Ian Dodkins wrote:
I agreed with the article and like the tree metaphore. However the article still tends to suggest that there are better parts to the tree than others. I feel I have learnt an enormous amount through my short time in teaching; and partly it has made me more ruthless in my approach to aikido i.e. I tend to focus on those students who I believe will persevere and sincerely inquire into aikido, and whilst I focus the training on them, those who only have a superficial interest learn a few techniques and add to the diversity of the dojo. This is because I sincerely want to improve myself, and I also want to ensure that the nuggett of high quality aikido that exists beyond the techniques is passed on to future generations - I eventually want my students to be better than me! We do not want aikido to end up like many of the early karate schools whereby an instructor is mainly there for money and status and the students are just stepping through set techniques, the style of which is determined by the affiliation.
P.S. Ron - your comment also cracked me up!
I have to sort of put myself in this line as well. For example, at our dojo, while all are welcome to train and to train at whatever level they are opting for, one cannot even qualify for certain ranks without "x" amount of days per week - e.g. three days a week gets you no higher than fourth or third kyu recognition; shodan requires daily practice; etc. Guess what? Everyone is fine with that at our dojo - we got folks that train twice a week, three times a week, five times a week, daily, etc. Everyone is where everyone is at and everyone is fine with that. I think this is because everything is so out in the open - nothing has to be so hidden or so guarded.