Re: Poll: How deficient is your instructor's abilities in teaching aikido to you?
A truly great teacher, who has mastered some part of himself*, should inspire his students and make others feel better when they are around him. Aikido teachers should have a good understanding of technique yet also posses good teaching skills as well. There have been seminars taught by high-ranking instructors where I, along with the other students, have left the mat grumpy and frustrated. This is not good, no matter what rank or skill level the instructor has. Remember, aikido waza has very little practical use. We are doing this to better ourselves. Technique is a byproduct, a tool for forging ourselves to become better individuals. My teacher adamentally talks about the ultimate goal of aikido being bliss, happiness for no reason at all....happiness that isn't attached to people or material objects. This can't happen without some sort of formalized training, be it aikido or whatever your choice may be. One thing that I find deficient in many schools teaching is that they do not discuss "why" we are doing aikido. Why do you do aikido? Self-defense, health/exercise, comradraship...all these things can be found through other means and probably even more efficiently. To find a teacher with this kind of understanding and someone who can offer this kind of training is a very hard thing indeed. For example I think that a Kenshu style of class is absolutley neccesary for any serious aikido student. Unfortunatley that isn't offered at too many places. Its just so hard (these days) to find people/instructors that can find the time and means to dedicate themselves to achieve such knowledge. We have families, jobs, responsibilities, etc. that make it difficult. I count myself very lucky to be so close to such good instruction right now. Unfortunatley I am moving soon. I have to agree with Keith Sensei. For a serious and dedicated student, if you need to move on to a new teacher...do so! But don't forget where you came from and who started your training! Different teachers have different levels of dedication and teach at different skill levels. There's nothing wrong with that. Its just up to the student to decide what is best for them. There, of course, are bad teachers out there...but I haven't seen too many of them.
Oh, to answer the question..."How deficient is your teachers skill in teaching aikido to you?"...not very. Which is to say I have more good teachers around me than I know what to do with!