefer they didn't do it.

I actually like teaching and find it a buzz. I also find my own aikido suffers if I don't teach from time-to-time. Somehow teaching negates some of the sterility of doing basic ikkyo for the umpteenth time and breathes fresh enthusiam into me. Teaching aikido isn't just a one way street and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone staying with aikido.

Bronson 07-31-2003 02:21 PM

Quote:

We all owe teachers more than we can ever repay. That's why I am a teacher.
Well said.

I never realized just how much my teachers gave of themselves until the responsibility for one of our satellite dojo came down to me.

Bronson

kironin 08-01-2003 04:21 PM

Re: Re: Re: Should everyone teach?
 
Quote:

Taras Poltorak (taras) wrote:
Craig,

I agree with this, one should be capable of transmitting the knowledge on some level, but this ability does not give you dedication and charisma to teach others Aikido. I beleive that being an Aikido sensei is a lot more than just having knowledge. Jun posted a thread here about all the qualities a sensei should have. It was after reading it that I posted my question.

I know about the survey. I contributed to it.

I don't disagree with what you are saying, but I think you mixing two things. Having to teach one class on perhaps a weekly basis at you dojo as part of some rank requirement and in the process gaining an appreciation as a yudansha about what is involved. I don't think that requires charisma or some of the other things Jun lists. I don't see anything wrong with it but then I don't know any one with that requirement, though perhaps the AAA does.

The other thing is actually having your own dojo or club of students who think of you as their main teacher. Now if you want the group to grow, I think Jun's list becomes more important though like Lynn says, I would hate to try to live up to all of that.

Like someone else said, some of us are just in the position where we have to teach. I teach because I couldn't find what I needed when I moved here and so had to create the learning environment for others that I wanted myself.

I was fortunate to have been given the skills to do so by my sensei who was an excellent teacher and who had me teaching a weekly class at his dojo before I moved. You learn a lot in teaching a couple hundred classes and you get over the jitters of being in front of the class.

I don't know about charisma, but I think patience is important. I think aikido itself has a certain charisma that has little to do with me. I can see that maybe not every one would make that jump from teaching a class to teaching a group. I hope I am doing alright. The only metrics I have are the positive feedback of students and visitors. The fact that I now have a dedicated core of students many of whom had significant experience in other martial arts or other aikido groups. The progress students are making. The group is growing in experience and number, albeit slowly.

It blows my mind what Jim says that there are 5th dans who have taught maybe 2 classes in 25 years. Meanwhile I must be in the ballpark of 500 by now while teaching 3 times a week.

Craig

arderljohn 05-26-2004 01:33 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
hi, in our dojo we requesting all instructor to teach. but it depends to them if they dont want too. but being or rather to be martial artist we must continue our process of learning and thats the one ways to develop our skill not to teach but to hone our knowledge and increase our confidence. it is not necessary to bring your self in that kind of process but its up to those who want to learn how to teach besides, teaching is similar to sharing and we dont want to be selfish. :)

erikmenzel 05-26-2004 04:03 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
IMHE there is a very big difference between being sempai and being a teacher. As sempai I have the task to help anyone junior to me in a lot of aspects of the training hence relieving my teacher of this burden and thus ensuring he can focus on teaching his thing. Simple things as reigi or helping people with their obi etc should not be my teachers burden. Even within the lessons I have the task of being an example, to train with beginners to give them a feel of what is going on etc and to correct any behavior which could result in immediate danger.
I do not teach, period.

Bronson 05-26-2004 04:21 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
Quote:

Craig Hocker wrote:
Having to teach one class on perhaps a weekly basis at you dojo as part of some rank requirement and in the process gaining an appreciation as a yudansha about what is involved. ...I don't know any one with that requirement, though perhaps the AAA does.

I don't know if Seidokan institutes this policy as a whole but I know my sensei tries to. I can't think of a single yudansha in our dojo who doesn't have some sort of teaching responsibilty. For those who don't want to or can't make a regular long term commitment to a class we have a night where the instructors rotate on a monthly basis. All the yudansha get a chance to teach and all the mudansha get a chance to experience the different teachers. It's actually pretty hard to get to shodan if you haven't taken on some sort of teaching responsiblilty. Usually in the form of assisting another instructor in their class or teaching a basics class one night a week.

But that's just us...and we're weird :hypno:

Bronson

Greg Jennings 05-26-2004 07:24 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
I do not think that everyone should teach. I'm really sure that not everyone should have to lead (i.e., herd cats). I live in constant turmoil that I'm a prime example of both.

OTOH, I think in a dojo situation like my own, *everyone* must pitch in and do what needs to be done. That's the only reason I'm running the joint vice being the senior student which was a role I really liked.

FWIW,

aikidocapecod 05-26-2004 10:46 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
When the term "teacher" is used, does that mean conducting a class? Or a series of classes?

I ask because some of the best instruction I have received is from those in the dojo that I practice with. They are on the receiving end of the technique I am attempting. Uke can feel immediately if I am pulling...pushing...off balance...too much muscle...not enough...in general...fumbling all over the mat

That quick response to my attempt to execute what Sensei has shown is one of the best teaching tools in the dojo. Those we practice with are all teachers. We all help each other to learn through our practice.

Is the ability to run a class as important as getting the proper idea across? I have met many that can operate a class because the personality involved is strong and outgoing. I have met many more that have a wonderful understanding of Aikido and their technique is very good. But they may not have the desire or the ability to stand in front of 15 to 30 pairs of expectant, or yet more frightening...discriminating, eyes. Should that person be passed over for promotion simply because of shyness?

Just food for thought in this thread

John Boswell 05-26-2004 02:08 PM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
With regards to the AAA and their requirements, I think they have a very good outlook on things.

Once a person gets up to around 2nd kyu and higher, the odds of their sensei requiring them to take over a class for some reason is high. Things happen and you never know when you will need a student to step in for a few minutes or a couple nights should any sensei get ill or what have you.

To require students to take an Instructor's Seminar or the like, ensures that people of rank at least become familiar with the basics of instruction. It also gives Shihan and/or organizational instructors the opportunity to see a "potential" sensei in action and see what they are/are not capable of when it comes to instructing.

Personally, it will be many, many years before I even consider the thought of thinking about instructing in martial arts. I call out advice every now and then, but that's a far cry from getting up there and telling people "DO THIS." Lord knows I can't do any of "THIS" yet! :D

Moral of the story: All things in moderation... so long as someone else is buyin'. :)

Devon Natario 08-21-2004 02:30 PM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
I think people should be required to teach. Why else be promoted. Part of learning an art, is learning to teach the art. Thats what a portion of rank is about.

In an Isshin Ryu Class I was in, they had requirements for even 5th Kyu personnel to start teaching portions of the class. The same went for my Jujitsu class. I had to teach basics (breakfalls) even at Green Belt. The more rank that I earned, the more I had to teach.

After time, my Sensei let his three top students switch off teaching portions of the class and he was there to oversee. It made us all "have" to teach.

I think it was great. Had I not been forced into it, I may not have ever taught.

AsimHanif 08-21-2004 09:22 PM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
At our last instructors class, our Shihan made us individually bow to each other after class. His comment was that we should call each other by our titles (Sensei) in order to remind us live up to it.
That statement definitely had an impact on me.

SeiserL 08-23-2004 08:54 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
IMHO, not everyone has the personality or desire to teach. Some of us just want to train. If that stops promotion, that's fine too.

As Sempai, I feel a grateful obligation to help my Kohai.

Keep in mind "everyone" you have met in Aikido. Do you really want "everyone" to teach?

Lyle Laizure 08-24-2004 04:49 PM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
Quote:

On your opinion, should it be necessary for everyone to teach Aikido in order to make their own progress?
The short answer is no. A person has to give back to the art is how I understand it. Teaching is a great way to give back but it doesn't mean one has to open a school. It could be just taking a class when your sensei is out of town or helping new students with their acclimation to class. Giving back could also be helping with fund raisers and daily dojo maintenance, record keeping, demonstrations and so on.

There are a multitude of ways a student can give back to the art.

wxyzabc 08-24-2004 06:33 PM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
Quote:

Taras Poltorak wrote:
What if the person only teaches because he/she is after the next grade?

Disclamer: These are only my speculations, I am not refering to any real people, I hope nobody's got an instructor with wrong motivation for teaching.

Well sadly this does seem to happen...I have trained under one teacher here in Japan who clearly had no real interest in teaching anyone...made no real attempts to explain or correct...just demonstrated (well practised in front of us) about 20 techniques in a two hour period and then stood bye and watched as we poorly tried to emulate.
This meant that nearly everyone in the dojo had their "own" version of each technique..everyone teaching each other mistake upon mistake :( this meant after two years I was barely 4th que when really here in two years you should make Shodan.

Anyway... after a bit of a relocation now I have a trully impressive teacher so I`m very happy :p

David Yap 08-25-2004 02:16 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
Quote:

Lee Price wrote:
Well sadly this does seem to happen...I have trained under one teacher here in Japan who clearly had no real interest in teaching anyone...made no real attempts to explain or correct...just demonstrated (well practised in front of us) about 20 techniques in a two hour period and then stood bye and watched as we poorly tried to emulate.
This meant that nearly everyone in the dojo had their "own" version of each technique..everyone teaching each other mistake upon mistake :( this meant after two years I was barely 4th que when really here in two years you should make Shodan.

Hi Lee,

Except for the shodan in two years part, I tend to agree with you from my experience in previous dojo. It brings to mind the sensei with the one-foot stance leaning against the dojo wall, arms on his chest and his chin resting on one of his hands and watching the class with amusement. I always wonder what was he thinking all that time ($$$? ).

David

Nick Simpson 09-02-2004 09:06 AM

Re: Should everyone teach?
 
Apparently for someone who trains regularly at a japanese university dojo it is not uncommon to reach shodan in 1 year. Afterall, it only means first step.


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