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Old 12-22-2005, 07:32 AM   #53
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Re: Article: Clarity and Self-Delusion in One's Training by George S. Ledyard

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
This has led to an immense gap in sophistication between different places one might train. Many people are putting in many hours of hard training, expending much time and effort, but the place where they are training will simply not produce anyone who gets to the top level of skill because of the way they train or the lack of sophistication of the person teaching. This no slight on the person teaching... if one is a sandan or yondan one can do an admirable job teaching folks the basics but how could one possibly take ones students up to a level which one hasn't yet reached oneself? This is just common sense.
I just started reading this thread, so I apologize for the lateness of my comments. I do have one question about the above paragraph, especially the next to last sentence. And it isn't that I disagree or agree because I'm still trying to get a grasp on the whole concept myself.

Anyway, how do you explain coaches of sports? If a coach hasn't reached a level themselves, how do you explain how players can be exceptional, surpassing their coaches abilities? Take the Olympic athletes for example. I'm sure that some of them progressed far more than their coaches abilities. Or the saying to stand on the shoulders of one's teacher?


Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The issue becomes lack of awareness of what the highest levels of Aikido even represent. I have been fantastically fortunate to have been able to train with many of the finest teachers out there. The Aiki Expos exposed me to even more, some who don't even do Aikido. When you experience what these people can do and when in your own training you start to get a glimpse of what it is yourself, there's no way you can be satisfied with Aikido-lite.
Oh, and in that I agree completely.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I travel a lot to teach and train and what I see out there is a group of folks who are hungry for better training. They get so excited and enthusiastic when you can show them ways to take their training up to another level. I think the current system of teaching is failing a large group of people out there. They need more and better direction.
I'm not sure it's a large group. I agree that there is a group out there. Take the average organization (ex. ASU). In it, there will be very few Yondan and above. A little more nidan and sandans. And probably quite a bit more shodans. However, there will be a good bit more mudansha. It doesn't take a shihan to bring the mudansha up to an appropriate level, or up to another level. And you'll typically find that most dojos out there have at least a shodan, but more likely a nidan or sandan running them. So, really, when we talk about the current system of teaching failing, I think we're talking about those of nidan or higher rank, which IMO isn't a large group of people. But your thoughts on this are most welcome.



Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I am so passionate about this because I love this art so much. I am just hitting the point in my training in which I can now do things which I thought were pretty much "magic" thirty years ago when I started. I feel like I am just getting to the "goodies" and it is so exciting, so much fun I can't contain myself. When I see so many people settling for so much less I can't help but say "No, don't settle! There's so much more..."
Which goes back to your previous point. Once you've been exposed to some of this, you can never, ever be satisfied with "Aikido-lite". Love that word, by the way. Reminds me of software bundles where you get a "shareware" or "demo" or "not fully functional" version. It's just a glimpse of what the full package can do.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Aikido desperately needs people to focus on how to develop training which could potentially produce another O-Sensei, another Tohei, and Yamaguchi, etc In large measure this isn't happening today.
How do you know this? Granted, my world of Aikido is small. I haven't had access to any of the famous shihans. For me, the only thing I have is questions.

Thanks,
Mark
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